08 November 2013
Defenders has submitted comments on the Mexican gray wolf proposal, have you? — Last week, Defenders formally submitted comments to the Fish and Wildlife Service regarding the Service’s proposal for future management of Mexican gray wolves in the southwest. While we support some of the changes, including, of course, re-listing the lobo as protected under the Endangered Species Act, the proposal has some serious other flaws that will undermine recovery efforts. More astonishing is the fact that the Service itself admits some of these flaws, but doesn’t take steps to fix them in its proposal:
- The Service acknowledges that it lacks a legally valid recovery plan for the Mexican gray wolf. (The Service needs to expedite completion and implementation of a revised and legally sufficient recovery plan. Mexican gray wolves cannot recover without a science-based recovery plan.)
- The Service acknowledges that the current wild population is neither self-sustaining nor viable. (According to recovery team scientists, at least two additional populations need to be established, with dispersal allowed among them, yet no such proposal is included in the plan.)
Final federal wolf hearings loom — The sad march toward federal delisting of wolves continues later in November when the federal government holds a series of public hearings on their proposal to strip federal protections from most gray wolves in the lower 48 states. This could be our last chance to let the Fish and Wildlife Service know what we think of their delisting push so we’re counting on wolf supporters across the west to make their voices heard at these meetings. The hearings will take place as listed below:
- November 19 in Denver, Colorado
- November 20 in Albuquerque, New Mexico
- November 22 in Sacramento, California
- December 3 in Pinetop, Arizona
Bon Voyage! – Tomorrow, our western gray wolf expert Suzanne Stone is traveling to Australia to help dingo researchers evaluate nonlethal methods used to minimize livestock losses to wolves in hopes that some of these techniques can reduce the killing of dingo as a main strategy for protecting domestic sheep and learn any new methods applicable to our work in the states. The dingo is a wild dog, present in Australia for several thousand years according to the current research, but a descendant, like all dogs, of wolves. Dingoes are the only remaining apex predator in the country and extremely important to helping preserve biodiversity by keeping prey species in balance and healthy. We’ll be receiving news from Suzanne in the field and a blog on her efforts there in the coming weeks.
Asking for balance in Wisconsin – Last week Defenders (and so far 68,907 of you) sent a letter to Wisconsin’s Secretary of Natural Resources asking that she restore balance to the state’s Wolf Advisory Committee. After the committee was restructured in March of this year several hunting, trapping, and livestock interests made it on the newly-formed committee, while only one wolf conservation group was invited. If you haven’t already, click here to ask that more stakeholders and independent scientists get a voice in wolf management decisions.