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How Not to Find a Wolf Den
A five-day odyssey, spanning 58 hours without decent sleep or meals, taught these
researchers one thing-how not to find a wolf den.
Tales From a Wolf Manager
Central to wolf recovery under the Endangered Species Act was the promise that, once
wolves were recovered, public hunting would be a management tool for controlling
expanding wolf populations. Today, however, some wolf advocates have forgotten that
Counting Wolves, Not a Perfect Science
Taking into consideration the time of year when wolf counts occur is critical to wolf
management. Because wolf populations fluctuate during the year, peaking in late spring
before hitting a low in late winter, many states count wolves in winter.
In a few short weeks wolf experts from 19 countries will arrive in Duluth, Minnesota,
for our long-awaited International Wolf Symposium 2013. More than a year in the making,
this event should be on everyone's bucket list. CNN founder Ted Turner will kick off
our symposium, and many other experts and luminaries will be there to present some
truly fascinating topics.
In a post-pup year, we spend a significant amount of time analyzing the behavior of
our captive wolves to determine how the newest members of the Exhibit Pack are
progressing. With the 2012 pups, Luna's medical challenges and Boltz's age at the
time of acquisition were concerns as they joined the pack. As a policy at our facility,
wolf management priorities are established based not only on pack dynamics but also
on the quality of life for each individual wolf. To make these decisions, we must have
sound data that is acquired through unbiased, uniform behavioral observation periods.
Thanks to Vermilion Community College's Biology 1476-Wolf Ethology course, we got
that data in April 2013. Vermilion's students logged more than 100 hours of observations.
Below are some of the results.
Ecotourism in Ethiopia-Turning Wolves into Honey
We left for Ethiopia with some uncertainty; we were hoping to see the rangy,
rodent-hunting wolves but knew their numbers were falling. But even if we were lucky
enough to see these endangered animals, we wondered what impact our presence might
have. Nancy Gibson, International Wolf Center board member, had suggested ecotourism
might be the best solution for saving them in "Hiking the Roof of Africa in Search of
Ethiopian Wolves," International Wolf, Fall 2011, but could human encroachment
on wolf territory be hindering their conservation?
Wolves and Coyote
Iinadvertently once saved the life of a coyote. I know that sounds a bit strange;
however, if you knew me, it might not sound so strange. As a naturalist and wildlife
photographer I tend to get into some very interesting situations. In 2012 I returned
to Yellowstone National Park for a second winter adventure. As always the landscape
photography opportunities were amazing, but I was there for the wildlife, in particular
Malik, along with his brother Shadow, turned 13 this past May, a milestone for
captive wolves. They were born May 8, 2000, and now can be viewed on the International
Wolf Center's new retirement Web cam. Malik's and Shadow's white coats are not due to
age. Their coats are white because they belong to the arctic subspecies of Canis
lupus, the gray wolf.
The Grand Bargain
Because wolves have done so well in the Rocky Mountains it is easy to forget what a
difficult struggle was required to restore them. That battle was fought for about 15
years, from 1980 until 1995. Having waged a deadly campaign to eliminate wolves from
the West in earlier decades, livestock producers were fiercely opposed to seeing them