Mexican Gray Wolf
Canis Lupus Baileyi
It was exterminated from the Southwest in the mid 1900's. Historically they were found throughout western Texas, southern New Mexico, central Arizona and northern Mexico. Re-introduction plans have been developed to help their survival in the future.
chaparral desert scrub, grassland valleys, and wooded areas
Length; 5 _ ft; Weight, 68-80 lbs
carnivore: small and large mammals
About 10 years
10 plus years
one of the most endangered canids of the world
Humans, other wolves, parasites, diseases, starvation
Coat colors include buff, grey, rust and black. It has a large head with a thick muzzle. They have a keen sense of smell and binocular vision.
They live in packs of 3-8 with a strong social hierarchy. The pack is ruled by an alpha male and female, who are mainly responsible for maintaining territorial boundaries, keeping the peace among pack members, and initiating the movements of the pack. The alpha pair may be the only pair to breed in a pack. The other wolves in the pack are also arranged in a hierarchy.
They usually travel in packs and establish territories ranging from 30 to more than 500 square miles. They define their ranges by scent markings. The alpha pair bond will mate for life.
Vocalizations include barks, howls, growls, whines and whimpers; each wolf has its own howl
They hunt in packs as a defensive model.
deer, elk, pronghorn, rabbits, rodents, javelina and occasionally livestock
They are well adapted for running long distances. Wolves can travel hundreds of miles in a few days.
In populated areas they are nocturnal, but otherwise diurnal
In the early 1900's over hunting of elk and forced many wolves to pray on livestock. This led to huge efforts to eradicate wolves. They were shot, trapped, and poisoned by private individuals and government agencies, (Wildlife Services, formally Animal Damage Control). By the mid 1900's Mexican wolves had been eliminated from the United States. In 1976, the Mexican Gray Wolf was declared an endangered species, and has remained so ever since. Less than 200 Mexican Gray Wolves now survive in zoos and museums due to successful captive breeding programs. Captive breeding programs have been a joint effort between the United States and Mexico and plans for re-introduction are in place to help the wild populations.