Facts about Southern Rocky Mountain Wolfs. "Scientific name for Southern Rocky Mountain Wolf is Canis Lupus Youngi". The Southern Rocky Mountain Wolf was identified as a subspecies in 1937 by Edward A Goldman. The Southern Rocky Mountain Wolf was given the species name Canis Lupus Youngi for Stanley P. Young, whose job was wolf extermination at the time. He was successful in his efforts, because the Rocky Mountains were mostly wolf-free by World War 2 and the Southern Rocky Mountain wolf subspecies was extinct.
Appearance of Southern Rocky Mountain Wolf
The Southern Rocky Mountain Wolves were light to dark grey, larger than their southern relatives but not as large as the Arctic Wolves of today.
These grey wolves have light gray fur with some color in it, such as beige, cream, rust, and black. Entirely black Southern Rocky Mountain Wolves were rare. Physically, the Southern Rocky Mountain Wolves resemble the Great Plains Wolf in size, shape, skull shape, and so forth. However, the Southern Rocky Mountain Wolf had more black and brown hair on its back.
Physical Characteristics of Southern Rocky Mountain Wolf
The Southern Rocky Mountain Wolf was between four and six feet in length. (Females were four to five feet (1.21 meters) in length, while males were five to six feet (1.21 to 1.82 meters) long.) The Southern Rocky Mountain Wolves weigh around ninety pounds grown, though large specimens hit 120 pounds (54.4 kg). Their northern subspecies could reach 140 pounds (63.5 kg). This subspecies had a build similar to the Cascade Mountain Wolf, but Canis lupus fuscus breed had a reddish brown coat with black fur along the spine.
Behavior of Southern Rocky Mountain Wolf
The Southern Rocky Mountain Wolves fed primarily on bison, but they also consumed elk, deer, pronghorns, javelina, and other large prey. The Southern Rocky Mountain Wolves rarely ate smaller prey like rabbits but shifted to more small animals after the buffalo were decimated. The Southern Rocky Mountain Wolves also started to hunt cattle for food, which led to government programs to eradicate them. These government supported programs to wipe out the wolf occurred throughout the early 1900s.
As the Mexican Wolf and Mongollon Wolf were wiped out, the Southern Rocky Mountain Wolf’s range initially expanded southward. It also spread west into California along the Sierra Madre and Rocky Mountains.
This expansion stopped when they were wiped out due to deliberate hunting and poisoning. The historical “Southern Rocky Mountain Wolf” disappeared by 1940. Rare specimens seen in the southern Rocky Mountains today are Northern Rocky Mountain Wolves wandering south because there is no competition in the area.
Trivia about Southern Rocky Mountain Wolf
There is no separate Southern Rocky Mountain Wolf today. The Northern Rocky Mountain Wolf has been on and off the Endangered Species Act’s protected species list. There are proposals to introduce the Northern Rocky Mountain subspecies into the Southern Wolf’s former range to balance the ecosystem.
The Mexican Grey Wolf, a related subspecies, is critically endangered and exists to the south of the Southern Rocky Mountain Wolf’s historical range.
The species Canis Lupus Youngi was officially extinct in 1935, around the same time it was identified.