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Habitat of Gray Wolves: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Debra Patuto

Debra has taught at elementary levels and has an M.ed with certification in elementary education and special education

This lesson will explore the habitat of some of the top predators in the world, gray wolves. We will take a close up look at these wild, howling canines and see just what they need in their habitat for survival.

Do Not Enter

Have you ever put a DO NOT ENTER sign on your bedroom door and forbid anyone from coming in? Maybe you occasionally let a sibling or friend in. If you've done this, then you may have something in common with gray wolves. Wolves are extremely territorial and don't like anyone entering their space.

Let's take a closer look at these furry wild animals and learn more about how they live.

What is a habitat?

A habitat is a place where an animal naturally lives. Every animal has its very own habitat that can be small like a burrow or large like a forest.

Within a habitat, animals need a few essentials to survive, such as food, water, air, shelter, and a place to raise babies. Because Earth is always changing, habitats are always changing. For example, if there is not enough rain, then animals are affected because water is hard for them to find. For some animals, adapting to environmental changes is easier than it is for others.

Gray wolf in winter snow
Gray Wolf

Where is the Gray Wolf Habitat?

Gray wolves, or timber wolves, can survive in many different habitats. They can roam the lands and adapt to a variety of different changing factors within the environment. Throughout history, gray wolves have lived in the tundra, woodlands, grasslands, and deserts.

Today, gray wolves can be found in parts of Alaska, Michigan, Wisconsin, Montana, Idaho, Oregon, and the Wyoming portion of Yellowstone National Park. They can also be found in Arizona, New Mexico, and very specific parts of Russia and Eastern Europe.

Gray wolves are extremely territorial. Within their habitat, they establish large territories and fiercely defend it by howling and marking their territory. If any other animal gets caught attempting to intrude, their life could be in jeopardy. On very rare occasion do they let an animal in.

Hunting for Food

Gray wolves live an average of 8-13 years in the wild. In order to survive in any habitat, one thing they must all do is hunt to eat.

Gray wolf following its prey
hunting

Wolves most commonly live with a range of 6-10 other wolves. They typically hunt for food in packs at night and cover large amounts of land. This is where their howling comes in handy. They use their vocalizations to communicate with one another.

Wolves are not very fast runners: their top speed is only around 40 miles per hour. Because they lack in speed, they rely on their keen senses of hearing and smelling to locate their prey.

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