Wolves are one the most well-known and recognizable members of the dog family, Canidae. Wolves as a whole are often referred to as the Common Wolf and the Gray Wolf. There are 39 different wolf species (subspecies) although 2 subspecies are disputed.
At one time, wolves were extremely abundant over North America, northern Africa and Eurasia. Increased deforestation, local extinction (due to human encounters), and human encroachment have attributed to dwindling numbers, but they are still listed as Least Concern by the IUCN. In fact, some areas of the world still hunt wolves for sport, while wolf populations in other parts of the world are protected.
How big are wolves?
Excluding domestic dogs, the Wolf is the largest living member of its family. Their size varies greatly, with larger species found in Northern areas, while smaller species inhabit southern areas. Adult wolves grow to a length ranging from 40 inches to 63 inches, and can stand 34 inches tall at the shoulder. Their tails can grow up to 20 inches long.
Wolves found in Europe average 85 lbs, North American wolves average 79 lbs, while Arabian and Indian wolves average 55 lbs. Male wolves average 7.5 lbs heavier then females. The heaviest wolf found in North America was in Alaska, and it weighed 175 lbs. The heaviest wolf found in Eurasia weighed 190 lbs. Wolves reaching these weights is very rare.
Recent Activity on The Wolf Pack
- Possibly extinct is the Southern Rocky Mountain Wolf.
- The Vancouver Island Wolf is an endangered species.
- The Manitoba Wolf was reintroduced back into the wild in 1995.
- All white and living in the cold is the Alaskan Tundra Wolf.
- The Texas Wolf was taxonomically merged with the Mexican Wolf.
- Bernard's Wolf is extinct but was native to the Canadian Arctic.
- The Newfoundland Wolf is an extinct subspecies... or is it?
- Look at these Mexican Wolf pictures.
- The Mexican Wolf is endangered and extinct in the wild.
- The British Columbia wolf is an extinct subspecies.
- Added some Arctic Wolf Pictures to the gallery.