The remarkable Canis lupus (Gray Wolf) …

…Designed by Mother Nature herself.

A gray wolf walks over to a vacated white-tailed deer bed and gently blows on it. This causes all the particles to flow up into his/hers highly tuned olfactory system (the nose). “Ah ha, says the wolf,” the deer tick’s blood is full of pus from a tooth infection. The deer tick had feasted on the white-tailed deer’s blood the night before. The deer tick’s blood now reveals a sick (unhealthy) animal. This shows how the gray wolf keeps the white-tailed deer herds healthy. This is nature’s design, original, and most certainly not man made. There’s-no-big-bad-wolf-here…only politicians with agendas…

Let’s save the Gray wolf because he/she saves us (human-kind) in the end. In the past, less than a hundred years ago, vast herds roamed throughout the planet. The vast herds were wiped out by trophy hunting & human encroachment, and now live in small pockets of wilderness surrounded by human settlements. In these small pockets animals are forced to share habitats, and just think about the consequences of different kinds of ticks eating & spreading disease all on the same animals; Animals that are isolated in pockets of wilderness surrounded by human settlements. Then, there’s Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) that if left unchecked could potentially spread to humans through infected deer. We need more research on how gray wolves help stop the spread of CWD.

The planet needs Canis lupus (Gray wolf) and other large carnivores. Large carnivores can detect diseased and weak animals.

How might wolves affect chronic wasting disease in elk and deer in Colorado? The following is from Colorado State University Extention

…One study developed a mathematical model predicting that selective predation by wolves would result in a more rapid decline in CWD in deer compared to hunting by humans…


Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a contagious and fatal neurological disease found in deer, elk, and moose.  It is caused by the transmission of an abnormal protein called a prion.  CWD is relatively widespread in Colorado.

Wolves are predators that chase prey. Wolves tend to target slower, more vulnerable individuals, including sick and diseased animals. One study developed a mathematical model predicting that selective predation by wolves would result in a more rapid decline in CWD in deer compared to hunting by humans. The model suggested that wolf predation may help limit CWD. There has been no field study to test this prediction. However, wolf predation has been shown to help control disease (tuberculosis) in wild boar in Spain.

Insight can be gained from other predators. Studies in the Front Range of Colorado showed mule deer killed by mountain lions were more likely to be infected with CWD than mule deer killed by hunters. This suggests that mountain lions select infected animals when targeting adult deer. Such selective predation by mountain lions, however, did not limit CWD transmission in deer populations with high infection rates. Unlike wolves who run when hunting, mountain lions are considered “ambush” predators that sit and wait for prey to pass. Such predatory behavior might make them less likely to detect sick animals compared to wolves.

When carnivores eat infected prey, CWD prions can remain infectious in carnivore feces. But, canines appear to be naturally resistant to prions.7We therefore would not expect the number of prions to increase in their digestive tracts. In fact, CWD prions may be degraded as they pass through the digestive system. While predation may not eliminate CWD from deer or elk populations, predators that selectively prey on infected animals would be expected to reduce the number of infections. This would be more likely in areas where wolves are well-established. Source

People & Wolves Talk Show Host Alex Vaeth Interviewed Adrian Wydeven now on YouTube

White-tailed deer are bad for wildflowers & sugar maples and research shows how wolves are keeping them in check

With the resurgence of wolves in the region, smart deer are learning to keep away from areas with many of the predators, meaning that wildflowers and young maples there have a better chance of survival, according to a recent study by scientists from the University of Notre Dame and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

The Research, The work took place at Notre Dame’s Environmental Research Center that straddles the border between Michigan’s Western Upper Peninsula and Northeast Wisconsin. The site has forest, bogs and swamps, with red and sugar maples as the dominant hardwoods — a preferred food for deer.

Of wolves, deer, maples and wildflowers by Eric Freedman first published on June 16, 2016 Source breaks the results of the research down in the following article:

Grey wolves are good for wildflowers like the nodding trillium and the Canada mayflower in the Great Lakes region. They’re also good for young red maples and sugar maples. That’s because white-tailed deer are bad for both wildflowers and maple saplings. And wolves are bad for deer.

