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Mexican Wolf #511 - Under lethal control action June 16, 2005 10:10 AM

The latest update from Mexican Wolf Recovery personnel: now that the pups are 4 weeks old, they're trying to capture 511. She eluded a tranquilizer dart and some leg hold traps over the weekend. While they've seen the male a few times, he still totally eludes both capture and bullets.

511's 2 options are still capture or death. If they haven't captured her when the pups are 6 weeks old (in 2 weeks), they will take the pups, and then she will be killed. "The order has been issued and they have to abide by it."

John Morgart, head of the Recovery Program is the person to target regarding this order and any possibility to change it, since he issued it. His email is:

Let him know that you are upset at the decision to kill 511. Stress the damage to the program that such an action could set in motion. Give him some good
reasons why they ought to place her in captivity rather than kill her.

If he gets enough such messages, originally worded, he could justify changing the order to a stay of execution for her. These people need to get an impression that lots of folks are not happy with the action they are proposing to take.

When I asked the Recovery Program representative if they'd gotten some letters about this, I was told they'd gotten a lot at first, but that now it had died down. So we need to get back on this so that 511 doesn't "die down" when nobody's looking.

It would be very helpful if anyone who's able could come to the meeting here in Albuquerque on Saturday morning, June 18 (9AM-NOON, US Forest Service Regional Office, 333 Broadway SE), to discuss the Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Program. Program personnel will give a 30 minute presentation on the program's 5 year review, proposed new standard operating procedures (*see Michael Robinson's[Center for Biological Diversity] summary below), and a proposed 1 year moratorium on some new wolf releases. They will then host a 2 hour "open forum" session for the public to speak. And we can bring up any aspect we want, including this abominable death sentence for 511.

The relevant documents are available at:

Hope we can kick some butt in a very positive and diplomatic way. I would rather keep even the die-hard antiwolf ranchers on their spreads than have all that wild country paved over.

There's got to be a compromise here somewhere.

The anti-wolf proposals are:

I. A one year moratorium on releases of Mexican gray wolves to the wild from the captive breeding population, from July 1, 2005 to June 30, 2006. This will prevent infusion of new genetic material even though the lead Mexican wolf genetic researcher, Dr. Philip Hedrick of Arizona State University, has written that only one of the three lineages comprising the limited Mexican wolf gene pool is well represented in the wild population, and it is imperative to introduce new animals from the other two lineages. Dr. Hedrick added that it is important to introduce these new animals as soon as possible while the population is small so that their relative contribution to the genetic mix will be greater.

II. A one year ban on translocations (re-releases) of wolves that have killed livestock within one year, into any jurisdiction (ie. state or tribal) excepting that from which they were captured. This will exacerbate the detrimental effects of the present policy that prevents any releases from the captive breeding population into New Mexico. Should the proposal go into effect, no wolves captured in Arizona could be released in New Mexico. The translocation of wolves from Arizona to New Mexico has been a standard practice until now and is the primary tool available for establishing the wolf population in New Mexico, since direct releases from the captive pool are precluded by regulation.

III. A permanent new policy ("Standard Operating Procedure 13") to kill wolves responsible for attacking three head of livestock if they cannot be trapped within ten days, and to kill wolves immediately if four domestic animals have been attacked. This will ramp up the lethality of the present control program which has already resulted in a twenty percent drop in the known Mexican wolf population during 2004 (from 55 to 44 animals). Had this policy been in effect from the outset of the program, several packs in existence now would have been destroyed. For example, the Bluestem Pack, which committed a brief spate of livestock killings in 2002 and has since then relied entirely on natural prey, would have been trapped or killed.

The proposed policies are at odds with recommendations in the Mexican Wolf Three-Year Review (the Paquet Report), conducted by independent scientists, that fewer wolves be captured and killed by the government and that the government obtain authority to release wolves in broader areas and allow them to roam at will, just as other endangered species are allowed.

The proposals also contradict the spirit of the Paquet Report's recommendation that ranchers be required to take some responsibility for removing or rendering unpalatable (as by lime) the carcasses of domestic animals dead from non-wolf causes before wolves feed on them and habituate to livestock. Instead of preventing conflicts, the Fish and Wildlife Service proposes to implement even more deadly wolf "control" when conflicts develop.

The Paquet Report's recommendations, released in June 2001, have not been implemented.

 [ send green star]
cont'd June 16, 2005 10:12 AM

The draft Five-Year Review (released December 2004) also recommends that wolves be allowed to roam outside political boundaries, and that the Fish and Wildlife Service be able to release wolves from the captive breeding population into New Mexico, and points out a 91% correlation between wolves that scavenged on dead livestock and those that attacked stock.

These meetings are not official hearings, with public comments recorded, so we need to also express our opposition in writing to the bureaucracy and to New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson and/or Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano (addresses and information on what to write below).

Please oppose the moratorium (which includes the limits on translocations) and Standard Operating Procedure 13, titled "Control of Mexican Wolves."

Comments should be sent to:

Mexican Wolf Adaptive Management Oversight Committee. Email: . USPO: Terry B. Johnson, Arizona Game and Fish Department, 2221 West Greenway Road, Phoenix, Arizona 85023.

Governor Bill Richardson. Email (via the Web -- click on the address or cut and paste into your server): <> .. USPO: Office of the Governor, 490 Old Santa Fe Trail, Room 400, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501.

Governor Janet Napolitano, Email (via the Web): <> .. USPO: 1700 West Washington, 9th Floor, Phoenix, Arizona 85007. Fax: 602-542-1381.

Comments must be received by July 31, 2005.

Hope you can find the time to send those emails to Morgart, and even get to the meeting if at all possible. And please send your comments and opposition as suggested above.

Tamra Brennan
Administrative Director / Volunteer Coordinator
 [ send green star]
 June 16, 2005 10:47 AM

Just wanted U 2 know that I have cross posted this 2 other groups.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
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Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary
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