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People & Wolves Talk Show will be interviewing Voyageurs’ Wolf Project Lead “Thomas Gable”

Learn all about the Voyageurs Wolf Project’s latest news & research. Host: Alexander Vaeth, Producer: Rachel Tilseth. Air Date: Thursday August 5, 2021 Time: 06:00 PM CST. Streaming on: YouTube People & Wolves Talk Show Channel https://youtu.be/4U8TDcuyKzE and Talk Show di persone e lupi —Lupi Italiani Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/TalkShowdipersoneelupiitaliani/

The Voyageurs Wolf Project is focused on understanding the summer ecology of wolves in and around Voyageurs National Park in the iconic Northwoods border region of Minnesota, USA. Interview will be livestreamed on People & Wolves Talk Show https://youtu.be/4U8TDcuyKzE and for our Italian followers you can find the show on Talk Show di persone e lupi —Lupi Italiani. And viewers will be able to ask Voyageurs Wolf Project questions through the comments section.

Click on the following blue highlighted words to view on People & Wolves Talk Show YouTube link for the livestream click here.

Thomas Gable
Project Lead
Voyageurs Wolf Project 

Tom is the project lead for the Voyageurs Wolf Project and he recently completed his Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota. He has been studying wolves in the Greater Voyageurs Ecosystem since 2014 when he started his Master’s at Northern Michigan University. Gable is particularly fascinated by wolf-beaver interactions and much of his graduate work to date has focused on understanding how wolves hunt and kill beavers, and conversely how beavers avoid fatal encounters with wolves. Much of Gable’s early interest in wolves stemmed from encountering wolf tracks, kills, and the occasional wolf while exploring the wild places around his family’s cabin just outside of Killarney Provincial Park, Ontario during the winter. During and after his Bachelor’s in Biology at Hope College in Holland, Michigan, Gable worked as a wolf research technician in Grand Teton National Park and on the Minnesota Wolf and Deer Project in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW). His time in the BWCAW fostered a deep appreciation and love for the iconic Northwoods of Minnesota.

People & Wolves Talk Show Host Alex Vaeth

Alex 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.

People & Wolves Talk Show

We educate so you can advocate.

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. I believe there’s no big bad wolf. There’s only myths driven by ignorance which education can be the cure. I’ve been a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Volunteer Winter Wolf Tracker since the year 2000. I worked with the Wisconsin Wolf Recovery Program as a volunteer since 1998, and as a result learned about the lives of wild gray wolves. I became reluctantly involved in the politics surrounding gray wolves in 2012. I say reluctantly because “politics” can be a dirty business. Wisconsin’ wolves needed attention drawn to the barbaric way in which they were being hunted during the three years Wisconsin held wolf hunts back in 2012 through 2014. On December 19, 2014 a federal judge ordered them back on the Endangered Species List. Wisconsin is the only state that sanctions the age old & barbaric wolf-hounding. Wisconsin quite literally uses dogs to hunt wolves. I founded Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin as the way to draw attention to the plight of Wisconsin’s gray wolf. I received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Art Education in 1992 from UW-Stout, graduating with cum laude honors.

The following video from Voyageurs Wolf Project if of a Wolf’s point of view

There’s been so much news & research coming out of Voyageurs Wolf Project since our last interview that aired on August 2020. Mark your calendars. Air Date: Thursday August 5, 2021 Time: 06:00 PM CST Streaming on: YouTube People & Wolves Talk Show Channel https://youtu.be/4U8TDcuyKzE and Talk Show di persone e lupi —Lupi Italiani Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/TalkShowdipersoneelupiitaliani/

About Voyageurs Wolf Project 

The Voyageurs Wolf Project, which is a collaboration between the University of Minnesota and Voyageurs National Park, was started to address one of the biggest knowledge gaps in wolf ecology—what do wolves do during the summer? Our goal is to provide a comprehensive understanding of the summer ecology of wolves in the Greater Voyageurs Ecosystem in northern Minnesota. Specifically, we want to understand the predation behavior and reproductive ecology (e.g., number of pups born, where wolves have dens, etc) of wolves during the summer.

