Also known as Lobo, the Mexican Wolf is a native to Southeast Arizona and Southern New Mexico is the smallest North American Grey Wolf. They are distinguished by small and narrow skull along with yellow-grey with black clouded hair on its tail.
These are endangered Grey Wolves in North America which has been hunted, trapped, poisoned during the mid-1900s.
Under the Endangered Species Act in 1976, when the Mexican wolf was listed both the United States and Mexico collaborated to and put extreme measures to prevent the extinction of these species.
Taxonomy of Mexican Wolf
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Mammalia
- Order: Carnivora
- Family: Canidae
- Genus: Canis
- Species: C. lupus
- Subspecies: C. l. Baileyi
- Trinomial name: Canis lupus baileyi
It is said that the Mexican Wolf ancestors are some of the first grey wolves that have crossed from Eurasia to North America via Bering Land Bridge.
The Mexican Wolf being the smallest subspecies of North American Gray Wolf has a length of around 135cms and a height of around 80cms. The weight of the wolves ranges from 30-45kgs. They have long legs with a sleek body which enables them to run fast, the fur helps them with camouflage with the desert conditions.
Like many other wolves, the Mexican Gray wolves travel in packs and have a great sense of smell. The Mexican wolves breeding period is between January to April depending on the latitudes, lower latitude wolves breed during January and the higher in the month of May.
Only the Alpha male breeds and a litter of 6-7 pups are born. The pups are taken care of by members of the wolf family as they are born blind. The gestation period of these wolves is about 63 days.
The pups stay with the pack until the age of 2 and then later they may go alone to form a new pack or stay back as helpers. Their approximate lifespan is 16 years which could be less in the wild. Their primary diet is white-tailed deer, mule deer, etc. however, they are also known to eat smaller mammals such as rabbits, ground squirrels, and mice.
The Mexican wolves have endangered species and the US and Mexican Government are trying their best to reintroduce the wolves to the wild regions of Apache and Gila National Forests of Arizona and New Mexico.
However, they are not yet successful as the wolves are bred in captive and it is difficult for them to get adjusted to wild. They prefer habitats of mountain forests, scrublands, and grasslands.
How Many Mexican Wolves are Left in the World?
According to 49 research centers in the U.S. and Mexico, there are less than 340 Mexican Wolves are left in the world reason it is said that because of the decrease in the number of elk and deer which was the primary food for these wolves.
As per the latest census, there are around 140+ of these wolves in the Wild and around 240 in captive.