Save the last Mexican gray wolves from extinction.
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Right now, you can take a stand to save the last Mexican gray wolves from extinction.
Mexican gray wolves—the “lobo” of Southwestern lore— once numbered in the thousands throughout the southwestern United States and Mexico. But following a state-sponsored program of extermination, within a period of less than a few decades, the entire population almost vanished from the face of the earth. The mass eradication effort was so successful that all but a handful of lobos were killed, earning the subspecies a place on the list of threatened and endangered species. In a last-ditch effort to save this icon of the Southwest, the few lobo survivors were ultimately captured and placed into a captive breeding program. Today, all living Mexican gray wolves are descendants of just seven survivors of the lethal extermination program.
In the late 1990s, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) reintroduced a small, captive-bred population of Mexican gray wolves back into eastern Arizona and western New Mexico. Decades later, this population of only about 100 members remains on the brink of extinction since the FWS has failed to produce and implement an effective plan for the lobo’s recovery as required by the Endangered Species Act. Instead, the FWS has repeatedly bowed to local political opposition to wolf recovery.
Following an Earthjustice lawsuit, the FWS recently released a draft Mexican wolf recovery plan. Unfortunately, the FWS has again catered to local wolf foes, icing out scientists from the process, producing a plan that will hinder recovery, if not lead the lobo to its eventual extinction in the wild.
Flaws in FWS’s recently released “Mexican Gray Wolf Plan” include:
- Too few wolf releases over too small a geographic area.
- Heavy reliance on recovery in Mexico—despite the fact that habitat there is inadequate.
- Insufficient attention to the genetic threats facing the Mexican gray wolf.
- Transfer of total control of wolf releases to the states, which have been actively hostile to the recovery of the lobo.
The FWS must address these shortcomings and craft a recovery plan that will prevent the extinction of this critically endangered species.
Thank you for championing these wolves and our wildlife.
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