Canis Lupus V
Canis Lupus V
The Grey Wolf of the Americas – The Recovery
Historically, few animals have been as misunderstood as the wolf and, as a result, it has been brought dangerously close to extinction. Because of the champion efforts of naturalists, wild life advocates, and the support and financial giving of wolf lovers, the tide is turning; the protection and recovery of the grey wolf population in America is proving to be very successful. I am proud that my home state of Minnesota has taken such a strong leadership role in these efforts!
Canis Lupus V is the new addition to the Hidden Creations Wolf series and is a celebration of the efforts of so many who have given so much of themselves to help in the recovery of the American grey wolf.
Graphite on board 20 X 32 by Steven Paul Carlson, hand colored Gicleé prints available.
Wolves in North America
Before the arrival of European settlers, wolves ranged widely across the continent, from coast to coast and from Canada to Mexico. Two species are found in North America, the gray wolf, with its various subspecies, and the red wolf. Historically, gray wolves were found throughout most of the United States, Canada, and Mexico, with red wolves primarily inhabiting the southeastern United States.
Wolves play an important role as predator in the ecosystems they inhabit. They feed primarily on large mammals, such as deer and elk, removing sick and injured animals from the populations. They are highly social, living in packs and hunting and raising young cooperatively.
As the country was settled, native prey species dropped and numbers of domestic animals increased. The belief by settlers that wolves endangered livestock prompted efforts to eradicate wolves throughout their range. In the United States, large-scale predator control programs were carried out, with wolves hunted and killed nearly to extinction.
By the middle of the 20th century, few wolves existed in the Lower 48 states. Only several hundred gray wolves in Minnesota remained, with a few red wolves and an occasional Mexican gray wolf reported. Both the Mexican gray wolf and the red wolf were eventually completely eliminated in the wild, and prior to recent reintroduction efforts, existed only in captivity.
Gray wolves in the Lower 48 states now number about 2,600, with more than 2,000 of them estimated in Minnesota. Currently all wolves in the Lower 48 states, with the exception of gray wolves in Minnesota, are listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Minnesota wolves are listed as threatened.
Recovery plans have been developed for wolves in various parts of the country, with the goal of ultimately removing the wolf from the list of endangered and threatened species.