European Wolf

European wolf living at Wingham Wildlife Park

Size
A large individual can reach a length of 160cm, standing at 85cm to the top of the shoulder.  Average weight is 35Kg, but 50Kg have been recorded.

Habitat and Distribution
This is a forest dwelling species which can be found in some parts of Russia and Asia as well as Scandinavia, Iberia, Western Alps, Italian Peninsula, Romania, Finland, Germany and Poland.

Age
In the wild this species may only live for 7 years, however they may live for 15 years in captivity.

Groups and Breeding
European Wolves are not as social as America Wolves, and packs may only contain as many as 5 or 6 animals (although larger packs have been recorded).  After mating a female will give birth to a litter of 4 to 7 pups.

Diet
This is a carnivore which will feed on  prey as large as Red Deer, Mountain Goats, Moose and Wild Boar.  In areas of human settlement they may also scavenge for food scraps.

Threats
This species has for many years been persecuted in the wild for its reputation as a livestock killer and has been hunted to extinction in some countries (including the UK).  Its other main threat comes from the destruction of its forests.

Interesting facts

European Wolves have been genetically identified as being the main wild descendant for the domesticated dog.