We examined specimens of five subspecies of gray wolves from southwestern North America and assessed their systematic affinities using both univariate and multivariate statistical procedures. Because wolves exhibit considerable sexual dimorphism the sexes were separated for the analyses. Principal components analyses revealed considerable overlap among the individuals, but tended to separate the Mexican wolf (C. l. baileyi) from northern wolves (C. l. youngi). Specimens from other subspecies were intermediate to these two. Discriminant function analyses using various groupings of wolves supported these results. Within the southwestern part of North America, we recognize only three subspecies: C. l. baileyi, C. l. youngi, and C. l. nubilus. Wolves formerly assigned to C. l. mogollonensis and C. l. monstrabilis are referred to C. l. baileyi. As an adjunct to our study, we compared recently collected specimens and captive animals with target groups from the southwest. Recent specimens show clear affinities with C. l. baileyi. Captives, although closest to baileyi, show some tendencies. toward dogs, but whether these tendencies are from hybridization or from the effects of captivity is unknown.
Bogan, Michael A. and Patricia Melhop. "Systematic relationships of gray wolves (Canis lupus) in southwestern North America." (1983). http://digitalrepository.unm.edu/occasionalpapers/4