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Gray Wolf Subspecies

Depending on which scientist you talk to, there could be as few as 14 subspecies of  gray wolf or as many as 28 subspecies of gray wolf that are still living today, not including the domestic dog, dingo, and New Guinea singing dogs which are also technically subspecies of gray wolf as well.  In addition, there were two officially recognized extinct subspecies of wolf, both from Japan.  There are also potentially 7 other subspecies of extinct wolf which are recognized by some scientists but not others.

 Officially Recognized Subspecies:

Egyptian Wolf/African Wolf/Egyptian Jackal (Canis lupus lupaster, formely Canis aureus lupaster, a golden jackal subspecies)

Photo credit Lajos Nemeth/Greeneye Tours

(Eurasian) Tundra Wolf (Canis lupus albus)

     

Stock photography by Ross Warner at Alamy

       Arabian Wolf(Canis lupus arabs)

Author: Simon Rerucha. Image from BioLib.

Russian Wolf (Canis lupus communis)

                 

Photo from Tunturisusi.com. Author unknown.

Caspian Sea Wolf (Canis lupus cubanensis)

Photo by Etrusia UK on Flickr.

      Eurasian Wolf(Canis lupus lupus)

            

Photo by Hans H Siegriest. Photo from wcswildlifetrade.org.

Iranian Wolf/Middle Eastern Wolf/Desert Wolf/sometimes still called Indian Wolf(although the Indian wolf is now considered separate from it) (Canis lupus pallipes)

   

Photo by Nick Garbutt at naturepl.com.

Arctic Wolf (Canis lupus arctos)

Photo by Quartl at Wikimedia Commons.

Great Plains Wolf/Buffalo Wolf (Canis lupus nublius)

              

Photo by M. Watson at Ardea.com.

Image from arkive.org.

Mackenzie Valley Wolf/Alaskan Timber Wolf/Northwestern Wolf(Canis lupus occidentalis)

Photo by Santiago Atienza aka freakyman on Flickr.

 

   Italian Wolf/Apennine Wolf (Canis lupus italicus)

    

Photo by Jairo S. Feris Delgado aka Jasef on Wikimedia Commons.

           Iberian Wolf (Canis lupus signatus)

  

Photo by Gérard van Drunen on Flickr.

Mexican Wolf/Mexican Gray Wolf/Lobo (Canis lupus baileyi)

             

Photo by Ray Goodwin at Sonoran Connection.

Eastern Timber Wolf/Great Lakes Wolf/Great Lakes-Boreal Wolf/Boreal-type Gray Wolf/Ontario-type Gray Wolf(Canis lupus lycaon)

Photo by Scott Moffatt at easternwolfsurvey.ca.

 

Unofficially Recognized Subspecies:

Steppe Wolf(Canis lupus campestris)

Wolf at Kishinev Zoo in Kishinev , Moldova. Photo from Zooinstitutes.com

 

Mongolian Wolf/Woolly Wolf/ Tibetan Wolf (Canis lupus chanco)

Wolf at Beijing Zoo in Beijing, China. Photo from ZooInstitutes.com

British Columbia Wolf (Canis lupus columbianus)

Photo by Seacrest Wolf Preserve.

Hudson Bay Wolf/Hudson Wolf (Canis lupus hudsonicus)

     

Wolf at Zoologicka Zahrada Olomouc in Olomouc , Czech Republic. Photo from ZooInstitutes.com.

Northern Rocky Mountains Wolf (Canis lupus irremotus)

    

Photo by John Conrad on Corbisimages.com.

 

Alexander Archipelago Wolf/Archipelago Wolf/Islands Wolf (Canis lupus ligoni)

            

                          Photo by Robin Silver.

Baffin Island Wolf/Baffin Island Tundra Wolf (Canis lupus manningi)

 

Photo from Bib.ge. Author unknown.

 Greenland Wolf (Canis lupus orion)

Photo from a-n-i-m-a-l-p-l-a-n-e-t on tumblr. Author Unknown.

Interior Alaskan Wolf/Yukon Wolf/Alaska Black Wolf/Alaskan Wolf(Canis lupus pambasileus)

Wolf at Minsk Zoo in Minsk,Belarus.Photo from Zooinstitutes.com.

 

Alaskan Tundra Wolf (Canis lupus tundrarum)

 

                                  Photo by Skylar.

Mackenzie River Wolf/Northwest Territories Wolf (Canis lupus mackenzii)

                   Photo from Enr.gov.

