WildEarth Guardians Urges Fox Mountain Alpha Female Remain Wild…

August 14, 2012
Ken Salazar
Secretary of the Interior
Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington DC 20240
Dr. Benjamin Tuggle
Regional Director
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
P.O. Box 1306
Albuquerque, NM 87103

Re: Request to Stay Order to Capture and Remove Mexican Wolf AF1188 from the Wild

Dear Secretary Salazar and Dr. Tuggle:

Thank you for rescinding the August 8, 2012, kill order for Alpha Female 1188 of the Fox Mountain Mexican wolf pack, who has five pups, including four young of the year. We now request that you also stay your subsequent order to capture and remove AF1188 from the wild to a permanent holding facility.

AF1188 is one of six breeding females in a population of less than 60 Mexican wolves. It is essential to preserve breeding females in the wild to support recovery of the species.1

Wolf packs that lose one or more their alpha animals typically disband, which leaves pups and yearlings to strike out on their own and they may likely starve (Creel and Rotella 2010). Wolves, highly sentient beings, suffer emotional trauma from the loss of members of a pack (Mallonee 2011), and in this instance, placing a wild wolf into captivity away from her pack will cause her to suffer as well.

After consultation with a former USDA-Wildlife Services official, we believe the Fish and Wildlife Service will use leg-hold traps to capture AF1188. This creates a crisis for two reasons: wolves captured during the height of summer can die from exposure.

========

1 While the Fish and Wildlife Service claims that AF1188 is genetically similar to her mate, it has done nothing to
further genetic diversity within the population; the agency has also not released new lobos into the Blue Range Wolf
Recovery Area in more than 1366 days to diversify the population. Yet, the Service has also not hesitated to remove
multiple wolves from the population in the past.

Second, leghold traps do not discriminate between animals. There is no way to target AF1188 specifically, and her young pups, who are naïve, will most likely will be the subjects caught in traps set out for AF1188 (see e.g., Iossa et al. 2007).

Wolves caught in traps can suffer feet and leg injuries, which can compromise their future ability to course after their swift-moving prey (Iossa et al. 2007). Already, too many Mexican wolves have suffered trapping injuries or death from traps – at the hands of both governmental entities (one mortality in a trap) and non-governmental entities (14 wolves in 15 different trapping incidents with these results: 2 died, 7 sustained injuries, of which 3 had amputation surgeries) (Turnbull et al. 2011).

The Service has ordered the capture and removal of AF1188 because she presumably led her pack to prey upon domestic livestock. But the livestock producer has been compensated for his losses and removing individual wolves from the wild will not resolve future livestock conflicts. Livestock operators should be required to keep livestock away
from the wolf dens and rendezvous sites, and the federal government should retire grazing allotments in Mexican wolf range.

After years of drought in the Southwest, it makes good sense to remove domestic livestock from the range for a myriad of reasons including the fact that cattle consume forage needed by native herbivores – the species preferred by wolves. AF 1188 may have killed four domestic stock animals, but she is only doing what any mother would do in distress: provision for her pups to keep them alive. Through no fault of her own, she has domestic stock in her territory, and those livestock push out native wildlife through forage competition and leave few menu options for hungry wolves.

Please stay your order to remove AF1188 from the wild and immediately implement solutions to prevent future negative wolf-livestock conflicts in the Southwest.

Respectfully requested,

Wendy Keefover, Carnivore Protection Director
WildEarth Guardians

cc:
President Barack Obama
Senator Jeff Bingaman
Senator Tom Udall
Congressman Martin Heinrich
Congressman Ben Ray Luján

Top Photo: Courtesy WildEarth Guardians

Bottom Photo: USFWS

Posted in: Mexican Gray Wolf, Wolf Wars

Tags: Fox Mountain alpha female, keep her wild, no capture, remove cows, WildEarth Guardian

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Published in: on August 15, 2012 at 3:19 pm  Comments (26)  

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26 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Very good advice to keep cattle away from the wolves’ territory (many of them apparently are on public land, besides). Unfortunately, I doubt that the authorities are going to take the side of wolves over the cattlemen. There are ways to avoid wolf predation, but often the ranchers don’t want to bother taking those measures. If they were so concerned about their cattle, they would not leave them unprotected on the open range.

  2. Excellent letter from WildEarth Guardians!

  3. They should remain free and happy their whole natural life and without fear and torture and pain and fear of life.

  4. I agree that she belongs with her family FREE. At least she is not going to be killed so there is time to fight for her release and the safety of her family and other wolves.

  5. Excellent letter. We will continue our own calls and correspondence to further support these statements!

  6. I just called Heinrich office and was told the Wolf HAS been captured and “they” are working on legislation to free her?????????

  7. add to my prev. comment – I told the person in Heinrich office I had contacted my rep in Ca. asking for him to support Heinrich AND what can we do – that there is a lot of people who care deeply what happens to these animals and the nightmare in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho is horrible – she, of course, had no answer for me!

