6th Mexican wolf dead this year (of 42 wild); Arizona proposes finally releasing one

Yet another Mexican wolf shot

Yet another critically endangered Mexican Gray Wolf has turned up dead under suspicious circumstances. Out of a wild population of 42, six wolves have died this year, five suspiciously. Arizona Fish and Game and the US Fish and Wildlife Service announced on Dec. 9 and 10 their decision to release a single wolf into the wild this month or next. What they didn’t say at the time was that on Dec. 2, they had just discovered yet another poached wolf, this time in Catron County, NM.–making it the 6th dead this year out of a population of only 42.

Associated Press reporter Susan Montoya Bryan confirmed that the Wildlife Service already has ” identified the people believed to be involved” in the killing of F521 from the Fox Mountain Pack. The Arizona Fish and Game Department, which effectively runs the wolf re-introduction despite a court settlement and despite the way they really don’t want the wolves around, hasn’t bothered to notify the public about the wanting the wolves. The last update I could find was that they noted in that they picked up her radio collar in November in the northwestern portion of the Gila National Forest.

The wolf that Arizona Fish and Game says that they’re going to set free is known as M1049. He steps into the Hawk’s Nest pack basically to replace one of the many wolves shot this year. M1049 was born into the Saddle pack in 2007 and Arizona Fish and Game quickly captured his family to appease cattlemen.

Don’t anybody tell M1049 he’s getting released and get his hopes up. Given AFGD’s track record, his chances don’t look that great. They made a big show all of 2010 about releasing eight new wolves, which came to be known as the Engineer Spring Eight. Then they decided not, to ensure the cooperation of “partners,” meaning ranchers, who as we all know really have the wolves’ best interest at heart. This is the same department that favors delisting the gray wolf altogether and favored proposition 109, which would have given all wildlife management power to politicans. Not that the AFGD is full of impartial scientists now.

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