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Species at Risk

Eastern Wolf

Canis lupus lycaon

What is the Eastern Wolf?

Species at Risk - Who Knew?

In the Mauricie region, the territory of an Eastern Wolf pack is roughly 500–700 km2 in size. That means La Mauricie National Park’s 536 km2 (which is almost 320 times the size of Montreal’s Olympic stadium) cannot possibly sustain two wolf packs. Only certain portions of the park are used by the wolf packs that currently include the park as part of their territories.

The Eastern Wolf is fairly small and fawn-coloured, with black on its back and sides, and red-brown behind its ears. In the Mauricie region, male Eastern Wolves stand about 80 cm at the shoulders and weigh around 45 kg, while females measure about 75 cm at the shoulders and weigh approximately 28 kg.

Wolves live in organized groups, or packs. Only the dominant male and female in the pack reproduce. In spring, after a two-month gestation period, the female gives birth to a litter of five or six pups. Sexual maturity occurs at 2–3 years of age and maximum lifespan is around ten years in the wild.

Where is the Eastern Wolf found?

Canada’s populations of Eastern Wolves, a sub-species of the Grey Wolf, are found primarily in southeastern Ontario and southwestern Quebec. This range includes La Mauricie National Park of Canada.

The Eastern Wolf needs large areas of forest- either deciduous, coniferous, or mixed- where it can find enough prey to survive. It preys on deer and moose, as well as beaver and other small game. It is a shy mammal, easily disturbed by human presence and activity.

Wolf tracks in La Mauricie National Park of Canada
Wolf Tracks in La Mauricie National Park of Canada.
© Parks Canada / J. Pleau / (09) / 1998