Jul 212008

Wildlife Agency Is ‘Collaborating’ Gray Wolf to Death, By Michael J. Robinson, Center for Biological Diversity

       One runs a risk rejecting a call for a "reasonable compromise" issued by a public official inveighing against "polarized groups." But the endangered Mexican gray wolf has been compromised so many times, and consequently is so close to extinction, that we must scrutinize any proposed compromise. …

The recovery area’s carrying capacity was analyzed in the 2001 three-year review, also known as the Paquet Report for its lead author, Paul C. Paquet of the University of Calgary. Paquet is one of the world’s leading wolf biologists, and his three colleagues in the review brought additional expertise in wolf recovery, population demographics and statistical analysis.

    Unlike the authors of the five-year review, none of the authors of the three-year review are affiliated with government agencies, and three of them are in academia. The Paquet Report concluded, looking at elk and deer availability and not counting bighorn sheep, pronghorn, javelina and beaver, all of which wolves eat, that the recovery area could support between 213 and 468 wolves.

    But this past January, a year after the area was projected to reach the reintroduction project’s goal of 100 wolves with an estimated 18 breeding pairs, a count revealed only 52 wolves and three breeding pairs.

- – – – -

Win-Win Possible for Wolf Recovery, By Benjamin N. Tuggle, Southwest Regional Director, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

- – – – -

Federal agency gets 13,000 comments on wolf plans – Las Cruces Sun-News

The Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.—Many of the more than 13,000 people commenting on how to improve U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans to reintroduce the Mexican wolf into the wild either strongly support or object to the program. Problem is, that’s not the question.

The federal agency took public comments from Aug. 7 to Dec. 31 on how best to pursue the wolf reintroduction program, not whether or not the program should exist.

The agency received comments from 13,598 people after its call for public input and divided the responses into 26 topics.

 Posted by at 10:36 am
Jun 172008

peace, mjh

Results of poll on feelings about wolves in NM, AZ – Las Cruces Sun-News

By The Associated Press

Article Launched: 06/16/2008 12:03:33 PM MDT

ALBUQUERQUE—A look at results from a poll of 1,000 residents of New Mexico and Arizona, half in each state, about the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 10-year-old program to reintroduce the Mexican gray wolf on public lands in the two states.

Sixty-seven percent of Arizonans and 57 percent of New Mexicans favor giving wolves greater protection under the Endangered Species Act; 14 percent of Arizonans and 25 percent of New Mexicans oppose the idea.

—Fifty-one percent of Arizonans and 49 percent of New Mexicans believe livestock grazing is good for the environment; 16 percent of Arizonans and 19 percent of New Mexicans disagree.

Sixty-two percent of Arizonans and 53 percent of New Mexicans support letting wolves migrate to suitable habitat in the states; 17 percent of Arizonans and 24 percent of New Mexicans oppose migration.

Sixty percent of Arizonans rate their overall feelings about wolves as positive; 13 percent are negative and 22 percent are neutral. In New Mexico, 48 percent have overall positive feelings, 19 percent are negative and 26 percent are neutral.

—Sixty percent of Arizonans and half of the New Mexicans surveyed want ranchers to be required to remove or render inedible the carcasses of cattle that die of non-wolf causes—something environmental groups have pushed for.

—Fifty-one percent of Arizonans and 48 percent of New Mexicans support reimbursing ranchers who volunteer to give up their grazing leases.

A portion of the poll calling for respondants to state the first thing that came to mind when thinking about wolves found:


—21 percent: beautiful animal

—14 percent endangered species

—12 percent wild

—6 percent dangerous

—4 percent kill livestock

—13 percent don’t know or won’t say

New Mexico:

—9 percent endangered species

—7 percent beautiful animal

—6 percent wild

—4 percent kill livestock

—3 percent dangerous

—13 percent don’t know or won’t say


Information from poll done in April and May by Research & Polling Inc. of Albuquerque. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.

