Northern Rocky Mountain wolf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canis lupus irremotus

Rocky Mountain Wolf

The Northern Rocky Mountain wolf is a subspecies of Gray Wolf. The Northern Rocky Mountain is native to the northern Rocky Mountains and the high plains. Their range includes northwestern Wyoming northward through western Montana and eastern Idaho to Lethbridge in southern Alberta. Listed as endangered in 1978, this medium to large light colored wolf was removed in 2000 and then re listed in 2010. They were removed once more in 2012 as their numbers met state quotas. The subspecies was described by Goldman in 1937.

When the ungulate population declined due to over hunting in the 19th century, the wolves turned to domestic livestock for survival. Buffalo hunters became "wolfers." Local governments, ranchers and even the Federal government placed bounties on wolves. Their numbers plummeted. Eventually this led to an upsurge in the number of ungulates and even changes in plant species as a result of the lose of predation.

These lighter colored wolves range in size from 60-110 pounds. They travel in packs of 2 to 15 individuals. Average breeding age is three years with only dominant individuals producing puppies. Litter size is around 5 to 6 individuals. Rocky Mountain Wolves prey mainly on large ungulates. Their reintroduction to former territories has led to controversy.

 

Rocky Mountain Wolf

Wolf Skull

Rocky Mountain Wolf skull on the left. MacKenzie Valley Wolf skull on the right.

Northern Rocky Mountain Wolf

Northern Rocky Mountain Wolf 6

Northern Rocky Mountain Wolf

 

 

 

 

Canis lupus irremotus

85 - 135 pound

Subspecies of Gray Wolf

From the Rocky Mountains through the high plains

60-110 pounds

10-16 years

5 to 6 puppies

Estrus occurs from January to April

Driven to near extinction by over hunting

Removed from the Endangered Species List in 2012