Grey wolf

Grey wolf Canis lupus occidentalis

ClassMammalia
OrderCarnivora
FamilyCanidae
Size60-90cm to withers
Weightup to 60kg
Gestation2 months
Birth3–10
Life-spanup to 15 years in zoos
Diet
carnivorous (moose, musk ox, caribou...)

Habitat
plains, tundra, mountains, forests

Range
northern USA and Canada


Wolves live in packs generally comprising a dominant (alpha) couple and their offspring, including young from previous years. Highly hierarchical, packs are based on relationships of domination and submission, and the alpha couple is usually the only one to breed, unless environmental conditions (an abundance of prey in particular) allow otherwise.
 
Wolves, long poisoned or trapped for their fur or because they prey on cattle, have seen their territories reduced by almost a third. Although today they are a protected species in many countries, and despite a natural recolonisation of some of their old territories, they are still considered harmful, especially in sheep-breeding regions. Yet they play a major ecological role: as super-predators, they regulate wild ungulate populations, preventing the over-grazing of some tree or plant species.




Status in the wild (Source: IUCN)

  • Not evaluated
    NE
  • Data deficient
    DD
  • Least concern
    LC
  • Near threatened
    NT
  • Vulnerable
    VU
  • Endangered
    EN
  •  Critically endangered
    CR
  • Extinct in the wild
    EW
  • Extinct
    EX

In the zoo