Distribution of the wolf (Canis lupus) in the world according to IUCN data 2016 (http://maps.iucnredlist.org/). yellow - distribution area, red - extinct

Range of the wolf

Once the wolf was the most widespread mammalian species on our earth. With the exception  of ice deserts, deserts and a few islands, it populated the entire northern hemisphere. Accordingly, wolves existed in almost all habitats of the northern hemisphere. Wolves were as much at home in the Nordic tundra and Central Asian steppes as in the most diverse forest types. They have adapted to the semi-deserts of the Arabian Peninsula and to the island landscape of the North Canadian West Coast, where they routinely swim several kilometres of the sea. Wolves are habitat generalists. It is therefore hardly surprising that wolves are able to adapt to Central European cultural landscapes.

Retreat areas need wolves above all to escape persecution by humans. If they are tolerated by them, they can certainly live in close proximity to them. They are not dependent on wilderness areas. In Italy they can even be found in the suburbs of Rome, in Spain some packs live in extensive grain fields.

Wolf distribution in Europe 2006-2011 Dark cells: permanent occurrence, grey 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