Mexican Gray Wolf Protection Would Continue Under Fish and Wildlife Proposal

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For Immediate Release
Contact: Eva Sargent – 520.623.9653

Feds propose to delist gray wolf populations in the United States, but preserve protection for Mexican gray wolves.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 7, 2013) – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to relist the Mexican gray wolf as an endangered subspecies while proposing to remove the Endangered Species Act protection from all other gray wolves throughout the United States. If finalized, gray wolf protection will be at the discretion of individual states, and only Mexican gray wolves will still be protected by the Endangered Species Act.

The following is a statement from Eva Sargent, Southwest Program Director, Defenders of Wildlife:

“With only about 75 wild Mexican gray wolves in the entire world, it’s good to see that protections will continue in the Southwest. However, proposing to prematurely strip federal protection under the Endangered Species Act for gray wolves throughout the rest of the country is bad news for wolves nationwide and could make it unlikely that any wolves will be able to naturally reestablish a presence in the Southern Rockies, a region with excellent suitable habitat where wolves were once found.

“Wolves are an iconic species that provide numerous economic and ecological benefits. They boost tourism in rural areas and are vital to healthy ecosystems. Unfortunately, while the proposal to continue protection for Mexican gray wolves holds some promise for increased efforts to recover these highly endangered animals, the effect may be hindered by the premature decision to remove protection for gray wolves across the west.”

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Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With more than 1 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit www.defenders.org and follow us on Twitter @DefendersNews.

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