PROTECTION STATUS: Endangered; nonessential, experimental population

YEAR PLACED ON LIST: Endangered 1976; nonessential, experimental population 1998


CRITICAL HABITAT: Not required for species listed prior to 1978

RANGE: Currently limited to the Gila Headwaters ecosystem in eastern Arizona and western New Mexico

THREATS: Federal predator control, poaching, and trapping, genetic problems from inbreeding

POPULATION TREND: By the 1930s, Mexican gray wolves had been eliminated from the United States. Reintroduction of the Mexican gray wolf began in 1998, yet by 2013, the federal government had shot 12 wolves, accidentally killed 18 as a consequence of capture and captured 37 wolves that so far have been kept in captivity (most for a long time). The counted number of adult gray wolves remaining in the wild in 2016 was 113. Approximately 300 wolves survive in specialized facilities, zoos, and museums as part of a captive-breeding program.

Photo © Robin Silver