02 October 2015
Wildlife Weekly Wrap-Up
New Mexico Game and Fish is Barring Desperately-Needed Lobo Releases:
This week, Defenders and our volunteers and partner groups rallied in advance of a New Mexico Game and Fish Commission meeting on the future of Mexican gray wolves
. Lobo supporters turned out in droves, despite not being allowed to offer public comment at the event. Unfortunately, the state Commission voted unanimously to deny the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service‘s appeal of their earlier denial of permits to release captive-bred lobos in the designated recovery area in New Mexico. In other words, New Mexico won’t allow the federal government to release Mexican gray wolves into suitable habitat in the state – even though scientists have pointed out that more releases are exactly what these endangered wolves need. The Service has reintroduced captive-born Mexican gray wolves into the release area in Arizona over the years, and at last count, there were 110 wolves living in the wild in the Southwest. However, to ensure this species’ recovery, more wolves need to be released into the wild to increase the population’s genetic diversity. In January, the Fish and Wildlife Service finalized new management rules that allow releases in the Gila National Forest in western New Mexico. Now, the Commission is sabotaging this science-based strategy. The New Mexico Commission, under Governor Martinez, has clearly become a tool of a small anti-wolf minority, and its actions are out of touch with the majority of New Mexico voters
who support wolf recovery and understand the important role top carnivores serve in our ecosystems. The Service should use its authority under the Endangered Species Act to go ahead and release more wolves, regardless of the Commission’s decision.
New Polling Data Shows Overwhelming Support for the Endangered Species Act:
Ninety percent of American voter support the Endangered Species Act – America’s bedrock environmental law that has been nearly 99 percent effective at preventing the extinction of listed imperiled wildlife, plants and fish. Even in states where media and big polluters have sensationalized listing decisions, falsely pitting species protections against economic development, polling released this week shows overwhelming support among registered voters for the act: 80 percent of Coloradans; 74 percent of Missourians; 75 percent of Montanans and 83 percent of Hoosiers support the ESA. Too often this law is wrongly blamed by polluters and their allies in Congress for all manner of economic woes. As a result, since January, opponents of the ESA in Congress have introduced more than 80 legislative measures that, if passed, would collectively chip away at this bedrock conservation law and put already imperiled species at greater risk. At the new polling shows, Congress is on the wrong side of public opinion on this issue, and their campaign to dismantle the Endangered Species Act must be stopped! You can help us end Congress’ war on wildlife by contacting your senators and representatives and telling them to vote against any proposals that would damage the Endangered Species Act and weaken our ability to protect America’s imperiled wildlife.
source: Defenders of Wildlife