The black wolf is a member of the canidae family. It belongs to the gray wolf subspecies of the gray wolf. This phenotype, with a completely black coat, is the result of a hybridization of the wolf with the domestic dog.
If you are passionate about this totem animal that has seduced many peoples, because of certain undeniable qualities, such as intelligence, instinctual strength, resistance and robustness, then consult this article to learn more and understand in details what is a black wolf.
General information on the black wolf
The black wolf belongs to the subspecies Canis Lupus occidentalis. The latter includes several subspecies, such as the Mackenzie wolves or the Tundra wolves. This animal, called the Alberta wolf, lives in the far north of Canada and Alaska.
More specifically, this wild animal lives in the coniferous forests of Eurasia and North America, in the rocky mountains and in the taiga.
The species has a population of about 10,000 in the Northwest Territories of Canada.
Lodging in the animal parks
The Parc Animalier des Pyrénées has been developed to allow visitors to observe the wolf population in a more favorable and secure setting.
The Sainte-Croix Wildlife Park in France received a new 7-member subspecies of Canadian wolves called "Timberwolf" in November 2019 from the Givkud Zoo in Denmark.
The strengths of the black wolf
The black wolf is distinguished by the strength of its senses. In particular, it is endowed with a very powerful sense of smell which can extend over 300 m. Also, it is a very powerful sprinter, which can run with an extraordinary speed, about 50 km/h. Moreover, it is a nyctalope animal which benefits from a strong night vision.
The black wolf measures about 80 cm at the withers. It is tall and has a large head, with relatively short ears, and a wide forehead. It has large soles, which facilitate its movements on the snow.
This animal is among the most imposing wolves in terms of weight, as it can weigh up to 60 to 80kg. Note that males weigh more than females, by about 20%.
The phenomenon of melanism is quite rare in the wolf category. On the other hand, it is present throughout the northern hemisphere, including Western Europe, such as Italy.
Hunting and feeding
The black wolf generally hunts in packs. Thanks to its developed sense of smell, it can spot its prey from afar. It relies on its speed to pursue its prey over long distances, in order to exhaust it and be able to bounce back.
Being a carnivorous animal, it feeds mainly on large ungulates, such as: elk, bison, caribou and white-tailed deer.
Depending on the season and the area occupied, this wolf is sometimes satisfied with small prey, such as beaver, hare, rodents and birds. They may even feed on dead bodies.
The Canadian wolf plays an important ecological role. As a super-predator, it creates a regulating effect by hunting wild ungulates. This allows to protect certain trees against overgrazing. Moreover, it allows to clean the nature of detritus and corpses.
The Canadian wolf lives in a pack of 4 to 12 members that are perfectly bonded. The strong relationship between the wolves of the clan allows them to capture a more important and larger prey.
The pack has a strict hierarchy. At the top of the hierarchy is the Alpha couple, which is composed of the dominant wolf and the dominant she-wolf. They are the leaders of the clan, to whom the other wolves are subservient and show their loyalty.
Only the Alpha female has the right to breed. When the cubs reach maturity, they can leave the pack to form their own clan.
The size of a pack's territory is usually between 80 and 240 km². This measure differs from one region to another. To emphasize its territory, the black wolf leaves markings such as: feces and urine. In addition, it uses howlingto inform other wolves that its territory is occupied.
This animal digs dens in the ground, which are dedicated to giving birth. This takes place in the spring and gives birth to 4 or 6 cubs. Generally, these underground shelters are built under rocks and near a water source. They are dedicated to shelter and protect the wolf and her cubs.
Since the reinstatement of the black wolf in Yellowstone National Park, the ecosystem has returned to balance, allowing for the regeneration of some species that were once extinct.
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For wolf lovers, it is quite possible to integrate their passion for this totem animal in the contemporary style, without spoiling its charm. It would be nice to exploit the ferocity and majesty of the powerful profile of this wild animal to accentuate the friendliness of the space.