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Arctic Wolf
Photo: Arctic Wolf, Canis lupus arctos.
Arctic wolf, Canis lupus arctos
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Where are they found? North America

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The Arctic wolf ranges year-round over most of the islands in Canada's Arctic, roaming singly or in packs. The packs are usually comprised of an adult male and adult female and their offspring. Pack sizes are usually 5 to 8 members.

Although smaller and lighter than southern wolves, the Arctic wolf can bring down and kill an adult caribou with a single, crushing bite to the neck. Wolves hunt co-operatively, using strategy to outwit the swift caribou, their major prey species.

Arctic wolves are highly migratory, following the caribou. They will remain in one area usually only long enough to raise their pups.

Pups are born in protected dens where they live for about two months after birth. After that they travel with the rest of the pack and the den site is abandoned.

Survival of Arctic wolf pups depends on food supply and many die young. The size of their population therefore adjusts to fit the availability of prey. Though Arctic wolves were once shot on sight at Arctic bases, now only Inuit hunters kill them. The furs are sold or used in warm clothing.


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Photo: Arctic Wolf, Canis lupus arctos. Photo: Arctic Wolf, Canis lupus arctos. Photo: Arctic Wolf, Canis lupus arctos. Photo: Arctic Wolf, Canis lupus arctos. Photo: Arctic Wolf, Canis lupus arctos. Photo: Arctic Wolf, Canis lupus arctos. Photo: Arctic Wolf, Canis lupus arctos. Photo: Arctic Wolf, Canis lupus arctos. Photo: Arctic Wolf, Canis lupus arctos. Photo: Arctic Wolf, Canis lupus arctos.


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“Arctic Wolf”. [Online]. Natural History Notebooks. Canadian Museum of Nature.
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Learn Your Place!

Become a member of a wolf pack by making appropriate behavioural choices.
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