Iberian Wolf (Canis lupus signatus)

By Arturo de Frias Marques – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

Iberian Wolf (Canis lupus signatus) – (Cabrera 1907)

Common Names:

Overall population: 2003 census (2,000)

Physical description: Signatus is Latin for “marked”  describing the characteristic white marks on the lips and and darkened/black markings on the legs, back and tail. The Iberian Wolf has a smaller frame than the Eurasion Wolf. Males are larger and are said to weigh up to 110lbs (50kg) and females 66lbs-88lbs (30kg-40kg).

Original range – Iberian Peninsula
Current range – Forest and plains of northern Portugal and northernwestern Spain.

Habitat / Ecology / Prey:
Habitat – forest
Ecology – Wild boar on the Iberian Peninsula prey on the endangered capercaillie, wolf predation on the wild boar helps relieve boar predation on the capercaillie.
Prey – wild boar (Sus scrofa), feral horses, roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), red deer (Cervus elaphus), Iberian ibex (Capra pyrenaica), European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus), hares (Lepus granatensis)

Domestic goat predominated the diet (62% of the scats), followed by cow (20%) and sheep (13%); the only wild ungulate present in the scat analysis was the wild boar (4% of the scats).
[HTML] To eat or not to eat? The diet of the endangered Iberian wolf (Canis lupus signatus) in a human-dominated landscape in central Portugal
RT Torres, N Silva, G Brotas, C Fonseca – PloS one, 2015 – journals.plos.org

Unique behaviors: Iberian wolves live in smaller packs than the Eurasion Wolf.

Legal and Cultural Background:
Legal status – The hunting of wolves is prohibited in Portugal but allowed in certain areas of Spain.

Conservation: The Iberian Wolf and it’s ethology and conservation were championed by Spanish naturalist Félix Samuel Rodríguez de la Fuente (March 14, 1928 – March 14, 1980).

Grupo Lobo (Lisboa, Portugal)

Taxonomic/Genetic Information:


Further Reading

Journal / Scientific Publications:

Lethal management may hinder population recovery in Iberian wolves. Quevedo M, Echegaray J, Fernández-Gil A, Leonard JA, Naves J, Ordiz A, Revilla E, Vilà C. Biodiversity and conservation. 2019 Feb

Designing the landscape of coexistence: Integrating risk avoidance, habitat selection and functional connectivity to inform large carnivore conservation
H Rio-Maior, M Nakamura, F Álvares, P Beja – Biological Conservation, 2019

The role of fire on wolf distribution and breeding-site selection: Insights from a generalist carnivore occurring in a fire-prone landscape
S Lino, N Sillero, J Torres, X Santos… – Landscape and Urban …, 2019

Use of space and homesite attendance by Iberian wolves during the breeding season
H Rio-Maior, P Beja, M Nakamura, F Álvares – Mammalian Biology, 2018 –

[HTML] Cryptic population structure reveals low dispersal in Iberian wolves
P Silva, JV López-Bao, L Llaneza, F Álvares, S Lopes… – Scientific reports, 2018 – nature.com

Intestinal helminths in Iberian wolves (Canis lupus signatus) from Northwest Spain
S Muñoz, PL Ramos, E Carretón… – The Open …, 2018 – benthamopen.com

Risks a la carte: Modelling the occurrence and intensity of wolf predation on multiple livestock species
V Pimenta, I Barroso, L Boitani, P Beja – Biological Conservation, 2018 – Elsevier

The Indirect Impacts of Wind Farms on Terrestrial Mammals: Insights from the Disturbance and Exclusion Effects on Wolves (Canis lupus); GF da Costa, J Paula, F Petrucci-Fonseca, F Álvares – Biodiversity and Wind Farms in …, 2018

Hybridization between wolf and domestic dog: First evidence from an endangered population in central Portugal; RT Torres, E Ferreira, RG Rocha, C Fonseca – … Biology-Zeitschrift für …, 2017 – Elsevier

