Volume 12, Issue 157, November 2017

SAFHOWL

The Monthly Free E-Newsletter of South African Friends of Wolves

Volume 12, Issue 157, November 2017

From the Editor’s Desk

Up on the Highveld, we have been experiencing some of the weirdest weather ever. November is supposed to be a mid-spring month and usually it will be warm to rather hot with more or less daily thunderstorms. Well, there were some hot days and a few thunderstorms this year, too, but there were also two, fortunately brief, periods with outright winter weather, worse actually than most of the winter! Maybe our furry kids knew what was coming, because, untypical for them, they have not even begun to shed their winter coat.

Well, what have we got for you this month? Bad news for wolves and wildlife in general from the US, of course. And there are some minor German politicians who still are misguided into thinking they can do as they please once elected into positions of relative power. Sorry guys, too many eyes are watching you…

Rick Lamplugh provides more insights into wolf (and coyote) management; very valuable information and fresh perspectives indeed, as usual.

We have a poem, a little enigmatic, but really haunting; at least that’s how I feel about it.

Erin updates us on her pack and makes it clear once more that dangers lurk in the most unexpected places and can strike any time.

And if you still wonder what to give to a wolf lover for Xmas (yeah, it’s just six weeks to go!), why not get him or her a copy of my book?

English version

Deutsche Fassung

   
A Houseful Headful of Wolves

The Story of two People sharing their Home and Lives with Wolves

available from www.amazon.com and all other Amazon online shops

Das Haus Den Kopf voller Wölfe

Die Geschichte zweier Menschen, die ihr Heim und Leben mit Wölfen teilen

erhältlich bei www.amazon.de und allen anderen Amazon Online-Shops

Till next month,
Ed.

Upcoming Events

  1. International Wolf Center’s Adventure Programs

Say Yes to New Adventures!

Turn your vacation into a one-of-a-kind wilderness experience. The International Wolf Center offers a variety of Adventure Programs led by informative and enthusiastic wolf experts for people of all ages. Visit our website for a complete list of adventure programs here

  1. Upcoming Webinars 

Webinar rate: $15 Non-members, $12 Members

3. Join Us for Wine and Wolves

Annual Holiday Celebration to Benefit the Wolf Conservation Center!
7:00pm – 10:00pm
Thursday, December 7, 2017
Join the Wolf Conservation Center family to toast to eighteen years of success in our mission of education and conservation at a festive holiday party and silent auction at the newly renovated Le Chateau estate!
Le Chateau will be serving an exceptional assortment of their chef’s finest food, accompanied by a selection of wines provided by Candoni De Zan and wolf-inspired cocktails from Montelobos Mezcal.  A DJ from Hal Prince Music will be providing music throughout the evening.
Amazing and unique items will be available all evening for auction via silent bid, including a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience The Walker Library of the History of Human Imagination in Ridgefield, CT!  Our charming Wolf Conservation Center merchandise will also be available for sale – perfect and unique gifts for the holiday season.

Tickets are $125 and attendance is limited to 200. Past years’ events have sold out, so sign up today! You may also call 914-763-2373 to register or for more information.

For Tickets go to https://nywolf.org/benefits/wine-and-wolves-2017

News from the Wolf Front

National

Nothing to report

International

From Defenders of Wildlife (http://www.defenders.org)

  1. USA: Writing the next chapter in wolf recovery

By the mid-1930s, after decades of intolerance and unchecked killing, wolves were eradicated from all but a few areas in the lower 48 states.

It seemed like the end was inevitable for wolves on the landscape in the lower 48.

But Defenders has always been a champion for wolves and we weren’t going to let that be the end of the story.

We’ve had successes. But the greatest threat to wolves remains the same as it did from the start of their persecution all those years ago – humankind.

With the growing populations of wolves on our landscape, the threat of their coming into contact with communities increases every day.

That is why Defenders is determined to help the public share the land with wolves and dispel the myths and misconceptions that nearly silenced them for good. This is the very centre of our coexistence work – and it’s the key to creating a future for wolves and other wildlife.

Help us continue to write the story for wolves: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=ahfATwBBWfOBD4zzAmWM3A

 

  1. USA: Wolves are returning, but they need your help!

I have been lucky enough to hear the howl of wolves echoing in the wilderness. And I will always treasure the fact that, as Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, I had a hand in bringing wolves back to the wild.

You may not realize it, but you did too – in fact, as a Defender of Wildlife, you’ve been there all along.

Continue your commitment to restoring wolves: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=FJoIAPHxfMGEEekXCIzfsw

Over the years, we’ve made great strides and, as a result of our tireless efforts, wolf recovery is working. Wolves are now living in areas where they were once wiped out – places like Oregon, Washington, Arizona, New Mexico and California.

But turning back the clock on the devastation of wolves in this country isn’t as simple as reintroducing wolves to the wild.

Right now, wolves and other recovering wildlife are at a critical crossroads. The growth and expansion of wildlife populations into new territories means they are coming into contact with humans more often. And if history is any guide, contact means conflict. That is where our pioneering coexistence efforts come in.

Our coexistence work is at a pivotal point.

In order to achieve lasting success for wolves, we must change people’s hearts and minds about these iconic predators.

Defenders’ pioneering coexistence work has improved relationships with landowners and fostered partnerships with the federal government and state and local decision makers to advance recovery.

Make way for wolves! Give today to further our coexistence efforts to help the public share the land with wildlife: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=oa1ptNHNViUOodv7vlhSzQ

We have known since day one that reducing conflicts between wolves and people is key to long-term wolf recovery. And that long-term vision is what sets us apart.

The life of every wolf is precious, yet as wolf populations continue to grow, our focus must shift to be more about the survival of the species as a whole – especially as interactions with humans increase.

We can’t afford to be short-sighted. If we’re not coexisting with wildlife then we’re condemning wildlife.

Please give today to help us give wolves the long-term future they deserve: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=EXyiGEWfxSR2_BsG14DeFA

 

From ForceChange (TakeAction@ForceChange.com)

USA: Stop Plans to Slaughter Endangered Wolves

Endangered grey wolves will soon be open to slaughter in Wisconsin if ranchers and hunters get their way. Sign this petition to demand protections for this majestic endangered species: https://forcechange.com/421006/dont-allow-killing-of-endangered-wolves/

Now it’s our turn to ask for help: For those of you who are already Premium Members — thank you from the bottom of our hearts! For the rest of our community, please consider the following message:

Our organization is only able to continue our work due to the financial support from people like you: https://forcechange.com/forcechange-now/?utm_source=FC-newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=long-text .This is because running a major online activism platform is expensive. Without our Premium Members, we would be forced to shut down our operations — and animal abusers, environmental polluters and wrongdoers across the globe would breathe a sigh of relief knowing that there was one less watchdog shining light on their evil ways.

Don’t let this happen! Please consider upgrading right now to ensure we can continue our important work. When you upgrade to a Premium Membership, you will also gain access to our Premium Perks, which include:

We’re so sure you will love your Premium Membership and the Premium Perks that if you upgrade right now, we’ll guarantee a full refund for the next 7 days if you’re unsatisfied. Simply email us within 7 days if you’d like to cancel your upgrade and receive a full refund https://forcechange.com/forcechange-now/?utm_source=FC-newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=long-text

From Change.org (Brigitte Sommer (www.wolfsschutz-deutschland.de) via Change.org (change@mail.change.org)

1. Germany: Save the Cuxland Pack – New Petiton! (translated here from German)

Dear supporters,

Pumpak is still missing, and incidents relating to wolves in the whole of Germany have abounded since January this year. The Rosenthal Pack in Saxony is safe for now, but it is still at risk. The wolves in Lower Saxony are presently in great danger. If the Lower Saxony politicians can have it their way, the complete Cuxland Pack should be killed. They pursue lobby politics against the will of the majority. You can read the full article here (in German).

Purportedly, the pack displays abnormal behaviour, but is that really so?

Please sign and share the petition here.

2. Germany: Saxony – again a Wolf shall die! I am asking for your help! (translated here from German)

28 Oct 2017 — Again a wolf in Saxony shall die; a sacrificial lamb for District Councillor Harig who has set his sights on the entire Rosenthal Pack and wants it killed. It was only a short while ago that his proposal to this effect was rejected, and now it seems he is trying to get his will by means of individual shooting permits. He himself is a hobby shepherd and was recently quoted as saying that keeping and breeding grazing animals were more important than species conservation. This man was democratically voted into power and is supposed to act in the interest of all citizens, not to pursue lobby politics for his buddies. The order to shoot Pumpak is not yet 9 months old, and already it all starts over. You can read the press briefing (in German) here: https://www.medienservice.sachsen.de/medien/news/214194

Please send your protests to:

Umweltminister Thomas Schmidt
CDU-Fraktion des Sächsischen Landtages
Bernhard-von-Lindenau-Platz 1
01067 Dresden
Tel. (0351) 493-5576
Fax (0351) 451031-5576
thomas.schmidt@slt.sachsen.de
www.thomas-schmidt-online.de and

Landrat Harig
Landratsamt Bautzen

Bahnhofstraße 9

02625 Bautzen
Tel.: 03591 5251-80000
Fax: 03591 5250-80000
E-Mail: landrat@lra-bautzen.de

And please donate to:
Wolfsschutz Deutschland in Pro Naturschutz Sachsen e. V. (Grüne Liga Sachsen)
Erzgebirgssparkasse
IBAN DE78 8705 4000 0725 0179 88
BIC WELADED1STB

Donations are tax-deductible.
From Wolf Conservation Center (contact=nywolf.org@mail102.atl71.mcdlv.net); on behalf of Wolf Conservation Center (contact@nywolf.org)

  1. USA: HE is not a Trophy

Bill H.R. 424 seeks undermine the Endangered Species Act and allow wolves to be shot and trapped for trophy in 4 states. To add insult to injury, the bill prohibits its judicial review thus preventing any legal challenge.

Take action here.

 

From California Wolfcenter (californiawolfcenter@yahoogroups.com)

  1. Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project

Monthly Update – September 1-30, 2017

The following is a summary of Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project (Project)

activities in the Mexican Wolf Experimental Population Area (MWEPA) in Arizona, including the Fort Apache Indian Reservation (FAIR), San Carlos Apache Reservation (SCAR), and New Mexico.  Additional Project information can be obtained by calling (928) 339-4329 or toll free at (888) 459-9653, or by visiting the Arizona Game and Fish Department website at

www.azgfd.gov/wolf or by visiting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website at www.fws.gov/southwest/es/mexicanwolf.

Past updates may be viewed on either website, or interested parties may sign up to receive this update electronically and clicking on the E-news Signup tab on the top left corner of the webpage.

This update is a public document and information in it can be used for any purpose.  The Project is a multi-agency cooperative effort among the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD), USDA Forest Service (USFS), USDA-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services (USDA-APHIS WS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the White Mountain Apache Tribe (WMAT).

To view semi-monthly wolf telemetry flight location information please visit http://arcg.is/0iGSGH or www.fws.gov/southwest/es/mexicanwolf/RWL.cfm.

Please report any wolf sightings or suspected livestock depredations to:(928) 339-4329 or toll free at (888) 459-9653. To report incidents of take or harassment of wolves, please call the AGFD 24-hour dispatch (Operation Game Thief) at (800) 352-0700.

Overall Mexican Wolf Recovery Program Monthly Update

Dr. Benjamin Tuggle is the new USFWS Assistant Director for Science Applications. The new USFWS Southwest Regional Director is Amy Lueders, formerly the Bureau of Land Management State Director for New Mexico.

On September 7, the USFWS met with the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish and the Chairman of the New Mexico State Game Commission to discuss Mexican wolf recovery issues.

The  USFWS met September 29 with AGFD to discuss matching funds for Livestock Demonstration Grants for depredation compensation and payments for presence.

The USFWS convened a conference call on September 20 with staff from Congressman Pearce’s office to discuss Mexican wolf recovery issues.

On September 27, a symposium entitled “Mexican Wolf Conservation: Two Decades of Reintroduction and the Future of Recovery” was held at The Wildlife Society Annual Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The symposium featured speakers covering a variety of topics from the USFWS, AGFD, USDA-APHIS Wildlife Services, Wolf Haven International, biologists leading the recovery effort in Mexico, and a local rancher.

Numbering System:  Mexican wolves are given an identification number recorded in an official studbook that tracks their history.  Capital letters (M = Male, F = Female) preceding the number indicate adult animals 24 months or older. Lower case letters (m = male, f = female) indicate wolves younger than 24 months or pups. The capital letter “A” preceding the letter and number indicate breeding wolves.

Definitions: A “wolf pack” is defined as two or more wolves that maintain an

established territory.  In the event that one of the two alpha (dominant) wolves dies, the remaining alpha wolf, regardless of pack size, retains the pack status. The packs referenced in this update contain at least one wolf with a radio telemetry collar attached to it. Studbook numbers listed in the monthly update denote wolves with functioning radio collars. The Interagency Field Team (IFT) recognizes that wolves without radio telemetry collars may also form packs. If the IFT confirms that wolves are associating with each other and are resident within the same home range, they will be referenced as a pack.

CURRENT POPULATION STATUS

Annual surveys are conducted in the winter as this is when the population experiences the least amount of natural fluctuation (i.e. in the spring the population increases dramatically with the birth of new pups and declines throughout the summer and fall as mortality is particularly high on young pups).  Thus, the IFT summarizes the total number of wolves in the winter at a fairly static or consistent time of year.  This allows for comparable year-to-year trends at a time of year that accounts for most mortality and survival of young pups.

During annual year-end population counts, the IFT documented a minimum of 113 Mexican wolves in the wild in Arizona and New Mexico at the end of 2016.  At the end of September, there were 64 wolves with functioning radio collars that the IFT was actively monitoring.

Wolves with functioning radio collars are listed by studbook number in the pack updates below.

IN ARIZONA:

Bear Wallow Pack (collared M1338 and F1335)

In September, the Bear Wallow Pack was located within their traditional territory on the SCAR and on the east central portion of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest (ASNF).  A minimum of three pups were documented with the Bear Wallow Pack in late summer; however this number may change as the IFT continues to document observations of this pack.

Bluestem Pack (collared F1489, f1563, and fp1665)

In September, the Bluestem Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the east central portion of the ASNF.

Elk Horn Pack (collared AF1294, m1471, f1473, and fp1668)

In September, the Elk Horn Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north eastern portion of the ASNF. A female pup, fp1668, was captured, collared and released in September. The pack continued to display localized behaviour consistent with pup rearing during the month of September.

Frieborn Pack (collared F1443 and m1447)

In September, the Frieborn Pack was documented within their territory in the east central portion of the ASNF in Arizona and into New Mexico.

Hawks Nest Pack (collared AM1038)

In September, the Hawks Nest Pack consisted of one collared wolf, AM1038.  AM1038 was located travelling alone in the traditional territory of the Diamond Pack in the northern and central portions of the ASNF.

Hoodoo Pack (collared AM1290, AF1333, f1550, f1663, and mp1666)

In September, the Hoodoo Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north eastern portion of the ASNF.  The IFT continued to observe localized behaviour consistent with pup rearing.  A male pup, mp1666, in the Hoodoo pack was captured, collared and released in September.

Maverick Pack (collared AF1291)

In September, the Maverick Pack was located within their traditional territory both on the FAIR and east central portion of the ASNF.

Panther Creek Pack (collared AF1339, AM1382, and m1574)

In September, the Panther Creek Pack was located in the east central portion of the ASNF.  Single yearling female 1484 and a minimum of three pups were documented travelling with the pack during the month of September.  The IFT continued to maintain a food cache for this pack to reduce potential for livestock depredations and with the goal of increasing survival of genetically valuable pups that the IFT cross-fostered into the Panther Creek Pack in May.

Prime Canyon Pack (collared F1488)

In September, F1488 and an unknown collared wolf continued to travel together within a territory in the east central portion of the ASNF.  F1488 was captured, re-collared and released in late September.

Saffel Pack (collared AF1567 and mp1661)

In September, the Saffel Pack was located in the north eastern portion of the ASNF, north of the traditional territory of the Hoodoo Pack.  The IFT continued to observe localized behaviour consistent with pup rearing.

Single collared m1483

Yearling male 1483 was documented travelling alone in the north eastern portion of the ASNF in Arizona during September.

Single collared f1484

Female 1484 was documented travelling with the Panther Creek Pack in the Panther Creek’s traditional territory in the east central portion of the ASNF during September.

Single collared f1562

Female 1562 was localized in the north central portion of the ASNF during September and has been documented travelling with an unknown collared wolf.

ON THE FAIR:

Diamond Pack (collared m1559, f1560, m1571, and m1572)

In September, the Diamond Pack was located in their traditional territory on the FAIR and in the north central portion of the ASNF. At the end of September m1571 was documented travelling separate from the pack. The IFT maintained a diversionary food cache on the ASNF for the Diamond Pack to reduce potential for further wolf-livestock conflict.

Tsay-O-Ah Pack (collared AM1343 and AF1283)

In September, the Tsay-O-Ah Pack was located within their traditional territory on the FAIR.

IN NEW MEXICO:

Dark Canyon (collared F1456 and M1354)

During September, F1456 and M1354 were documented travelling together within the west central portions of the GNF.

Copper Creek (collared F1444 and M1386)

During September, F1444 and M1386 were documented travelling together within the west central portions of the GNF.

Iron Creek Pack (collared AM1240, AF1278, and m1556)

During September, the Iron Creek Pack continued to utilize their territory in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness and the southern portion of the Gila National Forest (GNF).  The IFT continued to observe localized behaviour consistent with pup rearing during September.

Lava Pack (collared F1405 and AM1285)

During September, the Lava Pack was located within their traditional territory in the south eastern portion of the GNF.  The IFT maintained a diversionary food cache to reduce the potential for wolf-livestock conflicts.

Leopold Pack (collared AM1293, AF1346, and m1561)

During September, the IFT documented the Leopold Pack within their territory in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness.  The IFT continued to monitor the pack for pup rearing behaviour in September.

Luna Pack (collared AM1158 and AF1487)

During September, the Luna Pack remained in their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF.  The IFT maintained a diversionary food cache to reduce potential for livestock depredations.

Mangas Pack (collared AM1296, AF1439 and fp1664)

During September, the Mangas Pack was located within their territory in the north western portion of the GNF.  The Mangas Pack continued to display behaviour consistent with pup rearing.  A diversionary food cache established in May to reduce the potential for wolf-livestock conflicts was removed by the IFT at the end of September. The Mangas Pack was not involved in any wolf-livestock conflicts during that time period.

Prieto Pack (collared AF1251, M1398, f1565, and mp1669)

During September, the Prieto Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF.  The IFT continued to observe localized behaviour consistent with pup rearing in September.  The IFT captured, collared, and released mp1669 of the Prieto Pack during routine collaring efforts in September. A diversionary food cache established in May to reduce the potential for wolf-livestock conflicts was removed by the IFT at the end of September.  The Prieto pack was not involved in any wolf-livestock conflicts during that time period.

San Mateo Pack (collared AF1399 and mp1582)

During September, the San Mateo Pack continued to utilize their territory in the north central portion of the GNF.  The IFT maintained a supplemental food cache with the goal of increasing survival of the genetically diverse litter of pups.  The IFT captured, collared, and released mp1582 during collaring efforts in September. Male pup 1582 is a wild born pup, not one of the pups cross-fostered this spring.

Sheepherders Baseball Park (SBP) Pack (collared AM1284, F1553, and mp1667)

During September, the SBP Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF.  The IFT continued to observe localized behaviour consistent with pup rearing during the month of September.  The IFT captured, collared, and released mp1667 of the SBP pack during routine collaring efforts in September. A diversionary food cache established in June to reduce the potential for wolf-livestock conflicts was removed at the end of September.  The SBP pack was not involved in any wolf conflicts during that time period.

Single collared AM1155

During September, AM1155 was documented travelling within the GNF in New Mexico.

Single collared M1455

M1455 was not located by the IFT during September.

Single collared m1486

During September, m1486 travelled throughout northern and central portions of the CNF.

Single collared M1552

During September, M1552 travelled throughout central portions of the Cibola National Forest (CNF) and eastern portions of the GNF.

Single collared m1569

During September, m1569 travelled throughout central portions of the CNF and eastern portions of the GNF.

MORTALITIES

There were no documented mortalities in September.  From January 1 to September 30, 2017 there have been a total of eight documented wolf mortalities.

INCIDENTS

During the month of September, there were two confirmed wolf depredation incidents on livestock and no nuisance incidents.  From January 1 to September 30, 2017 there have been a total of 16 confirmed depredation incidents in New Mexico and 15 confirmed depredation incidents in Arizona.

On September 6, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Catron County, NM.  The investigation determined the calf had been killed by coyotes.

On September 7, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Catron County, NM.  The investigation determined the calf died from a vehicle strike.

On September 7, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Catron County, NM.  The investigation determined the calf died of unknown causes.

On September 10, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, AZ.  The investigation determined the calf died of respiratory illness.

On September 20 Wildlife Services investigated a dead bull in Catron County, NM.  The investigation determined the bull died from a vehicle strike.

On September 17, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, AZ.  The investigation determined the calf died of unknown causes.

On September 18, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, AZ.  The investigation determined the calf died of unknown causes.

On September 22, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, AZ.  The investigation determined the calf had been killed by a wolf.

On September 28, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, AZ.  The investigation determined the calf had been killed by a wolf.

On September 28, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Catron County, NM.  The investigation determined the cow had been killed by a bear.

COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATION

On September 9, the IFT assisted with the annual calf branding at the Deadman Ranch in New Mexico.

On September 16, the IFT gave a talk on the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program to a group of students studying habitat ecology from Arizona State University.

PROJECT PERSONNEL

In September, two new personnel joined the field team in temporary volunteer positions with the USFWS.

In September, the White Mountain Apache Tribe field personnel returned to the Interagency Field Team working on the FAIR

  1. Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project

Monthly Update – October 1-31, 2017

Overall Mexican Wolf Recovery Program Monthly Update

The USFWS met with Phil Miller, of Conservation Planning Specialist Group, in the week of October 2 to discuss public and peer review comments on the draft Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan, Biological Report and appendices.

The Department of Justice submitted the 6-month status report to the court on October 18, in compliance with the Stipulated Settlement Agreement to complete the Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan by the end of November 2017.

Southwest Regional Director Amy Lueders met with the WMAT Tribal Council on October 18 to discuss several USFWS issues, including the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program.

The USFWS convened a conference call with Mexico’s National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP by its Spanish acronym) to discuss actions and costs necessary to achieve recovery of Mexican wolves in Mexico.

The USFWS met with the AGFD and New Mexico Department of Game and Fish on October 25 to discuss issues regarding the final Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan.

On October 27, 2017, Peter Siminski retired from the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in Palm Desert, California, and as the Mexican Wolf Species Survival Plan Coordinator and Studbook Keeper.  The USFWS expresses its gratitude for the more than 30 years that Peter Siminski has devoted to the recovery of the Mexican wolf.

Regional Director Lueders convened a conference call on October 30 with the Mexican Wolf Tribal Working Group to discuss Tribal perspectives on Mexican wolf recovery.

On October 31, Regional Director Lueders contacted the leaders of several Tribes and Pueblos directly affected by Mexican wolf recovery in Arizona and New Mexico to discuss concerns, process and communication.

Numbering System:  Mexican wolves are given an identification number recorded in an official studbook that tracks their history.  Capital letters (M = Male, F = Female) preceding the number indicate adult animals 24 months or older. Lower case letters (m = male, f = female) indicate wolves younger than 24 months or pups. The capital letter “A” preceding the letter and number indicate breeding wolves.

Definitions: A “wolf pack” is defined as two or more wolves that maintain an

established territory.  In the event that one of the two alpha (dominant) wolves dies, the remaining alpha wolf, regardless of pack size, retains the pack status. The packs referenced in this update contain at least one wolf with a radio telemetry collar attached to it. The Interagency Field Team (IFT) recognizes that wolves without radio telemetry collars may also form packs. If the IFT confirms that wolves are associating with each other and are resident within the same home range, they will be referenced as a pack.

CURRENT POPULATION STATUS

Annual surveys are conducted in the winter as this is when the population experiences the least amount of natural fluctuation (i.e. in the spring the population increases dramatically with the birth of new pups and declines throughout the summer and fall as mortality is particularly high on young pups). Thus, the IFT summarizes the total number of wolves in the winter at a fairly static or consistent time of year.  This allows for comparable year-to-year trends at a time of year that accounts for most mortality and survival of young pups.

During annual year-end population counts, the IFT documented a minimum of 113 Mexican wolves in the wild in Arizona and New Mexico at the end of 2016.  At the end of October, there were 69 wolves with functioning radio collars that the IFT was actively monitoring.

IN ARIZONA:

Bear Wallow Pack (collared AM1338, AF1335, and m1673)

In October, the Bear Wallow Pack was located within their traditional territory on the SCAR and on the east central portion of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest (ASNF).  A yearling male, m1673, travelling with the Bear Wallow Pack was captured, collared, and released.  A minimum of three pups were documented; however, minimum pup numbers may change as the IFT continues to document observations of wolf packs.

Bluestem Pack (collared F1489, f1563, and fp1665)

In October, the Bluestem Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the east central portion of the ASNF.  Two pups were documented with the pack in October.

Elk Horn Pack (collared AF1294, m1471, f1473, m1477, fp1668, and mp1671)

In October, the Elk Horn Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north eastern portion of the ASNF. A male pup, mp1671, and a yearling male, m1477, were captured, collared and released in October. Two pups were documented traveling with the pack in October.

Frieborn Pack (collared F1443 and m1447)

In October, the Frieborn Pack was documented within their territory in the east central portion of the ASNF in Arizona and into New Mexico.  No pups have been documented travelling with F1443 and m1447.

Hawks Nest Pack (collared AM1038)

In October, the Hawks Nest Pack consisted of one collared wolf, AM1038. AM1038 was located travelling alone in the traditional territory of the Diamond Pack in the northern and central portions of the ASNF.

Hoodoo Pack (collared AM1290, AF1333, f1550, f1663, and mp1666)

In October, the Hoodoo Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north eastern portion of the ASNF. Hoodoo f1663 dispersed from her natal territory and has localized in the eastern portion of the FAIR and north central portion of the ASNF with Diamond m1571.

Maverick Pack (collared AF1291)

In October, the Maverick Pack was located within their traditional territory both on the FAIR and east central portion of the ASNF.  AF1291 was observed travelling with another wolf.  No pups have been documented with this pack.

Panther Creek Pack (collared AF1339, AM1382, and m1574)

In October, the Panther Creek Pack was located in the east central portion of the ASNF.  Single yearling female, f1484, was documented occasionally travelling with the pack.  The IFT continued to maintain a food cache for this pack to reduce potential for livestock depredations and with the goal of increasing survival of pups that the IFT cross-fostered into the Panther Creek Pack in May.

Prime Canyon Pack (collared F1488)

In October, F1488 was documented travelling within a territory in the east central portion of the ASNF with an uncollared male.  The unknown collared wolf that F1488 had been travelling with was not documented in October.

Saffel Pack (collared AF1567 and mp1661)

In October, the Saffel Pack was located in the north eastern portion of the ASNF, north of the traditional territory of the Hoodoo Pack.  Four pups were documented travelling with the Saffel Pack in October.

Single collared m1483

Male 1483 continued to travel alone in the north eastern portion of the ASNF in Arizona during October.

Single collared f1484

Female 1484 was documented travelling alone and occasionally with the Panther Creek Pack in the Panther Creek’s traditional territory in the east central portion of the ASNF during October.

Single collared f1562

Female 1562 was localized in the north central portion of the ASNF during October and has been documented travelling with an unknown collared wolf.

Single collared mp1672

A male pup, mp1672, with unknown parentage and affiliation was caught, collared, and released in the north central portion of the ASNF during the month of October.

ON THE FAIR:

Diamond Pack (collared m1559, f1560, m1571, and m1572)

In October, the Diamond Pack was located in their traditional territory on the FAIR and in the north central portion of the ASNF.  Yearling males m1559 and m1572 were documented occasionally dispersing into new areas in the eastern portion of the FAIR. The IFT continued to maintain a diversionary food cache on the ASNF for the Diamond Pack to reduce potential for further wolf-livestock conflict.  Yearling male, m1571, made a large dispersal movement north of the ASFS onto the Navajo Nation. At the request of the Navajo Nation, the IFT captured m1571, translocated and released the wolf back within the MWEPA. Following the translocation, m1571 has localized in the eastern portion of the FAIR and north central portion of the ASNF and has paired with Hoodoo f1663.

Tsay-O-Ah Pack (collared AM1343 and AF1283)

In October, the Tsay-O-Ah Pack was located within their traditional territory on the FAIR.

IN NEW MEXICO:

Copper Creek (collared F1444 and M1386)

During October, M1386 was documented travelling within the west central portion of the GNF.  F1444 was not located during October due to a collar malfunction, but is believed to still be travelling with M1386.

Dark Canyon (collared F1456 and M1354)

During October, F1456 and M1354 were documented travelling together within the west central portion of the Gila National Forest (GNF).

Iron Creek Pack (collared AM1240, AF1278, m1555, m1556, and f1670)

During October, the Iron Creek Pack continued to utilize their territory in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness and the southern portion of the GNF.  The IFT continued to observe localized behaviour consistent with pup rearing during October.  The IFT captured, collared, and released sub-adult wolves m1555, m1556 and f1670.  Sub-adult m1555 had its radio collar slip off after it was collared as a pup in 2016.

Lava Pack (collared F1405 and AM1285)

During October, the Lava Pack was located within their traditional territory in the south eastern portion of the GNF.  In October, the IFT discontinued the diversionary food cache that had been maintained for the Lava Pack as a result of the pack making larger movements within their territory during the fall.

Leopold Pack (collared AM1293, AF1346, and m1561)

During October, the IFT documented the Leopold Pack within their territory in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness.

Luna Pack (collared AM1158 and AF1487)

During October, the Luna Pack remained in their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF.  The IFT discontinued the diversionary food cache in October which had been maintained for the Luna Pack to reduce potential for wolf livestock conflict.

Mangas Pack (collared AM1296, AF1439, and fp1664)

During October, the Mangas Pack was located within their territory in the north western portion of the GNF.

Prieto Pack (collared AF1251, M1398, and f1565)

During October, the Prieto Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF.  The IFT continued to observe localized behaviour consistent with pup rearing in October. Male pup 1669, which was collared in early September, had its radio collar slip off in October.

San Mateo Pack (collared AF1399 and fp1578)

During October, the San Mateo Pack continued to utilize their territory in the north central portion of the GNF.  The IFT captured, collared and released fp1578, which is one of two pups from the Brookfield Zoo that were placed into the pack’s den during a cross-foster operation this past May in effort to increase genetic diversity of wolves in the wild.  The IFT continued to maintain a supplemental food cache with the goal of increasing survival of the genetically diverse litter of pups.  Male pup 1582, which was collared by the IFT in September, had its radio collar slip off in October.

Sheepherders Baseball Park (SBP) Pack (collared AM1284, F1553, and mp1667)

During October, the SBP Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF.  The IFT continued to observe localized behaviour consistent with pup rearing during the month of October.

Single collared AM1155

During October, AM1155 was documented travelling within the GNF in New Mexico.

Single collared M1455

M1455 was not located by the IFT during October.

Single collared m1486

During October, m1486 travelled throughout northern and central portions of the Cibola National Forest (CNF).

Single collared M1552

During October, M1552 travelled throughout central portion of the CNF and eastern portion of the GNF.

Single collared m1569

During October, m1569 travelled throughout central portion of the CNF and eastern portion of the GNF.

MORTALITIES

There were no documented wolf mortalities during the month of October.  From January 1 to October 31, there have been a total of eight documented wolf mortalities in 2017.

INCIDENTS

During the month of October, there were no confirmed wolf depredation incidents on livestock and there were no nuisance incidents.  From January 1 to October 31, 2017 there have been a total of 16 confirmed depredation incidents in New Mexico and 15 confirmed depredation incidents in Arizona.

On October 16, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, AZ. The investigation determined the calf died of unknown causes.

COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATION

There were no communication and coordination updates for the month of October.

PROJECT PERSONNEL

There were no personnel updates for the project in October.

REWARDS OFFERED

The USFWS is offering a reward of up to $10,000; the AGFD Operation Game Thief is offering a reward of up to $1,000; and the NMDGF is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the conviction of the individual(s) responsible for the shooting deaths of Mexican wolves. A variety of non-governmental organizations and private individuals have pledged an additional $46,000 for a total reward amount of up to $58,000, depending on the information provided.

