Mexican gray wolf f1505, a.k.a. “Trumpet”


Tucson, AZ. – A female Mexican gray wolf, born in captivity and released in Mexico, and who was captured in southeastern Arizona on March 26, will receive a more memorable name than her identification number, “f1530.” In a contest sponsored by Mexicanwolves.org, children will choose a name for the lone wolf in a public naming contest that starts today.

“This wolf has earned an evocative name to match her amazing journey,” said Maya Rommwatt of Mexicanwolves.org, which maintains a website that provides information to thousands of people who root for the survival of the Mexican wolf. The naming contest will remain open for two weeks and is accessible from Mexicanwolves.org and from the Facebook page “Mexican Gray Wolves.”

The eleven-month old female wolf was born in captivity in Mexico, and released in Chihuahua in October. She roamed north, crossing the international border into Arizona near the Chiricahua Mountains, and was captured after killing one cow; seven other dead cows nearby, on which she might have scavenged, died from non-wolf causes. She is now being held in captivity in New Mexico.

Contrary to the recommendations of scientists, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Arizona Game and Fish Commission have maintained that recovery of the critically endangered Mexican gray wolf can be achieved by exchange of individuals between the two existing populations in the Southwest and Mexico, with no resort to establishing additional populations farther north.

“Recovery requires at least three populations of wolves with numbers that are sustainable and free movement by wolves from one population to the other, said Sandy Bahr, chapter director for Sierra Club’s Grand Canyon (Arizona) Chapter. “Recovery will fail if the government removes every wolf who attempts to move between Mexico and the U.S. or if it erects additional impediments, such as a wall.”

“We hope that whatever name this wolf eventually receives, that she will be known by that name throughout a long life to be continued in the wild,” said Rommwatt.

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MYTH: Predators are bad for wildlife.

The scientific community agrees that this claim is quite wrong, yet it’s a surprisingly pervasive belief in rural Western culture. Misconceptions like this can unfortunately cause real harm, as they drive political discourse and policy.

FACT: Wolves make prey populations healthier.

The preponderance of scientific evidence supports the view that wolves generally kill prey that are vulnerable, such as weak, sick, old, or young animals. By killing sick prey individuals, wolves remove infectious agents from the environment, reducing transmission to other prey. The scientific community argues that in this manner, wolves help reduce the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), a degenerative neurological illness that is similar to mad cow disease, among elk, deer and moose.

Beyond wolves, perhaps no issue is as controversial in the hunting community right now as CWD. Yet former Montana Fish and Wildlife Commissioner Gary Wolfe still went on the record last Friday stating that wolves “are the best natural defense” for the spread of CWD.

No doubt wolves serving as an unexpected ally in protecting the West’s most popular big game animals could be a hard reality to swallow for some hunters and hunting groups who have long opposed the predators. But this acknowledgement is a start.


So the question remains, why are some states spending millions in tax dollars to eliminate predators that help keep wildlife diseases in check?

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With 42 specialized teeth for slicing, tearing, and grinding, wolves are supremely well-equipped carnivores. A wolf could make short work of a helpless Easter egg, but Atka, an ambassador Arctic gray wolf, instead takes a slower, perhaps even epicurean, approach when presented with an egg as a treat. Enjoy and happy Easter!

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