We studied gray wolf (Canis lupus) homesite attendance rates using global positioning system locations of 17 GPS-radiocollared wolves from 7 packs in Idaho. Nonbreeding wolves attended homesites more once pups were weaned and we hypothesize this is a behavior that benefits subsequent pup-rearing. The breeding status and sex of the wolf was the strongest predictor of homesite attendance in the preweaning period but the dominant predictor postweaning was the number of helpers in the pack. We estimated that each additional helper in a pack decreased an individual's attendance rate by 7.5%. Because helpers can either attend or provision pups, our results suggest that small packs invest in protecting pups at the expense of having additional adults foraging.
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Vol. 93 • No. 4