Thursday, August 5, 2010

Mexican Gray Wolf May Be Reclassified

Mountain Mail reports

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering reclassifying the Mexican gray wolf to protect its endangered species classification. Currently, the Mexican gray wolf is listed as endangered within a broader species-level listing of gray wolves.
Based on the review of petitions from the Center for Biological Diversity, WildEarth Guardians and The Rewilding Institute, asking the agency to list the Mexican wolf as an endangered subspecies and designate critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act, it was determined the petitions present substantial scientific or commercial information and that petitioned action warrants further review.
If the Mexican wolf is reclassified as an endangered subspecies it would remain protected under the Endangered Species Act regardless of any changes to the listing status of the other gray wolves in the rest of the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife spokesman Tom Buckley said the current 10(j) population in the Gila will remain listed as experimental, nonessential, while the Service conducts a status review, and “the Mexican wolf would remain protected as an endangered species.
“The exception would be any wolf that may wander in from Mexico or other areas into the [Gila] recovery area,” Buckley said.
“We are requesting all existing scientific and commercial data and other information regarding the Mexican wolf,” he said. “All information must be received by the agency on or before October 4, 2010.”
Based on the status review, the Service will issue a 12-month finding on the petitions, which will address whether the petitioned action is warranted.

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