By Rene Romo
Journal Southern Bureau
Lobo family in captivity at the Sedgwick Zoo
LAS CRUCES — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will postpone until sometime next year the planned release of a pack of eight Mexican gray wolves in eastern Arizona.
One conservation organization lamented the delay as a setback to increasing the number and genetic diversity of wild-roaming lobos.
Michael Robinson, a Pinos Altos-based conservation advocate with the Center for Biological Diversity, said not releasing a new pack in an area already inhabited by wolves is a valid decision, but he said the release has been delayed for months in the face of concerns raised by ranchers to Arizona officials.
“There are other areas where these wolves could be released, and they are badly needed,” Robinson said. He noted that over the last four years federal officials have only released one Mexican wolf into the wild that had not previously been captured and removed.
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