Photograph courtesy of Voyageurs Wolf Project. Learn more about the project at http://www.voyageurswolfproject.org

All videos courtesy of Voyageurs Wolf Project

Learn all about the Voyageurs Wolf Project’s latest news & research. Host: Alexander Vaeth, Producer: Rachel Tilseth Air Date: Thursday August 5, 2021 Time: 06:00 PM CST Streaming on: YouTube People & Wolves Talk Show Channel https://youtu.be/4U8TDcuyKzE and Talk Show di persone e lupi —Lupi Italiani Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/TalkShowdipersoneelupiitaliani/

Voyageurs Wolf Project: A large litter of pups doesn’t necessarily translate into more wolves in that pack come winter.

The latest from http://www.voyageurswolfproject.org the Half-Moon Pack had the largest litter of any pack this year with 8 pups. The largest litter we have ever documented was 9 pups so this was pretty close to the record!

A large litter of pups does not necessarily translate into more wolves in that pack come winter. The pups have to run the “summer” gauntlet, so to speak, of surviving low food availability/starvation, avoiding disease, and evading predators.

Case-in-point: the Lightfoot Pack had 7 pups last year but all of the pups died. We know that a few pups died of starvation and one was killed by the Half-Moon pack. We are not sure what killed the others but suspect starvation.

And so the Lightfoot Pack remained only a breeding pair this winter despite their large litter. We will see whether the Half-Moon litter fares better!

The Voyageurs Wolf Project is focused on understanding the summer ecology of wolves in and around Voyageurs National Park in the iconic Northwoods border region of Minnesota, USA

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.”

Latest Research from Voyageurs Wolf Project: Can wolves change rivers?

The Voyageurs Wolf Project is focused on understanding the summer ecology of wolves in and around Voyageurs National Park in the iconic Northwoods border region of Minnesota, USA.

Wolf attacks on beavers are altering the very landscape of a national park

The alpha male of the Cranberry Bay wolf pack, dubbed V083 by researchers, is a canine with a singular specialty: killing beavers. V083 roams Voyageurs National Park in northern Minnesota, and in the spring and summer, he and his packmates prey heavily on busy rodents, ambushing them along foraging trails and waterways. This year alone, V083 devoured 36 beavers, the equivalent of seven colonies.

Such kills have an outsize impact, according to a new study. By influencing where beavers live and build dams, the wolves shape Voyageurs’s vast wetlands—an ecological chain reaction that alters the contours of the land itself. “Looking at it over time,” says Tom Gable, a biologist at the Voyageurs Wolf Project and lead author of the study published today in Science Advances, “you start to see how interconnected wolves are to wetland creation.”

The research will likely add fuel to a yearslong scientific debate over the role that wolves and other predators play in shaping ecosystems. In Yellowstone National Park, years of fieldwork suggested wolves reintroduced there in 1995 thinned herds of elk, in turn reducing grazing on streamside plants and helping stabilize eroding creek banks. But subsequent studies have suggested the story is more complicated, and that wolves aren’t the sole agents of change.

Continue reading Latest Research from Voyageurs Wolf Project: Can wolves change rivers?

The Voyageurs Wolf Project: Ecology of Summer Wolves in Northern Minnesota

Some of the first howls from a pup of the Wiyapka Lake Pack in early May 2019. The pack had a total of 5 pups in 2019, and the pups were about 1 month old when this video was recorded. http://www.voyageurswolfproject.org

The Voyageurs Wolf Project is focused on understanding the summer ecology of wolves in and around Voyageurs National Park in the iconic Northwoods border region of Minnesota, USA.

Video Footage from Voyageurs Wolf Project

These wolves from the Shoepack Lake Pack are the most elusive and remote wolves in Voyageurs National Park and the Greater Voyageurs Ecosystem. This pack occupies the eastern half of the Kabetogama Peninsula, which is an incredibly wild place in the interior of Voyageurs National Park. This video footage is from this past November and December.

We have been in the field all week doing trail camera work (switching SD cards, putting in fresh batteries, putting out more cameras, etc) and got lots of neat footage from this past fall! Will be sharing more soon!

About Voyageurs Wolf Project

The Voyageurs Wolf Project, which is a collaboration between the University of Minnesota and Voyageurs National Park, was started to address one of the biggest knowledge gaps in wolf ecology—what do wolves do during the summer? Our goal is to provide a comprehensive understanding of the summer ecology of wolves in the Greater Voyageurs Ecosystem in northern Minnesota. Specifically, we want to understand the predation behavior and reproductive ecology (e.g., number of pups born, where wolves have dens, etc) of wolves during the summer.

