Friday, November 26, 2010

Mexican Gray Wolf- canis lupus bailyi

Smaller than the wolves that now roam in Yellowstone the Mexican Gray Wolf has a wild population of only 50 individuals in Arizona and New Mexico. Hunted to near extinction throughout the southwest the Mexican Gray Wolf was finally listed as an endangered species 33 years ago. Efforts at reintroduction have not been wildly successful due to a number of factors including the efforts of some grazing interests and ranchers whose narrow self interests have resulted in the deaths of wolves that have taken livestock on public land.
Unfortunately there are those in our society who refuse to see the greater good that comes from the reintroduction of large predators into an ecosystem as has been successfully demonstrated in Yellowstone National Park and other areas of the country. Wolves help to return an ecosystem to it's more natural state by returning the balance to the food chain. Deer and elk populations are controlled naturally, native plant populations recover, erosion is abated. The benefits go on and on but so do the wolf haters.
Where wolves once roamed on public lands there should be no question that they should be allowed to re-establish and make a come back. The question should be why do we allow ranchers and grazing interests to dictate what happens on our public lands. If ranchers want the use of public lands then they need to become stewards of the land and participate in keeping these lands healthy and natural and that means finding a way to live with wolves.
When I read about the Yellowstone Wolves, or Wolves in Arizona and New Mexico or Idaho or Wyoming there is a constant theme that runs though every narrative and that narrative is that these magnificent animals must be destroyed to protect livestock. This issue has caused me to refrain from eating beef altogether, to send financial support when I can and to speak out against those who would drive another species to extinction for personal gain. This is especially disturbing on public lands, lands that belong to you and me.
Some in America have over the past two centuries attempted to eradicate large predators from the landscape out of fear and ignorance. Unfortunately that fear and ignorance is alive and well today in many areas of the country and efforts to eradicate wolves continue even in populations as small and fragile as the Mexican Gray Wolf.
As is the case with most wildlife issues there are dedicated individuals and groups fighting to keep endangered species across the spectrum alive and well. It is these individuals and groups who are the front lines in the efforts to save wolves and many other endangered species from extinction. You. however, are the last line of defense in the ongoing effort to save some of the most significant creatures to walk or fly above the earth today. When you stand up and let yourself be heard in support of Wolves or Bison or California Condors then there is hope. When you make donations to these worthy causes you take a major step towards survival of a species. Don't for a minute think that it's taken care of because every program, every effort depends on the voice and generosity that comes from the everyday man or woman who just wants to help. You can make a huge difference in the efforts of the following organizations whose mission is to save our planet. Won't you please consider helping one of these amazing organizations today?

Here is a list of Endangered Species so you can see how much work is being done and how much needs to be done.


  1. The Endangered Wolf Center had been credited with saving the Mexican gray wolf and the Red wolf from extinction and is the world recognized organization for breeding these rare wolves for reintroduction. And of course it exists on the memberships and donations of individuals who care. Consider putting on your list (they're also on Facebook)