Other Competitors

Other Carnivores

Canada lynx, bobcat, badger, otter, and other weasels

In Yellowstone, there are other carnivores that live alongside wolves but are not huge competition (so would offer little gameplay). Lynx and bobcats are careful to avoid wolves and so are rarely seen. If we ever added ground squirrels, badgers could add a spicy diversion. Otters and other weasels could provide entertaining ambience but little gameplay – so they are not at the top of our wishlist, as appealing as they might be. But never say never...maybe someday?

Humans

It's complicated

Humans and wolves have a complex relationship. Outside of Yellowstone National Park, the leading cause of wolf mortality is human activity (e.g. hunting, trapping, road fatalities, habitat loss). In the park, wildlife is protected and visitors are advised to give all apex predators a wide berth. (Ironically, the most dangerous animals in Yellowstone are bison and elk.)

Wolves are not normally a danger to humans, unless humans habituate them by providing them with food. No wolf has attacked a human in Yellowstone, but a few attacks have occurred in other places. To date, eight wolves in Yellowstone National Park have become habituated to humans. Biologists successfully conducted aversive conditioning on some of them to discourage being close to humans, but two have had to be killed.

Many places in Yellowstone National Park are teeming with people, but wolves avoid these areas. The park is vast, giving wolves plenty of places to roam without coming into close contact with people. With wolf reintroduction, wolf-watching (from a distance) has become a popular activity with visitors.

Humans in Yellowstone National Park

Quick Facts

Over 4 million people visit Yellowstone National Park annually.

Most people visit in the summer and most stay near roads and facilities.

Humans in the park are a danger to wolves if they habituate them to food.

Cars can be a dangerous to wildlife.

Humans extirpated wolves from Yellowstone in the 1920’s. Wolves were restored in 1996.

Hunting and trapping is not allowed in the park.

The Lamar Valley has become a wolf watching mecca. Wolf watching requires powerful spotting scopes/lens, knowledge of wolf movements, getting up at before the crack of dawn, and oodles of patience.

In WolfQuest:

Only signs of humans...

The main focus of WolfQuest is wolf ecology and so humans are absent from the game. There is no direct human-wolf interaction.

The fictional Lost River map depicts an abandoned town that is devoid of humans.

The cattle rancher of Slough Creek is unseen.

Human signs (e.g. detritus, signage, hiking paths, roads, buildings) might be encountered.

Boundaries will prevent you from traveling to populated areas.