Wolves eating fish, unique video


This 4 July 2019 video from Minnesota in the USA says about itself:

Wolves Catching and Eating Fish: First-Ever Video | Nat Geo Wild

Groundbreaking research in Voyageurs National Park, MN, reveals that the region’s wolves developed a diverse diet that includes fish and fruit.

Dutch young wolves born, after 200 years


This 2016 video from Arctic Canada says about itself:

Babysitting Cute Wolf Pups | Snow Wolf Family And Me | BBC

With the adults gone Gordon tries to get a closer look at the wolf pups and see if he can spot any differences between them.

Dutch NOS TV reports today that three young wolves were born in the Veluwe region in April this year.

This camera trap video shows them.

They are the first wolf cubs born in the Netherlands since about 200 years ago, when the species was exterminated.

Their parents probably came from Germany last year.

Pleistocene wolf discovery in Siberia


This 11 June 2019 video says about itself:

Russia: Immaculately-preserved wolf head found in Siberia

The head of a giant Pleistocene wolf was discovered in the Abyisky district in the north of Yakutia in July 2018 as footage released on Monday shows.

Video made in July 2018 shows the site of the discovery and the wolf’s head immediately after the glacial-age creature was excavated by local mineral developers. It is reportedly the first ever remains of a fully grown Pleistocene wolf with tissue this well preserved.

“We have already found wolves’ heads without soft tissues or fur, but this one even has ears and a tongue. The brain was perfectly preserved, which was confirmed by a CT scan”, Chief researcher of the Department of Mammoth Fauna Study of the Republic of Sakha Academy of Science Valery Plotnikov said, speaking in an interview on Monday.

According to a study conducted by Japanese scientists, the two to four-year-old wolf, whose fangs and fur are intact, is estimated to have died over 30,000 years ago. “The finding is unique,” Plotnikov said.

In 2015 and 2017, the remains of three cave lions were uncovered by the same group.

After Yemenis, elephants, sharks, Trump attacks wolves


This Associated Press video says about itself:

24 Dec 2018: A man in Kosovo has named one of his four wolves “Trump” as a sign of gratitude to the United States for its assistance to his country.

Hysni Rexhaj, an Albanian farmer in the Kosovo town of Osek Hyle near Gjakova 80 kilometres (50 miles) west of Pristina, keeps birds and wolves on his farm – of which some he claims to have captured on his own “by hand.”

He also loves Donald Trump – so much that he recently decided to name one of the wolves after the US president.

“I have devoted this (wolf) named Trump to America because America has done so much for us (referring to the people of Kosovo),” Rexhaj told the Associated Press. He also claimed wolf “Trump” and Trump share “some almost similar attributes“, adding, “he is so beautiful because of that. I thank America, they have supported us during the war.”

The Donald Trump administration in the USA helps the Saudi bloodshed in Yemen. Donald Trump and his sons endanger the lives of endangered African elephants. Trump has said he wanted to kill all sharks.

And now, it’s the wolves‘ turn.

This 6 March 2019 video from the USA is called Trump administration proposes delisting gray wolf.

From Brooke Still in the USA today:

No time to waste — the Trump administration’s latest move to strip the gray wolf’s Endangered Species Act Protections could destroy the species. Submit an official public comment against this attack »

Trump and Interior Secretary David Bernhardt are risking the survival of the gray wolf species.

Bernhardt just announced plans to gut the Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections for gray wolves — jeopardizing their survival and that of the ecosystems that depend on them. Gray wolves are a vital species that once had habitats throughout the nation. But thanks to over-hunting and development, gray wolf populations have shrunk to approximately 6,000 wolves that only occupy less than 20% of their historic habitat range. We cannot risk losing even more gray wolves with Bernhardt’s plan.

Luckily, the agency can’t move forward without getting input from the people. We’re building a movement to get 20,000 comments into Bernhardt’s office to show Trump and Bernhardt just how opposed the public is to this blatant attack on our wildlife. If everyone reading this message submitted a public comment, we’d blow through this goal in minutes. Can we count on you to add your name?

