US Fish and Wildlife Service

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 A dozen Mexican gray wolf pups are being raised by wild packs in Arizona and New Mexico as biologists mark another season of playing matchmaker to bolster the genetics of the endangered species.

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More Mexican gray wolves are roaming the American Southwest now than at any time since federal biologists began reintroducing the predators more than two decades ago, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Monday.

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Biologists with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine have declared that the Mexican gray wolf is a valid subspecies. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports, it strengthens the case for keeping the animal’s federally endangered status.


Chicago Zoological Society

Mexican gray wolves were once common throughout the southwest United States and into central Mexico. But their populations were decimated in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries as human settlement exploded. Prey decline, habitat degradation, and federal predator control programs all but wiped out the animals. By the 1970s, Mexican wolves had almost completely disappeared from the wild.


Don Burkett/The Wildlife Society

Arizona ranchers can now apply for grants as part of an effort to research measures that could prevent conflicts between livestock and Mexican gray wolves.

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