The Wolf Intelligencer


Greenland Wolf (Canis lupus orion)

Greenland Wolf (Canis lupus orion) – (Pocock 1935)

Common Names: Greenland wolf

Overall population: unknown,

Physical description:

Original range – Greenland, Queen Elizabeth Island
Current range – Northwest Greenland National Park

Habitat / Ecology / Prey:
Habitat – arctic tundra
Ecology –
Prey – muskoxen (Ovibos moschatus), Lemmings (Dicrostonyx groenlandicus), Arctic Hares (Lepus arcticus)

Unique behaviors:

Legal and Cultural Background:

Greenland Wolf Research Program

Taxonomic/Genetic Information:

“Furthermore, we identify three distinct populations in the high arctic, one being a previously unidentified “Polar wolf” population endemic to Ellesmere Island and Greenland. Genetic diversity analyses reveal particularly high inbreeding and low heterozygosity in these Polar wolves, consistent with long-term isolation from the other North American wolves.”

Population genomics of grey wolves and wolf-like canids in North America. Sinding M-HS, Gopalakrishan S, Vieira FG, Samaniego Castruita JA, Raundrup K, Jørgensen MPH, Meldgaard M, Petersen B, Sicheritz-Ponten TID, Mikkelsen JB, Marquard-Petersen U, Dietz R, Sonne C, Dale´n L, Bachmann L, Wiig Ø, Hansen AJ, Gilbert MTP. 2018. PLoS Genet 14(11): e1007745.


Further Reading

A new DNA study reveals a previously unidentified North American ‘polar wolf’

Journal / Scientific Publications:

Insular and disjunct distribution of the Arctic wolf in Greenland, 1978–1998; U Marquard-Petersen – Polar biology, 2011 – Springer

Long-term responses in arctic ungulate dynamics to changes in climatic and trophic processes; MC Forchhammer, E Post, NC Stenseth… – Population …, 2002 – Springer

Food habits of arctic wolves in Greenland; U Marquard-Petersen – Journal of Mammalogy, 1998 –

Endoparasites of arctic wolves in Greenland; U Marquard-Petersen – Arctic, 1997 – JSTOR

Wolf-sightings on the Canadian arctic islands; FL Miller, FD Reintjes – Arctic, 1995 – JSTOR

Dens and summer pack size of Arctic wolves in Hold with Hope, East Greenland;
U Marquard-Petersen – Polar Record, 1994 –

Mammals of central north Greenland; O Bennike, AK Higgins, M Kelly – Polar Record, 1989 –

The wolf (Canis lupus) in Greenland: a historical review and present status
PR Dawes, M Elander, M Ericson – Arctic, 1986 – JSTOR


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