A female Mexican wolf named Asha has been tracked to the Sandoval County.
The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish announced Thursday the collared wolf has been positively identified and tracked near Jemez Springs. According to a release from the New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association, this is at least the second time Asha has made her way north of Interstate 40 and therefore outside the United States Fish and Wildlife Services designated territory for Mexican wolves in New Mexico.
Last winter, she entered the northern part of the state near Clines Corner and was captured near Taos weeks later. She was then released in Arizona. On Thursday, the announcement came that she had once again traveled north, where she was tracked to the Jemez Springs Area.
As more than half of Mexican wolves in New Mexico don’t have tracking collars, Asha’s movements have caused concern, said Loren Patterson, president of NMCGA. “We do not know if this wolf is alone or whether she is traveling in a pack,” she said. “We urge New Mexicans who are not accustomed to having the Mexican wolf in their backyard to exercise caution, especially for vulnerable children, pets and livestock in rural areas.”
The Mexican wolf is protected under state and federal law as an endangered species. Harming, harassing or killing them could result in a large fine or incarceration.