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Tundra Wolf (Canis lupus albus)

The Tundra Wolf is classified as  largest subspecies of the gray wolf by Robert Kerr in 1792. Its scientific name is Canis lupus albus it has the third part on its name because it is a subspecies. Gray wolves are Canis lupus. The Tundra Wolf is classified in the animal kingdom.

Species Description

The wolf has been know to usually measure up to 7 feet in length from the end of its tail to its nose. Some people have said that some weigh 220 pounds but those reports were unconfirmed. On average they weight between 100 and 125 pounds. Their height ranges from 28 to 38 inches. They have very distinct eyes the color ranges from brown whit blue. Their coats are usually a mixture of black, grey, red-ish rust, and a silvery grey. They are hunted for their dense underfur and long thick coats and usually are hunted for that. Their average life span is about 16 years.


The wolves usually target large animals such as; deer, wapiti, moose, caribou, bison, musk ox and mountain sheep because finding large animals like this is rare they have been know to eat 20 pounds of meat at a time. It is a heterotroph and primarily a consumer because its higher on the food chain. Usually the Tundra wolf's trophic level is quarternarny cosumer



Canada (total)     60,000 Stable population, some hunting, no signs of decline. Extinct in Newfoundland.
USA (lower 48) 2,700 Stable and increasing due to reintroduction and migration from Canada
USA (Alaska) 6,000 - 8,000 Stable
Greenland 50 - 100 Unknown



Austria less than 10 Small population of wolves migrated from nearby Slovenia
Belarus 2,000 Unprotected, heavily hunted, declining rapidly
Bosnia 400 Unprotected, declining rapidly due to excessive hunting
Bulgaria 800 Unprotected, heavily hunted, hundreds killed each year
Croatia 50 - 100 Protected since May 1955; decreasing due to poaching
Czech Republic less than 10 Legally protected, nearly extinct due to poaching
England Extinct Efforts to reintroduce to Scotland but not mainland England. Extinct in England since the 1500's.
Estonia 450 - 500 Unprotected, legal hunting for appx 200 wolves annually
Finland 50 Small but stable population
France less than 15 Decreasing. Protected in Gevaudan, Abbruzes and Sainte-Lucie Parks, where they are rehabilitated (foreign subspecies).
Germany less than 10 Migrated from Poland
Greece 200 - 300 Stable population on border of Macedonia, legal hunting
Hungary 10 - 30 Declining due to poaching and habitat loss
Italy 400 - 500 Protected, stable
Kazakhstan 9,000 Unprotected, bounty hunted, stable
Latvia 900 Unprotected, killed regularly, decresing due to hunting
Lithuania 600 Hunted legally, decreasing due to hunting pressures
Macedonia 500 CITES Appendix I, decreasing due to hunting
Norway 20 - 30 Fully protected yet can be hunted legally if caught hunting livestock
Poland 600 - 850 Stable, protected since 1988
Portugal 250 - 300 Protected but declining due to poaching and habitat loss
Romania less than 2000 Unprotected, hunted legally
Russia 30,000 - 40,000 Unprotected, more common in northern and European Russia
Scotland Extinct Extinct since 1743. Reintroduction efforts.
Slovakia 250 - 400 Decreasing due to excessive hunting and habitat loss
Slovenia 25 - 30 Protected, stabilizing
Spain 2000 Legal hunting season, declining
Sweden 20 - 30 Population shared on border with Norway
Switzerland less than 10 Migrated from Italy
Ukraine 2000 - 3000 Unprotected, hunted year round, decreasing
Yugoslavia 500 Hunted year round


Bangledesh less than 10 Small population migrated from India
Bhutan Unknown CITES Appendix I
China 6,000 Protected, stabilizing
India 1300 - 1600 CITES Appendix I, Protected but decreasing due to poaching and habitat loss
Mongolia 30,000 No protection, decreasing due to hunting and habitat loss
Nepal Unknown CITES Appendix I
Pakistan Unknown CITES Appendix I


     The informantion above i found on a website its of the different places and  countrys and their tundra wolf populations. It also has information about why their population might be down or up or something. Some of the reasons they have become extinct in some places is hunting and limited resources for them or loss of their habbitat. Above is a picture of a wolf rug. Regional governments and hunting societies have even offered bounties of up to $190 for each wolf slain.



