Endangered Mexican Gray Wolf Shot and Killed in Northern Arizona

by Amanda Glover

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is offering a $10,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest about the illegal killing of an endangered wolf.

Recently, an unknown hunter shot and killed an endangered Mexican Gray Wolf in the Kaibab National Forest of Arizona. The animal had been protected by Endangered Species Act (ESA). However, someone illegally killed the creature on January 2nd.

Under the ESA, the state protects these animals. The unknown individual killed the animal in the northern boundary of the current Mexican gray wolf recovery zone. In August 2020, Arizona wildlife officials found one of the endangered creatures wandering north of the zone. Officials relocated the creature 200 miles to the southeast. However, by October, the animal returned to northern Arizona.

Currently, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is reviewing the boundaries of the creature management zone. They’re also considering changing how management is controlled.

Legally, hunters hunt and kill other breeds of these animals in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, as well as the Great Lakes region. However, the Endangered Species Act in the Southwest began protecting the endangered species in 1976 and continues to do so. Although, as the act continues to protect them, it remains illegal to hunt and kill them without a special permit.

In 1977, the United States began working with Mexico to breed the animals in captivity. They wanted to reintroduce them in the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area. However, this area stretches to parts of Arizona and Mexico. As is 2020, 186 of the endangered species roam the area.

Introducing the World’s Most Ancient Wolf

Last year in September, Molecular Ecology rewarded up with information on this species of endangered wolves. Sadly, these unique animals are on the verge of extinction.

The lead author of the article, Lauren Hennelly, discusses her knowledge of animals. “Wolves are one of the last remaining large carnivores in Pakistan, and many of India’s large carnivores are endangered.”

Hennelly is a doctoral student with the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine’s Mammalian Ecology Conservation Unit.

“I hope that knowing they are so unique and found only there will inspire local people and scientists to learn more about conserving these wolves and grassland habitats,” she adds.

The article’s co-author, Bilal Habib, states some interesting findings as well. “People may realize that the species with whom we have been sharing the landscape is the most distantly divergent wolf alive today.”

Habib is a conservation biologist with the Wildlife Institute of India.

To find out about how you can contribute to animal conservation, visit Wolf Conservation Center. As per their website:

 “Environmental education organization working to protect and preserve wolves in North America through science-based education, advocacy, and participation in the federal recovery and release programs for two critically endangered wolf species – the Mexican gray wolf and red wolf.”