Pair Of Mexican Gray Wolves Released In The Wild

April 03, 2014

(Photo courtesy of Defenders of Wildlife)
The endangered Mexican gray wolves currently roam about 7 million acres of federal, tribal and private land in far eastern Arizona and western New Mexico.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Wednesday released a pair of Mexican Gray Wolves in the mountains of eastern Arizona. Program Coordinator Sherry Barrett said the release, in the Apache National Forest was a little different than previous releases.

“We released a male that we had picked up in January, but he’s a wild male, and we paired him with a female from our captive population and released those into the wild," said Barrett.   

Barrett said their goal is more genetic diversity among the wolf population in the wild, which she said numbers at least 83. She said Game and Fish believes releasing the wild male with the female from its captive population makes the success of the release more probable. Barrett said they have to keep a close eye on genetics since the captive population comes from just seven founding wolves.