Berry Important? Wolf Provisions Pups with Berries in Northern Minnesota

Austin T. Homkes, Thomas D. Gable, Steve K. Windels, Joseph K. Bump

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Wolves (Canis lupus) primarily provision pups by catching mammalian prey and bringing remains of the carcass to the pups at a den or rendezvous site via their mouths or stomach. In August 2017, we observed an adult wolf regurgitating wild blueberries (Vaccinium spp.) to pups at a rendezvous site in the Greater Voyageurs Ecosystem, Minnesota, USA, which is the only known observation of wolves provisioning pups with wild berries. This observation, in combination with other evidence from the Greater Voyageurs Ecosystem, suggests wild berries might be a more valuable food source for wolves in southern boreal ecosystems than previously appreciated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-223
Number of pages3
JournalWildlife Society Bulletin
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank University of Minnesota, Voyageurs National Park, the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund, as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (project M.L. 2017, Chp. 96, Sec. 2, Subd. 03l), Rainy Lake Conservancy, Van Sloun Foundation, the Wally Dayton Family, Explorer's Club, Bell Museum, Voyageurs National Park Association, and Northern Michigan University. Additional funding was provided by National Science Foundation grants to JKB (NSF #1545611, NSF #1556676). We thank the Associate Editor, Dr. E. Glenn, and 2 anonymous reviewers for providing helpful reviews that improved our manuscript.


  • Canis lupus
  • Minnesota
  • Vaccinium
  • blueberry
  • gray wolf
  • parental care

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