Small-toothed palm civet A. The giant panda Ailuropoda melanoleuca , literally "black and white cat-foot"; Chinese: American black bear U. Subspecies of Canis lupus. Retrieved 22 July As the island was cleared for settlement, the gray wolf population may have been extirpated, or relocated to the mainland across the winter ice: When such foods are insufficient, they prey on lizards , snakes , frogs , rarely toads and large insects as available.
Where will Gordon land?
Such gray wolves are termed " Casanova wolves" and, unlike males from established packs, they do not form pair bonds with the females they mate with. Some gray wolf packs may have multiple breeding females this way, as is the case in Yellowstone National Park. This might take place if the original parents die or are for some reason separated from them. The age of first breeding in gray wolves depends largely on environmental factors: This is further demonstrated by the fact that captive wolves have been known to breed as soon as they reach 9—10 months, while the youngest recorded breeding wolves in the wild were 2 years old.
Females are capable of producing pups every year, with one litter annually being the average. Unlike the coyote, the gray wolf never reaches reproductive senescence. The gestation period lasts 62—75 days, with pups usually being born in the summer period.
Wolves bear relatively large pups in small litters compared to other canid species. The milk canines erupt after one month. Pups first leave the den after 3 weeks. Mother wolves do not leave the den for the first few weeks, relying on the fathers to provide food for them and their young. Pups begin to eat solid food at the age of 3—4 weeks. Pups have a fast growth rate during their first four months of life: Actual fights to establish hierarchy usually occur at 5—8 weeks of age.
This is in contrast to young foxes and coyotes, which may begin fighting even before the onset of play behavior. Although social animals, single wolves or mated pairs typically have higher success rates in hunting than do large packs, with single wolves having occasionally been observed to kill large prey such as moose , bison and muskoxen unaided.
Because of this, it rarely manages to capture hidden hares or birds, though it can easily follow fresh tracks. The actual killing method varies according to prey species. With large prey, mature wolves usually avoid attacking frontally, instead focusing on the rear and sides of the animal.
Large prey, such as moose, is killed by biting large chunks of flesh from the soft perineum area, causing massive blood loss. With small, mouse -like prey, wolves leap in a high arc and immobilize it with their forepaws.
Such instances are common in domestic animals, but rare in the wild. In the wild, surplus killing primarily occurs during late winter or spring, when snow is unusually deep thus impeding the movements of prey  or during the denning period, when wolves require a ready supply of meat when denbound. Once prey is brought down, wolves begin to feed excitedly, ripping and tugging at the carcass in all directions, and bolting down large chunks of it. When food is scarce, this is done at the expense of other family members, especially non-pups.
Once the breeding pair has finished eating, the rest of the family tears off pieces of the carcass and transport them to secluded areas where they can eat in peace.
Wolves typically commence feeding by consuming the larger internal organs of their prey, such as the heart , liver , lungs and stomach lining. The kidneys and spleen are eaten once they are exposed, followed by the muscles. The gray wolf's expressive behavior is more complex than that of the coyote and golden jackal, as necessitated by its group living and hunting habits. While less gregarious canids generally possess simple repertoires of visual signals, wolves have more varied signals that subtly inter grade in intensity.
Passive submission usually occurs as a reaction to the approach of a dominant animal , and consists of the submissive wolf lying partly on its back and allowing the dominant wolf to sniff its anogenital area. Active submission occurs often as a form of greeting, and involves the submissive wolf approaching another in a low posture, and licking the other wolf's face. The mouthing of each other's muzzles is a friendly gesture, while clamping on the muzzle with bared teeth is a dominance display.
Similar to humans, gray wolves have facial color patterns in which the gaze direction can be easily identified, although this is often not the case in other canid species. In , a study compared the facial color pattern across 25 canid species.
The results suggested that the facial color pattern of canid species is related to their gaze communication, and that especially gray wolves use the gaze signal in conspecific communication. Gray wolves howl to assemble the pack usually before and after hunts , to pass on an alarm particularly at a den site , to locate each other during a storm or unfamiliar territory and to communicate across great distances.
Pups almost never howl, while yearling wolves produce howls ending in a series of dog-like yelps. The pitch usually remains constant or varies smoothly, and may change direction as many as four or five times. When pursuing prey, they emit a higher pitched howl, vibrating on two notes. When closing in on their prey, they emit a combination of a short bark and a howl.
The two are however mutually intelligible , as North American wolves have been recorded to respond to European-style howls made by biologists. Other vocalisations of wolves are usually divided into three categories: Wolves do not bark as loudly or continuously as dogs do, but bark a few times and retreat from perceived danger.
Pups commonly growl when playing. One variation of the howl is accompanied by a high pitched whine, which precedes a lunging attack. Olfaction is probably the wolf's most acute sense, and plays a fundamental role in communication. The wolf has a large number of apocrine sweat glands on the face, lips, back, and between the toes.