Individuals with information they believe may be helpful are urged to call one of the following agencies: USFWS special agents in Mesa, Arizona, at (480) 967-7900, in Alpine, Arizona, at (928) 339-4232, or in Albuquerque, New Mexico, at(505) 346-7828; the WMAT at (928) 338-1023 or (928) 338-4385; AGFD Operation Game Thief at (800) 352-0700; or NMDGF Operation Game Thief at (800) 432-4263. Killing a Mexican wolf is a violation of the Federal Endangered Species Act and can result in criminal penalties of up to $50,000, and/or not more than one year in jail, and/or a civil penalty of up to $25,000.

Other News

National

Nothing to report

Next Door

Nothing to report

International

From ForceChange (TakeAction@ForceChange.com)

  1. India: Justice for Baby Elephant Burned Alive

The back legs of a baby elephant were consumed in fire as she desperately ran to her mother, screaming in pain and fear. This was the scene captured by a photographer in India who witnessed an angry mob attacking a mother and child elephant with flaming tar balls and firecrackers. Demand authorities take immediate action to protect elephants from attacks: https://forcechange.com/412955/justice-for-baby-elephant-burned-alive/

From Change.org (Salty Dog via Change.org (change@mail.change.org))

  1. USA: Trump to allow imports of African elephant trophies

Elephants are on the list of threatened species; the global community has rallied to stem the ivory trade; and now, the U.S. government, on Ryan Zinke’s urging and Trump’s decision, is giving American trophy hunters the green light to kill them.

Original article by Timothy Cama – 11/15/17 08:48 PM EST: http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/360614-trump-to-allow-imports-of-african-elephant-trophies

The Trump administration is reversing an Obama administration ban on bringing to the United States the heads of elephants killed in two African countries.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) said it has determined that hunting African elephants in Zimbabwe and Zambia “will enhance the survival of the species in the wild,” which is the standard by which officials judge whether to allow imports of parts — known as trophies — of the animals.

“Legal, well-regulated sport hunting as part of a sound management program can benefit the conservation of certain species by providing incentives to local communities to conserve the species and by putting much-needed revenue back into conservation,” an FWS spokesman said in a statement late Wednesday after hunting group Safari Club International announced the policy.

Imports will be allowed for elephants killed between Jan. 21 and the end of 2018.

The decision, cheered by some hunting and gun rights groups, is a reversal of the policy under the Obama administration. The United States and international authorities say the African elephant is a threatened species, and the Obama administration argued that allowing trophy imports would harm the animals by encouraging killing them.

The reversal is part of a wide-ranging effort by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, whose department includes the FWS, to promote hunting.

“Some of my best memories are hunting and fishing with my dad and granddad, and then later teaching my own kids to hunt and fish. That’s something I want more families to experience,” Zinke said in a September statement in which he announced that the arcade game Big Buck Hunter would be temporarily installed in the department’s headquarters.

The National Rifle Association’s lobbying arm praised the elephant trophy decision.

“By lifting the import ban on elephant trophies in Zimbabwe and Zambia the Trump Administration underscored, once again, the importance of sound scientific wildlife management and regulated hunting to the survival and enhancement of game species in this country and worldwide,” Chris Cox, executive director of the group’s Institute for Legislative Action, said in a statement.

Animal rights groups slammed the Trump administration.

“Let’s be clear: elephants are on the list of threatened species; the global community has rallied to stem the ivory trade; and now, the U.S. government is giving American trophy hunters the green light to kill them,” Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States, wrote in a blog post.

“What kind of message does it send to say to the world that poor Africans who are struggling to survive cannot kill elephants in order to use or sell their parts to make a living, but that it’s just fine for rich Americans to slay the beasts for their tusks to keep as trophies?” he continued.

Wolves and Wolfdogs

A Way to Protect Wolves and Coyotes

by Rick Lamplugh, author and wildlife advocate

Far too often, people charged with illegally killing a wolf claim they thought they were shooting a coyote. The hunter who recently shot and killed a wolf in Oregon made such a questionable claim. So did the man who shot the first wolf to reach the Grand Canyon. Often the dead wolf was protected under state or federal laws. Such illegal killing happens in shocking numbers according to a commentary by scientists published in the international journal Biodiversity and Conservation.

In “When Shooting a Coyote Kills a Wolf: Mistaken Identity or Misguided Management?”, Thomas Newsome, Jeremy Bruskotter, and William Ripple present these statistics:

  1. Of the 711 radio-collared grey wolves that died in the western U.S. between 1982 and 2004, 12% were killed illegally.
  2. Of all the red wolves that have died to date, 25% of them fell to illegal shooting.
  3. For Mexican wolves, illegal killing accounts for about 55% of all deaths from 1998 to 2013.

These are just the deaths that researchers know about. The count does not include the number of wolves killed secretly by those who believe in “shoot, shovel, and shut up.”

Whatever the total number, the authors state that illegal killing of wolves represents a substantial failure in wolf management, because to meet the objective of the Endangered Species Act wolves need to recolonize significant portions of their former range. And—after decades of trying—grey wolves still occupy only about 15% of their historic range in the lower 48. Worse yet, “…Mexican wolves and red wolves are among the rarest terrestrial mammals in the world.”

The authors believe that new management strategies are required to help wolf populations recover. They suggest that one way to reduce illegal wolf killing is “the banning of coyote hunting at least during the ungulate hunting season to prevent cases of mistaken identity, especially where wolves are at low densities, or recolonizing new areas.” (This was the scenario in Oregon: the hunter was after elk in a state where wolf numbers are low.)

The authors report this approach worked in the 1980s when Wisconsin implemented a coyote hunting ban during deer hunting season to eliminate wolf killing due to mistake identity. After that ban, wolves had unprecedented population growth.

Banning coyote killing won’t be easy. Some people see coyotes as vermin to be destroyed without remorse. Others feel strongly that coyote hunting and derbies help reduce livestock losses.

But banning coyote killing makes sense. The authors point to research that shows “coyote populations are far too resilient to be affected by most periodic control eradication programs, let alone from derbies or recreational hunting.”

Though coyotes are resilient, wolves aren’t. The scientists write that humans killing wolves “is a critical risk factor that requires management, especially when individuals move into new territories unoccupied by other wolves.”

Wolves—especially—dispersing wolves need all the protection we can provide. Banning coyote hunting during deer and elk hunting season would be good for wolves and coyotes.

Indie author Rick Lamplugh writes to protect wildlife and preserve wildlands. His new book, Deep into Yellowstone: A Year’s Immersion in Grandeur and Controversy, is available signed from Rick at http://bit.ly/2tIEt62, or unsigned on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2tgPU3E. His best seller, In the Temple of Wolves, is available signed at http://bit.ly/1gYghB4, or unsigned on Amazon at http://amzn.to/Jpea9Q.

Wolf Myths and Legends, Part 144

Wolf and His Assassins

by Taren (Werewolf Mage)

Flash of black across the plain,
Repeating into the distance.
Loping canine, fangs of white,

Over paths of wooded stretches.
Woven forward as the reeds of baskets,
Step after step, paw prints in the new earth.
The call of wind in his ears.

He hears the cry of the torn-up earth,
He scents the blood of dying stars,
The wail of the mournful wind,
The scream of nature’s scars.

But he cannot stop this madness,
Nor can he prevent it.
For if the wolf stresses concern,
He lies dead upon the bleeding grass.

And if you ask the frequent question
Of this forgotten lore,
Who these dreaded killers are,
World and wolf shall scream their answer.

And ever after wail it to the moon,
For the demons of this deed
Are close at hand.

And every fallen tree and howling wolf proclaims,

The killers are staring at this tale this very moment!

Readers’ Contribution

A Wolfdog Diary

By Erin

If nothing bad has happened for a long time you can bet that Murphy is sitting just around the corner, waiting for the right moment to strike. That moment came when our gardeners decided to clean out the weeds from between the pavement bricks in front of the house. And since it is almost impossible to do that without also removing at least part of the soil stuck in there together with the weeds you will end up with small gaps between the pavement bricks. Well, I have to admit that it looks quite neat and tidy, but it is also sort of a trap for the claws of four-legged family members.

In the afternoon of that specific Sunday the furry kids heard something going on in the street, jumped up from their afternoon nap and stormed out into the front yard to investigate. Five minutes later they came back inside with Taima limping on three legs, holding her right front leg up in the air and looking rather unhappy. I wanted to check out what had happened, but she did not allow me to touch her leg or paw so that I could only have a look from a distance and search for blood or a swelling, but there was nothing. First I was relieved that she did not have any apparent injury, thinking she might just have strained a muscle when jumping up and running outside so quickly, but Ted and I quickly discovered that she was in pain, not able to sit or lie down without whimpering. I thought of giving her an anti-inflammatory/painkiller but she refused any food in which I could have concealed it. Just when Ted and I were thinking about taking her to the emergency vet she managed to lie down on her side and started licking her paw – o.k., it was obviously not the leg but the paw, I thought. I suspected a broken claw but that’s usually easy to detect because it will either protrude up or to the side or be bleeding, but all her claws looked perfectly in place. Maybe she had stepped on a thorn that got stuck in her paw? But then she would not just lick the paw but nibble and try to pull it out. When she had calmed down a bit and found a position to rest without her paw hurting too much I started to give her some Reiki (that’s what Reiki masters usually do), not touching her paw but working above it. In the first moment she wanted to back off but then decided to let me go on and enjoy the “nice warm feeling”. After that she fell asleep.

When she woke up she was still walking on three legs, but looked a bit more comfortable. I gave her a second round of Reiki, after which she fell asleep again. Shortly before we went to bed she got up and even managed the three steps of the front stop into the garden for her last small business, limped back inside, made herself comfortable on her sleeping place and allowed me to give her a third treatment. Although I slept with one eye and ear open she seemed to be relaxed and fast asleep throughout the night. When Ted and I woke up the next morning she jumped onto the bed, smiling from one ear to the other, handing out kisses to both of us, declaring herself fine once more. For the first few hours she was still limping a bit, but walking on all four, and a while later we watched her playing chasing games with Kajack and Ascar as though nothing ever had happened the day before. Apparently she got stuck with the two middle claws in one of the gaps between the pavement bricks and overstretched the two “fingers”, maybe even pulling them out of their sockets for a moment and pinching a nerve when they slipped back in.

Although I love to see my garden neat and tidy I have to admit that I will much rather live with “green seams” between the pavement bricks than see one of our pack getting hurt. And although I’m sure it was just a freak accident that might never happen again, I have instructed our gardeners not to clean there again but leave it to me to come up with a better (and safer) plan.

Will be continued…

Volume 12, Issue 156, October 2017

SAFHOWL

The Monthly Free E-Newsletter of South African Friends of Wolves

Volume 12, Issue 156, October 2017

From the Editor’s Desk

Here we go again: Hysterical politicians versus nature treasures and a few reasonable people with brains who put up the last stand. The only difference between the news in this newsletter and those in many, many previous ones is that the American hysteria seems to have found copycats in Germany, interestingly in a region that is likewise orientated to the right of the political spectrum. #So sad…

We thought it sensible to include here a more unbiased look at the situation, which re-immigrant wolves find themselves in in Germany to enable people to form their own opinion based on information rather than on emotion and propaganda.

Also included is a Russian wolf tale, and Erin is back with a brief report on what her pack is up to these days.

Till next month,
Ed.

Upcoming Events

Say Yes to New Adventures!

International Wolf Center’s Adventure Programs

Turn your vacation into a one-of-a-kind wilderness experience. The International Wolf Center offers a variety of Adventure Programs led by informative and enthusiastic wolf experts for people of all ages. Visit our website for a complete list of adventure programs here.

Upcoming Webinars 

Webinar rate: $15 Non-members, $12 Members

Wolf Conservation Center

Wake Up With Wolves!

Sleeping with Wolves, the Wolf Conservation Center’s popular nocturnal adventure experience, gives guests a chance to camp out overnight with the 25 wolves that call the center home! With all the howls and nature’s night-time chatter, you will feel like you’re camping under the stars with wild wolves!

Pre-registration is required. Space is limited and dates are selling out quickly!

Information and Registration here.

News from the Wolf Front

National

Nothing to report

International

1. Germany: Petiton update: Pumpak the Wolf must continue to live (translated here from German)

Are more than 122.000 signatures still not enough to be taken seriously?

That’s politicians for you: Actually we wanted to hand our successful petition against the shooting of Pumpak (so far more than 122.000 signatures) and against the shooting of the Rosenthal pack (almost 40.000 signatures) – to the people in charge still before the general elections www.change.org/woelfe, but the politicians did not allow that.

While the advisor to Saxony’s minister for Environmental Affairs and Agriculture, Schmidt, responded to our application for an appointment to hand in the petition stating that it was not common practice in Saxony to hand over petitions to ministers directly, the district administrator of Bautzen, Michael Harig (CDU) defends in his written response the planned shooting of the Rosenthal pack by saying that the provisions taken into consideration by the district are not an act of stately arbitrariness but represent an act of the law.

Is that democracy? Are these politicians really so afraid of so many people taking a stand against the shooting of Pumpak and the Rosenthal pack? We have to act against so much arbitrariness! This is ignorance and unacceptable.

We have to go against this! Keep supporting us and protest by e-mails and phone calls to Mr. Harig

Phone: 03591 5251-80000; Fax: 03591 5250-80000
landrat@lra-bautzen.de

And to the advisor of Saxony’s state minister Schmidt

Ronny.Zienert@smul.sachsen.de

  1. Germany: Escapee Wolves in Bavaria must not be shot

During the night of Friday (06.10.17) to Saturday, some wolves escaped from the Falkenstein National Park in Bavaria. One has already been killed by a car, and another has been shot dead.

We will not accept that the wolves that escaped from the National Park Center Falkenstein in Bavaria’s Ludwigsthal (district Regen) are shot.

According to a press release of the National Park management, a door to the enclosure was broken open, and a number of wolves found their way out. It can only be speculated who has and why this door was broken open.

We of the Wolfschutz Deutschland [Wolf Conservation Germany] within the registered organisation Pro Naturschutz Sachsen (Pro Nature Conservation Saxony) (Grüne Liga Sachsen; Green League Saxony) object to plans of shooting the escaped wolves and demand an end to the hysterical and heartless treatment of the wolf.

15 years ago, the she-wolf Bärbel escaped from the Klingenthal Animal Park. Our chairman, Wolfgang Riether, fought for her life while she roamed through a number of federal states. He submitted several appeals for clemency. Contrary to the claims by officials of the large nature conservation groups, Bärbel was able to hunt and survive on her own. When it was eventually decided that she could live in freedom she was shot dead by a hunter from Lower Saxony.

You can read Bärbel’s story here: http://www.gepardenland.de/Wolf/Baerbel.htm

The claims made in a press release by the National Park Centre, stating the wolves would not be able to survive on their own and must therefore be shot is as absurd as calling these wolves “ticking time bombs”, as was done today by a Bavarian radio station.

We demand that the wolves, if they cannot be captured, are allowed live in freedom. Where else, if not in a national park, will be enough space for these predators. In the same way Bärbel managed to survive these wolves will also learn to take care of themselves. Our member Beatrice Rüger has initiated a petition for the Bavarian escapee wolves. You can sign it here: https://www.change.org/p/tötet-nicht-die-entlaufenen-wölfe-jede-minute-zählt. Please do so and share the address further.

  1. Germany: Escapee Wolves in Bavaria: Second wolf shot dead!

We have just learned that another wolf was shot dead! We are busy preparing for the hand-over of our petition. Please protest again via phone calls and e-mails to the persons in charge.

Dr. Franz Leibl, head of the National Park management:

Phone: +49 8552 9600135; Fax:+49 8552 9600100; E-mail: franz.leibl@npv-bw.bayern.de

 

  1. Germany: Appeal for clemency for the escapee wolves to Bavaria’s Prime Minister, Horst Seehofer

Until we will have received an appointment to hand over our petition eventually, we have sent an open letter to prime minister Horst Seehofer and asked for clemency for those wolves that are still alive. To lend it more weight, it would be great if many more people signed our petition. We keep on fighting for the wolves, but we need your support!

From Protect the Wolves (http://www.protectthewolves.com)

  1. USA: Montana Slaughters another possible Park Wolf

Montana has slaughtered another possible Yellowstone Wolf in Unit 316. 18 possible Park Wolves have lost their lives in Wyoming, and 19 more in the rest of Wyoming as of today.

Hunters are camped tight against the boundary line in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho. Some trophy zones have Yellowstone Park at both its north and south boundaries. Then take a look at the rest of the state…not one trophy unit in it. It is all designated along Yellowstone and Teton’s border. This speaks volumes of the intent to take as many park wolves as they can. Are you ready to allow that to happen? There is a way to stop this. Take your power back that these states have stripped you of and let’s get these beloved wolves back to protection & safety. Now is the time to do it. Now is why the wolves desperately need you.

Policy States that Federal Resources are protected as well. Park Policy states that “OUR” sacred resources be protected. Wolves are considered one of our sacred resources. Federal Policy also states our resources are protected not only on but off Reservations

How many more Yellowstone Wolves will need to needlessly die before you say “no more!” Let’s get this done…Now! Our Sacred Resource Protection Zone helping keep park wolves safe is beyond needed. We asked for your support in May when we began to petition states surrounding the national parks. Wolves are now crying out for your help by needlessly being slaughtered now

Help us help park wolves here: https://continuetogive.com/protectthewolves

With your support, we can be successful in putting an End to this Needless Slaughter!! Thank you for Joining The Howl that will be heard around the world!

Remember: All of our staff including directors are volunteers; we do not pay $ 400,000 per year in director’s or staff salaries…

http://protectthewolves.com/montana-slaughters-another-pos…/ 

From Wolf Conservation Center (contact=nywolf.org@mail102.atl71.mcdlv.net); on behalf of Wolf Conservation Center (contact@nywolf.org)

  1. USA: Meet Mexican Gray Wolf Pup Max!
    So many wonderful things are happening at the Wolf Conservation Center and we are excited to share a little news with you all. We are so lucky and grateful to have a wonderful supporter and volunteer named Max Toscano (featured below with Ambassador wolf Atka in 2014). The teen from Darien, Connecticut has a passion for wolves that is unparalleled. Max has been a part of the WCC family since he was 12 years old!

While our three little Mexican gray wolf pups were recently assigned their alphanumeric “names,” two of them have yet to receive proper names. It seemed only natural that one of them would be named after Max. We introduce to you, little Max, one of our three feisty pups named in his honour!
Learn more about Max and her critically endangered kin here.

  1. USA: A Special Milestone for Red Wolves

Thirty years ago this month, a new chapter in wildlife conservation began with a wild homecoming unlike anything seen before. The first captive-bred red wolves were released to the wild!
The red wolf reintroduction was among the first instances of a species, considered extinct in the wild, being re-established from a captive population. In many ways, the red wolf program was the pilot program, serving as a model for subsequent canid reintroductions, particularly those of the Mexican gray wolf to the American Southwest and the gray wolf to the Yellowstone region.
In recognition of the anniversary, the Wolf Conservation Center will celebrate the red wolf with interesting red wolf facts, ways to take action, special events, giveaways and more! Follow the WCC on Facebook to take part!

  1. USA: Meet Mexican Gray Wolf Pup Jean

Jean is one of the three critically endangered Mexican gray wolf pups born on May 22, 2017. Beyond being cute, this little kiddo represents the Wolf Conservation Center‘s active participation in an effort to save a species on the brink of extinction.
While our three little wolf pups were assigned their alphanumeric “names” last month, the sisters deserve proper names too! First, you met Nita. Max was next. Now we are happy to introduce you to Jean!
We are so lucky and grateful to have so many wonderful friends and supporters. Jean Ossorio has been a vital member of the WCC pack some time. For those who have met Jean, it’s no secret that she is committed to Mexican gray wolf recovery. Not only has Jean been a tireless advocate for the protection and preservation of the lobo for decades, she has spent more time than anyone camping in Mexican wolf country, hoping for a glimpse, sound, or other sign of these rare and elusive animals.
Jean is courage, compassion, brilliance, and grit in action; and her love for lobos goes unparalleled. It seems only natural that one of our three spirited Mexican gray wolf pups should be named after her.
So throw back your head and let out a long celebratory howl for little Jean!

From Endangered Species Coalition (action@endangered.org)

  1. USA: Wolves and public lands at risk

This week, Congress will vote on a disastrous bill that would kick Great Lakes wolves off of the endangered species list and allow states like Wisconsin to begin wolf hunting and trapping seasons immediately.

Fight attacks on the Endangered Species Act with a donation today.

This bill – the Sportsmen’s Act – is one of more than two dozen bills in this Congress that take aim at the Endangered Species Act. Wolves are the most immediate victims of this senseless legislation, but they are not the only species that will suffer. By redefining “hunting” to include trapping, it forces lands managers to permit the use of traps and snares on Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service lands that are now closed to this outdated and cruel practice. Wolverines, lynx, even bald eagles are just three of the species put at risk by traps and snares that would be allowed on millions more acres of public lands.

Also included in the Sportsmen’s Act is a provision that would block efforts to phase out lead fishing equipment and ammunition in national parks and on other public lands. This action alone will sentence millions of birds annually to slow and painful death by lead poisoning. And this is just one bill of dozens that this Congress is considering.

Help stop Congress from abandoning wolves and gutting the Endangered Species Act with a 100% tax-deductible donation today.

The Endangered Species Act has helped recover vanishing species for nearly half a century, but this Congress intends to bring it to an end. The Endangered Species Coalition is fighting the Sportsmen’s Act and dozens of others like it with every resource we have. Please make a secure and tax-deductible donation today to help keep wolves protected and stop the Endangered Species Act from going extinct in this Congress:

Thank you for your commitment to wildlife and wild places.

Other News

From Change.org (change@mail.change.org) (translated here from German)

  1. USA: Petition update: Boycott Under Armour for Promoting the Slaughter of Wildlife! Under Armour-Ad encouraging Kids to Kill Animals!

Under Armour’s Back-To-School Ad: “Back to school season isn’t so bad when you have this to look forward to”.
This Ad targets the US market specifically. And it is designed to help ensure that the new generation follows in the footsteps of the older one, killing wild animals for sport.
“The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
– Ghandi

National

From SanWild Wildlife Trust (lizel@sanwild.org)

Water crisis at SanWild

We have been faced with a severe and on-going drought since May 2015 and during the last two years we have put up a brave battle with the help of so many wonderful people to fight the odds stacked against our animals to ensure that they are provided with enough food and water to survive the drought.

This year we could fortunately plan ahead and it has not been necessary for us to spend the same amount of money on providing drought relief food as the previous financial year.  Grazing has been okay right up to August and we only resumed providing drought relief in September.  For now we are okay as far as food is concerned and we trust that the rains will come early this year.

Unfortunately we are now faced with yet another crisis after not just one but two of our existing boreholes have dried up.  For the past three months we anticipated that it may happen as the water levels dropped.  We continued to lower pumps, but now the water supply has reduced to a couple of litres per day and we can no longer pump water from the two boreholes which means we urgently need to make other plans to continue to provide water to the SanWild animals.

It is a known fact that underground water levels can take as long as 3-4 years to fully recover after prolonged droughts so even if the rains do come early; it will not solve our problems straight away and we will have to make alternative plans to provide water.

Fortunately we still do have one strong borehole, but this one is situated on the one end of the reserve and it is necessary to lay down a pipeline to get water to the watering points that were fed from the two boreholes that dried up.

Unfortunately we are always stretched for cash and have not been able to build up a savings to accommodate unexpected crisis.  When disaster strikes; we and the animals we care for are left at the mercy of kind-hearted animal loving people.

To save costs and not to waste any money drilling for water where there may not be any, we have ordered PVC plastic piping and already have a hired backackter on site to dig a trench for the pipeline to be put down.  The pipes and machine hire will cost us in the region of approximately Seven thousand five hundred US dollars ($7500) and we need your help to urgently raise this amount.

The pipes will be ready for delivery by the end of this week, but delivery will not happen until we have the funding to pay for the pipes.

Please do consider our animals’ welfare and make a donation if you can. We will be extremely grateful for your support.

For your convenience you can either donate with PayPal or by means of an EFT.

Please note that SanWild is a registered non-profit and public benefit organization and therefore all donations made to us are fully tax-deductible.

The SanWild Wildlife Trust would like to thank you for your financial support as well as sharing our appeals with family and friends. We really do appreciate this greatly.

Next Door

Nothing to report

International

Nothing to report

Wolves and Wolfdogs

Wolves in Germany: Germans divided over the return of the wolf

Wolves have been making a comeback, with a few dozen packs already roaming Germany’s forests. But the return of a predator feared since ancient times has the human population fiercely divided.

Holger Benning visits his flocks of sheep at least once a day. He checks the electric fences are working and brings food for his 17 guard dogs. Both are there to protect his livestock from wolves.

The predators returned to Lüneburg Heath in Lower Saxony, between Hannover and Hamburg, 10 years ago.

“Wolves do kill sheep, goats or other farm animals around here from time to time,” Benning tells DW. But he’s convinced that with the right precautions, the risk “is very small.”

So far, Benning hasn’t lost a single sheep.

But not everyone has been so lucky. Wolves have killed more than 600 farm animals in the region – mainly sheep, but also cows and farm deer.

Making a comeback

Wild wolves were eradicated from Germany at the end of the 19th century. But in the late 20th century, conservation efforts saw populations in neighboring Poland expand, and gradually move west in search of new territory.

By 2000 they had crossed the border and the first wild wolf pups for more than a century were born in Germany. From the eastern states of Saxony and Brandenburg, they pushed on into other parts of the country’s north, and even the outskirts of Berlin.

By the end of 2016, at least 47 packs and 21 pairs were officially documented in Germany’s woodlands, about 130 adult wolves in total, according to the German wolf documentation and consultation office (DBBW): https://www.dbb-wolf.de/Wolfsvorkommen/territorien/karte-der-territorien

Lüneburg Heath has nine packs, comprising around 80 animals, including pups.

“A few years ago, they said the likelihood of encountering a wolf was like winning the lottery,” Benning says. “That means I have already won the lottery five times.”

And even when the wolves themselves stay hidden, the shepherd often finds their traces – tracks and scat – around his sheep pastures. “They are definitely around,” he says.

Good neighbours?

Nature lovers and conservation societies like the German Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU) are thrilled Germany’s wolves have bounced back from extinction.

“It is one of the biggest successes from a nature conservation point of view,” according to NABU.

Yet even NABU admits their return is controversial.

“Wolves belong here and I think it is a good thing that they are back,” says NABU’s Peter Schütte. “But I know that it can cause problems in such densely populated areas like we have in Germany.”

Schütte heads a NABU project to help farmers protect their herds, for example by erecting fences: http://www.herdenschutz-niedersachsen.de/

“There are solutions to make coexistence between humans and wolves possible,” he says.

However, dogs and fences mean extra work for the farmers – and cost money.

Public support is available to help farmers protect their livestock, as is compensation when a farm animal is killed by wolves. But Benning says he is still out of pocket.

“I have to put up with an income loss of 20,000 Euros ($22,800) each year,” he says. “I cannot make my lamb more expensive or the customers will go to the next supermarket and buy New Zealand lamb which is already cheaper than what we can produce.”

‘It’s getting out of hand’

Wolves are strictly protected under German law. But there are plenty of people in Lüneburg Heath who think it’s time to start shooting them.

Sonja Christiansen, a horse breeder, says culling wolves when they become too numerous should be permitted.

“I think it is too dangerous to have wolves around,” she says. “It’s getting out of hand. It started with two wolves, now nobody even knows exactly how many we have.”

Christiansen is afraid the wolves could kill her foals or stud – or just frighten the animals so they bolt and hurt themselves.

“Wolves do not fit into our civilization any longer,” she said, adding that her fear of wolves means she no longer enjoys walking in the countryside.

Sheds instead of pasture

Cattle farmer Hendrik Meine also believes hunters should be allowed to keep wolf numbers down.

“There is nothing to be said against a few wolves in the area,” he told DW, “but not in huge numbers. We are too densely populated for that.”

Meine says he knows of cattle farmers whose calves, and even adult animals, have been killed by wolves, and now keep the animals inside.

“Keeping animals outside on pastures won’t be possible in the future if wolves continue to thrive in this area,” Meine says.

With NABU’s support, Meine is about to erect a 1.5-meter wolf-proof electric fence around his pasture. “I just hope that this will help,” he says.

Population divided

To protect the wolves or kill them? It’s a question that divides the region, and has even become a hot topic in regional election campaigns.

Some people now light warning fires whenever they spot a wolf to raise awareness of what they see as a lurking danger.

NABU’s Schütte says historic fears mean people can be irrational about wolves.

“In the Middle Ages, wolves were a danger for our ancestors who owned maybe only one cow or one goat,” he explains. “When that animal got killed, a family lost their livelihood. It’s not like that anymore today. But the idea that this is a big dangerous predator still remains.”

Here to stay

Hannelore Martin is a horse breeder and head of NABU’s “horse and wolf” research team. She says she also worried for her horses when she first heard that wolves were back. But she did a bit of research and realized how rare it is for wolves to kill foals.

Now, she’s committed to “reducing the hysteria.”

Shooting wolves, Martin says, wouldn’t help anyway: “New ones would just come in from Eastern Europe. This migration is a permanent process.”

And killing off individual wolves could actually make the rest of a pack more dangerous by disrupting their natural hunting patterns.

“It could screw up the animals’ social structure,” Martin says.

Martin and Schütte believe the better the human population is informed about their lupine neighbors, the better the chances of peaceful coexistence.

Because even as debate over wolves’ place in Lüneburg Heath rages, the wolves seem to have made up their own minds: They’re here to stay.

Original article: http://www.dw.com/en/germans-divided-over-return-of-the-wolves/a-39538431

Wolf Myths and Legends, Part 143

A Russian Wolf Fable

Ankakumikaityn, the Nomad Wolf – A Siberian Tale

One summer, the fox heard that Ankakumikaityn, the nomad wolf, was courting his neighbour, the elder she-dog. So the wily fox made himself an outfit of wolf’s clothing: a grey fur cloak, boots and cap. Then, when the she-dog’s brothers were away and she was at home with her younger sister, he called upon her.

“I have two herds of fat reindeer,” said the fox to the elder sister, as he sipped the bilberry tea she offered him. “I have come to seek your hand.”

Thinking that this was, indeed, Ankakumikaityn the nomad wolf, the she-dog treated him to reindeer meat, hot mare’s-blood sausages, raw walrus liver and pickled fish, the very choicest pieces. All the while, the fox sat in his cap, unwilling to take it off lest he be recognized.

“Being a wealthy person,” he explained, “I keep my cap on that people might respect me. “All of a sudden, the sound of dogs barking could be heard from afar. “It is my brothers returning from hunting,” the she-dog said. “Oh dear,” exclaimed the fox, “they will likely scare my herds. I must run to caution them.”

Once away from the tent, the fox quickly dashed up the nearby hill and loosened some rocks. When the dog brothers came in sight, he pushed the boulders down the hillside and crushed them all. Thereupon, he returned to the tent and finished his tea, charming the sisters with his oily-tongued tales. As dusk fell and the sisters were busy about their housework, he made off with all their food supplies.

Early next morning, the sisters became most alarmed on discovering their supplies gone and their brothers still absent. As they searched the valley and found their poor brothers dead, they wept in despair.

“Who could have done us such harm?” they wailed. In their sorrow, they decided to go to Ankakumikaityn to seek his counsel. The nomad wolf was puzzled. “But I never came to you yesterday!” he exclaimed.

It was not long before the sisters realized they had been tricked by the fox. With the wolf’s help, they worked out a plan to get their revenge.

Next day, the fox, unaware that he had been discovered called on the sisters again dressed as Ankakumikaityn. But this time they were expecting him. While the fox drank bilberry tea and exchanged pleasantries, the nomad wolf stealthily entered the tent, grabbed the treacherous fox and tied him up.

“What shall we do with the scoundrel?” asked the wolf. “Let’s put him in a sack and leave him in the tundra,” suggested the two sisters. That they did. The poor fox almost fainted from fright, wondering what his fate would be. At last, he was set down with a bump; the younger sister collected a heap of dry grass and brushwood for a fire, piled it round the sack, surrounded the tinder with stones and then lit the fire. Poor fox. He at last burst out of the burning sack, his wolf’s clothing aflame, and rushed headlong over the tundra like a burning torch. Satisfied at their revenge, the dog sisters and the wolf returned to the tent.

Ankakumikaityn wed the elder sister, and the younger dog looked after their children. Some time later, she found herself a husband too. Since that time red foxes began to appear in the tundra. So it seems that wily old fox, scorched and fiery red, managed to survive his roasting after all.