With the resurgence of wolves in the region, smart deer are learning to keep away from areas with many of the predators, meaning that wildflowers and young maples there have a better chance of survival, according to a recent study by scientists from the University of Notre Dame and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

The work took place at Notre Dame’s Environmental Research Center that straddles the border between Michigan’s Western Upper Peninsula and Northeast Wisconsin. The site has forest, bogs and swamps, with red and sugar maples as the dominant hardwoods — a preferred food for deer.

In scientific terms, it’s not a question of deer getting smart. Rather, they adapt their behavior in wolf-heavy areas to improve their chances of survival — and incidentally improve the survivability of the maples and forbs, or herbaceous flowering plants. On a practical level, that means deer have adapted by spending less time foraging in “heavy wolf use areas,” the study found.

We conclude that wolves are likely generating trophic cascades which benefit maples and rare forbs through trait-mediated effects on deer herbivory, not through direct predation kills.”

Biologists call the process “trophic cascades.” The phrase refers to “trait-mediated” indirect effects that carnivores, meat-eaters, have on plants by killing plant-eaters or changing plant-eaters’ behavior. In other words, trophic cascades happen when predators, in this case, wolves, kill or change the behavior of their prey, in this case, deer, in ways that benefit the type of plants that deer eat.

Plant-eaters can have a major impact on environmental change, including biodiversity and the structure of plant communities, the study said, and the findings may help managers of wildlife and public lands in the Great Lakes region.

Historically, wolves were “the natural top predator of Great Lakes deer,” the researchers noted, but hunting eliminated them in the study area by the late 1950s. They stayed extinct in the area until the MDNR discovered a new pack around 2000-06.

The department’s winter 2015-16 survey found a “minimum population or 618 wolves in the U.P. That’s “a very conservative count,” said Kevin Swanson, a Marquette-based wildlife management specialist in the MDNR bear and wolf program. White-tailed deer populations in Great Lakes forests increased dramatically without grey wolves, a trend with “significant negative impacts on forest sapling growth and forb biodiversity,” the study said.

Photograph credit Linda Nelson a Wisconsin DNR volunteer wolf tracker. Since 1978, when the gray wolf (Canis lupus) was identified in Douglas County, the first sighting there in about two decades, the animal’s population across the state sharply increased. By the winter of 2017-2018, the minimum number of wolves in the state stood between 905 and 944, based on the annual count by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

There are no official estimates of the U.P. deer population but numbers are “the lowest for several decades” due to recent back-to-back hard winters, said Swanson, who was not involved in the wolf-deer-maple-wildflower research project.

Lead author David Flagel, assistant director of Notre Dame’s Montana-based Environmental Research Center West, said an estimated 5 to 15 percent of Wisconsin deer die each winter,
Originally, deer in the region chowed down on yellow birch and eastern hemlock, “but the combination of lingering logging effects and years of deer eating saplings has eliminated a lot of them from the understory,” Flagel said.

Maples are “not an absolute favorite,” but once the preferred birch and hemlock are gone, they’re “going to eat something else. Like with your fridge at home,” he said.
The study said, “Deer exhibited very different behavior in areas of high and low wolf use. Deer visited high wolf-use plots less frequently than they did low wolf-use plots, and the duration of the visits to high wolf-use areas was shorter. Deer also spent a lesser proportion of their time foraging in high wolf-use areas.”

A sap run is the sweet good-bye of winter. It is the fruit of the equal marriage of the sun and the frosts. – John Burroughs, Signs and Seasons, 1886. Credit Environmental Education for Kids website.

Differences were dramatic. Deer density was 62 percent lower in high-wolf areas, where deer visits were 82 percent lower and foraging time was 43 percent shorter, it said.
And what about the maple saplings and wildflowers?
Not surprisingly, deer browsed a significantly larger proportion of them in low wolf-use areas, while the richness of wildflower species “was also significantly affected by wolf use,” the study said. The average richness of the wildflowers increased from 38 to 110 percent in low wolf-use sites.
“The results of the experiments revealed that the negative impacts of deer on sapling growth and forb species richness became negligible in high wolf-use areas,” the study said. We conclude that wolves are likely generating trophic cascades which benefit maples and rare forbs through trait-mediated effects on deer herbivory, not through direct predation kills.”
Study co-author Dean Beyer Jr., a MDNR wildlife biologist, called the findings “an important step, albeit, an early step in investigating trophic cascades in the Great Lakes region.”
He said, “We have known about deer response to wolves for quite some time, including a1980 study that found increased deer use of areas between wolf territories.” And in a 2014 report on research in the south-central U.P., Beyer and other scientists discovered that adult does avoid core areas that wolves use.
If additional research produces similar results, “I would expect that this information would eventually begin to influence forest and wildlife management plans,” Beyer said.
The study appeared in the journal “Community Ecology.”

