New Mexico Department of Game and Fish
Contact: Marty Frentzel, (505) 476-8013
martin.frentzel@state.nm.us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, JUNE 26, 2008:

AGENCIES RETURN WOLF PAIR TO GILA WILDERNESS

SILVER CITY -- The Interagency Field Team of the Mexican Wolf Blue Range Reintroduction Project translocated a pair of wolves to the Gila Wilderness in June.

The wolves, Adult Female1028 and Adult Male 1008, were moved from the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge June 16, and transported by mule into the wilderness June 17. Maggie Dwire, Assistant Mexican Wolf Recovery Coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said a monitoring flight confirmed the pair remained in the translocation area June 24.

The male wolf, M1008, was born in 2005 and first captured in the Gila National Forest. It was caught in a foothold trap on private land just outside the boundary of the recovery area in 2006. It was removed from the wild at that time.

The female, F1028, initially was released in Arizona in 2006 as part of the Meridian Pack. It was captured and removed from the wild June 28, 2007, north of Alpine, Ariz., after being observed with a leg injury. It was sent to a captive breeding facility at Sevilleta Refuge in July 2007 and paired with M1008.

The offspring of F1028 could increase genetic diversity in the wild Mexican wolf population.

The pair was released at this time because an abundant wild food supply should be available to them. Elk calves should be numerous in the Gila National Forest.

The Interagency Field Team is composed of representatives of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Arizona Game and Fish Department, the Department of Agriculture’s Animal Plant Health Inspection Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the White Mountain Apache Tribe, and the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish.

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