USFWS releases finalized Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan

©Jim Clark/USFWS

In early December the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service finalized a new recovery plan for the federally endangered Mexican wolf (Canis lupus baileyi). A subspecies of gray wolf, the Mexican wolf has been listed under the Endangered Species Act since 1976. The updated strategy was refined due to a court settlement with the Service after Arizona and a group of NGOs had sued, demanding more specific criteria for meeting recovery objectives.

The revised plan seeks to establish and maintain a minimum of two resilient, genetically diverse Mexican wolf populations distributed across their range in both Mexico and the U.S. The primary components of the plan developed in coordination with the Mexican government include expanding the distribution of the subspecies, increasing population abundance, improving genetic diversity, using adaptive management and collaborating with a variety of partners to address both social and economic concerns surrounding recovery. The plan calls for ensuring an average of at least 320 wolves in the U.S. over an eight year period before the species can be considered for delisting.

The New Mexico Chapter of The Wildlife Society submitted comments on the draft version of this plan originally released in summer 2017. You can read their comments here.