Iberian wolf (Canis lupus signatus)

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Iberian wolf
Iberian wolf

The Iberian wolf (Canis lupus signatus) is a subspecies of grey wolf that inhabits the northwest of the Iberian Peninsula, which includes northwestern Spain and northern Portugal.

The Iberian wolf was officially declared extinct in the Andalucía region of southern Spain in 2023, after years of decline due to habitat loss, poaching, illegal hunting and genetic isolation. The last evidence of wolves in Andalucía was recorded in 2013, and the last reproductive group was detected in 2003.[1] The regional government had failed to adopt conservation measures or list the wolf as a species in danger of extinction, despite the recommendations of environmental organizations. Spain had Europe’s largest wolf population, but its distribution and numbers were uneven and uncertain across the country.[1] The Spanish government had announced a wolf recovery plan in 2021 that aimed for an 18% increase in the population, but a study published in 2022 suggested that official estimates were overly optimistic and that wolf numbers were much lower than claimed.[1]