Mexican Gray Wolf

By Rylie Glenn

The Mexican gray wolf is a subspecies of the common gray wolf that lives up North. The Mexican gray wolf the most endangered species of wolf in North America. Today, no Mexican wolves live in the wild due to their main food source, deer, number declining which made the wolves attack livestock. Farmers and hunters set out to kill the wolves so they would stop hunting their livestocks and deer population. There are breeding programs going on to help repopulate the Mexican gray wolf species. Today only around 340 of these wolves live in captivity.

Mexican Gray Wolf by Jim Clark -
Mexican Gray Wolf by Jim Clark -
Physical Geography/Features
The Mexican gray wolf lives in the south western desert of North America, which is hot and dry. In the desert there are few trees such as oak trees and there are small plants close to the ground including grasses and shrubs. Also hot deserts have very little rainfall and hot weather conditions. The animals that live in the desert have to be able to withstand hot weather and little water. Some of the animals that live here are nocturnal which means they are active at night to stay cool. While other animals burrow in the ground to keep cool. The plants that live in the hot deserts are adapted to live without water for long periods of time and to live without very much of it. Also some plants have protection so that they don't get eaten by animals seeking liquid, such as the cactus who has sharp points. The desert in southern U.S.A is right next to the Pacific ocean. The ocean currents warm up the air because of the warm water around the equator. The elevation of the land is at sea level making the temperature warm. The latitude of the desert is close to the equator making it warm and getting a lot of sun light.

Biome Map -
Biome Map -
Mexican gray wolf habitat -
Mexican gray wolf habitat -
Tuscon, AZ Climatograph

Adaptations of organisms
Mexican Gray Wolf's Teeth -
Mexican Gray Wolf's Teeth -
The Mexican gray wolf has many adaptations such as sharp canine teeth for puncturing and slashing the skin and ripping off the meat of their pray. Their molars are designed to crush hard bone.This adaptation is structural because you can see the big teeth. Also the gray wolf has a large stomach which is adapted to store food enabling the wolves to fast without food for up to two weeks, this adaptation is physiological because you can't see it. The Mexican wolves also have a mixed coat colour including grey, black, brown, white and red, this helps them blend into their surroundings which makes it easier to sneak up on their prey. This adaptation is a structural because you can see the coat colour and how it blends into the habitat.
Mule Deer Running -
Mule Deer Running -
The Mule Deer, one of the Mexican gray wolves' main prey. The mule deer has very strong legs which are made for leap up to 8 yards at a time. Leaping like this can make the deer go as fast as 45 m.p.h. for short periods of time which can help them escape their predators. This adaptation is structural.
Oak Tree in Desert -
Oak Tree in Desert -

The oak tree has the physiological adaptation of withstanding almost no water. This is why the tree can survive in the desert because it needs almost no water through the hot weather. The roots in the oak tree soak up the water slowly making the water last longer periods of time.


Hookworm -
Hookworm -
The Mexican wolves can get parasites such as hookworms, commonly found in dogs. The hookworm latches onto the wolves intestines and gets nutrients from the wolves body, which harms the wolf. This symbiotic relationship is parasitism because the wolf is being harmed while the hookworm is being benefited.
Food Chain 1.JPG
Food Chain

This is a food chain of the Mexican Gray Wolf. The wolf is the tertiary consumer, which means that the wolf is at the top of the food chain and has no predators. The food chain shows the energy flow through each trophic level. It also shows what animals are prey and predators to each other.

Energy Pyramid 1.JPG
Energy Pyramid

This is the food pyramid including the Mexican wolf. The grains and seeds have the most energy in them because they are the producers. The rat who eats the seeds and grains only gets 10% of the energy the grains and seeds have. Throughout every trophic level 10% of the energy is passed onto the next predator. This food pyramid shows how the energy is spread through each trophic level.
Food Web Of Desert

This is a food web of the desert biome. It shows the prey and predators of each animal and plant in this ecosystem. Without one of these animals or plants the whole ecosystem would change and be effected by the one animal. That is why it is important that the Mexican gray wolf does not go extinct because if it does the whole ecosystem will be effected in a negative way.
Human Poaching Innocent Animals -
Human Poaching Innocent Animals -
Humans are affecting the Mexican gray wolves because farmers and hunters killed them because the wolves were killing livestocks and large amounts of deer which made the humans unhappy, so the humans resolution was to kill the wolves. This is why the wolves are almost extinct today. Humans are also affecting the biome the wolves live in because they are making a lot of pollution from motorized transportation and littering. Also humans have been taking water from the desert for their own use rather than letting the wild animals and plants have the water. Humans have had a huge effect on the Mexican gray wolf as well as the desert biome in which they live in.

Buffelgrass -
Buffelgrass -
Buffelgrass is foreign to the U.S. It was introduced from Africa, for the purpose of feeding livestock and for soil stabilization. It is severe to the deserts because it can cause wild fires very easily. It also regrows faster than the native plants in this area which makes it more difficult for the native plants to grow. The seeds of the buffelgrass' are spread through the winds and are carried through roads and fields, which they then take over.


