Please Tell the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: Release Mexican wolves into New Mexico and Arizona before it's too late

The Mexican gray wolf aka "El Lobo" is one of the most endangered species in the world. This sub species of the Gray wolf is somewhat smaller and has very distinct rounded ears. They once roamed all through out the Southwest in the U.S. and in Mexico. But as with their northern brothers, the Gray wolf, they suffered the same fate and were exterminated in the U.S. by the 1900's due to encroaching human populations and conflicts with livestock. Populations in Mexican diminished also on their own.

In 1976, they were listed as an endangered species and bi-national recovery efforts began shortly after that during the following year. Then six years later in 1982, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service took a major step to save them and approved the Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan, which recommended a captive breeding program. The goal of the program was to maintain at least 100 wolves in their historic range. Then in 1998, the first captive Mexican gray wolves were released in the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area in Arizona.

Recovery has been exceedingly slow however due to resistance by ranchers who do not want the wolf roaming on their lands. Although the wolf population is now at 58 with 6 breeding pairs up from 42 and 2 breeding pairs in 2009, it is still very fragile due to poaching/trapping, disease and natural threats such as the wildfires in 2011. Another major concern is the lack of healthy genetic diversity due to such a small breeding population in the wild.

In captivity however, there are currently 300 Mexican Gray wolves living at multiple facilities in the U.S. and Mexico as part of the Mexican Wolf Species Survival Plan. This plan calls for “maintaining the goal of housing a minimum of 240 wolves in captivity at all times to ensure the security of the species in captivity, while still being able to produce surplus animals for reintroduction.”

Conservationists are concerned at the slow rate of recovery and are calling for more urgent releases of this wolf species into the wild. According to Michael Robinson from the Center for Biological Diversity, "Restoring wolves to the wild helps restore the balance of nature in the Southwest. More wolves means stronger and more alert elk and deer, more leftover meals for badgers and bears, and healthier streamsides as elk spend less time eating willow shoots.”

What you can do to help speed up this action is to take a minute to sign the petition below asking the FWS to update its policies and begin releasing more Mexican gray wolves into the wild before its too late.


Responses to "Extremely endangered Mexican Gray wolves need our help to survive"

  1. Kathy Sanders says:

    Thank you for this article and the petition link. This is so important. More information about Mexican gray wolves and their plight is at

Write a comment