THE COASTAL WOLVES AND THEIR FOOTPRINTS IN BRITISH COLUMBIA
All wolves are special, but sea wolves are even more special, if that is possible when we discuss about wolves in general. Their role in the wildlife universe is specific, not replaceable, and multidimensional. It is very sad that people think that they can simply decide when and how to eliminate wolves. Who gave that right to selfish mankind to play God on this life theater? Nobody. I believe that the real revenge from nature is on the way.
The wolves are more than amazing animals, they are authentically, mystical and one of a kind. Some hate them and want to hunt them while others love them and want to do all to protect them. As you know, I belong to the second category, the big family of animal lovers and wildlife protectors and I am sure that there must be a harmony between humans and wolves, long before homo sapiens chose the road of egoism and greed.
The sea wolves or coastal wolves are the grey wolves that live along the mainland British Columbia and on the Vancouver Island, basing their main diet habits on the seafood and marine mammals. According to some studies, they could be found in the Mountain range of British Columbia, especially in the Great Bear Rainforest area, staying close to Salish Sea and BC coast. They move from one territory to another by swimming, even up to 7,5 miles, if they need to find food source. That is their advantage in comparing with other wolf families, that aren’t so good swimmers but rather wanderers.
Our coastal wolves are great in swimming and pretty much smaller than other grey wolves. They are up to 80 pounds and toned, elegant and rare to be seen. If you have that honor to catch some of them with your eyes or camera, you could consider yourself as a lucky one. There are a lot of interested scientists and photographs who tried to get into the sea wolves’ story and reveal them for the public. Then, the world met Takaya, the lone sea wolf that has lived on Discovery and has been almost 9 years a solitary wolf. Cheryl Alexander, a conservation photographer made a great movie and book about this wolf (2019) “Takaya: Lone Wolf”, following its tale and lonely life, without mate and belonging to pack. It was so popular that many did all they could to be there to rise the chances of meeting amazing Takaya. The explorers warned that such trend could put the animal in danger since it reduces the fear from humans and real risks, so called habituation that has never been good for animals. This beautiful wolf has moved then to Vancouver Island, searching for his soulmate and food but also lacking fear from human community and even desiring interaction with them. Later, that brought Takaya to the certain death which shows why the habituation is no go for wild animals.
The swimming or ocean wolves have found the balance between continental and water life and way of hunting too. With the size of German shepherd dog, the sea wolves can move themselves very easily through the water and to be mobile, outside the water and to change location, if needed. Those animals are so exclusively rare and unseen that they are almost like an urban myth. The beautiful landscape of British Columbia has much more to offer than just glorious wildlife merged with rain forests and perfect mountain collage. This Canadian province has sea wolves and everyone who ever had seen them is sure that they have some special aura within. In the past, they have been also located in Alaska and even in California, but then they picked British Columbia and Vancouver Island as their home and security. It doesn’t surprise when we know how Canada is sensible with animal rights and conservationism and put all efforts to keep rare and majestic animals enough protected or increase awareness about their vulnerability. Beside it, we are talking about paradise for wilderness with 21 million acres of trees where those unique canis lupus can have their privacy and lonely but safe life, safe from human bothering and killing.
The fascinating thing about wolves is that they can adapt very fast and that their intelligence is high and adjustable, depending on the different causes and factors, as well as on the challenges and risks. These animals are learning by doing and they know that they need to be smart observers to survive the human domination and anthropocentrism nowadays. I am always impressed to note how wolves overcome all those struggles and jump into another level of wildlife logic, there where humans are not allowed even to contemplate as they should. That’s why the sea wolves must be protected and cherished before their holy land is turned into the hunting range for frustrated human beings, before we sign our last chapter of losing common sense and destroying the beaty of Nature and fauna that has been given to all of us, as a gift and responsibility to be taken care of.
The world is full of wonderful miracles that are waiting for us to be seen, captured with eyes and loved with our hearts. The nature is alluring and glowing and we need to wake up and realize that all could be gone if we don’t stop to be busy with evil deeds and lack of understanding and compassion.
The sea wolves are the exceptional example of perfect natural mechanism for different level of survival and existence. The species that learn to adapt is the one that will survive. I guess we all need to adapt on the fact that we have done many bad things to the animals and nature and to learn that something must be changed immediately if we want to keep our beautiful Earth as our home and all animals as our fellows.
One thought on “THE SEA WOLVES: THE TRUE WONDER OF CANADIAN PACIFIC COAST”
Sarah’s delightful and informative article induced me to ponder the past 40 million years of canine evolution…
Ancestors of wolves emerged around 12 million years ago in Eurasia: those that exist today throughout The Alaskan Peninsula and British Columbia derive from subspecies wolves that migrated from Eurasia c. 800,000 years ago, during the last ice age.
Topographies, ecosystems, etc., altered during the past 40 million years, and it is likely that wolves had herbivorous and omnivorous diets, according to environmental conditions. Seafood (i.e. its biochemistry) interacts with wolves differently from a strictly carnivorous diet: the seafood-eating wolves of British Columbia select specific parts of salmon, etc. (e.g. salmon head has more nutrition than the body, which has high-levels of fat).
Naturally, diet influences evolution, and the seafood-eating wolves of British Columbia are oblivious to the microplastics in marine life they consume. In addition, the pollution in the oxygen they breathe, the freshwater they drink, etc., all influence their evolution…