Humans have feared wolves for years. They are the stuff of children's stories and instill a sense of fear in many. However, today, the Eastern timber wolf has more reasons to worry than humans. It is now an endangered subspecies of the Gray wolf. It is found in the forested areas of North America.
- The Eastern timber wolf is also known as the gray wolf. It has a silvery gray-brown back with light-tan on the underside. The fur on the neck area and shoulders becomes darker in the winter season.
- The length of the animal generally varies from 150 to 180 cm. This length includes the tail. Its height varies from 65 to 85 cm. The males are larger than the females. On an average, a gray wolf can weigh up to 45 kilograms.
- This is a social animal and prefers to live in a family group or pack. A pack can have six to ten wolves. This includes the breeding pairs and the pups at times. Here, the dominant pair is always in charge of the entire pack. They are the ones who select the areas to rest and the hunting grounds as well.
- The wolves of this species use various ways to communicate with each other. A variety of vocal sounds such as growling and howling are used to indicate their behavior towards each other. This is also combined with various positions of the body, such as flattening of the ears, having a stiff tail, or the hair on the back standing erect. All such patterns are used to communicate in various situations.
- This wolf does not always make regular use of shelters. The den is constructed for the purpose of giving birth and raising pups. It is generally used for a period of 2 months. Such dens are located on slopes, ridges, and are always found near sources of water.
- Any wolf's pack territory can cover 20-120 square miles. This itself shows that this animal requires a lot of space.
- There are times when neighboring wolf packs may share a common border. This would mean that various territories might overlap by more than a mile. In such cases, a wolf that trespasses in another pack's territory can face the risk of being killed by that pack. Therefore the Eastern timber wolf uses its urine to mark its territory. The manner in which a wolf howls is also a way to announce its territory to the other packs, and to bring those wolves together who may have been lost from the pack.
- Its diet includes deer, elk, and smaller animals such as beavers or rabbits. The prey for the wolf also depends upon the seasons. Summertime sees it hunting for beavers and the winter season sees it hunting down the White-tailed deer and the Caribou.