Arctic wolves are a subspecies of the grey wolf, originally native to the northern hemisphere north of 15 degrees north latitude. Behaviorally they are identical to other grey wolves. Arctic wolves live in packs ranging from seven to 30 wolves.
Arctic wolves exhibit a year-round white coat and have a shorter muzzle and ears than other grey wolves. Arctic wolves inhabit northern North America and the eastern and northern coasts of Greenland. Musk-oxen, caribou and snowshoe hares comprise the majority of the wolves' prey base.
One of the only behavioral differences between arctic wolves and other grey wolves is a lack of fear towards humans. Much of the grey wolf population is recovering from heavy past persecution and individuals are shy and wary of humans. Arctic wolves, however, occupy a region with little human influence. As a result they may simply stand and watch a human, sometimes even approaching. Wolf biologist L. David Mech was able to take advantage of this lack of fear and live near an arctic wolf pack for several summers, collecting valuable data on wolf behavior. Despite the wolves' fearlessness, however, they are seldom encountered because of the size of their territories; a single pack might occupy 1,000 square miles.