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Re-introduction of Mexican wolves into wild promises to be howling success

Sunday, August 24, 2014 - 01:41

Wild Mexican wolf pups return to Mexico's Sierra Madre after a 30-year absence as conservationists try to save the species which was driven to near extinction. Tara Cleary reports.

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STORY: This Mexican grey wolf pup is part of the first litter born in the wild in Mexico in 30 years. Last December, a pair of adult wolves was released into the Sierra Madre and researchers recently caught up with growing pack. The National Protected Areas Commission is part of the captive breeding program that led to the re-introduction. Jesus Lizardo Cruz, deputy director of the commission's transborder species, hopes this is just the start of a sustainable population. SOUNDBITE: JESUS LIZARDO CRUZ, DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF TRANSBORDER SPECIES, NATIONAL PROTECTED AREAS COMMISSION, SAYING (Spanish): "In Mexico, we currently have this first pack of Mexican wolves born into the wild. It's an event that is very encouraging and opens up the next step in the process of recovery, to having populations that are completely free but are sustainable amongst themselves, so that they don't have to be managed." It's been estimated that there are around 400 Mexican wolves world-wide, most of them in captivity. The United States launched a Mexican Wolf Recovery Program in 1998 and there are currently 83 wolves in the wild in Arizona and New Mexico. Almost all of the existing U.S. animals were born wild and for the past 12 years, wild-born wolves have bred and raised pups in the wild. And in Mexico, Cruz expects that future studies of the wild wolves in the Sierra Madre will provide invaluable scientific insight into this threatened predator's natural habitat, especially as their numbers in the wild increase.

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Re-introduction of Mexican wolves into wild promises to be howling success

Sunday, August 24, 2014 - 01:41