Gray Wolf Subspecies

Arctic wolf - by Kent Weber

North America

Subspecies Scientific Name Range Status Notes

Arctic Wolf
C.l. arctos Alaska; Greenland; Northern Canada Unknown Only subspecies found over it's entire historic range

Mexican Gray Wolf

C.l. baileyi Central Mexico to Soutwestern U.S. Endangered Smallest subspecies
in North America;
extinct in wild by 1970; reintroduced  in 1998

Bernard's Wolf

C.l. barnardi Bank Islands, Canada Endangered  

Vancouver Island Wolf

C.l. crassodon Vancouver Island, Canada Endangered Extremely shy and rarely seen by humans

Hudson Bay Wolf /
Tundra Wolf

C.l. hudsonicus Northern Manitoba, Northwest Territories, Canada Unknown Very similar to Mackenzie Valley subspecies, only smaller

N. Rocky Mountains Wolf

C.l. irremotus Northern Rocky Mountains of the US;  Canada Unknown  

Labrador Wolf

C.l. labradorius Northern Quebec, Labrador, Canada Endangered One of the least studied wolves in the world due to difficult terrain

Alexander Archipelago Wolf

C.l. ligoni Coastal Southern Alaska 750-1,100 animals Individuals commonly swim between islands

Eastern Wolf

*C.l. lycaon Ontario, Quebec & Manitoba, Canada;  Minnesota, US Endangered in US;
Still 40% of range
in Canada
Recent studies indicate it is a distinct species, but no official change in classification yet;  probably most closely related to the Red Wolf

Mackenzie Tundra Wolf

C.l. mackenzii Mackenzie River Drainage, Canada Endangered Classified part of C.l. occidentalis in 1992

Baffin Island Wolf

C.l. manningi Baffin Island, Canada Endangered Smallest of all arctic wolves

Great Plains Wolf/
Buffalo Wolf

C.l. nubilus Great Lakes region of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan & Ontario Endangered Largest historical range of any subspecies; believed extinct by 1926; later discovered that Great Lakes wolves are descendants

Mackenzie Valley Wolf/ Canadian Timber Wolf

C.l. occidentalis Rocky Mountains of Canada & U.S. (reintroduced to Yellowstone & Idaho) Endangered / Threatened / Unprotected Largest subspecies in N.America

Greenland Wolf
C.l. Orion Greenland   No evidence that this was ever a distinct subspecies

Interior Alaskan Wolf

C.l. pambasileus Interior Alaska   May be an extension of Alaskan Tundra Wolf

Alaskan Tundra Wolf

C.l. tundrarum Along the arctic coast of northern Alaska   May be an extension of Interior Alaskan Wolf

Kenai Penninsula Wolf

C.l. alces Kenai Penninsula, Alaska Extinct by 1925 At 150-200 lbs, largest subspecies in North America before their disappearance

Newfoundland Wolf

C.l. beothucus Newfoundland, Canada Extint by 1911 Extinct before it was scientifically described in 1937

British Columbian Wolf

C.l. columbianus Western Canada Extinct Usually had black coats; smaller than other Canadian wolves

Cascade Mountain Wolf

C.l. fuscus Cascade Mountains
of Canada & U.S.
Extinct by 1940 Usually had a brown or tawny coat

Manitoba Wolf

C.l. griseoalbus Central Manitoba,
N. Saskatchewan, Canada
Extinct / Endangered Believed by many to be Hudson Bay wolves - never completely accepted as a separate subspecies

Mogollon Mountain Wolf

C.l. mogollonensis Arizona, New Mexico Extinct by 1935 Named for the Mogollon people who lived in the same area

Texas Wolf

C.l. montrabilis New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana Extinct 1942  

S. Rocky Mountain Wolf

C.l. youngi Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, California Extinct by 1935  

Iberian wolves - by Juan José González Vega


Species Scientific Name Range
Status Notes

Eurasian Gray Wolf

C.l. lupus Western Europe, Scandinavia, Russia, China, Mongolia, Himilayan Mountains Varies widely by country Largest range of any subspecies

Tundra Wolf

C.l. albus Northern Arctic and Boreal forests of Scandinavia & Russia Least Concern, widely hunted, bounties One of the largest subspecies

Steppe Wolf /
Caspian Sea Wolf

C.l. campestris Russian coast along the Caspian Sea Critacally Endangerd  

Tibetan wolf/
Chinese Wolf

C.l. chanco China, Russia, Manchuria, Tibet, India, Nepal, Bhutan Unknown  

Italian Wolf

C.l. italicus Italy, Switzerland, France Endangered Romulus and Remus were raised by a female Italian wolf

Iberian Wolf

C.l. signatus Spain, Potugal Recovering Considered beneficial for keeping wild boar populations in check

Arabian Wolf

C.l. arabs Israel, Irag, Oman, Yemen, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt Endangered Smallest subspecies (40 lbs) but largest canid in Arabia; does not howl

Iranian Wolf

C.l. pallipes Northern Israel, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Turkey Pakistan, and Iran Unknown Was classified as the same subspecies as Indian wolf until recently, when Indian wolf was classified as a distinct species

Hokkaido Wolf

C.l. hattai Japanese island of Hokkaido Extinct by 1889 Also known as the
Ezo wolf

Honshu Wolf

C.l. hodophilax Japanese islands of Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu Extinct by 1905, from rabies, deforestation World's smallest wolf (12" at shoulder, 35" long); many argue it may have been a distinct species;
valued by farmers for keeping rodents down

Dingo - by Sam Fraser-Smith

Other Subspecies

Species Scientific Name Range Status Notes

Domestic Dog

C.l. familiaris Everywhere humans
are found
400 million + Reclassified from being a separate species in 1993;
over 480 breeds recognized


C.l. dingo Australia, Southeast Asia Threatened Once considered a feral breed of domestic dog; classified as a separate subspecies in 2003

New Guinea Singing Dog

C.l. hallstromi New Guinea Threatened Geographically isolated from other canids for 6,000 years