Update on the weight of wolves shot in Idaho hunt

Latest data. Average female 86 lbs. Average male 101 lbs-

Earlier I reported data from the Fish and Game Comission meeting a couple weeks ago with the largest Idaho wolf at 109 pounds. One in extreme Northern Idaho was 130 pounds. The Spokesman Review has a new article on this.

Actual wolf weights often skimpier than hunters estimate. Becky Kramer. The Spokesman-Review

18 Responses to “Update on the weight of wolves shot in Idaho hunt”

  1. jon Says:

    Thank you for posting this Ralph. I should have put the link up. Thank you none the less.

  2. Jon Way Says:

    It is nice to see an article about wolves in Idaho without the politics attached to it, for a change, although that won’t last for long given the recent development by the legislator.

  3. Layton Says:

    “Realistically, there’s no difference between the subspecies. They interbreed,” Hayden said.

    In addition, “we’ve got wolves that are walking here from Canada,” he said. “They’re the same species that would have been here in the past”

    Then why the “no genetic exchange” argument??

  4. Chris Harbin Says:

    Layton,
    You are kidding, right? Genetics runs the gambit from individual to populations and species. That’s why it’s not a great idea to marry your sister – or brother.

  5. Ralph Maughan Says:

    Layton wrote:
    +In addition, “we’ve got wolves that are walking here from Canada,” he said. “They’re the same species that would have been here in the past”

    That’s what I have arguing like forever. There can’t be a sub-species of anything when there is genetic exchange. There was genetic exchange for thousands of years between what is now Canada and now the U.S.

    It only stopped in about 1920. That’s where Layton is wrong. He didn’t note that the exchange stopped when all the wolves south of the border were dead, and it hasn’t really started up again.

  6. Jeff Says:

    Do you think SFW or Mr. Fanning read this article?

  7. Layton Says:

    Ralph,

    “That’s where Layton is wrong. He didn’t note that the exchange stopped when all the wolves south of the border were dead, and it hasn’t really started up again.”

    Had the wolves that were here in the middle 90’s lived here since 1920?? I don’t think so.

    The wolf side wants people to buy that the “exchange” thing WAS going on to make bringing the wolves in OK. BUT, after they got them here, the wolves left in Canada lost that “urge to roam”. Isn’t that having it both ways??

    Yep, sounds OK to me — now where do I sign up for that ocean front property on the way to Stanley? 8)

  8. Ken Cole Says:

    Does anyone know the status of the wolf population in southern Alberta and British Columbia? From what I understand they are heavily hunted, trapped and in some cases poisoned, and at the time of reintroduction were very low in number. My understanding is that those that are there now are progeny from the few that did make it to NW Montana and the reintroduced wolves in the US so in effect they have been supplemented by the healthier populations in the south. I’m not aware of whether there is much connectivity with healthy populations to the north.

    Does anyone know of any resources about this?

    “Had the wolves that were here in the middle 90’s lived here since 1920?? I don’t think so.”

    No they hadn’t but they were constantly being poached and at the time of reintroduction to Idaho there were only 3 males which doesn’t make much of a reproducing population.

    I think you are going under the assumption that the population of wolves in southern Canada is/was larger and had more connectivity than they have/had. People I’ve talked to say that there really weren’t many wolves in that area at the time of reintroduction. It’s just that those few that did make it to the US had protection so were able to keep gain a toehold. They still didn’t have much genetic diversity.

    Someone else with a greater understanding of this would probably be able to explain this better.

  9. JimT Says:

    Ken, some information on Alberta wolves…

    http://www.jstor.org/pss/3783040

  10. ProWolf in WY Says:

    The wolf side wants people to buy that the “exchange” thing WAS going on to make bringing the wolves in OK. BUT, after they got them here, the wolves left in Canada lost that “urge to roam”. Isn’t that having it both ways??

    They meant that the wolves would EVENTUALLY exchange genes. That was assuming that the population in Idaho and Canada grew to the point that the wolves would interbreed. Exchange will happen if people don’t get their way on extermination. Wolves have not lost the urge to roam that has been in their DNA for as long as the species has existed.

  11. Charles Newton Says:

    The one thing I found interesting, that list that is out with all the names of hunters that have killed wolves, no where on there did I see Nate Helms, Ron Gillette or Tony Mayer?? Why is that??

  12. timz Says:

    I noticed that also and none of the blow-hards I know who couldn’t wait to “get em a wolf” were on that list either. I guess no wolves came out and hung around their trucks and atv’s.

  13. Ralph Maughan Says:

    Idaho and Montana wolves are now to some degree dispersing back into Canada.

    The irony!

  14. bryantolsen Says:

    Although there is, and always has been, genetic exchange between different populations, there are significant difference between separate populations of Gray Wolves in North America, caused by local adaption to regional conditions, and separation during the Ice Ages. According to more recent studies, North American wolves can be divided into 4 subspecies(not including the recently proposed Eastern Timber Wolf,Canis lycaon)that differ in size, and sometimes color. Most of the western U.S. was inhabited by the Plains Wolf(Canis Lupus nubilus), which get up to 120lbs or so, and often had nearly pure white individuals. In Mexico, the Mexican Wolf(C.l.bailey) was the smallest and most distinct subspecies,getting only up to 99lbs,and never has pure white or black individuals. In the arctic was the Arctic Wolf(C.l.actos), also getting up to about 120lbs, and usually being white, but differing from the plains wolf in structure. The wolves of most of Alaska and western Canada were the largest,getting up to 150+lbs, and often black. I think they are calling these the Mackenzie Wolf(C.l.occidentalis), and are probably what were referred to as the Rocky Mountain Wolf in that article. Many populations were intermediate between these subspecies,including the wolves in the northern rockies, and the southwestern U.S. To ignore these differences would be rather,well, ignorant,especially since many of these subspecies, and new species, may be in need of conservation in the very near future.

  15. Ralph Maughan Says:

    bryantolsen,

    I feel the area that is now Idaho and Montana was always a meeting ground between C.l.occidentalis and C.l. nubilus. Were wolves not wiped out in the plains it would be still.

    I’ve mentioned this a number of times, but it bears repeating, that a Yellowstone area wolf made it halfway to Minnesota a few years ago before getting hit on the highway east of Rapid City, SD. It shows how far wolves will migrate.

  16. Paul White Says:

    The concepts of species and subspecies are more problematic than many think; it’s something I’m keenly aware of due to my work with reptiles. The old definition of reproductively isolated organisims doesn’t work as well with reptiles–there’s been plenty of documented, fertile crosses both in the wild and in captivity. Some of these crosses involve animals of different genera–cornsnakes (Panthertophis guttata) bred to bullsnakes (Pituophis catenifer) are common enough to the trade-name of turbocorns. Many north and central American colubrid type snakes can be mated with each other and produce fertile offspring. Same’s true of most snakes in the Python family.
    While there is reduced fertility–smaller clutches–plenty of these offspring breed back to either parent species or to each other and produce fertile offspring.
    And there’s *never* been a consistent working definition of subspecies that was worth a damn. I don’t know how to incorporate those biological realities into conservation laws, but they’ve basically just been ignored which is irritating. It enshrines concepts that have never been articulated or adequately defined.

  17. JB Says:

    “It enshrines concepts that have never been articulated or adequately defined.”

    I couldn’t agree more. Recall that the ESA also allows for the listing of “distinct population segments,” which Congress conveniently neglected to define.

  18. J in cda Says:

    I’ve been told the weights of harvested wolves were mostly heads and hides. Any proof of that?


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: