Tuesday, June 30, 2015

NEWS UPDATE: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Denies Threatened Status for Gray Wolf

By Rachel Tilseth, the founder of Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin
WODCW  was one of the 21 wolf conservation and wolf protection organizations to sign the petition for threatened status that the USF&WS rejected today. Threatened status would provide solutions to depredation concerns for the state’s farmers and ranchers. Under threatened status a trophy hunt of wolves would not be allowed.

WODCW believes the state of WI has mismanaged wolves that were delisted in 2012 by holding a recreational trophy hunt on wolves. The recreational trophy hunt employed the barbaric method of using hound hunting dogs to track and trail wolves and also, the inhumane method of trapping.

WODCW believes wolves must stay in federal protected status, under the Endangered Species Act until the state of WI can show reasonable wolf management that protects the health and welfare of wild wolves. Wolves are crucial for our ecosystems.

The fight’s not over yet. WODCW will keep you up to date.

The following is from HSUS press release on today’s disappointing decision. 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Denies Threatened Status for Gray Wolf, Rejecting Reasonable Compromise on Contentious Issue

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rejected a petition that would reclassify most gray wolves under the Endangered Species Act as “threatened” throughout the contiguous United States. The proposal, which was filed by The Humane Society of the United States and 21 other conservation and wolf protection organizations in January 2015, offered a pathway for a reasonable compromise between the current more restrictive “endangered” listing for wolves in the Great Lakes and Wyoming, and the efforts by some anti-wolf politicians in Congress to strip wolves of all protections entirely. A “threatened” listing would have continued federal oversight and funding of wolf recovery efforts, but also would have given federal, state and local wildlife managers more flexibility to address specific wolf conflicts such as livestock depredation. Michael Markarian, chief program and policy officer of The Humane Society of the United States issued the following statement:

“We are disappointed in the Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision not to consider this middle-ground approach to wolf management. A threatened listing is a reasonable compromise to this contentious issue, and it retains some federal protection for wolves, while providing more flexibility to the states in dealing with the occasional problem wolf. We need practical solutions, not to turn back the clock to the days of widespread hound hunting, baiting and trapping of hundreds of wolves in states with hostile and reckless wolf management policies.” http://m.humanesociety.org/news/press_releases/2015/06/fws-denies-wolf-petition-063015.html

photograph used with permission of artist Ron Niebrugge

#Wolf of the Day

Wolf by Dawn Cotterell 

Decision expected on only wild population of red wolves

Posted June 30, 2015

— Federal officials plan to announce whether they will continue, change or end a program in North Carolina to maintain the only wild population of endangered red wolves.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans a conference call Tuesday to say what it will do with the program, an announcement that's been delayed several times. Officials have said all options are on the table.

The announcement comes several months after a report commissioned by the government criticized the program. Earlier this year, state wildlife officials asked the federal government to end the program and declare the wolves extinct in the wild.

The only wild population of the red wolf is in several counties in eastern North Carolina. About 100 now roam the wild, and about 200 are in captive breeding programs.

Monday, June 29, 2015

#Wolves of the Day

Tris by Francesco Cinque 

New Study: #Wolves in big packs more likely to survive mange

23 hours ago  • 

It’s not as healthy to be a lone wolf, especially if you have mange.

That’s the conclusion of a recently published study of Yellowstone National Park wolves that examined survival of animals suffering from an infestation of itch-causing mites. “There are lots of other examples — humans being one of them — that animals benefit from cooperative care,” said Emily Almberg, a research scientist at Penn State and the lead author of the study. “But it was a little surprising that a mangy individual could survive as well as a healthy wolf.”

That’s right, wolves infected with mange that were living in a pack with at least five other healthy wolves had the same rate of death as their healthy companions, the study found.

mange pack

Mighty mites

The tiny mites that cause mange were spread to the Northern Rockies by state wildlife veterinarians in 1909 as way to eradicate coyotes and wolves. The female bugs burrow into furbearers’ skin, lay eggs and cause itching and often an allergic reaction or rash. The infection is visible when the animal loses hair around the infection site, often from continual scratching.

