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


ohoyostepslightly.jpgColorado

No matter the reports of actual sightings and positively identified tracks and howling by ranch managers, expert wildlife trackers, etc.,  tests on scat samples found on a ranch in northwestern Colorado last winter have provided no proof that a wolf pack has made a home in the state.  The samples found on the High Lonesome Ranch north of DeBeque did not test positive for wolf DNA.  Some of the samples were found to be of coyote origin.  Others were too degraded to amplify the DNA.  No wolf news in Colorado just like Nakoowolf said 

Idaho

Increased quotas, trapping, snaring and electronic calls are being considered for this fall's wolf hunt at the fish and game commission's meeting on August 16.  If you want your voice to be heard this is your opportunity to speak your mind.  Comments being accepted  *see update below

Idaho Fish & Game's August newsletter  summarizing recent elk studies shows wolves are NOT the cause of most elk losses.  Only a minority of elk populations are declining and wolves are involved in few.  The research proves wolves got a bum rap and have been unjustly tied to the whipping post.  Hopefully, these results, which are not news to conservationists, will put an end to such propaganda and its hysterics finally to rest.  "Study Shows Effect of Predator on Idaho Elk"

Idaho Department of Fish and Game officials say southeastern Idaho (Franklin Basin area) has its first confirmed wolf kill.  Wildlife Service Representatives identified the canine as a wolf and gave the go ahead to shoot and kill.  Those with Fish and Game and the Regional Wildlife manager say the problem is confirming wolf sightings without proof.  The wolf would be the first wolf taken since February 2003 when it was mistaken for a coyote.  There are no established packs or breeding pairs in this region.  A tooth was extracted to determine the exact age of the animal, which was not wearing a radio collar.  but, wait, was it a wolf?

Michigan

Officials report first evidence of wolf breeding in the Lower Peninsula since the population was extirpated in the early 1900's.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture - Wildlife Services, in parternship with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment captured and released a wolf pup in Cheboygan County where trapping efforts are continuing.  If efforts to trap and collar an adult wolf are successful, it will indicate that at least one breeding pair exists in the region and the potential for a growing population.  The 23-pound male pup was in good health.  An identification tag was placed in the ear and the pup was released on-site unharmed.  Photo story

In the Upper Peninsula, state wildlife officials say illegal wolf kills are on the rise.  Since last October, they have found 15 wolves with radio collars illegally shot and there have been a lot more un-collared wolves that they cannot track.

Montana

Montana wildlife officials recommend increasing the quota of wolves allowed to be killed by hunters this year to 186, compared to 75 in last year's inaugural hunt.  The increased hunting quota could decrease the state's wolf population for the first time since the gray wolf was reintroduced in the Northern Rockies in 1995.

Oregon

Four beautiful wolf pups romping up the side of hill in the fields of the Imnaha Wildlife Management Unit east of Joseph were in view of the Oregon Department of Fish and Widlife's trail camera.  Conservationists delight in welcoming the pups but are keeping their eyes on their struggle to stay a family and to stay alive.  Photo story

Not only is the pack’s beautiful black, 115-pound alpha male still missing since May 31st, the pack was plunged into further jeopardy when any two members of the pack were targeted with a kill order for suspicion of livestock depredation.  The kill order was extended until August 31 but a lawsuit was filed on their behalf.  I am happy to inform that federal officials have called off the hunt to kill and it is on permanent hold until Wildlife Services completes an Environmental Assessment, one of the steps called for under the National Environmental Policy Act.  The procedure will take months and continue into early next year.  legislative updates & details

A new range rider will accompany cattle grazing in areas of the Imnaha wolf pack in Wallowa County this summer.  This range rider is a first for Oregon's wolf program.  The Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife said the move is an effort to reduce wolf-livestock conflicts in the northeast part of the state.  Learn about the cooperative demonstration program

Utah

Wolves may be making their way into Utah.  However, two wolves attempting to expand recovering their territory's range have been killed.  The first wolf was blamed for depredation in Cache County, Utah earlier but was actually shot in southeastern Idaho mentioned previously in this wolf news.  On July 23, a sheepherder trapped and shot a female wolf in Rich County.  Wolf sightings have been reported in Utah for years, but these are the first documented livestock depredations.  Can wolves and people coexist?

