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Mexican gray wolves are the most endangered gray wolves in the world and unless more of them are released into the wild, they are doomed to go extinct.
At the end of 2015 there were an estimated 97 Mexican gray wolves remaining in the wild. And just this week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) confirmed that 14 Mexican gray wolf deaths were documented last year, marking the most in any single year since the federal government began reintroducing the predators in New Mexico and Arizona in 1998.
Please take action today. It's critical that we make it clear to the Trump administration that we're not backing down from Mexican gray wolf recovery!
Dear Secretary of the Interior,
As someone who cares deeply about wildlife, I am a concerned that the lobo, once a conservation success story, is again headed toward extinction in the wild, and I urge you to take action to improve the lobos' chance to survive and recover.
More releases are critical for the survival and recovery of the endangered Mexican gray wolf, and they require a long lead time. Wolves may have to move between facilities to meet their mates, and the receiving facilities may have to create new spaces for them and their pups.
As you may know, the 2015 end of year count in the U.S. found only 97 wild Mexican gray wolves, a decrease of 12% the previous year. Additionally, FWS just confirmed that 14 Mexican gray wolf deaths were documented last year, marking the most in any single year since the federal government began reintroducing the predators in New Mexico and Arizona in 1998.
The genetic situation of this population is even more dire than the numbers suggest. All of the Mexican wolves alive today are descended from just seven founders of a captive breeding program, and years of delaying needed releases of wolves from captivity have caused a genetic crisis — the wild lobos have lost much of the genetic diversity of those seven founding wolves. This genetic loss is causing the wolves to have smaller litters and lowering pup survival. Eventually, if not corrected, it will lead to extinction.
The captive wolves still have genes that are not represented in the wild wolves, so releases of pairs and their pups from captivity will improve the genetic health of the wild population. But last year's wolf releases were curtailed when the state of New Mexico went to court to block the releases. The Service needs to redouble its efforts and be ready this spring to release substantial numbers of wolves.
Thank you for your consideration,