Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project Summary February 2018

Red Wolf

The following is a summary of Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project (Project) include activities in the Mexican Wolf Experimental Population Area (MWEPA) in Arizona, including the Fort Apache Indian Reservation (FAIR), San Carlos Apache Reservation (SCAR), and New Mexico.  Additional Project information can be obtained by calling (928) 339-4329 or toll free at (888) 459-9653, or by visiting the Arizona Game and Fish Department website or by visiting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  For information on the FAIR call (928) 338-4385.

Overall Mexican Wolf Recovery Program Monthly Update

On February 2, 2018, the Fish and Wildlife Service Mexican Wolf Recovery Coordinator briefed staff from Senator Udall and Senator Heinrich’s staff on the status of the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program.

On February 21, 2018, the USFWS, AZGFD, and Mexico’s National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP by its Spanish acronym) held a conference call to discuss collaboration in implementation of recovery actions in the two countries.

I40 Boundary
I40 Boundary

Current Mexican Wolf Population Status in Brief

The IFT completed the annual year-end population survey which started November 1, 2017 and concluded with helicopter count and capture operations conducted from January 24, 2018 through February 3, 2018. The year-end minimum population count for 2017 was 114 wolves in the wild in Arizona and New Mexico. In 2016, the year-end minimum count was 113 wolves in the wild in Arizona and New Mexico.

Arizona Wolf Packs

Bear Wallow Pack (collared AM1338, AF1335, m1676, and fp1683)
Bluestem Pack
Elk Horn Pack (collared AF1294, fp1668, and mp1671)
Frieborn Pack (collared F1443 and m1447)
Hoodoo Pack (collared AM1290, AF1333, f1550, mp1666, mp1677, and mp1681)
Maverick Pack (collared AF1291)
Panther Creek Pack (collared AF1339, AM1382, and m1574)
Pine Spring Pack (collared f1562 and AM1394)
Prime Canyon Pack (collared F1488 and M1471)
Saffel Pack (collared AM1441, AF1567, mp1661, and mp1680)
Single collared m1477
Single collared f1484
Single collared F1489
Single Collared m1571
Single collared m1572
Single collared m1673

Fort Apache Indian Reservation (FAIR)

Baldy Pack (collared AM1347 and mp1672)
Tsay-O-Ah Pack (collared AM1343, AF1283, and fp1674)
Single Collared wolf m1559
Single Collared wolf f1560
Single Collared f1679

New Mexico Wolf Packs

Copper Creek Pack (collared AM1386)
Dark Canyon Pack (collared AF1456 and AM1354)
Iron Creek Pack (collared AM1240, AF1278, m1555, m1556, and f1670)
Lava Pack (collared AF1405 and AM1285)
Leopold Pack (collared AM1293, AF1346, and m1561)
Luna Pack (collared AM1158, AF1487, and fp1684)
Mangas Pack (collared AM1296, AF1439, and fp1664)
Prieto Pack (collared AF1251, AM1398, f1565, mp1669, and mp1678)
San Mateo Pack (collared AF1399 and fp1578)
Sheepherders Baseball Park (SBP) Pack (collared AM1284, AF1553, mp1667, and fp1682)
Single collared AM1155
Single Collared M1453
Single collared m1486
Single collared m1569
Single Collared f1685
Single collared AM1038
AM1038 of the old Hawks Nest Pack was documented traveling in north central portions of the GNF and was located at least once traveling with f1473.
Single collared f1473

Mortalities in Arizona and New Mexico

In February, f1484 was located dead in Arizona, the incident is under investigation.
In February, m1572 was located dead in Arizona, the incident is under investigation.
From January 1 to February 28, 2018 there have been a total of two documented wolf mortalities.

INCIDENTS

During the month of February, there were nine confirmed wolf depredation incidents on livestock. There were five nuisance incidents investigated in February, three of which were confirmed as wolf by the IFT. From January 1 to February 28, 2018 there have been a total of 14 confirmed wolf depredation incidents in New Mexico and three confirmed depredation incidents in Arizona.

On February 1, the IFT received a report of three wolves near an occupied residence in Apache County, AZ. The IFT confirmed the presence of wolves, but they had left the area by the time the report came in.

On February 2, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Catron County, NM. The investigation determined the cow was a confirmed wolf kill.

On February 5, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Catron County, NM. The investigation determined the calf was a probable wolf kill.

On February 5, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Catron County, NM. The investigation determined the cow was a confirmed wolf kill.

On February 6, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Catron County, NM. The investigation determined the cow was a probable wolf kill.

On February 6, the IFT received a report of a wolf from a highway in Catron County, NM. The IFT confirmed a wolf was in the area and attempted to haze the animal away, but the animal had already left the area.

On February 8, WMAT investigated a dead heifer on the FAIR. The investigation determined the heifer died of unknown causes.

On February 8, WMAT investigated a dead cow on the FAIR. The investigation determined the cow died of unknown causes.

On February 13, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Catron County, NM. The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf kill.

On February 20, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Catron County, NM. The investigation determined the cow was a confirmed wolf kill.

On February 21, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Catron County, NM. The investigation determined the cow was a confirmed wolf kill.

On February 21, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, AZ. The investigation determined the calf had been killed by coyotes.

On February 23, the IFT received a report of a wolf feeding on an elk carcass in the vicinity of occupied residences. The IFT responded immediately, confirmed the presence of a wolf in the area and attempted to haze, but the animal had already left the area.

On February 24, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Catron County, NM. The investigation determined the cow was a confirmed wolf kill.

On February 27, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Catron County, NM. The investigation determined the cow was a confirmed wolf kill.

On February 28, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Catron County, NM. The investigation determined the cow was a confirmed wolf kill.

On February 28, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Catron County, NM. The investigation determined the cow was a confirmed wolf kill.

REWARDS OFFERED

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.

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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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