By SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN Associated Press Writer
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.—Federal authorities confirmed Friday they are investigating the death of another endangered Mexican gray wolf that was found shot along the New Mexico-Arizona border.
The male wolf is the third to be found dead within the past month and the second member of the Hawks Nest Pack to be shot to death. The pack’s alpha male was found dead June 18 on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest within 2 miles of where the latest wolf was found dead.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spokesman Tom Buckley called the latest death “very troubling.”
“There are two females, the breeding female and a yearling female. Those are the only two animals left to hunt for the seven pups and that really puts a crimp on their survivability,” Buckley said.
Another alpha male, a member of New Mexico’s San Mateo Pack, was also found dead last month. Officials are awaiting necropsy results to determine if that animal was shot.
There are also two wolves that biologists have not been able to locate recently. One, the alpha male of the Paradise Pack in eastern Arizona, has been classified as “fate unknown.” Officials continue to look for the other, an 11-year-old member of the Rim Pack. They say its radio telemetry collar has aged to the point that it could have stopped functioning.
“There’s a pretty substantial investigation under way,” Buckley told The Associated Press.
Investigators did find a dead cow near the site where the latest wolf was found shot to death, he said. The cow had been shot but there was no evidence that the wolves fed on the carcass.
The effort to reintroduce Mexican gray wolves, a subspecies of the gray wolf, to the Southwest has been troubled since it began in 1998. Biologists had predicted a self-sustaining wild population of 100 wolves by now, but the latest count at the end of 2009 found 42 Mexican wolves—27 in Arizona and 15 in New Mexico.
To read the full story, published in the Las Cruces Sun-news on July 17, 2010, Click Here.
Please submit a letter to the editor of the Sun-news urging immediate action to stop the killings and to release the Engineer Springs family of captive wolves into the wild: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more actions you can take to help pull Mexican wolves back from the brink of extinction, Click Here.
Together, federal and state agencies, private donors, the Phoenix Zoo, Defenders of Wildlife, the Sierra Club, the Center for Biological Diversity, the Sky Island Alliance, Animal Protection of New Mexico, Wild Earth Guardians, and the Animal Defense League of Arizona have offered a total of $52,000 for information leading to the apprehension of someone responsible for shooting a Mexican gray wolf.
In the past week, WildEarth Guardians , the White Mountain Conservation League, the Southwest Environmental Center, the Humane Society of the U.S., the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust, the Wildlands Network, the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance, and the Grand Canyon Wildlands Council have pledged an additional $6,800 for the reward. Added to the existing reward, the total amount offered is now up to $58,800.
Click Here to print reward posters for distribution. These look great and really grab people’s attention when printed on bright “day-glo” colored paper.