The Eastern Wolf (Canis lupus lycaon), also know as Eastern Canadian Wolf or Eastern Canadian Red Wolf is a subspecies of the Grey Wolf. Sometimes it is also viewed as a result of historical hybridizations between grey wolves and red wolves or coyotes. The Eastern Wolf is recognized as a potential distinct species, but close related to Red Wolf.
The Eastern Wolf mainly occupies the area in and around Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario and also ventures into adjacent parts of Quebec, Canada. The Eastern Wolf also may be present in Minnesota and Manitoba.
In the past, the Eastern Wolf might have ranged south into the United States, however, after the arrival of Europeans, these wolves were heavily persecuted and became extirpated from the United States. In Canada, exact numbers of Eastern Canadian Wolves are unknown.
Eastern Wolf Characteristics
The Eastern Wolf is smaller than the Grey Wolf. It has a pale greyish-brown pelt. The back and the sides are covered with long, black hairs. Behind the ears, there is a slight reddish colour. These differences in attributes are thought to be a result of their Red Wolf ancestry. The Eastern Wolf is also more slender than the Grey Wolf and displays a coyote-like appearance.
This is because wolves and coyotes often mate and breed hybrid wolf/coyote pups in the Canadian Parks. Because the two wolves look so much alike, a ban on the hunting of these wolves and coyotes has been in place to make sure no accidental deaths occur.
Eastern Wolf Diet
The Eastern Wolf preys on White-tailed Deer, Moose, rabbits and rodents including beaver, muskrat and mice. Preying on American Black Bear was also reported. Studies in Algonquin Provincial Park showed that three species accounted for 99% of the wolves’s diet, Moose (some of which is scavenged), White-tailed Deer and Beaver. The wolves tend to prey more frequently on American Beaver in the summer and on White-tailed Deer in the winter.