Readers’ Contribution

A Wolfdog Diary

By Erin

Nothing much has happened lately. Summer is on its way, the days are nice and warm and the nights are also much warmer now. The only problem we have in the moment is that our three have rediscovered their taste for pigeons. Every now and then the birds find their way into the greenhouse; I guess they just walk in through the gaps between the wooden planks of the door or through the greenhouse foil flaps and then cannot find their way back out. The kids then hear them flying around inside and because they cannot squeeze through the gate they have managed to pull the surrounding fence up and slip in under it. Then will they chase the poor bird around until it gets so tired that it has to take a break on one of the plant benches, and that’s when they will get it. In the very few cases when Ted or I heard what was going on, we stepped in and opened the flaps and gate for the bird to escape, but in most instances we will only realize what has happened when we find lots of feathers on the lawn. We have tried to fix the fence to stop them from killing the poor birds, but when we have closed one gap we will typically find a new one a day or two later. This reminds me of the time when Kia had that thing about plastic flowerpots and broke into the greenhouse again and again to get to them. Even after I had removed all pots and placed them in some other place she didn’t stop, until Ted built the wooden door and put a fence around the whole greenhouse. This time it’s not the pots but the pigeons, but the problem is the same – how do you secure the greenhouse properly to keep both, the birds and the furry kids out? Besides of the fact that we don’t like them killing the birds (they get enough food and could happily live without supplementing it with feathery creatures), chasing their prey around inside the house also causes a lot of damage to the plants in there. Focused on getting to the bird they don’t care how many plants will fall off the benches and have to be repotted by me after the chase is over. Well, I guess we have to come up with a plan (once more). Otherwise everything is hunky-dory.

Will be continued…

Volume 12, Issue 155, September 2017

SAFHOWL

The Monthly Free E-Newsletter of South African Friends of Wolves

Volume 12, Issue 155, September 2017

From the Editor’s Desk

Winter on the Highveld ended with a bang just as it did when it began. One day it was a lousy 13 Celsius with an icy wind, and a mere three days later it was 31 with a sandstorm of note. I definitely preferred the latter, though.

This month’s news section is, like always I’m afraid, dominated by scandalous politics, this time not only in the US, but also in parts of Germany and in Switzerland. Read the snippets for yourself to stay informed.

That managing wolves requires managing cattle is a fact illuminated by Rick Lamplugh, and we are grateful for his permission to reprint his insights here. By the way, his books are absolutely worth reading, too!

We have a poem this time that can only be characterized as being ”black and bleak”. Unfortunately, that’s the way it is with humans.

Erin had nothing new to report, but will surely be back when there is.

Till next month,
Ed.

Upcoming Events

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Sleeping with Wolves, the Wolf Conservation Center’s popular nocturnal adventure experience, gives guests a chance to camp out overnight with the 25 wolves that call the center home! With all the howls and nature’s night-time chatter, you will feel like you’re camping under the stars with wild wolves!

Pre-registration is required. Space is limited and dates are selling out quickly!

Information and Registration here.

News from the Wolf Front

National

Nothing to report

International

From Change.org (change@mail.change.org) (translated here from German)

Germany: Petition update: Saxony again – Please fight for the Rosenthal Pack

Dear supporters,

Unfortunately, I have more bad news from Saxony. The District Administrator of Bautzen, Michael Harig, has again launched an application for the shooting of the Rosenthal pack. Quoting Harig: “I have ordered the department in charge to prepare an appropriate exception permit.”

Read the full article here.

The reason for that is that, like last year, sheep have been apparently killed in Cunnewitz. Last year Harig’s application was rejected, because we took photos of the fences that proved that the sheep had not been properly protected. Today the same shepherd claims that his sheep were being killed and the same District Administrator again demands the shooting of the entire wolf pack.

Read the full report and please sign the petition here.

  1. USA: Oregon: Petition update: Prominent Scientists Call America’s Wolf Slaughter Unjustified and Unethical

EUGENE, OR – A new documentary by the wildlife advocacy group Predator Defense has people across the country fuming at an irresponsible rancher in Washington State who set up a pack of wolves living on public land in a remote forest to attack his cattle. People are also outraged at how state wildlife officials and major conservation organizations were party to the killing of the wolf pack…

Read the full update here.

3. Germany: Petition update: The Madness in Lower Saxony (translated here from German)

I previously reported that the so-called wolf conservationist and hunter Wotschikowsky compared the Cuxhaven wolf pack with the holocaust and, using Nazi diction – he sees the “final solution” for the animals there within the given possibilities.

Based on that I have received some letters, some not as friendly as others, some insulting, claiming that Wotschikowsky never wrote this. The truth is that he has deleted the term from his blog shortly after my update here. Although he views us as a useless organisation (see his earlier blog entry), he reacted promptly. His Nazi speech had been online since 9 August, but nobody cared; strange, isn’t it?

Of course, we took a screen shot of his blog entry before he could delete it, so you can read it for yourself here: www.wolfsschutz-deutschland.de.

But it’s not just the Nazi language: Wotschikowsky takes into consideration killing a whole wolf pack, although there is still no proof that wolves have been responsible for the cattle-killing in Cuxhaven. He did behave in the very same manner last year when the young wolf Kurti was killed – guilty until proven otherwise; he doesn’t need any evidence.

Not a word about the condition of the fences in the Cuxhaven District.

Here is a list of predation instances; almost all incidents are still unresolved: https://www.wolfsmonitoring.com/monitoring/nutztierrisse/ 

And there is another case: the Celle newspaper published a report claiming that 20 German Heath Sheep have apparently been killed by wolves. Here it’s also uncertain whether this was done by wolves. DNA samples taken have not yet been analyzed, but the owner of the animals, Tewes, and the wolf consultant, who is also a hunter, are already sure about it.

The sheep farmer runs an organic farm – shouldn’t one expect an entirely different attitude towards nature from such people?

The Celle newspaper reports that the German Heath Sheep breeders have filed an application to have the wolf removed, and Tewes also points out that there would be a pack of 13 wolves living there.

Killing without real evidence? Please read about the case Kurti here: www.wolfsschutz-deutschland.de 

Last but not least I want to ask you for your support: our organisation, Verein Wolfsschutz Deutschland in Pro Nature Conservation Saxony, does not receive government funding. We depend on donations, and there is a good chance that we will have to take two incidences to court, regarding the pack in Cuxhaven and the one in Schmarbeck.

Here are our bank details:

Erzgebirgssparkasse
IBAN DE78 8705 4000 0725 0179 88
BIC WELADED1STB

And I have to ask another favour: change.org is a non-profit organization. Its staff supports people who want to start a petition with all they can; please also support them with donations.

Brigitte Sommer
Germany

  1. Germany: Petition update: Protect the Goldstedt she wolf and her two cubs from being illegally shot! (translated here from German)

Hello dear supporters and wolf lovers of the petition With the human!-For the wolf!

The photo by Jens Feeken (a dedicated supporter and wolf activist from Diepholz) shows the two surviving cups of the Goldstedt she-wolf. In contrast to the official data published by the LJN, that states four cubs, we can presently only confirm two still being alive.

Read the full report here.

  1. Switzerland: Please, help the wolves in Switzerland (translated here from German)

Hello dear supporters.

It is outrageous – not only are permits for the “legal” shooting of wolves issued all the time, now there are even plans to reduce their protection status, although there are as few as less than 40 wolves living in Switzerland! This is an unsustainable practice! It can only be hoped that the outdated way of thinking that killing predators to protect livestock will have an reducing effect on tourism.

Please sign the petition here.

Read the full report here

From California Wolfcenter (californiawolfcenter@yahoogroups.com)

  1. Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project

Monthly Update – July 1-31, 2017

The following is a summary of Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project (Project)

activities in the Mexican Wolf Experimental Population Area (MWEPA) in Arizona, including the Fort Apache Indian Reservation (FAIR), San Carlos Apache Reservation (SCAR), and New Mexico.  Additional Project information can be obtained by calling (928) 339-4329 or toll free at (888) 459-9653, or by visiting the Arizona Game and Fish Department website at www.azgfd.gov/wolf or by visiting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website at www.fws.gov/southwest/es/mexicanwolf.

Past updates may be viewed on either website, or interested parties may sign up to receive this update electronically or by visiting www.azgfd.com and clicking the E-news Signup tab on the top left corner of the webpage.

This update is a public document and information in it can be used for any purpose.  The Project is a multi-agency cooperative effort among the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD), USDA Forest Service (USFS), USDA-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services (USDA-APHIS WS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service USFWS) and the White Mountain Apache Tribe (WMAT).

To view semi-monthly wolf telemetry flight location information please visit www.bit.do/mexicanwolf or www.fws.gov/southwest/es/mexicanwolf/RWL.cfm.

Please report any wolf sightings or suspected livestock depredations to: (928) 339-4329 or toll free at (888) 459-9653. To report incidents of take or harassment of wolves, please call the AGFD 24-hour dispatch (Operation Game Thief) at (800) 352-0700.

Overall Mexican Wolf Recovery Program Monthly Update

The Fish and Wildlife Service published the draft Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan, First Revision for public review and comment and for peer review on June 30, 2017. The public comment period closes August 29, 2017. Comments must be submitted in writing by either of the following methods:

Electronically: Go to www.regulations.gov  and enter FWS-R2-ES-2017-0036

Or

Hard copy: Submit by US mail or hand-delivery to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-R2-ES-2017-0036, US Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: BPHC, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803.

The Fish and Wildlife Service has also made available the Draft Biological Report and two supporting analyses – “Population Viability Analysis for the Mexican Wolf” and “Mexican Wolf Habitat Suitability Analysis in Historical Range in Southwestern US and Mexico,” to the public as supplemental background information during the public comment period. These documents, as well as the draft Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan, First Revision are available at: www.fws.gov/southwest/es/mexicanwolf/MWRP.cfm

The Fish and Wildlife Service held four public information meetings on the Draft Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan, First Revisions. The public information meetings were held July 18 in Flagstaff, AZ; July 19 at the Hon-Dah Resort, AZ; July 20 in Truth or Consequences, NM; and July 22 in Albuquerque, NM. All four meetings were well attended and provided the opportunity to ask questions about the draft recovery plan and the science that supports it.

On July 13 and 14, the Mexican Wolf Species Survival Plan held its annual binational planning meeting in Cananea, Sonora, Mexico. Discussions involved recommendations for captive breeding and transfers of Mexican wolves in 2017 and 2018, as well as research needs and results.

July 27, AGFD and USFWS personnel conducted presentations at the Arizona Cattlemen’s Association Annual meeting in Prescott, AZ about IFT activities and the Draft Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan.

Numbering System:  Mexican wolves are given an identification number recorded in an official studbook that tracks their history.  Capital letters (M = Male, F = Female) preceding the number indicate adult animals 24 months or older. Lower case letters (m = male, f = female) indicate wolves younger than 24 months or pups. The capital letter “A” preceding the letter and number indicate breeding wolves.

Definitions: A “wolf pack” is defined as two or more wolves that maintain an

established territory.  In the event that one of the two alpha (dominant) wolves dies, the remaining alpha wolf, regardless of pack size, retains the pack status. The packs referenced in this update contain at least one wolf with a radio telemetry collar attached to it. The Interagency Field Team (IFT) recognizes that wolves without radio telemetry collars may also form packs. If the IFT confirms that wolves are associating with each other and are resident within the same home range, they will be referenced as a pack.

CURRENT POPULATION STATUS

Annual surveys are conducted in the winter as this is when the population experiences the least amount of natural fluctuation (i.e. in the spring the population increases dramatically with the birth of new pups and declines throughout the summer and fall as mortality is particularly high on young pups). Thus, the IFT summarizes the total number of wolves in the winter at a fairly static or consistent time of year. This allows for comparable year-to-year trends at a time of year that accounts for most mortality and survival of young pups.

During annual year-end population counts, the IFT documented a minimum of 113 Mexican wolves in the wild in Arizona and New Mexico at the end of 2016. At the end of July, there were 57 wolves with functioning radio collars that the IFT was actively monitoring.

Wolves with functioning radio collars are listed by studbook number in the pack updates below.

IN ARIZONA:

Bear Wallow Pack (collared AM1338 and AF1335)

In July, the Bear Wallow Pack was located within their traditional territory on the SCAR and in the east central portion of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest (ASNF). They have displayed localized behaviour consistent with pup rearing and use of rendezvous sites. A minimum of three pups were documented with the Bear Wallow Pack in July; however this number is subject to change as the IFT continues to document observations of this pack.

Bluestem Pack (collared F1489 and f1563)

In July, the Bluestem Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the east central portion of the ASNF. Male 1574 showed dispersal behaviour and was documented travelling with the Panther Creek Pack. The IFT documented AF1042, AM1341, F1489, and f1563 showing localized behaviour consistent with pup rearing in July. The IFT conducted prey carcass investigations as part of a kill rate study of the Bluestem Pack during the month of July.

Elk Horn Pack (collared AF1294, m1471, m1474, and f1473)

In July, the Elk Horn Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north eastern portion of the ASNF. The pack displayed localized behaviour consistent with pup rearing during the month of July.

Frieborn Pack (collared F1443 and m1447)

In July, F1443 and m1447 were documented within their territory in the east central portion of the ASNF in Arizona and into New Mexico. They displayed localized behaviour consistent with pup rearing in July. The IFT maintained a diversionary food cache during July for this pack to reduce potential for livestock depredations.

Hawks Nest Pack (collared AM1038)

In July, the Hawks Nest Pack consisted of one collared wolf, AM1038. AM1038 was located travelling alone in the traditional territory of the Diamond Pack in the northern portion of the ASNF.

Hoodoo Pack (collared AM1290, AF1333, and f1550)

In July, the Hoodoo Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the ASNF. The IFT confirmed pups with the Hoodoo Pack in July and continued to observe localized behaviour consistent with pup rearing. The IFT conducted prey carcass investigations as part of a kill rate study of the Hoodoo Pack during the month of July.

Maverick Pack (collared AF1291)

In July, the Maverick Pack was located within their traditional territory both on the FAIR and east central portion of the ASNF.

Panther Creek Pack (collared AF1339, AM1382, and m1574)

In July, the Panther Creek Pack was located in the east central portion of the ASNF. The breeding pair continued to display localized behaviour consistent with pup rearing. The IFT maintained a food cache for this pack to reduce potential for livestock depredations and to supplement cross-fostered pups.

Prime Canyon Pack (collared F1488)

In July, F1488 and an unknown collared wolf continued to travel together within a territory in the east-central portion of the ASNF.

Saffel Pack (collared AF1567)

In July, the Saffel Pack was located in the north central portion of the ASNF, north of the traditional territory of the Hoodoo Pack. The IFT confirmed pups with the Saffel Pack in July and continued to observe behaviour consistent with pup rearing. A diversionary food cache was maintained by the IFT for this pack in effort to avoid conflict with cattle in the area.

Single collared m1483

Male 1483 made wide dispersal movements in the northern portion of the ASNF in Arizona during July.

Single collared f1484

Female 1484 was documented travelling alone in Arizona at the southern edge of Panther Creek’s traditional territory in the east central portion of the ASNF during July.

Single collared f1562

Female 1562 made wide dispersal movements to the northeast of Bluestem’s traditional territory in the east central portion of the ASNF during July.

ON THE FAIR:

Diamond Pack (collared f1557, m1559, f1560, m1571, and m1572)

In July, the Diamond Pack was located in their traditional territory on the FAIR and in the northern portion of the ASNF. The IFT initiated and maintained a diversionary food cache on the ASNF for the Diamond Pack to reduce potential for further wolf-livestock conflict.

Tsay-O-Ah Pack (collared AM1343 and AF1283)

In July, the Tsay-O-Ah Pack was located within their traditional territory on the FAIR.

IN NEW MEXICO:

Iron Creek Pack (collared AM1240, AF1278, and m1556)

During July, the Iron Creek Pack continued to utilize their territory in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness and the southern portion of the Gila National Forest (GNF). The IFT confirmed pups with the Iron Creek Pack in May and continued to observe localized behaviour consistent with pup rearing during July.

Lava Pack (collared F1405 and AM1285)

During July, the Lava Pack was located within their traditional territory in the south eastern portion of the GNF. The IFT maintained a diversionary food cache to reduce the potential for wolf-livestock conflicts. The Lava Pack continued to display localized behaviour consistent with pup rearing.

Leopold Pack (collared AM1293, AF1346, and m1561)

During July, the IFT documented the Leopold Pack within their territory in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness. The IFT continued to monitor the pack for pup rearing behaviour in July.

Luna Pack (collared AM1158 and AF1487)

During July, the Luna Pack remained in their traditional territory in the north central portion of the Gila National Forest. The IFT maintained a diversionary food cache to reduce potential for livestock depredations. The Luna Pack continued to display behaviour consistent with pup rearing.

Mangas Pack (collared M1296 and F1439)

During July, the Mangas Pack was located within their territory in the north western portion of the GNF. The IFT continued to maintain a diversionary food cache to reduce the potential for wolf-livestock conflicts. The Mangas Pack continued to display behaviour consistent with pup rearing.

Dark Canyon (collared F1444 and M1386)

During July, F1444 and M1386 were documented travelling together within the west central portions of the GNF. Although the Dark Canyon Pack displayed behaviour consistent with denning in late April, the IFT does not believe the pack is currently maintaining a den.

Copper Creek (collared F1456 and M1354)

During July, F1456 and M1354 were documented travelling together within the west central portions of the GNF. Although the Copper Creek Pack displayed behaviour consistent with denning in early May, the IFT does not believe the pack is currently maintaining a den.

Prieto Pack (collared AF1251, M1398, and f1565)

During July, the Prieto Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF. The IFT confirmed pups with the Prieto Pack in July and continued to observe localized behaviour consistent with pup rearing. A diversionary food cache was established in May to reduce the potential for wolf-livestock conflicts and was utilized by the Prieto Pack in July.

San Mateo Pack (collared AF1399)

During July, the San Mateo Pack continued to utilize their territory in the north central portion of the GNF. The IFT maintained a supplemental food cache to assist the pack’s care for the genetically diverse litter of pups. The San Mateo Pack continued to display behaviour consistent with denning. Field observations documented two adults and a minimum of two pups during the month of July; however, there may be additional pups and uncollared wolves associated with this pack.

Sheepherders Baseball Park (SBP) Pack (collared AM1284 and F1553)

During July, the SBP Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF. The IFT confirmed pups with the SBP pack in May and observed the pack continued to display localized behaviour consistent with pup rearing during the month of July. The IFT established a diversionary food cache in June to reduce the potential for wolf-livestock conflicts. The food cache was utilized by the SBP pack during the month of July.

Single collared AM1155

During July, AM1155 was documented travelling within the GNF in New Mexico.

Single collared M1455

During July, M1455 travelled throughout east-central portions of the GNF and central portions of the Cibola National Forest (CNF).

Single collared M1552

During July, M1552 travelled throughout central portions of the Cibola National Forest (CNF).

Single collared m1569

During July, m1569 travelled throughout northern and central portions of the CNF.

Single collared m1486

During July, m1486 travelled throughout northern and central portions of the CNF.

MORTALITIES

There were no mortalities documented during the month of July.

INCIDENTS

During the month of July, there were 3 confirmed wolf depredation incidents on livestock and no nuisance reports.

On July 4, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, AZ. The investigation determined the calf was a probable wolf kill.

On July 4, Wildlife Services investigated four dead horses in Apache County, AZ. The investigation determined the horses been killed by lightning.

On July 5, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Apache County, AZ. The investigation determined the cow died from an unknown cause, but was not killed by wolves.

On July 5, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, AZ. The investigation determined the calf had been killed by coyotes.

On July 11, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Apache County, AZ. The investigation determined the cow was a probable wolf kill.

On July 14, Wildlife Services investigated three dead calves in Apache County, AZ. The investigations determined all three calves were killed by wolves. Two of the calves were killed during a single depredation incident.

On July 24, Wildlife Services investigated a dead bull in Catron County, NM. The investigation determined the bull was a confirmed wolf.

COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATION

On July 14, the IFT conducted an education and outreach presentation to a group of tribal high school students from New Mexico.

On July 20, the IFT gave an education and outreach presentation to a group from the Arizona Conservation Corps.

PROJECT PERSONNEL

In July, Maya Stahl concluded her internship with the AGFD. Thank you Maya for your hard work and contribution to wolf recovery efforts!

  1. Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project

Monthly Update – August 1-31, 2017

The Fish and Wildlife Service met with the Mexican Wolf Tribal Working Group in Albuquerque, NM on August 16 to discuss the draft Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan.

The Mexican Wolf Recovery Program and the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program met with the Natural Resource Conservation Service on August 17 to discuss conservation programs for the Mexican wolf.

The Fish and Wildlife Service met with Mexican wolf partner agencies in Springerville, AZ on August 22 to discuss the draft Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan Implementation Strategy.

The Fish and Wildlife Service held a conference call with Mexico’s National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP by its Spanish acronym) on August 28 to discuss the Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan Implementation Strategy.

The public comment period for the draft Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan closed August 29.

CURRENT POPULATION STATUS

Annual surveys are conducted in the winter as this is when the population experiences the least amount of natural fluctuation (i.e. in the spring the population increases dramatically with the birth of new pups and declines throughout the summer and fall as mortality is particularly high on young pups). Thus, the IFT summarizes the total number of wolves in the winter at a fairly static or consistent time of year.  This allows for comparable year-to-year trends at a time of year that accounts for most mortality and survival of young pups.

During annual year-end population counts, the IFT documented a minimum of 113 Mexican wolves in the wild in Arizona and New Mexico at the end of 2016. At the end of August, there were 60 wolves with functioning radio collars that the IFT was actively monitoring.

Wolves with functioning radio collars are listed by studbook number in the pack updates below.

IN ARIZONA:

Bear Wallow Pack (collared AM1338 and AF1335)

In August, the Bear Wallow Pack was located within their traditional territory on the SCAR and in the east central portion of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest (ASNF). The pack displayed localized behaviour consistent with pup rearing and use of rendezvous sites. A minimum of three pups were documented with the Bear Wallow Pack in August; however this number may change as the IFT continues to document observations of this pack.

Bluestem Pack (collared F1489, f1563 and fp1665)

In August, the Bluestem Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the east central portion of the ASNF. The pack continued to display localized behaviour consistent with pup rearing. The IFT documented a minimum of four pups with use of remote camera during the month of August. A female pup, fp1665 was captured, collared and released and continued to travel with the pack.

Elk Horn Pack (collared AF1294, m1471, m1474, and f1473)

In August, the Elk Horn Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north eastern portion of the ASNF.  The pack continued to display localized behaviour consistent with pup rearing during the month of August.

Frieborn Pack (collared F1443 and m1447)

In August, the Frieborn Pack was documented within their territory in the east central portion of the ASNF in Arizona and into New Mexico. The pack continued to display localized behaviour consistent with pup rearing in August.

Hawks Nest Pack (collared AM1038)

In August, the Hawks Nest Pack consisted of one collared wolf, AM1038.  AM1038 was located travelling alone in the traditional territory of the Diamond Pack in the northern and central portions of the ASNF.

Hoodoo Pack (collared AM1290, AF1333, f1550 and f1663)

In August, the Hoodoo Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north eastern portion of the ASNF. The IFT continued to observe localized behavior consistent with pup rearing. A yearling female, f1663, in the Hoodoo pack was captured, collared and released in August.

Maverick Pack (collared AF1291)

In August, the Maverick Pack was located within their traditional territory both on the FAIR and east central portion of the ASNF.

Panther Creek Pack (collared AF1339, AM1382, and m1574)

In August, the Panther Creek Pack was located in the east central portion of the ASNF. The breeding pair continued to display localized behaviour consistent with pup rearing. A minimum of three pups were documented with the Panther Creek Pack during the month of August. The IFT maintained a food cache for this pack to reduce potential for livestock depredations and with the goal of increasing survival of genetically valuable pups that the IFT cross-fostered into the Panther Creek Pack in May.

Prime Canyon Pack (collared F1488)

In August, F1488 and an unknown collared wolf continued to travel together within a territory in the east central portion of the ASNF.

Saffel Pack (collared AF1567 and mp1661)

In August, the Saffel Pack was located in the north eastern portion of the ASNF, north of the traditional territory of the Hoodoo Pack. The IFT confirmed a minimum of four pups with the Saffel Pack in August and continued to observe behaviour consistent with pup rearing. A male pup, mp1661, was captured, collared and released in August. A diversionary food cache was maintained by the IFT for this pack in an effort to avoid conflict with cattle in the area.

Single collared m1483

Male 1483 made wide dispersal movements in the north eastern portion of the ASNF in Arizona during August.

Single collared f1484

Female 1484 was documented travelling alone in Arizona at the southern edge of Panther Creek’s traditional territory in the east central portion of the ASNF during August.

Single collared f1562

Female 1562 remained outside of the Bluestem Pack’s traditional territory in the central portion of the ASNF during August.

ON THE FAIR:

Diamond Pack (collared m1559, f1560, m1571, and m1572)

In August, the Diamond Pack was located in their traditional territory on the FAIR and in the central portion of the ASNF.  F1557 was lethally removed by Wildlife Services due to repetitive confirmed depredations on livestock. The IFT maintained a diversionary food cache on the ASNF for the Diamond Pack to reduce potential for further wolf-livestock conflict.

Tsay-O-Ah Pack (collared AM1343 and AF1283)

In August, the Tsay-O-Ah Pack was located within their traditional territory on the FAIR.

IN NEW MEXICO:

Iron Creek Pack (collared AM1240, AF1278, and m1556)

During August, the Iron Creek Pack continued to utilize their territory in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness and the southern portion of the Gila National Forest (GNF). The IFT confirmed pups with the Iron Creek Pack in May and continued to observe localized behaviour consistent with pup rearing during August.

Lava Pack (collared F1405 and AM1285)

During August, the Lava Pack was located within their traditional territory in the south eastern portion of the GNF. The IFT maintained a diversionary food cache to reduce the potential for wolf-livestock conflicts.

Leopold Pack (collared AM1293, AF1346, and m1561)

During August, the IFT documented the Leopold Pack within their territory in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness. The IFT continued to monitor the pack for pup rearing behaviour in August.

Luna Pack (collared AM1158 and AF1487)

During August, the Luna Pack remained in their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF. The IFT captured, collared and released female pup, fp1662, in the Luna Pack. Near the end of the month, fp1662 slipped the collar it was wearing. The animal is alive and still travelling with the pack. The IFT maintained a diversionary food cache to reduce potential for livestock depredations.

Mangas Pack (collared AM1296, AF1439 and fp1664)

During August, the Mangas Pack was located within their territory in the north western portion of the GNF. The Mangas Pack continued to display behaviour consistent with pup rearing. The IFT captured, re-collared and released AF1439. The IFT also captured, collared and released a female pup, fp1664, with the Mangas Pack. The IFT continued to maintain a diversionary food cache to reduce the potential for wolf-livestock conflicts.

Copper Creek (collared F1444 and M1386)

During August, F1444 and M1386 were documented travelling together within the west central portions of the GNF.

Dark Canyon (collared F1456 and M1354)

During August, F1456 and M1354 were documented travelling together within the west central portions of the GNF.

Prieto Pack (collared AF1251, M1398 and f1565)

During August, the Prieto Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF. The IFT confirmed pups with the Prieto Pack in July and continued to observe localized behaviour consistent with pup rearing in August. A diversionary food cache was established in May to reduce the potential for wolf-livestock conflicts and was utilized by the Prieto Pack in August.

San Mateo Pack (collared AF1399)

During August, the San Mateo Pack continued to utilize their territory in the north central portion of the GNF. The IFT maintained a supplemental food cache with the goal of increasing survival of the genetically diverse litter of pups.

Sheepherders Baseball Park (SBP) Pack (collared AM1284 and F1553)

During August, the SBP Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF. The IFT confirmed pups with the SBP Pack in May and observed the pack continue to display localized behaviour consistent with pup rearing during the month of August. The IFT established a diversionary food cache in June to reduce the potential for wolf-livestock conflicts. The food cache was utilized by the SBP Pack during the month of August.

Single collared AM1155

During August, AM1155 was documented travelling within the GNF in New Mexico.

Single collared M1455

During August, M1455 travelled throughout east-central portions of the GNF and central portions of the Cibola National Forest (CNF).

Single collared M1552

During August, M1552 travelled throughout central portions of the CNF.

Single collared m1569

During August, m1569 travelled throughout northern and central portions of the CNF.

Single collared m1486

During August, m1486 travelled throughout northern and central portions of the CNF.

MORTALITIES

In August, F1557 of the Diamond Pack was lethally removed by Wildlife Services due to repetitive confirmed depredations on livestock.

INCIDENTS

During the month of August, there were four confirmed wolf depredation incidents on livestock and one nuisance report.

On August 2, Wildlife Services investigated two dead calves and a dead cow in Apache County, AZ. The investigations determined one calf had been killed by wolves, the second calf was a probable wolf kill during an earlier incident and the cow had died from ingesting twine.

On August 3, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, AZ. The investigation determined the calf had been killed by wolves.

On August 8, the IFT received a call from a hiker that described an encounter they had with a wolf pack on August 1, while hiking in the ASNF. GPS collar data was used by the IFT to determine the encounter reported by the hiker was with the Saffel Pack which consists of two adult wolves and their pups from this year. The hiker told the IFT they were hiking on the Apache Trail southeast of Mexican Hay Lake on August 1 at approximately 12 noon, when they noticed a collared adult wolf standing approximately 15 feet away. The hiker stopped and looked at the wolf at which point the wolf ran to about 60 feet and then stopped. The hiker stated they observed a second collared adult wolf approximately 20 to 30 yards away and three uncollared pups approximately 50 to 60 yards away. The hiker yelled at the wolves and they did not run off. The closest wolf, which was apparent to the hiker as a male, defecated and then started jumping up and down on its front feet. The hiker fired a shot from a handgun into the ground to scare the wolves away. The closest wolf jumped at the sound of the gunshot but remained. The hiker began walking again and the closest wolf retreated to about 50 yards. The wolves then moved off into the woods to a distance of approximately 100 yards. The hiker stated that the two adult wolves paralleled the hiker and followed along the trail for a distance of about 400 yards. The hiker stated the pups were only visible intermittently at a distance during this time. GPS collar data from the Saffel Pack showed in the days following the hiker’s encounter, the Saffel Pack had moved out of the location where the encounter had occurred and by the day the IFT received the report, the Saffel Pack had begun travelling in another area to the east.

The IFT concluded the encounter the hiker had with the Saffel Pack was a result of the hiker walking into a rendezvous site where the alpha wolves exhibited behaviours to protect the pups present. At the time of the incident, the wolf pups in the Saffel Pack would have been four months old. The behaviour of the adult male jumping up and down on its front feet is often observed of Mexican wolves in captive breeding facilities with young pups in response to human presence. Wolves vocalizing and following a perceived threat out of an area is a common territorial behaviour exhibited by wolves. At the time this report was prepared, there have been no further nuisance reports on the Saffel Pack.

The public is encouraged to report all wolf interactions to the IFT using the contact information provided at the beginning of this document. Any person may take (which includes killing as well as nonlethal actions such as harassing or harming) a Mexican wolf in self-defence or defence of the lives of others. Any form of take must be reported within 24 hours to the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by telephone 505-346-2525; or fax 505-346-2542.

On August 9, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, AZ. The investigation determined the calf had been killed by a wolf.

On August 14, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, AZ. The investigation determined the calf had been killed by a wolf.

COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATION

On August 24, the USFWS attended the New Mexico State Game Commission meeting where the draft Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan was discussed.

On August 29, the USFS attended a Coronado National Forest Permittee meeting in Sonoita, AZ and provided a wolf program update.

On August 29, the USFWS met with the Western Landowners Alliance in Albuquerque, NM to discuss conservation programs.

PROJECT PERSONNEL

In August, Erika Sertyl started a volunteer position with the USFWS. Welcome to the program Erika!

In August, McKenna Zandarski concluded a summer internship on the IFT with the AGFD. Thank you McKenna for your hard work and commitment to Mexican wolf recovery efforts!

REWARDS OFFERED

The USFWS is offering a reward of up to $10,000; the AGFD Operation Game Thief is offering a reward of up to $1,000; and the NMDGF is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the conviction of the individual(s) responsible for the shooting deaths of Mexican wolves. A variety of non-governmental organizations and private individuals have pledged an additional $46,000 for a total reward amount of up to $58,000, depending on the information provided.

Individuals with information they believe may be helpful are urged to call one of the following agencies: USFWS special agents in Mesa, Arizona, at (480) 967-7900, in Alpine, Arizona, at (928) 339-4232, or in Albuquerque, New Mexico, at(505) 346-7828; the WMAT at (928) 338-1023 or (928) 338-4385; AGFD Operation Game Thief at (800) 352-0700; or NMDGF Operation Game Thief at (800) 432-4263. Killing a Mexican wolf is a violation of the Federal Endangered Species Act and can result in criminal penalties of up to $50,000, and/or not more than one year in jail, and/or a civil penalty of up to $25,000.

