Mexican Gray Wolf Pups Across U.S. Receive Call of the Wild
Earlier this spring, 20 wolf pups from five different facilities across the U.S. were placed with wild Mexican gray wolf families through a process known as “cross-fostering.” Cross-fostering is a coordinated event where captive-born pups are introduced into a similar-aged wild litter to be raised by surrogate parents. This year’s efforts were carried out by biologists from the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD), New Mexico Department of Game and Fish (NMDGF), and Mexican Wolf Species Survival Plan (SSP), with extensive logistical support from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).
Although this was a historic year for cross-fostering, it’s important to note that cross-fosters alone are not enough to augment the genetic health of the wild lobo population. Individuals within the wild population are as related to one another as full siblings – a crisis that cannot be solved simply through cross-fosters.
Mexican gray wolf recovery demands releasing more family groups (well-bonded adult pairs with pups) into the wild too.