Iranian Wolf (Canis lupus pallipes)
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Eurasian Subspecies Map. See also: world species map.
Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan.
Canis lupus pallipes, from Wikimedia Commons
The Iranian wolf is a smaller example of a Eurasian gray wolf, comparable to the Arabian Wolf in terms of size: like its cousin, the Iranian wolf usually stands 26 inches (66 cm) at the shoulder, weighing an average 40 pounds (18 kg).
Iranian wolf, from Shayon Ghosh@Flickr
The Iranian Wolf possesses a shorter coat than that of its northerly cousins, and generally lacks the thick underfur found in subspecies such as the Tundra Wolf. The dark, v-shaped stripe along its shoulders is darker and more pronounced than other subspecies, and its underside is typically very pale, nearly white. Their hues tend to be more brown than gray, typically tawny, buff, or reddish hues. It is distinguished from the Arabian Wolf by its darker fur, larger size and proportionally larger head.
Iranian wolves may be found in small-to-medium packs of 5 to 15. Wolves in harsher climates may hunt in pairs or even individually, depending on availability of prey. They feed on a number of small mammals such as rats, squirrels, mongooses, and ground birds such as partridges, quails, jungle fowl, and lapwings. These wolves seldom howl, and are less aggressive and more relaxed than many of their neighbors.
They are the dominant canine in their region, despite it overlapping with several species of Golden Jackal and other subspecies. Their central position between southern Asia and Europe allows them their dominance, though they do experience a fair bit of competition. Even so, the Iranian Wolf has flourished since the extinction of humanity; they were highly controlled and hunted prior to 1988.
These canines enjoy a rather humanized lifestyle; it is rare to find an Iranian wolf who is not a Luperci. However, feral populations can be found as with any other canine species. Most of these canines, however, do prefer the civilized lifestyle; many Iranian wolves dwell in villages and small cities, enjoying the flow of traffic throughout their region and the benefits such trade brings.