Other News

National

Nothing to report

Next Door

Nothing to report

International

From Defenders of Wildlife (http://www.defenders.org)

USA: Congress is back… to their old dirty tricks

Congress is back in town and they’ve brought with them another round of deadly attacks on wildlife. They barely had time to unpack their suitcases before reigniting their anti-wildlife agenda with a slew of riders aimed at undermining the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

This week, the House is preparing to vote on a massive bill to fund the federal government, including the Department of the Interior, and some shameless representatives are using it as a tool to hurl attacks at the ESA.

URGENT: Tell your representative to oppose any anti-wildlife riders on this bill: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=rsuJ0f4PXvrICRRqKit8Yw

By loading anti-wildlife riders onto this “must pass” bill, they could succeed in removing ESA protections for individual species and undermining the role of science in wildlife conservation. The bill also includes a nearly 17 percent cut to the budget that protects new species under the ESA – a significant cut that will lead to delays in protections.

It is devious and downright dirty to use a necessary funding bill as a vehicle by which to throw wildlife under the bus. Help us send a clear message that we won’t stand for it!

Urge your representative to stand up for this critical law and the imperiled species that depend on it for their continued survival: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=sv2B8GDAinqu1aaB0n97yA

The ESA enjoys overwhelming public support and has been successful at keeping 99 percent of listed species from going extinct. It is the last line of defence for species on the brink of extinction.

YOU are the last line of defence for the ESA. Help protect it from conniving politicians intent on taking science out of conservation decisions and catering to the special interests that line their campaign coffers.

Don’t let anti-ESA lawmakers get away with these underhanded schemes to dismantle the ESA: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=kpHPkhrMbjl5Vky7bHir9A

The fate of threatened and endangered species should be left up to science – not politics.

Don’t let Congress turn its back on the wildlife you love.

Wolves and Wolfdogs

Managing Wolves Requires Managing Cattle
by Rick Lamplugh, author and wildlife advocate

The recent slaughter of wolves by state officials in Washington and Oregon highlights a sad fact: cattle grazing on public lands is lethal for wolves. Washington has 1.1 million cattle, Oregon 1.3 million. About a third of each state is public land that many cattle run roughshod over. Those public lands are by necessity the home of each state’s minuscule wolf population. With so many cattle invading wolf territory, conflict happens.

Each state has a Wolf Management Plan. Each plan’s basic premise: wolves are the problem and must pay the price for cattle-wolf conflict.

Each state needs a Cattle Management Plan. The premise of the plan I propose: Killing wolves on public land is not acceptable; wolves have no where else to live. Instead, the livestock owner bears the burden for reducing conflict his animals cause while grazing on public land in wolf territory.

Just as wolves have several chances under current Wolf Management Plans, the owner would have several chances under the proposed Cattle Management Plan.

With the first cattle-wolf conflict on public land, the state’s Department of Fish and Wildlife would determine the non-lethal steps the owner must take to keep livestock separate from wolves. This analysis and compliance would happen quickly, let’s say within fourteen days.

With the second conflict, the owner’s herd would have to be moved away from the wolves they infringed upon. Let’s say a move of thirty miles within seven days.

With the third conflict, the owner’s privilege of grazing livestock on public land would be suspended for perhaps two years.

A Cattle Management Plan such as this should be operating in Washington, Oregon, and every other state with cattle causing conflict on public land. This plan puts the responsibility for reducing cattle-wolf conflict on the shoulders of the owner that benefits from the cost savings of grazing in wolf territory. And it saves the lives of many cattle and wolves.

I will send letters about this plan to elected officials in wolf states with lots of cattle and lots of public land. Perhaps some will find it of interest. If you know of a possibly receptive official in your wolf state, please send me the name via Facebook comment or private message.

Indie author Rick Lamplugh writes to protect wildlife and preserve wildlands. His new book, Deep into Yellowstone: A Year’s Immersion in Grandeur and Controversy, is available signed from Rick at http://bit.ly/2tIEt62, or unsigned on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2tgPU3E. His bestseller, In the Temple of Wolves, is available signed at http://bit.ly/1gYghB4, or unsigned on Amazon at http://amzn.to/Jpea9Q.

Wolf Myths and Legends, Part 142

Men are Murderers
by Gypsy Yawgel

If only he knew
What was happening as the wind blew.

He left his den for less than an hour,
And decided to return home when the air turned sour.

He returned to only see death,
It was man he would bet.

There was bloodshed everywhere,
Why was man so unfair?

They never hunted humans,
So why do they hunt them?

We are not the vicious creatures man makes us up to be,
We only wish to live free.

Now his pack is dead,
They were the ones he had lead.

Oh why did I leave today? I should have listened to my instinct, I should have stayed,

There’s nothing left for me
If only they could see.

Everything I have cared about as been murdered on this day,
I wish I could see the man, who did this and say,

“Why do you come out of your way, just to slay?”

I wish so much I couldn’t I have been here
I would have made a difference; I would have fought with no fear.

So this is the way it ends,
It’s all over now, my family is gone,
I will wait for the break of dawn,

For one day man will come for me,
And I will no longer be able to run free.

Readers’ Contribution

A Wolfdog Diary

By Erin

Nothing to report

Will be continued…

Volume 12, Issue 154, August 2017

SAFHOWL

The Monthly Free E-Newsletter of South African Friends of Wolves

Volume 12, Issue 154, August 2017

From the Editor’s Desk

Here we go again, this time from an icy Highveld. Sorry for being a week late.

You will need particularly strong nerves to read through the News sections without blowing a gasket. Even I am running out of both suitable and printable words for adequately describing what’s going on in the Land of the Sick, for which reason I will not even try…

Following up on a news snippet in our April issue (#150), we have tracked down for you interesting background information on the wolves of Slovenia. It shows just how ridiculous their “wildlife management plans” are.

As usual we have a poem, and this time we selected a more light-hearted one, because this issue would otherwise have been all gloomy.

Erin puts forward a question that we are unable to find answers to. If you have one, or even if you have just a theory, drop us a mail. We will appreciate it!

Till next month,
Ed.

New Wolf Book!

A Houseful Headful of Wolves

The Story of two People sharing their Home and Lives with Wolves

A life stranger than fiction. And it all started when Ted and Erin decided to quit Germany and emigrate to South Africa just when the era of Apartheid came to end there. Animal lovers through and through, they eventually ended up sharing their home with a pack of wolves. If this alone were not strange enough, a teacher came into their lives and taught them Animal Communication. Ted took to this like a fish to water and with almost daily training over the years refined his skills to levels he never thought possible – and to dimensions very few people probably know exist.

Ted tells how everything evolved, sharing the joys and dramas of being part of a wolf pack in a domestic setting. He leaves no doubts, however, that this requires a lot of dedication, compromising, and a deep understanding of wolf mentality. He describes in detail the fundamental requirements for such a setup to work and why the “normal” person may be better advised to stick to a dog with wolfish looks rather than the real thing. He also takes a look at the difficult relationship between people and wolves throughout history, and discusses why Animal Communication is a skill everybody is born with, but most will unlearn later in life.

Told as they unfolded, his realizations have the potential of widely expanding the box humans are generally conditioned to think in – both with regard to the wolf as a physical being and as a spiritual entity of immense wisdom.

Ted Ehrhardt (pseudonym) is an author, ghost writer, editor and translator with more than 30 years of experience in various fields of biosciences, at home in the worlds of both scientific literature and fiction. Ted is German-born, but has been living in South Africa for more than 25 years, 17 of which in the company of a pack of wolves.

Available as paperback and E-book from all Amazon stores.

Upcoming Events

Say Yes to New Adventures!

International Wolf Center’s Adventure Programs

Turn your vacation into a one-of-a-kind wilderness experience. The International Wolf Center offers a variety of Adventure Programs led by informative and enthusiastic wolf experts for people of all ages. Visit our website for a complete list of adventure programs

Wolf Family Rendezvous

September 2-3

Add this fun, educational package into your family’s vacation plans. With plenty of family-focused activities and outdoor fun, your family will talk about this trip for years to come!
Learn more at http://www.wolf.org/programs/learning-adventures/wolf-family-rendezvous/

Wine, Women, and Wolves: Boundary Waters Adventure
September 15-17

Join us for a fun, relaxing weekend learning about wolves and the north woods while enjoying the company of women who have the same hectic routine as you!
Learn more here

Upcoming Webinars 

Webinar rate: $15 Non-members, $12 Members

Wolf Conservation Center

Wake Up With Wolves!

Sleeping with Wolves, the Wolf Conservation Center’s popular nocturnal adventure experience, gives guests a chance to camp out overnight with the 25 wolves that call the center home! With all the howls and nature’s night-time chatter, you will feel like you’re camping under the stars with wild wolves!

Pre-registration is required. Space is limited and dates are selling out quickly!

Information and Registration here: http://nywolf.us8.list-manage.com/track/click?u=96aae4d71726eb91ae4d20fec&id=67702359b1&e=c4f881378d

August 17-18

Wolf Retreats with Sacred Warrior

Join Sacred Warrior founder, Vanessa Chakour, for a wild and powerful 2-day camping retreat at the WCC!

Participate in empowering meditation and movement workshops, herbal medicine making, and more! Space is limited!

News from the Wolf Front

National

Nothing to report

International

From Endangered Species Coalition (action@endangered.org)

  1. USA: Stop the Senate from allowing trophy hunting of wolves

Wolves in the Great Lakes region are facing one of their most serious threats to date. With states including Wisconsin preparing to allow the killing of as many as two-thirds of the wolves in its borders, a U.S. Senate committee has advanced a bill that would allow this and other attacks on endangered species.

Help stop the legislative delisting of gray wolves with a donation today.

The misleadingly-named Help for Wildlife Act (S. 1514) would remove ALL Endangered Species Act protections for wolves in four states, turning the management of these maligned animals over to these states. This is the most worrying legislative threat to these wolves this year due to its bipartisan support. Democratic Senators Klobuchar, Baldwin, and Cardin are supporting this dangerous legislation, making it much more likely to pass. It passed out of committee already and could be voted on as soon as senators return in September from their annual recess.

  1. 1514 would not only legislatively delist these wolves it would block the courts from reviewing this action. Just days ago, a federal court reaffirmed the need to protect these wolves when it ruled that the Department of Interior erred repeatedly in its attempt to strip them of protections. Excluding the courts from reviewing legislation is anti-democratic and threatens the future of the Endangered Species Act. Species listing decisions belong in the hands of scientists, not politicians.

Support the fight against anti-wolf S. 1514 and any other legislative attempt to strip wolves of protections with a 100% tax-deductible donation.

This bill’s impacts don’t end with wolves. It would also block the federal government from regulating lead fishing equipment which is leaching this toxic chemical in our rivers and waterways. Another provision takes aim at the Endangered Species Act by allowing the importation of carcasses of polar bears that trophy hunters killed just before these bears were protected under the Act. Allowing this would simply encourage the killing of other “trophy” species that are slated to receive protections.

We are doing everything we can to stop this bill. Our organizers around the country are mobilizing activists in their regions and we are working in Washington, D.C. to harness organizational opposition to keep pressure on senators to vote NO on S.1514. You may have seen our August Stop Extinction Challenge that is part of this effort! Please help us continue this fight with a 100% secure and tax-deductible donation today.

Thank you for your commitment to wildlife and wild places.

From Change.org 

Germany: Petition update: “The Ministry of Environmental Affairs of Lower Saxony will leave the Goldenstedt She-wolf alone…!”

27 July 2017

Hello, dear wolf lovers!

Hello, dear supporters of the Petition “With the Human! – For the Wolf!”

The talks with the Ministry of Environmental Affairs in Hannover are over, and it has been decided to leave the Goldenstedt she-wolf alone; no radio-collar fitting until January 2018! What will happen then, nobody knows as yet…!

From Defenders of Wildlife (http://www.defenders.org)

  1. USA: Don’t let red wolves go extinct in the wild again!

Red wolves are running out of time – again!

Two years ago, there were an estimated 100 red wolves in the wild, but now their numbers have plummeted to fewer than 45.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has not done its duty to protect the red wolf and now it is threatening to simply walk away from the Red Wolf Recovery Program in the wild.

We need your help to demand that they reaffirm their commitment to red wolf recovery in the wild: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=ynB6lhWoUYrC-UhsGXqOXw

Back in May, FWS published a notice of intent to revise existing rules for the management of the wild population of red wolves in North Carolina.

The proposed revision would shrink the area where red wolves are allowed to live by 90 percent, leaving just one or two packs to roam in an area that’s too small to sustain them. It would also remove all other red wolves from the wild and divert resources from the red wolf recovery program.

Tell FWS to recommit to red wolf recovery in the wild before it’s too late: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=U9Xd8cK6aVzJdG47reEjug

In what was once a model recovery program, FWS reintroduced red wolves in North Carolina in 1987 – just seven years after they were declared extinct in the wild. As a result, the wild population of red wolves rebounded to nearly 150 individuals!

But after years of yielding to pressure from a vocal minority seeking to end the recovery of red wolves in the wild, FWS failed to follow through on its commitment to restore red wolves and is now proposing a rule that could cripple recovery efforts in the wild.

The proposal goes against sound conservation science. Even the scientists whose study FWS relied upon in making this proposal condemned it as being full of “alarming misrepresentations” that “will no doubt result in the extinction of red wolves in the wild.”

We cannot fail red wolves again. We were given a rare second chance to save this species from being lost to extinction forever – and we were succeeding! Don’t let FWS turn its back on red wolves now.

Speak out on behalf of red wolf recovery today: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=lmc8rAziy0vrK8AuQhvWgQ

  1. USA: Hunting wolves with bait? Idaho must be stopped!

The state of Idaho continues to intensify its war on wolves.

This time they’re proposing a rule that would allow hunters to lure wolves with bait and then shoot them.

Idaho would become the only state where this is allowed and we simply can’t let this appalling proposal become law.

Please, do your part for wolves and tell the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) to strike down the shameful use of baiting to ambush wolves: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=DoB2YdQw0uBwxj16WMTq_g

Baiting wolves is a despicable practice that can draw entire packs in to be killed simply because they are hungry and unsuspecting. It may also create an unnecessary risk to grizzly bears in Idaho too.

There are estimated to be fewer than 800 wolves in Idaho and there is a growing demand to reduce the population to dangerously low levels of 150 wolves or fewer. Wolf hunters and trappers already have the right to legally kill as many as 10 wolves per person each year!

Wolves need YOU to protest this terrible policy before it’s too late. Submit your comments today: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=TBK8toJE_J-Vg9q4I7saiQ

Not sure what to say? You can use some of the following points in your message:

  • I oppose baiting wolves in Idaho. Many of the lands where wolves range are public lands that belong to all of us and, as a steward of that land and the wildlife that call it home, I do not support using bait to lure in and then shoot wolves and their young.
  • The Idaho wolf population is already far below that of black bears, coyotes and cougars. Wolves play an important role in culling diseased animals from elk and deer herds and otherwise help to keep our land healthy.
  • The baiting of wolves is not allowed in other states and should not be allowed in Idaho.

These killing methods are indefensible. Help us stop this attack on wolves and their pups before it’s too late: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=dl0TXTl4EKfH_I8olxLxiw

  1. USA: Idaho: Wolf baiting rule threatens to wipe out wolf packs

The State of Idaho has hit a new low in its war on wolves.

A new proposed rule would allow hunters to lure wolves in with bait and then ambush them with gunfire. This is one of the most horrific proposals I’ve seen – and it could destroy whole families of wolves.

This proposed rule by the Idaho Fish and Game Commission is sickening and utterly despicable. The idea of baiting mother wolves with food that they can share with their hungry pups, or tricking a young wolf that is just scavenging for food, only to shoot these unsuspecting animals is unconscionable.

Please donate today to help us stop this horrific rule from luring wolves to their deaths: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=oW_FHA7VGwM84GLt8LSYPg

Idaho’s wolves have been in mortal danger since Congress stripped them of federal Endangered Species Act protections in 2011. Since Idaho took over their management, nearly 2,000 wolves have been killed in the state and it is estimated that fewer than 800 wolves remain.

There has been enough bloodshed. We must act now to try and stop this disastrous proposal before even more wolves are killed.

Help us fight for Idaho’s wolves and other imperilled species with a generous donation: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=pBljpkfEMZgGsF8-5u4MHA

This newest chapter in Idaho’s horrible war on wolves cannot stand! If this proposal goes forward, the next step could be permitting the use of live bait – bait in the form of animal shelter dogs as suggested by an Idaho state senator. Live baiting should never be allowed under any circumstances.

Defenders is the only national organization with staff on the ground in Idaho who not only helped to restore wolves but who are still actively working to watchdog actions at the statehouse and the state wildlife commission in order to defend wolves.

We need your urgent support to help us fight against Idaho’s unjust war on wolves.

Please help us stop these attacks on wolves and their pups before it’s too late: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=Nb7ACDsuIGfbAfmsEM0VyA

4. USA: California: Big Wolf News in the Golden State!

The Golden State is now home to its second wolf family – the Lassen Pack.

Last week, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) announced the discovery of a new family of wolves (https://cdfgnews.wordpress.com/2017/07/05/cdfw-confirms-presence-of-wolf-pack-in-lassen-county-collars-adult-wolf/), the Lassen Pack. The new pack has at least three confirmed pups, and CDFW successfully collared the alpha female on June 30th. Considering that wolves were absent from the California landscape for nearly 90 years, a second new wolf family establishing itself in the northern part of the state in the span of three summers is nothing short of momentous. The presence of the Lassen Pack marks an exciting new chapter in wolf recovery in the Pacific West.

A Short History of Gray Wolves in California

The gray wolf (Canis lupus) is a native species that was driven to local extinction in California by 1924. In 2011, a male gray wolf, dubbed OR-7 because he was the seventh wolf collared in Oregon, traveled hundreds of miles from his pack in northeastern Oregon to become the first documented gray wolf to enter California in nearly 90 years.

OR-7’s arrival in the Golden State prompted members of the public to petition the California Fish and Game Commission to list the gray wolf as endangered under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA). On June 4, 2014, the commission found that such listing was warranted and voted in favor of listing gray wolves under CESA.

Independent of the state’s listing, CDFW prepared for the return of wolves to California by convening a Stakeholder Working Group (https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Mammals/Gray-Wolf/Stakeholders), comprised of ranchers, hunters, and environmental conservation organizations, including Defenders of Wildlife. This diverse group assisted CDFW in the development of the Conservation Plan for Gray Wolves in California (https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=135026&inline), which was finalized in December 2016.

Wolves Rediscover California

In spring 2015, a CDFW trail camera in Siskiyou County recorded a lone wolf. Additional cameras deployed in the vicinity took multiple photos showing two adults and five pups. CDFW designated this as the Shasta Pack due to its vicinity near Mt. Shasta. The whereabouts of the Shasta Pack is unknown at this time, with the last known sighting via trail camera in California in May 2016, and a juvenile male confirmed to have been in northwestern Nevada in November 2016.

In November 2016, CDFW confirmed a pair of wolves in western Lassen County (now known as the Lassen Pack). After several attempts to track and trap one of these two wolves, they were able to capture and collar the female in late June 2017. Shortly thereafter, they made an even more exciting discovery:  images of three wolf pups playing in front of a nearby trail camera. Genetic analysis shows that the alpha male is OR-7’s son, which dispersed southeast from the Rogue Pack in southern Oregon.

The latest news of California’s second wolf pack underscores the fact that wolves are making their way back to their historical range here. OR-7 proved that a wolf could make the trek to California. The Shasta Pack gave us hope that wolves would take up residency here. Now the presence of the Lassen Pack shows that wolves are eager to return to their native territory in the Golden State.

Preparing the Way

The announcement of the Lassen Pack comes on the heels of a workshop in Shasta County that was co-hosted by Defenders, during which more than 80 attendees learned about various methods to reduce wolf-livestock conflicts. One key takeaway from the event was that diverse stakeholders, including ranchers, wildlife managers, and environmental conservationists, agree on the importance of fitting at least one wolf from each known wolf family with a collar to track pack activities and inform local landowners and ranchers of nearby wolf presence.

With that in mind, it’s particularly encouraging to learn that CDFW has successfully collared the Lassen Pack’s alpha female, the first wolf ever captured and collared by our state wildlife officials. We hope the information gathered by the collar can help inform management and coexistence efforts (https://www.defenders.org/sites/default/files/publications/coexistence-tools-and-techniques.pdf) – proactive strategies that can prevent or minimize conflicts between livestock and our state’s newest wolves.

Coexisting with Wolves

For more than 30 years, Defenders of Wildlife has led the way in reducing conflicts with predators, from polar bears in Alaska, to panthers in Florida, grizzlies in the northern Rockies to wolves throughout the United States. Coexistence is an important way to secure a real future for these iconic species.

Defenders’ California program continues to make coexistence efforts a top priority. Our staff members give educational presentations and host workshops with other coexistence experts across the state. We have also provided tools to livestock producers in need of assistance with implementing proactive methods for reducing conflicts with predators.

Through a grant from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Defenders will be hosting range rider (http://www.defenders.org/coexisting-range#riders) trainings in the coming year. Range riders are one important strategy used to reduce conflict between wolves and livestock by increasing human presence in the field. Range riders monitor livestock for signs of stress, illness and injury, work to keep livestock closely herded to minimize vulnerability to attack, and track predator activity in order to move livestock out of harm’s way when necessary.

California has a golden opportunity to forge new partnerships to reduce potential conflicts between our nascent wolf population and livestock that are the lifeblood to so many ranching families in the northern part of the state. Lawmakers, conservation professionals, local officials and private landowners should increase cooperative efforts to help ranchers use proven, nonlethal methods to keep both livestock and wolves safe from harm.

Follow us on social media (https://twitter.com/defenders and https://www.facebook.com/DefendersofWildlife/) to stay up-to-date on the status of gray wolf conservation and other developments important to wildlife and our work. Don’t forget to sign up for our emails where you will get all the latest news and action alerts to support wildlife.

  1. USA: Don’t Let FWS Turn Tail on Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery

Right now, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is considering a draft recovery plan that would drastically hinder the recovery of Mexican gray wolves, or lobos, in the wild and could lead to their ultimate demise.

Speak up now for Mexican gray wolves by telling FWS to reject this fatally flawed, politically motivated recovery plan: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=zrCEjGIFKnEgDNYH-ae38Q

The endangered Mexican gray wolf is one of the rarest land mammals in the world. In fact, just over 100 of these amazing wolves survive in the wild in the U.S. And FWS is further threatening their survival with this ill-conceived plan.

The plan would institute artificial boundaries for Mexican gray wolves and prevent them from reaching habitat in the Grand Canyon and parts of New Mexico and Colorado that scientists say are essential to their survival. It would also arbitrarily cap the population of wolves at 320 individuals – a number far short of the 750 recommended by scientists to ensure their future.

Tell FWS you do not support a draft recovery plan that could mean the end for Mexican gray wolf recovery: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=P2qqJPpob_Be-USoZbPbFg

The FWS’s plan would abandon their federal oversight responsibilities by improperly delegating decision-making on wolf releases to states that have a long track record of hostility toward lobo recovery.

Don’t let the FWS abandon Mexican gray wolves! Submit your comments on this negligent draft recovery plan today: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=qEbeUFBIe1GFunbVdXHjOw

This may be the last opportunity for public comment on Mexican gray wolf recovery efforts. Speak up now to save wolves before it’s too late.

  1. USA: Help give lobos a lifeline

In 1998, I found myself standing in Alpine, Arizona on the brink of a momentous occasion for Mexican gray wolves.

At the time, I was head of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and had the extraordinary honour of releasing 11 of these beautiful creatures back into the American Southwest where they had been declared extinct in the wild since the mid-1970’s.

I never would have imagined that just 19 years later, FWS would propose a recovery plan that measurably abandons their responsibility to secure a future for this iconic American species and would mean walking away from the promise we made to those 11 wolves on that historic day.

I won’t let the promise of a future for Mexican gray wolves, or lobos, go unfulfilled – and I know you won’t either.

We need your help to continue the fight to ensure lobos have a future: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=9_qsqhZFFDMd0cHv2y4kew

This is a critical time for one of the world’s rarest land mammals. FWS is proposing a radical new plan that would drastically curtail efforts to restore Mexican gray wolves to the southern borderlands and threaten all recovery efforts thus far. Defenders won’t turn our backs on lobos – we just wish FWS felt the same way.

Just over 100 lobos remain in the wild within the U.S., and this ill-conceived plan could jeopardize this fragile population with devastating consequences. It would draw artificial boundaries that would prevent lobos from dispersing to places that scientists say are necessary for their continued survival.

The plan would also arbitrarily cap the population at 320 individuals – far fewer than the scientifically–recommended 750 needed to ensure their future. Finally, it would improperly turn over decision-making authority on wolf releases to states that have a long track record of hostility toward lobo recovery, allowing FWS to renege on its responsibilities to release lobos.

Please make a donation today to help us push back on this reckless plan: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=w5Uq9WDnqWxZex3CTL-zEw

If Mexican gray wolves are going to have any chance at a future in the wild, they are going to need a lifeline now. Together we can keep the promise of a future for lobos.

From Wolf Conservation Center (contact@nywolf.org)

  1. USA: Closer Look Reveals States Don’t Support Recovery of the Mexican Gray Wolf

Despite Their Central Role in the Recovery Planning Process

Albuquerque, NM – On June 29th the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) released its draft recovery plan for the Mexican gray wolf. The critically endangered species is in the midst of a genetic crisis brought on by indiscriminate removals, a very small founder population, and the unwillingness of the Service to release enough wolves into the wild. The recovery plan has not been updated since 1982, a full sixteen years before Mexican gray wolves were first released. The newest recovery plan was created by collaborating exclusively with four south-western states that have shown hostility towards the program, resulting in a plan that may doom the wolves. Representatives of these states have replaced the expert independent wolf biologists and related experts who were a central part of the last attempt at recovery planning which began in 2011. And all non-governmental stakeholders were cut out of the continued recovery planning process. The resulting draft plan hands total power over releases, wolf genetics, and the success of the program to the states.

Despite strong public support for wolf recovery in the south-western states of Arizona and New Mexico, where the wolves live now, and Utah and Colorado, where they will need to expand in the future, state game agencies have been actively sabotaging the wolves’ chances to recover. “They have been spending tax payer money on anti-wolf lobbyists, supporting increased killing of wolves, denying permits, and suing the federal government to stop needed wolf releases,” said Maggie Howell of the Wolf Conservation Center.

The law says recovery plans must be based on the best available science, but the states have instead told the Service what they will accept – too few wolves to ever be safe from extinction, and where they will accept them – mostly in Mexico, where neither the states nor the US government has any authority. “The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service scrapped a science-based, multi-stakeholder recovery planning process and wilfully invited the states who have demonstrated their hostility to Mexican wolves to rewrite the recovery plan,” said Dave Parsons of Project Coyote. “The last time the Fish and Wildlife service allowed the states to manage Mexican wolf recovery, the population declined by 24% over a six year period.” The paper Four States’ Efforts to Derail Wolf Recovery was released to the public today. It details the various ways the four states have tried to block or frustrate recovery of the Mexican gray wolf.

Without immediate attention to releasing more wolves in more places, this rare little wolf of the southwest United States and northern Mexico will disappear forever. Unfortunately, the draft recovery plan completely turns over the control of releases in the U.S. to the states of Arizona and New Mexico. Given their previous unwillingness to release enough wolves in their states, and their blocking of all releases of adults, the future of our iconic south-western lobos looks grim.

We Need You to Demand a Better Plan

There’s still time for the USFWS to fix the plan before it becomes final, but this will take many voices demanding a workable, science-based plan. It is up to us to speak for the lobos.

Public meetings and a comment period on the proposed plan span the summer, giving Americans one last chance to have their voices heard. The Wolf Conservation Center will be joining a meeting, Learn how you can too here.

2. USA: Senate Bill Rider Takes Aim at Wolves

Your urgent action needed today!

Today the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is considering the new Senate Sportsmen’s bill (S.1514) – a bill that contains a damaging anti-wolf amendment we’re calling the “War on Wolves” Rider.

The toxic legislation proposes to permanently remove federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections for gray wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Wyoming, to allow trophy hunting of wolves to immediately resume within these states. To add insult to injury, the bill prohibits its judicial review thus preventing any legal challenge.

If the War on Wolves legislation is passed into law, wolves will die at the hands of trophy hunters.

Please call your senators TODAY and urge them to oppose S. 1514!

Find your Senator’s contact information here.

  1. USA: Americans Stand Up for Red Wolves

99.8% of Public Comments Show Overwhelming Support.

Nearly all of the comments submitted to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) support recovering the wild red wolf population in the south-eastern United States. 54,992 out of 55,087 public comments (99.8%) supported recovering the red wolf in the wild in North Carolina, compared to only 25 anti-wolf comments (0.045%) and just 10 comments (0.018%) that supported the federal agency’s proposed plan to remove most red wolves from the wild and into captivity.

Statements from North Carolina residents similarly support restoring and conserving the red wolf. Fully 98.6% of comments from North Carolinians encouraged the USFWS to do more to save the critically imperilled species, one of the most endangered carnivores in the world. Zooming in to north-eastern North Carolina, more than two-thirds (68.4%) of the comments from the current 5-county recovery region were supportive of the Red Wolf Recovery Program, undermining claims that local residents oppose red wolf restoration.

“Every voice raised in support of wildlife can make a difference and Americans overwhelmingly support red wolf recovery,” said Maggie Howell, Executive Director of the Wolf Conservation Center. “We’re counting on USFWS to take notice and follow the best available science to ensure that the world’s most endangered wolves remain a living, breathing part of the south-eastern landscape.”

Conservation groups and a team of scientists also submitted detailed comments to the USFWS. These letters cite evidence that the agency’s proposal to pull back on red wolf conservation actions would cause the extinction of the red wolf in the wild. In the hopes of dramatically shifting the scope of USFWS decision-making on Canis rufus, the letters also offer proactive suggestions for recovering the species across the south-eastern US, including generous landowner incentive programs and more robust law enforcement.Read more.

Read more here.  

From Take Action! at GreaterGood Network (news@greatergood.com)

USA: Don’t Let The Mexican Gray Wolf Go Extinct!

At the end of 2015, there were an estimated 97 Mexican gray wolves remaining in the wild, making them the most endangered gray wolves in the world. Unless more of them are released into the wild, they are doomed to go extinct.
What’s even worse is that years of delaying needed releases of wolves from captivity has led to a loss of the genetic diversity among the wild wolves. This genetic loss has resulted in smaller litters, lower pup survival and, if it’s not corrected, eventually extinction.
The release of more wolves from captivity would greatly improve the genetic health of the wild population, but political foot dragging and attempts to block releases has made this difficult. Please sign our petition today to tell the Trump administration that we’re not backing down from Mexican gray wolf recovery.

Other News

National

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From Change.org (change@mail.change.org)

Petition update: Son of Cecil, the Lion, killed by trophy hunter

20 Jul 2017 — The trophy hunt was organised by Zimbabwean private hunter Richard Cooke but his clients, who may have paid tens of thousands of dollars, have not been revealed. Xanda was wearing a tracking collar, fitted by scientists led by Andrew Loveridge at Oxford University, who have studied the Hwange lions for many years.

Article published by The Guardian:

Son of Cecil the lion killed by trophy hunter

Six-year-old Xanda was shot and killed by hunters when he roamed outside the protected area of the Hwange national park in Zimbabwe

A son of Cecil the lion has been killed by trophy hunters in Zimbabwe, meeting the same fate as his father whose death in 2015 caused global outcry.

Xanda was six years old and had fathered a number of cubs himself. He was shot on 7 July just outside the Hwange national park, not far from where Cecil died, but news of the death only became public on Thursday.

The trophy hunt was organized by Zimbabwean private hunter Richard Cooke but his clients, who may have paid tens of thousands of dollars, have not been revealed. Xanda was wearing a GPS tracking collar, fitted by scientists led by Andrew Loveridge at Oxford University, who have studied the Hwange lions for many years.

“Xanda was one of these gorgeous Kalahari lions, with a big mane, big body, beautiful condition – a very, very lovely animal,” Loveridge told the Guardian. “Personally, I think it is sad that anyone wants to shoot a lion, but there are people who will pay money to do that.”

“I put the collar on Xanda last October and spent a bit of time following him around,” he said. “You have handled them so you feel a personal engagement with the animal.” But Loveridge does not condemn trophy hunting outright: “Trophy hunting protects an area about the size of France and Spain combined in Africa. So if you throw trophy hunting out, what happens to all that habitat?”

Xanda was the pride male in a group with two adult lionesses and cubs which roamed near the boundary of the national park. “He was shot 2km from the park boundary, which is a hop and a skip for a lion,” Loveridge said.

The scientists want a 5km no-hunting zone around the park. “It is something we have suggested for years,” he said. “But there is a lot of resistance because a lot of the hunting happens right on the boundary, because that is where the animals are. The photo-tourism operators in Hwange are very keen to have that discussion. They are annoyed that this has happened.”

