Lobos: An Essential Piece Of the Southwest Landscape
The Mexican gray wolf or “lobo” (Canis lupus baileyi) is the southernmost and most genetically distinct subspecies of gray wolf in the North America. In the late 1800s, there was a national movement to eradicate wolves and other large predators from the wild landscape in the United States. Wolves were trapped, shot, and poisoned. Bounties were paid. By the mid-1900s, Mexican wolves had become extinct in the wild.
When Mexican wolves were exterminated in the wild southwest, mule deer populations rose. The overabundance of deer resulted in habitat degradation. By regulating grazing and browsing wildlife populations and affecting prey behavior, wolves safeguard the habitat, enable many other species to flourish, & allow the system to support a natural level of biodiversity. Changes in Mexican wolf populations have trickle-down effects on other populations, a scientific phenomenon known as a “trophic cascade,” and certifiable indicator that wolves are an ESSENTIAL piece of the landscape.
As a participant in the Mexican gray wolf Species Survival and Recovery Plan and home to 14 critically endangered lobos, our efforts to conserve this wolf is priority. Please join the #iamessential movement and tell USFWS that it is imperative that USFWS designates the remaining 75 wild lobos as essential population. It’s crucial to the recovery of the rare species and the health of their ecosystem. Lobos depend up this re-designation, we cannot allow industry and recreation govern the recovery of North America’s most endangered wolf.
Speak up for lobos online or in person:
- Submit your comment to USFWS online by October 28, 2013. Our friends from Mexicanwolves.org offer useful talking points via the submission link.
- #ineedyouinABQ! Submit your comment in person in Albuquerque on October 4, 2013: More info about the hearing here.