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Who is the Lobo

Who is the Lobo?
The Mexican gray wolf or “lobo” 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 from the wild landscape. Wolves were trapped, shot, and poisoned. Bounties were paid. By the mid-1900s, Mexican wolves had become extinct in the wild.

Who is the Lobo?
Once numbering in the thousands, Mexican gray wolves thrived in the United States throughout southeastern Arizona, southern New Mexico, western Texas; and also across the border in northern Mexico. Lobos are smaller than their northern kin in the Rocky Mountains, Midwest, Alaska and Canada. Weighing between 50 and 85 pounds, they are the smallest subspecies of the gray wolf in North America. Mexican wolf packs are relatively small, consisting of an adult alpha pair, a couple of yearlings, and that pups of the year. Prehistorically, wolf populations were likely stable and limited predominately by prey numbers. Human-caused mortality caused the near extinction of Mexican wolves and remains the primary reason that they remain critically endangered today.

Who is the Lobo?
Wolves are carnivores. As predators, they must hunt other animals in order to survive. 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.

Who is the Lobo?
Fifteen years ago 11 captive-reared Mexican gray were released to the wild for the first time in the Blue Range Recovery Area – a small portion of their ancestral home in the wild southwest. It’s is within this small area that Mexican wolves have struggled for a decade and a half, failing to ever reach the population goal of 100. Artificial boundaries, state politics, and USFWS’s designation of all wild lobos as a “experimental, nonessential” population, have put recovery in a choke-hold.

Who is the Lobo?  I am the lobo. And I need your help.
Although critically endangered Mexican wolves are exempt from this nationwide delisting proposal, they will be subject to other provisions that are very problematic – including the recovery area’s artificial boundaries and their re-designation as an “experimental, nonessential” population.  Now is the time to demand progress – USFWS management actions are urgently required for the long term survival of Mexican gray wolves.

There are 2 ways to take action:

  • Submit comments to USFWS online (Effective talking points re: Mexican wolves here)
  • Help in person – Join the Wolf Conservation Center and our coalition partners on November 20 in Albuqueque, NM and/or in Pinetop, AZ on December 3. MORE INFO.

Speaking up on behalf of the lobo is not only crucial to the recovery of the species, it’s also the appropriate action ecologically and morally.  Thank you!