A Native Returns!
On October 11, five Mexican grey wolves (“lobos”) were released in the San Luis Mountains of northeastern Sonora, almost directly south of the Arizona/New Mexico border. It is the first reintroduction of lobos into Mexico since they disappeared from that country more than 30 years ago. The release was coordinated by the federal SEMARNAT agency, and Naturalia, a non-governmental conservation organization.
A lobo reintroduction program in the U.S. has been underway since 1998. There are now approximately 50-60 wolves in Arizona and New Mexico, and more than 300 in captive breeding facilities in the U.S. and Mexico.
Reintroducing wolves into their historic range in Mexico is an important and long-overdue step towards bringing this highly endangered animal back from the brink of extinction. Maintaining a genetic connection between wolf populations in the U.S. and Mexico will be key to keeping them healthy and ensuring their long-term survival. Now more than ever, the U.S. should abandon plans to construct more border fencing that prevents the movement of wildlife, and remove or modify the existing border wall to make it wildlife friendly.