A federal judge ruled the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is not doing enough to ensure the future of Mexican wolves in the desert southwest. She faulted a 2015 FWS federal management rule that, in part, caps population numbers at 325 and bars wolf dispersal north of Interstate 40 which runs through central Arizona and New Mexico.
Environmentalists maintain that the Mexican wolf population should be spread as far north as southern Utah and southern Colorado even though scientific research shows 90 percent of the Mexican wolf history range was south of the United States-Mexico border.
“Most sources prior to the mid-1990s were in agreement and defined the historical range of the Mexican wolf as southeastern Arizona, southwestern New Mexico and portions of Mexico. Of this historical range, 10 percent occurs in the United States and the remainder in Mexico,” stated authors James R. Heffelfinger, Ronald M. Nowak and David Paetkau.
(Photo source: John Bradley, US Fish and Wildlife Service)