The different types of wolves include the gray, red, Arctic, Indian, Himalayan, Ethiopian and Eastern wolf. The grey, or common wolf, is the largest member of the wolf family and has the ability to adapt to a wide variety of habitats.
Gray wolves make their homes in mountains, deserts, grasslands, plains and even urban areas in search of food. They are opportunistic hunters, hunting in large packs of up to 40 animals. They prey upon rodents, beaver, deer and bison. Gray wolves were once abundant throughout North America and are benefiting from programs that have successfully reintroduced them to areas where they once thrived.
Unlike the gray wolf, the Arctic wolf has a singular habitat and is primarily found in Alaska, Greenland and Canada. It rarely comes into contact with humans. Arctic wolves have thick, padded coats that allow them to withstand extremely cold temperatures and harsh conditions. They have the ability to hunt on frozen ground where they prey upon lemmings, seals, musk oxen, birds and the Arctic hare. Packs are smaller than the gray wolf, with two to twenty members.
The red wolf is a smaller, slender cousin of the gray wolf. It was hunted almost to extinction and is considered to be endangered. It is social and territorial and lives further south in Texas, Louisiana and North and South Carolina. Unlike other wolf species, the red wolf hunts alone. It is primarily nocturnal, shy and secretive. Packs are small, usually consisting of a breeding pair and their offspring.
The Eastern wolf is found throughout Canada and in the United States around Mississippi. Experts believe they follow the migration patterns of white-tailed deer. Unlike other wolf species, the Eastern wolf has been known to mate with coyotes, which is threatening the species' overall genetics.