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Leadership in Wolf, Canis lupus, Packs

L. David Mech*


Abstract: I examine leadership in Wolf (Canis lupus) packs based on published observations and data gathered during summers from 1986 to 1998 studying a free-ranging pack of Wolves on Ellesmere Island that were habituated to my presence. The breeding male tended to initiate activities associated with foraging and travel, and the breeding female to initiate, and predominate in, pup care and protection. However, there was considerable overlap and interaction during these activities such that leadership could be considered a joint function. In packs with multiple breeders, quantitative information about leadership is needed.

Key Words: Wolf, Canis lupus, leadership, behavior, foraging, movements, pup care, provisioning, sociality, reproduction, breeding, Northwest Territories.


This resource is based on the following source (Northern Prairie Publication 1105):
Mech, L. David.  2000.  Leadership in Wolf, Canis lupus, packs.  
     Canadian Field-Naturalist 114(2):259-263.

This resource should be cited as:

Mech, L. David.  2000.  Leadership in Wolf, Canis lupus, packs.  
     Canadian Field-Naturalist 114(2):259-263.  Jamestown, ND: 
     Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online.  
     http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/mammals/leader/index.htm  
     (Version 09MAR2001).

Table of Contents


* Biological Resources Division, U. S. Geological Survey, Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, 8711 - 37th St., SE, Jamestown, North Dakota 58401-7317, USA.  Mailing address: North Central Research Station, 1992 Folwell Avenue, St. Paul, Minnesota 55108, USA.
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