To the Editor:
From a recent article published in Lobos of the Southwest, Silver City, N.M.:
“With federal funds flowing once again, the Arizona Game and Fish Department will resume efforts this week to capture and permanently incarcerate two Mexican gray wolves. Along with the aerial darting of the two Arizona wolves, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has approved the trapping of one wolf in New Mexico.” Why? For the heinous crime of cattle depredation, for which the livestock owners have been or will be compensated.
Mexican gray wolves (lobos), once native to Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Mexico, are the most endangered wolves in the world. They were reintroduced into Arizona and New Mexico in 1998.
Only 75 now live in the wild. Of this handful, there are only three breeding pairs. From the last seven survivors of a previous era of federal wolf persecution, today’s wild lobos are affected by inbreeding, resulting in smaller litters and lower pup-survival.
Compounding the problem are USFWS wolf removals; poaching; and the Service’s release of only one wolf from the captive-breeding population into the wild in five years.
The USFWS’s decision to trap these three animals is a severe blow to the species recovery. These wolves should be allowed to remain in the wild.
Submit comments online: http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=FWS-R2-ES-2013-0056 or call USFWS in Washington, D.C. 1-800-344-9453.