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Wolf News Around the World, May 2010 - by Chris Kirby



Webcam photo of all seven of our Wolves at dinner time.

Alaska

The state's Department of Fish and Game announced that starting around June 1, two biologists and four pilots would kill wolves by shotgun during a three-week effort focused on saving caribou during their calving period.  The feds told state officials that killing the wolves without a special use permit would be considered "a trespass on the refuge" and referred to the U.S. Attorney.  The state responded by suing the federal agency seeking a court order allowing it to go ahead with plans to kill the wolves.  The program is in place in locations across Alaska but this year would be the first time in recent history that the program is run inside a national refuge - the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge on Unimak Island in the eastern-most island in the Aleutian chain.  Continuing forum coverage here

Two conservation groups have failed to stop four timber sale offerings they say threaten a rare species of wolf that lives in the Tongass National Forest.  The Alexander Archipelago wolf is a subspecies of timber wolf found only in southeastern Alaska.  Greenpeace and Cascadia Wildlands Project filed the lawsuit two years ago and are considering appealing to the 9th U.S. Circuit of Court Appeals.  Find out the risk the wolves are facing and legal challenges here

Idaho

Officials say dog killings may be linked to unsolved gray wolf poisonings by Compound 1080 earlier this decade in the Upper Salmon River Basin.  That's one reason the Salmon Police Chief has tapped several agencies for assistance, including Idaho Fish and Game and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  It is the biggest outbreak seen by a veterinary diagnostic toxicologist working 20 years at the lab.  Pesticide experts believe the poison has been stockpiled by someone since Compound 1080 has not been deployed in Idaho in five years.  Residents are warned to be vigilant and call in anything suspicious.  A reward of $5,500.00 is being offered for information leading to the arrest of whoever is putting out the poison.  More information here

For the third year in a row, proactive efforts of the Wood River Wolf Project continue by a group of dedicated sheep ranchers, conservationists and state and federal officials who are redefining what it means to live and work in wolf-occupied Western lands.  Only one major incident due to lack of communication resulted in the death of 12 sheep.  Other than that, just one sheep of about 13,000 that graze the area each summer has been tied to wolves.  Whether the project's success can be replicated elsewhere remains to be seen.  Learn about the methods of this model project

Idaho Fish and Game Commission is considering liberalizing hunting methods for killing wolves including use of traps, bait and electronic calls.  Action is expected before their August meeting where the commission will set wolf quotas for the next season.  article

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is considering allowing outfitters to kill 20 more wolves in the Lolo zone using methods such as baiting and trapping.  The American Veterinarian Association, American Animal Hospital Association, World Veterinary Association and National Animal Control Association, all agree that leg-hold traps are inhumane.  You can stop this brutality by contacting the Idaho Fish and Game Commission before June 15 to oppose and ban trapping.   Read and take action here

Illinois

Two of six red wolf pups born at Lincoln Park Zoo were flown out of Chicago with their keeper in a little carrier that goes right under the seat.  They are very small; they're tiny babies, about two weeks old.  The pups destination was North Carolina to be released into the wild through the Red Wolf Recovery Program.    The pups are paired up with wild wolves that become foster parents to the animals.  These are the first pups from Lincoln Park Zoo to be released into the wild.  video, photos and updates

Indiana

Wolf Park in Battle Ground is welcoming four new additions to their pack.  Two gray wolf pups and two black wolf pups were born in litters at the end of April in Watertown, New York.  The two pups in the photo are named Matilda (the gray one) and Devera (the black one), both little girls.  Reportedly, they are 26 days old.  The pups are being cared for by human "pup parents."  Right now the puppies will stay indoors.  In four weeks, they will be allowed outside.  go "awwwww" here

Minnesota

A woman residing in a development behind Walmart reported hearing what she believes was a pack of wolves attacking a small dog.  According to police, a woman said she first heard a lone wolf howl then a whole pack.  Simultaneously she also heard the squeals and yelping of what she though was probably a small dog being attacked by wolves.  The woman said she could not see any wolves but that they were behind her development.  story here

Montana

Montana wildlife commissioners approved a plan that calls for at least doubling the number of wolves that hunters can kill and introducing an archery season to go with the rifle season.  Montana commissioners will decide in July after a public comment period whether the final quota for the 2010 hunt will be 150, 186 or 216 wolves.  The quota was 75 in last year's inaugural hunt.  The proposed quota numbers do not include wolves killed by wildlife officials responding to complaints of livestock conflicts.  145 wolves were killed that way in 2009.  Click here for instructions to submit public comment and wolf meeting locations

"Do you agree with the decision by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks to at least double the number of wolves that hunters can kill next year?"

