Beyond having an incredible voice, Mexican gray wolf Diego (aka M1059) represents the Wolf Conservation Center’s active participation in an effort to save a species on the brink of extinction.

The Mexican gray wolf or “lobo” is the most genetically distinct lineage of wolves in the Western Hemisphere, and one of the most endangered mammals in North America. By the mid-1980s, hunting, trapping, and poisoning caused the extinction of lobos in the wild, with only a handful remaining in captivity. In 1998 the wolves were reintroduced into the wild as part of a federal reintroduction program under the Endangered Species Act.

Current estimates put the wild population at 114 in the United States.

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The House of Representatives passed legislation today to fund the Department of the Interior for 2019 that includes a rider that seeks to remove federal protections for gray wolves across the continental United States.

Gray wolves are currently listed as endangered in most of the lower-48 states. While the return of gray wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains and the Great Lakes has been successful, the species still only occupies a small portion of its former range.

A national delisting for wolves would reverse the incredible progress that the Endangered Species Act has achieved for this species over the past few decades and once again put the gray wolf at risk of extirpation.

If this legislation passes, gray wolves will die at the hands of trophy hunters.

Stay tuned for updates and action.

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What’s better than a howling wolf? Fifty-one howling wolves! Enjoy!

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