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Home > Mexican Wolves > About The Project > Mexican Wolf Recovery Project Timeline

Mexican Wolf Recovery Project Timeline

by Mark MacAllister

Page 1 : Late 19th Century - Early 2001
Date Event
1870 - 1880s Cattle ranching becomes a popular business in the Southwestern United States
1893 First of several predator control bills passed by the Arizona-New Mexico Territorial Legislature
Early 1900s U.S. Government begins anti-predator campaign and works to exterminate wolves using traps, guns and poison. In 1914, Predatory Animal and Rodent Control established—later called Animal Damage Control and then Wildlife Services—to lead extermination efforts.
1920 - 1970 Anti-predator campaign is successful, almost exterminating Gray wolves from the United States. Mexican Gray Wolf is believed to be extinct in the U.S. by the mid-1900s
1952 Compound 1080 (strychnine) introduced in the southwest and Mexico for predator control.
1970 Last confirmed Mexican wolf killed in the United States near Alpine, Texas.
1976 Mexican Gray Wolf formally placed on Endangered Species List on April 28, 1976
1977 - 1980 Captive breeding program established after capture of five wild Mexican wolves from Durango and Chihuahua, Mexico. Wolves placed at Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum near Tucson, AZ.
1982 Current Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan completed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Mexico's Dirrecion General de la Fauna
1987 Wolf Compensation Trust established by the Defenders of Wildlife to compensate cattle losses due to wolf depredation. New Mexico Department of Game and Fish proposes White Sands Missile Range as Mexican wolf recovery area, but U.S. Army refuses to cooperate with experimental reintroduction program; proposal later dropped.
1990 Several environmental organizations file suit against the Departments of Interior and Defense, claiming failure to implement the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program. A settlement results in the development of an environmental impact statement for Mexican wolf reintroduction.
1993 U.S. Federal District Court in New Mexico directs U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to proceed with wolf recovery, and sets July 1996 date for initial release of wolves.
1995 Two additional captive populations determined via DNA testing. Draft Environmental Impact Statement for wolf recovery released.
1996 Captive breeding facilities reach capacity; some wolves are moved to acclimation facility at Sevilleta NWR in New Mexico.
1996 Final Environmental Impact Statement published by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Statement proposes that a non-essential experimental population of Mexican wolves be reintroduced to the American southwest.
1997 U.S. government officials sign Record of Decision allowing reintroduction to move forward.
1998 U.S. Fish and Wildllife Service, in cooperation with the Arizona Game and Fish Department, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services, and the U.S. Forest Service, release 11 Mexican wolves—Cambell Blue, Hawk's Nest and Pipestem packs—from holding pens in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest.
1998 First released Mexican wolf shot. First wild-born Mexican wolf pup in over 50 years documented; mother fatally shot. Three more wolves shot. Two more wolves released.
1999 Twenty-one wolves released into wild—9 adults/subadults and 12 pups (8 of which were born in acclimation pens, the other 4 at Sevilleta). Six pups are born in the wild to the Pipestem Pack. Five of the 18 pups do not survive. One wolf is killed in a vehicle collision, another killed by a mountain lion.
2000 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service releases proposal to allow translocation of wolves into Gila Wilderness.
2001 Three-year review of the Mexican Wolf Program begins in March. By June, 34 Mexican wolves (in a minimum of five groups) roam free in Arizona and New Mexico.

Next Page : Late 2001 - 2005
Pages: 1, 2
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