Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project Monthly Update - April, 2016
Mexican Wolf Update
April 1-30, 2016
Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project Monthly Update
The following is a summary of Mexican Wolf
Reintroduction Project (Project) activities in the Mexican Wolf
Experimental Population Area (MWEPA) in Arizona, including the Fort
Apache Indian Reservation (FAIR), San Carlos Apache Reservation (SCAR),
and New Mexico. Additional Project information can be obtained by
calling (928) 339-4329 or toll free at (888) 459-9653, or by visiting the Arizona Game and Fish Department website at www.azgfd.gov/wolf or by visiting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website at www.fws.gov/southwest/es/mexicanwolf.
Past updates may be viewed on either website, or interested parties may
sign up to receive this update electronically by visiting www.azgfd.gov/signup.
This update is a public document and information in it can be used for
any purpose. The Project is a multi-agency cooperative effort among the
Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD), USDA Forest Service (USFS),
USDA-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services
(USDA-APHIS WS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the White
Mountain Apache Tribe (WMAT).
Please report any wolf sightings or suspected livestock depredations to:(928) 339-4329 or toll free at (888) 459-9653. To report incidents of take or harassment of wolves, please call the AGFD 24-hour dispatch (Operation Game Thief) at (800) 352-0700.
Overall Mexican Wolf Recovery Program Monthly Update
Fish and Wildlife Service staff participated in the Arizona Ecological Services Office's Tribal meeting on April 6, to discuss issues regarding the revised regulations for the Mexican Wolf Experimental Population Area and recovery planning.
The Service, the states of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and
Utah; the Mexican agencies SEMARNAT and CONANP; the U.S. Embassy; and
independent scientists from the U.S. and Mexico met in Mexico City April 11 to 14
to continue discussions on Mexican wolf demographics and genetics and
develop information for habitat modeling in the U.S. and Mexico for the
development of a revised recovery plan for the Mexican wolf.
On April 26, 2016, the Service signed a settlement agreement
with the State of Arizona and Defenders of Wildlife and other
environmental groups to complete a new recovery plan for the Mexican
wolf. The new recovery plan is scheduled to be published by the end of November 30, 2017.
The Service also agreed to complete an independent peer review of the
draft recovery plan, in accordance with the Service’s Peer Review Policy
and to solicit and consider all available scientific and commercial
information from appropriate State agencies and other entities as
specified in the Peer Review Policy. The Service will submit reports on
the status of the recovery planning process to the Court and to the
parties to the litigation at six month intervals. Numbering System: Mexican wolves are given an
identification number recorded in an official studbook that tracks their
history. Capital letters (M = Male, F = Female) preceding the number
indicate adult animals 24 months or older. Lower case letters (m =
male, f = female) indicate wolves younger than 24 months or pups. The
capital letter “A” preceding the letter and number indicate breeding
Definitions: A “wolf pack” is
defined as two or more wolves that maintain an established territory.
In the event that one of the two alpha (dominant) wolves dies, the
remaining alpha wolf, regardless of pack size, retains the pack status.
The packs referenced in this update contain at least one wolf with a
radio telemetry collar attached to it. The Interagency Field Team (IFT)
recognizes that wolves without radio telemetry collars may also form
packs. If the IFT confirms that wolves are associating with each other
and are resident within the same home range, they will be referenced as a
CURRENT POPULATION STATUS
At the end of April 2016, the wild Mexican wolf
population consisted of 53 wolves with functional radio collars
dispersed among 19 packs and two single wolves.
Bear Wallow Pack (collared M1338 and F1335)
In April the Bear Wallow Pack was located within their
traditional territory in the east-central portion of the ASNF. The IFT
has documented denning behavior by the Bear Wallow Pack.
Bluestem Pack (collared AF1042, AM1341, M1331, M1382, M1404, and F1443)
In April, the Bluestem Pack continued to use their traditional
territory in the central portion of the Apache-Sitgreaves National
Forest (ASNF). Wolves AM1341 and F1443 have been located in the
traditional Bluestem territory during the month. Wolf M1331 has been
located in the north-east portion of the GNF in New Mexico in
Buckalou Pack (collared M1404, F1405 and M1161)
Wolf M1404, from the Bluestem Pack, was documented traveling
with F1405 during this month. M1161 has a non-functional radio collar.
The IFT has been unable to document M1161 traveling with the Buckalou
Pack since M1404 began traveling with F1405. Elk Horn Pack (collared AF1294 and AM1342)
In April, the Elk Horn Pack continued to travel within their
traditional territory in the northeast portion of the ASNF. The IFT
documented denning behavior by this pack this month. On April 30, two
pups were flown to Arizona from the Brookfield Zoo and cross-fostered
into the Elk Horn litter. Hawks Nest Pack (collared AM1038, M1383, and mp1453)
In April, the Hawks Nest Pack was located within their
traditional territory in the north central portion of the ASNF. The
Hawks Nest Pack did not exhibit denning behavior during April. Hoodoo Pack (collared AM1290, AF1333 and m1441)
In April, the Hoodoo Pack remained in the north-central portion
of the ASNF. The IFT documented denning behavior by the Hoodoo Pack
this month. On April 25, the IFT documented that the Hoodoo pack had
killed a calf elk near Nutrioso Reservoir. After removing the elk
carcass away from development and into the national forest, the Hoodoo
Pack was reported near a residence and approaching some chickens. The
home owner hazed the wolves away and no further incidents have
occurred. Marble Pack (collared AM1330 and m1440)
At the beginning of April, the Marble Pack consisted of three
wolves: AM1330, mp1440, and one uncollared yearling. During April, these
wolves split up and have been making broad dispersal movements. AM1330
dispersed onto the FAIR and the southern portion of the ASNF, and has
remained in traditional Bluestem Pack territory. Beginning April 18, m1440 has been in New Mexico and traveling east. No denning behavior has been documented from this pack. Maverick Pack (collared AM1183 and AF1291)
In April, the Maverick Pack was located within their traditional
territory both on the FAIR and ASNF. No denning behavior has been
documented by this pack this month. Panther Creek Pack (F1339 and M1394)
In April, the Panther Creek Pack has been located in the
east-central portion of the ASNF. No denning behavior has been
documented by this pack.
