Tha arctic wolves follow the migrating caribou for distances over 500 km from the arctic tundra in summer to the boreal woods in winter.
They eat deer, moose, caribou, musk-oxen, mountain sheep, elk, rabbits, prairie dogs, mice and other small mammals, birds, fish, insects and domestic stock.
Arctic wolves vary from white to greyish-brown. They look similar to husky sled dogs, but the wolf has longer legs, larger feet and a narrow chest. The face is larger and the ears are rounded. The tail is long, bushy and black tipped; it acts as a balancing organ.
They have non-retractable claws. Five toes on the front feet and four toes on the hind feet.They have highly developed senses of smell and hearing but their eyesight is poor.
Wolves mate at 2-3 years of age.They mate for life. Pups are born blind and deaf and are very dark in color. After about 10 days the eyes open and approximately three weeks later they can hear. During this time the other pack members bring food to the mother and act as a baby sitter. Pups leave the den after 8-10 weeks to discover the outside world. Pups start to hunt with the pack at 6 months and will feed with the pack. Wolf life span is 10-18 years.
Wolves are social animals and live in family packs for protection and for hunting.Younger members feed and protect the older wolves. All adults co-operate in feeding and educating the young.
It is usual to have only one litter per pack. The size of the pack increases if prey is plentiful allowing the alpha couple to breed more often and produce more cubs.
Wolves have a complex system of communicating which involves sound, smell, facial expressions and body movements. The wolf's howl can be heard up to 5 km away.Probable reasons for howling are communication, rounding up scattered pack members, claiming territory and warning other wolves of their presence.
There are 4,000-7,000 wolves in Alaska and over 30,000 in Caada. Although man has hunted wolves through history, he has been unable to extinguish the species.