Related topics: predators

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.

Origin of Scandinavian wolves clarified

There are no signs that hybrids of dog and wolf have contributed to the Scandinavian wolf population – a matter that has been discussed, especially in Norway. These wolves appear to have originated from the Nordic region ...

Government-funded study says red wolves are distinct species

A panel of top scientists concluded Thursday that the endangered red wolf of the southeastern U.S. is a species unto itself, giving the beleaguered canine a scientific and political boost as its numbers plummet in the wild.

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 ...

Wolves cooperate with humans

Wolves lead, dogs follow—and both cooperate with humans. The statement is a bold one, especially as wolves have received a lot of negative attention in recent years. A recent study conducted by behavioural researchers at ...

Hungry moose more tolerant of wolves' presence: study

Driven by the need for food, moose in western Wyoming are less likely to change their behavior to avoid wolves as winter progresses, according to new research by University of Wyoming scientists.

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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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