On July 6, law enforcement officials from Arizona Game and Fish Department recovered the body of Mexican Gray Wolf. The carcass was found near Big Lake in the Apache and Sitgreaves National Forests.
The carcass is that of AM806, an adult male wolf that was released into the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area in 2006. The recovery area includes 4.4 million acres in the Gila National Forest in New Mexico and Arizona’s Apache National Forest.
This is the third wolf death documented within the recovery area this year.
In 1976, the federal government listed the Mexican gray wolf for protection under the Endangered Species Act. The following year, biologists began capturing wolves in Mexico to establish a captive breeding program in the United States. In the spring of 1998, scientists released the first of those wolves from pens in the Apache National Forest in Arizona.
According to the latest tally from the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery Program, there are currently 30 wolves with functional radio collars dispersed among 14 packs and also one single wolf within the recovery area. The program also recently designated two new packs in June, the Elk Horn Pack and Canyon Creek Pack.
All told, until the death of AM806, program scientists estimated there were 58 wolves living in the recovery area.
According to Tom Buckley, with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the cause of the wolf’s death remains under investigation. The carcass has been sent to a federal forensics laboratory in Ashland, OR.
To listen to KUNM’s past coverage of Mexican wolf recovey, visit: