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Wolves are social, complex, playful and intelligent-they educate their young, take care of their old and support their injured. They are not unlike humans.
- Look similar to a domestic dog such as German Sheppard or Husky, but with a bigger head. The wolf is also longer and taller than a dog, with narrower chest and larger feet. Domestic dogs and wolves are similar weight.
- Yukon wolves range in colour from nearly pure white to jet black, with most being a tawny grey or tan.
Height: 85 cm
Weight: 35-45 kg
Lifespan: 4-10 years, up to 15 years
Habitat: Wolves survive and thrive in most environments. They can be found throughout the Yukon Territory in forested and alpine areas and are usually found wherever there are caribou, one of their main food sources.
Yukon: S4 (Apparently Secure)
Global: G4G5 (Apparently Secure/Secure)
Yukon population estimate: 5000
Wolves have strong social behaviour. Though some wolves are solitary, they generally form packs. The basic social unit of a wolf pack is the mated pair, accompanied by the pair's adult offspring. The mated pair form the alphas and are dominant in the social order. They are the only members allowed to breed in the pack. The average pack size in Yukon is seven to nine wolves, though smaller and larger pack sizes are not uncommon. Formation of a pack is very important for co-operative hunting and raising pups.
Wolves and People
- The wolf is a major crest of many Yukon First Nation bands. In southernYukon, most First Nations peoples belong to one of two clans: the Crow Clan and the Wolf Clan.
- Wolves are often feared as dangerous predators, though very few attacks on humans have ever been documented. They are very wary of humans and will usually maintain a large distance.
- Prior to the 1970s global wolf populations suffered massive human-caused declines. Programs have now been put in place in many jurisdictions to foster recolonization and reintroduction in parts of its former range.
Moose, caribou, sheep, and other ungulates.
© Government of Yukon 2015
living with wolves
If there is nothing for a wolf pack to eat in the area they will move on. Please protect your pets and yourselves by following the tips provided below.
Manage Your Attractants
Managing attractants and promoting pet and public safety.
Store bird feeders indoors at night and clean up spilled birdseed to avoid attracting rodents, small mammals, and other canid prey.
Ensure there are no attractants in your yard: store garbage, pet food, or meat and meat scraps in a locked wildlife resistant container.
Manage compost carefully - no meat, fat, bones, or seafood shells. Ensure the compost bin is securely built and has a lockable lid.
Keep Your Pets Safe
Cats and dogs that run free are easy prey and may encourage foxes, coyotes and wolves to range closer to your property.
If you own a cat: the only way to ensure its safety is to keep it indoors or provide it with an outdoor-enclosed cat run.
Small dogs should be kept and fed inside, supervised while outside and only let out unattended into a yard with a well-built dog run or enclosed fenced yard.
- Walk your dog on a leash, even if well trained.
- Trim trees and shrubs to reduce hiding places for canids and their prey.
Keep Yourself Safe
Reduce habituation to the presence of people.
- Always make noise while skiing, walking or running on trails
- Install motion-sensitive lighting around your yard or motion sensor alarms.
- Never feed coyotes, foxes or wolves; this puts you and your neighbours at risk.
Attacks on humans are very rare! To scare canids away use rocks, sticks, pots and pans, and even a tin filled with rocks. Make yourself look big, wave your arms, shout and yell in an aggressive voice.
*If you notice predatory behavior with wild canids report it to Conservation Officer Service TIPP LINE @ 1-800-661-0525.