Mite infections that are localized are survivable, but large infestations can be deadly for several reasons. The itchiness may distract the animal from feeding, drinking and sleeping. Loss of hair, especially in the winter, can mean dangerous heat loss. The outbreaks can also cause secondary infections. The severity of mange seems to be widely variable as does the duration.

So how does being in a pack help a mangy wolf survive? Almberg said that’s a bit difficult to nail down, but the prevailing theory is that the pack’s ability to feed the sick animal may keep it healthy enough to survive the mite infestation. Without a pack, especially a larger pack, a wolf is more susceptible to going hungry or being killed by rival wolves from other packs.

But being in a larger pack would also seem to be more dangerous for the pack, since one sick individual could infect others. “That’s sort of dogma within disease ecology,” said Paul Cross, a disease ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Bozeman who participated in the wolf study. “The cost of larger groups is more disease. It’s counterintuitive except where large groups were helpful in terms of better survival.”

Such benefits may be common among other cooperative carnivores, Cross said, such as African lions and killer whales.

Mange in YNP

Yellowstone wolves suffered their first significant mange outbreak in 2007, 12 years after they were first reintroduced to the park. Since then, pack and wolf numbers have fallen, and so has the rate of mange infection. Almberg said only a couple of wolves are noticeably infested this year as wolf numbers have stabilized at 104 wolves in 11 packs, not counting this spring’s pups.

Mortality rates from those early outbreaks were higher, yet some wolves never contracted the mite or seemed to have some type of immunity, although why is not understood, Almberg said. As Yellowstone’s wolf numbers have dwindled, so did mange outbreaks to the point that scientists thought maybe the mites had died out. But they are capable of surviving on a variety of furbearers, so it was only a matter of time before wolves were infected again.“In cooler, moist temperatures, the mites seem to do better,” Almberg said. “The winter of 2013 was really bad, but we don’t know why.”

Almberg also noted that recent severe outbreaks of mange seem to target younger animals. “This pattern is consistent with either acquired immunity or a ‘frailty effect’ where particularly susceptible individuals (due to genetics or general condition) are selected against early on in the epidemic,” according to the Yellowstone Wolf: Project Citizen Science’s website.

mite Sarcoptes scabiei


Infections can come from visiting kill sites where mites have survived on a dead animal or been transferred by an infected animal. The mites can also be transferred by wolf interactions via breeding, pack social contact or fights.

Pets like cats and dogs can also contract mange. The common treatment is an oral dose of medicine, a practice that’s not practical in the wild. So, mange will continue to live on among Yellowstone’s wolves, coyotes, foxes and now even grizzly and black bears.

“It’s an old, old, old parasite,” Almberg said. “It’s globally distributed. It was present in North America before it was introduced in the West. And there’s no practical way to treat it in the wild.”


In this day and age, bear baiting is still happening! Please read

Special post from Rachel Tilseth, the founder of the Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin
It's legal to bait bears in Wisconsin and chase them down with packs of free ranging dogs...
Bear hunters bait the bear, getting him used to sweat treats like Cheerios and donuts that are stuffed into a log. Watch the video made by a bear hunter on how to make a bear bait station here;


Bear baits are sold all over northern WI service stations. Bear baiting is a big business. Many hounding clubs have large Warehouses full of bear bait sweats kept in 50 gallon barrels.

These bear bait stations attract other wildlife such as wolves and are know to cause conflicts between bear hunting dogs and wolves. WODCW will be out and about in the north woods monitoring bear hounding. For how to help wolvesdouglasco@gmail.com

‪#‎StopTheHarassmentOfWildlife‬ ‪#‎BearBaitingWI‬


Photograph used with permission of photographer Ron Niebrugge


Please help monitor bear hounding dogs hunting wolves in WI

By Rachel Tilseth, the founder of the Wolves of Douglas County, Wisconsin
Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin was created in 2012 in the memory of the Alpha female named, White Eyes. I tracked this wolf pack for a dozen winters. White Eyes was always very protective of her pups. There were several times when she was forced to defend them against packs of free roaming bear dogs. Bear hounding dogs always lost the fight against White Eyes's motherly instinct because their handlers ignored warnings.

