Fifteen years since they were first reintroduced to the Southwest, our Mexican wolves are in the spotlight now more than ever.
Last month, a draft recovery plan from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) emerged with implications for all U.S. wolves. While the plan outlines a long-awaited “endangered subspecies” listing for Mexican gray wolves – a necessary component for the animals’ recovery in the wild – the plan, if enacted, may also leave the majority of the continental U.S. a treacherous zone for wolves. Under the new management, other gray wolf populations will be losing Endangered Species Act protections anywhere outside small pockets of land, severely constricting the habitat of all wolves including Mexican grays.
With only 75 Mexican wolves in the wild, allowing them to expand their boundaries is essential to their survival. Nonetheless, the animals face heavy resistance even among the federal agencies charged with their recovery.
As reported by the Albuquerque Journal, a Mexican wolf was shot and killed in New Mexico this past January by an employee of U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services division while the person – described as a “specialist” – was in the field to investigate a livestock incident.
USDA Wildlife Services – which serves on the Interagency Field Team (IFT) in charge of Mexican wolf oversight – is an agency whose purpose is to protect the agricultural industry. This results in the extermination of millions of wild animals every year. Transcending any individual actor, Wildlife Services is institutional, taxpayer-funded slaughter, and the agency should not be allowed to continue managing the most endangered mammal in North America. Concerned taxpayers must help stop the taxpayer funded, senseless killing of wild species.
Nonetheless, with recent releases of Mexican wolves into New Mexico and Arizona, there is still reason to be hopeful about work being done for wolf recovery by USFWS and the IFT. Help us in bolstering the positive efforts for our lobos – please thank USFWS for the wolf releases – and in demolishing the long-standing blocks to their recovery.
Contact Your Members of Congress
Tell them that the effort to delist gray wolves across the U.S. is in violation of the intent of the Endangered Species Act. Ask them to oppose the USFWS draft plan and direct the agency to maintain federal protections for wolves.
Tell them that you are appalled that your taxes support institutionalized slaughter of wildlife and ask them to support defunding USDA Wildlife Services’ lethal control measures.
Sen. Tom Udall
505-346-6791, 575-526-5475, 202-224-6621
Sen. Martin Heinrich
505-346-6601, 575-523-6561, 202-224-5521
Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham
Rep. Steve Pearce
Rep. Ben Ray LujÃ n
This article and alert was posted to Animal Protection of New Mexico on May 14, 2013.
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Photo credit: Rebecca Bose, Wolf Conservation Center