Maine Wolf Coalition Is Asking for Volunteers to Look for Wolves

We recently purchased our first trail camera and will be deploying it and perhaps several others in remote areas of the state in 2011.  We’re also asking folks who have their own trail cameras to set them out and send to us photos of any large canids.  If folks do not yet own a trail camera and are interested in purchasing one for this effort, we recommend you purchase a camera with the greatest number of megapixels as possible.  This is because the clarity of the photos will be very important, given the similarity of appearance between wolves and coywolves. 

Recently, private citizens in Washington State photographed a wolf pack with pups and we believe that if we can get enough cameras into the woods, we’ll document the presence of wolves here as well.  Unfortunately, we do not presently have the resources to pay for or subsidize volunteers.  As a suggestion, folks may want to purchase a bottle of wolf urine to use as a scent bait to attract any wolves.  Simply spray some on the ground, rocks or trees in the visual range of the camera.  We would ask that folks contact us to let us know the general area where they plan to set out their cameras. We’ll try to track efforts to see how many cameras are out and where they are located.  We’ll also be communicating with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Maine Dept. of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to try to identify areas where large canids have been reported or may be more likely to occur so that efforts may be focused in those areas.  If you’re interested in participating, please contact MWC and thanks very much for your help.
MWC assumes no legal responsibility for volunteers who participate solely at their own risk.

UPDATE – 4/21/2011

MWC has now purchased two additional trail cameras.  We’ve obtained permission to deploy one each on private land in Maine’s western mountains near the Quebec border and in the upper Penobscot River drainage.  The former location is an area near where MWC has received several sighting reports of large canids.  It is also near an area in northern New Hampshire rumored to be occupied by wolves and near to a location where gray wolf scat (as determined by DNA analysis) was collected several years ago.  The latter location is near Baxter State Park.  We are presently seeking a permit to deploy our third camera in the St. John River drainage near the Quebec border.  These three cameras will be strategically located to observe wolves traveling or living in a large portion of the state.  These areas are very remote and may well harbor resident or transient wolves.

We’ve also been in touch with a conservation organization in the northwest U.S. that documented the presence of a breeding pair of wolves in Washington State.  They’ve also sent us their protocol for deploying trail cameras.

2011 will definitely be a learning experience for us.  The aforementioned conservation organization deployed cameras for ten years before they succeeded in gathering photographic evidence of wolves.  We expect to learn a great deal which we plan to put to use next year and the year after that until we too are successful.

MWC’s finances are very limited.  If you support wolf recovery in the northeast and believe in our work, we ask that you consider a tax deductible contribution to fund the purchase of more trail cameras, batteries, etc. so that we can expand our search for wolves in the coming years.  To our knowledge, no state or federal agencies are proactively searching for wolves in the northeast U.S.  In Washington State, it was not the state or federal governments that found the wolves…it was a group of private citizens.  If they can do it, so can we! 

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