Wolf Facts
Compiled from various wolf-related sites. Enjoy!

Description / History / Pack Life / Human Interaction / Distribution / Wolf Glossary
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Wolf info from our area of the world:

Wolves of the Rocky Mountains:

Yoho National Park
Kootenay National Park
Alberta, including Banff and Jasper National Parks
U.S. Rockies

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Description

The wolf is the primeval wild dog, the largest wild canid, long a hunter alongside people, and ancestor of our most faithful domestic companion. Wolves vary widely in appearance. Their fur is thick and usually grey, but can vary from nearly pure white, red, or brown to black.

Head-and-body length: 100-150 cm
Adult females 4.5 to 6 ft, adult males 5 to 6.5 ft.
Tail length: 31-51 cm
Shoulder height: 66-81 cm 26 to 32 inches
Weight: 16-60 kg (it's possible for a wolf to weigh more than 90 kg! ) 50-100 pounds.
The average for adult males is 75 pounds, and the average for adult females is 60 pounds. Males generally weigh about 20 percent more than females .
Time of mating: January-April
Gestation: 61-63 days
Litter size: 1-11, average 6
Duration of lactation: 8-10 weeks
Age at sexual maturity: 22-46 months, occasionally 10 months; female wolves become sexually mature at 2 years old and males become sexual mature at 3 years old.
Longevity: up to 13 years in the wild (Mech 1988), but up to 20+ years in captivity

Check out the Virtual Wolf Skeleton!

History

The Evolutionary history of the wolf is not totaly clear, but many biologists believe that the wolf developed from primitive carnivores known as miacids. Miacids ranged from gopher-sized to dog-sized animals, and appeared in the Lower Tertiary about 52 million years ago. Miacids in turn had evolved from Cretaceous insectivores. The direct descendants of miacids today are animals called viverrids, which include the genet of Africa.

Relatively late in the evolutionary history of miacids came the appearance of the first canid (Cynodictis). One of these was called the dawn-wolf. This creature had a long body and looked like a enlongated fox; it could live and climb in trees; it was also thought to be related to feline species. Some authorities believe that canids originated in North America and then spread to Asia and South America, while others ascribe that a small type of wolf crossed into Siberia from Alaska, where it eventually developed into the larger, present-day grey wolf. The grey wolf then migrated to North America, where it populated what is now Canada and the United States, except for the southeastern section of the latter country. That area was populated by the smaller red wolf (C. rufus, which may be a result of the hybridization of grey wolves and coyotes). Still Others believe that the dog family originated in North America, migrated to Asia, and then returned.

Wolf ancestors began to develop in the Paleocene, about 60 million years ago. By the Miocene, about 20 million years ago, canines and felines had branched into two separate families. In one wolf ancestor, Tomarctus, the fifth toe on the hind leg became vestigial and is evidenced today by the dew claw on both wolves and dogs.

dew claw

Research of wolf history by Robert Wayne at the University of California suggests that a number of wolf-like canids diverged from a common ancestor about 2-3 million years ago. The first grey wolf, Canis lupus, probably appeared in Eurasia sometime in the early Pleistocene period, about 1 million years ago. Around 750,000 years ago, it is though to have migrated to North America.

The Dire Wolf, Canis dirus, larger and heavier than the grey wolf, evolved earlier and the two co-existed in North America for about 400,000 years. As prey became extinct around 16,000 years ago due to climatic change, the dire wolf gradually became extinct itself. Around 7,000 years ago the grey wolf became the prime canine predator in North America.


The Dire Wolf

The dire wolf was a large canine that exhibited hyena-like characteristics. Like the hyena, the dire wolf hunted and scavenged for food. Researchers suspect that dire wolves, due to their scavenging nature, scattered the bones of animals they killed or that were killed by other prey. The dire wolf was not quite like any animal we have today. It was similar in overall size and mass to a large modern grey wolf. (A popular misconception is that dire wolf dwarfed the modern day grey wolf)

It was about 1.5 meters (5 feet) long and weighed about 50 kilograms (110 pounds) on average. The dire wolf looked fairly similar to the modern grey wolf; however, there were several important differences. The dire wolf had a larger, broader head and shorter, more sturdy legs than its modern relative. The teeth of dire wolf much larger and more massive than those of the grey wolf. The braincase of the dire wolf is also smaller than that of a similarly-sized grey wolf. The fact that the lower part of the legs of the dire wolf are proportionally shorter than those of the grey wolf, indicates that the dire wolf was probably not a good a runner as the grey wolf.

dire wolf

Many paleontologists think that the dire wolf may have used its relatively large, massive teeth to crush bone. This idea is supported by the fact that dire wolf teeth frequently have large amounts of wear on their crowns. Several people have suggested that dire wolves may have made their living in similar ways to the modern hyenas. Wolves and coyotes are relatively common large carnivores found in Ice Age sites. In fact, several thousand dire wolves have been found in the asphalt pits at Rancho La Brea in Los Angeles, CA. The coyote, grey wolf, and dire wolf have all been found in paleontological sites in the midwestern U.S.

