As of Sep. 14, 2020, the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) wolf biologists have captured, collared, and released on-site three cross-fostered wolf pups traveling with the Hoodoo Pack in the northeastern Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest.
The three cross-fostered wolves were fitted with satellite tracking collars that emit GPS locations and radio signals that biologists on the Mexican Wolf Interagency Field Team (IFT) use to monitor the wolf population. The data collected can help document reproduction and survival of collared wolves. This is especially important in documenting survival of cross-fostered wolves, which are key to conservation efforts to increase genetic diversity of the wild population and for tracking recovery progress of this endangered subspecies.
Cross-fostered pups raised in wild packs are less likely to get into conflicts with humans than pups raised in captivity. The collars provide wolf biologists the capability to more effectively mitigate wolf/livestock conflict and provide proactive information to livestock producers working with the IFT with the mutual goal of preventing wolf depredations on livestock.
The three cross-fostered wolf pups (fp1890, fp1887 and mp1888) were all safely captured using padded foot-hold traps. These traps are designed to safely capture wolves by holding the trapped animal by the foot until it can be chemically immobilized, provided a physical health assessment, collared and released. The IFT uses traps with multiple safety devices to avoid causing injury to animals captured and temporarily held by the traps.
All three of the cross-fostered wolf pups were captured, processed and released on-site without any wounds or injuries. AZGFD wolf biologists monitoring the newly collared wolves have noted that each of the collared wolves have rejoined the pack and are doing fine.