Mexican Gray Wolf Range

Mexican wolves once ranged across New Mexico, Arizona, west Texas, northern Mexico, and possibly as far north as southern Utah and Colorado. Since their reintroduction, the released wolves have established home ranges of about 50 to 400 square miles within the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area.

Most wolf packs consist of two to eight wolves. Studies on wolf populations in other parts of the country have shown that some wolves will establish a territory (a defendable area within their home range) close to their release site, while others will move hundreds of miles away.

Road leading into the Apache National Forest.

Photo Courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Distribution of wolves is limited by the 1998 10(j) Rule, which does not allow wolves to establish territories outside of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, the Gila National Forest and the Fort Apache Indian Reservation. Currently, wolves that leave the recovery area must be trapped and placed into captivity or re-released back into the recovery area.

Two wolves on a road.

Photo Courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Human-related causes, such as gunshot wounds or vehicle collisions, are the leading causes of death of Mexican wolves (56 percent). Despite these hazards, wolves are not necessarily deterred from establishing home ranges near roads and other developments.

The Luna Pack.

Photo Courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The Luna Pack, shown here, is one of about 11 distinct packs of Mexican wolves distributed across the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest and Fort Apache Indian Reservation in Arizona, and the Gila National Forest in New Mexico.

A biologist locating a wolf with radio telemetry.

Photo Courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

About 25 wolves wear radio telemetry collars. Biologists locate them about once a week to learn about their movements, home range, prey selection and other behavioral information.