Italian Wolf (Canis lupus italicus)

Image Source

Italian Wolf (Canis lupus italicus)(Altobello, 1921)

Common Names: Apennine Wolf

Overall population: unknown 500-2000?

Physical description:
Size- Differing cites give an extended size range of 55lbs-88lbs (25kg-40kg (up to 99kg for large males)). Length range is 44in-60in (110cm – 150cm). Shoulder height (50cm-70cm)
Color/Fur- Grey and brown/tawny fur, which reddens in the summer. “The belly and cheeks are more lightly coloured and dark bands are present on the back, tail tip and occasionally along the forelimbs. Black wolves have been reported in the north-central Apennine.” [cite, Wikipedia]

Original rangeWidespread on the Italian peninsula including Sicily. (Until mid-1800’s)
Current rangeA 2016 survey conducted by ISPRA (Istituto superiore per la protezione e la ricerca ambientale) showed that there were probably between 1,269-1,800 wolves in Italy in 2009-2013, a figure which is likely to be an underestimation. It was estimated that 57-89 inhabited the alps, 1,037-1381 in the north-central Apennines, and 175-330 in the southern Apennines.[cite: Wikipedia] Southern France and areas of Switzerland.

Abruzzo Lazio and Molise National Park (Italy)
Parco Nazionale d’Abruzzo, Lazio e Molise

Habitat / Ecology / Prey:
Habitat – Apennine mountains and Western Alps
Preychamois (Rupicapra rupicapra), roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), red deer (Cervus elaphus), Boar wild (Sus scrofa), hares (Lepus europaeus), OTHER food; berries, herbs, garbage

Unique behaviors:

Legal and Cultural Background:
Legally protected as of July 23, 1971

Canislupus Italia (Firenzuola (Firenze, Italy).
LIFE MEDWOLF (Roma, Italy)

Taxonomic/Genetic Information:

A new mitochondrial haplotype confirms the distinctiveness of the Italian wolf (Canis lupus) population
L Montana, R Caniglia, M Galaverni, E Fabbri… – … Biology-Zeitschrift für …, 2017 – Elsevier


Further Reading

Journal Articles / Scientific Publications:

Identification of Pantropic Canine Coronavirus in a Wolf (Canis lupus italicus) in Italy
F Alfano, G Dowgier, MP Valentino… – Journal of wildlife …, 2018 – Wildlife Dis Assoc

… infections in faecal samples of Apennine wolf (Canis lupus italicus) and Marsican brown bear (Ursus arctos marsicanus) in two protected national parks of central Italy
…, L Gentile, S Angelucci, C Amicucci… – Annals of …, 2017 –

[HTML] Italian wolves (Canis lupus italicus Altobello, 1921) and molecular detection of taeniids in the Foreste Casentinesi National Park, Northern Italian Apennines
G Poglayen, F Gori, B Morandi, R Galuppi… – International Journal for …, 2017 – Elsevier

Helminth parasites of the red fox Vulpes vulpes (L., 1758) and the wolf Canis lupus italicus Altobello, 1921 in Emilia-Romagna, Italy
A Fiocchi, A Gustinelli, L Gelmini, G Rugna… – Italian Journal of …, 2016 – Taylor & Francis

One, no one, or one hundred thousand: how many wolves are there currently in Italy?.. Galaverni, Marco; Caniglia, Romolo; Fabbri, Elena; Milanesi, Pietro; Randi, Ettore (2016). Mammal Research.

Changes of wolf (Canis lupus) diet in Italy in relation to the increase of wild ungulate abundance. Meriggi A, Brangi A, Schenone L, Signorelli D, Milanesi P. Ethology Ecology & Evolution. 2011 Jul

Il Lupo: Un predatore sociale ed adattabile, in Apollonio, Marco; Mattioli, Luca, Il Lupo in provincia di Arezzo (in Italian), Montepulciano (SI): Viviani, Alessia; Gazzola, Andrea; Scandura, Massimo (2006), Editrice Le Balze,

Food habits of wolves in central Italy based on stomach and intestine analyses
F Pezzo, L Parigi, R Fico – Acta theriologica, 2003 – Springer

The systematic status of the Italian wolf Canis lupus. Nowak, R. M.; Federoff, N. E. (2002). Acta Theriologica.

Wolf food habits and wild ungulate availability in the Foreste Casentinesi National Park, Italy. Mattioli L, Apollonio M, Mazzarone V, Centofanti E. Acta Theriologica. 1995 Dec