From the Carlsbad Current Argus in New Mexico:

While environmentalists celebrated the resurgence of the Mexican gray wolf in the southwestern United States, ranchers in southern New Mexico feared the predator could threaten their livelihood.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced the gray wolf grew 24 percent in 2019, up to 163 wolves and 42 packs living in the wild in New Mexico and Arizona.

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From The Verge:

The US population of endangered Mexican gray wolves jumped by 24 percent last year, the US Fish and Wildlife Service announced yesterday. That’s exciting news for conservationists who haven’t seen a leap in numbers that high since 2014. The recent census found 163 Mexican wolves in the wild in New Mexico and Arizona, compared to 131 in 2018.

At least 21 of the 28 packs being monitored had pups last spring. The survival rate for those pups was higher than usual, reaching 58 percent last year compared to an average of 50 percent.

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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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