Posted by: csdailyblog | November 16, 2010

Students Learn to Interpret Wolf Tracks and Scat

Bonnie gets a chance to try out radio telemetry equipment used to locate collared wolves.

Science Teacher Andrew Milbauer writes about recent Conserve School wolf tracking activities:

Students worked with a State of Wisconsin trapper as they learned how to track wolves. The trapper showed students how the design of traps has changed over the past years to be more humane to the wolves. Newer traps are designed to catch the wolf by its toe pad as opposed to the leg. The newer designs don’t even make clanking noises, preventing the wolf from cracking a tooth by biting at the noisy trap. The new traps also prevent puncture wounds or loss of circulation.  Animals can try to chew their way out of a trap when their circulation is cut off and their limbs go numb. 

Once caught in these newer, more humane traps, the wolves are then tranquilized, collared, and monitored for state population studies.

The tracking lesson provided Conserve School students with instruction in recognizing the difference between wolf, coyote, and dog tracks.  Scat (feces), students learned, also indicates wolf activity. In our case, we found scat indicative of a fresh kill somewhere nearby. 

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