Facts about Mexican Wolfs. "Mexican Wolf or lobo has the scientific name Canis lupus bailey". The Mexican Wolf is extinct in Mexico and endangered in the United States. The Mexican Wolf was put on the Endangered Species List in 1976.
Appearance of Mexican Wolf
The Mexican Wolf has light brown fur on its back and a mostly gray and white body. The Mexican Wolf's fur can have gray, rust, black, and beige in it. They are the size of a domesticated German shepherd.
Physical Characteristics of Mexican Wolf
The Mexican Wolf has long, thin legs. It is smaller than gray wolves in the Rocky Mountains, between 50 and 85 pounds (22.6 to 38.5 kg).
Mexican Wolves or lobos like their larger cousins have excellent smell, sensitive vision, and good hearing. Mexican Wolves live in packs, but smaller groups than their northern cousins.
Mexican Wolves can live up to ten years of age in the wild.
Behavior of Mexican Wolf
The Mexican Wolf hunts prey like deer, elk, and wild pigs in packs. Mexican Wolves ate small animals like gophers and rabbits when larger prey was not available. Mexican Wolves readily scavenge dead animal carcasses. Their numbers declined when ranching expanded into their territory, and their scavenging of livestock carcasses led to attacks on live livestock, causing ranchers to start killing them. Their historical numbers were limited by the relative scarcity of prey in their range, and the limited availability of food explains the selection toward smaller animals that need less food to sustain them. Ranchers did not hunt them but instead relied on trapping and poisoned livestock carcasses to kill them.
Mexican Wolves live in much smaller packs than some of their northern relatives. The pack is usually made up of a breeding pair, their pups, and one or two yearlings. The growing pups are protected by the parents and any older siblings. The litter is born in April or May during springtime for the mountains.
The Mexican Wolves are very much like their more famous relatives in terms of behavior. They howl, growl, and mark their territory with urine.
Habitat and Range of Mexican Wolf
The Canis lupus bailey or Mexican Wolf is considered critically endangered. The Mexican Wolf once ranged through northern Mexico, New Mexico, west Texas, and Arizona’s forested mountains. Its numbers have dropped to a small number of animals around the Gila River in Arizona. Another three hundred Mexican Wolves exist in captivity in the United States, almost half of those living at the Endangered Wolf Center. The Mexican Wolf has not been sighted in Mexico since 1980.
Restoration efforts for the Mexican Wolf are focused on the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area. This part of the Gila National Forest is twice the size of Yellowstone National Park and part of their natural range. There are plans to introduce Mexican Wolves there. The nearby White Mountain Apache Tribe also welcomes the wolves onto their adjoining reservation. Ranchers in the surrounding area are paid compensation for livestock the wolves kill, so that they won’t kill the wolves to protect the livestock.
The first Mexican Wolves bred in captivity released back to the wild were put in the Blue Range Wolf Recovery area. In 2014, the wild population in the reserve hit 100.
Trivia about Mexican Wolf
It is actually the smallest subspecies of Gray Wolf in North America.
The Mexican Wolf is the most endangered North American land mammal.