Monday, May 30, 2022

USFWS removes cap on Mexican wolf population

                                                                                                          The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) will eliminate its current population cap on Mexican wolves in the Southwest. 

The preferred alternative, Alternative One, will implement the following:

• Remove the population limit from the 2015 10(j) rule, which allows a maximum of 300-325 Mexican wolves in the experiment area.

• Increase the number of captive Mexican wolf releases, with the goal of 22 released wolves surviving to breeding age by 2030.

• Restrict three forms of allowable take until genetic diversity goals are reached. This includes take on nonfederal land in conjunction with a removal action, take on federal land, and take in response to an unacceptable impact on a wild ungulate herd In addition, the agency will increase the number of captive Mexican wolf releases and restrict forms of allowable take in an unacceptable impact on a wild ungulate herd. 

Removing the population limit will align the population objective with the recovery criteria for the Mexican wolf, USFWS said, which is an eight-year rolling average of at least 320 Mexican wolves and greater than 320 wolves in the last three years of the eight-year period. The agency estimates there are at least 196 Mexican wolves in the wild as of 2021. The wild population increased by 5 percent in 2021, although population growth was lower than hoped.


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