Radio tracking reintroduced Mexican wolves to monitor success of release, Arizona
The Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project is a multi-agency recovery program with the purpose of restoring the Mexican wolf to areas of their historic range in Arizona and New Mexico. This program involves staff from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Wildlife Services, the U.S. Forest Service, Arizona and New Mexico Departments of Game and Fish, and the White Mountain Apache Tribe. Additional program partners include the Mexican Wolf Species Survival Plan (SSP), the Mexican government, universities, and other private environmental groups.
The Mexican gray wolf is the most unique and genetically distinct subspecies of gray wolf in North America. International experts rate the recovery of this subspecies as one of the highest priorities in wolf conservation worldwide. In 1994, the Minnesota Zoo joined the Mexican Gray Wolf SSP, and continues to participate at many levels assisting the SSP. The Minnesota Zoo’s involvement includes advising facilities on educational curriculum and other issues surrounding wolf recovery, educating our visitors about the plight and recovery of the species by exhibiting Mexican wolves, and contributing to reproductive studies that will help ensure the survival of the species for generations to come and help improve captive management.
In August 2006, Northern Trail Zookeeper Jackie Fallon spent a month assisting the Mexican wolf field team in Arizona and New Mexico. During her stay she assisted with wolf-prey interaction studies using GPS technology, daily wolf pack monitoring, development of educational materials, and interacted with local residents to discuss the impact wolves may or may not have in the area. The primary pack she monitored was the recently released Meridian pack, which contains Minnesota Zoo wolf #10965, her mate and their single remaining female pup.
Top photo courtesy of Arizona Game and Fish