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In the News: Mexican wolf from Paradise Pack removed for continued livestock depredation

Yuma News, October 26, 2013

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Globe, Arizona - Personnel from the Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project’s Interagency Field Team (IFT) yesterday captured and removed a male wolf, designated AM795, from the Paradise Pack in eastern Arizona to fulfill the non-lethal removal order that was issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) in September.

The wolf was darted in a helicopter operation and transported to a Service facility in New Mexico. The removal is an effort to disrupt habitual livestock depredation by the two alpha wolves of the Paradise Pack in the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area in Arizona.

This management action was authorized under the authority of the final nonessential experimental rule of Jan. 12, 1998, the Service’s Mexican Wolf Management Plan of March 1998, and the Final Environmental Impact Statement of November 1996. The removal order also authorizes removal of Paradise pack female AF1056. Based on investigations conducted by Wildlife Services, the two wolves have been directly involved in several livestock depredation incidents within the year.

The IFT worked with livestock producers and private entities to implement a series of measures aimed at preventing livestock depredation including diversionary food caches, range riders, and hazing. Despite these efforts, the wolves were involved in repeated depredations during the summer grazing season.

The IFT includes personnel from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), Arizona Game and Fish Department, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture APHIS Wildlife Services (Wildlife Services), and the White Mountain Apache Tribe.

In consideration of their history of depredation and the unsuccessful efforts to modify their behavior, the Service issued a removal order to non-lethally remove AM795 and AF1056. All wolf captures are conducted using a capture protocol that is approved by experts, including the Service.

The IFT will continue to coordinate with livestock producers and the Forest Service on the Apache National Forest to reduce wolf-livestock conflicts. IFT personnel will continue to attempt to live capture AF1056 to meet the intent of the original removal order. Both wolves will be placed in the Mexican wolf captive breeding program.

This article was published in the Yuma News.
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PLEASE ACT TO KEEP WILD WOLVES IN THE WILD
At last official count, there were only 75 Mexican gray wolves in the wild, making them the most endangered mammal in North America, and the most endangered wolf in the world. Wildlife Services, on behalf of the Fish and Wildlife Service, is still trying to trap two more wolves. Please act to keep these wolves in the wild where they belong. Click here.

At the same time the USFWS is attempting to trap these wolves, it is taking comments on proposal to change Mexican wolf management
. Part of the proposal could help get more wolves into the wild, but most of it threatens the Mexican wolf’s continued survival and recovery. Your comments are needed to help lobos survive beyond the current crisis. Click here.