It’s been a rocky start to the year for Mexican gray wolves. First, it was the decrease in the wild population as documented in the year-end count. Then, several wolf deaths in the new year, some if not all caused by humans. And finally, the New Mexico Game and Fish Commission continues to thwart recovery efforts in our state, attempting to restrict or prohibit the release of captive wolves into the wild.
None of those things have changed and it will continue to be an ongoing battle to establish a genetically-diverse population of Mexican wolves, safe from extinction, living in their native habitat. But there was some good news in the final week of April.
Here are a few of the stories:
April 23, 2016 An editorial in the Santa Fe New Mexican spoke out strongly in favor of the wolf recovery program and in support of the planned introduction of a new pack and cross-fostering of pups in New Mexico
April 28, 2016 A “more wolves, less politics” rally was held outside the U.S. Fish and Wildlife (FWS) building in Albuquerque urging the agency to move forward with plans to release wolves in the Gila National Forest. The event also commemorated the day 40 years ago when the wolf was added to the endangered species list.
April 29, 2016 And most positive of all: the news that earlier in the week two captive Mexican wolf pups born just days before at the Endangered Wolf Center in Missouri had been transported to New Mexico and placed in a den with a wild pack that had new pups of their own. Known as cross-fostering, it’s one way to get some much-needed genetic diversity into the wild population. FWS confirmed that the cross-fostering was successful with the alpha female accepting the new pups.
Finally, I’ll leave you with this rare video of a howling wolf shared by FWS. Identified as 1455 of the Prieto Pack in New Mexico, this male yearling was given the name Tsuki (the Japanese word for moon) in the recent naming contest.