 Warnings put out on DNR websites alerting bear hounders where wolf pups were kept (called rendezvous sites). Hounders were and still are reimbursed for their dogs, $2,500 per dog killed by wolves in the pursuit of bear dog training and bear hunting. Wolf pups are 4 to 5 months old and still vulnerable during July and August when Bear hounders run dogs through the north woods of Wisconsin.

White Eyes was a victim of a vehicle collision in 2009 but there are 2 survivors, with hopefully new pups, left of her family pack. It will take all of us to honor White Eyes's memory by working together.

Who will join me in July and August to monitor hounders? Email me at wolvesdouglasco@gmail.com


‪#‎RememberWhiteEyes‬ ‪#‎monitorBearHounders‬ ‪#‎WIWolves‬ ‪#‎WINorthWoods‬
Photograph used with permission of photographer Ron Niebrugge


Sunday, June 28, 2015

#Wolf of the Day

Keara by Brian Cross 

MN lawmakers, activists weigh in as Congress ponders delisting gray wolves

Associated Press
Gray wolves were put back on the endangered list in December.
Courtney Kueppers
June 27, 2015

– In Minnesota, gray wolves are at their highest population since the 1950s, yet activists take issue with removing the animals from the endangered species list without a concrete plan.

With Republicans in the House and Senate moving to delist the wolves in Minnesota, Wyoming, Wisconsin and Michigan, some advocacy groups are making a final push to keep the animals protected.

This includes the Minnesota-based group Howling For Wolves, which has spent $20,000 lobbying in Washington this year to keep wolves on the list.

Six decades ago, Minnesota’s wolf population fell to a record low of 750. However, the most recent count by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources puts the number at upward of 2,400.
Longtime wolf activist Collette Adkins, a senior attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity, said wolves are doing well in Minnesota, but not everywhere. She said that wolf populations are just re-emerging in other regions of the country and that Minnesota wolves will migrate.

“We only have 5 percent of their historic range,” she said. “We used to have wolves ranging the Lower 48 and we’re not asking for wolves in downtown Chicago, but there are lots of places where wolves could recover and they’re not recovered. We’d like to see continued recovery efforts before they are removed from the list.”

Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., has been outspoken about delisting the gray wolves since December, when a U.S. District Court put them back on the endangered list in Minnesota and the Great Lakes area. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service previously had delisted them in 2012.

Peterson wrote in January that with the animals back on the list, “Farmers and ranchers in my district now face an immediate legal predicament between protecting their livestock from predatory gray wolves and complying with yet another overreaching federal judicial decision.”

The legislation to delist the gray wolves is part of a larger bill. The delisting language would bar the rule from being subjected to judicial review, meaning it couldn’t be overruled by a future judge. Brett Hartl, a Washington-based endangered species policy director for the Center for Biological Diversity, said it’s common for Congress to slip smaller items like this into big bills.

Julia Krahe, a spokeswoman for Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., said in a statement that Klobuchar supports delisting the gray wolf.

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., didn’t take a definite stance on delisting, but noted in a statement that rural Minnesotans are rightfully worried about wolf attacks on livestock and pets.

#Wolf of the Day

OR11_odfw by Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife 

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Authorities: Metro-area #wolf sightings not confirmed

Raina Beutel  

A pair of wolves spotted in the Rothschild-Weston area last spring appears to have moved out of the area, though authorities cannot rule them out in the case of a calf reported missing from a farm in May.

The Department of Natural Resources estimates that Wolf Zone 6, which includes Marathon County and extends as far as the Illinois border, has 34 wolves spread among 11 packs, including seven lone wolves. But a map of probable pack ranges shows the packs not traveling much farther south than the eastern corner of Wood County and across a top portion of Portage County.

Rumors have moved through Rothschild that wolves are responsible for injuring livestock and other animals in the area recently, but Village President George Peterson said the last time any livestock was reportedly attacked by wolves, police considered the report “speculation” and could not confirm a wolf-related killing.

