The Wolf Intelligencer


Tundra Wolf (Canis lupus albus)

Tundra Wolf (Canis lupus albus) – (Kerr 1792)

Common Names: Turukhan wolf
Mech, L. David (1981), The Wolf: The Ecology and Behaviour of an Endangered Species, University of Minnesota Press, p. 353,

Overall population: Unknown

Physical description:
A wolf of large size; Body length of males (23) 118-137 cm, tail length 42-52,average weight 40 kg, maximum 49 (1 specimen of 55,with the stomach contents) Body length of female wolves (23) is 112-136 cm, tail length 41-49 cm, average weight 36.6 kg, maximum 41 kg.
Greatest length of skull of males (10) 248.5- (M257.2) -270 mm: females 237.5- (M 247.9 mm) -256.4 mm.
Pelage is very long, dense, fluffy and soft. Length of top hairs is 150-160 mm, guard hairs, 80-150 and underfur, about 70.The usual color is very light and gray; underfur has two zones of color; the lower is lead gray, the upper is reddish gray.”
Heptner, V. G. & Naumov, N., P. (1998) Mammals of the Soviet Union Vol.II Part 1a, SIRENIA AND CARNIVORA (Sea cows; Wolves and Bears), Science Publishers, Inc., USA, pp. 182-184, ISBN 1-886106-81-9

Original range – Northern Eurasia, Finland, Arctic Islands north of Siberia.
Current range – The Tundra Wolf can be found throughout Northern Europe and Asia from Northern Finland to the Kamchatka Peninsula, from the far north in Russia to the Arctic. They primarily reside in the northern arctic and boreal regions of Russia roughly between 65 and 71 degrees latitude. (They have been seen on Wrangel Island.?)

Habitat / Ecology/ Prey:
Habitat: | Biomes
Biomes of Finland
(Temperate broadleaf and mixed forests) (Taiga) (tundra)
Biomes of Russia
(tundra) (Boreal forests/taiga) (Temperate broadleaf and mixed forests) (Flooded grasslands and savannas) (temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands) (Taiga) (temperate coniferous forests) (montane grasslands and shrublands) (deserts and xeric shrublands)

Larch closed-canopy forest,  forest tundra and shrub tundra, graminoid tundra and prostrate herb tundra and barren areas.

Strong shrub expansion in tundra-taiga, tree infilling in taiga and stable tundra in central Chukotka (north-eastern Siberia) between 2000 and 2017. Shevtsova I, Heim B, Kruse S, Schröder J, Troeva EI, Pestryakova LA, Zakharov ES, Herzschuh U. Environmental Research Letters. 2020 May

Ecology:| Ecoregions
Ecoregions of Finland
Baltic Sea, Sarmatic mixed forests, Scandinavian and Russian taiga, Scandinavian montane birch forest and grasslands

Ecoregions of Russia

Altai alpine meadow and tundra, Altai montane forest and forest steppe, Amur Meadow Steppe, Arctic desert, Baltic Sea, Bering tundra, Caspian lowland desert, Caucasus mixed forests, Central European mixed forests, Cherskii-Kolyma mountain tundra, Chukchi Peninsula tundra, Crimean Submediterranean forest complex, Da Hinggan-Dzhagdy Mountains conifer forests, Daurian forest steppe, East European forest steppe, East Siberian taiga, Great Lakes Basin desert steppe, Kamchatka Mountain tundra and forest tundra, Kamchatka-Kurile meadows and sparse forests, Kamchatka-Kurile taiga, Kazakh forest steppe, Kazakh Steppe, Kola Peninsula tundra, Manchurian mixed forests, Mongolian-Manchurian grassland, New Siberian Islands, Northeast Siberian coastal tundra, Northeast Siberian taiga, Northwest Russian-Novaya Zemlya tundra, Okhotsk-Manchurian taiga, Pontic–Caspian steppe, Romincka Forest, Sakhalin Island taiga, Sarmatic mixed forests, Sayan alpine meadows and tundra, Sayan Intermontane steppe, Sayan montane conifer forests, Scandinavian and Russian taiga, Selenge-Orkhon forest steppe, South Sakhalin-Kurile mixed forests, South Siberian forest stepp, Southern Siberian rainforest, Suiphun-Khanka meadows and forest meadows,, Taimyr-Central Siberian tundra, Temperate rainforests of the Russian Far East, Trans-Baikal Bald Mountain tundra, Trans-Baikal conifer forests, Urals montane tundra and taiga, Ussuri broadleaf and mixed forests, West Siberian broadleaf and mixed forests,West Siberian taiga, Wrangel Island, Yamalagydanskaja tundra

