The Arizona Game and Fish Commission has a long history of ignoring the best available science and interfering with recovery of these highly endangered animals, including blocking releases of new wolves into the wild, needed to boost the wolves’ declining genetic health, and asking Arizona members of Congress to remove the wolves’ Endangered Species Act protections.
The Commission also pressured the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to loosen restrictions on killing and trapping wolves, to keep wolves from key habitats north of I-40, and to limit the wolf population to a number far below what experts say is needed to reduce the risk of extinction. During the period from 2003 — 2009, when the Adaptive Management Oversight Committee (AMOC) led by Arizona Game and Fish managed the wolf reintroduction project, the wild population declined from 55 to only 42 wolves and 2 breeding pairs.
In August, the Commission went a step further to undermine wolf recovery, by voting to ban all releases of adult Mexican gray wolves from the 250 wolves in captivity and to limit new releases, desperately needed to boost the declining genetic health of the wild population, to cross-fostering of pups. Cross-fostering is a risky experimental procedure that involves moving wolf pups from one litter to another similar-age wild litter in hopes that the receiving pack will take the pups in and raise them as their own. Only two Mexican gray wolf pups have ever been successfully cross-fostered.
The NM Game Commission and Department is equally hostile to Mexican gray wolf recovery. New Mexico Game and Fish withdrew its support for the Mexican wolf program in 2011. Now, the Commission and Department are refusing to allow any Mexican gray wolves to be released from captivity into the wild.
Mark your calendar to speak for wolves at upcoming Commission Meetings:
New Mexico Military Campus – 101 W College
(Agenda not yet available-check back for updates)
Visit mexicanwolves.org for more details when the date gets closer.
Please contact Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe and tell them to override the states.
Even before Arizona and New Mexico decided to block releases of wolves into the wild, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service dragged its feet on releasing new wolves from captivity. Instead of deferrring to the states, the Service should do its job and expedite the release of many more wolves into the wild.
Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell: I am calling to urge the Secretary to exercise her federal authority over the Mexican gray wolf reintroduction and to stop allowing state game agencies in New Mexico and Arizona to undermine wolf recovery. The Department should be doing all in its power to ensure the recovery of endangered Mexican gray wolves. Please expedite the release of adult wolves and wolf families to improve the wild population’s genetic health, rather than just relying on risky cross-fostering, and do not give in to state wildlife agencies made up of hostile special interests.
Calls are most effective. Just tell the person who answers that you have a message for Secretary Jewell: Phone: (202) 208-7351. Emails can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you email, you can copy the message to the Secretary above to the email address for Director Dan Ashe below.
US Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe
I am calling to urge the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to exercise its federal authority over the Mexican gray wolf reintroduction and stop allowing state game commissions in New Mexico and Arizona to undermine wolf recovery. The Service should be doing all in its power to ensure the recovery of endangered Mexican gray wolves. Please expedite the release of adult wolves and wolf families to improve the wild population’s genetic health, rather than relying on risky cross-fostering, and stop giving in to state wildlife agencies made up of hostile special interests.
Calls are most effective. Just tell the person who answers that you have a message for Director Ashe: 202-208-4717