Stories tagged wolves

Jul
18
2012

Are you aiming at us?: This fall a limited wolf hunting season will be open in Minnesota. What do you think of that?
Are you aiming at us?: This fall a limited wolf hunting season will be open in Minnesota. What do you think of that?Courtesy Stefan
With their numbers now above endangered levels, this fall wolves will be among the species Minnesota hunters can legally take. The wolf hunting season will run concurrent with deer season in sections of northern Minnesota. A wolf trapping season will follow, starting on Jan. 1, 2013. The new season will limit the take of wolves to 400 out of a state population estimated at about 3,000 wolves.

Visitors at the Science Museum of Minnesota can weigh in on their thoughts about a wolf hunting season at the Science Buzz poll kiosk on Level 5. Currently, a strong majority of opinion is against the idea of hunting wolves.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources conducted a similar online survey to gauge public opinion on a wolf hunting season...with 80 percent of respondents saying they were against the idea. But proponents of the hunting season say that survey was rigged with a huge anti hunt contingent of opinion coming in from outside of the state. You can read more about that survey here.

Also, some Native American tribes in Minnesota aren't thrilled with the idea of a wolf hunting season. You can learn more about their thoughts on this issue here.

What are your thoughts about a wolf hunting season restarting in Minnesota? Share your opinion here with Science Buzz readers.

Aug
06
2008

I'm Denali: Wolf pup Denali cools off with a swim in the International Wolf Center's pond.
I'm Denali: Wolf pup Denali cools off with a swim in the International Wolf Center's pond.Courtesy International Wolf Center Staff
This week marked the formal introduction of the International Wolf Center’s two newest inhabitants: wolf pups Aidan and Denali. The pups, who were born at the Wildlife Science Center in Forest Lake in April and were transferred to Ely’s International Wolf Center in May, were integrated into the center’s resident wolf pack on Monday.

Aidan and Denali were each a shade under four pounds at the time of their birth. In the three months since, they’ve grown into the ballpark of being around 40 pounds.

What exactly do wolf pups do to have fun? Here are some links to cool video of Aidan and Denali going about daily life at the center:

I'm Aiden: Wolf pup Aiden, flanked by adult wolf Maya, checks out the view of his new home from on top of the wolf den entrance.
I'm Aiden: Wolf pup Aiden, flanked by adult wolf Maya, checks out the view of his new home from on top of the wolf den entrance.Courtesy Awen Briem, International Wolf Center
Denali digging

Denali being coaxed out of the den

Aidan being submissive and being checked out by adults

Aidan hunting for something in a tub of water

Denali and Aidan wrestling

Now that they’re with the resident pack, they’re showing more common wolf behaviors, including jaw sparring, tug of war, food possession (caching), and squashes, a behavior identified by one pup laying on top of the other pup to gain possessions or for dominance. Aidan has shown considerable interest in the exhibit pack in recent days.

The introductions actually went pretty smoothly, taking only about 45 minutes. Wolf Center personnel report that most wolf packs are very caring towards wolf pups, sharing feeding and pup-sitting duties and indulging in play.

"Visitors and media are invited to watch the fascinating transformation of Aidan and Denali from pups to predators and to observe the pack members' uncertain social relationships unfold over the next several months," says Lori Schmidt, curator of the center. Visitors can travel to the center in Ely or watch wolf cam, video and photo updates on the center’s website.

Here's a report of a metro man facing a prison sentence after shooting a wolf in northern Minnesota while the animals were still catagorized as an endangered species.

Jun
03
2008

Just a crazed wolf man: Looking a little more crazed than usual, it should be said. He had a long night.
Just a crazed wolf man: Looking a little more crazed than usual, it should be said. He had a long night.Courtesy Miguel Ariel Contreras Drake-McLaughlin
I’m trying a little bit of a new format out here for Buzz posts, so bear with me. If it’s successful, my soft fingers will be saved much harmful typing, and science news can be enjoyed like a blockbuster preview, or maybe a musical montage. And so…

“Scotland…”

“Multi-millionaire Paul Lister…the son of the founder of a UK furniture retailer…”

“‘I am not just some crazed wolf man.’”

Hulda and Hercules…a $31,630 pair of moose…now roam alongside newly released wild boar.”

“‘It’s not about conservation…it’s about restoration.’”

