Mexican Wolf FWS Scoping Period Webinar Resources
Welcome to the Mexican Wolf Scoping Period webinar replay and resources page where you can watch the replay of the 5/12/2020 Mexican Gray Wolf Comments Webinar With Dave Parsons and Kim Crumbo, learn where and how to submit your comment during the FWS scoping period, and check out the Q/A generated from the webinar live attendees questions in chat.
While the increasing number of Mexican wolves in the wild is encouraging, many problems persist that continue to threaten their survival. These include severe genetic inbreeding, excessive human-caused mortality by both poachers and the agency managers (the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the States), and political opposition to the recovery effort primarily from the States and hunting and livestock interests.
In this webinar, Dave Parsons and Kim Crumbo gave a history of the problems, ranging from poor genetic diversity, to current and possible range of reintroduction of Mexican wolves.
Make Your Comments>> Talking points and form link
We will be adding answers to the following questions asked on the live webinar over the coming days. We left out the questions that are answered in the replay above.
- What excuses, if any, is USFWS offering for its failure to attend to the need for more genetic diversity among Mexican gray wolves?
- The USFWS offers no excuses for the failing genetic health of the wild population. Rather, they and the States point to the increasing numbers of Lobos in the wild as the success story. They ignore the fact that genetic rescue measures are more effective when the inbred population is small.
- Is there an active captive breeding program happening at the Julian, Ca. Wolf Research Center?
- Was the recent killing of the wolves for ranchers complaining about their livestock legal?
- Yes, it is allowed under the 2015 Non-Essential Experimental Population rule, which remains in effect until the USFWS revises the rule per the Court Order. The Order requires USFWS to issue a new rule by May 2021. Your comments should address changes you want to see in the new rule.
- Is it widely perceived that FWS is purposefully negligent in the declining genetic health of the Mexican Wolf population?
- Likely not. The USFWS and the States rarely mention the genetics problems. Rather, they measure success by yearly population increases.
- Do we know if any current federal elected officials (Senators, House) are allies to Mexican Wolf recovery?
- Yes, two examples are Senator Martin Heinrich, who in the mid 1990s was a field technician for the Mexican Wolf Recovery Project, and Raul Grijalva, Chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources.
- Are the Fort Apache and San Carlos Indian Nations actively on board with supporting recovery efforts nearest the core restoration area?
- Currently the Fort Apache Nation supports wolf recovery on their lands but the San Carlos does not.
- The Southwest has been particularly hard-hit by climate change. What impact does that have on suitable habitat for wolves?
- We are not experts on this topic, but it is commonly understood that habitat changes will occur. Wolves require abundant populations of large ungulates like elk and deer. If climate change affects the distribution and abundance of ungulates, the wolves will follow their prey and adjust to any changes in prey abundance. The general trend in the movement of floral and faunal assemblages is expected to be upward in elevation and northward. This underscores the importance of conserving large connected areas of wildlands.
- How can those of us upset at “game” management domination in wildlife agencies get involved in pushing for wildlife governance reform?
- Currently, most efforts to reform wildlife governance are occurring at the state level. Coalitions have formed in some states to develop goals and strategies for reforming their “Game and Fish Departments.” Check with the known conservation leaders and organizations in your state to see if anyone is actively engaged in this important issue. If not, consider starting such a movement in your state. Many of the large conservation groups are actively engaged in reforming wildlife governance at the federal level. These efforts need to be expanded and supported.
- What, if any, under-crossings or over-crossings been built into, or retrofitted onto, federal and state freeways to allow wildlife movement and migration?
- Was Kim saying that if Rocky Mountain gray wolves “met” lobos above I-40 that that would be good for genetic diversity (and not compromise efforts to preserve the subspecies)?
- What recommendations or information should the US Forest Service contribute to the current 10J rule revision?