Mexican gray wolves F1226 (Bella) and M1133 (Rhett) were recently caught on camera sharing a kiss. 'Tis the season after all -- it's the season of romance. Wolves are mono-estrus breeding once a year during the winter months. If all goes well, the pair will make a valuable contribution to the recovery of their rare species by having pups this spring!
Genetic diversity is the primary consideration in the selection of Mexican wolf breeding pairs. The Species Survival Plan (SSP) management group for the Mexican gray wolf determines which wolves should be bred each year by using software developed for the population management of endangered species. This is necessary because all Mexican wolves descended from just 7 founders rescued from extinction.
We won’t know the outcome of their union until “pup season” in April or May. But in the meantime, tune in to their LIVE webcam and let us know if you see anything interesting!
Tune in to the live Webcam!
The Mexican gray wolf (Canis lupus baileyi) or “lobo” is the most genetically distinct lineage of wolves in the Western Hemisphere, and one of the most endangered mammals in North America. By the mid-1980s, hunting, trapping, and poisoning caused the extinction of lobos in the wild, with only a handful remaining in captivity. In 1998 the wolves were reintroduced into the wild as part of a federal reintroduction program under the Endangered Species Act. Today in the U.S., there is a single wild population comprising only 109 individuals.
Learn more about the Mexican gray wolf.