Mexican Gray Wolf
The Mexican Gray Wolf is the rarest subspecies of wolf in North America. Once common throughout portions of the southwestern United States, the Mexican wolf was all but eliminated from the wild by the 1970s. In 1998, Mexican wolves were released to the wild for the first time. Missing from the landscape for more than 30 years, the howl of the Mexican wolf can once again be heard in the mountains of the Gila Wilderness.
"Only the mountain has lived long enough to listen objectively to the howl of the wolf."
Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac
The wolf was a resident of the Gila for thousands of years and their presence was controversial, even in Leopold's day. When the Mexican Gray Wolf was reintroduced into the Gila, it re-kindled this controversy and it continues to this day. There are points to be made on both sides of the issue. A solution needs to be found. Without these magnificent creatures, the wilderness is incomplete.
By the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service count only 163 Mexican gray wolves survive in the wilderness of southwestern New Mexico and southeastern Arizona.