Some Gray Wolf Facts
The howling wolf photo by Ron Wulff
The gray wolf features can have many color variations from gray to black to all white.
A thriving wolf population lives in the northern states as well as coming back worldwide due to research and public education efforts.
As the ancestor of the domestic dog, the gray wolf resembles German shepherds or malamutes.
Wolves are making a comeback in the Northern Rockies and Southwestern United States as well.
Today much research is being conducted to determine the best habitat for wolves. Recently, 30 gray wolves were re-introduced to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.
What Does a Gray Wolf Eat?
Deer Or Elk When They Can Catch Them.
These carnivores (meat eating) eat anything ranging from field mice to huge caribou. As predators, gray wolves help to maintain balance in the food web.
Staples: they will take elk, deer, moose and caribou of the hoofed animals where possible.
Wolves are also known to eat beaver, rabbits and other small prey.
Wolves are also scavengers and often eat animals that have died due to other causes like starvation and disease or road kill.
Communication Methods of the Wolf
Gray wolves communicate to each other through howling, body language and scent.
Howling is used to call the pack together, talk to other packs, assert their territorial claims or as a source of pleasure.
On a calm night, gray wolf howling can be heard many miles away. Wolves use their faces and tails to indicate their emotion and status in the pack.
A pack marks its territory by urine and feces to warn other packs to stay away. There are several small packs in Northern Wisconsin.
Gray Wolf Howling - In Northern Wisconsin This May Be A Sound You Have Heard
This sound can be heard occasionally in the area of the north where I live. Just a few nights ago there was a local pack howling nearby.
A gray wolf pack of five adults and three pups were recently filmed in a friends yard with a game video camera.
Physical Appearance and Characteristics:
What color are gray wolves?
If you said gray you're partly correct, they can also can have white, red or black fur.
Gray wolves are 2- 2.5 feet tall at the shoulder and their bodies range between 4-5 feet long.
Male wolves weigh on average 90 pounds and females generally weigh 80 pounds.
Amazing as it may sound a gray wolves can run up to 35 m.p.h. and can jump 12 feet.
Habitat and Reproductive Cycle
One Local Pack Has Five Adults And Three Young Ones.
Gray wolves live in packs normally with 8 to 35 members. They may consist of fewer numbers in some areas of the country.
The leader of the pack is the alpha male and usually is the only one to mate. They mate for life. The gray wolf life cycle is 7-8 years in the wild, but some have lived 10 years or more.
Pairs mate in the winter and about 9 weeks later 2 to 14 pups are born and are blind.
The other females in the pack help take care of newborn pups for 3 to 5 months until they are able to travel with the pack.
Endangered :There are approximately 2,500 gray wolves in the lower 48 states and about 10,000 in Alaska. Wolves are making a comeback in the Great Lakes, Northern Rockies and Southwestern United States. The Great Lakes area is considering removing them from the endangered list.
Presently the Gray Wolf inhabits Michigan's Upper Peninsula, Northern Minnesota and Wisconsin and a large geographic range in Alaska, Canada, Europe, Middle East and Asia.
The gray wolf also once lived in diverse regions as Israel and Egypt also.
This range was the normal range prior to the additional reintroduction areas within the United States