The odor produced by these glands varies according to the individual wolf's microflora and diet, giving each a distinct "odor fingerprint". A combination of apocrine and eccrine sweat glands on the feet allows the wolf to deposit its scent whilst scratching the ground, which usually occurs after urine marking and defecation during the breeding season.
The follicles present on the guard hairs from the wolf's back have clusters of apocrine and sebaceous glands at their bases. As the skin on the back is usually folded, this provides a microclimate for bacterial propagation around the glands. During piloerection, the guard hairs on the back are raised and the skin folds spread, thus releasing scent. The pre-caudal scent glands may play a role in expressing aggression, as combative wolves raise the base of their tails whilst drooping the tip, thus positioning the scent glands at the highest point.
The components of anal sac secretions vary according to season and gender, thus indicating that the secretions provide information related to gender and reproductive state. The secretions of the preputial glands may advertise hormonal condition or social position, as dominant wolves have been observed to stand over subordinates, apparently presenting the genital area for investigation,  which may include genital licking.
During the breeding season, female wolves secrete substances from the vagina , which communicate the females' reproductive state, and can be detected by males from long distances. Urine marking is the best-studied means of olfactory communication in wolves.
Its exact function is debated, though most researchers agree that its primary purpose is to establish boundaries. Wolves urine mark more frequently and vigorously in unfamiliar areas, or areas of intrusion, where the scent of other wolves or canids is present.
So-called raised leg urination RLU is more common in male wolves than in females, and may serve the purpose of maximizing the possibility of detection by conspecifics, as well as reflect the height of the marking wolf. Only dominant wolves typically use RLU, with subordinate males continuing to use the juvenile standing posture throughout adulthood.
The gray wolf is a habitat generalist, and can occur in deserts , grasslands , forests and arctic tundras. Habitat use by gray wolves is strongly correlated with the abundance of prey, snow conditions, absence or low livestock densities, road densities, human presence and topography. The warmth of the footpads is regulated independently of the rest of the body, and is maintained at just above tissue-freezing point where the pads come in contact with ice and snow.
During the autumn-spring period, when wolves are more active, they willingly lie out in the open, whatever their location. Actual dens are usually constructed for pups during the summer period. When building dens, females make use of natural shelters such as fissures in rocks, cliffs overhanging riverbanks and holes thickly covered by vegetation. Sometimes, the den is the appropriated burrow of smaller animals such as foxes, badgers or marmots.
An appropriated den is often widened and partly remade. On rare occasions, female wolves dig burrows themselves, which are usually small and short with 1—3 openings. The odour of urine and rotting food emanating from the denning area often attracts scavenging birds such as magpies and ravens. As there are few convenient places for burrows, wolf dens are usually occupied by animals of the same family.
Though they mostly avoid areas within human sight, wolves have been known to nest near domiciles , paved roads and railways. Although wolves primarily feed on medium to large sized ungulates , they are not fussy eaters. Smaller sized animals that may supplement the diet of wolves include marmots , hares , badgers , foxes , weasels , ground squirrels , mice , hamsters , voles and other rodents , as well as insectivores.
They frequently eat waterfowl and their eggs. When such foods are insufficient, they prey on lizards , snakes , frogs , rarely toads and large insects as available. In times of scarcity, wolves readily eat carrion , visiting cattle burial grounds and slaughter houses. In Eurasia, many gray wolf populations are forced to subsist largely on livestock and garbage in areas with dense human activity, though wild ungulates such as moose , red deer , roe deer and wild boar are still the most important food sources in Russia and the more mountainous regions of Eastern Europe.
Other prey species include reindeer , argali , mouflon , wisent , saiga , ibex , chamois , wild goats , fallow deer and musk deer. Animals preferred as prey by North American wolves include moose, white-tailed deer , elk , mule deer , bighorn sheep , Dall's sheep , American bison , muskox and caribou. Wolves supplement their diet with fruit and vegetable matter. They willingly eat the berries of mountain ash , lily of the valley , bilberries , blueberries and cowberry.
Other fruits include nightshade , apples and pears. They readily visit melon fields during the summer months. Gray wolves typically dominate other canid species in areas where they both occur. In North America, incidents of gray wolves killing coyotes are common, particularly in winter, when coyotes feed on wolf kills.
Wolves may attack coyote den sites, digging out and killing their pups, though rarely eating them. There are no records of coyotes killing wolves, though coyotes may chase wolves if they outnumber them. Brown bears typically dominate wolf packs in disputes over carcasses, while wolf packs mostly prevail against bears when defending their den sites.
Both species kill each other's young. Wolves eat the brown bears they kill, while brown bears seem to only eat young wolves. The majority of black bear encounters with wolves occur in the species' northern range, with no interactions being recorded in Mexico. Wolves have been recorded on numerous occasions to actively seek out black bears in their dens and kill them without eating them. Unlike brown bears, black bears frequently lose against wolves in disputes over kills. Wolves may encounter striped hyenas in Israel, Central Asia and India, usually in disputes over carcasses.
