Wolf

Wolf (Canis lupus)

Description:
Wolves vary in color and can be sandy, yellow, gray, or black. The tail has a black tip.

Wolf

Figure 1: Wolf

Relevance to snow leopard conservation:
Wolves share similar niche with snow leopards, hunting the same prey species in many cases.  Wolves can compete for food with snow leopards, can be known to drive a solitary cat from the food, and may benefit from scavenging after a snow leopard eats.  When wolves kill livestock, they often kill many, and herders can respond by retaliating indiscriminately on predators – setting traps, poison, hunting, etc which can directly impact snow leopards. Wolves play an important ecological role in naturally regulating wild populations of their prey species; from ungulates to rodents.

Behavior:
Wolves live alone, or in family groups. They are mostly active at night. Wolves tend to be shy and will generally avoid villages unless their normal food is unavailable, in which case they may scavenge for food in human settlements.

Diet:
Wolves eat small to medium-sized mammals, birds, carrion, and fruit. They may also eat livestock such as sheep and goats.

Habitat:
Wolves live in open terrain and high mountains.

Animals that could be mistaken for this species:
Although red foxes and wolves are quite different in size and coloring, they can sometimes be easily confused in research camera photos taken in low light, at a distance, or when the animal is moving. Wolves are much larger than foxes, with longer legs. Wolves have a larger nose pad and more smaller ears relative to their head size. They also lack the distinctive black legs and black upper ear tips that red foxes have. The tip of a wolf’s tail is often black, whereas the tip of a fox’s tail is often white.

Images of wolves

These are images from our research cameras that CatCam visitors have identified as containing at least one wolf. Click on a thumbnail to see a larger image

References

Gurung, K.K., & Singh, R. (1996). Field Guide to the Mammals of the Indian Subcontinent: Where to watch mammals in India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan. London: Academic Press.

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