Viral gut metagenomics of sympatric wild and domestic canids, and monitoring of viruses: Insights from an endangered wolf population; N Conceição‐Neto, R Godinho, F Álvares… – Ecology and …, 2017 – Wiley Online Library

New insights into the genetic composition and phylogenetic relationship of wolves and dogs in the Iberian Peninsula;AE Pires, IR Amorim, C Borges, F Simões… – Ecology and …, 2017 – Wiley Online Library

What does the wild boar mean to the wolf?; E Mori, L Benatti, S Lovari, F Ferretti – European Journal of Wildlife …, 2017 – Springer

Wolf predation on cattle in Portugal: Assessing the effects of husbandry systems; V Pimenta, I Barroso, L Boitani, P Beja – Biological Conservation, 2017 – Elsevier

Parasite species of the endangered Iberian wolf (Canis lupus signatus) and a sympatric widespread carnivore; A Figueiredo, L Oliveira, LM de Carvalho… – International Journal for …, 2016 – Elsevier

Treatment of a forelimb fracture and rehabilitation of a free-ranging Iberian Wolf (Canis lupus signatus); FC Silva, RF Sargo, LC Sousa, H Rio-Maior… – Pesquisa Veterinária …, 2016 – SciELO Brasil

Perspectives on the Iberian wolf in Portugal: population trends and conservation threats
RT Torres, C Fonseca – Biodiversity and conservation, 2016 – Springer

[HTML] Treatment of a forelimb fracture and rehabilitation of a free-ranging Iberian Wolf (Canis lupus signatus)
FC Silva, RF Sargo, LC Sousa, H Rio-Maior… – Pesquisa Veterinária …, 2016 – SciELO Brasil

Patterns of Exposure of Iberian Wolves (Canis lupus) to Canine Viruses in Human-Dominated Landscapes;J Millán, JV López-Bao, EJ García, A Oleaga… – EcoHealth, 2016 – Springer

Study of gastrointestinal parasites in the iberian wolf (Canis lupus signatus)
ALO Pereira – 2015 – comum.rcaap.pt

Comparative proteomics of an extended spectrum β-lactamase producing Escherichia coli strain from the Iberian wolf
A Gonçalves, P Poeta, R Monteiro, C Marinho… – Journal of …, 2014

Presence of Iberian wolf (Canis lupus signatus) in relation to land cover, livestock and human influence in Portugal. Eggermann J, da Costa GF, Guerra AM, Kirchner WH, Petrucci-Fonseca F. Mammalian Biology-Zeitschrift Für Säugetierkunde. 2011 Mar

Chemical scent constituents in feces of wild Iberian wolves (Canis lupus signatus)
J Martín, I Barja, P López – Biochemical Systematics and Ecology, 2010

Prey and prey-age preference by the Iberian wolf Canis lupus signatus in a multiple-prey ecosystem. Barja I. Wildlife Biology. 2009 Jun

Sarcoptic mange in Iberian wolves (Canis lupus signatus) in northern Spain. Domínguez G, Espí A, Prieto JM, De La Torre JA. Veterinary Record. 2008 Jun

Distribución y Aspectos Poblacionales del Lobo Ibérico en la Provincia de Ourense/Distribution and Population Aspects of the Iberian Wolf in the Province of Ourense, Spain. Llaneza L, Alvares F, Ordiz A, Sierra P, Uzal Fernandez A. Ecología. 2004

Food habits and livestock depredation of two Iberian wolf packs (Canis lupus signatus) in the north of Portugal. Vos J. Journal of zoology. 2000 Aug

Use of tiletamine and zolazepam to immobilize captive Iberian wolves (Canis lupus). Vilà C, Castroviejo J. Journal of Wildlife Diseases. 1994 Jan

The trophic ecology of the Iberian wolf (Canis lupus signatus Cabrera, 1907). A new analysis of stomach’s data. Cuesta L, Barcena F, Palacios F, Reig S. Mammalia. 1991