Isle Royale wolf relocation project resumes; 15 now roaming the island | MPR News

Isle Royale wolf relocation

Efforts to rebuild the wolf population at Isle Royale National Park have resumed, with authorities relocating a wolf from Michigan’s mainland to the Lake Superior island last week.

A 70-pound, 2- to 3-year-old male wolf was captured in the Upper Peninsula, flown to the park and released on Friday. It’s the first animal moved in the second year of the program to bolster the island’s wolf population.
via Isle Royale wolf relocation project resumes; 15 now roaming the island | MPR News

Greene: Will Colorado roll out the red carpet for the gray wolf? | CanyonCourier.com

Ready or not, you could be approached by someone wielding a clipboard who wants to educate you about the Gray Wolves Initiative.

The plan will require Colorado’s Parks and Wildlife Commission to develop and implement a plan to reintroduce gray wolves to the state’s Western Slope. In 2020, voters could have the opportunity to weigh in on whether they are willing to bring back the apex predator that has been absent from Colorado since 1940.

Excitement elicited by June’s confirmed sighting of a lone wolf near the Wyoming border rippled through the state. However, many wolf biologists believe that waiting for wolves to independently return to Colorado to establish a sustainable population could take decades.

Wolves ran afoul of settlers in the early 1600s, and a bounty was declared in the colony of Massachusetts. In 1940, the last Colorado wolf was trapped and killed. But public sentiment began to pivot, and by the early 1990s, Americans began to recognize and value the wolf’s place in nature.

via Greene: Will Colorado roll out the red carpet for the gray wolf? | CanyonCourier.com

Michigan wolf wanders over 2,000 miles in 3 states | Duluth News Tribune

A lone wolf captured and radio-collared in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula last year was struck and killed by a car west of Meadowlands last week, following a journey covering more than 2,000 miles and three states over 14 months.

The male wolf, No. 27121, was trapped and fitted with a GPS transmitting collar near Cup Lake in Gogebic County in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula on May 28, 2018. In June, 2018 it crossed into Wisconsin, where it spent the rest of the year wandering, as far south as Oxford, in south-central Wisconsin near the Wisconsin Dells. It started heading back north this spring and ended up back in its home range in the U.P. by May.

But then it started wandering again, this time west across Wisconsin and crossing into Minnesota just south of Duluth. It kept going west and then north, as far north as Wildwood, east of Northome in Koochiching County, before aiming south. It was struck by a vehicle on Highway 133 about three miles west of Meadowlands and recovered on July 28.
via Michigan wolf wanders over 2,000 miles in 3 states | Duluth News Tribune

The secret summer lives of Voyageurs Park wolves | Duluth News Tribune

Voyageurs Wolf Project researchers Austin Homkes (left) and Tom Gable watch a video of a wolf that triggered the trail camera in the background. The project, a collaboration between the University of Minnesota and Voyageurs National Park, tracks and studies wolves in and near the park during the ice-free months. Steve Kuchera / skuchera@duluthnews.com

ALONG THE MOOSE RIVER — The violence happened in a tall-grass meadow, just off the riverbank, and most anyone else who might wander by here would have missed it entirely.

But dropping down on their knees, Tom Gable and Austin Homkes saw more than just depressions in the grass. They didn’t miss the tiny specs of beaver hair, the wolf scat with more beaver parts, a piece of pelvis bone from a beaver.

“Tom, we’ve got stomach contents here,’’ Homkes hollered. “This is definitely a kill site. There was a struggle and a kill here.”

Gable and Homkes found more evidence of how the beaver, apparently unsuspecting, waddled up from the river onto shore where it appears — and this is pretty much new to science — the wolf was waiting for it.

“It was always assumed that wolves attacked their prey by chasing it down, all of it… But what we are seeing in some of these GPS clusters is that some of these wolves go to places where they expect beaver to show up. And sometimes the beaver shows up,’’ Gable said. “Wolves are waiting out their prey and ambushing it.”
via The secret summer lives of Voyageurs Park wolves | Duluth News Tribune

Fearing cougars more than wolves, Yellowstone elk manage threats from both predators

Wolves are charismatic, conspicuous, and easy to single out as the top predator affecting populations of elk, deer, and other prey animals. However, a new study has found that the secretive cougar is actually the main predator influencing the movement of elk across the winter range of northern Yellowstone National Park.

The study highlights that where prey live with more than one predator species, attention to one predator that ignores the role of another may lead to misunderstandings about the impact of predators on prey populations and ecosystems. It also offers new insight into how prey can use differences in hunting behavior among predators to maintain safety from all predators simultaneously.

Utah State University researchers Michel Kohl and Dan MacNulty co-led the study, published in Ecology Letters, with Toni Ruth (Hornocker Wildlife Institute and Wildlife Conservation Society), Matt Metz (University of Montana), Dan Stahler, Doug Smith, and P.J. White (Yellowstone National Park). Their work was supported, in part, by the National Science Foundation, Ford Foundation, and Utah State University as part of Kohl’s doctoral research. The study was based on long-term data from the Park’s wolf and elk monitoring programs and Ruth’s cougar research, which is detailed in a forthcoming book from the University Press of Colorado.
Fearing cougars more than wolves, Yellowstone elk manage threats from both predators
Utah State University researchers and their colleagues have found that cougars have more influence than wolves on the movement of elk across the winter range of northern Yellowstone National Park. Credit: Yellowstone Cougar Project/National Park Service

The team revisited global positioning system (GPS) data from 27 radio-collared elk that had been collected in 2001-2004 when numbers of wolves and cougars were highest. Kohl and MacNulty combined the elk GPS data with information on the daily activity patterns of GPS-collared cougars and wolves and the locations of cougar- and wolf-killed elk to test if elk avoided these predators by selecting for ‘vacant hunting domains’, places and times where and when neither predator was likely to kill elk.
via Fearing cougars more than wolves, Yellowstone elk manage threats from both predators

Idaho wildlife managers to use game cameras to count wolves | KBOI

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho (AP) – Idaho wildlife managers are hoping hundreds of hunter game cameras will help the state get an accurate count of wolves.

The Coeur d’Alene Press reports the Idaho Department of Fish and Game’s current wolf population estimate comes from a computer model that extrapolates numbers based on data from 2009. That estimate puts the statewide number of wolves at 835, divided among 94 packs with 49 breeding pairs.
via Idaho wildlife managers to use game cameras to count wolves | KBOI

New survey methods will help produce the first estimate of total wolf numbers since 2015 | Outdoors | idahocountyfreepress.com

Wolf report: 659 live in Idaho: Fewer packs counted in 2013 surveys

How many wolves are on the landscape in Idaho? That’s an often-asked question that Idaho Fish and Game is aiming to answer using game cameras during a new statewide population monitoring program.

In recent months, Fish and Game staff have deployed over 800 game cameras in a high-density grid throughout the state, which will take millions of pictures. When Fish and Game staff collect the cameras at the end of September, researchers will download and analyze the photos and apply statistical modeling to estimate the population.

Sifting through millions of photos will be labor intensive, but Fish and Game Wildlife Research Manager Mark Hurley is aiming to early next year have the most robust and accurate count of wolves ever in Idaho, and the first scientific population estimate since 2015.
via New survey methods will help produce the first estimate of total wolf numbers since 2015 | Outdoors | idahocountyfreepress.com