The Mexican gray wolf (lobo) was at one time extremely prevalent in the borderlands, and when the wolf population returns to healthy numbers, biologists believe that lobos will restore balance to the Southwest's ecosystems by keeping deer, elk and javelina (wild pigs, dangerous and destructive when uncontrolled) populations in check.
Wolves prevent the populations from growing so numerous that they overgraze and destroy habitat that countless other species depend on.
If ranchers are worried about livestock damage, here's a statistic for you: only one-quarter of 1 percent of livestock kills can be attributed to wolves, a tiny fraction of those attributed to dogs and coyotes.
There are ways that ranchers and conservationists can work together using non-lethal alternatives that protect livestock and ranch animals without excessive and unnecessary killing of predators.
It is surely time to stop perpetuating myths about wolves and start recognizing their vital role in balancing the wild ecosystem.
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