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Politics Trumping Science, Endangered Mexican Gray Wolves Denied Critical Habitat


Endangered U.S. Wolf Denied New Habitat, As Critics Charge That Politics Trumped Science

An updated recovery plan for the critically endangered Mexican gray wolf, released by U.S. Fish and Wildlife this summer, calls for restricting their habitat to areas south of Interstate 40 in Arizona and New Mexico and certain areas of Northern Mexico. This limited range directly contradicts a draft recovery plan proposed by a panel of scientists in 2012 that identified parts of Northern Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado as potential release sites capable of supporting two additional wolf populations.

Mike Phillips, one of nine scientists tasked with defining science-based “recovery” of Mexican wolves for the 2012 draft plan, is skeptical about the plan due to the emphasis on building a wolf population in Mexico while also giving the states of Arizona and New Mexico more control over the recovery of this critically endangered species.

He states, “I think the world of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. But in this case, they let the Mexican wolf down.”

More here via Science Magazine