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Gray Wolf

Gray wolf Where the animal is: Habitat: The gray wolf habitat, in the past, included areas as varied as deserts of Egypt and the bone chilling, icy tundras. The gray wolf is as adaptable as man; it is no wonder that the habitat of the gray wolf is spread all over the world. The Great Plains Wolf, which is a subspecies of the gray wolf, is a native to the gray wolf habitats in North America. It is also known as the buffalo wolf or the Eastern timber wolf. Once, these gray wolves dominated and claimed the vast stretches of continental US, especially, the western United States and southern Canada as their habitat.

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Today, Minnesota, Michigan, and Wisconsin serve as the gray wolf habitat. Occasionally, these gray wolves have been reported in the states of Dakota and Nebraska. Destruction of the habitat: Originally, Gray Wolves had the largest distribution of any mammal except humans. Their geographic range was mainly in the Northern hemisphere spanning from the Arctic towards South America and Southern Asia. Today due to habitat destruction and environmental changes, the Gray Wolf is found only in the United States, Alaska, Canada, Mexico, and Eurasia.

Unfortunately, by the mid-1930s, the killing of wolves greatly reduced the Gray Wolf population in the United States to parts of Alaska, Idaho, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Today, Minnesota has the largest wolf population of any U. S state! What is being done to save the gray wolf? Wolf reintroduction  involves the artificial reestablishment of a population of wolves into areas where they had been previously extirpated. Wolf reintroduction is only considered where large tracts of suitable wilderness still exist and where certain prey species are abundant enough to support a predetermined wolf population.

The five last known wild Mexican grey wolves were captured in 1980 in accordance with an agreement between the United States and Mexico intended to save the critically endangered subspecies. Since then, a comprehensive captive breeding program has brought Mexican wolves back from the brink. Currently, there are 300 captive Mexican wolves taking part in the program. The ultimate goal for these wolves, however, is to reintroduce them to areas of their former range.

In March 1998, this reintroduction campaign began with the releasing of three packs into the Apache-Sit greaves National Forest in Arizona. Today, there may be up to 50 wild Mexican wolves in Arizona and New Mexico. The final goal for Mexican wolf recovery is a wild, self-sustaining population of at least 100 individuals. Facts about the gray wolf : Sixty-six wolves were reintroduced into Yellowstone National Park and the wilderness of central Idaho in 1995 and 1996. There are now enough wolves to warrant removal from the list of endangered species in the states of Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming.

The 66 wolves reintroduced into Yellowstone and central Idaho have developed into a population of about 1,000 in the Northern Rockies of Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming (this figure does not include this year’s pups). About 390 wolves have been killed by federal and state officials in “management actions” in the Northern Rockies since the wolves were reintroduced. An equal number were killed illegally. Wolves are social among their own kind, but typically avoid human contact and rarely pose a threat to human safety. In the past 100 years, there have been several published accounts of human injuries, but no fatalities, due to wolves. Pictures:

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