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In the News: Feds: Mexican gray wolves not subspecies

Associated Press, October 5, 2012 (posted 10/8/12)

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Environmentalists are blasting a federal government decision not to list the Mexican gray wolf as a separate subspecies under the Endangered Species Act.

The decision Friday by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service means efforts to help the wolf population recover will be hurt, the group WildEarth Guardians says.

WildEarth Guardians petitioned to relist the Mexican wolf as a separate subspecies in 2009.

Mexican wolves are a subspecies of the gray wolf. They were first added to the endangered species list in 1976 after hunting and government-sponsored extermination campaigns nearly wiped them out.

A reintroduction effort along the New Mexico-Arizona border began in 1998 with the release of 11 wolves. The program has been hampered by everything from illegal killings to legal wrangling, and only about 60 live in the region.
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This AP article was published in several newspapers.

Please write letters to the editor thanking the papers for this article and supporting greater protections for endangered Mexican wolves.

The letters to the editor page is one of the most widely read, influential parts of the newspaper. One letter from you can reach thousands of people and will also likely be read by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Tips for writing your letter are below, but please write in your own words, from your own experience.

Letter Writing Tips & Talking Points

Below are a few suggestions for ensuring your message gets through clearly-your letter will be most effective if you focus on a few key points, so don’t try to use all of these. If you need additional help or want someone to review your letter before you send it, email it to info@mexicanwolves.org.

Start by thanking paper for publishing the article
.This makes your letter immediately relevant and increases its chances of being published.

Remind readers that the last population count found only 58 Mexican gray wolves in the wild. A separate subspecies listing under the Endangered Species Act would give the small wild population of Mexican gray wolves more protection, which they desperately need.

Point out that Mexican gray wolves deserve their own separate listing, both legally and biologically. Mexican wolves are geographically and morphologically distinct from other gray wolves, and under their current "experimental, non-essential" classification, have remained at the brink of extinction in the wild since they were reintroduced.

Tell readers why you support wolves and stress that the majority of New Mexico and Arizona voters support the Mexican wolf reintroduction.  Polling showed 69% support in New Mexico and 77% support in Arizona.

Talk about your personal connection to wolves and why the issue is important to you.  If you’re a grandmother wanting your grandchildren to have the opportunity to hear wolves in the wild, or a hunter who recognizes that wolves make game herds healthier, or a businessperson who knows that wolves have brought millions in ecotourism dollars to Yellowstone, say so.

Describe the ecological benefits of wolves to entire ecosystems and all wildlife. Wildlife biologists believe that Mexican wolves will improve the overall health of the Southwest and its rivers and streams – just as the return of gray wolves to Yellowstone has helped restore balance to its lands and waters.

Keep your letter brief, between 150-300 words.

Provide your name, address, occupation, and phone number; your full address, occupation, and phone number will not be published, but they are required in order to have your letter published.

For more information, contact us at info@mexicanwolves.org

Submit your letter to:

Albuquerque Journal Submit your letter here.

AZ Daily Star Submit your letter here.

CLICK HERE
to join our email list to stay informed and get more involved with efforts to recover Mexican wolves from the brink of extinction. 

Thank you for all you do for these magnificent animals!

Photo courtesy of Amber Legras