A Mother black bear will teach her cubs everything they need to know in order to survive.

The Black Bear moves softly through the berry patch showing her cubs the way, teaching her cubs where to find food, just like her mother taught her generation after generation, until…

The men laid out sweet smelling donuts hidden in a hollow log that tempted mother bear, and she used her strong paws to gain access to the sweet smelling treats. Thereafter, the silence in the forest was broken in by the noise of hollering hounds. These hollering hounds chased mother bear and her terrified cubs through the thick forest. Their hearts beating fast as they tried to out run the mob of noisy hounds. Along the way a mother deer and her fawn were chased up by the mob, and soon the once quiet forest rang with the sent of fear. Mother bear sent her cubs quickly up a tree, and made herself the decoy, and led the mob of hollering hounds away from her precious cubs. Exhausted mother bear climbed a tree, with the mob of hounds hollering below, the sounds of men is soon heard along with a shot of thunder ending mother bears life…

As mother bear dies she’s slips off of the tree branch hitting the ground below, and the mob of hollering hounds begin to nip and bite at her lifeless body. The men turned her lifeless body over exposing her belly, discovery they’ve killed a mother Black Bear by mistake, and it’s illegal to kill any Black bear accompanied by a cub or cubs. The men decide it’s an easy fix because they never saw any cubs during the chase because they lost sight of their dogs. High tech collars with radio telemetry tracking devices are used to follow the dogs from up to five miles or more away from the chase. So it’s a good excuse for bear hunters to use for killing mother bear because they never saw the cubs accompanying her.

The mother’s cubs cling to the upper branches of the tree balling loudly, but go silent when they hear the shot of thunder in the distance. The shot that ended their mother’s life silenced their cries. The nine month old bear cubs begin searching for the scent of their mother in the air around them. They’ve been taught to stay in the tree until she calls for them. The cubs sit quietly in the tree waiting for the all clear signal from their mother. Its unbearably hot in September, and the cubs are getting thirsty. They chew on tree leaves like their mother taught them to get some needed moisture. The cubs wait into the night with no all clear sign from their mother. During the night the cubs are awakened by sounds of brother wolf and sister barred owl. The cubs go silent when they hear these calls just like their mother taught them to do. The cubs begin to feel hunger pangs in their stomachs as the first morning light hits the tree tops. The cubs ball loudly calling for their mother. Tears run down their cheeks. There is no sign of their mother. The hungry and thirsty cubs scurry down the tree trunk to the forest floor. They put their noses into the air and begin smelling it for any signs of danger just like their mother taught them.

The thirsty black bear cubs catch the faint smell of moisture floating through the air and head towards it. They find an opening in the forest that leads to a small lake.

The video is from The North American Bear Center A 6-year-old wild black bear female with cubs of the year feeding on a variety of vegetation in the early spring.

The cubs will stay with their very protective mother for about two years. In that two years she will teach them everything they need to know in order to survive. But what happens when two nine month old orphaned black Bear cubs are left to fen for themselves in the Wisconsin north woods? All because of greedy men? Find out what happens to the Hungry Orphaned Black Bear Cubs in the next installment of the series on WODCW’s blog…this is a fictional story based on research of the natural history of Black Bear habits.

Today, where the wild-creatures-live has become a war zone in Wisconsin. And it’s all in the name of sport. In Wisconsin’s north woods it’s common to see and hear hunter’s dogs running through the woods in pursuit of bear. These hunter’s dogs disrupt families; bear cubs are separated from their mothers, foraging black bears are kept on the move, and how about the White-tailed deer forced to protect her fawn from packs of free roaming hunting dogs in pursuit of bear. Gray wolves defending their pups kill hunter’s dogs in a never-ending-game played out in Wisconsin’s forests year after year.

