Saturday, August 18, 2012

Wolf Weekly Wrap-up

John Motsinger | Posted on 17 August 2012 |

Help save Wyoming’s wolves – Thanks to all our members and supporters who have already signed our petition to the Obama administration. So far, more than 62,000 of you have weighed in, and we’re getting closer every day to our goal of 100,000 signatures. It’s not too late to sign or share with your friends on social media. Just click here.

Stop the War on Wolves
Stop the war on wolves!

Our ask is simple: tell the Obama administration to maintain federal protection for Wyoming’s wolves until the state comes up with a better management plan. It’s important that we keep the pressure up because the delisting could come any day now. As this AP story suggests, a lawsuit from environmental groups could be waiting in the wings. But we’d much rather have the President take the lead on stopping this reprehensible plan in its tracks, before it ever has a chance to take effect.
With the hunting season scheduled to start in October and unrestricted killing allowed across more than 80 percent of the state, more than 100 wolves could be wiped out within a few months of delisting. The time to act is now! America’s wildlife heritage is a stake! Wyoming’s wolves need your help today!

Wolf pups galore! – Luckily, it’s not all bad news for wolves in the region. This year’s litter of pups appears to be doing very well in central Idaho and eastern Oregon. The Idaho Mountain Express reports that there are at least three packs in the Wood River Valley. This week, our field crew retrieved more than 100 new photos from Defenders trail cameras of the newly dubbed Pioneer Pack near Sun Valley. There appear to be at least four to five pups and three adults that were photographed while feeding on an elk carcass. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has had success getting pictures of pups lately too. They’ve documented at least two pups in the Umatilla area, officially making this group of wolves a pack and breeding pair. They also documented at least five pups in the Imnaha pack, one of the state’s oldest.

Here are a few of the best shots:

Pioneer pack gray and black pups
Pioneer pack gray and black pups

Alpha female and two black pups

 Alpha female and pups

 Umatilla pups in Oregon

 Imnaha pups in Oregon

Record number of elk calves in NW MT – Remember those stories we kept hearing about how wolves were decimating all the elk, especially in places like Montana’s Bitterroot Valley? Well this year Craig Jourdonnais, a biologist with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, documented 56 elk calves per 100 cows! According to this AP report, the ratio hasn’t been that high since 1976. The cause? Jourdonnais says it’s all about the weather, not wolves.

We’ll miss you, Tom — It’s with great sadness that we honor the passing of wolf expert Tom Meier. Tom helped lead wolf recovery efforts in Montana with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from 1996 to 2004, before returning to Denali National Park to conduct research for the National Park Service on predator-prey interactions. He was a true icon and will be missed. Read more in the Fairbanks News-Miner.