A historic journey cut short.
Asha was born in a patch of the American Southwest that the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) calls the lobo “recovery area,” but when she grew up, she embarked on a historic journey. Traveling more than 30 miles per day, she pressed north into territory where lobos haven’t lived for decades.
But earlier this week, FWS trapped her, and now plans to remove her from the country entirely.
Wild Mexican gray wolves deserve to be able to freely roam.
The return of wild lobos to more of their ancestral territory is good news. It shows that this endangered species has recovered enough to expand beyond the boundaries the FWS put in place.
There’s no fence around the lobo recovery area to keep the wolves inside, just the letter of the law. But laws and maps don’t mean anything to wolves like Asha, who are simply answering the call of their wild nature. Young wolves have always set out from their packs to find a territory to call their own.
This process, called “dispersal,” is how a healthy wolf population grows, starts new packs, and spreads to new territories. Lobos were once nearly driven extinct, but now about 200 of them roam New Mexico and Arizona. It’s time to let them start to reclaim more of the territory they were eliminated from decades ago.
Asha — and other Mexican gray wolves like her — deserve to be able to freely roam the territory where their ancestors once lived.
Asha is not the first wolf to have tried leaving the recovery area, and she certainly won’t be the last. The entire population of wild lobos is counting on the FWS to expand their available territory.
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