Meet the pack. Apex predators can be difficult neighbors. But a new approach being taken in Germany could offset the economic damage they can cause while increasing acceptance of their renewed presence in the country. If you've never heard of the great bustard, it's probably that there's no room for them where you live. The large bird is under threat. United Nations expert Tilman Schneider explains why, and what we can do about it.
Gabriel and Neil go green, taking an open-minded, relevant and entertaining approach to various environmental issues. On this week's show: Turning coconut waste into charcoal and an app searching for abandoned and fertile fields to farm. Eco India comes up with ideas on how to live sustainably every day.
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Why wolves mate for life and 22 other interesting things to know about these animals.
COM has chosen English as your language setting. COM in 30 languages. Deutsche Welle. Audiotrainer Deutschtrainer Die Bienenretter. Wolf pups in a park - wolves that have never had contact with humans are now grown in Germany. Are Holger Benning's sheep safe?
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Yes, so far. Guard dogs are effective against wolves, but constitute an extra expense for farmers. Hendrik Meine fears keeping cattle on pasture will become a thing of the past. Holger Benning does his best to protect his sheep. Wolf in Saxony to be shot as possible threat to humans For the first time, the German state of Saxony is allowing a wild wolf to be shot, for displaying "unusual behavior.
Wolf Nation: The Life, Death, and Return of Wild American Wolves by Brenda Peterson
Can we really live with wolves? Endangered freedom for wild European bison in Germany Humans drive species extinct in the wild - and sometimes, put them back. Protecting the wolves that eat the sheep In tales of old, wolves are cast as the baddies, and sheep as the goodies. What do you know about wolves? Map: Wolf packs in Germany. Living Planet: Fairytale ending for the big bad wolf. Do wolves really howl at the moon?
How many teeth does an adult wolf have? What do wolves eat? How much do wolves eat? How many prey animals do wolves kill per year? How long do wolves live? What do wolves die from? How fast can wolves run? How far can wolves travel? Why do wolves howl? Are wolves dangerous to people? Will wolves disappear again from the lower 48 states if they are not federally protected by the Endangered Species Act? There are two universally recognized species of wolves in the world: the gray wolf Canis lupus and the red wolf Canis rufus.
Two other members of the canine family are considered to be wolves by some researchers and other species by other researchers. The use of molecular genetic research on wolves is suggesting that there may be two more species of wolf in the world.
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Some scientists question whether the Ethiopian or Abyssinian wolf Canis simensis is a true wolf or a jackal. Other researchers have presented strong evidence that the eastern timber wolf Canis lupus lycaon , may be a distinct species, the eastern wolf Canis lycaon. Due to the complex nature of studying wolves using molecular genetics to distinguish species, the process takes a great amount of time to reach solid conclusions. There are five subspecies, or races, of the gray wolf in North America and seven to 12 in Eurasia.
Wolves in the Alps
The currently recognized subspecies in North America are:. Subspecies are often difficult to distinguish from one another. This is because wolves are so mobile and travel such great distances.
They interbreed where their ranges overlap so that their populations tend to blend together rather than form distinctive boundaries. The different traits we see in subspecies are likely the result of geographic range, available habitat, and prey base. But one wolf is, in reality, like any other wolf in terms of natural history and behavior. There are far more commonalities among wolves than differences. All species and subspecies of wolves are social animals that live and hunt in families called packs, although adult wolves can and do survive alone. Most wolves hold territories, and all communicate through body language, vocalization and scent marking.
No single hypothesis for the origin of the red wolf is universally accepted by scientists. DNA analysis and morphological evidence support recognition of the red wolf as a distinct species. Red wolves are larger than coyotes and smaller than gray wolves. They are buff-colored or brown with some black along their backs.
The backs of their ears, head and legs are often tinged with a reddish color.
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Their legs are long, and they have tall, offset ears. The red wolf diet consists mainly of white-tailed deer and small mammals such as marsh rabbits, raccoons and nutria. The red wolf has federally endangered status throughout its state historic range. A wolf pack is a cohesive family unit consisting of the adult parents and their offspring of the current year and perhaps the previous year and sometimes two years or more.
Wolf parents used to be referred to as the alpha male and alpha female or the alpha pair. Pack size is highly variable and fluid because of the birth of pups, dispersal, and mortality. Prey availability and size are also factors. Where prey animals are smaller, packs are often small.
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Where prey is large, the packs may be larger. For example, in Alaska and northwestern Canada some packs reportedly have over 20 members. One pack Druid Peak pack in Yellowstone National Park once swelled to over 30 members, but this is highly unusual and not necessarily an advantage.
More pack members means more food must be obtained. Wolf packs are generally largest in late autumn when the nearly-grown pups are strong enough to hunt with the adults.
Over the winter months, some wolves may disperse to find mates and territories of their own. Others die, and by spring, before the arrival of a new crop of pups, the pack size has often diminished.
Red wolf packs are generally smaller than gray wolf packs and usually have 2 to 8 members, but a pack of 12 has been observed in the wild.