Photo courtesy of Endangered Wolf Center
The wild population of Mexican gray wolves, excluding this year’s pups, stands at fewer than 42 animals. The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service is prohibited from releasing Mexican gray wolves directly from captivity into New Mexico, according to the Final Rule governing the reintroduction. Roughly two-thirds of the available habitat for the lobos lies east of the Arizona state line in the Gila National Forest, but only about half of the wolves in the wild are currently in New Mexico.
The Fish and Wildlife Service did re-release one wild-born wolf into New Mexico this year, but unfortunately, she was found dead a few months after her release.
There are at least nine more wild-born wolves that are eligible for New Mexico releases. All nine have been waiting patiently in captive breeding facilities for their chance to be wild wolves again, some for as long as three to five years! Not every one of these wolves may be physically, genetically, or temperamentally suitable for re-release, but those that are suitable should get their chance at freedom, while contributing to the growth of the wild population.
We will feature the stories of these nine lobos each week for the next several weeks.
You can help encourage the Fish and Wildlife Service to release each of these wolves that is suitable for release by sending a very brief e-mail to FWS Region 2 Director Benjamin Tuggle, asking him to free the re-release candidate of the week. 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 are wild-born wolves in captivity that are eligible for New Mexico releases. Please re-release former Saddle pup M1050 if he proves to be a suitable candidate for release. He has been in captivity long enough; it’s time for him to be a free, wild wolf again, if possible.
Here’s our second Mexican gray wolf re-release candidate of the week:
Photo courtesy of USFWS
M1050, littermate of M1049, is the Mexican gray wolf release candidate of the week. Like his brother, wild-born M1050 was brought into captivity as a three-week-old puppy when his parents were trapped and removed for killing cattle. M1050 is eligible for re-release into New Mexico. His curiosity toward humans may make him unsuitable for release. That could change, however, if he is mated with a female. If so, he deserves a chance to live in the wild. If he proves to be a good release candidate, FREE M1050!
Send your e-mail to Director Benjamin Tuggle at RDTuggle@fws.gov.
Let him know you want M1050 to be a free, wild wolf again.
Check back next week for our next re-release candidate of the week. Thanks for your help!