Mexican gray wolves once roamed vast portions of the Southwest and Mexico, but were persecuted so harshly they were essentially eradicated by the 1900s.
In 1976 they were listed as an endangered species and bi-national recovery efforts began, but despite decades of protection there are still only an estimated 113 in the wild. They can now only be found in the Blue Range Recovery Area of eastern Arizona and western New Mexico, and they're considered one of the most endangered mammals in North America.
Conservationists have been advocating for measures that will help them rebound in the southwest for years, but they've faced opposition and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has continued to fail to come up with an actual recovery plan, which it's required to do under the Endangered Species Act.
The latest recovery plan released this past November has been harshly criticized for disregarding the best available science, and the will of tens of thousands of people who spoke out in support of Mexican wolf recovery.
While it's being challenged in court, these iconic wolves are facing another potentially lethal threat – a bill introduced by Arizona Senator Jeff Flake that would strip them of endangered species protection if the FWS finds there are more than 100 wolves in their designated recovery area.
It's a number that's already been exceeded, but it's still wildly under the population threshold that would ensure their survival. If this passes, it would likely doom them to extinction.
The few who are surviving in the wild already face a host of threats ranging from a serious lack of genetic diversity, diseases, natural disasters and being killed by humans to not being allowed to expand their population to suitable habitat outside of their recovery area.
Please sign and share this petition urging Congress not to pass this disastrous bill, or any other anti-wolf riders being attached to the latest must-pass budget.