US Fish and Wildlife Service

Melissa Sevigny

A decade ago a dam came down at Fossil Creek, a tiny desert river tucked into the wilderness between Strawberry and Camp Verde. The decommissioning restored water to the creek’s rare travertine pools, but it also created a new problem: a flood of visitors. Now the U.S. Forest Service is working on a plan to save the creek from being loved to death. 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Roundtail Chub populations have declined to the point where the fish is being considered as a candidate for the Federal Endangered Species Act. But their numbers are just fine in central Arizona. In fact, the Roundtail Chub is thriving on the Salt and Verde Rivers.


Gary Kramer/USFWS

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has agreed to a deadline to craft a recovery plan for the endangered Mexican gray wolf.

The agency reached a settlement with environmentalists, Utah and Arizona, but it still needs the approval of a federal judge.

Farm bureaus in Colorado, New Mexico and Utah are expected to challenge the settlement, saying it places an unfair burden on the American public when the wolves' historical range includes Mexico.

friendsofanimals.org

There are now fewer Mexican gray wolves roaming the American Southwest, and federal officials say the numbers show more work needs to be done to restore the endangered species.

The annual survey released Thursday by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shows at least 97 wolves are spread between southwestern New Mexico and southeast Arizona.

Federal officials say the numbers are disconcerting since the population had been on the upswing since 2010, with 2014 marking a banner year when the predators topped 110.

Mark Henle/The Arizona Republic

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says they do not know why two Mexican gray wolves died after being tranquilized and captured by the agency’s biologists. The deaths happened during the annual population survey of the endangered animals in eastern Arizona and New Mexico. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports.


Wildlife officials are investigating the deaths of two Mexican gray wolves they say were killed after being struck by a field team's tranquilizer darts.

The team of state and federal wildlife officials was surveying the wolves in an annual population count that also involves capturing wolves with tranquilizer darts to attach radio collars to them.

In a statement Tuesday, the Arizona Game and Fish Department and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said one wolf was darted Jan. 23 and released into the wild before dying four days later.

Michael Chow/The Republic

Four endangered Mexican gray wolves were found dead last December in Arizona and New Mexico. It’s the first time in three months that wildlife officials have reported deaths in the population that makes up the Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports.

Utah state officials are balking at the possible inclusion of southern Utah in a recovery zone for the Mexican gray wolf.

The Utah Wildlife Board says in a letter sent this week to the Department of the Interior that science shows the northern limit of the species' range is in central New Mexico and Arizona. The board called the plan bad policy, bad science and bad for the Mexican gray wolf.

The board's letter dovetails with a similar one sent last month by Utah Gov. Gary Herbert and governors in Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona.

USFWS

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed listing two Western minnows in the West as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act. The agency says human activity has caused the numbers of two chub species to dwindle. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports. 


Don Burkett

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will award more than a quarter-million dollars to Arizona and New Mexico wildlife agencies. The grant is designed to develop nonlethal methods of protection of Mexican gray wolves and livestock. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports.


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