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Canis lupus Linnaeus, 1758
Grey Wolf; Timber Wolf
Family: Canidae


© Larry Halverson     (Photo ID #76816)


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Distribution of Canis lupus in British Columbia.
(Click on the map to view a larger version.)
Source: Map courtesy of the Province of British Columbia (2008).

Species Information

The grey wolf is the largest wild member of the Canidae family and is one of two wolf species in British Columbia (the second is the Coyote or Prairie Wolf). They live in packs but are elusive and are not often seen. The pack is comprised of a male, a female, and their offspring.

The Grey Wolf may be confused with the Coyote, but is more variable in colour and larger and heavier, while the Coyote is fairly uniform in colour. The two species do hybridize in the northeastern US and southeastern Canada.

Global Range

Though once abundant over much of Eurasia and North America, the gray wolf inhabits a very small portion of its former range because of widespread destruction of its territory, human encroachment of its habitat, and the resulting human-wolf encounters that sparked broad extirpation.

BC Range:

The Grey Wolf is found throughout British Columbia.

Status Information

Origin StatusProvincial StatusBC List
(Red Blue List)
NativeS4S5YellowNAR (May 1999)

BC Ministry of Environment: BC Species and Ecosystems Explorer--the authoritative source for conservation information in British Columbia.

Additional Notes


View a video of the Grey Wolf by ARKive

Further Reading

Darimont, C. T., T.E. Reimchen, and P.C. Paquet. 2003. Foraging behaviour by gray wolves on salmon streams in coastal British Columbia. Canadian Journal of Zoology 81: 349–353.

General References