Overall Mexican Wolf Recovery Program Monthly Update:
On November 30, USFWS personnel attended the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish Commission meeting to discuss the 2019 Initial Release and Translocation Plan, during which the Commission approved cross-fostering as outlined in the plan.
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. Lowercaseletters (m = male, f = female) are used to indicate wolves younger than 24 months. A lower case letter “p” preceding the number is used to indicate a wolf pup born in the most recent spring. The capital letter “A” preceding the letter and number indicate breeding wolves.
CURRENT POPULATION STATUS
The year-end minimum population count for 2017 was 114 wolves in the wild in Arizona and New Mexico. Annual surveys are conducted in the winter as this is when the population experiences the least amount of natural fluctuation (i.e. in the spring the population increases dramatically with the birth of new pups and declines throughout the summer and fall as pup mortality generally occurs in this period). Thus, the IFT summarizes the total number of wolves in the winter at a fairly static or consistent time of year. Counting the population at the end of each year allows for comparable year-to-year trends at a time of year when the Mexican wolf population is most stable. At the end of November, there were 80 wolves with functioning radio collars that the IFT was actively monitoring. Not all of the wolves in the population are collared.
Bear Wallow Pack (collared AM1338 and f1683)
In November, the IFT documented the Bear Wallow Pack in their territory on the east central portion of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest (ASNF) and occasionally on the SCAR and the FAIR. Yearling f1683 and AM1338 were documented traveling separately.
Bluestem Pack (collared f1686)
In November, the IFT documented yearling f1686 in the pack’s traditional territory in the east central portion of the ASNF. Yearling f1686 made dispersal movements from the pack’s territory within the eastern portion of the ASNF.
Eagle Creek Pack (collared M1477)
In November, M1477 continued to be documented traveling with an uncollared wolf in a territory in the east central portion of the ASNF.
Elk Horn Pack (collared AF1294, f1668, m1671, mp1695, fp1696, and fp1697)
In November, the Elk Horn Pack was located within their traditional territory in the northeastern portion of the ASNF. A male pup, 1695, was captured, collared, and released in November. The IFT started a diversionary food cache to reduce the potential for human-wildlife interactions near residences. The IFT conducted hazing efforts on the Elk Horn Pack on two occasions when the pack was observed within the community of Alpine.
Hoodoo Pack (collared AM1290, AF1333, m1677, m1681, and mp1789)
In November, the Hoodoo Pack was located within their traditional territory in the northeastern portion of the ASNF. Yearlings, m1677 and m1681 and mp1789 were documented traveling separate from the rest of the pack in the east central part of the ANSF during a portion of the month.
Panther Creek Pack (collared AM1382)
Panther Creek AM1382 was not located during the month of November.
Pine Spring Pack (collared AM1394, AF1562, fp1794, and fp1825)
In November, the Pine Spring Pack was located within their territory in the north central portion of the ASNF and occasionally in the north eastern portion of the FAIR. The IFT continued to maintain a diversionary food cache for this pack to reduce potential for wolf-livestock conflict.
Prime Canyon Pack (collared AM1471, AF1488, mp1790, fp1791, and fp1823)
In November, the IFT documented the Prime Canyon Pack within their territory in the east central portion of the ASNF. The IFT maintained a diversionary food cache for this pack to reduce the potential for human-wildlife interactions near residences.
Saffel Pack (collared AM1441, AF1567, m1661, and fp1792)
In November, the Saffel Pack was located in their territory in the northeastern portion of the ASNF. Yearling m1680 continued dispersal movements in New Mexico and was found dead in New Mexico in November. The incident is under investigation. Yearling m1661 made dispersal movements from the pack’s territory in the south central portion of the ANSF in late November.
Sierra Blanca Pack (collared M1571 and F1550)
In November, the Sierra Blanca Pack was located in their territory in the northeastern portion of the ASNF.