ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.—Another Mexican gray wolf has been found dead in the Southwest, but federal officials have refused to provide any details.
The wolf reintroduction team confirmed in its latest monthly report that the male wolf died in March. However, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which oversees the troubled wolf program, would not say where the animal was found or how it might have died.
This marks what is believed to be the second death this year of an endangered Mexican gray wolf.
In January, an employee with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services shot what officials described as a "canine." The employee reported the shooting because the animal looked like a Mexican wolf after closer inspection.
Tests are being done, but federal officials have been tightlipped about the case.
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Stand up against the illegal killing of endangered wolves!
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.
Letter Writing Tips & Talking Points
Below are a few suggestions for ensuring your message gets through clearly-your letter will be most effective if you focus on a few key points, so don’t try to use all of these. If you need additional help or want someone to review your letter before you send it, email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Start by thanking paper for publishing this article. This makes your letter immediately relevant and increases its chances of being published.
- Remind readers that, at last count, just 75 Mexican gray wolves, including three breeding pairs, survived in the wild. These native wolves are critically endangered. With so few in the wild, every wolf is important. Killing or harming them is illegal and immoral.
- Tell readers why you support wolves and stress that the majority of Arizona and New Mexico residents support wolves and want them better protected. Polling done by Research and Polling, Inc., found 77 percent of Arizona respondents and 69 percent of New Mexico respondents support the reintroduction of Mexican gray wolves. The polls also showed the overwhelming majority supports spending taxpayer dollars on preventing livestock conflicts rather than killing or removing wolves.
- Talk about your personal connection to wolves and why the issue is important to you. If you’re a grandmother wanting your grandchildren to have the opportunity to hear wolves in the wild, or a hunter who recognizes that wolves make game herds healthier, or a businessperson who knows that wolves have brought millions in ecotourism dollars to Yellowstone, say so.
- Describe the ecological benefits of wolves to entire ecosystems and all wildlife. Wildlife biologists believe that Mexican wolves will improve the overall health of the Southwest and its rivers and streams – just as the return of gray wolves to Yellowstone has helped restore balance to its lands and waters. Science has repeatedly demonstrated that wolves are keystone carnivores who help to keep wildlife like elk and deer healthy and bring balance to the lands they inhabit.
- Keep your letter brief, between 150-200 words.
- Provide your name, address, occupation, and phone number; your full address, occupation, and phone number will not be published, but they are required in order to have your letter published.
Thank you for taking the time to write a letter on behalf of these important animals who cannot speak for themselves!
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Photo credit: David Chudnov