The first specimen of a dire wolf was found at near Evansville, Indiana. Clark Kimberling of the University of Evansville has traced the very interesting history of this specimen.

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The Evolution of the Genus Canis
The genus Canis underwent a mixed fate at the end of the Pleistocene. The grey wolf (C. lupus) and coyote (C. latrans) survived the extinction that occurred approximately 10,000 years ago. The dire wolf, however, was one of the animals that did not survive. Perhaps the dire wolf depended on scavenging the remains of the large herbivores of the last Ice Age. The extinction of these herbivores may have then led to the extinction of the dire wolf. Scientists do not know if this is the case; however, they continue to search for the reason that many kinds of mammals went extinct about 10,000 years ago.

The evolution of these three species of canids is very interesting. Paleontologists think that, although all three of the species were found in the same area at the same time, each comes from a different evolutionary lineage within the genus Canis. That is, none of these three species is the direct ancestor of either of the other two species.

The grey wolf was well was established in North America by the time the first Native American and Inuit Peoples came across the Beringia, about 18,000 years ago.

beringia
The evolution of the domestic dog (C. familiaris) is still a matter of much debate. Some believe that the dog is descended from the wolf, while others think they are evolved separately from a common ancestor. Recently the American Society of Mammologists recommended that the domestic dog be reclassified as a new subspecies of wolf, Canis lupus familiaris. There is genetic evidence that the dog is descendent from the wolf, and that the domestication of the dog took place several times over the course of history.

Wolves arose in the middle of the great Ice Age about 1 million years ago from a lineage of smaller dog-like forms native to Eurasia. They spread to North America across the Bering land bridge early in the Ice Age when it was bared by falling sea levels, and renewed contact with the American population each time the bridge re-emerged. As a result, Asian and American populations have not evolved separately for long enough to become distinct species. Wolves once occupied a vast array of habitats well into the temperate and even subtropical and desert areas. Now, however, they are generally rare or absent except in northern forests and arctic tundra.

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Canis lupus Sub-Species

(X - Indicates an extinct subspecies)

X - Canis lupus alces the Kenai Penisula wolf; one of the largest of north american wolves; extinct by 1925.

Canis lupus arctos the white wolf of the high arctic, found from Melville Island to Ellesmere Island.

Canis lupus baileyi the smallest north american grey wolf, originally found from Mexico to the south west United States; according to many authorities, indistinguishable from Canis lupus mogollonensis and Canis lupus monstrabilis. The Mexican wolf's range originally extended from northern Mexico into the mountainous parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. The most endangered wolf subspecies, the Mexican wolf is extinct in the wild in the United States -- and, scientists say, probably in Mexico as well. A small captive population exists in the United States.

X - Canis lupus beothucus the Newfoundland wolf, now extinct; reported almost pure white.

X - Canis lupus bernardi limited to Banks and Victoria Islands in the arctic, described as white and black-tiped hair along the spinal ridge; not recognized as a subspecies until 1943; extinct sometime between 1918 and 1952.

Canis lupus columbianus a large wolf found in the Yukon, British Columbia, and Alberta.

Canis lupus crassodon a medium-size, greyish wolf found on Vancouver Island.

X - Canis lupus fuscus a brownish-colored wolf from the Cascade Mountians; extinct by 1940.

Canis lupus hudsonicus a light-colored wolf found in northern Manitoba and the Northwest Territories.

Canis lupus griseoalbus a large wolf found in north Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.

Canis lupus irremotus a medium-sized, light-colored wolf from the Rocky Mountians.

Canis lupus labradorius the wolf of Labrador and northern Quebec.

Canis lupus ligoni a small, dark-colored wolf from the Alexander Archipelago in the arctic islands.

Canis lupus lycaon The eastern timber wolf of Canada and the United States; it origially had the largest range of all of North American subspecies; the first subspecies to be recognized in North America (1775).

