A distressing report from the Hells Canyon Preservation Council blog provides an update on this deadly season in Idaho and Montana: 140 wolves killed, out of a total estimated population of 1,350 wolves. This is a new assault on a population that already faces a high mortality rate from a host of other natural and human-caused threats. In 2006, for example, Montana ordered 53 wolves killed in response to just 38 confirmed wolf predations on livestock. Will the courts act to cut short this moral and political disaster in progress? The federal de-listing of Canis lupus in the Northern Rockies is a Bush administration policy now incomprehensibly embraced by the Obama administration, and the legal slaughter now under way in Idaho and Montana is a tragic mistake. UPDATE: In Idaho, supporters of the wolf de-listing have been sponsoring a series of “Predator Derbies” to raise funds for the Idaho Sportsmen’s Litigation Fund and to support the anti-conservation and unscientific rationale that killing predators will increase the state’s mule deer and other game animal populations. This season’s third derby is being conducted in Twin Falls this weekend. Each coyote, fox, and bobcat killed is worth two points; each wolf is three points. The one or two-man team with the most points wins.