October 27, 2009

Here on this new map that covers Brutus' locations from September 24 through October 13 one can see several interesting things:

1. the pack's visit to the Eureka Weather Station on October 2 (see Oct. 14 entry);

2. the pack's visit on October 3 to the vicinity of a couple of old kills we found along the S. shore of the fiord in mid July; and

3. Brutus' visit to the shore of the SE arm of Eureka Sound on October 6
(Map 2). If you have Google Earth and zoom in on the area you will see that this shoreline is at the base of a pretty high ridge, possibly > 900 ft. (270 meters) high.

The Weather Station reports that the fiords are frozen and a layer of snow
covers everything. By early November, the sun will have set, not to be seen again until mid February. Dave

October 14, 2009

It looks like the pattern we began to see during the past installment is continuing. Most of Brutus' locations are different rather than often showing him returning to a given point which presumably would be where the pups are staying. This tends to confirm that the pups are probably moving more often with the adults as observed by the weather station folks on October 2.

Dr. Pierre Fogal, a leading scientist working out of the weather station for the Canadian Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Change (CANDAC) snapped a few valuable photos of the pack as it passed by the weather station.


October 09, 2009

An interesting pattern has begun to develop in Brutus' movements. Until Sept. 19, Brutus had not been away from the den or rendezvous site for more than 3.5 days. However, from September 19 through September 24 (5 to 5.5 days) each location was different, indicating that he was not at a den or RS. Quite conceivably he had the pups with him during this time. Then from September 24 through at least September 27, (at least 3 days) his locations were only at the rendezvous site.

For now we are lacking locations for September 28 - October 2, but the Weather Station reported that on October 2 Brutus and a pack of 18-24 including pups passed by, so the pups might have been away from the rendezvous site for the entire period between September 27 and October 3 for which we now have data.

During all the locations we obtained from October 3 through 7 (5 days) Brutus was never in the same location, which could mean the pups are still traveling with him.

In 2 more days we hope to receive at least some of the September 28 through October 2 data, which will tell us much more about this new travel pattern.

Do these movements mark the start of the pups abandoning their rendezvous site and joining the pack on its nomadic movements around the full pack territory?


October 02, 2009

"Since our last installment, Brutus (and pack?) spent most of the time south of the fiord in the area inaccessible to us from the ground during summer. Brutus returned to the rendezvous site (RS) on September 25, so it is clear the pups are still there. Sometimes better-developed pups accompany adults for long distances while less-developed pups remain at the RS.

We have now received approvals to post maps of Brutus' locations, so accompanying this is a series of maps, starting from afar and closing in on the actual study area. The close-up shows all of Brutus' locations through September 15, 2009. Now with this map, you may want to re-read some of the earlier entries where we refer to the impassable mud flats, the weather
station, fiord, etc. Doing this will help you gain perspective on the many events described earlier.

To gain a better idea about the terrain, you may want to download Google Earth, www.earth.google.com, search for "Ellesmere Island, Eureka" and zoom in on some of the areas shown where the wolves frequent. Of course, the area was satellite-photographed at different times, primarily mid-summer. Currently the ground is snow-covered, and the fiords frozen. Will the wolves start crossing them to other areas to gain more prey? Stay tuned.