The Wolf That Changed America
Video: Wolf Expert Doug Smith on the Yellowstone Wolf Project

In this Web-exclusive video, wolf expert Doug Smith discusses the Yellowstone Wolf Project. Started in 1994, the Wolf Project has taken advantage of the visibility of Yellowstone’s wolves to explore wolf population dynamics. Of particular interest is how wolves interact with prey and scavenger populations in the park. Smith hopes that Wolf Project research can help replace common misconceptions about wolves with factual information.

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  • donna

    This ia Awesome waht you do, for i so do miss my wolf pack that i had i raised wolves for 13 yrs , never dreamed one day i would be without them. The viedo made me cry for i so miss mine they were like my children family members, keep doing the work you do for ione day i would love to visit yellowstone just to see them for myself. thank you donna

  • Susan gleason

    Good, keep looking at the big picture. You’re almost half way through the next ten years.

  • Floyd Bond

    Doug Smith and his team are doing a great job with the wolves. I have photographed wolves in Yellowstone for the last five years.A remarkable place.Anyone with a interest in nature should visit Yellowstone.The wolves of Yellowstone are beautiful animals and with people like Doug Smith,the wolves will be here for a very long time. You may view my wolf pictures of Yellowstone at

  • ray inglesi

    Saw the film tonight. Absolutely fascinating and could feel the emotional response that Seton expressed about the great wolf. Very educational. Watching the film and Doug makes me want to head to Yellowstone!

  • Joe Fauci

    The film on PBS tonight was both inspiring and fascinating.I admire people like Doug who sort of go against the status quo and believe in what their doing what they know is to be the truth.
    Here in the Chicago region we have a movement to restore our prairie and savanah to its former state(pre-settlement) in the county forest preserves.
    A very tough task to be sure.Can you imagine re-introducing the timber wolf.FAT CHANCE!

  • Jerry H

    A grand program! The tall tales and myths of the past need to be corrected through research and education. Let’s continue to do all we can to insure that our nation’s wild heritage is here to experience and enjoy for the generations to come.

  • Maggie

    Listen carefully to Doug Smith’s final comments in this video – if the George W Bush has his way the war on wolves will be back on and this time we might not get them back. I have seen the wolves in Yellowstone and it is a privilege and an honor. To think that our government might remove their protections sickens me. I hope Doug Smith and his colleges prevail. Predators are the keystones of any healthy ecosystem. I look forward to having a president who uses critical thinking and science to make sound decisions for our wildlife.

  • wayne raasch

    I saw your Seton & wolves on Nature last night – for those who have compassion this was moving –

    the destruction of wildlife and the wolves is terrible

    I want to donate for a sanctuary (land) for wildlife like our parks

    Since the present administration does the opposite,

    those who have compassion need to step forward and save the wilderness like Teddy Roosevelt and Seton did way back then

    its like Bush & cheney live before the 1800’s – abolishing laws that protect the wilderness ; Gov. Palin (Alaska) ok’ed killing wolves from helicopters

    she needs to work in a slaughter house -there people have hearts of stone

    please run this film time and time again to spread the nedd to save our wilderness

    Wayne Raasch
    Lissie Tx

  • Scared & Sure

    There is a Werewolf creature here in WI. We have witnessed it’s foot prints.

  • steve hewitt

    I remember my first “wolf” experience so vividly though it was 45 years ago. I sat at a campfire with my grandparents, we were in northern Canada next to a lake, the sun had set and the moon was rising over a clearcut hill across from us. As the moon completely cleared the hill a low mournful wail suddenly arose from the top of the hill and gradually became louder, then faded gently away. Every hair on my body stood straight on end and my heart was racing for I instantly knew I was hearing the voice of the wilderness. The chorus was soon joined by others nearby on the hill and soon they were off, down the backside of the hill away from us, lost to the darkness and the wilds that were their home. I felt and still feel privileged in that experience and yes,the hair still stands up on my arms and neck when I think of it.
    Thank you to all of those who treasure the voice in the wilderness and fight to keep it alive and strong for our childrens children should have the same wonderful experience, or at least the chance to, that I had. Long may you run Lobo, long may you run.

  • Bob

    Over ten years ago, I used to volunteer as a speaker for the Timber Wolf Alliance on education for the recovery of the Timber Wolf in Northern Wisconsin and the upper penisula of Michigan. At the time the wolves were making a slow comeback, and now it is great to say that the population is still growing and is quite healthy. When I go to the northern part of Wisconsin, it’s great to hear the howls where years ago, it was silent. I’ve even been lucky enough to see them along roads and see signs of them in the woods. It is a sign that the environment is healthier than it was.

  • Robin

    I love wolves they are fantastic and loveable. I want one for a pet but I might have to wait until I am married for that. lol. I am fifteen and I am inlove with wolves they are my favorite animal.

  • Ashwin

    Myself and my brother after seeing this in PBS went to Yellowstone the past Christmas amidst severe winter weather and were so lucky to see the wolves in the wild and it was simply magical

  • sari

    hi and tanks very much. it is very very good
    is it possible to download this video clip ?

