BWCA Wolves and Beaver Boundary Waters Listening Point - General Discussion
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adam
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11/14/2020 11:01AM  
This is an interesting article on wolves feeding on beaver and the impact this could have on the waters in MN.

https://www.mprnews.org/story/2020/11/13/wolves-preying-on-beavers-in-minnesota-reshape-wetlands?

It reminds me of this documentary from a number of years back when wolves were reintroduced into Yellowstone.



 
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11/14/2020 07:34PM  
When we were camping on South Cone lake in September we had a great wolf experience. We only saw one of them while we were trying to fish but when they started howling all around the lake there were four beavers going bananas out in the bay. I knew that wolves love to break into lodges so it was really an interesting experience. The beavers were not enjoying the wolf experience as much as my daughter and I.
 
KarlBAndersen1
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11/15/2020 07:14AM  
adam: "
It reminds me of this documentary from a number of years back when wolves were reintroduced into Yellowstone.
"


That was called Never Cry Wolf and was extraordinary. The Wolf cry babies hated it.

Naive people got this weird idea that when the wolves were re-introduced into Yellowstone that they stayed in Yellowstone.
Even this movie suggests that all is well and it's a Disneyland resurgence of Nirvana now.
They have become a plague on the west.
This isn't the 1500s anymore.
 
Portage99
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11/15/2020 09:27AM  
I find cause and effect in ecosystems fascinating!

Thanks for the information.
 
gravelroad
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11/15/2020 12:29PM  
KarlBAndersen1: "adam: "
It reminds me of this documentary from a number of years back when wolves were reintroduced into Yellowstone.
"



That was called Never Cry Wolf and was extraordinary. The Wolf cry babies hated it.

Naive people got this weird idea that when the wolves were re-introduced into Yellowstone that they stayed in Yellowstone.
Even this movie suggests that all is well and it's a Disneyland resurgence of Nirvana now.
They have become a plague on the west.
This isn't the 1500s anymore."


"Never Cry Wolf" had nothing to do with the reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone NP. It was Farley Mowat's fairy tale about wolves in the Arctic and was released YEARS before the Yellowstone wolf reintroduction got underway.

Never Cry Wolf_(film)
 
1JimD
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11/15/2020 01:56PM  
Interesting !
This Fall (Oct 1), while camping on Gabbro (West end) I heard wolves howl just once while I was in my tent. Awhile later, I heard 6 Tail slaps. Never put the two together, until now.
The extra low water levels may be a contributing factor !

I also noted Otters feeding on Mussels, even a few feeding stations.
 
Zwater
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11/15/2020 07:26PM  
A wolf hunt needs to be reintroduced to the state of Minnesota. I saw more wolves then deer this year.
 
PaddlinMadeline
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11/15/2020 10:44PM  
Zwater: "A wolf hunt needs to be reintroduced to the state of Minnesota. I saw more wolves then deer this year."

How many Beavers did you see?
 
11/15/2020 11:31PM  
Zwater: "A wolf hunt needs to be reintroduced to the state of Minnesota. I saw more wolves then deer this year."

Agree on the wolf hunt, but I don’t think a single hunters experience really matters either. Wasn’t it really windy this deer season? Deer hunker down in the wind and don’t move. No one saw much, the wolves didn’t have anything to do with that it was the weather and deer tendencies...

T
 
Chuckles
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11/16/2020 04:18PM  
I would think this, if correct, would have a profound effect on the BWCA. I'm curious how quickly these effects take place. If the BWCA wolf population has been roughly stable (which seems to be true) for the last 20 years, I'd think the BWCA I know is a stable, wolf-saturated BWCA. I'm curious if the paddlers in the early 70s, when the wolf population was lowest, had 20x more beaver dams to deal with.

Interesting stuff.
 
11/16/2020 06:29PM  
Chuckles: "I would think this, if correct, would have a profound effect on the BWCA. I'm curious how quickly these effects take place. If the BWCA wolf population has been roughly stable (which seems to be true) for the last 20 years, I'd think the BWCA I know is a stable, wolf-saturated BWCA. I'm curious if the paddlers in the early 70s, when the wolf population was lowest, had 20x more beaver dams to deal with.


Interesting stuff. "


My first BW trip was in 1973 and then several more later in the 1970's. I don't recall beaver dams all that often and never even thought about wolves back then. But in August 1974 we took a honeymoon backpacking trip on Isle Royale for a week and we heard the wolves howling on several different nights especially on the west side of the island.
 
11/18/2020 09:35PM  
We need a well managed wolf program that tries to manage the wolf population in moderate numbers and gives the deer herd a chance to rebuild in much of Minnesota. Longville area north deer numbers are as low as they have been since the early 1960's.
 
11/20/2020 08:47AM  
Voyageurs Wolf Project
48m ·
A final update on Wolf V083, the beaver specialist from the Cranberry Bay Pack. From May 1 to October 29, V083 killed a whopping 42 beavers, which is 14 more than any other wolf we have studied. Put another way, Wolf V083 was killing one beaver every 4.2 days. V083 killed 5 of these beavers with his mate Wolf V084, who is the breeding female of the Cranberry Bay Pack.
V083 is fascinating because he seemed to have an ability that most other wolves in our area simply do not have. While many wolves in our area eat beavers, none have been even close to as efficient at finding and killing beavers. A typical wolf only kills a beaver every 12-14 days, which equates to an average of 13-15 beavers a summer And this naturally leads to a question that has intrigued us for years: given the crazy amounts of beavers in our area, why don’t wolves kill and eat more of them?
The answer: beavers are not that easy to kill. When we started our work, the consensus in the scientific literature was that beavers were easy prey to kill. In fact there was almost the impression that beaver ponds were nature’s vending machines for wolves: show up to a pond, hit button A1, and a beaver would be dispensed.
But that is not the case. Beavers spend relatively little time on land, stay close to water, and where they will be on land on any given day is surprisingly hard to predict. So finding a beaver on land is likely quite challenging for wolves.
Then there is the practical side of trying to kill a beaver once one is found. Beavers are football-shaped hunks of muscle with some crazy sharp teeth and incredible bite strength. Adult beavers can be >50-60 lbs, which is the size of many wolves in our area. And beavers don’t have a neck so how do you grab a beaver if you are a wolf?
Perhaps most importantly, though, is that beavers do not need to fend off a wolf per se but rather just make it to deep water to avoid being killed. And generally beavers are never far from deep water when on land. Thus, it is likely a challenge to kill a beaver while preventing it from getting back to water.
Thus beavers are not an easy meal, which is why V083’s beaver-killing abilities are so exceptional and fascinating to us.
 
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