For Immediate Release -- as excerpted from full PDF (2-pages)
May 26, 2023
Sandy Bahr, Grand Canyon Chapter, Sierra Club, (602) 999-5790, email@example.com
Kelly Burke, Wild Arizona, 928-606-7870, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mary Katherine Ray, Rio Grande Chapter Sierra Club, (575) 537-1095, email@example.com
Conservationists celebrate lobo cross-fostering successes but concerns remain about genetic crisis and freeze on wolf family releases
Phoenix, AZ – Conservationists and advocates are celebrating the news of 16 Mexican gray wolf pups fostered into wild dens in Arizona and New Mexico. However, concerns remain that more must be done to save the endangered Mexican gray wolf, or lobo.
“We are excited and encouraged by the increasing number of Mexican wolves in the wild and that additional pups are being cross-fostered, but continue to be concerned about the overreliance on cross-fostering and the failure to adequately consider and address the genetic needs of this highly endangered animal,” said Sandy Bahr, director for Sierra Club’s Grand Canyon (Arizona) Chapter. “The US Fish and Wildlife Service must act now to add the introduction of well-bonded families of wolves into the wild to address the genetic emergency and better aid recovery of Mexican wolves.”
Cross-fostering is an innovative and important technique for lobo recovery, but the fostered pups have to survive and raise families of their own in the wild to contribute meaningfully to long-term conservation. To date, 99 pups have been fostered from the Mexican Wolf Saving Species From Extinction (SAFE) breeding program, but only 14 have been documented as surviving to breeding age. While cross-fostering has contributed to improving gene diversity in the wild population, it is not sufficient to address the genetic crisis. Wild Mexican gray wolves are still about as related to each other as full siblings.
- See our webpage: "Mexican Wolf" -- for vital links and full background info. 120.27 KB