Alaskan Interior Wolf (C. lupus pambasileus)
is our northern star girl! she is a very calm wolf. This grey beauty is one of THE sweetest animals out here,
and wins hearts over upon first meeting. She is a confident girl; and loves her walks.
Though very affectionate
with her main keepers, I rarely see her do goofy things like tibet or eclipse, she is also one of those *old souls* and she
loves to gaze right into your eyes up close and personal. She has a hypnotic stare and entrancing personality.
Paradox is a very tall
big girl and likes to study every little thing you do, so if you don't wish her to mimic your actions, you have to block her
view. Good thing there are padlocks on all the gates, wolves can master how to open gates when they are still young
a very high level of intelligence, and can be determined problem solvers. A good mantra to follow is to stay one step ahead
and out think them. Please read the following it is quite telling about Arctic Alaska Wolves.
Though Paradox has
been classified on paper as
*Canis lupus pambasileus* (Alaskan Interior) please scroll down and click on image for this subspecies
However it is interesting to note that that there
could be cross over in the region with *Canis lupus tundrarum* (Alaskan Tundra) Please scroll down to subspecies and click on image for this subspecies
The following article
taken from the attached pdf link is extremely informative about Arctic Alaskan wildlife including wolves.
The Status of Alaskan Sub-species of Wolves
taken from the Status of Some Arctic Mammmals for full report
of The Status including charts and photos of Some Arctic mammals please go here (please note it is in pdf form)
Status of Some Arctic Animals by Robert Rausch
Canis lupus tundrarum
Wolves collected in northeastern Alaska are assigned to this form on the
basis of locality. This is hardly satisfactory, but the study of available material has thrown some doubt
on the validity of Alaskan subspecies of wolves as at present defined. It was evident, in comparing specimens of a large
collection of wolf skulls, that considerable individual variation occurs.
One wolf was collected1 near Lake Schrader and 4 specimens were obtained from the Indians
at IArctic Village. During May 1952 I was able to collect an adult male a few miles south of Point Barrow-approximately at the type locality of C. .lupus tundrarum In addition, a large
series of skulls, with full collecting data, is at hand from the central Brooks Range. From this region about 150 wolves have been autopsied, but it has
not been possible to preserve all of them for mammalogical studies. Skull measurements for 48 wolves are given in Table 111.
Most of these are arctic specimens, but a few others have been included for comparative purposes. Age designations are given
as accurately as possible.
The age of young animals was computed by assuming a birth
May 15. The
THE STATUS OF SOME ARCTIC MAMMALS of killing was known for all specimens. Comparisons of the skulls of young animals were also
made with the skull of a captive male wolf which was five months old at the time of death (assuming the May 15 birth date). Material from which C. lupus tundraumwas
*characterized (Miller, 1912) comprised specimens from widely separated localities. Young and Goldman (1944) summarized available data on North American wolves.
Goldman prepared the taxonomic section, and had for study only 9 skulls
of C. lupus tundrarum;of these, 5 were topotypes. Anderson (1943) studied 6 topotype
Canis lupus tundrarum is differentiated as follows from forms with adjacent
ranges (after Young and Goldman, 1944): “Closely allied to pambasileus of Mount McKinley region, but color paler
and grayer, the white less mixed with brown or buff on head, and back more
sparingly overlaid with black; skull with heavier dentition. Similar also to occidentalis and mackenzii of Mackenzie in size,
but color darker, the general dorsal area more extensively mixed with black, and the tendency toward pure
white less evident than in occidentalis; dentition heavier.” (p. 417).
