What are Wolves Enemies? (9 Top Enemies)

Some of the most common wolf enemies in nature include bears, mountain lions, red foxes, bobcats, coyotes, golden eagles, Siberian tigers, and other wolves.

what are wolves enemies

Wolves are apex predators so they don’t have many natural enemies. However, some larger and more potent animals in the same habitats can threaten wolves’ existence and steal their food, habitat, territory, and even kill them.

Even though they’re widely respected in nature and feared, they don’t live without problems with their enemies.

9 Wolf Enemies

These are the most common wolf enemies in the wild.

1. Bears

Bears and wolves share the same habitats and will often come across each other in nature. They’re both apex predators, meaning they don’t have natural predators, but it might result in a battle if they meet each other.

Both bears and wolves share similar habitats.

Bears live mainly in forests and mountainous areas while polar bears live in much colder areas like tundras. Wolves also live in forests and also in the open fields of tundras and grasslands, so they’ll naturally share habitats with bears quite often.

In wooded areas of North America and Europe, wolves and brown bears might battle each other for territory and food. Typically, these two will have disputes over animal carcasses, but bears can be especially aggressive when protecting their offspring.

The bear is one of the most formidable enemies of wolves in the wild and a single large bear might be able to dominate and fend off a wolf pack, while wolf packs will actively hunt down unprotected bear cubs.

2. Siberian Tiger

The Siberian tiger, or the Amur tiger, is a special type of tiger species that lives in Northeast Asia. These wolves are one of the only species in the wild that might be able to predate on wolves and threaten their existence.

In the Russian Far East, one of the biggest reasons as to why the wolf population is low in that area is because of the presence of Siberian tigers, which tend to dominate wolves for territory and food.

In this study, the researchers found an interesting phenomenon: where the population of Siberian tigers is high, the population of wolves drastically decreases.

This is indicative of a major trend in population that affects wolves – namely, these tigers are deadly for wolves as they predate on wolves and steal their food and territory, hence the low wolf population in those areas.

3. Mountain Lions

Mountain lions, also known as pumas, are one of the more common enemies that wolves potentially face in the wild. These two species rarely ever meet. But it might come down to a bloody encounter when they do.

The mountain lion is more agile than the wolf and can scale rocks and climb much better than the wolf, giving it a slight advantage.

Because pumas live in mountains and wolves live in forests on lower altitudes, it’s not very likely that these two will ever meet, though. However, mountain lions are one of the potential predators of wolf pups, so wolves will have to do their best to protect their offspring and vulnerable pack members against these potent predators.

4. Bobcats

The bobcat is a gorgeous animal that lives in Canada and the Northern part of the US, especially the mountainous states with a lot of forests. The red lynx, as the bobcat is also sometimes called, predates on smaller mammals and insects.

However, in some areas, bobcats are in danger of going extinct because of large wolf and coyote populations. Wolf packs are often too strong for a single bobcat to handle, so they have to retreat, which might result in a loss of habitat for the bobcat.

5. Red Foxes

While red foxes are much smaller than wolves and not as powerful, wolves still perceive them as enemies in the wild.

The main reason for that is that they both share similar habitats, but foxes are also potential disruptors in the wolves’ eating chain because they also predate on some animals that wolves do as well.

For this reason, wolves will perceive red foxes as their enemies, even though both belong to the same family of Canids.

6. Coyotes

Coyotes and wolves are quite similar, and many people mistake the two. One of the main differences is that wolves are larger. Another is that coyotes often live in the outskirts of towns and villages while wolves will retreat further into the wilderness.

However, they can still meet each other, which might not be the best idea for the coyote.

However, in some cases, wolves and coyotes live in symbiosis and might even breed each other, creating the hybrid species called the coywolf. After all, coyotes and wolves are two very similar species that have a similar DNA structure.

7. Golden Eagles

Golden eagles might, occasionally, predate on elderly and young wolf pups, which is why wolves have to take cover under the trees to prevent these attacks from happening.

However the chances of this happening are quite slim, but it is a possibility since the two animals often live in similar habitats.

8. Other Wolves

One of the biggest threats to a wolf pack is another hungry wolf pack that’s looking for new territories and new food.

Wolf packs will often confront each other, which might result in fights and even deaths. However, some wolf packs get along with each other well, while most packs will avoid other wolf packs entirely.

9. Humans

The sad reality is that the biggest enemy of the wolf population is still humans.

Humans hunt down wolves actively, which is sometimes excessive and might thin out the wolf populations even further. Another potential problem is cutting down forests and building new roads and cities, which forces wolves to lose their habitats, their food, and potentially, even die as a consequence.

Sometimes, wolves are also killed by humans defending themselves from wolf attacks.

Read Also: Do People Eat Wolves?

Final Thoughts

Wolves don’t have many natural enemies and predators, and one of the biggest enemies of the wolf population is humans. However, when they form a pack, they’re a formidable force of nature that’s incredibly hard to beat.