The wolf habitat has shifted frequently in response to habitat loss over the years. Although the wolf once roamed freely throughout much of North America, humans and predator-control programs forced the wolves further north or into extinction in the contiguous United States.
Wolves can survive in a wide range of habitats, helping them to adapt when pushed out of their natural homes. For instance, wolves thrive in deserts, Arctic environments, forests, mountains and grasslands. Although they were forced out of the forests and grasslands of the United States, they survive in the colder regions of North America such as Alaska. After experts listed wolves as endangered and banned hunting, the wolf population grew and began to repopulate the regions it originally roamed, such as Yellowstone National Park, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Oregon and Washington. Wolves are able to survive in unusual habits, such as urban environments.
Wolf habitats also depend upon the particular species of wolf. While they gray wolf has a large range, the Mexican wolf is more adapted to hot, dry areas, such as the forests and scrub areas of Arizona and New Mexico. The red wolf lives exclusively in the southeastern United States in coastal prairies, swamps and forests.