July 18, 2009

July 18, 2009 - The 2009 Research Expedition Continues!

Editors' Note

Dean and Dave left Ellesmere last night to begin the first leg of the long journey home. But this year, something's different. The 2009 Ellesmere Island Arctic Wolf Research has not ended!

Dean and Dave left a fellow researcher behind to carry on the important work, a teammate who will report in regularly. Nature has superbly adapted the big male wolf wearing the GPS/ARGOS tracking collar to lead the expedition day and night in the months to come, hopefully for as long as two years! When the e-mails from the ARGOS satellite come in, Dave and Dean will be able to plot the travels of the "researcher wolf" as he wanders and hunts, probably with the breeding female and others of his family, throughout the dark, frozen winter. We may be able to provide updates about this, so don't drop the Blog! Check in from time to time and see if we have posted something new.


  1. So it appears that some light may finally be shed on the mystery of what the wolves do in winter. Very exciting! I remember from the White Wolf video that one of the breeding pair from 1986 was found dead the next summer. Hopefully our "researcher" will make it through the brutal months ahead and continue to provide good data for the life of the radio collar.

    You mentioned the musk ox hunt from the video. That was some of the most intense wildlife video footage I have ever seen. It still gives me chills to watch it and the food begging behavior by some of the pack following the kill of the musk ox calf. I'm amazed that the pack was able to kill adult musk oxen this year. It's hard to believe that the wolves could kill a healthy adult, but nature is full of surprises.

    I'm sending a donation to the IWC and I hope others will join me. I've been a supporter for more than 20 years now. You do great work and we need you to continue.

  2. How wonderful that you are sending a donation to the Wolf Center! Many, many thanks for your interest and support and for your great message. It certainly is amazing to think that wolves can kill an animal as large and formidable as an adult musk ox. Even if the animal were old or injured, it would still have plenty of fight left in it. People who travel in the arctic have noticed that the old bulls often isolate themselves from the main herd - or they are ostracized by the younger bulls. Perhaps this was an old bull that was by himself, but no one knows for sure.