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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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Monday, May 22, 2017

An excellent article on the ability and propensity for both male and female Gray Wolves to be able to disperse from their natal birth place is in the current issue of THE JOURNAL OF WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT....................From my perch, I take from the article that without persecution, Gray Wolves likely could reclaim all of Western North America as home turf in the course of a human lifetime..............Both male and female Wolves who reach sexual maturity at approximately 2 years/8 months of age have nearly the same propensity to wander far and wide in search of a mate and territory of their own.................Unlike with Pumas where male "cats wander great distances and females do not, there would be a good "dating scene for the young Gray Wolves as they wandered far and wide seeking to spread their genes...............Full article below for you to click on and read

Click on this link to read full article

Wolf dispersal in the Rocky Mountains, Western United States: 1993–2008


  • First published: 


Gray wolves (Canis lupus) were extirpated from the northern Rocky Mountains (NRM) of the United States by the 1930s. Dispersing wolves from Canada naturally recolonized Montana and first denned there in 1986. In 1995 and 1996, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service reintroduced 66 wolves into central Idaho and Yellowstone National Park. By 2008, there were ≥1,655 wolves in ≥217 packs, including 95 breeding pairs in the NRM.

 From 1993–2008, we captured and radio-collared 1,681 wolves and documented 297 radio-collared wolves dispersing as lone individuals. We monitored dispersing wolves to determine their pack characteristics (i.e., pack size and surrounding pack density) before and after dispersal, their reproductive success, and eventual fate. We calculated summary statistics for characteristics of wolf dispersal (i.e., straight-line distance, age, time of year, sex ratio, reproduction, and survival), and we tested these characteristics for differences between sexes and age groups.

 Approximately, 10% of the known wolf population dispersed annually. The sex ratio of All dispersals favored males (169 M, 128 F), but fewer dispersed males reproduced (28%, n = 47) than females (42%, n = 54). Fifty-nine percent of all dispersers of known age were adults (n = 156), 37% were yearlings (n = 99), and 4% were pups (n = 10). Mean age at dispersal for males (32.8 months) was not significantly different (P = 0.88) than for females (32.1 months). Yellowstone National Park had a significant positive effect on dispersal rate.

 Pack density in a wolf's natal population had a negative effect on dispersal rate when the entire NRM population was considered. The mean NRM pack size (6.9) from 1993 to 2008 was smaller than the mean size of packs (10.0) from which wolves dispersed during that time period (P< 0.001); however, pack size was not in our most supported model. Dispersals occurred throughout the year but generally increased in the fall and peaked in January. The mean duration of all dispersals was 5.5 months. Radio-collared wolves dispersed between Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming to other adjacent states, and between the United States and Canada throughout the study.

 Mean straight-line distance between starting and ending points for dispersing males (98.1 km) was not significantly different than females (87.7 km; P = 0.11). Ten wolves (3.4%) dispersed distances >300 km. On average, dispersal distance decreased later in the study (P = 0.006). Sex, survival rate in the natal population, start date, dispersal distance, and direction were not significant predictors of dispersal rate or successful dispersal.

 Wolves that formed new packs were >11 times more likely to reproduce than those that joined packs and surrounding pack density had a negative effect on successful dispersal. Dispersal behavior seems to be innate in sexually mature wolves and thereby assures that genetic diversity will remain high and help conserve the NRM wolf population. © 2017 The Wildlife Society.

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