From the inception of the Mexican wolf reintroduction program in 1998 up until 2008, federal agents shot 11 wolves, accidentally killed 18 wolves during capture, and captured dozens that would never again be released to the wild. As a result, the wolf population that was expected to reach 100 in 2006 has languished at half that level, and inbreeding depression may be hurting the wolves through lower litter sizes and pup survival rates.
In 2008, shooting and trapping of wolves in response to depredations was suspended in part due to opposition by the New Mexico Game and Fish Department and then-governor Bill Richardson.
But now the game department has been prohibited from working with the feds on wolf recovery because of a decision from game commission appointees of Governor Susana Martinez.
Despite the cessation of wolf removals, the number of depredations has actually steadily decreased in the past three years — perhaps because ranchers were more careful with their stock knowing that wolves would not be killed in response to depredations. Reverting to wolf removals now would undercut painstaking continued efforts at coexistence.
Please click on this link and send a message to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and your U.S. senators and representative, telling them not to allow the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to resume trapping and shooting of Mexican gray wolves.
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