All through December and into January the U.S. Wolf Refuge has gotten an abundance of snow. The elevation of the Refuge is over 6000' which tends to make winters white and wet. We have had some periods of extreme cold but the snow has been perpetual. There has not been any one snowfall that has dropped a bunch on us. Just about every night we get another 3" to 6". The constant snowfall has made some accumulations to be over 2 feet deep.
I'm sure this is not really all that much for those of you from the northern states, but for us located in a high-desert location it has been unusual. The wolves here are most excited about this weather. The house gang seem to enjoy it for only short bursts of time. Many of them are content to spend 6-12 hours frolicking in it but shortly afterwards those who can enjoy being inside are scratching at the door.
Because of this I have continued my research into how wild, arctic animals can withstand the harsh weather and frigid temperatures that exist where they live.
Temperature Tolerance of Wolves
Humans Living in Areas Where Wolves Are is a Hard Life
Ever wonder how wolves, polar bears, musk ox, caribou, bison and even arctic hares can survive in the extreme cold and harsh weather of the areas where they live. In regions like northern Canada, northern Alaska and Siberia the temperatures can reach 60° below zero for weeks. In the winter months there can be as little 4 hours of sunshine a day. These frigid temperatures take a great deal of metabolic energy for the animals to maintain their core body temperature (the temperature of their internal organs). Even when I watch the wolves here the U.S. Wolf Refuge I wonder how they can enjoy the single-digit temperatures we often have.
I have been researching this subject for several years. Much of that research has focused on how various species have evolved biologically to not only survive but thrive in these harsh conditions. I've learned that various proteins and enzymes impact metabolism which helps in maintaining core body temperatures. External physical attributes such as thick fur and fat layers are important. But when you envision constantly breathing sub-zero air into the nasal passages and lungs, it requires some internal biological process to prevent the loss of internal temperature. That internal process is specific to each species and it changes with environmental changes.
All species that now live in these harsh conditions have evolved biologically to become acclimated to these extreme temperatures. This acclimation has taken decades and many generations. Today's climate changes will force them to either acclimate, relocate or perish. This is one of the many reasons it is so important to protect endangered species and their habitat.
A Long Time Volunteer Moves On
After more than 12 years of volunteering for the U. S. Wolf Refuge Shellie is now headed down another road. She is now at a point in her life that she wants to start checking things off her "bucket list." Her service over the years was special. I thank her immensely for all the tasks she performed. Her concern for the animals was most admirable. With her husband now retired they are free to travel and enjoy life. I will continue to develop the U.S. Wolf Refuge to be an organization that she admires. I wish her the best always.
Pack Member of the Month
This magnificent boy has been a real joy to watch develop. At 10 years old Nikita is a very active, energetic, low-content wolf-dog (maybe no-content). At this point in his life he is finally beginning to accept and enjoy love and affection. He was found running loose near Antioch, CA and was impounded at their animal shelter. That's where he was rescued by the U.S. Wolf Refuge. While in the shelter it was quickly learned that he was a biter. These were strictly fear bites and not aggression.
Our unwavering love and devotion has taught him that this is not an appropriate behavior and it is gone now. Since we were unaware of his life prior to his rescue we are unsure of the cause. Now he will occasionally approach some of his selected people and ask (sometimes beg) for attention and affection. But he accepts only limited amounts of it.
For some unknown reason he will just bolt away from these love-fests after just a few minutes. He is learning how to play with his canine friends. Learning to play is often a challenge for animals who have had "troubled" portions of their life. He is now a distinguished member of the "house gang." He likes the others in this group but they are the ones who enjoy being indoors with "dad".
At first Nikita was anxious about this but he has grown to accept it so he can be with his friends. He does not have the character to be a strong member of his group and does not try to assert himself. He can be somewhat food possessive but is usually the last one to get his share. He seems to prefer eating alone rather than among the others.
2017 U.S. Wolf Refuge Calendars Are Still Available.
They are now 50% off - only $10
The beautiful animals in this calendar are from the U.S. Wolf Refuge. The models were brought together for this project by Lina Marie Herrada of the Siren Society. The beautiful photography was done by Nicole René of FreeEnergy Force Photogtraphy.
I want to remind you that the U.S. Wolf Refuge receives a portion from all your purchases on Amazon. So when you doing any shopping from Amazon click on the Amazon icon at the bottom of any page. This will take you directly to Amazon but will enable us to receive a portion of whatever you buy. This will not impact the price or any delivery costs.
April 23rd 11am - 6pm - EARTH DAY
Idlewild Park - Reno NV
May 12 - 14, 2017 - Stanford PowWow
Stanford University, Palo Alto CA
Paws in the Park date yet to be set
San Rafael Park, Reno, NV
July 16th - 2016 10am - 5pm - ART PAWS
McKinley Arts & Cultural Center, Reno NV
WolfStock 2017 date to be set
Potenialist Workshop, Reno NV (may change)
October 14, 2017 10am - 6pm
Wildlife Conservation Network Expo