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Protect 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 once numbered in the thousands throughout the southwestern U.S. and Mexico. But by the early 1970s, ranchers and government agents had all but eliminated this native carnivore with rifles, traps and poisons.

In the late 1990s, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) reintroduced a small, captive-bred population of Mexican wolves back into the wild. There is now a single population of about 100 wolves in the mountains of central Arizona and New Mexico. Today, this tiny population remains on the brink of extinction, threatened by both illegal and legal killings.

Flawed provisions in a new Mexican wolf federal rule will impose:

  • Arbitrary recovery boundaries north of Interstate 40 in northern New Mexico and Arizona
  • Negligible consequences for illegal wolf killings
  • An inadequate population cap of 325

Don’t allow a narrow band of special interests to drive these wolves out of existence.

The best peer-reviewed and published scientists say that additional Mexican wolf populations must be established in the Grand Canyon and southern Rockies for the species to survive. But anti-wildlife politicians are pressuring the FWS to severely corral the wolves’ recovery.

We’re fighting in court to give these wolves a chance at recovery. Only 97 wolves remain in the wild at last count. Given such low numbers, the last thing they need is to be isolated and starved of genetic diversity.

Research shows the wolves need more habitat, more interconnected populations, and a total population of more than 700 individuals.

Time is of the essence to save these wolves! Urge the FWS to do what’s right and ensure the lobos’ survival and recovery in their natural habitats.

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What You Need To Know About The Mexican Gray Wolf

Your message:

Don't abandon Mexican gray wolf recovery

Dear Director Ashe,

I am deeply concerned about the recovery of the highly imperiled Mexican gray wolf. The return of the Mexican gray wolf to the American Southwest, once a conservation success story, would be fatally shortchanged by a flawed, politically driven recovery plan.

The best available, peer-reviewed and published science supports the need for more wolf releases from captivity and the establishment of at least two more core Mexican gray wolf populations within dispersal distance of the existing wild population in Arizona and New Mexico.

I urge the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to reject political pressure from officials in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah who have urged your agency to keep wolves out of some of the best remaining wolf habitat: the Grand Canyon ecoregion in Arizona and Utah and the southern Rockies in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado. The politicians who are calling for such limits on wolf recovery are not listening to the majority of their constituents who support lobo recovery in poll after poll, nor to scientists. Instead, they are tuned to a narrow band of special interests--a minority who are increasingly out of step with today's conservation values.

Mexican wolves deserve better than a risky gamble with extinction. Published peer-reviewed science does not support the feasibility of establishing large enough wolf populations in Mexico--as some anti-wolf U.S. politicians have claimed--to keep Mexican gray wolves safe into the future. Mexican wolves need more viable populations in the U.S. as well.

I hope the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will do what is right and use the best available science in the face of political opposition. The Service needs to fairly compare all the geographic options for recovery, in both the U.S. and Mexico, and then make a decision to establish new populations where the lobos have the best chance of survival and recovery.

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