Today, gray wolves have populations in Alaska, northern Michigan, northern Wisconsin, western Montana, northern Idaho, northeast Oregon and the Yellowstone area of Wyoming. Mexican wolves, a subspecies of the gray wolf, were reintroduced to protected parkland in eastern Arizona and southwest New Mexico. The historic range of the gray wolf covered over two-thirds of the United States.
Wolves are generally feared along with their tendency to kill domesticated animals and livestock, made them a target for hunters. In some cases, eradicating wolves was sanctioned by local governments, which rewarded hunters with bounties. By the mid-20th century, the worldwide wolf population was down to about 200,000, when it had once been in the millions.