How To Trick A Wolf: Manipulating Pack Movements With Biofencing

Volume 17, No. 1-4, Montana Chapter of the Wildlife Society (TWS) - Presentation Abstract

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University of Montana, gray wolf, wolves, pack, Canis lupis, Montana Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit

Scientific Disciplines

Biological Sciences - Terrestrial

Abstract Text

Wolves (Canis lupus) have a relatively wide distribution in the northern Rockies and can conflict with livestock production in certain areas. Tools currently available to mitigate wolf/ livestock conflict can be short-lived in their effectiveness or altogether ineffective. Wolves use scent-marking to establish territories and avoid intraspecific conflict. We hypothesized that human-deployed scent-marks could be used to manipulate wolf pack movements in Idaho. We deployed 64.7 km of biofence within three wolf pack territories during summer 2010. Location data from collared wolves showed little to no trespass of the biofence. Sign surveys at predicted rendezvous sites yielded little to no recent wolf use of exclusion areas. Lastly, a habitually depredating wolf pack was not implicated in any depredations. Our pilot test provides preliminary evidence that wolf movements can be manipulated using humandistributed scent-marks.