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Denning Behavior of Non-Gravid Wolves

by

L. David Mech1
Michael K. Phillips2
Douglas W. Smith2
Terry J. Kreeger3


Wild Wolves (Canis lupus) that had produced pups in earlier years but were not currently pregnant, and ovariectomized captive Wolves, dug dens during and after the whelping season even though they produced no pups. These observations suggest that den digging is not a function of pregnancy or of ovarian estrogen or progesterone. We hypothesize that increasing prolactin in spring elicits or mediates den-digging behavior.

Key Words: Wolf, den, behavior, estrogen, progesterone, prolactin, pups, pseudopregnancy, reproduction.


This resource is based on the following source (Northern Prairie Publication LDM0151):
Mech, L. David, Michael K. Phillips, Douglas W. Smith, and 
     Terry J. Kreeger.  1995.  Denning behavior of non-gravid 
     wolves.  Canadian Field Naturalist 110(2):343-345.

This resource should be cited as:

Mech, L. David, Michael K. Phillips, Douglas W. Smith, and Terry J. 
     Kreeger.  1995.  Denning behavior of non-gravid wolves.  
     Canadian Field Naturalist 110(2):343-345.  Jamestown, ND: 
     Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online.  
     http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/mammals/behavior/index.htm  
     (Version 31MAY2000).

Table of Contents


1 U. S. National Biological Service, Patuxent Environmental Science Center, 11510 American Holly Dr., Laurel, Maryland 2708
Mailing address: North Central Forest Experiment Station, 1992 Folwell Avenue, St. Paul, Minnesota 55108

2 Yellowstone Center for Resources, P. O. Box 168, YNP, WY 82190

3 Wyoming Game & Fish Dept., Bosler Rt. Box 8101, Wheatland, WY 82201


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