 

 

 

 

Labrador Wolf/Rainforest Wolf/Coastal Wolf/Great Bear Rainforest Wolf (Canis lupus labradorius)

              

                   Photo from hal_macgregor on tripod.

 

Vancouver Island Wolf (Canis lupus crassodon)

       

                              Photo from AlamyStock.

 Manitoba Wolf/Grey-White Wolf(Canis lupus griseoalbus) The wolves of Northern Saskatchewan may or may not be descendants of Manitoba Wolves who migrated there. Photo by Flin Flon on Canada Photo series.

 

 

Officially Recognized Extinct Subspecies:

Extinct-Hokkaido Wolf/Ezo Wolf (Canis lupus hattai)

        

Taxidermied Hokkaido Wolf at Hokkaido University Museum.Photo from Cryptomundo.com. Author Unknown.

Extinct-Honshu Wolf/Japanese Dwarf Wolf (Canis lupus hodophilax)

  

Taxidermied Honshu Wolf at the National Science and Nature Museum of Japan. Photo from Momotarou at Wikimedia Commons.

Unofficially Recognized Extinct Subspecies:

Extinct-Newfoundland Wolf(Canis lupus beothucus)

A taxidermied Newfoundland Wolf at "The Rooms" museum in Canada. Photo by King_david_uk on Flickr.

Extinct-Texas Gray Wolf/Texas Wolf (Canis lupus monstrabilis)

 The first mascot of Sul Ross University was a Texas Gray Wolf. This is the taxidermied mascot.

Extinct-Bernard's Wolf/Banks Island Tundra Wolf/Banks Island Wolf(Canis lupus bernardi)I read that an adult male skin of a Bernard’s Wolf was given to the National Museum of Canada.  I looked it up and it turns out that there are several museums in Canada called that. This wolf diorama is from the Canada Museum of Nature which is one of the museums that is called that. The wolves in this diorama may or may not be taxidermied Bernard's Wolves.  Photo by Mikey G Ottawa on Flickr. 

Extinct-Cascade Mountain Wolf(Canis lupus fuscus)

Though the original Cascade Mountain Wolf subspecies is extinct, a pack of wolves dubbed the "Lookout Pack" was recently found in the Cascade Mountains.A member of that pack is shown here. They were the first wolves to colonize the mountain range since extinction of the original subspecies. Nobody knows where they came from,but its suspected that they had immigrated from Canada into the Washington Highlands. Sadly,the entire pack was illegally killed by a hunter soon after discovery. Photo by Conservation Northwest. 

Extinct-Kenai Peninsula Wolf/Kenai Peninsula Gray Wolf(Canis lupus alces)

A modern-day wolf on Kenai Peninsula. Though these wolves have no genetic DNA of the original Kenai Peninsula Wolf subspecies (Canis lupus albus) and are probably Alaskan Tundra Wolves(Canis lupus tundrarum),  the original Kenai Peninsula wolf probably looked similar since they occupied the same niche as the modern day wolves that are there now. Photo by Brad Josephs. 

Extinct-Mogollon Mountain Wolf(Canis lupus mogollonensis)

A Mogollon Mountain Wolf as drawn in the Encyclopedia of Vanished Species by David Day.

 Extinct-Southern Rocky Mountains Wolf/Southern Rockies Wolf/Southern Rocky Mountains Gray Wolf/Southern Rocky Mountains Common Wolf/Great Basin Gray Wolf(Canis lupus youngi) A Southern Rocky Mountains Wolf as drawn in the Encyclopedia of Vanished Species by David Day.      

 In addition to all the above list subspecies, there are also 42 archaic subspecies.  Archaic unrecognized subspecies differ from unofficially recognized subspecies because unofficially recognized subspecies are still recognized by some modern-day scientists,but archaic subspecies, though they were recognized by scientists in the past, are recognized by no or very few modern-day scientists. Never-the-less, to have a complete list of all subspecies that were recognized at one time, we will list them here to avoid confusion if you ever see mention of any of these archaic subspecies. While some of these subspecies have no common names, this website has listed some names based on the locations where they can or at one time could be found to make listing easier. If it is a name given by our website and not a true name for the subspecies, a * will be marked next to the name.

   Unrecognized Archaic Subspecies

Fort Smith Wolf* (Canis lupus albus. , not to be confused with the Eurasian Tundra Wolf(Canis lupus albus), which is still currently recognized)
A wolf in Fort Smith, Canada. This subspecies is now considered to be the same subspecies as the Alaskan Tundra Wolf (Canis lupus tundrarum).  Image by Jeff Turner.

