Feds release recovery plan for Mexican gray wolves | Local News Stories – Arizona News

Feds release recovery plan for Mexican gray wolves | Local News Stories – Arizona News

Although Lake Havasu City may not see the Mexican gray wolf roaming the surrounding hills and valleys for more than a decade, it could someday be possible to see evidence of this elusive creature nearby.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has issued a draft recovery plan for the endangered wolves that once could be found in parts of the American Southwest and northern Mexico. The recovery plan is a long time coming with the original guidance for how to restore wolves adopted in 1982.

The draft document, released Thursday, calls for focusing recovery efforts of wolves in core areas of the predators’ historic range in Arizona and New Mexico. The geographic area runs west to east along Interstate 40 in both states and south in a binational effort across into Mexico.

“The area considered under the plan is loosely where the wolf currently resides, where they historically resided and expansive areas that wolfs may use (once release) in order to resettle into mountain ranges progressively toward the west,” said Jeff Humphrey, Fish and Wildlife spokesperson.

According to the service, there are a minimum of 113 Mexican wolves living in Arizona and New Mexico.

First introduced between Alpine and Hannagan Meadow, Arizona in 1998, the recovery strategy now is to establish and maintain at least two resilient, genetically diverse populations with a minimum of 325 wolves in order to downlist the species from endangered to threatened.

Because the wolves are considered an experimental population in this area the Fish and Wildlife Service is able…

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