Roaming Area May Be Expanded For Endangered Wolves

August 05, 2013

Mexican gray wolves may be getting more room to roam here in Arizona. The federal government might give the animals 10 times more space than they currently have in the Southwest.These days, endangered Mexican gray wolves are limited to an area on the Arizona/New Mexico border, but the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s proposal would let the wolves roam from western Arizona to eastern New Mexico between Interstate 40 and Interstate 10.

Sherry Barrett is a recovery coordinator with the agency.  

“What it does is allow for wolves to utilize other suitable habitat within this area and that allows for the population to increase,” Barrett said. “And a larger population is more resilient to environmental and human factors that may affect it.”

Barrett added that there are an estimated 75 wolves in the wild, but that more would be released in the expansion. Some ranchers are worried the plan could lead to lost livestock, while some environmentalists say the expansion does not do enough. Mexican gray wolves are only allowed to roam on designated public lands and private lands with a participating owner.

The reintroduction program began 15 years ago.

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