The grey wolf (Canis Lupus) is the largest wild canine species in all of North America. There are only 5 subspecies of the grey wolf in America currently which will vary in size and color. Wolves live in family groups called packs that are led by the alpha female and male. The other members of the pack are normally their pups. The average life span of a wolf in the wild can range from 4-8 years. In captivity, their life span almost doubles, living for as long as 12-14 years old.
Wolves play an important role in keeping the ecosystem healthy. Before wolves were reintroduced into Yellowstone National Park, the elk population doubled, and plant species were disappearing due to overgrazing. Since their reintroduction in 1995, scientists said the elk populations decreased, almost extinct plant species are now thriving, even other animals such as grizzly bears are benefiting from the wolves presents within the park.
The fear of the “big bad wolf” has resonated with many people. So much so that the wolf population is now a fraction of what it used to be many years ago. Now they are being hunted out of anger and fear. The wolves need our help now more than ever.