  8. This is an insanity, they want to remove her from her territory for such srupid reasons? If it’s someone’s fault about livestock losses, that’s irresponsible ranchers and wrongful administration…Feds better than anyone should know that Mexican wolves are HIGHLY endangered, so there is no excuse to be thinking in trapping or removing them from the wild! …..This recently exploded, I mean the slaughter, wolves have been persecuted for centuries, but this last years, hell we got an outbreak, feds and the other jolly a**es are getting too comfy with this, they have turned this into a “systematic” form of wolf terrorism, think about it, this started to spread from one state, then the surrounding ones, now all the places who are blessed with the presence for wolves are rushing to become a hell for wolves…I keep getting emails that we got 3 weeks left to stop the proposed Wyoming wolf slaughter, but I feel that they, the feds and all those idiots, just upload public opinion sites and comment boxes just for keeping us busy, if they CAN they WILL! they are the imposed “authority” who will they be asking permissions to? They don’t give a DAMN about what we, wolf lovers and defenders think..If they did, we wouldn’t be helplessly witnessing such slaughters…They DON’T listen to us, and as long as stupid people like Ken Salazar and Obama are the authority that will never change….What we need is people like us in their places, people that don’t favor money over the invaluable lives of wolves and wildlife, people that WILL do the correct thing under ANY circumstances, people who WANTS to preserve what should be preserved and in fact, DESERVES TO BE PRESERVED. I share this short thoughts that rumble in my mind every single day with you, the people in between the crowds that want to make a difference, that value such blessings that most people ignore, so you can know, and consider it as a fact, that I wont rest, I won’t desist nor I won’t surrender until the wolves are safe before those twisted rulers who think they can play gods….I’m here, whether sharing in Nabeki’s posts or not I’ll keep doing the correct thing.
    Thanks for all you do..
    Daniel.

  9. Plan pickets and sit-ins. Look at it the way the civil rights protesters did in the 60’s.

  10. I agree! SHE SHOULD REMAIN IN THE WILD AND RAISE HER 4 PUPS!

    • Of course she should… what a nightmare! Disgusting to say the very least/

  11. Young ones, whether human or mammal, need their mothers. In this case especially. They alpha female and male alpha do the hunting. It is thru no fault of their own (the wolf) that the hunters are making it difficult for them to hunt for their young. The farmers have only themselves to blame. As for that farmer that lost a few livestock, he should put a sock in his piehole. He was reimbursed and probably made out better then having to go thru the hoops of having the livestock slaughtered by means of transporting them to a slaughter house…or maybe he ‘whacks’ them right there on his farm…or has his kids draw the blood….who knows.

    We are not be able to all be together physically as one huge organization, but we are many organizations with many specialists in this field (unlike the farmers). The important thing is we all speak in on voice, and that voice is loud and clear.

    As for trying to deal with Salazar, his ears are plugged and he is only interested in what he can get from slaughtering wolves politically and monetarily. I’ve tried dealing with this blood thirsty leech several times. He is the worst enemy of the wolf. He’s in Obama pocket. Not sure which pocket. He’s a low life. He has to go.

    I sent the link from Defenders of Wildlife to Congressman Martin Heinrichs that shows the farmers extremely easy steps of ways of keeping their livestock safe. (Of course, they wouldn’t have anything to bitch about or any money and favors coming in under the table from the Obama administration.) The ways that Defenders show are so easy that is really does show what these farmers are truly about. They are not part of America. They are the KKK of the wolves.

    Anyhow, I do have to laugh at one thing. This administration wants to be re elected. I have only one thought on that, “HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!”

    • Great post, Anne!

    • Yes, but this is one area that the Republicans don’t do well at either; they are both horrid! Salazar should go to ____ though, for sure. He is in Obama’s pocket and the Ranchers pockets.
      He is just a blood sucking trophy killer for profit only.

  12. I did my part and called every number except could not get through to the white house,but I did leave an extra comment ,that Ken Salzar is a terrible sec. of Interior, I hope they let this wolf go !

  13. I agree she should stay with her family and remain Free. !

  14. Of course the Mother Wolf should stay with her pups and teach them to hunt their usual pray, teach them the way of the wolf. For if they take the mother then the pups will be starving and kill the only thing they can which would be a cow or sheep. Pups need their parents and their pack. If they take the mother into captivity she may well die from confinement after living in the wild.
    I fear Salazar knows all too well that if he takes the mother then the pack will disintegrate.

    We need a Secretary of Interior who understands the
    value of wolves and other wildlife.
    Salazar is rushing the approval for Wyoming to go ahead with their wolf management plan (killing plan) even though US Fish and Wildfie Service rejected a similar plan by Wyoming last year. The Yellowstone wolves will be in jeopardy if they stray from the park and they are the petri dish for learning about wolves. We need them.
    As I have said before the Cattlemen and the Federal Government had the wolves killed to extenction in the early 1900’s. The Livestock industry has had their way for 70 to 80 years and now it is the wolves turn to be here and our turn to have them here. If only the world were fair.

    • Very well said, Jane! Thanks for your wonderful post. Bob :-)

      • I agree completely, very well stated Jane!

  15. I have signed a petition to have this wolf left in freedom. This article is very well written, and I hope it gets the message we want thought.

  16. i had signed this petition. salazar is nathing more then a moron!!!!!OMG i just hate this bastard!!!!! am sorry but iam very upset with this bastard!!!!!

    • Marlene, Salazar is indeed a total bastard. But always keep in mind that he was put in his position, as the country’s chief wildlife officer, by President Barack Obama. Obama appointed Salazar and keeps him in that position. It is Obama who continues to betray America’s ecologically vital and beautiful wolves and other native wildlife, along with the humane and wildlife-loving American majority who voted for him. That is why I will not be voting for the first time ever in the upcoming election. Romney/Ryan is a sick choice for America’s wildlife and deserve no ones vote, but Obama lied about putting science above politics. I will not vote for Obama, the liar and wolf killer, who appointed Salazar the bastard and keeps him there to persecute and massacre wolves.

      • I agree. Sometimes not voting may be the only ethical choice.

  17. I’m not voting either Bob. Bernie Sanders voted against the budget wolf rider and is the only Senator that makes sense and he’s an independent. I’m writing him in.

    • Great idea, Bobette. Sen. Bernie Sanders is wonderful. To hear he voted against the wolf rider makes him my write-in choice, too. Thanks for sharing that :-) We should spread the word for him!

  18. mi apoyo a los que estan encontra de la cazeria del lobo


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