Mogollon Mountain Wolf
Facts about Mogollon Mountain Wolfs. "Scientific name for Mogollon Mountain Wolf is Canis lupus mogollonensis". Mogollon Mountain Wolf is also called the Southwestern Wolf or Mongollon wolf. The Mogollon Mountain Wolf is a subspecies of North American Grey Wolf, Canis Lupus. The Mongollon Mountain Wolf is considered by some biologists to be a subspecies of Mexican Wolf or part of the Texas Wolf taxonomy. The Mogollon Mountain Wolf is also extinct, wiped out by 1942. Some reports suggest the Mogollon Mountain Wolf was actually extinct in the 1930s.
Appearance of Mogollon Mountain Wolf
The Mogollon Mountain Grey Wolf was larger than the Mexican Grey Wolf but smaller than today’s Texas Grey Wolf. To most ranchers and farmers, the Mogollon Mountain Wolf was simply a wolf and thus a threat.
This Mogollon Mountain Wolf had light grey fur, with some mix and dark red coloring on it.
There are some who consider the Mongollon Mountain Wolf to have an intermediate population of the Mexican Wolf and Southern Rocky Mountain Wolf, which would explain why its coloring and size were a mix of the two populations. In 1982, the US Fish and Wildlife Service then said it was a subspecies intergradation, a fancy term for hybrid of two subspecies. Ironically, this determination was made shortly after the book “The Encyclopedia of Vanished Species” came out in 1981.
Physical Characteristics of Mogollon Mountain Wolf
The Mogollan Mountain Wolf was darker than its closest kin, the Mexican Grey Wolf. It was identified as its own subspecies by Edward Goldman, who also identified the Southern Rocky Mountain subspecies of the grey wolf.
Behavior of Mogollon Mountain Wolf
The Mogollon Mountain Wolf behaved like most other grey wolves, living in packs consisting of one dominant breeding pair, their current litter of pups born each spring, the siblings of the dominant breeding pair, and the older offspring of the breeding pair if they’d been together more than one year.
The Mogollon Mountain Wolves were used to hunting larger prey like deer, elk, and javelina and readily preyed on sheep and cattle. This led to their extinction by government programs to curtail their numbers, protecting livestock. However, the natural shyness of the Mogollon Mountain Wolves meant they rarely if ever actually attacked people.
Habitat and Range Mogollon Mountain Wolf
The Mogollon Mountain Wolf had a range north of the Mexican Grey Wolf, though part of their range overlapped at the northern end of the Mexican Grey Wolf. The Mogollon Mountain Wolf lived primarily in Arizona, New Mexico, and in the Mongollon Mountains of New Mexico. Today, it is extinct.
The Mexican Grey Wolf, its closest relatives if you do not count the Northern Rocky Mountain Wolf, is the most highly endangered species of mammal in North America. The Mexican Wolf consists of 300 or so captivity bred individuals and a hundred in the wild as of 2014. There are plans to eventually introduce the Mexican Grey Wolf, a relative of the Mongollon Mountain Wolf, to the Mongollon's original range.
Trivia about Mogollon Mountain Wolf
The Canis lupus mongolonensis species was named for the Mogollon Indians of Arizona and New Mexico. The Mogollon Indians lived in the Mogollon Mountains (so named after the Spanish governor of New Mexico in the early 1700s), but that tribal group disappeared by the 1300s. In this case, we have an extinct wolf species named for an extinct Native American tribe named for a Spanish governor of the area.