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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced their intent to remove Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves across the lower 48 states. The agency has begun a review of the status of the gray wolf and will publish a proposal by the end of the year if they decide to move forward with the delisting process.

Their rationale? Federal regulators say they’ve recovered and management can be handed over to the states, yet many states have expressed their interest in wolf hunting seasons once they resume control.

“Federal protections for wolves are essential to help the species recover and expand into still-suitable parts of its former range. The gray wolf has barely begun to recover or is absent from significant portions of its former range where substantial suitable habitat remains,” states Maggie Howell, Executive Director of the Wolf Conservation Center.

USFWS proposed delisting the species nationwide in 2013, but an independent scientific peer review of its plan determined that science did *not support* the delisting.

“The ESA let our country give wolves a second chance. With second chances so hard to come by, should we be willing to throw one away?”

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PUPDATE — At almost 8 weeks old, the red wolf pups are active romping and wrestling with one another! Beyond being great fun for the siblings, the pups are sharpening important skills, strengthening family bonds, and establishing their social status within the pack.

Tune in to join the family via live webcams!

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Conservation groups and wildlife advocates are demanding the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) revoke the grazing permits of a rancher who knowingly trapped and killed a critically endangered Mexican gray wolf. The wolf, nicknamed Mia Tuk through a nationwide naming contest for children, was less than a year old when he was trapped and brutally killed in 2015.

The rancher’s punishment for killing a critically endangered wolf? A $2,300 fine and one year of probation. He grazes cattle on a Gila National Forest allotment called Canyon Del Buey, and has received over $300,000 of taxpayer money since 2015 in livestock subsidies. Should individuals who violate the Endangered Species Act receive taxpayer money, especially when a majority of Americans support the recovery of endangered species?

In a June 8th letter, 30 organizations, including the Wolf Conservation Center, formally requested that Gila National Forest Supervisor Adam Mendonca “immediately cancel any and all grazing allotment permits that [Thiessen] holds.” Mendonca has the authority to cancel the permit if the permit holder is convicted for failing to comply with Federal laws or regulations relating to protection of fish and wildlife.

“This horrific crime should not be tolerated, and it proves that we need to protect all wolves even more and have more restraints against trapping and killing,” said Jaryn Allen, an Albuquerque sixth grader who named Mia Tuk. “It makes me sick to picture this act. I wanted the wolf that I named Mia Tuk to roam free and flourish, not have its life ended in this way.”

TAKE ACTION: Call the USFS and demand they revoke the rancher’s grazing permit.

More via Lobos of the Southwest.

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