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Southwestern Gray Wolf Management Plan

by | Feb 05, 2013
Rumor has spread throughout the Trans-Pecos that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is going to release wolves in West Texas. This is false. Areas of the Trans-Pecos and the Texas Panhandle were included in the USFWS Southwestern Wolf Management Plan due to wolves possibly dispersing from Arizona, New Mexico, and Mexico. Please look at the Q&A below, it has some information as well as links to the USFWS that may answer some questions you have. Please pass the word on that wolves are not being released in Texas.

What does the Southwestern Gray Wolf Management Plan mean for Texas, and what is TPWD’s role?
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released its draft federal Southwestern Gray Wolf Management Plan for review and comment on Dec. 17, 2012. This plan does not outline reintroduction or release of Mexican gray wolf (Canis lupus baileyi), but rather provides management guidance related to existing populations.

Are gray wolves being released or reintroduced in Texas?

There have not been any wolves released or reintroduced in Texas, and there are no plans to reintroduce wolves in Texas. State law prohibits the release of wolves in Texas.

What does the plan propose to do?
Among other things, the plan provides for ways to relocate or otherwise manage wolves that may naturally disperse or wander into Texas from neighboring areas where wolves have been released, including New Mexico and Mexico.

Should ranchers or other landowners be concerned about gray wolves coming to Texas?
At this time, we have no reason to believe that wolves may recolonize Texas from neighboring states or countries in the near future.

If gray wolves do stray into to Texas, what can landowners do?
The draft plan outlines options for dealing with nuisance wolves that might naturally disperse into Texas. TPWD is currently reviewing the draft plan to determine if it provides acceptable management alternatives in the unlikely event that wolves naturally disperse into the state.
In the unlikely scenario that wolves stray into Texas, the draft federal plan calls for people to immediately communicate any report of possible wolf depredation on domestic livestock or pets to the Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project Interagency Field Team field office in Arizona at (928) 339-4329.

Who can I contact for more information?
Landowners or others with general questions can contact the Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery Program Coordinator at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service southwest regional office in Albuquerque at (505) 761-4748.
Texas landowners or others who wish to contact TPWD may contact the Wildlife Division regional office in Alpine, Texas at (432) 837-2051.

—courtesy Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept.

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