Bloodiest week in southwestern wolf mismanagement since 2006

April 7, 2020

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service surreptitiously authorized the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Service to kill four endangered Mexican gray wolves in New Mexico on behalf of the livestock industry between March 23 and March 28, according to three agency memos.

The quick-succession shootings of two members of the Prieto pack and two from the Mangas pack make this the bloodiest bout of federal wolf-killing in the Southwest since 2006, when an entire nine-member wolf family in Arizona was taken out. The Mangas pack lives near the state line with Arizona, while the Prieto pack lives several dozen miles to the southeast. Both are in so-called “problem allotments” where chronically poor livestock management has resulted in previous removals of wolves.

“It is absurd that the onus for coexistence is placed on these endangered, native wolves rather than on subsidized public lands ranchers who have introduced cattle where they don’t belong,” said Chris Smith of WildEarth Guardians. “A subset of ranchers who would rather have native species killed than improve their livestock management is literally calling the shots for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.”

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