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Bull Math Biol. 2002 Mar;64(2):261-84.

Home range formation in wolves due to scent marking.

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Department of Mathematics, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA.


Social carnivores, such as wolves and coyotes, have distinct and well-defined home ranges. During the formation of these home ranges scent marks provide important cues regarding the use of space by familiar and foreign packs. Previous models for territorial pattern formation have required a den site as the organizational center around which the territory is formed. However, well-defined wolf home ranges have been known to form in the absence of a den site, and even in the absence of surrounding packs. To date, the quantitative models have failed to describe a mechanism for such a process. In this paper we propose a mechanism. It involves interaction between scent marking and movement behavior in response to familiar scent marks. We show that the model yields distinct home ranges by this new means, and that the spatial profile of these home ranges is different from those arising from the territorial interactions with den sites.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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