Where Are Wolves Found?


Quick Answer

Canis lupus, the common wolf, originally ranged throughout the Northern Hemisphere, living in North America from the Arctic down to Mexico, and from northern Europe down to southern Asia and northern Africa. Canis rufus, the red wolf, is a North American species that once ranged from Ontario to the southwestern United States.

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Full Answer

There are several other canid species who have a common name that contains "wolf", but most are more popularly called wild dogs, jackals or something else; for example, the so-called "prairie wolf" is better known as the coyote. Of the two wolf species named above, the red wolf is less populous and was considered extinct in the wild in 1980. They are now found exclusively in eastern North Carolina due to reintroduction. The common wolf, on the other hand, is extinct in many areas of Europe and North America, but many wild populations still exist in remote areas or wildlife preserves across its original range. The common wolf has numerous subspecies, including the arctic wolf and timber wolf. Common wolves live in conditions ranging from tundra to desert. Red wolves are thought to have once lived in swampy marshes and river bottoms. The red wolves now extant in North Carolina prefer wetlands but may be found on remote agricultural land and in shrubby forests called pocosins.

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