Individual species should and must be managed for the good of the species and the habitat it depends. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources estimates; most recent data indicates the bear population is currently estimated to be just under 29,000 bears. DNR manages bear population size through regulated hunting. In the end, black bears are managed for economic gain through hunting.

A cause for concern….

The baiting of black bear starts in April and goes through to the end of September. That’s roughly six months of intentional food subsidies being fed to a carnivore. Not to mention, that’s a lot of disruption to the black bear’s natural habitat. Over four million gallons of bait is dropped in the woods for the purpose of hunting black bear. Bears are fed donuts, gummy bears, and cereal. Donuts have a high volume of calories, some doughnuts contain partially hydrogenated oils, which aren’t healthy for the heart, and most doughnuts are made with white flour. Glazed doughnuts contain 210 mg of sodium.

Black bears are omnivores that eat food of both plant and animal origin.

It’s no surprise that baiting black bear is a cause for alarm. It’s been controversial for a number of years. But what’s interesting now is the research points out a number of problems resulting from the baiting of black bear.

Female consumption of high caloric food subsidies can increase fecundity (the ability to produce an abundance of offspring or new growth; fertility), and can train cubs to seek bear baits. According to the research this can increase a population above its ecological carrying capacity.

Black bears are omnivorous and spend spring, summer & autumn foraging for Native Forage, included known bear foods; berries, acorns, grasses and sedges, other plants, and white-tailed deer.

Today, black bears in Wisconsin are being conditioned to search out human foods placed at bear baiting stations. This is influencing the black bears natural habitat. Researchers found that; humans are influencing the ecosystem not only through top-down forces via hunting, but also through bottom-up forces by subsidizing the food base.

The Researchers found that if food subsidies (bait) were removed, bear-human conflicts may increase and bears may no longer be able to subsist on natural foods.

High availability of energy-rich food can also alter denning chronology, shortening the denning period.

In 1963 Wisconsin allowed the use of dogs in pursuit of black bears. It’s been an expensive mistake both in the lives of dogs & Wildlife. Hunter’s are compensated $2,500.00 for each dog killed by wolves during training & hunting with dogs in pursuit of black bear.

Please Take Action…

Find your legislators here.

Bill Lea has been observing and photographing Black Bears.

The following is from Bill Lea Photograply’s Facebook post:

It always makes me nervous when I see cubs playing high in a tree even if mom is right there overseeing everything. Sometimes I have even watched mother bears initiate play with their cubs while in the treetops. Cubs can and do fall from trees on occasion suffering injury or even death at times. But overall, bears feel about as comfortable and at ease in tree limbs high above the ground as they do on the ground itself. It is just so natural for them to be up there. Nonetheless, I still worry about them when they are so high, especially when they decide to play — even if mom is next to them making sure everybody behaves. Regardless, it is great fun watching a bear family interact and enjoy life together on the ground or high above in the treetops..

Featured image by Bill Lea

June 8, 2020

The Book Club Presents: The “Enchanted Life” by Writer, Psychologist, & Mythologist Sharon Blackie

In ‘The Enchanted Life’, Sharon Blackie speaks to those who feel an emptiness at the heart of modern life – who long for a more authentic, harmonious and connected way of life.

From the introduction

I enjoy my technology, my devices, the convenience of it all, but, yes there is a but, because all of this modernization has left me “disenfranchised” the thoroughly perfect term to described in the book The Enchanted Life” by Sharon Blackie. You see all this technology, and modernization, has begun to make me feel apart from ecology, the earth, and it’s other inhabitants. I like so many others, have been conditioned by the desire for material possessions and that’s caused us to feel a disconnect, or loss of our natural instinct. Thus, leading to the idea that we are separate or above the natural world. This book has helped me see how much apart of nature we truly are. So I’m plugging back into nature. Reconnecting with my natural-self & reconnecting with my lost inner child. —Rachel

Check out the book here at the author’s blog:

Art work credit Kelly Richman-Abdou

The following is from the author Sharon Blackie

I believe that enchantment is an attitude of mind which can be cultivated, a way of approaching the world which anyone can learn to adopt: the enchanted life is possible for everybody. In this book I’ll share with you my own experiences, and the experiences of several men and women from around the world, as they demonstrate how we can bring enchantment into every aspect of our daily lives. Because enchantment, by my definition, has nothing to do with fantasy, or escapism, or magical thinking: it is founded on a vivid sense of belongingness to a rich and many-layered world; a profound and whole-hearted participation in the adventure of life.

