BACKGROUND INFORMATION: more info about Guardian M1396


The wolf pair is living in the Gila National Forest. The targeted male wolf, given the name “Guardian” in a children’s pup-naming contest after his birth two years ago, comes from the Fox Mountain Pack – a wolf family that has endured repeated government persecution. Last year, Guardian’s brother was trapped by the government, and two years before their birth, the alpha female of the pack was trapped too; she never saw her family again and died in captivity after years of forlorn pacing of the fence that kept her from freedom.

Guardian is to be removed for killing cattle. But, while livestock owners are compensated for livestock lost to wolves, and offered financial and logistical assistance with depredation avoidance measures, there is no corresponding requirement for livestock owners to take measures to protect their cattle from depredations, or to remove livestock carcasses on public lands that can be scavenged by wolves, which is known to habituate wolves to prey on stock. This may have happened in this case, as the carcasses of two cows that died from calving complications were found in this area in February.

Last year, Mexican wolf numbers in Arizona and New Mexico decreased by 12% from 110 to 97 animals. There were only six breeding pairs. Three wolves have already died this year, including two accidentally killed by government managers in the course of trapping.

Fish and Wildlife Service routinely announces that it intends to release wolves from the captive breeding population but in deference to livestock industry opposition, rarely actually does so. Only four captive-bred wolves have been released during the entire Obama presidency; three are dead, including one killed by the government, and the fourth was trapped and placed back in captivity


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