Arizona Public Radio | Your Source for NPR News
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Mexican Gray Wolf Listed Among 10 Species Most at Risk of Extinction

Mark Henle/The Arizona Republic

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service last month released its long-awaited recovery plan for endangered Mexican gray wolves. Now a national wildlife advocacy group has listed the animals as one of the most threatened in the U.S. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports.

The Endangered Species Coalition says the wolves are among 10 animals most at risk of extinction. The group, in its annual report, accuses federal wildlife officials of putting politics ahead of science by limiting the animal’s range to areas in Arizona and New Mexico.

In addition, the Coalition says the Fish and Wildlife plan sets a population goal that’s less than half of what’s needed for genetic diversity.

The agency, however, says the plan will put the species on track for recovery, and uses the best-available science while minimizing effects on local communities and livestock.

There were at least 113 wild Mexican gray wolves in the Southwest at last count, along with more than two dozen in Mexico.

Ryan Heinsius was named interim news director and managing editor in January 2024. He joined KNAU's newsroom as an executive producer in 2013. He covers a broad range of stories from local, state and tribal politics to education, economy, energy and public lands issues, and frequently interviews internationally known and regional musicians. Ryan is an Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Public Media Journalists Association Award winner, and a frequent contributor to NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered and national newscast.