Don't Let Congress Condemn the Mexican Wolf to Extinction!
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We are writing to you today to express our extreme concerns about S.2277, which would delist the Mexican Gray Wolf (Canis lupus baileyi) from the List of Threatened and Endangered Wildlife (Congress 2018).
The Mexican Gray Wolf is the most genetically distinct subspecies of the Gray Wolf (Canis lupus) in North America, and is native to Mexico and the American Southwest. This wolf was subjected to extensive human persecution once Europeans colonized the continent, which nearly drove it to extinction. The Mexican Gray Wolf was listed as an Endangered subspecies in 1976, and became extinct in the wild once the last seven survivors were removed into captivity. This wolf was reintroduced to Arizona and New Mexico in 1998 and to Mexico in 2011. While the wild populations have been increasing in recent years, the subspecies struggles to recover, with only 113 wolves in the American Southwest and 31 wolves in Mexico (USFWS 2017).
The Mexican Gray Wolf is protected as Endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) because it is in serious danger of going extinct, and it is one of the most endangered mammals in North America (ASM 2007). The Mexican Gray Wolf is ranked as Critically Imperiled by the esteemed conservation organization NatureServe (Hammerson 2013), which is defined as a species that is “at very high risk of extinction due to extreme rarity…, very steep declines, or other factors” (NatureServe 2018).
The purpose of the ESA is stated as “to provide a program for the conservation of… endangered species” (Congress 1973), with the ESA defining an Endangered species as “any species which is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range” (Congress 1973). This bill would be a violation of the ESA since it strips the Mexican Gray Wolf of its ESA protections and could potentially result in the extinction of this Endangered subspecies.
We ask that you please vote against this harmful anti-wolf bill. Thank you.
American Society of Mammalogists (ASM). 2007. Reintroduction and conservation of the Mexican gray wolf. <https://www.mammalsociety.org/committees/resolutions/resolution-of-gray-wolves>
Hammerson, G. 2013. Canis lupus baileyi. NatureServe. <http://explorer.natureserve.org/servlet/NatureServe?searchName=Canis+lupus+baileyi>
NatureServe. 2018. Conservation status assessment: identifying threatened species and ecosystems. <http://www.natureserve.org/conservation-tools/conservation-status-assessment>
US Congress. 1973. Endangered Species Act. 16 U.S.C.
US Congress. 2018. S.2277 - A bill to require the delisting of Mexican gray wolves under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 on a determination that the subspecies has been sufficiently recovered in the United States. <https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/2277?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22wolves%22%5D%7D&r=1>
USFWS (United States Fish and Wildlife Service). 2017. Mexican wolf recovery plan, first revision.
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