The Arctic wolf (''Canis lupus arctos''), also known as the Melville Island wolf〔Mech, L. David (1981), ''The Wolf: The Ecology and Behaviour of an Endangered Species'', University of Minnesota Press, p. 352, ISBN 0-8166-1026-6〕 is a possible subspecies of gray wolf native to the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, from Melville Island to Ellesmere Island.〔 It is a medium-sized subspecies, distinguished from the northwestern wolf by its smaller size, its whiter coloration, its narrower braincase,〔Goldman, E. A. (1964). Classification of wolves. In ''The Wolves of North America'' Part 2. Young, S. P. & Goldman, E. A. (Eds.) New York: Dover Publs. p. 430.〕 and larger carnassials.〔Clutton-Brock, J., A. C. Kitchener, & J. M. Lynch. (1994) Changes in the skull morphology of the Arctic wolf, ''Canis lupus arctos'', during the twentieth century. ''Journal of Zoology (London)'' 233:19–36.〕 Since 1930, there has been a progressive reduction in size in Arctic wolf skulls, which is likely the result of wolf-dog hybridization.〔
The Arctic wolf is relatively unafraid of people, and can be coaxed to approach people in some areas.〔Mech, L. D., (Arctic Wolves and Their Prey ), ''National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration'', May 30, 2007〕 It has occasionally acted aggressively toward humans. Otto Sverdrup wrote that during the Fram expedition, a pair of wolves attacked one of his team-mates, who defended himself with a skiing pole.〔Sverdrup, O. N., (1918), ''(New land; four years in the Arctic regions )'', Vol. I, London Longmans, Green, pp. 431-432〕 In 1977, a pair of scientists were approached by six wolves on Ellesmere Island, with one animal leaping at one of the scientists and grazing a cheek. A number of incidents involving aggressive wolves have occurred in Alert, Nunavut, where the wolves have lived in close proximity to the local weather station for decades and become habituated to humans.〔Linnell, J.D.C., et al (2002), (The Fear of Wolves: A Review of Wolf Attacks on Humans ), NINA, pp. 29-31, ISBN 82-426-1292-7〕
The Arctic wolf was first described as a distinct subspecies by British zoologist Reginald Pocock in 1935, after having examined a single skull from Melville Island.〔 , the Arctic wolf is still recognized as a distinct subspecies by MSW3. However, studies undertaken on Arctic wolf autosomal microsatellite DNA and mtDNA data indicate that the Arctic wolf has no unique haplotypes, thus indicating that its colonization of the Arctic Archipelago from the North American mainland was relatively recent, and thus not sufficient to warrant subspecies status. However, the research of Chambers et al. (2012) that dismissed the Arctic wolf's genetic integrity became controversial, forcing the USF&WS to commission a peer review of it, known as NCAES (2014).〔http://www.fws.gov/home/wolfrecovery/pdf/Final_Review_of_Proposed_rule_regarding_wolves2014.pdf〕 This peer review highlighted numerous flaws in the research such as the erroneous merging of the coastal BC island wolves with the inland ''Canis lupus nubilus'' as well as suggesting that gray wolves never lived in the eastern third of the US, etc, and thus concluded unanimously that the Chambers' review "is not accepted as consensus scientific opinion or best available science".
== Declining Population In East Greenland ==
The decline and extermination of the Arctic wolf population was studied in East Greenland between 1899 and 1939. Through these years, there were 252 sightings of the wolves and or their tracks. 112 wolves that were sighted in the early winter, 31.3% were lone wolves, 23.2% were in pairs, and the rest stayed together in larger groups.〔 The average pack size of the arctic wolves was 3.3, packs of four or more were rare. Arctic wolves’ population was mainly in the central part of the range, which made them vulnerable to the Danish and Norwegian hunters. These hunters exterminated the population with the use of poison. They are endangered due to their exceptionally low densities, smaller pack sizes, infrequent reproduction, and lower offspring reproduction. The population was not harvested by the Europeans prior to 1899.〔 There was no effort to bring back or grow the population because the main goal was to maximize profits by killing as many arctic foxes as possible. Arctic wolves were considered less in terms of economic significance because of their low abundance. They were mainly killed and exterminated due to interfering with commercial hunting by destroying foxes in traps. Between 1920 and 1932, 35 wolves were killed in the core wolf range, forcing the population to decline rapidly. Arctic wolf population in five of the six core range Areas of East Greenland has severally collapsed and declined rapidly after the arrival of European commercial hunters. There is no other evidence for the potential decline in the Arctic wolf population.
抄文引用元・出典: フリー百科事典『 ウィキペディア（Wikipedia）』
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