We evaluated the accuracy and precision of tooth wear for aging gray wolves (Canis lupus) from Alaska, Minnesota, and Ontario based on 47 known-age or known-minimum-age skulls. Estimates of age using tooth wear and a commercial cementum annuli-aging service were useful for wolves up to 14 years old. The precision of estimates from cementum annuli was greater than estimates from tooth wear, but tooth wear estimates are more applicable in the field. We tended to overestimate age by 1-2 years and occasionally by 3 or 4 years. The commercial service aged young wolves with cementum annuli to within year of actual age, but under estimated ages of wolves 9 years old by 1-3 years. No differences were detected in tooth wear patterns for wild wolves from Alaska, Minnesota, and Ontario, nor between captive and wild wolves. Tooth wear was not appropriate for aging wolves with an underbite that prevented normal wear or severely broken and missing teeth.
Accuracy and Precision of Estimating Age of Gray Wolves by Tooth Wear data.
Data Set Citation
Philip S. Gipson, Warren B. Ballard, Ronald M. Nowak, L. David Mech
Accuracy and Precision of Estimating Age of Gray Wolves by Tooth Wear
Dataset Release Date:
Dataset Release Place:
Jamestown, North Dakota
USGS, Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
tom_sklebar at usgs.gov
8711 37th Street, S.E. City:
Province or State:
gipson at ksu.edu
Kansas State University
Division of Biology City:
Province or State:
Gipson, Philip S., Warren B. Ballard, Ronald M. Nowak, and L. David Mech. 2000. Accuracy and precision of estimating age of gray wolves by tooth wear. Journal of Wildlife Management 64(3):752-758.
Kansas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, U.S. Geological Survey, Division of Biology, Leasure Hall, Room 205, Kansas State University, Manhatten, KS 66506, USA
Department of Range, Wildlife and Fisheries Management, Box 42125, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409, USA
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4401 North Fairfax Drive, Room 750, Arlington, VA 22203, USA Present address: 2101 Greenwich Street, Falls Church, VA 22043, USA.
Biological Resources Division, U.S. Geological Survey, Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, 8711 37th Street, Jamestown, ND 58401, USA Mailing address: North Central Research Station, 1992 Folwell Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55108, USA