In accordance with current policy, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) authorized the capture and transfer of f2754, a Mexican wolf who had left the Mexican Wolf Experimental Population Recovery Area (MWEPA) earlier this month. The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish used a helicopter to locate and capture the wolf on January 22, 2023.
The decision to capture and transfer f2754 was made in accordance with the Service’s current recovery permit, which states that “Authorized Permittees may capture and at the direction and discretion of the USFWS Mexican Wolf Recovery Coordinator, return to the Mexican Wolf Experimental Population Area, or transfer to captivity or Mexico, any Mexican wolves that have dispersed from the experimental population and that establish wholly outside of the MWEPA in Arizona, New Mexico, or Texas."
F2754 first moved north of Interstate 40 in New Mexico on January 2, 2023, and since January 9, showed no signs of returning to the MWEPA. As it is breeding season and there are no other known wolves in the area, there was a high likelihood of a negative interaction or breeding with domestic dogs.
The wolf will be held temporarily at the Sevilleta Wolf Management Facility. Plans are in place to pair f2754 with a male Mexican wolf for transfer as a pair to Mexico later this year. These wolves are genetically redundant in the MWEPA and provide more value to the Mexico population.