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Mexican Wolves Continue Cattle Killing

There were 163 Mexican wolves roaming in the wild in the United States at the end of 2019: 76 in Arizona and 87 in New Mexico, according to wildlife officials.


At the end of May 2020, there were 36 named wolf packs, including 17 in Arizona and 19 in New Mexico. Many of these packs are being documented at their dens where they are raising pups (either naturally or through cross-fostering efforts). A total of 95 wolves are wearing functioning radio collars.


That may not sound like a lot of wolves, but this wolf population is having a considerable impact on the area. In attempt to deter livestock depredations, in May, the Interagency Field Team conducted 33 days/nights of hazing effort in areas having recent depredations that resulted in hazing wolves from depredation areas on 8 occasions. The team also maintained 12 diversionary food caches, to provide food to wolves in attempt to reduce the risk of further cattle depredations.

Despite these efforts, during the month of May, there were 15 confirmed wolf depredation events on livestock, and there have been 60 total depredation incidents since the start of the year. It’s always important to remember that when it comes to large carnivore kills on western rangelands, there is generally much more depredation than can be confirmed. (If you want to know more about this confirmed versus probable issue, check out the paper below for one example.)


Screen shot of wolf locations/ To view semi-monthly wolf location information please visit http://arcg.is/0iGSGH.


Here’s the list of depredation investigations that confirmed wolf-killed livestock for the month of May 2020, as provided by the Arizona Game & Fish Department:


On May 2, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Apache County, AZ. The investigation determined the cow was a confirmed wolf depredation.


On May 8, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Catron County, NM. The Investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf depredation.


On May 9, the IFT responded to a report of wolves in close proximity to cattle on private land pasture in the community of Alpine. The IFT responded and hazed AM1571, F1697 and an uncollared wolf away from town. On May 13, the IFT received a report of an uncollared wolf chasing cattle on private land pasture in Alpine. The IFT responded immediately and did not locate any wolves in the area. In response to these incidents, the IFT initiated nightly hazing efforts for the duration of the month, which resulted in locating and hazing wolves from locations on the edge of Alpine on two occasions. The IFT contacted a number of Alpine residents in May to provide information, resources to opportunistically harass wolves in Alpine and in effort to obtain timely reports of wolves observed in the community.


On May 11, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Catron County, NM. The investigation determined the cow was a confirmed wolf depredation.


On May 11, Wildlife Services investigated two dead calves in Apache County, AZ. The investigations determined both calves were confirmed wolf depredations.


On May 18, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Greenlee County, AZ. The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf depredation.


On May 18, Wildlife Services investigated an injured yearling in Catron County, NM. The investigation determined that the injury was caused by wolves.


On May 19, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf and a dead cow in Catron County, NM. The investigations determined both the calf and cow were confirmed wolf depredations.


On May 19, the IFT received a report of a homeowner in Nutrioso who reported finding the carcass of a bull elk near their residence believed to have been killed by wolves on the night of 5/16/20. The homeowner stated they were concerned for the welfare of their horses. The IFT conducted a sight visit, met with the homeowner and provided information and resources to opportunistically harass any wolves observed near human dwellings or livestock. GPS collar locations for Elk Horn AF1294 and F1696 indicated the animals were likely involved in the predation of the bull elk.


On May 21, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Greenlee County, AZ. The investigation determined the cow was a confirmed wolf depredation.


On May 27, Wildlife Services investigated two dead calves in Apache County, AZ. The investigations determined both calves were confirmed wolf depredations.


On May 28, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, AZ. The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf depredation.


On May 30, Wildlife Services investigated an injured calf that had to be put down, in Apache County, AZ. The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf depredation.


On May 31, Wildlife Services investigated two dead cows in Apache County, AZ. The investigations determined both cows were confirmed wolf depredations.



For an example of confirmed kills versus actual losses, read this:

Quantifying Economic Impacts of Large-Carnivore Depredation on Bovine Calves




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