Thanks to a sweeping court victory by the Center and allies, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is revising the way it manages Mexican gray wolves in Arizona and New Mexico. The new rule, which must be finalized by May 2021, will decide how frequently captive
wolves will be released into the wild — and under what circumstances they could be trapped or shot.
Only 163 of these endangered wolves live in the wild in the United States, with another 30 or so in Mexico.
the Service it must reform its approach so Mexican wolves can escape the constant threat of extinction and truly recover.
The rule in place right now, dating from 2015, prevents that progress because:
- It allows wolves to be killed for preying on livestock in areas where ranchers have left behind carcasses, essentially baiting wolves into seeing livestock as food;
- It allows wolves to be killed for preying on elk and deer, a natural behavior;
- It fails to require the release of wolf packs together as families, which would greatly improve their survival rates, and it fails to require enough releases to improve genetic diversity;
- It's lax on law enforcement when it comes to "accidental" trapping and shooting of wolves; and
- It sets an arbitrary cap on recovery at 325 wolves, senselessly calling for killing any wolves above that number, and requires removal of wolves traveling northward into habitat that scientists say they must occupy to recover.
Act now to urge the Service to address these and other deficiencies in its current wolf management rule. Together we can help recover these beautiful and intelligent animals.