Striped hyenas feed extensively on wolf-killed carcasses in areas where the two species interact. One-to-one, hyenas dominate wolves, and may prey on them,  but wolf packs can drive off single or outnumbered hyenas.
Large wolf populations limit the numbers of small to medium-sized felines. Wolves encounter cougars along portions of the Rocky Mountains and adjacent mountain ranges. Wolves and cougars typically avoid encountering each other by hunting on different elevations. In winter, however, when snow accumulation forces their prey into valleys, interactions between the two species become more likely.
Wolves in packs usually dominate cougars and can steal kills. They have been reported killing mothers and their kittens. Wolves may kill lynxes by running them down, or killing them before they can escape into trees. Leftovers of wolf kills are sometimes scavenged by wolverines.
Wolverines usually wait until the wolves are done feeding, but have been known to drive away wolves from kills. However, there have been confirmed reports of wolf packs killing wolverines. Other than humans, tigers appear to be the only serious predators of wolves. Wolves appear capable of escaping competitive exclusion from tigers only when human persecution decreases tiger numbers.
Proven cases of tigers killing wolves are rare and attacks appear to be competitive rather than predatory in nature, with at least four proven records of tigers killing wolves without consuming them. However, deliberate human persecution has reduced the species' range to about one third, because of livestock predation and fear of attacks on humans. Wolf population declines have been arrested since the s, and have fostered recolonization and reintroduction in parts of its former range, due to legal protection, changes in land-use and rural human population shifts to cities.
Competition with humans for livestock and game species, concerns over the danger posed by wolves to people, and habitat fragmentation pose a continued threat to the species. Despite these threats, because of the gray wolf's relatively widespread range and stable population, it is classified as least concern by the IUCN. Although wolf-dog hybridization in Europe has raised concern among conservation groups fearing for the gray wolf's purity, genetic tests show that introgression of dog genes into European gray wolf populations does not pose a significant threat.
Also, as wolf and dog mating seasons do not fully coincide, the likelihood of wild wolves and dogs mating and producing surviving offspring is small.
The extermination of Northern Europe 's wolves first became an organized effort during the Middle Ages , and continued until the late 19th century.
In England , wolf persecution was enforced by legislation , and the last wolf was killed in the early sixteenth century during the reign of Henry VII. Wolves lasted longer in Scotland , where they sheltered in vast tracts of forest, which were subsequently burned down.
Wolves managed to survive in the forests of Braemar and Sutherland until The extirpation of wolves in Ireland followed a similar course, with the last wolf believed to have been killed in The Sami extirpated wolves in northern Sweden in organized drives. By , few wolves remained in Sweden, because of the use of snowmobiles in hunting them, with the last specimen being killed in The gray wolf was exterminated in Denmark in and Norway's last wolf was killed in The species was decimated in 20th century Finland, despite regular dispersals from Russia.
The gray wolf was only present in the eastern and northern parts of Finland by , though its numbers increased after World War II. In Central Europe , wolves were dramatically reduced in number during the early nineteenth century, because of organized hunts and reductions in ungulate populations. In Bavaria , the last wolf was killed in , and had disappeared from the Rhine regions by Today, wolves have returned to the area.
The louveterie was abolished after the French Revolution in , but was re-established in In , up to 1, wolves were killed, with many more by poison. In Eastern Europe , wolves were never fully exterminated, because of the area's contiguity with Asia and its large forested areas.
However, Eastern European wolf populations were reduced to very low numbers by the late nineteenth century. Wolves were extirpated in Slovakia during the first decade of the twentieth century and, by the mid-twentieth century, could only be found in a few forested areas in eastern Poland.
Wolves in the eastern Balkans benefitted from the region's contiguity with the former Soviet Union and large areas of plains, mountains and farmlands.
Wolves in Hungary occurred in only half the country around the start of the 20th century, and were largely restricted to the Carpathian Basin. Wolf populations in Romania remained largely substantial, with an average of 2, wolves being killed annually out of a population of 4, from — An all-time low was reached in , when the population was reduced to 1, animals. The extermination of wolves in Bulgaria was relatively recent, as a previous population of about 1, animals in was reduced to about — in In Greece, the species disappeared from the southern Peloponnese in Despite periods of intense hunting during the eighteenth century, wolves never disappeared in the western Balkans, from Albania to the former Yugoslavia.
In Southern Europe , wolf extermination was not as complete as in Northern Europe, because of greater cultural tolerance of the species. Wolf populations only began declining in the Iberian Peninsula in the early 19th-century, and was reduced by a half of its original size by Wolf bounties were regularly paid in Italy as late as The recovery of European wolf populations began after the s, when traditional pastoral and rural economies declined and thus removed the need to heavily persecute wolves.
By the s, small and isolated wolf populations expanded in the wake of decreased human density in rural areas and the recovery of wild prey populations. The gray wolf has been fully protected in Italy since , and now holds a population of over 1,, By the wolves in the Western Alps imposed a significant burden on traditional sheep and goat husbandry with a loss of over 5, animals in In Spain , the species occurs in Galicia , Leon , and Asturias.
