Pack Assembly In The Fishtrap Pack
Abstract: Little is known about wolf pack assembly throughout the year, such as whether or not pack members do most everything together as a group. This study, however, presents the first quantified evidence of how the movements of individual pack members can indicate the degree of pack assembly over an annual period. The movements of three radio collared wolves (Canis lupus) in the Fishtrap pack of northwest Montana, were monitored over a 603-day study period and 532 daily telemetry surveys. Each survey presented a variety of possible pairing results, from finding a single collared wolf to finding all three together at the same location. All possible combinations were observed, and the three collared wolves were found together in only 31.0% of the surveys. For the pack to have been fully assembled, the three collared wolves would have had to be present. Therefore, this pairing combination represented when the pack potentially could have been fully assembled, although no assumption was made that they were. Nevertheless, these preliminary results indicated that pack members were together in 31% or less of the surveys. Although the percentage of surveys did not correlate directly with total time spent together, it did suggest the Fishtrap pack spent the minority of time fully assembled throughout the year.
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