Satellite tracks North Pole wolf

Dec. 29, 2009 at 6:59 PM

GRISE FIORD, Nunavut, Dec. 29 (UPI) -- A male wolf nicknamed Brutus is wearing a satellite tracking collar to learn how wolves fare during harsh winters near the North Pole.

David Mech, a wolf researcher from the U.S. Geological Survey has studied the wolves of Canada's Ellesmere Island for 24 years. This is the first year he's attached a collar to any of them. The project was announced earlier this month.

"We made a huge technological jump from notebook and pens to satellite collars because we wanted to find out what these arctic wolves do in winter in areas when it is dark 24 hours a day and temperatures can fall to -70 degrees Fahrenheit," Mech said in a release Monday.

Ninety-pound Brutus leads a pack of at least 12 adults and six to 12 pups. Recent satellite readings tracked him about 25 miles north of where his pups had been living to a winter feeding ground rich with musk oxen and arctic hares.

Researchers won't know till spring where the pack, pups and adults, moved with Brutus, whose movements can be followed at http://internationalwolfcenter.blogspot.com/.

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