English Reports

The Canid Behaviour Center since 1979

Günther Bloch, Phone: 1-403-632-9927, E-mail: Bloch-Tours@shaw.ca

Attention: NEW BOOK in 2017!

Günther Bloch & John E. Marriott:
"THE PIPESTONE WOLVES" – The Rise and Fall of a Wolf Family
RMB / Rocky Mountain Books: ISBN 9781771601603
Hardcover, 192 pages, CAD $ 40.-
RMB: (Fax) 250.386.0829 (E-mail) don@rmbooks.com

Bow Valley Wolf Behaviour Observations (Results)

WOLF (Canis lupus) & RAVEN (Corvus corax): The co-evolution of "team players" and their living-together in a social-mixed group

wolf raven 240

© Günther Bloch

Günther Bloch & Paul C. Paquet, 2011

The forming of "mutualistic relationships" between different species:
There are a lot of respectable examples from studies in the wild, which emphasize regular cooperation’s between different species: polar bear & arctic fox, grizzly & red fox, coyote & badger or honey-display-bird & honey badger (Ganslosser 1998). Some mutualistic relationships are limited by time; others are long-lasting (Dugatkin 1997). In fact, a lot of different species are prepared to coordinate their predatory- and feeding behaviours. Kill sites are magnets for all meat-eaters. Wolves and bears tend to avoid each other; altercations between the two species are not unusual (Mech et al. 1998). Nonetheless, mutual tolerance may predominate. Consequently, grizzly bears and wolves were observed feeding together at kill sites. Afterwards, they often were resting in a distance of only 100 m to each other (Bloch & Radinger 2010). Wolves and magpies were observed near ungulate carcass, occasionally feeding together side by side.

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Adaptive Strategies of wild wolves in the Bow Valley of Banff National Park

A review of wolf behaviour patterns in a human dominated environment

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Juvenile wolf and tourists
© Peter A. Dettling, www.TerraMagica.ca

Günther Bloch & Dr. Mike Gibeau, 2010

There has been an ongoing debate among scientists, wildlife managers and the public about what is considered “wild”. However, “wild” is a human concept. In reality, individuals of many species can display a wide variety of behaviours. Some of these behaviours fall into the category of what we concider “wild” and some do not.

So what is "wild"?

In African national parks for instance an entire industry has been build upon close observations of all types of “wild animals”. All of these observations have included countless encounters with predators such as lions, leopards or African wild dogs. The phenomena of wolves adapting to a human dominated environment
and/or interacting with people, is also not new.

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First publication (summer 2002): Wolf! Magazine, Vol. XX, No. 2, 2002

Alpha-Concept, Dominance & Leadership In Wolf Families

First publication (summer 2002): Wolf! Magazine, Vol. XX, No. 2, 2002. North American Wildlife Park Foundation (NAWPF), Dr. Erich Klinghammer, Wolf Park/Indiana/USA
Copyright © 2014: Guenther Bloch, Canid Behaviour Center

Thinking of the terms "a pack of wolves" or "leader of the pack" the vast majority of people imagine a group of individuals who all demand a certain degree of dominance as they grow older but are basically controlled by the "alpha pair" or the alpha male or alpha female respectively in a kind of pecking order. Especially dog trainers refer to the so called "Alpha-concept" when advising dog owners. Nearly all surveys, however, of the structure of the social ranking order of a wolf pack were carried out on animals in captivity. In this report, however, we want to describe the social ranking order of wolves in the complete freedom of the wilderness, to discuss the "alpha-concept" and publish some annotations on the term "dominance behaviour", that mirror the latest results of ethologic research. We refer to data that we collected during two winters with two wolf families.We concluded that in a typical wolf pack in the wild there is a family structure that is led by different individual wolves according to the fundamental biological need (reproduction, food resources and avoiding hazards), and which in a normal case consists of a maximum of three generations. The so-called alpha male leads a wolf pack mostly in avoiding hazard situations and only than makes all important decisions.

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