8 February 2014 10:45 am
Wikimedia/USFWS. Canis lupus
The ongoing battle over a proposal to lift U.S. government protections for the gray wolf (Canis lupus) across the lower 48 states isn’t likely to end quickly. An independent, peer-review panel yesterday gave a thumbs-down to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS’s) plan to delist the wolf. Although not required to reach a consensus, the four researchers on the panel were unanimous in their opinion that the proposal “does not currently represent the ‘best available science.’ ”
“It’s stunning to see a pronouncement like this—that the proposal is not scientifically sound,” says Michael Nelson, an ecologist at Oregon State University, Corvallis, who was not one of the reviewers. Many commentators regard it as a major setback for USFWS, which stumbled last year in a previous attempt to get the science behind its proposal reviewed.
USFWS first released its plan…
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