Ecology of the Timber Wolf
(Canis lupus Linn.)
in Southern Manitoba -
Wilderness, Recreational and Agricultural Aspects

E.L. Hill

Department of Zoology,
The University of Manitoba,
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
R3T 2N2

 

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Hill, E.L. 1979. Ecology of the Timber Wolf (Canis lupus Linn.) in Southern Manitoba - Wilderness, Recreational and Agricultural Aspects. M.Sc. Thesis, University of Manitoba. 163 pp.

 

Abstract

The ecology and recreational value of timber wolves (Canis lupus) in the Wallace Lake area and the extent of wolf predation on cattle in agricultural regions of Manitoba were examined during 1973-1975 in an effort to evaluate the ecological, recreational and economic status of wolves in Southern Manitoba.

A population of approximately eleven wolves occupied the 563 km2 Wallace Lake study area resulting in a density of one wolf per 51 km2. Examination of 203 wolf scats from the study area showed that moose, white-tailed deer and beaver comprised 89.5% of the wolves' diet. Beaver was the primary prey species during summer while moose and deer were utilized heavily during the winter. There was no shift in the wolves' diet to young ungulates during the summer.

Post-mortem examinations of 21 wolf carcasses collected by trappers from scattered locations throughout Southern Manitoba revealed the majority were in good nutritional condition with light parasite loads and few pathologic abnormalities. Sixteen of 20 wolves aged were more than one year old.

A questionnaire survey of 126 summer visitors to the Wallace Lake study area indicated a large majority was interested in hearing and seeing wolves, and 73.6% would have been willing to participate in organized programmes on wolf biology had these been available.

A questionnaire mailed to 1,059 cattle owners yielded a 49.2% return. Of those, 19% had lost livestock to predators of all species during the last five years. Only 1.8% had lost a total of 19 calves and one sheep, attributable to wolf predation during 1973-74. It was concluded that livestock losses to timber wolves in Manitoba were minimal.

 


 

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