You can identify a wolf from its howl

A research team from Nottingham Trent University, UK, has developed a computer program that can analyse the vocal signatures of wolves and determine individuals by their howls. The program, which studies both howl volume and pitch, was trialled on eastern grey wolves in Algonquin Provincial Park, Canada, and returned a success rate of 100 per cent in recognising individuals and 97 per cent when identifying groups. Speaking on the findings published in the journal Bioacoustics, research leader Holly Root-Gutteridge said: “In scientific terms this is really exciting, because it means that if we hear a howl on one night we can tell if it is or isn’t the same wolf that you hear on subsequent nights.” As to its applications, Root-Gutteridge said the program could be used by conservationists to monitor wolf pack populations and migration.