Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Most-Endangered Wolves Get Stamp


  • posted by Jake Richardson
  • Oct 4, 2011
Most-Endangered Wolves Get Stamp


If you like to collect stamps, or just want to support wild wolves in New Mexico, you can purchase this new wolf stamp from the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance. It is not a postage stamp, so it can’t be used to send mail, but is available for collectors and fundraising for the organization. If you don’t collect stamps the 2011 Wolf Stamp could make a good gift for someone who does. It is larger than a typical postage stamp at 3 x 5 inches. The wolf stamp was designed by New Mexico artist Virginia Maria Romero.

Less than fifty Mexican gray wolves are left in the wild, making them the world’s most endangered wolves, and there might only be two breeding pairs. There used to be thousands in the Southwest. Mexican gray wolves were nearly wiped out by extermination campaigns. In 1973 they were placed on the Endangered Species list and efforts to trap and re-introduce the few remaining wolves were undertaken.

One of the management strategies has been a captive breeding program which is supposed to keep over 200 wolves alive and healthy in captive living situations like zoos or animal research centers. With a larger number of wolves in captivity there is sort of an insurance against all the wild ones being wiped out by poachers using guns or poison. Even though Mexican gray wolves are smaller, weighing only 60-80 pounds, than gray wolves they still are perceived as being very dangerous to livestock and humans by some misinformed people. That is to say, there is more irrational fear in some people than factual knowledge of the Mexican gray wolf, which leads to the desire to kill them, though they are not harmful. They still are being shot in Arizona and New Mexico, even though their numbers are extremely low.

A federal program allowed ranchers to have tracking devices to follow the movements of the wolves wearing radio collars. Critics have said the program surely is being exploited by ranchers to find and kill wolves.


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