WWF and Raúl Jiménez work together to save the Mexican wolf
Mexico has worked to reintroduce this species in the Janos Biosphere Reserve – Photo: File photo/EL UNIVERSAL

WWF and Raúl Jiménez work together to save the Mexican wolf

19/02/2020
18:51
Leonardo Domínguez
Mexico City
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World Wildlife Fund and the English soccer team Wolverhampton are promoting the conservation of the Mexican wolf

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In our country, there are approximately 30 Mexican wolves living in the wild in forests. Although their population is scarce, there is still hope to save the species.

World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Mexico, along with the English soccer team Wolverhampton, where the Mexican forward Raúl Jiménez plays, are leading the program "Protege a la Manada" (Protect the Pack) that will promote donations to conservation programs of the Canis lupus bailey, a species that is in danger of extinction.

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“With the resources, we are able to collect, the wolve’s liberation and adaptation to its natural habitat efforts will be strengthened; we have a litter with the possibility of being reinserted but in order to do so we need everyone’s help,” said Jorge Rickards, director of WWF Mexico in a news conference.

40 years ago, this wolf had disappeared in the wilderness, but in the 1980s, the U.S. and Mexico governments began to collaborate to recover and reproduce specimens in captivity to then free them in their habitat; due to these actions, the howl of the forest’s guardian has begun to sound louder than ever.

“Currently, we have a population of between 30 and 50 wolves in the wild; this has been thanks to the two liberation events that we have had. A month ago, we freed two specimens in Chihuahua’s Sierra Madre Occidental. We know that nearly 20 cubs have been born in the wild, but the number changes because not all of them have a satellite tag,” said José Eduardo Ponce, who is in charge of the office for endangered species of the National Commission for Natural Protected Areas (Conanp).

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The officer stressed that, through this program, the objective is to remove the Mexican wolf from the category of “endangered species” and that the goal, in a binational collaboration, is to have “200 wolves in the wild in Mexico and 300 in the U.S., which we hope to achieve within 20 or 25 years,” he said.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Una publicación compartida de WWF México (@wwf_mexico) el

The general director of Zoos and Conservation of Wild Fauna, Fernando Gual, explained the importance of these compounds for conservation: “These centers represent the last chance for survival for many species that have lost their habitat and that are in serious danger nowadays. In recent years, a fourth part of the species that was saved from extinction was thanks to zoos and the Mexican wolf is one of them.”

It was from seven specimens from three different lineages – the Mexican family “San Juan de Aragón” and the North American families “McBride” and “Ghost Ranch” - that authorities have been able to recover the wolf population. In three Mexico City zoos, over 20 litters of this species have been born and they are looking to reinsert them gradually to their natural habitat.

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This predator moves between Sonora and Chihuahua under the protection of the Janos Biosphere Reserve and the Areas of Flora and Fauna Protection of Campo Verde, located in the Sierra Madre Occidental. The Mexican wolf is essential for ecosystems: it feeds from deer, rodents, fruits, and vegetables. Along with other predators, it controlled the number of prey in vast territories in Mexico and the United States.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Una publicación compartida de WWF México (@wwf_mexico) el

“The Mexican wolf, our brother, needs help, and we must create awareness to conserve this species that is currently endangered. That is why WWF and the Wolverhampton call everyone to donate and create awareness,” stressed Raúl Jiménex, who has become the top scorer of the English team. In a video call, he highlighted the positive results his team has achieved in the local tournament as well as thanking for the support of fans who chant during matches “Sí, señor, pass the ball to Raúl and he will score.”

The WWF and the Wolves campaign will be available to the public through its official website. In addition, donors will be able to participate in a trivia to win a jersey signed by Raúl and the whole team.

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