Great Plains Wolf (Canis lupus nubilus)

By Peupleloup – Own work, FAL

Great Plains Wolf (Canis lupus nubilus) – (Say 1823) Thought to be extinct, but has descendants in Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota.

Common Names: Buffalo wolf, Dusky wolf,

Overall population:

Physical description: A  Height: 26–38 in (66–97 cm); length: 4.3–6.8 ft (1.3–2 m); tail: 13.8–19.8 in (35–50 cm). Weight: 57–130 lb (26–59 kg). Fur of grizzled gray, white to black or buff with reddish coloring and thick bushy tails that are often black tipped.

Original rangeThroughout the United States of America and southern Canada; Great Plains from southern Manitoba and Saskatchewan southward to northern Texas.
Current rangeWisconsin, Isle Royale National Park in Lake Superior, and northeastern Minnesota. Canada.

Habitat / Ecology / Prey:
Habitat – coastline, wetlands, watersheds, sand dunes, coastal marshes, rocky shorelines, lakeplain prairies, savannas, forests, fens, open tundra
Ecology –
Prey – white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), moose (Alces alces), beaver (Castor spp.), snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus)

Unique behaviors: Readily interbreeds with other subspecies of grey wolf; (C. l. baileyi and C. l. occidentalis), eastern wolves, red wolves and also hybridizing with eastern/red wolf-coyote hybrids.

Legal and Cultural Background:

Keep Michigan Wolves Protected (Lansing, Michigan)
Howling For Wolves (Hopkins, Minnesota)
Northwoods Wolf Alliance (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
Conservation Breeding Specialist Group (Apple Valley, Minnesota)
Timber Wolf Information Network (Wisconsin)
Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society: Manitoba (Canada)
Nature Conservancy Canada

Taxonomic/Genetic Information:


Further Reading

Recovery of gray wolves in the Great Lakes Region of the United States: an endangered species success story; AP Wydeven, TR van Deelen, E Heske – 2009 – Springer

Journal / Scientific Publications:

The morphological relationship of gray wolves (Canis lupus) in national parks of central Canada. Skeel MA, Carbyn LN. Canadian Journal of Zoology. 1977 Apr