A survey for wolves in the Connecticut Lakes region of New Hampshire in response to a wolf trapped in Quebec south of the St. Lawrence River

Carpenter, Mathew
Meade Cadot
Department of Environmental Studies
In 2002 a wolf was trapped in Quebec, 32 km north of the New Hampshire border. The following year, from June 2003 to March 2004, I conducted surveys for wolf sign in the Connecticut lakes region of northern New Hampshire. The project consisted of 24 surveys, covering a total of 1046 km within a 777 km² study area. On 14 July 2003, three large scats were found on inactive logging roads near the New Hampshire/Maine border, west of Magalloway Mountain. The scats were too large to be from a coyote, yet they had characteristics that are not usually associated with black bear scats, such as tapered ends, large amounts of hair, and a lack of vegetation. Although the possibility that a wolf passed through the area cannot be ruled out, the survey effort was sufficient to conclude that a breeding pair of wolves had not established a territory in the Connecticut lakes region during this survey. Wolves have an incredible ability to colonize new areas. The actual barriers to wolf dispersal presented by current wolf harvest rates in Quebec, the potential of hybridization with coyotes, and the St. Lawrence River remain unclear. GPS telemetry research targeting wolves along the St. Lawerence River, more studies of wolf coyote interactions, and a fecal DNA monitoring project designed to gather baseline information on the entire northeastern canid population, would shed light on the true potential for a natural wolf recolonization of the northeastern U.S.

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