The only radio-collared member of Yellowstone's Silver Wolf Pack was found dead this past week. The reports indicate he died of infection from unspecified puncture wounds.
Radio-Collars handicap the wolves forced to wear them and most of them die sooner of later from the effects of being chased by helicopter, constantly harassed by wolf watchers, and from being buzzed by the park researchers in their little yellow airplane.
The two most accessible wolf packs in Yellowstone (The Druid and Slough Creek Packs) were studied and harassed out of existence. I suspect that the Silver Pack , who inhabit the same territory as the Druids once held, will suffer a similar fate.
The social misfits that have "Studied" Yellowstone's wolves for sixteen years have collared seven hundred and fifty nine (759) wolves in this endless study that benefits NO wolves and kills many of them.
Not only are the collars unsightly, they handicap the wolves in many ways. It makes it harder for them to capture large dangerous prey, like elk and bison, and the collars provide a convenient handle for other wolves to grab hold of in a fight.
The broadcast location of collared wolves (By seasonal park employee Rick McIntyre each day) are used by tourist groups(Yellowstone Association Buses) to find the wolves for viewing, which is a sorry way to use any wild animal.
Rick is employed by the Yellowstone Wolf Study for a few months each year and spends the rest of the time as a volunteer for the Wolf Study and also for the Yellowstone Association. (NPS info provided to me at the Mammoth Visitor Center)
He comes into the park each and every morning and locates the wolves with a park provided radio receiver that picks up the signal from the radio collars on the wolves. He then radios their location to the Association Buses and his group of wolf watchers(locally referred to as the "Wolf Nazis") so they can converge on the located wolves.
This creates traffic jams and the presence of so many humans, intimidates the wolves from going about their daily business. It is no wonder that the Druid Pack and the Slough Creek Pack disappeared. They were simply studied and harassed to death. Look for the Silver Pack to disappear soon.
With the Lamar Valley wolf packs so decimated, Rick and his followers have started doing the same thing in Yellowstone's Hayden Valley. The small hills used for viewing the Canyon Pack wolves at Grizzly Overlook in the Hayden Valley were closed this summer to public use because of the erosion and plant damage done by the wolf watchers. I fear for the Canyon Pack due to this shift in interest by this group.
A Collared Wolf Is A Dead Wolf!