Mexican Wolf Reintroduction

The Mexican gray wolf is a subspecies of the gray wolf. It is the smallest wolf in North American, about the size of a German shepherd dog.

Mexican wolves lived mostly in mountainous woodlands before European settlement. They eat large and small mammals, and like all wolves, they depend on a healthy population of large ungulates (elk and deer) to survive.

Mexican wolves were found historically in New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, northern Mexico, and possibly as far north as parts of southern Utah and Colorado. Mexican wolves numbered in the thousands before European settlement. The current Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area occupies nearly 7,000 acres within their historic range.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed the Mexican Wolf as endangered in 1976. In 1982, U.S. and Mexican wildlife agencies adopted the Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan, which called for the return of 100 wolves within their historic range. The reintroduction program began in 1998, and at the end of 2006, 59 Mexican wolves and 10 breeding pairs were confirmed in the wild. The program has undergone three- and five-year reviews, which determined that the reintroduction program would continue. Your input is needed to determine whether the program should continue as it is currently managed, or should continue with some changes.

Wolves are adaptable. They don’t require habitat management or manipulation to succeed. Rather, their interactions with civilization make reintroduction success a challenge. Agencies work together tirelessly to manage interactions among wolves, livestock, and people, and have specific standard operating procedures in place to guide them.