New Mexicans wanting more protection for endangered Mexican gray wolves aren't shutting their traps.
Almost 1,000 people have taken a survey created by WildEarth Guardians, the Santa Fe-based nonprofit that took the lead in forming the People's Forum on Public Lands Trapping last month [news, Sept. 21: "Shut Your Trap"].
The initiative began after the New Mexico State Game Commission reversed a ban on trapping in southwestern New Mexico, where about 50 of the endangered canines were released under a federal wildlife-protection program. Approximately 12,000 members of the public wrote to the commission demanding the ban be kept in place, while only 2,000 argued for more trapping, giving the appearance that the commission disregarded public opinion.
The comment period ends Nov. 5; until then, concerned citizens can take the survey online (surveymonkey.com/s/nmtrappingsurvey). WildEarth Guardians Carnivore Programs Director Wendy Keefover says the forum will produce a report based on the surveys by Jan. 5.
"I think it's a tremendous response," Keefover says. "The wolf thing certainly caught the imagination of a lot of people because 15 wolves have been caught by nongovernmental trappers since 2002."