Results of poll on feelings about wolves in NM, AZ – Las Cruces Sun-News

 Posted by at 5:43 pm
Jun 132008

Be sure to read Judy’s latest. Follow her around the edge of the Gila in a great birding expedition. peace, mjh

Following New Mexico’s Southwest Birding Trail « Judy’s Jottings

Further along we are startled when a flash of red and orange shoots from the foliage and lands briefly in the branch of a cottonwood before heading across the river. As we pull out our field guides hoping it is a Flame-colored Tanager, we are equally delighted to identify it as a first spring Summer Tanager.

 Posted by at 4:41 pm
Apr 212008

Environmentalists want lynx protected in N.M.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) – Environmentalists and animal protection groups on Monday sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

They’re trying to force the agency to extend Endangered Species Act protection to the Canada lynx in New Mexico.

The lawsuit says about 60 lynx have strayed into northern New Mexico since the Colorado Division of Wildlife began releasing the animals in Colorado in 1999.

The federal government lists the elusive cats as threatened in 14 states – but not New Mexico.

Last August, conservation groups petitioned for protection for the cats in New Mexico.

The lawsuit filed Monday in federal court in Washington, D.C., complains that Fish and Wildlife failed to make a finding on the petition within 90 days as required by the Endangered Species Act.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

 Posted by at 3:26 pm
Apr 182008

Stop The Slaughter Of New Mexico Wildlife [Wilderness Alliance]

This past Tuesday, April 15, the Albuquerque Journal reported that a rancher in northwestern New Mexico killed 39 pronghorn antelope by shooting them with a shotgun because they were grazing in his "dormant" alfalfa field. Many of the pronghorn were maimed and did not die right away.

A 1997 law (known as the Jennings Law after its sponsor, State Senator Tim Jennings, D-Roswell) gives farmers and ranchers the right to kill wildlife that present an "immediate threat" to their crops. Rancher, Neal Trujillo, who is responsible for the killings, has complained that the State Game & Fish Department has failed to keep the pronghorn off his property, even though the state agency has offered to give Trujillo materials and some of the labor needed to reinforce his fencing.

In response to the public outcry on the killings, the Game & Fish Commission is inviting the public to comment on the law and will be holding three meetings in New Mexico.

1. May 29 in Farmington
2. July 24 in Las Vegas
3. August 21 in Albuquerque

In the meantime, Game & Fish took video of the shootings and posted it on the Albuquerque Journal website.

Watch The Video Here
(Warning: This Video Contains Graphic Images)

Please call Senator Tim Jennings and voice your concern about the slaughter that occured on Neal Trujillo’s ranch. It is completely unacceptable for New Mexico’s wildlife to be maimed and left to suffer before they die, especially when the crops they were supposedly feeding on were dormant.

Senator Tim Jennings
(575) 623-8331

Also call Tom Arvas, Chairman of the New Mexico Game & Fish Commission and urge him to do everything in his power to prevent any future incidences of New Mexico’s precious wildlife being slaughtered.

Chairman Tom Arvas
(505) 293-3515

 Posted by at 11:16 pm
Apr 172008

Rabid Fox Found in Sierra County
Written by Bruce Daniels – ABQnewsSeeker
Thursday, 17 April 2008

Dead animal found April 9 is the sixth confirmed case in southwestern N.M. this year.

A dead fox found in the Beaverhead area of the Gila National Forest about 50 miles northwest of Truth or Consequences has tested positive for rabies, the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish said in a news release.

The fox found April 9 was the first confirmed rabid fox in Sierra County and the sixth to be found in southwestern New Mexico so far this year, the release said.

This latest case was found at the far western edge of Sierra County near the top of a drainage to the Gila River, but so far no rabid animals have been found east of the Continental Divide, according to Game and Fish.

Fox rabies has been a problem for years in Arizona and has now spread into western New Mexico.

The first New Mexico case was confirmed in the southwestern part of the state last year, when nine foxes and one bobcat tested positive for rabies in Catron County.

Since then, it has spread into Grant County and now Sierra County, the department said.

Kerry Mower, a wildlife health specialist with Game and Fish, said the problem will likely continue in New Mexico in the coming years, but will eventually run its course.

