Lakes: Big or small they love them all.

Kelly Jensen, Kelian Nier, Chris Thurber

Introduction

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Our hypothesis is:
Wolves tend to congregate near larger bodies of water hence the smaller bodies of water. We considered larger bodies of water larger then 1 square mile and wolves were within a quarter mile away.
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Materials and Methods

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The materials we used to conduct our research were: the mylar, a map of the Superior National Forest in Minnesota, the wolf telemetry data, and other websites listed under references.
As a group we chose two different wolves each year from 1994-2007 and plotted their location on the mylar. By doing this we were able to see if they were near any body of water and if so, was the body of water large or small. Together we decided that a large body of water was represented by being an estimated one square mile or more.
We plotted the wolves by first outlining the townships in black marker. From there, we used different colored markers to distinguish where the different wolves were located. To help keep track of the wolves, we wrote their number in the upper left hand corner with the same color that represented that particular wolf.
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Results

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Discussion

After plotting three wolves each year from 1994 to 2007, we came to the conclusion that our hypothesis was incorrect. We determined that it didn't matter the type of body of water wolves congergate by. We found them to be by large lakes, small lakes, rivers, swamps, etc.
This could be for a variety of reasons. First, there is a greater amount of food supply for wolves to rely on by bodies of water. This allows them a greater opportunity to prey upon an abundance of fish, along with small rodents, beavers, deer, moose, etc.
Second, by congergating by bodies of water it gives them the advantage of having to travel less because of the abundance of food. However, there are a few advantages for wolves to live be large lakes and rivers because they don't freeze up near as fast as smaller lakes and swamps. Smaller lakes and swamps tend to freeze over faster or dry up before larger lakes. Being by larger lakes, wolves have a more diverse diet, including a greater variety of small mammals.
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Summary

We used the internet and Google Earth as our main source for this project. Our hypothesis did not however support the wolves that we plotted to test it. Our hypothesis was, wolves tend to congregate near larger bodies of water hence the smaller bodies of water. In the end, we came to the conclusion, big or small, they love them all.
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Links to Wolf sites

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjVSyQkqZ7s
http://www.all-about-wolves.com/
http://www.wolf.org/wolves/learn/basic/faqs/faq.asp#9
http://www.fws.gov/midwest/wolf/biology/qandas.htm