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Groups Battle Wolf Recovery Area Traps

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                                                                                                                     Mexican gray wolf photo by Robin Silver

By Rene Romo
Journal Southern Bureau 

LAS CRUCES — Two conservation groups filed petitions Friday asking the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Forest Service to halt trapping and snaring in the New Mexico portion of the federally managed recovery area for the endangered Mexican gray wolf. 

The petition, filed by the Sierra Club and WildEarth Guardians, says that 14 Mexican gray wolves have been trapped, either illegally or inadvertently, in recent years. 

Twelve of the cases occurred in New Mexico, where three-fourths of the wolf recovery area lies in the Gila National Forest, the rest being in southeast Arizona. Arizona has prohibited trapping by individuals on public lands since 1994. 

In two cases, wolves had a leg amputated after suffering injuries from traps, and in seven of the 14 cases the wolves apparently did not suffer injuries. 

"Trapping on the range of a highly endangered species is simply irresponsible and preventable," said Wendy Keefover-Ring of WildEarth Guardians, noting that traps capture animals indiscriminately. 
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This article appeared in the Albuquerque Journal on June 14, 2010. Letters to the editor supporting additional protections for Mexican gray wolves can be submitted to: http://www.abqjournal.com/letters/new or opinion@abqjournal.com

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