WILDLIFE ALERT: Trump and Bernhardt are putting gray wolves on the line. Submit an official public comment now and be a hero for this species. Goal: 20,000 comments »

Gray wolves were once bordering extinction but were brought back because of people, like you, who cared enough to speak out. As a result gray wolves received ESA protections and have started to recover throughout the Rocky Mountain region and areas in Oregon, Washington, and California. But the species still has a long way to go. If Trump and Bernhardt’s plans move forward, we could lose all of that progress, and our ability to protect gray wolves could be completely undermined. We should be doing more to support gray wolf recovery, not weakening the most basic protections that this species relies on.

I’m sure you’re wondering who actually benefits from the rollback of these common sense safeguards? The answer is simple: Trump and Bernhardt are catering to trophy hunters and trappers. We cannot allow gray wolf populations to decline for the sake of hunting trophies.

But there’s hope: This will be one of the first acts that Bernhardt does as official head of the Interior Department. After his predecessor left in disgrace, the last thing he wants is to start his tenure at Interior with a major scandal. With the people power of LCV members like you, we can stop his attacks on gray wolves right in its tracks — but only if we’re loud enough. We need to gather 20,000 signatures before the comment period closes in a few weeks — can you speak out to protect these critical wildlife standards?

Speak out now to save gray wolves.

Thank you for fighting for our wildlife.

Brooke Still
Director of Digital Strategy
League of Conservation Voters

TRUMP GUTS ANIMAL PROTECTIONS Three months after leading scientists warned that humans have driven up to 1 million species around the globe to the brink of extinction, the Trump administration has finalized a sweeping overhaul of the Endangered Species Act, weakening one of America’s most important laws for protecting imperiled plants and animals. [HuffPost]

Moose and wolves in Wyoming, USA


This October 2017 video from Canada says about itself:

Northern Ontario Moose vs Wolf

Captured this footage by happenstance while shooting some scenics in Northern Ontario. Was excited by the moose sighting, as I was leaving something unexpected took place. Shot in 4K with Phantom 4 Pro.

From the University of Wyoming in the USA:

Hungry moose more tolerant of wolves‘ presence

March 13, 2019

Summary: Research in western Wyoming shows that close proximity of wolves does cause moose to move, but not enough to drive them from their preferred habitats — especially late in the winter.

Driven by the need for food, moose in western Wyoming are less likely to change their behavior to avoid wolves as winter progresses, according to new research by University of Wyoming scientists.

The findings, published today (March 13) in the journal Ecology, provide new insights into the interactions of the region’s apex predators and their prey. The results also highlight the complexity of the relationships between wolves and big-game species, making it difficult to reach general conclusions about whether and how fear of wolves has impacted the ecosystem, the researchers say.

“We have known for some time that hungry animals will tolerate the presence of predators in order to forage and avoid starvation, and that phenomenon, called the ‘starvation-predation hypothesis’, is supported by our research,” says Brendan Oates, now with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, who conducted the research as a UW graduate student. “In this case, close proximity of wolves does cause moose to move, but not enough to drive them from their preferred habitats — especially late in the winter.”

Oates is the lead author of the Ecology paper. Co-authors include his UW advisers: Jake Goheen, associate professor in UW’s Department of Zoology and Physiology, and Matt Kauffman, a U.S. Geological Survey researcher based at UW. UW’s Jerod Merkle, assistant professor in the Department of Zoology and Physiology, also was involved with the research, as were agency personnel from the National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The scientists tracked movements of dozens of GPS-collared moose and wolves in Grand Teton National Park and the Bridger-Teton National Forest over a five-year period, detecting 120 unique encounters among 25 individual moose and six wolf packs. An encounter was defined as when moose and wolves were within about 1,600 yards of each other.

They found that movements of moose increased in early winter following encounters with wolves, but only when wolves were within about 550 yards. Even then, the moose didn’t move from their preferred habitat, which is near streams and marshy areas. Late in the winter, when the moose were presumed to be hungrier, there was no change in the movement rates of the animals in response to wolves in the vicinity.

“The unwillingness of moose to abandon preferred habitats following encounters with wolves adds further support for the starvation-predation hypothesis,” the researchers wrote.

