UNITED NEWS INTERNATIONAL (UNI) — Gray wolves in the Great Lakes region will remain on the endangered species list.
The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 1 that the animals should continue to be federally protected under the Endangered Species Act.
The court upheld the ruling of a district judge who said the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service made a mistake by scraping gray wolves from the list in 2011 after determining their populations had recovered.
The issue has been a divisive one.
Animal rights groups argue they need federal protection. However, those in favor of taking the wolves off the list say wolf protection efforts should be handled by states.
Federal protection means the wolves in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin cannot be trapped or hunted. It also means their habitat will be protected.
There are an estimated 3,800 gray wolves in those three states.