U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service jumps in to save Mexican gray wolf pups, but are they going about it the right way?
For the first time in the history of Mexican gray wolf recovery, this week the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (the Service) intervened in the rearing of a new litter of Mexican wolf pups, using a new management strategy to increase the likelihood that newly born litter will survive through their first weeks in the wild.
The Service moved two young pups from a single mother into a new litter of the same age with an experienced mother. In the world of wildlife biology, this strategy is called “cross fostering,” but in simple terms, what this means is that the newly born wolf pups were placed in a foster family. Wolf biologists fear that the young pups wouldn’t have survived had they not moved them—the pups’ original mother had no mate to assist her in hunting or parenting — which doesn’t fare well for the pups.
If the plan is successful, this strategy will bring more wolves to New Mexico’s wilds and will add much-needed genetic variety to the struggling population. We wish these fostered pups well, and will be monitoring their progress. Successful cross fostering would open the door to further improving genetic diversity in the wild population by placing pups born in captivity into wild dens. This complex strategy, however, cannot make up for what the Service must do now: release more wolves, complete a science-based recovery plan, and begin to establish the two new core populations that are necessary if lobos are to survive and thrive. Tell the Service to take decisive action to rescue the Mexican gray wolf!
Montana Announces Stamp to Fund Wolf Conservation
This week the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) Commission passed a proposal to create a “Wolf Conservation Stamp” to raise money for wolf conservation efforts throughout the state. FWP Commission will now conduct rulemaking which will involve an opportunity for the public to review and comment on the final proposed rule for this stamp. Under the current plan, the stamp will be available for public purchase later this year, and proceeds will fund Montana’s FWP’s wolf conservation efforts. We will keep you posted on the comment period. In the interim, a big thank you to the FWP Commission is in order for providing an opportunity for wildlife enthusiasts from across the country to help support and contribute to wolf conservation in Montana!
Animal Planet’s Segment on “Man-Eating” Wolves is Outrageous and Damaging!
Animal Planet has sadly joined the legions of wolf-haters waging war on our struggling wolves. As part of their “Monster Week” ratings grab, Animal Planet is airing a lurid, factually absurd, and shameful show called “Man-Eating Super Wolves. This show is based on nothing other than myth and hype, and while the station may only be thinking about getting views or clicks to their website, in reality, they are contributing to a disturbing trend of increasingly aggressive and fanatical portrayals of wolves by the media. It’s no surprise that when media paints wolves and fearsome vermin, the public’s aggression and disdain for wolves increases. The number of graphic photos and hateful dialogue about wolves is escalating quickly online.One simply cannot keep up with the number of social media sites promoting brutal wolf killing, for example: Idaho against the Gray Wolves ; Kill the Wolves ; Kill all the wolves (every last worthless vermin wolf!); Wolves Are Profane Vermin Not Scared Animals ; The Only Good Wolf is A Dead Wolf. TV channels like Animal Planet must accept responsibility for the real-world consequences of airing shoddy tabloid pseudo-documentaries.