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Mexican Gray Wolf Population Grows by 1 in Last Year

Nagel Photography/Shutterstock

There are at least 114 Mexican gray wolves roaming the American Southwest.

That's one more than was recorded during the previous survey, and U.S. wildlife managers say lower survival rates among pups are primarily to blame.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Wednesday released the findings of its annual population survey, which included tracking wolves in parts of Arizona and New Mexico over the winter and more recent monitoring flights.

The latest figure includes 26 pups that survived through the end of last year. In 2016, the number of surviving pups was nearly double that.

Officials lamented the numbers were not what they were hoping for.

Environmentalists pointed to stagnation in the population over the last few years, saying managers need to rethink their approach to recovering the species.

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