Comment on the Mexican wolf release plan before March 8th
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service should release more than two families of wolves into the wild in 2017 rather than rely too heavily on the risky and less proven cross-fostering technique.
We'd also like to see them release wolves into approved, suitable release sites beyond the Gila and Aldo Leopold Wilderness areas.
Fourteen wolves were lost from the wild in 2016. For every wild lobo lost, we would like to see the Service release the same number of captive wolves to the wild. These should be released as bonded families.
Send your comments to:
Mexican Wolf Recovery Program
Attn: proposed releases in NM
2105 Osuna Rd. NE
Albuquerque, NM 87113
You can read the Release and Translocation Plan HERE.
Additional Talking Points
• The release plan cannot succeed if New Mexico and Arizona continue to block the release of families of wolves. Cross-fostering is a risky method that should be used to supplement the release of packs, not replace it. Of the six pups who were cross-fostered in 2016, only three are known to be alive.
• The current release plan allows for up to ten cross-fostered pups, but the process is risky and very hard to achieve. There's no guarantee that ten pups will be born at the right time for a cross-foster match to occur.
• The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wants to see an ongoing Mexican wolf growth rate of 10% annually. This year's 16% increase in the wild population is good news, but it follows a year with a 12% decrease, and the big increase this year is due to a large number of pups who have survived. There are still only six breeding pairs in the wild--not nearly enough to overcome the inbreeding the wild population is experiencing.
• The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service must let the best available science guide the Mexican wolf recovery process, not individual state politics.
• A majority of voters in New Mexico want to the recovery program to succeed. Governor Martinez would gain more support from voters by working with the recovery program, rather than against it. In a 2013 poll of registered voters, 87% of both Arizonans and New Mexicans agreed that “wolves are a vital part of America’s wilderness and natural heritage.” 83% of Arizonans and 80% of New Mexicans agreed that “the US Fish and Wildlife Service should make every effort to help wolves recover and prevent extinction.”