The enchanted life presented here is one which is intuitive, which embraces wonder, and fully engages the creative imagination – but it is also deeply embodied, ecological, grounded in place and community. It flourishes on work that has heart and meaning; it respects the instinctive knowledge and playfulness of children. It understands the myths we live by; thrives on poetry, song and dance. It loves the folkloric, the handcrafted, the practice of traditional skills. It respects wild things, recognises the wisdom of the crow, seeks out the medicine of plants. It rummages and roots on the wild edges, but comes home to an enchanted home and garden. It is engaged with the small, the local, the ethical; enchanted living is slow living.

‘Ultimately, to live an enchanted life is to pick up the pieces of our bruised and battered psyches, and to offer them the nourishment they long for. It is to be challenged, to be awakened, to be gripped and shaken to the core by the extraordinary which lies at the heart of the ordinary.”

“Above all, to live an enchanted life is to fall in love with the world all over again. This is an active choice, a leap of faith which is necessary not just for our own sakes, but for the sake of the wide, wild Earth in whose being and becoming we are so profoundly and beautifully entangled.” From the Book “The Enchanted Life”

About the author

Dr. Sharon Blackie is an award-winning writer and internationally recognised teacher whose work sits at the interface of psychology, mythology and ecology.

Her highly acclaimed books, courses, lectures and workshops are focused on the development of the mythic imagination, and on the relevance of our native myths, fairy tales and folk traditions to the personal, social and environmental problems we face today.

As well as writing four books of fiction and nonfiction, including the bestselling If Women Rose Rooted, her writing has appeared in the Guardian, the Irish Times, the Scotsman and more, and she has been interviewed by the BBC and other major broadcasters on her areas of expertise.

Other books by Sharon Blackie

A collection of original and reimagined fairy tales about shapeshifting women, Foxfire, Wolfskin, was published in September 2019, and Hagitude, a nonfiction book about the myths and stories of female elderhood, is scheduled for publication in 2022.

“All of my work – writing and teaching – springs from an intense connection to the land, which is rooted as much in the mything and storying of place as it is in a detailed knowledge of the physical environment. These are acts of creative place-making; acts of radical belonging. For twelve years I was a crofter, both in the far north-west Highlands of Scotland and on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, sandwiched between mountains and sea in one of the wildest and most remote places in the country. (On a clear day, we could see St Kilda from our kitchen window.)” Author Sharon Blackie,

Writer, psychologist & Mythologist Sharon Blackie

Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin Tracker’s Journal, Story of “White Eyes” Alpha Female #447

In loving memory of “White Eyes” who died in 2009 after being hit by a vehicle. She leaves a lasting legacy as one of the Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin.

This is my story of “White Eyes” a Wisconsin grey wolf I became familiar with while tracking wolves as a volunteer in the year 2000. I first caught sight of her as she crossed the road in front of me. She stopped in the ditch, stared straight at me and that’s when I caught a glimpse of those amber-green eyes and they were all framed in white fur. So I named her White Eyes, and thus began the relationship between wolf tracker and wolf.

As a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources volunteer wolf tracker, I was assigned a tracking block in the year 2000 that had a new alpha female in the territory. I set out exploring this new territory. I spent summers scouting the wolf family’s home range, and winters surveying thier tracks.

Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin was founded in 2012 to draw attention to the plight of wolves in Wisconsin. Wolves were being hunted with hound dogs, trapped and killed shortly after being taken off the endangered species list 2012.

Oil Pastel drawing of White Eyes by Rachel Tilseth

In loving memory of “White Eyes” who died in 2009 after being hit by a vehicle. She leaves a lasting legacy as one of the Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin. Drawing of White Eyes by Rachel Tilseth

Part of monitoring wolves is conducting wolf howl surveys during summer and fall seasons.

Photograph of wolf range in Douglas county Wisconsin by Rachel Tilseth 

While conducting wolf howl surveys, I was favored with a howl from the entire wolf family, and on one evening was startled by a lone wolf howling right next to me. I was even privileged to see two wolf silhouettes in the moonlight as they howled back to me.