 

Altair Wolf(Canis lupus  altaicus)

An angry Altair Wolf. The Altair Wolf is now considered the same subspecies as the Eurasian Wolf(Canis lupus lupus). Image by Boaz on Flickr.

Argun Wolf (Canis lupus  argunensis)Face close-up of an Argun Wolf.

Photo from amur-heilong.com. Author unknown.

 

Kazakhstan Wolf* (Canis lupus arundinaceus)

 Sadly,this subspecies is used in wolf baiting at the Sulburn Festival in 

 Kyrgyzstan. It is now considered the same subspecies as the Eurasian Wolf(Canis lupus lupus). Image from Asiafinest.com. Author unknown.

Bactrian Wolf (Canis lupus bactrianus)

                                 A Bactrian Wolf in a zoo. Image from Tashkent Zoo. Author unknown.

 

Extinct-Banks Island Tundra Wolf*(Canis lupus banksianus)Canis lupus banksianus is considered another name for the extinct Bernard's Wolf.  This is a photo of a wolf that has recolonized the Banks Island. It's probably an  Arctic Wolf(Canis lupus arctos). (Note:Banks Island Tundra Wolf is another name for the Bernard's Wolf (Canis lupus bernardi) but I've used it for this unnamed subspecies that may or may not just be a synonym from the Bernard's Wolf.) Photo by northern hiker on Flickr.

 Canadian Timber Wolf (Canis lupus canadensis)

   The Canadian Timber Wolf is now considered the same subspecies as the Eastern Timber Wolf(Canis lupus lycaon). Photo by Tom Hadley/Hadley Wildlife.

 European Wolf*(Canis lupus canus)

Canis lupus canus is a synonym for the Eurasian Wolf (Canis lupus lupus).  Photo by Bernard Landgraf on Wikimedia Commons.

 Korean Wolf (Canis lupus coreanus)The Korean Wolf is now considered the same subspecies as the Mongolian  Wolf(Canis lupus chanco). Photos by Mariomassone on Wikimedia Commons.

Extinct-Spanish Wolf(Canis lupus deitanus)The Spanish Wolf was a close relative of or possibly even the same subspecies as the Eurasian Wolf(Canis lupus lupus) that once lived in Spain,but is now extinct there. However, another subspecies, the Iberian Wolf(Canis lupus signatus) , currently still lives in Spain and the two subspecies should not be confused. Photo by Mariomassone on Wikimedia Commons.

Asian Desert Wolf (Canis lupus desertorum)

The Asian Desert Wolf is now considered the same subspecies as the Steppe Wolf(Canis lupus campestris). Photo by Clint on Flickr.

 

 Mandchurian Wolf(Canis lupus dorogostaiskii)

Photo from news.allcrimea.net.Author unknown.

  Southwest Kamchatka Wolf*(Canis lupus dybowskii)Now considered the same subspecies as the Eurasian Tundra Wolf(Canis lupus albus). Photo by kronoki.org.Author unknown.

 Chinese Wolf*(Canis lupus ekloni)

 Now considered the same subspecies as the Mongolian Wolf(Canis lupus chanco). Photo by Galen Rowell on Corbis Images.

 Gansu Wolf*(Canis lupus filchneri)Now considered the same subspecies as the Mongolian Wolf(Canis lupus chanco). Photo by  Li Weiyi.

 French Wolf*(Canis lupus flavus)Now considered the same subspecies as the Eurasian Wolf(Canis lupus lupus). Photo by Gilles PRETET on Wikimedia Commons.

 Extinct-Puget Sound Wolf(Canis lupus gigas)Now considered the same subspecies as the Cascade Mountain Wolf(Canis lupus fuscus). Photo by United State Exploring Expedition/John Cassin.

 

 Keewatin Wolf*(Canis lupus griseus)Now considered either the same subspecies as the Mackenzie Valley Wolf(Canis lupus occidentalis) or  the same subspecies as the Manitoba Wolf(Canis lupus griseoalbus). Photo from netnewsledger.com.Author unknown.

 Armenian Wolf*(Canis lupus hajastanicus)Now considered the  same subspecies as the Eurasian Wolf(Canis lupus lupus).Photo by RIA Novosti.

