The fact that so many fairy tales and myths portray
wolves as evil, vicious killers is a great barrier
to conservation efforts and protecting the species,
after all, would you protect the animal that
Red Riding Hood's Grandmother?
Wolves are physically adapted for harsh environments, and their super-insulated coats allow them to thrive in bitter cold.
The battle between man and wolf very likely began over livestock-as much as 7,000 years ago. Man began raising and confining animals that were the natural prey of wolves, making many a wolf hunt easier but creating a world of animosity between man and beast.
Fear of the wolf has persisted for centuries, fed by fables and tall tales. Charlemagne had officers whose sole duty was hunting wolves. In the Middle Ages, Francis 1 created the position of Wolf Hunter. The official state practice of hunting wolves wasn't eliminated in France until 1971.
There is no room for wolves in the world's tamed, developed places-these animals need to live where the wild things are, with space to roam and hunt.
Wolves walk on their toes, which allows paw cushions to asorbe the impact of rough spots on the ground-for greater comfort, agility, and speed.
The Mexican gray wolf (Canis lupus baileyii) is a subspecies of gray wolf and one of the most endangered canids in the world.
Although wolves may be occasionally be found alone, most prefer life in groups or packs.
Wolves communicate in three ways: visual signals including facial expressions, vocalization, and scent marking.
The colder the climate, the larger the wolf-wolves in Canada, Alaska, and Russia can grow quite large-with the average northern male wolf weighing 125 to 150 pounds.
Wolves detect intruders in their territory by smelling tracks and other scent markings.
In England, circa 1500, entire forest were burned to get rid of wolves. The last wolf in Scotland was killed in 1680. Ireland elimated the animal in 1770.
The wolves sense of hearing is a very well-developed tool-they can hear and interpret the meaning of sounds over considerable distances.
Sight is the least developed sense for the wolf. Wolves are very attuned to movement but have great trouble discerning stationary things.
Wolves can learn and retain knowledge for a long period of time. they learn by observing the world around them, their prey, and members of the pack.
A variety of factors contribute to hunting success in winter, including prey, weather conditions, and depth of snow.
The wolves' wilderness must offer both protection and adequate prey. The open prairies of the old West were ideal because they supported large herds. Artic tundra with caribou herds are ideal, as are mixed forests, meadows, and wetlands with deer and moose.
Wolves are ever-watchful, formidable adversaries for hunters. They move quickly and are adept at escaping detection.
Wolves usually opt for the easiest entrees and generally target the most vulnerable animals for their prey. Usually the sick and old.
The front paws of the wolves have five digits-one is a dew claw. The back paws have four digits.
Wolves vary their hunting strategies from day to day and prey to prey, as circumstances demand. Some prey require an endurance battle; others have to be cornered by the pack or chased into danger.
wolf legs are slender, but strong-designed for speed and endurance.
Some studies indicate that wolves are successful in the hunt only about one-tenth of the time.
The favorite menu items for wolves are almost always large animals: moose, deer, elk, caribou, muxkoxen. Muskoxen is often the only meat option in the winter.
Most wolves are gray in color, with tawny legs and flanks. In the far north, wolves can be creamy white with only a small amount of gray pelt.
Wolves spend an average of eight to ten hours a day on the move.
Black wolves are most common in Alaska and Canada. Dispite its color a black wolf is still a gray wolf, genetically speaking.
When food is scarce, subordinate pack members go hungry far more often than alpha animals.
Wolves can brake quickly, even when moving fast. This skill allows them the flexibility necessary to change direction in pursuit of prey.
The eyesight of the wolf has become so finely tuned and adaptable that these canids can see well under almost any light conditions.
The nose of wild canids-including the wolf- is moist, which helps increase the particles of scent absorbed, heightening the sense of smell. Great news for the wolves, not so great for the prey.
Heirarchy is very important to the wolf pack- adults dominate pups, the alpha male domaties the males; the alpha female rules the female members of the pack.
The pack is a family- a mated pair and their offspring. They live in a hunting territory- an area they will defend against other packs or loners.
Please stay tuned for more wolf facts....
April 5, 2001