And if any livestock had been killed recently, chances are the owner would have filed for compensation with the Department of Natural Resources. The last verified wolf attack on livestock reported in Marathon County was the death of a calf in September 2014, according to DNR records.
On May 11, a calf did go missing from a farm near Weston, but Brad Koele, a wildlife damage specialist, said an investigation could not confirm if it was a wolf-related incident.

Peterson did see one particular pair of wolves on his own property adjacent to Weston, but that was more than a year ago.

And even with suspicions of wolves prowling around, Peterson said no one should be surprised to see a wild animal wander through a neighborhood. Peterson said the residential area in Rothschild is expanding and pushing into wooded areas in some spots. Not only are animals likely to walk right through lawns, but the properties are encroaching on animal territory, he said.

Peterson said much of the Rothschild area is semi-wild; people have become used to co-habitation. He cited areas like Gaska Park and the Cedar Creek wetlands. “Who knows what is in there?” he said. Other confirmed wolf packs live between Eau Claire and Adams County.

Koele said the DNR does not keep track of wolf sightings, and Capt. Kevin Ostrowski of the Rothschild Police Department said he can’t remember the last time he received a report of a wolf sighting. Weston Village Administrator Daniel Guild said he likewise hasn’t heard of any wolf sightings in the area.


#Wolf of the Day

Another wolf portrait 
Another wolf portrait by Tambako The Jaguar 

Idaho Group Sues Predator-control Agency for Information

June 22, 2015  • 

BOISE (AP) | An Idaho conservation group has filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking to force a federal agency to turn over information about its methods and activities in killing wildlife in the state.
The Western Watersheds Project filed the 18-page lawsuit Monday against the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services.

The lawsuit contends the federal agency is violating the Freedom of Information Act by not supplying information the group asked for in five formal requests in February and March. "We're seeking more detailed information on how they operate," said Talasi Brooks, an attorney at Advocates for the West representing the Idaho group. "They're not very forthcoming on that."

In a separate lawsuit filed in February, the Western Watersheds Project and four other groups sued Wildlife Services contending federal and Idaho officials are violating environmental laws by killing wolves, coyotes and other wildlife to protect livestock and crops. The lawsuit filed Monday is distinct from the one filed in February, Brooks said.

The U.S. Department of Justice didn't return a call from The Associated Press on Monday.
Among the information sought in the most recent lawsuit involves Wildlife Services' Pocatello Supply Depot. The Western Watersheds Project wants to find out if animal poison is being produced there or if devices to kill predators are simply being assembled there, Brooks said. "I am very curious about the Pocatello Supply Depot," Brooks said. "I want to know what they do, what they're making there. Whether it's at cost, or whether it's a taxpayer-subsidy operation."

Other information sought in the lawsuit incudes permits that Wildlife Services operates under in Idaho and equipment Wildlife Services owns or leases for animal damage control in the state.

The lawsuit also seeks information about specific wildlife management activities and details concerning cooperative agreements Wildlife Services has with other entities in the state.
The Western Watersheds Project plans to make the information public, Brooks said.

#Wolves kill five domestic animals in two attacks

Zach Urness, Statesman Journal

In a pair of attacks last week, wolves killed three sheep, one dog and one calf in eastern Oregon, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife confirmed Wednesday. The attacks were the first confirmed by ODFW since last September.

On June 20, a livestock owner in the Rock Creek Drainage of Wallowa County found a partially consumed calf with numerous bites marks and wolf tracks near the carcass. GPS locations showed the radio-collared wolf OR-21 to be within 4.3 miles of the carcass and a single wolf was observed in the pasture the evening before the estimated date of death, ODFW said in its incident report. "The location, appearance, and characteristics of the bite wounds observed are similar to those ODFW biologists have observed on other confirmed calf depredations by wolves," the report said.

