WOLVES OF THE WORLD

 

Wolves are a native species in every country they are currently finding themselves. As a wide-ranging keystone species, wolves have a disproportionate effect on the rest of the ecosystem. By protecting wolves, we in turn protect all of the living things with which they share the landscape.

 

THE GREY WOLF

Gray wolves are the largest members of the canine family. They originated in Eurasia and made their way to North America more than 700,000 yrs ago. Today, the gray wolf makes its home in parts of North America, Asia, Europe and Greenland and was once one of the most widely ranging carnivores in the world before the population was dramatically reduced. Today, a combination of methods of hunting the gray wolf and loss of habitat has greatly reduced its population. Efforts are being made to help bring back the population into its natural habitat.

THE ARCTIC WOLF

The sub species we call the Arctic wolf is one of the few that still prevails in its original hunting grounds. This marvel of nature can tolerate sub zero(-22 and lower) temperatures and even 5 months of constant darkness and go weeks without food. The Arctic wolf is one of few mammals that can tolerate such harsh conditions. Not much is known about this mysterious wolf as nobody could study it for long periods. They thrive because this is one place where their biggest enemy, man cannot survive for long.

 

WOLVES IN FINLAND

Even though EU Habitats directive specifically protects the wolf, Finland has allowed a five month open season on wolves in Lapland. Finland's ministry of agriculture claims the Finnish population of wolves are big enough to withstand hunting. The figures however are based on observations made by hunters and not... scientifically based. Hunters stand to get more permits to hunt the more animals they report. Many wolves are slaughtered legally as the exception to the rule of the EU directive states that they can be killed if they are considered a danger to livestock or human habitation but under strict supervision. Very few of the wolves killed actually did answer to that rule of exception, the most of them were killed for sport. The problem is the general belief that legitimizes the sport in the eyes of the general public is that wolves are a danger to the public and a threat to the elk. Any wolf seen near a human settlement is automatically branded a trouble maker. This belief system is happily perpetuated by the hunting fraternity.

IDAHO'S WOLVES

Some history of the Idaho Wolves....In 1924 the last of the wild wolves were eradicated from the Yellowstone by the federal Government when two pups were killed near Soda Butte, in the NE corner of the Park. A few stragglers still persisted in Wyoming until 1943 when they too were killed. After more than a decade 14 wolves were brought from western Alberta and brought to Yellowstone. 15 more were captured and sent to central Idaho. Placed in three acclimation camps the packs were named after the locations. The Crystal Creek Pack, The Rose creek Pack and the Soda Butte Pack. Later that year a natural pack formed that was called the Leopold Pack.

THE ROSE CREEK PACK – 1995

It originally three wolves R7F, R9F, and R10M.

They were put together and was not a natural pack. The female, no. 9F and her red pup, no. 7F were from one pack. The large gray male, no. 10M, originated from another. After sizing each other for a while they eventually accepted each other and eventually mated later in January. No 10 was later killed by an over zealous hunter while he was exploring. No 9 gave birth to 8 pups which was later captured with No9 for their own safety and kept at the Rose Creek pen. They were released again in October 1995. From 1996 to 1997 they dominated the northern part of Yellowstone but with competition from the famous Druid Pack.

WOLVES IN INDIA

Western Karnataka state: The Indian Grey Wolf once flourished in the Deccan plateau. It is considered to be a secondary predator in India. Numbers have been dwindling rapidly as a result of poaching loss of habitat and threat from feline species. In the Hubli district wind farming caused the wolf population to disappear. The noisy windmills and the constant human traffic were big contributors to this as we all know strange moving objects and people are the two things that really spooks wolves. The species is protected under a law. (Wildlife Act Schedule - 1).

Wolves in Mongolia

Wolves are protected by law in Mongolia but no one pays any notice. Not even the law makers themselves. It is a national pass time for the rich in Mongolia to hunt wolves, therefore many wolves are killed each year. Wolves however survive this continuous onslaught because of the vast country side. No... one knows how many wolves there are in Mongolia but everyone is of the opinion that they are numerous. Wolf hunting is also entrenched in Mongolian culture as it is believed that the Parents of Genghis Khan was a Wolf(Father) and a Blue Deer(Mother). The wolf tail is a sacred totem for Mongols....Lets hope that the wolf will prevail in Mongolia

THE MEXICAN WOLF

The Mexican wolf is the rarest and most genetically distinct subspecies of the gray wolf in North America (Department of Interior 1997). Natural history information on the Mexican wolf is fragmented because most of the wolves in the wild disappeared before any research was conducted. Most of the information comes from trapper journals and reports. Mexican wolves typically weigh 70 to 90 lbs., average 4.5 to 5.5 feet from nose to tail, and stand 28 to 32 inches at the shoulder. They breed in late January through earlyMarch, and give birth to an average of 4 to 6 pups about 63 days later. They prefer mountain woodlands to desert, because of the combination of cover, water, and available prey (deer, elk, javelina, rabbits, and small mammals). Since their prey is relatively small and less individualsare needed to take down smaller prey, pack sizes were probably smaller than their northern gray cousins. Packs usually consist of 5 to 6 individuals. The formation of the pack is based on the breeding pair and their recent offspring living in a territory of several hundred square miles.

 

WOLVES IN RUSSIA

The Russian wolf population was probably the biggest of all wolf populations. From 1945 to 1954 the government exterminated approximately 500 000 wolves and the killing has continued until today. The wolf has only survived because of the vastness and inhospitable climate in the northern parts of Russia.... Very few studies was made of the wolf and overall it was seen as an enemy of the state as it competed directly with the population for food. Even today the wolf is considered free-kill which means that virtually anyone can kill a wolf with any method. In spite of this it seems that the numbers of wolves in this vast wilderness are rising. It does not receive any state protection and only recently scientists started giving attention to wolves.....so far it seems that being better adapted to its terrain and the cash strapped economy of Russia hampering specific efforts to hunt them the wolf is winning the war in that country.

 

WOLVES IN CHINA

From China we are always hearing bad news, but this is something positive from that country on wolves: Trying to revive the desert, the Chinese government has passed a series of laws and regulations banning hunting. Efforts paid off. Much of the 'lost' wildlife has re-emerged, also wolves who showed a drastic increase in numbers. Researcher Yuan Qing from China's Academy of Agricultural Services said the wolves increasing numbers showed that the ecological system of that area was healing. The re-emergence of wolves in the areas under research showed a recovery of the food chain consisting of various plants, rodents and carnivores. Local herdsmen say that they believe the recovered Eco system brings more rain in the area. Experts reckon that recovery of this nature could eventually bring an end to the annual sandstorms plaguing the country's capitol and the area surrounding.

 

Japanese Wolves

Japanese Wolves: There were two sub species of the Grey wolf once found in Japan. The Hokkaido Wolf, also known as Ezo wolves the other was the Honshu Wolf.

The Hokkaido wolf was endemic of the island Hokkaido and was bigger than the Honshu Wolf. They became extinct as a result of being deemed a threat to the local ranching industry during the Meiji restoration period. They were targeted by the government through a bounty system and a chemical extermination program.

The high rate of development also took its toll. Though many claimed to have seen the Hokkaido wolf after this period the claims could not be verified. Today the government is again considering reintroducing the wolf to curb wild pig destruction of crops..??

( The pic is of what is believed to be a descendant of a Japanese wolf but no certainty about it as the creature could not be captured.) Pic credit: Not listed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Wolf Army U.K 2010