Tragedy strikes Mexican gray wolves again: Recently released breeding female killed, no chance for pup survival

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ALBUQUERQUE, NM (July 12, 2013) – Tragically, the killing continues. In the wake of a new proposed rule from the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) that would continue to hinder Mexican gray wolf recovery (the subspecies would remain listed, but with limited opportunity for necessary dispersal essential to recovery), Defenders of Wildlife has received news that another of the world’s most endangered wolves has been shot and killed. The incident is under investigation, but the victim, alpha female 1108 (F1108), had been mothering a den of young pups so her pups are also assumed to be dead.

The following is a statement from Nancy Gloman, Vice President of Field Conservation for Defenders of Wildlife:

“This is a true tragedy. The Mexican gray wolf population cannot afford the loss of another individual, let alone a breeding female with pups. With an extremely small population of 75 individuals and only two breeding pairs among them, this wolf and her pups were another critical step towards the promise of recovery. We had high hopes for the release of F1108 and her mate in May, but after the male was quickly recaptured and with this latest news of the female’s killing, there have been zero successful releases in years.

“If the Mexican gray wolf is to have any chance at survival, the Fish and Wildlife Service must ramp up recovery efforts with a comprehensive plan that includes the release of many more wolves into the wild, and affords those that are released with protection outside of arbitrary lines on a map. Without being allowed to disperse, the wolves cannot establish the numbers and new populations necessary to win the fight against extinction.

“These wolves are a critical and iconic part of the Western landscape, and for them to remain as such, you need many more wolves across a broader area. If any good can come from this news, let it be a call to action for the Fish and Wildlife Service – give the Mexican gray wolf a real chance for recovery by releasing more breeding pairs and allowing them broader access to additional land.”

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Contact: Courtney Sexton, (202)-772-0253, csexton@defenders.org

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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