Mexican gray wolf numbers coming up short

December 24, 2011

The federal government doesn’t know if they have enough Mexican gray wolves to successfully save the species in the southwest. Wildlife managers had hoped to have at least a hundred wolves in the wild by now. At last count they only had half that number. From Flagstaff, Laurel Morales reports.

LAUREL MORALES: When a wolf recently pursued a pet dog, wildlife managers tried to relocate the wolf and failed. So they say they were forced to kill it. The Center for Biological Diversity says this is a result of the government refusing to release enough wolves into the wild to allow for potential mates. Fish and Wildlife spokesman Tom Buckley says the agency had planned to release several wolves recently, but their habitat was destroyed by the Wallow Fire. He says there have also been many deaths.

TOM BUCKLEY: We’ve had animals hit by vehicles; we’ve had them illegally shot. They do carry a lot of baggage, the Little Red Riding Hood story, some people really buy into that.

LAUREL MORALES: Buckley says there have also been low birth and survival rates. Scientists are trying to figure out why. They’re surveying the population now and plan to release numbers next month.

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