Canis lupus mackenzii the Northwest Territories wolf; not recognized as a subspecies until 1943.

Canis lupus manningi the smallest arctic wolf, found on Baffin Island; either white or light-colored; not recognized as a subspecies until 1943.

X - Canis lupus mogollonensis a medium-sized wolf found in Arizona and New Mexico; extinct by 1935.

X - Canis lupus monstrabilis a wolf found in Texas and New Mexico; extinct by 1942.

X - Canis lupus nubilus the Great Plains or "buffalo" wolf; extinct by 1926; usually light in color. The "Buffalo Wolf", or the "Loafer" was originally the wolf subspecies known as Canis lupus nubilus which inhabited the Great Plains area of North America. Currently suggested revisions to wolf taxonomy, by Ron Nowak, are based less on geographical area and more on the determination of genetically distinct races or subspecies. The proposed revisions include most of the previously defined subspecies of grey wolves in North America as Canis Lupus Nubilus including the subspecies beothucus, crassodon, fuscus, udsonicus, irremotus, labradorius, lycaon (west of Michigan), ligoni, manningi, mogollonensis, monstrabilis, and youngi. Still, opinions on these classifications are not unanimous.

Canis lupus occidentalis a large wolf from Western Canada, also called the Mackenzie Valley Wolf.

Canis lupus orion a white or very light-colored wolf from Greenland.

Canis lupus pambasileus A dark colored wolf from Alaska and the Yukon.

Canis lupus tundrarum the arctic tundra wolf; light in color.

X - Canis lupus youngi the Southern Rocky Mountain wolf; extinct by 1935; light buff color.

Other wolf species

Canis rufus: A reclusive animal that weighs between 16-40 kg (40-80 lbs), the red wolf is generally a night hunter and travels in groups of two or three. Scientists are in disagreement over the origins of the red wolf. Some insist it is a genetically distinct species; some assert that it is a subspecies of grey wolf; others theorize that it is a hybrid of grey wolves and coyotes.

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Pack Life

Wolves lead a complex social life. They form groups called "packs," which are typically composed of a dominant mated pair ("The Alpha Pair"), their offspring, and an assortment of other adults, often with some genetic relationship to the "first family." In May or June the dominant female bears a litter of up to ten pups in a den in some secluded location. Life in summer centers around this den site, and later, a "rendez-vous" site. The whole group assists in the upbringing, helping to feed the mother and young with prey from the hunt, acting as "nursemaids" when the mother herself goes hunting, and guarding the area from predators like grizzly bears. By fall the pups are able to roam freely and the group may become more nomadic.

wolf pack

The life of the pack is finely tuned to the hunt. When moose or caribou are abundant, wolves live in larger groups to enable pack hunting. A pack uses a distinct territory, which it defends against other wolves. During winter wolves may travel long distances, especially when the main prey is a migratory species such as caribou. Many other foods will be utilized if available, such as moose, mountain sheep, marmots, ground squirrels, hares, mice and even spawning salmon.

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Communication

Wolves have three methods of communicating with each other. The first is sound. Wolves are generally known for howling, but wolves will also growl, squeal, whine, and gruff. Whimpering and whining conveys friendly intentions, while growling is considered an aggressive noise. When wolves howl each individual within the pack sings a different note, which makes a pack of 4-8 sound like a pack of 10-12 individuals. Wolves howl for many reasons, some of them being that it reinforces pack unity and territorial claims.

wiley howling

The second way wolves communicate is with scent. Most packs will urine mark the boundaries of their territory; this is also an important form of communication during breeding season, because it affirms an individual’s breeding status. The third way wolves communicate is with body posture, they do this by using their eyes, ears, mouths and tails to send and receive messages. For example a threatening gesture would be a direct stare, and if the other wolf is submissive it will divert its gaze. The breeding pair in the pack holds their tails higher than the other individuals, and when submissive individuals approach the breeding pair they hold their tails down.
high five

Human Interaction

Wolves and people evolved in Ice Age Eurasia and spread throughout a large part of the world in each other's company. Hard times must have occasionally thrown them into severe competition, but the wolf human relationship was governed by mutual tolerance and respect. This changed when humans assumed pastoral and agricultural life-styles and began campaigns to exterminate their old competitor to make the world safe for large numbers of domestic animals, or to divert the wolf's share of wild meat to an ever- increasing human population. The result has been the elimination of wolves almost everywhere that people dominate the land.

