Mexican Gray Wolf Protection

Las Cruces – Environmentalists have petitioned the federal government to halt all trapping and snaring in an area of southwestern New Mexico where the Mexican gray wolf has been reintroduced.

WildEarth Guardians and the Sierra Club contend that more than a dozen of the wolves have been trapped either illegally or inadvertently in recent years.

Wendy Keefover-Ring of WildEarth Guardians says trapping on the range of an endangered species is irresponsible.

The Mexican wolf, a subspecies of the gray wolf, was exterminated in the wild by the 1930s. The federal government began reintroducing wolves along the Arizona-New Mexico border in 1998.

Biologists had predicted a self-sustaining wild population of 100 wolves by now. The latest count at the end of 2009 found 42 Mexican wolves 27 in Arizona and 15 in New Mexico.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.