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Free These Wild-born Wolves!

M1051: Re-release Candidate of the Week!

Saddle pack M1051 and his brothers as pups, a few months after their removal from the wild in 2007. Their father, Saddle pack alpha male AM732, known as Bob because of his bobbed tail, is shown with the puppies. Photo courtesy of USFWS.

With fewer than 40 Mexican wolves, excluding pups, still in the wild, it’s time for the Fish and Wildlife Service to re-release M1051, this week’s re-release candidate. A brother of M1049 and M1050, M1051 was a tiny pup when removed from the Saddle pack den in 2007. He had no part in killing livestock and is eligible for release in New Mexico. FREE M1051!

You can help free M1051 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 are wild-born wolves in captivity that are eligible for New Mexico releases. Please re-release former Saddle pup M1051 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.

Thank you,

Send your e-mail to Director Benjamin Tuggle at RDTuggle@fws.gov.

Let him know you want M1051 to be a free, wild wolf again.

BACKGROUND: 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 emailing Dr. Tuggle.

Check back next week for our next re-release candidate of the week. Thanks for your help!

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