Canis lupus baileyi - Nelson and Goldman, 1929
Mexican Wolf
Synonym(s): Canis lupus mogollonensis
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Canis lupus baileyi Nelson and Goldman, 1929 (TSN 726813) ;Canis lupus mogollonensis Goldman, 1937 (TSN 726834)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.104666
Element Code: AMAJA01032
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Mammals - Carnivores
Image 11497

© Larry Master

 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Mammalia Carnivora Canidae Canis
Genus Size: C - Small genus (6-20 species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Hall, E. R. 1981a. The Mammals of North America, second edition. Vols. I & II. John Wiley & Sons, New York, New York. 1181 pp.
Concept Reference Code: B81HAL01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Canis lupus baileyi
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G4G5T1
Global Status Last Reviewed: 29Apr2013
Global Status Last Changed: 09Jun2000
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by calculator
Rounded Global Status: T1 - Critically Imperiled
Reasons: Historically widespread in the southwestern United States and adjacent Mexico; extirpated from all or nearly all of historical range, mainly as a result of trapping and poisoning, plus some habitat loss from human encroachment; reintroduced into a recovery area in Arizona and adjacent New Mexico; as of early 2013, the wild population was increasing and included at least 75 individuals, all but one of which were born in the wild.
Nation: United States
National Status: N1 (29Apr2013)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
United States Arizona (SX, S1), Navajo Nation (SX), New Mexico (S1), Texas (SX)

Other Statuses

U.S. Endangered Species Act (USESA): LE, XN: Listed endangered, nonessential experimental population (16Jan2015)
Comments on USESA: Listed endangered, except where included in an experimental population. A nonessential experimental population is established in portions of Arizona, New Mexico and Texas (Federal Register, 12 January 1998).
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species Protection Status (CITES): Appendix II

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 5000-20,000 square km (about 2000-8000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: Range formerly extended from southern Arizona, southern New Mexico, and western Texas south through much of northern and central Mexico. As of the mid-1990s, none occurred in the U.S. and very few or none remained in Mexico (most likely in eastern Sonora, western Chihuahua, and Zacatecas) (Johnson 1991; USFWS, Federal Register, 1 May 1996). In 1998, reintroductions began within an area (Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area) encompassing a portion of eastern Arizona and western New Mexico. This area is part of a larger "Nonessential Experimental Area" extending across much of Arizona and New Mexico and a small portion of far western Texas. Currently, free-ranging wolves exist in both Arizona and New Mexico (USFWS 2013).

See Hoffmeister (1986) for information on runways or hunting beats that historically were used in southern Arizona.

Area of Occupancy: 501-12,500 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments:  

Number of Occurrences: 1 - 5
Number of Occurrences Comments: This subspecies is represented by only one extant occurrence in Arizona-New Mexico (USFWS 2013). It is unlikely that a viable population exists in Mexico.

Population Size: 50 - 250 individuals
Population Size Comments: At least 75 Mexican wolves existed in the wild in Arizona and New Mexico at the end of 2012 (compared to the 2011 minimum population count of 58 wolves) (USFWS 2013). All but one of the 75 wolves were born in the wild (versus captive born). The 2012 minimum population count included at least 20 wild-born pups that survived through the end of the year (USFWS 2013). The number of wolves in Mexico is unknown but likely quite small.

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: None to very few (0-3)

Overall Threat Impact: Low
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Historically this subspecies was widespread, then it was exterminated from essentially all of the range through trapping, poisoning, shooting, and reduction of prey resources. Habitat within the historical range has greatly decreased as a result of human encroachment. In the reintroduced population in Arizona-New Mexico, up to several individuals die each year as a result of illegal shooting, and 0-2 are killed each year by collisions with vehicles (USFWS 2013).

Short-term Trend: Relatively Stable to increase of <25%
Short-term Trend Comments: Reintroduced population in Arizona-New Mexico has been increasing in recent years (USFWS 2013).