White Eyes’s pack only had 5 family members.

This meant that five wolves was the maximum number of wolves for this 24 square mile range. This wolf pack of 5 members couldn’t afford to leave a yearling to babysit the pups. Every adult was needed to hunt and the pups were to young to join them on a hunt. The puppies were usually stashed in a brushy area for safe keeping while the pack was off hunting.

On a warm July summer night in 2002 I was about to find out that a wolf’s trust could be broken.

I was on a howl survey that night when White Eyes stashed her two pups, then headed off to hunt.

That night on my first howl, White Eyes’ two pups responded back to me to my surprise. 

“How adorable they are” I thought to myself. One pup was light and the other was dark in color. One wolf pup was obviously an alpha, as was demonstrated with his or her aggressive behavior. 

I dared not linger, because that could bring danger to the pups. However, I did name them “Salt and Pepper.” And I left the area that night. 

Something changed that following year of 2003. The wolves didn’t howl back to me. 

I wasn’t able to get a peep out of “White Eyes” or any of her pack members. I was getting worried that maybe something happened to them.

Finally one night on a howl survey,  I said to my son Jacob, “you try a howl.” he did and was able to get several of White Eyes’s family to respond back to his howl. 

What did that tell me about White eyes? It told me , that a wolf’s trust could be broken.

I spent 2 years building a relationship with White Eyes, and in one summer lost her trust all because I got too close to her pups. All of this made me realize, that I was nothing more than a tolerated human observer; not a trusted wolf babysitter.

It took another year before the relationship was back, and I was allowed to hear the family howls again. I was able to hear them howl again, just before sunset, and while they were hunting at midnight. I learned to steer clear of White Eyes’s pups.

Learn more by following the Facebook page

Wisconsin’s Green Fire February 2021 Wolf Hunt Preliminary Report

Photo of a Wisconsin gray wolf credit Snapshot Wisconsin

Wisconsin’s Green Fire (WGF) has released a preliminary assessment of the February 2021 Wisconsin wolf hunting and trapping season. Our report reviews impacts of the hunt on Wisconsin’s wolf population and provides recommendations to ensure that future wolf management is informed by science and best practice.

Key findings in our report include: 

• During the February hunt wolves were removed primarily from core habitats on public lands where conflicts with pets, livestock or human safety are rare. Based on currently available information and our understanding of wolf populations and behavior, there is little evidence that the February 2021 wolf hunt will significantly reduce human – wolf conflicts. 

• Based on loss of bred females and alpha males, it is reasonable to estimate that 60-100 of Wisconsin’s wolf packs may lose all pup production due to the February hunt. If this impact is realized it will represent 24-40% of the expected reproduction from 245 known wolf packs outside of Indian reservations in Wisconsin. 

• The lack of consultation with Wisconsin Ojibwe Tribes over the February hunt failed to meet the state’s responsibilities for meaningful consultation to assure tribes maintain their longstanding rights to natural resources within Ceded Territories. The relations between the State and the Wisconsin Ojibwe Tribes have been damaged and will take time repair.

• Despite current law requiring annual wolf harvests, the WDNR retains authority to establish quotas and, within statutory limits, to regulate the form, timing, and methods of harvest. The WDNR should use its authority more fully to prevent the kind of unwanted outcomes experienced in February from being repeated. 

WGF Cons Bulletin Feb Wolf Hunt 04-28-2021

Continue reading Wisconsin’s Green Fire February 2021 Wolf Hunt Preliminary Report

Take Action For Gray Wolves By filling Out the Survey: The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is seeking public input

Seeking Public Input: The DNR seeks public input on the Fall 2021 wolf harvest season as well as the ongoing revision to the state’s wolf management plan. Use the online input tool to provide your comments on both topics between April 15 and May 15.

The wolf management plan provides overall guidance to the state’s wolf management efforts. During the plan update process, the DNR will collect extensive public input through a wolf management plan committee, an online questionnaire and an opportunity to review and comment on an initial draft of the management plan. Throughout the process, the DNR will work closely with our tribal partners and other natural resource professionals involved in wolf management in Wisconsin.

John E. Marriott

Watch People & Wolves Talk Show Host Alexander Vaeth’s interview of retired wolf biologist, Adrian Wydeven

Voyageurs Wolf Project’s first-ever camera collar footage captures “point of view” of a wild wolf.

