Valentine’s Day for wolves

Is everyone hibernating in the Nekite River valley at this time of year? Not even remotely! While the grizzlies are slumbering, other valley residents are very active indeed. Breeding season for the coastal gray wolf runs from February through March and breeding pairs will mate anytime during this period. We notice that wolf tracks are very common along our road during these months as local wolves spend a lot of time patrolling and marking their territory, sometimes right down to the lodge. Usually it is only the alpha pair that mates. Copulation can last from 5-36 minutes, during which time the animals are physically bound together in what is called a “copulatory tie”. The gestation that follows lasts approximately 2 months, with anywhere between 1 and 11 pups being born between late March and early May.

It is a commonly held belief that wolves mate for life. While they do develop extremely strong attachments with their mates, if one wolf perishes, the surviving wolf may go on to mate again with another individual.

Check back next month for another interesting bear fact.