GPS Tracking Shows How Much Wolf Packs Avoid Each Other’s Range

This image of GPS tracking of multiple wolves in six different packs around Voyageurs National Park was created in the framework of the Voyageurs Wolf Project. It is an excellent illustration of how much wolf packs in general avoid each other’s range.

wolf pack ranges
Image credit: Thomas Gable

In Voyageurs National Park a typical wolf pack territory is somewhere around 50-70 square miles but that can vary from year to year. So that’s about the size of the areas marked with the different colors. The white line marks the boundary of the national park.

As beautifully demonstrated by the image, wolf packs generally avoid being around each other unless they are fighting for food that may be in short supply. When that occurs, they may engage in battles with other packs in order to continue have their claim on a given location as well as the food found within it.

Wolves may need to shift their territory due to human activity as well. When people clear out part of their natural habitat they may have to find a new route to get to their food sources. This can also create conflicts among the various wolf packs due to overstepping their bounds.

Sources: Voyageurs Wolf Project, Wolfworlds

7 COMMENTS

  1. With only 6 packs and human interaction causing fragmented populations, wonder how closely related these packs are and how data can be understood.
    The age and genetics are only data they cannot explain history or relationships.

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