Xanda’s death poses no immediate danger to the 550-strong lion population in Hwange national park, which spreads over 15,000 sq km, Loveridge said: “The lion population is pretty healthy, but it would probably be better if it didn’t happen,” said Loveridge.

The scientist said Cooke is a responsible operator and had a legal quota for the hunt: “He is very ethical, he doesn’t cut corners. He has always communicated with us when he has hunted an animal, and given us the collar back. He is not one of the fly-by-night guys.” Cooke has killed several collared lions in the past, Loveridge said. Cooke did not respond to requests for comment.

“I’ve had a look at the GPS collar data and it all seems to be as [Cooke] says,” Loveridge said. “The collar goes to a hunting camp and this is when you know the animal has been shot.”

The death of Cecil the lion in 2015, killed by US dentist Walter Palmer, led to widespread criticism of the trophy hunting of lions, which has become a big business with the number killed tripling to 1,500 a year in the last decade. Lions have lost 90% of their overall population in the last century and only about 20,000 remain.

Philip Mansbridge, UK director of the International Fund for Animal Welfare, said: “IFAW opposes the cruel and needless killing of wild animals for recreation and encourages enjoyment and appreciation of these magnificent animals within their natural habitats through sustainable ecotourism opportunities. This has proven to be more beneficial for communities living with wildlife.”

“The unprecedented global outcry after Cecil the Lion was killed just goes to show the vast majority oppose the actions of the minority that enjoy slaughtering these animals for trophies,” he said. “These animals deserve our protection, not bullets.”

Masha Kalinina at the Humane Society International said: “Trophy hunters have learned nothing. To stop lions slipping into extinction, it is critical that countries like Zimbabwe focus on keeping as many lions alive as possible. It could follow the examples of Botswana and Kenya, which ban trophy hunting.”

Prof David Macdonald, another of the Oxford team, told the Guardian in December that strictly regulated and sustainable hunting could provide valuable funds to protect lion habitats.

“Of course I understand if people say there are simply no circumstances under which [trophy hunting] will be acceptable to me,” he said. “If so, then they have to look for a mechanism of replacing it with something that is acceptable. That might be people putting their money where their mouth is, buying out the hunting interest and replacing it with some sort of international payment for conservation.”

Cecil, who was 13 when killed, was believed to have had 13 surviving sons and daughters and 15 known grand cubs as of June 2016.

International

From Adam Parascandola, Humane Society International, HSI (info@hsi.org)

CLOSED: Another dog meat farm

Last week, we rescued more than 130 dogs from a dog meat farm in South Korea and shut down the operation for good. They were suffering in some of the worst conditions we’ve ever seen–hungry and terrified – but they won’t ever feel this way again.
See what love and a new chance at life looks like for these dogs: https://www.facebook.com/hsiglobal/videos/10155768210572262/

(Don’t worry, you can still view this video even without a Facebook account.)

This kind of happy ending never gets old. Thank you for your continued support in protecting animals across the globe.
Sincerely,

From Defenders of Wildlife (http://www.defenders.org)

Feeling overwhelmed? Wildlife is too

These past few months have been exhausting and frustrating for all of us who cherish wildlife and wild places. We are living through a time in history that is unlike any other.

The relentless attacks coming from Congress, the states and the Trump administration have culminated in the worst period for wildlife and wild lands in my professional career.

Without your help, these continuing and intensifying attacks could prove catastrophic: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=wCQ4G9waZIZkoHmvUjfD5w

Since taking office, President Trump has been unapologetic about his intentions to sell out our precious lands, waters and wildlife to Big Oil – from the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, to the waters of the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, to our national monuments and marine sanctuaries.

This willful disregard for the value of wildlife and their habitats is compounded by the repeated attempts in Congress to undermine the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and remove vital protections for iconic American species.

Help us stop the madness! Donate today to help us fight back for wildlife: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=mmB51IS6UKJdS-CELDsCCQ

The recent attacks on wildlife are some of the most egregious we’ve ever seen. In the span of a few months, we’ve witnessed the lifting of the prohibition on the cruel Alaska predator program on wildlife refuges, a proposal in Idaho to permit hunters to lure wolves to slaughter with bait and the advancement of the ludicrously named “HELP for Wildlife Act” which would delist wolves in the Great Lakes, reaffirm the delisting of wolves in Wyoming and bar legal challenges to both these decisions.

The Trump administration and Congress are on a path of record-setting destruction when it comes to our wildlife and wild places. But as the threats have amped up to a new terrifying level, Defenders is working swiftly to meet each new assault head-on. We have increased our legal capacity, added more resources to hold lawmakers and agencies accountable and are expanding our presence on the ground where imperilled species need us the most. But we need your support to keep it up.

Will you stand by our side? http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=NuU6kAoMKRGeoN8tGRMaeg

Thank you for sticking with us when wildlife need you the most.

From Change.org (change@mail.change.org)

1. Petition update: Another Redneck Trophy Killer sponsored by Under Armour: Jessica Taylor Byers

3 August 2017 — Wife + Texan + Dreamer (Her own words)
Remember, Under Armour makes all this possible. #BoycottUnderArmour and spread the word!
Jessica Taylor Byer’s Trophy Killer Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/followherarrow
Under Armour Hunt Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/UAHunt

2. Petition update: Under Armour Redneck Trophy Killer: Jessica Taylor Byers – 2

3 August 2017 — The caption of a picture posted is: “Thank you God.”

Just before she touches her forehead to the dead bear’s, in a redneck mockery of respect.
I don’t think the bear would agree with her notion of respect.
But these people are really that dumb, they believe it is “God” allowing and urging them to subdue the earth and animals.
We call them White Trash.
Under Armour happily promotes this slaughter all over social media. Check out their Facebook page linked below.
Jessica Taylor Byer’s Trophy Killer Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/followherarrow
Under Armour Hunt Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/UAHunt

3. Petition update: Under Armour also sponsors Kendall Jones, another inhumane Killer.

7 Aug 2017 — In her own words:
“In 2008, (age 13) I took my second trip to Africa to start my Big 5 experience, but this time to South Africa. Although I had many other opportunities to shoot animals I wanted to save it for the Big 5, so the first animal I ever shot was a White Rhino with a .416 Remington!! On this trip I also took some plains game, such as impala, kudu and mountain reedbuck home.”
Well, she didn’t stop there. Now it is 2017 and a good thousand more animals killed by her, later. For sport and attention.

Kendall Jones’ Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/officialkendalljones

From Southwest Wildlifesouthwestwildlife.org; https://www.homeoanimal.com/the-ultimate-guide-to-pet-adoption;

The Ultimate Guide To Pet Adoption: Sneak Preview

Thinking about adopting a furry companion?  That’s great!  Pet rescues and shelters are filled with animals waiting to be adopted and re-homed. Giving a new forever after home to a rescued pet is a big decision.  You want to give him a loving home and the best care possible. Pet adoption is lots of fun, but it does take time to plan and research.

You may ask yourself: How does it work? How do you choose the right pet? Where can I find a rescue or shelter near me? How does the adoption process work? We know you’ve got many questions on pet adoption, and we’ve put the answers together for you!  We have created “The Ultimate Guide To Pet Adoption”.  This guide is divided into captivating articles that will teach you everything you need to know about pet adoption.  Also, keep a lookout for great tips to simplify your pet adoption process.

In order to write this guide, more than 200 rescue groups and shelters across America were asked to give you their best advice and tips on pet adoption. We take the opportunity to thank all the rescues and shelters that have collaborated with this guide and helped us transmit an important message to all those who wish to adopt an animal. This would not have been possible without your valuable support. Check out what topics and questions these articles will address:

https://www.homeoanimal.com/blogs/blog-pet-health/81113348-the-ultimate-guide-to-pet-adoption-the-benefits-of-adopting-a-pet

Know the many benefits of adopting a pet and seize this wonderful opportunity to make a difference in your life and in the life of your new pet.

  • “ Animal Rescue and Animal Shelter: What is the Difference? ”

https://www.homeoanimal.com/blogs/blog-pet-health/81114180-animal-rescue-and-animal-shelter-what-is-the-difference

It’s important to understand the difference between shelters and rescues.  This will save you time in finding the pet you want and in choosing which organization you would like to support in your community.  They do have similar functions but there are also major differences between the two.

  • “ Pet Adoption Myths ”

https://www.homeoanimal.com/blogs/blog-pet-health/81114628-the-ultimate-guide-to-pet-adoption-pet-adoption-myths

There are many misconceptions about adopting a pet from a rescue or shelter. Learn the truth behind each myth.

  • “ What Should You Consider Before Adopting? ”

https://www.homeoanimal.com/blogs/blog-pet-health/81114628-the-ultimate-guide-to-pet-adoption-pet-adoption-myths

Pet ownership can be lots of fun. But, you want to think through a couple of things before you make your final decision and adopt.

  • “ Find Your Perfect Match? ”

https://www.homeoanimal.com/blogs/blog-pet-health/81141124-the-ultimate-guide-to-pet-adoption-find-your-perfect-pet-match

Choosing the right pet for your family is essential for both your family’s and the animal’s happiness and wellbeing. You will learn how to make an educated decision and choose the right pet for you.

  • “ Meet and Greet ”

https://www.homeoanimal.com/blogs/blog-pet-health/81141636-the-ultimate-guide-to-pet-adoption-the-meet-greet-your-new-pet

Talking to a pet counselor at the animal rescue or shelter will really help you make the right choice.Know what questions to ask them!

  • “ The Adoption Process ”

https://www.homeoanimal.com/blogs/blog-pet-health/81114820-the-ultimate-guide-to-pet-adoption-the-adoption-process

Once you are ready to adopt, learn what you have to do to get approved for the adoption.

  • “ Preparing Your Home ”

https://www.homeoanimal.com/blogs/blog-pet-health/81143300-preparing-your-home-the-ultimate-guide-to-pet-adoption

Transform your house into a cozy home before you welcome your new four-legged friend.

  • “ Pet Supplies ”

https://www.homeoanimal.com/blogs/blog-pet-health/81142340-pet-supplies-the-ultimate-guide-to-pet-adoption

We’ve created a complete checklist of all the necessary (and fun) things you should think about getting before your new pet arrives.

  • “ Pet Care ”

https://www.homeoanimal.com/blogs/blog-pet-health/81144132-best-pet-care-the-ultimate-guide-to-pet-adoption

We will give you many tips and tricks on how to care for your pet.

  • “ Bringing Home Your New Pet ”

https://www.homeoanimal.com/blogs/blog-pet-health/81144452-bringing-your-new-pet-home-the-ultimate-guide-to-pet-adoption

Bringing home your new companion is a big deal. Learn what to expect in the first couple weeks.

  • “ How To Be a Responsible Pet Owner ”

https://www.homeoanimal.com/blogs/blog-pet-health/81145348-how-to-be-a-responsible-pet-owner-the-ultimate-guide-to-pet-adoption

Learn how to become a responsible pet parent. We will give you tips and advice on how to be the best pet parent you can be.

  • “ How You Can Help Your Local Rescue or Shelter? ”

https://www.homeoanimal.com/blogs/blog-pet-health/81146244-how-you-can-help-your-local-rescue-or-shelter

Learn how to give a helping hand to your local rescue group or animal shelter. There are many great reasons why these organizations need your help.

Pet adoption is such a wonderful thing. Whether you’d like to adopt a dog, a cat, a rabbit, a ferret or any other animal, you want to make sure you consider all that it takes to become a very good and caring pet owner. Find out all about pet adoption in this book and you will be able to start enjoying a brand new lifelong friendship with your new pet.

Disclaimer: This guide is intended to provide you with the information you need to make better decisions about pet adoption. The views and opinions in this guide have tried to regroup the general procedure of pet adoption, but remember that all animals, rescues and shelters are unique. Therefore, pet adoption will be different for each animal, rescue and shelter. However, we have made every effort to be truthful, fair and accurate when we wrote this guide. HomeoAnimal has used all reasonable care in compiling the information from the interviewed rescues and shelters but make no warranty as to its accuracy. We recommend contacting your local rescue or shelter to help assist you in making your final decision.

Wolves and Wolfdogs

Wolves in Slovenia

Wolves were once abundant in Slovenia’s forests, but hunting drove them to the brink of extinction. It took protection from the state to stabilize their numbers, but their long-term survival is still far from certain.

For centuries, wolves were seen as little more than a threat to people and their farm animals. Habsburg authorities even paid hunters large bounties for every wolf they killed. The strategy was so successful that wolves became a rare sight in Slovenian forests by the end of the 19th century.

People living in sparsely populated areas, driven by fear of losing sheep and other animals, even formed wolf-killing committees to rid Slovenia’s forests of their adversary. Unlimited hunting led to the extinction of the Eurasian lynx, and for much of the 20th century, it seemed that the wolf would suffer the same fate.

For a long time, the situation appeared hopeless, but the wolf eventually got a reprieve. Bounties on wolves continued to be paid off until 1973, but by that time, attitudes had already begun to change. Within a few years, wolves became protected in some parts of Slovenia, even though there was still no national plan to protect the species. With pressure from conservationists growing, however, year-long hunting moratoria on wolves were increasingly common by the early ‘90s.

In 1993, the wolf was finally declared an endangered species by the government of newly independent Slovenia. The decision did not mean a total end to wolf hunting – exceptions can still be made for wolves that threaten farm animals. However, the new status has helped the wolf population to begin a slow rebound.

Today, many wolves have been tagged to enable electronic monitoring. Recent estimates of wolves in Slovenia’s forests show that the population is down to less than 50 animals. New roads, the encroachment of human settlements, and poaching all represent very real threats to this very fragile wolf population. Conservation groups have been calling for a total ban on wolf hunting – with no exceptions. They point out that even simple measures such as the use of higher fences for sheep enclosures could reduce the number of conflicts between wolves and farmers.

It’s becoming increasingly clear that educating the public about wolves – which are almost never dangerous to people – is the key to ensuring the long-term survival of a species abundant in the country’s forests long before the arrival of humans.

But now the government of Slovenia has just announced that in 2017 it will permit the killing of 10 wolves out of a total estimated population of less than 50. This is in spite of research from the EU-funded SloWolf project which showed that such killing breaks up wolf packs and leads to more attacks on livestock because single wolves are unable to hunt deer effectively. The government claims it listens to the experts, but it seems that the hunting lobby has a large influence here (also shown by the fact that this year 113 brown bears will also be killed or ‘removed’ from the environment). The wolf is a protected species in Slovenia. This cull should be abandoned immediately.

Wolf Myths and Legends, Part 141

Wolf Pups Dream
by Jennifer Tissot

From within the warm, secure den, I watch Father, his coat thick and white as the snow under his paws, disappearing into the deep woods beyond for the night’s hunt.

I whine in disappointment of not being able to hunt with them because I’m still young.

“Very soon,” begins my older brother sitting beside me, “you’ll be out there leading the pack just like him and mother.”

I know this is true but it seems so far away when I think about it.

My sister nuzzles me with her stout nose to play a game with her.

My brother is amused and tells me to not think of hunting, but to live and enjoy my precious moments as a pup.

“You’ll be a grown wolf soon enough,” he says.

Feeling a twitch of hope within my heart, I race after my sister and over the cold, powdery face of Mother Earth.

I tumble and roll within the flying flakes of Mother Earth’s hair so white and clean, knowing that I will someday be a leader, a hunter, and a father of a pack all my own.

Readers’ Contribution

A Wolfdog Diary

By Erin

This time I want to ask a question, and maybe one of you can give me an answer.

Taima is spayed, and not only since yesterday – her surgery took place four years ago and she never was in heat in her life. But comes June/July, the time she would come into heat, the boys, especially Ascar II, go nuts. They have their noses under her tail all day long, sniff and taste her pee and then chatter their teeth, and Ascar II tries to mount her as often as he can. Kajack would not dare to give that a try, but also behaves differently towards Taima, almost romancing her, which Ascar doesn’t like at all and he always pushes him away from her. Taima is more affectionate than usual during that time, wants to be petted all the time, always offering her rear part to me and Ted to scratch, and then lifting her tail and stepping from one hind leg to the other. That’s exactly the behaviour of the alpha female we know from unspayed females, but why does it still happen that long after she got spayed? In theory there cannot be any attractive smell or “urine-aroma”, but the males still behave as if she were in heat. Is there still a change of the hormone system that causes it, although she is not getting into heat anymore? It lasts about two weeks and then everything will go back to normal. Does somebody have an idea whether this is normal and, more importantly, what’s causing it?

Will be continued…

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Volume 12, Issue 153, July 2017

SAFHOWL

The Monthly Free E-Newsletter of South African Friends of Wolves

Volume 12, Issue 153, July 2017

From the Editor’s Desk

Some US Senators really don’t seem to stop at anything when it comes to making the destruction of nature legal. While attempts to this effect have been going on for a long time, actually, their proposed measures now reek distinctly of the Horror Clown who thinks that the world is there only to make some people rich – let me correct this: make some Americans rich first. It is therefore only a logical step to propose: take away the funding of species protection and rather use it for some or other anti-nature measure that serves the personal luxury of an elite few. Read the news section for yourself!

To provide background, we have a portrayal of the battered Red Wolf that highlights everything you should know about the world’s rarest wolf.

A haunting poem, but one that really hits home and is worth not only reading but also contemplating…

Erin has provided another one of her interesting updates, and as far as she, our pack, and I are concerned, well, we had reason to celebrate – see the advert below.

Till next month,
Ed.

New Wolf Book!

 A Houseful Headful of Wolves

The Story of two People sharing their Home and Lives with Wolves

A life stranger than fiction. And it all started when Ted and Erin decided to quit Germany and emigrate to South Africa just when the era of Apartheid came to end there. Animal lovers through and through, they eventually ended up sharing their home with a pack of wolves. If this alone were not strange enough, a teacher came into their lives and taught them Animal Communication. Ted took to this like a fish to water and with almost daily training over the years refined his skills to levels he never thought possible – and to dimensions very few people probably know exist.

Ted tells how everything evolved, sharing the joys and dramas of being part of a wolf pack in a domestic setting. He leaves no doubts, however, that this requires a lot of dedication, compromising, and a deep understanding of wolf mentality. He describes in detail the fundamental requirements for such a setup to work and why the “normal” person may be better advised to stick to a dog with wolfish looks rather than the real thing. He also takes a look at the difficult relationship between people and wolves throughout history, and discusses why Animal Communication is a skill everybody is born with, but most will unlearn later in life.

Told as they unfolded, his realizations have the potential of widely expanding the box humans are generally conditioned to think in – both with regard to the wolf as a physical being and as a spiritual entity of immense wisdom.

Ted Ehrhardt (pseudonym) is an author, ghost writer, editor and translator with more than 30 years of experience in various fields of biosciences, at home in the worlds of both scientific  literature and fiction. Ted is German-born, but has been living in South Africa for more than 25 years, 17 of which in the company of a pack of wolves.

Book: A Headful of Wolves The Story of two People sharing their Home and Lives with Wolves

Available as paperback and E-book from Amazon or from any other Amazon Online-shop.

Upcoming Events

Say Yes to New Adventures!

International Wolf Center’s Adventure Programs

Turn your vacation into a one-of-a-kind wilderness experience. The International Wolf Center offers a variety of Adventure Programs led by informative and enthusiastic wolf experts for people of all ages. Visit our website for a complete list of adventure programs.

Tracking the Pack

August 18-20

Learn about the tools biologists use in the field to locate and study wild wolves. Then we’ll take you in our bus to test your new skills with our telemetry equipment to search for that elusive radio collar signal!
Learn more here.

Wine, Women, and Wolves: Boundary Waters Adventure
September 15-17

Join us for a fun, relaxing weekend learning about wolves and the north woods while enjoying the company of women who have the same hectic routine as you!
Learn more here.

Upcoming Webinars 

Webinar rate: $15 Non-members, $12 Members

Wolf Conservation Center

Wake Up With Wolves!

Sleeping with Wolves, the Wolf Conservation Center’s popular nocturnal adventure experience, gives guests a chance to camp out overnight with the 25 wolves that call the center home! With all the howls and nature’s nighttime chatter, you will feel like you’re camping under the stars with wild wolves!

Pre-registration is required. Space is limited and dates are selling out quickly!

Information and Registration here.

August 17-18

Wolf Retreats with Sacred Warrior

Join Sacred Warrior founder, Vanessa Chakour, for a wild and powerful 2-day camping retreat at the WCC!

Participate in empowering meditation and movement workshops, herbal medicine making, and more! Space is limited!

News from the Wolf Front

National

Nothing to report

International

From Endangered Species Coalition (action@endangered.org)

  1. USA: Help stop red wolves from vanishing forever

As few as 28 wild red wolves are left in the world today. Decades of hard work by scientists and conservationists could be squandered by Interior Secretary Zinke and the Department of Interior (DOI) if they continue as planned and walk away from the job of recovering red wolves.

Please make an emergency tax-deductible donation today to help stop Secretary Zinke’s plan to abandon the most endangered wolves in the country here.

Red wolves have lived successfully in North Carolina for more than two decades and were steadily coming back until the agency charged with their recovery, the Department of Interior’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), actively neglected this species and allowed its wild population to plummet by nearly 80 percent.

Shockingly, the agency announced in September of last year, that they were planning to radically reduce the recovery area for these highly endangered wolves from five counties to one and to remove most of the wild wolves from their homes and place them in captivity. This plan to abandon wolves is pending and we are fighting it with every tool that we have, but we need your help.

Please make a donation today to help the Endangered Species Coalition organize opposition to Secretary Zinke’s plan and support for real red wolf recovery here

Red wolves are a native species that once thrived in this region. Their recovery is both necessary to restore healthy landscapes, and possible if Secretary Zinke and the USFWS once again commit to the task. We intend to hold them accountable for continuing to work to achieve this Endangered Species Act success story in the making by organizing conservation organizations and activists in North Carolina and around the nation against this planned abandonment and behind real solutions to stop red wolves from disappearing forever. Please support real red wolf recovery with a donation today.

Thank you for your commitment to wildlife and wild places.

  1. USA: Take Action: Senate bill would kick Great Lakes wolves off of endangered species list and prevent judicial review

A bill introduced in the U.S. Senate last week would kick wolves in Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin off of the endangered species list and subject them to hunting and trapping.

Contact your senators and tell them you oppose S. 1514 here.

This bill is uniquely dangerous because it currently has bipartisan support. Senators Barrasso (R-WY), Boozman (R-AR), Cardin (D-MD), Baldwin (D-WI), and Klobuchar (D-MN) have cosponsored this legislation and are working behind the scenes to get more support and speed its passage into law.

Ask your senators to oppose S. 1514 here.

If this bill becomes law, the Endangered Species Act will be drastically weakened by again allowing politicians to substitute their judgement for that of scientists working in this field. Worse, it prevents judges from reviewing the action. These senators are seeking to exclude scientists and the courts from doing their jobs in order to score political points with special interests.

Don’t let them. Contact your senators and tell them you expect a “NO” vote on S. 1514 if it comes to the full Senate for a vote here.

Thank you for your commitment to wildlife and wild places.

From Defenders of Wildlife (http://www.defenders.org)

USA: Congress tries to defund ESA protections for gray wolves!

Yesterday a House subcommittee released a funding bill which includes a rider that blocks funding for Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections for all gray wolves in the lower 48 states. The bill also accepts the nearly 17 percent cut in funding to list new species under the ESA proposed in President Trump’s budget.

The House’s dirty budget would gut vital protections for our natural heritage and wildlife, especially for endangered species, including wolves.

Please donate today to help us fight these attacks on wolves and other imperilled wildlife: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=mZ_HkWHAznzPqvcmTHJHnw

This bill continues the intensifying attacks on the ESA. Since the beginning of 2015, we’ve seen 160 proposals introduced in Congress that would either remove protections for individual species or otherwise undermine the ESA.

This wolf rider means certain death for America’s wolves. It forces the Department of the Interior to abandon its responsibilities for protecting gray wolves, which are currently listed as endangered in much of the United States.

It also prevents other federal agencies from complying with their obligations under the law. It is particularly egregious that this rider would halt all efforts to protect and recover the Mexican gray wolf – the most endangered gray wolf in the world, with just 113 wild wolves in the U.S. and 35 in Mexico.

Donate today to help Defenders fight back against this appalling attack and continue our mission to protect and restore imperilled species: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=iq8NlN24C74v65AknUt3YA

This rider makes a mockery of the Endangered Species Act. It leaves America’s wolves sitting in the ESA emergency room and orders our wildlife agencies not to treat them. The drastic cut in funding for new species under the ESA will further delay listing decisions for many deserving species, leading to longer recovery times and possibly even more extinctions.

Help us keep up the fight. Support Defenders’ life-saving work today: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=h2OpeADmHJR6wGPQ6b983A

From Wolf Conservation Center (contact@nywolf.org)

  1. USA: Wolf Pup Update

Growing Pains?

With her 5-week-old Mexican gray wolf pups and three yearlings born in 2016, Mom’s “paws” are full!  Thankfully, raising pups is a family affair; it is natural for all the wolves to pitch in. The yearlings are assisting their parents in rearing their younger siblings by regurgitating food for them, playing with them, and even baby-sitting. Sometimes, however, it is natural for an older sibling to be a little jealous of the babies. Mexican gray wolf F1508 (a.k.a. K.B.) tries to steal some of her mother’s attention by pretending she is a pup too!

Be sure to tune in to the WCC live webcams to watch the family in action!

Mexican Wolf Pup Webcams

From California Wolfcenter (californiawolfcenter@yahoogroups.com)

Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project

Monthly Update – May 1-31, 2017

The following is a summary of Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project (Project)

activities in the Mexican Wolf Experimental Population Area (MWEPA) in Arizona, including the Fort Apache Indian Reservation (FAIR), San Carlos Apache Reservation (SCAR), and New Mexico.  Additional Project information can be obtained by calling (928) 339-4329 or toll free at (888) 459-9653, or by visiting the Arizona Game and Fish Department website at www.azgfd.gov/wolf or by visiting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website at www.fws.gov/southwest/es/mexicanwolf.

Past updates may be viewed on either website, or interested parties may sign up to receive this update electronically.

This update is a public document and information in it can be used for any purpose.  The Project is a multi-agency cooperative effort among the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD), USDA Forest Service (USFS), USDA-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services (USDA-APHIS WS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service USFWS) and the White Mountain Apache Tribe (WMAT).

To view semi-monthly wolf telemetry flight location information please visit http://bit.do/mexicanwolf or www.fws.gov/southwest/es/mexicanwolf/RWL.cfm.

Please report any wolf sightings or suspected livestock depredations to: (928) 339-4329 or toll free at (888) 459-9653. To report incidents of take or harassment of wolves, please call the AGFD 24-hour dispatch (Operation Game Thief) at (800) 352-0700.

Numbering System:  Mexican wolves are given an identification number recorded in an official studbook that tracks their history.  Capital letters (M = Male, F = Female) preceding the number indicate adult animals 24 months or older. Lower case letters (m = male, f = female) indicate wolves younger than 24 months or pups. The capital letter “A” preceding the letter and number indicate breeding wolves.

Definitions: A “wolf pack” is defined as two or more wolves that maintain an

established territory.  In the event that one of the two alpha (dominant) wolves dies, the remaining alpha wolf, regardless of pack size, retains the pack status. The packs referenced in this update contain at least one wolf with a radio telemetry collar attached to it. The Interagency Field Team (IFT) recognizes that wolves without radio telemetry collars may also form packs. If the IFT confirms that wolves are associating with each other and are resident within the same home range, they will be referenced as a pack.

CURRENT POPULATION STATUS

Annual surveys are conducted in the winter as this is when the population experiences the least amount of natural fluctuation (i.e. in the spring the population increases dramatically with the birth of new pups and declines throughout the summer and fall as mortality is particularly high on young pups). Thus, the IFT summarizes the total number of wolves in the winter at a fairly static or consistent time of year. This allows for comparable year-to-year trends at a time of year that accounts for most mortality and survival of young pups.

During annual year-end population counts, the IFT documented a minimum of 113 Mexican wolves in the wild in Arizona and New Mexico at the end of 2016. At the end of May, there were 58 wolves with functioning radio collars that the IFT was actively monitoring.

Wolves with functioning radio collars are listed by studbook number in the pack updates below.

IN ARIZONA:

Bear Wallow Pack (collared AM1338 and AF1335)

In May, the Bear Wallow Pack was located within their traditional territory on the SCAR and in the east central portion of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest (ASNF). They have displayed localized behaviour consistent with denning.

Bluestem Pack (collared F1489, fp1562, fp1563 and mp1574)

In May, the Bluestem Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the east central portion of the ASNF. Male pup 1574 showed dispersal behaviour and has been travelling with the Panther Creek Pack. Female pup 1562 has shown dispersal behaviour and is believed to be travelling alone. The IFT documented the breeding pair AF1042 and AM1341 together with F1489 and fp1563. The Bluestem Pack displayed behaviour consistent with denning within their traditional territory during May.

Elk Horn Pack (collared AF1294, mp1471, mp1474 and fp1473)

In May, the Elk Horn Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north eastern portion of the ASNF. The pack displayed behaviour consistent with denning during the month of May.

Frieborn Pack (collared F1443 and m1447)

In May, F1443 and m1447 were documented within their territory in the east central portion of the ASNF in Arizona and into New Mexico. Localized movements and observations by the IFT have been documented throughout May. The IFT continued to maintain a diversionary food cache for the Frieborn Pack in an effort to reduce potential for wolf-livestock conflict.

Hawks Nest Pack (collared AM1038)

The Hawks Nest Pack consists of one collared wolf, AM1038. AM1038 was located travelling alone in the traditional territory of the Diamond pack in the northern portion of the ASNF in May.

Hoodoo Pack (collared AM1290, AF1333, and fp1550)

In May, the Hoodoo Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the ASNF. The pack displayed behaviour consistent with denning during the month of May.

Maverick Pack (collared AF1291)

In May, the Maverick Pack was located within their traditional territory both on the FAIR and east central portion of the ASNF. The Maverick Pack was not localized during May.

Panther Creek Pack (collared AF1339, AM1382, mp1483, fp1484 and mp1486)

In May, the Panther Creek Pack was located in the east central portion of the ASNF. Male pup 1574 from the Bluestem Pack has been travelling with Panther Creek. Male pup 1486 has been documented travelling in the Gila National Forest in New Mexico. Male pup 1483 has been travelling between Arizona and New Mexico and fp1484 has been travelling mostly alone in Arizona, occasionally travelling with mp1483. In May, two neonatal pups born in captivity at the California Wolf Center were cross-fostered by the IFT into the Panther Creek den and two wild-born pups were removed to captivity. The IFT initiated a supplemental food cache near the den as part of the cross-foster effort.

Prime Canyon Pack (collared F1488)

In May, F1488 and an unknown wolf continued to travel together within a territory in the east-central portion of the ASNF. This pack did not display denning behaviour in May.

Saffel Pack (collared F1567 and M1441)

In May the Saffel Pack was located in the north central portion of the ASNF, north of the traditional territory of the Hoodoo Pack. The pack has displayed behaviour consistent with denning during the month of May. A diversionary food cache was started by the IFT for this pack in effort to avoid conflict with cattle in the area.

ON THE FAIR:

Diamond Pack (collared f1557, mp1559, fp1560, mp1571 and mp1572)

In May, the Diamond Pack was located in the northern portion of the ASNF and on state lands north of the ASNF. This month, fp1570 was located dead in Arizona; the incident is under investigation. Male pup 1572 has been documented travelling apart from the Diamond Pack. The IFT initiated a diversionary food cache on the ASNF for the Diamond Pack to reduce potential for further wolf-livestock conflict.

Tsay-O-Ah Pack (collared AM1343 and AF1283)

In May, the Tsay-O-Ah Pack was located within their traditional territory on the FAIR.

Baldy Pack

The Baldy Pack was not located during the month of May. It has been more than three months since the Baldy Pack was located and they are now considered fate unknown.

IN NEW MEXICO:

Iron Creek Pack (collared AM1240, AF1278 and mp1556)

During May, the Iron Creek Pack continued to utilize their territory in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness and the southern portion of the Gila National Forest (GNF). The IFT confirmed pups with the Iron Creek pack in May.

Lava Pack (collared F1405 and AM1285)

During May, the Lava Pack was located within their traditional territory in the south eastern portion of the GNF. The IFT set up a diversionary food cache in May to reduce the potential for wolf-livestock conflicts. The Lava pack continued to display behaviour consistent with denning.

Leopold Pack (collared AM1293, AF1346 and mp1561)

During May, the IFT documented the Leopold Pack within their territory in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness. The Leopold Pack did not display denning behaviour during May.

