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Algonquin Wolf

Canissp. cf. lycaon

The highest density of Algonquin wolves are found in Algonquin Park.

COSEWIC Status: Threatened

COSSARO Status: Threatened

Credit: Ted Krug

Description

  • Fawn-coloured pelt with long black hairs on the back and sides and a reddish colour behind the ears.
  • Adult males weigh between 25 and 35 kg and females weigh between 20 and 30 kg.

Habits and Reproduction

  • A “pack” animal, found in groups usually of 3-6 adults.
  • Each pack has a home range that is loosely defended from neighbouring packs.
  • A territory can be up to 500 square km in size (average typically 150 square km).
  • Feeds on white-tailed deer, beaver and moose, as well as on caribou in the northern part of its range.
  • Predators include people, bears and other wolves.
  • Two leaders of the pack (the alpha male and alpha female) mate in February.
  • Pups are born approximately 63 days later in a den which has been dug into the ground. Generally 4-7 pups are born per pack.
  • Pups are nursed for the first six to eight weeks. Once weaned, they rely on the other members of the pack to feed them.

Habitat

  • Deciduous and mixed forests in the southern part of its range and mixed and coniferous forests further north.
  • Require relatively large areas of unbroken forest.

Threats

  • Habitat loss as a result of forest clearance and farmland/residential development.
  • Genetic studies show the hybridization between Algonquin wolves and coyotes could be a long-term threat to the genetic integrity.

Conservation Actions

  • Year-round closed hunting and trapping season in and around Algonquin Provincial Park.
  • Closed hunting and trapping season from April 1 to September 14 across core wolf range to protect wolves raising young, a requirement that hunters purchase a wolf game seal with a limit of two per year, and mandatory reporting by hunters and trappers and by persons that destroy a wolf in protection of property.
  • A Management Plan is being developed for the Algonquin Wolf (June 2008).

Range Map

Photo Gallery

Credit: Algonquin Park Museum