On June 22, in the Ruckle Junction area of Umatilla County, three sheep and one guard dog were found dead, ODFW said in its report. "The location and appearance of the bite wounds noted above are similar to those observed on other confirmed sheep depredation by wolves," the report said. "This combined with the multiple animals killed and the presence of collared wolves in close proximity to the sheep at the time of loss combine to justify that these sheep and guard dog were depredated by wolves."

A third incident, investigated May 13, said the cause of death of a calf in Wallowa County was a "probable wolf" attack. Russ Morgan, the department's wolf coordinator, said in an interview last week that the rate of wolf depredations over the past year had been low.
Attacks on livestock in Oregon decreased in 2014, to 11 incidents from 13 the previous year, despite the increase in wolf numbers from 64 to 77 known wolves.

However, the total number of animals killed in 2014 increased to 32 — the highest number since wolves returned to Oregon — mainly because they killed multiple sheep during single attacks.
Since they returned to Oregon, wolves have killed a confirmed 109 domestic animals, a small fraction of all domestic animals in the state.


Low snow could be affecting POW #wolf mortality

Environmental groups protest potential harvest

Posted: June 25, 2015
A memorandum from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Wildlife Conservation further explains the drastic decline in Prince of Wales’ wolf population, saying that in addition to known take, the 60 percent population fall may be due to deer being less vulnerable to wolves in low snow years. “The known take of wolves from the study area prior to the 2014 estimate contributed to the lower estimate,” wrote research biologist Gretchen Roffler in a memorandum to regional supervisor Ryan Scott. “Other factors that may have reduced wolf numbers include, decreases in deer abundance, availability of non-ungulate prey, increases in disease in wolves, and increases in unreported wolf take. However, there is no indication that any of these factors are present. One possibility is a decrease in the vulnerability of deer to wolf predation causing subsequent decreases in recruitment and survival of wolves.”

The Sitka Field office of Greenpeace and the Center for Biological Diversity put out a press release protesting ADF&G’s planned field season. “Opening another trapping and hunting season on this small, declining population is madness,” said Larry Edwards of Greenpeace in the release. “Wolves in the Prince of Wales area are geographically and genetically isolated. This is simply unsustainable, posing a grave risk to the population.”

Despite the fact that female wolves were especially hard hit, from 50 percent to 25 percent of the population, Roffler said that if managed correctly, the population should be able to recover. “Wolves recolonize vacant pack areas,” Roffler wrote in the memo. “We believe that as long as harvest remains low and other factors like prey availability and habitat suitability remain unchanged, wolves will recolonize the vacant pack territory within the study area and future density estimates will be higher.”

The Forest Service Big Thorne timber sale, the environmental group’s release said, will further threaten the wolf population, reducing suitable habitat both for deer and wolves.

As the Empire previously reported, the wolf population in Game Management Unit 2 which includes Prince of Wales, decreased by 60 percent from 2013 to 2014, according to population estimates from the US Forest Service and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

• Contact Juneau Empire outdoors writer Mary Catharine Martin at maryc.martin@juneaeumpire.com.

The Juneau Empire’s June 11 story is available here: http://juneauempire.com/outdoors/2015-06-11/pows-wolf-population-plummets.


#Wolf Weekly Wrap-Up by @Defenders of Wildlife

Red Wolf, ©USFWS/John and Karen Hollingsworth-Red Wolf-North Carolina
Critically Endangered Red Wolf Mother Killed

We recently learned that last week, a private landowner shot and killed a six-year old female wolf – one of very few breeding females left in the wild. To make matters worse, it’s likely that the wolf had puppies at the time of her death. The fate of those pups is unknown, but our wolf experts are not optimistic they’ll be able to survive without her.

But the worst part of this incident: The wolf was shot with the express permission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). In bureaucrat speak, these kinds of killings are called “lethal control.” It’s a measure that’s only supposed to happen under extreme circumstances, and only after non-harmful efforts are exhausted. But in this situation, there is no indication that any extreme circumstances existed, or that any non-lethal efforts were attempted to remove the wolf from the shooter’s property.

