Friday, January 06, 2017

14 deaths of Mexican gray wolves in 2016 are most since species was reintroduced into wild in 1998

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said deaths of endangered Mexican gray wolves reached record levels in 2016, Cecelia Smith-Schoenwalder reports for Greenwire. Last year 14 wolves died, the most since the species was reintroduced in Arizona and New Mexico in 1998. Two deaths were caused by officials attempting to capture and collar the predator for survey purposes. An estimated 97 wild Mexican gray wolves live in the U.S.

"Some of the deaths are still under investigation," Smith-Schoenwalder writes. "In FWS's October 2016 Mexican gray wolf update, it offered a reward of up to $10,000 for information that would lead to the conviction of whoever was responsible for shooting and killing Mexican wolves. Nongovernmental organizations and private individuals offered an additional $46,000."

Craig Miller, senior Southwest representative for Defenders of Wildlife, "said he is optimistic the numbers will increase from last year's survey, due to more pups surviving," Smith-Schoenwalder writes. "Collaboration among conservationists, officials and ranchers has increased tolerance of the predator, he said." (Read more)

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