Alpha - The top rank in the social order of the wolf pack. Since a separate social hierarchy exists for males and females, a pack has both an alpha male and an alpha female. They are usually the parents of most of the other members of the pack.
Beta - The second rank in the social order of a wolf pack. Since separate social hierarchies operate for males and females, a pack may have both a beta male and a beta female. A wolf at this rank will usually dominate all of the other wolves in its gender except the alpha wolf.
Biodiversity - The variety, complexity and relative abundance of species (plant and animal) present and interacting in an ecosystem.
Bounty - A monetary reward system. Federal and state governments have used bounties as part of their predator control programs to encourage people to killed wolves.
Canid - A member of the taxonomic family Canidae, which in North America includes wolves, coyotes, foxes and domestic dogs.
Carnivore - An animal that eats meat.
Color Phase - The color of an animal's pelage (fur), which is determined by genetics and may vary within a population. White, gray and black color phases may be seen within the same gray wolf population. In the Great Lakes Region, about 98 percent of the gray wolf population exhibits the gray phase, with the occasional occurrence of white or black phases. The predominant color phase within a population often corresponds to the overall color of its environment. For example, the white color phase is predominant in arctic regions. The word "phase" does not imply that a wolf changes color.
Den - A shelter, often a small cave or hole dug out of the ground, to protect the breeding female and her young pups from weather and other animals.
Depredation - The act of an animal capturing and eating other animals. This term is primarily used when referring to situations involving wolves or other carnivores killing or maiming domestic animals, such as livestock.
Dispersal - The act of an organism leaving its birth-place and moving to where it will live as an adult. Dispersal in wolves, usually involves a young, sexually maturing wolf leaving the pack, perhaps due to rivalry with other members of the pack, intense bonds formed with an individual wolf from outside of the pack or lack of sufficient resources within the pack's territory to support the number of wolves present.
Domesticated - Referring to species which have descended from wild ancestors but have been tamed, kept in captivity and bred over many generations for human purposes. They are usually dependent upon humans for their survival.
Dominant - Having power, control and privilege over others within a social hierarchy.
Ecosystem - A more or less discrete system or community formed by the interaction of living organisms with each other and with the physical factors found in their environment.
Encroachment - The physical occupation of space or habitat which was previously occupied by another species, resulting in displacement of this species or destruction of the species, if no alternative space or habitat is available.
Endangered - Referring to a species (plant or animal) currently in danger of extinction.
Endangered Species Act - A congressional act (16 U. S. C. 1531 et. seq.) passed in 1973 and amended through the years that provides for the identification and protection of species (plants and animals) currently in danger of extinction or threatened by extinction within the foreseeable future.
Exterminate - To get rid of by destroying or killing.
Extinct - No longer in existence. Once a species is extinct, all individuals within this species have forever vanished from the planet.
Extirpate - To destroy or eliminate a species (plant or animal) from an entire area within its range, but not from the entire planet.
Feast-or-Famine Diet - The behavior of eating a great deal of food in a short time and then not eating for an extended period. A single wolf has been known to eat up to 22 pounds of meat at one time. The wolf then rests while this food digests. It may be several days or several weeks before the wolf gets another significant amount of food.
Federal Register - A periodical published by the United States Government which advertizes actions or proposed actions by federal agencies. The Federal Register is availabe at all major libraries and federal offices. It is the federal government's primary means of releasing information to the public.
Gestation Period - Pregnancy - The period between fertilization and birth. For a wolf this period is 62 - 63 days.
Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem - The geographical area including parts or all of: Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, Beaverhead, Gallatin, Custer, Shoshone, Bridger-Teton and Caribou National Forests, and various National Wildlife Refuges; the headwaters of three major river systems: the Yellowstone, the Snake and the Green Rivers; and parts or all of the Salt River, Northern Rocky, Absaroka and Wild River Mountain Ranges. Greater Yellowstone encompasses an area roughly the size of West Virginia and is home to some of the world's most unique wildlands and wildlife that together, constitute one of the earth's most diverse and dynamic natural regions. Greater Yellowstone Area map.
Western Great Lakes area - The area in the United States south and west of the Great Lakes - especially Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan.
Habitat - The natural environment of a species (plant or animal) that provides the food, water, shelter or cover and space required for it to survive.
Habitat Destruction - The act of destroying an entire habitat or any significant part within the habitat.
Hybrid - The offspring resulting from reproduction between two closely related species (e.g., a domestic dog and a wolf).
Litter - All of the pups born during a single birth to an adult female wolf.
Livestock - Animals that are domesticated, such as cattle, sheep, horses and mules that are raised on a farm or ranch.
Longevity - Length of time an animal lives.
Management - The act of providing direction for the use, control, enhancement or protection of a species (plant or animal) or its habitat.
Mortality Rate- The relative frequency of deaths in a population.
Omega - The lowest ranking member in the social order of a wolf pack.
Pack - A group of wolves that live and work together to hunt for food and take care of the pups. It usually consists of a male and female parent and their offspring from one or more generations.
Pelage - The entire coat of hair or fur, including the soft, furry undercoat as well as the coarse guard hairs, on a mammal.
Persecution - Harassment or cruel treatment.
Poaching - Illegal taking of wildlife.
Predation - The act of an animal capturing and eating other animals.
Predator - An animal that captures and eats other animals.
Prey - An animal that is captured and eaten by another animal.
Range - The geographic area over which an entire species is distributed. This range is usually determined by the available habitat needed by a species to survive, thus range can change as the available habitat is altered or destroyed.
Recolonization - The natural restoration of a population to an area within its original range.
Recovery - The natural or assisted restoration of a population to specified levels for minimum number of consecutive years to a designated area within its original range.
Reintroduction - The act of bringing individuals of a certain species (plant or animal) back into a designated area within the species' original range, but from which it was extirpated or nearly eliminated. The purpose of reintroduction is to establish a new population in the wild.
Rendezvous Site - An above ground area, usually open and near water, where pups are taken when they are old enough to leave the birth den. The wolves gather there to sleep, play and eat. Wolves may move from one rendezvous site to the next until the pups are old enough to accompany the adults on their hunts and travels.
Scat - Fecal matter or feces.
Scent-marking - The act of marking an area with body odor, scent from a gland, or urine or scat. This technique is used by wolves to communicate with other wolves and animals. For example, scent marks tell other wolves the locations of a pack's boundaries.
Subordinate - Lower ranking in power, control and privilege.
Telemetry - The use of electronic equipment to locate a distant source. Researchers use telemetry equipment, such as receivers and antennae, to locate signals emitted from radio collars worn by wolves in their study groups.
Territory - An area occupied by a pack of wolves that can provide sufficient prey to support the pack. It is defended against wolves from outside of the pack and from other animals that might compete for the same resources. Wolves protect their territory by scent-marking, vocal communication and fighting.
Threatened - Referring to a species (plant or animal) that could become endangered in the foreseeable future.
Translocate - To move animals from one area to another.
Transplant - To translocate.
Ungulate - A hoofed mammal, such as deer, elk, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, moose, antelope, caribou and bison.
Viable Population - A self-supporting population with sufficient numbers and genetic variety among healthy individuals and breeding pairs that are well enough distributed to ensure that the species will not become threatened, endangered or extinct in the foreseeable future.
If there are any words you think I should add, feel free to e-mail me!
No copyright infringement intended.