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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.
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
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
- Gray Wolf Timeline
- Mexican Gray Wolf Fact Sheet, USFW
- Mexican wolf recovery plan – 2017 – first revision
Recovery and Management
- Mexican Wolf Management – this will take you to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Mexican Wolf Recovery page.
- Arizona Game and Fish Department – Mexican Wolf Reintroduction and Management
- Article: Mexican gray wolf population hits high of 113 in wilds of Arizona, New Mexico (2017)
- Mexican wolf recovery efforts
- Arizona Game and Fish Department website on Mexican wolf conservation
- Vimeo Video on the Mexican Gray Wolf (a layperson summary of the recent history of the wolf, its relationship to the human population, the wolf’s effect on the Rocky Mountain Elk and sheep and the practice of fladry fencing. Included are interviews with volunteers stating their purpose and perspectives as well as an interview with a representative from the Arizona Game and Fish.)
- Wolf Depredation
- Depredation on Livestock and Pets
- Visit the USDA APHIS Wildlife Services site for information on how the federal government manages depredating wildlife, resolves conflict between wildlife and humans and for contact information by state.
- Reducing conflicts between Mexican wolves and livestock
Related Links and Information