Friday, April 13 in Albuquerque, New Mexico
April 13, 11:30 am – 1:30 am
United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Regional Office
500 Gold Avenue SW
Albuquerque, New Mexico
There are only about 58 endangered Mexican gray wolves (“lobos”) in the wilds of New Mexico and Arizona--not enough to ensure their survival.
More than 300 lobos are in captivity, waiting to be released into the wild as part of a reintroduction program. USFWS Regional Director Tuggle promised to release more wolves this year, but he made the same promise last year and no new wolves were released into the wild.
Releasing wolves directly into New Mexico--where the best remaining unoccupied habitat exists--is critical to quickly boosting numbers and gene diversity in the wild population, but an outdated rule prevents direct releases into New Mexico.
The FWS could easily change this rule by issuing an Environmental Assessment and putting it out for public review, as well as beginning to release the many already eligible wolves, but it refuses to do so.
PLEASE JOIN US ON FRIDAY, APRIL 13 TO TELL THE USFWS TO RELEASE WOLVES NOW!
Without releases into the wild, the wild population of only 58 wolves is at risk from threats such as disease, inbreeding, or catastrophic events like the Wallow Fire, which burned through Mexican wolf habitat last year.
We will have speakers, songs, big, white, wooden silhouettes of Mexican wolves as props, big banners, and some signs.
Even if you can’t come to the rally, you can help make signs at a sign making party at the Harwood Art Center (1114 7th Street Northwest, Albuquerque, NM 87102) on Thursday night starting at 6:00 p.m. We’ll have food and sign-making supplies (bring additional supplies if you have them, please).
If you can’t come to the sign-making party, please make and bring your own signs if possible.
Appropriate messages for signs relate to the value of restoring wolves and the need for new releases into the wild. Some good sign slogans are:
* Director Tuggle -End the Freeze
* Mexican Wolves Are Born to Be Wild
* Wolves Need Wild Places Need Wolves
* Free (or Release) \ Lobos in the Wild
* No More Stalling-Release More Wolves!
* New Mexicans Want Mexican Wolves!
* 58 Wild Wolves is Not Enough
* Wolves for Healthier Wildlands
* I Want to Hear Lobos Howl in the Wild
* Restore the Mexican Gray Wolf
* ¡Que Vivan Los Lobos!
* Make Wolf Recovery Happen!
We need large numbers, so please spread the word!
Even if you can’t make the rally or the sign party, you can help by sending an email to USFWS Southwest Regional Director Dr. Benjamin Tuggle and U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar asking them to release more wolves. Simply paste the text below into an email, add your own personal comments (why wolves are important to you, etc.), sign it with your name, address and phone number, and send it to USFWS SW Regional Director Benjamin Tuggle with a cc to U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar.
Dear Director Tuggle,
Mexican gray wolves need to live wild, and wild places need them. New releases of Mexican gray wolves are badly needed to bolster the population of only 58 wolves that remain in the wild. This population is too small to ensure the survival of these magnificent animals and there are many wolves in captivity that are eligible for release. Newly released wolves will not only increase population numbers but will also improve the wild population’s genetics.
I ask that you do all in your power to expedite releases of more captive wolves into the wild and to change the rules governing the reintroduction to allow initial releases directly into New Mexico. As the agency with ultimate authority and responsibility for restoring the Mexican wolf, the US Fish and Wildlife Service should be doing anything it can do to confirm its commitment to the wolf’s success in the wild.
Photos, top to bottom: Mexican wolf photo courtesy of Robin Silver, Jean Ossorio at Las Cruces Rally
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