Luna Pack (collared AM1158 and AF1487)

During May, the Luna Pack remained in their traditional territory in the north central portion of the Gila National Forest. The IFT maintained a diversionary food cache to reduce potential for livestock depredations. The Luna Pack continued to display behaviour consistent with denning.

Mangas Pack (collared M1296 and F1439)

During April, the Mangas Pack was located within their territory in the north western portion of the GNF. In late-April, the Mangas pack displayed behaviour consistent with denning.

Dark Canyon (collared F1444 and M1386)

During May, F1444 and M1386 were documented travelling together within the west central portions of the GNF. The Dark Canyon Pack displayed denning behaviour in May.

Copper Creek (collared F1456 and M1354)

During May, F1456 and M1354 were documented travelling together within the west central portions of the GNF. This pair has shown denning behaviour in May.

Prieto Pack (collared AF1251, M1398 and fp1565)

During May, the Prieto Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF. The Prieto Pack displayed denning behaviour during May. A supplemental food cache was established in May to reduce the potential for wolf-livestock conflicts.

San Mateo Pack (collared AF1399)

During May, the San Mateo Pack continued to utilize their territory in the north central portion of the GNF. In early May, the IFT placed two genetically valuable pups into the pack’s den during a cross-foster operation in efforts to increase genetic diversity of wolves from the Brookfield Zoo, in the wild. A supplemental food cache was also set up to assist the pack’s care for the genetically diverse litter of pups.

Sheepherders Baseball Park (SBP) Pack (collared AM1284 and F1553)

During May, the SBP Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF. The IFT confirmed pups with the SBP pack in May.

Willow Springs Pack

No collared individuals remain in this pack.

Single collared AM1155

During May, AM1155 was documented travelling within New Mexico.

Single collared M1455

During May, M1455 travelled throughout central to east-central portions of the GNF.

Single collared M1552

During May, M1552 travelled throughout north-eastern portions of the GNF and central portions of the Cibola National Forest (CNF).

Single collared m1569

During May, m1569 travelled throughout northern and central portions of the CNF.

MORTALITIES

Diamond fp1570 was found dead in Arizona during May; the incident is under investigation.

INCIDENTS

During the month of May, there were five confirmed wolf depredations on livestock and no nuisance reports.

On May 4, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Catron County, NM. The investigation determined the calf had been killed by coyotes.

On May 5, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Socorro County, NM. The investigation determined the cause of death was unknown.

On May 9, Wildlife Services investigated a dead bull and two dead cows in Socorro County, NM. The investigation determined the bull was a confirmed wolf kill and both of the cows were probable wolf kills.

On May 9, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Socorro County, NM. The investigation determined the cow was a confirmed wolf kill.

On May 12, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Socorro County, NM. The investigation determined the cow had been killed by a bear.

On May 14, Wildlife Services investigated three dead cows in Catron County, NM. The investigations determined the cause of death was unknown for all three cows.

On May 22, Wildlife Services investigated two dead calves in Apache County, AZ. The investigation determined both calves were confirmed wolf kills.

On May 30, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, AZ. The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf kill.

COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATION

On May 4 and 5, members from the IFT attended a ranching workshop hosted by the X Diamond Ranch in Arizona. The workshop provided a basic understanding of the principles and tools used in low stress livestock handling and stockman ship and a discussion of how these techniques have been used to reduce wolf depredations on cattle.

On May 17, the IFT gave a presentation on Mexican wolf biology, management and reintroduction efforts to a group of 6th grade children from Winslow at their annual camping trip in the ASNF.

PROJECT PERSONNEL

In May, USFWS volunteer/intern Steven Nagy completed his commitment with the program to further his career and experience. Thanks for all your help!

In May, Maya Stahl and McKenna Zandarski joined the project as interns with AZGFD. Welcome to the program, Maya and McKenna!

  1. Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project

Monthly Update – June 1-30, 2017

The Fish and Wildlife Service will hold information meetings to provide the public with information on the draft recovery plan. Written comments on the draft recovery plan may be submitted at these meetings (oral comments will not be recorded). The dates and times of these information meetings are as follows:

Flagstaff, AZ: July 18, 2017 (6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.): Northern Arizona University, Prochnow Auditorium, South Knowles Drive, Flagstaff, AZ 86001.

Pinetop, AZ: July 19, 2017 (6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.): Hon-Dah Resort, 777 AZ-260, Pinetop, AZ 85935.

Truth or Consequences, NM: July 20, 2017 (6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.): Ralph Edwards Auditorium, Civic Center, 400 West Fourth, Truth or Consequences, NM 87901.

Albuquerque, NM: July 22, 2017 (2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.): Crowne Plaza Albuquerque, 1901 University Boulevard NE, Albuquerque, NM 87102.

The Fish and Wildlife Service has also made available the Draft Biological Report and two supporting analyses – “Population Viability Analysis for the Mexican Wolf” and “Mexican Wolf Habitat Suitability Analysis in Historical Range in South-western US and Mexico,” to the public as supplemental background information during the public comment period. These documents, as well as the draft Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan, First Revision are available at: www.fws.gov/southwest/es/mexicanwolf/MWRP.cfm

CURRENT POPULATION STATUS

Annual surveys are conducted in the winter as this is when the population experiences the least amount of natural fluctuation (i.e. in the spring the population increases dramatically with the birth of new pups and declines throughout the summer and fall as mortality is particularly high on young pups). Thus, the IFT summarizes the total number of wolves in the winter at a fairly static or consistent time of year. This allows for comparable year-to-year trends at a time of year that accounts for most mortality and survival of young pups.

During annual year-end population counts, the IFT documented a minimum of 113 Mexican wolves in the wild in Arizona and New Mexico at the end of 2016. At the end of June, there were 58 wolves with functioning radio collars that the IFT was actively monitoring.

Wolves with functioning radio collars are listed by studbook number in the pack updates below.

IN ARIZONA:

Bear Wallow Pack (collared AM1338 and AF1335)

In June, the Bear Wallow Pack was located within their traditional territory on the SCAR and in the east central portion of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest (ASNF). They have displayed localized behaviour consistent with denning. Pups were documented with the Bear Wallow Pack in June.

Bluestem Pack (collared F1489, f1562, and f1563)

In June, the Bluestem Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the east central portion of the ASNF. Male 1574 is showing dispersal behaviour and has been travelling with the Panther Creek Pack. Female 1562 has been travelling alone and is now considered a single animal. The IFT documented AF1042, AM1341, F1489, and f1563 localized in a den area during June.

Elk Horn Pack (collared AF1294, m1471, m1474, and f1473)

In June, the Elk Horn Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north eastern portion of the ASNF. The pack displayed behaviour consistent with denning during the month of June. Pups were documented with the Elk Horn Pack in June.

Frieborn Pack (collared F1443 and m1447)

In June, F1443 and m1447 were documented within their territory in the east central portion of the ASNF in Arizona and into New Mexico. They have displayed localized behaviour consistent with denning in June. The IFT maintained a diversionary food cache for this pack to reduce potential for livestock depredations.

Hawks Nest Pack (collared AM1038)

The Hawks Nest Pack consists of one collared wolf, AM1038. AM1038 was located travelling alone in the traditional territory of the Diamond pack in the northern portion of the ASNF in June.

Hoodoo Pack (collared AM1290, AF1333, and f1550)

In June, the Hoodoo Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the ASNF. The pack displayed behaviour consistent with denning during the month of June. The IFT is conducting prey carcass investigations as part of a kill rate study for the Hoodoo Pack during the month of June. Pups were documented with the Hoodoo Pack in June.

Maverick Pack (collared AF1291)

In June, the Maverick Pack was located within their traditional territory both on the FAIR and east central portion of the ASNF.

Panther Creek Pack (collared AF1339, AM1382, and m1574)

In June, the Panther Creek Pack was located in the east central portion of the ASNF. Male yearling 1574 from the Bluestem Pack has been travelling with Panther Creek for three months and is now considered part of the pack. Male yearling 1486 has been documented travelling in the Gila National Forest in New Mexico. Male yearling 1483 has been travelling between Arizona and New Mexico, and female yearling 1484 has been travelling mostly alone in Arizona, occasionally travelling with mp1483. Yearlings m1483, f1484, and m1486 have been travelling separately from the rest of the pack for three months and are now each considered single animals. The breeding pair continues to display localized behaviour consistent with denning. The IFT maintained a diversionary food cache for this pack to reduce potential for livestock depredations and supplement cross-fostered pups.

Prime Canyon Pack (collared F1488)

In June, F1488 and an unknown collared wolf continue to travel together within a territory in the east-central portion of the ASNF. This pack has not displayed denning behaviour.

Saffel Pack (collared AF1567)

In June, the Saffel Pack was located in the north central portion of the ASNF, north of the traditional territory of the Hoodoo Pack. The pack has displayed behaviour consistent with denning during the month of June. A diversionary food cache was maintained by the IFT for this pack in effort to avoid conflict with cattle in the area. Pups were documented with the Saffel Pack in June.

Single collared m1483

Male 1483 made wide dispersal movements between Arizona and New Mexico in June.

Single collared f1484

Female 1484 has been travelling alone in Arizona at the southern edge of Panther Creek territory during June.

Single collared f1562

Female 1562 has been making wide dispersal movements to the northeast of Bluestem’s traditional territory.

ON THE FAIR:

Diamond Pack (collared f1557, m1559, f1560, m1571, and m1572)

In June, the Diamond Pack was located in their traditional territory on the FAIR and in the northern portion of the ASNF. Male yearling 1572 has been documented travelling apart from the Diamond Pack. The IFT initiated and maintained a diversionary food cache on the ASNF for the Diamond Pack to reduce potential for further wolf-livestock conflict.

Tsay-O-Ah Pack (collared AM1343 and AF1283)

In June, the Tsay-O-Ah Pack was located within their traditional territory on the FAIR.

IN NEW MEXICO:

Iron Creek Pack (collared AM1240, AF1278, and m1556)

During June, the Iron Creek Pack continued to utilize their territory in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness and the southern portion of the Gila National Forest (GNF). The IFT confirmed pups with the Iron Creek Pack in May and continued to observe denning behaviour.

Lava Pack (collared F1405 and AM1285)

During June, the Lava Pack was located within their traditional territory in the south eastern portion of the GNF. The IFT maintained a diversionary food cache to reduce the potential for wolf-livestock conflicts. The Lava Pack continued to display behaviour consistent with denning.

Leopold Pack (collared AM1293, AF1346, and m1561)

During June, the IFT documented the Leopold Pack within their territory in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness.

Luna Pack (collared AM1158 and AF1487)

During June, the Luna Pack remained in their traditional territory in the north central portion of the Gila National Forest. The IFT maintained a diversionary food cache to reduce potential for livestock depredations. The Luna Pack continued to display behaviour consistent with denning. Pups were documented with the Luna Pack in June.

Mangas Pack (collared M1296 and F1439)

During June, the Mangas Pack was located within their territory in the north western portion of the GNF. The Mangas pack continued to display behaviour consistent with denning.

Dark Canyon (collared F1444 and M1386)

During June, F1444 and M1386 were documented travelling together within the west central portions of the GNF. The IFT continued to monitor for denning behaviour in June.

Copper Creek (collared F1456 and M1354)

During June, F1456 and M1354 were documented travelling together within the west central portions of the GNF. The IFT continued to monitor for denning behaviour in June.

Prieto Pack (collared AF1251, M1398, and f1565)

During June, the Prieto Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF. The Prieto Pack has continued to display denning behaviour. A supplemental food cache was established in May to reduce the potential for wolf-livestock conflicts and was utilized by the Prieto Pack in June.

San Mateo Pack (collared AF1399)

During June, the San Mateo Pack continued to utilize their territory in the north central portion of the GNF. The IFT maintained a supplemental food cache to assist the pack’s care for the genetically diverse litter of pups. Visual observations documented two adults and two pups; however, remote cameras have documented at least one uncollared yearling travelling with the alphas.

Sheepherders Baseball Park (SBP) Pack (collared AM1284 and F1553)

During June, the SBP Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF. The IFT confirmed pups with the SBP pack in May, and the pack continued to display denning behaviour during the month of June. The IFT established a diversionary food cache in June to reduce the potential for wolf-livestock conflicts. The food cache has been utilized by the SBP pack.

Single collared AM1155

During June, AM1155 was documented travelling within New Mexico.

Single collared M1455

During June, M1455 travelled throughout central to east-central portions of the GNF.

Single collared M1552

During June, M1552 travelled throughout north-eastern portions of the GNF and central portions of the Cibola National Forest (CNF).

Single collared m1569

During June, m1569 travelled throughout northern and central portions of the CNF.

Single collared m1486

During June, m1486, a yearling disperser from the Panther Creek Pack, travelled throughout northern and central portions of the CNF.

MORTALITIES

There were no mortalities documented during the month of June.

INCIDENTS

During the month of June, there was one confirmed wolf depredation on livestock and two nuisance reports.

On June 7, the IFT fielded three reports of wolves being observed in a residential area of Alpine, AZ. The reports stated that two collared wolves had been observed multiple times over a two day period beginning on June 6 in the Alpine Village East area near houses. The larger of the two wolves was described as exhibiting a lack of fear of humans. The IFT investigated the reports and determined the Prime Canyon Pack was responsible for the sightings. The IFT determined the Prime Canyon Pack had killed an elk in the area. No wolf interactions with pets or livestock were suspected. On June 8, the IFT located the Prime Canyon Pack south of Alpine and hazed the male with less than lethal rubber bullets. The IFT attempted to haze the Prime Canyon pack again on multiple occasions from June 9 through June 13, and each time was unable to get close enough to haze with less than lethal due to the wolves moving off when the IFT approached.

On June 22, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Catron County, NM. The investigation determined the calf had been killed by wolves.

On June 22, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Apache County, AZ. The investigation determined the cause of death was unknown.

On June 29, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, AZ. The investigation determined the calf had been killed as a result of being struck by a vehicle.

On June 30, a collared wolf was observed near a residence in Alpine Village East. The wolf retreated when the homeowner walked outside. The IFT responded to the report, investigated and determined the sighting was of f1483, a yearling disperser from the Panther Creek Pack.

COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATION

On June 10, the AGFD attended the annual Cochise Graham Cattle Growers Association meeting in Wilcox, AZ and provided an update on Mexican wolf reintroduction efforts in Arizona.

On June 10, a member of the IFT talked to a group of homeowners in Alpine about recent wolf sightings, Mexican wolf biology/behaviour, allowable forms of take within the final 10j rule and IFT management actions for nuisance wolf behaviour.

On June 20, the AGFD gave a presentation on IFT annual work activities and an overall reintroduction project update to the Apache County Board of Supervisors in St. Johns, AZ.

On June 23, the AGFD talked to a group at the Butterfly Lodge in Greer, AZ about routine field techniques used by biologists on the IFT to monitor and capture Mexican wolves.

PROJECT PERSONNEL

In June, Ed Davis left the AGFD to continue his education. Thank you Ed for your dedication and contributions to wolf recovery efforts!

REWARDS OFFERED

The USFWS is offering a reward of up to $10,000; the AGFD Operation Game Thief is offering a reward of up to $1,000; and the NMDGF is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the conviction of the individual(s) responsible for the shooting deaths of Mexican wolves. A variety of non-governmental organizations and private individuals have pledged an additional $46,000 for a total reward amount of up to $58,000, depending on the information provided.

Individuals with information they believe may be helpful are urged to call one of the following agencies: USFWS special agents in Mesa, Arizona, at (480) 967-7900, in Alpine, Arizona, at (928) 339-4232, or in Albuquerque, New Mexico, at (505) 346-7828; the WMAT at (928) 338-1023 or (928) 338-4385; AGFD Operation Game Thief at (800) 352-0700; or NMDGF Operation Game Thief at (800) 432-4263. Killing a Mexican wolf is a violation of the Federal Endangered Species Act and can result in criminal penalties of up to $50,000, and/or not more than one year in jail, and/or a civil penalty of up to $25,000.

Other News

National

Nothing to report

Next Door

From Change.org (change@mail.change.org)

Well known Elephant Poacher killed in Zimbabwe

3 Jul 2017 — Well known Elephant Poacher killed in Zimbabwe by game wardens.
He was out on bail after a 2016 poaching conviction.

Hwange – An elephant poacher has been shot dead in a contact with game scouts in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park, a conservation group says.

The scouts tracked a group of four poachers after shots were heard early on Thursday near Hwange’s Main Camp and an elephant bull carcass minus its tusks was discovered, said the Bhejane Trust.

Later they discovered “the poachers removing ivory from (a second) elephant carcass, and at a distance of 70 meters, they opened up”, the group said in a statement.

The one poacher was shot dead and another seriously injured. The wounded poacher and his two accomplices escaped.

The patrol managed to retrieve four elephant tusks, a hunting rifle and ammunition.

“The deceased poacher was well known, having been convicted in October 2016 for illegal hunting, but was out on bail,” the statement said. “The wounded poacher will soon be found.”

Earlier this month game rangers discovered at least 10 elephants poisoned in and around Hwange by poachers using cyanide. Three suspects were arrested.

International

  1. Ban Trophy Hunting just posted an update on Boycott Under Armour until they Stop Killing Wildlife! – Take the Pledge!

The American Killer Couple sponsored by Under Armour: Lee & Tiffany Lakosky

Feel free to express your opinion on their various social media pages: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LeeAndTiffany / Twitter: https://twitter.com/ TheCrushTV Website: http://www.thecrush.tv/

  1. USA: Your Typical American Trophy Hunting Couple – Alissa and Adam Zank

By the way, the woman is a clinical social worker. This is what she said after proudly killing a baited black bear 3 days ago: Finally connected on an animal in Alaska with my Hoyt Faktor (bow) last night : ) This guy came in after we had freshened the baits with Bait Em 907 Alaska’s Black Bear Bait & Lure Company. He could not resist and came in 30 seconds after getting up in the tree stand…

Read the full update here

  1. Another American Trophy Killer Couple – Cassi and Dominic Nickles

Cassi Nickles’ own child died as an infant in 2014. One might think Cassi would stop and think, but she does not care and obsessively keeps on murdering wildlife for fun.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cassi.west.5

  1. Under Armour Hunt

This is what they are about: “UA Hunt is within the Outdoor Division of Under Armour. A bunch of Athletes who live to hunt!” Feel free to check out their facebook page and express your opinion: https://www.facebook.com/UAHunt/ The caption of this photo was: Sun setting on a day well-spent. #RidgeReaper

Read the full update here.

Wolves and Wolfdogs

 Saving the World’s rarest Wolf

Red wolves are once again facing extinction in the wild and they need your support to ensure their future.

Red wolves once called the entire Southeast home. Roaming from the Texan plains, down into the swamps of Florida and up into the Midwest, the red wolf’s entire historical range fell within the boundaries of the United States. Truly the “All-American wolf,” Canis rufus can now only be found in one small area of North Carolina where it was reintroduced by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1987 after being officially declared extinct in the wild in 1980. Despite these efforts to regain a foothold for the species in the wild, recent politically-fueled attacks and popular misconceptions have largely undone recovery efforts. Now fewer than 45 red wolves remain in North Carolina, and they are once again facing extinction in the wild.

The Mystery of the Red Wolf

What exactly is a red wolf, genetically speaking? There are two popular theories (among others). The first, and more widely held theory, argues that the red wolf evolved from an ancient wolf, which branched off into three distinct species—coyotes, eastern wolves, and red wolves—thousands of years ago. The alternative theory, the hybrid argument, contends that the red wolf is 75 percent gray wolf and 25 percent coyote. Under this theory, it is held that, as settlers killed off Southeastern gray wolves, the remaining populations bred with coyotes, producing today’s red wolf. The debate about the red wolf’s origin is ongoing and is unlikely to be resolved anytime soon (several scientists are preparing to publish a paper rebutting a recent hybrid study). At this point, what we know for certain is that the red wolf is the best example we have of a large Southeastern wolf; it plays a hugely important role in the ecosystem; and, under both theories, it is protected under the Endangered Species Act.

Restoring Balance in the Southeast

Just as the wolves of Yellowstone are shown to balance the ecosystems of the West, red wolves have similar positive impacts on the landscape of the Southeast. Anecdotal evidence suggests that because red wolves prey on the weak and sick, the surviving deer herd in the red wolf recovery area, is healthier, the bucks have grown larger, and their racks are bigger. Since red wolves also eat small predators, like raccoons and opossum, ground nesting critters like turkey, quail and songbirds are flourishing. For the same reason, when red wolves were placed on islands to acclimate them to the wild, sea turtle survival rates were also higher. There is no evidence indicating that red wolves have precipitated a “wildlife disaster” in the recovery area, as some opponents of the recovery effort have claimed.

Crying Wolf Over Hybridization

The best available science shows that hybridization—when red wolves mate with coyotes—is not the most significant threat to red wolf recovery. In fact, a recent study showed that “hybrids composed only four percent of individuals” in a large-scale study area. These hybridization events, though rare, also usually occur as a matter of necessity. With so few red wolves on the landscape, when a wolf is shot—which, to date, is the leading cause of red wolf deaths—its mate often has no choice but to pair bond with a coyote. On the other hand, when red wolves are within stable, healthy numbers, as they were about a decade ago, they push out and suppress coyotes, since they have no need for them. So, ultimately it’s something of a numbers game. The more red wolves we have, the fewer coyotes.

The Real Threat

By far the most significant challenge to red wolf recovery is simply the way in which red wolves are being managed. Since the program’s inception, red wolves were managed by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) biologists, working on the ground in Manteo, North Carolina. The program grew from 14 founders to nearly 150 wolves, and for a time, red wolves seemed poised for regional expansion. Sadly, this all changed due to shifting politics.

Succumbing to pressure from the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and a few private landowners, FWS regional administrators stripped the recovery biologists of management control. Then they reassigned the red wolf recovery coordinator; abandoned the adaptive management strategy; virtually eliminated poaching enforcement (to date, dozens of red wolves have been killed, and no one has been prosecuted); allowed some landowners to shoot wolves; and began removing red wolves from private property. Consequently, around 75 wolves were lost in just two to three years.

A Disastrous Proposal

Adding insult to injury, the FWS has also proposed significantly scaling back the wild red wolf recovery effort. In particular, the agency has proposed shrinking the red wolf recovery area by almost ninety percent, confining one or two wolf packs to the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge and Dare County Bombing Range, and removing all other red wolves to zoos. As justification, the agency said that the captive population of red wolves is not secure, and to safeguard them, resources must be diverted from wild red wolves. The science does not support this whatsoever. In fact, the scientists whose study the agency relied upon condemned this proposal, stating that it was full of “alarming misinterpretations” and “will no doubt result in extinction of red wolves in the wild.”

What We’re Doing About It

Defenders has launched an exhaustive outreach campaign throughout the Southeast. We’ve held dozens of red wolf events, reaching thousands of people, and this much is clear: people care deeply about red wolves. In fact, a recent survey concluded that over 80 percent of North Carolinians believe that the FWS should do whatever it takes to recover red wolves. Defenders will continue to leverage this sweeping public support. We will also continue to develop landowner incentives for those who manage their land in a manner beneficial to red wolves, urge FWS administrators to recommit to full red wolf recovery in the wild, work with elected officials to revitalize the recovery effort, and inspire Defenders’ supporters to act on behalf of the world’s rarest wolf.

What You Can Do About It

Ten years ago, the red wolf recovery program was, even by the FWS’s admission, “remarkably successful.” We can achieve that level of success again, with your help.

Source: http://www.defendersblog.org/2017/06/saving-worlds-rarest-wolf/ 

Wolf Myths and Legends, Part 140

The Wolves are Coming
by Sloane Jensen

The wolves are coming…

Their feet are falling on forgotten paths, their long-lost voices are filling the sky. While their yellow eyes cut through the night, they leave their tracks on the muddy riversides.

The wolves are coming…

The forest whispers of their return, of their attempt to restore themselves in Creation, to weave themselves back into the web of life that connects all living things.

The wolves are coming…

Their teeth are seeking out their pray tonight, the deer and the elk, the cattle and sheep, and they will leave blood and bones scattered in their wake. Yet meat is what they need, so on meat they must feed.

The wolves are coming…

Some of us will greet them with traps and bullets, others of us with songs and drums. Some will say “Welcome home brother.” others will say “Be gone killer!”

The wolves are coming…

Some of them will come alone, others will come in packs. Gray wolves, black wolves, brown wolves, silver wolves, even white wolves, all coming back, back to the lands they once roamed.

The wolves are coming…

Some of us will like it, some of us will not. Some of us will stalk them with cameras, and others of us will stalk them with guns. And then we tremble if they stalk us.

The wolves are coming…

They are clothed in mystery and majesty, surrounded by our love and hate. They wander through our thoughts and dreams, and they appear in our stories and legends.

The wolves are coming…

Their young will play in the meadows, the old ones will doze in the sun, and the alphas will watch over them both, for they are not just a pack, but a family.

The wolves are coming…

Now their howls are echoing in the mountains, carried by the cold winds down into our logging camps, our real estate developments, our cities, and our delusions of conquest.

The wolves are coming…

Readers’ Contribution

A Wolfdog Diary

By Erin

It’s a lovely day today – the weaver birds are busy building new nests, the sun is shining, it’s nice and warm outside with just a gentle wind going, und the buds on the trees in my garden are ready to burst. It feels like early spring, and if we can rely on our gardener’s gut feeling, and believe me, he is much more reliable in his weather forecasts than the weather news on TV, the end of winter is very close. Well, it suits me fine, although I have to admit that this has been anything but real winter. Anyway, to me anything below 25 Celsius is cold, and I’m running around dressed like an Eskimo – winter is not my cup of tea.

Otherwise not much has happened during the past few weeks. The furry kids are all fine, no complaints on that front. Ascar II still sticks to his newly achieved good behaviour (o.k., every now and then he suffers from sudden memory loss, but just for a short moment and then a reminding look from Ted or me is enough the kick his memory back into action). He has calmed down quite a bit I must say – he even has discovered that being brushed is actually very nice, and he and Kajack II fall over each other when they see Ted with the brush, because everyone wants to be first in line. Taima has no understanding for that; to her the brush is the scariest thing in the world and she snaps at it the moment Ted closes in on her with that evil thing. She even tries to keep Ascar and Kajack away from it, growling at them, Ted and the brush, but I think she mostly wonders why they like it so much, and she can clearly see that it doesn’t cause any harm to either of them. I had hoped that when she watches the two being brushed and fully enjoying it she would somehow change her mind and give it a try too, but no luck on that front. But, I’m not giving up hope – I mean, it took her three years of her life to discover how nice it is to cuddle up with us. Usually she came every now and then for a pat, but that was all. Then suddenly, she started to come into bed in the morning, rolling up into a fur ball between Ted and me, or dishing out little kisses. Today she creeps under Ted’s blanket, playing the “duck” (head down, butt up in the air), rolling around making the funniest noises, not getting enough of hugging and kissing and patting. It also took her years to accept even our closest friends in the house without disappearing into thin air for the length of their visits. As you can see, it’s never too late to hope for the better when it comes to her.

Ascar also took a long time to learn that cuddling up with us is something enjoyable. He has always been friendly with other people coming to the house, inspecting them from toe to head in great detail (he seems to have a special liking for the shampoos and/or conditioners people use; he always sticks his nose into their hair and investigates the scent), but he wasn’t really one to cuddle with and pat. He enjoyed lying in bed in the evening before sleeping time, but the moment we went to bed he was out. On the other hand he did not like it when we cuddled with Kajack who is the real cuddly type and can rest his (very heavy) head on your lap for hours on end, wanting to be stroked gently all the time. In such situations Ascar always came, pushed Kajack aside and chased him away – not because he wanted to be patted too, but only to divert our attention away from him. Now he sleeps in bed between Ted’s and my feet, wakes us up with little kisses (o.k., he is still practicing and is coming in a bit too fast and close, so that a kiss is rather half of a face wash, but he will get there I’m sure), wants to be stroked and hugged, and when we cuddle with Kajack he will come and join us instead of chasing him away. All in all I must say that the harmony within the pack has improved a big deal over the past year, and that proves once again that patience, tolerance and understanding are the key to success.

Will be continued…

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Volume 12, Issue 152, June 2017

SAFHOWL

The Monthly Free E-Newsletter of South African Friends of Wolves

Volume 12, Issue 152, June 2017

From the Editor’s Desk

We have a bumper issue for you this month. In fact, it felt as though we would never finish it.

The news section is dominated, as usual, by ridiculous and sick attempts to reduce wildlife to something you find in books in the US. Read for yourself what some misguided, wisdom-free Senators, and their armed forces, the Fish and Wildlife Service, have come up with. Also, a saddening instance of poaching occurred in Yellowstone National Park that must upset every friend of the wolf. America Worst is the slogan I would subscribe to, and that is not much alleviated by the fact that a few decent people rightfully celebrate the birth of a few Red Wolf cubs in captivity.

We furthermore have very interesting contributions (sic, plural) in the Wolves and Wolfdogs section, including a historical snippet on the wolf that took revenge for the murder of his family.

Wolves and people is the subject of a brief, yet impressive statement by a native Cherokee that highlights the emotional turmoil wolves and Amerindians share.

Erin kept quiet for this issue, which means everything is in order there.

Till next month,
Ed.

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News from the Wolf Front

National

From The Lupus Foundation SA (http://www.wolfsa.org.za)

I guess everybody of you had heard of the major winter storm and the associated wildfires  that hit Cape Town and the whole Cape region recently. Unfortunately the Tsitsikamma Wolf Sanctuary, The Lupus Foundation, was hit quite hard as well.

Roofs of staff member houses were damaged, water pipes burst due to the pressure from overflowing tanks, the fences of three enclosures came down, which means that new poles must be planted and new fences put up, and the electric wiring and the bits and pieces that go with that are also damaged.

Thankfully the furry ones are o.k.

The sanctuary had to close for at least one day for the safety of the wolves and visitors, which means more loss of money that is urgently needed to repair all the broken things. So please, if you can spare a few Rands – every amount, small or large, is welcome and appreciated.

If you wish to donate – Thank You in the name of the wolves.

Please make donations to
The Lupus Foundation
Nedbank, Claremont
Branch Number: 104609
Account Number: 2046548558 (Savings Account)

International

From Defenders of Wildlife (http://www.defenders.org)

USA: A traumatic loss for wolves in Yellowstone

It’s happened again. Another wolf – a stunning white, alpha female – has been killed. It is with a heavy heart that I share this tragic news out of Yellowstone National Park. We learned late last week that the matriarch of the Canyon pack was illegally shot.

This merciless killing, within what should have been the safe boundaries of Yellowstone, is utterly despicable.

Donate now to help Defenders fight back against tragedies like these: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=17HKew8kAGrlxdRRA-BhMQ

Defenders is working harder than ever to fight anti-wolf extremism. We continue to advocate for expanded buffer zones around Yellowstone so that wolves who stray outside the park may still be protected. We encourage state agencies to enhance outreach efforts. And we work on the ground to educate local communities about the value of wolves on the landscape – and the ways in which landowners and wolves can coexist.

This beautiful wolf, together with the pack’s alpha male, had at least 20 pups over their more than nine years together. Along with the other wolves of Yellowstone, they helped the entire ecosystem, restoring and maintaining balance in the wild.

News like this sends a clear signal that we have so much left to do in the fight to protect the creatures we love.

Help us keep up the fight. Support Defenders’ life-saving work today: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=S_jLVEgRF3zyfNAhfyChhg

Thank you for all you do.

From Change.org (www.change.org)

  1. USA: Yellowstone wants wolf killer, bounty now up to $25,000!

Anyone with info call the ISB tip line

$25, 000 Reward for info on the poacher that shot this wolf in Yellowstone.
The National Park Service is asking anyone with information about the incident to call the ISB tip line, (888) 653-0009. Callers may remain anonymous.

  1. Helping this migrant shepherd means helping the wolf!

(translated here from German)

“It’s always the pro-wolf people who help, not the anti-wolf ones“, that’s what shepherd Neumann once said. Today I ask you to please help a migrant shepherd who wants to protect his sheep using herding dogs, but animal protection laws don’t allow it. To sign this petition you have to register first, but please don’t let this become an obstacle: https://www.change.org/p/wolf-pumpak-muss-weiterleben/u/20397737?utm_medium=email&utm_source=78345&utm_campaign=petition_update&sfmc_tk=ZMQD0jFXES6MURtngxf3yCEbPzCaA6S7mJZujwzXQtrL2r2zyXVE60q%2bgeVabLWA

This is what he has to say:
”My name is Sven de Vries. Presently I’m caring for 650 mother sheep at the southeastern fringes of the Swabian Alp. I have been following the discussions around the migration of wolves in Germany for quite some time. With a petition directed at the government I’m trying to speed up changes to the animal protection law for dogs, which so far makes it impossible in many areas to use herding dogs as protection of our sheep without committing an offense.

