Take Action: Comments Needed to Ensure Mexican Wolves' Future!
Proposed USFWS Rule changes regarding reintroduction into the wild of the Mexican Gray Wolf
Recently the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) proposed changes to the rules guiding the Mexican gray wolf reintroduction. The proposed rule is very important to the future of Mexican wolves in the wild.
One very good and many very bad changes are proposed:
The good change is to allow direct releases of Mexican wolves into parts of New Mexico and additional areas in Arizona. This change has been recommended by experts for over 10 years and can be made faster and with less bureaucratic delay than any other part of the proposed rule
TELL USFWS TO PUT THE REST OF THEIR PROPOSED RULE ON HOLD AND SPEED UP APPROVAL FOR MORE DIRECT RELEASES INTO ADDITIONAL AREAS.
The bad changes include:
By labeling all of the wild wolves as “nonessential” the USFWS ignores science and the reality of 15 years of experience with reintroducing wolves
The USFWS claims that even if all of the 75 wolves in the wild are wiped out this is not “likely to appreciably reduce the likelihood” of recovery of Mexican wolves in the wild.
When the current rule declared wolves in the wild “nonessential” there were only 11 wolves, recently released from a captive breeding program and they made up only 7% of all Mexican wolves in the world.
Now the 75 wolves in the wild have up to four generations of experience in establishing packs and raising pups and are over 22% of all of the Mexican wolves in the world.
After four more generations of captive breeding with few releases (only one in the last five years), scientists warn that there may be serious genetic problems making captive wolves less able to thrive in the wild.
TELL USFWS THAT THE FOURTH GENERATION WILD LOBOS ARE NOT EXPENDABLE AND ARE AN ESSENTIAL PART OF RECOVERING THIS UNIQUE SUBSPECIES OF WOLF
The proposed rule puts the cart before the horse and should come with or after – not before – an updated recovery plan
USFWS admits that their present, typewritten, 1982 recovery plan is not scientifically sound and does not meet current legal requirements – yet in its proposed rule USFWS continues to emphasize a woefully inadequate population of only 100 wolves in the wild
When USFWS published the current rule in 1998 they said they expected to put out a new recovery plan for the public to comment on later that year; 15 years later, there still is no scientific or legally adequate recovery plan!
TELL USFWS TO QUIT STALLING AND COMPLETE A COMPREHENSIVE RECOVERY PLAN – AND LET THE PUBLIC SEE IT – BEFORE DOING ANY TINKERING WITH THE CURRENT RULE (except for allowing wolves to be reintroduced into additional suitable places)
USFWS’s decision on the proposed rule can help Mexican wolves finally thrive or can push them closer to extinction.