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Summer 2013

Features

Summer cover_lgWildlands: The Last Best Places
by Jim Hammill

Livestock and pet losses due to wolf depredation are likely to increase as rural sprawl devours more wolf habitat. The tension between humans and wolves is bound to escalate and could threaten the sustainability of wolf populations in substantial parts of the western Great Lakes states.

A Closer Look at Red Wolf Recovery: A Conversation with Dr. David R. Rabon
by Neil Hutt

An estimated 100-120 critically endangered red wolves still live in the wild. The ultimate goal of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Adaptive Management Plan is to control hybridization between red wolves and coyotes in an effort to preserve and restore red wolves to northeastern North Carolina

Departments

From the Executive Director
by Rob Schultz

Unlike most states, Wisconsin utilizes trained citizen volunteers to conduct its annual wolf census, which has been performed every year since 1995. More than 200 trained volunteers canvas over 24,000 square miles (6.2 million hectares) during winter to collect tracking data that are used to determine wolf population trends and monitor pack sizes and locations. Their work has provided the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) with some of the most-detailed annual data compiled by any state.

Tracking the Pack

Formation of a Pack: Maturing of the 2012 Pups
by Lori Schmidt, wolf curator, International Wolf Center

Every four years the International Wolf Center acquires and socializes two wolf pups to add new life to its Exhibit Pack. In 2012 Luna and Boltz were our newest additions, and despite some initial management challenges, Wolf Care staff integrated the pups into the Exhibit Pack. Initially, observations led to some concerns about food resources for the pups, and staff responded with increased feedings. As winter progressed, Luna demonstrated the tenacity of a small but intensely possessive dominant female.

Wolves of the World

MONGOLIA
by Tracy O’Connell

Mongolia’s harsh landscape, located north of China, recently returned to a formerly popular means of predator control, the use of dogs to protect their livestock from wolves. Aiding in the multi-year project that reintroduced this practice was a Dutch conservation group, Wildlife Consult. Hans Hovens, who lives in the Netherlands and was part of a core team in the effort to reintroduce the dogs, described his experience.

Personal Encounter

Of Loons and Wolves
by Tom Myrick, communications director, Interntional Wolf Center

We all have sanctuaries, places we hide out as kids and places we now go to as adults to connect with creation, revive the soul, and, yes, hide. My particular place of refuge is a small cabin nestled a half dozen feet (1.8 meters) from the northern shore of lake Wabana surrounded by the Chippewa National Forest. For the past 40 years, this is where I have gone to preserve my sanity and to experience many wonders in the wild, including as it turned out, my first encounter with a wild wolf pack.

Wild Kids
by Gavin Winebarger

My grandma (Lori Schmidt) is the wolf curator at the International Wolf Center, and I have been coming to the Center since I was 2 years old. I would ride in the truck when my grandma picked up roadkill, and I would use the hose to fill the wolves’ water bowls through the fence. There are three rules in the wolf yard, no running, no yelling and never ever put your fingers near the fence.

A Look Beyond

Come for the Adventure: Sigurd Olson Exhibit Opens in Ely
by Nancy jo Tubbs, chair of the International Wolf Center

You may know that Sigurd F. Olson, who lived in Ely, Minnesota, and found inspiration at a cabin at Listening Point on Burntside Lake, was one of the eminent environmentalists of the 20th century. You may even know Olson as a popular writer and successful activist for the conservation of wildlands. But the new “Sigurd Olson Legacy: Wilderness, Writings and Wolves” exhibit at the International Wolf Center, May 19 to October 31, will give you a peek into the Olson you don’t know.