Thursday, October 18, 2012

Bison, Wolves and their Interrelationships (Nature of Things)

Photo Credit Peter S Jalkotzy

My career as a biologist began in Wood Buffalo National Park, as a field technician for a PhD student from the University of Calgary. The project was looking at the predator - prey inter-relationships between wolves and bison. It was a dream entry in a life long career of enjoying and learning about nature. This film is a fabulous portrayal and brought back many memories.

The Buffalo Wolves


A pack of wolves is hunting a small herd of buffalo across a frozen landscape. It's a scene out of the ancient past, when buffalo and wolves once roamed the plains of North America. However this location is in northern Canada in Wood Buffalo National Park where this ancient relationship has continued uninterrupted for thousands of years.

Wolf in Wood Buffalo National Park
Wolves and Buffalo follows the fortunes of one pack of wolves, the Delta Pack. Will the pups survive their first year? Will the packs alpha animals retain their pack position to breed again next year? As they try to bring down the buffalo to keep themselves and their new pups alive what will the future hold for these ancient warriors?
Observing wolves in their natural environment is never easy but wildlife filmmaker Jeff Turner has had more luck than most over the years. More than 20 years ago he first went to Wood Buffalo Park and filmed an event between these two species that had not been seen for more than a hundred years: wolves hunting buffalo. Due to recent industrial energy developments in northern Canada Jeff is returning to learn more about their unique relationship and what the future holds for both wolves and buffalo.

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