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Wolves of the World

Canada at a glance

Canada supports potentially the largest gray wolf population in the world. Russia may have more but counts are not exact. Wolf habitat is diverse in this large country where, historically, wolves ranged in most areas.  Currently, wolves in Canada occupy approximately 85 percent of their historic range (range lines not depicted).  The 15 percentage without wolves is primarily near the southern border, except near Lake Superior where wolves still live.  See individual provinces.

Species Information

Species 1
Common Name: gray wolf, western wolf, loup (French)
Latin Name: Canis lupus

Location: Northern and western Canada, Great Lakes Area of Canada and United States

Potential species 2 designation under debate by the scientific community:
Common Name: eastern wolf, timber wolf
Latin Name: Canis lycaon

C. lupus and the potential C. lycaon are indistinguishable from each other physically, behaviorally and ecologically. The only way to tell the difference between them is a genetic test and comparison.

Location: Great Lakes Area of United States and Canada, Southeastern Canada

Gray Wolf Region 1
Common Name: arctic wolf
Location: Canadian and Alaskan Arctic

Gray Wolf Region 2
Common Names: great plains wolf, timber wolf, buffalo wolf
Location: South-central Canada primarily around the Great Lakes

Gray Wolf Region 3
Common Names: northwestern wolf, Rocky Mountain wolf, McKenzie Valley wolf
Location: Western Canada into Alaska

Current Wolf Population, Trend, Status
Number of wolves: 53,600 - 57,600
Population trend: Stable/increasing
Legal status: The gray wolf is a game species in most of Canada. The "Algonquin" or eastern wolf is listed as a Species of Special Concern under Canada's Species At Risk Act (SARA) and is protected. Approximately 10.5 - 12.3 percent of Canada's wolf population is harvested annually.

Most recent data available: 2013

Human Relationships


Recovery & Management



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