Facts about Mackenzie Valley Wolfs. "Scientific name for Mackenzie Valley Wolf is Canis lupus occidentalis". The Mackenzie Valley Wolf is an endangered gray wolf subspecies. In 1943, Rudolph Anderson, a prolific zoologist from Canada identified the North Mackenzie Valley Wolf as subspecies Canis lupus mackenzii but decades later after further investigation, reclassification placed the wolf as a member of the Canis lupus occidentalis subspecies in 1992.
Physical Appearance of Mackenzie Valley Wolf
The North Mackenzie Valley Wolf ranks high among some of the largest subspecies of North America. Mature and fully-grown females weigh about 10-20 percent less than the male counterparts that weigh an average of between 100 to 150 pounds (45 to 68 kg). Measured from the nose tip to the end of the tail, the North American Mackenzie Tundra Wolf stretches to about 60 to 65 inches (152 to 165 cm) in length when fully grown.
The color of the coat varies and may one or a combination of grey-black, white, cream or yellow-white shades. The Mackenzie Valley Wolf have powerful, long legs that help increase their average mileage cover even in deep snow and other tough terrain like rough rocky mountainsides and pathways. The Mackenzie Valley Wolf also have powerful muscles in the neck region, an adaptation to support their heavy skull.
Natural Habitation of Mackenzie Valley Wolf
Sparse populations of the Mackenzie Valley Wolf are scattered around the Great Slave Lake region. Its main natural habitat, however, is in the Northwest Canada stretch from the arctic coast all the way to the southern peripheries of the Great Bear Lake, but mostly to the East of the Mackenzie River.
Dietary composition of Mackenzie Valley Wolf
The Mackenzie Valley Wolf feeds mostly on caribou; a large North American deer with branched antlers. As supplementary diet sources, this wolf subspecies also hunt and eat rodents as well as salmon.
Important adaptations of Mackenzie Valley Wolf
One of the more prominent features is the limbs. Long and thick, the limbs of the Mackenzie Valley Wolf comfortably support its body weight and the build makes tough terrain less of an encumbrance. The Mackenzie Valley Wolfs can cover great distances every day.
Buried in the chest cavity of the Mackenzie Valley Wolf are large lungs. This is particularly important for an efficient breathing process and especially while traveling through mountains or similar high-altitude areas. With efficient breathing, the Mackenzie Valley Wolf can cover great mileage with added tenacity.
The caribou is the main food for the Mackenzie Valley Wolf. This is, however a relatively large prey. Added to its speed, the wolf masterfully uses the combination of a strong neck and an equally powerful jawline to stealthily attack the prey and break its bones.
Status of the subspecies of Mackenzie Valley Wolf
The Mackenzie Valley Wolf is an endangered pack owing to human activity such as recreational hunting and logging. Illegal hunting expeditions have had a negative impact on the survival of this subspecies, putting a significant strain on its summed population. Similarly, logging activities destroy the natural habitats of these canines.
Like many other wolves, the Mackenzie Valley Wolf community operates with small to medium-size packs. Each pack may consist of an average of up to 12 wolves, hunting, establishing, and protecting territories as a unit. The Mackenzie Valley Wolf also shares similarities with other gray wolf subspecies such as Canis lupus tundarum, popularly known as Alaskan tundarum wolves.