BABCOCK, Wis. (WSAW) — Researchers from around the world, led by Rothschild native and Carthage College biology professor Dr. Angela Dassow, are helping pioneer an innovative method of tracking wolves through sound.
Dr. Angela Dassow swaps cards on an acoustic monitor at Sandhill Wildlife Area. Dec. 27, 2019 (WSAW Photo)
The two-week study, funded through the non-profit Animal Welfare Institute and aided by other organizations, uses acoustic monitors to track the vocalizations of wolves, and wraps up December 29 at the Sandhill Wildlife Area in Wood County.
The team, comprised of researchers and students from as far as Slovakia and as near as Stevens Point, rises early in the morning to trek into the woods and check the camera traps and eleven acoustic monitors working around the clock to capture visuals and vocalizations of wolves. Making the rounds to swap out SD cards and change batteries can take several hours, and the team works late into the night once they return to analyze the data collected.
“It is going to be used in our study to localize or triangulate the movement of the wolves in our area,” Dr. Dassow explained. “We’re interested in wolf-coyote interactions and wolf-dog interactions.”