Saturday, February 20, 2016

Wolf Weekly Wrap-Up by @Defenders of Wildlife


Gray Wolf, © Joan Poor
(Folks, please support this group; they are trying to make a difference!)
 
19 February 2016

Science: Predators combat climate change
 
A new study explains that enhancing ecosystems’ overall health – or “biodiversity” – can go a long way towards mitigating the impacts of climate change. The research shows that in areas where top predators have been removed, carbon emissions can increase significantly. Yale ecology Professor Schmidt summed it up the following way: “…by being an integral part of a larger food chain, the species may trigger effects that grow through the chain to drive significant amounts of carbon into long-term storage on land or in the ocean.” For example, in forest areas where wolves have been removed, increases in grazing from inflated populations of elk and other herbivores reduce these forest ecosystems’ ability to absorb carbon. This study is yet another example of positive animal–driven effects on the areas they inhabit, and it gives all of us more momentum in our continued fight to restore imperiled wildlife across the U.S.

Mexican gray wolf, © Jim Clark/USFWS
U.S. Population of Mexican Gray Wolves Declines

Yesterday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released its annual population count for Mexican gray wolves. This year, the count is down from 110 to just 97 wolves in the wild. This population drop is a clear indication that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service needs to do more – and do it fast – to recover the Mexican gray wolf. The agency needs to release more wolves, provide a final recovery plan and establish more populations in suitable habitats. Defenders will continue to work day in and day out to make sure the most endangered gray wolf in the world does not go extinct.
 
Standing up against Idaho’s war on wolves
 
Idaho’s fever for wolf killing shows no signs of slowing. Last week we unveiled the fact that Idaho proceeded with a secretive wolf killing operation in the Clearwater National Forest to artificially inflate elk populations for sport hunters. And this month, the state announced it is requesting a renewal of funds for its “wolf killing board.” If approved, this will grant the state more than half a million dollars to kill wolves — for operations including the aerial gunning in the Clearwater. In response, on Monday we banded with our supporters and other organizations for a rally on the steps of the statehouse and demanded an end to Idaho’s aggressive use of lethal control on its wolf population.
 
Wolf rally on steps of Idaho statehouse, © Defenders of Wildlife Wolf rally on steps of Idaho statehouse, © Defenders of Wildlife
 
Wolf rally on steps of Idaho statehouse, © Defenders of Wildlife Wolf rally on steps of Idaho statehouse, © Defenders of Wildlife
 

Wolf rally on steps of Idaho statehouse, © Defenders of WildlifeWolf rally on steps of Idaho statehouse, © Defenders of Wildlife
Wolf rally on steps of Idaho statehouse, © Defenders of Wildlife Wolf rally on steps of Idaho statehouse, © Defenders of Wildlife
Wolf rally on steps of Idaho statehouse, © Defenders of Wildlife Wolf rally on steps of Idaho statehouse, © Defenders of Wildlife
Wolf rally on steps of Idaho statehouse, © Defenders of Wildlife Wolf rally on steps of Idaho statehouse, © Defenders of Wildlife


Idaho’s “wolf killing board” has received $400,000 from state tax dollars per year since 2014 when Governor Otter established it, and the goal of board is singular: drive Idaho’s wolf population down as low as possible.
Throwing money at lethal control programs without even considering effective non-lethal options for keeping wolves away from livestock makes absolutely no sense! And many such programs do exist. Working with ranchers, Defenders has pioneered many practical solutions to help livestock and wolves coexist. For example the Wood River Coexistence Project in central Idaho uses proven, effective nonlethal deterrents like fladry, range riders, electric fencing and guard dogs to help protect livestock and build social acceptance for wolves. Help us continue our fight against Idaho’s war on wolves.