Saturday, February 19, 2011

Yellowstone Wolves - Slough Creek Pack

I took this photo of part of the Slough Creek Pack two years ago in Yellowstone. There were seventeen black wolves in this pack and two gray ones at the time. I was unable to get all nineteen together for a photo.
I was watching all nineteen of the wolves howling on a ridgetop near the campground, hoping for a photo, when a yellow research plane buzzed them and scared them away. This pack has since completely died out. Wolf numbers in Yellowstone are down from over 170 a few years ago to less than 100 this year.
I attribute some of this demise to being studied to death by the park researchers. Wolf packs in Yellowstone are constantly harassed by biologists when they use helicopters to chase them down and put radio collars on half of them and then follow and buzz the collared wolves every week with their yellow airplane.
Some of the photos taken by the biologists from the yellow airplane and helicopters used to collar the wolves, end up in calendars for sale in gift shops in Yellowstone(Yellowstone Wolves 2010). Wolf Biologist Doug Smith was credited with most of the calendar photos.
Makes me wonder if they are doing research when they fly the yellow plane or if they are out shooting photos for private sale.
I used a Canon 40D with 500mm lens for this photo.

1 comment:

  1. There was a study recently done on penquins to ascertain if the "collaring" done on the wings upset the science of the information obtained.The "collaring" caused substantial distortion in lifespan and reproduction. The study was undertaken in Wales at Swansea University. You might want to look at it. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

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