In contrast, previous research has shown that elk — the primary prey of wolves in the region — will move when wolves approach within about 1,000 yards, even during winter. Elk also move from their preferred habitat to avoid wolves. The difference may be explained simply by the fact that moose are larger than elk and are more likely to stand their ground when approached by wolves, the researchers say.

Additionally, the nature of moose’s preferred habitat — described as “structurally complex” — means it could serve as both a good food source and a refuge from wolves.

Still, it would be inaccurate to say that the presence of wolves doesn’t affect moose movements.

“Although moose may be generally less responsive to predation risk from wolves, our detection of a heightened behavioral response during early winter suggests that anti-predator behavior is dynamic within and among species of ungulates,” the researchers concluded.

The current return of wolves to human-dominated landscapes poses a major challenge for the protection of this species, says conservation biologist and private lecturer (PD) Dr. Marco Heurich from the University of Freiburg. He emphasizes that conflicts arise around the conservation of wolves in these landscapes due to farm animal slaughter, competition with hunters and human protection. The question of how humans can coexist with predators triggers a strong emotional debate: here.

Gray wolves in Yellowstone Park, USA


This 6 March 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

Tracking the Gray Wolf in Yellowstone | Explorer

The gray wolf is a top predator that was nearly wiped out from North America. But in 1995, a recovery program began in Yellowstone with surprising results.

‘Epic Yellowstone’ captures the thriving ecosystem of the world-famous park. A new documentary series highlights the interactions of predatory, prey and environment. By Jeremy Rehm, 7:00am, March 17, 2019.

American mule deer adapt to wolves


This 16 November 2016 video from the USA says about itself:

A Wild Wolf, 926 F of Yellowstone, hunts a mule deer buck

The alpha female of the Lamar Canyon pack attempts to hunt a buck by herself one drizzly morning. Wolves are only successful in their hunt attempts about one in ten times. As you will see in this video, the prey often turns on the predator and fights back. Many wolves die while trying to hunt, whether being kicked, trampled or head butted.

From the University of Washington in the USA:

Return of the wolves: How deer escape tactics help save their lives

February 27, 2019

Summary: As gray wolves return to Washington state, a new study finds that one species of deer is changing its behavior to spend more time away from roads, at higher elevations and in rockier landscapes.

As gray wolves continue to make a strong comeback in Washington state, their presence can’t help but impact other animals — particularly the ones these large carnivores target as prey.

White-tailed deer and mule deer, two distinct species common in Washington, are among wolves’ favorite catch. Wolves will chase deer great distances — sometimes upwards of 6 miles (10 kilometers) — in search of a satisfying meal. How these two deer species respond to the threat of being pursued by wolves in the early years of this predator’s return could shed light on changes to their behavior and numbers.

To help answer this question, researchers from the University of Washington and other institutions monitored the behavior and activity of wolves and deer in Washington for three years. They found that mule deer exposed to wolves, in particular, are changing their behavior to spend more time away from roads, at higher elevations and in rockier landscapes.

“In any particular ecosystem, if you have a predator returning, prey are unlikely to all respond similarly,” said senior author Aaron Wirsing, an associate professor in the UW School of Environmental and Forest Sciences. “We show that wolves don’t have a uniform effect on different deer species.”

Their results were published Dec. 11 in the journal Oecologia.

Wolves were completely wiped out from Washington early last century, but began returning to the state from Idaho, Montana and Canada about a decade ago. The latest estimates now show about 200 wolves in packs across eastern Washington.

Both white-tailed and mule deer are important food for gray wolves. While they might look similar to an untrained eye, white-tailed deer and mule deer are very different animals: Mule deer are bigger, with large, dark ears and a black-tipped tail. White-tailed deer are smaller animals, boasting an unmistakably long tail with a white underside that stands straight up when alarmed.

Aside from their physical characteristics, the two species differ in how they escape from predators. When chased, mule deer “stot”, a quick bound with all four legs touching the ground at the same time. This bounding gait helps them negotiate all types of terrain and can give them an agility advantage over predators in rocky, uneven areas where it might be hard to run.

By contrast, white-tailed deer sprint away from predators and rely on spotting them early enough to try to outrun them.

