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Wolf Managers Experimenting To Increase Population Odds

Federal wildlife managers are experimenting to improve the population of Mexican gray wolves in the Southwest.

Disease, malnutrition and inbreeding are among several threats to Mexican gray wolf pups. To improve the odds, biologists earlier this month transplanted a pair of two-week-old pups from a large litter to another pack of wolves with more rearing experience.

A similar technique has worked with red wolves on the East Coast, but this is the first time it has been tried with the Mexican gray wolf.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says the goal is not only to grow the population of wolves but to improve its genetic health. 

The 15-year effort to reintroduce Mexican wolves in Arizona and New Mexico has been hampered by everything from illegal wolf shootings to court disputes over management of the reintroduction program.