What wolves' teeth reveal about their lives

UCLA evolutionary biologist Blaire Van Valkenburgh has spent more than three decades studying the skulls of many species of large carnivores—including wolves, lions and tigers— that lived from 50,000 years ago to the ...

Pup fostering gives genetic boost to wild Mexican wolves

It's a carefully planned mission that involves coordination across state lines—from Mexican gray wolf dens hidden deep in the woods of New Mexico and Arizona to breeding facilities at zoos and special conservation centers ...

Scientists find flaws in plan to lift US wolf protections

Scientists tasked with reviewing government plans to lift protections for gray wolves across most of the U.S. said in a report released Friday that the proposal has numerous factual errors and other problems.

Survey: More Mexican gray wolves roaming southwestern US

More Mexican gray wolves are roaming the American Southwest now than at any time since federal biologists began reintroducing the predators more than two decades ago, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Monday.

Why the feds should protect Midwest wolves from slaughter

The bald eagle is America's symbol, but 70 years ago it was nearly extinct. Once numbering as many as half a million, the population in the lower 48 states had been reduced to fewer than 1,000 by pesticides, hunting and destruction ...

Judge upholds protection for gray wolves in California

A California judge on Monday upheld protection for gray wolves under the state's Endangered Species Act, rejecting a legal challenge from ranchers and farmers who fear the predators will threaten their livestock.

Government shutdown delays, disrupts environmental studies

The rainwater collection system is broken at the environmental research station on a remote, rocky Pacific island off the California coast. So is a crane used to hoist small boats in and out of the water. A two-year supply ...

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Gray Wolf

The grey wolf or gray wolf (Canis lupus), also known as the timber wolf or simply wolf, is the largest wild member of the Canidae family. It is an ice age survivor originating during the Late Pleistocene around 300,000 years ago. DNA sequencing and genetic drift studies reaffirm that the gray wolf shares a common ancestry with the domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris). Although certain aspects of this conclusion have been questioned, including recently, the main body of evidence confirms it. A number of other gray wolf subspecies have been identified, though the actual number of subspecies is still open to discussion. Gray wolves are typically apex predators in the ecosystems they occupy. Though not as adaptable as more generalist canid species, wolves have thrived in temperate forests, deserts, mountains, tundra, taiga, grasslands, and even urban areas.

Though once abundant over much of Eurasia and North America, the gray wolf inhabits a very small portion of its former range because of widespread destruction of its territory, human encroachment of its habitat, and the resulting human-wolf encounters that sparked broad extirpation. Even so, the gray wolf is regarded as being of least concern for extinction according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, when the entire gray wolf population is considered as a whole. Today, wolves are protected in some areas, hunted for sport in others, or may be subject to extermination as perceived threats to livestock and pets.

In areas where human cultures and wolves are sympatric, wolves frequently feature in the folklore and mythology of those cultures, both positively and negatively.

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