Mexican wolves in Arizona, New Mexico


This video from the USA says about itself:

Mexican Wolf – Canis lupus baileyi

May 12, 2013

After being wiped out in the United States, Mexican wolves were bred in captivity and reintroduced to the wild in Arizona beginning in 1998. They are still very rare in the wild. The Mexican wolf is the most endangered type of wolf in the world.

From Wildlife Extra:

Two pairs of wolves released in Arizona and New Mexico

Wolves released into Gila Wilderness & Apache National Forest

May 2013. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) and the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD) have released a pair of Mexican wolves into the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area of Arizona.

Second pair

In a separate action, the Service also released a second pair of Mexican wolves into the wolf recovery area in New Mexico. Both pairs, selected to increase genetic diversity of the wild wolf population, were previously held at the Service’s Sevilleta Wolf Management Facility where they had undergone an acclimation process to determine their suitability for release.

“We continue to be committed to strategic releases that improve genetic diversity, increase the number of breeding wolves, and offset illegal mortalities in the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area,” said Benjamin Tuggle, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Southwest Regional Director.

“The strategically-planned release of the wolf pair into Arizona is to improve the genetic integrity of the wolf population. The release approaches being used are tailored to encourage these wolves to acclimate and behave as wild wolves. Our experience shows that wild-born, wild-raised wolves have a much better chance at success,” says Director Larry Voyles, AGFD.

Soft release

In Arizona, the Interagency Field Team (IFT) conducted a “soft release” of Mexican wolves F1126 and M1051 (F indicates female and M indicates male) near the Corduroy Creek release site on the Alpine Ranger District in the Apache National Forest.

“We considered several factors in the selection of the release site, including appropriate prey density, distance from occupied residences, seasonal absence of livestock grazing, and occurrence of established wolf packs in the area,” says Chris Bagnoli, the AGFD’s IFT leader. “This particular site was also chosen in close coordination with the public and with approval from the Forest Service.”

The Arizona pair was placed into an enclosure and will be held for a time to acclimate them to their surroundings. They will be released into the primary recovery zone because F1126 does not have previous wild experience. This will be an initial release of F1126 and a translocation of M1051.

Gila wilderness

The Service, in cooperation with the IFT, also conducted a “modified soft release” of Mexican wolves F1108 and M1133 into New Mexico. These wolves will be translocated to an enclosure in the Gila Wilderness. The enclosure is designed so that the wolves can chew through and self-release any time after being placed there. Both F1108 and M1133 have previous wild experience, and so are able to be translocated into the secondary recovery zone in compliance with the existing federal 10(j) rule covering the reintroduction project.

Supplementary feeding

For both the Arizona and New Mexico wolf pairs, the IFT anticipates the wolves will begin utilizing the area around the release sites. The IFT will provide supplemental food while the wolves learn to catch and kill native prey, such as deer and elk, on their own. The supplemental feeding will assist in anchoring the wolves to the area.

75 wolves in the wild

The IFT estimates the population of Mexican wolves in the wild to be a minimum of 75 animals, as determined by their most recent annual survey conducted in January 2013, up from a count of 58 last year.

The Reintroduction Project partners are AGFD, White Mountain Apache Tribe, USDA Forest Service and USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service – Wildlife Services, several participating counties in Arizona, the Eastern Arizona Counties Organization, and the Service.

At last count, only 83 Mexican gray wolves persisted in the wild. The wild population is at tremendous risk due to its small size and genetics. In spite of all your phone calls and emails, on Feb. 3, the Arizona Legislature’s Committee on Government and Environment passed legislation and a resolution to push this tiny, critically endangered population of wolves even closer to extinction: here.

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8 thoughts on “Mexican wolves in Arizona, New Mexico

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