ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Once on the verge of extinction, the rarest subspecies of the gray wolf in North America has seen its population nearly double over the last five years.
U.S. wildlife managers said Friday the latest survey shows there are now at least 186 Mexican gray wolves in the wild in New Mexico and Arizona. That marks the fifth straight year that the endangered species has increased its numbers.
The reintroduction of Mexican wolves to the American Southwest began more than two decades ago. The program has pitted environmentalists, rural residents, and wildlife managers against one another, prompting many legal challenges over the years.