the wolf presented by lauren n. watine. “we reached the old wolf in time to watch a fierce green...

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  • The WolfPresented by Lauren N. Watine

  • We reached the old wolf in time to watch a fierce green fire dying in her eyes... I was young then, and full of trigger-itch; I thought that because fewer wolves meant more deer, that no wolves would mean hunters paradise. But after seeing the green fire die, I sensed that neither the wolf nor the mountain agreed with such a view.

    Aldo Leopold

  • What is a wolf?IntroductionEcologyManagementThe Future

  • IntroductionOriginsFox-like ancestors in early middle PlioceneEurasia: Pleistocene period~1 million years ago

  • IntroductionClassification and TaxonomyLargest living WILD canidGrey wolfRed wolf

  • IntroductionGrey WolfOrder: CarnivoraFamily: CanidaeGenus: CanisSpecies: lupus

    Red WolfOrder: CarnivoraFamily: CanidaeGenus: CanisSpecies: rufus

    Classification and Taxonomy

  • IntroductionClassification and Taxonomy5-24 ssp. recognized in North AmericaNowakCanis lupus occidentalisCanis lupus nubilisCanis lupus arctosCanis lupus lycaon Canis lupus baileyi

  • IntroductionClassification and TaxonomyHybridizationCanis lupus x Canis latransEastern grey wolf x coyote hybrids

  • IntroductionGrey WolfMature males20-80 kg1.27-1.64 m long66-81 cm shoulder heightMature females16-55 kg1.37-1.52 m long

    Red WolfMature males1300-1600 mm long20-35 kgMature females16-25 kg

    Physical Characteristics

    Overall size and weight increases south north

  • IntroductionPhysical Characteristics

  • IntroductionDistribution and AbundanceCircumpolar throughout Northern hemisphereNorth of 15-20 N latitude

  • IntroductionConservation and Legal StatusGrey wolfIUCN: Least ConcernRed wolfIUCN: Critically Endangered

  • IntroductionPopulation TrendsMany populations have been decimated or completely extirpatedCauses of decline Agricultural expansionOverhunting of ungulate preyIntensive predator control

  • IntroductionValueTraditionally: pelts Scientists: natural ecosystems1970s: symbol of wildernessEconomicsWildlife ViewingEcotourism companies

  • Ecology

  • Ecology: Natural HistorySurvival and longevity13 years in the wildPup SurvivalVan Ballenberghe and Mech, 1975

  • Ecology: Natural HistoryDiet SelectionObligate carnivoresUngulatesBeaversHaresScavenging

    Daily maintenance requirement: 1.7 kg/wolf/day

  • Ecology: Natural HistoryHabitat generalistInfluences on use?

  • Ecology: Natural HistorySex RatiosMales more common in high density populations

  • Ecology: Natural HistoryPhysiology and growthSexual maturity 9-46 months62-63 day gestationAverage litter: 4-6 pups

  • Ecology: Natural HistoryPhysiology and growthPupsBlindDeafThermoregulation?Waste elimination?

  • Ecology: Natural HistoryReproductive StrategyHigh reproductive potentialFemales in estrus 5-7 days1-3 breeding femalesMate January April Latitude-dependentLitters-per-pack?

  • Ecology: Natural HistoryReproductive StrategyPercent pups in unexploited vs. exploited populationsWood Buffalo National ParkGreat Slave Lake Area (Kelsall 1968)

  • Ecology: Natural HistoryReproductive StrategyUnexploited populations: 60% of females breedExploited populations: 90% of females breed

    Management implications?

  • Ecology: BehaviorSocial StructureTHE PACKHierarchical5-12 individuals

  • Ecology: BehaviorCommunicationPosturesScent Vocalization


  • Ecology: BehaviorInterspecific interactionsInterference competitionPositive and negative effects: other predatorsRavensBrown bears

  • Ecology: BehaviorMovementsDispersalMigrationCaribou movementsHome-rangeTerritoriesPimlott et al. 1969Oosenbrug and Carbyn 1982

  • Ecology: Population BiologyMortalityStarvationIntraspecific aggressionDisease


  • Ecology: Population BiologyMortalityHarvestRoad-kills

  • Ecology: Population Biology

  • Management

  • ManagementThe Endangered Species Act1995: Yellowstone National ParkTranslocation June 2013 Proposal

  • ManagementCurrent ManagementRegulation of legal harvestProtection from harvestTranslocationsWolf population reduction*

  • ManagementMonitoringHarvest statisticsAge assessmentRadio telemetryGround surveysAerial surveys*Line-intercept track sampling*

