The Fish and Wildlife Service has taken
action on hundreds of imperiled plants and animals under WildEarth Guardians’
landmark species settlement agreement this year. But one of the most
anticipated decisions is yet to come: whether
to provide greater protection for Mexican wolves under the Endangered Species
You probably believed the imperiled
Mexican wolf is already fully protected under the ESA. In fact, the “Mexican
wolf” does not even EXIST under the law—rather the government classifies the
Mexican wolf as a population of gray wolves, like those in Yellowstone, Canada
or Alaska. If you’re confused, you’re not alone. The federal government inappropriately
grouped the Mexican wolf with the more numerous gray wolf in a revised listing decision
over 30 years ago and despite knowing this was an error, has never bothered to
fix it. The lobo has been fictitiously managed as a separate population of
“gray wolves” ever since, unnecessarily hindering and delaying their recovery.
Please endorse our letter to Secretary of the Interior Ken
Salazar and Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe urging them to separately
list Mexican wolves under federal law.
Fewer than 60 Mexican wolves are
believed to exist in the wild. And although we were heartened by the discovery
of two new wolf packs in New Mexico this spring—the Canyon Creek and Elk Horn
packs—these animals will need a lot more help to recover.
Congress recognized the importance of separately
protecting subspecies under the ESA. Separate listing would provide the basis
for new and improved conservation efforts for the lobo, including designating
critical habitat and updating the outdated recovery plan prepared in 1982—when
Ronald Reagan was President and Mick Jagger didn’t have wrinkles.
Please join WildEarth Guardians and
tell the Secretary and Director that the only right decision for Mexican wolves
is to list them independently from gray wolves under the ESA.