The Grand Canyon Region

Scientist tell us that the Grand Canyon region in northern Arizona, a small portion of western New Mexico, and southern Utah is ideal for the Mexican gray wolf because:

  • The region has millions of acres of public land.
  • Grand Canyon National Park, where animals are protected, is part of the region.
  • There is an abundance of elk and deer as a food source for wolves.
  • The region is connected to where wolves now live in the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Areas. If allowed, wolves will disperse naturally to the Grand Canyon region.
  • There are few roads.

Wildlife biologists recommend that wolves be directly releases into the region. This can help restore the balance of nature and help the Mexican gray wolf recover from near extinction.

2013 Southwest map from Places for Wolves

Potential suitable wolf habitat exists in several additional connected recovery areas of the Southwest and Mexico, including the Grand Canyon region (see the Southwest fact sheet).  Please take a look at the Places for Wolves document by Defenders of Wildlife for more information.  Map and Places for Wolves document and fact sheet courtesy of Defenders of Wildlife.


The 36 million-acre Grand Canyon Ecoregion (GCE) is bounded on the west by the Grand Wash drainage, on the east by the Little Colorado River watershed, and extends from the Mogollon Rim in central Arizona north to southern Utah’s High Plateaus. Scientists have conducted feasibility studies determining where within the GCE the best suitable habitat for wolves exists.

Scientific support for wolves in the Grand Canyon region:

Non Essential Map 2015Map of the 2015 Mexican Wolf Experimental Population Area by USFWS. Currently, Mexican wolves are only allowed to live in the wild in the Wolf Management Zones 1 & 2 in Arizona and New Mexico and the Fort Apache Indian Reservation lands of the White Mountain Apache Tribe in Arizona (area not shown on map). A reintroduction project (also known as "10j") rule prohibits the wolves from establishing territories anywhere north of Interstate 40.  Despite the excellent habitat that is available and growing public support for wolf recovery, Mexican wolves will not be allowed to disperse to the Grand Canyon region and stay until this boundary rule is changed.

 Why are wolves currently being excluded from the Grand Canyon region?