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Mexican Wolf Recovery Efforts


Mexican Wolf Recovery Efforts – by Maria Ferguson

In 1998, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, acting under authority of the Endangered Species Act, began to introduce a pack of Mexican Gray Wolves to the Apache National Forest in Arizona. The USFW wanted to domiciliate 100 Mexican Gray Wolves by the year 2006. Comparing their efforts to the reintroduction of Northern Wolves in Yellowstone, the USFW realized that they were falling short and relocated some packs into New Mexico’s Gila National Forest. The Mexican Gray Wolf recovery efforts are still falling short of expectations. The Agency changed the goal to read 55 Wolves, which would include 11 packs and 10 breeding pairs by this year. This was another goal that has not been met. The last count showed only 40 Wolves, that included eight packs and only a few that were breeding pairs. Most of these Wolves are in Arizona.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife attributes the poor results of Mexican Wolf recovery to illegal Wolf kills.

Ranchers in New Mexico were against Wolf reintroduction. On a positive note, early last month, the New Mexico Game Commission, under orders from Governor Bill Richardson, revised it’s anti-wolf stance and asked the agency to change their management policies to give the Wolves a better chance for long term survival. This will allow the USFW more flexibility in its management of the Mexican Gray Wolf.

Biodiversity activists are lobbying for the Mexican Gray Wolves to be put in other areas that would protect them from illegal hunting. The areas that have been suggested are the Grand Canyon and "Spotted Wolf Canyon" in Utah’s San Rafael Reef.

You can see a photo of the Mexican Gray Wolf, courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife in our lone wolf section of the wolf picture photo gallery.

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