    The gray shadded part is where the wolves live. They have been known to live throughout Northern Europe and Asia from Northern Finland to the Kamchatka Peninsula, from the far north of Russia into the Arctic.Usually they stay in the northern arctic and boreal regions of Russia. And even though they were eliminated from some of the Arctic islands north of Siberia, they have been seen on Wrangle Island recently. Winter temperatures don't reach above 20° F and average -20° to -30°F.
    Rainfall may vary in different regions of the arctic. Yearly precipitation is 15 to 25 cm (6 to 10 inches). There are about 1,700 kinds of plants in the arctic and subarctic, and these include:
    • low shrubs, sedges, reindeer mosses, liverworts, and grasses
    • 400 varieties of flowers
    • crustose and foliose lichen

          And like any other biome the tundra biome has animals such as;

          • Herbivorous mammals: lemmings, voles, caribou, arctic hares and squirrels
          • Carnivorous mammals: arctic foxes, wolves, and polar bears
          • Migratory birds: ravens, snow buntings, falcons, loons, sandpipers, terns, snow birds, and various species of gulls
          • Insects: mosquitoes, flies, moths, grasshoppers, blackflies and arctic bumble bees
          • Fish: cod, flatfish, salmon, and trout


          Wolves’ coats are made up of wool-ish fur to provide insulation. They also have long guard hairs to keep out moisture. Wolves have a sense of hearing twenty times better than a human's and have a sense of smell a hundred times stronger. The wolf's jaws can bite at a  pressure of over 500 pounds per square inch. Wolves' vision is very motion sensitive. They have a reflective retina, called a tapetum that enhances their night vision. They can't see color. Wolves have great stamina. They can cover a distance of more than eighteen miles at a quick trot. They have a top speed of about 40 miles per hour.The wolves breeding season is usually late March through April, later in the year than for most wolves because of the high latitude of the Tundra Wolves habitat. During this time, females are in heat for 5 to 15 days. The female is usually pregnant for 62 to 63 days with 2 – 6 pups.



              The wolves relatives the gray wolf has an big impact on the ecological community of Yellowstone National Park, betweeen 1995 and 1997 31 wolves from Canda were captured and relocated to the park which at the time had no wolves. Upon the wolves return the entire ecological community beneifeted from this, because the wolves where gone the deer population went insanly high which in return made it so they had to eat more vegition which killed off species such as the beavers. With the wolves back the deer population is under control and the vegitiontion has returned. The beaver's dams play an important part too they slow down the nutrients in the water so when animals come to get a drink they are getting more nutrients than they would have before.




          I found a listing of wolve attacks and thought it would be useful to show how they interact with humans.



          1.      Comox Valley, British Colombia – 1986 - While driving a tractor, Jakob Knopp was followed by three wolves to his barn. They didn't leave, but kept snarling and showing their teeth. Knopp ran to his barn, retreived a rifle and had to shoot two of the three wolves before the third left the area.


          2.      George Williams, a retired sailor heard a commotion in his chicken coup one night. Thinking it was raccoons he took his single shot 22 rifle and headed for the coup. He rounded his fishing boat and trailer when a wolf leaped at him. He instinctively reacted with a snap shot with the rifle and dropped the wolf. A second wolf came at him before he could reload and George swung the rifle and struck the wolf across the head, stunning it. George retreated to the house until morning and found the wolf he had shot, the other was gone.


          3.      Clarence Lewis was picking berries on a logging road about a mile from Knopp's farm when he faced four wolves. Lewis yelled at them, two left and the other two advanced towards him. He took a branch and took a couple of threatening steps at them. They went into the brush and stayed close to him. Lewis faced the wolves and walked backward for two miles until he reached his car.


          4.      Don Hamilton, Conservation Officer at Nanaimo went to investigate a livestock killing by wolves. Wolves had killed a number of sheep in a pasture and Don went out to examine the kills. He came upon the scene and saw a large gray wolf feeding on one of the sheep. The wolf looked at him, growled and started running towards him at full speed. The wolf was over 100 yards away and never broke stride as it approached Don. At approximately 15 feet, Don shot the wolf to stop its attack. Don, who has many years experience with wolves, stated that he was convinced that the wolf was going to attack him because of its growling, snarling and aggressive behavior.


          5.      In 1947, a man was hunting cougar on Vancouver Island and was attacked by a pack of seven wolves. The man backed against a tree and shot the leader of the pack. The pack instantly tore the animal to shreds while the hunter made his escape.


