These endangered animals used to play an important role in New Mexico's ecosystem.
- Meet Albuquerque's wolf pack.
- Step up to the viewing window and peek through trees to find wolves.
- Get hands-on with biofacts during Wolf Awareness Days.
Photo courtesy of Tallon Melton.
Mexican gray wolves (Canis lupus baileyi), also known as lobos, inhabit ponderosa pine forests and pine/oak foothills. Social and intelligent, wolves live in packs consisting of a dominant male and female – the alpha pair – and their offspring. They communicate through body postures, facial expressions, scent-marking and howling.
Wolves rarely fight within their own packs. Instead, they cooperate, especially during a hunt. They eat small game, deer and elk.
Our Actions Matter
Although wolves are rarely aggressive towards people, many settlers in the late 1800s viewed wolves as a threat to human and livestock safety. A campaign to eliminate wolves using traps, guns and poisons wiped out wild Mexican gray wolves in New Mexico by the mid-1920s. The wolf was classified as endangered in 1976.
Conservation efforts are helping protect Mexican gray wolves:
- Captive breeding under the Wolf Recovery Plan aims to restore lobos to their native southwest territory.
- The ABQ BioPark is a holding facility for wolves and cooperates with State and Federal agencies in reintroduction efforts.
- You can sponsor a wolf by becoming a Zoo Parent.
Resources and Links
- BioPark Wolf Education Packet
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
- New Mexico Cattle Growers Association
- Defenders of Wildlife
View slideshow on Flickr.