Three legged member of the Middle Fork pack
New Mexico’s few remaining Mexican gray wolves are in a battle for their lives, and Gov. Bill Richardson is granting them a partial truce.
Richardson has ordered the state Department of Game and Fish to prohibit trapping for six months on the New Mexico side of a federal wolf reintroduction area. The temporary ban will allow studies on the risks traps and snares pose to wolves.
In the last eight years, there have been six confirmed and three probable Mexican gray wolves trapped in New Mexico’s portion of the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area. Five wolves were injured by traps, two severely enough to require amputations. Ultimately this hurts ranchers because injured wolves are more likely to prey on livestock as they won’t be able to bring down elk and deer.
The trapping ban gives wolves a reprieve while the U.S. Forest Service reviews a petition by environmental groups calling for an emergency halt to trapping and snaring in the recovery area.
The Mexican gray wolf is perilously close to extinction. If that happens, the only “lobo” cry New Mexicans will hear will be at a University of New Mexico sporting event.
To read the full editorial, published in the Albuquerque Journal on August 17, 2010, and post a comment, click here (non-subscribers can scroll down and use the free trial button).
Please write a letter to the editor supporting a permanent ban on trapping in the Mexican gray wolf recovery area: firstname.lastname@example.org
To learn what else you can do to help save the Mexican wolf from a second extinction in the wild, click here.