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



The group Friends of Romeo took on the role of searching for signs of the beloved black wolf.  A sizable reward was pledged and other concerned citizens around the country solicited for information on "missing" posters that were hung on bulletin boards around town.  Their dedication led to the investigation that resulted in the arrest of two hunters who were charged with a number of hunting violations, including an illegal wolf kill that took place last September.  (The last time Romeo was seen was last September.)  Evidence that the wolf killed was Romeo has not been officially confirmed, however, the percentage is 99.9% sure that the hunters' bullet is responsible for his friend's disappearance.  A service is planned to be held in Romeo's memory.  Touching encounters

A federal judge blocked the state's wolf-kill plan; a step it said was needed to protect the caribou herd on an island in the Aleutian chain.  U.S. District Judge H. Russel Holland said he had to abide by law when ruling against the state's request to immediately conduct predator control in the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge on Unimak Island.  The federal agency announced it would allow the state to relocate 20 bull caribou from another herd off the island to Unimak in hopes it will lead to better calf production in future years.  Breaking News


Arizona Game & Fish Commission has approved a new agreement with New Mexico, federal agencies and others to guide wolf conservation.  The agreement approved on Friday re-established the formal partnership between the states, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Indian tribes and counties in each state.  The other government agencies approval is awaiting.  WHAP thread


Idaho Fish and Game/Wildlife Services targets wolf and her 7 pups...  It has been eight months since any member of southwest Idaho's Blue Bunch Pack killed any livestock yet, on March 16, members of the Blue Bunch Pack were killed by Wildlife Services under an order that has apparently extended to persist to this day. The Blue Bunch Pack hasn't killed livestock since October and all other members have been killed.  As far as anyone known there is only the collared alpha female tending to 7 wolf pups in the mountains and the Idaho Fish and Game wants them dead.  details and policy memo


Authorities have stripped the hunting privileges of a man convicted of illegally killing a tagged gray wolf in the Upper Peninsula for one year, ordered him to pay $500 in fines and cost plus $1,500 in restitution.  An investigation was launched after DNRE Wildlife Division personnel received a mortality signal from the wolf's collar during the 2009 muzzleloading deer season.  Mackinac County


Four gray wolf pups made their way from British Columbia to Minnesota June 23rd as part of an international population reduction program in Canada.  The pups will be held in captivity in Minnesota to aid in research and to help educate.  The wolves made it to their new home at the Science Center near Forest Lake after a quick customs check, where they will be checked over more thoroughly and given any vaccinations they may need.  Darling faces


Fifteen gray wolves from five different packs were killed for preying on livestock between May 17 and May 21.  So far this year, 64 wolves have died with the majority - 44- being shot by federal agents for preying on livestock.  The others were killed by cars or property owners or died from unknown causes.  Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials also have authorized the shooting of at least 18 more wolves from five packs.  If successful, it will bring the total to 82 dead wolves in Montana so far this year.  5 Deadly Days for Wolves

New Mexico

WildEarth Guardians, the Sierra Club and Southwest Environmental Center petitioned federal agencies and requested an emergency halt to all trapping and snaring on the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area.  Traps set throughout the recovery area have harmed numerous Mexican gray wolves, which face imminent extinction.  The groups sought immediate increased protections for Mexican wolves or lobos from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Forest Service in New Mexico.  Private trappers have trapped 14 Mexican Wolves.  Both the alpha male and female of the Middle Fork pack are missing limbs - one from a trap, the other from an unknown cause.  Studies show that animals captured in body-gripping traps endure physiological trauma, dehydration, exposure, and predation.  Animals that have been trapped and then released may sustain tissue damage and other injuries that can reduce their survivability, or increase the likelihood of their preying on domestic livestock because they are easier prey than native wildlife.  View petitions, article and video

Northeast Region

In response to a petition from a group of concerned citizens, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued a finding that because there is not currently a breeding population of wolves in the northeast United States, the population does not qualify for protection under the Endangered Species Act.  As a result, a recovery plan will not be developed to bring the species back.  Wolves in Northeast denied protection again

Northern Rocky Mountains

Early on June 15 U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy heard oral arguments in his Missoula courtroom to the ongoing legal challenge by environmentalists.  They hope to convince the Judge to wrest wolf management duties from State Fish and Game agencies in Idaho and Montana and return the gray wolf to the Endangered Species List.  This will be a significant ruling by the Judge.  It has implications for how a distinct population segment is going to work and how it is interpreted in the Endangered Species Act.  If the court rules for the Fish and Wildlife Service, the decision will set a precedent allowing the federal government to arbitrarily choose which animals should be protected and where.  Each side is asking Judge Molloy to grant a summary judgment, which could end the court case before it goes to trial.  Molloy is expected to rule later this year.

