Illegal activity has caused multiple wolf deaths
—U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE
Nine Mexican wolves have died in the wild since the beginning
of 2008. Foul play was responsible for three of the deaths,
according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). Necropsy
results from the Service’s wildlife forensic laboratory
are still pending for one wolf.
Female wolves known as AF1111, AF1112, and AF1113 were illegally
shot. The fate of AM583 has yet to be determined. Mexican
wolves are identified by numbers preceded with an ‘F’
to show adult female gender and an ‘M’ for adult
male gender. The ‘A’ signifies the wolf was the
lead, or alpha member, of the pack. Generally only the alpha
members of a pack mate and bear young.
“I feel every wolf on the landscape deserves a chance
to survive without being illegally killed,” said Benjamin
N. Tuggle, PhD, Regional Director for the Service’s
Southwest Region. “I am disturbed that there are suspicious
circumstances around their deaths and I want to know what
happened to each wolf. All of our available law enforcement
resources will be used to conduct a comprehensive investigation.”
Killing a Mexican wolf is a violation of the Federal Endangered
Species Act. It can result in criminal penalties of up to
$50,000; and/or not more than one year in jail; and/or a civil
penalty of up to $25,000.
The Service urges any individual who may have seen any suspicious
activities relating to the Mexican wolf deaths to contact
one of the following agencies: USFWS special agents in Mesa,
Arizona at (480) 967-7900; in Alpine, Arizona at (928) 339-4232;
in Albuquerque at (505) 346-7828; the White Mountain Apache
Tribe at (928) 338-1023 or (928) 338-4385; the Arizona Game
and Fish Department (AGFD)’s Operation Game Thief at
1-800-352-0700; or the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish
(NMDGF)’s Operation Game Thief at 1-800-432-4263.
“I appeal to anyone with information that could help
solve these cases to step forward and aid us in the resolution
of these illegal shootings,” said Tuggle. The Service
offers a reward of $10,000 for information leading to the
apprehension of the individual(s) responsible for any wolf
The Service is also seeking law enforcement assistance from
the other state and federal agencies involved in the wolf
reintroduction program. “A strong cooperative law enforcement
presence affirms that we won’t tolerate an illegal taking
of any endangered species,” said Tuggle.
“These illegal actions are not going to stop the reintroduction
program,” declared Tuggle. “We fully intend to
establish a genetically sound population of Mexican wolves
in New Mexico and Arizona.”
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the federal agency
charged with recovering endangered species. The reintroduction
of the Mexican wolf is a cooperative, multi-agency effort
of the AGFD, the NMDGF, the White Mountain Apache Tribe, USDA
Forest Service and USDA-APHIS Wildlife Services and the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service. Wolves have been released into
the wild since 1998.
Two wolves, f1104 and m1109, were accidentally hit by vehicles
in separate incidents earlier in the year. One female, AF758,
likely died of natural causes. Its young pups, f1116 and m1117,
did not survive, likely as a result of losing their mother
as the primary food provider.
For more information on our work and the people who make
it happen, visit www.fws.gov.
For information about fish and wildlife conservation in the
Southwest, visit http://www.fws.gov/southwest/.
Sir Robert, a peregrine falcon
Wildlife West hosts falcon shows
The first in a series of Free Flight Falcon shows started
July 20, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. at Wildlife West Nature Park
in Edgewood, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit. This popular weekly
Sunday afternoon show runs through September 28th, 2008.
Tom Smylie, a local expert falconer, has over forty years
of experience with raptors. He has done many research projects
around the world with birds of prey, focusing mostly on peregrine
The audience will experience magnificent falcons up-close
and learn how the fastest raptor on earth survives in the
wild. Learn how peregrine falcons came back from the brink
of extinction thirty-five years ago—with only two hundred
birds in the wild—to become one of the most successful
recovery stories in U.S. history.
Wildlife West’s resident peregrine falcons will also
be part of the show; however, because of wing injuries, they
will not be taking flight. Their experienced handlers will
have them on display during the show and will be available
for questions and photographs after the show.
Come early or stay late to visit the rest of the animals
at Wildlife West! The park is home to twenty-five species,
including endangered Mexican wolves, cougars, black bear,
fox, javelina, hawks, and the new arrival… a golden
eagle. All proceeds benefit native rescued wildlife.
The Free Flight Falcon show is free with regular admission
to Wildlife West: $7 for adults, $6 for seniors, $4 for students,
and kids under five are free.
Wildlife West is located just twenty minutes east of Albuquerque,
off I-40 and legendary Route 66 in Edgewood. Events are presented
in a covered all-weather amphitheater in an old west atmosphere.
For more information, call (505) 281-7655 or toll-free, 1-877-981-WILD
(9453), or visit www.wildlifewest.org.
Hyperthermia: cool it!
—SHERRY L. SUHOSKY
Imagine being dressed in heavy winter clothes on a hot day
and that the only way to get cooled off is to pant. This is
exactly how dogs and cats feel when the temperatures rise.
It is important to be able to recognize the signs of hyperthermia
or heatstroke and give correct, prompt treatment.
WHO’S AT RISK?
Heatstroke occurs when normal body mechanisms cannot keep
the body’s temperature in a safe range. Brachycephalic
breeds (the short-nosed breeds such as pugs), large heavy-coated
breeds, overweight pets, seniors, young pets, and those animals
with heart or respiratory problems are especially susceptible
to heat-related stress and heatstroke.
Pets suffering from heatstroke will display several signs:
- Excessive, rapid panting or difficulty breathing
- Body temperature of 104 degrees Fahrenheit or above
- Bright red tongue
- Red or pale gums
- Thick, sticky saliva
- Depression, weakness, stupor, seizures, shock, or coma
WHAT TO DO
If an animal shows symptoms of heatstroke, get it out of
direct heat and gradually lower the body temperature. Following
these tips could save your pet’s life:
- Spray the animal with cool water. If using an outdoor
hose, run the water first to cool it off before spraying
your pet. After spraying the pet for a minute or two, take
the animal’s temperature.
- Place water-soaked towels on the head, neck, feet, chest,
- Turn on a fan and point it in the animal’s direction.
- Get the pet to the nearest veterinary hospital.
It is important to remember not to use cold water. This can
be counterproductive. Cooling too quickly and allowing the
body temperature to become too low may cause other life-threatening
conditions. Do not force-feed cold water as the pet may inhale
it or choke. Instead, offer small amounts of cool water or
let the pet lick ice cubes.
Any pet that cannot cool itself off is at risk for heatstroke.
Following these guidelines will help your pet avoid serious
- Keep high-risk and outside pets cool and in the shade.
- Provide free access to water at all times.
- Do not leave your pet in a parked car—even if you’re
in the shade. The temperature inside a parked car can quickly
reach up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
- On a hot day, restrict exercise.
- Avoid concrete or asphalt areas where heat is reflected
and there is no shade.
- Wetting down your pet with cool (not cold) water, or
supervising the pet swimming will help maintain a normal
Death by heatstroke is preventable. Protect your pets by
reviewing and following these tips and enjoy New Mexico’s
warmer weather together and carefree.