(Canis lupus lycaon)
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Mass: 70 kg
Length: to 6.5 ft. (2 m)
Biomes: tundra, taiga, temperate forest & rainforest, temperate grassland, mountains
Range: Northern hemisphere except tropical forests and arid deserts. Once roamed most of the Northern hemisphere, now found only in Canada, northern US, Eastern Europe, and
wilder areas of Western Europe and Asia.
The gray wolf is a carnivore, both predator and scavenger. Prey is located by chance or scent. Wolves primarily hunt in packs for large prey such as moose, elk, bison, musk oxen, and reindeer. Once these large ungulates are taken down, the wolves attack their rump, flank, and shoulder areas. Wolves control prey populations by hunting the weak, old, and immature. A wolf can consume up to 9 kg of meat at one meal. Wolves usually utilize the entire carcass, including some hair and bones. Smaller prey such as beavers, rabbits, and other small mammals are usually hunted by lone wolves, and they are a substantial part of their diet. Wolves may also eat livestock and garbage when it is available.
In the lower United States the Wolf is listed as endangered, except in Minnesota. It is extinct in eastern US. Reintroduction and conservation efforts exist in many areas of the USA and Europe. After near extinction, Greenland's wolves have repopulated themselves. Last wolves were exterminated in British Isles in 1700's. By the 20th century, wolves disappeared from most of western Europe and Japan. Remnants of wolf populations exist in Poland, Scandinavia, Russia, Portugal, Spain, and Italy.
Wolf tracks are robust in appearance with exagerated toe pads. They can be 5 - 6 in. (13 - 15 cm.) long and up to 5 in. (13 cm.) wide.