The Wolf Intelligencer



Gray Wolf (Canis lupus)
Great Plains Wolf (Canis lupus nubilus)
Eastern Timber Wolf (Canis lycaon, Canis lupus lycaon)

Population Statistics [No established packs. Occasionally dispersing wolves.]

Legal Status; State protection.

US Fish and Wildlife Service (Gray Wolves in the Western Great Lakes)
Iowa Department of Natural Resources

Iowa Chapter Sierra Club

Iowa  News Resources & Publications
The Globe Gazette (Mason City, Iowa)
KCCI DesMoines (Des Moines, Iowa)
The Des Moines Register (Des Moines, Iowa)


Wolf and Wildlife News from Iowa

Journal Articles

Canada Goose Survival and Recovery Rates in Urban and Rural Areas of Iowa, USA. Luukkonen BZ, Jones III OE, Klaver RW. The Journal of Wildlife Management. 2021 Feb


Once extirpated from much of their North American range, temperate‐breeding Canada geese (Branta canadensis maxima) have reached high abundance. As a result, focus has shifted from restoration to managing harvest and addressing human‐goose conflict. Conflict persists or is increasing in urban areas throughout the Mississippi Flyway. Managers need more information regarding demographic rates to determine how hunting affects geese breeding in urban areas and what management actions may be required to achieve management goals. We estimated survival, dead recovery, live recapture, and fidelity probabilities using data from 77,872 Canada geese banded in Iowa, USA, during 1999–2019 using Burnham joint live‐dead band recovery models. Factors predicted to affect parameters in candidate models included age (juvenile, subadult, adult), banding site (urban, rural), time, trend, harvest regulation index, and winter severity index. We predicted Canada geese banded in urban areas would have higher survival and lower dead recovery rates than geese banded at rural sites. The top model indicated support for age and banding site effects, and trends in survival and recovery rate (Brownie parameterization). Adult survival was similar for urban (0.75; range = 0.60–0.92) and rural (0.75; range = 0.66–0.82) geese and relatively constant across years. Mean juvenile survival was lower in urban (0.74; range = 0.48–0.93) than rural (0.85; range = 0.68–0.92) areas. Survival increased for urban‐banded juveniles and recovery rates increased during liberalization of harvest regulations and decreased after regulations stabilized. Recovery rates of subadults increased for the urban and rural groups. Our results suggest Canada geese breeding in urban areas contribute to harvest and specialized regulations can affect these populations. Harvest regulations in place during our analysis may not have reached a threshold required to observe substantial changes in survival. Current human‐goose conflict in urban areas suggests survival has not decreased to a level required to completely address conflict via reduction in goose abundance. Managers may consider additional liberalization of harvest regulations and monitoring via banding to determine to what degree hunter harvest contributes to reducing human‐goose conflict and what additional management actions will be required to achieve goals. © 2020 The Wildlife Society.

Survival of White-tailed deer fawns in central Iowa. McGovern PG, Dinsmore SJ, Blanchong JA. Plos one. 2020 Mar


Understanding demographic parameters such as survival is important for scientifically sound wildlife management. Survival can vary by region, sex, age-class, habitat, and other factors. White-tailed deer fawn survival is highly variable across the species’ range. While recent studies have investigated fawn survival in several Midwestern states, there have been no published estimates from Iowa for 30 years. We radio-collared 48 fawns in central Iowa from 2015–2017 to estimate survival, home range size, and habitat composition and identity causes of mortality. Estimated fawn survival (± SE) was similar to other Midwest studies at 30 (0.78 ± 0.07)) and 60 days (0.69 ± 0.08), but considerably lower at 7 months (0.31 ± 0.02). Survival was positively associated with woodland habitat through 30 and 60 days, but not related to habitat at 7 months. Female fawns avoided agricultural habitat in their home ranges. Fawn 95% kernel density home ranges were smaller than in other studies in the Midwest (21.22 ± 2.74 ha at 30 days, 25.47 ± 2.87 ha at 60 days, and 30.59 ± 2.37 ha at 7 months). The large amount of woodland and grassland (>90%) in our study area meant that fawns did not have to travel far to find suitable cover, which may explain their small home ranges. We recorded 21 mortalities, the leading cause of which was disease (n = 9; 56% epizootic hemorrhagic disease [EHD]) followed by suspected predation (4) and harvest (3). The mortality associated with an outbreak of EHD in 2016, all of which occurred after 60 days post-capture, is the most likely explanation for our low survival estimate at 7 months. While predation, usually early in life, is the leading cause of mortality in most studies, sporadic diseases like EHD can be a major source of mortality in older fawns in some years.

Detection and density of breeding marsh birds in Iowa wetlands. Vanausdall RA, Dinsmore SJ. PloS one. 2020 Jan


ccounting for imperfect detection is an important process when obtaining estimates of density or abundance for breeding birds, and this is particularly true when researchers are monitoring birds to assess the success of restored wetlands. Due to the dramatic decline in areal cover and habitat quality, wetland restoration in the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) is critically important to breeding birds. The Shallow Lakes Restoration Project (SLRP), a partnership between the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and Ducks Unlimited, Inc., aims to restore degraded shallow lakes throughout the Iowa PPR. We conducted unlimited-radius point counts with call-broadcast surveys for breeding marsh birds at 30 shallow lakes in various stages of restoration in 2016 and 2017. Our goals were to assess the impact of covariates on detection probability and estimate density of these species at non-restored, younger (1–5 years since restoration), and older (6–11 years since restoration) restorations. Detection probability ranged between 0.07 ± 0.009 (SE) for Red-winged Blackbird and 0.40 ± 0.09 (SE) for Common Yellowthroat. Percent cattail had a positive quadratic effect on detection probability for four species, with detection decreasing sharply as percent cattail increased and increasing slightly with 100% cattail cover. Wind speed negatively influenced the detection probability of Pied-billed Grebes but had a negative quadratic effect on the detection probability of Marsh Wrens. Both restored shallow lakes had greater densities of breeding Pied-billed Grebes, Marsh Wrens, and Yellow-headed Blackbirds than non-restored shallow lakes, but there was no significant difference between younger and older restorations. Including both habitat and environmental covariates on models for detection probability can improve the precision of estimates for density and should be considered when assessing bird populations pre- and post-restoration of shallow lakes.

Patterns of monarch site occupancy and dynamics in Iowa. Dinsmore SJ, Vanausdall RA, Murphy KT, Kinkead KE, Frese PW. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution. 2019

Habitat Associations of Migratory Waterbirds Using Restored Shallow Lakes in Iowa. Vanausdall RA, Dinsmore SJ. Waterbirds. 2019 Jun

Coarse root biomass and architecture of hybrid aspen ‘Crandon’(Populus alba L.× P. grandidenta Michx.) grown in an agroforestry system in central Iowa, USA. Headlee WL, Zalesny Jr RS, Hall RB. Journal of Sustainable Forestry. 2019 Jan

Local and landscape effects on population dynamics of birds and butterflies in Iowa. Patterson, S.S., 2016.

Restored agricultural wetlands in central Iowa: habitat quality and amphibian response. Reeves RA, Pierce CL, Smalling KL, Klaver RW, Vandever MW, Battaglin WA, Muths E. Wetlands. 2016 Feb

Predator activity related to landscape features in northern Iowa. Kuehl AK, Clark WR. The Journal of Wildlife Management. 2002 Oct

Butterfly responses to habitat edges in the highly fragmented prairies of Central Iowa. Ries L, Debinski DM. Journal of Animal Ecology. 2001 Sep


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