Mexican Wolf (Canis lupus baileyi)
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Mexican Wolf, Lobo Wolf
North American Subspecies Map. See also: world species map.
Mexican wolves are native to western Texas, southern New Mexico, southeastern Arizona and Mexico.
The Mexican Wolf is the smallest subspecies in North America. They are generally between 3.9 - 4.9 feet (1.2 - 1.5 meters) long, with a maximum height of 31 inches (80 centimeters), a size roughly equivalent to that of the German Shepherd Dog, with a similar weight of 60 - 82 lbs (27 - 37 kg). Its body structure is more similar to that of the European wolves rather than its North American neighbors, "though its head is usually broader, its neck thicker, its ears longer and its tail shorter.
The Mexican wolf is generally richly colored, with browns, creams, tans, and other similar colors mixed into their coat. Although found as a highlight colors, entirely gray, white, or black Mexican wolves are extremely rare. The underside is generally a cream color, with darker patterning along the face, ears, neck, back, and tail.
The Mexican Wolf is the most genetically distinct subspecies of Canis lupus.
Their social structure is not terribly different from the Common Gray Wolf; they form large packs with a dominant alpha pair, which is the only pair to breed. However, many Mexican Wolves are painfully aware of their near-extermination; as such, efforts to keep purity of bloodline and packs restrictive to non-Mexican wolf applicants may be found throughout their home range.
Mexican wolves prefer to live in mountain forests, grasslands and shrublands. They share their habitat with a wide variety of coyote subspecies, however, and there is often intense competition between the two cousin species for prey, territory, and so forth.
Mexican wolves mostly eat ungulates such as white-tailed deer, mule deer and elk. Javelinas (wild pigs), rabbits, ground squirrels, and mice also make up a portion of their diets.
In 1976, the Mexican Wolf was declared an endangered subspecies and has remained so ever since. An estimated 300 Mexican Wolves survived in 49 facilities at the United States and Mexico in 1988. These wolves escaped upon the destruction of humanity; it is assumed many Mexican wolves are actually hybrids, having interbred with dangerously low Red Wolves, coyotes, or other gray wolves. Even so, it has remained distinct.
Many Mexican wolves are Luperci; due to their close proximity to humanity, they were among the first North American canines to adapt to human lifestyles, moving into the cities and towns surrounding the enclosures they escaped. For the most part, Mexican wolves are Luperci; few feral populations and even fewer non-Luperci populations exist.