Thursday, May 04, 2017

NM issues wolf release permit to Fish and Wildlife

After a nearly two-year impasse, New Mexico’s Department of Game and Fish has permitted the release of two Mexican gray wolves into the wild — under the condition that the federal government remove two wild-born wolves to captivity. The permit signed this week grants the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service the right to import two wolf pups fewer than 14 days old and place them into a wild den in New Mexico. But the permit also requires that, for each wolf pup that is “cross-fostered” into a wild den, another wolf pup must be removed. The permit comes just a week after a U.S. Court of Appeals re-affirmed Fish and Wildlife’s authority over the wolf program under the Endangered Species Act. The 10th Circuit court in Tucson on April 25 lifted an injunction, sought by Game and Fish, that temporarily prevented the federal government from releasing the wolves in New Mexico. While the permit results in no net increase in the wild wolf population in New Mexico, fostering two wolves bred in captivity into a wild den could improve genetic diversity in the wild — one key goal of Fish and Wildlife’s wolf recovery program...more

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