Prey: Reindeer (Rangifer tarandus),, Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) (Alopex lagopus), (Tundra Hare (Lepus timidus), Wolverine (Gulo gulo), Sable (Martes zibellina), Siberian Bighorn Sheep (Ovis nivicola), Chukotka moose (Alces alces buturlini), Black-capped Marmot (Marmota camtschatica), Arctic Lemming (Dicrostonyx torquatus), Tundra Shrew (Sorex tundreni), Varying Hare, (Lepus timidus), Northern Pika (Ochotona hyperborea), brown rat (Rattus norvegicus), NarrowSkulled Vole (Microtus gregalis), Middendorf’s vole(Microtus middendorffi), tundra root vole (Microtus oeconomus), stoat / ermine (Mustela erminea), least weasel (Mustela nivalis)

Non-Prey in Northern Eurasia
Walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) , East Siberian Lynx (Lynx lynx wrangeli), Brown Bear (Ursus arctos)

Beautiful Birds in northern Finland, Siberia and Kamchatka Peninsula!
Common Raven
(Corvus corax), Hooded Crow (Corvus cornix) Willow Warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus), Redwing (Turdus iliacus), Whooper Swan (Cygnus cygnus), Steller’s Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus pelagicus), Thick-billed Murre (Uria lomvia eleonorae and U.heckeri), Red-throated Loon (Gavia stellata), Gyrfalcon (Falco rusticolus), Pelagic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pelagicus) Rough-legged Hawk (Buteo lagopus)

Unique behaviors:
Breeding season is usually late March through April, reasonably later in the year than for most wolves because of the high latitude of the Tundra Wolves habitat.

Legal, Economic and Cultural Background:
Finland / Suomi – Legally protected at different levels in different parts of Finland directed by the The Habitats Directive of the European Union.
Russia / Россия – NO protection

Demographic portrait of the Tazovskaya, Gydanskaya and Nakhodkinskaya tundras in the Arctic zone of Western Siberia in the context of the transformation of traditional lifestyle. BOGDANOVA EN, LOBANOV AA, ANDRONOV SV, POPOV AI, KOCHKIN RA, MORELL I. Revista ESPACIOS. 2020 Mar

The Wolf Action Group of the Finnish Nature League (Helsinki, Finland)
Susiryhmä – Luonto-Liitto
Salakaadot seis (Helsinki, Finland)
The Finnish Association for Nature Conservation (FANC) (Helsinki, Finland)
Suomen Luonnonsuojeluliitto
Association Lupus Laetus (Biostation Christy Lee, Tver region, Russia)
Biodiversity Conservation Center (Moscow,  Russia)
WWF (Moscow, Russia)

Taxonomic/Genetic Information:
Mech, L. David (1981), The Wolf: The Ecology and Behaviour of an Endangered Species, University of Minnesota Press

Tundra Wolf
Scandinavian Wolf
Wolves in Russia

Further Reading
Wolves in Finland / Suomi
Wolves in Russia / Россия

Journal / Scientific Publications:

Organochlorine pesticide, polychlorinated biphenyl and heavy metal concentrations in wolves (Canis lupus L. 1758) from north-west Russia. Shore RF, Casulli A, Bologov V, Wienburg CL, Afsar A, Toyne P, Dell’Omo G. Science of the Total Environment. 2001 Dec

Hunting practices increase the prevalence of Trichinella infection in wolves from European Russia. Pozio E, Casulli A, Bologov VV, Marucci G, La Rosa G. The Journal of parasitology. 2001 Dec

Bird and Mammal of the Lena Delta Nature Reserve, Siberia. GILG O, SAN R, SOLOVIEVA DV, POZDNYAKOV VI, SABARD B, EICHHORN G. ARCTIC. 2000 Jun

Mech, L. David (1981), The Wolf: The Ecology and Behaviour of an Endangered Species, University of Minnesota Press

Heptner, V. G. & Naumov, N., P. (1998) Mammals of the Soviet Union Vol.II Part 1a, SIRENIA AND CARNIVORA (Sea cows; Wolves and Bears), Science Publishers, Inc., USA,


%d bloggers like this: