Arizona Wolves Are in Big Trouble

At last count, just 42 wild Mexican wolves remained in the entire world, 27 of them in Arizona.

Despite these critically low numbers, the Arizona Game and Fish Commission (AZGF) thinks Mexican wolves don’t deserve the protection that the Endangered Species Act provides. Visit the Defenders of Wildlife site and tell the Arizona Game and Fish Commission to strengthen wolf recovery efforts, not weaken them.

The AZ Game and Fish Commission recently announced their support for eliminating much-needed federal protections for gray wolves, leaving recovery efforts up to the state. Arizona’s unscientific political grandstanding could cost Mexican wolves their last chance at recovery.

The State of Arizona was largely in control of recovery efforts for six years under the Adaptive Management Oversight Committee. During this period the wolf population declined partly due to excessive wolf removal efforts and poaching. The state actually suggested placing a moratorium on wolf releases. This is not a sustainable way to protect this imperiled animal.

If recovery efforts are put solely in the hands of the state this time, one thing is for certain – our wolves are in serious jeopardy of continued population decline.

Take action now and tell the Arizona Game and Fish Commission that Arizona wolves need federal protections.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has the resources, know-how and experience needed to successfully recover Mexican wolves across the Southwest.

In the past year, USFWS has begun taking steps to undo the gridlock and failures of the past.

Under the USFWS’s leadership…

  • Wolf releases are set to resume after two and a half years
  • Removal of Mexican wolves has slowed or stopped
  • A new recovery team is in place to plan the recovery of Mexican wolves
  • A new federal fund has been established to compensate livestock owners for losses to wolves and help ranchers adopt husbandry practices to reduce livestock-wolf conflicts.

The Game and Fish Commission should be lending its full support to these efforts – not bickering over who’s in charge. Take action now.

Seventy-seven percent of Arizonans support the reintroduction of wolves, but the AZ Game and Fish Commission is playing politics, threatening the few wolves that exist in the state. If they continue in this direction, it may be too late.

We can save Mexican wolves in the Southwest, but we need your help. Take action now and ensure that these animals are around for years to come.

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