We present a detailed description of the acoustic structure of howls emitted by Iberian wolves and a comparison with published descriptions of North American wolf howls. We recorded and analyzed 176 howls emitted by 11 wolves held in captivity in social groups of 1–5 individuals. Our sample included solo howls as well as howls included in choruses. Iberian wolf howls are long (1.1- to 12.8-s) harmonic sounds, with a mean fundamental frequency between 270 and 720 Hz. Our results revealed striking similarities between Iberian and North American wolf howls in all variables analyzed except for the number of discontinuities in the frequency of the howl, which was lower for Iberian wolves. Using discriminant function analysis we could assign 84.7% of howls to the correct individual. Variables related to fundamental frequency (mean and maximum) and the coefficient of fundamental modulation best discriminate individuals. We suggest that Iberian wolves could use howls for individual recognition.
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