Although hundreds of Iberian wolves are illegally killed annually, the population has expanded south across the river Duero and east to the Asturias and Pyrenees Mountains. In , wolves began recolonising central Sweden after a twelve-year absence, and have since expanded into southern Norway.
As of , the total number of Swedish and Norwegian wolves is estimated to be at least one hundred, including eleven breeding pairs. The gray wolf is fully protected in Sweden and partially controlled in Norway. The Scandinavian wolf populations owe their continued existence to neighbouring Finland's contiguity with the Republic of Karelia , which houses a large population of wolves.
Furthermore, the decline in the moose populations has reduced the wolf's food supply. Wolf populations in Poland have increased to about — individuals since being classified as a game species in Poland plays a fundamental role in providing routes of expansion into neighbouring Central European countries.
In the east, its range overlaps with populations in Lithuania, Belarus , Ukraine , and Slovakia. A population in western Poland expanded into eastern Germany and in the first pups were born on German territory. A few Slovakian wolves disperse into the Czech Republic, where they are afforded full protection. Wolves in Slovakia, Ukraine and Croatia may disperse into Hungary, where the lack of cover hinders the buildup of an autonomous population.
Although wolves have special status in Hungary, they may be hunted with a year-round permit if they cause problems. Romania has a large population of wolves, numbering 2, animals. The wolf has been a protected animal in Romania since , although the law is not enforced. The number of wolves in Albania and Macedonia is largely unknown, despite the importance the two countries have in linking wolf populations from Greece to those of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia.
Although protected, sometimes wolves are still illegally killed in Greece, and their future is uncertain. Wolf numbers have declined in Bosnia and Herzegovina since , while the species is fully protected in neighbouring Croatia and Slovenia.
During the 19th century, gray wolves were widespread in many parts of the Holy Land east and west of the Jordan River. However, they decreased considerably in number between and , largely because of persecution by farmers.
Soviet wolf populations reached a low around , disappearing over much of European Russia. The population increased again by to about 75,, with 32, being killed in By the s, wolf extermination remained a priority in the NWP and Awadh. Overall, over , wolves were killed for bounties in British India between and The wolf was deemed a threat to ranching, which the Meiji government promoted at the time, and targeted via a bounty system and a direct chemical extermination campaign inspired by the similar contemporary American campaign.
The last Japanese wolf was a male killed on January 23, near Washikaguchi now called Higashi Yoshiro. Japanese wolves likely underwent a process of island dwarfism 7,—13, years ago in response to these climatological and ecological pressures. There is little reliable data on the status of wolves in the Middle East , save for those in Israel and Saudi Arabia , though their numbers appear to be stable, and are likely to remain so. Israel's conservation policies and effective law enforcement maintain a moderately sized wolf population, which radiates into neighbouring countries, while Saudi Arabia has vast tracts of desert, where about — wolves live undisturbed.
The mountains of Turkey have served as a refuge for the few wolves remaining in Syria. A small wolf population occurs in the Golan Heights , and is well protected by the military activities there. Wolves living in the southern Negev desert are contiguous with populations living in the Egyptian Sinai and Jordan. Throughout the Middle East, the species is only protected in Israel.
Elsewhere, it can be hunted year-round by Bedouins. Little is known of current wolf populations in Iran, which once occurred throughout the country in low densities during the mids.
The northern regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan are important strongholds for the wolf. Overall, India supports about , wolves, scattered among several remnant populations. Although protected since , Indian wolves are classed as endangered, with many populations lingering in low numbers or living in areas increasingly used by humans. Although present in Nepal and Bhutan , there is no information of wolves occurring there. Wolf populations throughout Northern and Central Asia are largely unknown, but are estimated in the hundreds of thousands based on annual harvests.
Since the fall of the Soviet Union , continent-wide extermination of wolves has ceased, and wolf populations have increased to about 25,—30, animals throughout the former Soviet Union. In China and Mongolia , wolves are only protected in reserves. Mongolian populations have been estimated at 10,—30,, while the status of wolves in China is more fragmentary.
The north has a declining population of an estimated wolves, while Xinjiang and Tibet hold about 10, and 2, respectively. It exists in southern China, which refutes claims made by some researchers in the Western world that the wolf had never existed in southern China.
It occurred all over the mainland, save for the southeastern United States, California west of the Sierra Nevada , and the tropical and subtropical areas of Mexico. Large continental islands occupied by wolves included Newfoundland , Vancouver Island , southeastern Alaskan islands, and throughout the Arctic Archipelago and Greenland. In his November 6, letter to the French Minister of the Marine, Louis Denys de La Ronde reported that the island was home to wolves "of a prodigious size", and sent a wolf pelt back to France to substantiate his claim.
