Here at Lobos of the Southwest, we’d like to thank you for your continued commitment to Mexican gray wolves. This Giving Tuesday please consider making a tax-deductible donation to help these endangered wolves restore natural balance to the Southwestern landscape.
I first personally learned about these amazing animals through my experience working at a Mexican Wolf Species Survival Plan (SSP) facility, a partner in the carefully managed captive breeding program that saved the Mexican gray wolf from extinction. I helped care for wolf families, preparing them for a life in the wild by minimizing exposure to humans and providing opportunities for them to exercise their natural behaviors and instincts. I worked with researchers, wildlife biologists, and veterinarians as well as with communities in the wolf recovery area. I trained staff and volunteers and mentored students. I taught people about wolves. But I never stopped learning from them.
Some of the wolves that lived at this conservation facility had been removed from the wild, and they needed a quiet place to have a second chance at life. While there’s no way I could ever choose a favorite wolf, the wolves that came to us from the wild, the ones rescued from the death sentence of lethal control, will always hold a special place in my heart. Wolves like F1046, named Abu (an endearing name for Grandmother, who raised generations), or M1384, now named Phoenix (who rose from the ashes and was reborn).
These wolves represent the lengths Mexican Wolf SSP partners will go to in order to save the life of a wolf. The fact that these wolves not only survived but were able to successfully raise families and find new ways to thrive is a testament to the expertise and compassion that are at the core of the SSP. We will do everything we can to give these wolves a chance to have a future, through education and research, captive breeding, wild releases and cross fostering, and providing a refuge for wolves that need a new home because they will not be allowed to remain in the wild.
These wolves in need of refuge represent critical issues with the way Mexican gray wolves are managed in the wild. The Aspen Pack, the Fox Mountain Pack, the Saddle Pack, and so many more wolf families have been removed from the wild because of people. It was an honor to care for some of them, but I will always question what could have been if they had not been subject to human rules that sealed their fates, rules that they could not possibly know or understand.
These stories prove that we need to do more to prevent wolves from being removed from the wild in the first place, to ensure that the US Fish and Wildlife Service fulfills its obligations under the Endangered Species Act to protect and restore these native Southwestern wolves. The wild is where they belong, and it is up to all of us to make sure that is where they remain for generations to come.
We recently shared the grave threats faced by the Sheepherders Baseball Park and Pitchfork Canyon Packs, two more packs put at risk by human rules and failure to prioritize endangered wildlife on public lands, failure to recognize the social dynamics of wolf packs and the important role wolves play in our environment. We have learned that these two packs are safe, for now, but their story serves as yet another reminder that we need to do more to prevent wild wolf families from suffering the same fates as packs like the Aspen Pack, Fox Mountain Pack, Saddle Pack, and so many more.
Lobos of the Southwest is not giving up. We will continue to hold US Fish and Wildlife accountable, for the wolf packs that are no more and for those we still have a chance to save. Please make your tax-deductible donation today to help us continue advocating for wild wolves.
Coordinator, Lobos of the Southwest