Mexican Wolf numbers fall

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azbackpackr
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Mexican Wolf numbers fall

Post by azbackpackr » Feb 10 2010 5:25 am

The US fish and wildlife service is saying that the number of Mexican wolves in the wild has fallen to 42. Here is some info about it:

http://mexicanwolves.org/
Mexican wolf population dipping

Officials say total from last year was down nearly 20%



The Mexican wolf population in Arizona and New Mexico plunged to its lowest level in seven years in 2009, with eight wolves including four pups found dead last year, officials said Friday.

Last year's total of 42 wolves found in the wild was down nearly 20 percent from 52 wolves in 2008. Since the wolf recovery plan began back in 1998, the U.S. government has spent about $20 million trying to restore wolves in Eastern Arizona and southwest New Mexico, federal records show. Ninety-two total wolves have been released into the wild.

The decline is "tremendously disconcerting and very disturbing," said Benjamin Tuggle, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's regional director for the Southwest.

Officials thought this would be a good year for wolf pups. Also, the service didn't permanently remove any wolves from the wild last year, as it usually does after ranchers complain the wolves are eating cattle, he said.

"I am determined to identify the reasons for this decline and turn the situation around so we can see more Mexican wolves in the wild during 2010," Tuggle said in a news conference by telephone Friday.

Two wolves were confirmed to have been shot to death last year. Tuggle said he is not ruling out the possibility that the other six dead wolves were shot. Those deaths are under law enforcement investigation.

"I don't think we can make any assumptions," Tuggle said. "It has a lot to do with the condition of carcasses. I think the two that we can clearly say were shot were fresh enough" carcasses to make such a determination, he said.

An unusually poor survival rate among wolf pups appeared to play a key role in last year's population decline, officials indicated. Thirty-one pups were born last year in seven wolf packs. Seven survived, the wildlife service said.

Normally, the wild wolf pup mortality rate is about 50 percent, Tuggle said. Only four of the non-surviving pups were found dead, meaning that the rest either "slipped under the census or they are no longer on the landscape," he said, meaning they are dead.

Typically, the service relies on pup survival and reintroductions of wolves who come from breeding facilities to add wolf populations. Since there were no reintroductions last year, "we were relying primarily on pup counts," he said.

Craig Miller, who works with Defenders of Wildlife, a national conservation organization, blamed poaching as the likely culprit.

"Mexican wolves are in big trouble. With numbers so perilously low, every single wolf in the wild counts toward the animal's survival. Turning this dire situation around will require every effort by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to craft a science-based recovery plan that pays careful attention to genetic issues. The service must also make a renewed commitment to keep wolves on the ground," said Miller, Defenders' Southwest representative.

Tom Buckley, a service spokesman, said he expects the service will prepare a wolf recovery plan but he doesn't know when. Recovery plans are usually required for endangered species such as Mexican wolves but are often delayed due to budget issues and other reasons.

BY THE NUMBERS
Last year's federal wolf census found 27 wolves in Arizona and 15 in New Mexico, compared with 23 in Arizona and 29 in New Mexico in 2008.

This story appeared in the Arizona Daily Star on February 6: http://www.azstarnet.com/news/science/e ... d1620.html
Please submit a letter to the editor! letters@azstarnet.com
URGENT! ACTION NEEDED to save Mexican wolves!

Decline puts wolves on the brink of extinction



The US Fish and Wildlife Service revealed a frightening 20% decline in wild wolf numbers Saturday -only 42 Mexican wolves remain in the wilds of Arizona and New Mexico. If this dire situation continues, it will lead to the second extinction of Mexican wolves in the wild.

We must act now to make sure that it doesn’t.

Here is what you can do:

WRITE TO SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR KEN SALAZAR AND U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE DIRECTOR SAM HAMILTON and tell them:

1. A 20 percent decline in this population is unacceptable. We want wolves to survive and thrive in the southwest.

2. The US Fish and Wildlife Service took a step in the right direction in 2009 when they decided to leave wolves charged with livestock depredations in the wild and to reassert agency authority over the Mexican wolf project. The current situation points to a clear and urgent need for additional changes.

