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New Billboard in NM Promotes $105K Reward for Information About Illegal Mexican Gray Wolf Killing

For Immediate Release 

Media contacts: 

Greta Anderson, Western Watersheds Project (520)623-1878,

Regan Downey, Wolf Conservation Center (914)763-2373,

New Billboard in New Mexico Promotes $105K Reward for Information About Illegal Mexican Gray Wolf Killing

(May 1, 2024) TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES, N.M.- Today, a new billboard was installed along Interstate 25 north of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico to promote the existence of a $105,000 reward fund for information about illegal killings of Mexican gray wolves. Conservationists are hoping that the reward generates information leading to the arrest of people who violate the Endangered Species Act by unlawfully shooting, trapping, or poisoning wolves.

“Illegal killing is one of the primary threats to the recovery of the species in the wild,” said Greta Anderson, deputy director of Western Watersheds Project. “Someone knows something about the wolves that have been shot or have disappeared, and we’re hoping that this substantial reward up to $105,000 encourages them to come forward and share that information. Wolf killers are criminals, and the people who report them are heroes.”

“Ten Mexican gray wolves from the Wolf Conservation Center have been released to the wild and only one is known to have survived for at least one year,” said Regan Downey, Director of Education at the Wolf Conservation Center. “Two sisters from our facility were illegally shot and their bodies were dumped on the side of the road. Their killers were never found. These wolves – and so many others that suffer the same fate – deserve justice.”

Since 1998, at least 283 Mexican gray wolves have been killed in Arizona and New Mexico, with 149 of those being illegal. Poaching is the leading cause of mortality but criminal convictions are rare; conservationists hope that financial incentives will encourage those with any information to come forward.

The billboard is sponsored by Western Watersheds Project and the Wolf Conservation Center. Contributors to the reward fund include the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Arizona Game and Fish Department, New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, as well as private individuals and conservation groups including Grand Canyon Wolf Recovery Project, Wolf Conservation Center, Grand Canyon Chapter of the Sierra Club, WildEarth Guardians, Project Coyote, New Mexico Wilderness Alliance, Defenders of Wildlife, Humane Society of the United States, Conservation Voters of New Mexico, Western Watersheds Project, Wild Arizona and Lobos of the Southwest.

Individuals with information they believe may be helpful are urged to call one of the following agencies: USFWS special agents in Pinetop, Arizona, at (346) 254-0515; the WMAT at (928) 338-1023 or (928) 338-4385; AZGFD Operation Game Thief at (800) 352-0700; or NMDGF Operation Game Thief at (800) 432-4263. Killing a Mexican wolf is a violation of state law and the Federal Endangered Species Act and can result in criminal penalties of up to $50,000, and/or not more than one year in jail, and/or a civil penalty of up to $25,000.

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