ANTA FE (Sept. 15, 2017) – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced today that for the first time in over a decade, a Mexican gray wolf, or lobo, was lethally removed in Arizona due to conflicts with livestock.Bryan Bird, Southwest program director for Defenders of Wildlife, issued the following statement:“We strongly condemn the killing of this Mexican gray wolf. The lobo is the world’s most endangered subspecies of gray wolf, and there are too few in the wild for any to be removed. News of this wolf’s killing is particularly devastating since it has been over a decade since the last lobo was lethally removed from the wild for conflicts with livestock.
Just hours before the Tuesday night deadline approached for the public to weigh in on a proposed federal management plan for the endangered Mexican gray wolf, more than 9,000 comments had been posted online. Thousands more had been submitted to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by mail — most opposing a wolf recovery plan that many criticized as too restrictive to allow the species to thrive.Last week, the New Mexico State Game Commission voted to support the proposal, one that conservationists have argued will cede too much control to the states of New Mexico and Arizona. Both states have sought to limit the recovery program, and New Mexico officials have taken legal action in recent years seeking to block wolf releases.The Fish and Wildlife Service is under a court order to have a completed wolf management plan by the end of November.
Over 60 business leaders have urged the federal government to release endangered Mexican gray wolves into the Grand Canyon region, expanding the predator’s habitat beyond eastern Arizona.The group submitted a letter to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service criticizing the agency’s long-awaited recovery plan released in June because it confined the recovery zone south of Interstate 40.
Rain clouds roiled over Truth or Consequences as about 70 people filed into the Civic Center auditorium to watch US Fish and Wildlife Service staff scroll through a presentation on the recently released draft plan for Mexican gray wolf recovery. It’s been 20 years since the wolves were reintroduced to the wild, and 40 since they were added to the Endangered Species List. The document introduced this summer is the first plan aimed at fully recovering the species.At the July 20 meeting, four staffers from the federal agency faced an audience spotted with cowboy hats and green T-shirts declaring “Wolves without boundaries.” A professional moderator had been flown in from out of state to keep people on time, on task and following a code of conduct that allocated each attendee a single question and related follow-up. Rules banned signs along with any sort of audible response to other speakers.The sheriff and state police attended—one would have thought to keep the peace as well, until the sheriff took the microphone to ask whether Sierra County’s commissioners could ban wolf releases in their county. The answer is “not really;” the Endangered Species Act compels recovery, and this is a core piece of their historic range. But whether wolves will be released in Sierra County is a matter for the county to take up with the state of New Mexico.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Wildlife officials are investigating the death of an endangered Mexican gray wolf pup.Federal and state officials involved in the wolf reintroduction program say a female pup belonging to the Diamond Pack that roams southeastern Arizona was found dead in May. The death was noted in a report released this week.
KINGMAN – The Arizona Game and Fish Department was monitoring 58 endangered Mexican wolves wearing radio collars at the end of May, the department reported in its latest update.The overall population of the wolves in the wild in Arizona and New Mexico was 113 at the end of 2016.Annual surveys are conducted by field teams in the winter when the population has the least amount of natural fluctuation. The spring population increases dramatically with the birth of new pups and declines throughout the summer and fall as mortality is particularly high on young pups.Wolves with functioning radio collars are listed by studbook number in the pack updates. They’re given an identification number preceded by capital M (male) or F (female) for adult wolves and lowercase letters for wolves younger than 24 months.
“I’m disappointed that the Trump administration has once again allowed politics to override science. Research shows clearly that areas in southern Utah and Colorado are within the historic range of the Mexican wolf and contain suitable habitat to support its recovery. Today’s action to restrict recovery planning to Arizona, New Mexico and Mexico, combined with Trump’s plan to ignore the Endangered Species Act to build his ill-conceived border wall, virtually ensures the extinction of the Mexican wolf.”