Ever since Game of Thrones came out, everyone has been curious about wolves. Of course, you know the wolf is one of the planet’s most majestic creatures if you’ve been lucky to encounter one on the trail. But have you wondered how many types of wolves are there? If yes, this article will present you with all the information you need. We have put together the list of 15 types of wolves present worldwide to help you delve into the world of wolves. Read on to know more!
What Is A Wolf?
Wolf is considered a relative of the domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris) and is a carnivorous animal. Unfortunately, many of us are unaware of several wolf specimens, and some species are extinct.
Though the wolf is an extant member of the Canidae family, the less pointed ears and muzzle, shorter torso, and long-tail distinguish them from other Canis species.
As of 2003, the estimated global wild wolf population was 300,000, and The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) considers wolves the least concern.
15 Different Types Of Wolves With Images:
Different parts of the world have several species and subspecies of the wolf. For example, 16 different species include wolves, dogs, jackals, coyotes, and others in the genus Canis, to which wolves belong. Among them is the Gray wolf, which again has 37 subspecies. We have mentioned 15 of these species in detail:
1. Gray Wolf:
Also called timber wolves, the gray wolf is one of the common types of wolves. These wolves have gray coats with little brown markings and undersides, hence the name. Depending on their territory, the size of gray wolves varies; the southern gray wolves are smaller than the northern gray wolves.
The Russian gray wolf is one of the biggest types of gray wolf known to be its subspecies. Alaska, Northern Wisconsin, Northern Michigan, Northeast Oregon, Northern Idaho, Western Montana are the typical locations you can find gray wolves.
Scientific Name: Canis lupus.
Weight: 30 to 80 kg.
2. Red Wolf:
The Red wolf is an intermediate between the gray wolf and a coyote with a black and brown color on its back with a tint of red fur. They are native to the southeastern United States and present in small pockets of Mexico, Canada, and the USA. The Red wolves are the rarest wolf species classified as highly endangered.
Central Pennsylvania, North Carolina’s ALbermaele Peninsula, and Southern Texas are where you can find the types of red wolves, and these wolves can survive anywhere. Red wolves feed on rodents, raccoons, and deer and are considered wild wolves.
Scientific Name: Canis rufus.
Weight:45 to 80 pounds.
See More: Types of Foxes in the World
3. Arctic Wolf:
Arctic wolf is a white wolf species that inhabit the northernmost regions of the world in Canada’s Queen Elizabeth Islands and is arguably the most recognizable wolf species.
The arctic wolves are distinguished by white fur, unlike many other wolves with light grey fur. Though the Arctic wolf is known to ear caribou and even arctic foxes, it mainly eats muskoxen and Arctic hares.
Since humans do no widespread hunting in the arctic regions, the Arctic wolves roam freely. But there is still a threat to the long-term survival of these species because of the rapidly changing climatic conditions.
Scientific Name:Canis lupus arctos.
- Males – 34-46 kg.
- Females – 36-38 kg.
4. Indian Wolf:
Although the Indian wolf is found throughout India, Southeast Asia, it is one of the less common wolf subspecies of the Gray wolf. It inhabits the forested areas of the Peninsular region of India. The Indian wolf has pale limbs compared to its body, has thin fur, and is relatively short.
You can find the Indian wolf in the Himalayan areas, making it tricky to distinguish it from the Himalayan wolf. Indian wolf has mostly white belly and legs, with the reddish-grey upper body making it a unique fur coat.
Scientific Name: Canis lupus pallipes.
- Male – 19 to 25 kg.
- Female – 17 to 22 kg.
5. Himalayan Wolf:
The Himalayan wolf is the wolf variety around the Himalayan mountains and the Tibetan Plateau. The Himalayan wolf’s heart can withstand the low oxygen levels at high elevations, also called the Tibetan wolf. As a result, the upper cheeks, ears, muzzle below the eyes have closely spaced speckles.
Though Himalayan or Tibetan wolf prefers grasslands, they can live in various ecosystems, including montane forests and alpine regions. The Himalayan wolf likes yak, sheep, and other domesticated livestock. However, these wolves feed on a variety of small to medium-sized mammals.
Since farmers look to protect their herds, Himalayan wolves are the most hunted and are endangered.
Scientific Name:Canis himalayensis.