3. To immediately and aggressively to recover Mexican wolves from the brink of extinction, the Fish and Wildlife Service must:
* Give Mexican gray wolves greater endangered species protections
* Release more wolves into the wild and bolster the genetic fitness of the population
* Bring the criminals killing our wolves to justice
* Write a new science-based Recovery Plan the outdated 1982 plan is not working.

Addresses for Secretary Salazar and Director Hamilton:
Ken Salazar
U.S. Secretary of the Interior
1849 C. Street, NW
Washington, DC 20240
Email: exsec@ios.doi.gov

Sam Hamilton, Director
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

1849 C. Street NW
Washington, DC 20240
Email: sam_hamilton@fws.gov

Please copy your letter to Congress-click here for a list of AZ and NM members of Congress

WRITE LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Talking points, a sample letter to the editor, and contact information for editors of southwest papers are below. Additional letter writing tips and contact information for editors can also be found on our website at: http://www.mexicanwolves.org/index.php? ... to-editors.

In writing your letter, please emphasize why Mexican wolves and their recovery are so important to you and to our wild places.

Your letter should open by referencing the article, i.e. “I’m writing in response to the 2/5 article in the [name of paper],” and then go straight to your message.

BELOW ARE SIMPLE TALKING POINTS TO EMPHASIZE:

There are only 42 Mexican Gray Wolves left in the wild in the United States, putting them on the brink of a second extinction.

This decline is not through any fault of the wolves, who have done everything needed to survive in the wild; they have formed packs, had pups, and successfully hunted native prey. The decline is human-caused and must be human-remedied.

The Fish and Wildlife Service must:
* Give Mexican gray wolves greater endangered species protections
* Release more wolves into the wild and bolster the genetic fitness of the population
* Bring the criminals killing our wolves to justice
* Write a new science-based Recovery Plan because the outdated 1982 plan is not working.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service is operating under a flawed 28-year old recovery plan that does not include recovery criteria, does not incorporate modern science, and has done little to protect the Mexican Wolf. This long-term mismanagement threatens the very existence of the species.

It’s time for a new, modern Recovery Plan that will bring Mexican Wolves back from the brink of extinction and restore a healthy wild wolf population.


HERE ARE SOME GENERAL SUPPORTIVE TALKING POINTS THAT CAN ALSO BE INCLUDED:

* Wolves are beautiful animals that belong in Nature.
* Wolves are a benefit to the West.
* Wildlife biologists believe that once they are fully restored, Mexican wolves will improve the overall health of southwest ecosystems – just as the return of gray wolves has resulted in numerous positive changes in Yellowstone National Park.
* Wolves have done what’s needed to survive in the wild: they have formed packs, had pups and successfully hunted native prey.
* The overwhelming majority of southwest residents support the recovery of the Mexican gray wolf.

SAMPLE LETTER (This is intended to give an example only-please write your own letter in your own words)

Dear Editor,

I’m responding to the article about Mexican gray wolves published on February 6, 2010. As the article states, latest population count has found there are only 42 of these wolves in the wild, making it the most endangered mammal in North America. This isn’t surprising when you consider the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is relying on a recovery plan developed 28 years ago that lacks modern science and simple recovery criteria.

Wolves have done what’s needed to survive in the wild. They’ve formed packs, had pups and successfully hunted native prey. But they need our help to get more than a toehold in the wilds of the Southwest. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service can help them by developing a modern recovery plan that uses the best available science and prioritizes wolf recovery.

While the recovery plan is being developed, the Service must immediately begin supplementing the wild population with new releases. Bolstering the genetic fitness of the wild wolves is a critical concern.

Sincerely,

Jane Doe
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JimmyLyding
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Re: Mexican Wolf numbers fall

Post by JimmyLyding » Jan 01 2012 7:04 pm

http://www.mercurynews.com/news/ci_19614609

Apparently a lone gray wolf is making news by having strayed into California from Oregon. The fact that a pack has established itself in Oregon is news to me as well. I wish the Mexican gray wolves in AZ & NM could catch a break

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chumley
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Re: Mexican Wolf numbers fall

Post by chumley » Feb 03 2012 5:14 pm

Numbers are up in the latest report. 58, up from 50 last year. There are only 6 breeding pairs, up from just 2 last year. 18 pups born last year survived through Dec.31.

http://azgfd.net/artman/publish/NewsMed ... e-up.shtml
Arizona Game and Fish Department conducts 2011 population surveys in state for multi-agency Mexican wolf program

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), Arizona Game and Fish Department and other partners in the Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project announced earlier today that the endangered Mexican wolf population count increased to a minimum of 58 wolves compared to last year’s count of 50.

