Is There A Mechanism That Causes Wolves from Same Area to Disperse Long-distances in Same Direction?

Posted on Oct 30, 2019


by Thomas D. GABLE, Austin T. HOMKES, Steve K. WINDELS, and Joseph K. BUMP
CWBM 8 (2): 61–65

Correspondence: Thomas D. Gable, University of Minnesota, 2003 Upper Buford Circle, St. Paul, MN 55801, USA.



In 2018, we documented 2 grey wolves (Canis lupus) from the Greater Voyageurs Ecosystem, Minnesota that dispersed >300 km north individually but exhibited strikingly similar dispersal patterns. These individuals eventually interacted with one another several months after dispersing. Though the probability of this occurring randomly appears incredibly low, we do not know whether the observed dispersal movements were the result of chance encounter or of an undescribed biological phenomenon that causes wolves from the same area to disperse long distances in the same direction. Interestingly, there are multiple observations of wolves from the same area dispersing long-distances in the same direction suggesting that there could be a biological explanation for the observed dispersal behaviour.

Key Words: Dispersal Movements, Grey Wolf, Greater Voyageurs Ecosystem, Minnesota.



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