iberian wolf 2

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Iberian Wolf

History Until the 1900s the Iberian wolf inhabited the majority of the Iberian Peninsula. In Portugal government started an extermination campaign during the 1950s and 1960s that almost wiped out the animals from Portugal. Although wolf hunting is banned in Portugal, about 45% of wolf deaths are due to human activities, including illegal hunting.

Features and adaptations

TheIberian wolfisasubspeciesofthe grey wolfthat inhabits the forest and plains of northernPortugaland northwesternSpain.

The Iberian wolf differs from the more commonEurasian wolfwith its slighter frame, white marks on the upper lips, the dark marks on the tail and a pair of dark marks in its front legs.


Their food is very varied, depending on the presence or absence of wild prey and various types of grazing in each region. Life in pack allows the wolves to hunt enough animals that are larger than themselves.

Their main prey are wild boars, roe deers and deers, and the most common domestic prey are sheep, goats, chickens, horses and cows. Occasionally, the wolves kill and eat dogs. When they find corpses of animals, they eat them, this means that wolves are, sometimes, scavengers.

Behavior The Iberian wolf pack lives in strong hierarchical organizations. The number of animals in a pack varies between 3 to 10 individuals and is composed of a breeding pair (alpha pair), one or more individuals adults or sub-adults and cubs. The pack hunts and defends the territory in group.

Distribution Portugal: In Portugal there are mainly two populations of the Iberian Wolf separated by the Douro river: In the north area of the Douro river, there is a prosperous population in the mountainous area (Minho and Trs-os-Montes pronvinces). This population covers about 50 packs.

Theres another population south of the Douro river that is in decline. This population covers about 10 packs. The future of these packs is uncertain, considering that they may become extinct shortly.

PreservationIn Portugal the Iberian wolf is classified as a endangered species (EN), while in Spain it is classified as Vulnerable (VU). The population of Iberian wolves has been increasing due to conservation efforts both in Portugal and in Spain.

Centre for Iberian Wolf Recovery in MafraThe Centre for Iberian Wolf Recovery (CRLI) was created in 1987 by Wolf Group, with the aim of providing a suitable environment for wolves that can not live in freedom.

Wolves AdoptionThe adoption of one or more wolves living in the Centre is a popular way to financially assist our work. The adoptive parents can keep in touch with the project and its wolves, through regular visits to the centre.The adoption is formalized through a minimum annual donation:

Individual - 35Groups and families (grandparents, parents and children up to age 17) - 45School classes and scout groups - 45VolunteeringOur program allows you to participate in a wide range of daily activities at the centre, including assisting with animal feeding, checking water, maintenance of the Centre infrastructure, fire prevention, cleaning, observing wolves to check their health, support for reception and administrative work and monitoring of visitors.

The End