Press Release
Mexican Wolf Returned to Captivity

On Saturday, May 11, Mexican wolf M1133 was captured by members of the Interagency Field Team (IFT) just east of the San Mateo Mountains in New Mexico, outside of the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area, and was taken to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Wolf Management Facility at Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge. M1133 is the male wolf recently released by the IFT, along with female Mexican wolf F1108, into the Gila Wilderness.

M1133 was selected for release based on several factors, in particular to improve the genetics of the wild population through the production of pups. He was originally released into Arizona on January 8, 2013, so that he would pair with the Bluestem pack’s alpha female (F1042) and produce pups in 2013. M1133 was captured and returned to the Sevilleta Wolf Management Facility in late January because he did not successfully pair with F1042 and had moved away from the pack into an area where he was unlikely to encounter other wolves.

After being returned to the Sevilleta Wolf Management Facility, M1133 was paired with F1108. Tests in April confirmed F1108 was pregnant. On April 27, 2013, the pair was moved into a temporary enclosure at McKenna Park in the Gila Wilderness in New Mexico for translocation into the wild.

The enclosure was intentionally designed so that the wolves could chew through and self-release any time after being placed there. Both M1133 and F1108 have previous wild experience, and so were able to be translocated into the Secondary Recovery Zone in New Mexico in compliance with the existing federal 10(j) rule covering the reintroduction project.

M1133 and F1108 self-released from the temporary enclosure on the night of May 3. Following release, M1133 traveled away from the translocation site, while F1108 localized near McKenna Park. After moving more than 75 miles from the translocation site and outside of the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area, the IFT captured M1133 and returned him to the Sevilleta Wolf Management Facility. The current population of Mexican wolves in the Southwest is classified as a non-essential experimental population under the Endangered Species Act. That rule states that if wolves found outside of the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area are captured they are either returned to the Recovery Area or put in captivity.

F1108 appears to be denning based on telemetry data collected by members of the IFT. The focus will now be on assisting the female in her efforts to raise the pups in the wild.


Story Tags

Endangered and/or Threatened species