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Sunday , November 18 2018
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Tag Archives: mexican gray wolf

Chihuahuan Desert Fiesta Celebrates Natural Wonders of the Franklin Mountains Saturday

The 13th Annual Chihuahuan Desert Fiesta at the Tom Mays section of Franklin Mountains State Park is planned for Saturday, September 30, from 9am to 3pm.

The free family event helps people connect with the great outdoors of the Franklin Mountains and is sponsored by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department with the help of volunteers from the Chihuahuan Desert Education Coalition. Organizes say the annual event attracts hundreds of people to the desert mountain park in Northwest El Paso.

The outdoor venue celebrates the natural wonders of the Chihuahuan Desert and Franklin Mountains State Park. Local environmental education groups will be on hand to offer free demonstrations, guided tours, guest speakers and informational booths designed to introduce the curious to the wonders of our fascinating desert.

Schedule of Events at the Entertainment Stage Area – End of the Loop Road next to the Exhibitor Tent Area

· 9:00am-9:15am- National Anthem
· 9:30am-10:00am- Cheerleading
· 10:00am-10:15am Zoo Animal Encounter
· 10:30am-11:00am- Story Telling(Marylyn Guida)
· 11:10am-11:35am- Martial Arts Demonstration
· 11:45am-12:15pm-Keyboarding/Piano
· 12:30pm-1:00pm- Rondalla Estudiantil
· 1:15pm-1:45pm- Ballet Folklorico (Champion Studio)
· 2:00pm-2:30pm- Belly Dancers

More on Geosciences Education Activities – Mini-field trips will run from 9am to 3pm, and will last only 30 minutes, with one exception. The short time means you will not be walking far. The geosciences do not only about understand the earth at your feet, but the vistas in the distance, and the sky above us.

Many of the following field trips may include a walk to a nearby place of higher elevation to get a better view. Hikers are encouraged to bring binoculars for the picturesque hike.

All mini-trips with the exception of trips 4 and 6 meet near the Restrooms at the End of the Loop Road to the right of the main stage and exhibit area.

Trip 1- 9:45 am to 10:45 am – Agave Loop for hikers interested in connecting to Mundy’s Gap.  See Park Map for Location.

Trip 2-10:30 am to 12:00 pm- Aztec Cave Trail is a 1.2 mile out and back trail that features a cave and is good for all skill levels.  See Park Map for Location.

Trip 3 – 11:00 am- 11:30pm- Short walk to elevation change.  Meet at the Trail head at the end of the loop road.

Trip 4 -11:00 am – 12:30pm –  Underground Copper Mine Tour, a maximum number of 15 participants with flashlights or headlamps. Meet at the Cottonwood Spring Parking Area. The hike is 1 mile round trip uphill over a rocky trail. Bring sturdy shoes, sunscreen, water, and a working flashlight. We will explore an underground tunnel which was part of an unsuccessful mineral entrepreneurial activity. Check out the blue grotto! See Park Map for Location.

Trip 5 -1:00 pm – 2:30pm –  Underground Copper Mine Tour, a maximum number of 15 participants with flashlights or headlamps. Meet at the Cottonwood Spring Parking Area. The hike is 1 mile round trip uphill over a rocky trail. Bring sturdy shoes, sunscreen, water, and a working flashlight. We will explore an underground tunnel which was part of an unsuccessful mineral entrepreneurial activity. Check out the blue grotto! See Park Map for Location.

Trip 6 -1:30 pm to 2:30 pm Upper Sunset Trail; is one of the shorter ones (1.3 miles) and offered some great views of the valley below.  Meet at the restrooms at the end of the loop road.

Trip 7- 2:00 pm to 2:30 pm Short Hike.  No elevation change. Meet at the Trail head at the end of the loop road.

Exhibitors attending the festival this year include New Mexico Farm, Ranch and Heritage Museum, Chamizal National Memorial, Hueco Tanks State Park, Aerial Tramway, Franklin Mountains State Park, Mexican Gray Wolf,  El Paso Parks and Recreation, Tech H2O, El Paso Zoo, International Boundary and Water Commission, Sierra Club, Women’s Voting, Franklin Mountains Wilderness Coalition, Greater Big Bend Coalition, Frontera Land Alliance, Texas Master Naturalist, UTEP, El Paso Fire Department, Sustainability and Resilience Office, Audubon Society, and Friends of the Rio Bosque.

Special thanks to our volunteers from the Chihuahuan Desert Education Coalition, Franklin Mountains State Park, City of El Paso Parks and Rec, El Paso Zoo, University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP).

For more information contact Franklin Mountains State Park at (915) 566-6441 or contact CDEC Committee Chair Carlos Rodriguez at 915-240-3311.

Mexican Grey Wolf joins Pack at El Paso Zoo

The El Paso Zoo celebrates National Wolf Awareness week by announcing that the zoo’s male wolf, Zephyr, and female wolves Ivy and Ash are now together as a pack and sharing two exhibit spaces at the zoo.

