(WASHINGTON) -- Congress has removed gray wolves from the protection of the Endangered Species Act after a rider attached to the federal budget signed by President Obama on Friday called for their removal from the list in five Western states.
Supporters of the provision say the government needed to intervene and control a rapidly growing gray wolf population that currently stands at around 1,650.
Opponents of the plan say the move could create a precedent for politicians making decisions on topics that have traditionally required the expertise of biologists.
According to the bill, wolves will be removed from the list in Utah, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Washington.
This is the first time Congress has directly removed an animal from the Endangered Species Act.
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