Washington

The mother wolf from the state's first confirmed pack of wolves in 70 years is missing.  Biologists do not know where the alpha female from Twisp's Lookout Pack has been since May 12.  They haven't seen more than 3 or 4 wolves together since spring.  Photos from April produced well-nourished images of the mother wolf leading biologists to believe she was pregnant. what a lost radio signal means

Wisconsin

Wolves in northern Wisconsin are hearing some competition this summer: digital recordings of other wolves howling, which wildlife managers hope will someday work to push problem wolves away from farms and other areas where they conflict with humans.  Five "howling boxes" have been deployed in forested areas of northern counties to see if the recorded howling will scare wolf packs into moving their rendezvous sites - the place where the pack keeps its pups and brings them food each day from nearby kills.  This idea comes from Shaun Ellis and has proven to work with a farmer in Poland.  Turn up the volume

Yellowstone

"The silvery alpha female shines like a beacon.  So many visitors are thrilled to see her as their first wolf in the wild!  The pups of course are the stars of the show."  If you can't be there in person, you can read about the Park's mid-summer wolf watching.


Northern Rockies Region

*A federal judge granted conservationists' request to stop the slaughter of wolves and reinstate federal Endangered Species Act protections.  The ruling halts wolf hunting from going forward in Montana and Idaho.  The court ruled the federal government illegally subdivided the northern Rockies wolf population, eliminating federal protections for the vast majority of the region's wolves even while acknowledging that they remain endangered by Wyoming law.  Welcome this victory for wolves

Northern Rockies wolf pups howl with thunder.  The wolves in their own voice.  listen and watch

Southeast Region

Two decades after a grand experiment began to restore nearly extinct red wolves to their homeland, far deadlier predators - people - are killing them again.  The gunshot toll among wolves in northeastern North Carolina has gown in the past five years despite federal law protecting them.  Seven wolves have been shot since October.  Facing a growing threat

Southwest Region

Two Mexican gray wolves are missing and three were found dead; illegally killed.  The latest dead male wolf, a yearling, was found July 15 about two miles from where an adult alpha male from the same pack, the Hawks Nest Pack was found shot to death June 18.  On June 24, another adult alpha male, the leader of its pack, was found dead in southern New Mexico under "suspicious circumstances."  Authorities are conducting a necropsy to find out if the wolf was shot to death.  The outlook is grim for the adults to find enough food for the fatherless pups and severely reduces their chances of survival.  Taking the alpha male out is a blow, add two of four adults out is really going to be tough for the family with 7 pups.  Environmentalists are pushing, as a precaution; to take back the radios loaned to ranchers and others that allow the wolves to be tracked.  With so few gray wolves remaining in the wild, every wolf - especially the alpha males - is crucial to the existence of the species.  In combination with rewards from the U.S. Fish and Widllife Service, the states of Arizona and New Mexico, other conservation organizations and individuals, the total reward offered is currently $54,500.00.  Breaking News

Governor Bill Richardson ordered a temporary ban on trapping on the New Mexico side of an area where Mexican gray wolves have been reintroduced in to the wild along the New Mexico-Arizona border.  The Governor ordered the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish to prohibit trapping for six months while it studies what risk traps and snares poses to wolves.  His order said there have been six confirmed and three probable Mexican wolves trapped in New Mexico's portion of the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area in the past eight years.  Five wolves were injured by the traps, two severely enough to require leg amputations.  Injuries can harm wolves' ability to catch prey and could increase the risk of wolves preying on livestock instead of faster elk and deer, the order said.  View the Executive Order

FYI:  As this year began, there were only 42 Mexican gray wolves.  Since June, three have been found dead - two of them shot.  In recent years, 14 have been trapped or snared - 12 in New Mexico.  Five were injured, two of those so badly they required amputation.  Recover Mexican Gray Wolves Before its Too Late!  TAKE ACTION

United States

A petition filed with the USFWS requesting the agency to scrap efforts to end federal protections for wolves in regions where they have strong populations and instead form a national recovery plan for the big predator.  Should the petition be accepted by the Fish and Wildlife Service or ordered to by the court, the agency would have to entirely re-work national wolf policy.  That means an indefinite delay to any plans that would hand management of wolves back to the states in areas where they already rebounded.  Press Release

Canada

When it comes to hunting, British Columbia's Environment Minister says B.C. is home to the fair chase.  But the use of bait and high-powered snowmobiles to target a wolf pack during a guided trophy hunt on an ice-covered lake in northern B.C. is raising questions about the assertion.  Comment was refused about the article, saying only that the hunt is under investigation.  "Conservationists were aghast."

Norway

A wolf pair in Hedmark, Norway became parents to eleven wolf pups.  Researchers counted eight males and three females among the pups.  A record litter for Scandinavia

A beautiful pictorial of the Langedrag Wolves.  Wolf Howl Animal Preserve's forum member, BlueWolf, was kind enough to share his recent trip with us.  click here


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