Mexican Gray Wolf Numbers Increase By 24% With 32 Additional Wolves Now Roaming Throughout Arizona & New Mexico

The U.S. population of endangered Mexican gray wolves grew by 32 animals, from 131 in 2018 to 163 in 2019, according to a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service census announced yesterday. The numbers represent a 24% increase — the largest increase since 2014. Nineteen packs had pups alive and thriving at the end of the year.

“This increase represents countless moments of wolf vigilance and smarts in avoiding people, which is a big part of keeping their precious pups alive,” said Michael Robinson of the Center for Biological Diversity in a statement. “It’s heartening to have more wolves in our forests, but federal officials need to take much stronger action to establish healthy genetic diversity.”

12 captive-born wolf pups were released into the wild last year to be raised by unrelated wolves. This attempt aimed at sharing the more diverse captive population’s genes with the genetically impoverished wild population. Only two of the 12 pups are known to have survived.

Despite releases of 30 captive-born pups from 2016 through 2019, just seven are known to have survived. The inbreeding of Mexican gray wolves has worsened each year.

The Fish and Wildlife Service refuses to release pairs of well-bonded adult wolves with their pups — family packs — from captivity into the wild. Such releases established the existing wolf population and have a much higher success rate than separating pups from their mothers for release. The livestock industry-dominated Arizona Game and Fish Department’s opposition to family releases which halted the practice after 2006.

Center for Biological Diversity advocates for resuming the releases of family packs of wolves from captivity to the wild to reduce inbreeding. The wild population of Mexican gray wolves in the United States was established in 1998 through the successful releases of family packs.

More on this topic

Popular stories

UK Bans Third Party Sales Of Puppies & Kittens But Still Allows Purchasing From “Transparent” Breeders?

The UK Government has officially confirmed that it will ban third party sales of puppies and kittens in an attempt to solve a range of...

Breaking! Three Leopard Cubs That Were Found In A Sugarcane Field Reunite With Their Mother After Being Rescued By Wildlife SOS

Three leopard cubs were thankfully rescued by Wildlife SOS and the Forest Department from a sugarcane field in Nagargaon village located in Shirur range, Maharashtra....

Breaking! Millions Of School Children In Vietnam To Receive First-Ever Lesson About Threatened Species In Groundbreaking Program

Photo from HSI Vietnam For the first time in Vietnam, an estimated four million school children, between the ages of 6 and 11 years old, will be taught...