In today's increasingly crowded world, wolves are valued as a symbol of wilderness, and of ecosystems healthy enough to support large predators. People in regions with wolf populations are coming to recognize a special responsibility toward these creatures. Along with new appreciation has come disagreement about wildlife management practices for wolves. Some hold that no wolves should be trapped or hunted. Others emphasize traditional use by rural people of both wolves and their ungulate prey (caribou, moose, etc.). Yet others, recognizing the pressure that wolves can put on prey populations, argue for deliberate reductions of wolf populations under some circumstances. And the need of reindeer herders to protect their herds remains a dilemma for wolf management. The State of Alaska recently convened a wolf management planning team representing the wide diversity of opinion. The team found that wolves must be considered in the context of the entire ecosystem, recognizing the interconnectedness of wildlife users, prey, predators and habitat.

Wolves depend on large tracts of habitat and substantial populations of their principle prey species; moose, caribou and mountain sheep. All these are threatened by human population growth, development, habitat conversion and fragmentation and over-hunting. Wolves must also be protected from mechanized harassment, and even from disease and genetic alteration through breeding with dogs if they are to survive in the wild. It stands to reason that all human uses of wolf habitat must balance the needs of wolves and people. For instance, when wolf populations decline drastically because of low prey availability, human hunting of the prey stocks should be curtailed.

On the other hand, temporarily reducing wolf populations might sometimes be desirable to allow depressed prey populations to rebound. Modern reindeer husbandry conflicts with healthy wolf populations. Consequently, populations of wolves are low in central Beringia. For example, in 1989 the number of wolves on the Seward Peninsula was estimated at only 50 to 150 individuals. In Chukotka recent decades have seen an official policy of shooting wolves from helicopters to protect reindeer herds, but there seems to be a shift away from this policy.

It is said that in olden times wolves and people worked out a balance, with wolves taking what they needed from the herds, and Chukchis hunting only individual wolves that had become wasteful killers. Is it possible that such balances as these can be reestablished, not only in reindeer husbandry but all human endeavors, so that the song of the wolf will always be heard in Beringia?

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World Distribution

Wolves are distributed across the northern portion of both continents and more sporadically to the southward. They can be found throughout Beringian except for many islands. Six thousand individuals have been estimated to inhabit Alaska at densities varying from 39 individuals per 1,000 square kilometers in richer, more southerly habitats, to 6 per 1,000 square kilometers in coastal and northern tundra. A study of wolves in the remote Anadyr highlands of Russian Beringia determined an intermediate density: about 10 wolves per 1,000 square kilometers.

Alaska: Subspecies: ligoni, pambasileus, tundrarum, alces. Status: fully viable, numbering approximately 6,000. Range occupied. 100%. Main prey: moose, caribou, sheep, deer, beaver, goal Legal status: animals are hunted and trapped in limited seasons with bag limits. Some control work, enforcement active.

British Columbia, Yukon: Subspecies: crassodon, fuscus, columbianus, mackenzii, occidentalis, tundrarum, ligoni, irremotus. Status: fully viable, numbering approximately 8,000. Range occupied: 80%. Main prey: moose, caribou, sheep, deer, beaver, goat, elk. Legal status: game species, furbearer (BC), no closed season.

Northwest Territories: Subspecies: arctos, bernardi, columbianus, griseoalbus, hudsonicus, mackenzii, nubilus, occidentalis, pambasileus. Status: fully viable, numbering 5,000-15,000. Range occupied: 100%. Main prey: moose caribou, sheep, deer, beaver, goat. Legal status: forbearer.

Alberta: Subspecies: occidentalis, griseoalbus, irremotus, nubilus. Status: fully viable, numbering approximately 4,000. Range occupied: 80%. Main prey: moose, caribou, sheep, deer, beaver, goat, elk, bison. Legal status: furbearer.

Saskatchewan, Manitoba: Subspecies: hudsonicus, griseoalbus, irremotus, nubilis. Status: fully viable, number unknown. Range occupied: 70%. Main prey: moose, elk, deer, beaver, bison, caribou. Legal status: furbearer.

Ontario, Quebec: Subspecies: lycaon, hudsonicus, labradorius. Status: fully viable, number <10,000. Range occupied: 80%. Main prey: moose,deer, caribou, beaver. Legal status: furbearer.

Newfoundland (the island): Subspecies: beothucus, extinct since 1911.

