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September Calls for a Wardrobe Change for Wolves

September is here and summer seems to be shifting into autumn with the earlier encroachment of evening and the faintest suggestion of leaves beginning to redden.

The Northeastern U.S. has long been known for its dramatic seasonal changes, but autumn is extra special at the Wolf Conservation Center. As the leaves turn to vivid shades of orange, red and gold, wolves begin to glow as well in their newly grown coats!

A wolf’s coat consists of two elements: the long guard hairs that form the visible outer layer of the fur and the downy undercoat meant to keep a wolf comfortable in cooler temperatures.

Wolves shed the insulating undercoat during spring, and as autumn approaches, the undercoat thickens.

The shedding cycle is driven by hormone levels that rise in the spring with the onset of longer days and decrease as day lengths shorten in the fall.

Thanks to the photoperiodic rhythm of his body chemistry, Atka is preparing for the coming season and looking forward to snowy days on the horizon. Enjoy the day, Atka!