Lakeside living in Lake of Bays, Muskoka has been such a blessing in so many ways. In particular the Muskoka wildlife never fails to disappoint. I began journaling our wildlife sightings and researching the various animals we encounter shortly after we moved here permanently, and I thought I would share last night’s entry with you.
You’re probably wondering, why share now? Well, last night after returning home from my Lions meeting, I was laying on the sofa reading, and to my delight the wolves began to howl. We’ve heard them before, but last night they seemed close and there seemed to be more of them. The sound was AMAZING! I recorded a bit, unfortunately the recording is not all that great, though I have shared it here for you.
People have asked if we are afraid when we mention our various sightings, and the answer has always been no, we are awestruck by the nature that surrounds us. Wolves I have learned have an average territory of approximately 200 square kilometers with a maximum territory of about 500 square kilometers, and this territory is not shared with coyotes. The Algonquin Wolf is primarily located in central Ontario and Western Quebec, with their primary habitat being deciduous and mixed forest ecosystems. Wolf prey primarily includes beaver, white tailed deer and moose.
We assume due to our proximity to Algonquin Park, that these are the wolves that we hear, though without a sighting we cannot confirm.
The Algonquin Wolf is listed as a species of Special Concern, and is considered “Threatened*.” Hunting and trapping of these wolves is banned, year round, in the 39 townships surrounding Algonquin Park. Despite this it is estimated that there is a population of fewer than 500 left. A core concentration of Algonquin Wolves can be found in Algonquin Provincial Park and surrounding townships. Algonquin wolves are also found in other areas of central Ontario, including in and around Killarney Provincial Park, Kawartha Highlands Signature Site, and Queen Elizabeth II Wildlands. Populations of Algonquin Wolves outside of Algonquin Park are small and relatively isolated.
Why do wolves howl? It is believed that single wolf howl is a way to connect with the pack, in other words to let the rest of the pack know where an individual is. A pack howl containing more than one wolf is suspected to be used to defend a pack’s territory from other possible intruders, or may be social, like a group of humans all singing together.
Whatever the reason the wolves were howling on the lake last night, it was amazing to hear. We feel so blessed to live in Lake of Bays Muskoka and to be able to enjoy and take in the natural wonder of the landscape here each and everyday.
* Threatened, according to the government of Ontario, “means the species lives in the wild in Ontario, is not endangered, but is likely to become endangered if steps are not taken to address factors threatening it.”