Lobos Need Your Help!
After they were nearly wiped off the face of the earth, Mexican gray wolves were returned to the wild in 1998 through the efforts of people like you. Today, they desperately need your help to bring them back from the brink of extinction.
The situation is dire. The population is declining and only 42 Mexican wolves remained in the wilds of the Southwest in early 2010. This summer, two of those remaining wolves were found shot to death and a third wolf was found dead under suspicious circumstances, leaving gaping holes in families raising dependent pups.
These highly endangered animals can be brought back from the brink of extinction and successfully recovered. But only if the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the agency responsible for their recovery, takes the necessary actions. Your members of Congress can make that happen, and they need to hear from you.
Use a personalized version of the sample letter/script below when you contact your representatives; if you directly copy this one, it won’t be as effective. If you’re meeting with your representative or their staff, you can give them a handout with these points with your name and contact information added.
You can start with your own reasons for why Mexican wolf recovery is important to you-maybe you’ve had the thrill of hearing a wolf howl in the wild, or you know about the ecological importance of wolves or the economic benefits of wolf-related ecotourism in the Yellowstone region.
Dear Representative [Name]
I’m writing to request your leadership to save the highly endangered Mexican gray wolf from a second extinction in the wild. Mexican gray wolves are essential to restoring the balance of nature in our wild lands, but only 42 were counted in the Southwest at the beginning of this year. Three of those were found dead this summer under illegal and suspicious circumstances. These highly endangered animals can be brought back from the brink of extinction and successfully recovered, but only if the agency responsible for their recovery takes the necessary actions right away.
I urge you to write to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and ask them to do the following things that experts say are needed to turn the program around.
Expedite a new Recovery Plan
The 1982 recovery plan for the Mexican wolf is out of date and lacks required criteria for recovery and de-listing. The Endangered Species Act requires a full roadmap to recovery for Mexican wolves, which will guide future management decisions. The FWS has been promising to get this underway, but has not yet established the Recovery Team which would write the new plan.
Complete the process started in 2007 to amend the Reintroduction Project Rule
Existing rules that govern the Mexican wolf reintroduction project have proven inadequate to recover the Mexican wolf. At least 12,000 people participated in a 2007 National Environmental Policy Act scoping process for proposed rule changes, but the process has been stagnant since then. The Service claims it cannot move forward without funding for an expensive socio-economic study that is not needed to amend the rules for wolf recovery. The existing socio-economic study meets legal requirements. There is no justification for delaying critical rule changes which must move forward concurrently with the new Recovery Plan.
Release the draft Environmental Assessment to allow direct releases of wolves into New Mexico.
Right now, rules require that Mexican wolves born in captivity can only be released into Arizona. Enabling direct releases into New Mexico is critical to getting more wolves into the wild more quickly to boost numbers and gene diversity in the wild population. The Environmental Assessment has been drafted but not released. The FWS must release it immediately for public review and comments.
Release wolves in captive breeding facilities into the wild.
There are many wolves in captivity that are eligible and ready for release. New releases will increase wolf numbers and strengthen the wild population’s genetic viability. Stepped up releases will also send a message to those killing the wolves that their actions will not eliminate wolves from the wild.
Retrieve loaned telemetry receivers and reserve them for use by project personnel and legitimate researchers.
In a recent report on causes of the wolves’ population decline, the Fish and Wildlife Service named illegal killings as the leading cause of death. The Service has distributed telemetry receivers to area residents that are used to track the wolves' locations through their radio collars. Widely dispersed receivers in the hands of non-project personnel make radio collared wolves vulnerable to those who oppose wolves in the wild.
With very few wolves left in the wilds of the Southwest, and criminals reducing the population further, the wolves urgently need your leadership to turn this program around.
Thank you for your attention to this important matter.
Contact Information for Arizona and New Mexico Members of Congress:
Arizona members of Congress:
* Senator John McCain: http://mccain.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contact.ContactForm
* Senator Jon Kyl: http://kyl.senate.gov/contact.cfm
* Congressman Trent Franks: https://franks.house.gov/contacts/new
* Congressman John Shadegg: http://www.house.gov/formshadegg/emailtemplate.htm
* Congressman Ed Pastor: http://www.house.gov/writerep/
* Congressman Harry Mitchell: https://forms.house.gov/mitchell/webforms/issue_subscribe.htm
* Congressman Jeff Flake: http://www.house.gov/writerep/
* Congressman Raul Grijalva: http://grijalva.house.gov/?sectionid=49§iontree=249
* Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords: https://giffordsforms.house.gov/contact/email.shtml
* Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick: https://forms.house.gov/kirkpatrick/dc-contact-form.shtml
New Mexico members of Congress:
* Senator Jeff Bingaman: http://bingaman.senate.gov/contact/types/email-issue.cfm
* Senator Tom Udall: http://tomudall.senate.gov/?p=contact
* Congressman Martin Heinrich: https://forms.house.gov/heinrich/contact-form.shtml
* Congressman Ben Lujan: https://forms.house.gov/lujan/contact-form.shtml
* Congressman Harry Teague: http://forms.house.gov/teague/webforms/issue_subscribe.htm
For the Mexican wolves, there is no time to waste. Your message to your representatives in Congress can mean the difference between survival and extinction. Thank you for sending a strong message on their behalf today.
You can download a pdf of this action alert to distribute here.