Tales, stories, and mythology of the Gray wolf have been told throughout ages.
Another name for Gray wolf is timber wolf, some see them as bad creatures others perceive them as spiritual creatures.
The Gray wolf plays an important role in maintaining our ecological harmony.
Gray wolves have quite outstanding characteristics, they have an acute sense, strong canine teeth, the strongest jaws among all canines, and the endurance capability to pursue prey at 60km or 37miles per hour.
Male Gray wolf can reach 2meters or 6.6ft long, A height of 76cm or 30inch tall.
They have a shoulder weight of 45kilogram or a 100pounds. Females are generally 20% smaller than males.
The color of the Gray wolf can vary from solid white, gray, or brown colors.
Gray wolves have an amazing social structure and this has been observed by experts.
In their social structure, they have levels of hierarchy, to which they adhere strict rules.
This social structure is the reason why wolf packs are able to survive in the wild.
The alpha male which is the leader of the pack has a mate (wife) called the beta female.
Studies conducted by experts with regards to the social structure of the Gray wolf pack show that their social structure is essential to promoting unity, and social order, it prevents conflicts amidst them and helps to prevent aggressiveness occurring among them.
There’s barely a usurper in the upper level trying to take over and become alpha but such usurper occurs more often in the lower levels
Every member of a wolf pack has specific duties assigned to them, some are useful in raising and feeding pups, some in coordinating attacks, defense of territory, all this helps in the unity of the pack family.
When wolves go hunting they exploit their prey’s weaknesses through visual cues and use that against them. They are indeed opportunistic hunters, they make use of scents and hearings as well.
Contrary to ambush predators that rely on the element of surprise and a short intense burst of energy to secure their prey wolves are endurance predators
They chase their prey over long distances sometimes even a few miles to find the right animal or opportunity.
Wolves work together during hunting, each individual has a specific role to carry, and this role is assigned based on age, social standing, and gender.
When food is limited, they may fight over who has the privilege to feed therein.
The average gray wolf may consume up to 20 pounds of meat in one sitting, yet they require about four pounds of meat each day to survive in normal conditions. This, combined with the fact that wolves hunt in packs, causes gray wolves to concentrate on larger prey species.
Gray wolves rely on large prey like ungulates in other to satisfy their voracious appetites. Elk, moose, and white-tailed deer are among the more common prey species consumed by wolves.
As opportunistic hunters with large appetites wolves are reliant on the habits of prey populations for survival.
Wolves tend to consume up to 15 – 20 packs of animals throughout the year and depending on the availability of food, this number tends to increase.
There’s an abundance of prey for wolves during the winter months because they have easier access to weak and undernourished prey and because they have an edge over prey when hunting through snow and tundra.
Early summer is also a good time to feed because there are more juvenile prey animals around.
Early summer is also an advantageous time for feeding due to the increased number of younger prey animals.
Wolves also eat smaller animals such as hares, raccoons, mice, and beavers, but they require larger prey to feast on.
The wolf routinely travels long distances in order to follow the migration patterns of their food.
These creatures are apex predators, meaning they are at the very top of the food chain in their specific ecosystem.
Gray wolves still keep together in packs for an amazing reason: there are many larger, meaner creatures who are eager to eat them as prey in the wild.
Wolves would have to look out for Bears and large cats such as Tigers.
A percent of wolves could take down a polar bear when they work together, but a lone wolf would not be so lucky.
The greatest threat to any wolf is human involvement; they are frequently shot by poachers, hunters, and farmers attempting to protect their agricultural animals.
These creatures also suffer from weather variations as a result of deforestation as their territory shrinks, limiting their prey alternatives and making life difficult.
Gray wolves are fantastic hunters and have awesome characteristics, but can they cope in Africa among lions, hyenas, and wild dogs?
Can Gray wolves survive In Africa Among Apex Predators?
The human presence is frequently credited as the reason for the drastic decline in wolf presence across the Northern United States over the last hundred years.
Because the Serengeti is warmer than the Great Plains or the Canadian Arctic, we can’t rule out the possibility of wolves thriving there.
Thousands of wolves dwell in comparable areas in India, Iran, and Israel, and each of these nations has its own subspecies of the gray wolf, the Canis lupus pallipes, a small wilderness-tamed gray wolf that specializes in catching antelope.
If placed in the African savannah gray wolves could evolve into a similar shape if left unmolested there are several problems with this though.
Gray wolves are a highly mobile species and could have colonized Africa long ago by crossing the Sinai peninsula from Israel into Egypt but they never have.
You may be wondering why they didn’t do it well when you’re entering a new environment it is important for there to be a vacant ecological niche for the intruding animal to fill it.
Just so happens that every conceivable niche a gray wolf could fill has been taken by other species.
Lions spotted hyenas, and African wild dogs have taken over the vast sport-hunting sector.
Even if they tried to reduce their objectives and become garbage-consuming foragers, gray wolves might face competition from jackals, African golden wolves, and Ethiopian wolves.
The Reason why Gray wolves wouldn’t survive In Africa Among Apex Predators?
Furthermore, the risk of becoming the meal of a few different predators is significantly greater in Africa than on any other continent where wolves currently live.
Let’s take lions for example other than a disease, lions are recognized as the biggest stumbling blocks to the recovery of African wild dog populations simply because they consistently go out of their way to kill them
wolves and Russia’s sea coat Allen region are facing a similar situation with Siberian tigers decimating their population.
If wolves struggle to survive in areas dominated by lone tigers, it would be nearly impossible for them to thrive in an area populated by entire lion pride, and spotted hyena clan.
Both gray wolves and spotted hyenas actually once lived together in Europe and Asia during the last ice age and pretty much every paleontological study indicates that hyenas not only fed on wolves but also suppressed their numbers in open plain areas.
The only scenario in which gray wolves would actually survive in Africa would be for them to associate closely with human settlements where they’d eat garbage and hybridize with feral dogs.
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