Mexican Wolf Update Summary October 2017

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Arizona Game and Fish Department Overall Mexican Wolf Recovery Program Monthly Update

October Review

•    The USFWS met with Phil Miller, of Conservation Planning Specialist Group, in the week of October 2 to discuss public and peer review comments on the draft Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan, Biological Report and appendices.

•    The Department of Justice submitted the 6-month status report to the court on October 18, in compliance with the Stipulated Settlement Agreement to complete the Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan by the end of November 2017.

•    Southwest Regional Director Amy Lueders met with the WMAT Tribal Council on October 18 to discuss several USFWS issues, including the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program.

•    The USFWS convened a conference call with Mexico’s National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP by its Spanish acronym) to discuss actions and costs necessary to achieve recovery of Mexican wolves in Mexico.

•    The USFWS met with the AGFD and New Mexico Department of Game and Fish on October 25 to discuss issues regarding the final Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan.

•    On October 27, 2017, Peter Siminski retired from the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in Palm Desert, California, and as the Mexican Wolf Species Survival Plan Coordinator and Studbook Keeper.  The USFWS expresses its gratitude for the more than 30 years that Peter Siminski has devoted to the recovery of the Mexican wolf.

•    Regional Director Lueders convened a conference call on October 30 with the Mexican Wolf Tribal Working Group to discuss Tribal perspectives on Mexican wolf recovery.

•    On October 31, Regional Director Lueders contacted the leaders of several Tribes and Pueblos directly affected by Mexican wolf recovery in Arizona and New Mexico to discuss concerns, process and communication.

Current Wolf Population Status

AZ and NM Wolf Boundaries
AZ and NM Wolf Boundaries

 Annual surveys are conducted in the winter as this is when the population experiences the least amount of natural fluctuation (i.e. in the spring the population increases dramatically with the birth of new pups and declines throughout the summer and fall as mortality is particularly high on young pups). Thus, the IFT summarizes the total number of wolves in the winter at a fairly static or consistent time of year.  This allows for comparable year-to-year trends at a time of year that accounts for most mortality and survival of young pups.  
During annual year-end population counts, the IFT documented a minimum of 113 Mexican wolves in the wild in Arizona and New Mexico at the end of 2016.  At the end of October, there were 69 wolves with functioning radio collars that the IFT was actively monitoring.   

Mexican Gray Wolf Packs In Arizona

Bear Wallow Pack (collared AM1338, AF1335, and m1673)
Bluestem Pack (collared F1489, f1563, and fp1665)
Elk Horn Pack (collared AF1294, m1471, f1473, m1477, fp1668, and mp1671)
Frieborn Pack (collared F1443 and m1447)
Hawks Nest Pack (collared AM1038)
Hoodoo Pack (collared AM1290, AF1333, f1550, f1663, and mp1666)
Maverick Pack (collared AF1291)
Panther Creek Pack (collared AF1339, AM1382, and m1574)
Prime Canyon Pack (collared F1488)
Saffel Pack (collared AF1567 and mp1661)
Single collared m1483
Single collared f1484
Single collared f1562
Single collared mp1672

Mexican Gray Wolves On The Fort Apache Indian Reservation

Diamond Pack (collared m1559, f1560, m1571, and m1572)
Tsay-O-Ah Pack (collared AM1343 and AF1283)

Mexican Gray Wolf Packs In New Mexico

Copper Creek (collared F1444 and M1386)
Dark Canyon (collared F1456 and M1354)
Iron Creek Pack (collared AM1240, AF1278, m1555, m1556, and f1670)
Lava Pack (collared F1405 and AM1285)
Leopold Pack (collared AM1293, AF1346, and m1561)
Luna Pack (collared AM1158 and AF1487)
Mangas Pack (collared AM1296, AF1439, and fp1664)
Prieto Pack (collared AF1251, M1398, and f1565)
San Mateo Pack (collared AF1399 and fp1578)
Sheepherders Baseball Park (SBP) Pack (collared AM1284, F1553, and mp1667)
Single collared AM1155
Single collared M1455
Single collared m1486
Single collared M1552
Single collared m1569

The red wolf is a mix of gray wolf and coyote DNA.Wolf Mortality
There were no documented wolf mortalities during the month of October.  From January 1 to October 31, there have been a total of eight documented wolf mortalities in 2017.
Wolf Incidents
During the month of October, there were no confirmed wolf depredation incidents on livestock and there were no nuisance incidents.  From January 1 to October 31, 2017 there have been a total of 16 confirmed depredation incidents in New Mexico and 15 confirmed depredation incidents in Arizona.

On October 16, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, AZ. The investigation determined the calf died of unknown causes.

Rewards For Information Leading To The Conviction Of Violators
The USFWS is offering a reward of up to $10,000; the AGFD Operation Game Thief is offering a reward of up to $1,000; and the NMDGF is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the conviction of the individual(s) responsible for the shooting deaths of Mexican wolves. A variety of non-governmental organizations and private individuals have pledged an additional $46,000 for a total reward amount of up to $58,000, depending on the information provided.
Individuals with information they believe may be helpful are urged to call one of the following agencies: USFWS special agents in Mesa, Arizona, at (480) 967-7900, in Alpine, Arizona, at (928) 339-4232, or in Albuquerque, New Mexico, at (505) 346-7828; the WMAT at (928) 338-1023 or (928) 338-4385; AGFD Operation Game Thief at (800) 352-0700; or NMDGF Operation Game Thief at (800) 432-4263. Killing a Mexican wolf is a violation of the Federal Endangered Species Act and can result in criminal penalties of up to $50,000, and/or not more than one year in jail, and/or a civil penalty of up to $25,000.  

AZGFD Detailed Report
Reintroduction & Management

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Don McDowell, Arizona native, is an avid outdoorsman and has been an active bass pro fisherman for over 16 years and in the past 15 years has developed his own radio show promoting bass fishing and conservation efforts for bass fishing that escalated to nominations with several bass groups and organizations. In the past 12 years, Don has pursued his conservation agenda through AZBFN-TBF as Conservation Director and with the Arizona Game and Fish Department, in the spring of 2014 redesigned his website to include those efforts highlighted below and has increased the AZGFD exposure, public education of the AZGFD and Commission issues on his radio show and website soliciting local and national support for Arizona. 2014 has seen the founding of SRT Outdoors, Inc., 501 C3 organization, “Not for Profit, for Conservation” which is concentrating on grants for mitigating the effects of Gizzard Shad on Roosevelt lake thorough habitat enhancement, Florida Strain Bass stocking, lakes bottom mapping, etc. and feral hog research.

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