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Fish and Wildlife Service Plan Calls for Release of 12 Newborn Wolf Pups

posted Mar 17, 2018, 7:17 PM by chloe owens

12/4/2017, by Rebecca Moss, The New Mexican

Fish and Wildlife Service plan calls for release of 12 newborn wolf pups

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to release 12 newborn Mexican wolf pups in New Mexico and Arizona over the coming year as part of its strategy to recover an endangered species that suffers from severe inbreeding and weak genetics. The Mexican wolf is facing a “genetic bottleneck,” the service said, adding that, “on average, individuals within the population are as related to one another as full siblings.” Over 2018, a dozen captive pups will be matched with wild litters that have been born at roughly the same time as the domestic-bred pups, according to a plan released by the service Monday. The plan also outlines temporarily removing an adult female wolf from the Panther Creek Pack in Arizona, to avoid direct inter-sibling breeding, and allowing her to instead mate with an adult male from captivity…The plan outlines recovering 320 wolves south of Interstate 40 in New Mexico and Arizona, which would nearly triple the current populations, and establishing an additional 200 animals in Mexico. At this rate, recovery, and beginning to remove the species from the U.S. Endangered Species Act, is expected in 25 to 30 years at a cost of $178 million.