Aerial operations for the annual Mexican gray wolf population survey have begun in Arizona and New Mexico.
The reintroduction project is a multi-agency cooperative effort between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Arizona Game and Fish Department, U.S. Forest Service, White Mountain Apache Tribe and others.
The aerial operation started Tuesday and is scheduled to run until Feb. 3, weather permitting.
Survey flights will occur on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation, the Apache and Gila national forests in eastern Arizona and western New Mexico and possibly on some areas outside the forests.
Biologists also will try to capture some of the wild-born wolves that haven't been fitted with a radio telemetry collar, those having a collar that needs a battery replacement or any wolf appearing to be sick or injured.