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Mexican Wolf Gets Special Endangered Species Status

posted Apr 3, 2015, 10:57 PM by chloe owens

3/16/15, by Kenneth Artz, Heartland

Mexican Wolf Gets Special Endangered Species Status

More contact between wolves and humans is in store as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has decided to list Mexican gray wolves as endangered but with a special designation…This changed in January when the FWS announced the “experimental” phase of the wolves’ release is ending. Mexican wolves will not be lumped in with the main gray wolf species. Instead, the animals will receive their own classification as an “endangered,” subspecies, affording them greater protections and ensuring the Mexican wolves living in the wild can continue to roam freely…“The key to the conservation of large predators is acceptance by the rural livestock owners who bear the brunt of these predators killing their animals. Absent a more substantive and comprehensive program to compensate ranchers for livestock killed by wolves, coupled with the vastly expanded region in which wolves can live—which will lead to a significantly larger wolf population—will result in more wolf-human conflict. This is bad for wolves and bad for ranchers,” Seasholes said. “If pressure groups that are wolf advocates want Mexican wolves to repopulate large parts of the Southwest, then they, and the wealthy foundations and individuals who support them, should use their millions of dollars on fostering goodwill with ranchers by setting up and funding a serious compensation initiative…although the wolves will be allowed to expand their territory to four times its current size, their range cannot extend north of Arizona’s Interstate 40. In addition, the Endangered Species Act (ESA) usually sets minimum population goals for species’ recoveries, not maximum numbers, but Mexican wolves will be allowed only to reach 325 members from the current 80. Excess wolves will be captured and relocated to Mexico.