As the island was cleared for settlement, the gray wolf population may have been extirpated, or relocated to the mainland across the winter ice: The decline of North American wolf populations coincided with increasing human populations and the expansion of agriculture. By the start of the 20th century, the species had almost disappeared from the eastern USA, excepting some areas of the Appalachians and the northwestern Great Lakes Region.
In Canada, the gray wolf was extirpated in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia between and , and in Newfoundland around It vanished from the southern regions of Quebec and Ontario between and The gray wolf's decline in the prairies began with the extermination of the American bison and other ungulates in the s—70s. From —, the gray wolf was virtually eliminated from the western USA and adjoining parts of Canada, because of intensive predator control programs aimed at eradicating the species.
The gray wolf was exterminated by federal and state governments from all of the USA by , except in Alaska and northern Minnesota. The decline in North American wolf populations was reversed from the s to the early s, particularly in southwestern Canada, because of expanding ungulate populations resulting from improved regulation of big game hunting. This increase triggered a resumption of wolf control in western and northern Canada.
Thousands of wolves were killed from the early s to the early s, mostly by poisoning. This campaign was halted and wolf populations increased again by the mids. The species' modern range in North America is mostly confined to Alaska and Canada, with populations also occurring in northern Minnesota, northern Wisconsin and Michigan 's Upper Peninsula , and small portions of Washington , Idaho , northern Oregon , and Montana.
A functional wolf population should exist in California by according to estimates by state wildlife officials. In addition, the Mexican wolf Canis lupus baileyi was reintroduced to Arizona and New Mexico in Canada is home to about 52,—60, wolves, whose legal status varies according to province and territory.
First Nations residents may hunt wolves without restriction, and some provinces require licenses for residents to hunt wolves while others do not. In Alberta , wolves on private land may be baited and hunted by the landowner without requiring a license, and in some areas, wolf hunting bounty programs exist. In Alaska, the gray wolf population is estimated at 6,—7,, and can be legally harvested during hunting and trapping seasons, with bag limits and other restrictions.
As of , there are wolves in 28 packs in Yellowstone, and wolves in 25 packs in Idaho. Reintroduced Mexican wolves in Arizona and New Mexico are protected under the ESA and, as of late , number 28 individuals in eight packs. Viral diseases carried by wolves include rabies , canine distemper , canine parvovirus , infectious canine hepatitis , papillomatosis , and canine coronavirus. Infected wolves do not show any fear of humans, with most documented wolf attacks on people being attributed to rabid animals.
Although canine distemper is lethal in dogs, it has not been recorded to kill wolves, except in Canada and Alaska. The canine parvovirus, which causes death by dehydration , electrolyte imbalance , and endotoxic shock or sepsis , is largely survivable in wolves, but can be lethal to pups. Wolves may catch infectious canine hepatitis from dogs, though there are no records of wolves dying from it. Papillomatosis has been recorded only once in wolves, and likely doesn't cause serious illness or death, though it may alter feeding behaviors.
The canine coronavirus has been recorded in Alaskan wolves, with infections being most prevalent in winter months. Bacterial diseases carried by wolves include brucellosis , lyme disease , leptospirosis , tularemia , bovine tuberculosis ,  listeriosis , anthrax and foot and mouth disease.
While adult wolves tend not to show any clinical signs, it can severely weaken the pups of infected females. Although lyme disease can debilitate individual wolves, it does not appear to have any significant effect on wolf populations. Leptospirosis can be contracted through contact with infected prey or urine, and can cause fever , anorexia , vomiting, anemia , hematuria , icterus , and death. Wolves living near farms are more vulnerable to the disease than those living in the wilderness, probably because of prolonged contact with infected domestic animal waste.
Wolves may catch tularemia from lagomorph prey, though its effect on wolves is unknown. Although bovine tuberculosis is not considered a major threat to wolves, it has been recorded to have once killed two wolf pups in Canada. Wolves carry ectoparasites and endoparasites , with wolves in the former Soviet Union having been recorded to carry at least 50 species.
In areas where wolves inhabit pastoral areas, the parasites can be spread to livestock. Wolves are often infested with a variety of arthropod exoparasites, including fleas , ticks , lice , and mites. The most harmful to wolves, particularly pups, is Sarcoptes scabiei or mange mite ,  though they rarely develop full blown mange , unlike foxes.
Ticks of the genus Ixodes can infect wolves with Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Other ectoparasites include biting lice, sucking lice and the fleas Pulex irritans and Ctenocephalides canis. Endoparasites known to infect wolves include protozoans and helminths flukes , tapeworms , roundworms and thorny-headed worms. Of 30, protozoan species, only a few have been recorded to infect wolves: Isospora , Toxoplasma , Sarcocystis , Babesia , and Giardia.
Upon reaching maturity, Alaria migrates to the wolf's intestine, but harms it little. Metorchis conjunctus , which enters wolves through eating fish, infects the wolf's liver or gall bladder, causing liver disease , inflammation of the pancreas, and emaciation.
