Wolf Haven Continues Work to Strengthen Mexican Wolf Population

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The Wolf Haven International sanctuary, located just outside Tenino, is one of just three pre-release breeding facilities for the Mexican wolf.

The sanctuary recently welcomed the assistance of reproductive specialists and later shared photographs on its social media accounts.

“We recently welcomed Dr. Bruce Christensen and Maryann Cristler to Wolf Haven to bank semen from five of our Mexican wolf males,” the sanctuary wrote. “All five of the wolves were anesthetized for the procedure, recovered in a quiet area, and released the same day. We are honored to be a part of the important effort to conserve this essential species.”

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Mexican wolves were once common throughout parts of the Southwestern U.S. and Mexico. The species was all but eliminated from the wild by the 1970s due to conflicts with livestock. In 1976, the Mexican wolf was listed as endangered, and a binational captive breeding program was initiated soon after to save this unique gray wolf from extinction.

In 1998, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released the first captive Mexican wolves into the Mexican Wolf Experimental Population Area in Arizona and New Mexico.

“Absent from the landscape for over 30 years, the resounding howl of the endangered Mexican wolf could once again be heard in the mountains of the Southwest,” the service wrote on its website.

To learn more about Wolf Haven, visit wolfhaven.org.