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ALPINE — For the Mexican wolf Interagency Field Team, midwinter is a busy time. Late January through early February is when the team works to get an accurate count of the number of Mexican gray wolves in eastern Arizona and western New Mexico.While biologists on the team began the work of counting on the ground in November and December, the highlight of annual survey comes when the team uses helicopters and fixed wing aircraft to count the animals, and capture some for collaring.The aerial count was scheduled to begin January 21 and run through February 2, but has was delayed due to the partial government shutdown. Once the government re-opened, the count was started on February 7 and will end on February 23, barring another shutdown.On Tuesday in Alpine, two female wolves were darted by the helicopter crew on two separate flights. The wolves were flown to Alpine to receive a veterinary exam and to be fitted with collars. The wolves are darted with a sedative, Telozol, that allows them to be safely handled and examined.

Source: When wolves fly: Annual Mexican wolf count underway | Apache County |