  • Marc McFarland

    First of all wolves are perhaps one of the most beautiful species on earth. Secondly, I’m dumbfounded by the fact that our culture has demonized wolves when we as a species are so like them. We are both highly social apex predators just like lions, dolphins and orca whales. I believe that one possible reason why people vilified wolves aside from the obvious fact that they sometimes prey on livestock is that they remind us of how and what we ourselves once were. Many modern anthropologists now think that our distant ancestors may have learned a great deal of there hunting practices by watching other social apex predators like wolves. I would really like to thank, “Nature” for producing these types of documentaries; I have been watching Nature since I was a kid and it’s shows have inspired me to study Biology/Zoology.

  • brandy

    whats sad is our children today will never understand the animals of our world…insted they look at vido games and tv.and well lets face it our children of today dont realy care….we embrace wildlife but on a true level we dont care.
    i am an animal lover my childen know of animals i bring them in the houes all the time…we went camping my son and i saw a couger…now my face lit up with joy but my sons jaw droped to the ground and he ran like hell.. i was real sad because all the work i put in to help him understand wildlife…insted he ran with fear. its a life giving thing to feel fear around animals like that but a big disspoiment on my end.only time will realy tell whats gonna happen to our wild friends.. sadly i belive we will one day be with out our wolves,bears,cats tigers… and why because we as one human race have decided that (our) land wil be better with out them….kinda sad when u think about it…

  • phil

    I like Dayton Duncan’s take on why we hate wolves (most of us, for most of our history): They’re descendants of those canines who refused to come over and sit by the fire with us, refused to become our trusted dependents, our “best friends.” Thus, they became our worst enemies. The wolves insisted on remaining wild and competing on our level, and we hate them for it. (Dayton Duncan is the producer of Ken Burns’ films, and his comment was in the “National Parks” series). Whether we’ll ever overcome this instinctual urge to kill all the other top predators on the planet remains to be seen…

  • Marc

    It is unfortunate that so many people cannot see the full scope of the wrath that wolves place on the rest of the animals. There are now, way too many in Wyoming, Idaho and Montana. They are devastating the deer and elk herds. Each wolf on average slaughters 75 elk per year even though it can’t possibly eat but only the meat volume of about 3.

    It’s just a matter of time before the people of this country have to step in and create some proper balance.

    Doug Smith is just helping to slaughter thousands of deer and elk. He is not helping matters at all.

  • Tom H.

    Saw the PBS piece this evening about Seton and Lobo. I have grown to adulthood in the wilds of Idaho. I have a profound respect and admiration for everything wild. From my early days of skipping around the backwoods in search of discovery I have wanted to see a wolf. I dare say I have been many places that I know another human has not stepped foot. I am a backpacker, a rafter, a naturalist. I was in complete favor of returning wolves to our wild Idaho and returning a balance. Since the re-introduction I have fairly quickly seen our backcountry tipping to an imbalance that I could never have imagined. I listen to wolves howl, bark, howl again. My sightings of wolves I can count on one hand; the howls on more fingers than hands I have ever shaken. In my life I cannot count the number of elk I’ve seen on the hands of all of my friends and acquaintances, but I can count on one hand the number of elk I’ve seen this fall, but again cannot count the number of howls I’ve heard on my hands, feet, my son’s hands and feet, my daughter’s hands and feet. Fact: The Canadian Grey wolf has DECIMATED the elk numbers in Idaho. THERE IS NO BALANCE. I was wrong when I believed the re-introduction would be a successful return to the way our wilds should be. Doug Smith, I invite you at any time to accompany me in MY Yellowstone. Judge Donald Malloy, you a puppet, not a biologist. Shame on you

  • Jennifer R. Justel

    Remarkable video, awesome job on Doug Smith´s or Shaun Elis´s part.
    If we really want our grandchildren to get to know these loveable, family-bound, respectful creatures we should appeal to our Government to pass laws to protect and preserve the species.
    Do not just talk about it over the Internet, join the existing associations and write to the authorities responsible for nature conservation. If you cannot do any of those, simply support those non-profit associations in any way you can. Here´s a link to but a list on a few of them:

  • Chris F.

    I can’t believe I hadn’t heard of Doug until this year.He’s a very interesting biologist

  • Melanie M

    What is Mark smoking? The only ones over killing the elk is the hunter’s themselves, it’s like history repeating itself. Wolves only catch one Elk at a time to eat in order to survive. I think he needs an education & maybe someone to help open his eyes, if that’s possible.

  • Spenser

    Marc is not only smoking…he’s drinking the koolaid! Doug Smith’s specialty is predator / prey relationships. He’s studied this at Yellowstone for well neigh 18 years. Before that, he worked under David Mech, THE expert on the gray wolf. Who should we believe? Experts who have devoted their lives to this subject and have literally lived for months at a time in the wild? Or the usual band of beer-swilling bozos who devote a weekend or two a year stumbling around in the snow trying not to shoot themselves in the foot?

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