Mexican Wolf/Livestock Coexistence Council extends application date for pay for presence program

Phoenix, Arizona - The Mexican Wolf/Livestock Coexistence Council is extending the deadline for livestock producers to submit applications to receive payments for wolf presence under the Mexican Wolf/Livestock Coexistence Plan.  The previous May 1 deadline has been extended to June 2 to accommodate additional livestock producers desiring to apply.

The Coexistence Plan, announced in March 2014, is comprised of three core strategies: payments for wolf presence, funding for conflict avoidance measures, and funding for depredation compensation.

“We hope to broaden the number of Arizona and New Mexico livestock producers that receive financial compensation to offset the additional management costs associated with the presence of wolves,” said Coexistence Council Chairman Sisto Hernandez.

Payments to livestock producers for wolf presence will be based on a formula that considers a variety of factors, including whether the applicant’s land or grazing lease overlaps a wolf territory or core area (e.g., den or rendezvous area) and the number of wolf pups annually surviving to December 31 in the territory, recognizing that survival of wolf pups is not dependent upon the livestock producer. The formula also considers the number of livestock exposed to wolves and the applicant’s participation in proactive conflict avoidance measures.

The payments for wolf presence will be based on Mexican wolf data and livestock information from calendar year 2013.  Applications are available on the Coexistence Council website.

The intent of the Coexistence Plan is to recognize that there are real economic consequences to livestock producers coexisting with wolves in Arizona and New Mexico. In addition to losses from livestock depredations, livestock producers incur costs from undetected depredations and changes in livestock behavior in response to wolf presence, which can result in a reduction of livestock weight gain, reproductive rates, and meat quality, as well as increased costs tied to managing wolf/livestock interactions.

The Coexistence Plan, and specifically the pay for presence program, creates incentives for ranching in ways that promote self-sustaining Mexican wolf populations, viable ranching operations, and healthy western landscapes.

The current available funding for the Coexistence Plan comes from the Federal Livestock Demonstration Program, which in 2013 provided $20,000 for depredation compensation and $40,000 for preventative measures to Arizona Game and Fish Department, and $20,000 for depredation compensation and $50,000 for preventative measures to the New Mexico Department of Agriculture.  These grant funds are matched by in-kind contributions through the Mexican Wolf Fund and Defenders of Wildlife providing financial assistance to livestock producers to implement proactive measures to reduce conflicts between Mexican wolves and livestock.

For more information, visit the Coexistence Council website: http://www.coexistencecouncil.org. For more information on the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program, visit http://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/mexicanwolf/RWLC.cfm