For three decades, the footprints of the Mexican Gray Wolf have been absent from the landscape of the southwestern United States. Now with the help of the Endangered Species Act and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, they are getting another chance to once again roam free.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) aids in the recovery of the Mexican gray wolf. “The Mexican wolf, a subspecies of gray wolf, was listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, a recognition that the subspecies was in danger of extinction,” notes the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, one of two federal agencies responsible for administration of the Endangered Species Act.
“First, the United States and Mexico agreed to establish a bi-national captive breeding program with several wolves trapped in Mexico between 1977 and 1980.” Meanwhile, the Service established a recovery team in 1979 to assist the agency in mapping out a recovery strategy for the Mexican wolf. The Service approved the Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery Plan in 1982. The plan recommended maintenance of the captive breeding program and re-establishment of a viable self-sustaining population of at least 100 wolves in the wild within the Mexican wolf’s historic range.”
“On March 29, 1998, captive-reared Mexican wolves were released to the wild for the first time in the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area. Here, 11 vanguards of the rarest and most unique subspecies of gray wolf in the United States began an historic journey – the journey of recovery".
Mexican Gray Wolf at Sevilleta © USFWS
“Since reintroduction began in 1998, the Service has worked with its partners to develop a multi-agency cooperative reintroduction and recovery effort. A Memorandum of Understanding has been established with several Lead Agencies under which a Mexican Wolf Adaptive Management Oversight Committee (commonly referred to as AMOC) has been formed. Participating cooperators include the Arizona Game and Fish Department, New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, U.S. Department of Agriculture- Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture- Wildlife Services, White Mountain Apache Tribe, New Mexico Department of Agriculture, and Greenlee County".
"Under this structure, the Arizona and New Mexico State Game and Fish Departments and the White Mountain Apache Tribe have lead responsibility for implementing the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area Reintroduction Project in their respective jurisdictions, while the Service remains responsible for overall Mexican wolf recovery. The AMOC was formed to foster cooperation and communication between the Lead Agencies, to provide guidance to the Interagency Field Team on policy issues related to managing the free-ranging Mexican wolf population, and to serve as the primary conduit for sharing information about the Blue Range Wolf Reintroduction Project with the interested public. Quarterly Adaptive Management Working Group (commonly referred to as AMWG) meetings are held by the AMOC in which any and all interested members of the public may participate in myriad ways such as reviewing and making recommendations on project management and proposals, and identifying issues and concerns regarding the Blue Range Reintroduction Project.”
“The Southwest Region of the Service invites you to join us on the historic journey of Mexican wolf recovery. Our Mexican Wolf Recovery Program website provides detailed information on all aspects of the program – from monthly updates on the current status of wolves in the wild, to an overview of the captive breeding program and pre-release facilities, to important documents, policies, and regulations that guide the reintroduction and recovery program, and to education and outreach materials for children and adults. Whether you follow the program from our local area or from across the country or another nation, your involvement and support is important to the program.”
If you would like to assist in the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program or would like more information about it, check out this site: http://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/mexicanwolf/
Find their Wolf Facts sheet here: http://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/mexicanwolf/kids_WF.shtml
The Mexican Wolf Kids Quiz is here: http://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/mexicanwolf/kids_WQ.cfm
& to download their Coloring Book go here: http://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/mexicanwolf/pdf/ES_coloring_book.pdf