The North American Gray Wolf
They usually hunt at night and feed primarily on large hoofed mammals such as deer, caribou, elk, and moose, but sometimes eat berries, birds, beaver, fish, and insects. Animals that they kill are usually young, old, or otherwise weaker members of their populations because they are easiest to capture. Most pursuits of prey range in length from 110 yds. to 3.1 miles. Healthy wolves rarely, if ever, attack humans. Their range once covered most of North America. However, today only a few upper states and Canada have a wolf population large enough to maintain itself.
Breeding season can vary from January in low latitudes to April in high latitudes. A wolfpack will alternate between
a stationary phase from spring through summer and a nomadic phase in autumn and winter. The stationary phase involves caring for
pups at a den or homesite.
most movements are toward or away from the pups, and adults often travel and hunt alone. By autumn, pups are capable of traveling
extensively with the adults, so until the next whelping season the pack usually roams as a unit throughout its territory in search
of prey. Though often only the highest ranking male and female in a pack will breed, all members of the pack are involved in raising
the young. Mortality factors affecting wolves include persecution by humans, killing by other wolves, diseases, parasites, starvation,
and injuries by prey. Most wolves probably live less than 10 years in the wild.
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