 Extinct-Japanese Wolf*(Canis lupus japonicus)

 Canis lupus japonicus is considered a synonym for the extinct Honshu Wolf(Canis lupus hodophilax). Note: Japanese Wolf is name applied to both the Honshu Wolf(Canis lupus hodophilax) and to the Hokkaido Wolf(Canis lupus hattai). Canis lupus japonicus has no common name unless you consider it a synonym for the Honshu Wolf in which case it would also be called a Honshu Wolf.Photo from http://hyouhon.jp.Author unknown.

 

 Prince Rupert Wolf(Canis lupus kaien)Photo by astrothug from panoramio.com.

Kamchatka Wolf*( Canis lupus kamtschaticus)Now considered the same subspecies as the Eurasian Tundra Wolf(Canis lupus albus). Screenshot from"Wild Russia" clip on the Animal Planet website.

Gobi Wolf(Canis lupus karanorensis)

Now considered the same subspecies as the Mongolian Wolf(Canis lupus chanco).Photo by Alan E on coronadopos.pbworks.com.

 

 Saskatchewan Wolf*(Canis lupus knightii)

Now considered the same subspecies as the Manitoba Wolf(Canis lupus griseoalbus).

Photo by Sky Breton on trailcanada.com.

 Bosnian Wolf(Canis lupus kurjak)

Now considered the same subspecies as the Eurasian Wolf(Canis lupus lupus).Photo by A. Petry on zootierliste.de.

 Tibetan Wolf(Canis lupus laniger)Now considered the same subspecies as the Mongolian Wolf(Canis lupus chanco).

Photo by Jemetha Clark & Robert Cosgrove on bazaarplanet.com.

Grayish Wolf(Canis lupus lupus-griseus)Now considered the same subspecies as the Manitoba Wolf(Canis lupus griseoalbus). Clipart by maria on Clker.com.

 Pyrenees Wolf*(Canis lupus lycaon.)

Now considered the same subspecies as the Eurasian Wolf(Canis lupus lupus).Photo from malloryontravel.com. Author unknown.

 Jura Wolf*(Canis lupus major)

Now considered the same subspecies as the Eurasian Wolf(Canis lupus lupus). Photo by Eric Gaillard/Reuters on guardian.co.uk.

 Possibly Extinct?-Mexican Timber Wolf (Canis lupus mexicanus)

This is a Mexican Gray Wolf(Canis lupus baileyi), a subspecies that once roamed Mexico. Now all wolves in Mexico are extinct. However, Mexican Gray Wolves(Canis lupus baileyi) can be found reintroduced into Arizona and New Mexico in the  United States.The Mexican Timber Wolf(Canis lupus mexicanus) is supposedly listed as being a Eurasian Wolf(Canis lupus lupus),but given that it lived in Mexico and not Europe, it was probably a Mexican Gray Wolf(Canis lupus baileyi) or atleast more closely related to Mexican Gray Wolves(Canis lupus baileyi) than to Eurasian Wolves(Canis lupus lupus).Photo by Terry Wheaton on OutdoorPhotographer.com.

 Extinct-Austro-Hungarian Wolf(Canis lupus minor)Photo by wolfenesprit.ning.com.Author unknown.

 Indian Black Wolf*(Canis lupus niger)Now considered the same subspecies as the Mongolian Wolf(Canis lupus chanco). Photo by  J. G. Keulemans.

 Alsace Wolf*(Canis lupus niger.)Now considered the same subspecies as the Eurasian Wolf(Canis lupus lupus). Photo from Earthweek.com.Author unknown.

 Europa Wolf*(Canis lupus orientalis)Synonym for Eurasian Wolf. Photo by 4028mdk09 on Wikimedia Commons.

 Far East Russian Wolf*(Canis lupus orientalis.Now considered the same subspecies as the Eurasian Wolf(Canis lupus lupus). Photo by David Ebener.

 Iraqi Wolf*(Canis lupus palies) 

Considered the same subspecies as either the Asian Desert Wolf(Canis lupus desertorum) or Steppe Wolf(Canis lupus campestris). Photo is a screenshot taken from the Youtube video "Iraqi Wolf".

 Extinct-North Japan Wolf*(Canis lupus rex)Synonym for the Hokkaido Wolf(Canis lupus hattai). Photo by Katuuya on Wikimedia Commons.

 Canadian Wolf*(Canis lupus sticte)

Now considered the same subspecies as the Mackenzie Valley Wolf(Canis lupus occidentalis). Photo by Radianman on Flickr.

North China Wolf*(Canis lupus tschiliensis)   Now considered the same subspecies as the Mongolian Wolf(Canis lupus chanco). A dead North China wolf killed by Chinese police for attacking humans.Photo from thechinatimes.com. Author unknown.

