Environmentalists sue Trump administration over Mexican wolf News
Environmentalists sue Trump administration over Mexican wolf

Environmental activists WildEarth Guardians and Defenders of Wildlife [complaints, PDF] filed lawsuits on Tuesday against the Trump administration alleging the recovery plan for the endangered Mexican wolf is so flawed it would lead to the wolf’s extinction.

The Mexican wolf [text] has been on the endangered list since 1976 after increased hunting of the species lead almost to its extinction. Currently, the wolf is listed to be numbered at 113 in Arizona and New Mexico, and 31 in Mexico.

In November the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) [official website] introduced a recovery program [text, PDF] proposed to increase the Mexican wolf’s population by 2043 to numbers that would allowed the species to be removed from the endangered list. However, according to WildEarth Guardians, the plan would negatively impact the wolf.

The WildEarth Guardians and Defenders of Wildlife [advocacy websites] filed their lawsuits in the US District Court for the District of Arizona [official website] accusing the FWS of ignoring science for social politics.

In 2011, the FWS’ Science and Planning Subgroup of the Recovery Tea, which is staffed by independent scientists, recommended [text, pg 15, PDF] that the lands in eastern Arizona and western New Mexico, a specific area of the Grand Canyon region, and a specific area of the Southern Rockies region be labeled as a habitat for the wolf to promote population increase.

Both lawsuits also allege the program violates the Endangered Species Act [text, PDF] by cutting the Mexican wolves off from the historic area around the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona and the Southern Rocky Mountains, which will cause geographic isolation resulting in inbreeding. They allege this would cause a reduction in the health of the wolves’ packs. Additionally, they accuse the FWS of implementing a program designed to benefit hunters and herders, by protecting animals for hunting and livestock, rather than the good of the animal.

Both lawsuits are requesting the court require the FWS to draft a new environmental plan for wolf.