A ten-year history of the demography and productivity of an Arctic wolf pack



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A pack of two to eight adult wolves (Canis lupus arctos) and their pups was observed during ten summers (1986-95) on Ellesmere Island, Northwest Territories, Canada. The author habituated the wolf pack to his presence in the first summer and reinforced the habituation each summer thereafter. The first alpha female produced four to six pups each year between 1986 and 1989. However, her daughter, who succeeded her as the alpha female, produced only one to three pups each year between 1990 and 1992 and in 1994, and apparently did not whelp in 1993 or in 1995. The tenure of the first alpha male was at least two years, and his successor was alpha male for the remaining eight years of the study. The wolf pack was characterized by highly variable annual productivity. The second alpha male-and-female breeding pair likely was an older brother and a younger sister. Early survival of wolf pups was high and constant, with all pups surviving through August of their first year. The pack's demography was consistent with what is known for wolf packs in other regions of North America, but its productivity was more typical of arctic packs.
Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title A ten-year history of the demography and productivity of an Arctic wolf pack
Series title Arctic
Volume 48
Issue 4
Year Published 1995
Language English
Contributing office(s) Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Description 329-332
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Arctic
First page 329
Last page 332
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