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Federal Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan Lacks Scientific Credibility

A wolf, whose neck extends downward from the upper left corner of the frame, places her mouth close to one of her pups' mouths to feed it.

This is post 1 of 7 in "Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan."

Throughout this series, we will follow the progression of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's proposed Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan, which ignores the best available science about the population sizes and habitat areas essential to recovery. You will learn more about changes to the USFWS plan, our suggested improvements to the plan, and how you can help. All posts in this series…

Conservationists say plan offers a path to extinction, not recovery

Phoenix, AZ (June 29, 2017)– After reviewing key sections of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) Draft Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan, published earlier today, the habitat protection group Wildlands Network says the plan fails to adequately consider or incorporate the best available science, rendering it insufficient to ensure Mexican wolf recovery.

“Countless attempts have been made by conservationists, including wolf experts and scientists, to ensure the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service drafted a meaningful recovery plan,” said Kim Crumbo, conservation director for Wildlands Network. “But once again we’re seeing fundamental flaws that will undermine recovery, and possibly even long-term survival, of Mexican wolves.”

Within the last 20 years, USFWS has convened numerous advisory teams of experts to provide scientifically defensible recovery strategies for the Mexican wolf, but advice and guidance from these teams has routinely been discarded and ignored, says Crumbo.  In addition, he notes that the states inappropriately, if not illegally, pressured the USFWS behind closed doors to exclude the Grand Canyon ecoregion and southern Colorado from the plan — habitat regions considered by experts to be essential for the full recovery of the “Lobo.” Lack of planned reintroductions within the wolf’s recovery zone and reliance on other unproven scientific data were also cited as chief problems inherent in the new recovery plan.

The recovery plan released today was completed by USFWS as part of a settlement agreement with conservation groups and numerous western states completed in 2016. The agreement was reached after numerous parties filed suit in federal court alleging the USFWS had failed to meet its obligations under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to draft a recovery plan in a timely manner.

Crumbo and Wildlands Network say they are committed to ensuring the success of the binational effort to recover Mexican wolves across their historic range in northern Mexico and the southwestern U.S., with support and assistance from the USFWS and partnerships between conservationists in the U.S. and Mexico.

“The USFWS and other state agencies have a legal obligation to provide leadership for Mexican wolf recovery efforts and we believe the American people will not allow the agency to evade that legal responsibility,” said Crumbo.

According to the latest population data provided by USFWS, there are approximately 100 Mexican wolves remaining in the wild, making it one of the most endangered species on the planet.

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Wildlands Network envisions a world where nature is unbroken, and where humans co-exist in harmony with the land and its wild inhabitants. Our mission is to reconnect, restore, and rewild North America so life in all its diversity can thrive.

Contact

Kim Crumbo: 928-606-5850, crumbo@wildlandsnetwork.org

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