October 23, 2013 – 8:50 am EDT

ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico — Wildlife managers have resumed efforts to capture and remove from the wild three Mexican gray wolves in Arizona and New Mexico.

Fish and Wildlife Service officials initially authorized the captures in August and September, saying several livestock kills were linked to the Fox Mountain pack in New Mexico and the Paradise pack in Arizona.

Efforts to capture one of the Fox Mountain wolves and the alpha male and female of the Paradise pack had been put on hold during the government shutdown.

With work resuming, environmentalists argue that removing the wolves will undermine efforts to grow the population. The federal government has been working for 15 years to reintroduce wolves to the Southwest.

Wildlife officials are also investigating the death of a wolf found in New Mexico in September.