Mexico Welcomes First Mexican Gray Wolf Pups Born in the Wild in Decades

Wolf advocates are celebrating the confirmation of the first documented litter of Mexican gray wolves born in the wild in Mexico since they disappeared nearly three decades ago.

Without giving their exact location, Mexico’s National Commission for Natural Protected Areas confirmed the wolves were sighted in the western Sierra Madre mountains by a team of researchers and that the pups were doing well, according to the AP.

Mexican wolves, also known as lobos, once roamed vast portions of the Southwest and Mexico but were eradicated by the 1900s in the U.S. over conflicts with humans and livestock, while populations in Mexico dropped off. In 1976, they were listed as an endangered species and bi-national recovery efforts began the next year.

Mexico began releasing wolves in 2011, and released the parents last December in the hope they would breed.

“This first litter represents an important step in the recovery program, because these will be individuals that have never had contact with human beings, as wolves bred in captivity inevitably do,” the commission said in a statement.

In the U.S., the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) approved the Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan in 1982, which recommended a captive breeding program and supported a goal of maintaining at least 100 wolves in their historic range, but progress since then has been slow and the agency’s lack of action has been criticized by those who want to see a successful recovery for this species.

The first 11 wolves were released in the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area in Arizona in 1998, but as of this January there were still only 83 in the wild in Arizona and New Mexico. Unfortunately, the few who are out there continue to face threats that range from a lack of genetic diversity, diseases, conflicts with livestock, being killed by humans and hostility from those who don’t want to see them return to their rightful place in the wild.

The FWS has recently proposed changes to its management plan that include both steps that would benefit them, but also changes that will make things worse.

Advocates for the lobo are urging the agency to immediately release more into the wild, allow them to expand their territory and stop capturing and returning those who wander outside current boundaries and to finish its long overdue recovery plan before it makes any official changes.

They’re also asking the agency to remove the “nonessential” designation from the population in the wild. The FWS claims that even if all the ones in the wild disappeared, it wouldn’t hinder recovery efforts because there are still many in the breeding program, but critics of that statement argue that the survival of those who have experience in the wild is critical to their future survival.

This August, the agency will release its draft Environmental Impact Statement and hold a public comment period, in addition to holding public hearings in both Arizona and New Mexico.

To find out more about the proposal and how you can help support Mexican gray wolf recovery, visit

Photo credit: USFWS


Christine Jones
Christine J3 years ago

Good news. We at Care2 seem to have been campaigning about these wolves for years, so persistence pays off.

Jim Ven
Jim Ven4 years ago

thanks for the article.

Patricia Guilhem
Patricia Guilhem4 years ago

Pétition signée. Pourquoi les hommes détestent ils tant les loups ? En France, les loups sont chassés. Ségolène Royal, la ministre de l' écologie a permis la chasse du loup : c' est une conne, une pouffiasse ( je m' excuse pour la vulgarité, mais je suis en colère ). Nous signons tellement de pétitions pour la protection du loup. Le combat doit continuer partout dans le monde !!! Laissez vivre les loups !!!

Nimue P.

Please keep them safe!

Stella Gambardella
Stella G4 years ago

Spero in bene. Questi meravigliosi animali devono ritornare a riappropriarsi del loro territorio con o senza l'aiuto dell'uomo.

Cathleen K.
Cathleen K4 years ago

The 'ranching culture' is largely the same on both sides of the border. Hopefully, Mexican ranchers will be more reasonable than their American cabrons so these pups stand a chance. The hostility and paranoia on the ground about the reintroduction of wolves in AZ and NM is unbelievable, and I hold little hope of sanity ever winning out after years of talking to people there about wolves.

Donna F.
Donna F4 years ago


Georgina Elizab McAlliste
.4 years ago

Let's hope they ban hunting, in all it's forms,and keep humans out.

Janis K.
Janis K4 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

Deborah W.
Deborah W4 years ago

After all the relocating, culling, relocating again. finallly, a family ie established ... wonder for how long. BUTT OUT and let them live as nature intended, no need for human observation to again crap things up.