Click here to VOTE

A Montana man was fined $3,000 for illegally killing a wolf.  The wolf was shot while hunting in 2008 and reported to the authorities.  An autopsy showed that the bullet did not enter through the chest, but through the animal's back left side.  While the shooter maintains he shot as the animal was coming forward, officials believed otherwise and sought the maximum fine of $10,000.00.  Wolf Legislation thread here

New Mexico

A female wolf born 13 years ago is still roaming the range in New Mexico today.  Estrella, whose name means star in Spanish, is an Alpha Female Mexican Gray Wolf that was born May 3, 1997 in captivity.  The 13-year-old is a living legend in the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program.  Living being the key word.  AF521, as she is known by U.S. Fish & Wildlife biologists, has literally defied the odds by simply staying alive.  The aging wolf has persisted in the wild for 8 years and that isn't easy.  For the Mexican gray wolf, it is especially tough.  After 33 years of recovery efforts, only 42 exist in the wild.  The leading cause of mortality is being shot but Estrella has met every challenge on the harsh road of saving her species.  Leading the league in litters, she now leads the league in surviving and is the oldest lobo matriarch in the wild.  Last we heard, she lost her position in the pack in 2008 and either left willingly or was booted out by a more dominant female.  It would be difficult for an aging wolf to make it alone, but Estrella joined up with a male and his three sons.  By December 2009,  the radio collar she wears is sending radio signals that indicate she is still moving around quite a bit with two of the younger males.  Her journey to save her species is the story of a great and wild wolf.  A star worth gazing upon.  Read Estrella's adventures and keep up with her here

New York

Two male endangered red wolves were born at the Wolf Conservation Center on May 6 after nearly five years of trying.  The pair of tiny pups are small enough to fit in a person's cupped hands.  Under the red wolf's Species Survival Plan, adult wolves are not released into the wild.  Rather, newly born pups destined to be released are taken from their parents and fostered into a wild litter.  The decision is yet to be made by SSP officials.  See two, too cuteness here

North Carolina

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is requesting assistance with an investigation involving the suspected illegal take of two radio-collared red wolves that were recently found dead in two different locations in Hyde County, NC.  Anyone who has essential information that directly leads to an arrest, a criminal conviction, a civil penalty assessment, or forfeiture of property on the subject or subjects responsible for the suspected unlawful take of these two red wolves may be eligible for a reward of up to $7500.00.  News Release and contact information here

Northern Rocky Mountains

Telemetry flights have been ongoing to confirm packs that have denned in Wyoming and in Yellowstone National Park (YNP).  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reports that 8 packs have denned in Wyoming.  9 packs have denned in YNP and 2 are probably have denned.  During recent telemetry flights, the 16-17 wolves of the Gibbons Meadows Pack have not been located in their normal range inside YNP.  The pack was located last week 60-70 miles from the park.  Biologists will continue monitoring the Gibbon Meadows Pack and determine if the pack has denned in the area.  Washington's 2 packs, the Lookout and the Diamond, appear to be denning as well.  USFWS Gray Wolf Recovery Status Report here

Oregon

Five ranchers in northeastern Oregon were issued permits to shoot wolves if they see the animals attacking their livestock.  The permits were issued after the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife confirmed that wolves killed two calves in Wallowa County this month.  Conservation groups objected saying not enough has been done with non-lethal means yet to justify this step.  Stay informed here

Southwestern Region

A federal judge in AZ has approved a settlement requiring the USFWS to issue a finding by the end of July on a petition that seeks to list the Mexican gray wolf on the federal endangered species list separate from other North American gray wolves.  The new classification will provide more protection for the Mexican Gray Wolf whose numbers are critically endangered and are edging the brink of extinction.  More on the Judge's order here

Yellowstone

Wolf No. 690F, the yearling black female believed to be the sole survivor of the Druid Peak Pack was shot and killed by a rancher.  The 2-year-old female had seen her pack ravaged by disease and attacks by other wolf packs before she wandered south of Butte.  State wildlife officials inspected the collared wolf and found she was from the former Druid Peak Pack.  The most celebrated and well known wolfpack in history.  By March, No. 690F was the last from the pack wearing a collar.  What happened here?

Germany

A newly opened wolf education and conservation facility is welcoming six tiny European gray wolf pups.  Keepers are working round-the-clock to make sure the pups are receiving proper care.  The pups, five males and one female, were born May 10 at a wildlife park in the region of Lower Saxony before arriving at Wolf Center in Doerveden.  See the darling little six-pack here

Italy

What does the Abruzzo region of Italy, 50 miles outside of Rome, have in common with Yellowstone National Park?  If you guessed "wolves," you are correct!  Abruzzo National Park is home to the Italian wolf and this past March, two members of the Abruzzo Large Carnivore Research Program visited the Yellowstone Wolf Project to participate in their annual winter study.  Wolf Research Exchange Program

United Arab Emirates

An Arabian wolf with her pup at the Breeding Centre for Endangered Arabian Wildlife in Sharjah are housed and protected within open-air enclosures.  This year, two litters of Arabian wolf pups were born at the centre.  The wildlife centre also houses a family of Arabian wolves.  Once found throughout most of the peninsula, none have been seen in the wild for more than 30 years.  See and learn more here

United Kingdom

The UK Wolf Conservation Trust, ukwolf.org endured heartache a second time this year when they said goodbye to one of their ambassador wolves.  Beta Female, Dakota from the North American Pack passed away only months after Alpha Male, Alba, from the European Pack.  They would have been 12 and 11 years of age respectively.  Our sympathies to the Trust and thanks to both of these wonderful wolves and selfless educators.  A great loss to all of us.

The UK Wolf Conservation Trust celebrated 15 years of helping wolves in the wild by hosting an Open Day at its Education Centre in Reading on May 31.  A special cake was made as a treat for the wolves at the centre in honor of their birthdays; all of which are in May.  Sweet Duma pictured here describes the event

*Open day will also see the launch of the book, World of Wolves:  New Perspectives on Ecology, Behaviour, and Management (Energy, Ecology, and the Environment) by editors Marco Musiani, Luigi Boitani and Paul Paquet.

*To see a picture of this book and a brief description as posted in Wolf Howl's Wolf News, click here





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