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In the News: Cross-fostered wolf pups may emerge from dens soon

Albuquerque Journal - June 21, 2018 - Your letters are needed!

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Eight endangered Mexican wolves born in captivity and placed in wild dens earlier this year are “doing well,” according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“So far, so good,” said Fish and Wildlife spokesman John Bradley.
In April, two pups were placed in a den in New Mexico and two more in Arizona. Last month, four pups were placed in two wild dens in the Gila National Forest in New Mexico.

All of the pups were born at the Endangered Wolf Center in Missouri.
“Now that we’ve placed the pups in the den, we will continue to remotely monitor the packs through GPS locations and radio telemetry signals to avoid further disturbance,” said John Oakleaf, a FWS Field Projects Coordinator in a news release. “Later, through remote camera observations and efforts to trap the young of the year, we hope to document the survival of the cross-fostered pups.”

The pups haven’t emerged from their dens yet, so there’s no visual confirmation of the pups’ survival, but Bradley said there hasn’t been any indication to the contrary.

Mexican wolf pups typically emerge from the den at around 6 weeks old, so Bradley said the four placed in April may soon be out and about.

Wolves will be trapped and fitted with radio collars later in the summer.

Only around half of pups born in the wild survive to adulthood.

This article was published in the Albuquerque Journal

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Show your support for Mexican wolves with a Letter to the Editor today!

The letters to the editor page is one of the most widely read, influential parts of the newspaper. One letter from you can reach thousands of people and will also likely be read by decision-makers.  Tips for writing your letter 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.

Letter Writing Tips & Talking Points

  • Cross-fostering wolves is only one tool in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s toolbox and cannot be relied upon solely to save the Mexican gray wolf from extinction. Releases of captive adult wolves are desperately needed this year to save the species.
  • The genetic crisis Mexican gray wolves are in is expected to result in lower pup survival rates, which we are now seeing. The only way to prevent the species from going extinct is to rapidly improve the genetics of the wild population by releasing adult wolves from captivity. Without releasing adults, the wild population could crash very quickly due to its small size and inbreeding.
  • The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will not see the 10% annual population growth of Mexican gray wolves they claim they want to achieve with the methods they are employing. Their plan to recover the species without ever releasing an adult wolf to the wild again is preposterous and in bad faith.
  • The  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service must get serious about curbing illegal killings of endangered Mexican gray wolves by increasing public acceptance of wolves, increasing penalties to dissuade wolf killers, and by accepting contemporary research on negative impacts of removing wolves who depredate.
  • It has now been 40 years since the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service first listed the Mexican gray wolf under the Endangered Species Act, yet the species is still struggling to remain viable.
  • We have a moral, economic and scientific responsibility to restore endangered species like the Mexican gray wolf.

Make sure you:

• Thank the paper for publishing the article

• Submit your letter as soon as possible. The chance of your letter being published declines after a day or two since the article was published

• Do not repeat any negative messages from the article, such as “so and so said that wolves kill too many cows, 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, under 350 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, 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 to the editor of the Albuquerque Journal