Thursday, June 15, 2006

Cattle-killing Mexican wolf shot; 3 more to be released

A Mexican wolf that was involved in at least three livestock killings in the past year was shot and killed May 28 by a member of the wolf recovery team. A permanent removal order for the lone male wolf was issued May 24 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service after the wolf was confirmed to have killed a cow in southeastern Catron County, New Mexico.

In the past two weeks, nine Mexican wolves have died during removal efforts resulting from livestock depredations. The Fish and Wildlife Service reported on May 24 that seven wolves — an adult female and six very young pups — removed from the Fort Apache Indian Reservation in Arizona died after they were trapped and moved to holding pens. The alpha male wolf of that pack was shot and killed.

Wolves in the recovery program are designated as a "non-essential experimental population," which allows the recovery team greater flexibility to manage the wolves under the provisions of the Endangered Species Act. The designation permits permanent removal of a wolf, either by capture or lethal means, following three confirmed livestock deaths.

The rules of the wolf restoration program prevent direct releases of wolves into New Mexico that have not been previously captured for management purposes.

The recovery team also announced that three Mexican wolves — an adult male and two female yearlings — will be released in early June in the Gila Wilderness. The male wolf was captured and removed from the wild in 2005 after it was involved in a livestock death. The females were removed from the wild in 2005 as a result of cattle depredations by the adults within the pack.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates there are 32 to 46 endangered Mexican wolves living in the wild in Arizona and New Mexico since the reintroduction program began in 1998. To view the wolf distribution map, which contains the most recent three months of wolf locations taken from aerial surveys, please visit the Arizona Game & Fish Web site, and scroll to the "distribution" link on the "Mexican Wolf Conservation and Management" page.

  • Farmington Daily Times

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Some wolf facts: For certain, the wolf lethally controlled in New Mexico in June, and it's mate who by the way, was also lethally controled last week were responsible for 13 dead livestock, 11 of them in a three week period. All 13 head were killed in the first 2 months after their re-release.
    This pair was on a surpluss livestock killing spree. From information revealed by agency reports, which by the way are not even close to reporting the facts, so was the Hon Dah pack in Arizona.
    Re-using livestock depredating wolves instead of wild non problem animals in the program has led to a lot more personal damage suffered by the people who live and work in the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area and in turn has caused a lot of damage to the program.
    Sadly, none of the relevant facts come out in the media, such as the pair would kill the baby calf then kill the mother cow and eat only her udder. The pair would go to the ranchhouse of the victims where there are small children and threaten their safety. One family had to suffer multiple depredations and subject their children to this carnage for the supposed benefit of the public. The financial loss is still being calculated.

    A bit tragic, a bit unfair, a bit unbalanced for all concerned? you tell me.

    7/09/2006 4:36 PM  

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