In December 2019, with the help of funding from the Animal Welfare Institute, we spent an amazing two weeks in Wisconsin, USA conducting fieldwork. We focused on one wolf pack territory and after scouting the area for field signs (tracks, scat, urine) we deployed a mixture of SM3 and SM4 acoustic detectors in the forest. The first few days were definitely tough as we felt like we were always one step behind the wolves’ movements and had to constantly change the locations of the detectors. The long days and brainstorming paid off though as we eventually managed to record lots of animal vocalisations, and were able to locate wolves and coyotes on several occasions.
Here’s an example of wolves howling that we recorded during this field trip:
Once we’d started to localise the animals, we put out camera traps (kindly lent to us by NatureSpy) to try to confirm their presence in the area. Although we didn’t capture any wolves on the cameras, we did capture this nice video of a coyote:
In keeping with my research interests of how domestic dogs affect wildlife, we are using the recordings from Wisconsin to look at the vocal interactions between farm dogs, wolves and coyotes in the area. We found lots of instances of these three species responding to each other so I’m really excited to get this data analysed!
You can listen to this clip here: