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Mexican Wolf Reintroduction and Management
 

The Arizona Game and Fish Department has been actively involved in reintroducing Mexican wolves to portions of their historical range for many years.

In the 1980s, the reintroduction effort focused mainly on public processes necessary to reach a decision for or against reintroduction.

Management activities during the 1990s included public opinion surveys, public meetings, site feasibility studies and surveys along both sides of the Mexican border for naturally occurring wolves. In addition, there was intensive coordination with cooperating agencies, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish and the USDA Forest Service.

As a result of these activities and a Federal mandate from the Endangered Species Act of 1973, a Federal decision was made to release captive Mexican wolves in east-central Arizona. In March 1998, 11 captive-reared Mexican wolves were released into the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area (BRWRA) in eastern Arizona. Additional releases have occurred since the initial release.

With the birth of the first wild-born litter from a wild-born parent in 2002, the Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project entered into a new phase, whereby natural reproduction began to replace reintroductions from captive populations.

 

  Learn More
  • For questions regarding the Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project or to report a wolf sighting, please contact the Interagency Field Team at their offices in Alpine, Arizona

  • Mexican Wolf Conservation
  • Wolf howls recording [MP3, 2.8 mb] - Bluestem Pack in AZ; Oct. 2009; 3:05 minutes in length
  • Photo gallery of Mexican Wolf Blue Range Reintroduction Project


 

Status: The Mexican wolf is managed as a Species of Special Concern in Arizona. In 1976, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed it as an endangered species. Although the reintroduced population in portions of Arizona and New Mexico is growing, supplemented by additional releases, human-caused and other mortality factors are jeopardizing population objectives.

As of the beginning of 2013, about 75 Mexican wolves populate the BRWRA. Approximately 300 additional wolves are being held in various captive-breeding facilities located throughout the United States and in Mexico.

Management Needs: The Mexican wolf is an endangered-species rarity. Its major recovery needs are not habitat management and restoration. Rather, reintroduced wolves show very clearly what is needed to achieve recovery, which is primarily education and tolerance. Education efforts to prevent people from mistaking wolves as coyotes and shooting them; increased law enforcement presence throughout the wolf recovery area; heightened ability to investigate mortalities more effectively and to pursue legal actions against those who intentionally, but unlawfully, kill wolves; and greater driver awareness to reduce mortalities of wolves using roads as travel corridors are some of the actions needed to assist with wolf recovery. Adequate funding for the recovery and management of wolves is essential. Continuing funding is needed to conduct wolf research, monitoring activities, public outreach, prevention of and response to depredation incidents, field surveys to monitor presence of wild wolves, and to evaluate potential reintroduction sites for habitat capabilities, prey base and potential conflicts.

The Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project is a cooperative effort administered by five co-lead agencies: Arizona Game and Fish Department, White Mountain Apache Tribe, USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services, USDA Forest Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. These agencies utilize an adaptive management approach in Mexican wolf reintroduction efforts and activities that provides opportunities for participation by local governments, nongovernmental organizations and individuals from all segments of the public.

 
 
 
What's New!

Wolf Location Information

 

 
These pages last updated on 4/16/2014 JD
 

Documents Open for Public Review & Comment

Comment deadline:

- None currently open
   
  To Submit Comment
  E-mail public comment to mexicanwolfconservation@azgfd.gov or address postal mail to Jon Cooley; c/o AZ Game and Fish Dept., 2878 E. White Mountain Blvd., Pinetop, AZ, 85935. The comment deadline is ---.
 
External Resources [More]

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Mexican Wolf Recovery Program

   

View annual Mexican wolf population statistics charts

   
2008 MW Reintroduction Project status summary [PDF, 76kb]
   
2008 MW population survey; FWS news release [PDF, 38kb]
   
FWS Mexican wolf fact sheet Southwest Region [PDF, 151kb]
   
FWS MW Reintroduction Project facts [PDF, 165kb]
   
FWS MW Reintroduction Project fact sheet for guides, outfitters and forest visitors [PDF, 108kb]
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