“Generally speaking, I have a rather “neutral” attitude regarding the wolf, but its spread and the numerous reports about killed sheep have also caused some fear
inside of me that my sheep could also become victims one day.
”I’m migrating with my sheep, and almost every night I lock them in at another place using mobile electric fences. There are many trials to create a relatively secure protection with mobile electric fences alone, but a combination of herding dogs and this method would surely be much more effective.
”It is my responsibility to protect my sheep from any harm and illness. A herd trusts its shepherd, follows him through difficult terrain, traffic, and accepts me as part of the herd.

“I want to live up to this responsibility and am concerned I might not to be able to. While wild animals can run away or hide from wolves I present them an unprotected herd.

“But it’s not just about sheep that might be killed, but also about the fact that sheep are very sensitive and fearful animals. One attack will often scare a herd for months after, and I neither have the strength nor the staff to be with the sheep all night, too, to protect them or guide an intimidated and suspicious herd through the difficult terrains of today’s cultivated landscapes.

“Herding dogs could protect my sheep, and they have been bred for exactly that purpose for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.

”But the animal protection law for dogs prescribes that a protection hut be made available to them, and that no electric fencing be used. But without electricity, the fence won’t protect my sheep from breaking out or stop the wolf from breaking in.

“It is practically impossible for a migrating shepherd to carry 3 or 4 huts with him every day and to set these up in difficult terrain. Besides of that, experiences made in Switzerland have shown that these herding dogs don’t use these shelters, because they impede their view.

“From my point of view experienced shepherds should be permitted to use herding dogs to protect their herds. I cannot really understand the current discussion, because almost all arguments lack concern for our sheep and are blown out of proportion.

“Through our sheep, we also conserve the favourite environment of the wolves, we create and conserve smaller and larger natural paradises, and if we are supposed to accept the wolf in these areas, we must be allowed to protect our herds.

Adequate protection, so that we and our sheep can sleep at night without having to worry about an attack all the time.

„Almost 100,000 people were prepared to help the wolf Pumpak, and I think that the protection of our sheep should be as important and worth as many signatures to the pro-wolf people in Germany.

“We need your support now and no trench-fighting that doesn’t help the one or the other side in the end.

Thank you!“

  1. Germany: We are the biggest petition for the Wolf there has ever been!

(translated here from German)

Dear wolf lovers and supporters of the petition, “With people! – For the Wolf!”,

You want to be part of a better protection of wolves? You would like the public to be informed about wolves in a matter-of-fact and honest way in the future? You would like to personally participate in it and help? But you don’t know how? Very easy!

Recently, I, together with a few wolf lovers from Vechta, have founded the non-profit Wolf Information and Protection Center Vechta e.V. (WISZV)!

Our main goals are the matter-of-fact and truthful information of the public, and the protection of wolves in Lower Saxony in particular and Germany in general. This is the biggest petition for the Wolf there has ever been in Germany.

Let’s use this strength for the wolves here in Lower-Saxony and Germany by making WISZV an even stronger representative for all our wolves!

Presently there are still many important things we don’t have yet to make this possible. For example we need a efficient computer for research and club management, a laptop for field work, capturing biological data, and lectures. A vehicle to get to the wolves and to schools for lectures, and much more.

We will therefore be happy about every Euro you can spare. Every donation will go directly towards the protection of wolves!

Account details

Wolf-Informations-und Schutz-Zentrum-Vechta e.V.

Commerzbank Vechta

IBAN DE74 2804 2865 0630 0719 00

BIC COBADEFFXXX

You can find more information at http://www.w-i-s-z-v.de

Many Thanks in the name of the wolves,

Your Jan Olsson
Read the full update here (in German).

  1. Germany: The Goldenstedt she-wolf and her cubs are in grave danger!

(translated here from German)

Dear Wolf lovers and supporters of the petition “With people! – For the Wolf!”,

There are three potentially lethal dangers threatening our she-wolf and other wolves.

  1. The secretive threat – the cups of the she wolf are in danger! She had a litter in 2016 and her cubs have “disappeared” (or been killed). Now she has given birth again, and we are very concerned about their wellbeing.
  2. The deceitful threat – Poisoned baits!

We have been informed about the possibility of baits being placed within the territory of the she-wolf. If these are poisoned baits she, the male, and the cubs are in mortal danger to die an agonizing death from poison!

  1. The “legal“ threat – Collaring our wolves!

There are plans to collar at least one wolf of every pack in Lower Saxony! That would be a death sentence for our she-wolf and many other wolves in Lower Saxony as they could be made to serve as Judas wolves. The only wolves in Lower Saxony that had been collared so far and the cubs of she-wolf FT10 were all dead by 2016!

Jan Olsson, who had started the petition, and a few wolf lovers from Vechta have founded the Wolf Information and Protection Center Vechta e.V. to protect the wolves in Goldenstedt/Vechta and Lower-Saxony.

They still desperately need some vital equipment (e.g., radios) to protect the wolves from deadly dangers. Please to all of you, participate so that the cubs of our she-wolf will have a chance to survive this year and other wolves in Lower Saxony can raise their cubs, too!

Every donation, no matter how small, will be very welcome.
Account details:

Wolf-Informations-und Schutz-Zentrum-Vechta e.V.

Commerzbank Vechta

IBAN DE74 2804 2865 0630 0719 00

BIC COBADEFFXXX

Get more information at http://www.w-i-s-z-v.de

Read full updates here (in German).

From Wolf Conservation Center (contact@nywolf.org)

  1. USA: Feds Propose Changing Protections for World’s Last Wild Red Wolves

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is considering changes to the existing protections for the world’s last population of wild red wolves. Fewer than 35 remain.

The federal agency’s proposed rule intends to revise the existing non-essential experimental population designation of red wolves in North Carolina under section 10(j) of the Endangered Species Act to allow significant changes in the size, scope and management of the current red wolf recovery program.

The rule includes the Service’s plan to allow pulling the last wild red wolves from most of their range in North Carolina to put them in captivity. Ironically, the federal agency claimed its decision was “based on the best and latest scientific information” from the red wolf Population Viability Analysis (PVA).

But the very scientists who drafted the PVA charge that USFWS based its plan on “many alarming misinterpretations” of their scientific analysis and warn that USFWS’s plan “will no doubt result in the extinction of red wolves in the wild.” In a letter they ask the agency to “edit or append” its decision.

The WCC is currently reviewing the proposed rule and will be participating during the public comment period. Stay tuned…

Learn more at http://nywolf.org/learn/the-red-wolf

  1. USA: Wolf Conservation Center Welcomes Critically Endangered Wolf Pups

Endangered Mexican Wolf Pups Born at the WCC!

A critically endangered Mexican gray wolf living at the Wolf Conservation Center (WCC) made a priceless contribution to the recovery of her rare and at-risk species – she had pups! On May 22, Mexican gray wolf F1226 (affectionately nicknamed Belle by supporters) gave birth to a litter of three pups – each no larger than a Russet potato. This is the second litter born to mom (age six), and dad, (age nine).

Although F1226 is currently keeping her newborns out of sight, WCC staff anticipates the precious pups will begin to emerge in a few weeks and be visible to a global audience via live webcams.

Beyond being “adorable,” the pocket-sized predators represent the Center’s active participation in an effort to save a species on the brink of extinction.

The WCC is one of more than 50 institutions in the U.S. and Mexico participating in the Mexican Wolf Species Survival Plan – a bi-national initiative whose primary purpose is to support the reestablishment of Mexican wolves in the wild through captive breeding, public education, and research.

Because the entire existing Mexican wolf population descended from just seven founders rescued from extinction, genetic health is the primary consideration governing not only reproductive pairings, but also captive-to-wild release efforts. Although both components are equally critical to Mexican wolf recovery, release events are far less frequent than successful breeding.

In recent positive steps toward recovery, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has been ushering genetically diverse captive wolf pups into the wild through its pup-fostering initiative. Pup-fostering is a coordinated event where captive-born pups are introduced into a similar-aged wild litter so the pups can grow up as wild wolves.

Mexican wolf F1226’s newborns are not eligible for wild-foster, the timing of the litter is relatively late compared to wild-born pups.

“Although we hoped pups from our center would receive the ‘call of the wild’,” said Rebecca Bose, WCC Curator,  “We’re elated that there have been foster events from other facilities this year! Pup-fostering is an incredibly effective tool for augmenting the genetic health of the wild population.”

“Maybe next year some lobo pups from the WCC will get this amazing opportunity,” said Maggie Howell, WCC Executive Director. “In the meantime, we’re counting on USFWS to continue with releases beyond pup season because recovery demands releasing more family groups into the wild too.”

The wolf parents and pups are not on public exhibit, but thirteen live webcams accessible via the WCC website, invite an unlimited number of viewers to enter the private lives of these elusive creatures. Learn more.

Consider A Puppy Shower Donation! Go to https://nywolf.org/index.php?option=com_civicrm&view=Contributions&Itemid=212&lang=en for more details

  1. USA: Threatened wolves shouldn’t have to wait any longer for protection. Please help.

Protect Threatened Eastern Wolves

Although there are no viable wolf populations in the northeastern United States at this time, the return of wolves to eastern ecosystems remains of critical importance. Ensuring that at-risk wolves north of the border are federally protected is an essential step to allow the return of the eastern wolf in the USA.

The Canadian Government is backlogged with changes to species-at-risk and have proposed an eastern wolf management plan… almost 10 years late.

The wolves should not have to wait any longer for protection.

Please help strengthen the plan now. Comments are due TODAY.

Take Action at http://wolvesontario.org/mp-comment/

 

  1. USA: Livestream Video of WCC’s Rare Mexican Wolf Pups Reach Over 1 Million People

Endangered Mexican Wolf Pups Debut on Webcam

A critically endangered Mexican gray wolf living at the Wolf Conservation Center (WCC) made a priceless contribution to the recovery of her rare and at-risk species last month – she had pups! On May 22, Mexican gray wolf F1226 (affectionately nicknamed Belle) gave birth to a trio of little girls.

Stashing her pups in a nest among the thick brush, F1226 had been keeping her brood out of sight. However, to the delight of a global audience, the pups debuted via live den-cam early Thursday morning!

Within an hour after the WCC announced the pups’ debut on Facebook via live-stream video, the noisy newborns had unknowingly crept into the homes and hearts of hundreds of thousands of well-wishers! By day’s end, the livestream video feed reached over one million people!

“Beyond being adorable, these pups represent our active participation in an effort to save a species on the brink of extinction, “said Maggie Howell, WCC Executive Director. “That so many people are watching and learning about our efforts to save this critical keystone species has of over the moon!”

The WCC is one of over 50 facilities in the U.S. and Mexico participating in the Mexican Wolf Species Survival Plan – a bi-national initiative whose primary purpose is to support the reestablishment of Mexican wolves in the wild through captive breeding, public education, and research.

Currently 13 Mexican wolves call the WCC home. In the U.S., there is a single wild population comprising only 113 individuals – an increase from the 97 counted at the end of 2015.

Mexican Wolf Pup Webcam at http://nywolf.org/index.php/webcams/webcam-mexican-gray-wolves-f810-and-m1133

From Take Action (action=endangered.org@mail.salsalabs.net; on behalf of; Leda Huta, Endangered Species Coalition (action@endangered.org)

USA: Take action for America’s most endangered wolf

Red wolves once roamed the south-eastern United States from Florida to Pennsylvania and as far west as Texas, but were hunted to the brink of extinction in the early to mid 1900s. Efforts to recover them have brought them slowly back, but the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) has made decisions along the way that have slowed or completely stopped that progress. Now, they are beginning a scoping process to move forward with the plan they proposed in September – near-total abandonment of red wolves in the wild.

Submit your comment in support of real wolf recovery and against the USFWS plan to give up on wild wolves: http://org2.salsalabs.com/dia/track.jsp?v=2&c=W7M31xlL0eIkqTBOgYiGssxNZ4eUHNtL

In September, the USFWS announced their plan to reduce the range of red wolves to an area suitable for only one mated pair of red wolves. In short, FWS is proposing to reduce the most endangered canid in North America to a few individuals, and place the rest of these now wild wolves into captivity.

This proposal ignores the years of successful coexistence between North Carolinians and red wolves, who are not a threat to livestock and are native to the region. These wolves belong in the wild, not in conservation centers that have indicated they have limited capacity to take them.

The USFWS is asking for feedback (http://org2.salsalabs.com/dia/track.jsp?v=2&c=nLkWyjU8LuuJKoUZmWue7MxNZ4eUHNtL) on this plan before they start moving it forward, and you have an opportunity to tell FWS it is unacceptable to abandon red wolves (http://org2.salsalabs.com/dia/track.jsp?v=2&c=KHz%2FjlObMYTxNAz%2FJJsn3cxNZ4eUHNtL), and discourage them from moving forward with their proposed plan.

Please take action today by submitting your comment opposing this plan and supporting real, positive steps that the USFWS can take to prevent this unique and ecologically valuable species from disappearing: http://org2.salsalabs.com/dia/track.jsp?v=2&c=9IhKLeCA69Tj2ceAcmTN2sxNZ4eUHNtL

Thank you for your commitment to wildlife and wild places
From California Wolfcenter (californiawolfcenter@yahoogroups.com)

Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project

Monthly Update – April 1-30, 2017

The following is a summary of Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project (Project)

activities in the Mexican Wolf Experimental Population Area (MWEPA) in Arizona, including the Fort Apache Indian Reservation (FAIR), San Carlos Apache Reservation (SCAR), and New Mexico.  Additional Project information can be obtained by calling (928) 339-4329 or toll free at (888) 459-9653, or by visiting the Arizona Game and Fish Department website at

www.azgfd.gov/wolf or by visiting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website at www.fws.gov/southwest/es/mexicanwolf.

Past updates may be viewed on either website, or interested parties may sign up to receive this update electronically.

This update is a public document and information in it can be used for any purpose.  The Project is a multi-agency cooperative effort among the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD), USDA Forest Service (USFS), USDA-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services (USDA-APHIS WS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service USFWS) and the White Mountain Apache Tribe (WMAT).

To view semi-monthly wolf telemetry flight location information please visit www.bit.do/mexicanwolf or www.fws.gov/southwest/es/mexicanwolf/RWL.cfm.

Please report any wolf sightings or suspected livestock depredations to: (928) 339-4329 or toll free at (888) 459-9653. To report incidents of take or harassment of wolves, please call the AGFD 24-hour dispatch (Operation Game Thief) at (800) 352-0700.

Overall Mexican Wolf Recovery Program Monthly Update

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) met with the South-western Regional Office of the Forest Service on April 13 to discuss communication and the status of National Environmental Policy Act compliance for release sites in Zone 1 of the 2015 10j Rule.

On April 17, the USFWS met with the states of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah; Federal agencies in Mexico and the Forest Service to review model runs for population viability analysis of the Mexican wolf.

On April 18, the Department of Justice filed the 6-month progress report to the court in compliance with the Stipulated Settlement Agreement for revision of the Mexican wolf recovery plan.

On April 26, the USFWS attended the oral arguments before the District Court Judge in Tucson, Arizona regarding litigation on the revised 10j Rule and associated Environmental Impact Statement.

Numbering System:  Mexican wolves are given an identification number recorded in an official studbook that tracks their history.  Capital letters (M = Male, F = Female) preceding the number indicate adult animals 24 months or older. Lower case letters (m = male, f = female) indicate wolves younger than 24 months or pups. The capital letter “A” preceding the letter and number indicate breeding wolves.

Definitions: A “wolf pack” is defined as two or more wolves that maintain an established territory.  In the event that one of the two alpha (dominant) wolves dies, the remaining alpha wolf, regardless of pack size, retains the pack status. The packs referenced in this update contain at least one wolf with a radio telemetry collar attached to it. The Interagency Field Team (IFT) recognizes that wolves without radio telemetry collars may also form packs. If the IFT confirms that wolves are associating with each other and are resident within the same home range, they will be referenced as a pack.

CURRENT POPULATION STATUS

Annual surveys are conducted in the winter as this is when the population experiences the least amount of natural fluctuation (i.e. in the spring the population increases dramatically with the birth of new pups and declines throughout the summer and fall as mortality is particularly high on young pups). Thus, the IFT summarizes the total number of wolves in the winter at a fairly static or consistent time of year. This allows for comparable year-to-year trends at a time of year that accounts for most mortality and survival of young pups.

During annual year-end population counts, the IFT documented a minimum of 113 Mexican wolves in the wild in Arizona and New Mexico at the end of 2016. At the end of April, there were 61 wolves with functioning radio collars that the IFT was actively monitoring.

Wolves with functioning radio collars are listed by studbook number in the pack updates below.

IN ARIZONA:

Bear Wallow Pack (collared AM1338 and AF1335)

In April, the Bear Wallow Pack was located within their traditional territory in the east central portion of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest (ASNF). They have displayed localized behaviour consistent with denning.

Bluestem Pack (collared fp1562, fp1563 and mp1574)

In April, the Bluestem Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the east central portion of the ASNF. Male pup 1574, showed dispersal behaviour and travelled outside of traditional Bluestem territory to the south. Female pup 1562 appears to be travelling alone. The IFT documented the breeding pair AF1042 and AM1341 together with F1489 and fp1563 using remote cameras. The Bluestem Pack displayed behaviour consistent with denning within their traditional territory during April.

Elk Horn Pack (collared AF1294, mp1471, mp1474 and fp1473)

In April, the Elk Horn Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north eastern portion of the ASNF. The pack displayed behaviour consistent with denning during the month of April.

Frieborn Pack (collared F1443 and m1447)

In April, F1443 and m1447 were documented within their territory in the east central portion of the ASNF in Arizona and into New Mexico. Localized movements and observations by the IFT indicate the pack initiated denning in April.

Hawks Nest Pack (collared AM1038)

The Hawks Nest Pack consists of one collared wolf, AM1038. AM1038 was not located during the month of April.

Hoodoo Pack (collared AM1290, AF1333, m1441, fp1550 and f1567)

In March, the Hoodoo Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the ASNF. The pack displayed behaviour consistent with denning during the month of April.

Maverick Pack (collared AF1291)

In April, the Maverick Pack was located within their traditional territory both on the FAIR and east central portion of the ASNF. Localized movements from AF1291 during April were consistent with denning behaviour.

Panther Creek Pack (collared AF1339, AM1382, mp1483, fp1484 and mp1486)

In April, the Panther Creek Pack was located in the east central portion of the ASNF. Bluestem M1382 continued to be located travelling with AF1339 and is now considered to be the alpha male of the pack. Pups mp1483, fp1484, and mp1486 have been traveling separately from the rest of the pack. Male pup 1486 has been documented traveling in the Gila National Forest in NM. Male pup 1483 has been traveling between Arizona and New Mexico and fp1484 has been travelling mostly alone in Arizona, occasionally meeting up with mp1483. Denning behaviour was not documented for the Panther Creek Pack in April.

Prime Canyon Pack (collared F1488)

In April, F1488 and an unknown wolf continued to travel together within a territory in the east-central portion of the ASNF. The pair has remained together for over three months and is now considered a pack. This pack did not display denning behaviour in April.

Saffel Pack (collared F1567 and M1441)

In April, the pair 1567 and 1441 has been documented together for three months and is now considered the Saffel Pack. They have been holding territory in the north central portion of the ASNF, north of the traditional territory of the Hoodoo Pack. The pack has displayed behaviour consistent with denning during the month of April.

ON THE FAIR:

Diamond Pack (collared f1557, mp1559, fp1560, fp1570, mp1571 and mp1572)

In April, the Diamond Pack was located in the northern portion of the ASNF and on state lands north of the ASNF. Male pup 1572 was translocated back into the Diamond territory on the northern portion of the ANSF in Arizona after successful rehabilitation at the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, and has been travelling alone in that same area. mp1572 was initially removed from the wild in March to be provided veterinary care after having been located lame.

Tsay-O-Ah Pack (collared AM1343 and AF1283)

In April, the Tsay-o-Ah Pack was located within their traditional territory on the FAIR.

Baldy Pack

The Baldy Pack was not located during the month of April.

IN NEW MEXICO:

Iron Creek Pack (collared AM1240, AF1278 and mp1556)

During April, the Iron Creek Pack continued to utilize their territory in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness and the southern portion of the Gila National Forest (GNF). The Iron Creek Pack did not display denning behaviour during April.

Lava Pack (collared F1405 and AM1285)

During April, the Lava Pack was located within their traditional territory in the south eastern portion of the GNF. The Lava Pack displayed denning behaviour in late April.

Leopold Pack (collared AM1293, AF1346 and mp1561)

During April, the IFT documented the Leopold Pack within their territory in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness. The Leopold Pack did not display denning behaviour during April.

Luna Pack (collared AM1158 and AF1487)

During April, the Luna Pack remained in their traditional territory in the north central portion of the Gila National Forest.  The IFT maintained a diversionary food cache to reduce potential for livestock depredations. In late-April the IFT documented denning behaviour in the Luna Pack.

Mangas Pack (collared M1296 and F1439)

During April, the Mangas Pack was located within their territory in the north western portion of the GNF.  In late-April, the Mangas pack displayed behaviour consistent with denning.

New Pair (collared F1444 and M1386)

During April, F1444 and M1386 were documented travelling together within the west central portions of the GNF. The pair did not display denning behaviour during April.

New Pair (collared F1456 and M1354)

During April, F1456 and M1354 were documented travelling together within the west central portions of the GNF.  This pair has shown signs of denning behaviour towards the end of April.

Prieto Pack (collared AF1251, M1398 and fp1565)

During April, the Prieto Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF. The Prieto Pack did not display denning behaviour during April.

San Mateo Pack (collared AF1399)

During April, the San Mateo Pack continued to utilize their territory in the north central portion of the GNF. In late-April the IFT documented denning behaviour.

Sheepherders Baseball Park (SBP) Pack (collared AM1284 and F1553)

During April, the SBP Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF.  The SBP Pack has shown signs of denning behaviour towards the end of April.

Willow Springs Pack (collared F1397)

During April, the IFT documented the Willow Springs Pack within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF. F1397 slipped its collar in April.

Single collared AM1155

During April, AM1155 was documented travelling within New Mexico.

Single collared M1455

During April, m1455 travelled throughout east-central portions of the GNF and southern portions of the Cibola National Forest (CNF).

Single collared M1552

During April, M1552 travelled throughout north-eastern portions of the GNF and central portions of the CNF.

Single collared m1569

During April, m1569 travelled throughout northern and central portions of the CNF.

MORTALITIES

There were no documented mortalities during the month of April.

INCIDENTS

During the month of April, there were three confirmed wolf depredations on livestock and no nuisance reports.

On April 11, Wildlife Services investigated a dead bull in Socorro County, NM. The investigation determined the bull was a confirmed wolf kill.

On April 15, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Catron County, NM. The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf kill.

On April 15, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Catron County, NM. The investigation determined the cow was a confirmed wolf kill.

On April 20, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Socorro County, NM. The investigation determined the calf was killed by coyotes.

COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATION

On April 6, the Fish and Wildlife Service held a community meeting in Heber, Arizona on the status of the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program. The Forest Service and Arizona Game and Fish Department were also in attendance.

On April 7, the Fish and Wildlife Service held a community meeting in Young, Arizona on the status of the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program. The Arizona Game and Fish Department was also in attendance.

On April 7, the IFT gave a presentation on Mexican wolf biology, management and reintroduction efforts to a Becoming an Outdoors Woman Camp in the Prescott, AZ area.

On April 26, the Fish and Wildlife Service gave a presentation on the status of the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program at the Tribal ESA meeting in Ak-Chin, Arizona.

PROJECT PERSONNEL

In April, USFWS volunteer/intern Rachael Nickerson completed her commitment with the program to further her career and experience in Oregon. Thanks for all your help!

In April, Amy Fontaine began her position with the program as a USFWS volunteer/intern. Welcome to the program Amy!

In April, Nick Riso began his position with the program as a USFWS volunteer/intern. Welcome to the program Nick!

REWARDS OFFERED

The USFWS is offering a reward of up to $10,000; the AGFD Operation Game Thief is offering a reward of up to $1,000; and the NMDGF is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the conviction of the individual(s) responsible for the shooting deaths of Mexican wolves. A variety of non-governmental organizations and private individuals have pledged an additional $46,000 for a total reward amount of up to $58,000, depending on the information provided.

Individuals with information they believe may be helpful are urged to call one of the following agencies: USFWS special agents in Mesa, Arizona, at (480) 967-7900, in Alpine, Arizona, at (928) 339-4232, or in Albuquerque, New Mexico, at(505) 346-7828; the WMAT at (928) 338-1023 or (928) 338-4385; AGFD Operation Game Thief at (800) 352-0700; or NMDGF Operation Game Thief at(800) 432-4263. Killing a Mexican wolf is a violation of the Federal Endangered Species Act and can result in criminal penalties of up to $50,000, and/or not more than one year in jail, and/or a civil penalty of up to $25,000.

Other News

National

From SanWild Wildlife Trust (lizel=sanwild.org@mail10.suw13.rsgsv.net); on behalf of; SanWild Wildlife Trust (lizel@sanwild.org)

  1. Saving Josh
    No matter who tells you what; or what arguments you may hear to justify the trophy hunting of rhinos, no rhino wants to die and Josh is no exception. His life is just starting and he is in his prime, but despite being a young, healthy rhino ready to start breeding , he has been condemned to die in a trophy hunt unless you and I do what is necessary prevent his death.

*FIRST THEY TOOK HIS HORN, NOW THEY WANT HIS LIFE!

Through a third party we have secured the right to buy Josh to save his life by means of a legal sales agreement and have three weeks to make good on the terms of the contract.

If there was any other way to do it, we would have opted to not buy him from the very people that have no problem seeing him die a painful death, but there simply is no other option!

From past experience we know the only sure and most effective way to save dehorned rhinos that are already offered up for trophy hunting is to buy them and relocate them to the safety of Intensive Protection Zones where they are physically protected against poaching.

Josh, like Big Boy was advertised on trophy hunting website.  Crazy enough to believe that together we can change the world, we once again call on you to join us and help save Josh from being hunted.

Once secured and relocated to safety these rescued rhinos are free to live in the wild where they belong to contribute to the overall survival of their species.  Protected and secure with their “ownership” in a registered Wildlife Trust they will never ever be traded, dehorned or hunted ever again.

Please get involved and help us save one rhino at a time!

For more information please feel free to email me on louise@sanwild.org or phone me on +27 (0) 83 310 3882

Please do keep in mind that we only have three weeks to raise the funding needed and this appeal is time critical.

*Like many other rhinos in South Africa, Josh’s horn has also been removed supposedly to help protect him against possible poaching, but despite having his horn removed, it does grow back again over a period of time.

PERKS TO CLAIM:  Donors that donate $60 or more may claim any one of the two T-shirts on offer.  Donors that donate $120 or more may claim both.  For more information please email me on louise@sanwild.org

https://www.generosity.com/animal-pet-fundraising/saving-josh

 

  1. It is time to celebrate

We would like to thank each and every individual that have donated to our Saving Josh Campaign.  With your help not just one, but two rhinos have been spared a painful death at the hands of trophy hunters and on their behalf we would like to extend our sincere appreciation and gratitude.

In our quest to help rhinos we have met some wonderful people and what has been a heart-warming experience, is to realise that whether your donation is $1 or $100; it truly does make a huge difference.  It is evidently clear that ordinary people can achieve the extraordinary.  Slowly but surely our small circle of Rhino Warriors are growing and this makes us realise that we can beat the odds in favour of these majestic animals.  We can choose life instead of death for them and we will make it happen. Rhinos may not be the sharpest pencils in the box, but rhinos are beautiful, they are kind and they are loving and they deserve our protection and help.

Now let me tell you some more wonderful news and the mystery rhino we named Annie.

As if by some miracle, just as we lodged the Saving Josh Campaign we were contacted by someone who wanted to help rhinos; in particular rhinos that were offered up for trophy hunting.  They had seen our posting on Facebook and when we told them that Josh was not the only rhino offered up for hunting they indicated that they would be interested in more information.  Although we cannot share all the intimate details at this stage; we had further information that another rhino had arrived on this hunting farm and that she was a cow. Sadly all the other bulls that lived with Josh had already been killed in trophy hunts.

When we shared this information with them, they let us know almost immediately that they will help and that we should secure a sales agreement not only for Josh, but also for Annie so that both rhinos could be relocated to safety a.s.a.p.   Within days we had a personal visit from their representative so that they could verify personally that indeed the Intensive Protection Zones were up and running and that it was a bona fide project.  We were delighted when they let us know that they were happy with what they had found and that their donation was a sure thing.  They immediately put up the funding to pay the required deposit on the sales agreement, but made us promise that their identities will remain confidential.

Our sincere appreciation also go to these wonderful individuals.  In closing I want to let you all know that it is possible to become good friends on Google translate and although you guys may not quite get it; our anonymous friend will fully understand. What fun we had communicating!

We have applied for the relevant permits to move Josh and Annie a.s.a.p. and their capture and relocation is scheduled by month end.  We are expecting the permits to be issued in the course of next week. We will obviously keep you informed and will let you know when we are ready to go.  We have been informed that there is also a slight chance that Annie; like Nellie may be pregnant and when the pair is darted for capture and relocation the veterinarian in charge will take the necessary blood samples to confirm if she is.

We have had such an overwhelming and wonderful response on our Saving Josh Campaign that we will come out with some surplus funding and all of this will be allocated to the on-going upgrades of the high-tech perimeter fences of the Intensive Protection Zones.  It is not just important to rescue injured, orphaned or wounded rhinos; or those destined for trophy hunting; we have to also secure their new homes against poaching.

Our IPZ Generosity Campaign is of the utmost importance because without this type of security the rescued rhinos are in serious danger.

Have a wonderful day and thanks again so much for your support.

Lots of love

Louise Joubert

FOUNDER TRUSTEE OF SANWILD

 

From Change.org (www.change.org)

Karma: Big Game-Hunter dies after elephant falls on him

A professional big game hunter from Tzaneen, Theunis Botha, 51, died on Friday afternoon during a hunt in Gwai, Zimbabwe, when a member of his group fired at a storming elephant cow and the dying animal fell on him. RIP elephant!

International

From Defenders of Wildlife (http://www.defenders.org)

1: USA: [VIDEO] The law our wildlife can’t afford to lose

The Endangered Species Act (ESA) is the bedrock law protecting the wildlife we love. It has been successful at keeping 99 percent of species listed from going extinct. But it’s also more than that. It’s the promise we make to our children and grandchildren to pass on our wildlife treasures to future generations.

But the ESA is under attack.

Please take a minute to watch our short video to learn more about this staple of wildlife conservation and why we desperately need to protect it: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=-Lg01jcT7E-dwU5IcDE27w

Powerful members of Congress and their corporate supporters have this incredible law in their sights.

You and I both know that their true intention is to dismantle the ESA – to take authority away from scientists and put it in the hands of Congress so that they can make decisions that help the special interests that line their campaign coffers.

Since 2015, more than 150 legislative measures have been introduced to undermine the ESA. And now, some in Congress are seeking to further undermine it by calling for “modernization” of this bedrock environmental law. In fact, we believe Senator Barrasso (R-WY) will introduce a bill to do just that in the coming weeks!

Senator Barrasso’s effort to rewrite the ESA must be stopped, and Defenders is preparing to respond to an all-out assault on the ESA this summer.

Without the ESA, it is estimated that 227 species would now be extinct. And extinction is forever. Species like the gray wolf, the bald eagle, the California condor, the North Atlantic right whale, the Florida panther and many more were all saved by the ESA.

Please watch this video to learn more about the ESA and why it’s so important to ensure its protection: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=79-Q090gWFgIwOVhESw_Dg

 

  1. USA: URGENT: The ESA is Under Fire

Congress may decide to kiss the polar bears goodbye. And the Florida manatees. And the grizzly bears. They may say farewell to red wolves. And the thousands of other species protected by the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

Powerful members of Congress and their corporate supporters have the ESA in their sights – and they’re preparing to launch an all-out assault on the nation’s most effective conservation law.

This could be a matter of life and death for the wildlife you love. Please donate today: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=lGxOpR7eoCF79G2-_WRn8g

Now is, without a doubt, a critical time for the future of our planet and the wildlife that are already dangerously close to the brink of extinction. Since 2015, Congress has levelled more than 150 legislative attacks against the ESA.

This month, Senator Barrasso (R-WY) is expected to introduce a bill to rewrite the ESA, opening the door to harmful provisions that could undermine the law, strip it of its effectiveness and compromise the role of science in protecting endangered species.

This bill could deal the fatal blow to this landmark legislation and doom countless species.

Please, donate today to help Defenders fight back against this appalling decision and continue our mission to protect and restore imperilled species: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=GXzUOD5obr6yCAyzey49kA

The ESA has successfully protected 99 percent of listed species from going extinct. Without this crucial law, it is estimated that 227 species would now be lost to us forever.

