Wolves in the Southwest

Source: Timber Wolf Alliance News / October 2002

The Mexican Gray Wolf (Canis lupus baileyi) is the most genetically distinct population of gray wolves and one of the rarest mammals in the world. Prior to near extinction by the late 1970s, as many as 4,000 Mexican Gray Wolves inhabited Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and Mexico. Through partnerships between federal, state, tribunal and private organizations the Mexican Gray Wolf is staging a return to the wild.

  • The first reintroduction of Mexican Gray Wolves into the wild took place in 1998.
  • The Environmental Impact Statement's recovery goal is 100 free-ranging Mexican Gray Wolves by 2005.


  • About 35 wolves in eight family groups roam the mountains of the Apache and Gila National Forests in Arizona and New Mexico. Field radio-tracking efforts indicate a possibility of seven litters born in the wild in 2002.
  • 230 Mexican Gray Wolves are housed in 43 captive breeding facilities in the U.S. and Mexico.