Judge blocks USFWS from endangered wolf release

©Don Burkett

A federal judge has blocked U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from releasing Mexican gray wolves (Canis lupus baileyi) into New Mexico without first acquiring permits from the state. The injunction, which was issued last week, is the result of a longstanding discussion between the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish and USFWS over releasing the endangered wolf into the state.

Last year, USFWS filed two separate applications with the state agency to release captive bred wolves, however both applications were denied. In Nov. 2015, the New Mexico Chapter of The Wildlife Society wrote a letter to the New Mexico Game Commission and the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, encouraging the agency to reconsider their decision to deny permits.

In April 2015, USFWS released two wolves in the state, citing that the agency “no longer intended to comply” with state permitting requirements. In the injunction, the judge denied a petition to remove the released individuals from the state.

For more information, see The Chicago Tribune.