RESERVE – U.S. Fish and Wildlife crews fly above the forests of Catron County in a helicopter. A nearby airplane relays the location of a Mexican gray wolf. Fresh snow has made the animals easier to spot from the air.

“Starting pursuit,” the helicopter crew broadcasts over the radio.

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From the White Mountain Independent:

PINETOP — Residents of Alpine, Arizona and Reserve, New Mexico and surrounding areas may notice a low-flying helicopter in the region between Jan. 22 and Feb. 4 as biologists conduct their annual Mexican wolf population survey and capture.

The flights are part of the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program, a multi-agency cooperative effort among the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD), U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Service Inspection Service – Wildlife Services, and the White Mountain Apache Tribe.

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From the San Francisco Chronicle and the Associated Press:

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Wildlife managers are investigating the death of an endangered Mexican gray wolf found last month in New Mexico.

Officials with the wolf recovery team are waiting for the results of genetics testing to determine the pack from the animal came. They did not release any details about the circumstances of the animal’s death or where it was found.

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From The Sacramento Bee and the Associated Press:

The death of a Mexican gray wolf and injuries to another prompted environmentalists on Tuesday to call on New Mexico lawmakers to ban trapping on public land.

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From the El Defensor Chieftain:

With the release of the 2018 report from the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife, New Mexico cattlegrowers are concerned about the effectiveness of the Mexican gray wolf reintroduction program. The report showed that the total number of wolves that died in 2018 was 17, five in November alone. That’s the highest number of wolf fatalities in a single year since the program began in 1998.

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From the Santa Fe New Mexican:

Different methods are in the works to keep the threatened Mexican gray wolf and cattle apart in a decades-long conflict between wildlife activists and ranching interests.

Whether the methods will be successful — or even accepted — remains uncertain.

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A Mexican wolf pup born this spring at Brookfield Zoo and released into the wild as part of a species recovery program was tracked down in New Mexico and is healthy, the zoo announced this week.

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From Albuequerque Journal:

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From Artesia Daily Press:

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — State wildlife officials are reviewing the federal government’s plan for recovering endangered wolves that once roamed parts of New Mexico, Arizona and northern Mexico.

A draft was recently released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as the agency works to meet a court-ordered deadline to have the plan completed by the end of November.

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From Daily Miner:

The Arizona Game and Fish Department was monitoring 58 endangered Mexican wolves wearing radio collars at the end of May, the department reported in its latest update.

The overall population of the wolves in the wild in Arizona and New Mexico was 113 at the end of 2016.

Annual surveys are conducted by field teams in the winter when the population has the least amount of natural fluctuation. The spring population increases dramatically with the birth of new pups and declines throughout the summer and fall as mortality is particularly high on young pups.

Wolves with functioning radio collars are listed by studbook number in the pack updates. They’re given an identification number preceded by capital M (male) or F (female) for adult wolves and lowercase letters for wolves younger than 24 months.

Arizona Game and Fish was tracking 10 different packs of wolves in May. The Baldy Pack was not located during the month. It has been more than three months since the Baldy Pack was located and their fate is now considered unknown.


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