US Geological Survey


Date of this Version



CWBM 2015: Volume 4, Number 2, ISSN: 1929-3100.


Preliminary data from GPS-collared wolves (Canis lupus) in the Superior National Forest of northeastern Minnesota indicated wolves had low association rates with packmates during summer. However, aerial-telemetry locations of very high frequency (VHF)-radioed wolves in this same area showed high associations among packmates during winter. We analyzed aerial-telemetry-location data from VHF-collared wolves in several packs (n=18 dyads) in this same area from 1994-2012 by month, and found lowest association rates occurred during June. While other studies have found low association among wolf packmates during summer, information on differences in association patterns depending on the wolf associates’ demographics is sparse. During May-July, association rates were greatest for breeding pairs, followed by sibling dyads, and lowest for parent–offspring dyads. Our findings improve our understanding of how individual wolf relationships affect monthly association rates. We highlight some important remaining questions regarding wolf packmate associations.