A planned introduction process allowed Zephyr, who came to the El Paso Zoo in March, to join Ash and Ivy’s pack slowly. Zephyr was introduced to the females, first by smell, then sound then sight. He first met the female wolves through a mesh partition so he could see them and have protected interaction with them.

Improvements to the shared exhibit include a fallen log and railroad trestle run, and an opening at the bottom of the arroyo in the exhibit. These improvements allow the wolves to freely run through the two spaces together as a pack.

Though the Zoo will not breed Zephyr, Ash and Ivy, the Zoo remains an important holding facility for non-breeding wolves. The Zoo has contributed to reproductive research, which prove promising for the future Mexican grey wolf population.

“It is hoped the new, pending recovery plan that is due to be completed by November of 2107 will be able to more firmly establish the recovery of the Mexican wolf in the wild and help enhance the genetic diversity of the wolves in those packs,” said El Paso Zoo Animal Curator John Kiseda.

Mexican wolves are native to the Chihuahuan desert and were one of the first animals on exhibit when the Zoo was founded in 1910. El Paso Zoo conservation efforts including repairing fence line in the Gila Wilderness to directly mitigate livestock and human conflicts, in addition to helping fund and support wolf recovery programs.

National Wolf Week runs from Sunday, October 16, 2016, through Saturday, October 22, 2016.

The Mexican gray wolf, or “lobo,” is one of the most endangered mammals in North America. By the mid-1980s, hunting, trapping, and poisoning caused the extinction of lobos in the wild, with only a handful remaining in zoos.

Because of populations in zoos, Mexican grey wolves were reintroduced into the wild on March 29, 1998 after being extinct for more than 30 years.

Group Says Efforts to Save Mexican Wolf Fall Short

TUCSON, Ariz. – It has been 40 years since the Mexican gray wolf was listed as an endangered species, but conservationists are concerned about what they see as a serious lack of progress in reintroducing the animal into the wild. In 2015, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service counted only 97 lobos in the wild in Arizona and New Mexico.

Fewer than 25 exist in Mexico, making it the most endangered animal in the world.

Eva Sargent, senior southwest representative with Defenders of Wildlife said the wolves need more genetic diversity to survive.

“All the Mexican wolves alive in the world today are the descendants of just seven wolves that started the captive breeding program,” she said. “When you have that sort of genetic bottleneck, you really need to work hard to preserve the genetic diversity you have, and unfortunately, that has never happened.”

She said Fish and Wildlife officials, who manage the current reintroduction program, have failed to release enough wolves from captivity to sustain and grow the population.

“And now we’re to the point where we can see the genetic repercussions of them losing some of that genetic heritage,” she added. “They are having smaller litters and they’re having lower pup survival, and that’s just a recipe for extinction.”

While the wild wolves are waiting for reinforcement, Sargent said there is good news in the form of a settlement this week between a coalition of conservationists and the Fish and Wildlife Service. The agreement requires the federal agency to produce a “legally sufficient” recovery plan for the wolves by November 2017.

“You know, we are racing extinction on the Mexican gray wolf,” Sargent stressed. “The best available science, not political pressure, should lead the recovery planning for lobos. We need more wolves and less politics.”

The settlement is the result of a 2014 lawsuit by an individual and four conservation groups, including Defenders of Wildlife, to force the Fish and Wildlife Service to comply with the requirements of the Endangered Species Act.

Mark Richardson, Public News Service

El Paso Zoo Welcomes new Mexican Wolf to Exhibit

Another long howl of the Mexican gray wolf can be heard at the El Paso Zoo as the Zoo welcomes, Zephyr, a 10-year-old Mexican wolf, to his new home.

The Mexican gray wolf was one of the first animals on exhibit when the Zoo was founded in 1910. Mexican wolves hold a special place in the hearts of staff because they are native to the Chihuahuan desert.

The Mexican gray wolf, or “lobo,” is one of the most endangered mammals in North America. By the mid- 1980s, hunting, trapping, and poisoning caused the extinction of lobos in the wild, with only a handful remaining in the care of humans. Because of populations in zoos and other conservation institutions, Mexican grey wolves were reintroduced into the wild in 1998.

This month marks the 18th anniversary of this historic event, a significant milestone for the lobo – and wildlife conservation. Currently, there are 97 Mexican grey wolves in in the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area in New Mexico and Arizona.

“The El Paso Zoo is very proud to be a long time participant in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Mexican Wolf Species Survival Plan (SSP). This cooperative program designed to save the Mexican Wolf from extinction is supported by other accredited zoos, conservation organizations, and government wildlife agencies,” said Zoo Director Steve Marshall.

“Our community should also be proud to have the Zoo’s General Curator, John Kiseda, contribute to this effort by serving as one of the program leaders for the Mexican Wolf Species Survival Plan.”

Though the Zoo will not breed Zephyr with the two 13-year-old female wolves, Ash and Ivy, the Zoo remains an important holding facility for non-breeding wolves. The Zoo has contributed to reproductive research, including semen collection and egg vitrification, which could be very promising for the future Mexican gray wolf population.

Zoo staff is developing an animal introduction plan so Zephyr can join Ash and Ivy’s pack.