The Mexican gray wolf is a subspecies of the gray wolf, and is the most endangered type of wolf in the world. Commonly referred to as “El lobo,” its coat is a combination of brown, gray, rust, and tan. Its tail, legs, and ears are often highlighted with black.

mexican wolf

Diet

Mexican wolves mostly eat ungulates (large hoofed mammals) like elk, white-tailed deer, and mule deer. They are also known to eat smaller mammals like javelinas, rabbits, ground squirrels and mice.

Population

After being wiped out in the United States and with only a few animals remaining in Mexico, Mexican wolves were bred in captivity and reintroduced to the wild in Arizona beginning in 1998. There are only about 300 Mexican wolves in captivity. The goal of the reintroduction program was to restore at least 100 wolves to the wild by 2006; unfortunately, at the end of 2010 there were only approximately 50.

Range

Mexican wolves once ranged widely from central Mexico throughout the southwestern US. 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.

Behavior

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.

Reproduction

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.

© Jim Clark / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

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[Note: photos taken at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum]

5 thoughts on “El lobo

  1. Really nice post and excellent Christmas gift! Always on fact, and fine images as well. In Minnesota we only have the larger grey wolves. They put a bounty on them for the first time in many years since removing them from the endangered list. There is a world reknowned wolf research center, as well as several famous photographers who make Ely, MN their home. A good friend of mine lives there and if you should ever decide to visit, I would be inclined as well.

    I do miss the posts debating God or the gods or just the meaning.

    Best wishes for a healthful and happy new year!

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    • Thanks, Beth. I appreciate the Minnesota offer and will certainly keep that in mind. I hadn’t seen any recent posts from you and was beginning to wonder if I had missed some. But maybe the cold in your area keeps you indoors until Spring. 😦

      PS – you do have seasons other than Winter up there, right?

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      • Yes Virginia!

        We do have other seasons…

        I have had a writer’s block ever since I invited the Dakota to my humble shack early last November. Every time I try to write about it, it feels like I have to write a paper again.

        It was a big event for me, the most religious since I was a child and went to my grandfather’s church. The town I live by was one of the most cruel to the Dakota.

        This was the 150th year of their forced March from Redwood Falls, MN to Fort Snelling, MN.

        I offered apples, sunflower seeds mixed with raisins and beef jerky to take on their way

        It is going to be included in a documentary that Twin Cities Public Television is putting on in the future.

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        • Well I have been all srtuffed here lately. I finally wrote a post through not a great one. Thanks for helping and the invitation to Ely stands any time. Even if I am not able to make it, I have friends who would!

          Like

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