Phoenix, AZ -(AmmoLand.com)- The wild population of Mexican wolves continues to grow at a healthy pace. The recent Mexican wolf count shows the population of Mexican wolves has increased by 24 percent since last year, raising the total number of wolves in the wild to a minimum of 163 animals.
That number is among the findings of the Mexican Wolf Interagency Field Team (IFT), a task force comprising federal, state, tribal and international partners. From November 2019 through January 2020, the team conducted ground counts in Arizona and New Mexico that concluded with aerial counts of Mexican wolves in January and February.
According to the IFT, the 163 wolves are distributed with 76 in Arizona and 87 in New Mexico. Last year, the team documented 131 wolves at the end of 2018, which was a 12 percent increase from 2017. This population has increased an average of 15 percent annually in the last 10 years.
“The count shows we have more wolves, more breeding pairs and more pups born in the wild than ever before,” said Amy Lueders, Regional Director for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Albuquerque, NM. “This is the second year we have seen a significant increase in the wild population of Mexican wolves, a success that is directly tied to the science-based, on-the-ground management efforts of the Interagency Field Team.”
Among the 2019 findings:
- At the end of 2019, there were a minimum of 42 packs of wolves (including 11 new pairs), plus 10 individuals. A wolf pack is defined as two or more wolves that maintain an established territory.
- A minimum of 21 of the 28 packs the IFT was monitoring in spring of