Portrait of a grey wolf in a forest

Grey wolf

Grey wolves have long embodied the spirit of the wilderness. Once they had the largest natural distribution of any mammal except humans. Sadly, they can no longer claim this record as they have been lost from much of their former lands. Grey wolves still occupy a range of habitats including Arctic tundra, prairies and forests.

The young are born blind and deaf in dens and totally reliant on their mother, and the pack, for warmth and food. Hunting with the pack for reindeer and bison begins before the pups are a year old. There are almost 40 subspecies including Arctic, tundra and Arabian wolves, domestic dogs and the dingo. They are the largest of the wild dogs.

Scientific name: Canis lupus

Rank: Species

Watch video clips from past programmes (19 clips)

In order to see this content you need to have an up-to-date version of Flash installed and Javascript turned on.

View all 19 video clips

Distribution

Map showing the distribution of the Grey wolf taxa

Species range provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

The Grey wolf can be found in a number of locations including: Africa, Arctic, Asia, China, Europe, Himalayas, Indian subcontinent, Mediterranean, North America, Russia. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.

Habitats

The following habitats are found across the Grey wolf distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status

Least Concern

  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Population trend: Stable

Year assessed: 2008

Classified by: IUCN 3.1

Video collections

Take a trip through the natural world with our themed collections of video clips from the natural history archive.