- Wild: 8 to 16 years
- Captivity: Up to 20 years
- Length: 4 to 5 ½ feet
- Weight: 40 to 170 pounds
- Widely varied including forests, deserts, mountains, tundra, and grasslands
- Social, living in packs of 5 to 15 members
- Throughout North America, Asia, and Europe
- Wild: Elk, deer, bison, sheep, small mammals.
- The pack works together to take down the larger prey.
- Wolves also will eat fish and carrion
- Zoo: Ground beef with vitamins mixed in, dog kibble, and knucklebones to help keep their teeth healthy
- Sexual maturity occurs at 2 years of age.
- Mating season takes place January through March, usually between the alpha male and the alpha female who normally mate for life.
- Both attempt to keep others in the pack from mating.
- After a gestation period of about 9 weeks, a litter of 3 to 9 deaf and blind pups are born.
- Virtually all pack members contribute to raising pups, often bringing food to the mother while she is nursing.
- Strict domestic hierarchies govern the pack based on relationships with the alpha male.
- Dens are found in the ground or in rocky crevices and are often used year after year.
- The wolf’s body is built for stamina and endurance.
- It has powerful jaws and excellent senses of smell, sight, and hearing.
- The teeth are equipped to strip flesh right off bones.
- IUCN: Least Concern
- CITES: Appendix II
- The Grey wolf, also called the Timber wolf, was once the most widespread mammal apart from humans.
- Because of extermination programs based on unreasonable fear and unrestricted hunting, wolves were near extinction throughout the country by the early 1900’s.
- Due to federal intervention and placing the wolf on the endangered list, wolf populations slowly began to rise.
- In early 2003, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife changed the status of the Grey wolf from "Endangered" to "Threatened" in most of the lower 48 states.
- In 2012 Michigan officially took the Grey Wolf off of the Endangered Species list for the state. It is still protected and is not available for hunting at this time.
- CITES Appendices. Accessed December 2012. <www.cites.org>
- IUCN Red List of Endangered Species. Accessed December 2012. www.iucnredlist.org
- Canis lupus (Linnaeus, 1758). Encyclopedia of Life. Accessed December 2012. www.eol.org/pages/328607