Scientific Name: Canis lupus
Gray wolf U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, John and Karen Hollingsworth
Wolves are one of the most misunderstood animals in the forest. Many people fear wolves and think they are a threat to humans. Nursery rhymes and fairy tales depict wolves as “big and bad.” In reality wolves are shy and much more afraid of us then we are of them.
Wolves look like large dogs and weigh between 57-130 pounds. The males are larger than females. Wolves range in color from white to black but are most commonly gray with a black tipped tail.
At one time wolves were found throughout most of the US. Today wolves are found in Alaska, Canada, and the northern parts of Minnesota, Idaho, Washington, Montana, and Wisconsin.
Wolves usually spend their time in packs, or groups. They work together to hunt. The size of the pack may change over time and is controlled by several factors, including habitat, personalities of individual wolves within a pack, and food supply. A typical pack size is about 8 wolves, but they can range between 2 and 20 wolves.
Brandenburg, J. 1993. Brother Wolf: A forgotten promise. NorthWood Press, Inc., Minocqua, WI.
Dudley, K. 1997. Wolves. Raintree Steck-Vaughn, Austin, TX.
Stensaas, M. 1993. Canoe Country Wildlife: A field guide to the North Woods and Boundary Waters. Pfeifer- Hamilton, Duluth, MN.
Whitaker, J.O. 1998. National Audobon Field Guide to North American Mammals. Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.