According to Defenders of Wildlife, four critically endangered Mexican gray wolves were caught in traps on national forest land in southwestern New Mexico over the last two months.
“One wolf, a female — possibly a mom — died after she was removed from the trap. Another, a young male, had his leg so severely injured it had to be amputated. Yet another had two legs caught in two separate traps, but it and the fourth wolf were re-released to the wild and their fate is unknown.”
The latest count reveals that at least 42 Mexican wolves have been caught by traps in Arizona and New Mexico since 2002.
While licensed trapping of other animals is legal in New Mexico, the state’s Legislature is currently considering legislation that would address commercial and recreation trapping on public land or in areas where the non-discriminate hunting tools can cause death or injury to non-target species.
The Mexican Wolf Interagency Field Team is currently leading its annual wolf population survey in New Mexico and Arizona. At last count in January of 2018, the wild Mexican gray wolf population in the U.S. was estimated to be 114 individuals.