Labrador wolf

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Labrador wolf
Labrador Wolf.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Canidae
Genus: Canis
Species: C. lupus
Subspecies: C. l. labradorius
Trinomial name
Canis lupus labradorius
Goldman, 1937[1][2]

The Labrador wolf (Canis lupus labradorius) is a possible subspecies of gray wolf native to Labrador and northern Quebec. It has been described as ranging in color from dark, grizzly gray to almost white,[3] and of being closely related to C. l. beothucus.[4]

As of 2005,[5] it is considered a valid subspecies by MSW3, though it is classed as a synonym of C. l. nubilus by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.[6]


Due to over-hunting in the early 1900s, Labrador wolf sightings were infrequent through the 1950s. Around that time period, the caribou population began to increase at a steady rate, which then correlated with an increase in the wolf population. However, the increase in number of the Labrador wolf was not enough to offset the continuing rise in caribou in the region, causing a reconsideration of the predation limitation hypothesis.[7]

In the late 2000s and early 2010s, there were several confirmed and unconfirmed sightings of the Labrador wolf on the island of Newfoundland.[8] In March 2012, a hunter shot and killed a large canine on the Bonavista Peninsula, thinking it to be a coyote; genetic testing found it to be a Labrador wolf.[8] In July 2012, a video posted on YouTube showed a canine which exhibited nearly all characteristics of a wolf. The video was taken in Clode Sound, Terra Nova National Park, and was captured using a motion-sensitive trail camera set up as part of a joint research project on coastal river otters.[9] On 23 August 2012, the Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Environment and Conservation published the results of genetic testing of a large canine trapped on the Baie Verte Peninsula in 2009, confirming that this animal was also a Labrador wolf.[10]


  1. ^ "Canis lupus labradorius Goldman, 1937". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. 
  2. ^ Joshua Ross Ginsberg, David Whyte Macdonald & IUCN/SSC Canid Specialist Group (1990). "Sorting out the Canidae". Foxes, wolves, jackals, and dogs: an action plan for the conservation of canids. International Union for Conservation of Nature. pp. 4–8. ISBN 978-2-88032-996-9. 
  3. ^ Glover, A. (1942), Extinct and vanishing mammals of the western hemisphere, with the marine species of all the oceans, American Committee for International Wild Life Protection, p. 209.
  4. ^ R. South (31 March 1983). Biogeography and Ecology of the Island of Newfoundland. Springer. pp. 519–. ISBN 978-90-6193-101-0. Retrieved 29 December 2012. 
  5. ^ Wozencraft, W.C. (2005). "Order Carnivora". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494. 
  6. ^ Chambers SM, Fain SR, Fazio B, Amaral M (2012). "An account of the taxonomy of North American wolves from morphological and genetic analyses". North American Fauna. 77: 1–67. doi:10.3996/nafa.77.0001. Retrieved 2013-07-02. 
  7. ^ "Characteristics of the Wolf (Canis lupus lubrudorius Goldman) in Northern Quebec and Labrador". Arctic. 39 (2). 1986. doi:10.14430/arctic2062. 
  8. ^ a b "Wolf in Newfoundland probably made it to island on ice, experts say". The Telegram. 25 May 2012. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  9. ^ "Possible wolf captured on film in Terra Nova". The Telegram. 31 July 2012. Retrieved 26 August 2012. 
  10. ^ "Genetic Retesting of DNA Confirms Second Wolf on Island of Newfoundland". Department of Environment and Conservation, Newfoundland and Labrador. 23 August 2012. Retrieved 26 August 2012.