Locations of wolf (Canus lupus) dens in the Superior National Forest in northeastern Minnesota from 1969 through 1988 were analyzed in relation to winter territories. Dens situated within the central 60% of the territories were randomly located relative to territory centers. However, only 10.5% (2) of the dens were located within a 1-km-wide strip inside the territory boundaries, indicating possible avoidance of neighboring packs. A negative relationship (r2 = 0.27; P < 0.05) between territory size and den distance from territory center was found, indicating that in large territories wolves might select the denning site that minimizes travel distance from and to the den. Den use was traditional in 86% (6) of the denning alpha females studied for> 1 year, and possibly the availability of a stable food source helped determine den location.
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Selection of wolf dens in relation to winter territories in northeastern Minnesota