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
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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azbackpackr
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Re: Mexican Wolf numbers fall

Post by azbackpackr » Feb 04 2011 10:21 am

Unit 1 is a good one.
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A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.

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Re: Mexican Wolf numbers fall

Post by JimmyLyding » Feb 06 2011 10:42 pm

I read David Quammen's book "Monster of God" a few years ago. It's about how humans interact with large and dangerous predators like Asiatic lions, saltwater crocodiles, and tigers. One of his main conclusions is that animals and other species of the same ilk need to be managed with the goals of not only preserving them, but letting local people benefit from them. Tourism is part of it, but so is hunting. People are more likely to protect animals that provide quantitative value to themselves. So much of wildlife conservation is qualitative, and very little is quantitative. At least that's how Quammen sees it.

Obviously the Mexican wolf population in the Southwest isn't ready to face pressure from legal hunting, but hopefully one day we'll see a wolf population that can sustain hunting because its population level is healthy. Liz has brought up how wolves provide quantifiable value by dispersing elk herds, and many of us have read how wolves in the northern Rockies have dramatically improved the ecosystem there. I'm not sure what it will take to educate the folks in the White Mountains about the value of wolves, but perhaps there needs to be more carrots because the sticks ain't working. People are shooting wolves despite facing a massive fine and possible jail time.

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Re: Mexican Wolf numbers fall

Post by PaleoRob » Mar 02 2011 5:36 pm

Mexican Wolf found dead along highway:
http://azwmcl.org/blog/general/mexican- ... in-arizona
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azbackpackr
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Re: Mexican Wolf numbers fall

Post by azbackpackr » Mar 02 2011 7:00 pm

Well, at least it appears to have been accidental, instead of murder.
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red_dog
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Re: Mexican Wolf numbers fall

Post by red_dog » Apr 11 2011 11:17 am

Another gunshot loss.
This guy was a bit out of the recovery area.
http://www.beaumontenterprise.com/news/ ... 330105.php

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big_load
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Re: Mexican Wolf numbers fall

Post by big_load » Apr 11 2011 12:13 pm

:(

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Jim_H
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Re: Mexican Wolf numbers fall

Post by Jim_H » Apr 11 2011 12:16 pm

It seems to me that the area of the wolf recovery is probably too small. Wolves by nature roamed around over vast areas looking for territory and mates, and we can't expect wolves to know our political boundaries that allow them to live in "safety". I think that unless a larger area into NM, AZ, and old Mexico is established, they are pretty much extinct.
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Re: Mexican Wolf numbers fall

Post by azbackpackr » Apr 11 2011 12:44 pm

Pretty cool they would range as far as El Malpais. Very sad someone would shoot it. Hope they catch the person.
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Re: Mexican Wolf numbers fall

Post by JimmyLyding » Apr 11 2011 7:59 pm

I am certain that if people stop shooting wolves, and the government stops trying to manage the population like it's in a zoo the wolves would spread far and wide. Wolves have a very high reproductive rate for a large carnivore, and can travel great distances. The wolf population in the northern Rockies in the U.S. is well over 1,000 individuals, and would undoubtedly be far higher if they weren't getting shot as well.

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Re: Mexican Wolf numbers fall

Post by Ckzona » Apr 13 2011 6:18 pm

The wolves have been traveling far and well outside the range from what i've heard. I've read a few wolves have been spotted near Canyon Creek and one went all the way out to near Chevelon Creek. They definitely are going to travel outside of the recovery area and I wish all the idiots would stop killing them and i bet if we left them all alone within 10 years they would be all the way out to Flagstaff and down to the chiricahuas.

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sam_hikes
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Re: Mexican Wolf numbers fall

Post by sam_hikes » Apr 16 2011 10:38 pm

heard 3 spent the winter around Greer and GMF have been keeping an eye on them.

also heard they can move great distances in a single day if req ( over 50 miles ) but they typically follow the elk.

no worries as when was the last deadly animal/hiker attack in AZ--very unlikely as even the big cats get tracked by NPS frequently in the GC along side the hikers.

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Re: Mexican Wolf numbers fall

Post by PaleoRob » Apr 17 2011 6:09 am

When I was working for the PFund, we'd occasionally pick up cougar collars on our sets. Pretty interesting. There was one cat that was actually crossing the river fairly frequently for a while.
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Ckzona
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Re: Mexican Wolf numbers fall

Post by Ckzona » Apr 18 2011 6:13 pm

I couldn't find it but I was reading a site about the wolves earlier and it showed a map showing that the wolves are allowed to roam basically from the new mexico border to the california border all along the Mogollon Rim and are only required to relocate them if they travel outside of the boundary. So basically the wolves are free to roam all over central Arizona and if they leave the boundary they are required to be relocate them back to the Blue Range area but the wolves are again free to roam wherever.

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Re: Mexican Wolf numbers fall

Post by azbackpackr » Apr 18 2011 8:16 pm

To the California border? :o I had thought the main areas were supposed to be the Gila Wilderness in NM, the Blue Range, the Hannagan/Black River and Mt. Baldy areas, and then also over on the San Carlos and WM Apache reservations.
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Ckzona
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Re: Mexican Wolf numbers fall

Post by Ckzona » Apr 21 2011 8:56 pm

azbackpackr wrote:To the California border? :o I had thought the main areas were supposed to be the Gila Wilderness in NM, the Blue Range, the Hannagan/Black River and Mt. Baldy areas, and then also over on the San Carlos and WM Apache reservations.
Me too!! But i saw this map on some site about Mexican Wolfs and it showed a big ol green area where the wolves are allowed to roam from the New Mexican Border to the Californian Border. Ill try to find that link

Edit: So i couldn't find that link but found a similar map

http://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/mexican ... _map.shtml

IS the Experimental Population Area an area where the wolves can roam, is what I'm wondering.

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azbackpackr
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Re: Mexican Wolf numbers fall

Post by azbackpackr » Apr 21 2011 9:05 pm

Interesting map! Thanks!

However, I used to live in the area, and know some of the players. I am pretty sure they are still trapping any of them that get out of the recovery area.
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Re: Mexican Wolf numbers fall

Post by JimmyLyding » Apr 21 2011 10:32 pm

I'd love to see wolves all over the West, but I somehow doubt that they'll be allowed (or able) to establish a population that ranges from Parker, AZ to Las Cruces, NM.

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Re: Mexican Wolf numbers fall

Post by azbackpackr » Apr 22 2011 5:06 am

Over near Parker, in the Arrastra Wilderness, there are elk. Yes, really. No, I am not kidding, there are elk just east of Parker. So, why not wolves?

http://www.azgfd.gov/h_f/documents/OTC_ ... ntTips.pdf
http://www.blm.gov/az/st/en/prog/blm_sp ... astra.html
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RangerKelly
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Re: Mexican Wolf numbers fall

Post by RangerKelly » Dec 31 2011 8:48 pm

Anyone know how the wolves are doing?

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azbackpackr
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Re: Mexican Wolf numbers fall

Post by azbackpackr » Jan 01 2012 10:12 am

Get on the AZGFD email list, they will send you an email update very regularly. I am not paying attention to that stuff right now. It is too contentious, for one thing. I am back in the White Mtns. and I don't want to think about it because then I would have to think about a lot of other stuff I don't want to think about right now. Right now I am getting ready to leave the US for 4 months...
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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