Wolf and Cattle Interactions

Cow /Wolf Movies

Each of the videos listed on this page represent positions of a group of GPS collared cattle and a GPS collared wolf.  Cows are represented by orange dots that move across a geographically registered satellite image.   For each frame of the video the current position of the cow is shown in bright orange and the last 11 locations are shown in orange colors that fade to white.  Thus, you can see the last three hours of animal movement in each frame.  Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) is stamped on the bottom of each image frame for reference.  For the purpose of these videos, UTC is synonymous with Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) or 7 hours ahead of Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) and 8 hours ahead of Pacific Standard Time (PST).  Ten cows were collared out of a larger herd of approximately 450 head. 

In a similar fashion, a GPS collared wolf is shown as red dots that fade to light pink over an approximate 3 hour period.  This wolf was part of a larger pack of as many as 13 individuals including young of the year.   Sometimes wolves of the pack traveled together and at other times the collared wolf was by himself.   

Animal distribution on the landscape was not random.  This wolf frequented the den site and rendezvous sites more than other areas.  He also focused on a heifer calving pasture which can be seen as a brownish colored (non-forested) area in the central portion of the image.  In contrast to the cow movement pattern, most of the wolf movement was done at night.  It is apparent in the videos that this wolf traveled much farther and faster than did cows.  

Points and time of interaction between this wolf and the cows are easily seen in the videos.  Sometimes the wolf can pass relatively close to cattle and we do not see and obvious response.  At other times, cattle will move rapidly away from the wolf.  The ranch which provided the cattle for this GPS tracking study had 17 confirmed or probable wolf depredations in 2009 and recorded approximately 65 missing animals at the end of the grazing season.

The background image in the video covers  47.4 km (29.45 miles)  in an east-west direction and 31.4 km (19.51 miles) north-south, for a coverage of 1408 square kilometers (571.4 square miles).

June 20 to 30, 2009

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July 1 to 9, 2009

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July 11 to 20, 2009

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July 21 to 31, 2009

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