Long-term Trend: Decline of >90%
Long-term Trend Comments: Distribution and abundance have decreased greatly over the long term.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Inventory Needs: Research habitat requirements and determine potential reintroduction sites. Determine current status (in the early 1990s, a survey of status of wild populations in Mexico was initiated; USFWS, Wolf Haven International, and Mexican organizations were involved).

Protection Needs: USFWS Recovery Program covers most needs. Protect large areas with potential habitat. Promote reintroduction effort. The goal of the Mexican wolf recovery plan is to establish a viable, self-sustaining population of at least 100 individuals in the middle to high elevations of a 5000-square-mile area somewhere within the historic range (Johnson 1991).

Distribution
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Global Range: (5000-20,000 square km (about 2000-8000 square miles)) Range formerly extended from southern Arizona, southern New Mexico, and western Texas south through much of northern and central Mexico. As of the mid-1990s, none occurred in the U.S. and very few or none remained in Mexico (most likely in eastern Sonora, western Chihuahua, and Zacatecas) (Johnson 1991; USFWS, Federal Register, 1 May 1996). In 1998, reintroductions began within an area (Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area) encompassing a portion of eastern Arizona and western New Mexico. This area is part of a larger "Nonessential Experimental Area" extending across much of Arizona and New Mexico and a small portion of far western Texas. Currently, free-ranging wolves exist in both Arizona and New Mexico (USFWS 2013).

See Hoffmeister (1986) for information on runways or hunting beats that historically were used in southern Arizona.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AZextirpated, NM, NNextirpated, TXextirpated

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
NM Catron (35003)*, Hidalgo (35023)*, Socorro (35053)*
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
13 Rio Grande-Albuquerque (13020203)+*, Elephant Butte Reservoir (13020211)+*, Mimbres (13030200)+*, Playas Lake (13030201)+*
15 Upper Gila (15040001)+*, Animas Valley (15040003)+*, San Simon (15040006)+*, Cloverdale (15080303)+*
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A large canid (wolf).
Reproduction Comments: Gestation lasts about 2 months. Young are born in March and early April (Hoffmeister 1986). Litter size may average around 6-7; one litter/year. Only the dominate male/female mate and rear offspring. Young are tended by both parents. Young and parents leave den when young are about 3 months old. Pups are weaned probably in about 5-7 weeks. Some offspring remain with pack, others disperse as they mature. Breeding first occurs during the second or third year (Hoffmeister 1986).
Ecology Comments: These wolves probably are similar to other subspecies as follows: packs consist of one or more family groups with dominance hierarchy; population density low; generally not instrumental in causing prey declines, the effect varying with other circumstances.
Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Mobility and Migration Comments: These wolves probably are similar to other subspecies as follows: annual home range up to several hundred square kilometers; may occasionally move several hundred kilometers, especially dispersing young. Historical information indicates that a hunting runway of 70 miles would be traversed about every nine days (see Young and Goldman 1944, Hoffmeister 1986).
Palustrine Habitat(s): Riparian
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Desert, Grassland/herbaceous, Old field, Shrubland/chaparral, Woodland - Conifer, Woodland - Hardwood, Woodland - Mixed
Special Habitat Factors: Burrowing in or using soil
Habitat Comments: These wolves are not limited to any particular habitat type, but viable populations occur only where human population density and persecution level are low and prey densities are high. Young are born in a den that may be on a bluff or slope among rocks or in an enlarged badger hole (Hoffmeister 1986).
Adult Food Habits: Carnivore
Immature Food Habits: Carnivore
Food Comments: Ungulates are the predominant prey. When ungulate populations are low or seasonally unavailable, wolves may eat alternative prey such as lagomorphs, rodents, and carrion. Reintroduced wolves in Arizona and New Mexico subsist primarily on elk and sometimes take livestock, deer, rodents, or lagomorphs (Merkle et al. 2009). Runways or hunting beats follow stream beds, washes, old game trails, and old roads and mostly occur in open country (Young and Goldman 1944).
Adult Phenology: Crepuscular, Nocturnal
Immature Phenology: Crepuscular, Nocturnal
Phenology Comments: Mainly nocturnal
Length: 205 centimeters
Weight: 59000 grams
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Stewardship Overview: Ongoing major management includes propagation in captivity, releases of captive-bred wolves to improve the genetic makeup of the wild population, habitat management to increase the capacity of the area to support more wolves, actions to decrease wolf-livestock interactions, and compensation to livestock producers to offset the costs of wolf depredations (USFWS 2013).

