Grade auf spOnline einen Artikel über die stetig wachsende Wolfspopulation in Deutschland gelesen. Mittlerweile leben hier 300 der Tiere und es könnten bis zu 2000 werden, was mich als großen Wolfsfreund natürlich sehr freut. (Und was wurde eigentlich aus dem Wolfspark des 2014 leider verstorbenen Werner Freund?)
Bei dem Thema fiel mir dann ein alter Link ein, den ich aus irgendwelchen Gründen nie verbloggt habe und der seit 'nem Jahr in meinem „To Blog“-Ordner vergammelt: Nation Geographic hatte sich für eine Dokumentation auf die Suche nach den sogenannten „Sea Wolves“ gemacht, eine seltene Subspecies (Canis lupus columbianus), die in British Columbia an den Ufern der Inseln des Alexander Archipelago lebt, sich vorwiegend von Fischen ernährt und in mindestens einem dokumentierten Fall eine Strecke von rund 12 Kilometern durchs Meer schwammen.
In the early 2000s Ian McAllister and Canadian wolf biologist Paul Paquet became intrigued when they saw coastal mainland wolves eating salmon. With local First Nations’ support, they recruited graduate student Chris Darimont to investigate. Darimont narrowed his study area to Heiltsuk First Nations territory on the central coast—one-third of it water, the rest largely roadless, dense with towering Sitka spruce and cedar, and often extremely steep. Darimont and Paquet ditched the traditional approach of collecting blood and hair directly from the animal.
“We collected poop,” Darimont tells me. Wolf scat, he means, and also wolf hair, veritable libraries of data about home range, sex, diet, genetics, and other variables. “Wolves are deliberate poopers, not random like deer,” Darimont says, “and they use travel corridors very reliably.” Wolves’ anal glands add oily deposits to scat, appending messages intended for other wolves. They favor posting their messages conspicuously, especially at trail intersections, where one missive gets twice the readership. […]
The data from coastal wolves along the mainland quantified what many locals already knew: Wolves eat salmon. In spawning season the fish make up 25 percent of these wolves’ diet. These wolves are beachcombers. They chew barnacles, scarf up the roe that herring lay on kelp, and feast on dead whales.
The shocker came from the rest of the data. Going in, Darimont and Paquet had assumed that the coastal wolves on the islands were simply normal wolves that moved between islands and the mainland, pushing on whenever they’d polished off the deer. Instead the data showed that wolves can spend their whole lives on outer islands that have no salmon runs and few or even no deer. These wolves are more likely to mate with other islanders, not with salmon-eaters. And they’re beachcombers. They chew barnacles. Scarf up the gluey roe that herring lay on kelp. Feast on whales that wash up dead. Swim out into the ocean and clamber nimbly up onto rocks to pounce on basking seals. “As much as 90 percent of these wolves’ diet can come directly from the sea,” Darimont says.
Most extraordinary is the wolves’ swimming prowess. They often swim across miles of ocean between islands. In 1996 wolves showed up on Dundas Islands for the first time in the Tsimshian people’s long collective memory—eight miles from the nearest land.