Featured image: Mexican gray wolves were reintroduced to Arizona in 1998. (Credit: iStock)
U.S. Senator Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., is seeking to remove protection of Mexican gray wolves. According to AZ Central, the Arizona senator introduced the legislation last week.
Mexican gray wolves currently are protected by the Endangered Species Act (ESA) while roaming the Blue Range recovery area that overlaps the Arizona-New Mexico border. According to AZ Central, the recovery plan states the protection remains until there are at least 100 wolves in the area.
The bill argues the population was 113 when last counted last year, AZ Central reports.
If Flake, who announced last year that he is not seeking re-election, is successful with this bill, the loss of federal protection would place the wolves under state management solely, AZ Central reports. This could lead to a victory for Arizona ranchers who have advocated to limit wolf kills of animals in livestock herds and to end federal regulation complications.
“This is the clear way to get out of the (federal) program and yet still have wolves on the ground,” Patrick Bray, executive vice president of the Arizona Cattle Growers’ Association told AZ Central.
Do you think the introduced bill will pass and successfully remove the Mexican gray wolf from the ESA? Should the Mexican gray wolf stay on the list until population grows more? Comment below and let us know!