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Fall 2015

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Features

Swings in Management Challenge Wolf Conservation in Wisconsin
By Adrian Wydeven and Erik R. Olson

Wisconsin’s wolves have gone from federal to state authority and back again four times since they were listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 1974. Adrian Wydeven and Erik Olson believe that wolves can co-exist with humans, but active management is necessary to reduce conflicts, which is difficult when wolves are listed as endangered. The effects of swings in state management can create more intolerance for wolves, a possible increase in illegal killing and, ultimately, an even greater challenge to wolf conservation. Download full article.

What Have Wolves To Do With The Moose Decline In Northeastern Minnesota?
Interview by International Wolf Center

Do wolves, in fact, have a bearing on the declining populations of moose in Minnesota? In an interview with Dr. L. David Mech, International Wolf poses questions aimed to get to the heart of the matter. Mech’s insights address continuing studies and summarize factors that are involved in the declining numbers of Minnesota’s iconic animal.

Bigger, Badder Dogs Could Help Western U.S. Sheep Ranchers
By Tracy O’Connell

Ranchers in the western U.S. have reached out to researchers within the Wildlife Services division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to introduce “bigger, badder” dogs to protect their flocks from wolves. The study, now in the second year of a three-year project, is bringing together qualified ranchers and imported dogs to identify a breed (or breeds) that could outperform the smaller, white dogs that were used when coyotes were the main sheep predators. Researcher Dr. Julie Young, coordinator of the training, selection and placement of the livestock guard dogs, says sheep herders are eager to see the results.

Departments

From the Executive Director
by Rob Schultz

Isle Royale. . .How Long Will the Wolves Last?
Islands are interesting places. And their ecology is more complex than what most people presume. Lake Superior’s Isle Royale is no exception.

For decades, the spotlight has been on this remote, rugged place where leading researchers have studied the relationship between wolves and their main prey, moose, in a natural environment, relatively free of human interference.

Tracking the Pack

Professional Dialogues Remain Relevant to Captive-wolf Managers
by Lori Schmidt, wolf curator, International Wolf Center

In October 2005 the International Wolf Center (IWC) sponsored a symposium in Colorado Springs; as part of the symposium a meeting of captive-wolf managers was convened. The meeting included feedback from 18 facilities managing socialized wolves for educational purposes and non-socialized wolves as part of the Species Survival Plan (SSP) administered by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. It has been 10 years since the Colorado symposium, but the topics discussed then are relevant today, especially prior to the arrival of the IWC’s 2016 pups. So, what are the topics on the minds of captive-wolf managers? 

Wolves of the World

Roving European Male Wolves Make Tracks in New Turf
by Tracy O’Connell

A wolf was first spotted in the Netherlands in early March of this year, believed to have walked to Drenthe, a province in the country’s northeast, from nearby Germany. A similar-appearing animal was captured in photos taken from quite close range, resulting in speculation that the animal was unafraid of humans. The arrival was reported in various media and on the Web site Wolven en Nederland, dedicated to the anticipated arrival of a wolf in the Dutch countryside.

Personal Encounter

A Wolf, Alone on the Coastal Plain
by Jonathan C. Slaght

In northern Alaska the formidable Brooks Range yields slowly to a coastal plain—a flat, arresting expanse rolling confidently north for 125 miles until stopped dead by the Arctic Ocean. This is a surreal landscape of grasses, stunted shrubs, and standing water where travel is akin to walking on wet pillows, and sound is largely reduced to the static of wind and the whine of mosquitoes; two tyrants vying for dominance over this tundra kingdom.

Book Review

Close Your Eyes and What Do You See? The Big, Bad Wolf ?
by Nancy Jo Tubbs

Close your eyes and picture a wolf. Now, describe that animal. Two images come to my mind: A black, gray, brown canid trotting across the road on Van Vac Road near my home. And a zoot-suited, wolf-eared, seductive Jonny Depp crooning, “Hello little girl,” to Red Riding Hood in the newish movie, Into the Woods.

A Look Beyond

Can the Wolf Center’s Success Spread to Tigers in India?
by Nancy Gibson

A cow was chased in town last night. A woman was attacked as she walked along the road. Tracks were seen, rustling grass and prowling sounds echoed through the night. Light was breaking, but the previous night’s tales sounded like home. I had just traveled almost 8,000 miles to India; this time the fears were of tigers, not wolves.

WildKids

Meet the Pack – Aidan
Aidan turned seven years old earlier this year. He continues to be the dominant male in the pack.