How Long Do Wolves Live (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 6-8 Years

Wolves are big predatory canids that were previously prevalent over North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia, but now only exist in remote areas. Canids, which also include foxes and coyotes, are the largest living members of the family. All domestic dogs descended from wolves.

In North America, there are two types of wolves. The red wolf, Canis rufus, is a smaller species with shorter, redder fur than the grey wolf. The grey wolf, Canis lupus, is larger and has thicker fur that is more grey or golden than the red wolf. In the northeastern United States, Canada, and Europe, the grey wolf can be found. The southeastern United States is home to the red wolf.

How Long Do Wolves Live?

Source Life Expectancy
Animal Planet Website10-18 Years
National Geographic6-8 Years

Wolves are clever creatures, as evidenced by their upright ears, keen teeth, pointed muzzles, questioning gaze, and other facial traits. A wolf’s weight and size can vary dramatically across the globe. In general, shoulder height ranges from 0.6 to.95 meters and weight from 20 to 62 kg.

The Grey Wolf is the largest canid in the wild. Extreme wolf specimens measuring greater than 77 kilograms have been seen in Alaska and Canada, but they are uncommon. The wolf is a powerful wild animal with a biological relationship to the domestic dog. The life expectancy of wolves is unknown.

The experts at the Animal Planet website estimate a wolf’s mortality rate to be between 10 and 18 years; however, the “National Geographic” journal estimates a wolf’s life expectancy to be closer to 6 to 8 years in the wild.

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In the United States, the grey wolf and the nearly extinct red wolf are the two wolf breeds. Wolves travel in packs of five to fifteen people. A wolf will mate for life, and puppies will remain with their mothers until they are about two years old. The wolf has a reputation for being aggressive, even though it rarely attacks humans.

Wolves in the open die far sooner than wolves in confinement on average. According to the PBS, 60 percent of puppies die. Starvation is one of the leading causes of natural death. Fights with huge animals or other wolves can result in fatalities. The disease is also a problem, and the threat is heightened by human encroachment on wolf territory.

Why Do Wolves Live That Long?

A wolf’s life is arduous and often short. The likelihood of a pup surviving is quite unpredictable. Some years, most or all of the puppies in a pack perish. Most of all of them survive in other years.

The majority of wolves that survive their first six to nine months are dead by the age of three or four. In a healthy wolf population, one out of every four or five adult wolves dies each year. The alpha wolves are the ones who live the longest. They usually have a lifespan of six to nine years.

Only one or two pups out of every ten survive their first year and reach the status of alpha. The majority of wolves die without ever breeding, and only a few wolves live long enough to reach adulthood.

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Even when humans are not engaged in the killing of wolves, these rates of mortality are normal. Wolves are very gregarious animals. They are born into a family of wolves and spend most of their lives with them. Wolves are intimately acquainted with one another.

Consider a world where one out of every four or five individuals you know is likely to die. Wolves die for a variety of reasons, including a lack of food and being killed by other wolves in a food fight.

Conclusion

Grey wolves are one of the most widely distributed land mammals on the planet. They live in a wide range of environments, including arctic tundra, forest, prairie, and dry terrain. In the wild, grey wolves can live up to thirteen years, while the average lifespan is 5 to 6 years.

They frequently die of old age or injuries sustained when hunting or fighting with other wolves as adults. They can survive up to fifteen years in captivity.

References

  1. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1465-7295.1976.tb00394.x
  2. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-0-387-85952-1_2
  3. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006320717301441
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