HOWL Colorado

Another Mexican Gray wolf to be released in Arizona

A male Mexican Gray wolf is scheduled to be released in the Apache Sitgreaves National Forest in mid-January.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department says the wolf is intended to replace the Alpha Male of the Bluestem pack which died in July of last year.

An investigation in to the death of the former Alpha concluded the wolf was murdered by a poacher.

The new wolf’s release to the wild is conditional on a researchers confirming that no new alpha pair has been established in the Bluestem pack.

The embattled Mexican gray wolf reintroduction program has been underway since 1998 and spans two states, Arizona and New Mexico.

Read the entire press release below:

Replacement for Bluestem Pack Alpha Male

An adult male Mexican wolf, designated M1133, may soon be exploring its new territory in the Apache National Forest of east-central Arizona. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project’s interagency field team (IFT) recently received approval from Dr. Benjamin Tuggle, the Service’s Regional Director, in coordination with the Arizona Game and Fish Department, to conduct this initial (a wolf born and raised in captivity) release in mid-January adjacent to the Bluestem pack to replace the pack’s alpha male that was illegally killed last summer.

The release is contingent upon the IFT’s current survey work to determine and ensure no other male wolf has paired with the existing Bluestem alpha female, AF1042.

All initial wolf releases occur in Arizona in the primary recovery zone of the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area in compliance with the existing federal 10j rule covering the reintroduction project.

The last initial release of wolves occurred in 2008.

In January of 2012, during its regular monthly public meeting, the Arizona Game and Fish Commission voted unanimously to give the department director the authority to approve a wolf release, in coordination with the Service, in cases where an animal is lost from the population due to an unlawful act. When a wolf is lost by any other cause of mortality, the commission, not the Director, must approve the release.

The IFT closely manages all initially-released wolves to reduce the potential of nuisance-related behaviors and livestock depredations once they are free-ranging in the wild. Past experience has shown that initially-released wolves sometimes require intensive management to assist them in learning to avoid situations that may lead to conflict with human activity or with livestock that also utilize the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.

We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit Connect with our Facebook page at, follow our tweets at, watch our YouTube Channel at and download photos from our Flickr page at

The Arizona Game and Fish Department prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, disability in its programs and activities. If anyone believes they have been discriminated against in any Game and Fish program or activity, including its employment practices, the individual may file a complaint alleging discrimination directly with the Game and Fish Deputy Director, 5000 W. Carefree Highway, Phx., AZ 85086, (602) 942-3000 or U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4040 N. Fairfax Dr., Ste. 130, Arlington, VA 22203. If you require this document in an alternative format, please contact the Game and Fish Deputy Director as listed above or by calling TTY at 1-800 367-8939.

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