Wolf (Canis lupus) distribution worldwide, according to IUCN data 2016 (http://maps.iucnredlist.org/). yellow - distribution area, red - extinct

Wolf distribution

At one time, the wolf had been the mammal with the widest distribution worldwide. Except for ice deserts, deserts and few islands, the wolf had been distributed throughout the whole northern hemisphere. Accordingly, wolves had been present in almost all habitats. Wolves had lived in the northern Tundras and central Asian steppes as well as in the different forest types. They had adapted to the semi-deserts of the Arabic Peninsula and the islands of the north Canadian west coast, where they routinely swim through the sea for several kilometres. Wolves are habitat generalists. Therefore, it is not surprising that they are able to adapt to the cultural landscape of central Europe.

Wolves need refuges especially for escaping persecution through humans. When they are tolerated, they can live in close proximity to humans. They do not rely on wilderness areas. It Italy, they occur even in the suburbs of Rome, and in Spain some packs live in vast grain fields.

Wolf distribution in Europe 2006-2011. Dark grid cells: permanent occurrence, grey grid cells: sporadic occurrence. Map: Kaczensky et al. 2013.

Kaczensky, P., G. Chapron, M. von Arx, D. Huber, H. Andrén, und J. Linnell (2013): Status, management and distribution of large carnivores - bear, lynx, wolf & wolverine - in Europe. Document prepared with the assistance of Istituto di Ecologia Applicata and with the contributions of the IUCN/SSC Large Carnivore Initiative for Europe under contract N°070307/2012/629085/SER/B3 for the European Commission