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Notice of Intent to Sue for Violating the Endangered Species Act When Issuing a Final Recovery Plan for the Mexican wolf

The Western Environmental Law Center provided this notice of intent to sue the federal government for violating the Endangered Species Act in its final Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan, on behalf of WildEarth Guardians (“Guardians”), Western Watersheds Project (“WWP”), Wildlands Network, and the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance. Guardians, WWP, Wildlands Network, and the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance have significant, concrete interests in ensuring the long-term survival and recovery of Mexican wolves in the contiguous United States and ensuring the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“the Service”) utilizes the best available science and complies with the ESA when preparing a recovery plan for the Mexican wolf.

Final Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan, USFWS, First Revision

The final Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service aims to establish and maintain a minimum of two resilient, genetically diverse Mexican wolf populations distributed across ecologically and
geographically diverse areas in the subspecies’ range in the United States and Mexico. The USFWS’s stated recovery goal is to conserve and protect the Mexican wolf and its habitat so that its longterm survival is secured, populations are capable of enduring threats, and it can be removed from the list of threatened and endangered species.

Four Species on the Brink

This report summarizes the most relevant and up-to-date information on four charismatic species affected by the fragmentation of habitat and disruption of movement corridors resulting from the existing and proposed border infrastructure and associated militarization. It focuses on the Arizona-Sonora border and covers a small portion of western New Mexico’s border with Chihuahua, but its framework and broad themes are relevant to any evaluation of impacts to wildlife across the entire U.S.-Mexico border.

Mexican Wolf Comments to USFWS from Wildlands Network

Wildlands Network responds to the USFWS’s draft plan for Mexican wolf recovery: Our immediate concern is the draft plan falls far short of the mark needed for recovery of these critically endangered wolves, and that these shortcomings are driven by politics rather than the science of wolf recovery. If implemented, it would allow fewer than half the number of wolves in the wild that most of the previous recovery team scientists say are needed in the U.S. for recovery—with another small isolated population in Mexico—at which time the states would assume full management responsibility for Lobo survival. The prospect of premature downlisting and delisting, exacerbated by the relevant states’ record opposing wolf recovery discussed below, affords a recipe for extinction—not recovery— for one of the most critically endangered wild mammals in North America.

Draft Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan, USFWS, First Revision (Spanish translation)

El lobo mexicano (Canis lupus baileyi) es una subespecie en peligro de extinción del lobo gris protegido por la Ley de especies en peligro de extinción (ESA, por sus siglas en inglés) desde 1976. Después de la casi extinción del lobo mexicano debido a los esfuerzos de erradicación de depredadores desde finales del siglo XIX a mediados del siglo XX, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, México, y organismos asociados, iniciaron un programa binacional de crianza en cautiverio con 7 lobos y comenzaron los esfuerzos para restablecer los lobos mexicanos en estado salvaje en los Estados Unidos (en 1998) y México (en 2011). Nuestra estrategia de recuperación para el lobo mexicano es establecer y mantener un mínimo de dos poblaciones resilientes de lobos mexicanos, genéticamente diversos distribuidas a través de áreas ecológica y geográficamente diversas en el rango de la subespecie en Estados Unidos y México.

Draft Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan, USFWS, First Revision

The Mexican wolf (Canis lupus baileyi) is an endangered subspecies of gray wolf protected by the Endangered Species Act (ESA) since 1976. Following the near extinction of the Mexican wolf due to predator eradication efforts in the mid to late 1800’s to mid-1900’s, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Mexico, and partner agencies initiated a binational captive breeding program with 7 wolves and began efforts to re-establish Mexican wolves in the wild in the United States (in 1998) and Mexico (in 2011). Our recovery strategy for the Mexican wolf is to establish and maintain a minimum of two resilient, genetically diverse Mexican wolf populations distributed across ecologically and geographically diverse areas in the subspecies’ range in the United States and Mexico.