Friday, February 27, 2015

Saving America's forgotten wolves

Over time, I've begun to consider Defenders of Wildlife CEO Jamie Rappaport Clark a Katalusis writer. She emails me about her latest wildlife concerns, and I'm pleased to post them here. This just in from Jamie:

Dear Virginia,
You and I are almost out of time to avoid a heartbreaking tragedy.

Two different American wolves could become extinct in the wild within the next decade – unless we act now.

Wild populations of red wolves and Mexican gray wolves live 2,000 miles apart but could share a similar tragic fate.

Help us save America’s forgotten wolves, and other imperiled species, with an urgent contribution to Defenders of Wildlife.

Mexican Gray Wolves – Native to the U.S.

Despite their name, Mexican gray wolves are native to both the U.S. and Mexico!

Their fur a mix of gray, rust, black and cream colors, these smaller gray wolves once roamed throughout the southwestern United States. Slaughtered as vermin, they were wiped out in the wild by the 1980s.
In 1998, I personally oversaw the release of eleven Mexican gray wolves from captivity – the first of their kind in the wild for many generations. At last count, there were only 109 in the wildlands of Arizona and New Mexico these beautiful animals are hanging on by a thread.

With your help, the Defenders team has led the fight for Mexican gray wolf survival. We have helped ranchers coexist with wolves, gone to court to make sure the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) does the right thing, and showed up and spoken up wherever we were needed. Now, the lobos are facing grave new challenges. 

Your urgent support will help us keep the pressure on FWS to finally save the lobos!

Red Wolves: A Fatal Resemblance to Coyotes

Even smaller than Mexican gray wolves, red wolves once roamed from Pennsylvania to Florida. Today, fewer than 100 animals survive in a small section of eastern North Carolina.

These slender, rusty gray wolves look a lot like coyotes which share the wolves’ habitat. Cases of mistaken identity may explain why at least 50 of these critically endangered wolves have been gunned down in recent years.

In November, Defenders won a temporary reprieve for red wolves, halting night hunts for coyotes in red wolf territory. But now, FWS is considering giving up on red wolf recovery altogether!

Your contribution will help our all-out mobilization to breathe new life into red wolf recovery efforts.
I know you simply cannot imagine a world without these wolves. It’s a future we can avoid, if we all do our part.

Thanks for all you do!

For the wolves,
Jamie Rappaport Clark, Defenders of Wildlife
Jamie Rappaport Clark
Defenders of Wildlife

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