This remarkable footage of a wild gray wolf in northern Minnesota comes from the Voyageurs Wolf Project. The following is their report about the camera footage.

They are pleased to share the first-ever camera collar footage from a wild wolf (to their knowledge). “They hope you enjoy seeing the world from a wolf’s point of view!”

Voyageurs’s stated in their post, “What is particularly fascinating is that this wolf (V089, a lone wolf) knew how to hunt and catch fish. He can be seen eating 3 different fish, which were all killed and consumed at the same spot along the Ash River.”

“Based on the amount of time this wolf spent in this spot (>1 week), it is clear this wolf killed more than 3 fish. However, the collar only took videos for 30 seconds at the beginning of every hour of daylight meaning we only got 7 minutes of video footage each day (14 hr of daylight x 30 second per hour). 7 minutes of footage a day is not that much. Luckily, we still captured some really neat stuff!”

“Up to this point, they had only documented wolves from a single pack (the Bowman Bay Pack) hunting and killing fish at the same small creek. However, this footage clearly demonstrates that other wolves in our area know how to hunt fish and they do so in different areas. This revelation—in addition to some other info we learned in 2020 (i.e., we had another wolf from the Paradise Pack that went fishing…more about this soon!)—provides insight into the genesis and persistence of unique predation behaviors in wolf populations!”

“They used a Vectronic-Aerospace camera collar for this footage. The collar worked great and we are excited to deploy more of these camera collars in the future!” For information about this go to

From the Alps to Calabria, the first nationally coordinated wolf monitoring in Italy.

For the first time since the Italian wild wolf has been protected, national institutions join forces to photograph its distribution and consistency simultaneously from the Alps to Calabria, using sampling schemes and advanced standardized protocols, developed by the Higher Institute for Protection and Environmental Research (ISPRA). The Ministry of the Environment has given a mandate to ISPRA to produce an updated estimate of the distribution and consistency of the wolf at national level.

To respond to this ambitious challenge, ISPRA has created a highly specialized working group, which involves zoologists and geneticists, and has activated a collaboration with Federparchi Europarc Italia (the Italian Federation of Parks and Natural Reserves) and with the LIFE WolfAlps Project EU. “The wolf is one of the best known species in Italy, but also one of the most elusive and difficult to study”, Dr. Piero Genovesi says, head of the ISPRA Wildlife Coordination Service.

“All the projects activated so far on this carnivore have had a local character and have been limited in time: they haven’t been able to produce an accurate estimate at the national level; in order to produce an updated and accurate estimate we have created the Wolf Network involving all local authorities, starting from Regions and National Parks, with 40 associations including WWF, Cai, Legambiente, Lipu, Aigae and we have activated a collaboration with the Forestry Police “.

The ISPRA experts, with the support of a pool of university researchers, have combined in an extremely innovative way a probabilistic sampling scheme with the most advanced survey techniques tested on the species, to obtain an estimate of the wolf population and its distribution. Based on homogeneous operational protocols, field data has been collected since October 2020, by patrolling pre-established paths in about 1,000 cells of ten square kilometers distributed throughout the national territory; the data collection phase is ending in March 2021 and the results of the national monitoring will therefore be made public in the coming months and illustrated in detail, in order to provide a credible and transparent scientific knowledge base.

In the same period, the LIFE WolfAlps-EU project is coordinating and carrying out a similar sampling in the Alpine regions, from Liguria to Friuli-Venezia Giulia. The results of the estimated distribution and abundance of the wolf population in Italy will be processed and presented at the end of 2021 as part of a final event to illustrate the project activities.


Dalle Alpi alla Calabria, il primo monitoraggio del lupo coordinato a livello nazionale — Italiano (

People & Wolves Talk Show Topic: Wisconsin wolf hunt with special guest Adrian Wydeven

Air date: Wednesday April 14, 2021, 06:00 PM CST

Host Alexander Vaeth will have a conversation with Adrian Wydeven about the recent February 2021 wolf hunt. The discussion will be live-streamed on People & Wolves Talk Show’s Facebook Page. Click on the following post to go to the livestream. There will be a question & answer session during the livestream. Join the conversation!

