- The wolf is the largest member of the Canidae family. The coyote evolved from the wolf over 500,000 years ago. The Gray Wolf and the Red Wolf are the two types of wolves living in North America.
- Wolves are social animals that live in packs. Packs can have as little as 2 members or as many as 30 members. The average pack size is 6 to 8. Pack Territories vary with location.
- In the Alaskan or Canadian Wilderness the territory for one pack ranges from 300 to 1,000 square miles while in the continental U.S. the territory is between 25 and 150 square miles.
- The North American Wolf can weigh between 40 to 175 pounds. Their length varies between 4’6″ and 6’6″ from muzzle to tip of tail. The height of an average Wolf is between 26 and 32 inches at the shoulder.
- Wolves have large feet, the average being 4 inches wide by 5 inches long. Wolves have 42 teeth and rounded ears. The wolf has extremely powerful jaws. Their fur color varies from pure white or pure black to tan or gray.
- The wolf has 2 types of hair, “Guards and “Undercoat”. The hair of the wolf is shed in the spring and summer and sheds out in sheets unlike most dogs. The wolf’s sense of smell is more than 100 times greater than a human.
- In the wild, wolves live on the average of 6 to 8 years. In captivity, wolves can live much longer. One wolf lived to be 16 years old.
- Wolves breed once a year and they have an average litter size is 4 to 6 cubs. The cubs weigh approximately one pound at birth and cannot see or hear. Mortality rates for wolf pups can be as high as 50%. All members of a wolf pack take part in caring for the young.
- The wolf primarily travels at a 5 mile per hour trot. A wolf can go as fast as 35 miles per hour for a short distance.
- Wolves are carnivores (meat-eater) that eat beaver, bison, elk, caribou, moose and deer. They also eat small rodents. The wolf does little chewing. They can eat twenty pounds of prey at a feeding.
- The wolf is an ultimate predator at the top of the food chain and is only threatened by people.
- Wolves can communicate in many ways. They leave scent marks, make a variety of sounds, facial and body postures and rituals. Wolves communicate with each other more by making sounds and nuzzling.
- Loss of habitat and being hunted by people are leading factors in the Wolves being on the “Endangered Species List”.