Gray wolf shot in AZ; officials probe use of radio tracking
By Ken Cole On July 17, 2010 · 19 Comments · In Endangered Species Act, Mexican Wolves, Poaching, Wolves
More on the dead Mexican wolves
One possibility that might be considered by the investigators is the possibility that those with government issued telemetry equipment may not be using it to kill the wolves but they may be giving the frequencies to those who are.
Gray wolf shot in AZ; officials probe use of radio tracking.
Tony Davis Arizona Daily Star
Tagged with: Endangered Species Act • Mexican Wolves • Poaching • Wolves
Ken Cole is a 5th generation Idahoan, an avid fly fisherman, wildlife enthusiast, and photographer. He is the interim Idaho Director for Western Watersheds Project. We do not accept unsolicited “guest” authors or advertising.
19 Responses to Gray wolf shot in AZ; officials probe use of radio tracking
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This whole situation is fishy and doesn’t feel right. After Macho B can Arizona fish and game be trusted? Someone is targeting these males from these packs- perhaps ranchers giving info to outfitters- like outfitters are exempt from unethical behavior. I can’t wait for someone to be charged- i’ll be calling them
Maybe its time to encourage friends, family and anyone else, to support Western Watersheds Project and the other groups out there, who are deeply involved in getting these ungrateful SOB’s off public lands so wildlife can have an opportunity to breathe again.
I’m well aware of the whining (as in the local papers) in my neck of the woods (Montana) when it comes to 500 or so wolves occasionally sampling the local fare (livestock) spread out over millions of acres of land (a great deal of it public lands) but we are talking about what? 30 wolves (down by over half the original numbers re-introduced in the late 90’s) struggling to get by in the southwest?
I agree with William that it appears that someone is specifically targeting the males. 3 alphas and a beta male gone. Coincedince? I dont think so . Ralph what do you think the best thing is that wolf advocates can do to protect this dwindling species? Letter writing and calling doesnt seem to be helping.
Very sad indeed. Big Lake is on the Apache reservation and hunting or shooting anything on their land requires a permit and guide. It is prime country for wolves there. They should take back the radio receivers, they should never have been given out to ranchers. AZ wildlife services is as corrupt as any of our government here, I am ashamed I live in this state at this time. They need to catch all the wolves left in AZ and NM and relocate them somewhere else, as the Mexican Gray wolf will never reclaim their status in these two states.
I think New Mexico will support the Mexican wolf. As I have mentioned several times, the mascot for UNM is the Lobo.
Arizona I have doubts about. They were against the Grand Canyon National Park. Some guy named Camron had private claims on it with dozens of bogus mining claims. He charged a hefty admission to travel on his trails and wanted to keep the whole thing private. He ran for the US Senate as a Republican and won. He tried to take the land issues to the Supreme Court to make park creation unconstitutional and nearly succeeded. He did managed to delay the creation of the Grand Canyon National Park for many years.
I moved to Phoenix for a job and joined the Sierra because I didn’t know a soul there but wanted to go hiking. I was told by my boss that I should probably not tell people that I was in the Sierra Club…I mean for the sake of my career.
Actually, Big Lake is on the Apache National Forest. It is about four miles east of the reservation boundary.
New Mexico is as bad if not worse than AZ regarding tolerance for the Lobo. It’s been well documented and discussed on this site that the recovery area on the NM side is extremely hostile toward wolf recovery, to the point of hysteria at times. A wolf siting in Catron county is cause for a code red; kids are hustled inside, doors are bolted shut, windows are shuttered and secured w/ plywood, air raid sirens blare. These are the same people who make their kids wait for the school bus in “wolf proof shelters”.
Until recently I thought rural AZ was more tolerant than rural NM but recent developments lead me to believe otherwise. The situation is digusting. It’s time to intensify law enforcement. These poachers need to be brought to justice.
More wolves need to be released. Currently there is a proposal for the release of a family of 8 wolves into the wilds of AZ but red tape is holding up the release and it is uncertain whether or no these wolves will even be released.
The recovery effort has been a joke, and is geared toward appeasing the rancher which we all know is pointless and a waste of time and resources.
I am sure you are right about the locals. It is the state’s general populaitons I was speaking of.
Why are we assuming that the people who shot these wolves in AZ are actually from AZ? They could just as easily be from NM. It’s only about 75 miles on good road from Reserve, NM, the county seat of Catron County, to Springerville/Eagar, AZ. From there, it’s a short jaunt on good gravel road to the home range of these animals.
I totally agree about enhanced law enforcement efforts and about the need for new releases.
You are correct there is no reason to believe that the poacher(s) couldn’t be from out of state. My point was in response to pointswest’s statement that NM is more favorable than AZ in terms of wolf recovery. Rural NM is no better than rural AZ regarding tolerance of the Lobo.
This breaks my heart.
I’m pulled back to Leopold’s thoughts on the “green fire”. He learned, he transformed, why can’t others?
This is some kind of hatred. Smells like big money to me. I can see a rancher shooting wolves on her property. I don’t like it but I can get my mind around it. This systematic slaughter goes way beyond that.
The feds spend big bucks tracking so called “eco-terrorists” but they can’t nail this SOB? They know when an EF!er farts. They can figure this out, come on!!
There are tens of thousands of dollars up for reward, someone needs to start talking so that their kid has a free ride at the university.
USFWS should move immediately to start a 2nd population, which would provide some much needed redundancy. One good choice would be Ted Turner’s Vermejo Ranch. The limited access afforded by private property (approx. 750 sq. miles in this case) would provide security against illegal shooting. Years ago Turner offered his ranch as an “experience center” where newly released wolves could learn to live (i.e. hunt) in the wild. Now is the time.
Agreed — seems obvious the Federal govt could solve at least some of these shootings if these crimes were given higher priority.
The key is for Federal officials to recognize that this is NOT about “poaching”. This is a systematic (& violent) effort to take down a Federal program. And its actually working.
I wonder how much was spent on the investigation into the arson fires at Vail? It would be interesting to compare cost of that investigation to the spending on law enforcement for Mex. wolves, along with the relative costs for facilities destroyed at Vail compared to the cost of wolf recovery program to date. Even without seeing any numbers, you just know this field is nowhere near level.
Good point Davej. Poaching is not severe enough a term to describe what’s happening. This truly looks like an organized effort to destroy the recovery of the Lobo.
“Good point Davej. Poaching is not severe enough a term to describe what’s happening.”
How about calling it ecoterrorism?
It doesn’t help when the federal gov regards the killing of these wolves as a misdemeanor offense- doesn’t it make sense to put some teeth into the crime- to send a message that poaching these wolves will carry consequences- as all of you have mentioned you can’t get 3 or 4 generations of wolf hatred to change overnight- but these killings seem to be very organized and are clearly not a coincidence
I’ve been wondering why I haven’t seen Tom Klumker posting on any of the blogs lately. Does anyone know where he’s been lately?
That outfitter from NM?