December 30, 2009
On Axel again.
Since our last (Dec. 15) post of Brutus’s pack’s detailed movements, the pack covered its usual area on Ellesmere from Nov. 22 through Dec. 8. The pack visited the weather station on Dec. 8. From the station, the wolves headed north and then cut across Eureka Sound westward to Axel Heiberg Island again on Dec. 9, where they stayed for about a week. At some of the Axel locations they remained for 2 or more times, including some of the locations visited earlier. This is a pretty good indication that they killed muskoxen there. Then on Dec. 15, the pack cut back eastward across the fiord and passed by the weather station. The station staff photographed them and estimated there were 23-25 members in the pack (see photos). It is becoming ever clearer that the pack has taken advantage of the fiord’s freezing to extend its territory onto northwestern Alex Heiberg. It will be interesting now to see how many more times the wolves visit Axel and when in early summer they stop using it because of thawing.
In this second photo of Gaudet’s the wolf on the left still sports facial blood from sticking his head into a recent muskox kill.
Although not sharp, this photo from Al Gaudet, Officer in Charge of the Eureka Weather Station documents for us that on December 15 Brutus was traveling with his pack, as expected. The weather station folks estimated that the pack included 23-25 wolves on this visit.