Wolves once ranged over almost all of North America north of Mexico City, except possibly parts of California. Extirpation of gray and red wolf populations began shortly after settlers from Europe arrived. In the United States, the range, population and legal status of wolves varies by state and region.
The main prey for wolves in the United States is moose, deer, beaver, elk, bighorn sheep and mountain goats.
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Current Wolf Population, Trend, Status Number of gray wolves:
48 contiguous states, 5,500 Population trend: Increasing
Number of red wolves: Approximately 30 in the wild and approximately 200 in captivity
Population trend: Decreasing
Legal status: A mixture of Federal protection with some exceptions and state management
Designation under debate by the scientific community.
Common Name: eastern wolf, timber wolf
Latin Name: Canis lupus lycaon or Canis lycaon
Location: C. lupus and the potential C. lycaon are indistinguishable from each other physically, behaviorally and ecologically. The only way to tell the difference between them is a genetic test and comparison. Both inhabit the Western Great Lakes states of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan.
The Fear of Wolves: A Review of Wolf Attacks on Humans (2002) (pdf) This document is available via the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA) with a purpose to provide a foundation for the process of reducing people’s fear of wolves, and to make some management recommendations to reduce the risk of attacks. The goal was to compile existing literature and knowledge on wolf attacks on people from Scandinavia, continental Europe, Asia and North America, and to look for patterns in the cases.