Types of Wolf
Wolves are proud beautiful animals, but its still easy to see in them bits of the domestic dogs we have come to love.
Habitat Plays A Role
Most of the wolves worldwide are subspecies of the mighty gray wolf.
Although they all have common genes, their location has had an effect on their physical characteristics, feeding practices and basic nature.
Some of the gray wolves can (and are in some circles) considered a different species due to their extreme isolation from one another.
Meet the Wolves of The World
The wolf from which most others arise, the gray wolf is the largest of the canid species. They can be found in a wide variety of habitats throughout most of North America.
These animals survived the ice age and are thought to be the ancestor of domestic dog. They may not, however, survive mankind.
The Arctic Wolf can be found on the islands of the Canadian Arctic and the north coast of Greenland. Because of their extreme isolation and the harsh conditions of their environment, not much is known about this subspecies of gray wolf.
We do know that their coat grows almost pure white and thicker than their cousins to maximize wamth in constant cold.
Also called Eurasian Arctic wolf, this animal is found throughout northern Europe and Asia, often in the arctic and boreal regions of Russia.
Among the largest of the grey wolves, these animals have a fine coat of fur and are often hunted for it.
The Arabian wolf was once found throughout the Arabian Peninsula, but now their territory has become scattered to bits of several different countries.
This subspecies is smaller than most and tend to live and hunt in small packs of 2 or 3 animals. They are also one of the few that aren’t known to howl.
The Mexican wolf is one of the most endangered canids on the planet. Originally they were found through most of northern Mexico and parts of the Southern US, and they were declared an endangered species in 1976.
What remains of the breed lives in zoos and wolf sanctuaries.
Found in north-central Russia and one of the 5 subspecies found within the Russian Federation. One of the largest of the grey wolves, the Russian Wolves are champion predators. Because of this, they thrive in the wild and their numbers grow quickly.
These animals are also known to be more aggressive towards humans than other greys. For these two reasons, the Russian wolf is legally hunted to keep their numbers down.
Also called the Apennine Wolf, the Italian wolf is found in the Apennine Mountains in Italy, some areas of Switzerland and parts of southern France.
A medium sized wolf, their bloodlines are thought to be particularly pure and relatively unaffected by domesticated dogs.
Once found throughout the Egypt and the Arabian Peninsula, now the Egyptian wolf is only found in northern Egypt and northeastern Libya. This subspecies is relatively small and often mistaken for the Golden Jackal.
They are critically endangered due to over hunting.
Also called Common Wolf, European Wolf, Carpathian Wolf, Steppes Wolf, Tibetan Wolf and Chinese Wolf. Originally found throughout Eurasia, now they are only seen in Central Asia.
The fur of this subspecies is generally shorter, more dense and richer in color than their cousins in North America.
Also called Eastern Timber Wolf, Eastern Canadian Wolf and Eastern Canadian Red Wolf, there has been speculation as to whether they are actually a subspecies of the grey wolf.
They are thought to be a hybridization between the grey wolf and red wolves or coyotes and a distinct species in their own right (Canis lycaon).
The Eastern Wolf is smaller than their cousins and often have physical characteristics similar to coyotes (who they’ve have been known to inter-breed with).
Also called Timber Wolf and Buffalo Wolf, this is the most common subspecies of grey wolf in the continental US.
The range of these animals used to cover the whole of the US and southern Canada. However relentless hunting and habitat destruction has resulted in their protection as an endangered species.
Luckily the Great Plains Wolf has made a great comeback and their numbers are rising again.
Also called Rocky Mountain Wolf, McKenzie Valley Wolf, Canadian Wolf and Alaskan Wolf, the Northwestern Wolf is found in western Canada and in Alaska all the way down the Aleutian Chain.
Over the past decade 11-20% of the Alaska’s wolf population is harvested every year thanks to people like Sarah Palin. They are predators perfectly suited for their environment, so numbers remained large in spite of the hunting.
Also called Desert Wolf, the Indian Wolf is another of the subspecies that can be considered its own species (Canis indica). It has been suggested that their bloodlines have not been crossed with any other subspecies for 400,000 years.
They can be found in eastern India and because of their habitat are smaller than their North American cousins.
These animals can be found in northern Portugal and northwestern Spain and differ physically from the more common Eurasian Wolf.
The Iberian Wolf gets their latin name from the dark marks on their tail and on both front legs. Signatus means “marked”.
The Ethiopian wolf is one of the rarest mammals on the planet & can be found only in the tiny Afro-alpine region of the Ethiopian mountains.
These animals were once thought to be jackals and their local name, ky kebero means red jackal. However recent genetic tests show that their bloodlines are more closely related to the big grey of North America. Which of course, makes their existence on the African continent a bit of a mystery.
The red wolf is not the same species as the gray wolf, although there is speculation that they are a naturally occurring hybridization of grey wolves and coyotes.
These animals used to be found most areas of the southeastern US, however now they are only found in southeastern Texas and Louisiana.
The Red Wolf is smaller than the grey with longer ears and shorter fur which is displayed in various reddish colors.