Wolves

Introduction

Wolves come from all over the world. One of the most common of the wolves are the gray wolves that live mainly in North America.
Wolves have been in America for centuries and hopefully for many more to come but the population has been lower than it used to be before we colonized the states. The wolf was nearly killed off two centuries ago: we need more awareness of the wolf.

Wolf in Alaska
Wolf in Alaska


Anatomy

Wolves are carnivores meaning they eat meat and not plants. The main prey of wolves is ungulates. Ungulates are animals that have hooves and are herbivores for example, deer, musk ox, elk, and moose. Wolves need about 3.75 pounds of meat a day to function properly. Reproducing and growing wolves need about twice as much. Most wolves go multiple days without eating, then when a kill is made they may gorge on up to 20 pounds of meat in one sitting. The average wolf eats about 15-20 adult sized ungulates per year. Based on this average, and the estimate of 3,020 wolves in Minnesota; wolves kill the equivalent of about 45,300 to 60,400 adult-sized deer per year. In comparison, Minnesota hunters take around 52,500 deer per year in wolf range over 250,000 for the entire state and several thousand are killed during collisions with vehicles.The number of animals killed are in addition to those which would die otherwise anyway due to starvation or hunting.
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The wolves head are adapted to catching and eating prey. The skull itself is large and long and tapers forward, averaging nine to eleven inches long and five to six inches wide. Massive jaws form the foundation to which the strong maseter, or chewing, muscles attach. They have 42 teeth. The largest teeth are the canines, or fangs, which may reach two and a quarter inches in total length, including the portion imbeded in the jaw.
Statistics
Average length: females: 4.5 to 6 feet (tip of nose to tip of tail) males: 5 to 6.5 feet
Average height: 26 to 32 inches (at the shoulder)
Average weight: females 60 to 80 pounds males: 70 to 110 pounds
Average birth weight: 1 pound
Litter size: 6 to 8 pups
Size of a wolf pack: 2 to 30 or more
Average travel speed: 5 miles per hour
Sprinting speed: 36 to 38 miles per hour for short distances




Dangers to the Wolf

Loss of land and pouching are two big reason the wolves are on the endangered species list. Wolves have a mere 6% of the land they used to have in America to roam. Many people think the wolf should be taken off the endangered species list. I do think this should be because there are minimum of 55,000 in Canada, 85,181 in Eurasia, and a mere 9,790 in the United States including Alaska and Minnesota has 3,000 wolves of the 9,700 there are in the united states. The wolf population in the US has been growing at the rate of 4.5% with the government-sponsored reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming and also into Central Idaho 1995 through 1996. The Greater Yellowstone Area now supports over 301 wolves.

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There have been poaching of wolves in North America for along time. When the settlers first arrived in the bay area there were bounties for wolves. The killer would get a cash reward for getting rid of a wolf. Later the offer went out to Indians to kill of the wolves. In 1818 Ohio declared "War of Extermination" against bears and wolves. A bounty system started in Michigan in1838. In the era of "Wolfers" 1870-1877 the murdering of wolves is estimated to be 100,000 wolves. In 1900 wolves became rare all over the country but the killing off of the wolves didn't stop the government supplied poison and traps in attempt to kill off the remaining wolves. In 1957, the wolves were under total protection and all bounties had stopped. In the 1960s, considered to be the extreme down point of the wolf and there were less than 700 in Minnesota. In1973, the wolf was added to the endangered speices list. After this point the wolf was being reintroduced to its natural habitat and populations began to rise. In 2008 the wolf was taken off the endangered species list in the Great Lakes area.


How the Wolves Live

Gray wolves live primarily in the northern countries but go as farthest north as the Artic. Wolves live in groups called packs. The normal pack has any where from 2 to 30 wolves. Wolves unlike some species, wolves nurture their young (a young wolf is called a pup). The dominant pair in the pack are the wolves that mate but in areas of high prey to perditors there might be multiple litters in the pack. Wolves live about 10 years in the wild but when in captivity they can live to be 20. When they are born they weigh about 1 pound and can barely see and walk. After about 12-14 days they open their eyes. At first their eyes take a blue color to them and vision is still blurry At 15 days their teeth start to come in, they start to walk and howl. Three weeks into life they venture outside the den; canines and premorals teeth are in. At four weeks they weigh 5-6 pounds and adult hair is coming in around the mouth and ears. Dominance and play fighting begin. At week 5, the mother stops giving the litter milk ,and the cub can follow the adult up to a mile out of the den. at week 8, the wolves have disportionately large head and feet. The wolves are moved out of the den and to the pack week
8-10. Week 8-16 their eyes have completely change from blue to a yellow gold.

after 12 weeks the young wolves begin to acommpany the adults on short hunting. at about a month and a half the pup goes throught the time of rapid growth the pup will gain about 1 1/3 pounds a week for 3 months. 4-6 month the milk teeth go and the winter teeth become apparent. 6 months the wolves go on full lengh hunting expiditions and are almost indistinguishable to the adults. the time of fast growth is over and the female pups gain 0.7 and the male gain abou 0.4 pounds a week. the end of skelotal growth ends at about 1 year. the pups are at sexual maturity at 22 months.


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My Real World Specialist


Dear Jason,

I have briefly answered your questions below. Due to the many requests for help on school projects, we cannot answer completely to all of them.
Sincerely,
Jess EdbergInformation Services Director
"Celebrating 25 years of supporting wolf survival through education!"
Copyright 1995-2010 International Wolf CenterTeaching the world about wolves.1396 Highway 169, Ely, MN 55731http://www.wolf.org

1.) when people are putting wolves in zoos or endangered species places or reserves how do people transport the wolves do they give them drugs that knock them out or do they trick them into cages or other.
We do not transport to other facilities but, it is likely that the animals are sedated and placed in containment of some kind of containment for their and the handler's safety

2.) how often do you get reports of a wolf attack do you send people to recover the wolf or animal control.
Wolf attack on people? Have not yet. Attack on livestock? They are referred to Wildlife Services. Wolf attack on dogs? They are reported to local conservation officers.

3.) how do you keep track of the wolf population i know you use tracking collars but new wolves are born all the time and do you go get the collars of dead wolves, what is the growth rate of the wolf population.
We do not. That is generally the responsibility of the state in which wolves live in and the respective Department of Natural Resources does that.

this is a direct copy and has not been altered

Bibliography for Wolves

www.wolfdog.ws/.../ images/autogen/a_Skeleton.jpg
http://www.wolf.org/wolves/index.asp
www.rockymountainwriter.com/ Wolf%20Sanctuary%...

www.wildernessclassroom.com/.../ wolf_den.jpg