Kenai Peninsula wolf facts for kids
Quick facts for kidsKenai Peninsula wolf
†C. l. alces
|Canis lupus alces
|Historical and present range of gray wolf subspecies in North America|
The Kenai Peninsula wolf (Canis lupus alces), also known as the Kenai Peninsula grey wolf, is an extinct subspecies of the gray wolf that lived on the Kenai Peninsula in southern Alaska.
The species was classified in 1941 as one of the four subspecies in Alaska by Edward Alphonso Goldman. This wolf is recognized as a subspecies of Canis lupus in the taxonomic authority Mammal Species of the World (2005).
Wolves were common on the Peninsula before 1900, however, gold was discovered there in 1895. Miners, fearing rabies, commenced poisoning, hunting and trapping the wolves and by 1915 they had been extirpated. The Kenai Peninsula wolf was officially declared extinct in 1925.
Re-population of wolves from other areas onto the peninsula did not occur until the 1960s. It has been shown through DNA studies that, at minimum, the current population of wolves on the Kenai Peninsula mated with other Alaskan subspecies, as the structure of the current wolf population's DNA is similar to other mainland Alaskan subspecies.
The Kenai Peninsula wolf was dependent on the very large moose of the region and Goldman proposed that its large size was an adaption to this.
A skull is held by the Smithsonian museum, specimen number USNM 147471.