Watch the first camera collar footage from a wild wolf

Voyager Wolf Project, one of the wolves studied by the code name V077.

Voyager Wolf Project, one of the wolves studied by the code name V077.
Pictures: Thomas Gable

A few wolves in Minnesota will now record their summer exploits, thanks to an interesting project by researchers at the Voyager Wolf Project. This week, the team released the first footage of a wild wolf caught by a collar. The authentic movies that continue this year are expected to provide some insight into the daily lives of these adaptive animals, such as the newly discovered habit of adapted fishing.

The Travelers wolf projectLed by scientists at the University of Minnesota, it aims to unravel the biggest mystery about wolves living in North America, especially wolves living inside Voyager National Park: how they spend their summer months.

In the winter, wolves make packs that allow them to hunt large prey, such as deer and marijuana. But come summer, and after the next generation of wolf puppies are born in the spring, they become more solitary. UMN researchers are interested in better understanding the changes in wolf hunting behavior that occur during the summer, as well as how these behaviors can help wolf cubs survive. Their past work has involved wolves adapting from different packs with GPS callers, which have already allowed them to map their territories.

Some research teams have succeeded in trying wolves through drone cameras to try to be more intimate and personal without disturbing their natural behavior with wild wolves. But according to researcher Thomas Gable, it was not the only viable option for them. Not only are these types of cameras expensive, they are also not practical in the dense vegetation that grows every summer in the park. Instead, his team decided to test whether cameras connected to an uninterrupted collar developed by the Vectronic-Aerospace company could do the job.

Although it’s not a piece of cake to help the wolves at first.

“Yes, studying wolves and bananas is very challenging, especially in our region,” Gabble told Gabble on the phone. “So the most common way and the way we do it is to fix the rubber padded foot traps to ensure safe capture and release. Basically they will set foot in a trap and it just grabs their feet until you get there. And then you can put them on the collar to fascinate. But he said it is very easy to do, because wolves are very smart, very careful and they are not easy to catch. “

They finally managed to attach a camera to the lone wolf dubbed V089 in early May. The V089 then wore the camera for six weeks in late June, when the collar was off as planned. This week, they released some favorite footage of V099’s video streaming on YouTube, which the team believes is the first footage of its kind to be captured from wild wolves.

In daylight the camera records 30 seconds at a time. The wrinkled fur of the wolves is also left from the winter Obscure The A little footage. But despite these limitations, the team was able to learn a lot. Namely, they have reaffirmed Previous research Shows them that wolves in this region are hunting for fish in freshwater. Although it is known that wolf cubs in some parts of Alaska and Canada fish during the salmon spawning season, when salmon migrate from the sea to rivers in large numbers to lay eggs.

Previous research by the team and new footage suggests that wolves elsewhere can fish just fine under more general conditions. V089 is particularly stingy about how he catches fish, since he set up near Beaver’s Dam, waiting to catch fish that can’t go over him.

“Until recently, wolf calf hunting and freshwater fish killing was something that people didn’t really know happened and our project documented it happened from a special pack a few years ago. But we thought the behavior was totally confined to that one pack; This is one of the strangest and most interesting things that a certain group of animals has discovered, “said Gabbel.

Outside of their camera footage, the team found evidence that a wolf from another summer also went fishing last summer. While they are still working to gather evidence, their current theory is that fishing among these wolves is a learning and learning worthwhile behavior.

“It looks like people figured it out on their own and then they could go a little further with their children, at least right now based on how we can tell the story,” Gabel said.

With a clear success in their pilot test, the team will now dress up with three wolf cameras this summer. And they are already planning to improve the footage.

“We will probably cut the hair back a bit so that it is not visible. There is a certain amount of interference that you will never move away from, just how the wolves move and hold their heads – you are always going to see their chin. But hopefully, there won’t be hair to take the whole frame, “Gable said.” We’ve shared a lot of good things; there’s a lot of footage where it’s just wet raw hair. “

For now, the team hopes their current work can give people a new perspective on wolves.

“Fishing behavior only shows how flexible wolves are and how good they are at finding unique food sources.” “The idea is that wolves will only go after big prey, only shells and deer and things like that. But they are actually very good opportunists and they will take advantage of the variety of food sources available to them. ”

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