The darting and capture of AM1249 was part of the annual census of the wild Mexican gray wolf populations in Arizona and New Mexico. Members of the Interagency Mexican Wolf Field Team representing five agencies — the U.S. Forest Service, USFWS, U.S. Department of Agriculture-Wildlife Services, Arizona Game and Fish and the White Mountain Apache Tribe — come together along with an attending veterinarian and flight crews to get an accurate estimate of how many wolves have survived the past year in the approximately 20 packs that live in the two states.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Biologists plan daily flights over forested areas of eastern Arizona and western New Mexico in late January and early February to conduct an annual survey of the region’s population of endangered Mexican gray wolves.Federal and state agencies say the flights may be visible to residents of Reserve, New Mexico, and the Arizona communities of Alpine and Springerville.Biologists conduct the survey as part of a multi-agency effort to reintroduce wolves into their traditional habitat.
PHOENIX — Biologists with the Mexican Wolf Interagency Field Team (IFT) recently learned a fostered wolf pup introduced to a pack in 2014 has produced a wild offspring of her own.In a critical breakthrough in Mexican wolf management, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently reported that a genetic test of male 1561 revealed that it is the offspring of male 1293 and female 1346. The female was one of two pups fostered into the den of the Dark Canyon Pack in New Mexico in 2014.
This is a trailer for the documentary film “Stories of Wolves-The Lobo returns” about the reintroduction of the Mexican Gray Wolves. “Stories of Wolves” has been released on October 28th in Santa Fe. Please check weboflifefoundation.net for details.
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Courtesy: New Mexico Game & Fish
Application seeking temporary halt of wolf releases moved to federal district court
New Mexico Department of Game and Fish
Public contact, Information Center: (888) 248-6866
Media contact: Lance Cherry: (505) 476-8003
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, MAY 17, 2016:
Application seeking temporary halt of wolf releases moved to federal district court
LAS CRUCES – In an effort to thwart the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) removed the department’s application to temporarily halt future Mexican wolf releases into New Mexico from state to federal court late Friday. The department’s application alleges the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) ignored state and federal laws last month by importing and releasing two Mexican wolves without first obtaining required state permits.
Under New Mexico law, the importation and release of non-domesticated animals requires a permit from the department and federal law instructs the USFWS to consult with the states and obtain necessary permits before releasing wildlife.
“Although we anticipated this move,” said Department Director Alexandra Sandoval, “we believe recent actions by the USFWS violate state and federal law. A review of the state law violations certainly belongs in state court. Regardless of venue, we are committed to pursuing this matter.”
The department originally filed the application in the state’s 7th Judicial District Court. It has since been moved to the U.S. District Court in Las Cruces.
Courtesy of The Southwest Environmental Center
Commentary: The Southwest Environmental Center blasted the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish (NMDGF) for trying to block releases of endangered Mexican wolves into the state. NMDGF announced today that it was seeking a temporary restraining order to prevent the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) from releasing more wolves.
“We fully support federal officials for doing what is needed and legally required under federal law to recover the highly endangered Mexican wolf, despite the regrettable attempts by New Mexico to put roadblocks in their way for purely political reasons,” said Kevin Bixby, executive director of the Southwest Environmental Center. “It seems pretty clear that NMDGF’s actions are a delaying tactic, and that state officials are trying to run out the clock on Mexican wolf recovery.”
Bixby noted that New Mexico officials under Governor Susana Martinez’ administration have consistently opposed Mexican wolf recovery. The state withdrew from participating as a partner in the recovery program in 2011 shortly after Martinez was elected. NMDGF and the NM Game Commission—whose seven members were appointed by Martinez—then abruptly denied permits that had routinely been issued in the past to FWS and Ted Turner’s Ladder Ranch to import and release wolves in the state.
More recently, Martinez joined neighboring states’ governors in sending a letter to federal officials stating their opposition to allowing Mexican wolves to expand into areas that biologists say are essential to their recovery.
Bixby also noted that Mexican wolves are protected as a state endangered species under the New Mexico Wildlife Conservation Act (WCA). “Rather than wasting tax dollars trying to prevent federal officials from doing the right thing, NMDGF should do its job and get busy helping to restore wolves, as it is required to do under state law,” he said. The WCA requires that NMDGF develop recovery plans for species listed as threatened or endangered under the act, something the department has never done for Mexican wolves.
Biologists say that releases of more wolves into the wild from the captive population is the only way to reverse a decline in the genetic health of the wild Mexican wolf population. They say releases are urgently needed to restore genetic variation and prevent Mexican wolves from going extinct in the wild. The window for making these releases to carry out a “genetic rescue” of Mexican wolves is limited. The FWS recently placed two captive-born wolf pups, selected for their genetic makeup, with a wild litter in the Gila National Forest in a process known as cross-fostering.
NMDGF argues that FWS needs to finish revising its Mexican wolf recovery plan before going forward with releases, which FWS has committed to do by the end of 2017 as part of a court settlement. NMDGF is being disingenuous when it says that a recovery plan needs to be completed before more releases can take place. Recovery planning is important, but not the highest priority.
“It’s like saying you need to figure out how many gallons of water are needed to put out a fire before attempting to put it out,” said Bixby. “The decline in genetic health of wild Mexican wolves is the fire we need to put out—right now–and releasing more wolves is the only way to do it.”
With only about 97 Mexican wolves in the wild of NM and Arizona, and less than 25 in Mexico, the “lobo” is one of the most endangered canids on the planet.
The Southwest Environmental Center works to protect and restore wildlife and their habitats in the Southwest.