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Observation of an Eastern Wolf (Canis sp. cf. lycaon) Caching Food in a Sphagnum Bog in Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario

Patrick D Moldowan, Hugo Kitching

Abstract


We report summer caching of a partial carcass of a White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) fawn by an Eastern Wolf (Canis sp. cf. lycaon) in a Sphagnum bog in Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada. The microhabitat conditions in bogs (i.e., low temperature, acidity, and organochemical compounds) likely inhibit food spoilage, making bogs potentially important sites for food caching. Wolves in Algonquin Park experience low summer food availability and high pup mortality from starvation. Caches likely serve as necessary reserve food stores for adults and pups. Recent research has shown that wetland habitats are important den and rendezvous sites for Algonquin Eastern Wolves based on prey availability and, we suggest, perhaps for food storage and accessibility. This caching behaviour was recorded on video. We recommend that future research investigate Eastern Wolf selection of food-caching sites, as a complement to other spatial ecology studies.


Keywords


Bog; Canis lycaon; Canis sp. cf. lycaon; Eastern Wolf; food cache; Odocoileus virginianus; prey; Sphagnum; Whitetailed Deer

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22621/cfn.v130i4.1930



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