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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Wildlife managers are planning to release two pairs of Mexican gray wolves in Arizona, but efforts are also underway to capture a wolf in New Mexico.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Arizona Game and Fish Department outlined their release plan Friday, saying the pairs will boost the population's genetic diversity.

After being captured in January, the two male wolves from the wild were paired with two captive females. The pairs are being watched for breeding behavior and will be released in the spring prior to giving birth.

Federal officials also plan to remove one of the predators from southwestern New Mexico. Officials say an uncollared wolf with the Fox Mountain pack has been involved in several livestock kills.

Environmentalists are criticizing the removal order.

Associated Press,

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