The picture above shows four pups (one is laying down) from the Fishtrap pack at one of their rendezvous sites. The picture was taken from video filmed half a mile away.
I am an independent wildlife biologist in Montana under the business name of Wolf and Wildlife Studies
. I have conducted research on wolves for over 20 years, including a 10-year study of the Fishtrap pack. For apparently killing someone's cow, the entire pack was killed by wildlife managers, thus ending the longest behavioral study of wolves in Montana's history, outside of Yellowstone National Park. Like before, it can take years to pin down the location of previously unknown wolves and study them. For the past several years, I have gone through this process and recently found that wolves have begun to frequent the area. The exciting news is that this includes an entire pack, one that could potentially fill the void left by the Fishtrap wolves. If so, I can study how a different pack utilizes the same area and how they respond to the environmental constraints forced upon the previous wolves. These aspects of behavior have not been studied before in northwest Montana, where most of the wolves live. The results could further our understanding of how wolves specifically utilize and affect their local environment, thus leading to more appropriate and less destructive environmental policies (see below).
As an independent researcher, the cost of maintaning a research project, and especially having to find new wolves to study, can be prohibitively expensive. I am now out of money. It will take at least $10,000 this year to continue my studies. Expenses include maintenance of vehicles, computer maintenance and software, fuel, and audio recording equipment. The remaining $1,000 I am requesting is to cover the fees required by GoFundMe and other companies.
The study of wolves in Montana is important because we know little about how wolf packs function in the wild, yet I am the only behavioral biologist who does this work in northwest Montana. Other researchers work for management agencies who do not use science, as they have claimed, to collect their data. I proved this by reviewing the state government's wolf population data and published the results in a peer reviewed scientific journal. I found that their information is extremely flawed and in some cases blatantly wrong. When I contacted the local wolf manager and asked about what protocols are used to collect data (which the scientific method demands), his response was, "Jay there are no protocols. No protocol would be necessary or even help really." In fact, managers do not even know the total number of wolves in Montana. Nevertheless, their "data" are used to make management decisions and kill hundreds of wolves a year, which potentially could be most of them. In summary, the wolf management process is based on claims that do not hold up to scrutiny, because science was never used to begin with. Instead, the government's information demonstrates that wolves are considered a "crop," like corn, and are harvested for money and convenience rather than to maintain a functioning ecosystem. Most species they manage are treated in this manner.
Please help Montana's wolves - your wolves - and ultimately the environment. Scientists have documented the "top-down" influence of predators, including wolves, throughout the environment which is necessary for the functioning of healthy ecosystems. I currently have an online petition to stop the hunting and trapping of Montana's wolves. With these signatures, I will go back to the Governor's Office where they refused to answer my questions about their flawed data. With public support, I will bring the media this time and wolf managers will be held accountable publicly for their mismanagement of wildlife. For additional information and verification of who I am and what I do, please use the links below:
1. My web site: http://www.wolfandwildlifestudies.com
2. The published scientific paper that proves the government's "data" is wrong (downloadable PDF): http://www.wolfandwildlifestudies.com/downloads/natureandscience.pdf
3. The petition, which includes numerous other links to support information: http://www.change.org/petitions/stop-the-unjustified-killing-and-hunting-of-montana-s-wolves-use-science?utm_campaign=petition_created&utm_medium=email&utm_source=guides
4. The published study of the Fishtrap pack (downloadable PDF): http://www.wolfandwildlifestudies.com/packassembly.pdf
5. The current research on the vital effects predators produce to create healthy ecosystems (downloadable PDF): http://www.wolfandwildlifestudies.com/downloads/huntingpaper/predatorloss.pdf