The gray wolf originated in Eurasia and made its way to North America more than 750,000 years ago. The gray wolf's habitat grew to cover most of the Northern Hemisphere and eventually came to inhabit the largest range of any mammal in history save the lions.
The gray wolf’s range has been reduced to Canada, Alaska, the Great Lakes, northern Rockies and Pacific Northwest. Wolves require large areas of contiguous habitat that can include forests and mountainous terrain with access to prey, protection from excessive persecution and areas for denning and taking shelter.
The Grey Wolf (Canis Lupus), also known as the ‘Timber Wolf’ is the largest of the wild dog family. Grey Wolves were once in abundance and distributed over North America, Eurasia and the Middle East. However, because of human-related activity such as destruction of habitat and excessive hunting, Grey Wolves now only occupy a fraction of their former range.
The gray wolf's story is one of the most compelling tales of American wildlife. Once, the wolf was widespread across most of North America, but it was hunted ruthlessly and extirpated over most of its range. Today the wolf is making a successful comeback in some of its former habitat due to strong conservation efforts.
What Is the Natural Habitat of a Gray Wolf? Gray wolves are highly versatile animals and thrive in a wide range of environments, including woodlands, tundra and desert regions. The gray wolf's current habitat includes Canada, Alaska, the Great Lakes, the northern Rockies and the Pacific Northwest.
The gray wolf habitat, in the past, included areas as varied as the deserts of Egypt and the bone chilling, icy tundras of the Arctic. The gray wolf is almost as adaptable as man; It is no wonder that its habitat is spread all over the world.
Mexican Gray Wolf Habitat. Mexican wolves have been released into some of the mountainous forests and woodlands within their known historic range. They eat large and small mammals, and depend on a healthy population of large ungulates (elk, deer) to survive. They obtain most of their liquids through their food.
Wolf population dynamics in the U. S. Northern Rocky Mountains are affected by recruitment and human-caused mortality. Journal of Wildlife Management 76:108-112; Mech, L. D. 2011. Gray wolf, Canis lupus, movements around a kill site and implications for GPS collar studies. Can. Field Nat. 125: 353-356.
The reduction in wolf habitat has long been one of the greatest threats to North American gray wolves. As wolf habitat decreases due to human encroachment, their numbers are forced to dwindle. Wolves need a large area away from humans to establish their home range. The wolves need an area for their den, commonly found near a water source.
More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. We're on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 52 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive.