August 27, 2009

Again, reporting from my St. Paul office, we have determined that the Ellesmere pack has almost certainly moved its pups to a new rendezvous site some 10.9 miles (17.6 km) to the northeast, which puts it across the river flats that we were unable to cross with our ATVs last month. The pups were last at the former rendezvous site through July 25 and probably were at 2 intermediate rendezvous sites between then and August 5 when they were at the new site.

The collar is working very well, and we now have received almost all the
possible locations that it has received from the GPS satellites.


August 06, 2009

August 6, 2009

With a new download of Brutus' location data today, I noticed that Brutus (and probably several members of his pack) had traveled to the N. side of the fiord to an area frequented by muskoxen, some 25 miles (40 km) north of the pups. Because he had stayed in a single spot for > 12 hr, I surmised that the pack had killed a muskox there--quite an inference to be made from my office > 2,500 miles to the south! Next summer, we hope to visit that probable kill location and check for bones."


Editors note:
We've posted video of the wolves howling on
July 8th.

August 05, 2009

August 4, 2009

Today while sitting in my Minnesota office analyzing Brutus' locations emailed to me by the satellites, we found that his pack apparently has moved the pups some 4.25 km (2.6 mi) to the NW of the den. After July 18, none of Brutus' locations were at the den, but 5 were at the new location. Such a move of the pups is common during mid-summer, both in the arctic and elsewhere. Wolves usually move the pups to new locations, sometimes closer to prey or food supplies but other times for reasons unknown.

The new locations may or may not be near dens or other refuges and are referred to as rendezvous sites. The pups are usually kept at these rendezvous sites until they reach adult size and can travel with the rest of the pack. That takes place about October in southern areas, but in the arctic, that time is unknown. We eagerly await Brutus' signals to reveal that information.


August 03, 2009

Before leaving Ellesmere, Dean and Dave asked other area scientists who might be flying near Brutus' den to try to swing by and gather further information. Thus permafrost researchers, Mark Ednie and Philip Bonnaventure, took these photos of the den surroundings and the wolves home at the time.

Meanwhile, back at the office in St. Paul, MN and Yellowknife, NWT, Dave and Dean continued to trace Brutus' wide travels on their computers. The farthest straight-line distance between his most distant locations so far is 37 miles (59 km).