The current fox population in southwestern New Mexico appears to be high, and cases of canine distemper also appear to be on the increase in the area, Mower said.

The key to controlling the spread of rabies, Mower said in the release, is to have a licensed veterinarian vaccinate all pets and livestock.

Residents also can protect themselves by keeping pet food indoors, putting trash out only on pickup days and removing bird feeders that may attract foxes and other animals to their property, the release said.

 Posted by at 11:18 am
Apr 162008

Building Community
Film Night @ O’Niell’s Pub
Tuesday, May 6
7 – 9 PM

Join the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance for our kick-off event in a series that aims to build community in New Mexico while educating our members and the broader public on ways they can become involved in conservation issues.

Wilderness work can be very serious sometimes, but our "Building Community" program is designed for fun and camaraderie. It is a way to bring our members together; to relax; drink a cold brew and be a part of the community.

On Tuesday, May 6, we are partnering with O’Niell’s Pub (4310 Central Ave SE, Central at Washington in East Nob Hill) to show the film, Wolves in Paradise, a tale of survival as ranchers face the challenge of living with wolves in the decade after the top predator was restored to Yellowstone National Park. This documentary follows the growing wolf packs as they leave the sanctuary of the park and make their first incursions into Paradise Valley.

For more information, please contact Nathan Newcomer / 505-843-8696, ext. 1006

Please join us on Tuesday, May 6, at O’Niell’s Pub, from 7 – 9 PM and help us Build Community!

 Posted by at 4:06 pm
Apr 082008

ABQjournal NM: A Decade After Reintroduction of the Wolf, Environmentalists, Ranchers Continue to Play Tug of War Over Program By Rene Romo
Copyright © 2008 Albuquerque Journal; Journal Southern Bureau

The deep and often bitter divide between supporters and opponents of the wolf project is a big obstacle to its success, observers say.
    "The conflict is real, and until we have either better federal leadership or better local leadership, the prospects for wolves are not going to improve greatly," said John Horning of Santa Fe-based WildEarth Guardians, formerly Forest Guardians.
    "And right now the prospects for wolf recovery are not great," Horning said.
    "It’s kind of depressing to read all these comments that things are going to hell in a handbasket," said Laura Schneberger, head of the Gila Livestock Growers Association and a staunch opponent of the wolf reintroduction effort.
    "It’s just not true," Schneberger said. "There are a lot of uncollared wolves out there."

ABQjournal NM: A Decade After Reintroduction of the Wolf, Environmentalists, Ranchers Continue to Play Tug of War Over Program

I wonder if Schneberger has any proof for her claims. Does she have a theory for how the wolves are proliferating? I assume she explains the discrepancy between science and her opinion as simply out of touch extremists lying again. Elsewhere on this blog, she comments:

The difference between us and some of our counterparts is that we all have considerable and some of us, vast wildlife experience and we hope we are for the most part fairly patient with the extremism and bias directed at us from all sides of this issue.

I’m generally suspicious of people who feel besieged by inferiors. peace, mjh

 Posted by at 8:57 am
Mar 132008


The day after Christmas, a hawk swooped down and carried off Danny McGorry's dragonfly robot.


Mary McGorry

The day after Christmas, a hawk swooped down and snatched Danny McGorry’s dragonfly robot.

McGorry, 10, holds his new dragonfly robot.


Ken McGorry

McGorry, a 10-year-old from Manhasset, N.Y., holds his new dragonfly robot, which replaced the one carried off by the hawk.

Robert Siegel flies a Fly Tech Dragonfly robot.

Video by Franklyn Cater, NPR

All Things Considered, March 10, 2008 · The Fly Tech Dragonfly is a foot-long, remote-controlled, flying toy. Its styrofoam body attaches to four wings that flap, flutter and squeal.

Danny McGorry, a 10-year-old fifth grader from Manhasset, N.Y., received the robot on Christmas. It was the present he had most wanted.

McGorry flew it in the yard and — as if on cue from Alfred Hitchcock — a hawk intercepted the dragonfly and took off with it. His mother snapped a photograph of the bird, perched in a neighbor’s tree, toy in talon.

