Living in central Ontario and Western Quebec, the Eastern Wolf is smaller than other subspecies of Grey Wolf in Canada – about 60 to 68 centimetres tall at the shoulders and usually weighing 25 to 30 kilograms. It typically has a reddish-brown muzzle, and is reddish-brown behind the ears and on the lower legs, with a black, white, and grey back. Recent genetic research has shown that the Eastern Wolf is not a subspecies of the Grey Wolf, as it was previously deemed, but is instead its own species, Canis sp. cf. lycaon.
The Eastern Wolf was assessed as a species of special concern. This designation means that the species is likely to become endangered if nothing is done to reverse the factors leading to its extirpation or extinction.
The Eastern Wolf was assessed as a species of special concern when the Endangered Species Act took effect.
COSEWIC assessed the Eastern Wolf as a threatened species due to threats from hybridization with Eastern Coyote and mortality from hunting and trapping outside protected areas.
The status and distribution of Eastern Wolf populations throughout the world is of growing concern. Locally, Wolf Lake First Nation (WLFN) is interested in the preservation of Eastern wolves and their habitat in the Maganasipi area. Paramount to preservation efforts is acquiring accurate information regarding the status of this particular Algonquin population. As such, we intend to collect data on the distribution, abundance, and population trend of this group in and around the Maganasipi watershed.
We aim to describe their watershed use patterns to determine the factors shaping variation in their abundance. The results of the three year project will contribute to long-term management of wolves and prey habitat within and outside of the Maganasipi protected area boundary. We anticipate the study will bring significance to the importance of protecting conifer forest habitat and connectivity corridors to wolves and their prey base.
Each year the project will team WLFN members with students and researchers from University of Toronto. While doing fieldwork, they will learn traditional ecological tracking and scientific wolf study techniques to determine through data collection the patterns and issues facing the conservation of the traditional population of wolves in Maganasipi.