Wolf, © Didier J. Lindsey
Idaho Says It Won’t Kill Wolves in the Frank Church this Winter: Yesterday, the Forest Service announced that Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) will not engage in any wolf killing in the federally-protected Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness during the winter of 2015-16. Both agencies were required to submit notification of any intended wolf control action planned for this winter by early August, an outcome of legal pressure Defenders and our conservation partners applied last year to stop a hunter-trapper (hired by the IDFG) to eradicate two wolf packs in the Frank Church wilderness in the interest of inflating elk populations for outfitters and recreational hunters. Those that followed the lawsuit last year will recall that Idaho’s Frank Church wilderness is the largest forested wilderness area and a core habitat for gray wolves in the western United States. We’re adamant that this area should be managed as wilderness; this week’s decision means that, at least for the short term, it will be.

Gray Wolf, © Joan Poor

A Second Wolf Comes Back to California! This week the California Department of Fish and Wildlife announced that wildlife biologists have been tracking a gray wolf that has likely dispersed from Oregon into Siskiyou County in northern California. This is the second wild wolf known to be in California in nearly a century! In recent years, “wandering-wolf” OR-7 was made famous for several trips into the Golden State. OR-7 has since become the alpha male of the Rogue Pack in Oregon’s southern Cascades – not far from the California border. But the announcement of a second wolf entering the Golden State is a wonderful sign of the continued progress we’re making to restore wolves to their historic, suitable habitat. And California is ready for wolves! Last year’s California listed wolves as endangered under its state Endangered Species Act, indicating that the state is ready and willing to protect this iconic species as soon as they cross state lines.

Tell Airlines to Stop Carrying Imperiled Wildlife “Trophies”: The reckless trophy hunting of imperiled wildlife in Africa has to stop. One way of fighting this is to demand that all international passenger and cargo airlines refuse to accept African big game trophies of imperiled species as cargo. The good news is that many foreign and domestic carriers, including Delta, United, and American Airlines have pledged not to carry imperiled big game trophies of animals such as elephants, rhinos, lions, and leopards. The bad news is not all airlines have made the same commitment.

Wildlife, © Kelsey Schwenk, Charmane Baleiza, Philip Perry, Matt Scandrett
Take action! Demand that all international air carriers refuse to ship imperiled big game trophies, effective immediately.

More Wolves Moving Throughout Oregon: More encouraging signs of wolf recovery come from Oregon where the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has confirmed that two wolves are moving into new areas in the state: Klamath and Union Counties. This is great news because it suggests wolves are continuing to spread to suitable habitat throughout the state! ODFW confirmed that these two wolves have been in these new locations for several weeks, and as such, designated parts of both counties as areas of “known wolf activity.” This is a designation ODFW uses to alert local residents that there could be wolves nearby and encourages them to use nonlethal tools to prevent any potential conflict between wolves and livestock. Wolves throughout Oregon are protected under the state Endangered Species Act and protected by the federal Endangered Species Act in the western portion of the state.