MangeMange is caused by mites that attach themselves to a wolf's coat or skin. In sarcoptic mange, intense itching is caused by the female mites' burrowing under the skin to lay eggs. In demodectic mange, the mites live in the pores of the skin and cause little or no itching. The symptoms of mange include skin lesions, crusting, and fur loss. Wolves that suffer the loss of fur in severe winter are in danger of freezing to death.
In 1909, wolves experimentally infected with sarcoptic mange were released in Montana as a wolf-control measure. It is thought by some researchers that mange was introduced to the Canadian prairies through this Draconian route.
In the mid-1980's , mange was a serious problem is Saskatchewan's wolf population, and the province's wolf numbers decreased as a result. According to Fransesco Franisici and Vittorio Guberti, writing in Wolves in Europe: Statue and perspectives, sarcoptic mange is "possibly the sole relevant disease to wolf demography in Italy."
* Busch, H. Robert "The Wolf Almanac" Lyons & Burford, Pubishers, USA 1995