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Gray Wolf

Canis lupus

Sometimes the best way to get started understanding wolf communication is to just listen. So, we've compiled a list common wolf vocalizations below, including a video of a spectrogram (which is a way of visualizing sounds) that will help you learn the pitch/frequency of these sounds. Just like when learning a new human language, once you get the basic sounds down, you can listen for them in the field or in videos you find on the web or at our YouTube channel.

Wolves, with their rich vocal repertoire, communicate through various sounds, including yelps, whines, moans, growls, woofs, barks, and their iconic howls. These sounds serve multiple purposes, from defending territory to locating pack members to sending alarms. There is a great degree of variation in their iconic "howl" vocalization. And occasionally, they combine two different sounds (howls and barks) to form nuanced contextual functions. Since wolves form social packs, they often combine several of these sounds into what is called a chorus howl (or a "rally"), wherein multiple wolves vocalize at the same time in a crescendo-like group call. While we understand much about wolf vocalizations, questions regarding their nuanced communication remain unanswered. The study of wild wolf howling, as the Theberges emphasize, is a fascinating field ripe for exploration. You can learn more about The Cry Wolf Project here, from which many of these recordings came.

A Dictionary of Wolf Vocalizations (recorded from different events)

Gray Wolf Top Videos

Gray Wolf Top Videos

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