Photograph credit Voyageurs Wolf Project

In March 2019, we set up three remote cameras at a den that had been used by the Sheep Ranch Pack from 2016–2018. The pack did not use this den in 2019 but wolves and a variety of other elusive animals visited this area. This video is a compilation of the wildlife activity that was recorded.

To learn more about The Voyageurs Wolf Project got to www.voyageurswolfproject.org

Photograph credit Voyageurs Wolf Project

Wolves support each other in times of danger: Triangle saves his sister

The following account is from Kira Cassidy a research associate with the Yellowstone Wolf Project.

We called him Triangle, for the shape of the white blaze on his chest. Born into the last litter of the Druid Peak pack—he was smaller than his brothers, and even one of his sisters. One cold morning in 2009 he and an older sister encountered three members of the Hoodoo pack, deep in Druid territory. His sister was immediately attacked but instead of running to safety, Triangle jumped into the melee twice, bit one of the Hoodoo wolves and distracted the opposition long enough for his sister to escape. As he turned to run he was bitten hard on a back leg but outdistanced the attackers, finally out of harm’s way.

Why would he take such a risk? In Yellowstone 68% of natural death occurs when two packs fight. And of the 34 attacks we witnessed and analyzed, in six cases a wolf attempted to rescue their pack mate. So why didn’t Triangle run for safety, saving himself? It may be because the pack, the family, is a crucial part of a wolf’s life.

Yellowstone wolf photo credit NPS

Wolves are rarely alone. They are born in a litter and with pack mates while they hunt, travel, and sleep. If a wolf does leave its pack it is usually to start their own, have their own offspring, and once again, be surrounded by family. It is beneficial to live in a big family, too. It helps every member of the group survive longer, recover from injuries and infections more easily, raise more pups, and hunt larger prey. Wolf packs are also territorial and aggressive with their neighbors; and big packs—especially ones with adult males for fighting power and older adults for their knowledge—are more likely to defeat their opponents.

Risking death or injury to aid a pack mate during an attack may have important evolutionary benefits. This behavior fits with the kin selection theory because helping close relatives promotes your shared genes. Or the pack mate you saved may reciprocate and help you in the future.

As scientists and naturalists fascinated by this behavior, maybe we shouldn’t be that shocked. The news is inundated by stories of a dog saving its family from a burning building, or a person saving a neighbor stuck in a raging river or even a wild animal entangled in a fence. Instead of seeing these acts of selflessness as a human anomaly, maybe we should start viewing them as the bridge that connects us to other animals. Animals like the gray wolf who see family as the most important part of life. Source Yellowstone Forever

Here’s more from Yellowstone Forever

Listen to the Lamar Valley wolves howling in memory of Spitfire Alpha wolf 926..

Action Alert: Contact Wisconsin’s DNR Bear Advisory Committee Concerning the Baiting of Black Bears…

…The Following research concerning the baiting of black bears: Consumption of intentional food subsidies by a hunted carnivore revealed some very startling results.  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. 

In July 2017 I wrote about the new Bear baiting research. This research on bear baiting in Wisconsin is even more relevant now because of the recent news: Officials in Florida have arrested nine people in connection with the “illegal baiting, taking and molestation” of black bears following a yearlong investigation into the crimes. (Source) One of the nine arrested had been hunting bear in Wisconsin, such cruelty towards wildlife knows no bounds! But now is the time to demand justice for our wildlife!

Perhaps changes will happen now with a new Governor and new DNR Secretary. That’s why I’m recommending that activists contact the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources  Bear Advisory Committee  because the following research concerning the baiting of black bears: Consumption of intentional food subsidies by a hunted carnivore revealed some very startling results. 

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. 

During its first century, Yellowstone National Park was known as the place to see and interact with bears. Hundreds of people gathered nightly to watch bears feed on garbage in the park’s dumps. Enthusiastic visitors fed bears along the roads and behaved recklessly to take photographs.

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

The “heart” in conservation is missing when a species is managed for the sole purpose of harvesting it. 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. 

Individual species should and must be managed for the good of the species and the habitat it depends.  “Do not feed the wildlife.”  Let’s bring back the heart of conservation.

Can we learn from our past mistakes? Don’t feed the bears! Watch the following video.

Researcher found that nearly one-third of the diet of the wolves studied consisted of dump sites on nearby farms…

Dumping cattle carcasses is illegal in Michigan and Wisconsin. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that leaving carcasses in the woods, especially in wolf range, will attract wild carnivores. It’s just plain and simple common sense practice to dispose of livestock properly. Properly disposing of dead livestock also helps prevent the spread of diseases.

