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Canis lupus

Scope: Mediterranean
Status_ne_offStatus_dd_offStatus_lc_onStatus_nt_offStatus_vu_offStatus_en_offStatus_cr_offStatus_ew_offStatus_ex_off

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Carnivora Canidae

Scientific Name: Canis lupus
Species Authority: Linnaeus, 1758
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Gray Wolf, Timber Wolf, Arctic Wolf, Grey Wolf, Mexican Wolf, Plains Wolf, Common Wolf, Tundra Wolf, Wolf
French Loup, Loup Gris, Loup Vulgaire
Spanish Lobo

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern (Regional assessment) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2008-01-01
Assessor(s): Jdeidi, T., Masseti, M., Nader, I., de Smet, K., & Cuzin, F.
Reviewer(s): Temple, H. & Cuttelod, A.
Justification:

Originally, the wolf was the world's most widely distributed mammal. It has become extinct in parts of its range, including much of Western Europe. Present distribution is more restricted; wolves occur primarily in wilderness and remote areas. Since about 1970, legal protection, land-use changes and rural human population shifts to cities have arrested wolf population declines and fostered reintroduction and natural recolonization in parts of its range. Continued threats include competition with humans for livestock, especially in developing countries, exaggerated concern by the public regarding the threat and danger of wolves, and fragmentation of habitat, with resulting areas becoming too small for populations with long-term viability. The European wolf population is generally increasing in number and expanding in distribution range following the bottleneck of the 1960s and 1970s; elsewhere in the Mediterranean region the population trend is not known. Although the grey wolf still faces some threats in the Mediterranean region, it does not meet, or nearly meet, any of the criteria for the threatened categories. Therefore, it is assessed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Originally, the Grey Wolf was the world's most widely distributed mammal, living throughout the northern hemisphere north of 15°N latitude in North America and 12°N in India. It has become extinct in much of Western Europe (Boitani 1995), in Mexico and much of the USA (Mech 1970). Their present distribution is more restricted: wolves occur primarily in wilderness and remote areas, especially in Canada, Alaska and northern USA, Europe, and Asia from about 75°N to 12°N.
Countries occurrence:
Native:
Afghanistan; Albania; Armenia (Armenia); Azerbaijan; Belarus; Bhutan; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; Canada; China; Croatia; Czech Republic; Estonia; Finland; France; Georgia; Germany; Greece; Greenland; Hungary; India; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Iraq; Israel; Italy; Jordan; Kazakhstan; Korea, Democratic People's Republic of; Korea, Republic of; Kyrgyzstan; Latvia; Libya; Lithuania; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Mexico; Moldova; Mongolia; Montenegro; Myanmar; Nepal; Norway; Oman; Pakistan; Poland; Portugal; Romania; Russian Federation; Saudi Arabia; Serbia (Serbia); Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain; Sweden; Syrian Arab Republic; Tajikistan; Turkey; Turkmenistan; Ukraine; United Arab Emirates; United States (Georgia); Uzbekistan; Yemen
Possibly extinct:
Bangladesh
Regionally extinct:
Austria; Belgium; Denmark; Ireland; Japan; Luxembourg; Netherlands; Switzerland; United Kingdom
Upper elevation limit (metres): 2400
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Because of the diversity in climate, topography, vegetation, human settlement and development of wolf range, wolf populations in various parts of the original range vary from extinct to relatively pristine. Wolf densities vary from about one/12 km² to one/120 km².

Sillero et al. (2004) provide details, for each range country, on subspecies present, population status, approximate numbers, the percentage of former range occupied at present, main prey (where known), legal status, and cause of decline.
Current Population Trend: Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Ranges in all northern habitats where there is suitable food (Mech 1970), densities being highest where prey biomass is highest (Fuller 1989). Food is extremely variable, but the majority comprises large ungulates (moose, caribou, deer, elk, wild boar, etc.). Wolves will also eat smaller prey items, livestock, carrion, and garbage.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Their original worldwide range has been reduced by about one-third, primarily in developed areas of Europe, Asia, Mexico, and the United States by poisoning and deliberate persecution due to depredation on livestock. Since about 1970, legal protection, land-use changes, and rural human population shifts to cities have arrested wolf population declines and fostered natural recolonization in parts of Western Europe and the United States, and reintroduction in the western United States. Continued threats include competition with humans for livestock, especially in developing countries, exaggerated concern by the public concerning the threat and danger of wolves, and fragmentation of habitat, with resulting areas becoming too small for populations with long-term viability. There is sustainable utilization of the species' fur in Canada, Alaska, and the former Soviet Union and Mongolia.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species is included in CITES Appendix II, except populations from Bhutan, India, Nepal and Pakistan, which are listed on Appendix I. There is extensive legal protection in many European countries; however, enforcement is variable and often non-existent.

It occurs in many protected areas across its range.

Occurrence in captivity
The species lives and breeds well in captivity and is common in many zoological gardens.

Gaps in knowledge
One of the most important questions still remaining about wolves involves the nature of their interaction with prey populations. The conditions under which wolves limit, regulate, or control their population is still open and important (Mech and Boitani 2003). Of more academic interest are questions involving wolf genetics, scent-marking behaviour, pseudo pregnancy and diseases (Mech 1995).

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.1. Forest - Boreal
suitability: Suitable  
1. Forest -> 1.2. Forest - Subarctic
suitability: Suitable  
1. Forest -> 1.4. Forest - Temperate
suitability: Suitable  
1. Forest -> 1.5. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
suitability: Suitable  
3. Shrubland -> 3.1. Shrubland - Subarctic
suitability: Suitable  
3. Shrubland -> 3.4. Shrubland - Temperate
suitability: Suitable  
3. Shrubland -> 3.5. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
suitability: Suitable  
4. Grassland -> 4.1. Grassland - Tundra
suitability: Suitable  
4. Grassland -> 4.2. Grassland - Subarctic
suitability: Suitable  
4. Grassland -> 4.4. Grassland - Temperate
suitability: Suitable  
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.4. Wetlands (inland) - Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands
suitability: Suitable  
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.10. Wetlands (inland) - Tundra Wetlands (incl. pools and temporary waters from snowmelt)
suitability: Suitable  
0. Root -> 6. Rocky areas (eg. inland cliffs, mountain peaks)
suitability: Suitable  
8. Desert -> 8.1. Desert - Hot
suitability: Suitable  
8. Desert -> 8.2. Desert - Temperate
suitability: Suitable  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.2. Artificial/Terrestrial - Pastureland
suitability: Suitable  
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management
5. Law & policy -> 5.4. Compliance and enforcement -> 5.4.2. National level

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
In-Place Species Management
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:Yes
In-Place Education
2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.3. Livestock farming & ranching -> 2.3.2. Small-holder grazing, ranching or farming
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.3. Livestock farming & ranching -> 2.3.3. Agro-industry grazing, ranching or farming
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.3. Persecution/control
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology

Bibliography [top]

IUCN. 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2010.1). Available at: www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 10 March 2010).


Citation: Jdeidi, T., Masseti, M., Nader, I., de Smet, K., & Cuzin, F. 2010. Canis lupus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T3746A10048228. . Downloaded on 03 May 2016.
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