The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has completed a revision to the Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan. The goal of the plan is to provide guidance to recover the subspecies and remove it from the federal list of endangered and threatened wildlife and turn its management over to the appropriate states and tribes after delisting.
The original Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan, published in 1982, focused on reintroduction and recovery efforts to halt the extinction of the Mexican wolf. Since 1998, the Service has been reestablishing a wild population of Mexican wolves in Arizona and New Mexico that numbered at least 113 in 2016. Mexico began releasing Mexican wolves in 2011 and now has a wild population of about 31.
At the time of recovery, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service expects Mexican wolf populations to be stable or increasing in abundance.
In the United States, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will implement the recovery strategy for the Mexican wolf south of I-40 in Arizona and New Mexico, in the area designated as the Mexican Wolf Experimental Population Area. In Mexico, federal agencies are focusing on Mexican wolf recovery efforts in the Sierra Madre Occidental in Sonora, Durango, and Chihuahua.
In April 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service signed a Settlement Agreement with the State of Arizona and the radical Defenders of Wildlife and other organizations to complete a final revised Mexican wolf recovery plan by the end of November 2017.
This article was published by the Arizona Daily Independent
Show your support for Mexican wolves with a Letter to the Editor today!
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Letter Writing Tips & Talking Points
“¢ The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is required, by law, to incorporate the best available science into its Mexican gray wolf recovery plan. Unfortunately, they have scrapped this duty in order to attain the best political deal they could find. They have chosen to make hostile state agencies happy rather than uphold their duty to consider the best available science. The previous recovery planning science team clearly identified what these wolves need, yet those findings are being ignored.
“¢ The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is giving too much control over the Mexican gray wolf recovery program to the states who have done everything in their power to sabotage the species’ recovery. Arizona Game and Fish ran the program for six years previously, and in that time they managed to reduce the number of wolves in the wild. The serious genetic problems the wild population is in is a direct result of the mismanagement by Arizona. If this plan is not dramatically changed, it will very likely drive the lobo to extinction.
“¢ The Mexican gray wolf recovery plan includes reckless delisting criteria for the critically endangered wolf. One criteria for delisitng states twenty-two wolves released from captivity must reach reproductive age. But just reaching reproductive age does not ensure their genes will be contributed to the wild population. We have seen that poaching is a major threat to individual wild wolves and if these wolves are killed before they breed, the species will still be removed from the endangered species list.
“¢ Mexican gray wolves will need connectivity between wild populations in order to recover. Connectivity would be easy were they allowed to establish in the two additional suitable habitats in the U.S., the Grand Canyon area and the Southern Rockies. Instead, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is restricting the wolves to south of Interstate 40 and planning for no natural connectivity with the population in Mexico. There is a barrier along large sections of the international border, talk of extending that barrier to an impenetrable wall, and the last wolf who crossed that border was removed from the wild.
“¢ The federal agency charged with recovery of the critically endangered Mexican gray wolf has decided to put the onus of recovery on Mexico, despite the fact that this could wipe the species out. Mexico does not have nearly as much public land for the wolf, they have very little enforcement to deal with poaching, and as species shift north in response to climate change Mexican habitat will become even less suitable for wolves.
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Learn More About the Flawed Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan
~ Read the finalized Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan HERE.
~ Scientists and Wolf Biologists speak out against Recovery Plan
~ Below is the Draft Plan that was released in June of 2017 and “supporting” documents.
Additional Documentation Referenced in Draft Plan:
Draft Biological Report for the Mexican Wolf, May 1, 2017 version
Mexican Wolf Habitat Suitability Analysis in Historical Range in Southwestern US and Mexico, April 2017 version