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2012 Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area Summary
At the end of 2012 at least 75 wolves occupied the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area (BRWRA). This represents an 11% increase over the 2011 minimum population count of 67. Thirteen of the fourteen packs documented in the BRWRA exhibited denning behavior, and pups were observed in nine of those packs. By year's end, three of these packs met the definition of a breeding pair, with a fourth pack determined to be an "operational breeding pair" (please see below for definitions). During 2012, 28 pups were documented during the summer, and 20 were documented to have survived at year's end. Average pack size was 3.8, and an average of 1.5 pups survived per denning pack. This marks the eleventh consecutive year in which wild born wolves bred and raised pups in the wild. Of the 14 known packs at the end of 2012, all formed naturally in the wild and all but one (Middle Fork) was composed of at least one wild-born breeding wolf.
Four natural pairings were documented in 2012. The natural pairings of F1212 and M1287, and F1246 and M1248 resulted in the new designations of the Elk Horn pack and Canyon Creek pack, respectively. With respect to the Fox Mountain pack, AF1212 of the Elk Horn pack replaced AF1188 following her permanent removal from the wild (2012). For the Canyon Creek pack, M1252 replaced M1248 after the IFT lost contact with the latter's radio collar in 2012.
At the time of the 2012 end-of-year count, 47 of the documented 75 wolves living in the BRWRA, were radio-collared. Eleven of the 47 wolves were fitted with GPS/ARGOS satellite telemetry collars. These radio collars use satellite technology to record accurate wolf locations on a frequent basis. This information can be used by biologists to gain timely information pertaining to many facets of wolf behavior such as dispersal, territory use, predation data, and denning behavior.
No wolves were translocated or released from captivity to the wild.
Four mortalities of free-ranging wolves were documented in 2012, including two adults and two pups. This is a 50% decrease from documented free-ranging wolf mortalities (8) in 2011.
Home ranges were calculated for 14 packs exhibiting territorial behavior. The average home range size was 122 square miles. Mexican wolves occupied 5268 square miles of the Mexican Wolf Experimental Population Area during 2012. In comparison, Mexican wolves occupied 4434 square miles of the Mexican Wolf Experimental Population Area during 2011, resulting in a 16% increase of occupied area.
Native prey used by wolves consisted primarily of elk; however, there were also twenty confirmed livestock depredations. There was one confirmed livestock injury attributed to wolves.
The IFT analyzed 65 reports of wolf sightings from the public. In response to these sightings, an analysis of unoccupied range, and uncollared wolf sign, the IFT searched 5680 miles of roads and trails looking for unknown wolves in and around the BRWRA. As a result, the IFT was successful in documenting a single wolf and a pair of wolves in Arizona, and three single wolves in New Mexico.
Project personnel gave 18 presentations and status reports to approximately 1,108 people in federal and state agencies, conservation groups, rural and urban communities, guide/outfitter organizations, livestock associations, schools, fairs, and various other public and private institutions. In addition, 4,004 weekly contacts were made to cooperating agencies and stakeholders. Project updates were faxed to, or posted at, 41 different individuals/locations on a monthly basis across the BRWRA. Endangered Species Updates containing current project and recovery program information also went out to an average of 12,700 people a month.
Mexican Wolf Blue Range Recovery Area
|Pack Name||Adults/Sub-adults||Pup Count at Year's End||Total|
|Fort Apache Indian Reservation(FAIR)||N/Aa||N/Aa||N/Aa|
|San Carlos Apache Reservation(SCAR)||N/Aa||N/Aa||N/Aa|
a Wolf numbers on FAIR and SCAR are proprietary and therefore not displayed
b Totals include wolves occurring on FAIR and SCAR
Mexican Wolf Recovery Program: Progress Reports
2012 and Earlier Reports
A Luna pack wolf in the winter of 2011