For decades, FWS has stumbled in its legally-mandated efforts to foster the recovery of these beautiful and secretive animals. Red wolves once roamed from Pennsylvania to Florida. Today, fewer than 100 animals survive in the wild in a small part of eastern North Carolina. The loss of a breeding female is a major blow to the species’ recovery.

News of this unconscionable shooting comes as the state of North Carolina is turning up the pressure to put an end to red wolf recovery efforts altogether. FWS’s actions represent a grave step in the wrong direction.

Speak Up: Tell FWS to end all lethal control of red wolves in North Carolina!

Double Jeopardy for Population of Alaska Wolves

rainforest wolf, ©B. Bartel/USFWS
A rare population of Alaska wolves is declining dramatically according to science that shows a 60 percent population decrease since 2013. The Alexander Archipelago wolves are a genetically and geographically isolated sub-species of gray wolf, found only in the old growth temperate rainforests of southeastern Alaska and British Columbia. The most significant population of Archipelago wolves, inhabiting Prince of Wales Island, consisted of 221 individuals in 2013. But according to a new scientific report, the Prince of Wales Island population declined to a mere 89 wolves in 2014, and that number could be even lower now.
 Biologists believe one reason for the wolves’ dramatic decline is the intense logging in the area, an activity which has removed much of the island’s old growth forest – habitat the wolves and their prey, Sitka black-tailed deer, rely upon. Despite this rapid decline, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game has made zero effort to modify its planned hunting season in the area this fall. Although circumstances are dire, there is a silver lining. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has until December to determine if this rare, imperiled population of wolves warrants listing under the federal Endangered Species Act. Protecting these wolves under the ESA would significantly improve management of the forested lands where they live, as well as create stronger standards for conserving this population. We’ll keep you updated in the weeks to come.

Friday, June 26, 2015

I can't make this stuff up, folks! AZ Reps. Gosar, Pearce out to kill Mex Wolf program

For Immediate Release
Date: June 25, 2015
Contact: Steven D. Smith

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after introducing H.R. 2910, the Mexican Wolf Transparency and Accountability Act, which would require the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to comply with federal law and terminate the new overreaching regulations that established the dangerous “Nonessential Experimental Population”  program for the Mexican wolf:

“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s attempts to play God with the Mexican wolf population have been nothing short of a disaster. The Service admitted as much on a phone call on January 17, 2015 when it stated that about 50% of the Mexican wolves bred in captivity don’t survive. Talk about an inhumane and ineffective program. Furthermore, the USFWS engineered wolves that are released into the public have not fared much better and have been involved in numerous incidents where wolves have repeatedly stalked children and our citizens.

“This unlawful, new program poses a serious threat to ranchers and citizens in these regions and may cause significant harm to local economies. The new regulations that were implemented without an appropriation or authorization from Congress, in violation of the Anti-Deficiency Act, defy commonsense as nearly 90% of the wolf’s original habitat falls within the border of Mexico. Our bipartisan bill will protect local communities, delist the Mexican wolf and terminate this flawed experimental program.”

Representative Steve Pearce (R-NM-02) stated the following after joining Rep. Gosar in introducing the bill: “The so-called ‘recovery program’ of the Mexican wolf is a leading example of why Washington should leave species recovery to the states. The US Fish and Wildlife Service’s program ignores public safety concerns, threatens the livelihoods of New Mexico’s farmers and ranchers and fails to set a recovery goal (number of wolves) that will lead to a solution. Wolves are natural predators and are devastating livestock populations and putting children and family pets in danger.  Yet the Fish and Wildlife Service has recently decided to expand the population area for the wolves without first securing the necessary funding to ensure predator incidents can be prevented.

Needless to say, the Fish and Wildlife Service’s current program is not effective for wolf recovery and does not provide the kind of accountability the people of New Mexico deserve.  Congress must intervene by de-listing the Mexican wolf, eliminating this inadequate ‘recovery’ program and transferring species’ protection back to the state of New Mexico.”


On January 16, 2015, USFWS listed the Mexican gray wolf as an endangered subspecies and also issued a new rule that dramatically expanded the area Mexican gray wolves can roam. This bill prevents the Mexican wolf subspecies listing from having any force or effect and terminates the 10(j) rule that expanded the areas the wolves can roam and established an experimental population program.