NPR: Testing Raptor Interest in Dragonfly Robot

 Posted by at 8:14 pm
Mar 032008

Voices For Wolves
Leave a Voicemail for Our Lobos

Take a few minutes to call in and voice your concerns for protecting our wild Mexican Gray Wolves! Our objective is to get as many voices as possible speaking out on protecting our lobos.

Call 505-333-0420 and leave a voicemail for our lobos!

Tell our elected officials that they must do everything in their power to save these animals from a possible second extirpation.

Under the Bush administration the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program has become the Mexican Wolf Eradication Program.  The US Fish and Wildlife Service removed 15 wolves last year without regard to their mandate to recover this critically endangered wolf under the Endangered Species Act.  Today, just 23 wolves roam freely in New Mexico.

Please be concise and short in your comments. Our objective is to create a CD of voices and present them to our congressional delegation, letting them hear, directly from you, the importance of protecting the Mexican Gray Wolf. Your message may also be used in DVD presentations that we create.

Please call (505) 333-0420 and leave a message today for our lobos!

 Posted by at 3:46 pm
Feb 212008

Friday, March 14, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
KiMo Theater in Downtown Albuquerque

Just 23 wild Mexican Gray Wolves are left in New Mexico today. Ignoring science and bowing to pressure from special interests, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has abandoned its legal obligation to protect, conserve, and recover the Mexican Gray Wolf – the most endangered mammal in North America.

Despite the challenges that our lobos, our amigos, face there is something that every New Mexican can do to reverse this course and ensure that the Mexican Gray Wolf lives on forever.

On Friday, March 14th from 7-9pm at the KiMo Theater in downtown Albuquerque, a coalition of conservationists, sportsmen, and elected officials will host Dia de Los Lobos, a public rally for ensuring the preservation of our Mexican Gray Wolves. This event is free and open to the public.

Please come be a part of a historic evening and help send a powerful message to Washington, D.C. that our wild Mexican Gray Wolves need to be protected. With only 23 wild lobos left in New Mexico, the time to act is NOW!

Answer the howl to action and be the difference in saving our lobos in New Mexico. For more information, please contact Nathan Newcomer: nathan@nmwild.org / 505-843-8696


 Posted by at 2:24 pm
Jan 062008

Navy’s Use of Sonar Is Severely Limited – washingtonpost.com
By Marc Kaufman, Washington Post Staff Writer

A federal judge yesterday severely limited the Navy’s ability to use mid-frequency sonar on a training range off the Southern California coast, ruling that the loud sounds would harm whales and other marine mammals if not tightly controlled.

The decision is a blow to the Navy, which has argued that it needs the flexibility to train its sonar operators without undue restrictions. In her decision, however, U.S. District Judge Florence-Marie Cooper said the Navy could conduct productive training under the limitations, which she said were required under several environmental laws.

In particular, Cooper banned the use of the sonar within 12 nautical miles of the California coast, expanded from 1,100 yards to 2,200 yards the Navy’s proposed “shut down” zone in which sonar must be turned off whenever a marine mammal is spotted, required monitoring for the presence of animals for one hour before exercises involving sonar begin, and required that two National Marine Fisheries Service-trained lookouts be posted for monitoring during exercises. The judge also forbade sonar use in the Catalina Basin, an area with many marine mammals.”


 Posted by at 9:12 pm
Jan 032008

ABQjournal Go: Sanctuary Helps Wolves Keep Wild Spirit
By Journal Staff Report

The Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary is a haven for abused, abandoned and captivity-bred wolves and wolf dogs.

The purpose of the sanctuary is to provide wolves and wolf dogs with a permanent and safe place.

The sanctuary is able to rescue a small number of animals including tough cases, or animals that cannot go anywhere else, and provide them with a lifetime of protection.

The sanctuary was founded by artist Jacque Evans in 1991 and is now run by “wolf whisperer” Leyton Cougar.

Cougar, 47, who has been with the sanctuary since 1996, took over running it in 2003.


Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary – Wolf Rescue, Wolf Dog, Sanctuary


Wild Spirit offers guided tours six days a week, four times a day. Tours range in length from roughly 45 minutes to as long as 1 1/2 hours depending on the size and age of the group, the interest of guests and activity of the animals. [mjh: See their website for more plus directions.]

 Posted by at 7:55 pm
Nov 292007

Call Governor Richardson Immediately
(505) 476-2200

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has issued an IMMEDIATE REMOVAL ORDER for the Aspen Wolf Pack of Mexican wolves in southwestern New Mexico. This pack includes two adult females and two pups. The Aspen Wolf Pack contains some of the most valuable genes in the wild population.

ABQjournal NM: Around New Mexico – Wolves Ordered Removed

LAS CRUCES— The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Wednesday issued an order to remove two adult wolves and several pups from the wild due to livestock kills on ranches south of Magdalena.

The wolves targeted for removal include two adult females from the Aspen pack, the alpha female designated 667 and a yearling female 1046, along with pups born in the spring.

The pups will be trapped but the adult females might be killed if they are not readily captured by federal agents, Fish and Wildlife Service spokeswoman Elizabeth Slown said.

The Aspen pack adult females have been responsible for killing eight cattle since Jan. 9, Slown said.

The Aspen pack alpha male and two female pups were captured outside the wolf recovery area in New Mexico on Nov. 1. The alpha male and one pup are being held at a wildlife refuge north of Socorro, while the other pup was released and remains in the wild.

So far this year, federal agents have removed 11 wolves from southeast Arizona or southwest New Mexico and killed three others for livestock depredations.

The agency also continues to look for the three-member Durango pack, which disappeared from its range in the Gila National Forest earlier this month. Fish and Wildlife’s law enforcement officers are investigating the disappearance and a reward of up to $10,000 has been offered for information leading to an apprehension.

ABQjournal NM: Wildlife Service Seeks Input on Wolf Recovery By Rene Romo, Journal Southern Bureau

LAS CRUCES— The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Thursday will hold the first of six scoping sessions in New Mexico to gather public comment about possible changes to the federal recovery effort for the endangered Mexican gray wolf.

”We have been reintroducing wolves into the wild for nine years now and we’ve learned a thing or two,” said Brian Millsap of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the lead agency for the program. ”We want to hear from everyone else on what they have learned and what their recommendations are for recovering the Mexican wolf.”

The Fish and Wildlife Service held the first of 12 open-house style meetings across Arizona and New Mexico on Monday night in Flagstaff.

The scoping sessions are designed to gather public comments, from supporters and critics of the reintroduction effort, in order to draft proposed changes to the rule governing management of the wolf population, which numbers about 59 in southeast Arizona and southwest New Mexico.

Fish and Wildlife will then conduct an environmental impact statement and a socioeconomic assessment of the draft proposed rule.

Dave Parsons, former Fish and Wildlife Service director of the wolf recovery program, said, ”This is the public’s opportunity to have input into the content of the environmental assessment, before they actually start it.”

The schedule of the New Mexico sessions:
# Thursday, Grants, Best Western, 1501 E. Santa Fe Ave., 5-9 p.m.

# Friday, Albuquerque, Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, 2401 12th St. NW, 5-9 p.m.

# Saturday, Socorro, Macey Conference Center, New Mexico Tech, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

# Monday, Alamogordo, Tays Special Events Center, New Mexico State University Branch, 2400 N. Scenic Drive, 5-9 p.m.

# Dec. 4, Las Cruces, Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum, 4100 Dripping Springs Road, 5-9 p.m.

# Dec. 5, Glenwood, Glenwood Community Center, 5-9 p.m.
– – – – –
Submit written comments by 12/31/07. Include “Attn: Mexican Gray Wolf NEPA Scoping,” your full name and return address. Send comments to:

Brian Millsap, State Administrator
US Fish and Wildlife Service
New Mexico Ecological Services Field Office
2105 Osuna NE
Albuquerque, NM 87113
fax: 505-346-2542
email: r2fwe_al@fws.gov

 Posted by at 12:30 pm