What is the Habitat of the Eurasian Wolf?
The Eurasian wolf's scientific name is Canis lupus lupus, as it is a subspecies of the gray wolf. Other names for this variety include common wolf, Carpathian wolf, European wolf, steppes wolf, Chinese wolf, and Tibetan wolf.
What is the habitat of the Eurasian wolf? Can it be found in your country? What are its main traits? Stay with us at AnimalWised and find out!
Where can you find the Eurasian wolf?
The many names of the Eurasian wolf point out the subspecies' exceptionally wide range, from Western Europe to East Asia and including the Alps, Scandinavia, Russia, the Caucasus, the Kopet Dag range, Mongolia and the Himalayas. Interestingly, the gray wolves that you can find in Italy are a separate subspecies.
The largest wolf populations in Europe can be found in the east, in regions like Poland, the Balkans, and Romania. The largest number of wolves in a single place is 30,000 in Russia.
Although the IUCN status of the gray wolf is of least concern - remember that the species includes domestic dogs and dingoes - Eurasian wolves face habitat fragmentation and persecution from humans, which are major threats.
What is the Eurasian wolf like?
The Eurasian wolf subspecies is known for its long, narrow skull and slender build. It has a coarser and thinner coat than that of other gray wolves, and it can range from white to black, including cream, red, gray and brown.
These wolves vary in size depending on their location: the smallest ones can be found in Western Europe, while the largest ones live in Russia. While their average height is of 75 cm (29.5 in) to the withers, Russian wolves can reach 85 cm (33.5 in). They weigh 30 to 55 kg (65 to 120 lb).
Like all wolves, Eurasian wolves are carnivorous animals. Their main prey are herbivorous ungulate animals such as wild goats, boar and deer, and even large animals such as moose or elks. However, they also feed on mustelids, rodents, ducks and even lizards.
When they live near urban or rural areas wolves may also feed on garbage and livestock, which creates conflicts with humans. Here you can learn more about a gray wolf's diet and hunting habits.
What is the habitat of the Eurasian wolf?
The Eurasian wolf still has the widest range among wolf subspecies, residing in the tundra, taiga, plains, scrublands, mountains and desert. Their coats are suited to the plunging temperature and the northern, freezing climes.
In general, Eurasian wolves are found in remote areas, that is, far from cities and towns.
Are Eurasian wolves threatened?
Scientists believe the Eurasian wolf moved eastwards, and it is less and less commonly found in the West. While it used to be found all over Eurasia, now it is only found in select regions.
The elimination of the Eurasian wolf from Europe was an effort that began during the Middle Ages and persisted until the beginning of the 20th Century. In some cases, like in the United Kingdom, their killing was promoted through legislation: in Scotland, wolves survived till the 1680s while Ireland saw its last wolf killed in the 1780s. They are still considered extinct in the British Isles.
The Eurasian wolf was eliminated from most of northern Europe during 19th Century. It was hunted out of Denmark in the 1770s, while the last Norwegian wolf was eliminated as late as the 1970s. In central Europe, gray wolves lowered in numbers during the first part of the 19th century: the last wolf of Bavaria was hunted in the 1840s. In Crimea, the subspecies has been eliminated not one but multiple times.
Nowadays the Eurasian wolf is considered extinct in many European countries. Fortunately, re-population efforts have had results in France, Germany, Norway and Sweden. This effort began in the mid-20th Century, and it has spread to other regions. The population has more than doubled in Russia; however, the number of Eurasian wolves in Asia remains unknown.
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