AZGFD considers potential impacts of appellate court ruling on Mexican wolf

mexican wolfPHOENIX — The Arizona Game and Fish Department is assessing potential impacts to Arizona’s endangered and threatened wildlife recovery program, following a 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that lifts a preliminary injunction on releasing Mexican wolves  in New Mexico.

The court decision issued Tuesday held that the State of New Mexico had not met the legal standard for a preliminary injunction because it did not demonstrate that releasing Mexican wolves without state permits will cause irreparable injury to the state. The ruling reverses a U.S. District Court decision last summer that prohibited the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from importing or releasing any Mexican wolves in New Mexico without first obtaining permits from the New Mexico Game and Fish Department.

Game and Fish Commission passes resolutions on burro management, land use

Burros

(January 21, 2016) PHOENIX - The Arizona Game and Fish Commission approved two resolutions, including one to address an "extreme overpopulation of burros" impacting the state's wildlife, habitat and public safety, and another that bolsters the department's efforts to ensure public access to public lands. The Commission passed the resolutions at its January meeting.

The resolution on burro management states that "the Arizona Game and Fish Commission recognizes there is an extreme overpopulation of burros in Arizona that negatively impacts wildlife, wildlife habitat and public safety."

Under the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burros Act of 1971, there should be no more than 1,676 burros within the state. The current population is estimated at 4,860, according to the Bureau of Land Management, which is legally required to maintain burros at established "appropriate management levels." The BLM is hampered by a lack of funding and support from the agency's administration at the national level.

Game and Fish helps pronghorn cross boundaries

Copter antelopeGPS collars provide data to improve connectivity  

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (Dec. 23, 2015) Like some giant bird of prey, the helicopter appeared from seemingly out of nowhere and swooped down on the unsuspecting herd of pronghorn feeding on the open grassland below.

The chase was on.

In the end, despite being able to reach speeds up to 60 mph, the fastest animal in North America was no match. The net-gunner’s aim was true, the handler or “mugger” placed a GPS collar around the pronghorn’s neck, and within moments the animal was safely removed from the net and turned loose to rejoin its herd.

Live-streaming camera offers a glimpse into the lives of desert pupfish

PHOENIX — Those curious about the underwater lives of Arizona’s desert pupfish can tune in to the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s newest wildlife live-streaming camera.

The desert pupfish camera is located in the cienega habitat at the Red Mountain Campus of Mesa Community College, which has partnered to conserve this endangered fish and other wildlife species. The cienega pond houses a variety of native wildlife, including Gila topminnows (another endangered fish), long-finned dace, lowland leopard frogs and Sonoran mud turtles.

“Desert pupfish are among our most beautiful native fishes,” said Randy Babb, AZGFD Watchable Wildlife Program manager. “They are well adapted to harsh environments – they can tolerate water with low oxygen levels and salinity three times that of sea water in addition to temperatures exceeding 110 degrees. Part of this project is being done to establish literal gene pools for conservation efforts to ensure these important fishes are not lost to future generations.”

Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project

az gfMonthly Update - September 1-30, 2016

The following is a summary of Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project (Project) activities in the Mexican Wolf Experimental Population Area (MWEPA) in Arizona, including the Fort Apache Indian Reservation (FAIR), San Carlos Apache Reservation (SCAR), and New Mexico.  Additional Project information can be obtained by calling (928) 339-4329 or toll free at (888) 459-9653, or by visiting the Arizona Game and Fish Department website at
http://www.azgfd.gov/wolf or by visiting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website at http://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/mexicanwolf

Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project

wolf mexicanMonthly Update - December 1-31, 2016 - The following is a summary of Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project (Project) activities in the Mexican Wolf Experimental Population Area (MWEPA) in Arizona, including the Fort Apache Indian Reservation (FAIR), San Carlos Apache Reservation (SCAR), and New Mexico.  Additional Project information can be obtained by calling (928) 339-4329 or toll free at (888) 459-9653, or by visiting the Arizona Game and Fish Department website at www.azgfd.gov/wolfor by visiting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website at http://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/ mexicanwolf.
 
This update is a public document and information in it can be used for any purpose.  The Project is a multi-agency cooperative effort among the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD), USDA Forest Service (USFS), USDA-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services (USDA-APHIS WS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service USFWS) and the White Mountain Apache Tribe (WMAT).

Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project Monthly Update - Dec 2015

Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project Monthly UpdateDecember 1-31, 2015 - The following is a summary of Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project (Project) activities in the Mexican Wolf Experimental Population Area (MWEPA) in Arizona, including the Fort Apache Indian Reservation (FAIR), and New Mexico.  Additional Project information can be obtained by calling (928) 339-4329 or toll free at (888) 459-9653, or by visiting the Arizona Game and Fish Department website at www.azgfd.gov/wolf or by visiting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website at www.fws.gov/southwest/es/mexicanwolf.  Past updates may be viewed on either website, or interested parties may sign up to receive this update electronically by visiting www.azgfd.gov/signup.  This update is a public document and information in it can be used for any purpose.  The Project is a multi-agency cooperative effort among the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD), USDA Forest Service (USFS), USDA-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services (USDA-APHIS WS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the White Mountain Apache Tribe (WMAT).

MEXICAN WOLF UPDATE - October 2016

az gfMexican Wolf Reintroduction Project
MEXICAN WOLF UPDATE - October 2016
Arizona Game and Fish Department

The following is a summary of Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project (Project) activities in the Mexican Wolf Experimental Population Area (MWEPA) in Arizona, including the Fort Apache Indian Reservation (FAIR), San Carlos Apache Reservation (SCAR), and New Mexico.  Additional Project information can be obtained by calling (928) 339-4329 or toll free at (888) 459-9653, or by visiting the Arizona Game and Fish Department website at http://www.azgfd.gov/wolf or by visiting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website at http://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/mexicanwolf. Past updates may be viewed on either website, or interested parties may sign up to receive this update electronically.

North Zone Fire Managers Prepare for Rx Fires

FREDONIA, Ariz. – North Zone fire managers are preparing for the upcoming prescribed fire season on the North Kaibab Ranger District, and anticipate starting these prescribed fire treatments as soon as weather and fuel conditions are favorable to do so.

Fire managers carefully develop a prescribed fire burn plan and implement this plan only when environmental conditions are ideal to assuring firefighter and visitor safety and to achieving the desired objectives of reducing accumulations of hazard fuels, maintaining the natural role of fire in a fire-adapted ecosystem, protecting sensitive cultural and natural resources, and decreasing risks to life and property.

Southern Arizona endangered Mount Graham red squirrel population decreases

PHOENIX — An annual survey of the Mount Graham red squirrel recently revealed a slight decline in the number of the endangered squirrels in the Pinaleño Mountains in southeastern Arizona.

The survey conducted jointly by the Arizona Game and Fish Department, Coronado National Forest, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the University of Arizona estimated 252 squirrels. The survey is a decrease of 11 squirrels from the 2015 estimate of 263.

“While we’d prefer to see squirrel populations continually grow, it’s not uncommon for them to fluctuate considerably from year to year,” said Tim Snow, AZGFD terrestrial wildlife specialist. “At this point, we aren’t immediately concerned with the lower squirrel numbers. We remain optimistic that our efforts are working to ensure the population has the best opportunity to flourish in the future.”

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