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Mexican Wolf Numbers Slightly Up in 2014

Date
January 31, 2014
Contact
Bethany Cotton 503.327.4923
In This Release
Wildlife

Friday, January 31, 2014
Mexican Wolf Numbers Slightly Up in 2014

Much More Needed to Ensure Species’ Long-Term Survival
Contact: Bethany Cotton 503.327.4923

Santa Fe, NM— An annual population estimatefor the Mexican grey wolf released today by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Servicefound at least 83 wolves in the wild in New Mexico and Arizona. The estimate isan increase of eight wolves from the 2012 count. The survey also found onlyfive breeding pairs and that just 17 wolf pups survived to the end of theirfirst year.

“While it iscertainly good news that the Mexican wolf population increased in 2013, thenumber is still far below the interim objective of 100 wolves the Service wassupposed to meet in 2006,” said Bethany Cotton, wildlife program director atWildEarth Guardians. “The Mexican wolf needs full Endangered Species Actprotections to ensure its survival and recovery.”

Thoughcritically imperiled, the Mexican wolf is listed as “experimental,non-essential” under the Endangered Species Act, a designation that allows forwolves to be removed from the wild. Also of grave concern, the Service shelveda new draft recovery plan for the Mexican wolf in 2012. The 2012 plan calledfor expanded recovery areas, among other steps key to recovering thespecies.

“Until theService puts science before politics, the Mexican wolf will hover near thebrink of extinction,” said Cotton. “The Service needs to get serious aboutMexican wolf recovery: finalize the 2012 recovery plan, retire grazingallotments on public lands, and expand the recovery area for these amazinganimals, so key to healthy, thriving ecosystems.”

The Mexican wolfis the most critically imperiled mammal in the United States. Impediments tosuccessfully reintroducing a self-sustaining wild Mexican wolf populationinclude continued trapping in their habitat, a severely limited gene pool, andillegal and accidental killings, including by government officials tasked withthe species’ recovery.

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“While it is certainly good news that the Mexican wolf population increased in 2013, the number is still far below the interim objective of 100 wolves the Service was supposed to meet in 2006,” said Bethany Cotton, wildlife program director at WildEarth Guardians. “The Mexican wolf needs full Endangered Species Act protections to ensure its survival and recovery.”
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