Center for Biological Diversity
Protecting endangered species and wild
For Immediate Release
-- December 12, 2001
ENVIRONMENTALISTS OFFER $5,000 REWARD FOR APPREHENSION OF WOLF KILLERS
The Center for Biological Diversity announced a $5,000 reward for information leading to apprehension and conviction of those responsible for the recent spate of Mexican gray wolf killings.
The money will be paid on top of the $10,000 reward offered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
"Despite multiple concessions to meet the objections of those opposed to recovery of the Mexican gray wolf," said Michael Robinson of the Center, "wolves are getting shot, disappearing suspiciously and killed in hit and run incidents."
"The killers wish to derail the Southwest's premier ecological restoration program, which seeks to return the balance on our public lands and to save a critically imperiled animal," said Robinson. "But they wont succeed in the face of the overwhelming public support for the wolf in both urban and rural New Mexico and Arizona."
Four wolves have been confirmed killed in approximately a month, paralleling the fall 1998 shootings in quick succession of at least five of the initial eleven Mexican wolves released. Only five wolves were captured alive from the wilds of Mexico between 1977 and 1980 for the emergency captive breeding program that staved off extinction. No other Mexican wolves, aside from their descendents released over the past three and a half years, have been confirmed in the wild.
Rewards by Fish and Wildlife Service, the Center and other non-profit groups led to the conviction in October, 2000 of James Michael Rogers in one of the 1998 shootings. Rogers served four months in prison and six months under house arrest. He will be on supervised probation for the next two and half years, and must also complete 50 hours of community service.
Last Tuesday, December 4th, Utah resident Troy James Glauser was convicted of shooting a wolf in Idaho, and sentenced to 8 months imprisonment, a $500 fine, and a year of supervised probation with denial of his hunting privileges during that period.
"The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is doing all they can to apprehend the wolf killers, and they need the public's help," said Robinson. "We hope the offer of $5,000 will prove the crucial break in apprehending these poachers."
Robinson added: "The captive-born Mexican wolves have made nearly flawless adaptations to life in the wild. The only barrier to success is continued human interference with their natural propensity to roam and explore."