If bears and wolves were introduced, business…would increase tenfold.”

“‘I am not just some crazed wolf man.’”

“Farmers, ramblers and neighboring landowners remain skeptical…of wolves.”

“‘It’s almost like a scientific experiment.’”

Control the deer populationexpensive cullingtrampling of saplings.”

“A historical character called the Wolf of Badenoch…a highland clan chieftain…a raider…a rampager.”

“‘I am not just some crazed wolf man.’”

“Proposed reintroduction of the beaver.”

“‘It would probably run away if you came upon it.’”

“Wolves…complicated and costly…killed livestock…wolf population can multiply and spread rapidly.”

Have them neutered.”

“‘Biodiversity has lead people astray…’”

“‘I am not just some crazed wolf man.’”

Visitors to the Science Museum of Minnesota's Mississippi River Gallery haven't had the usual rite of spring of seeing peregrine falcon chicks on gallery's television monitor. Bummer, right? But here's the good news. In a few months they'll be able to see two wolf pups. With no nesting falcons available on television cameras this spring, the gallery's television monitor has been tuned into the International Wolf Center in Ely. The center has just received two wolf pups. Those pups will go on public display when they grow to about 35 pounds, which should be in August. The pups are growing about a half pound a day.

Jan
30
2007

Traffic danger: A scientific solution may be coming to prevent vehicle/deer collisions. Lining high-danger highways with canisters of wolf, coyote or bear urine may keep deer from crossing the roads.
Traffic danger: A scientific solution may be coming to prevent vehicle/deer collisions. Lining high-danger highways with canisters of wolf, coyote or bear urine may keep deer from crossing the roads.
With a personal driving record that includes three dead deer from the fenders of my car, I’m all in favor of finding new ways to prevent auto/deer collisions.

That’s why I was glad to read today’s press accounts of a new idea to help reduce highway deer accidents: the use of wolf, coyote or bear urine. That’s one of the new ideas being discussed this week at a summit of law enforcement officials from nine states meeting in the Twin Cities.

How exactly would that work? Canisters with urine would be placed along roadways that have high incidents of deer crashes. The thought is that the deer would be able to smell the urine and turn back on their path as not to get close to a predator.

It’s a very plausible idea in places like Minnesota and Wisconsin, where there are healthy populations of the predators. But what about places further south? That’s what members of the law enforcement group want to study. They don’t know if deer will react to the smell of urine from predators they’ve never faced before.

High fliers: These white tails in action show how fast and fleet deer can be out in the forests.
High fliers: These white tails in action show how fast and fleet deer can be out in the forests.
Minnesota is also working on a deer control project of its own. Using a dual set of light beams along side roads, the presence of a deer near the road could be sensed and send a signal to lights on deer crossing signs along that road. The lasers would be spaced far enough apart (six inches) so they couldn’t both be set off by smaller animals. The lights on the deer crossing sign would flash for about a minute in the vicinity of where the deer, or other large animal, crossed through the light beams.

At test of that plan will be done over the course of this year near Camden State Park in southwest Minnesota along Hwy. 23. Each year between 40 and 80 deer are killed by vehicles on that stretch of road.

Statewide, there were 4,176 vehicle/deer crashes in Minnesota in 2005 (statistics for 2006 are not yet compiled). Two people died in those crashes.

Other solutions to vehicle/deer crashes are not so popular with the public, including culling deer herds with special hunts.

But what I really want to know, how are they going to collect the predator urine? I, for one, am not going to go around to ask any wolves, coyotes or bears to pee into a little cup.

Mar
17
2006


Wolf: Image courtesy International Wolf Center.

Yesterday the Science Museum of Minnesota opened a small traveling exhibition called Living With Wolves in the 21st Century that compares the wolves of North America within a world perspective and examine ways humans determine wolf survival. Coincidentally, yesterday U.S. Interior Secretary Gale Norton initiated a federal plan to move the management of gray wolves in Minnesota and other Great Lakes states to tribal and state agencies. In addition, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has begun the process of taking wolves off the endangered species list in Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin, as well as in parts of North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, because their populations have recovered under the federal protection of the Endangered Species Act.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that there are nearly 4,000 gray wolves in Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin, which is up from between 700 and 1,000 when the gray wolf was listed as endangered in 1974.

Read the press release from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for more information. Comments on this proposal can be submitted by e-mail to [email protected]