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Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery Update

Mexican gray wolf

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

By Dave Parsons, TRI Carnivore Conservation Biologist

A year ago, in our Healing Nature’s Wounds Campaign, we listed science-based upgrades to Mexican gray wolf recovery and management as our third priority. Below is the plank from the original HNW Campaign:

  1. Science must inform the recovery of the critically endangered Mexican Gray Wolf. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is revising its 2015 Mexican gray wolf management rule, which a Federal court found does not rely on the best available science and violates the Endangered Species Act by failing to conserve the endangered Mexican wolf. In response to the USFWS’s request for public input, 87,000 comments were submitted, with most requesting that the agency follow the court order and base the revised management rule on independent academic science rather than political pressure. A science-based management rule will designate Mexican wolves as essential, lead to a distribution and population size that achieves ecological effectiveness, ameliorate the crisis of declining genetic diversity, and require measurable standards for assuring progress toward recovery benchmarks. Further, a new rule should prescribe the release of bonded wolf families into the wild, taking into consideration the highly social nature of wolves. Finally, a new rule must limit human-caused mortality and include firm requirements to prevent conflicts with livestock and to support non-lethal resolution of conflicts. We urge the incoming administration to revise the proposed rule based on the best available science, ensuring the long-term recovery of Mexican gray wolves in the Southwest.

Update – February 1, 2022.

The comment period on the USFWS’s proposed revised Mexican wolf management rule ended on January 27, 2022. As a reminder, the Judge ruled that the original 2015 rule was not based on the best available science, would not further the conservation of Mexican wolves, and was inappropriately linked to a non-binding, discretionary recovery plan which calls for nearly a third of the necessary recovery to occur in Mexico.

Remarkably, the proposed revision is not substantially changed from the 2015 rule and fails to adequately address issues raised in the 2018 Court Order. Mexican gray wolves will remain at risk of extinction under the proposed rule. Collaborating with Project Coyote, we submitted extensive comments and recommendations for bringing the rule into compliance with the court order and rendering it science-based and sufficient to ensure recovery and long-term sustainability of the Lobos of the Southwest. (See in full here: Final Comments on Revision to the MW 10(j) Rule.)

Learn more about The Saga of the Mexican Gray Wolf (el Lobo).

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Gary Christensen - February 4, 2022

The worlds resources are overrun and utterly being consumed because of the sheer numbers of human “critters”, and our DEMANDS, on the planet! Until we learn the carrying capacity of our(?)world we’re doomed to our own demise and extinction and the destruction of the world!

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Makuye - February 4, 2022

Here’s an “Animalia” take on the border wall problem:
https://preview.mailerlite.com/e0d9i6h0s7/1878432389319890505/g1f5/

Here’s a note by Pacific Wild on the problem of human intrusion on wild habitat, causal to the misattibution of wolf as extirpator of woodland caribou, when in reality is is loging, understory removal, and roading that critically endangered the latter, with the usual sport hunting:
https://mailchi.mp/pacificwild/share-your-love-with-friends-family-this-holiday-season-1759193?e=d9a009e3b6

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