Mexican Gray Wolf Numbers Increase But Still A Long Way To Go…..

Two Middle Fork pups in the summer of 2011 photo courtesy of the Mexican wolf interagency field team

“Two Middle Fork pups in the summer of 2011” USFWS

The number of Mexican gray wolves has increased to 83. That’s up from 75 last year but the feds have much more to do,  to make good on their promises to recover this critically endangered wolf.

Wolf population growing, but not enough to please advocates

PHOENIX – The number of Mexican gray wolves roaming eastern Arizona and western New Mexico increased by eight to 83 wolves in the past year, according to a recent survey by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Noting that the population has increased for four straight years, federal and state officials said in a news release that the recovery program has saved the Mexican gray wolf from extinction. However, wildlife advocates said that the effort hasn’t gone far enough to ensure the species’ genetic diversity.

“I’m happy we have seen an increase in population for four years in a row,” said Michael Robinson, a conservation advocate for the Tucson-based Center of Biological Diversity. “What’s worrisome is the number of breeding pairs.”

A group of seven wolves was released in the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area in 1998, starting the reintroduction program. Since then, the U.S. Wildlife and Fish Service has been managing and keeping track of the wolf population while also introducing captive wolves into the wild.

Robinson said there isn’t enough genetic variability among the wild wolves because officials haven’t released enough captive wolves.

“The original genetic diversity has not been maximized, and this means smaller litter sizes and lower pup survival rates,” he said.

Read More: http://cronkitenewsonline.com/2014/02/wolf-population-growing-but-not-enough-to-please-advocates/

This was the situation just 3 1/2 years ago:

Mexican Gray Wolves On The Brink!

https://howlingforjustice.wordpress.com/2010/07/04/mexican-gray-wolves-on-the-brink/

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Photo: Courtesy USFWS

Posted in: Mexican Gray Wolf

Tags: Mexican gray wolf, critically endangered, inbreeding, more releases needed. expand wolves’ range, USFWS

Feds Again Delay Release of Wolf Pack in Arizona

 

Center For Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, October 8, 2010

Feds Again Delay Release of Wolf Pack in Arizona

SILVER CITY, N.M.— The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today again delayed releasing a pack of eight wolves — badly needed to bolster the dwindling number of Mexican gray wolves in the Southwest — into the Arizona wild. The Engineer Springs pack would infuse new genetics into a wolf population suffering from inbreeding.

The decision is a capitulation to the Arizona Game and Fish Department, which has held up release of these wolves throughout 2010 and meanwhile has demanded resumption of federal trapping and shooting of wolves that prey on livestock.

“Continuing to postpone this wolf family’s release casts fresh doubts on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s commitment to recovering this highly endangered and iconic animal of the Southwest,” said Michael Robinson of the Center for Biological Diversity. “The delay announced today demonstrates that the Arizona Game and Fish Department, working at the behest of the livestock industry, still wields veto power over the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and trumps the views of scientists.”

In December 2009, the Center and other conservation groups settled a lawsuit with Fish and Wildlife in which the federal agency acknowledged that a consortium of agencies led by Arizona Game and Fish had no authority over the federal reintroduction program.

“The Fish and Wildlife Service should honor its settlement agreement and make decisions based on what scientists think is best for this wolf population, not the political resistance of Arizona Game and Fish,” said Robinson.

The Mexican wolf population has declined or stayed stagnant for four years. Just 42 animals were counted in the wild in a survey in January, which was a 19-percent decline from the year before. A new count will be conducted in January 2011.

Only one Mexican wolf has been released into the wild from the captive-breeding program, without having previously been removed from the wild, over the past four years. That was in November 2008.

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2010/mexican-gray-wolf-10-08-2010.html
  

Photo: Courtesy USFWS (F511 in Pre-release pen)

Posted in: Mexican gray wolf

Tags: The Engineer Springs Pack, Mexican gray wolves, inbreeding, Arizona Game and Fish, Michael Robinson

  

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