Wolves are a widely studied species in Yellowstone. Since wolves were reintroduced after an absence of nearly 80 decades to the park, scientists invest a lot of time analyzing the animals’ specific behavior.
“Our knowledge of wolves is immense due to decades of research around the globe,” explained Tom Oliff, chief of natural sources. “The capability to oversee wolves in the wild was challenging and the knowledge gained through direct observations of behavior is valuable to understanding that how the species”
The best way to study wolf motion is by the air. The Raven’s Eye View of Yellowstone is a Part of the Eyes project that is supported by Yellowstone Park Foundation (www.ypf.org) in cooperation with Canon U.S.A.. The Eyes on Yellowstone program is created by Canon; it offers technologies and funding to help a range of instruction programs and park resource management.
Using a Canon EOS 20D digital camera system using a 100-400EF lens (f 4.5-5.6) as a scientific instrument, wolf biologists Doug Smith and Dan Stahler are altering the way qualitative and quantitative wolf information are gathered and studied.
The scientists have recorded to increasing pups, various behavior-from looking prey, to interacting with various species. The details, however, remain hard to see with the naked eye when employing the regular monitoring method of aerial radio monitoring in fixed-wing aircraft flying overhead.
The equipment has helped revolutionize this research. High-resolution digital photos that improved and may be taken several hundred feet above ground have, at a brief time, opened into analyzing ecology and behavior, new windows.
“This is a significant breakthrough for wolf research, providing first-of-its-kind benefits,” explained Stahler. “Of special value is the identification of individual wolves as well as the part each plays in the pack while still engaged in various activities. Deciding the presence and quantity of pups in a litter, or whether a certain part of the bunch is still alive, can now be readily discernable through analyzing photos taken with quality camera equipment.”
Science has transformed, and it has enabled Yellowstone scientists to gather data never obtained by another wolf research undertaking. The combination of lens quality and imaging are key tools.
A pack of wolves in Yellowstone is tracked by aircraft.