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Old 01-16-2017, 02:08 PM   #11
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Gloria..How do you know if it is a male or female bumble bee?
Hmm...good question.

I hadn't even thought of that. (I did learn how to tell a male monarch butterfly from a female based on markings...I'd like to learn about bumblebees as well. Something tells me that the females are larger, but I'm not sure...and, since size is relative, I wouldn't feel confident with that alone.)
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Old 01-16-2017, 02:15 PM   #12
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And whether it matters if you pet male verses female. Is one more likely to sting if it feels threatened?
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Old 01-16-2017, 09:21 PM   #13
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Well yes, females are more likely to sting as they are the defenders of nest and young. The stinger is a modified ovipositor used by queens to lay eggs so males do not have stingers. Most bees found hanging on a grass leaf or flower stem in the evening are males as they do not spend time in a nest.
But for bumble bees it is easiest to tell. Males often have a fuzzy spot on the face and the color bands may differ in color from the females. The males do tend to be smaller.

All bumble bee species have the following differences between male and female...

Rear leg. Females have a shiny, flat pollen basket fringed with long hairs. ... the males rear leg will look skinny.
Antennae - the male has 13 segments and the female has 12.
Abdomen. Females have 6 segments and males have 7.

Scroll down and see the many pictures of male and female bombus griseocollis at the link.

Bombus griseocollis - -- Discover Life

The first picture is a male with his bit of fuzz on the face.

The second picture is a Queen No yellow fuzz.
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Old 01-16-2017, 09:24 PM   #14
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It's still not legal to kill wolves in Yellowstone I hope, is it, katjh? BTW, I envy that experience you had in the Lamar Valley. While at Yellowstone a few years back, I longed to see even a single wolf, but didn't. Your description of what you witnessed would have been beyond my wildest dreams!!
No, it is not legal to hunt or trap inside the park. The wolves, however, don't recognize the boundary and wander out. There is no "buffer zone". As soon as they wander out, they are fair game. Quite a few radio collared wolves have been taken during hunting seasons. However one feels about collaring the wolves, it has been a huge help with research to learn how the packs live and interact. It's expensive to run that research program and kind of a bummer when a collared wolf is shot. Often, only one wolf in a pack is collared. When that wolf goes down, there is no way to follow or study that pack. There is an effort underway to try to establish a buffer zone so that wolves that wander just outside the park are still protected.

Hunting wolves is a bit different than hunting many other animals. Wolves have such a "family" structure in packs. Taking out an alpha wolf disrupts that structure. If both alphas are taken, the rest of the pack often scatters and the lone members struggle to survive.

I know there is no way hunting and trapping of wolves is going to go away. If we want to have wolves, we will have to tolerate it to appease the "haters" out there. I have no problem with hunting to put meat in the freezer. I just don't understand trophy hunting. Killing an animal just to put its head on the wall or its fur on the floor is abhorrent to me.

Anyway....off my soapbox now. We have been very fortunate to see wolves on almost every one of our trips since the reintroduction. We get out early in the morning and later in the evening. We've also kind of learned where to look. And I follow a couple of wolf watching facebook pages so, when we do visit, I kind of know where the activity has been. It is a little more difficult than it was in the beginning, though. Like I said, the wolves are learning that people are not to be trusted. They are not as close to the roads as they were in the early years.
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Old 01-16-2017, 10:41 PM   #15
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On our visit to Yellowstone in 2012, we were able to hike up to one of the original reintroduction acclimation pens. The Rose Creek pen still stands a couple of miles into the backcountry, behind the Lamar Buffalo Ranch. It's a really cool experience to walk into that pen. To see the wooden shelters put in place for the wolves. The bones still lying around from the road killed animals that were placed there to feed them. Our guide, who also happens to be our daughter, told us the stories of wolves #9 and #10, who started their lives as Yellowstone wolves in this pen.

This past summer, we hiked up to the original site of the Crystal Creek pen as well. That pen is no longer standing, there is no sign of it at all.
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Old 01-17-2017, 09:47 AM   #16
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On our visit to Yellowstone in 2012, we were able to hike up to one of the original reintroduction acclimation pens. The Rose Creek pen still stands a couple of miles into the backcountry, behind the Lamar Buffalo Ranch. It's a really cool experience to walk into that pen. To see the wooden shelters put in place for the wolves. The bones still lying around from the road killed animals that were placed there to feed them. Our guide, who also happens to be our daughter, told us the stories of wolves #9 and #10, who started their lives as Yellowstone wolves in this pen.

