Feds ask public for input to aid recovery of Mexican Gray Wolves

FWS intends to modify the Mexican Gray wolf recovery rules given the disappointing recovery thus far. As many wolves died so far this year as pups born.

Feds ask for input on gray wolves program

55 or less remain in Arizona and New Mexico, far fewer than the 102 hoped for by 2006. FWS has killed or otherwise removed 53 wolves since 1998 given the restrictive rules of the recovery plan – which among other things contain the wolves in the ‘Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area’.

In 2006, Center for Biological Diversity filed suit when FWS failed to respond to the Center’s legal petition to alter the rules.

Here is the Center’s full press release.

And here is a blog post on the Huffington Post by Glenn Hurowitz that grants kudos to New Mexico’s Governor, and Democratic presidential candidate, Bill Richardson for his call to end federal policy which kills Mexican gray wolves.

Addition Aug. 10. From the Albuquerque Tribune. Commentary: It’s time to confront policies that harm Mexican gray wolf numbers. By Melissa Hailey.
“Stymied by political interference, the [Mexican] wolf recovery program has been a marked failure. If federal managers continue to swap science for politics when it comes to wolf management, both the lobos and the will of the American people may be lost forever.”



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  1. Jeff N. Avatar
    Jeff N.

    On the surface this is good news. However I don’t expect any substantial changes to be made until after January 2009. I hope I’m wrong.

    Of course any positive changes will depend on what type of administration takes over in 2009.

  2. Mike Wolf Avatar

    So, how do we provide comments?

    My suggestions would be the following:

    Enact legislation to create mandatory sentencing for illegal killing of Mexican Grey Wolves; a MINIMUM penalty of $50,000 and 6 months in jail should suffice.

    Second, classify Mexican Wolves as endangered, and remove the stupid “experimental non-essential” classification. Wolves need full protection.

    Create a rule wherein if a wolf kills livestock three times, it is removed from the wild, not killed. And ONLY if the livestock killed are killed outside of the following restrictions:

    1. No bone pits, carcass piles, or other dead animals on private property; no carcasses left for more than 24 hours on grazing allotments.

    2. Non-lethal means to protect livestock must be used after the first kill by a wolf.

    3. Ranchers must demonstrate sound husbandry practices; i.e. no market cattle on grazing allotments, no herding cattle to known wolf locations. Livestock must be removed from or not allowed near den sites.

    4. Sheep must be accompanied at all times by herders/range riders, AND dogs.

    Create an education program that first surveys area residents, in a random survey, of their knowledge of wolves; such as “do wolves kill children” and similar. Then, monitor criteria such as illegal killings, and periodic Monte Carlo surveys (taken from a preselected pool, so the same people aren’t asked time and time again) to determine progress of education. The education campaigns should include campaigns targeted at ranchers, hunters, and recreational users of areas; such as a required course for hunters, grazing permittees, etc.

    These things all together should enable success in the program. It’s quite easy to see what’s wrong with the program, there are too many wolves being killed. The illegal killings are significant (50% of introduced wolves where killed illegally in the first two years of the program.) And reducing livestock-wolf conflicts should include a significant more responsibility on the part of ranchers; such as not attracting wolves (carcass and bone pits/piles, etc.)

  3. DV8 Avatar

    Interesting. As a resident of Colorado, I find it interesting how wolves are in the two states to our north, and the state to our south, but not here. Especially since the politics of this state are, on the surface, more liberal and probably more open to wolf reintroduction than those other states.

    I’m curious what people think about wolf reintroduction in Colorado. Is it a viable option based on the available habitat? Why has it not happened yet? Will it take an organization – ala the now defunct Wolf Fund – to generate the public interest? Is it a mistake to wait for wolves to get here from Yellowstone, especially given the fact that wolves in Wyoming outside the northwest corner are likely to be given predator stutus…i.e. shot on site. Or is a natural reintroduction still a viable solution.


  4. Darrell C. Avatar

    Not sure it matters what the govt. does. Ranchers are shooting wolves on sight. If there is too much of a delay in delisting this will happen up north as well. Idaho wolf numbers will plummet next thanx to bonehead ideas like Mike Wolf has presented

  5. DV8 Avatar

    Darrell – then ranchers should go to jail for breaking a federal law. Plain and simple. Shall we all live in fear of gun-toting bully ranchers? I think not.

  6. DV8 Avatar

    Darrell – I’ll add that in my experience with ranchers, they are honest, fair people. They may not like wolves, but for the most part they have a sense of old school western chivalry and manners that would preclude them from breaking the law like that. Ranchers are good people…I just don’t see eye to eye with them regarding the wolf thing. So we continue to work in a respectful manner to bridge gaps, educate them about the realities of wolf (versus the myth) and lessen the us versus them thing.

  7. Jeff N. Avatar
    Jeff N.

    2007 Mexican Gray Wolf minimum population counts are in and the number is 52 wolves, down from 59 the year before. 22 wolves were removed (disgusting) from the wild in 2007 for the usual reasons: livestock depredations, moving outside the recovery area. This program needs a major overhaul.

  8. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    The 2007 report is out and I am about to post it as a new article. Thanks, Jeff

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Brian Ertz