Conservation groups petition for more legal protection for the Mexican wolf

Several efforts underway to save this failing restoration program-

AP Story. Groups push for special wolf protections. By Susan Montoya Bryan.

From the Center for Biological Diversity. Center for Biological Diversity Petitions for Protection of Mexican Gray Wolf







  1. Rick Hammel Avatar
    Rick Hammel

    It is unfortunate that there is not the interest in the recovery of the Mexican gray wolf as there is in the Northern Rockies gray wolf. By contrast, there were 3 comments on the Phantom Hill pack posting and none on the Mexican wolf posting. In my veiw, both are equally important.

    The Mexican wolf’s plight is really grave. I think that their threat is the livestock industry, plus (under the Bush administration)the lackadazical Fish and Wildlife Service. It has been not detirmined if the FWS under Salazar is going to be any better.

    Jon Marvel sent a letter to the Region 6 director last month. Do we know if he got a reply? If he did, then I would say FWS is on the right track. If he didn’t, it is business as usual.


  2. Jeff N. Avatar
    Jeff N.

    I’m cautiously optimistic….emphasis on cautiously. There seems to be more of an effort by certain pro-wolf groups in the southwest to get this program more publicity and attention. I believe some concerns are being addressed.

    Also, it appears pup production has been better than usual with 7 pups being documented with one of the packs at the end of July.

  3. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    There does need to be special attention paid to this animal as it is a unique and extremely rare subspecies. The Northern Rockies population is getting so much publicity that this is being treated as a sideshow. There also need to be more reintroductions of this subspecies in other areas.

  4. Jeff N. Avatar
    Jeff N.

    There are plans for a release south of the border…which would be very cool…..

    Associated Press – August 12, 2009 1:54 PM ET

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) – The Mexican government plans to return the rarest of North America’s gray wolves to their historic range south of the border, and news of the move has resulted in a flurry of questions from wildlife managers, ranchers and conservationists in the United States.

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says it learned of the plan to release a pack of Mexican gray wolves during a meeting with Mexican officials last month.

    A male, female and two yearlings could be released in Sonora as soon as October. Another release is planned for December and more could happen next year.

    The U.S. government began reintroducing Mexican wolves to New Mexico and Arizona in 1998, but the program has been hampered by illegal shootings, rancher complaints and criticism from conservationists.

  5. Jeff N. Avatar
    Jeff N.

    As I understand it the release sight would be very near the border of AZ/NM which could allow for these wolves to restablish themselves in some of the sky island ranges in southern AZ and maybe into the the mountainous areas in New Mexico’s southwestern boot heel.

    Of course there is that new fence which may be an obstacle.

  6. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    That would be great to see wolves restored in Mexico as well. Good news.

  7. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    Jeff, do you have more information concerning the release south of the border?

  8. Maska Avatar

    ProWolf: There is somewhat more information in an article by Rene Romo that was published in the Albuquerque Journal. You can read it at

    So far, not a lot of detail about the release is available.

  9. April Clauson Avatar
    April Clauson

    If anyone is near the area, please try to attend this meeting, wish I could, too far for me…

    Wolf supporters needed to attend August 20 meeting in Albuquerque

    An important New Mexico State Game Commission Meeting will be held on August 20 from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. at the State Bar of New Mexico Auditorium, 5121 Masthead, NE, Albuquerque, NM. Agenda item #26, pertaining to Mexico’s plans to reintroduce Mexican wolves, is the second to the last item on the agenda and will likely be heard in the afternoon.

    Agenda item #26 is Mexican Wolf Reintroduction in Northern Mexico:
    Presented by US Fish & Wildlife Service – Staff from the Region 2 US Fish and Wildlife Service office will brief the Commission on the status of plans of the Government of Mexico to release Mexican wolves into northern Mexico. The Service will discuss the management implications if these animals disperse into New Mexico.

