The Mexican gray wolf once roamed southeastern Arizona, southern New Mexico, southwestern Texas and central Mexico.
Ongoing unpublished genetics work suggests their range might have included Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, West Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas, according to the Arizona Game and Fish Department.
From 1880 to 1920, numbers of their large-mammal prey plummeted because of unregulated hunting, while livestock numbers dramatically increased because of the lack of regulations.
Private, state and federal efforts led to the extermination of the Mexican wolf from this country.
The federal government listed the wolf as endangered in 1976. The Mexican subspecies of the gray wolf that once roamed the Southwest is more rare than those in the northern Rockies and the Midwest.
The Mexican wolf is smaller than other gray wolves, about the size of a German shepherd. It doesn’t have solid black or white variations like other gray wolves, either. Scientists believe the alpha pair is monogamous and usually is the only breeding pair in a pack. A pair produces four to six pups. A pack might contain four to eight animals and roam a territory that is several hundred square miles in size.