The number of elk in the part of New Mexico where the Mexican wolves have become reestablished has increased.

Of course the number of wolves is trivial — only 59 in the entire recovery area due to the defective recovery plan, and the many mistakes and political blockages placed on the Mexican wolf restoration program.

Story: Report: Despite wolves, elk OK. By The Associated Press as published in Las Cruces Sun-News.

 
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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

3 Responses to Report: Despite Mexican wolves, elk OK

  1. avatar cred says:

    Both of your “reports” are faulty.

    1. The method used to count elk this time is different from the method used before. While it is *possible* that the number of elk has actually increased, your readers should be aware it is also possible that rather the efficiency of counting has increased, and therefore that there may in fact be fewer elk than in prior years.

    2. The number of wolves is not trivial – it is merely uknown. There are 59 *collared* wolves in the wolf recovery area. There are an unknown number of uncollared wolves. Your readers should be aware that it is *possible* that the wolf restoration program is wildly successful in terms of numbers of wolves in the wild.

  2. avatar Jeff says:

    According to the USFWS Mexican wolf site there are only 25 radio collared wolves, with an estimated population of 59 total wolves. There certainly could be more, but there certainly aren’t enough wolves to impact elk herds in AZ and NM. Especially when one considers the number of wolves in the Northern Rockies in comparison and there is still very little data showing that ID, MT or WY elk herds have been signigicantly impacted by the wolves numbering around 1400 up here.
    http://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/mexicanwolf/BRWRP_notes.cfm

  3. avatar Jane says:

    That article was incorrect and certainly not based on any science at all. The NMDG&F recently clarified the information that was bandied about so willy nilly in the press. There is no indication that wolves have harmed or helped elk in this area, however it is clear that one point and time information was used as propaganda in this instance.

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