Effectiveness of a Simulated Pack to Manipulate Wolf Movements
July 3, 2019
Bioboundaries, also called biofences, are deterrents that attempt to exploit certain innate behaviors to exclude wildlife from target areas. We hypothesized that human-deployed scent marks and playbacks of foreign howls could simulate a territorial gray wolf (Canis lupus) pack impinging on a resident pack, thereby causing the resident pack to move. During summer 2010, we deployed a simulated-pack bioboundary near 3 wolf packs in northern Wisconsin and monitored their movements relative to 3 wolf packs experiencing a sham treatment, to control for effects of human presence. We analyzed wolves’ locations (≥1 location per week) and used linear models with mixed effects to examine distance from the rendezvous site as a function of treatment (sham or experimental) and phase of treatment (before or after treatment was initiated), while accounting for variations in individual wolves. We found little evidence that biofences, as configured and deployed in this study, caused wolves to change use of their territory.
Author(s): Christine M. Anhalt, Timothy R. Van Deelen, Ronald N. Schultz, Adrian P. Wydeven