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New survey shows record numbers of Mexican gray wolves in Arizona and New Mexico

Arizona Game and Fish Department

The number of Mexican wolves in Arizona and New Mexico surged last year from 196 animals to 241. A new survey says this is the first time the population has topped 200 since a reintroduction program began in 1998 aimed at saving the endangered animal.

Cronkite News reports it's the seventh consecutive year of growth for the population, which has more than doubled in size since 2017. Overall deaths were down, and the pup survival rate was up sharply.

According to the multi-agency survey, including the Arizona Game and Fish Department, of the approximately 121 pups born in 2022, at least 81 survived. The typical survival rate for pups in their first year is 50%.

This year’s report also documented 59 packs and 109 collared wolves in the wild, which is 45% of the population. Despite population gains, analysts say the wolves still have a long way to go before they can be removed from the endangered list.

he count was conducted by an interagency field team from November through February of 2022.