Gray Wolf (Canis lupus) Dyad Monthly Association Rates by Demographic Group

Posted on Jun 24, 2015

Author

Shannon BARBER-MEYER and L. David MECH

Correspondence: Shannon Barber-Meyer, USGS, 1393 Hwy 169, Ely, Minnesota, USA 55731. Email: sbarber-meyer@usgs.gov

Submitted 17 April 2015 — Accepted 24 June 2015


Abstract

Preliminary data from GPS-collared wolves (Canis lupus) in the Superior National Forest of northeastern Minnesota indicated wolves had low association rates with packmates during summer. However, aerial-telemetry locations of very high frequency (VHF)-radioed wolves in this same area showed high associations among packmates during winter. We analyzed aerial-telemetry-location data from VHF-collared wolves in several packs (n=18 dyads) in this same area from 1994-2012 by month, and found lowest association rates occurred during June. While other studies have found low association among wolf packmates during summer, information on diferences in association patterns depending on the wolf associates’ demographics is sparse. During May-July, association rates were greatest for breeding pairs, followed by sibling dyads, and lowest for parent– ofspring  dyads. Our indings improve our understanding of how individual wolf relationships afect monthly association rates. We highlight some important remaining questions regarding wolf packmate associations.

Key Words: Canis lupus, Dyad Associations, Minnesota, Gray Wolf, VHF collars, Wolf Pack Cohesion.

 

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