Most other fluke species reside in the wolf's intestine, though Paragonimus westermani lives in the lungs. Tapeworms are commonly found in wolves, as their primary hosts are ungulates, small mammals, and fish, which wolves feed upon. Tapeworms generally cause little harm in wolves, though this depends on the number and size of the parasites, and the sensitivity of the host.
Symptoms often include constipation , toxic and allergic reactions , irritation of the intestinal mucosa , and malnutrition. Infections by the tapeworm Echinococcus granulosus in ungulate populations tend to increase in areas with high wolf densities, as wolves can shed Echinoccocus eggs in their feces onto grazing areas. Wolves can carry over 30 roundworm species, though most roundworm infections appear benign, depending on the number of worms and the age of the host.
Ancylostoma caninum attaches itself on the intestinal wall to feed on the host's blood, and can cause hyperchromic anemia , emaciation, diarrhea , and possibly death. Toxocara canis , a hookworm known to infect wolf pups in utero, can cause intestinal irritation, bloating, vomiting, and diarrhea. Wolves can tolerate low levels of Dirofilaria immitis for many years without showing any ill effects, though high levels can kill wolves through cardiac enlargement and congestive hepatopathy.
Wolves probably become infected with Trichinella spiralis by eating infected ungulates. Nicolla skrjabini , Macrocantorhynchus catulinus , and Moniliformis moniliformis. Human presence appears to stress wolves, as seen by increased cortisol levels in instances such as snowmobiling near their territory. Old English literature contains several instances of Anglo-Saxon kings and warriors taking on wulf as a prefix or suffix in their names.
Wolf-related names were also common among pre-Christian Germanic warriors: Ancient Greek literature is similar: Autolycus "the wolf itself" , Lycurgus "wolf-work". The Latin for "female prostitute" is lupa , and the most famous brothel in Pompeii was the Lupanar. The wolf is a common motif in the foundational mythologies and cosmologies of peoples throughout Eurasia and North America corresponding to the historical extent of the habitat of the gray wolf.
The obvious attribute of the wolf is its nature of a predator , and correspondingly it is strongly associated with danger and destruction, making it the symbol of the warrior on one hand, and that of the devil on the other. The modern trope of the Big Bad Wolf is a development of this.
The wolf holds great importance in the cultures and religions of the nomadic peoples, both of the Eurasian steppe and of the North American Plains. In many cultures, the identification of the warrior with the wolf totemism gave rise to the notion of Lycanthropy , the mythical or ritual identification of man and wolf. Aesop featured wolves in several of his fables , playing on the concerns of Ancient Greece 's settled, sheep-herding world. His most famous is the fable of The Boy Who Cried Wolf , which is directed at those who knowingly raise false alarms, and from which the idiomatic phrase " to cry wolf " is derived.
Some of his other fables concentrate on maintaining the trust between shepherds and guard dogs in their vigilance against wolves, as well as anxieties over the close relationship between wolves and dogs.
Although Aesop used wolves to warn, criticize and moralize about human behavior, his portrayals added to the wolf's image as a deceitful and dangerous animal. Although portrayed as loyal, honest and moral, Isengrim is forever the victim of Reynard's wit and cruelty, often dying at the end of each story.
The tale of Little Red Riding Hood , first written in by Charles Perrault , is largely considered to have had more influence than any other source of literature in forging the wolf's negative reputation in the western world. The wolf in this story is portrayed as a potential rapist , capable of imitating human speech. Tolstoy's War and Peace and Chekhov's Peasants both feature scenes in which wolves are hunted with hounds and borzois.
Although credited with having changed popular perceptions on wolves by portraying them as loving, cooperative and noble, it has been criticized for its idealization of wolves and its factual inaccuracies. The wolf is a frequent charge in English armory. The giant panda's paw has a "thumb" and five fingers ; the "thumb" — actually a modified sesamoid bone — helps it to hold bamboo while eating.
The longest belongs to the sloth bear. The giant panda typically lives around 20 years in the wild and up to 30 years in captivity. A seven-year-old female named Jin Yi died in in a zoo in Zhengzhou , China, after showing symptoms of gastroenteritis and respiratory disease.
It was found that the cause of death was toxoplasmosis , a disease caused by Toxoplasma gondii and infecting most warm-blooded animals, including humans. The giant panda genome was sequenced in using Illumina dye sequencing. Despite its taxonomic classification as a carnivoran , the giant panda's diet is primarily herbivorous , consisting almost exclusively of bamboo. Its ability to digest cellulose is ascribed to the microbes in its gut. Ingestion of such a large quantity of material is possible because of the rapid passage of large amounts of indigestible plant material through the short, straight digestive tract.
Given this voluminous diet, the giant panda defecates up to 40 times a day. The giant panda tends to limit its social interactions and avoids steeply sloping terrain to limit its energy expenditures. Two of the panda's most distinctive features, its large size and round face, are adaptations to its bamboo diet. Anthropologist Russell Ciochon observed: This lower metabolic rate and a more sedentary lifestyle allows the giant panda to subsist on nutrient poor resources such as bamboo.