It can also be a lesson well learned as in the following story told to me a couple years ago by a woman living in wolf range. I was talking with a woman that lives in the country with a resident wolf pack nearby. I asked her if she had seen any signs of them lately, and she said she hasn’t seen them, but knows they are nearby. Then, she told me her tragic story. They had two dogs, one young and one older, and recently lost the older dog because of a mistake they made. She told me that they dumped their food scraps in a pit in the woods down behind their house; That one day she came out to the garage to find the young dog cowering in the corner. Then, she heard the older dog let out a screech from the pit out behind the house. She ran to the pit, looked down into the woods, and there was no sight of the older dog. They looked but never found a trace of him. They did find wolf tracks though. I asked them if they reported the incident to the DNR and she said no because it was their fault. She said they stopped dumping food scraps in the pit in the woods behind their house. They understand their mistake and tragically too late for their older dog. They live in wolf range and are also farmers. They also respect wolves and understand their place in the ecosystem.

Recently…Research In Upper Peninsula Finds Dumped Livestock Is Changing Predatory Behavior

A study led by Tyler Petroelje, a wildlife researcher and doctoral candidate at Mississippi State University, tracked the feeding behaviors of eight wolves from two packs in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. This research was part of a broader predator-prey study that investigated a variety of factors that affect deer populations in the region. As reported by Great Lakes Echo, the study suggested that dumping cow carcasses alters wolf behavior.

In the North Woods of Wisconsin and Michigan, a wolf’s natural diet typically consists of deer and beaver, Petroelje explained. But he found that nearly one-third of the diet of the wolves studied consisted of cattle carcasses from dump sites on nearby farm

The following is recommendations for disposing of dead livestock from Wisconsin’s Department of Agriculture

Livestock Carcass Disposal

Disposing of livestock carcasses is an important part of animal agriculture. Wisconsin law says that carcasses must be properly disposed of within 24 hours from April through November and within 48 hours from December through March.

Rendering, burial, burning and landfilling have been the typical means of disposal, but these are becoming less and less practical. Burial and burning create biosecurity hazards and threats to water and air quality. Rendering remains the best choice to protect the environment, public health, and animal health, but it is becoming more expensive and less available.

Cattle carcasses in particular are becoming more difficult and expensive to send to rendering because of federal regulations. The Food and Drug Administration, which regulates animal feed and pet foods, now prohibits using parts from cattle 30 months or older in any food for animals unless the spinal cord and brain are first removed.

We recommend composting carcasses to overcome these problems. Remember that composting is an active process.

Putting a carcass in the woods or on the back 40 to rot and/or be eaten by scavengers is not composting and:

• Risks disease transmission to your livestock and your neighbors’, and to wildlife.

• May contaminate water sources – including your well and your neighbors’ wells.

• Invites vermin and pests, including coyotes, that may transmit disease and prey on your livestock.

• Alienates neighbors and generally casts farmers in a bad light.

• Is illegal.

Sarcoptic mange, present in one of 10 known packs in Yellowstone as of 2015

Source: Effects of Sarcoptic Mange on Gray Wolves in Yellowstone National Park. And Yellowstone Wolf: Project Citizen Science

Recent research

The dynamics and impacts of sarcoptic mange on Yellowstone’s wolves

Research contact: Emily Almberg
Project background
Sarcoptes scabiei, the mite that causes the skin infection known as sarcoptic mange, was introduced to the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem as a biological control agent aimed at eliminating wolves during the predator control era in the early 1900s.
Although the mite is globally distributed and was at least present throughout parts of Canada in the early 1900s, to date, we have no evidence that it was locally present prior to its release by state veterinarians.

Following the eradication of wolves from the ecosystem in the 1930s, mange is thought to have persisted within the regional furbearer populations (coyotes, foxes, etc.)  To read more from Yellowstone Wolf: Project Citizen Science click HERE.   To read more from: Effects of Sarcoptic Mange on Gray Wolves in Yellowstone National Park click HERE

 

Figure 1.
 
 
Figure 2.
 
Wolves were reintroduced in 1995 and 1996 to Yellowstone National Park, and mange began appearing in wolves outside of Yellowstone in 2002. By the early winter of 2007, mange had invaded the park’s wolves (Fig 1 & 2).


Source  and Study Shows Cold and Windy Nights Physically Drain Mangy Wolves Released: 3/29/2016 12:53:05 PM