The Alexander Archipelago Wolf: A Conservation Assessment

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Person, David K.; Kirchhoff, Matthew; Van Ballenberghe, Victor; Iverson, George C.; Grossman, Edward. 1996. The Alexander Archipelago wolf: a conservation assessment. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-384. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 42 p. (Shaw, Charles G., III, tech. coord.; Conservation and resource assessments for the Tongass land management plan revision). We summarized the scientific information available for the Alexander Archipelago wolf (Canis lupus ligoni) in the Tongass National Forest of southeast Alaska. Information concerning the morphology, distribution, taxonomy, genetics, and ecology of wolves are presented. Three issues for the conservation of wolves in southeast Alaska are discussed: loss of long-term carrying capacity for deer due primarily to extensive timber harvesting, increased mortality of wolves associated with improved human access from roads, and continued high levels of harvest of wolves by humans....

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    • "Such intra-specific nomenclature is common among indigenous knowledge holders (Turner et al. [49]). Indeed, in adjacent southeast Alaska, the frequency of the black colour phase among wolves killed by trappers is ~50% on the mainland and only ~20% on the islands (Person et al. [50]). Additional morphological differences among wolves of coastal BC might have led to mainland-island classification by local people. "
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Background: Emerging evidence suggests that ecological heterogeneity across space can influence the genetic structure of populations, including that of long-distance dispersers such as large carnivores. On the central coast of British Columbia, Canada, wolf (Canis lupus L., 1758) dietary niche and parasite prevalence data indicate strong ecological divergence between marine-oriented wolves inhabiting islands and individuals on the coastal mainland that interact primarily with terrestrial prey. Local holders of traditional ecological knowledge, who distinguish between mainland and island wolf forms, also informed our hypothesis that genetic differentiation might occur between wolves from these adjacent environments. Results: We used microsatellite genetic markers to examine data obtained from wolf faecal samples. Our results from 116 individuals suggest the presence of a genetic cline between mainland and island wolves. This pattern occurs despite field observations that individuals easily traverse the 30 km wide study area and swim up to 13 km among landmasses in the region. Conclusions: Natal habitat-biased dispersal (i.e., the preference for dispersal into familiar ecological environments) might contribute to genetic differentiation. Accordingly, this working hypothesis presents an exciting avenue for future research where marine resources or other components of ecological heterogeneity are present. Keywords: Canis lupus, Ecological divergence, Marine resources, Niche, Population genetic structure, Traditional ecological knowledge, Wolf
    BMC Ecology 06/2014; 14(11). DOI:10.1186/1472-6785-14-11 · 2.36 Impact Factor
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    • "During this time, wolves foraged extensively on smaller mammals, seals and intertidal organisms (Klein, 1996). The last wolf was shot in the late 1960s, ending the experiment, and the deer population has since rebounded (Person et al., 1996). Others have demonstrated the consequences of insularity on mammalian predator–prey communities on islands but the dynamics of these systems vary. "
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    ABSTRACT: Aim Predator–prey dynamics in fragmented areas may be influenced by spatial features of the landscape. Although little is known about these processes, an increasingly fragmented planet underscores the urgency to predict its consequences. Accordingly, our aim was to examine foraging behaviour of an apex mammalian predator, the wolf (Canis lupus), in an archipelago environment. Location Mainland and adjacent archipelago of British Columbia, Canada; a largely pristine and naturally fragmented landscape with islands of variable size and isolation. Methods We sampled 30 mainland watersheds and 29 islands for wolf faeces in summers 2000 and 2001 and identified prey remains. We examined broad geographical patterns and detailed biogeographical variables (area and isolation metrics) as they relate to prey consumed. For island data, we used Akaike Information Criteria to guide generalized linear regression model selection to predict probability of black-tailed deer (main prey; Odocoileus hemionus) in faeces. Results Black-tailed deer was the most common item in occurrence per faeces (63%) and occurrence per item (53%) indices, representing about 63% of mammalian biomass. Wolves consumed more deer on islands near the mainland (65% occurrence per item) than on the mainland (39%) and outer islands (45%), where other ungulates (mainland only) and small mammals replaced deer. On islands, the probability of detecting deer was influenced primarily by island distance to mainland (not by area or inter-landmass distance), suggesting limited recolonization by deer from source populations as a causal mechanism. Main conclusions Although sampling was limited in time, consistent patterns among islands suggest that population dynamics in isolated fragments are less stable and can result in depletion of prey. This may have important implications in understanding predator–prey communities in isolation, debate regarding wolf–deer systems and logging in temperate rain forests, and reserve design.
    Journal of Biogeography 10/2004; 31(11):1867 - 1877. DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2699.2004.01141.x · 4.59 Impact Factor

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