Wolf lawsuit briefs keep coming into Judge Molloy’s office

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has now filed their brief-

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, conservation groups file briefs in wolf lawsuit. By Rob Chaney. Missoulian

Conservation groups filed their brief (set of or arguments) on Dec. 31. There are other briefs that have been filed as ” friend of the court” (amicus curiae) briefs. These are third party arguments — groups that are neither plaintiff nor defendant.



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  1. mikarooni Avatar

    Yes, please put the jaguar article up as a post. It touches on issues that are directly relevant to a wide range of conservation issues.

    First, did AZ Game and Fish deliberately trap this animal to remove it, to blur the question of native range, and thereby to weaken any future legal traction toward protection of the species in the US? I’ve had experience with this agency and, although there are some fine individuals there, the agency has always had its politics and some very bad apples and many of the bad apples tend to be promoted toward the top.

    Second, if AZ Game and Fish wasn’t deliberately seeking to trap “the last jaguar” in America, then this article is a classic illustration of the problem of the taking of nontarget species for which trapping is infamous. Traps cannot recognize their target species and, every year, huge numbers of TES specimens are taken. This take is usually not reported, with the carcasses either destroyed to eliminate the evidence or even just funneled into the black market.

    Third, trappers are quick to argue that their hobby is humane because they responsibly check their traplines often enough to prevent the animal from lingering; this episode raises the question of whether even AZ Game and Fish, much less any “hobby” trapper, really checks those lines often enough to prevent injury or death to target or nontarget species. Yes, this jaguar was old; however, kidney problems are a major, perhaps the primary, direct or contributory cause of death for all species of both canines and felines. Their protein diets place a burden on their blood chemistry and their kidneys are a major and heavily worked link in addressing this situation. Even a mountain lion, supposedly the target species for this trapping excursion, would have been put under stress under these circumstances.

    Finally, this was allegedly “the last jaguar” in America and even the “experts” at AZ Game and Fish couldn’t trap it, check their lines often enough to find it, and then release it without killing it. Do you think there’s a chance that other jaguars have been caught by “hobby” trappers and just dispatched and disposed of without any reporting? In other areas of the country, how many times do you think that something like that has happened to wolves, lynx, or wolverine? Beavers driven almost to extinction by trapping and they were much more plentiful, have much lower habitat requirements, and have much higher reproductive capacity than many of the species that are now on the brink.


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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Ralph Maughan