  • ManagementHarvestExports/importsCITES, Appendix II

  • ManagementHarvest

  • ManagementHarvestAlaska: the only state to allow public harvest1960: declared a game species 1996: eliminated aerial huntingRequire an export permit to remove from the state

  • ManagementHarvestAlaska: the only state to allow public harvestCompliance?Liberal regulationsAnnual harvest700-1600 individuals

  • ManagementHabitatPark sizeBuffer zones?Travel corridorsLogging operations

  • ManagementLivestock DepredationWolf controlAnnual depredation0.23-3.0/1000 cattle2.66/1000 sheep

  • ManagementHumansIncrease ungulate species for harvest?Controversial

  • ManagementRed Wolves and CoyotesNorth CarolinaAlligator River National Wildlife Refuge

  • The Future

  • The FutureCoexistence at the local levelSocial acceptanceBiological requisites

  • The FutureCoexistence at the local levelPublic educationPersecution

  • We shall never achieve harmony with the land, anymore than we shall achieve absolute justice or liberty for people. In these higher aspirations the important thing is not to achieve but to strive.

    Aldo Leopold

  • Current EventWhat do we know about Canis rufus? Extinct in the wild by 1980 Grey wolf X coyote hybrids not uncommon Wolf X coyote hybrid, grey wolf, or a distinct species

    Does it matter?

  • Questions?

  • Idaho Department of Fish and Game: Wolf Monitoring Program

  • SourcesWild Mammals of North America - P. Paquet and L. N. CarbynEcology and Management of Large Mammals in North America - Demarais and Krausman

    Throw this in here because until this point, weve dealt with only prey-animals. Predators are going to be very different naturally low densities, in addition to much controversy, makes their management difficult.*Gray Wolf, Tundra Wolf, Arctic Wolf, Grey Wolf, Mexican Wolf, Plains Wolf, Timber Wolf, Common Wolf, Wolf, lobo

    Red Wolf*Canis lupus occidentalis northern, Beringia originsCanis lupus nubilis central plains south of ice sheetCanis lupus arctos Pearyland refugiumCanis lupus lycaon eastern; origins in a SE refugiumeastern timber and red wolf may be the same species, suggested both change to Canis lycaonCanis lupus baileyi southwest small form*Canis lupus x Canis latrans produce fertile hybridsEastern grey wolf x coyote hybridsHybridization not normally seen in western grey wolves and coyotesArgument: coyotes more closely related to EGW than WGW

    *Red wolfResembles grey wolf, but smaller average sizeLonger legs, larger ears, shorter furStronger reddish TINGE to flanks and limbs not actually a red coat

    *Proportionally longer legs, larger feet, narrower chestFace: wide tufts of fur project down and out from below earsStraight tail without curveMane has longest hairs special erectile part of pelageCenter of back from neck behind shouldersHighly variable colors: white black, generally light tan/cream mixed with brown, black, and whiteBlack: concentrated on backBrown: tends to be on foreheadWhitish on lower parts of head and body

    *Global historic range: nearly all of Eurasia and North AmericaExtirpated from most of thisMostly found now in remote/undeveloped areas with sparse human populationsNA mainland historic range: everywhere except SE US, California west of the Sierra Nevadas, and tropical/subtropical parts of MexicoNorth of 20degN latitudeRed wolf replaced grey wolf in SE US

    *Grey wolf regionally threatened!

    *Canada = most important stronghold! Overall distribution hasnt changed much in last 40 years, still constitutes 80% of historic range

    *1960s environmental movement, one of the first to be listed under ESAScientists recognized the need for predators to the health of the ecosystemOther

    Wyoming 2007: $2.7 billion, average $1207 on a 4 day trip44% of visitors to YNP in 2005 wanted to see wolves

    Ecotourism companies: single and multiple day trips in Grand Teton, YNP, and Jakson HoleTrips catered specifically to seeing wolves$650-$2000 per trip, estimated revenue of $422,500-$1,300,000*pups 80% had higher survival

    **Deserts, grasslands, forests, arctic tundraInfluences: availability/anundance of prey, snow conditions, protected and public lands, absence/low occurrence of livestock, road density, human presence, and topogrpahy***THERMOREG: TELL ABOUT PUP CAPTURES, WRAPPING IN OUR JACKETS

    **Wolf responses to increased mortality reflectedWood Buffalo National Park: percent of pups in a population under natural control increased from 20-35% one year after wolf control began; 55% 2 years laterGreat Slave Lake Area