Great Plains wolves vary from 4 1/2 to 6 1/2 feet long from nose to end of tail, and weigh between 60 and 110 pounds. The female is roughly 80 percent the size of the male. Their coat is usually a blend of grey, black, brown, buff, or red. They travel in packs of 5 or 6 wolves on average.
The Great Plains wolf preys on white-tailed deer, moose, snowshoe hare, small birds, and rodents such as beaver.The size of the wolf's territory can vary depending on the type and availability of prey.
It was believed the Great Plains wolf had become extinct by 1926. However, later studies showed wolves found in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Upper Michigan to be descendants of the Canis lupus nubilus. Even then, their number became fewer and fewer until they were federally protected as an endangered species in 1974. Because of being federally protected, their population in Minnesota had become large enough to be reclassified as just threatened in 1978.By 2009, the number of wolves in the Great Lakes region had climbed to an estimated 2,922 in Minnesota, 580 in Michigan, and 626 in Wisconsin. In response, the Fish and Wildlife Service removed these 4,000 wolves from the endangered species list.As a result, the agency was sued by 5 environmental and animal protection groups and forced to return the wolves to the list - at least temporarily. The Fish and Wildlife Service still believes that the wolves in the western Great Lakes region have met the recovery criteria and don't need to be listed.