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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Yesterday, we reported on the "canis-soup" Wolf/coyote admix taking place in Newfoundland, Canada............Today, we take a look at the 2014 Eastern Wolf(algonquin wolf)research done by Trent University researchers John Benson, Kenneth Mills and Brent Patterson .................Found almost entirely within the Algonquin Provncial Park in Ontariio, Canada and thought to be the same Wolf species as the one that is hanging on for dear life on the barrier Islands of North Carolina, the Eastern Wolf is the wolf species that can and does mate with Western Coyotes(as well as the resutlting offspring of that mating-----the Eastern Coyote)................This Eastern Wolf/Coyote hybridization is largely the result of the Eastern Wolf population being so badly decimated since European colonization began in AD 1500..............Eastern Wolves often find it hard to find available mates of their own kind and will choose Coyotes as bed "partners" if the choice is not to mate at all during the one annual heat/gestation period that occurs in Jan-feb of each year.................Eastern Wolves and Western Coyotes are both thought to share an ancient Coyote-like animal as their origen species and this is why researchers feel that the two modern day species can choose to hybridize under duress....................Conversely, Gray Wolves whose ancient wolf ancestor was American in origen, migrated to Europe and Eruasia and subsequently came back to North America as the Gray Wolf...........It wants nothing to do with Coyotes and will in fact kill and limit coyote populations(e.g in Yellowstone Park) where the two species are sympatric...............Interesting to learn from our Trent Research friends that the Eastern Wolf in Algonquin Park has the most success raising young and keeping them alive if in fact a sizeable Beaver population is present in their territory................Easier to hunt than the Moose found in the Park, Beavers provide ample protein for least effort as the 4 to 12 Wolf pups come onto the planet in April/May of each season...............The Wolf/Coyote/Moose studies coming out of the Trent Research Lab are some of the most insightful to be found..............Click onto the link below to read this entire article at your leisure

Resource selection by wolves at dens and rendezvous sites in Algonquin park, Canada

September 25, 2014

John F. Benson a,⇑ , Kenneth J. Mills a , Brent R. Patterson a,b a Environmental and Life Sciences Graduate Program, Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario K9J 7B8, Canada bOntario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, Wildlife Research and Monitoring Section, Peterborough, Ontario K9J 7B8, Canada


Eastern wolves (Canis lycaon) are a species of special concern in Canada and their geographic range appears to be restricted mainly to Algonquin Provincial Park (APP) in Ontario, Canada.

Algonquin Provincial Park(upper left in green)
Image result for algonquin provincial park location

Eastern Wolf in Algonquin Provincial Park

 Previous work showed pup survival was relatively low throughout portions of APP which may limit the extent to which this protected area can act as a source of dispersing individuals to adjacent areas. We modeled resource selection by wolves at dens and rendezvous sites to identify environmental variables that were selected and avoided in APP during pup-rearing. 

Beavers provide relatively easy protein for Wolf Packs looking to feed pups of the year

We also quantified differences in resource selection between den and rendezvous sites and investigated links between home-site selection and pup survival. Wolves selected dens closer to wetlands and water, farther from secondary roads, and on steeper slopes relative to rendezvous sites. When we modeled den and rendezvous sites separately, wolves selected wetlands, water, conifer forests and tertiary roads at dens, whereas they selected wetlands and conifer forests at rendezvous sites.

While Eastern Wolves in Algonquin Park
can and do kill Moose, the effort to do so and
the probability of success is much lower than
that associated with killing Beavers

 Packs that lost pups to starvation and intraspecific strife avoided water and selected wetlands and mixed forests at home-sites more than packs that did not lose pups to these mortality agents. 

Previous research showed that pup starvation occurred for packs in APP with lower beaver density in their territories, and our results indicate that these packs selected habitats at dens and rendezvous sites associated with alternative prey (moose). 

Eastern Wolf Pack in Algonquin Provincial Park

Moose are likely more difficult prey than beavers to kill during summer which may contribute to the higher nutrition-related mortality of pups in packs with decreased access to beavers.

 Our results inform eastern wolf conservation efforts and should be considered during forest management and park planning activities in APP. More broadly, our research provides novel insight into temporal differences in home-site selection across the pup-rearing season and the relationship between resource selection and pup mortality. 

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