ON THE FAIR: Diamond Pack (collared M1249, f1437, mp1447, and mp1454)
During March, the Diamond Pack was located in the eastern
portion of the FAIR, the north portion of the ASNF, and non-public land
in Arizona. Wolf f1437 was not heard or located during the month of
April. Tsay o Ah Pack (collared M1343, AF1283, fp1445)
During March, the Tsay O Ah Pack was located in the eastern portion of the FAIR.
IN NEW MEXICO: Coronado Pack (collared AM1051)
AM1051 of the Coronado Pack was not located in April. Dark Canyon Pack (collared AM992, AF923, M1293, M1354, M1347, and m1444)
During April, the IFT located this pack within its traditional
territory in the west-central portion of the Gila National Forest
(GNF). Wolf M1354 was not located in April, M1293 was located separate
from other pack members but near the southern extent of the packs
territory, and m1444 continued to display dispersal behavior. Wolf m1347
was located outside the Dark Canyon Pack territory for most of March. Fox Mountain Pack (collared F1397 and M1396)
In April, the IFT documented the Fox Mountain Pack within their
new territory in the north central portion of the GNF. The IFT
continues to believe that AM1158 is traveling with F1397.
Wolf M1396 continued to be documented traveling with AF1115 of the Luna pack. Iron Creek Pack (collared AM1240 and AF1278)
During April, the Iron Creek Pack continued to utilize their
territory in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness and the
southern portion of the GNF. The IFT documented denning behavior by the
Iron Creek Pack in late April. Lava Pack (collared m1446)
No evidence of the Lava Pack was documented by the IFT during the month of April. Luna Pack (collared AM1155, AF1115, and M1398)
During April, the Luna Pack remained in their traditional
territory in the north-central portion of the GNF. The IFT continues to
document dispersal behavior of M1398 traveling mainly in portions of
the GNF in New Mexico. Wolf AF1115 was located traveling with M1396 of
the Fox Mountain Pack again throughout April. The IFT has documented
denning behavior by the Luna Pack in April. Prieto Pack (collared M1386, m1445 and F1392)
During April, the Prieto Pack was located within their
traditional territory in the north-central portion of the GNF. The IFT
has documented denning behavior by this pack in April. San Mateo Pack (collared M1345 and F1399)
During April, the IFT documented M1345 and F1399 traveling
together within their territory in the north-central portion of the
GNF. Sheeperherder’s Baseball Park Pack (AM1284 and AF1392
On April 23 the IFT fostered two captive-born pups from the
Endangered Wolf Center outside St. Louis, MO, into this pack in New
Mexico. Mangas Pack (collared M1296, F1439)
During April, in the Mangas Pack was located within their
territory in north-western portions of the GNF in New Mexico.
No mortalities were documented during the month of April.
During April, there were three livestock depredation reports involving wolves and one nuisance report.
On April 2, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Catron county New Mexico. The cause of death was due to unknown causes.
On April 22, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Catron
County New Mexico. The investigation determined the cow died of
On April 25, AM1290 and m1441 from the Hoodoo Pack were seen
close to private property in Nutrioso. The wolves were seen going
toward some chickens. The home owner scared the wolves away and no
further incidences have occurred. The IFT investigated the report and
confirmed it was the Hoodoo Pack.
On April 26, WMAT investigated an injured calf on the FAIR. The cause of injury was determined to be coyotes.
COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATION
On April 14, WMAT conducted a wildlife presentation at Williams Creek Fish Hatchery on the FAIR.
On April 20, WMAT conducted a wildlife presentation at Whiteriver Elementary School on the FAIR.
On April 22, WMAT conducted a wildlife presentation at Fort Apache on the FAIR.
No significant activity to report. REWARDS OFFERED
The USFWS is offering a reward of up to $10,000; the AGFD
Operation Game Thief is offering a reward of up to $1,000; and the NMDGF
is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the
conviction of the individual(s) responsible for the shooting deaths of
Mexican wolves. A variety of non-governmental organizations and private
individuals have pledged an additional $46,000 for a total reward
amount of up to $58,000, depending on the information provided.
Individuals with information they believe may be helpful are
urged to call one of the following agencies: USFWS special agents in
Mesa, Arizona, at (480) 967-7900, in Alpine, Arizona, at (928) 339-4232, or in Albuquerque, New Mexico, at (505) 346-7828; the WMAT at (928) 338-1023 or (928) 338-4385; AGFD Operation Game Thief at (800) 352-0700; or NMDGF Operation Game Thief at (800) 432-4263.
Killing a Mexican wolf is a violation of the Federal Endangered Species
Act and can result in criminal penalties of up to $50,000, and/or not
more than one year in jail, and/or a civil penalty of up to $25,000.