Unit # 1
Understanding Wolves and their behaviour
This module of the Wolf Course explores the behaviour of wolves. This introduction will help students to gain an understanding of the wolves’ mind. Learn how to differentiate between types & forms of behaviour amongst wolves so you can identify & explain various behaviours and how wolves communicate.
Unit # 2
Natural habitats and origins of Wolves
Study the evolution & origins, natural habitats and the distribution of wolves worldwide. Learn about the habitats, evolution and origins of wolves.
Unit # 3
Characteristics & Types of Wolves
This module scientifically explores the classification of wolf species and sub species to include the red wolf, the grey wolf and the ethiopian wolf and sub species.
Unit # 4
Wolves in Captivity
This module explores the ethical issues of captivity, learn about general wolf care and welfare, nutrition, how to provide environmental enrichment and how to care for the behavioural and psychological needs of wolves. This module also includes information about various organisations around the world, that work to rescue and rehabilitate wolves.
Unit # 5
How to care for Wolves in Captivity
Learn how to identify the signs of illness & disease and how to administer first aid. This module of the wolf course includes information about identification, transport and record keeping.
Unit # 6
Conservation & Ecological Principles
Gain an understanding of the conflicts between wildlife and humans, ecotourism & conservation strategies. This module includes information about effective community engagement methods.
Wolf Studies Course
This Wolf Course is relevant for volunteers and those employed to work with wolves and in the field of wolf conservation and rehabilitation.
Learn about the types, characteristics & classification of wolves. Explore their origins and natural habitats and gain an insight into the fascinating subject of wolf behaviour.
Learn about the conservation and ecological principles relevant to wolves. Learn about the welfare & care of wolves in captivity; including: environmental enrichment, record keeping, transportation and first aid.
Wolf Care, Behaviour & Welfare
Wolves are members of the taxonomy order Carnivora and family Canidae. There are around 36 species of Canidae ranging in size from the Fennec Fox (Vulpes zerda) to the Grey Wolf (Canis lupus). Canidae exist in most regions of the world apart from in Antarctica. They are not native in Australia but now exist there as the Dingo (Canis familiaris dingo), the domestic dog (Canis familiaris) and Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes).
The wolf is a species that is widely distributed in the northern hemisphere. It once existed in the UK though was hunted to extinction by the year 1743. They have different status throughout the world, they are protected in most of Europe, yet hunted as a game species in parts eastern Europe and their status in the USA depends on whether they are listed or not on the Endangered Species Act – this status changes every few years (Mech & Boitani, 2010).
Wolves, a species of wonder and ecological importance
Although Wolves are seem by some as a species of wonder and ecological importance, they are also considered by some as a species to be feared due to myth and legend or a species to be destroyed as a pest and killer of livestock. Wolves are considered a keystone species, their presence in an ecosystem helps improve the number of species able to exist there.
Approximately 6 million years ago during the end of a period known as the ‘Miocene geological epoch’, the climate of the earth was beginning to cool before the periods of Pliocene and Pleistocene that would jointly become known as the ‘Ice age’. The forests and savannahs that had largely dominated the landscape became slowly replaced by steppe or grassland creating a challenging time where only those that could adapt to the environmental changes were able to survive. One of those species was the ancestor of modern wolves.
At some point towards the end of the Miocene the first species of the genus Canis arose as the common ancestor of all modern coyotes, wolves, and domestic dogs although it would still be a long period of time before modern wolves appeared.
Later during the Pliocene and Pleistocene periods around 5-2 million years ago, small woodland foxes in the southern part of North America began to grow larger. With the death of some larger species that could not survive the changes, the conditions became optimal for moderate sized, swift and intelligent Canids. Although there still remain ‘taxonomic uncertainties’, Canids are among the most taxonomically researched of all animals.