The increase is encouraging news for the multi-agency program, especially considering that the state’s largest wildfire, the Wallow, burned through three packs’ denning areas within weeks of pups being born.

The wolf project stimulates high public interest, and the public often asks Game and Fish how wolf population surveys are conducted and what the department’s role in the project is.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department dedicates five staff to the Interagency Field Team (IFT), the multi-agency group that oversees on-the-ground wolf conservation activities. Game and Fish’s IFT staff are responsible for the day-to-day management of wolves; coordinating and conducting the annual population counts; and, any helicopter-associated wolf captures in Arizona on public lands and on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation.

In addition, the department provides pilots and fixed-wing planes to assist in locating wolves via telemetry signals prior to the helicopter counts and any capture efforts throughout the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area (BRWRA), which encompasses parts of Arizona and New Mexico. This year the department conducted the surveys in Arizona, while FWS conducted them in New Mexico.

Other specially-trained Game and Fish personnel that are not part of the IFT assist with capture operations in Arizona to ensure darting and net-gunning activities are conducted in the safest and most proficient manner possible.

Even before aerial operations begin, Game and Fish’s IFT staff are involved in estimating the number of uncollared wolves present in Arizona. They begin surveying for uncollared wolves months earlier through howling surveys, track surveys, use of trail cameras and other methods. They also contact stakeholders, such as landowners and grazing permittees, in the wolf reintroduction area to advise them of upcoming surveys and collect any wolf activity information from them.

“Developing partnerships with these critical stakeholders and implementing proactive management efforts to reduce wolf-livestock interactions on public and private lands is, we believe, the key to the long-term survival of the wolves in the Southwest,” said Director Larry Voyles of the Arizona Game and Fish Department. “Building public tolerance by those who live on the land and must coexist with the wolf is crucial to the success of the Mexican wolf program in Arizona.

“Every biologist who works on an endangered species repatriation project prays for the day that wild-born progeny are on the ground,” said Voyles. “The IFT estimates that more than 90 percent of the collared wolves on the ground today in Arizona were born in the wild. Further, we have at least an 18 percent increase in total numbers and a 150 percent increase in breeding pairs over 2010 numbers.

“Even though these numbers are below the target levels specified in the environmental impact statement developed when the program began, these elements exhibit a cornerstone achievement in Mexican wolf conservation,” continued Voyles, “and this year’s count gives credence to the fact that we are moving in a positive direction.”

The IFT estimates the Mexican wolf population at a minimum count level because it is impossible to find and verify every uncollared animal that may exist in the wild. However, the 2011 population count is considered one of the most inclusive because the IFT trapped and collared 16 wolves this fall, allowing biologists to more accurately track and estimate the population than in years when fewer animals were collared.

Population survey and management activities conducted by Game and Fish’s IFT staff are funded by contracts and grants from FWS; no sportsmen-generated funds are used for these count efforts.

The project’s other cooperative partners include FWS, White Mountain Apache Tribe, USDA Forest Service, USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service – Wildlife Services, and Graham, Greenlee and Navajo Counties.

For more information on the Mexican wolf in Arizona, visit http://www.azgfd.gov/wolf.
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azbackpackr
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Re: Mexican Wolf numbers fall

Post by azbackpackr » Feb 03 2012 6:37 pm

Good news!
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Re: Mexican Wolf numbers fall

Post by JimmyLyding » Feb 03 2012 10:42 pm

It almost sounds like those wolves are in a zoo. It's still good news that their numbers are increasing rather than declining.
There has been substantial financial and professional investment into the Mexican wolf reintroduction that it's only natural that so many resources are devoted to furthering the program. I wish that the local communities were so invested, if only emotionally (in a positive manner).
Wolves have proven to be very adept at recolonizing areas from which they were previously extirpated as long as they're allowed to flourish. The habitat in Arizona and New Mexico is not as productive for wolves as the Northern Rockies, but it's still clear that these animals can succeed when they are allowed to.