And here’s the livestream downloaded on YouTube

Guest Adrian Wydeven

Adrian Wydeven led the Wisconsin DNR Wolf Recovery Program from 1990 through 2013. Photograph courtesy of Adrian Wydeven.

Adrian grew up in northeast Wisconsin, and has a BS in biology and wildlife management from University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (1976), and an MS in wildlife ecology from Iowa State University (1979). His master’s research was on the ecology and food habitat of elk in the Wind Cave National Park, SD. He worked as a wildlife manager in Missouri and Wisconsin from 1980-1990. Adrian headed up the state gray wolf recovery and conservation program for Wisconsin from 1990 through 2013, while also working with other rare mammals and wildlife. He retired from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in 2015 after nearly 33 years. Adrian continues to be actively involved in wolf surveys and conservation through the Timber Wolf Alliance and Wisconsin Green Fire.

The recent wolf hunt demonstrated what can happen when politics and courts dictate wolf management, instead of being informed by science and an inclusive process of wildlife governance.

Adrian Wydeven, comment regarding the recent Wisconsin wolf hunt.
Adrian grew up in northeast Wisconsin, and has a BS in biology and wildlife management from University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (1976), and an MS in wildlife ecology from Iowa State University (1979). Photograph courtesy of Adrian Wydeven.

Air date: Wednesday April 14, 2021, 06:00 PM CST on People & Wolves Talk Show’s Facebook Page.

Host Alexander Vaeth

Alexander Vaeth, photograph courtesy of Alexander Vaeth.

Alex is a volunteer wolf tracker with the Wisconsin DNR, and a Spanish teacher by training. He completed his graduate studies in Spanish at Middlebury’s language schools in Vermont, USA, Madrid, Spain, and Buenos Aires, Argentina. He teaches at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, and volunteers as a medical interpreter in the city’s community clinic. Alex spends nearly all his free time in the woods tracking and monitoring wildlife with remote cameras and is also keenly interested in wolf advocacy and research.

Alex’s statement regarding the recent wolf hunt

I have always been fascinated by wolves, but had never lived near a wild population until my wife and I decided to move to Wisconsin to work in the UW system teaching Spanish. We moved from North Carolina and ultimately chose UW-Eau Claire for many reasons. The Wisconsin DNR has a longstanding volunteer tracker program that allowed me to move to Wisconsin and get involved in wolf monitoring almost immediately. I have been learning about the packs I track in the Central Forest as well as the history of wolf recovery and wolf hunting in Wisconsin. The most recent hunt was deeply saddening for me, as some of the wolves I have been tracking for two years were likely killed (I have seen no sign of them since the end of February). There is no convincing biological argument I have seen for hunting wolves, let alone slaughtering them in the manner just witnessed here in Wisconsin. It is also frustrating to see the First Nations tribes in Wisconsin so brazenly ignored, as they are tried and true stewards of the natural world and need to have a role in wildlife “management” and decision-making in the region.

Air date: Wednesday April 14, 2021, 06:00 PM CST. Host Alexander Vaeth will have a conversation with Adrian Wydeven about the recent February 2021 wolf hunt. The discussion will be live-streamed on People & Wolves Talk Show’s Facebook Page.

Mission: People & Wolves Talk Show works with dedicated professionals to document the conscious relationships between People & Wolves. People & Wolves Talk show shares stories of people working to coexist with wild wolves. Wild grey wolves are now struggling for survival worldwide. People & Wolves Talk Show works with filmmakers, scientists, academics, journalists, writers, fine artists, Wildlife photographers and musicians, that share a common interest to produce, to share educational stories of People & Wolves.

The show’s producer is Rachel Tilseth. Tilseth is a freelance writer, fine artist & educator, and environmentalist. Tilseth has been a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Volunteer Winter Wolf Tracker since the year 2000. Tilseth worked with the Wisconsin Wolf Recovery Program as a volunteer since 1998, and as a result learned about the lives of wild gray wolves. Tilseth worked to draw attention to the plight of Gray wolves during the three years Wisconsin held wolf hunts. Rachel is founder and owner of Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin. As an environmentalist Tilseth has organized events, film screenings and a film festival. Tilseth received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Art Education in 1992 from UW-Stout, graduating with cum laude honors.