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Mexican wolf population struggles to grow

Killings, insufficient releases, Trump’s border wall threaten lobos

April 8, 2019

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service revealed today that 131 Mexican gray wolves survive in the wild in southwestern New Mexico and southeastern Arizona—a small increase from last year’s count of 114. That said, the wolf population is still growing very slowly—far too slowly to truly recover it—unless we take action.

Illegal killings, insufficient releases of wolves, and Trump’s wall all pose threats to this small population of wild wolves.

There were 21 documented wolf deaths in 2018, the highest number since the wolf recovery program began in 1998. Many of these deaths are human-caused, and lobos continue to be caught in traps in the Mexican wolf recovery area. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service won’t release adult lobos into the wild due to political pressure, though this tactic would increase genetic diversity and speed wolf recovery. And Trump’s wall would prevent U.S. wolves from exchanging genes with wolves in Mexico, which is necessary to the species’ long-term survival.

Read the press release.


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