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Mexican Gray Wolf Program Continues With New Wolves Coming to the BioPark Soon

The ABQ BioPark continues to contribute to the Mexican Gray Wolf Species Survival Plan by serving as a breeding and holding facility.

October 18, 2021 - Awoooo! The ABQ BioPark has been involved in Mexican gray wolf conservation for decades and will soon welcome a group of four juveniles – two males and two females from the same litter – from Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge. The move is part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Mexican Wolf Species Survival Plan (SSP) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Mexican Wolf Recovery Program.

The siblings will be joining male Archer at the BioPark while Cindy, a female that has been at the BioPark since late 2019, will be going to Sevilleta as part of the SSP breeding program. Archer was born at the BioPark in spring 2019 to parents Kawi and Ryder, who welcomed their second litter—with a whopping seven pups—in May 2020. The nine wolves went to Mexico in early 2021 to establish the foundation of a breeding program in Mexico. The move also served to prepare the BioPark-born pups for matching with future mates and an eventual wild release.

Though our family pack has moved on to help support their species in Mexico, the ABQ BioPark continues to serve as an important holding facility for Mexican gray wolves. The BioPark is an extremely important partner of the USFW Mexican Wolf Recovery Program and uniquely suited to support the SSP and recovery program—instead of focusing on breeding at the BioPark, we now support the species by providing a home (long term or while they await their next destination) to free up space for breeding and pack formation at other facilities and provide medical care to injured wild wolves.

The Mexican gray wolf is a sub-species of the gray wolf. They once roamed New Mexico, Texas, Arizona and Mexico, but disappeared from the wild by the 1970s. In response, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) launched a reintroduction program that included captive breeding. Today, they remain listed as endangered by USFWS.

Learn more about the ABQ BioPark’s wolf program and Mexican gray wolves at Wolf Awareness Day at the Zoo on October 23.