Mexican Gray Wolf

ANIMAL:
Mexican Gray Wolf Canis baileyi

Type of Animal:
Canine

Habitat:
Mountain woodlands, forests, desert, scrubland, grassland, shrubland, prairie, mountainous areas

Location(s):
Historically found in most of SW US down to N & C Mexico. Now found in Gila Headwaters of Arizona-New Mexico border & small parts of Chihuahua & Sonora in Sierra Madre Occidental.

Appearance:
Coat gray/dark gray on top, rusty-light brown-whitish on side, light face/legs, black-tipped bushy tail, long legs, sleek body, pointy ears, fairly small narrow skull, black nose

Food/Diet:
Bison, deer, elk, pronghorn, goats, sheep, rabbits, hares, foxes, coyotes, bear cubs, domestic llamas/alpacas, badgers, rodents, shrews, moles, birds, eggs, frogs, cattle, equines, pigs, carrion, berries, fruit, vegetables, dogs, cats, refuse, fish, bobcats, reptiles, peccaries, insects, vegetation

Status in Wild:
Critically Endangered

Conservation:
Breeding in zoos, breeding centers, & wildlife parks. Reintroductions of captive-bred animals into areas of former/current range. Was extinct in wild from late 1970s until 1998.

Lifestyle:
Packs consist of alpha pair w/ 1-3 sets of offspring, each w/ 3-8 pups (older offspring act as subordinates). Sometimes, 1-3 extra subordinates (siblings of alphas-males being brothers of alpha male, females sisters of alpha female). Packs formed from emigrating wolf or group meeting opposite-sex wolf (or wolves) & they establish territory.

Additional Info:

Called:
Male: Dog
Female: Bitch
Young: Pup
Group: Pack
 
Weight:
Male: 80-90 lbs
Female: 50-70 lbs
Young: 8 lbs

Gestation:
2 months 

Life Span:
10 years in wild, 12-15 years in captivity

Height:
Male: 2.7 ft
Female: 2.08 ft

Body Length:
Male: 5-5.5 ft
Female: 4.5 ft

Tail Length:
1.16-1.42 ft

Adults occasionally preyed on by golden eagles. Coyotes prey on pups.
 
Packs very territorial w/ fights between neighboring packs sometimes resulting in deaths.
 
Most common ways to mark territory are urine/scent marking & howling.
 
Sexually mature at 10 months old.
 
Increasing in wild but still critically endangered due to persecution as livestock/pet killer, hunting for sport/fur, habitat loss, disease, killing out of fear, human encroachment, & road collisions. Fortunately, they’re not prone to hybridizing w/ coyotes.
 
Sometimes called lobo (Spanish for wolf).
 
More of these wolves in captivity than in wild-believed to be approximately 240 in captivity (all in U.S., Canada, & Mexico) & 160 in the wild.
 
Juveniles leave pack at 2-3 years old though some stay around for long.
 
Breed from mid-February to mid-March.

Fun Fact(s):
Held in high regard in Pre-Columbian Mexico, where it was considered symbol of war & Sun. Also commonly sacrificed in religious rituals, w/ body quartered & heads kept as attire for priests/warriors.
 
In Teotihuacan, wolves often crossbred w/ dogs producing loyal guardians.

1 thought on “Mexican Gray Wolf

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