Mexican Gray Wolf

Mexican Gray Wolf Plan Disaster


Monday, December 4, 2017


Last Wednesday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) finalized a recovery plan for the Mexican gray wolf that makes a mockery of wildlife recovery. If this plan is implemented, it is likely to result in the extinction of the Mexican wolf, according to Michael Robinson, conservation advocate at the Center for Biological Diversity.  Mexican gray wolves are one of North America’s most threatened species with less than 97 living in the wild at this time.


Contrary to the standard wolf-hater rhetoric, conservation efforts for wolves are not based on personal appreciation for wolf species, even though this apex predator could teach man a lot about loyalty and courage. Wolves are ecologically essential. We have experienced the ecosystem failings brought about by the extermination of apex predators, confirmed by biologists – species experts and ecosystem specialists.


The Mexican gray wolf is a subspecies of the North American gray wolf and historically lived in the mountain forests, grasslands, and shrub-lands of southwestern Texas, southern New Mexico, southeastern Arizona and also in central and northern Mexico. They did not live in low deserts, like their close relative, the coyote, but managed specific ecological subsystems.  Listed under the protection of the Endangered Species Act in 1976, Mexican gray wolves have struggled to recover from near-extinction. Today they exist in the wild in two areas:

  • northern Mexico – approximately 31 wolves
  • southwestern United States – around 113 wolves


The original recovery plan recommended three connected zones in the United States with 250 wolves in each zone and included a warning that small, isolated populations are vulnerable to collapse. The plan released Wednesday under the Trump administration calls for a single United States population of 320 wolves and restricts their range to southern Arizona and New Mexico in spite of wildlife biologist studies identifying northern New Mexico and the Grand Canyon area as vital habitats for Mexican gray wolf recovery.


FWS is again siding with ranchers who want to exterminate wolves again and have the GOP and Trump administration backing to do so. Why? The congressional attacks on the Endangered Species Act (ESA) -aiming to eliminate it entirely, if possible – and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) … along with reducing/eliminating public lands and national monuments … and enabling the extinction of keystone species … is directly tied to selling and long-term leasing those lands for drilling, fracking, mining, and clear-cut logging. This benefits large corporate concerns at the expense of the American people. We are affected negatively in multiple ways:

  • lands that we taxpayers have supported for decades are being remade as privately owned – without our permission or compensation
  • reduced and eliminated areas for recreation
  • reduced and eliminated areas for hunters
  • putting land belonging to American citizens at high risk of disastrous contamination of water, land, and air – which negatively affects citizens far down the road from these regions



Former Mexican wolf recovery coordinated for the FWS, David Parsons says, “The FWS published over 250 pages of supporting ‘scientific’ justification, used a sophisticated model to predict extinction probabilities, then tossed the science aside and asked the states how many wolves they would tolerate with no scientific justification whatsoever. Using the states’ arbitrary upper limit as a population cap in the population viability model and forcing additional  recovery needs to Mexico, the plan will guarantee that, from now to eternity, no more than a running average of 325 Mexican wolves will ever be allowed to exist in the entire US Southwest. This plan is a disgraceful sham.”


The Endangered Species Coalition analyzed 100,000 comments submitted through on the plan and found 99 percent supported wolf recovery. Environmental law nonprofit EarthJustice has filed a notice of intent to sue over the “gross inadequacies” of the plan on behalf of the Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife, The Endangered Wolf Center, David Parsons, and the Wolf Conservation Center.





Michael Robinson, (575) 313-7017,
Bryan Bird, (505) 395-7332,
Hailey Hawkins, (662) 251-5804,
Greta Anderson (520) 623-1878,
Emily Renn, (928) 202-1325,
Christopher Smith, (505) 395-6177,
Sandy Bahr, (602) 999-5790,
Maggie Howell, (914) 763-2373,
Kim Crumbo, (928)
Dave Parsons, (505) 908-0468,

What can we do to help?


Volunteer and donate to proven wolf conservation organizations as much as possible. Call and write your representatives and senators urging them to support recovery and letting them know that wildlife/environmental issues are high on your priority list as a voter. Speak to friends, family, and co-workers. Vote.


Contact info for U.S. Senators


Contact info for U.S. Representatives




Basic Facts About Mexican Gray Wolves. (2016, March 30). Retrieved from


In the News: Mexican wolf recovery plan finalized. (2017, August 29). Retrieved from


Mexican Wolf Recovery Planning. (2017, November 29). Retrieved from


Schweig, S. V. (2017, March 29). Congress Members Are Trying To Gut The Endangered Species Act. Retrieved from


Service, U. F. (2017, November 29). Revision to Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan Outlines Conservation Strategy, Highlights Service’s Commitment to Working with Landowners, States, Tribes, Mexico. Retrieved from


Service, U. F. (n.d.). U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Retrieved from


The Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery Program Home. (2016). Retrieved from


Trump Administration Finalizes Flawed Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan. (2017, December 01). Retrieved from


What You Need To Know About The Mexican Gray Wolf. (2017, November 29). Retrieved from



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