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Arizona at a glance

The Mexican gray wolf once roamed throughout most of Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Mexico; however, persecution and, eventually, poisoning began shortly after European settlement. On March 29, 1998, eleven captive-reared wolves were released into the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area. This reintroduced population is shared by Arizona and New Mexico. Main prey for wolves there are elk, deer and domestic livestock. Much controversy surrounds these wolves, due in large part to depredation (killing livestock) issues. Wolves in Arizona range in less than 5 percent of the map shown. Range lines are not depicted.

Species Information

Species
Common Names: gray wolf, maicoh (Navajo), tasha (Caddo), lobo (Spanish)
Latin Name: Canis lupus

Subspecies
Common Name: Mexican wolf
Latin Name: Canis lupus baileyi 

jfallon_mexican

Mexican gray wolf

Current Wolf Population, Trend, Status
Number of wolves: 37 in a shared population of 83 with New Mexico (2014)
Population trend: Varies depending on status of new releases
Legal status: Federal protection, with some exceptions

Human Relationships

History

mexican-wolf-agfd

Mexican gray wolf #511, member of the first Mexican wolf pack released in eastern Arizona in 1998. Photo: Arizone Game and Fish Department

Recovery and Management

Depredation

  • Vimeo Video on the Mexican Gray Wolf (a layperson summary of the recent history of the wolf, its relationship to the human population, the wolf’s effect on the Rocky Mountain Elk and sheep and the practice of fladry fencing. Included are interviews with volunteers stating their purpose and perspectives as well as an interview with a representative from the Arizona Game and Fish.)
  • Wolf Depredation
  • Depredation on Livestock and Pets
  • Visit the USDA APHIS Wildlife Services site for information on how the federal government manages depredating wildlife, resolves conflict between wildlife and humans and for contact information by state. 

Wolf-Human Interactions

  • Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project facts for outfitters, guides and forest visitors, USFWS [PDF, 102kb]

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