The morphological characteristics of extinct relatives of the giant panda suggest that while the ancient giant panda was omnivorous 7 million years ago mya , it only became herbivorous some Pandas eat any of 25 bamboo species in the wild, such as Fargesia dracocephala  and Fargesia rufa.
Bamboo leaves contain the highest protein levels; stems have less. Because of the synchronous flowering, death, and regeneration of all bamboo within a species, the giant panda must have at least two different species available in its range to avoid starvation.
While primarily herbivorous, the giant panda still retains decidedly ursine teeth, and will eat meat, fish, and eggs when available.
In captivity, zoos typically maintain the giant panda's bamboo diet, though some will provide specially formulated biscuits or other dietary supplements. Pandas will travel between different habitats if they need to, so they can get the nutrients that they need and to balance their diet for reproduction. They took note of their foraging and mating habits, and analysed samples of their food and feces. The pandas would move from the valleys into the Qinling Mountains and would only return to the valleys in autumn.
During the summer months bamboo shoots rich in protein are only available at higher altitudes which causes low calcium rates in the pandas and during breeding season the pandas would trek back down to eat bamboo leaves rich in calcium. Although adult giant pandas have few natural predators other than humans, young cubs are vulnerable to attacks by snow leopards , yellow-throated martens ,  eagles, feral dogs, and the Asian black bear.
The giant panda is a terrestrial animal and primarily spends its life roaming and feeding in the bamboo forests of the Qinling Mountains and in the hilly province of Sichuan.
Social encounters occur primarily during the brief breeding season in which pandas in proximity to one another will gather. Pandas were thought to fall into the crepuscular category, those who are active twice a day, at dawn and dusk; however, Jindong Zhang found that pandas may belong to a category all of their own, with activity peaks in the morning, afternoon and midnight.
Due to their sheer size, pandas do not need to fear predators like other herbivores. They can therefore be active at any time of the day. Pandas communicate through vocalization and scent marking such as clawing trees or spraying urine.
For this reason, pandas do not hibernate , which is similar to other subtropical mammals, and will instead move to elevations with warmer temperatures. Though the panda is often assumed to be docile, it has been known to attack humans, presumably out of irritation rather than aggression.
Initially, the primary method of breeding giant pandas in captivity was by artificial insemination , as they seemed to lose their interest in mating once they were captured. The normal reproductive rate is considered to be one young every two years.
Giant pandas reach sexual maturity between the ages of four and eight, and may be reproductive until age Copulation time is short, ranging from 30 seconds to five minutes, but the male may mount her repeatedly to ensure successful fertilization. The gestation period ranges from 95 to days. Giant pandas give birth to twins in about half of pregnancies. The mother will select the stronger of the cubs, and the weaker will die.
The mother is thought to be unable to produce enough milk for two cubs, since she does not store fat. For three to four hours, the mother may leave the den to feed, which leaves the cub defenseless. One to two weeks after birth, the cub's skin turns gray where its hair will eventually become black.
A slight pink color may appear on cub's fur, as a result of a chemical reaction between the fur and its mother's saliva. A month after birth, the color pattern of the cub's fur is fully developed. Its fur is very soft and coarsens with age. The cub begins to crawl at 75 to 80 days;  mothers play with their cubs by rolling and wrestling with them.
The cubs can eat small quantities of bamboo after six months,  though mother's milk remains the primary food source for most of the first year. The interval between births in the wild is generally two years. In July , Chinese scientists confirmed the birth of the first cub to be successfully conceived through artificial insemination using frozen sperm. Attempts have also been made to reproduce giant pandas by interspecific pregnancy by implanting cloned panda embryos into the uterus of an animal of another species.
This has resulted in panda fetuses, but no live births. In the past, pandas were thought to be rare and noble creatures — the Empress Dowager Bo was buried with a panda skull in her vault. The grandson of Emperor Taizong of Tang is said to have given Japan two pandas and a sheet of panda skin as a sign of goodwill. Unlike many other animals in Ancient China , pandas were rarely thought to have medical uses. The few known uses include the Sichuan tribal peoples' use of panda urine to melt accidentally swallowed needles, and the use of panda pelts to control menses as described in the Qin Dynasty encyclopedia Erya.
Zouyu is a legendary "righteous" animal, which, similarly to a qilin , only appears during the rule of a benevolent and sincere monarch. It is said to be fierce as a tiger , but gentle and strictly vegetarian, and described in some books as a white tiger with black spots. Puzzled about the real zoological identity of the creature captured during the Yongle era, J. Duyvendak exclaims, "Can it possibly have been a Pandah? The comparative obscurity of the giant panda throughout most of China's history is illustrated by the fact that, despite there being a number of depictions of bears in Chinese art starting from its most ancient times, and the bamboo being one of the favorite subjects for Chinese painters, there are no known preth-century artistic representations of giant pandas.