          6.      Clarence Lindley was reportedly attacked by a 125-pound timber wolf. The incident occurred in early November, 1992 on the Figure 4 Ranch in Dunn County, North Dakota. Lindley was hunting horseback when the wolf attacked Lindley's horse causing it to jump and fall. Lindley was able to grab his saddle gun, a lever action Winchester 94, as the horse fell. The horse recovered its balance and Lindley found himself face to face with a snarling wolf. "My heart was pounding," said Lindley, "I could see those big teeth. He was less than five feet away... He meant business; he wasn't going to back off." Lindley fired his rifle at point blank range and killed the wolf with a shot to the neck. Lindley left the wolf since he couldn't get his horse close to it. On return to his hunting camp, his hunter friends failed to believe the account. They returned to the scene and skinned the wolf. The pelt was a flawless black and gray pelt measuring seven and a half feet from its feet to its snout. Its bottom teeth measured one and a half inches; top teeth - one and a quarter inches. The North Dakota Game and Fish Department (NDGF) confiscated the hide and head of the wolf and took it to the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) for determination of its species. Tests revealed that the wolf was non-rabid. The wolf was thought to have come from Canada. (Reports on file and available upon request.)


          WOLF ATTACKS ON HUMANS (domestic incidents)


          1.      In the 1970s, John Harris, a Californian, toured the nation with “tame” wolves to promote public sympathy for preserving wolves. In July, 1975, "Rocky," one of Harris' wolves, attacked a one-year-old girl by biting her in the face. The girl was brought close to the wolf for a picture, an action encouraged by Harris.


          2.      In Maryland, a man kept a wolf in his basement and this animal turned and savagely bit and clawed his two-year-old son.


          3.      In New York City, a wolf bit a woman as it approached her.


          4.      At a zoo in Idaho, a little girl walked up to a cage housing a wolf and reached through the bars to pet the wolf. The wolf bit the arm.  The arm had to be amputated.


          5.      Mr. Edward Rucciuti, former curator of publications for the New York Zoological Society and author of KILLER ANIMALS, personally witnessed a 12-year-old boy savagely attacked in the Bronx Zoo. This boy climbed a high fence in order to pet the wolves. The wolves (male and 2 females) immediately attacked the boy, ripping at the boy's clothing and flesh. The boy instinctively curled up in a ball, protecting his head, chest and abdomen. He then crawled into the moat in front of the exhibit with the wolves chewing his back and legs. Once the boy made it to the water, the wolves ceased their attack. The boy crawled out of the moat and collapsed. Mr. Rucciuti was amazed that the boy was still alive due to the severity of the bites.


          6.      San Diego Zoo (1971) A 15-year-old boy climbed the fence and tried to take a shortcut across the exhibit. He didn't know there were wolves in the exhibit and tried to run when he saw them. The wolves grabbed him by the leg attempting to drag him off. The boy grabbed a tree and hung on. Two bystanders jumped in the enclosure and attacked the wolves with tree branches. The wolves did not attack the two men, but continued to maul the boy. Dragging the boy and swinging their clubs, the boy was pulled out of the enclosure. The wolves in the enclosure were all young animals and it was thought that if the animals were mature, the boy would have died  before being rescued.


          7.      A few months after the attack on the boy (#6), a man scaled the fence and swung his arms in the exhibit to get the attention of the wolves and got it by being bitten severely on both arms.


          8.      1973 - Another boy tried to cross the same compound and was attacked, a security guard shot and killed one of the wolves, and the other fled as the boy was pulled to safety.


          9.      1975 - Small zoo in Worcester, Massachusetts, a two-year-old lad was savagely bitten on the leg when it slipped through an enclosure opening. The boy's mother and 2 men could not pull the boy free. The wolves did not stop ripping the boy's leg apart until a railroad tie was thrown in the midst of the wolves.


          10.  1978 -- A wolf bit a child in Story, Wyoming. The wolf was penned at a local veterinary clinic for observation. During that time, the wolf escaped its pen and killed a young calf. Wyoming law prohibits the keeping of wild animals as pets, so the animal was shipped to Ohio, where it had come from. The owner of the wolf went to Ohio and brought the wolf back to Wheatland, Wyoming. It was reported the wolf attacked and killed a child in that area shortly thereafter.


          11.  September, 1981 - A two-year-old boy was mauled to death by an 80-lb, 3 year-old female wolf in Ft. Wayne, Michigan. The boy wandered within the chain length of the wolf.


          12.  August 2, 1986 (Fergus Falls, Minnesota) - A 17-month-old boy reached and grabbed the fencing which kept his father's pet wolves enclosed. One wolf immediately grabbed the boy's hand and bit it off.  The mother was at the scene and received lacerations freeing the child from the wolf.


          13.  July 1988 (Minnesota Zoo) - A teenage volunteer reached through the wire fence to pet a wolf and was bitten. The wolf was put to sleep and tested for rabies – negative.


          14.  May 15, 1989 - 2-year-old Timothy Bajinski was bitten by a wolf hybrid in his mother's Staten Island, New York backyard.  Mrs. Bajinski has been charged with keeping a wild animal.


