The Mystical Wolves of Russia

Russia's wolf species is the Gray Wolf. The country is home to two gray wolf subspecies, namely the Russian wolf (Canis lupus communis) and the Tundra wolf (Canis lupus albus). Wolves in Russia have had a very turbulent past, being the subjects of much negative attention. This remarkable species, however, is deserving of protection and admiration as a family oriented creature and highly developed predator.

Gray wolves fall under the mammal order of Carnivora. No matter where you find them, Gray wolves are keystone predators in ecosystems. They are highly adaptable species found in a diversity of habitats. Wolves' bodies are designed for stamina and long-distance travel. They can travel extremely long distances at a trot of 10km/h. While hunting they can reach speeds of 65km/h, covering 5m in just one bound. A small bit of webbing between the wolf's toes make it possible for it to traverse snowy terrain. Blood vessels in the paws prevent them from freezing. Scent glands between the toes provide scent markers for it pack to follow. Wolves are perfectly adapted to cold climates. Their coats consist of two layers, one of guard hairs and the other a dense undercoat for insulation.

Gray wolves are known for running in packs, thus communication is vital in the group. Dominant wolves will stand with stiff legs, making themselves look tall. Their hackles may be bristling. It is easy to identify who the leader of the pack is. Active submission is seen when a wolf lowers its body, laying it ears flat and drawing the lips back. The tail of submissive wolves is typically held between the legs. Passive submission involves a wolf rolling onto its back along with whimpering. Body language of wolves is quite complex and there are many other signs. Wolves are renowned for their haunting howls. Howling is done for many reasons. Howling keeps the pack in touch with each other, it can be a way of calling the pack to a place, it can be a declaration of territory and they may also howl to build camaraderie.

As previously mentioned, Russia has two subspecies of Gray wolves. Subspecies are typically grouped according to geographical location. There may be slight physical differences between subspecies. The subspecies of Russian wolves are found in Central Russia. They are one of the largest. Sadly though, there numbers have been reduced due to federal hunting projects during the Soviet era. The tundra wolf is found in the boreal and northern arctic zones of Russia. They are the largest gray wolf subspecies. They too suffered from persecution by humans. Unfortunately, even though some have joined in the struggle to project Russia's wolves, many still view them as a pest and they have been the target of indiscriminate killing.

Perhaps you will be lucky enough to spot a wolf or two whilst visiting one of Russia's nature reserves.


User Comments & Reviews: 0 Comment(s)

Combine Flights?

New Business Users, read more and join on the Business Affiliates page.

New Individual Users, join on the Forum Users Registration page.