The West first learned of the giant panda on 11 March , when the French missionary Armand David  received a skin from a hunter. The first Westerner known to have seen a living giant panda is the German zoologist Hugo Weigold , who purchased a cub in Kermit and Theodore Roosevelt, Jr.
In , Ruth Harkness became the first Westerner to bring back a live giant panda, a cub named Su Lin  which went to live at the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago. In , five giant pandas were sent to London. Gifts of giant pandas to American and Japanese zoos formed an important part of the diplomacy of the People's Republic of China PRC in the s, as it marked some of the first cultural exchanges between the PRC and the West.
This practice has been termed "panda diplomacy". By , however, pandas were no longer given as gifts. Since , because of a WWF lawsuit , the United States Fish and Wildlife Service only allows a US zoo to import a panda if the zoo can ensure the PRC will channel more than half of its loan fee into conservation efforts for the giant panda and its habitat.
The issue became embroiled in cross-Strait relations — both over the underlying symbolism, and over technical issues such as whether the transfer would be considered "domestic" or "international", or whether any true conservation purpose would be served by the exchange. However, when Ma Ying-jeou assumed the presidency in , the offer was accepted, and the pandas arrived in December of that year.
Microbes in panda waste are being investigated for their use in creating biofuels from bamboo and other plant materials. The giant panda is a vulnerable species , threatened by continued habitat loss and habitat fragmentation ,  and by a very low birthrate, both in the wild and in captivity.
The giant panda has been a target of poaching by locals since ancient times and by foreigners since it was introduced to the West. Starting in the s, foreigners were unable to poach giant pandas in China because of the Second Sino-Japanese War and the Chinese Civil War , but pandas remained a source of soft furs for the locals.
The population boom in China after created stress on the pandas' habitat, and the subsequent famines led to the increased hunting of wildlife, including pandas. During the Cultural Revolution , all studies and conservation activities on the pandas were stopped. After the Chinese economic reform , demand for panda skins from Hong Kong and Japan led to illegal poaching for the black market , acts generally ignored by the local officials at the time.
Though the Wolong National Nature Reserve was set up by the PRC government in to save the declining panda population, few advances in the conservation of pandas were made, owing to inexperience and insufficient knowledge of ecology.
Many believed the best way to save the pandas was to cage them. As a result, pandas were caged at any sign of decline, and suffered from terrible conditions. Because of pollution and destruction of their natural habitat, along with segregation caused by caging, reproduction of wild pandas was severely limited. In the s, however, several laws including gun control and the removal of resident humans from the reserves helped their chances of survival. With these renewed efforts and improved conservation methods, wild pandas have started to increase in numbers in some areas, though they still are classified as a rare species.
In , scientists reported that the number of pandas living in the wild may have been underestimated at about 1, Previous population surveys had used conventional methods to estimate the size of the wild panda population, but using a new method that analyzes DNA from panda droppings , scientists believe the wild population may be as large as 3, Furthermore, in response to this reclassification, the State Forestry Administration of China announced that they would not accordingly lower the conservation level for panda, and would instead reinforce the conservation efforts.
The giant panda is among the world's most adored and protected rare animals, and is one of the few in the world whose natural inhabitant status was able to gain a UNESCO World Heritage Site designation. The Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries , located in the southwest province of Sichuan and covering seven natural reserves, were inscribed onto the World Heritage List in Not all conservationists agree that the money spent on conserving pandas is well spent.
Chris Packham has argued that the breeding of pandas in captivity is "pointless" because "there is not enough habitat left to sustain them". In , Earthwatch Institute , a global nonprofit that teams volunteers with scientists to conduct important environmental research, launched a program called "On the Trail of Giant Panda". This program, based in the Wolong National Nature Reserve, allows volunteers to work up close with pandas cared for in captivity, and help them adapt to life in the wild, so that they may breed, and live longer and healthier lives.
Pandas have been kept in zoos as early as the Western Han Dynasty in China, where the writer Sima Xiangru noted that the panda was the most treasured animal in the emperor's garden of exotic animals in the capital Chang'an present Xi'an. Not until the s were pandas again recorded to have been exhibited in China's zoos. Chi Chi at the London Zoo became very popular. This influenced the World Wildlife Fund to use a panda as its symbol.
A New York Times article  outlined the economics of keeping pandas, which costs five times more than that of the next most expensive animal, an elephant.
San Diego's contract with China was to expire in , but got a five-year extension at about half of the previous yearly cost.
Cryptozoologists use Giant Pandas as an example of an animal recently discovered by science. Skeptical cryptozoologist Joe Nickell , notes that since Giant Pandas were known to local people, they qualify as cryptids.
Also, fossil evidence shows that pandas were once widespread, including the two million year old skull of Ailuropoda microta .
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Panda disambiguation , Panda Bear musician , and Giant panda disambiguation. David , . Giant pandas around the world.
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Retrieved 17 December Giant Panda Species Survival Plan. Archived from the original on 4 December Retrieved 26 October