 Turuchan Wolf(Canis lupus turuchanensis)

 Now considered the same subspecies as the Eurasian Tundra Wolf(Canis lupus albus). Photo by Kiba67 on Deviantart.

 Ungava Wolf(Canis lupus ungavensis)

 Now considered the same subspecies as the Eastern Timber Wolf(Canis lupus lycaon). Photo by northern artist on taxidermy.com.

 Possibly Extinct?- Choukoutien Wolf(Canis lupus variabilis)A wolf in Beijing Zoo that's probably a Mongolian Wolf(Canis lupus chanco).Photo from tour-beijing.com.Author unknown.

Extinct-North Dakota Wolf* (Canis lupus variabilis.)

          Now considered the same subspecies as the Great Plains Wolf(Canis lupus nublius). Wolves were extinct in North Dakota,but some have recently recolonized the state. This is one of those wolves. It may be either a Great Plains Wolf(Canis lupus nublius) or a Mackenzie Valley Wolf(Canis lupus occidentalis). Photo by the North Dakota Game and Fish Department.

 

Red Wolf Subspecies

There are 3 recognized subspecies of Red Wolf and one archaic subspecies of Red Wolf. However,some scientists consider two of the subspecies, the Florida Black Wolf(Canis rufus floridanus) and the Gregory's Wolf(Canis rufus gregoryi) to be subspecies of Gray Wolf(Canis lupus) instead of Red Wolf(Canis rufus).  However, most of these scientists, also believe the Red Wolf is not its own species,but a subspecies of Gray Wolf.  Meanwhile, other scientists believe the Red Wolf might be a subspecies of the newly discovered Eastern Wolf(Canis lycaon) which is also debated on as whether it is its own species or a subspecies of Gray Wolf.For the purposes of this site, we have listed it as a separate species as the Canid Specialist Group, IUCN Red List, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, and United States Endangered Species Act all list it as Canis rufus, its own species.

 

Officially Recognized Subspecies:

 Exinct-Texas Red Wolf(Canis rufus rufus)A photo of a live Red Wolf trapped in Arkansas in 1929 from "The Great American Wolf" by Bruce Hampton which was scanned by Retrieverman.

 Gregory's Wolf(Canis rufus gregoryi) The Gregory's Wolf(Canis rufus gregoryi) is the only surviving subspecies of Red Wolf.  They are the subspecies found in almost all zoos(One zoo has a Texas Red Wolf-Coyote hybrid(Canis rufus rufus x Canis latrans)) and are also the subspecies that's been reintroduced into North Carolina.Photo by Art Beyer on Canids.org.

 

 Extinct-Florida Black Wolf(Canis rufus floridanus) A Florida Black Wolf as drawn by James Audubon in the Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America.

 Unrecognized Archaic Subspecies:

 Extinct-Florida Wolf*(Canis rufus niger)Canis rufus niger is considered a synonym for the Florida Black Wolf(Canis rufus floridanus). A Florida Black Wolf as drawn in the Encyclopedia of Vanished Species by David Day.

 

 Ethiopian Wolf Subspecies

 There are 2 officially recognized subspecies of Ethiopian Wolf.  In addition, there are 3 other archaic subspecies. 

 Officially Recognized Subspecies:

 

Northern Ethiopian Wolf (Canis simensis simensis)

 

A Northern Ethiopian Wolf by Mariomassone on Wikipedia

 Southern Ethiopian Wolf (Canis simensis citernii)

 Canis simensis.jpg

 Southern Ethiopian Wolf by Mariomassone on Wikipedia

 

 Archaic Subspecies:

North Ethiopian Wolf* (Canis simensis sinus)

 http://www.savingcatsanddogs.org/wp-content/uploads/ethiopian-wolf-in-water-by-H-Harrington.jpg

 Canis simensis sinus is considered a synonym for Canis simensis simensis. Photo by H Harrington.

 Simien Mountains Wolf* (Canis simensis walgie)

 http://cdn.c.photoshelter.com/img-get2/I0000YpHvRbh4TaM/fit=1000x750/Jaime-Rojo-Simien-Ethiopia-010.jpg

Considered a synonym for Canis simensis simensis. This population is found in the Simien  Mountains.  Photo by Jaime Rojo.

 

Extinct-Laobet's Dog (Canis  laobetianus)

 http://www.planet-mammiferes.org/Photos/Carniv/Canides/LoupLaob.jpg

 The Laobet's Dog may or may not have been a domesticated version of the Ethiopian Wolf.

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