ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says it has released six more Mexican wolves into the Gila Wilderness as part of its 15-year-effort to reintroduce the endangered predator to the Southwest.
Officials say the wolves were driven from the service’s wolf sanctuary in Sevilleta to the Gila Cliff Dwellings on Monday night, then packed into the wilderness for release on Tuesday.
The female wolf is one who was recaptured in May after becoming separated from her mate and having six pups with no experience in the wild. Two of the pups were put with another pair of wolves that had a smaller litter and more rearing experience. At the sanctuary, the mother and her four remaining pups were reintroduced to a former mate, who officials say adopted the pups as his own.
This Associated Press article was published in the Albuquerque Journal and other newspapers.
Photo of Coronado Pack by US Fish and Wildlife Service
With fewer than 90 Mexican gray wolves in the wild, US Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to make changes that could push them closer to extinction or finally help them thrive. The decision will be made in the next few months and they need to hear from you!
Submit a letter to the editor responding to this article and influence decision-makers and thousands of your fellow citizens. Tips and talking points are below, but please write in your own words, from your own experience. Don’t try to include all the talking points in your letter.
- Start by thanking the paper for this article.
- While the re-release of this wolf family is great news, the USFWS should move forward with allowing new wolves to be released throughout the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area. The Mexican gray wolf is the most endangered mammal in the U.S. with only about 83 in the wild. Additional wolves must be released into the wild now to increase the genetic health of the species. Numerous wolves are in captive breeding facilities around the country, prepared for, and awaiting, release.
- Wolves once lived throughout New Mexico and Arizona and played a critical role in keeping the balance of nature in place. We need to restore this important animal that has been missing for too long.
- People who care about wolves have an important opportunity to speak out for their recovery in August. US Fish and Wildlife Service will hold a hearing in Truth or Consequences, NM on August 13th on the future of critically endangered Mexican gray wolves. More information can be found at mexicanwolves.org.
- Wolves need freedom from boundaries. Given room to roam, the wolves will establish themselves in suitable areas with adequate game. USFWS must change the rules that do not allow wolves to establish new packs and populations in additional areas that are essential to their recovery. Capturing and moving wolves because they roam beyond an artificial boundary is always a risky business that can result in death or trauma to the wolf.
- The USFWS should designate Mexican gray wolves as essential. By labeling all of the wild wolves as “nonessential” the USFWS ignores science and the reality of 16 years of experience with reintroducing wolves. The 83 wolves in the wild have up to four generations of experience in establishing packs and raising pups and are over 22% of all of the Mexican wolves in the world. The fourth generation wild lobos are not expendable and are essential to recovering this unique subspecies of wolf.
- The USFWS needs to quit stalling and complete a comprehensive recovery plan. USFWS admits that their 1982 recovery plan is not scientifically sound and does not meet current legal requirements — yet in its proposed rule USFWS continues to emphasize a woefully inadequate population of only 100 wolves in the wild.
Make sure you:
- Thank the paper for publishing the article.
- Do not repeat any negative messages from the article, such as “cows may have been killed by wolves, but”¦” Remember that those reading your letter will not be looking at the article it responds to, so this is an opportunity to get out positive messages about wolf recovery rather than to argue with the original article.
- Keep your letter brief, between 150-300 words.
- Include something about who you are and why you care: E.g. “I am a mother, outdoors person, teacher, business owner, scientific, religious, etc.”
- Provide your name, email address, phone number and address. The paper won’t publish these, but they want to know you are who you say you are.
- Submit your letter here: http://www.abqjournal.com/letters/new
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