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, feral horses, roe deer, red deer, ibexes, rabbits, domestic sheep

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:

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

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