The Status of Gray Wolf Reintroduction to Colorado: A Tale of Conservation and Collaboration
By Eric Odell
In November 2022, Colorado voters said “Yes” to wolf reintroduction, and the Colorado Wolf Restoration and Management Plan was approved in May, 2023, setting the stage for reintroduction of gray wolves in Colorado by December 31, 2023. The plan developed by Colorado Parks and Wildlife provides a roadmap for the successful restoration while addressing potential challenges and concerns.
Discovering Maned Wolves: The Maned Wolf Project Introduces a Little-Known South American Canine
By Nancy Gibson
The maned wolf is South America’s largest canine and shares many gray wolf traits despite being omnivorous. About 900 of them remain in Argentina, where this author traveled for adventure, research, and remarkable views of this elusive animal, whose favorite prey is small rodents, in the relatively new Ibera National Park. Here, she details her foray with field coordinator Augusto Distal, head of the Maned Wolf Project,
Remote Cameras Have Changed, Improved Biology Research for 100 Years
By Joseph Bump
In 1906, National Geographic published wildlife photos for the first time—images made possible by George Shiras III, the first to use trip wires to trigger remote cameras and capture close-ups of animals in the wild. Since then, advancements in remote camera technology have improved biological research in fascinating ways and improved public understanding of both the beauty in nature and the challenges wild animals overcome. Download article.
From the Executive Director
A Melancholy Journey
by Grant Spickelmier
I recently read Wanderer, An Alaskan Wolf’s Final Journey by Tom Walker, which follows the incredible journey of Wolf 258, a collared male, through Alaska and Canada. While the book is compelling and well written (see review later in this issue), I finished the story feeling vaguely sad. Unlike most fictional stories, this book (spoiler alert) does not close with a happy ending for Wolf 258. The journey this “wandering wolf” took was impressive at nearly 3,000 miles, but likely driven by hunger, and ultimately ended with him starving to death.
Tracking the Pack
Nearing the End of Our Wolf Care Transition Plan
by Lori Schmidt, wolf curator, International Wolf Center
In January of 2024, Giselle Narvaez Rivera will become the manager of our wolf care department and become responsible for decisions that will impact the lives of the ambassador wolves. This achievement is the result of cooperative effort, training events and lots of hands-on interaction with wolves achieved through the “Curator Succession Plan.”
Wolves of the World
Wolves Seen Positively in Canada, Inconsistently in Mongolia, Absent in Andalusia. Iconic “Traveling Wolf” Shot in Hungary
by Tracy O’connell
Seven in 10 Canadians surveyed have a “very” (29%) or “moderately” (41%) positive view of the wolf, according to Tri City News, a British Columbia-based media outlet reporting on research conducted last March for the wildlife non-profit Fur Bearers. Headquartered in Vancouver, the Fur Bearers sees itself as “a non-partisan organization that protects fur-bearing animals through conservation, advocacy, research and education.”
Wolves here have held a complex and nuanced place in this culture from earliest times. Environmental historian Kenneth Linden notes, “Their existence has been lamented and romanticized for centuries.” He traced some of the complexities over the centuries in a May article in History Today, a London-based monthly that says it is “the world’s leading serious history magazine.”
A two-year-old wolf that traveled a record-breaking 1,000 miles across four countries was shot by poachers. Three months later, police have two suspects in custody on suspicion of harming nature and abusing firearms, according to Newsweek. Known as M237, the wolf was born in Graubünden, Switzerland and fitted with a GPS collar by the local wildlife agency. In June 2022 he began his “mammoth migration,” the longest recorded in Europe, the article states. The conservation nonprofit Wolf Switzerland narrated the journey in a Facebook post: the young wolf “crossed the border into Italy and then into Austria, hiked up to the Danube, changed his mind and moved away to the southeast. In mid-February he crossed the Hungarian border and headed toward Budapest.”
The Iberian wolf is officially extinct in the Andalucia mountain range here, The Guardian reported in July. Monitored for 20 years by the regional government in an attempt to reduce conflict with the local population, the canid’s numbers have been declining. And despite the wolf’s status as a protected species, there has been no sign of the animal’s presence since 2020, a situation called “shameful” and “incomprehensible” by conservationists who decry the lack of a legally required recovery plan.
An Afternoon with British Colombian Sea Wolves
by Tom McPherson
We departed at first light on a misty spring morning. A low, westerly swell was slapping my boat broadside as my good friend Quinn Barabash and I crossed a nasty span of open water.
We were trying to get back to a beach where we had found significant levels of sea wolf activity the day before. There were tracks and scat all over the place, and some of the trails into the forest were recently torn up—evidence of a lot of activity.
A Look Beyond
Long-time Debate Over North American Gray Wolf Subspecies
By Giselle Narvaez Rivera and Lori Schmidt
How many species and subspecies of wolves reside in North America? The answer to this question will depend upon whom you ask. Some scientists may say there are three species of wolves, while others claim there are only two. Others will say at least four or five subspecies of gray wolves inhabit North America; still others might insist that there are more or fewer than that.