Love them or hate them, wolves are vital members of natural ecosystems and the health of a wolf population can be an important factor in maintaining balance among species. Wolf populations are growing in North America – the Great Lakes region in particular now supports over 3,700 individuals. Keeping track of wolf pack movements is important for reducing human-wolf conflicts which can arise when packs move too close to ranches.The traditional way to track wolves involves setting traps, sedating and then radio-collaring individual animals. While effective, this approach is time intensive and expensive, and entails risks for the animals.I was fortunate to participate in this entire process firsthand as an undergraduate student. During the summer trapping seasons, I became familiar with each of the wolves in the central forest region of Wisconsin. This experience led to several conversations with the wildlife biologists in the area about whether wolf howls could be used to help identifying non-radio-collared pack members.
John Stephenson cups his mouth and lets out a long, sorrowful howl. “Ow ow owwww!” his cries echo into the Rogue River–Siskiyou National Forest. “Owwww!”The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service official is performing a “howling survey” in search of the world’s most famous wolf, who goes by the diminutive name OR-7. It’s May, and Stephenson is standing beside a logging road, deep in the woods outside Prospect, Oregon, hoping for a response, which never comes. The lanky wildlife biologist has also positioned trail cameras in the bush, strapped to grand fir trees and triggered by animals as they pass. But as he scrolls through 1,400 images, he finds only bears, bobcats and deer. OR-7 and his pack must be somewhere on the other side of these mountains, in search of a meal.
The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission approved an expanded wolf hunting season Wednesday, with a goal of reducing the population to the bare minimum required to keep it off the endangered species list, Defenders of Wildlife reported.The 2018 season expands on 2017’s season, which was the first in Wyoming since a 2017 appeals court removed Wyoming wolves from protections under the Endangered Species Act and allowed the state to take control of the population, The Associated Press (AP) reported.
Washington wildlife managers will be less precise about the whereabouts of wolves, holding back information previously shared with ranchers, range-riders and local authorities, according to a policy outlined by the Department of Fish and Wildlife this week.Fish and Wildlife says exact locations, dra
BAKER CITY — Southwest of the heart of Oregon’s nascent wolf population — miles from the dead calves, the helicopter chases, the decade-plus of vitriolic local politics swirling around wolves — is a small creek that illustrates why they’re worth the trouble.That’s where you’ll find Suzanne Fouty, waist-deep in a no-name tributary of the Burnt River lined with beaver dams, deep in the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest about four hours northeast of Bend.Wolves living in the Wallowa Mountains haven’t discovered this part of the forest — at least not yet. But Fouty, a retired hydrologist formerly with the U.S. Forest Service, said a busy dirt road nearby simulates the impact wolves may one day have on the landscape, scaring deer and elk away from the creek.