WOLVES-AN ENDANGERED SPECIES
For instance wolves are not very large creatures they only get about 5 to 6.5 feet from their nose to the tip of the tail and only 26 to 36 inches in height at the shoulders. They weigh in anywhere from 40 to 175 pounds, females usually being smaller.
They live anywhere from the frozen arctic tundra s to forests and prairies if suitable prey is present. They don t live in the deserts or the high mountains. Wolves, at one time, roamed most of the Northern Hemisphere. Now they re basically in Canada and Alaska. Of the 48 states only Minnesota has population large enough to maintain itself. Ranchers and hunters are opposed to the government reintroducing wolves back into their natural habitat.
Packs consist of a Alpha Male and an Alpha Female and their offspring which are at least a year or older. Pack sizes can range anywhere to 36 members but usually they re as small as 2 to 8. Each pack runs their own area of land which can range from 50 to 5000 sq. miles.
Packs tend to be stationary during the spring and summer months and nomadic during fall and winter. Mating can take place anywhere between January and April. Pups are born about 63 days after breeding. An average litter consists of about 6 pups. The mother stays close for about 2 months while the other wolves bring food. Wolves don t usually live more than 10 years in the wild.
They prey on large hoofed mammals such as deer, elk, moose, caribou, bison and even beaver when it s available. They usually only kill the young, old or weaker of the species because they are the easiest to capture. The average pursuit can last from 110 yards to 3.1 miles. Attacks on humans, however, rarely if ever happen and never by healthy wolves.
Humans have been trying to kill off this mysterious breed since the beginning of time, it seems. They have tried your average run of the mill ways such as hunting with guns and dogs, and trapping to more inhumane and sadistic techniques such as poisoning food, capturing the young in the dens and torturing them. Some went as far as to capture them infect them with a deadly disease them release them to spread the infection to the rest of the pack.
The consequences were not considered. Nobody seemed to realize that these animals were not wiping out any particular species from hunting them but keeping animals such as deer from being overpopulated. Exterminating these animals could have a very serious effect on our eco-system. Deer could become overpopulated for instance, which would cause a shortage in food, because more would be needed to feed the animals and more of the deer would end up starving to death.
That is why more people today are trying to prevent the destruction of anymore wolves and zoologists are trying to breed them in zoos and labs so that they can release them back out into the wild where the belong. At one time their were no wolves left in Yellow Stone National Park ,now they are being returned there where they can be free from the ignorance of humans.
In conclusion I have learned quite a lot about a creature who is so notorious for crimes against the human race and other animals. Crimes that it never committed. I can only hope that people will one day learn to share the earth with these mysterious creatures, these watchers of the woods .
I will end this with a thought by Chief Dan George:
If you talk to the animals they will talk with you, and you will know each other.
If you do not talk to them, you will not know them, and what you do not know you will fear. What one fears, one destroys.
McIntyre, Rick. 1993. A Society of Wolves. United States:
Voyageur Press Inc.
McIntyre, Rick. 1995. War Against Wolf. United States:
Voyageur Press Inc.
Voyageur Press, Inc.
Mech. L. David. 1988. The Arctic Wolf, Living with the Pack. U.S.:
Voyageur Press, Inc.
Brandenburg, Jim. 1988. White Wolf, Living with an Arctic Legend.
Portand, Oregon: Northwood Press, Inc.