Arctic wolves are a subspecies of gray wolf. They live in the Arctic regions in North America and Greenland, located above 67° north latitude. They’ve managed to hold onto their original range, unlike their southern brethren. They’re smaller than gray wolves in length, although they tend to weigh more.
Made for the Cold
Arctic wolves have great adaptations that allow them to stay warm in the below freezing temperatures of the Arctic. They also have the two layers of fur that gray wolves do: guard hairs that protect them from rain and snow and an undercoat that insulates them from the cold. They also have shorter noses, ears, and legs. Their feet have fur between the pads and they’ll wrap their tails around themselves to cover their noses to keep warm.
Lifespan & Pups
Normally wolves will use a den to keep their pups safe when they’re born. However, the ground in their home regions tends to be frozen and so they’re unable to build a den. So instead they’ll use caves or rock outcrops. Mothers will give birth to 2-3 pups in late May or Early June. In the wild, they usually live between 7-10 years.
These wolves have held onto their historic range mostly because they don’t come in contact with humans very often. That doesn’t mean they don’t face threats to their survival. Human development in the form of mines, oil drilling, and roads can cause problems with their food supply. Climate change also has caused more extreme weather conditions, which affects the amount of prey available to them.
What can you do?
Make a difference by staying up to date on what’s going on with Arctic Wolves and their habitat. Share what you learn with others and encourage them to do the same. An easy way to do that is with our Arctic Wolf poster! A perfect addition to any office, classroom, or bedroom. It has pictures and facts for you to show others to teach them and get them involved.