Vocabulary C-D

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C-D

Cache
A hiding place used for storing food if there is an abundance of meat from a kill; v. to store or hide.

Captive Breeding
Breeding animals in such places as zoos. Captive breeding is a tool to save critically endangered species such as the Mexican gray wolf (Canis lupus balleyi) and the red wolf (Canis rufus). These captive populations may be used for reintroduction in designated areas.

Carrying Capacity
The total number of a species that a given area of a habitat can support at any given time; the ability of a given area to supply water, food and shelter to a species.

Cervid
Any member of the deer family, Cervidae, comprising deer, caribou, elk, and moose, characterized by the bearing of antlers in the male or in both sexes.

Color Phase
The color of an animal’s pelage (fur), which is determined by genetics and may vary within a population.

Cull, Culling
Culling is used reduce the population of (a wild animal) by selective slaughter or indiscriminate killing.

Cursorial
An animal specifically adapted to run long distance at a high speed.

Den
A shelter, often a small cave or hole dug out of the ground, to protect the breeding female and her young pups from weather and other animals. In a normal den, the birthing chamber lies at the end of a tunnel that may be up to 15 feet long in soft soil. The den is often slightly elevated above the rest of the tunnel, and no den-lining material is used. … Sometimes wolves will use abandoned dens of other animals, such as bear dens or a beaver dam.

[PDF] Tolerance by denning wolves, Canis lupus, to human disturbance; RP Thiel, S Merrill, LD Mech – Canadian Field Naturalist, 1998 – wolf.org

Depredation
The confirmed killing or maiming of lawfully present domestic livestock on federal, state, tribal, or other public lands, or private lands by one or more wolves or other predators.

Dispersal
Unless wolves or a wolf becomes a breeder in its natal pack, most will leave their natal packs and territories to establish their own territories and packs.

Distinct Population Segment (DPS)
A term created in the 1978 amendments to the Endangered species Act (ESA) allowing vertebrate species to be divided into distinct groups based on geography and genetic distinction. This controversial amendment to the ESA allows the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to adopt different management practices, including the level of protection, for different populations according to their need. The current DPSs are Northern Rocky Mountain, Western Great Lakes, Southwestern and Eastern.
International Wolf Center Glossary

Distant-dispersers;
Wolves that chance finding or founding new populations.

Dominance Hierarchy
A linear “chain of command” concept describing rank within a wolf pack established through competition and conflict. According to this model, the strongest male and female are the “alphas,” and the second in rank are the “betas.” The “omega” wolf is the lowest ranking wolf, often having to beg food and always losing fights. While this status hierarchy may exist in captive packs comprised of unrelated individuals, natural wolf packs usually consist of parents and their offspring of various years. In a free-ranging wolf family, each wolf seems to know its standing and communicates it to the others. The parents are in charge, with the older siblings next in order of dominance followed by the pups of the current year.
International Wolf Center Glossary