Idea #683 – Observing the common gray wolf in Creuse
The gray wolf (Canis lupus lupus) is a slender animal with a powerful morphology that resembles a German shepherd. Depending on the environment in which it evolves, its fur adopts a different density and colors ranging from gray to white, through cream, brown, black and red. The color of the upper part is always darker than the ventral one. It usually has a white facial mask on the cheeks and throat. Its force is “carried” towards the head, which is why it has a broad chest, a massive, short neck and broad shoulders, unlike the less robust rear axle and lower than the shoulders. Its jaw is able to exert a pressure of 150 kg / cm² against 60 kg / cm² for the dog. The long, thin legs are made for the endurance race. The animal has a very fine hearing and an exceptionally sharp sense of smell, whereas in reverse its vision is not very good.
Wolves live in packs organized according to a hierarchy dictated by a dominant couple who is usually the only one to procreate. The members of the group consist of the male and the alpha female, and the young of the previous litters over one or more generations. It is on this structure that the links of submission and domination are established. The leader of the troop decides to leave the hunt and feeds first when the prey is shot. The packs are in principle made up of a dozen individuals, but packs of thirty have already been observed.
Before it was practically exterminated, the wolf was present in a large number of biotopes of lowland and mountain forests up to 3,000 meters above sea level. But nowadays, because of human pressure, he is confined to areas far from homes, able to provide him with the food he needs. In France, the area of permanent presence of the subspecies Canis lupus lupus which represents about fifty individuals, is limited to the Alps and the circulation between the different European biotopes.
Where is it ?
Réserve Naturelle de Chabrières, Creuse, France