6. Eastern Wolf:
The Eastern wolf inhabits western Quebec and southern Ontario and is also known as the Algonquin wolf. These wolves are no longer the subspecies of the Gray wolf but are separated to be a species on their own. These wolves have a hard texture, a patchwork of black and white all over their body. As well, these wolves have a longer coat than some wolves.
The Eastern wolves live in packs and feed on smaller vertebrates. These wolves are threatened species because of deforestation. In addition, they live in smaller groups because of the fragmentation of their population.
Scientific Name: Canis Lycaon.
- Males – 30.3 kg.
- Females – 23.9 kg.
7. Ethiopian Wolf:
The Ethiopian wolf is also called the Abyssinian wolf or Simien jackal and is a threatened species. Being native to Ethiopia, these species of wolves are endangered in Africa and are slender and long-limbed.
Though these species are included in the list of wolves, they are jackals and closely resemble their lupine cousins. This wolf’s tail is bushy and black, while its throat has white fur.
The Ethiopian wolves have intricate hierarchies and live in packs. There is a severe depletion of these wolves because of habitat protection and hunting to protect livestock.
Scientific Name:Canis simensis.
Weight:10 to 20 kg.
8. Black Wolf:
The black wolf is a melanistic specimen of the Gray wolf and is not a distinct species. This means the only genetic variation between the wolves is gray, and their coat is black. Otherwise, the behavior and distribution of the gray wolf are similar to the black wolf.
The mix between a German Shepard and a Malamute looks like a Black wolf. Their piercing eyes are the most captivating features of the Black Wolf; they have sharp noses and pointed ears.
Scientific Name: Canis Lycaon.
Weight: 60 to 140 pounds.
9. Tundra Wolf:
Tundra wolves are types of wolf breeds that inhabit cold areas, for example, in the Siberian region reaching up to Scandinavia, which comes under the Russian tundra. These wolves survive in the cold weather with the help of their long, thick, and fluffy coats.
Tundra wolves are nomadic, and to sustain their diet, they travel far following prey animals such as Arctic foxes, hares, and reindeers. The Tundra wolves are pretty large when compared to other types of wolves. They have light grey color fluffy fur, which is long. But the identification of tundra wolves is difficult in the field as their coat colors can widely vary.
Scientific Name: Canis lupus albus.
See More: Types of Owls with Pictures
10. Hybrid Wolf:
A canine produced by mating a dog with a gray wolf, Eastern wolf, Red wolf, or Ethiopian wolf is called a wolfdog or a Hybrid wolf. An animal that is part wolf and the part domestic dog is called Wolf-dog hybrid or Hybrid for short.
Compared to pure wolves, Hybrid wolves tend to have somewhat smaller heads, pointy ears without dense fur. In addition, compared to black wolves, Black-colored wolfdogs tend to retain black pigment longer as they age.
- Male – 85-155 pounds.
- Female – 75-130 pounds.
11. Domestic Wolf:
Although rare on some occasions, Wolves are kept as working animals or exotic pets; these types of species are also called Domestic wolf. Wolves do not show the same tractability in living alongside humans like dogs, though they are closely related to domesticated dogs. A perfect example of a highly domesticated wolf is the golden retriever.
Scientific Name: Canis lupus familiaris.
Weight: 22.7-50 kg.
12. Arabian Wolf:
Arabian wolf is another subspecies of the gray wolf found in several countries in the Middle East and distributed in the Sinai Peninsula. The Arabian wolf doesn’t live in packs or howl, differentiating it from most other wolf species. In addition, these wolves can camouflage in sandy terrain because their coat color is sepia with chestnut and paler tones. The Arabian wolf is smaller than the Arctic wolf and mainly feeds on carrion and hares. It is a desert wolf.
Scientific Name: Canis lupus Arabs.
13. Mexican Wolf:
The Mexican wolf is a tiny wolf with dark-colored fur and is often considered the rarest wolf subspecies in North America. Although these wolves were common in northern Mexico and the Southwestern United States, they were decimated to near-extinction due to wolf-hunting over the few centuries.
But the Mexican wolf population is on the rise due to a dedicated breeding program. As a result, biologists are hopeful that these wolf species will make a strong recovery.
Scientific Name: Canis lupus baileyi.
