Wolves are mammals (stating the obvious). They live in groups called packs that can have from around 5-15+ members. There can be 30 members but usually between the numbers I said. Packs are most often a group of related wolves, like a couple of mates and their off-spring. Lone wolves may wander in and join the pack, but that is a risky thing to do as they may be killed… Wolf packs have different ranks in their packs. The most commonly used terms for these are alpha, beta and omega, then a bunch of other wolves, like pups, hunters etc. The alphas are the leaders of the pack and make decisions about what the wolves will do. The beta or betas (as there may be two but most likely one) Make sure all the wolves of the pack do their job correct, and also help decide if a lone wolf should join the pack. The omega or omegas are naturally suspicious/slightly paranoid. They are lookout wolves and also break up fights between pack members. Two small packs may join together, or a large pack may split into two packs.
Alpha females either lead a group of hunters, or tell them what to hunt and send them out to catch it. A list of what wolves eat: deer, elk,caribou and other large hoofed mammals (ungulates), they can eat beavers, hares, rodents such as muskrats, eggs and fish, in times when food is scarce they can also eat berries, grass and such vegetation. A friend of mine told me they eat wolf berries, but I am not sure about this. I believe they can also eat invertebrates and insects like earthworms and grasshoppers, but as with the grass, not a primary food source.
Habitat and Territory
Wolves can be found in many northern hemisphere habitats among them are: tundra, savannas, plains and forests, both coniferous and deciduous. Wolves will make a territory where there is water, a supply of food and a good place to build a den. Considering a wolf can travel around 12 miles a day, their territories are pretty big. The size can range from about 18 km squared to 1300 km squared. The size depends on many factors including how many members the pack has and how much food is in the area. In places with many people they will have a smaller territory, and where there are other predators like cats or bears, they will have a larger territory. The territory size may change with annual migrations of prey and can get smaller after the breeding season when the pack are looking after pups and can’t concentrate on territory so well.
Species of Wolf
Among the species of wolf, only 4 are considered ‘true wolves’. They are: grey wolf or timber wolf (Canis lupus), red wolf (Canis rufus),eastern wolf (Canis lycaon) and Ethiopian wolf, Abyssinian wolf or simian jackal (Canis simensis). The rare Indian wolf (Canis indica) and Himalayan wolf (Canis himalayaensis) are uncertain due to genetic mix-ups caused by wolf-dog interbreeding. The maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus)is of a different genus altogether. Another species, now extinct, is the dire wolf (Canis dirus).
Subspecies of Wolf
The subspecies of grey wolf are: Arabian wolf (Canis lupus arab), arctic wolf (Canis lupus arctos), mexican wolf (Canis lupus baileyi), steppe wolf (Canis lupus campestris), italian wolf (Canis lupus italicus), Tibetan wolf (Canis lupus laniger), Alexander archipelago wolf (Canis lupus ligoni), Eurasian, european, common or Carpathian wolf(Canis lupus lupus, McKenzie valley wolf(Canis lupus occidentalis), Iranian wolf(Canis lupus pallipes), Alaskan wolf ( Canis lupus pambasileus), Iberian wolf (Canis lupus signatus), tundra wolf(Canis lupus tundrarum), Kenai peninsula wolf (Canis lupus alces), Newfoundland wolf(Canis lupus beothucus), Bernard’s wolf(Canis lupus bernadi), British Columbia wolf(Canis lupus columbianus), Vancouver island wolf(Canis lupus crassodon), dingo (Canis lupus dingo), domestic dog(Canis lupus familiaris), cascade mountain wolf(Canis lupus fuscus), Manitoba wolf(Canis lupus griseoalbus), Hudson bay wolf(Canis lupus hudsonicus), northern rocky mountains wolf(Canis lupus irremotus), labrador wolf(Canis lupus labradorius),eastern north America timber wolf(Canis lupus lycaon), Baffin island wolf(Canis lupus manningi), Mogollon mountain wolf(Canis lupus mogollonensis), Texas wolf(Canis lupus monstrabilis), McKenzie tundra wolf(Canis lupus mckenzii), Great plains wolf(Canis lupus nubilus), Greenland wolf(Canis lupus orion), southern rocky mountain wolf(Canis lupus youngi), Tibetan wolf (Canis lupus chanco), Hokkaido wolf (Canis lupus hattai), Honshu Japanese wolf (Canis lupus hodophilax). The subspecies of red wolf are: Florida red wolf (Canis rufus floridanus), Mississippi valley red wolf (Canis rufus gregoryi) and Texas red wolf (Canis rufus rufus). There are no Eastern, Ethiopian, Indian, Himalayan or Maned wolf subspecies. There is also the Egyptian wolf (Canis aureus lupaster).
Many of these wolves are now extinct, some of human causes and some not. These human causes are over hunting their food supplies, deforestation and car-road accidents. Help protect wolves, don’t let them all die.
A lone wolf is a wolf that, as its name suggests, lives alone. A lone wolf is on average more aggressive than a wolf in a pack. They will not be able to hunt ungulates alone, and will have to hunt rodents and scavenge carrion. A lone wolf may find another lone wolf of opposite gender and together they will start a new pack. If a lone wolf wanders into a pack, it may be killed or allowed to join.
Howl-bark. A howl-bark is a warning to other pack members. It starts off high-pitched and turns into a short howl..
Yips, yaps, squeals and chirps can be used when two wolves are playing or as a sign of submissiveness to higher ranking pack members.
Growl. It is a very deep sound to show the wolf should be taken seriously.