Click on the words above that you are interested in learning more about
or scroll down for more information on Mexican wolves.

The mission of the Mexican Wolf Species Survival Plan (MWSSP) is to support the reestablishment of the Mexican wolf in the wild through captive breeding, public education and research. Click here to learn more about SSPs.

Between 1976 and 1980, the last five Mexican wolves (Canis lupus baileyi) in the wild were captured and relocated to facilities to begin a breeding program intended to produce a population that one day would be reintroduced to the wild. Since that time, the program has seen many up and downs, but today a wild population of Mexican wolves exists thanks to the work of the MWSSP and all of its partners and supporters. For more information about the release program and its history, click the "Recovery" link above.

The Mexican wolf is a subspecies of the gray wolf. Other subspecies include those reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park and other parts of the US. The Mexican wolf is the smallest and most endangered of all wolves. In fact, this subspecies is considered one of the most endangered mammals in the world. For information on the biology, ecology, and other aspects of this species, click on the "Biological Information" link above.


This is Hawkeye, a Mexican wolf with
lineage very close to the original five
found in the wild in the late 1970's-early 1980's". Last founders captured in 1982.


Che, a brother to Hawkeye (above, right),
displays his camouflage as he
blends in with vegetation from his
native habitat.

As with most threatened and endangered species, research is a crucial component of the recovery. Research is required to provide proper care for the animals in captivity, understand the reasons that lead to their decline in the wild, gain insight into how the animals function in the wild, and track their recovery as they are released. Many other subjects are also studied and have lead to many interesting discoveries. To catch up on the research activities of the MWSSP, visit the "Research" link above.

For explanation of the terminology used in this website, refer to the glossary by following the "Definitions" link above.

The Species Survival Plan is a cooperative project between the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA and other entities such as the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Arizona Fish and Game Department, New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, and many others. A critical component of this team is the list of facilities which houses the captive population of the Mexican wolves from which the releasable animals are produced. To view these facilities, click on the "Captive Facilities" link above.

This website was made possible by the support and contributions of many people and organizations, including Nick Derene of Heritage Park Zoological Sanctuary (website designer, web master, contributor) and Jacquelyn Fallon of Lake Superior Zoo (project coordinator, contributor).