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Wolves
Wolf History, Conservation, Ecology & Behavior
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Alpha wolves
The top ranking wolf in the social order of the pack. Since a separate social hierarchy exists for males and females, a pack has both an alpha male and an alpha female. They are usually the parents of most of the other members of the pack.
Anal gland
Beta wolves
The second rank in the social order of a wolf pack. Since separate social hierarchies operate for males and females, a pack may have both a beta male and a beta female. A wolf at this rank will usually dominate all of the other wolves in its gender except the alpha wolf.
Biding
Bite threat
Breeders
Budding
Buffer zone
Caching
Canid
A member of the taxonomic family Canidae, which in North America includes wolves, coyotes, foxes and domestic dogs.
Canine distemper
Canine Parvovirus
Carnassials
Carnivore
Chorus howling
Colonization
Color phase
The color of an animal's pelage (fur), which is determined by genetics and may vary within a population. White, gray and black color phases may be seen within the same gray wolf population. In the Great Lakes Region, about 98 percent of the gray wolf population exhibits the gray phase, with the occasional occurrence of white or black phases. The predominant color phase within a population often corresponds to the overall color of its environment. For example, the white color phase is predominant in arctic regions. The word "phase" does not imply that a wolf changes color.
Corridors
Delisting
Den
A shelter, often a small cave or hole dug out of the ground, to protect the breeding female and her young pups from weather and other animals.
Denning
Density
Depredation
The act of an animal capturing and eating other animals. This term is primarily used when referring to situations involving wolves or other carnivores killing or maiming domestic animals, such as livestock.
Disperser
A wolf who leaves its natal pack and moves to where it will live as an adult. Dispersal in wolves, usually involves a young, sexually maturing wolf leaving the pack, perhaps due to rivalry with other members, intense bonds formed with an individual wolf from outside of the pack or lack of sufficient resources within the pack's territory to support the number of wolves present.
Dominance
Having power, control and privilege over others within a social hierarchy. In a wolf pack, the alpha wolves are usually dominant.
Dominance hierarchy
Ecosystem
A more or less discrete system or community formed by the interaction of living organisms with each other and with the physical factors found in their environment.
Eccrine glands
Endangered Species Act
An act of the U.S. Congress (16 U. S. C. 1531 et. seq.) passed in 1973 and amended through the years that provides for the identification and protection of species (plants and animals) currently in danger of extinction or threatened by extinction within the foreseeable future.
Estrus
Expansion tendency
Experimental/nonessential classification
Exploitation
Floater
Founder
Fractured pack
Gestation period
The period between fertilization and birth. For a wolf this period is 62 - 63 days.
GPS
Greeting
Guard hairs
Habitat
The natural environment of a species (plant or animal) that provides the food, water, shelter or cover and space required for it to survive.
Hard release
Harvesting
Heterozygosity
Howling
Hybrid
The offspring resulting from reproduction between two closely related species (e.g., a domestic dog and a wolf).
Immigration
Inbreeding
Incest
Incisors
Interdigital glands
Interference competition
Intraspecific
Introgression (genetic)
Jaw sparring
Keystone species
Kill rate
Land-and-shoot hunting
Litter
Mitochondrial DNA
Monogamy
Multiple breeding
Muzzle licking
Natural selection
Necropsy
Omega
The lowest ranking member in the social order of a wolf pack.
Outbreeding
Pack
Pair bonding
Pair persistence
Passive submission
Pelage
The entire coat of hair or fur, including the soft, furry undercoat as well as the coarse guard hairs, on a mammal.
Predation
The act of an animal capturing and eating other animals.
Predator-prey dynamics
Pre-dispersers
Prey
An animal that is captured and eaten by another animal.
Radio-telemetry
The use of electronic equipment to locate a distant source. Researchers use telemetry equipment, such as receivers and antennae, to locate signals emitted from radio collars worn by wolves in their study groups.
Recolonization
The natural restoration of a population to an area within its original range.
Recovery
The natural or assisted restoration of a population to specified levels for minimum number of consecutive years to a designated area within its original range.
Reintroduction
The act of bringing individuals of a certain species (plant or animal) back into a designated area within the species' original range, but from which it was extirpated or nearly eliminated. The purpose of reintroduction is to establish a new population in the wild.
Rendezvous site
An above ground area, usually open and near water, where pups are taken when they are old enough to leave the birth den. The wolves gather there to sleep, play and eat. Wolves may move from one rendezvous site to the next until the pups are old enough to accompany the adults on their hunts and travels.
Ritualized fighting
Sarcoptic mange
Scat
Feces.
Scent marking
The act of marking an area with body odor, scent from a gland, or urine or scat. This technique is used by wolves to communicate with other wolves and animals. For example, scent marks tell other wolves the locations of a pack's boundaries.
Scent rolling
Socialization
Social status
Soft release
Source population
Species
Splitting (pack)
Subordinate
Lower ranking in power, control and privilege. Wolf pack members are usually subordinate to the alpha wolves.
Subspecies
Sustainable mortality
Territory
An area occupied by a pack of wolves that can provide sufficient prey to support the pack. It is defended against wolves from outside of the pack and from other animals that might compete for the same resources. Wolves protect their territory by scent-marking, vocal communication and fighting.
Territoriality
Territory mosaic
Translocation
The movement by humans of animals from one area to another.
Ungulate
A hoofed mammal, such as deer, elk, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, moose, antelope, caribou and bison.
Usurping breeder
Viable population
A self-supporting population with sufficient numbers and genetic variety among healthy individuals and breeding pairs that are well enough distributed to ensure that the species will not become threatened, endangered or extinct in the foreseeable future.
Vocalizations
Vulnerability (of prey)