2018 The David Teeuwen Student Journalism Award, Small Newsroom winner

Leaving Tracks: The Capture of Wolf No. 1553

About the Project

The Mexican gray wolf once was prevalent in parts of the Southwest, but intensive trapping and hunting had nearly wiped out the wolves by the 1970s. They are the smallest, rarest and genetically most distinct subspecies of gray wolves in North America, officials said.

A program to reintroduce the wolves into the wild began 20 years ago, and the population has been growing slowly. As part of the effort, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service conducts an annual survey to monitor endangered Mexican gray wolves living in the wilds of eastern Arizona and western New Mexico. The service tries to get an accurate count of the wolves, which have been listed as endangered since 1976.

Cronkite News reporters went along for this year’s search, and they produced an immersive multimedia experience to bring viewers along as well. A more traditional approach to storytelling offers the big picture story of the gray wolf, and a rich multimedia presentation gives viewers a first-hand look at the Fish and Wildlife veterinarian experience.