Finally, will someone get what they deserve for killing a rare Mexican wolf?

See the news release below. Ralph Maughan

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For more information, contact:

Rob Edward, WildEarth Guardians, (303) 573-4898 x 762 redward@wildearthguardians.org
Greta Anderson, Western Watersheds Project, (520) 623-1878 greta@westernwatersheds.org
Dave Parsons, The Rewilding Institute, (505) 275-1944 pbc@cybermesa.com

Government Has Suspect in August 2008 Mexican Wolf Killing

SANTE FE, N.M. – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has concluded an investigation into the illegal killing of an endangered Mexican gray wolf and presented the results to the U.S. Attorney’s office.  Law enforcement officials report that the suspect in the killing is a ranch caretaker in southern New Mexico.
More than 30 Mexican wolves have been illegally killed since reintroduction began in 1998. The wolf killed on August 6th was the alpha male of the Laredo Pack, and one of seven Mexican wolves killed under suspicious circumstances last year. The following is a chronology of his life:

  • Spring 2005: born to the Saddle Pack in the Gila National Forest;
  • January 18, 2006: Trapped, outfitted with a radio telemetry collar, and released;
  • March 26, 2006: Trapped accidentally by a private coyote trapper, and handed over to authorities;
  • June 17, 2008: Released in Gila Wilderness with a mate who had also been captured from the wild;
  • August 6, 2008: Found dead.


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone involved in the illegal killing of Mexican gray wolves, in addition to $40,000 already pledged by wildlife conservation groups and $1,000 apiece from the Arizona Department of Game and Fish and the New Mexico Game and Fish Department – for a total award of $52,000. The arrest and conviction of an Arizona wolf poacher in 2000 was aided by a reward offered at that time.


Mexican gray wolves are an essential part of the balance of Nature, but only about 50 survive in the wild. Poaching, as well as shooting and trapping by the government on behalf of the livestock industry, all disrupt pack social structures and can diminish the chance of survival of remaining wolves.

In order to prevent Mexican wolves from going extinct in the wild again, dramatic changes in Mexican wolves management must be a top priority of the Obama administration.  In addition to vigorous prosecution of poachers, the government should stop trapping and shooting Mexican wolves and should facilitate voluntary, reimbursed retirement of grazing permits on public lands to help eliminate conflicts with livestock.

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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 Government Has a Suspect in August 2008 Mexican Wolf Killing

  1. avatar william huard says:

    I hope New Mexico throws the book at these wolf-haters. Unfortunately these cowards need a jail sentence before they realize that they cannot go around killing animals. Enough predators are already killed each year compliments of Wildlife Services. I wrote them and told them I felt that their agency needed to be retired back to the middle ages where they belong. Does anybody remember Clem and Jethro- the wolves from the 1970’s that were the wolf ambassadors- they travelled the country trying to educate people how their species had been misunderstood through fear and ignorance. They were fed poison chicken while in the van that they were staying overnight in Brooklyn I think. The person was caught and not prosecuted. How pathetic these ranchers are.

  2. avatar Chris H says:

    High Country News did a story on ranchers (particularly one) in Catron County who apparently baited wolves by allowing one of there cows to give birth next to one pack’s densite. I believe this is the link if anyone is interested.
    http://www.hcn.org/issues/361/17419
    I wonder if the ranch caretaker in the article is the fellow (felon?) that was arrested?
    The way the program is run I will be surprised if this person gets the maximum penalty. I am aware of only one other Mexican Wolf killer that was caught and I believe that wasin the first year or two of the project. That person received a basic hand smack.

  3. avatar Maska says:

    Chris,

    The area where the alleged baiting of Durango AF924 took place is miles away from the area along the East Fork of the Gila River near the Gila Cliff Dwellings, where the Laredo alpha male was killed.

    The Adobe/Slash ranches, where the government shot the Durango alpha female, and where her mate and another collared wolf later vanished without a trace, are located to the east and northeast of the Gila Wilderness.

    The Gila Cliff Dwellings and surrounding area are located right in the heart of the Wilderness, along and at the end of a cherry-stemmed road, NM15.

    As far as I can tell, there is no connection between the two incidents or the people involved.

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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