The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) adopted a plan calling for an average of 320 Mexican gray wolves over an eight-year period in the desert Southwest and northern Mexico. Environmental groups believe the population should be at least double that in size and immediately notified the FWS of its intent to file a lawsuit.
“This plan really provides us a roadmap for where we need to go to get this species recovered and delisted and get its management turned back over to the states and tribes,” Sherry Barrett, the Mexican wolf recovery coordinator, told the Associated Press.
Recent research reaffirmed 90 percent of the Mexican wolf historic range was south of the US-Mexico border.
The latest survey shows a minimum of 113 wolves in southwestern New Mexico and southeast Arizona, and approximately 31 in Mexico.
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation maintains that wolves, like elk, mountain lions, deer, bears and other wildlife, should be managed by state wildlife agencies.
(Photo source: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service)