Keeping these known escape tactics in mind, the research team focused on the “flight behavior” of deer living in areas where wolves have returned and in areas without wolves. The researchers chose four distinct study areas, all near the small town of Republic, Washington. All four areas are home to both species of deer, but only two were occupied by known wolf packs at the time of the investigation.

In partnership with the Colville Tribes and the U.S. Forest Service, researchers set up wildlife cameras, captured and put collars on wolves and deer, and monitored the data from all of the collars over three years, from 2013 to 2016. This endeavor involved complex coordination and a dedicated team of UW students who were always ready to respond should an animal enter one of the traps.

“That part of eastern Washington is really special,” said lead author Justin Dellinger, who completed the work as a UW doctoral student and now works at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. “There is huge diversity of large mammals, including all of the native prey populations like big horn sheep, moose and deer. And now we’re starting to see a full complement of native predators, like wolves, here as well.”

Overall, the researchers found that mule deer in gray wolf areas changed their behavior to avoid wolves altogether — mainly by moving to higher, steeper elevations, away from roads and toward brushy, rocky terrain. Alternately, white-tailed deer that favor sprinting and early detection as ways to escape from predators were more likely to stick to their normal behavior in wolf areas, sprinting across open, gently rolling terrain with good visibility — including along roads.

“Mule deer faced with the threat of wolves are really changing their home ranges, on a large scale,” Wirsing said. “They appear to have shifted kilometers away from where they had been prior to the return of wolves, generally going up higher where the terrain is less smooth and where wolves are less likely to hunt successfully.”

These larger shifts among mule deer could affect hunting opportunities. Indeed, some hunters in eastern Washington have already reported seeing mule deer higher on ridges where they are less accessible than in past years, Wirsing said. Hunting for white-tailed deer likely won’t change to the same degree with the presence of wolves, the results suggest.

Long term, changes among mule deer in wolf areas could affect other parts of the ecosystem, and perhaps reduce the number of deer-vehicle collisions. These possible impacts are tantalizing fodder for future studies, Wirsing added.

Alaska wolf, bear killing unscientific


This 2014 video says by itself:

Grizzly Bears Catching Salmon | Nature’s Great Events | BBC

It’s the time of year when the salmon make their annual pilgrimage upstream to spawn, but leaping past the waiting hungry bears is no easy task.

From Oregon State University in the USA:

‘Outdated’ management plan increases risks to Alaska’s large carnivores

January 15, 2019

Alaskan wildlife management that prioritizes reducing bear and wolf populations so hunters can kill more moose, caribou and deer is both backward and lacks scientific monitoring, ecologists say in a paper published today in PLOS Biology.

Paring populations of large carnivores not only fails to meet the goal of creating a “hunting paradise” but may also interfere with important ecosystem services that predators atop the food chain provide, the scientists assert.

“Gray wolves, brown bears and black bears are managed in most of Alaska in ways designed to significantly lower their numbers,” said study co-author William Ripple, distinguished professor of ecology in the Oregon State University College of Forestry. “Alaska is unique in the world because these management priorities are both widespread and legally mandated.”

The paper notes that favoritism toward moose, caribou and deer over large carnivores acquired legal backing in Alaska with the 1994 passage of the state’s Intensive Management Law. The legislation effectively calls for cutbacks in big carnivores to increase how many hoofed game animals are taken by humans.

“The law does also identify habitat management as a form of intensive management, but habitat management hasn’t been used effectively as a tool to increase abundance of these ungulates,” said corresponding author Sterling Miller, a retired research biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. “Therefore, the default tool is predator control, the most widespread form of which is liberalizing state hunting and trapping regulations for large carnivores. This liberalization has been most extreme for brown bears, as this species used to be managed very conservatively.”

The paper points out that reported kills of brown bears by hunters have more than doubled over the past three decades and that since 1980 regulations intended to reduce predators have been in effect even in Alaska’s 11 national preserves, which are managed by the National Park Service.

“Since 2000, state wildlife managers have done no studies to determine trends in brown bear populations anywhere in Alaska where intensive management for moose and caribou is ongoing and harvests of brown bears have, correspondingly, increased,” Miller said. “Basically, managers have liberalized regulations for large carnivores in a strategy of ‘kill as many as possible and hope that it is OK in the end.’ This is not science-based management.”