The study of 40 skulls designated as C. lupus tundrarum(Table 111) has made
possible some understanding of normal variation. The largest skull 1 examined was but 4 mm. shorter in condylo-basal
length than the largest specimen of C. lupus pambasileus recorded
from Alaska by Young and Goldman. It exceeded in size the skulls of two adult C. lupus alces Goldman (1941)as well as that
of an adult male of the same form in my possession. I do not recognize that C.lupus tundrarum can be differentiated from C.lupus pambasileus on the basis of heavier dentition. Brooks Range and Arctic Coast
wolves exhibit a wide range of variation in tooth size. A few animals show
very light, relatively small teeth, while a few have a dentition more massive
I doubt that colour in Alaskan wolves has any
taxonomic significance. There is a wide range in colour, from nearly white to almost black, but animals of either extreme and all intermediate colours
may occur in any given region. Some wolves appear white from a distance, but all that I have seen close at
hand have had some black-tipped hairs dorsally. The most nearly white specimen that I ‘have seen, an adult male trapped by Eskimo near Anak- tuvuk
Pass, has been deposited in the collections of the US. National Museum (No. 294404).
About half of all wolves killed or observed in the Brooks Range approach black in colour. Miller (1912) stated that the colour of
C. lupus tundrarum is “said to be frequently white or whitish.”
It is likely, however, that he had some white specimens from the Canadian Arctic among the material he studied.
Young and Goldman (1944) differentiated C. lupus tundrarum from C.lupus occidentalis
and C.lupus mackenzii Anderson
essentially on the basis of colour. Restudy of the various subspecies
of wolves seems necessary to determine whether the existence of so many named forms is justified. A series of each large enough to demonstrate
normal individual variation is required.
I doubt that C. lupus tundrarum can be differentiated from C.lupus
The validity of C.lupus alces is also open to question.
Wolves are very rare on the Kenai Peninsula, and it might be expected that animals from farther north move into this region from time to time. In
any event, clear-cut ranges cannot be established for subspecies of a mammal as capable of movement over great distances as is the wolf.
In order to obtain adequate material from Alaska and northern Canada it will be necessary to enlist the aid of local trappers. It is particularly regrettable that the great
numbers of wolves killed by the predator-control activities of the US. Fish and Wildlife Service in Alaska are not being utilized for scientific purposes.
US. Fish and Wildlife Service methods for wolf control appear to be effective under
arctic conditions. During the winter of 1951-2 wolves in northern Alaska attained a very high population density-quite possibly
the highest ever observed for this region. The Eskimo of the Anaktuvuk Pass region killed 160 wolves by combined trapping
and shooting. US. Fish and Wildlife Service predator control men killed over 200 in the same region of the Brooks Range and farther north
on the Arctic Slope between Umiat and the mountains. Since much of the predator control activities centred in the hunting
grounds of the Eskimo, the latter felt keenly the competition offered, and although they had killed a large
number of wolves prior to the predator
control activities, they killed none afterward.
Wolves are known to fluctuate greatly in numbers in arctic Alaska (see Rausch, 195l),
and it seems questionable whether the high cost of wolf destruction would make a control program practicable even if it were considered biologically sound. It
is of interest to the biologist that large numbers of ground squirrels, at least one grizzly, some caribou, and at least 9
sledge dogs succumbed to the effect of strychnine-poisoned baits used for wolf control in the Anaktuvuk Pass region. The
question comes up whether this type of control might not result in a higher residual population of wolves, since the natural
transmission of disease might be minimized in a population of already greatly lessened density.
With the great wolf density of 1951-2 epizootic disease broke out which no doubt would
have had violent effect on their numbers, had man not intervened with other controls. Rabies appeared among them, as was the
case during the last time of high population density in 1944-5 (see Rausch, 1951). This was confirmed by rabies virus recovery1
from the brain of a wolf killed while attacking tethered sledge .dogs in an Eskimo camp.
Rabies still occurred in foxes and dogs in eastern Alaska at the time of
writing (December 1952).2 More serious was distemper, which broke out in epizootic proportions over all
of arctic Alaska. Sledge dogs at Barrow, Wainwright, Point Lay, Anak-tuvuk Pass, and in a camp along the lower John River,
suffered greatly from this disease. About 500 dogs died at Barrow alone, and losses in other villages were of similar proportion. Arctic foxes died along the coast,
and there is
little doubt that the disease was disseminated through the wild canine populations
from the coast to the dogs of the Inland Eskimo, and on southward. Since the wolves comprised a population
highly susceptible to distemper, losses among them could be expected to be heavy.
|Paradox is displaying a calming signal at Skylar (nose flicking with the tongue)