The Mexican wolf was first listed as an endangered species in 1976. In 1982, Mexico and the United States signed the Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan. USFWS has acknowledged that, “The recovery plan did not contain objective and measurable recovery criteria for delisting as required by section 4(f)(1) of the Act.”

Yet, the Service has utilized the same recovery plan for the Mexican wolf since the early 1980s, failing to update the plan to include recovery criteria as required by federal law which will allow for the down-listing and delisting of this subspecies of wolves. As a result, this plan is significantly outdated and is not based on the best available science.

On June 8, 2015, the Arizona Attorney General and the Arizona Game and Fish Department filed a lawsuit against the secretary of the Department of Interior and the USFWS “for failing their statutory duty to develop an updated recovery plan to guide Mexican wolf recovery.”

An independent economic analysis found that the Mexican wolf’s presence in one county has caused a direct economic loss of $5 million and resulted in “1,172 calves lost annually to wolf depredation.”
Mexican wolves have caused so many problems in recent years that 12 wolves have had to be lethally removed and more than 150 others have been forced to be relocated.

The Mexican Wolf Transparency & Accountability Act is endorsed by: the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the Public Lands Council, Americans for Limited Government, Arizona Cattleman’s Association, Arizona Farm Bureau, Arizona Cattle Growers’ Association, Arizona Cattle Feeders' Association, the Arizona Association of Conservation Districts, New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau, Coconino County Farm Bureau and Cattle Growers Association, Yavapai Cattle Growers Association, Navajo/Apache Cattle Growers Association, Greenlee Cattle Growers Association, La Paz Stockmen’s Association, Mohave Livestock Association, Gila County Cattle Growers Association, Maricopa County Cattle Growers Association, Cochise /Graham Cattle Growers Association, Southern Arizona Cattlemen's Protective Association.

Sponsors and Original Cosponsors of the legislation include: Paul Gosar*, Steve Pearce*, Mark Amodei, Trent Franks, Glen Grothman, Martha McSally, Collin Peterson, Matt Salmon, David Schweikert and Ryan Zinke.

New wolf pups at Ashland's wildlife safari park

Posted: Thursday, June 25, 2015 
Eight young gray wolf pups are breaking in their teeth at the Lee G. Simmons Conservation Park & Wildlife Safari.
Parents Kenai, 6, and Yahzi, 7, had their second litter on April 30. The litter includes seven pups with gray coats and one with a black coat.
After nearly two months nursing, the pups are now on display in the Wolf Woods in Ashland's Wildlife Safari Park. They're most active in the morning and stay close to their mother as they ease into an adult carnivore diet, which includes fish, eggs, bones and meat.

The litter comes one year after the last wolf pups were born at the park, a five-pup litter also belonging to Kenai and Yahzi.

The new pups bring the population of gray wolves to 107 among 38 Association of Zoos and Aquariums institutions.


No sign of #wolves impacting big game in WA

14 hours ago  • 

State wildlife managers say they have found no evidence that wolves have had significant impacts on Washington's big-game herds.

Some wolf packs are shifting territories and the state is trying to monitor their activities, said Dave Ware, Washington Fish and Wildlife wolf program leader.

This spring, state wolf research trappers have placed additional transmitting collars on two yearlings in the Smackout Pack, a female in the Profanity Peak Pack, a female in the Dirty Shirt Pack and a female in the Lookout Pack.

In total, 14 wolves in 10 packs have state-monitored collars. The Colville Tribe may also have collars on one or two packs.

"At this point in wolf recovery, we are not seeing anything in the harvest or survey data that would indicate a decline in deer, elk, or moose populations," Ware said.


