Gray wolf

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Removes Another Mexican Gray Wolf From Wild

Continued Persecution Contributes to Population Decline

SILVER CITY, N.M.— Shrouded in secrecy in mid-November, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service captured alive and removed another Mexican gray wolf from the wild in response to the killing of cattle on national forest and state lands in east-central Arizona. The removal of the male wolf accelerates the extinction threat of the unique southwestern subspecies that has already seen at least 11 deaths and one other removal this year and declined 13 percent last year, leaving only 97 animals in Arizona and New Mexico. The captured wolf had a mate who is still in the wild.

“The Mexican gray wolf simply can’t afford more animals being removed from the wild or even killed because of the occasional cattle loss,” said Michael Robinson of the Center for Biological Diversity. “The research shows that non-lethal efforts to protect livestock are far more effective than removing or killing wolves. Yet, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has steadfastly refused to require ranchers to do anything to protect their livestock prior to removing or killing wolves.”

The Fish and Wildlife Service has long flouted the recommendations of scientists in the management of the Mexican gray wolf. For example in 2008 the Association of Zoos and Aquariums requested a moratorium on permanent removals of Mexican wolves “until an expert taskforce on genetic issues can be convened to provide guidance to these actions.” The Service has yet to convene such a taskforce and had no knowledge of the latest captured wolf’s genetic composition before removing him because he was born in the wild and had never previously been captured. The Service rarely re-releases wolves once they’ve been taken into captivity.

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Learn more about saving Mexican gray wolves.

Contact: Michael Robinson


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Banner photo Center for Biological Diversity; Mexican gray wolf by Robin Silver, Center for Biological Diversity