Annual Arctic Wolf Pack Size Related to Arctic Hare Numbers

  • L. David Mech
Keywords: arctic hare, Lepus arcticus, wolf, Canis lupus arctos, Ellesmere Island, muskoxen, Ovibos moschatus, population dynamics, predator-prey relations, predation


During the summers of 2000 through 2006, I counted arctic wolf (Canis lupus arctos) pups and adults in a pack, arctic hares (Lepus arcticus) along a 9 km index route in the area, and muskoxen (Ovibos moschatus) in a 250 km2 part of the area near Eureka (80° N, 86° W), Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada. Adult wolf numbers did not correlate with muskox numbers, but they were positively related (r2 = 0.89; p < 0.01) to an arctic hare index. This is the first report relating wolf numbers to non-ungulate prey.