Mexican Gray Wolf

The Mexican Gray Wolf (Canis lupus baileyi), is the rarest, most genetically distinct subspecies of the Gray Wolf in North America. Until recent times, the Mexican Gray Wolf ranged the Sonora and Chihuahua Deserts from central Mexico to western Texas, southern New Mexico, and central Arizona. By the turn of the 20th century, reduction of natural prey like deer and elk caused many wolves to begin attacking domestic livestock, which led to intensive efforts by government agencies and individuals to eradicate the Mexican Wolf.

Hunters also hunted down the wolf because it killed deer. Trappers and private trappers have also helped in the eradication of the Mexican Wolf. These efforts were very successful, and by the 1950s, the Mexican Gray Wolf had been eliminated from the wild. In 1976, the Mexican Gray Wolf was declared an endangered subspecies and has remained so ever since. Today, an estimated 200 Mexican Wolves survive in the wild.

The Mexican Gray Wolf is the smallest gray wolf subspecies present in North America, reaching an overall length no greater than 53 inches and a maximum height of about 31 inches. Weight ranges from 60 to 100 pounds.

The Mexican Gray wolf’s main prey in the wild is White-Tailed deer, however, it may also eat elk, livestock, pronghorn, rabbits, and other small mammals.

The Mexican Gray wolf lives in a small pack usually composed of 5 or 6 individuals. The pack consists of a breeding alpha pair and their offspring from the current year. Adults usually mate for life. The packs rarely encounter each other because of boundaries formed through howling and scent marking.