Falkland Island Wolf

By: Colin Madden and Cole Veloz

Dates of Discovery and Extinction

Discovered in 1690 and gone extinct by 1876.

Scientific Name - Dusicyon Australis

Biogeographical Data

The wolf was the only native land mammal on the Falkland Islands. They were endemic to the islands. They were a prominent predator and had no natural predator. Their diet consisted of birds, mainly geese. They also ate pinnipeds and penguins. Their behavior was very docile and tame. Darwin even noted, "you could hold meat in one hand and a knife in the other hand ready to kill them."

Causes of Extinction

When Darwin encountered the species in 1839 he noted that the population was already in decline. With the arrival of permanent settlers, he was the sure the species would go the way of the dodo. The species was way too overhunted. One reason was because they proved a threat to the livestock of the settlers of the islands. But the sole reason was because of the fur trade. There was a rapid decline in population when US settlers arrived for their fur.

Ecological Effect of the Extinction

The warrah, as it was called, was the most prominent predator on the island. The extinction is the only known extinction of a canid in modern times. The settlers' livestock would now not be hunted and be safe as would the other animals it thrived on.

Possible Actions that may have Prevented the Extinction

As the main cause of the species' extinction was persecution through hunting, if regulations were put into place to save this species it would very well be here today. Humans were easily the sole reason for the extinction.

Works Cited

Oshman, Katherine. "Dusicyon Australis (Falkland Island Wolf)." Animal Diversity Web. 2012.

Web. 18 Feb. 2016.

"Falkland Island Wolf Photos and Facts." ARKive. Wildscreen Arkive. Web. 18 Feb. 2016.

"Dusicyon Australis." Dusicyon Australis (Falkland Islands Wolf, Falklands Wolf). IUCN. Web. 18 Feb. 2016.