The gray wolf (Canis lupus) is the largest member of the Canidae (dog) family, with a range extending through Alaska and parts of Michigan, Wisconsin, Montana, Idaho, Oregon, and Wyoming. Gray wolves share their ancestry with domestic dogs, coyotes, and wild dogs such as dingoes. Scientists consider the gray wolf to be the species from which most other wolf subspecies evolved. The gray wolf is classified as part of the kingdom Animalia, order Carnivora, family Canidae, and the subfamily Caninae.


Fast Facts: Gray Wolves

  • Scientific NameCanis lupus
  • Common Name(s): Gray wolf, timber wolf, wolf
  • Basic Animal Group: Mammal
  • Size: 36 to 63 inches; tail: 13 to 20 inches
  • Weight: 40–175 pounds
  • Lifespan: 8–13 years
  • Diet: Carnivore
  • Habitat: Alaska, northern Michigan, northern Wisconsin, western Montana, northern Idaho, northeast Oregon, and the Yellowstone area of Wyoming
  • Population: 17,000 in the United States
  • Conservation Status: Least Concern