Mexican Wolf

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The Mexican Wolf (Canis lupus baileyi) is a subspecies of the Gray Wolf. It is native to North America, where it is the rarest and most genetically distinct subspecies.

Physical features

The Mexican Wolf is the smallest Gray Wolf subspecies present in North America. Reaching an overall length no greater than and a maximum height of about , it is around the size of a German Shepherd. Weight ranges from . In stature, it resembles some European wolves, though its head is usually broader, its neck thicker, its ears longer and its tail shorter.


The Mexican Wolf was described by both naturalists Hernández and Fernandez.The Natural History of Dogs: Canidæ Or Genus Canis of Authors. Including Also the Genera Hyæna and Proteles by Charles Hamilton Smith, contributor William Home Lizars, Samuel Highley, W. Curry, Junr. & Co, Published by W.H. Lizars, ... S. Highley, ... London; and W. Curry, jun. and Co. Dublin., 1839

Former range and extirpation

Until recent times, the Mexican Wolf ranged the Sonoran and Chihuahuan 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...
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