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Groups Request End to Trapping & Snaring in Mexican Wolf Habitat in NM

14 Mexican Wolves have Been Trapped by Private Trappers

Santa Fe, NM. Today, WildEarth Guardians, the Sierra Club, and Southwest Environmental Center petitioned federal agencies and requested an emergency halt to all trapping and snaring on the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area. Numerous Mexican gray wolves, which face imminent extinction, have been harmed by traps set throughout the recovery area. The groups sought immediate increased protections for Mexican wolves or lobos from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Forest Service in New Mexico.

“In recent years, fourteen Mexican wolves have been trapped either illegally or inadvertently. Two wolves had their legs amputated as a result. Trapping on the range of a highly endangered species is simply irresponsible and preventable,” stated Wendy Keefover-Ring of WildEarth Guardians. “Federal agencies can immediately protect these wolves with stronger regulations since the State of New Mexico has failed to take adequate steps to protect the lobo,” she added.

Mexican wolves, one of the most endangered species on the planet, number only 42 individuals in the wild.

Seventy-five percent of Mexican wolves’ habitat on the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area occurs on the Gila National Forest.

Since 1994, Arizona has forbidden trapping by individuals on public lands. The result: 12 of the 14 wolves were trapped in New Mexico.

Studies show that animals captured in body-gripping traps endure physiological trauma, dehydration, exposure, and predation. Animals that have been trapped and then released may sustain tissue damage and other injuries that can reduce their survivability, or increase the likelihood of their preying on domestic livestock because they are easier prey than native wildlife.

“Both the alpha male and female of the Middle Fork pack are missing limbs-one from a trap, the other from an unknown cause. Snares and traps are inherently cruel and non-selective,” stated Mary Katherine Ray of Sierra Club - Rio Grande Chapter. “Traps set out for coyotes and bobcats in New Mexico can catch a wolf,” she added.

“Mexican wolves need the freedom to roam in their native habitat, and the Gila National Forest is some of the best habitat available to them. The federal government should make this area as safe as possible for wolves, and they should start by eliminating the threat trapping poses,” added Keefover-Ring.

View the Petition to the U.S. Forest Service

View the Petition to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service


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