Labrador: Subspecies: labradorius. Status: fully viable, number unknown. Range occupied: 95 %. Main prey: moose, caribou, beaver, musk ox, hares. Legal status: furbearer.

Minnesota: Subspecies: lycaon. Status: viable, numbering approximately 1,200. Range occupied: 30%. Main prey: deer, moose, beaver. Legal status: full protection. Cause of decline: persecution, habitat destruction.

Michigan and Wisconsin: Subspecies: lycaon. Status: lingering, 35 individuals. Highly endangered. Range occupied: 10%. Main prey: deer, beaver, moose. Legal status: full protection. Cause of decline: persecution, habitat destruction.

Northwestern United States: Subspecies: irremotus. Status: slowly recolonizing, 30 individuals. Highly endangered. Range occupied: 5%. Main prey: deer, elk, moose, sheep, goats, beaver. Legal status: full protection. Cause of decline: persecution, habitat destruction.

Southwestern United States: Subspecies: baileyi. Status: extinct. Range occupied: nil. Main prey: deer, livestock. Legal status: full protection. Cause of decline: persecution, habitat destruction.

Mexico: Subspecies: baileyi. Status: lone wolves or pairs, <10 individuals. Highly endangered. Range occupied: <10%. Main prey: livestock. Legal status: unenforced full protection. Cause of decline: persecution, habitat deslruction.

Sweden/Norway: Subspecies: lupus. Status: lonewolvesor pairs, <10 individuals. Highly endangered. Range ccupied: <10%. Main prey: moose, reindeer, livestock. Legal status: Full protection. Cause of decline: persecution.

Finland: Subspecies: lupus. Status: lingering, probably only lone wolves or pairs, <100 individuals. Endangered. Range occupied: < 10%. Legal status: no protection (north), game status (east), protected (south). Main Prey: moose, reindeer, . white-tailed deer, livestock. Cause of decline: persecution.

Greenland: Subspecies: orion. Status: lingering, 50? individuals. Threatened. Range occupied: unknown. Main prey: musk-ox, caribou. Legal status: unknown. Cause of decline: persecution.

Turkey: Subspecies: lupus, pallipes. Status: Viable, but in decline. Unknown number of individuals. Range occupied: unknown. Main prey: livestock, unknown. Legal status: no protection.

Syria: Subspecies: lupus, pallipes. Status: lingering, low population density, 200-500 individuals. Highly threatened. Range occupied: 10%. Main prey: livestock, carrion, small wildlife. Legal status: no protection. Cause of decline: persecution.

Jordan: Subspecies: unknown. Status: lingering, low population density, 200? individuals. Highly threatened. Range occupied: 90%. Legal status: no protection. Main prey: unknown. Cause of decline: persecution.

Israel: Subspecies: pallipes, arabs. Status: lingering, low population density, 100-150 individuals. Highly threatened. Range occupied: 60%. Main prey: hares, livestock, carrion. Legal status: full protection. Cause of decline: habitat destruction, persecution.

Egypt (Sinai): Subspecies: arabs. Status: 30 individuals. Highly endangered. Range occupied: 90%. Main prey: hares, livestock. Legal status: no protection. Cause of decline: persecution.

Lebanon: Subspecies: unknown. Status: lone wolves or pairs, >10 individuals. Highly endangered. Range occupied: unknown. Main prey: garbage, carrion. Legal status: no Protection. Cause of decline: persecution.

Arabian peninsula: Subspecies: pallipes, arabs. Status: in decline, <300 individuals. Range occupied: 90%. Main prey: garbage, carrion, livestock. Legal status: no protection. Cause of decline: persecution.

Iran: Subspecies: pallipes, campestris. Status: fully viable, numbering >1000. Range occupied: 80%. Main prey: gazelle, mountain sheep, livestock, wild boar, deer, Capra sp. Legal status: Game species. Cause of decline: persecution.

Iraq: Subspecies: unknown. Status: unknown. Range occupied: unknown. Main prey: unknown. Legal status: unknown. Cause of decline: unknown.

Afghanistan: Subspecies: pallipes, chanco. Status: viable, suspected decline, 1,000? individuals. Range occupied: 90%. Main prey: unknown. Legal status: unknown. Cause of decline: unknown.

Pakistan: Subspecies: pallipes, campestris. Status: unknown. Range occupied: unknown. Main prey: unknown. Legal status: unknown. Cause of decline: unknown.

