BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Wildlife advocates are asking a federal court to overturn a U.S. government decision that stripped Endangered Species Act protections for wolves across most of the nation.

Two coalitions of advocacy groups filed lawsuits Thursday in U.S. District Court in Northern California seeking to restore protections for the predators.

The Trump administration announced in October that wolves were considered recovered from near-extinction across most of the U.S.

But critics of the move say continued protections are needed so fledgling wolf populations in Colorado and on the West Coast can continue to expand.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said gray wolves have exceeded goals for recovery.

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ohn Dutton's "Yellowstone" Ranch is Real and Here are 12 Pics

MUST SEE: John Dutton's Yellowstone Ranch is Real and Here are 12 Pics

 

MUST SEE: John Dutton's Yellowstone Ranch is Real and Here are 12 Pics