Bondi Resort Blog

Come on into our Blog for a look at the wonderful world we've got to share! With over 240 hectares (600 acres) of wilderness woodlands surrounding the resort, just ten minutes from Algonquin Park, we feature over 400 metres (1200’) of waterfront and beach; boat rentals; summer hiking trails winding through fields and woods; 20 km. of groomed cross country ski trails and snowshoeing in winter; access to nearby snowmobile trails for sledders, and a toboggan hill for the young at heart.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Wolves -- Paws for a Howl

Parks Canada describes the characteristics of Wolf Tracks very succinctly:
Four toe pads
Claws show or form drag marks
Elongated foot print, symmetrical
Triangular heel pad
Hind print slightly smaller
Tracks 10 - 12 cm long
Larger than coyote track

Parks Canada says nothing at all about the relative size of Sarah's hand and the wolf's pawprint.  Her's would be the paw with the nail polish...

She found these tracks up in the gravel pit near the road, sure sign that the wolf pack is back in town.  Mind you, we've heard the pack howling, so we were already notified, but it's always interesting to see the tracks. 

That can give an idea of how many animals are in the pack, and the relative ages.  Our pack will be part of the Algonquin Park wolf population.  The Eastern Canadian Gray Wolf has been extensively studied in Algonquin Park, and is a protected species.  Since wolves aren't good at reading maps, the protected area extends into a 'buffer zone' around the Park, and Bondi Village is located within that zone.  This is the largest area in the world where the Eastern Canadian Wolf is protected.

Research (published by 15 scientists in the Canadian Journal of Zoology, Volume 78, 2000) concluded that the Eastern Canadian Wolf is distinct from the more numerous Gray Wolf (Canis lupus) and more closely related to the Red Wolf (Canis rufus), which is on the brink of extinction in the southeastern United States.

Due to the lower frequency of coyote hybridization, the park may hold the purest remnant population of red wolves in the world.  During August, the Park hosts weekly Wolf Howls, an event that offers people the chance to hear wild packs howling in the wilderness night.  This routinely draws up to 2000 people each week.  The Rangers do an incredible job, opening with a talk and slide show on the wolf research done in the Park, and then moving cars and people into the wild.

We offer our own Wolf Howl evenings here at Bondi. Always, the response is dependent on the wolf pack -- if they are in close, they may well reply. If not, then (as Mike says) my howling efforts can be an epic fail, but we have had howling success more often than not!  And the lawn here is most certainly less crowded!
August is the preferred month -- when the wolf cubs are coming out of the dens, they stay at home while the pack goes hunting -- and the puppies are always more than willing to start a group sing!

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