Help the Iberian Wolf - Don't Let Our Wolves Become Homeless

The Iberian wolf once lived throughout most of the Iberian Peninsula. Today the Iberian wolf inhabits the forests and plains of the northwestern part of Spain, the northeastern top of Portugal, and a few isolated areas in the Sierra Morena, Spain. The gray wolf subspecies, Canis lupus signatus was identified by Spanish zoologist, Angelus Cabrera in 1907. This was backed up by the genetic work of biologist Robert Wayne of UCLA that suggest it is a true subspecies of the gray wolf.

Unfortunately in the 1950s and 1960s, the wolves of Spain became officially recognized as pests by the Spanish government who then offered a bounty for dead wolves. Because of this action the wolves' number decreased to as few as 400 to 500. They were then classified as endangered.

Since then the hunting of wolves has been banned in Portugal and many parts of Spain. Their current number has been estimated at about 2,000 in Spain and another 400 in Portugal. Their overall state has been upgraded from endangered to vulnerable. The wolves of Sierra Morena, however are classified as critically endangered, and the Extremaduran populations are believed to be extinct. The Iberian wolf has over the years become very wary of people and therefore actual sightings of wolves in the wild are very rare.

Iberian wolves are of a medium size with a thinner build than the average Eurasian gray wolf. Males can weigh as much as 90 pounds and females are usually 75 to 80 percent the size of males. Their coat color can vary from a lighter gray in the warmer months to a darker reddish brown during the winter. The name signatus (meaning marked) was derived from the white marks on the wolf's upper lips and the dark marks on the tail and front legs.

In 1987, the organization,Grupo Lobo, created the Iberian Wolf Recovery Center (IWRC), aiming to provide a suitable environment for wolves that cannot live in the wild – giving wolves that have been rescued from inappropriate captivity, or are injured or disabled, a safe and secure sanctuary. The IWRC is located in central Portugal, in Picão (Mafra), about 30km from the Portuguese capital of Lisbon.
Now 25 years old, the Iberian Wolf Recovery Center, has already received more than 100,000 visitors from around the world. The Center has a volunteer program for those, over the age of 18, interested in wildlife conservation. It also has an adoption program that enables people to adopt one or more wolves, helping to keep them in excellent conditions that mimic their environment in the wild.

They are currently campaigning to raise money to buy the 17 hectacre site of the Iberian Wolf Recovery Center, to allow the wolves to have a permanent home.


VIDEO Don't let our wolves become homeless

Responses to "The Iberian Wolf - a gray wolf subspecies from Spain and Portugal (Video)"

  1. Unknown says:

    Protégeons le loup ibérique...<3

  2. Unknown says:

    J'aime le lloup ibérique , protégeons-le <3

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