Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Lethal Control Order Issued for the Francisco Wolf Pack
Southwest Region, May 19, 2005
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After four confirmed depredations and one probable depredation, a lethal control order was issued on May 11, 2005, for all three members of the Francisco pack (alpha pair male 904 and female 511, and their yearling offspring male 919). The Mexican Wolf Recovery Programs attempts to implement recovery in a manner that least impacts those directly affected by wolves. Lethal control of wolves is authorized under the Mexican wolf Final Rule whereby Mexican wolves are listed as experimental, nonessential (10j) which allows for greater management flexibility of wolves in conflict situations, including lethal take.

Draft Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) 13.0 entitled ?Control of Mexican Wolves? describes circumstances for when control actions are allowable. Lethal take of these wolves is in accordance with SOP 13.0 which states that we will permanently remove from the wild or euthanize any wolves exhibiting a consistent patter of livestock depredations (3 or more confirmed kills within on year in the primary recovery zone or 2 or more in other areas).

In addition to lethal control, the Interagency Field Team (IFT) is also pursuing live capture methods. On May 12, 2005, yearling male 919 was caught in a leghold trap and was immediately transferred into captivity at the Sevilleta Wolf Management Facility in New Mexico. Male 904 and female 511 currently remain in the wild.

Since the lethal control order was issued, two additional depredations have been investigated. One was determined to be probable and the second was confirmed. This brings the total depredation count to seven ? five confirmed depredations (two adult cows and three calves) and two probable depredations (two adult cows).

Male 904 is not radio collared. The IFT is only able to track the animal through the locations of the radio collared female. Therefore, it is not desirable to remove female 511 prior to removing male 904. On May 13, 2005, field personnel visually confirmed that female 511 had whelped a litter of pups. The IFT is actively pursuing both live and lethal removal methods for male 904, and will continue to monitor female 511 until male 904 has been removed.

Contact Info: Martin Valdez, 505-248-6599, martin_valdez@fws.gov
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