#Wolf of the Day

Wolf by pe_ha45

Thursday, June 25, 2015

#Wolves of the Day

Grey wolf watching me 
Grey wolf watching me by Peter Bolliger 
Small talks 
Small talks by Peter Bolliger  


Mother red wolf killing a ‘significant loss’ in North Carolina

Posted on
Conservation groups are condemning the killing of a critically endangered female red wolf in the Red Wolf Recovery Area of eastern North Carolina. Photo by Jim Liestman
Conservation groups are condemning the killing of a critically endangered female red wolf in the Red Wolf Recovery Area of eastern North Carolina. Photo by Jim Liestman
This story was written for North Carolina News Service by Mary Kuhlman:
RALEIGH, N.C. – The shooting death of a mother red wolf in the Red Wolf Recovery Area of eastern North Carolina is a significant loss, conservation groups say.
The state’s red wolves are the only wild population of the species in the world, and were reintroduced decades after being on the brink of extinction. Last week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service allowed the animal to be killed after a landowner’s claim that attempts at trapping were unsuccessful.
Sierra Weaver, senior attorney for the Southern Environmental Law Center, said the agency can authorize a killing after it has abandoned efforts to remove unwanted wolves.
“What we understand is that the landowner in this case actually didn’t allow the Fish and Wildlife Service access to the land,” she said. “So, how it could have considered itself to have abandoned efforts is a really tough question, and an especially tough question in light of how endangered this species is.”
Weaver said the slain wolf had four previous litters, adding that the loss of any breeding adult red wolf is damaging to conservation of the species.
Meanwhile, the Fish and Wildlife Service contended that it must respect property rights and said the landowner had conducted prior wolf trappings on his own.
Mike Senatore, vice president for conservation law for Defenders of Wildlife, said the landowner prevented the Fish and Wildlife Service from doing its job, but the agency was under no obligation to approve the kill. In his view, the agency should remove the provision that allows landowners to ask for removal or lethal control.
“This rule enables landowners, without any showing the species is creating conflict, to simply request that they be removed is actually undermining what ultimately is Fish and Wildlife’s mission under the Endangered Species Act – which is to actually recover the species in the wild,” he said.
Senatore said private lands in North Carolina are essential for red wolf recovery, and suggested that state and federal conservation agencies commit to funding outreach efforts to landowners.
Defenders of Wildlife also is asking the Fish and Wildlife Service to ban all red wolf lethal control and increase the number of captive-bred wolves released into the wild.
For more on the red wolves’ reintroduction into North Carolina and native species’ interaction with human populations, read Xpress‘ story from November 2014, “Taming the Wild: Urbanization pits humans against animals.”


Endangered red wolf legally killed in N.C.; puppies may be in danger


Wildlife protection advocates are calling for federal authorities to care for the puppies of a rare red wolf legally shot and killed on private property last week. "The loss of this mother wolf is yet another blow to the highly endangered red wolf," said Kim Wheeler, executive director of the Red Wolf Coalition, in a statement. "That mother's remaining puppies are in danger now, and her future puppies will never be born."

A landowner in Hyde County in northeastern North Carolina reported to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service he shot the wolf on June 17. The wolf showed signs of nursing, but it is unknown how many or where the puppies might be, said Pete Benjamin, a Raleigh field office supervisor for the Fish and Wildlife Service. The puppies would have been nearly weaned by now, he said. "There is very little that can be done," Benjamin said.

The wolf had left the safer confines of the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, where fewer than 100 people live as an experimental effort to preserve the rare species in the wild. The landowner had unsuccessfully attempted to capture and return the wolf to federal land, he said. The law allows landowners to kill wolves persistently living on their property.

The landowner did not allow federal biologists on his property to help capture the wolf, Mike Senatore, vice president of conservation law for Defenders of Wildlife, said in a statement. "The Service should not have permitted a wolf to be killed in this circumstance," he said.

Accounts from the 1700s indicate red wolves once roamed the southeastern United States. The predator was listed as an endangered species in 1967 and declared extinct in the wild in 1980. Four captive-born pairs were introduced into the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in 1987. The population grew for years before falling in 2013 to fewer than 100 for the first time in more than a decade.

Some private landowners maintain the wolves often leave the refuge, breed with coyotes and are pests that threaten livestock and pets.


Tuesday, June 23, 2015