Humans and habitat destruction pose the greatest threat to Mexican wolves.
Misconceptions and myths are the biggest problems for lobos. Despite the facts that Mexican gray wolves are responsible for less than one percent of livestock deaths each year and have never attacked a person, they are often resented and feared in communities near the recovery area in southern Arizona and New Mexico. While a majority of people in those states support wolf recovery, illegal killings continue to be the leading cause of death for lobos. The small population is also threatened by inbreeding, catastrophic events like diseases and fires, and by the lack of a scientifically sound plan for their expansion and recovery.
Photo Credit: Don Burkett
To: USFWS Director Dan Ashe
Mexican gray wolves have no time to waste. They need your utmost attention and dedication. They need you to overcome bureaucratic obstacles, ignore those whose entrenched opposition to wolf recovery will never be altered, and do what needs to be done to assure their recovery.
To move Mexican gray wolves back from the edge of extinction, and to assure that they recover in sufficient numbers to assume their vital role in the wild as apex predators, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service must:
1) Release more wolves from captivity as a first step in a long- term, science-based genetic rescue plan.
2) Complete the recovery plan, and promptly implement it.
3) Move ahead as quickly as possible to establish at least two additional populations of Mexican gray wolves.
These ideas are not new. They have been called for in peer-reviewed articles, in the Service's own 3 and 5 year reviews of the status of the species, in the Service's own Conservation Assessment, and by recommendations of previous recovery teams. With each passing year they become more urgent, and more difficult as the effects of inbreeding accumulate and valuable animals age.
What the Service does now will determine whether it is possible for the Mexican gray wolf to recover at all. As one of the majority of Americans that support wolf recovery and the Endangered Species Act, I am asking you to do the right thing now.
[Your name here]
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