“With 75 wolves in the wild after a 15-year effort, conservation groups criticize delays” Payson Roundup
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Mexican gray wolf No. 1105 was shot dead by wildlife managers after having a tryst — and puppies — with a common ranch dog. No. 1188, an alpha female, was almost executed, then taken away from her pups and pack, for killing cattle. And wolf No. 1133 was returned to captivity after failing to woo his intended mate.”Idaho-Press Tribune
The number of reintroduced Mexican gray wolves in the wild grew from 58 in 2011 to 75 in 2012, according to a federal population survey released this week.
“One of the keys to successful Mexican wolf repatriation is increasing the percentage of the population that is wild-born, and in 2012 that percentage grew to nearly 100 percent with only one wolf on the ground that was captive-born. Wild-born wolves, compared to naïve wolves that were born in captivity, have demonstrated that they are less likely to have human and livestock interactions,” said Larry Voyles, director of the Arizona Game and Fish Department. via Payson Roundup
“Our strategy for 2013 will be to increase the genetic viability of the wild population, and implement management activities that support more wolves in the wild,” said Voyles. “Releases are one of the important tools we use for improving the genetic viability of the wild population.”
Facts About The Mexican Gray Wolf:
This wolf is commonly referred to as “El Lobo.”
The Mexican wolf is a subspecies of the Gray wolf.Although native to North America, it is one of the rarest and most genetically distinct subspecies.
Smallest gray wolf subspecies present in North America reaching 3.9-4.9 feet and a maximum height of 31 inches.It is the same height as a German Shepherd.They weigh from around 55 to 90 pounds.The gray wolf is gray with a touch of light brown fur on its back.
The Gray wolf eats most ungulated mammals-hoofed mammals such as elk , white-tailed deer and mule deer.
In March 1998, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) began reintroducing Mexican wolves into the Blue Range area of Arizona. The overall objective of this program was to reestablish 100 Mexican wolves in the Apache and Gila National Forests of Arizona and New Mexico by 2008.There are only close to 300 Mexican wolves in captivity today.
Gray wolves live in mountain forests and grasslands. They are sociable animals and live in packs.
Mid February-Mid March.
Litter size: 5-7 wolf pups
Pups are born blind and defenseless.They are looked after by the pack until they reach ten months of age.
On March 30, 1998, government biologists released 11 gray wolves – 3 adult males, 3 adult females, 3 female pups and yearlings and 2 male pups — from 3 chain-link acclimation pens within the 18,130 square kilometres (7,000 sq mi), federally designated Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area in east-central Arizona.