Canis lupus baileyi
Mexican wolves are the smallest subspecies of North American gray wolves. They are also the most endangered. Commonly referred to as El lobo, the Mexican wolf is gray with light brown fur on its back. Its long legs and sleek body enable it to run fast.
Height 26-32 inches at the shoulder
Length 4.5-5.5 feet from nose to tip of tail
Weight 60-80 lbs; Males are typically heavier and taller than the females
Up to 15 years in captivity
Once extirpated from the southwestern United States, 34 wolves returned to southeastern Arizona following a reintroduction program begun in March, 1998. There are only about 200 Mexican wolves in captivity. The goal of the reintroduction program is to restore at least 100 wolves to the wild by 2008.
Mexican wolves once ranged from central Mexico to southwestern Texas, southern New Mexico and southeastern Arizona. Today, the Mexican wolf has been reintroduced to the Apache National Forest in southeastern Arizona and may move into the adjacent Gila National Forest in western New Mexico as the population expands.
Mexican wolves prefer to live in mountain forests, grasslands and shrublands, and are very social animals. They live in packs, which are complex social structures that include the breeding adult pair (the alpha male and female) and their offspring. A hierarchy of dominant and subordinate animals within the pack help it to work as a unit.
Mating Season Mid February-mid March
Gestation 63 days
Litter size 4-7 pups
Pups are born blind and defenseless. The pack cares for the pups until they mature at about 10 months of age.