    The Fish and Wildlife Service has long supported Mexican wolf restoration in Mexico. The Mexican government’s plans to release wolves are an important step toward science-based recovery. This is an exciting development – another population of Mexican wolves in the wild with potential to connect with the Blue Range Mexican wolf population in Arizona and New Mexico!

    It’s essential that the Commission hear from wolf supporters!

    Please attend the meeting in Albuquerque and tell the Commission that you support wolf restoration in Mexico and urge U.S. cooperation with the Mexican government to make this a success.

  10. Jeff N. Avatar
    Jeff N.

    Thank you Maska.

    Now let’s start with little gem coming from NM’s resident Exec Director of Cows

    ……….”There’s just total uncertainty around this,” said Caren Cowan, executive director of the New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association. “We’ve talked about concerns about the U.S. government releasing wolves on citizens. Now we have a foreign government releasing a predator on U.S. citizens.”…………

    The last sentence in the quote is just your typical B.S. coming from one of NM’s irrational paranoids. Explain to me how a release 50 miles south of the U.S. border correlates to Mexico dumping a predator on U.S. citizens.
    What a load of crap, but what do we expect.

    Next one:

    ……..Millsap said the Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking advice from its attorneys on how to treat wolves that might migrate from Mexico. “That’s the question we don’t have an answer to yet,” Millsap said………

    If these animals do migrate north across the U.S. border they should be granted full protection from the ESA.

    Years back as I was having a discussion with a “higher up” USFW member of the recovery team, a comment was made regarding wolves that showed up that weren’t “theirs” and how they’d be managed. In a nutshell, from what they knew the animal would have the full backing of the ESA.

    This was many years ago and I realize when it comes to wolf management/politics nothing is ever certain.

  11. Rick Hammel Avatar
    Rick Hammel

    Comment to ED of cows: Tough Situation pal!

    Of course migrating wolves from Mexico will have the full protection of the ESA, as do wolves that migrate from Canada. I believe the Mexican wolf has the 10j designation. I strongly believe that this designation should be dropped as the ranchers in the recovery area have not lived up to their side of the bargain that established the designation.


  12. Jeff N. Avatar
    Jeff N.


    The current designation of the Mexican Gray Wolf is “experiemntal – nonessential”, if that’s what you were referring too. As we all know this designation, along with the 10j rule, are the reasons this program is struggling. There is too much hands on management and the rules make it tough for a wolf to survive and flourish.

  13. Jeff N. Avatar
    Jeff N.

    Clarification, 10j and experimental – nonessential are the same thing.

  14. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    We’ve talked about concerns about the U.S. government releasing wolves on citizens. Now we have a foreign government releasing a predator on U.S. citizens.”…………

    Nice paranoia. I’m sure that has nothing to do with the wolves themselves but some good old fashioned xenophobia. It is also funny how she says releasing wolves in US citizens. As if they have turned a rabid pack loose in downtown Albuquerque.

    Now, if this goes through then the next order of business is to allow wolves to disperse out of the Blue Range to allow any possible genetic exchange.

  15. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    Sorry, I meant to say releasing wolves on US citizens.

  16. Maska Avatar

    Nope, ProWolf. Not downtown Albuquerque. They’re actually dumping a bunch of undocumented lupine parachutists out of U.N. helicopters on top of unsuspecting permittees in the Gila. Next thing you know, these “lobos sin papeles” will be taking our jobs and lining up for free healthcare. 🙂

  17. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    Damn them! 🙂

  18. JB Avatar

    Hey, it could be worse–they could be dropping rattlesnakes. 😉

  19. Vielfrass Avatar

    Why not reintroduce the Mexican grizzly while they’re at it. This subspecies survived until the 1960s in the rugged Sierra del Nido. Question is – are there any bears genetically similar enough around?

  20. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    Vielfrass, I like the way you think. I would love to see grizzlies restored in some of their former haunts. I would guess the grizzlies in Yellowstone are probably the most genetically similar.


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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