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Summer 2014





Denali Wolves Decimated Along Park Boundaries
by Marybeth Holleman

The news that wolf sightings by visitors to Denali National Park last summer were the lowest on record is disheartening but not surprising. This is what scientists in 2010 warned would happen when the Alaska Board of Game eliminated the small no-take wolf buffer on state lands east of the national park.

Austria’s Wolf Science Center Makes a Name as a Research Powerhouse
by Tracy O’Connell

A study conducted by Austria’s Wolf Science Center found that friendship among wolves outweighed rank as a predictor of how much a wolf would howl when separated from other wolves. A separate study found that wolves, raised in the right environment, are just as capable as dogs are of learning from humans. These findings are just some of the research results occurring at the center.

What’s Killing the Deer?
by Richard P. Thiel

Deer hunter satisfaction in Wisconsin seemed boundless in the first decade of the present century. Deer were so numerous state wildlife managers initiated liberal hunting tactics to curb growth. Statewide harvests soared to unprecedented levels. That is, until the autumn of 2008. Are wolves responsible for the lower deer take? Download article.


From the Executive Director
by Rob Schultz

It’s 10:15 p.m., and suddenly my cell phone starts vibrating. I lift it up to see that a push notification has come through—a sunspot has hurled magnetic particles toward the Earth, and forecasters are predicting intense northern lights tonight.

Curious, I walk out of the cabin I am staying in at Camp Van Vac to see a spectacular glow forming over Burntside Lake, just on the outskirts of Ely, Minnesota. This is amazing; the aurora borealis is forming, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World!

Tracking the Pack

Wolf Watch Memories
by Lori Schmidt, wolf curator, International Wolf Center

Wolf Watch is a program designed by the International Wolf Center’s Wolf Care staff to allow for behavioral observations and data collection that is independent of routine wolf-care checks. As discussed in previous articles, the Center’s ambassador wolves are socialized to handlers at a young age. This socialization process results in wolves that are very focused on the presence of their regular handlers, which can distort interactions among the wolves. During a WolfWatch program participants record behavior from the observation windows when there is no human activity in the wolf yard.

In Memory of Malik

Malik, a resident male arctic wolf at the International Wolf Center, was euthanized on Saturday, March 22, after a rapid decline in health. The nearly 14-year-old wolf joined the Center’s resident pack in 2000 with his brother, Shadow, and the two retired from the Exhibit Pack about four years ago. As an ambassador wolf, Malik helped educate thousands of visitors to the Center and through its weekly YouTube videos, wolf logs and webcams.

Member Profile

Several times a month International Wolf Center board member Judy Hunter spends her time volunteering at the Interpretive Center in Ely, Minnesota—doing a wide variety of jobs. Her numerous volunteer roles have had an extraordinarily positive impact on the Center’s work.

Wolves of the World

Study Sees Negative Relationship Between Legal Hunting and Poaching of Wolves
by Tracy O’Connell

The last issue of International Wolf addressed the recent killings of red wolves in the southeasternvUnited States in what looked to be poaching of these endangered animals. Poaching of wolves occurs widely in Europe as well, where European law protects wolves as an endangered species. For example, The Connexion, France’s English-language newspaper, reported in February that the remains of an adult wolf that had been shot were found just over 92 miles (150 kilometers) east of Paris, in the commune of Coole in the Marne region. It was the first time a wolf has been found so far north in France in almost a century.

Personal Encounter

The Recapture of Wolf 7153: an Update to the Malberg Mystery
by Aaron Morris

A gaping hole has been freshly ripped into the side of the beaver lodge where we are standing. Whitish-gray wolf hairs adorn the edge of the hole, and a shredded beaver carcass is draped just over the side. It appears that the beaver died in the lodge and that a wolf or wolves caught the odor and dug it out. This is the first fresh wolf sign we’ve seen in nearly a week, an important find since we are in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) to capture and radio-collar two adult wolves.

A Look Beyond

Sounding Out a New Idea
Gus Fenton

As wolf populations have increased inthe Upper Midwest and NorthernRockies, the issue of how best to protect livestock from wolf packs generates heated controversy. Some people maintain that lethal control is the only effective option. Others argue that nonlethal strategies, combined with responsible husbandry, allow humans, livestock and predators to coexist.

Wild Kids

Notes From the Field

Have you ever gone for a hike and found signs that an animal had been there?