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Center for Biological Diversity:
Restoring the Gray Wolf 
Mexican gray wolf

Arizona Republic, November 23, 2014

Endangered gray wolf confirmed to be at Grand Canyon
By Kaila White

DNA tests released Friday confirmed that an animal spotted at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon is the first federally protected gray wolf seen in the area in years, according to a release from the Center for Biological Diversity.

The female gray wolf, which has been seen and photographed at the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park and the Kaibab National Forest since early October, originates from the northern Rocky Mountains about 450 miles away and is currently protected as a member of an endangered species.

LAST MONTH: Animal seen at Grand Canyon could be endangered wolf

Tests were conducted on the animal's feces to confirm that it is a wolf. This is the first gray-wolf spotting in the area since the 1940s, said Michael Robinson with the Center for Biological Diversity.

"This wolf's epic journey through at least three western states fits with what scientific studies have shown, namely that wolves could once again roam widely and that the Grand Canyon is one of the best places left for them," Robinson said in the release.

Gray-wolf numbers in the U.S. dipped dangerously low in the early 1900s, when they were frequently hunted and killed. They have since been the focus of federal protection and management plans.

In Arizona, the Mexican gray wolf subspecies is being reintroduced through controversial recovery efforts. Gray wolves are protected in some states under the Endangered Species Act, but last year the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed removing them from the list, except for the Mexican gray wolf subspecies.

Earlier this month, the Center for Biological Diversity released an analysis identifying 359,000 square miles of additional wolf habitat that could boost wolf recovery in the northeast, west coast and southern Rocky Mountains, as well as the Grand Canyon.

"There's so much more room for wolves in the West if only we extend them a bit more tolerance," Robinson said. "The Grand Canyon wolf is a prime example of what wolves can do if only we let them."

Arizona Republic reporter Brenna Goth contributed to this article.


© 2014 azcentral.com.

This article originally appeared here.

Photo © Paul S. Hamilton