Title of Article/ Web Page
URL (Internet Address)
Gray Wolf
Gould, Edwin; McKay, George
Stetson N
Mexican Wolf
B.C. Science 10 Textbook
McGraw-Hill Ryerson
Mexican Wolf
Minnesota Zoo & Eduweb

Title of Article/ Web Page
URL (Internet Address)
Diseases and Parasites of the Gray Wolf
Mexican Gray Wolf
Phoenix Zoo
About Mexican Gray Wolves
10 Most Unwanted Arizona Invasive Species
: Plants and Animals

Blog Post

1. Why is it important to save your animal? What role does it play in its ecosystem?
The Mexican gay wolf needs to be saved because without it the whole desert biome would suffer. The Mexican wolf keeps its ecosystem balanced and without it the ecosystem would crumble. The Mexican wolf plays the role of keeping the deer, elk and its other prey does not over populate and take over.

2. Why is it endangered?
The Mexican gray wolf is endangered due to farmers and hunters killed them because the wolves were killing livestocks and large amounts of deer which made the humans unhappy, so the humans resolution was to kill the wolves. The wolves were poached which created a big decrease in their numbers, almost to extinction.

3. What steps should be taken to save your animal?
You should donate to the conservation funds and captive breeding programs which are now the homes to all the Mexican gray wolves alive today. You could also volunteer at these breeding programs to help save them wolves.

  • Define abiotic, biotic, biome and ecosystem.
  • Identify distinctive plants and animals, and climatic characteristics of Canadian biomes (tundra, boreal forest, temperate deciduous, temperate rainforest, grassland)
  • Identify biotic and abiotic factors in a given scenario or diagram
  • Describe the relationships between abiotic and biotic elements within an ecosystem including
    • Air, water, soil, light, temperate (abiotic)
    • Bacteria, plants, animals (biotic)
  • Explain various relationships with respect to food chains, food webs, and food pyramids including
    • Producers
    • Consumer (herbivore, carnivore, omnivore)
    • Predation (predator-prey cycle)
    • Decomposers
    • Symbiosis (mutualism, commensalism, parasitism)
  • Illustrate the cycling of matter through abiotic and biotic components of an ecosystem by tracking.
    • carbon (with references to carbon dioxide-CO2, carbonate-CO32-, oxygen-O2, photosynthesis, respiration, decomposition, volcanic activity, carbonate formation, greenhouse gases from human activity (combustion) )
    • nitrogen (with reference to nitrate-NO3-, nitrite-NO2-,ammonium-NH4+, nitrogen gas-N2, nitrogen fixation, bacteria, lightning, nitrification, denitrification. decomposition)
    • phosphorus (with reference to phosphate-PO43-, weathering, sedimentation, geological uplift)
  • Identify factors that affect the global distribution of the following biomes
    • tropical rainforest
    • temperate rainforest
    • temperate deciduous forest
    • boreal forest
    • grassland
    • desert
    • tundra
    • permanent ice
  • Using examples , explain why ecosystems with similar characteristics can exist in different geographical locations (i.e. significance of abioitic factors)
  • Identify the effects on living things within an ecosystem resulting from changes in abiotic factors, including
    • climate change (drought, flooding,changes in ocean current patterns, extreme weather)
    • water contamination
    • soil degradation and deforestation
  • Define, using examples, the terms bioaccumulation, parts per million (ppm), biodegration, and trophic levels (with reference to producers and to primary, secondary and tertiary consumers)
  • Identify a variety of contaminants that can bioaccumulate (e.g. pesticides, heavy metals, PCBs)
  • Describe the mechanisms and possible impacts of bioaccumulation (e.g. eradication of keystone species, reproductive impacts)
  • Compare the impact of bioaccumulation on consumers at different trophic levels (e.g. red tide in oysters and humans; heavy metals in fish and humans; PCBs in fish, birds, whales.)
  • Research and analyze articles on the causes and effects of bioaccumulation (e.g. mercury contamination in Inuit communities and the Grassy Narrows First Nation community)

  • Explain how species adapt or fail to adapt to environmental conditions, with the reference to the following
    • natural selection
    • proliferation
    • predator-prey cycle
    • ecological succession
    • climax community
    • extinction
    • adaptive radiation
  • Describe the impact of natural phenomena (e.g. drought, fire, temperature change, flooding, tsunamis, infestations-pine beetle, volcanic eruptions)
  • Give examples of how foreign species can affect an ecosystem (e.g. Eurasian, milfoil, purple loosestrife, Scotch broom, American bullfrog, European starling in B.C.)
  • Research and report on situations in which disease, pollution, habitat destruction and exploitation of resources affect ecosystems


  • I learned how to use wikispaces
  • I learned more about ecosystems and how they can be easily affected
  • I learned the it is important to help save endangered species
  • I learned how bioaccumulation can affect every trophic level
  • I learned how to make food webs, chains and energy pyramids