Friday, October 30, 2015

Urgent! Stop the planned trapping of the Bluestem Wolves!

Send your message now please, very urgent, planned for Nov. 1!

To : ,,

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Southwest Regional Director
Dr. Benjamin Tuggle

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Mexican Wolf Recovery Coordinator
Sherry Barrett
Mexican Wolf Recovery Coordinator: 505-346-2525
Main Office: 505-248-6920

Sir, madam, to whom it concerns:

Again, I'm very outraged to read that U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) quietly issued a decision last month to trap wolves from the Bluestem Pack in Arizona if its members depredate on livestock by November 1st.

With only 110 in the wild, every wild Mexican wolf is important, yet USFWS continues to treat these wolves as expendable.  If the USFWS is truly concerned about the growth of the population and its genetic health why do you continue to trap wolves ?!

1) Instead of scapegoating and removing rare wolves for livestock losses, the government should release more wolves into the wild and work with livestock owners to implement the full range of available, proven-effective prevention measures.

In this case, the affected grazing permittee indicated a willingness to move his cattle away from the wolves over a month ago if he could get the necessary assistance to do so. As it is, the grazing season in this area ends November 1st and helping to move these cattle a few days early would likely cost USFWS far less than trapping these endangered wolves. And it would avoid the risk of wolves being injured or killed, which is invaluable.

The decision to leave the Bluestem wolves in the wild is the right one, and it should not be conditional. The government should not target critically endangered wolves for death or permanent removal.
The Bluestem pack has pups born this summer. Removing wolves will disrupt this family and will place all of its members  nearby at risk, since capture carries a high risk of accidental death or injury. And it perpetuates a failed policy of scapegoating wolves who occasionally prey on livestock.
2)Trapping critically endangered animals over livestock depredations is unacceptable.
Livestock businesses on public lands are reimbursed for losses and can receive government and non-profit assistance for non-lethal measures to avoid depredation. They have a responsibility to do so

So Moving Mexican gray wolves closer to extinction is not the solution to livestock conflicts.
Regardless of the species involved in these types of contest USFWS is overlooking the inherent value of the wild animals they’re so determined to destroy. It’s been well established that coyotes and wolves play an important role in maintaining healthy ecosystems as apex predators.  If USFWS is really interested in working towards balancing wildlife or protecting livestock, then this contest and the mass killing that will ensue would not be taking place.

While many supporters continue to argue that these contests are a reasonable method for controlling predator populations and protecting livestock, scientists counter that they do more harm than good and can, ironically, lead to more livestock predation.

Their findings suggest that ‘trophic downgrading’ — the ecological consequences of losing large apex consumers from nature — causes extensive cascading effects in ecosystems worldwide, especially when exacerbated by factors such as land use practices, climate changes, habitat loss, and pollution,” according to a statement from the Institute for Ocean Conservation Science, which provided major funding for the study, along with Pew Charitable Trust.
Some of the additional consequences noted were changes in vegetation, water quality, the frequency of wildfires, invasive species and the spread of infectious diseases. The review cited examples from the vegetation recovery after wolves were reintroduced at Yellowstone to the increase in intestinal parasites spread from baboons to each other and humans as a result of the loss of lions and leopards in Africa.

“By looking at ecosystems primarily from the bottom up, scientists and resource managers have been focusing on only half of a very complex equation,” said lead author Dr. James A. Estes, professor of ecology and evolution at the University of California at Santa Cruz. “These findings demonstrate that top consumers in the food web are enormous influencers of the structure, function, and biodiversity of most natural ecosystems.”

Hopefully the people that support this type of massacre will one day realize that they are part of a world where all species, even dreaded predators, have a role to play so that all life can continue. Hopefully they will recognize the importance of fostering compassion toward all life around us.


Here are some facts about Mexican gray wolves and livestock:There are only about 110 Mexican gray wolves in the wild in the Southwest and they are listed for protection as an Endangered Species.

There are millions of domestic livestock in the Southwest, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service.  From 1998-2014, only 266 livestock deaths and 51 livestock injuries in the Southwest were attributed to wolves.

In Arizona, wolves are responsible for less than one percent of livestock losses; in New Mexico, wolves are responsible for less than one half of one percent of livestock losses.

To minimize the costs to individual livestock owners of losing livestock to wolves, multiple compensation programs are in place, as well as help to implement coexistence measures that significantly reduce the likelihood of depredations occurring in the first place.

In spite of repeated warnings from scientists that the wild population desperately needs genetic rescue to combat inbreeding that threatens the wolves’ future, USFWS only released 4 new Mexican gray wolves into the wild from 2007-2014.
During the same period, USFWS killed or removed 5 wolves from the wild over livestock conflicts, including a mother wolf who had young pups at the time she was trapped.

Black Wolf:

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