Friday, 17 May 2013

Two pairs of wolves released in Arizona and New Mexico

Wolves released into Gila Wilderness & Apache National Forest
May 2013. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) and the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD) have released a pair of Mexican wolves into the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area of Arizona. 

Second pair
In a separate action, the Service also released a second pair of Mexican wolves into the wolf recovery area in New Mexico. Both pairs, selected to increase genetic diversity of the wild wolf population, were previously held at the Service's Sevilleta Wolf Management Facility where they had undergone an acclimation process to determine their suitability for release.
Photo courtesy of AZGFD

"We continue to be committed to strategic releases that improve genetic diversity, increase the number of breeding wolves, and offset illegal mortalities in the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area," said Benjamin Tuggle, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Southwest Regional Director. 

"The strategically-planned release of the wolf pair into Arizona is to improve the genetic integrity of the wolf population. The release approaches being used are tailored to encourage these wolves to acclimate and behave as wild wolves. Our experience shows that wild- born, wild-raised wolves have a much better chance at success," says Director Larry Voyles, AGFD.


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