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Mexican Wolves To Receive the Call of the Wild

Some GOOD news! In a direct snub to state officials, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Wednesday that it will release about 10 Mexican gray wolves into the wilds of southwestern New Mexico, even though state game officials have refused to issue a permit for the action.

Although the NM Game Commission has repeatedly sought to obstruct Mexican gray wolf recovery, it is the USFWS’s obligation under the law to recover this species, and reintroductions into the wild from the more genetically diverse captive population are an essential part of that recovery process.

USFWS’s decision comes after pressure from 43 groups including the Wolf Conservation Center (WCC) along with scientists to call on Interior Secretary Jewell to hasten the release of endangered Mexican gray wolves in New Mexico. In a letter, we emphasized the urgency of the issue, pointing out that federal biologists and independent scientists have repeatedly made clear that without such releases, wolf inbreeding will worsen — crippling chances of recovery.

The WCC participates in the federal SSP recovery programs for the Mexican gray wolf and the red wolf, two of the rarest mammals in North America. Both species at one time were completely extinct in the wild.

Since 2003 the WCC has played a critical role in preserving and protecting these imperiled species through carefully managed breeding and reintroduction. To date, the WCC remains one of the three largest holding facilities for these rare species and four wolves from the Center have been given the extraordinary opportunity to resume their rightful place on the wild landscape.