April 17, 2014

Wolf Watch Facts


  • Jaguars once roamed from southern Brazil all the way to the United States, as far north as the Grand Canyon. Today the northernmost population lives less than 150 miles south of the US-Mexico border.

  • The jaws of a jaguar are so powerful that jaguars in captivity have been known to leave dents in bowling balls and can penetrate the shell of a turtle (one of their favorite meals in the wild).

  • Jaguars have an extremely varied diet in the wild, and are known to dine on deer, birds, capybara, tapir, fish, caiman and even monkeys and squirrels that venture too far down from the trees of the jungle.

  • Costa Rica

  • Despite being a relatively small country, Costa Rica's rainforest is home to 5% of the Earth's plant and animal species.

  • Costa Rica features several volcanoes, the best known of which is Arenal in the country's northwest. Arenal is currently in a dormant phase but in July 1968 erupted suddently, covering three villages with rock, ashes, and lava, killing 87 people.

  • Wolves

  • Wolves generally avoid contact with humans, but in the past decade have been responsible for two human deaths, killing a teacher jogging in Alaska in 2010 and a student in northern Saskatchewan in 2005.

  • Wolves hunt in packs both for protection and to be able to bring down larger species of prey. The pack is led by an alpha male and his mate, who are often the only pair in the pack allowed to mate. Others in the pack structure include a beta wolf (who can be either male or female) and an omega wolf, an outsider who tends to be the scapegoat and instigator of play in the group.

  • Minnesota

  • Recent surveys have indicated that both the moose population and the wolf population in Minnesota are growing. In 2013 there were an estimated 4,350 moose (up from 2,760 in 2012) and an estimated 2,641 wolves (up from 1,652 in 2012).

  • Superior National Forest is home to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, stretching along 150 miles of the U.S.-Canadian border and featuring approximately 1,175 lakes and hundreds of streams that allow visitors to experience how explorers traveled the region 200 years ago.

  • Mountain Lions

  • Cougars can live in a spectacular range of environments, from the Canadian Rockies and prairie to jungles in South America – and even the Hollywood Hills surrounded by Los Angeles, where a mountain lion has recently taken up residence.

  • Cougars are tremendously strong – a 100-pound puma has been known to bring down a 400-pound elk.

  • New Mexico

  • The mountains of New Mexico are home not only to mountain lions, but coyotes, black bears, and bobcats.

  • Southwest New Mexico is home to several ghost towns, including Shakespeare, a former gold and silver mining town from the 1800s.

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