Northern Rocky Mountains see record wolf deaths
Debilitating news from the Northern Rocky Mountains. Over FIVE HUNDRED gray wolves have been killed. Nearly a third of the total NRM gray wolf population are gone forever. Over 200 wolves have been killed in the hunts so far and another 300 were killed by escalated lethal control measures, poachers, and natural causes. This figure includes deaths in Wyoming where wolves are currently protected and hunting is banned. Montana's wolf hunt was shut down in mid-November but we watch helplessly as Idaho's extended wolf hunt continues through early Spring into critical wolf denning season. Female gray wolves in the NRM begin their pregnancies now and their pups are due to be born in early Spring. A lawsuit to return the wolf to the endangered species list is pending; however, a date has not been set for the hearing. more details
Some of the facts contained in a summary on this year's wolf hunt released by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks include: The largest harvested wolf weighed 117 pounds. The oldest hunter to shoot a wolf was 70 years old. The youngest was 13. Click here for more information and the summary.
Romeo has not been seen since September 18. Since 2003, Romeo, routinely returned every winter to the Dredge Lakes area in the Mendenhall Valley. Neither hide nor hair of Juneau's celebrity wolf has been seen this winter. Mystery surrounds the beautiful black wolf's whereabouts. Speculation that Romeo died from being a wolf is comforted with hope by Nakoowolf's reminder that wolves look for mates at this time. Wherefore art thou, Romeo?
During a periodic monitoring exercise, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife confirmed a pack of 10 wolves in Wallowa County. The live video of the Imnaha Pack in the wild snow-covered forest is breathtaking. The alpha female is former Idaho wolf B300F. Apparently, the Imnaha River was a natural corridor leading her from Idaho to Oregon. Watch
Senator Allen Christensen, R-North Ogden, is sponsoring a bill requiring the killing or capturing of any wolf that dares come to Utah. The Senator declared he is willing to fight the wolf battle all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Video quote, "I'm at the top of the food chain and I intend to stay there."
The alpha male of the Bacho Pack was found dead in late November on the San Carlos Apache Reservation in southeastern Arizona. It is the tenth wild wolf to turn up dead in a 12 month period. Federal law enforcement agents are investigating and investigations continue into the other wolf deaths. The dead wolves, two in Arizona and seven in New Mexico including 3 pups that belonged to the San Mateo Pack, represent nearly 20% of the known wild population.
WildEarth Guardians has filed a lawsuit January 19 in an effort to force the Fish and Wildlife Service to issue a finding on their petition. The lawsuit is part of a campaign started in December to persuade the Obama Administration to make endangered species a priority.
Western Great Lakes
Federal agents are investigating a recent rash of illegal wolf killings across northern Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula. On January 12, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service asked for the public's help in finding suspects in 16 deaths across the three States in November and December. A $1,000 reward is being offered by the USFWS for information leading to the arrest and conviction of people who kill wolves. Wolf advocacy groups have added to the rewards and an anonymous donor has increased the reward to $7,000 regarding a poached wolf in Ontonagon County, Michigan.
Doug Smith, coordinator of the reintroduction efforts and leader of the Yellowstone Wolf Project, expects his annual census of the park's wolf population to be the lowest in 10 years. While parvovirus and mange continue to reduce the population, part of this year's decline can be traced to the fact that wolves lost protection in the Northern Rockies. Wolves are protected inside the park, but those that roam beyond the borders fall into States' management practices, which permitted hunting this fall. Data is still being gathered, however, Smith says the number of gray wolves will be 116; a 33% drop from 2003 when the population was at an all-time high of 174.
DNA evidence taken from the hair of two individual wolves found this year in Carinthia proves wolves have returned since being extirpated in the country. Results conclude that their origin is from Italy.
A Canmore cross-country skier was joined by three very unusual ski companions shortly into the New Year while skiing. Two of the "frosty wolves" believed to be involved were photographed. see and read
The five wolves in the German state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania received 150,000 euro dollars [about 212,024 USA dollars] from the state budget in the form of depredation compensation. The wolf management plan also includes funding for livestock owners who want to use special fences, huts and dogs to protect their herds.
U.S. Geological Survey researchers and scientists have been monitoring an Arctic wolf named "Brutus" as he travels with his pack. An imposing 90 pound wolf, who is not afraid to keep his pack of at least 12 adults and 6-12 pups in line, sports a lionish ruff and that new satellite collar around his neck. GPS collars send coordinates telling them where arctic wolves are coming and going. This is the first time GPS tracking is being used to track animals in the arctic. Like all arctic wolves, Brutus is mostly white or light in color and has long coltish legs superbly suited for his long-distance jaunts and major hunting forays. find out how you can download to follow Brutus.
Sweden's first wolf hunt in over 45 years ended almost as quickly as it started when the quota of 27 wolf kills was reached in just four days. 12,000 hunters had been granted permits to take part in the hunt. Sweden shares its genetically fragile wolf population of about 200 wolves with Norway. Hunters named in the media claim they have been confronted and received death threats. A member nation of the European Union, Sweden has been criticized for violating wolf conservation agreements that were ratified under the Bern Convention. Where do you stand?