| FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 22, 2007
Contacts: Michael Robinson, Center for Biological Diversity, (505) 534-0360
Make Your Cell Phone Howl
Mexican Gray Wolf Cell Phone Ringtone Now Available for Download
The Center for Biological Diversity today added the howl of the endangered Mexican gray wolf to its growing repertoire of free wildlife cell phone ringtones. The ringtones are available for free download at www.rareearthtones.org and have been so popular since they were unveiled on December 18th that more than 15,000 people—at the rate of about 700 a day—have already downloaded the voices of imperiled wildlife.
The Mexican gray wolf, or lobo, is the 46th animal whose characteristic sounds are available at the website. Other imperiled animals whose distinctive calls are available include the beluga whale, Pine Barrens treefrog, bare-shanked screech owl, and the fringe-backed fire-eye (a Brazilian bird). The Mexican gray wolf was identified in 1986 as the most endangered mammal in North America, a victim of U.S. government predator control conducted between 1915 and 1972 in the U.S. and Mexico. It originally ranged from the Sierra Madre mountains of Mexico through the borderlands of extreme southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico (see map).
Before passage of the Endangered Species Act on December 28, 1973, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had poisoned, trapped and shot almost every single Mexican wolf in the wild. The last seven survivors were bred in captivity, and in 1998 their progeny were reintroduced to the Gila and Apache national forests of New Mexico and Arizona. The wolf is still critically endangered. The Fish and Wildlife Service has been trapping and shooting so many lobos that the population is only about half of its initial intended target of 100 wolves in 18 breeding packs. On December 14, 2006, the Center for Biological Diversity sued the Service to save the Mexican wolf from a second possible extermination.
“The lobo is a survivor,” said Michael Robinson of the Center for Biological Diversity. “But the Mexican wolf is up against a ruthless government control program masquerading as a recovery program, and its fate is uncertain.”
The Center for Biological Diversity is a nonprofit conservation organization with more than 32,000 members dedicated to the protection of imperiled species and habitat.