The Eastern wolf is also known as the Timber wolf, the Eastern timber wolf and the Algonquin wolf. This animal is endemic to the Great Lakes region and the Southeastern part of Canada.
It is widely regarded to be a peculiar subspecies or distinct species of the Gray wolf. Its biological name is Canis Lupus Lycaon.
According to several studies on the animal, it is discovered to be a hybrid of ancient and modern genetic pooling between the Gray wolf and the Coyote.
Other studies claim that all populations of the eastern wolf and coyotes were initially distinguished from the same ancestor over a million years ago.
It is also speculated that the eastern wolf might be the same species or a close relative to the red wolf of Southeast U.S.A. It is regarded as a peculiar wolf breed and deemed worthy of conservation.
The eastern wolf is of two types; the Great Lakes wolf (the larger eastern wolf), usually found in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, southeast Manitoba and Northern Ontario.
The second type is the Algonquin wolf, which can generally be found in eastern Canada, particularly central Ontario and southwest Quebec. There are some mixing and overlap of the two forms in the northwest and northeast Ontario.
|Subspecies||C. l. lycaon|
The height of the eastern wolf ranges from 66-81 centimetres, and they are 91-160 centimetres long. They can run as fast as 64 kilometres per hour. As the wolf gets older, it grows longer black hairs.
Its fur is dark greyish-brown mixed with yellowish-brown colour. The tail, nape and shoulder areas are greyish-black. The chest region is reddish, and the flank region is creamy.
Just like its ancestor, the red wolf, the eastern wolf’s size is somewhere between the Coyote and the gray wolf. The females are lighter in weight than the males at 23.9kg while the males weigh an average of 30.3kg.
The eastern wolf has an average life cycle ranging from 6 to 8 years, with a maximum of 15 years. Their size is said to be influenced by their adaptation to an environment filled with medium-sized prey.
Size and Characteristics
The eastern wolves, like other wolves, are social animals. They breed, live and hunt in packs. These packs are very territorial, and they are careful to avoid crossing paths.
Only lone wolves often stray into the territories of other packs. Their territories are quite sizeable. An average pack’s territory can be a landmass of 110-186 kilometres.
The eastern wolf also has an age of dispersal that is much earlier than that of the gray wolves. The young ones disperse at 15 weeks.
They live in family packs which are usually made up of an unrelated pair and their offsprings from previous litters. A pack’s numerical strength ranges from 3-6 wolves.
The eastern wolves have various ways of communicating with each other. They employ the use of specific body languages, scent and different vocalisations to convey their messages. Among these vocalisations, howling is the most popular one.
This sound is very common with wolves and they use this sound to keep the pack or family together. Due to the size of the territory a pack dominates, it is expected that at one point or another, they stray from each other.
Their howling sounds can cover and be heard from long distances. In open terrains, they could be heard from miles away. The eastern wolves have been known to react to howls made by humans from about 3 miles away.
Eastern wolves, like other wolves, are carnivorous animals. Their primary prey is the white-tailed deer. They also prey on the moose and beaver.
The eastern wolves are forests animals. They live in deciduous and mixed forests in the South. In the North, they live in mixed and coniferous forests.
Breeding season for the eastern wolves occurs between middle to late February during which the dominant pair mates. The female wolf gives birth to an average of 5 cubs around April to May.
Their conservation status is said to be threatened. They have a population of fewer than 500 wolves in the wild.