Third illegal killing this year emphasizes need for additional law enforcement
- The Mexican gray wolf is one of the most endangered wolves in the world; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service counted just 42 wolves in the wild last year
- There have been only two prosecutions for illegal wolf killings, the leading cause of death among Mexican gray wolves
- Between 1998 and June 2009, 31 Mexican gray wolves were illegally killed by poachers
- More law enforcement presence is needed to solve these crimes and to protect Mexican gray wolves from poaching
A third Mexican gray wolf has been confirmed to have been shot illegally this year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today.
The following is a statement from Eva Sargent, Defenders of Wildlife’s Southwest program director:
“With so few Mexican gray wolves remaining in the wild, every single wolf is crucial to the survival of the species. These latest killings, along with the sobering statistic that illegal wolf killings are the leading cause of death for Mexican gray wolves, highlight the urgent need for greater law enforcement capacity at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
“We know that FWS officers are working around the clock to safeguard Mexican wolves, but they need more manpower and resources to keep these wolves safe. They need more boots on the ground, fast. With more resources, we could hope to see fewer illegal wolf killings, and more successful prosecutions as well.
“Meanwhile, the Fish and Wildlife Service should work quickly to develop and implement a scientific recovery plan that keeps Mexican gray wolves from spiraling toward extinction and helps to set them on the road to recovery.”Background:
Defenders of Wildlife is offering up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for killing three perilously endangered Mexican gray wolves in Arizona and New Mexico. In combination with rewards from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the states of Arizona and New Mexico, other conservation organizations and individuals, Defenders’ offer brings the total reward offered to $57,500.
Contact(s):Eva Sargent, (520) 623-9653
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 .