More Mexican Gray Wolves are roaming the Southwest now than at any time since 1998 – the year that the federal government began trying to introduce the gray wolf in southwestern New Mexico and southeast Arizona. Findings by the US Fish and Wildlife Service that were released Friday documented 113 wolves in New Mexico and AZ compared to 97 the previous year.
Fish and Wildlife department regional director Benjamin Tuggle called the results “encouraging” in a statement. But he said more work needs to be done to ensure the population grows by roughly 10 percent a year. The agency is under a court order to release a draft plan later this year.
The state of NM is in a battle with a federal court over release of more wolves this spring.
The genetic crisis that the Mexican gray wolf is facing is a problem of inbreeding -- all but four of the four males for which the genetics are known are descendants of the Bluestem Pack’s breeding female.