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Coddled male wolf cubs father fewer pups



12:24 21 October 2010 by Sonia Van Gilder Cooke 

In a wolf pack, lots of sibling babysitters can lead to plump, healthy cubs. But too much pampering makes male wolves less successful in later life.To understand the effects of sibling helpers on wolf cubs throughout their lives, Amanda Sparkman from Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, and colleagues studied reintroduced red wolves roaming North Carolina by trapping them to record their size and body weight and monitoring their life histories.

The researchers studied the wolves when the reintroduced population was just starting out and few in number, and again when the wolves had spread throughout the area and were to be found at higher densities.When wolves were scarce and prey abounded, pups with "helpers" – older siblings still in the family unit – fared better than those without: they were heavier and larger than their helper-less counterparts.  At high densities, however, ...

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Fewer pups for coddled Fathers

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The Status of the Wolf Part 7: The Red Wolf

© Brad McPhee

The red wolf of the Southeastern United States is currently considered by most taxonomists as well as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (under the auspices of the Endangered Species Act) to be a species of wolf, Canis rufus, distinct from the gray wolf, Canis lupus [1]. As a unique type of wolf, it is one of the most endangered mammals on the planet.

Similar in size to the Mexican wolf (see Part 6: The Mexican Gray Wolf), the red wolf is somewhat smaller than most gray wolves, adults averaging between 50 and 80 lbs (about the size of German shepherd dogs).

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Federal judge blocks Alaska wolf-kill plan


State officials sought permission for an aerial hunt on Unimak Island in the Aleutians to save a caribou herd.

June 07, 2010|By Kim Murphy, Los Angeles Times

Reporting from Seattle — A federal judge in Alaska refused on Monday to allow state officials to launch an aerial wolf hunt on a federal wildlife refuge in the Aleutian Islands, an emergency effort to save a herd of caribou that is on the verge of collapse.

The ruling is the latest chapter in a legal battle between the state and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that erupted after federal wildlife officials threatened to charge state game hunters with trespassing if they entered the refuge and began gunning down wolves.

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The Status of the Wolf - Part 3: Back from the Brink


In the last article Part 2: The Wolf’s Demise I presented the story of the wolf’s demise in the contiguous lower 48 states of the United States, where the wolf was nearly completely eradicated by the late 1960’s. This third article continues the wolf’s saga by describing the shift in public attitudes and legal policies that set the stage for the species’ recovery into the distinct and carefully managed populations that exist today in some portions of the predator’s former domain.

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The Status of the Wolf - Part 2: The Wolf's Demise


Poiana, a captive wolf in Romania.
            Prior to the arrival of European settlers on the shores of North America in the 16th century, wolves could be found throughout the continent. Hundreds of thousands of the canine predator likely ranged the area that would become the lower 48 states of the United States – hunting, breeding, rearing pups, dispersing and defending territories wherever there was sufficient prey, which was just about everywhere (with the probable exception of some the most arid regions of the southwest). By the mid 1960’s, there were only a few hundred wolves left, surviving within a few hundred square miles of forest in the western Great Lakes region. The saga of the wolf’s demise in the United States (for the remainder of this article, I will use the term “United States” to refer to the lower 48 contiguous States) is an illuminating and poignant story of human relations with the wild world, spanning a broad spectrum of human social and psychological dimensions and actions, ranging from ignorance, fear, greed, and persecution to understanding, respect, appreciation, and protection.

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