New Mexico ranchers’ use of technology to track wolves debated

Only 39 Mexican wolves remain in the wild after several poaching incidents.

Conservation groups are asking the USFWS to retrieve telemetry equipment from ranchers and change the frequencies of the radio collars on the wolves so that people with receivers cannot find wolves and kill them. They argue, correctly in my estimation, that the radio frequencies are compromised.

New Mexico ranchers’ use of technology to track wolves debated
El Paso Times

US Fish and Wildlife Service to Review Status of Mexican Wolf to Determine if it is an Endangered Subspecies

Change could result in greater protections for Mexican Gray Wolf

The USFWS has announced that they will review the status of the Mexican Gray Wolf as an endangered subspecies. The reclassification would require the Service to rewrite their recovery plan and designate critical habitat.

Mexican Gray Wolf May Qualify for Endangered Species Protection Separate From Other Gray Wolves.  Recognition Would Boost Wolf Recovery
Center for Biological Diversity – News release

Feds to review status of Mexican gray wolf
By SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN (AP)

Service to Review Status of Mexican Wolf to Determine if it is an Endangered Subspecies.
Fish and Wildlife Service Newsroom

Governor Stands Up For Mexican Wolves

Governor Richardson Issues Trapping Restrictions in Lobo Country

Governor Stands Up For Mexican Wolves .
WildEarth Guardians – Press Release

Gray wolf shot in AZ; officials probe use of radio tracking

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

USFWS PRESS RELEASE

ANOTHER MEXICAN WOLF FOUND ILLEGALLY SHOT IN ARIZONA

USFWS contact: Tom Buckley, 505-248-6455
Arizona Game and Fish Department contact: Bruce Sitko, 928-367-4281

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) Law Enforcement Agents recovered the body of another dead Mexican wolf on Thursday July 15, 2010. The wolf, AM 1189, is the second adult male of the Hawks Nest Pack found shot, and the third Mexican wolf found dead within the past month. Killing a Mexican wolf is a violation of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended.

The carcass of male wolf 1189 was located northeast of Big Lake, within 2 miles of where the carcass of another wolf from the hawks nest pack, 1044, was found on June 18. The pack traditionally uses the area east of Big Lake on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests as their spring-summer breeding territory.

Read the rest of this entry »

USFWS investigates Mexican wolf killings

Two Dead, another missing

Two alpha males Mexican gray wolves have been found dead under suspicious circumstances and another collared alpha male wolf is missing. This is a disaster for the struggling population of wolves in Arizona and New Mexico.

US investigates wolf killings.
Tony Davis Arizona Daily Star

Wolf-recovery program now ‘at risk of failure’

Cumulative impacts of many factors cited

A new report by the Us Fish and Wildlife Service assesses the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program and the news isn’t good.

Cumulatively there are many risks for the population.  Among them are poaching, too many controls related to depredation, small litter sizes and low pup survival possibly related to inbreeding.

The report states:

While it is not biologically reasonable to expect the population to track exactly with predictions or to increase every year, population swings over the last 5 years, coupled with a steady decline in the number of breeding pairs over the last 3 years, and inability of the project to achieve its objective to increase the minimum population by 10 percent in each of the last 2 years, indicate that the cumulative effects of identified threats coupled with the population’s biological parameters are putting the population at risk of failure.

Wolf-recovery program now ‘at risk of failure’.
Tim Steller Arizona Daily Star

Mexico to place 5 wolves near AZ

REINTRODUCTION PLANNED AS EARLY AS THIS MONTH

This story appeared last week while I was gone and there was a little discussion about it on the open thread but I think it deserves its own thread.

The significance of this story is not so much that wolves are being released into the wild but that it is happening in Mexico close to the border and that if any of these wolves or their progeny enter into the U.S. they will have full protection under the Endangered Species Act and cannot be legally killed even if they are preying on livestock.

This would have significant implications for the floundering Mexican wolf recovery program in Arizona and New Mexico which announced that there are only 42 wolves in the wild, down from the 52 last year. These wolves are considered an experimental, non-essential population.

One of the main hinderances of the current recovery program in Arizona and New Mexico is that there are arbitrary boundaries inside which the wolves must stay. Wolves reintroduced into Mexico would not have these boundaries because they wouldn’t be considered an experimental, non-essential population under the Endangered Species Act.

Mexico to place 5 wolves near AZ
Tim Steller – Arizona Daily Star

Wolf pups rescued; some found dead

Some worry that Mexican Gray wolf pups were abandoned due to human activity near densite.

Wolf pups rescued; some found dead
By SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN – Associated Press Writer

Forest Service rubberstamps grazing in Mexican wolf territory

The Mexican wolf has many strikes against is restoration. The was allowed to become extinct in the wild, so every sucessfully “rewilded” wolf is very valuable. It’s territory has been artificially limited to “the box,” a relatively small area bestride the Arizona-New Mexico border. It’s restoration area, some of which is designated wilderness, is mostly full of cattle, many of them poorly attended to with dead cows allowed to fester and attract scavengers, including wolves.

Wild Again has a disturbing article how the US Forest Service is rubberstamping grazing permits on the Gila National Forest. Well, In the midst of New Mexico’s Wolf Awareness Week, Forest Guardians and Sinapu filed suit in federal district court . . . to overturn all decisions in which the Forest Service allowed livestock grazing on the Gila National Forest in New Mexico without public participation or consideration of impacts to endangered species.

Full Story at Wild Again (Sinapu)