Saturday, December 5, 2015

Weekly #Wolf News from @Defenders of Wildlife

Colorado Officials Don’t Press Charges for Wolf Killed in Western Colorado
Federal officials say no charges will be filed against the coyote hunter who killed an endangered gray wolf outside of Kremmling, Colorado last April. The wolf was the first confirmed animal to enter Colorado in over 70 years; the last Colorado wolf was killed in 1945. We are highly disappointed in this decision. As wolves continue to disperse into new areas, it is critical that wildlife agencies take a more proactive role in educating hunters and local residents about the potential presence of wolves, their status as a protected species and how to tell the difference between wolves and coyotes.

Wolf, © Sandy Sisti

Wyoming Wolves under Fire in Congress
Wyoming Senator Barrasso recently introduced a bill in the Senate to remove federal protections for wolves in Wyoming. This bill – nearly identical to a bill introduced earlier this year in the House by Representative Lummis, and a policy rider that could be included in a final bill to fund the government – would not only take protections away from wolves in Wyoming, it would also delist wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. These bills come after courts set aside rules last year that delisted wolves in both regions, keeping wolves protected under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). At Defenders, we strongly believe Congress has no place meddling in wildlife management decisions, which should be left to biologists and wildlife managers. But, Congress has a bad track record of doing just that. We’ll keep you updated here as we learn more, but for now, you can help us by telling Congress to stop attacking the ESA.

. New Wolf Pack in Washington
There’s a new wolf pack in north-central Washington! The “Loup Loup” pack was identified by wildlife officials after the public’s continued reports of wolf sightings prompted wildlife officials to confirm their presence in the Methow Valley through surveys. Because this pack is in the western two-thirds of Washington, the animals are protected under the federal Endangered Species Act. Wildlife officials say they already have plans to outfit at least one of the pack members with a radio collar so they’re able to closely monitor and thus understand the pack’s movements. Although this isn’t the first time wolves have lived in Washington’s Methow Valley, we’re thrilled to see Washington’s wolf population continue to grow and reestablish in this area. At last count there were 68 wolves statewide.


Melanie Gade, Communications Specialist

Melanie handles press coverage for wildlife in the Pacific Northwest and Rockies and Plains, as well as Defenders' national work on the Endangered Species Act.