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Arizona at a glance

The Mexican gray wolf once roamed throughout most of Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Mexico; however, persecution and, eventually, poisoning began shortly after European settlement. On March 29, 1998, eleven captive-reared wolves were released into the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area. This reintroduced population is shared by Arizona and New Mexico. Main prey for wolves there are elk, deer and domestic livestock. Much controversy surrounds these wolves, due in large part to depredation (killing livestock) issues. Wolves in Arizona range in less than five percent of the map shown. Range lines are not depicted.

Species Information

Common Names: gray wolf, maicoh (Navajo), tasha (Caddo), lobo (Spanish)
Latin Name: Canis lupus

Common Name: Mexican wolf
Latin Name: Canis lupus baileyi 

Endangered Species Updates

December 1-31, 2014


Mexican gray wolf

Current Wolf Population, Trend, Status
Number of wolves: 163 in a shared population with New Mexico (2019 story here). More than 250 are held in various captive-breeding facilities throughout the United States and Mexico.
Population trend: Varies depending on status of new releases
Legal status: Federal protection, with some exceptions

Human Relationships



Mexican gray wolf #511, member of the first Mexican wolf pack released in eastern Arizona in 1998. Photo: Arizona Game and Fish Department

Recovery and Management


Wolf-Human Interactions

Related Links and Information

Recent media coverage