Wild Mexican wolves reach record numbers

Mexican wolf numbers continued to grow in the wild. Credit: Tony Hisgett

The population of Mexican wolves has increased in the wild once again, reaching 186 individuals in the U.S. Southwest in 2020. Mexican wolves (Canis lupus baileyi) were nearly extirpated from the U.S. in the 20th century due to persecution from ranchers and other land owners. Reintroductions began in Arizona and New Mexico in the late 1990s. While environmentalists continue to dispute with land owners and state and federal agencies over wolf restoration, the numbers in the wild continue to increase. The number of the wild Mexican wolves in the U.S. has been increasing steadily in the past few years. In 2017, for example, the count was at 113. The latest survey by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service found 114 wolves in New Mexico and 72 in Arizona — a 14% increase from numbers last year. At the same time, the wolves still face some problems. Wildlife managers documented 29 Mexican wolf deaths in 2020, and some of those are still under investigation.

Read more via the Associated Press at U.S. News and World Report.