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Mexican wolves increasing in the Southwest

Federal authorities have counted eight more Mexican gray wolves in the Southwest this year, the first increase in the population of the controversial species in four years.

In another encouraging sign for the animals, 14 are wild-born pups, twice the number counted last year.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced a count of 29 of the wolves in Arizona and 21 in New Mexico. Last year it counted 42 wolves in the high deserts and mountains on the two states' borders.

"We are relieved the trend line is up, but these wolves are still highly imperiled," said Michael Robinson of the Center for Biological Diversity. He credited former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson with helping revive the population by calling for an end to government trapping of some of the predators in 2007.

Ranchers have complained that the wolves endanger their livestock and children. The animals once thickly populated the region, but were basically wiped out by government efforts to eradicate them and protect livestock. Federal authorities released several dozen into the wild in the late 1990s, and since then the species has made halting progress toward a comeback.

At the time of reintroduction, wildlife officials had estimated there would be 100 in the region by 2006.


Rumors of wolves have some in Colorado howling

For now, no more wolves in Arizona

Judge returns gray wolves to protected status, halting wolf hunting plans in Montana and Idaho

-- Nicholas Riccardi

Photo: A Mexican gray wolf just before its release into the Arizona wilds in 1998. Credit: Associate Press

Comments () | Archives (6)

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If you are truly concerned about Mexican Wolf recovery,cowboys and cowgirls,go to this website to get it from the horse's mouth.""

What a joke. This is all feel good PR brought to you by USFWS.The truth is wolf numbers are at their lowest numbers ever.With the Wallow fire now burning in the recovery area,the time has come to rethink this federal fiasco.The Arizona-New Mexico border site was the first and biggest mistake.Big Bend National Park and Old Mexico should have been chosen for this program.It is similar to Yellowstone,where the Mexican Grey wolf program would have had a much better chance for success.All agencies involved are mired in petty differences and an unending childish power struggle.All this at taxpayer expense,if we all could be so lucky to be paid for utter failure.I am not against wolves,I am for common sense and the wisest use of taxpayer money.Our best and brightest are definitely not at work here for us.

Kudos to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for protecting and nurturing these wolves. It's great news for the wolf population, as well as for the natural system that houses these creatures.

Why? Because wolves - as well as all indigenous species of animals and plant/tree life - provide necessary biodiversity for an ecologic system to maintain stability and health. We should be grateful for the efforts of this program.

Thank you for reporting on this development!

Hurray..! Now how about the joshuas, tortoises, and the many other endangered species in our great Southwest...?

will they be deported?

This is great news for the wolf and for nature. Thanks to the US Fish and Wildlife Service for taking control of the program again from the poor AZ state management that was decimating their population. You can help the mexican wolf's population continue to grow -- check out for info on contacting your elected officials and asking them to ensure this rare and beautiful critter stays wild and free.


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