Facts about Northern Rocky Mountains Wolfs. "Scientific name for Northern Rocky Mountains Wolf is canis lupus irremotus".. Unlike the Southern Rocky Mountain Wolf and Mongollon wolf, this Northern Rocky Mountain grey wolf subspecies is alive and well. The Northern Rocky Mountains Wolf was listed as endangered in 1978 but had recovered enough to be removed from that list in 2000.
The Northern Rocky Mountains Wolf has been the subject of continual legal fights to reintroduce it into its range. Farmers and ranchers fear the threat of wolves attacking people and killing livestock, while environmentalists value the animals more.
Appearance of Northern Rocky Mountains Wolf
The Northern Rocky Mountains Wolf is one of the largest North American grey wolves. The Northern Rocky Mountains Wolf are light in color, sometimes with black mixed in with the white or light grey fur. Their southern relatives have darker grey fur with more black, beige, and brown mixed in.
Physical Characteristics of Northern Rocky Mountains Wolf
Northern Rocky Mountain Wolves range from 70 pounds to 140 pounds (64 kg). (The record specimen for this subspecies was 145 pounds (66 kg).) Males are larger than the females, usually over 100 pounds (45.3). They are two and a half to three feet (.76 to .91 kg) tall.
The Northern Rocky Mountain Wolf is closely related to the Great Plains Wolf. However, the Northern Rocky Mountain Wolves are genetically isolated from the wolf populations in the Southwest and upper Midwest.
Behavior of Northern Rocky Mountains Wolf
The Northern Rocky Mountain Wolf feeds on large prey like bison, elk, deer, beaver, pronghorn, and anything else it can catch. Bison were their primary prey until that species was nearly wiped out as the railroads and settlers with guns moved in. The Northern Rocky Mountain Wolves have access to enough large prey that they rarely go after small prey like rabbits. In extreme situations, they will resort to cannibalism.
The Northern Rocky Mountain Wolves eat between 10% and 20% of their body weight per day. They readily preyed on livestock that settlers brought into their range in the late 1800s. Wolf control programs began in 1915 to reduce their population. All Northern Rocky Mountain Wolves had been eliminated from Yellowstone National Park by 1924, though the wolves still existed in the outlying mountains.
The Northern Rocky Mountain Wolves live in larger packs centered around a breeding pair and its pups. The other wolves are either the older offspring of the breeding pair or related to the breeding pair. While the Mexican Grey Wolf lives in packs of four to ten, the Northern Rocky Grey wolf lives in groups from ten to thirty. Groups that get much longer tend to split into two smaller packs.
Habitat and Range of Northern Rocky Mountains Wolf
The Northern Rocky Mountain grey wolf lives in the northern Rocky Mountains, primarily in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. Their habitat extends all the way to southern Alberta, Canada. Small populations exist in western Oregon and Washington state. The Northern Rocky Mountain Wolves are native to the area that later became Yellowstone National Park.
Trivia about Northern Rocky Mountains Wolf
The Northern Rocky Mountain Wolf subspecies was identified by Edward A Goldman. Several other subspecies were also identified by Mr. Goldman, including the Southern Rocky Mountain Wolf that is extinct.
The Northern Rocky Mountain Wolf has the interesting distinction of being placed on the Endangered Species List and removed twice. In September 2014, a court vacated the delisting of the wolves under the Endangered Species Act, adding them back to the list for the state of Wyoming. The closely related Mexican Grey Wolf remains on the Endangered Species Act’s species list.
Recovery plans to reintroduce wolves to the southern Rocky Mountains will involve Northern Rocky Mountain Wolves.