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Mexican Wolf


Mexican wolf (Canis lupus baileyi)

Principal Biologist(s)

Chris Wiese, Mike Phillips

Project Location

Ladder Ranch, New Mexico

Conservation Problem

Once common throughout portions of Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Mexico, human persecution resulted in the extirpation of Mexican wolves in the wild. Current challenges include political pressures against wolf releases, illegal shootings, and lack of space for population expansion. Additionally, due to the small founder population, diminished genetic diversity appears to be affecting the fecundity and survival of wolves in the wild. Limited pen space in the captive breeding program restricts the size and reproductive output of the captive population.

Conservation Status

Listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act

Project Goals & Objectives

The overarching goal of the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program is to rebuild healthy ecosystems by recovering top predators like the Mexican gray wolf in the wild. Turner Endangered Species Fund’s (TESF) aim is to provide support to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) recovery efforts by operating a pre-release facility for Mexican gray wolves. In this capacity, we breed wolves in captivity and provide transitional housing and acclimation care for captive wolves that are chosen for release to the wild as well as for wild wolves that have to be (temporarily or permanently) removed from the wild.


Project Background