The European wolf: find out what this animal is like, its physical characteristics, character, behavior, etc. The Canidae family is made up of various wild animals and also...

Help the development of the site, sharing the article with friends!

The Canidae family is made up of various wild animals and also domestic dogs. Specifically, in this Planet Animal file, we want to present information about one of the types of wolves, the European, Canis lupus lupus, which has been divided into several subspecies. Also known as the Eurasian or European wolf, it is an animal with distinctive characteristics within the group.

Wolves have an ancient relationship with human beings, which, on the one hand, has given rise to fables, myths and even cinematic creations, but, on the other hand, they have often been terribly affected by mass hunting.Keep reading the following lines to discover the European wolf.


  • Asia
  • Europe

Characteristics of the European wolf

Given its characteristics, the European wolf is one of the great predators of Europe, in fact, it is the second, since the first place belongs to the brown bear. Here are its main features:

  • It is a generally large wolf, although its dimensions may vary depending on the specific region where it lives. So, for example, wolves that are found further north can weigh around 80 kg, while those in more southern regions weigh between 25 kg and 30 kg.
  • The length of the body varies between 1 and 1.6 meters. The height reaches and can exceed 40 centimeters.
  • The footprint of a wolf is similar to that of a large dog. It is made up of four fingers with claws.
  • The skull is narrower than that of other wolves, a characteristic that increases until the formation of the nose.
  • The ears are located in a high position, which gives them closeness, although they are short.
  • It has long legs, but with a somewhat narrow base.
  • The coat is relatively short, with the exception of the neck, back and tail, where it is generally longer.
  • As for the coloring, it may vary. Northern specimens often have lighter grayish tones, while in other regions they tend to be brown in color, with reddish parts. However, it is common for them to be white from the cheeks to the chest.

European Wolf Habitat

The European wolf was once the most widespread carnivore, being present in virtually every country on the continent, with a few exceptions, such as the United Kingdom.However, from the 20th century, their situation changed dramatically. Today, thanks to reintroduction projects, it can be present again in countries such as France, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden and Norway, as well as in the east of the continent and on the Iberian Peninsula. . Similarly, a population increase is estimated towards northern and central Asia.

The habitat of the European wolf is varied, this translates into a capacity for flexibility that it has shown over time in terms of territorial expansion. In this sense, it can inhabit isolated forests with different temperature ranges, forests, snow-covered ecosystems, grasslands, as well as places close to human populations, which tends to generate conflicts.

Habits of the European wolf

These canines have a well-defined social structure in the herds in which they live. Their numbers vary depending on food availability and habitat conditions.The group is led by a pair of female and male alphas, who, among other privileges, are the first to feed. European wolves tend to be territorial, in fact it is vital for an individual of a certain age to have a mate and be able to form their own pack.

Once installed, they are jealous of their expansion area, which, depending on the region, can vary between 100 and 500 square kilometers. To delimit the territory, they use marks of urine and excrement, thus indicating their presence to other groups. If these exceed the limits, violent confrontations can occur. European wolves are generally active within their range, moving within it.

European wolf feeding

The European wolf is a carnivorous animal. The prey populating its habitat conditions its presence in the area. It has a varied diet, consuming a wide variety of animals, since an average wolf needs 1.5 to 2 kg of meat per day to maintain itself, even if it can go several days without eating.In this way, this subspecies of wolf can feed on moose, deer, wild boar, roe deer, reindeer, bison, small invertebrates and even, possibly, vegetation. When there is a shortage of food, wolves are forced to attack domestic animals, such as sheep or cows. Moreover, in these circumstances, they even feed on garbage.

Reproduction of the European wolf

Generally, European wolf breeding is a privilege of the alpha couple, so other individuals must take their independence at some point and found their own pack to have their offspring. Usually, these animals reach sexual maturity at two years of age. The breeding season takes place between January and April, although it is usually later for the groups that inhabit the north of the region. The gestation time lasts between 60 and 63 days and each litter has 5 to 6 cubs, although this depends on the availability of food.The new members of the group remain there until the age of two, at which time they are emancipated from it.

Conservation status of the European wolf

The European wolf is a subspecies that has been under great pressure for centuries, to the point of having disappeared from certain regions due to the persecution and murder of each individual down to the last, for which rewards were even offered and laws passed. Thanks to the efforts aimed at its conservation, this animal is reintroduced in different countries, and likewise it has been reinserted in its original areas from which it had been eliminated.

Currently, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has categorized the gray wolf species as Least Concern, but depending on the conditions of the subspecies, specific guidelines are established in each region, which has led to their inclusion in certain legal instruments for their protection.

Pictures of The European wolf

Help the development of the site, sharing the article with friends!