Warmer spring weather has finally engulfed the northwoods of Minnesota. Only patches of snow can be found now in the shaded areas of the surrounding forests. Although snow is in the forecast over the next few days, its time will be limited as spring marches forward.
Earlier this week, I attended the 2009 Midwest Wolf Stewards Conference in Iron Mountain, Michigan. There were close to 90 people attending to learn about the latest news on wolves in Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Ontario, Canada. Overall the wolf population is either stable of continuing to grow with relatively few human-wolf conflicts.
The 2009 estimate of wolves in Michiganâs Upper Peninsula is about 584 consisting of about 119 packs. At this time there are no known established packs in the Lower Peninsula, but it thought that it just a matter of time before make the move across the straits.
Wisconsin had yet to tally their 2009 count, but believes it will be between 600-630 wolves with 150-160 packs.
Minnesota is still holding around close to 3000 wolves and about 650 packs.
Ontario remains the strong-hold with an estimate of over 8000 wolves and is the main source of wolves dispersing into the Great Lakes region of the United States.
The key-note speaker was Rolf Peterson who gave a very entertaining talk on the status of wolves and moose on Isle Royale, Michigan. Included was a video of a underwater view of a moose browsing and a wolf with a sweet-tooth eating apples in one of the parkâs campgrounds.
Personal notes and observation at the IWC
With the warmer weather comes a decrease in of aggressive behavior among the wolves. Mayaâs stalking and intense dominance displays toward Aidan have mellowed considerably. He have had a wild wolf hanging around the exhibit enclosure adding some tension and curiosity within the pack. The pups Aidan and Denali are almost 1-year old now. Denali now stands a little larger than Grizzer, but still has much filling out to do, so he will be a huge wolf when he matures.
Along with my usual mass of weekly photographs, I am now posting videos of the Ambassador pack on my Flickr account. Just look in the blogroll for Wolf Manâs Photo and click the link to view the 10,000+ photos posted so far.
Disclaimer note: I am a member and volunteer at the International Wolf Center (IWC), helping out at the ambassadorâs desk and wolf care. These are my personal experiences and are not sanctioned by the IWC or represent an official log of the IWCâs wolves. Please visit www.wolf.org
This weekâs photo shows Denali walking amongst the boulders.
âHelping to Raise Wolf Awarenessâ