Judge's comments

Louisa Wilcox of NRDC and wife of EarthJustice attorney Doug Honnold who argued the case for the plaintiffs in the wolf delisting lawsuit wrote a great piece about the Delisting Hearing.

New York

For an evening with Bob Landis on July 21 at the Wolf Conservation Center, guests will enjoy a sneak preview of one of his latest undertakings -- "Growing Up in Yellowstone:  A Black Wolf's Story."  Landis will talk guests through the 52 minute documentary that follows adventures of a black wolf born in Yellowstone National Park.  After the film, Q&A session will be offered by ambassador wolves.  Guests will also get a chance to visit the red wolf exhibit.  Information and registration


Missing Alpha Wolf...  Oregon's only confirmed breeding pair of wolves, which had established itself in Wallowa County, may be at risk.  He is the primary provider for the alpha female and her pups.  The Alpha Male of the Imnaha Pack has been unaccounted for since May 31.  The black, 115-pound Alpha Male is thought to be between 4 and 5 years old.  He has neither been spotted during an aerial search nor been located via his radio collar.  Exclusive interview


While a citizen's panel works to finalize Washington's wolf management plan; wildlife biologists are looking for wolves in the state.  Most people believe it is only a matter of time before a wolf pack is confirmed in the Blue Mountains.  Washington's wolf plan


The Department of Natural Resources estimates 180 wolf packs of at least two adult wolves each.  Thirty packs were distributed across central Wisconsin.  One hundred and fifty packs were spread across northern Wisconsin.  At least 52 packs had at least 5 wolves.  The Moose Road pack in Douglas County was the largest in the state with 11 wolves.  DNR population estimates


Wyoming is keeping an eye on a project in Idaho.  Trained field technicians use NON-LETHAL methods to keep wolves away from the estimated 13,000 sheep.  The project was developed a few years ago to protect sheep grazing in the area from being attacked by wolves, but in a way that keeps the wolves safe, too.  Big Wood River Project

Federal agents wiped out two wolf packs, including 10 pups, in parts of Wyoming last week, drawing criticism from an environmental group.  In all, 16 wolves were killed after they depredated three calves on private property near Cody and a lamb near Dempsey Creek, northwest of Kemmerer.  Wolf pups slain


Rangers in the Park tell us there are relatively few sightings of wolves in Yellowstone so far this spring and summer.  With the demise of the Druid Pack, another pack has probably moved into that pack's territory -- but sightings of wolves this spring and summer have been extremely rare.  Where to watch


The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources reports a Chapleau-area tourist operator and his hunting guest have been fined a total of $3,050 for charges related to illegal wolf hunting.  Court case details and how to report a natural resources violation


Wolves return to north China's pasture after decades.  Head of the Inner Mongolia Wild Life Preservation Center confirmed wolves have reappeared in many parts of Inner Mongolia's midwestern regions, where they have not been since the 1980's.  Campaigns to remove wolves were followed by lingering droughts and over grazing, which led to increasing desertification making the environment intolerable for many wild animals such as wolves.  Wolves were spared from being killed after the promulgation of China's wild life protection law in 1989.  A lesson from Mother Nature


Wolves receive more support when the Environment Minister and Director of the International Fund for Animal Welfare signed a cooperative agreement.  The aim is to protect the wolf.  Together with Saxony, Brandenburg is thus the largest habitat of about 60 wolves in Germany.  The Minister stressed that it was necessary in future to create acceptance for the wolf in the population.  Particularly where the wolf has not been, there are fears.  article and brochure


The Swedish wolf population has not decreased in size despite the winter's controversial hunt killing 28 wolves.  An additional 20 wolves is being researched before confirmation can be made.  The calculation is presented in a report by Viltskadecenter at Grimso Research Center.  source

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