Clark

Gray Wolf (Canis Lupus)

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Description:

The Gray Wolf is classified as a mammal. Gray wolves may not always be gray in color; in fact they could be partially white, red, or black fur. Gray wolves are 2- 2.5 feet tall and their bodies are between 4-5 feet long. Male wolves weigh on average 90 pounds and females generally weigh 80 pounds. Gray wolves can run 35 m.p.h. and can jump 12 feet. Gray wolves eat anything ranging from field mice to huge caribou. They stay in packs around 8 to 35 members to survive. While the leader of this pack is called the alpha.

Habitat:

Presently the Gray Wolf inhabits Michigan's Upper Peninsula, northern Minnesota and Wisconsin and a large geographic range in Alaska, Canada, Europe, Middle East and Asia. The gray wolf once lived in diverse regions as Israel and Egypt. The most populated area where this animal is located is the forested areas of Northern Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin. The gray wolf has always inhabited a variety of biomes within North America including boreal forest, temperate deciduous forest and temperate grassland. There are approximately 2,500 gray wolves in the lower 48 states and about 10,000 in Alaska. Wolves such as the red and mane wolves mate their entire life. However, the alpha wolf is usually the only one to breed. Pairs mate in the winter and about 9 weeks later 2 to 14 pups are born. Pups are born blind. Other females in the pack help take care of newborn pups. Within 3 to 5 months the young pups are able to travel with the pack.

Problems:

The gray wolf has become endangered because of the change in which people live their lives. People believe that the animal should be hunted and killed because they would kill peoples' cattle. As people remained to hunt the wolves they became endangered causing different animal species to overpopulate.

Solutions:

Solutions have been attempted to bring back the gray wolve, and these attempts have been rather successful. For example a group of people re-introduced the wolves into Yellowstone National Park where they know they will be safe there. While doing this the wolves have made a comeback in our society by people allowing them to have a safe habitat where they can get their food and reproduce to bring the population up. Also, there is another park that is doing the same thing called the Isle Royale National Park, Michigan. Today the wolves are coming back into our society, as to research states that these gray wolves now live in Rome, Italy, Spain, France, Poland, Germany, the former Soviet Union, Finland, Norway, and Sweden.

References:

"Gray Wolf." Home - EcoHealth Alliance - Formerly Known as Wildlife Trust. Web. 06 Jan. 2011. http://www.thewildones.org/Animals/grayWolf.html.

"Gray Wolf." US Fish & Wildlife Services. N.p., 6 Jan. 2011. Web. 6 Jan. 2011. http://ecos.fws.gov/speciesProfile/profile/speciesProfile.action?spcode=A00D.