Facts about Newfoundland Wolfs. "Scientific name for Newfoundland Wolf is Canis Lupus Beothucus. A subspecies of the North American Grey Wolf, the Newfoundland Wolf was hunted to extinction. Unlike other wolf subspecies, the Newfoundland Wolf was hunted for its pelt instead of an effort to protect livestock.
Appearance of Newfoundland Wolf
The Newfoundland Wolf was considered unusually light in color. Its grey coat was purportedly so light that it was almost white or pure white. Preserved specimens are light grey with some streaks of white and black on their bodies.
The Newfoundland Wolf had a similar appearance to the Great Plains Wolf, also called the Dusky Wolf. The Great Plains Wolf is mostly light in coloring though dark and black individuals exist.
Physical Characteristics of Newfoundland Wolf
The Newfoundland Wolf was a medium-sized subspecies of grey wolf. The Newfoundland Wolf had a more slender skull than others. It was around a hundred pounds (45.35 kg) in weight and five feet (1.52 meters) in length, though rare specimens reached a hundred and thirty five (61.23 kg) pounds. The Newfoundland Wolf had a lighter pelt than other subspecies of grey wolves. This subspecies is not known to have black specimens like other grey wolf populations.
It had shorter ears and thicker, bushier fur than its southern relatives, likely adaptations to the cold, snowy maritime climate of Newfoundland.
Behavior of Newfoundland Wolf
The Newfoundland Wolf was probably a subpopulation of the Great Plains Wolf, Latin name Canis lupus nubilus or CL nubilus.
The Newfoundland Wolf lived in packs consisting of one dominant breeding pair, their new litters, older offspring that haven’t left to find their own packs or join other packs, and siblings of the dominant pair.
The Newfoundland Wolf and its related species fed on bison, elk, moose, deer, and other large herbivores. Newfoundland Wolves would feed on snow hares and smaller prey when larger ones were not available. The Newfoundland Wolf did not compete with smaller coyotes for food; that was an issue for the canis bailey species to the west and south. The Newfoundland subspecies thus did not crossbreed with the coyote. It probably cross-bred with the C. l. Occidentalis subspecies. The C. l. Occidentalis group was the last wolf species to enter North America via the Bering Land Bridge.
This subspecies was not as wary of humans as other grey wolf species. Newfoundland Wolves were known to approach humans to feed on the carcasses they brought back to butcher and even enter human tents. Newfoundland Wolves rarely attacked humans, though, unless humans were seeking their pups to raise as pets or kill for pelts. Newfoundland Wolves were hunted for their furs by Native Americans before the arrival of Europeans. The arrival of European hunters and farmers drove them to extinction.
Habitat and Range of Newfoundland Wolf
The Newfoundland Wolf was a member of canis lupus nubilus subspecies, identified in 1823 by Say. It was being gradually displaced on the western end of its range by Canis Lupus Bailey prior to its extinction.
Trivia about Newfoundland Wolf
While this subspecies went extinct by 1923, the related subspecies still exist across Canada.
If it is considered a member of the Northwestern wolf population, then it is not extinct because that population still exists, but it is then still geographically extinct in Newfoundland.