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southwest Region has initiated the revision of the 1982 Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan. In December 2010, the Southwest Regional Director appointed a new recovery team to develop a revised recovery plan for the Mexican wolf. The Mexican Wolf Recovery Team includes a Tribal Liaisons Subgroup, Stakeholder Liaisons Subgroup, Agency Liaisons Subgroup, and a Science and Planning Subgroup. When completed and approved by the Southwest Regional Director, the Revised Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan will include objective and measurable recovery criteria for removing the Mexican wolf from the List of Threatened and Endangered Wildlife and Plants, management actions that will achieve the criteria, and time and cost estimates for these actions. USFWS will begin exploring options for implementation of the Revised Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan's recovery actions in 2013 and beyond. Source: USFWS (2013).

The Blue Range Mexican Wolf reintroduction project is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in collaboration with the following cooperating agencies: Arizona Game and Fish Department, USDA Forest Service, USDA-APHIS Wildlife Services, and the White Mountain Apache Tribe. These agencies, along with the Arizona counties of Graham, Greenlee, and Navajo, work together under a formal memorandum of understanding that provides a framework for collaboration (USFWS 2013).

Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
Help
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 29Apr2013
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Hammerson, G.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 29Apr2013
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
Help
  • Brown, D. E. 1983. The wolf in the Southwest: the making of an endangered species. University of Arizona Press. Tucson.

  • Cohn, J. P. 1990. Endangered wolf population increases. BioScience 40(9):628-632.

  • Hall, E. R. 1981a. The Mammals of North America, second edition. Vols. I & II. John Wiley & Sons, New York, New York. 1181 pp.

  • Hoffmeister, D. F. 1986. Mammals of Arizona. University of Arizona Press and Arizona Game and Fish Department. 602 pp.

  • Johnson, A. S. 1991. Will lobo come home? Defenders 66(1):10-17.

  • Matthews, J.R. and C.J. Moseley (eds.). 1990. The Official World Wildlife Fund Guide to Endangered Species of North America. Volume 1. Plants, Mammals. xxiii + pp 1-560 + 33 pp. appendix + 6 pp. glossary + 16 pp. index. Volume 2. Birds, Reptiles, Amphibians, Fishes, Mussels, Crustaceans, Snails, Insects, and Arachnids. xiii + pp. 561-1180. Beacham Publications, Inc., Washington, D.C.

  • Mech, L. D. 1970. The wolf. The Natural History Press. Garden City, NY. 384pp.

  • Mech, L. D. 1974. CANIS LUPUS. American Society of Mammalogists, Mammalian Species No. 37. 6 pp.

  • Merkle, J. A., P. R. Krausman, D. W. Stark, J. K. Oakleaf, and W. B. Ballard. 2009. Summer diet of the Mexican gray wolf (Canis lupus baileyi). Southwestern Naturalist 54:480-485.

  • Mexican Wolf Recovery Program. 2000. Project update, July 16, 1999 - February 20, 2000. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Albuquerque, New Mexico; Arizon Game and Fish Department, Pinetop, Arizona. 5 pp.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 1990. Endangered and threatened species recovery program: report to Congress. 406 pp.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 1997. Mexican wolf recovery program status report (April 1996 - April 1997). Albuquerque, New Mexico.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 2013. The Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery Program website.

  • Young, S. P., and E. A. Goldman. 1944. The Wolves of North America. American Wildlife Inst., Washington, D.C.

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