Berry-eating, fish-hunting, beaver-ambushing wolves? The Voyageurs Wolf Project was started to address one of the biggest knowledge gaps in wolf ecology: what do wolves do during the summer in forested ecosystems? Despite decades of research, the answer to this question has remained elusive due to the difficulties of studying wolves during the summer. With the help of advanced GPS-tracking technology and remote video cameras, the Voyageurs Wolf Project has been able to get an unprecedented look at the summer ecology of wolves in the Greater Voyageurs Ecosystem in Northern Minnesota. This research has revealed new aspects of wolf hunting behavior and shown just how variable wolf diets during the summer are. Come learn about the Voyageurs Wolf Project presented by Tom Gable, and the complex and fascinating lives of wolves in the Northwoods!
Tom is the project lead for the Voyageurs Wolf Project and a PhD student at the University of Minnesota. He has been studying wolves in the Greater Voyageurs Ecosystem since 2014 when he started his Master’s at Northern Michigan University. Gable is particularly fascinated by wolf-beaver interactions and much of his graduate work to date has focused on understanding how wolves hunt and kill beavers, and conversely how beavers avoid fatal encounters with wolves. Much of Gable’s early interest in wolves stemmed from encountering wolf tracks, kills, and the occasional wolf while exploring the wild places around his family’s cabin just outside of Killarney Provincial Park, Ontario during the winter. During and after his Bachelor’s in Biology at Hope College in Holland, Michigan, Gable worked as a wolf research technician in Grand Teton National Park and on the Minnesota Wolf and Deer Project in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW). His time in the BWCAW fostered a deep appreciation and love for the iconic Northwoods of Minnesota.