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Defenders of Wildlife

Ranch Hand Admits to Baiting Wolves to Prey on Livestock

Should people jailed for killing the Mexican Grey Wolf  

2 members have voted

  1. 1. If a person is caught doing an action that would lead to the killing of the Mexican Grey Wolf should they be prosecuted.

    • Yes
      2
    • No
      0
    • I do not care
      0


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High Country News reported in an article, Last Chance for the Lobo, that a ranch hand working on the Adobe-Slash Ranch in New Mexico abandoned a pregnant cow that was about to give birth in an area wolves were known to inhabit, in order to lure wolves into attacking livestock which would provide an excuse for removing the wolves. According to the article, the ranch hand knew where the wolves were by using radio-tracking data provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), which is meant to help ranchers avoid livestock losses. As the article reports, this baiting incident resulted in the lethal removal of the Durango pack’s alpha female.

 

Below is Defenders of Wildlife’s reaction to this news and a brief background on the efforts to restore the Mexican wolf to the Southwest.

 

“If the accusations detailed in Last Chance for the Lobo are true, it is deeply disturbing that someone would use the very tools offered to help them avoid conflict with wolves as a means to derail the recovery of the Mexican wolf. Defenders of Wildlife has worked hard to help ranchers coexist with wolves through compensation, cooperation and trust. It appears that ranch hand Mike Miller abused that trust and deliberately sacrificed livestock under his care to force the removal of endangered wolves.

 

“If the Mexican wolf is to remain a vital part of the Western landscape, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service must stop unethical individuals from abusing federal recovery programs and baiting the Mexican wolf into extinction. It’s time for the service to step up and recommit to their mission to recover endangered and threatened species. A good first step would be to re-double their efforts to monitor and manage this program.

 

“Right now, one Mexican gray wolf, or lobo, is killed or removed from the wild for every 1.1 confirmed livestock depredations in the Southwest. At this rate, the lobo could once again become extinct in the wild in a few short years.”

 

BACKGROUND:

 

The Mexican gray wolf once roamed throughout the Southwest, but by the early 1970s, the lobo had been almost completely exterminated. In 1976, the lobo was listed as an endangered species, and shortly thereafter the few remaining wolves were brought into a captive-breeding program involving FWS and more than 40 North American zoos. In 1998, the service reintroduced three family groups of wolves back into the Apache National Forest in eastern Arizona.

 

FWS has released almost 100 Mexican wolves since 1998. Unfortunately, a limited recovery area, heavy-handed management by the service, illegal poaching, and opponents who take advantage of the flexibility of the program have left us with only about 60 wolves in the wild today, and far too few breeding pairs to sustain the population

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Here are the facts:

 

There is not one documented case of a healthy, wild wolf killing a human in the United States. In fact, you are more likely to be killed by a meteorite than a wild wolf.

 

Wolves enjoy broad public support in the Southwest. A recent poll from Northern Arizona University found that 4 out of 5 Arizonans support letting wolves roam over a wider area of the Southwest -- 86% said wolves bring a natural balance to the Southwest landscape.

 

Wild wolves are a part of a balanced ecosystem. They provide natural culling of old, young, sick and weak prey animals like elk and dear. Wolves also move elk and deer, preventing overgrazing and destruction of habitat -- and creating healthy habitat for fish and songbirds.

 

Wolves could be a huge economic benefit to local communities. A study in of the Yellowstone region has found that wild wolves bring in millions of dollars to the local economy. We’re just beginning to see the potential in the Southwest: People are already paying guides and outfitters to go out into the Gila National Forest to try and catch a glimpse of wild wolves.

 

There are only about 50 wolves in the wild in Arizona and New Mexico. And they account for less than one percent of cattle loss in these states (less than 0.21% in Arizona and less than 0.65% in New Mexico). Disease, weather and other wildlife account for more livestock loss than wolves, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service.

 

Defenders pays compensation to ranchers for confirmed wolf-related livestock losses.

 

Wolves haven’t had a detectable effect on big game populations in the Southwest. The five year review of the Mexican wolf reintroduction project found that “to date, no detectable changes have occurred to big game populations as a result of wolf reintroduction. No changes in the number of permits issued for big game hunts have been made as a result of wolf presence, either.”

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Here are the facts:

 

There is not one documented case of a healthy, wild wolf killing a human in the United States. In fact, you are more likely to be killed by a meteorite than a wild wolf.

 

Wolves enjoy broad public support in the Southwest. A recent poll from Northern Arizona University found that 4 out of 5 Arizonans support letting wolves roam over a wider area of the Southwest -- 86% said wolves bring a natural balance to the Southwest landscape.

 

Wild wolves are a part of a balanced ecosystem. They provide natural culling of old, young, sick and weak prey animals like elk and dear. Wolves also move elk and deer, preventing overgrazing and destruction of habitat -- and creating healthy habitat for fish and songbirds.

 

Wolves could be a huge economic benefit to local communities. A study in of the Yellowstone region has found that wild wolves bring in millions of dollars to the local economy. We’re just beginning to see the potential in the Southwest: People are already paying guides and outfitters to go out into the Gila National Forest to try and catch a glimpse of wild wolves.

 

There are only about 50 wolves in the wild in Arizona and New Mexico. And they account for less than one percent of cattle loss in these states (less than 0.21% in Arizona and less than 0.65% in New Mexico). Disease, weather and other wildlife account for more livestock loss than wolves, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service.

 

Defenders pays compensation to ranchers for confirmed wolf-related livestock losses.

 

Wolves haven’t had a detectable effect on big game populations in the Southwest. The five year review of the Mexican wolf reintroduction project found that “to date, no detectable changes have occurred to big game populations as a result of wolf reintroduction. No changes in the number of permits issued for big game hunts have been made as a result of wolf presence, either.”

 

I am a huge animal lover and think that you should totally be prosicuted for harming any Grey Wolves or any indangered species. They are part of our ecosystem and we need them. I am out in nature all the time and see how our rivers and streams are being poluted and trash being left around. What the heck are people thinking. There are more problems with people not taking responsibility for there selves and actions and I have had it. I always make an effort to do my part and clean up any trash I see when I am fishing, or hiking and do my part to make this world, The C&O Canal and the Potomac River a better, cleaner place to visit. The Potomac River is a wonderful place and I want to keep it that way.. I hope that the Grey Wolves can survive and thrive in the future.

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