Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Denning Behavior of Non-Gravid Wolves
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
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.
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
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