On average, wolves live six to eight years. Some wolves living in the wild live to be 13 years old, and in protected areas, wolves can live for 16 or 17 years.
Life in the wild is fraught with risks that have an impact on wolves' longevity. Starvation is one of the main causes of death, particularly among pups. Wolves are subject to mortal injury in territorial fights or when struggling with prey. They also contract various diseases like distemper, parvovirus, mange and Lyme disease that weaken them and often lead to death. Humans are a particular danger as they encroach on wolves' territories, destroy their habitats and attempt to trap, poison or shoot them to keep them from attacking livestock.