Mexico Reports First Litter of Wild-Born Mexican Gray Wolves

Captive Mexican gray wolf.  Photo taken at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum in 1998.  Photo source: Monty Sloan.

Captive Mexican gray wolf. Photo taken at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum in 1998. Photo source: Monty Sloan.

Mexico’s National Commission for Natural Protected Areas stated on July 17 that a litter of Mexican gray wolf pups, the first pups known to be born in the wild since the subspecies was declared extinct in the area thirty years ago, was sighted in June by researchers in the western Sierra Madre mountains.

The five pups are part of a reintroduction effort begun in 2011.  Their captive-born parents, M1215 x F1033, were released into the wild in December 2013 with hopes that the pair would reproduce.

The Mexican gray wolf was exterminated in the wild in both the southwestern US and Mexico through hunting, poisoning, and trapping.  The last five wild individuals in the US were caught between 1977 and 1980 and used to start a captive breeding program in hopes of restoring the population.  Reintroduction efforts in the US have led to a population of approximately 83 Mexican gray wolves living in Arizona and New Mexico.

Click here to read the Mexican gray wolf reintroduction plan (in Spanish).

Original news article available here.

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