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Re: Mexican Wolf numbers fall

Post by azbackpackr » Feb 04 2012 5:01 am

The locals in the White Mountains are not going to suddenly become wolf lovers. In fact, as wolf populations increase in Montana and Idaho, anti-wolf organizations continue to grow in those areas as well, and their dialog spills over into our area in Arizona/NM. The latest thing, which has brought a lot of people over to the anti-wolf side of the controversy, is that fully 2/3 of the wolves in the northern states are infected with an extremely nasty disease called Echinococcosis, also known as Hydatid Disease.
http://westinstenv.org/wildpeop/2010/01 ... tapeworms/

As far as I know, the Arizona/NM "government" wolves don't have Hydatid Disease, seeing as they are closely monitored by the USFWS, etc. It's not unthinkable, however, that our wolves could migrate north and their wolves migrate south, and form a linked population, which of course then could spread that disease.
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
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writelots
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Re: Mexican Wolf numbers fall

Post by writelots » Feb 04 2012 4:49 pm

And we all know what this sort of disease spreading did to help Yellowstone's Bison population...

Sigh. When will people begin to realize that it's NOT all about us? :(
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Re: Mexican Wolf numbers fall

Post by outdoor_lover » Feb 04 2012 5:36 pm

writelots wrote:Sigh. When will people begin to realize that it's NOT all about us?
Never.... :(
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azbackpackr
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Re: Mexican Wolf numbers fall

Post by azbackpackr » Feb 04 2012 5:40 pm

This disease is extremely nasty. Very nasty. You get it, you don't know you have it until your organs are destroyed. I don't blame people like my brother, who lives out on the land in Idaho, for being concerned about it, since the growth of wolf population in that state has been kind of phenomenal over the past 10 years or so.
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.

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red_dog
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Re: Mexican Wolf numbers fall

Post by red_dog » Mar 15 2012 12:45 pm

Well, the reintroduction in Mexico isn’t doing too well.
Of 5 wolves released last Oct in northern Mexico, 4 have already been found dead (poisoning).

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azbackpackr
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Re: Mexican Wolf numbers fall

Post by azbackpackr » Mar 15 2012 1:22 pm

Major waste of money, and animals, I'd say. That's too bad. I am sure there are plenty of "anti" types in Mexico, as in AZ and NM.
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
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chumley
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Re: Mexican Wolf numbers fall

Post by chumley » Feb 24 2015 10:32 pm

2014 MEXICAN WOLF POPULATION SURVEY COMPLETE - POPULATION EXCEEDS 100 -
The Mexican Wolf Interagency Field Team (IFT) has completed its annual year-end population survey, documenting a minimum of 109 Mexican wolves in the wild in Arizona and New Mexico at the end of 2014. At the end of 2013, 83 wild wolves were counted. This is the fourth consecutive year with at least a 10 percent increase in the known population – a 31 percent increase in 2014.
An increase in 26 wolves from last year! Pretty cool.

The Wallow Fire happened in 2011. I'm not sure what percentage of wolf habitat was impacted by fire, but it is a substantial percentage. I wonder if there is any relation to the population increase, or if the fire effects are unrelated.

Read the full report here:
http://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/mexican ... 3-2015.pdf
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chumley
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Re: Mexican Wolf numbers fall

Post by chumley » Dec 17 2018 11:32 am

USFS seeks to revoke grazing permit for rancher who killed an endangered Mexican gray wolf.

The outcome of the appeal will set a noteworthy precedent.

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/lo ... 232098002/
The U.S. Forest Service has moved to revoke a New Mexico rancher’s grazing permit after he admitted trapping an endangered Mexican gray wolf and hitting it with a shovel. The wolf later died, according to a spokeswoman for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service...

The permit has allowed [the rancher] to graze hundreds of cattle across nearly 50,000 acres of the Gila National Forest in New Mexico. He must remove his cattle or appeal the Forest Service’s decision within 45 days from November 29 ... [an appeal] will set in motion a process that could take around six months...

...grazing permit terms require ranchers to comply with federal laws protecting wildlife and other aspects of the environment.

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Re: Mexican Wolf numbers fall

Post by Tough_Boots » Dec 17 2018 1:18 pm

$5 says those Bundy idiots take a trip to NM soon.
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