The number of Mexican gray wolves in the wild fell from 52 at the end of 2008 to only 42 at the end of 2009. Four more wolves have died so far this year. Yet the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service has not released any new wolf packs from captivity since November 2008.
In November 2009, female wolf F1064 was paired with male wolf M968, known as Nagual, so they could breed in the spring of 2010—one of only a handful of pairs in the captive population to be allowed to breed this year. The purpose was to provide a lobo family for initial release this summer at the Engineer Springs release site in Arizona.
The pair had five healthy pups in May. These pups, along with their parents and a yearling pup from the wild San Mateo pack, abandoned when his mother moved her den last summer, make up the pack we call the Engineer Springs Eight. By midsummer, the pups were old enough to release into the wild. Summer has come, and summer has gone, but the Engineer Springs Eight remain in captivity in New Mexico!
You can help free the Engineer Springs Eight from captivity by sending a very brief e-mail to FWS Region 2 Director Benjamin Tuggle. Simply copy and paste the message below into an email, and add a simple sentence or two of your own. Please add your name and address at the end, because anonymous letters get little attention. Remember, too, that polite requests are more effective.
Dear Dr. Tuggle,
I am alarmed at how few Mexican gray wolves remain in the wild and I know that there is a pack in captivity at the Sevilleta pre-release facility that is ready to be released. These eight wolves have been waiting to be set free since midsummer. Fall is here and they are still waiting. Please release the Engineer Springs Eight immediately. They deserve to be free and their genes are needed in the wild population.
Send your e-mail to Director Benjamin Tuggle at RDTuggle@fws.gov.
Let him know you want freedom for the Engineer Springs Eight.
Next week we will return to our stories of the nine lobos that are eligible for re-release. You can help encourage the Fish and Wildlife Service to release each of these wolves that is suitable for release by emailing Dr. Tuggle.
Check back next week for our next re-release candidate of the week. Thanks for your help!