A record 22 captive-born Mexican gray wolf pups have been placed into dens in the wild in the southwestern U.S. to be raised by surrogate packs.
Once on the verge of extinction, the rarest subspecies of the gray wolf in North America has seen its population nearly double over the last five years.
Documents made public last week show the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service took the action in March after hazing, diversionary food caches and other non-lethal means failed to get the predators to stop killing cattle in two rural areas of western New Mexico.
Agency officials declared progress for the endangered species in New Mexico and Arizona, saying there are at least 131 wolves in the wild in the two states. That represents a 12% jump in the population.
Five wolves were found dead in New Mexico in November, bringing the total for the year to 17. That marks the most wolves killed in any single year since the reintroduction effort began in 1998, and it’s one of the deadliest months in the program’s history. Fuels concerns about the decades-long effort to return the endangered predator to the southwestern U.S.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is hopeful that tactic, called cross-fostering, will aid in the recovery of a species that was nearly eliminated and now numbers just over 100 animals in the United States.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — On the edge of the Mogollon Rim in eastern Arizona, snow covered the ground and blizzard conditions were setting in as biologists prepared to open the gates to a trio of pens, releasing three packs of Mexican gray wolves that would soon have the distinction of being the first of their kind to roam the wild in…
A subspecies of the gray wolf, Mexican wolves nearly disappeared in the 1970s. The federal government added them to the endangered species list in 1976. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service photo)ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Federal wildlife managers are investigating the deaths of two endangered Mexican gray wolves. The animals were found dead in Arizona in February. Authorities did not release any…
That population grows, but by just one animal. Officials say numbers not what they had hoped for, to focus on improving genetics of wild population as way to build more robust numbers.
They say artificial insemination holds promise for the Mexican wolf as well as other species that are close to extinction.
Officials estimate recovery could take another two decades and nearly $180 million.
Marks the first time in a decade that efforts by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to curb livestock attacks by wolves has had lethal consequences for one of the predators.
Since conservation of the Mexican gray wolf began in the 1980s, the Arizona agency has spent more than $7 million on recovery efforts.
Document calls for focusing recovery of wolves in core areas of predators’ historic range.
Cross-fostering project aimed at boosting genetic diversity among wolves in the wild in New Mexico and Arizona.
Marks most in any single year since federal government began reintroducing the predators in New Mexico, Arizona in 1998