Despite their reputation, these beautiful animal avoid humans in their quest for survival
What you need to know about the Wolf
Our Expert Says… "A sighting of a tundra wolf is unlikely - one of the reasons for their success has been their ability to avoid encounters with humans! However, in north east Greenland it's more likely that you will see their tracks or other evidence of their presence as they hunt the musk ox."
The wolf has been much-maligned for most of human history, despite its tamed ancestors becoming the domestic dog. In reality, wolf attacks on humans are exceedingly rare, and those that have happened have been confined to animals that have been infected with rabies.
In reality, wolves live far enough from most human populations that regular interactions with humans are rare, and they have learned to fear us after generations of hunting and persecution by shepherds and farmers.
There are over 30 sub-species of wolves living in Europe, Eurasia, and North America. In Eurasia, the Tundra Wolf sub-species is most likely to be encountered in the Arctic circle. In North America and Greenland, the Arctic wolf sub-species is the most likely.
Wolves are highly social, with a pack structure. Any lone adults are usually temporarily in this state as they move to join another pack or to start their own. Despite the commonly-held belief that wolf packs are highly efficient collaborative hunters, research has shown that single wolves or pairs have much more success at hunting than large packs. Packs may have an advantage when it comes to taking down larger prey, although single wolves have been witnessed successfully taking moose and bison on their own.
There are thought to be approximately 300,000 wild wolves remaining, and the majority of populations are now stable. Canada and northern Russia are hosts to significant populations thanks to their remoteness and availability of appropriate habitat.