As feds prepare to delist gray wolf in Idaho and Montana, hunters polish their rifles

In Idaho and Montana, the impending removal of Endangered Species Act protections for the gray wolf has sportsfolk salivating. The wolf, reintroduced to the region a decade ago, is blamed for killing elk and other critters that hunters want around so they can kill ’em themselves. At a rally in Idaho last week, Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter pledged to allow the hunt of all but 100 of the state’s roughly 650 wolves, saying he’d be first in line for a permit. The riled-up crowd of 300 hunters included one carrying a sign that read, “Wolves are illegal immigrants too.” In more promising endangered-species news, the somewhat less bloodthirsty crowd at London’s Zoological Society has launched the Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered project. With the help of students, EDGE will aim to protect 100 of the world’s most unusual at-risk species, including the bumblebee bat, the pygmy hippopotamus, the golden-rumped elephant shrew, and the Butch otter. Oh wait, sorry — got our notes mixed up again.