          15.  May 1989 - Lucas Wilken was bitten by two wolf hybrids in Adams County, CO (Denver Area).


          16.  June 3, 1989 - Three year old Alyshia Berczyk was attacked and killed by a wolf in Forest Lake, Minnesota. The wolf had bitten her severely and had injured her kidneys, liver and bit through her aorta. Alyshia was playing in a backyard when she got too close to the chained wolf that grabbed her dress and pulled her down, attacking her.


          17.  July 1, 1989 (Kenyon, Minnesota) - Peter Lemke, age 5, attempted to pet a chained wolf and was attacked. He lost 12 inches of his intestine and colon, suffered a tear in his stomach, and bite wounds on his arms, legs, buttocks and neck. While being life-flighted to the hospital, Pete arrested 3 times but was saved by medical personnel. The Lemkes have incurred over $200,000 in hospital bills. Pete has a colostomy bag, but doctors are hopeful they can re-attach his colon and get it to function normally in later surgeries.


          18.  September 3, 1989 - A wolf and a dog entered a corral belonging to Leona Geppfart of Caldwell, ID and attacked a 6-month-old 400-pound Hereford calf. Geppfart attempted to scare the animals away and they turned on her and she retreated to her house. A short time later, a law enforcement officer arrived and as he approached the corral, the wolf lunged at him. The officer stopped the animal with his shotgun.


          NOTE: This list of wolf attacks is by no means exhaustive. They are simply listed to show that attacks have occurred both in the wild and other settings.

          Two wolf attacks on humans occurred in 2000.


          Icy Bay, Alaska - Six-year-old John Stenglein and a nine-year-old friend were playing outside his family's trailer at a logging camp when a wild wolf came out of the woods towards the boys. The boys ran and the wolf attacked young Stenglein from the back, biting him on the back and buttocks. Adults, hearing the boy's screams, came and chased the wolf away. The wolf returned a few moments later and was shot. According to Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) officials, the wolf was a healthy wild wolf that apparently attacked without provocation. The boy was flown to Yakutat and recieved stitches there for his wounds. Later, however, the bites became infected and the boy had to be hospitalized. (Reports and Interviews on file and available upon request.)


          Vargas Island, British Colombia - University student, Scott Langevin, 23, was on a kayak trip with friends. They camped out on a beach and, about 1 AM, Langevin awoke with something pulling on his sleeping bag. He looked out and came face to face with a wild wolf. Langevin yelled at the wolf and it attacked, biting him on the hand. Langevin attempted to force the wolf toward a nearby campfire, but as he turned, the wolf jumped on his back and started biting him on the back of his head. Friends, hearing his yells, came to his aid and scared the wolf away. Fifty (50) stitches were required to close the wound on Langevin's head. British Colombia Ministry of Enviroment officials speculate the reason for the attack was due to the wolves occasionally being fed by humans although there was no evidence that Langevin or any of his party fed these animals. (Reports and Interviews on file and available upon request.)


          Wolf Attacks on humans have occurred in national parks, too. In August 1987, a sixteen-year-old girl was bitten by a wild wolf in Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario. The girl was camping in the park with a youth group and shined a flashlight at the wolf. The wolf reacted to the light by biting the girl on the arm. That bite was not hard and due to the thick sweater and sweatshirt the girl was wearing, she sustained two scratch marks on her arm. The wolf was shot by Natural Resources personnel and tested negative for rabies. (Interview with Ron Tozer, Park Naturalist for Algonquin Provincial Park, 7/25/88.)




          Works Cited

        • Arctic Adaptations. (n.d.). U.S. National Park Service - Experience Your America. Retrieved December 9, 2009, from (tags: none | edit tags)

        • E., B. (n.d.). Gray Wolf - Canis lupus. Blue Planet Biomes. Retrieved December 9, 2009, from (tags: none | edit tags)


        • Lioncrusher's Domain -- Grey Wolf (Canis lupus) facts and pictures. (n.d.). Lioncrusher's Domain - Animal Information Pages and Original Artwork. Retrieved December 9, 2009, from (tags: none | edit tags)
        • Mader, T. R., & Division, R. (n.d.). WOLF ATTACKS ON HUMANS. Abundant Wildlife Society of North America. Retrieved December 9, 2009, from (tags: none | edit tags)


        • Tundra Wolf - Canis lupus albus. (n.d.). Animal T-Shirts, Funny T-Shirts, Political T Shirts, Pirate T Shirts, etc.. Retrieved December 9, 2009, from (tags: none | edit tags)

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