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Wolf News Around the World, March 2011 - by Chris Kirby



Victory Update...  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced it will not follow through with killing wolves on Unimak Island, part of a national wildlife refuge.  The agency planned to kill half that population with cruel measures of elimination like aerial hunting and gassing pups.  Instead, it will focus on understanding the underlying causes of the Unimak caribou decline.  We would like to thank everyone who signed the petition and/or responded to the Fish and Wildlife's request for input announced in our January Wolf News.  The FWS was flooded with opposition during the public comment period on the proposal.  Finally, an action applauded by those who value a balanced, informed approach to managing Alaska's wildlife.  For the many that have watched with deep concern at the increasing dominance of politics over science, this FWS decision is welcome and long overdue.  It is clear that when science wins, we all win -- subsistence hunters, professional guides, conservationists, and last but not least, wolves and wildlife.  Science may show killing wolves is a big mistake


A video update on the pack recently brought to Brookfield Zoo as part of an international recovery program with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and multizoo breeding program called a Species Survival Plan.  Mexican Gray Wolves are the most endangered wolves in North America.  Wolves enjoy a snowy day


Isle Royale is a remote wilderness island in Lake Superior where nature still runs wild.  The island is 50 miles long and 10 miles wide (at widest point).  Every winter researchers live there for seven weeks observing the lives of wolves and moose.  Winter study represents the longest running study of any predator-prey system in the world.  The primary objectives are to count the number of wolves and moose, estimate the rate at which wolves predate moose, to collect wolf scat for DNA analysis and make behavioral observations of the wolves, as a means of better understanding the population dynamics.  Using journal entries, they share their discoveries with us.  "Notes from the Field"


A seven-year-old resident female wolf at the International Wolf Center in Ely, Minnesota, was euthanized after a veterinary determination that a compound fracture and dislocation to her left hind leg could not be repaired.  According to a press release from the Center, the decision to euthanize Maya was made in accordance with requirements of the USDA Animal Welfare Act and an organizational euthanasia policy approved by the Center's Vet Care Team.  In the past several months, there have been several tests of status from the younger pack members towards the male, Grizzer, but Maya has shown intense dominance control over the entire pack.  The injury occurred sometime after 5pm, when the final daily check on the wolves revealed pack dynamics to be calm.  "a very difficult decision"


Wolf Howl Animal Preserve celebrated the WHAP Pack's birthdays this month.  Caretakers honored the occasions by hand-making and specially planning favorite treats and festivities.  Happy Birthday, Ohoyo, Watachee, Waya, Chito, Niko Akni, Nita and Woha.  For more details, Nakoowolf's March newsletter will include a video article.  If you would like to post your own wishes and catch some WHAPcam photos, check out our forum links from March 5 and March 28.

Northern Rocky Mountains

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife's Northern Rocky Mountain Recovery 2010 Interagency Annual Report has been published.  "Amidst the political pressure to allow hunting of the Gray Wolf in the Northern Rockies, wildlife officials report that the Wolf population has decreased for the first time since the reintroduction 15 years ago." ~Nakoowolf

It is with deep regret that we must announce that Earthjustice was forced to step down as the courtroom lawyer for wolves in the Northern Rockies in the two cases related to the Fish and Wildlife Services' action to remove or reduce their Endangered Species Act protections.  Somewhere during negotiations, 10 of the 13 groups successfully keeping wolves on the Endangered Species List have changed their minds.  They are proposing a settlement in favor of delisting wolves in Montana, Idaho and, possibly, Wyoming.  We are anxiously awaiting a ruling from Judge Molloy.  not the end of the fight--not by a long shot


Despite the wintry weather and fewer than 100 wolves in Yellowstone, wolves were still seen or at least one wolf, almost every day.  For the wolves, February is all about breeding.  The Lamar pack's three adults were almost comical in their commitment to making puppies.  Kathie Lynch has a detailed report on the amorous adventures of Yellowstone wolves observed during her recent trip to the Park.  Wolfish Romance on the Northern Range

Wolves draw large numbers of visitors to Yellowstone, but few hire guides to improve their odds of spotting them.  Read about the adventures of a British couple, along with a dozen other intrepid eco-tourists, who rose before dawn in Gardiner to get in position for a glimpse of wolves and their behavior led by husband and wife biologists Nathan Varley and Linda Thurston.  "At first light, Big Blaze, a black wolf with a white chest, trotted across a distant slope, following the scent trail of the Blacktail pack.  'Awesome’ seemed like the strangest of words, until the first time I stood here in the silence on a cold icy morning..." 

Would-be wolf watchers continue here


The exact cause of death for the Imnaha wolf found dead in early March is unclear.  One of the young wolves from the Imnaha pack in Northeastern Oregon that was fitted with a radio-tracking collar has been found dead, according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.  There were no signs of foul play, and the carcass was shipped to Washington State University to determine the cause of death, the department said.  Steve Pedery of Oregon Wild, a conservation group, said it was possible that the stress of being tranquilized for the radio collar fitting may be a factor.  Necropsy results in mystery

An anti-wolf protest marched to Oregon Fish and Wildlife Headquarters.  The only wolf advocate at the protest may have been a 29-year-old who said he's listened to their mournful howls from his home.  Wolves help bring ecosystems into balance and produce better and stronger herds of deer and elk, he said.  "We can't just kill off every predator because they are going to lose a sheep or a cow."  Lone Howl


In view of the declining population of the Indian Wolf, the Katraj Zoo authorities asked Dr. Amte for help.  Dr. Amte found an injured and weak wolf he named George when he was just 15 days old.  Now a full grown wolf of around 10-years of age, George was brought to the center in hopes he will mate with the zoo's two female wolves.  George will be around only till the breeding is successful, and will then be sent back to his original habitat.  article


Last year a number of wolf cubs were born in Rialareviret, which is close to the village of Rimbo.  These were the first wolf cubs to be born out of captivity in the county of Stockholm for 170 years.  whaplink

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