Two Mexican gray wolf deaths are now under investigation by wildlife officials, as reported last month. One female lone wolf and a male from the Frieborn Pack, both in Arizona, were found dead earlier in June.
A male, M1441, of the Saffel Pack was authorized for lethal removal by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service after reports of livestock depredations were connected to the wolf.
“The Mexican gray wolf is one of the most endangered mammals in the world, so the loss of any individual is a serious cause for concern,” said Bryan Bird, Southwest program director for Defenders of Wildlife. “The species is still far from recovery and needs stronger protections.”
M1441 was caught in a foothold trap back in November of 2019 and lost a leg in an emergency amputation before being released back into the wild.
At least 42 Mexican wolves have been caught by traps in the Southwest since 2002, an average of 2.5 each year.
Defenders of Wildlife continues to work with ranchers and landowners on coexistence techniques to minimize wolf-livestock conflicts, including using range riders to watch over livestock, moving livestock away from wolf dens and constructing special fencing.