If you have ever felt the need to “run with the wolves”, escape real life and go back to nature, now is probably the first wild wolf collar camera footage you can do.
Look at the wolf’s eyes as you walk through the forest, the bones of your feet well chewed, and even stop for a fishing spot in a stream. The footage came from the University of Minnesota-led Voyager Wolf Project and – as far as they know – the first time footage of a wild wolf captured from a collar camera. Excitingly, the footage reveals important information about the behavior of wolves that has not confirmed before.
Our alluring photographer Lone Wolf V089 went hunting and fishing in a stream at least three occasions in the same place. So far, the project has only documented wolves hunting from a wolf pack and fishing in these creeks. The footage shows not only the prey in that pack and the wolves outside the fish in the area, but also the lone wolf – which means it can detect such behavior on its own, as well as be taught in the pack. “So far, we’ve only recorded fishing and killing in the same small cage from a small pack (Bowman Bay Pack). However, this camera collar footage clearly demonstrates how other wolves in our area know how to fish.”
In an effort to study and understand wolves – especially the intriguing question, what do wolves do in the summer? – Camera traps have installed across the Greater Voyager ecosystem, including Voyager National Park in northern Minnesota. However, they have attached a collar came to a wolf in hopes of behaving more wildly than the first time. Using a camera developed by Vectronic-Aerospace, the team was able to attach it to the V089 using an attack-free method. The camera recorded 30 seconds at a time as each hour of daylight began for six weeks before the wolf fell as planned.
After sorting out the footage – thanks to the wolf’s winter coat, many of which are muddy wolves with beards – they have now released the footage for everyone to enjoy. Despite the dirty fur, the footage confirms previous research about them that wolves hunt fish in the water. It is known that salmon fish during the golden season in Alsace and parts of Canada, but this footage strongly demonstrates that wolves are enjoying a fishing spot in not only salmon-infested areas, but also where fish often throw at them Plate.
Even the V089 seems to have set up its fishing grounds by a beaver dam, waiting to snatch the fish that cannot go through, which is amusing. “We initially thought fishing behavior was very rare because we studied a lot of wolves from multiple packs and only caught one pack (before 2020),” Gabel said. However, this new data “suggests that the behavior may be more extensive than we initially thought.”
After a successful test, the team plans to fit three more wolves with the collar cam this summer to see what they can learn more. “The big thing we’re going to do separately is to trim the hair a bit so we get a better field of view,” Gabel said. “Otherwise, our goal is to deploy more of these collars in the future and hopefully gain more insight into the wolf’s secret life!”
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