The authors stress that brown bears have the lowest reproductive rates of any large mammal in North America and are particularly susceptible to overharvest, and that the Alaskan government is the only wildlife-managing entity in the world whose goal is to reduce bear abundance.

“There are some places in Alberta, Canada, where wolves are being managed to reduce their abundance in the hope of keeping very small populations of woodland caribou from going extinct,” Miller said. “This is different because the objective of that management is a conservation objective and not an objective of middle-class people putting more wrapped packages of moose meat in their freezers.”

State and federal priorities for “subsistence hunting” are also somewhat problematic but only where they allow for harvests that aren’t really of a subsistence nature, the authors say.

“It is also worth noting that subsistence hunting occurs in most Alaska national parks and monuments as mandated by the 1980 Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, known as ANILCA,” Miller said. “The act also mandates that Alaska national preserves are open to hunting and doesn’t have a restriction on it being limited to subsistence hunting.”

Many of the preserves are adjacent to national parks and both the parks and preserves were created by ANILCA. But with the loosening of hunting regulations for large carnivores in Alaska, the same more-lax regulations largely apply to the preserves as well, meaning predator control is occurring there too.

“Science-based management of large carnivores in most of Alaska will require the political will and wisdom to repeal Alaska’s Intensive Management Law,” the paper states. “Alternatively or additionally, it will require professional wildlife managers to resist adoption of predator reduction regulations that are not conducted as experiments and/or do not include adequate monitoring programs of both carnivores and ungulates.”

Co-authoring the paper with Ripple and Miller were John Schoen, who is retired from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, and Sanford Rabinowitch, who is retired from the National Park Service.

Additional information on trends in brown bear hunting regulations and harvests in Alaska is available in a 2017 paper by some of the same authors as the PLOS Biology article.

Wolves slowed down by snowfall


This 2016 video says about itself:

Wolves Master Winter Hunting

A herd of bison are on the move, with wolves hunting close behind. Will the prey outrun the predator this time?

Presented in association with World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Hello World! is a six-part series taking a look at the wonders of the natural world through the eyes of some of today’s most celebrated musicians.

In this case, the musician is Joan Jett.

From the University of Alberta in Canada:

Snowed in: Wolves stay put when it’s snowing

University of Alberta biologists examine the impact of snowfall events on wolves in northeastern Alberta

December 19, 2018

Wolves travel shorter distances and move slower during snowfall events, according to new research by University of Alberta biologists. The effects were most pronounced at night, when wolves hunt, and behaviour returned to normal within a day.

“Our findings suggest that there is something about actively falling snow that causes wolves to slow down,” said Amanda Droghini, a former MSc student in the Department of Biological Science and lead author on the study. “We don’t know the exact mechanism behind that. It’s unlikely that they were staying still because they were feasting on a recent kill. Instead, active precipitation might affect wolves‘ hunting abilities. Like rain, snow clears the air column of scent molecules. So, maybe falling snow makes it harder for wolves to detect the smell of prey.”

Over the course of two winters, the researchers used remote cameras to identify snowfall events and estimate snow depth. To study wolf movement, they collected telemetry data from 17 wolves to calculate travel speed and duration, as well as resting periods. It is the first study to examine how large carnivores respond to snowfall events.

With the effects of climate change on precipitation in the boreal forest region uncertain, it is difficult to predict the implications for wolf populations. Studies such as these increase our understanding of how large mammals react to normal snowfall events, but the type and amount of winter precipitation will likely have an impact on animal behavior and the energetic cost of movement.

“Winter is already challenging for many wildlife species because moving through snow requires more energy. Snow can also make it harder for animals to access food resources,” said Droghini, who conducted the research under the supervision of Professor Stan Boutin, Alberta Biodiversity Conservation Chair.

“Anything that increases those costs, such as increased rain-on-snow events, could lead to nutritional deficiencies, poor body condition, and even starvation as animals are unable to make up for those additional costs. That is one of the worst-case scenarios but, in truth, we know very little about potential changes to precipitation patterns and how wildlife will respond to those changes.”