14. Steppe Wolf:
The steppe wolf is modestly sized throughout the Caucasus, northern Ukraine, and southern Kazakhstan. The Steppe wolf has coarse, brownish-grey fur and is pretty average in size compared to other wolf types.
Although the steppe wolf’s population is stable, increasing human-wolf conflicts heightened the risk of extinction over the years. Most national laws don’t protect these wolves and are still hunted throughout various parts.
Scientific Name: Canis lupus campestris.
Weight: 77-88 lbs.
15. Eurasian Wolf:
One of the largest and most widely distributed species of wolves on the planet is the Eurasian wolf. You can traditionally find the Eurasian wolves in western Asia and Europe. However, there was a drastic decline in its total population because Eurasian wolves were hunted during the middle ages.
Although Eurasian wolves occasionally prey on livestock, they naturally feed on reindeers, chamois, ibex, and wild goats.
Scientific Name: Canis lupus lupus.
Weight:69 to 80 kg.
See More: Types Of Animals List In The World
Interesting Facts About Wolf:
Here are some fun facts about wolves:
- It is believed that domesticated dogs, bulldogs, poodles, and greyhounds have wild ancestors known as wolves.
- Gray wolves are the largest living wild canine species.
- A wolf pack marks a territory of 50 square miles and hunts within them.
- A wolf travels 8 kilometres in an hour at most, though it can run 40 miles in an hour.
- Wolves howl to communicate with the wolves in the other pack or within themselves.
- The Wolves can roam long distances in a single day, sometimes up to 12 miles.
- Wolves prefer large animals like moose, elk, and deer to eat.
- In a single sitting, one wolf can eat 20 pounds of meat.
The average weight of female wolves is 60 to 80 pounds, whereas it is 70 to 110 pounds for male wolves.
Wolves are the largest species of the Canidae family by nature. However, there was a loss of many species of wolves because of hunting and other human careless actions. We hope the information about the different types of wolves has given you an insight into the realm of wolves. Don’t forget to let us know if you found this article helpful!
1. Which Is The Most Dangerous Type Of Wolf In The World?
The Mackenzie Valley Wolf is the largest and the most dangerous type of wolf globally. According to Daily Science Journal, this carnivorous feral canine can grow seven feet long. This wolf weighs 15 pounds more than the Timber wolf, which aids in the consumption of larger prey with the help of a power-packing jawline, larger lungs, and more robust limbs.
2. What Are The Extinct Types Of Wolves?
Several wolf species are extinct due to constant human persecution. 14 of these extinct wolf types are:
- Sicilian Wolf (Canis lupus Cristaldi)
- Southern Rocky Mountain Wolf (Canis lupus youngi)
- Great Plains Wolf (Scientific Name: Canis lupus nubilus)
- Texas Wolf (Canis lupus monstrabilis)
- Mogollon Mountain Wolf (Canis lupus mogollonensis)
- Japanese Wolf (Scientific Name Canis lupus hodophilax)
- Hokkaidō Wolf (Canis lupus hattai)
- Manitoba Wolf (Canis lupus griseoalbus)
- Mississippi Valley Wolf (Scientific Name: Canis lupus gregoryi)
- Cascade Mountains Wolf (Canis lupus fuscus)
- Florida Black Wolf (Canis lupus floridanus)
- Banks Islands Wolf (Scientific Name: Canis lupus Bernardi)
- Newfoundland Wolf (Canis lupus beothucus)
- Kenai Peninsula Wolf (Canis lupus alces)
3. What Are The Extant Wolf Species Worldwide?
The following are the only species of extant wolves according to official registries shared in the comparative toxicogenomics database (CTD) are:
- Canis Himalayensis
- Canis indicates
- Scientific Name Canis Anthus
- Canis lupus
- Canis rufus
- Scientific Name Canis Lycaon
4. Why Can’t Wolves Be Pets?
Wolfs are not ideal as pets because they naturally require a lot of outdoor space, activity, and socialization with other wolves. In addition, when kept in captivity, wolves can be dangerous to humans since they are not domesticated.
5. Are Wolves Afraid Of Anything?
Wolves are afraid of humans, like most wild animals. Most wolves aren’t scared of other wildlife since they don’t have any natural predators besides some bears. But they tend to get into defensive mode when humans get near.
The information provided in the article is based on research and for informational and educational purposes. The website is not responsible for the authenticity and accuracy of the information