The Wolf - An Endangered Species

Canis Lupus

What does it mean to be endangered?
- when a species is in immediate danger of extinction, the population numbers are very low, and it needs protection in order to survive.

Why is the Wolf endangered?
- conflict with humans over livestock
- human encroachment on wolf territory
- misunderstanding of wolves

- estimated 200,000 gray wolves worldwide

biotic factors - population of other predators such as bears lynxes, cougars, coyotes, and bobcats
- floral biomass: the better the vegetation and living conditions of an area, the more prey there is to benefit the gray wolf
abiotic factors - various sunlight, weather, water, and climate conditions of the many different places gray wolves live


*size- 4.5 to 6.5 feet in length, 55-130 lbs
*lifespan- 7 to 8 years
*diet- large hoofed mammals such as elk, deer, moos, and caribou; beaver; rabbits; various carcasses
season- January to May
gestation- 63 days
litter size- 4 to 7 pups
age of sexual maturity- 2 years
mating cycle- once a year
maturity of pups- 10 months old
*activity- all seasons of the year, mostly at night
*living situation- pack of 4-7 with an alpha male and female, very close bonds with pack family, strong social relationships, and monogamous mating relationships
*status- always predator, never prey
*housing requirements- each pack has own territory within their habitat; they can live in every type of wildlife besides the tropics; the only requirements are sufficient food and tolerable human existence; second most adaptable creature, next to the humans

Example of Gray Wolf Food Chain:
Conservation Efforts:
Defenders of Wildlife - they are currently working on a lawsuit to reverse the removal of Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves. They are also working to eliminate the practice of aerial gunning on wolves. They have also successfully been working on restoring wolf habitats and other coalition work.

The Future of Ecosystems - What happens without the Wolves?
The loss of wolves within various ecosystems would directly impact both the food chains they are involved in, and the habitats they occupy. If wolves were to go extinct, there would be no balancing of the various large herbivores that wolves feed on. With the wolves gone, those populations would increase drastically. As a population of say, moose, were to increase, there would be more of a demand of the grasses and vegetation they need. The larger number of moose would eat up all the vegetation too quickly. This would leave no food for the smaller species that live there as well, and they would eventually die out. The moose would also be led to starvation because it would run out of grass because of the too large population. The habitat would become a wasteland with no food to sustain its inhabitants, and no inhabitants to keep the habitat flourishing.

Works Cited:
**pictures obtained from google images