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Mexican Wolf Recovery Program New Recovery Coordinator Starts Tour of Duty
Southwest Region, November 17, 2004
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Dr. John R. Morgart, a wildlife biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), has been selected as the coordinator of the high-profile Mexican gray wolf recovery program. The Service began reintroducing wolves into southwestern New Mexico and eastern Arizona in 1998 under an experimental and non-essential population designation, allowed under the Endangered Species Act. There are now approximately 50 wolves in the wild.

Dr. Morgart moved from southwestern Arizona where he was the wildlife biologist at the Service's Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge for five years. Cabeza Prieta is the third-largest national wildlife refuge in the contiguous United States at 860,000 acres and plays a central role in recovery efforts for the endangered Sonoran pronghorn. As the Sonoran Pronghorn Recovery Coordinator, Morgart headed a collaborative team that included scientists from nearly a dozen entities spanning both sides of the border. The team took an aggressive approach to avert pronghorn population declines. Pronghorn have been transplanted from Mexico, more water access areas were constructed, enhanced foraging plots were expanded, areas were closed to visitors during the fawning season, and a semi-captive breeding program was established on the refuge. Managing natural resources and recovering such a highly sensitive animal alongside an international border has been compounded by drought and increasing levels of drug smuggling and illegal cross-border traffic.

Morgart holds a Ph.D. in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Arizona, and a M.S. in Zoology and a B.S. in Wildlife Biology, both from Arizona State University. He is active in The Wildlife Society and several ornithological professional societies. He is the author of numerous wildlife research reports and is a frequent presenter at professional conferences. Morgart joined the Service in August 1987 to work as the Supervisory Wildlife Biologist at the 19 million acre Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska after spending several years working as a biologist in the southwest.

Morgart and his wife, Liz, have one girl named Jonnie, aged 13, and a ten year old boy named William.

Contact Info: Martin Valdez, 505-248-6599, martin_valdez@fws.gov



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