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Last updated on April 24, 2014 at 16:01 EDT

Southern-East Asian Wolf

The Southern-East Asian Wolf (Canis lupus pallipes), also known as the Turkish or Iranian Wolf, is a subspecies of Gray Wolf which ranges from Northern Israel, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Afghanistan, and Iran. Israel seems to be the last hope for the Southern-East Asian Wolf’s survival in the Middle East because it is the only country in the region where they have legal protection.

There are between 150-250 wolves all over northern and central Israel. The biggest dangers to the wolves in Israel are the local dogs that interbreed with them, essentially contaminating the genetic purity of the subspecies.

Standing 18 to 30 inches tall at the shoulder, Southern-East Asian wolves weigh between 55 to 70 pounds. The short, pale color of their fur helps them to blend into the semi-arid landscape of their habitat. They have little to no undercoat, thus keeping them cool in the hot Middle Eastern climate. They apparently seldom howl.

Southern-East Asian Wolf