Friday, January 19, 2007

Please Help Stop the War against the Mexican Wolf

Mexican Gray Wolf
10" x 8"
Acrylics on Canvas
© R.J.Andreae 2007

The Mexican Gray Wolf needs your help – tell Congress to investigate violence against the wolves.

Fewer than 10 years ago, the federal government reintroduced Mexican Gray Wolves into Arizona and New Mexico: progeny of the few wolves that survived the government's six-decade extermination program and that were trapped for captive breeding. The reintroduction was meant to recover and restore to the wild Mexican Wolves after their near extinction from an extermination campaign that included poisoning, trapping, shooting, and den-excavating.
But now the government is again killing Mexican Wolves: locating them by radio collars and shooting them from the air, digging up wolf pups that then don't survive captivity, trapping wolves and splitting up family packs.
Why is the government doing this? Because the livestock industry successfully pushed for rules and protocols that require such aggressive predator control of wolves in the Southwest, far beyond government violence carried out against wolves or other endangered animals elsewhere.
Five years ago, the non-governmental panel of scientists who wrote the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's official Three-Year Review of the reintroduction program urged changing those rules. The government has not done so, and instead has trapped and shot so many wolves that the projected growth of the population to more than 100 animals at the end of 2006 has not been achieved.
Even worse, the limited gene pool of the Mexican Wolf - stemming from just seven animals who survived extermination - is being squandered and lost as a result of excessive removal of wolves from the wild.
Last month the Center for Biological Diversity sued the Fish and Wildlife Service to save the Mexican Wolf. The lobo also needs your direct help. Please request congressional hearings into this mismanaged program in order to apply added pressure on the Bush administration to stop the war against the Mexican Gray Wolf.

Send a letter to the following decision maker(s): Your Congressperson Your Senators
Below is the sample letter:

Subject: Mexican Wolf & endangered species hearings

Dear [decision maker name automatically inserted here],

Please use your influence to push for oversight hearings into the Bush administration's subversion of science in recovery of the Mexican Gray Wolf as well as other endangered species.The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has ignored the urgent recommendations of an independent science panel that called for reforms in the Mexican Gray Wolf reintroduction program in New Mexico and Arizona. The recommendations would bring the program up to the same standards as other endangered species recovery programs such as that for wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains and in the Lake States. The panel's recommendations, issued in 2001, warned that without changes, "survival and recruitment rates . . .are far too low to ensure population growth or persistence. Without dramatic improvement in these vital rates, the wolf population will fall short of predictions for upcoming years."As predicted, Mexican Wolves have not grown to the 100-number minimum that was projected and intended to be reached by the end of 2006. During 2004 and 2005, the population even declined. And the gene pool of this critically endangered species is being narrowed, foreclosing future opportunities for recovery. Former U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Mexican Wolf Recovery Coordinator David Parsons has stated that his former employer "is systematically undermining recovery of the Mexican wolf" and that its "management appears to throw science out the window." He says that "Anti-wolf politics have been controlling agency decisions and actions to the detriment of wolf recovery."Other endangered species recovery programs also have suffered from political interference by the Bush administration. It's time for Congress to take a close look at how science is used - and subverted - in endangered species recovery programs. The case of the Mexican Gray Wolf should be exhibit number one.


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