December 11, 2023 | By:

Conservationists Submit Letter to USFWS Requesting Revisions to the Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan

Mexican gray wolf

Mexican gray wolf (Source: AZ Game and Fish Department)

On December 1, the following letter was submitted to the leaders of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service concerning the Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan 5-Year Status Evaluation:

We write today urging that you use the upcoming five-year status evaluation of the Mexican gray wolf Recovery Plan to take an honest, hard look at the current demographic and genetic status of the Mexican gray wolf population in the wild and to make essential improvements to ensure the species is set on a path to real recovery. Despite the best efforts of many dedicated agencies and individuals, the Mexican wolf is currently on a trajectory more likely to result in extinction than recovery and we fear that without a candid evaluation of the facts at hand (and subsequent action), the Service will be unable to change that outcome.

Before detailing our suggested areas of focus and recommendations for improved metrics, we acknowledge that the status evaluation of the Recovery Plan is not a formal agency decision; nor does the evaluation’s completion require public engagement. However, the intense public interest in the plan, as evidenced both by prior extensive comments and current litigation, should persuade the Service to seriously consider these comments as this administrative evaluation is conducted. Just because the Service is not legally compelled to listen to the public is no reason to ignore it, and we ask that you take our comments into consideration as you conduct the evaluation.

We have identified three significant ways in which the recovery plan is out of step with the current realities of the Mexican gray wolf population, factors which were not yet manifest at the time during either the First or Second revision of the recovery plan.

  • First is that the recovery of the Mexican wolf in Mexico has badly faltered and is currently stalled out.
  • Second, physical evidence of inbreeding may be emerging in the wild population and there is no plan in place for addressing it.
  • Third, the recent 10j authorization for wolf reintroduction of gray wolves in Colorado jeopardizes the health of the Mexican wolf population in ways that were not foreseen in earlier planning efforts.

Read the full Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan 5-Year Status Evaluation Letter.

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