Defenders in the Southwest

Defenders in Action: Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery

The Mexican gray wolf, or lobo,  is one of the most endangered mammals in the United States. In 2012, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) released its most recent count of these iconic animals. While the number of wild Mexican gray wolves has grown in the last year from 50 to 58, their future remains highly uncertain.

How We’re Helping

  • Defenders is working with a team of expert scientists and stakeholders who are charged with drawing up a new recovery plan for endangered lobos. The plan will provide a detailed roadmap to move the Mexican gray wolf from today’s fragile population of 58 to full recovery and delisting.
  • We work with ranchers throughout the Southwest, using range riders, fladry, alternative pastures, community calving and other proven techniques to reduce conflicts between wolves and livestock. We also have a representative on the FWS Mexican Wolf Interdiction Stakeholder Council, which is developing innovative incentives for ranching in harmony with wolves.
  • In 2010, Defenders worked with the White Mountain Apache Tribe to develop an eco-tour program focused on Mexican wolves and traditional tribal culture. Lucky tour participants might even see or hear rare lobos in the wild. Tours like these increase appreciation for the value of Mexican wolves and demonstrate that wolves can foster economic development.
  • Our office hosts many activities to increase awareness of the plight of Mexican wolves, from regular meetups throughout Arizona and New Mexico to our highly successful Where’s El Lobo? art exhibit and contest in Tucson in September 2010.
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There are fewer than 90 wild Mexican gray wolves in the entire world. Now, FWS is proposing to change the way the wolves are managed – changes that will determine whether the wolves recover and thrive, or die out and disappear.
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