This past summer, we hiked up to the original site of the Crystal Creek pen as well. That pen is no longer standing, there is no sign of it at all.
Those are enticing pictures! Is your daughter a wildlife biologist? BTW, I'm enjoying the book you recommended, Wolf Land. Just last evening I was reading about wolf #9 who was the mother of the pups that instilled their genes into pretty much all of the wolves in the park up until the turn of the century.

I'd love to hear more about your experiences there!!
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Old 01-17-2017, 01:52 PM   #17
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Those are enticing pictures! Is your daughter a wildlife biologist? BTW, I'm enjoying the book you recommended, Wolf Land. Just last evening I was reading about wolf #9 who was the mother of the pups that instilled their genes into pretty much all of the wolves in the park up until the turn of the century.

I'd love to hear more about your experiences there!!
No, her degree is in Outdoor Recreation Leadership and Management. She works for the Yellowstone Association Institute (recently renamed Yellowstone Forever, but I like the old name better!) and her official title is Outdoor Educator. Through training classes and personal reading/research, she has learned a LOT about the wildlife in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Her boyfriend is a wildlife biologist and also works for YA. His position is seasonal, though.

We started taking the kids on extended family vacations to Yellowstone and Grand Teton NP's in the summer of 2000. We missed a year here and there to visit other parks, those in the Southwest and CA. Carolyn (our daughter) decided on that first trip, when she was just 11, that she would one day work/live in the park. Her original plan was to work in GTNP, as that was our favorite, but she landed in YNP, and loves it there as well.

Another favorite wolf encounter happened in the summer of 2012. That summer Carolyn and her two younger brothers were all working in the park, so we headed out to visit them. Hubby and I and son, Steve, hiked up Specimen Ridge one day. The other two had to work that day, so it was just the three of us.

A couple of miles in, we saw a "dark spot" on the ridge line above us. With binoculars, we could see that it was a black wolf. The wolf stood and howled as we watched. Soon, from below us, and out of site, we heard answering howls. As we hiked along, the black wolf kept pace with us for about a quarter mile, stopping to howl occasionally and always being answered by the other pack members out of site below us. It is truly an awesome experience to hear wolves howling. We speculate that it was the Agate Creek pack, as we were hiking through their territory. That pack no longer exists. The leading cause of death for wolves is....other wolves. There are territory disputes often.
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Old 01-22-2017, 10:05 AM   #18
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The leading cause of death for wolves is....other wolves. There are territory disputes often.
Terrific that your daughter has become so involved in nature and people! AS to the leading cause of death for wolves; I believe the author of Wolfland wrote other wolves, after man, was the leading cause of death.

I'm still reading the book and enjoying it. I never realized how persistent some of the wolves were in returning to their original homeland, not accepting Yellowstone as their new abode!!
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Old 01-24-2017, 10:04 PM   #19
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Terrific that your daughter has become so involved in nature and people! AS to the leading cause of death for wolves; I believe the author of Wolfland wrote other wolves, after man, was the leading cause of death.

I'm still reading the book and enjoying it. I never realized how persistent some of the wolves were in returning to their original homeland, not accepting Yellowstone as their new abode!!
Glad you're enjoying the book, Jack!

I think you are correct. The leading cause of death for wolves outside the park is humans.

Have you ever followed the Winter Study on Isle Royale? It is one of (if not the) longest running predator/prey studies ever conducted. Should be interesting this year since there are only two wolves believed to be left on the island. The NPS is trying to decide if/when/how to intervene. Should they introduce more wolves? Should they just let nature take its course?
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Old 01-25-2017, 02:07 PM   #20
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Glad you're enjoying the book, Jack!

I think you are correct. The leading cause of death for wolves outside the park is humans.

Have you ever followed the Winter Study on Isle Royale? It is one of (if not the) longest running predator/prey studies ever conducted. Should be interesting this year since there are only two wolves believed to be left on the island. The NPS is trying to decide if/when/how to intervene. Should they introduce more wolves? Should they just let nature take its course?
I've read about this issue. I'm usually for intervention in these cases, as we are usually the ones who skewed the normal state of affairs in the first place!

I have long been fascinated with wolves, and in Northern MA where I live in the summers, the coyotes are all coywolves, having DNA evidence showing that they are partially wolves. I've seen some of these animals from my window, and they are large, at least twice the size of coyotes I've seen in California. Nevertheless, there has never been a case here of a coyote bothering a human, though they feed relentlessly on cats, and will lure a small dog to its death if the dog is left out at night.

The coyotes are one of the treasures of my location, in my view. I love hearing their eerie sounds at night!!! I can only imagine what it must sound like to hear wolves howling in the nightime...
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