Bhutan: Subspecies: chanco. Status: unknown. Range occupied: unknown. Main prey: unknown. Legal status: protected. Cause of decline: unknown.

Nepal: Subspecies: chanco. Status: unknown. Range occupied: unknown. Main prey: unknown. Leg status: unknown. Cause of decline: unknown.

India: Subspecies: pallipes. Status: lingering, probably only lone wolves or pairs, 1,000-2,000 individuals. Endangered. Range occupied: 20%. Main prey: livestock, hare, deer, antelope. Legal status: unenforced full protection. Cause of decline: decreasing prey, persecution.

Mongolia: Subspecies: chanco. Status: viable, possible decline, > 10,000 individuals. Range occupied: 100%. Main prey: livestock, saiga. Legal status: extermination efforts active.

China: Subspecies: chanco. Status: extermination efforts active, population numbers unknown. Range occupied: 20%. Main prey: saiga, other ungulates, livestock. Legal status: unknown. Cause of decline: persecution, habitat destruction.

U.S.S.R. (Europe): Subspecies: lupus, albus, campestris, chanco. Status: fully viable, numbering approximately 20,000. Range occupied: 60%. Main prey: ungulates, livestock. Legal status: reduction and control even in nature reserves. Cause of decline: persecution, habitat destruction.

U.S.S.R. (Asia): Subspecies: lupus, albus, campestris, chanco. Status: fully viable, numbering approximately 50,000. Range occupied: 75%. Main prey: ungulates and livestock. Legal status: reduction and control even in nature reserves. Cause of decline: persecution, habitat destruction.

Poland: Subspecies: lupus, campestris. Status: fully viable, numbering approximately 900. Range occupied: 90%. Main prey: (moose), roe deer, red deer, wild boar, mufflon. Legal status: partial protection. Cause of decline: persecution, habitat destruction.

Czechoslovakia: Subspecies: lupus. Status: steep decline/ lingering, 100? Individuals. Highly threatened or endangered. Range occupied: 10%. Main prey: roe deer, red deer, wild boar, mufflon. Legal status: no protection. Cause of decline: persecution, habitat destruction.

Romania: Subspecies: lupus. Status: decline, 2,000? individuals. Range occupied: 20%. Main prey: roe deer, red deer, wild boar, mufflon. Legal status: no protection. Cause of decline: persecution, habitat destruction.

Bulgaria: Subspecies: lupus. Status: lingering, low population density, 100? individuals. Highly threatened. Range occupied: unknown. Legal status: no protection. Main prey: (moose) roe deer, red deer, wild boar, mufflon. Cause of decline: persecution, habitat destruction.

Greece: Subspecies: lupus. Status: Viable, but in decline, >500 individuals. Range occupied: 60%. Main prey: deer, wild boar, chamois, livestock. Legal status: partial protection. Cause of decline: persecution, habitat destruction.

Yugoslavia: Subspecies: lupus. Status: steep decline, approximately 2,000 individuals. Range occupied: 55 %. Main prey: deer, wild boar, chamois, livestock. Legal status: partial protection. Cause of decline: persecution, habitat destruction.

Albania: Subspecies: lupus. Status: unknown. Range occupied: unknown. Main prey: unknown. Legal status: unknown. Cause of decline: unknown.

Hungary: Subspecies: lupus. Status: extinct. Range occupied: nil. Main prey: unknown. Legal status: protected. Cause of decline: unknown.

Italy: Subspecies: lupus. Status: lingering, low population density, 250 individuals (Boitani 1987). Highly threatened. Range occupied: 10%. Main prey: garbage, livestock. Legal status: full protection. Cause of decline: persecution, habitat destruction, prey extermination.

Spain: Subspecies: signatus, (lupus). Status: lingering, low population density, 500-1,000 individuals. Threatened. Range occupied: 10%. Main prey: livestock, roe deer, wild boar. Legal status: partial protection. Cause of decline: persecution, habitat destruction.

Portugal: Subspecies: signatus, (lupus). Status: lingering, low population density, 150 individuals. Highly threatened. Range occupied: 20%. Main prey: livestock, roe deer, wild boar. Legal status: partial protection. Cause of decline: persecution, habitat destruction.

Central Europe: Subspecies: (lupus). Status: Extinct. Range occupied: nil. Main prey: livestock, red deer, roe deer, chamois, wild boar. Legal status: no protection. Cause of decline: persecution, habitat destruction.

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