Protect Mexican gray wolves

Provide a comment asking the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS)  to revise the Recovery Plan and protect Mexican gray wolves!

Wolves are the top of the food chain and their presence is essential to the health of all other ecosystems in our wild America. Unfortunately, in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, a state-sponsored program of extermination brought  Mexican gray wolves to the brink of extinction within a few decades. The current proposed “recovery” plan sends these rare wolves over the edge.

In 2011 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service convened a team of world-class scientists to develop a recovery plan that would restore sustainable populations of Mexican gray wolves to the wild. These scientists determined that a minimum of 750 wolves in three connected core populations was essential to the restoration of viable, genetically healthy, Mexican gray wolf populations that were sustainable over the long-term.

However, political considerations outweighed scientifically-based management and this plan was rejected by the administration. The current draft recovery plan proposed by the FWS also dismisses these recommendations and instead is proposing a plan that dooms these wolves to extinction.

Comments are due by August 29th 11:59pm ET.

Comments that are personalized and in your own words will have the most weight.

Sierra Club Mexican Gray Wolf

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Act to protect Mexican gray wolves
Dear Fish and Wildlife Service, Thank you for releasing a draft recovery plan for the Mexican gray wolf, an iconic American species. Unfortunately, scientific shortcomings in the draft plan will prevent the lobo's recovery. I urge you to revise the recovery plan so that it is based on the best available science. Weaknesses in the current plan that will likely lead the Mexican gray wolf to extinction include: Inaccurate science: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is required under the Endangered Species Act to incorporate the best available science into its Mexican gray wolf recovery plan. The proposed plan does not use best available science and instead is based on political considerations that send the Mexican gray wolf to extinction. No public responsibility: This draft recovery plan gives state agencies veto power over critical releases and translocations that are necessary for the genetic rescue of the wild Mexican wolf population. This is an abdication of federal responsibility, and weakens federal oversight and giving far too much power to the states and their agencies - the very same agencies that have blocked wolf releases and recovery. Too few wolves, too small an area: The draft plan calls for the establishment of two isolated Mexican wolf populations: one in the current U.S. recovery area and one in Mexico. This runs counter to recommendations by wolf biologists, which call for at least three interconnected populations of Mexican wolves extending into northern Arizona and New Mexico and southern Utah and Colorado. This draft “recovery” plan calls for delisting the Mexican gray wolf when the population in the U.S. is only half the size recommended by scientists on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2011 recovery planning team. These experts found that a minimum of 750 wolves in three separate but connected populations in the U.S. including the Grand Canyon region and Southern Colorado are required for the population to be viable over the long term. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is ignoring the recommendations of credible scientists who worked on recovery planning in 2011. Instead, the agency has caved to the demands of state agencies and politicians that want to keep the wolf population unsustainably small and do not want to see wolves north of I-40. Reliance on recovery in Mexico: Mexican wolf recovery under the draft plan is heavily dependent on successful reintroduction efforts in Mexico—despite the lack of appropriate habitat for the wolves there and the lack of connectivity with U.S. populations. Genetic threats: The FWS acknowledges the myriad genetic challenges faced by the Mexican wolf as a result of the small number of founders. However, it fails to account for the loss of genetic diversity in the captive and wild populations that has already occurred and exacerbates the problem by allowing for continued erosion of genetic diversity. Political threats: Mexican wolf recovery requires sufficient and carefully planned releases of captive wolves to infuse the wild population with adequate genetic diversity. Rather than developing an informed release schedule, however, the draft plan gives total control of wolf releases to the states of Arizona and New Mexico and the Mexican government. This is extremely problematic when these states have been actively hostile to Mexican wolf recovery—with New Mexico even filing a lawsuit to prevent such releases. Reduce conflicts with livestock. The recovery plan should also provide funding for compensated voluntary permit retirement of public lands grazing allotments in an effort to reduce livestock conflicts and improve natural prey base. Habitat management is a critical component of recovering any species, but this seems to be overlooked in the current proposal.