The ESA is more than just a proven, effective means of safeguarding our most imperilled species. It is a promise to future generations to preserve our wildlife treasures.

Saving the wildlife you love from the threats in Washington is our highest priority – and frankly the best hope for saving the ESA lies with you.

Your financial support matters. Your voice matters.

Congress needs to be reminded that the ESA is an important symbol of America’s commitment to protecting wildlife and wild lands. To destroy it is to destroy our most precious legacy.

From Take Action! at GreaterGood Network (news@greatergood.com)

Pet food recalls

Pet food recalls have become a part of daily life—which is scary… not knowing if the food you so carefully pick for your pet is going to inadvertently hurt them or even kill them!

Clean Label Project wanted to know how contaminants were getting in our pets’ food. We took a closer look at over 900 of the bestselling pet food products—and had them tested at an ISO accredited laboratory for 130+ potentially life-threatening environmental and industrial toxins, like heavy metals, pesticides, BPA/BPS, and mycotoxins.

The results are shocking:

Lead – 16 times higher than Flint, Michigan’s drinking water.

Arsenic – 19 times higher than is found in cigarettes.

And worse…

None of these products were recalled.

We need your help to make the pet food industry change their ways—to stop slowly poisoning our pets. Please make a tax-deductible donation today to help us protect our nation’s pets.

Please go to: https://cleanlabelproject.z2systems.com/np/clients/cleanlabelproject/donation.jsp

Wolves and Wolfdogs

  1. Trying to Understand the Poaching of the Canyon Alpha Female

    by Rick Lamplugh, author and wolf advocate

The death by poaching of the Canyon pack’s alpha female angers and saddens me. In the few weeks before she was shot, the white wolf was spotted twice walking alone at night down a main street of Gardiner, bothering no one, heading north. After the first sighting, an informal network of locals formed to try and find the alpha female, watch her movements, and make sure no harm came to her. We spent hours hiking and driving just north of Gardiner. We kept each other informed via text, email, phone, and talking along the roadside. My friend Leo Leckie and I were lucky enough to see her early one morning, unharmed and moving through the sage just north of town, not far from where she was found shot a couple of weeks later.

That so many people immediately came together to try and protect a wolf that had stepped out of Yellowstone, speaks highly of Gardiner residents. Unfortunately there are other people who want to see wolves dead. This time the killers succeeded. Was the shooter a local? Someone from elsewhere? No one knows.

Gardiner, located at Yellowstone’s north gate, sits at the center of a wolf controversy. The town is bordered by two Wolf Management Units of Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (MFWP). Wolves that step paw outside the park can be legally shot in those units during wolf hunting season. (When the Canyon alpha female was shot, wolf hunting season had long since closed. And her body was found inside Yellowstone, not in one of the hunting units.)

Some time ago, Leo, my wife Mary, and I attended a public meeting in which MFWP staff came to Gardiner to hear comments on the wolf quota in those units bordering Yellowstone. Should the number of wolves killed be higher, lower, or the same? Though MFWP may have wanted a number, they heard much more. They heard the range of local opinion about wolves.

After learning of the poaching of the Canyon alpha female, I found myself thinking again and again of that meeting and the thoughts and feelings revealed there about wolves. Thoughts and feelings that I’m sure are echoed across the US. Thoughts and feelings that may help to understand the white alpha’s death.

To continue reading: http://bit.ly/2ratbSU

Rick Lamplugh writes to protect wildlife and preserve wildlands. He lives near Yellowstone’s north gate and is just finishing a new book about Yellowstone’s grandeur and controversy. He is the author of the Amazon bestseller In the Temple of Wolves. Available as eBook or paperback at http://amzn.to/Jpea9Q. Or as a signed copy from Rick at http://bit.ly/1gYghB4.

 

  1. USA: The Revenge of a Wolf

After his mate and pups were killed by cattle ranchers in 1911, this wolf took revenge and hit the ranchers where it hurt them the most: their livestock. He never took another mate and was responsible for the death of $25,000 (equivalent to roughly $300,000 in 2016) worth of horses, cattle, and calves. The wolf eluded professional hunters, sportsmen, and bounty hunters alike for 9 years.
The government sent a highly experienced federal hunter and it still took that guy seven months to successfully hunt down this animal.

Submitted by Birgitt Roedder (http://www.catility.de; translated here from German)Dogs and wolves have a sense for fairness

When wolves feel treated unfairly they will refuse to cooperate.

“That’s unfair!“ In humans, the sense for justice and fairness is deeply rooted. Dogs also realize when they are treated differently, but whether this behaviour is a result of domestication or a natural trait is something scientists have now investigated with the help of play-experiments. The result: wolves do have a refined sense of justice, and dogs have inherited this trait from them – and belong to the very few animals known for such behavior.

Play-experiments show that small children already have a sense for fairness and justice: they protest when sweets are not evenly shared and will even stop others from stealing. Even three year-olds realize whether a playmate refuses intentionally to take part in group activity or not. Scientists therefore presume that the sensibility to equal treatment and fairness was very strongly developed already in our ancestors: the sense for justice developed, because they lived together in groups and their survival depended on cooperation.

But what is the story with other animals? In our closest relatives, the chimpanzees and bonobos, the sense for fairness does not seem to be very strongly manifest: in sharing experiments, these apes were more interested in their own gains – no matter whether food was equally shared or not. But dogs displayed first signs of disliking unequal treatment. However, it was still not clear whether this behavior had developed through domestication and their long history with humans or not.

Strike as result of unfair sharing

Jennifer Essler and her colleagues from the Veterinary University of Vienna have re- investigated the sense of justice in dogs and wolves by using reward-experiments. Two dogs or wolves were placed in neighbouring enclosures where they learned to paw a lever on command to receive a food reward. There was one problem, though: in some attempts, only the partner of the acting animal was rewarded while the acting animal received nothing. In other attempts, both were rewarded, but the partner received the preferred food item. The ability to realize this unequal treatment became evident when the wolves or dogs refused to cooperate further.

And indeed: the dogs as well as the wolves went on strike after they received nothing for a few times whereas their passive partner was rewarded. They refused to cooperate further in the test. A similar behavior was noticed when the animals were discriminated regarding the quality of the reward and only received the low-quality food item while their partners was given the preferred one: here they also refused to cooperate after a short while.

This response suggests that wolves and dogs really understand when they are unequally treated, said Essler. The wolves even react more sensitively than the dogs – although both had grown up and were kept under the same conditions. That this refusal indeed is a response to the perceived discrimination and not just of losing out or being insufficiently rewarded, is clearly shown in single trials: if the wolves and dogs performed without a partner they kept performing, even if there was no reward from time to time. Therefore the refusal is a result of the one receiving something while the other got nothing, explained co-author Friederike Range.

A profound sense of fairness

According to the scientists, these trials demonstrate that wolves and dogs have a concept of fairness – and that dogs have not acquired this behaviour as a result of their close contact with man. Rather must the common ancestors of today’s wolves and dogs have had a rudimentary sense of justice. This is probably a consequence of living closely together in packs: Like in the clans of our own ancestors, the success of a pack depended on how well the members cooperated. And this would promote fair behaviour as well as a sense of inequality. One indication of this being so was provided by the level of the wolves’ rejecting responses: “In higher-ranked animals, unequal treatment would trigger frustration more quickly, because they were not used to not receiving something or something of lower quality,” Range explained. “The order within their pack is therefore directly correlated to its members’ responses to unequal treatment.”

Domestication has nevertheless left its mark on dogs, also with regard to their sensibility towards unequal treatment. Wolves that were treated unfairly afterwards kept their distance to people, whereas dogs did not. “Even though these canids do not live together with humans, they are more approachable,” says Range, and adds, “Domestication appears to influence the behavior of dogs in this regard. Their close contact to people could therefore suppress their responses in such situations rather than trigger them.”

Original Source: Jennifer Essler (University for Veterinary Medicine Vienna) et al., Current Biology, doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2017.05.061 (summarized and translated here from German)

Wolf Myths and Legends, Part 139

A note about the Wolf

by Richard Fox

True, wolves can’t be mastered, but they can be tamed to some degree. They are most magnificent animals. To watch them tuck their tails between their legs, humping the back, and so displaying their love for you, is quite a sight.

Not everyone gets to enjoy the thrill of watching a wolf walk the edge of the woods keeping his/her distance from people.

A shy animal indeed. But their love is very powerful and provides a pleasure only few people like us can appreciate. Ears laid back while around us, a warm feeling of contentment I would say. My sister wolf and I are quite a pair.

No, not everyone should have a wolf, but only those who do have a gift from nature. If you have a wolf and don’t have these wonderful feelings toward that animal, you might need to find another home for it, because the wolf is lacking something to satisfy its inner self. Never stop a wolf from howling.

In 1836, (the trail of tears) my people were told to stop speaking Cherokee, and some forgot our language as time went on. I say, let the wolf spirit run free, wolves and Indians should be kept together.

Readers’ Contribution

A Wolfdog Diary

By Erin

Nothing major to report

Will be continued…

Volume 12, Issue 151, May 2017

SAFHOWL

The Monthly Free E-Newsletter of South African Friends of Wolves

Volume 12, Issue 151, May 2017

From the Editor’s Desk

Seemingly good news at last for Alaska’s wolves and wildlife in general: US environmental organizations are suing the US government over at least two issues, including the barbaric predator eradication and the totally irresponsible Arctic oil/gas drilling bills. Let’s hope that they will be successful. See the News sections for details and how you can add your support.

Denmark is not really a country anyone would immediately associate with wolves. However, some 200 years after the last wolf was killed there, they now have a tiny population of half a dozen or so in a remote corner of their country. And instantly, some backward farmers and hunters are bitching about them. However, Denmark is a country with an unusually swift-footed and working government and has come up with sensible solutions in practically no time. See the Wolves and Wolfdogs section for some interesting reading!

As usual, we have a wolf poem, this time even one that rhymes. And resourceful Erin also has something interesting on her pack again.

Till next month,
Ed.

Upcoming Events

You are invited by the International Wolf Center (info@wolf.org)

to the 4th Howl at the Moon Gala

An Event to support the International Wolf Center’s Mission.

When?

Thursday, May 18, 2017 from 5:30 PM to 9:00 PM CDT

Program: Social Hour, Silent Auction, Dinner, Program and Live Action

Where?

Midland Hills Country Club

2001 Fulham Street
Roseville, MN 55113, USA

Contact
David Kline

International Wolf Center
763-560-7374 ext. 230
david@wolf.org

 

Get registered at: https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?oeidk=a07edt8lbo47ec70819&oseq=&c=&ch=

Say Yes to New Adventures!

International Wolf Center’s Adventure Programs

Turn your vacation into a one-of-a-kind wilderness experience. The International Wolf Center offers a variety of Adventure Programs led by informative and enthusiastic wolf experts for people of all ages. Visit our website for a complete list of adventure programs here

Wolves After Dark
June 30 – July 1

Here’s your opportunity to participate in a “Citizen Science” project and document important behavioural data critical to understanding the Exhibit Pack dynamics.
Learn more here.  

Upcoming Webinars 

Webinar rate: $15 Non-members, $12 Members

News from the Wolf Front

National

Nothing to report

International

From Wolf Conservation Center (contact@nywolf.org)

  1. USA: Take Action To Protect Endangered Wolves

In order to fund the federal government beyond April 28, Congress must finalize a spending deal this week.

Annoyed by the fact that endangered species protection decisions are by federal law based on science rather than politics, some congressional leaders are trying to slip a legislative noose around some of the nation’s most imperiled species by loading the must-pass spending bill with dozens of deadly riders. Three riders target wolves specifically – they aim to eliminate Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections for gray wolves nationwide including critically endangered Mexican gray wolves.

There is a very serious threat that some of these anti-species riders could become law, unless leaders in Congress stand firm in rejecting them.

URGENT: Please urge your representatives to oppose all anti-wolf riders that undermine the ESA and its scientific process.

Take Action at: http://salsa4.salsalabs.com/o/51421/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=19429

 

From ForceChange (TakeAction@ForceChange.com)
USA: Update: Help Protect Wolves in California!

We want to thank you for signing our petition to call on the California Fish and Game Commission (Commission) to ban lethal trapping and night-hunting in the gray wolf recovery zone to better protect wolves from deadly traps and bullets, and to institute specific regulations to protect wolves in the state from one of the greatest threats to their recovery: the accidental killing of gray wolves mistaken for other species, particularly coyotes, in night-time hunting and trapping currently permitted in occupied and potential wolf territory. We also want to provide you with an IMPORTANT UPDATE! We will be hand-delivering this petition to the Commission at their next meeting in Van Nuys, California, on April 26. We are doing a last push to get as many signatures as possible before then. Our petition has exceeded 43,500 signatures thanks to each of you! Please help us boost our numbers here to reach and exceed our current goal of 50,000 signatures by sharing this petition with friends, family and colleagues, and encouraging them to sign and share.
For those who live in California and are able to attend the commission meeting, your presence and voice are needed!
More details here:
What: California Fish and Game Commission meeting
When: Wednesday, April 26th, 2017 (mtg. starts @ 9:00 a.m. but petitions before the Commission will be considered during agenda item #17C so we don’t know when this will come up that day; it is best to be there early)
Where: Airtel Plaza Hotel, 7277 Valjean Avenue, Van Nuys, CA 91406

To view Project Coyote’s Action Alert, which includes links to the petitions themselves, the Agenda for the Commission meeting, and more, please enter this link in your browser: http://salsa4.salsalabs.com/o/51198/t/0/blastContent.jsp?email_blast_KEY=1345860

Thanks so much and if you’re not already a member of Project Coyote’s E-Team to receive updates on issues like this, you can join here:
http://www.projectcoyote.org/take-action/how-to-help/join-the-e-team/
From California Wolfcenter (californiawolfcenter@yahoogroups.com)

Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project

Monthly Update – March 1-31, 2017

The following is a summary of Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project (Project) activities in the Mexican Wolf Experimental Population Area (MWEPA) in Arizona, including the Fort Apache Indian Reservation (FAIR), San Carlos Apache Reservation (SCAR), and New Mexico. Additional Project information can be obtained by calling (928) 339-4329 or toll free at (888) 459-9653, or by visiting the Arizona Game and Fish Department website at www.azgfd.gov/wolf or by visiting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website at www.fws.gov/southwest/es/mexicanwolf . Past updates may be viewed on either website, or interested parties may sign up to receive this update electronically.

This update is a public document and information in it can be used for any purpose. The Project is a multi-agency cooperative effort among the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD), USDA Forest Service (USFS), USDA-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services (USDA-APHIS WS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the White Mountain Apache Tribe (WMAT).

To view semi-monthly wolf telemetry flight location information please visit http://bit.do/mexicanwolf or www.fws.gov/southwest/es/mexicanwolf/RWL.cfm .

Please report any wolf sightings or suspected livestock depredations to:  the Alpine wolf office (928) 339-4329, Pinetop wolf office (928-532-2391) or toll free at (888) 459-9653. To report incidents of take or harassment of wolves, please call the AGFD 24-hour dispatch (Operation Game Thief) at (800) 352-0700.

Overall Mexican Wolf Recovery Program Monthly Update

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service posted the 2017 Mexican Wolf Initial Release and Translocation Plan (Plan) on the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program Website and requested comments for 20 days. The USFWS provided all comments received in applications to New Mexico Department of Game and Fish for importation and release permits consistent with the Plan.

The USFWS hosted the Canid and Hyaneid Taxon Advisory Group meeting in Albuquerque March 27 and 28, 2017. This meeting was part of the larger Association of Zoos and Aquarium’s mid-year meeting hosted by the Albuquerque Biological Park.

The Division of Genomic Resources (DGR) of the Museum of South-western Biology at the University of New Mexico serves as the repository for Mexican wolf specimens including carcasses, pelts, and blood. On March 30, 2017, DGR celebrated migrating from maintaining specimens in -80oC freezers to new, more secure cryogenic nitrogen-vapour (-190oC).

Numbering System:  Mexican wolves are given an identification number recorded in an official studbook that tracks their history. Capital letters (M = Male, F = Female) preceding the number indicate adult animals 24 months or older. Lower case letters (m = male, f = female) indicate wolves younger than 24 months or pups. The capital letter “A” preceding the letter and number indicate breeding wolves.

Definitions:  A “wolf pack” is defined as two or more wolves that maintain an established territory. In the event that one of the two alpha (dominant) wolves dies, the remaining alpha wolf, regardless of pack size, retains the pack status. The packs referenced in this update contain at least one wolf with a radio telemetry collar attached to it. Studbook numbers listed in the monthly update denote wolves with functioning radio collars. The Interagency Field Team (IFT) recognizes that wolves without radio telemetry collars may also form packs. If the IFT confirms that wolves are associating with each other and are resident within the same home range, they will be referenced as a pack.

CURRENT POPULATION STATUS

The IFT completed the annual year-end population survey which started in November 2016 and concluded with helicopter count and capture operations conducted in late January through early February 2017. The IFT documented a minimum of 113 Mexican wolves in the wild in Arizona and New Mexico at the end of 2016. At the end of March, there were 61 wolves with functioning radio collars that the IFT was actively monitoring. Wolves with functioning radio collars are listed by studbook number in the pack updates below.

Annual surveys are conducted in the winter as this is when the population experiences the least amount of natural fluctuation (i.e. in the spring the population increases dramatically with the birth of new pups and declines throughout the summer and fall as mortality is particularly high on young pups). Thus, the IFT summarizes the total number of wolves in the winter at a fairly static or consistent time of year. This allows for comparable year-to-year trends at a time of year that accounts for most mortality and survival of young pups.

IN ARIZONA:

Bear Wallow Pack (collared AM1338 and AF1335)

In March, the Bear Wallow Pack was located within their traditional territory in the east central portion of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest (ASNF).

Bluestem Pack (collared M1382, F1488, fp1562, fp1563 and mp1574)

In March, the Bluestem Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the east central portion of the ASNF. F1488 continued to travel separate from the Bluestem Pack with another wolf near Alpine. During March, M1382 continued to be documented travelling with AF1339 of the Panther Creek Pack. Genetic analysis from the male pup initially thought to be Panther Creek mp148X revealed that it was a Bluestem pup and has been assigned the studbook number mp1574.

Elk Horn Pack (collared AF1294, mp1471, mp1474 and fp1473)

In March, the Elk Horn Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north eastern portion of the ASNF. The female pup assigned the temporary studbook number, fp147X, was identified as fp1473 through genetic analysis. This confirmed that the wolf was a wild born of the Elk Horn Pack and not a cross-fostered pup from 2016.

Frieborn Pack (collared F1443 and m1447)

In March, F1443 and m1447 received pack status and were named the Frieborn Pack. They have been holding a territory in the east central portion of the ASNF in Arizona and into New Mexico.

Hawks Nest Pack (collared AM1038)

The Hawks Nest Pack consists of one collared wolf, AM1038.  AM1038 previously made wide dispersal movements within the north central portion of the ASNF, but during March was consistently located in the northern portion of the ASNF in the territory of the Diamond Pack. By the end of March, AM1038 was documented travelling primarily with f1557 of the Diamond Pack.

Hoodoo Pack (collared AM1290, AF1333, m1441, fp1550 and f1567)

In March, the Hoodoo Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the ASNF. Sub-adult wolves m1441 and f1567 continued to travel together and apart from the Hoodoo Pack. The IFT concluded the prey carcass investigations that began in February looking at the kill rates of both the Hoodoo Pack and the new pair: m1441 and f1567. In March, fp1549 was located dead in Arizona. The incident is under investigation.

Maverick Pack (collared AF1291)

In March, the Maverick Pack was located within their traditional territory both on the FAIR and east central portion of the ASNF.

Panther Creek Pack (collared AF1339, mp1483, fp1484 and mp1486)

In March, the Panther Creek Pack was located in the east central portion of the ASNF. Bluestem M1382 continued to be located travelling with AF1339. Pups mp1483, fp1484, and mp1486 have been travelling separately from the rest of the pack. Male pup 1486 has been documented travelling in the Gila National Forest (GNF) in New Mexico. Male pup 1483 was documented travelling between Arizona and New Mexico. The male pup assigned the temporary studbook number, mp148X, was identified through genetic analysis as a Bluestem animal, and has been given a new studbook number of mp1574.

ON THE FAIR:

Diamond Pack (collared f1557, mp1559, fp1560, fp1570, mp1571 and mp1572)

In March, the Diamond Pack was located in the northern portion of the ASNF and on state lands north of the ASNF. Near the beginning of the month, mp1572 was located lame and removed for veterinary care. Male pup 1572 has tested negative for diseases and has been transferred to the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico where it continues to receive rehabilitative care. Near the end of March, AM1038 of the Hawks Nest Pack and f1557 were documented travelling together and apart from the Diamond Pack.

Tsay-O-Ah Pack (collared AM1343 and AF1283)

In March, the Tsay-o-Ah Pack was located within their traditional territory on the FAIR.

Baldy Pack (collared M1347 and f1445)

The Baldy Pack was not located during the month of March.

IN NEW MEXICO:

Iron Creek Pack (collared AM1240, AF1278 and mp1556)

During March, the Iron Creek Pack continued to utilize their territory in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness and the southern portion of the Gila National Forest (GNF).

Lava Pack (collared F1405 and AM1285)

During March, the Lava Pack was located within their traditional territory in the south eastern portion of the GNF.

Leopold Pack (collared AM1293, AF1346 and mp1561)

During March, the IFT documented the Leopold Pack within their territory in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness.

Luna Pack (collared AM1158 and AF1487)

During March, the Luna Pack remained in their traditional territory in the north central portion of the Gila National Forest. The IFT set up a diversionary food cache to reduce potential for livestock depredations.

Mangas Pack (collared M1296 and F1439)

During March, the Mangas Pack was located within their territory in the north western portion of the GNF.

New Pair (collared F1444 and M1386)

During March, F1444 and M1386 were documented travelling together within the west central portions of the GNF.

New Pair (collared F1456 and M1354)

During March, F1456 and M1354 were documented travelling together within the west central portions of the GNF.

Prieto Pack (collared AF1251, M1398 and fp1565)

During March, the Prieto Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF.  M1386, m1455, f1456, M1552, and mp1569 have all displayed dispersal behaviour for 3 months and are now considered single wolves or part of a “new pair”.

San Mateo Pack (collared AF1399)

During March, the San Mateo Pack continued to utilize their territory in the north central portion of the GNF.

Sheepherders Baseball Park (SBP) Pack (collared AM1284 and f1553)

During March, the SBP Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF.

Willow Springs Pack (collared F1397)

During March, the IFT documented the Willow Springs Pack within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF.

Single collared AM1155

During March, AM1155 was documented traveling within New Mexico.

Single collared m1455

During March, m1455 travelled throughout east-central portions of the GNF and southern portions of the Cibola National Forest (CNF).

Single collared M1552

During March, M1552 travelled throughout north-eastern portions of the GNF and central portions of the CNF.

Single collared mp1569

During March, mp1569 travelled throughout northern and central portions of the CNF and other areas west of I-25.

MORTALITIES

During March, fp1549 of the Hoodoo Pack was located dead in Arizona. The incident is under investigation.

During March, mp1573 of the Bluestem Pack was captured by the IFT for medical evaluation and attention. It died overnight under veterinary care. Disease testing confirmed mp1573 tested positive for canine distemper.

INCIDENTS

During the month of March, there were six confirmed wolf depredations on livestock and no nuisance reports.

On March 6, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Catron County, NM. The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf kill.

On March 18, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Catron County, NM. The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf kill.

On March 21, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Catron County, NM. The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf kill.

On March 21, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Catron County, NM. The investigation determined the cow was killed by coyotes.

On March 21, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Socorro County, NM. The investigation determined the cow was a confirmed wolf kill.

On March 24, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Socorro County, NM. The investigation determined the cow had died from natural causes.

On March 24, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, AZ. The investigation determined the calf had been killed by dogs.

On March 25, Wildlife Services investigated seven dead cows in Cochise County, AZ. The investigations determined one cow was a confirmed wolf kill, four cows died from natural causes and one cow died from an unknown cause. One of the seven dead cows was unable to be investigated due to its deteriorated condition.

On March 26, female pup 1530, originating from an ongoing reintroduction effort in Mexico, was captured on private ranch land in south-eastern Arizona by the IFT and relocated to the Sevilleta Wolf Management Facility in New Mexico, where it is in good health. Management agencies in the United States and Mexico will determine the most appropriate long-term management action for this wolf.

On March 27, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Cochise County, AZ. The investigation determined the cow died from unknown cause.

On March 28, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Catron County, NM. The investigation determined the cow was a confirmed wolf kill.

COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATION

On March 14, the USFWS met with the Santa Clara Pueblo to discuss the status of the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program and development of the revised draft recovery plan.

On March 29, the USFWS provided a presentation on the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program to the Inter-tribal, Fish and Wildlife Service Coordination meeting at Ak-Chin.

PROJECT PERSONNEL

There are no project personnel updates for the month of March.

REWARDS OFFERED

The USFWS is offering a reward of up to $10,000; the AGFD Operation Game Thief is offering a reward of up to $1,000; and the NMDGF is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the conviction of the individual(s) responsible for the shooting deaths of Mexican wolves. A variety of non-governmental organizations and private individuals have pledged an additional $46,000 for a total reward amount of up to $58,000, depending on the information provided.

Individuals with information they believe may be helpful are urged to call one of the following agencies: USFWS special agents in Mesa, Arizona, at (480) 967-7900, in Alpine, Arizona, at (928) 339-4232, or in Albuquerque, New Mexico, at (505) 346-7828; the WMAT at (928) 338-1023 or (928) 338-4385; AGFD Operation Game Thief at (800) 352-0700; or NMDGF Operation Game Thief at (800) 432-4263. Killing a Mexican wolf is a violation of the Federal Endangered Species Act and can result in criminal penalties of up to $50,000, and/or not more than one year in jail, and/or a civil penalty of up to $25,000.

From Counter Current News
(http://countercurrentnews.com/2017/04/center-for-biological-diversity-sues-trump-for-signing-hjr-69-allowing-slaughter-of-bear-cubs-wolf-pups/)

USA: Alaska: Government sued for barbaric wildlife slaughter law

Washington D.C. — The Center for Biological Diversity (the Center) filed a lawsuit (http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/campaigns/carnivore_conservation/pdfs/Complaint_4_20_2017.pdf) in federal district court in Anchorage, Alaska, on April 20, 2017, against the U.S. Department of Interior (Interior) and Secretary Ryan Zinke, after President Donald Trump signed House Joint Resolution 69 (HJR 69; http://www.environews.tv/040517-done-trump-signs-hjr-69-law-allowing-slaughter-alaskan-bear-cubs-wolf-pups/) into law earlier this month, in a move that rescinds the Alaska National Wildlife Refuges Rule (Refuge Rule).

HJR 69 is a controversial bill, in part, because it rolled back Obama-era safeguards for Alaskan wildlife using an obscure law from the 90s called the Congressional Review Act (CRA) — a legislative loophole allowing a new Congress to overturn rules from the previous administration within its first 60 legislative days.

Read the full article at http://countercurrentnews.com/2017/04/center-for-biological-diversity-sues-trump-for-signing-hjr-69-allowing-slaughter-of-bear-cubs-wolf-pups/ 

Other News

National

Nothing to report

International

From Defenders of Wildlife (http://www.defenders.org)

USA: We’re suing to stop more Arctic drilling

Last Friday, President Trump opened as many as 120 million acres of critical ocean habitat for exploitation by the oil and gas industry.

We refuse to let him play roulette with our nation’s wildlife and waters.

That’s why Defenders, joining with our partners in the conservation and Alaska Native communities, filed a lawsuit yesterday challenging the President’s actions. We’re calling upon the courts to reject his unlawful exercise of power – but we can’t do it without your support!

Please donate today to help us fight this in court and continue our work to protect imperilled wildlife and marine ecosystems: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=zfiA56E7sha3gN8fUFWPmg

In 2016, the Obama administration permanently banned offshore drilling in substantial portions of the Arctic and Atlantic oceans, using the power granted to the president by a 1953 law to protect these ecologically sensitive waters from the risks inherent in offshore oil drilling.

No president has ever attempted to undo a previous president’s determination that waters like these should be protected, and nothing in the law allows such a reversal, but President Trump’s latest Executive Order tries to do just that.

The order threatens critical habitat for wildlife ranging from whales, to polar bears, to sea turtles. It exposes these amazing creatures to potentially catastrophic accidents – disastrous oil spills like those whose names are all too familiar – Deepwater Horizon and Exxon Valdez. Spills that are too big to clean up and have lasting impacts on marine life.

If oil and gas development is allowed to move forward in these regions, it won’t be a question of IF a spill will happen, but WHEN.

Please, donate today to help us hold the administration accountable and protect marine habitats from oil exploitation: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=MV6lGcHz7k356xFu48RDJA

The latest Executive Order is further evidence of this administration’s single-minded focus on fossil fuel extraction. The entire order is aimed at increasing the industrialization of our oceans and instructing federal departments to consider ways to remove remaining barriers to drilling!

It is just one more effort to benefit big polluters at the expense of wildlife, wild lands and waters, and even human health.

Won’t you donate today and help us stand with wildlife: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=MV6lGcHz7k356xFu48RDJA

Wolves and Wolfdogs

New Wolves discovered in Denmark

For almost 200 years no wolves had been seen in Denmark; as in so many other countries, severe persecution and hunting had driven the species to extinction. Denmark’s last wolf was killed in 1813. Then, in 2012, a male wolf was spotted within Danish territory, leading to hopes that more wolves might arrive from neighbouring Germany, and these hopes have now turned into reality. Scientists have confirmed that there are five or six wolves present in Denmark’s remote West Jutland region, making this the country’s first wolf pack in two centuries.

Denmark’s wolves have settled in a well-farmed area of heathland and small pine plantations where prey is plentiful in the shape of burgeoning populations of red and roe deer.

But, as is the case in so many other countries where wolves have started to settle down again, there are many people who celebrate the wolf’s return to Denmark as a symbol of environmental progress and returning biodiversity, and those who are not at all happy about the new situation. A number of Danish sheep farmers have blamed the wolves for the deaths of several sheep and are already pressurizing Danish government to control the newly discovered wolves’ numbers. One Danish politician has stated that the farmers should have “a right to put a bullet in a wolf’s head.”

Many Scandinavian countries where wolves are present currently use or have used culling as a means to control wolf populations, giving hunters permission to shoot or trap wolves. Allowing such culling in Denmark too, would be a certain death sentence for the few wolves now known to reside within its borders with no chance of  even bearing their first litter of cubs.

But regardless of the demands by some farmers the Danish government has already established a wolf management plan that guaranties compensation for farmers and funding for livestock farmers to erect wolf-proof fencing. The management plan, drawn up in consultation with hunters as well as farmers and conservationists, also allows for wolves to be controlled that become “habituated” and live too close to humans.

Wolves are a crucial part of restoring healthy forest habitats and must be protected. The researchers who discovered the small pack believe that the alpha female, who has been named  GW675f, has crossed the border into Jutland from Germany, covering a about 550 km, last summer. And they expect the pack to have cubs this year or next. Since they have probably not been established for more than 8 months by now they might postpone mating to next year.

From a technical point of view such a small wolf population can be managed relatively easily, but the real challenge is the psychology of humans; there are so many emotions and opinions about wolves in Denmark, as everywhere else, and the wolf debate is very much value-driven rather than related to concrete problems.

If you want to help to protect the lives of these newly discovered wolves in Denmark, please sign the ForceChange Petition at https://forcechange.com/233283/protect-newly-discovered-wolves-from-hunting/  

Wolf Myths and Legends, Part 138

The Snow Wolf’s Eyes

by Drew Cooper

The full blue moon beams down on my face.
It lights the snow in florescent grace.
I never want to leave this place.
I’ll abandon the hassles of the human race.

It’s calm and quiet where I lay.
There’s not a word that I can say.
The fire’s died down,
there is no light,
to dim out the beauty of this night.

I’m in my sleeping bag trying to keep warm.
Feeling the fabric wrinkled and worn.

I stare out on the landscape in unspeakable wonder.
I stare out into the serene forest tundra.

The icicled limbs of the tree that I lean on,
glistens a gentle white and blue neon.

I gradually look down and I’m startled to see,
two golden eyes staring at me.

What is this creature?
I don’t really know.
But whatever it is blends in with the snow.

I can make out a figure.
Not ten yards away.
It’s a single grey wolf looking for prey.

He slowly creeps closer in a soft, cautious stroll.
As I stare through his eyes and into his soul.

In his mind I see the things that he’s done.
While roaming around in the dim winter’s sun.

I see where he’s going.
I see where he’s been.
The kills of his hunts.
And the cubs in his den.

As he starts to turn slowly away,
I start to wonder: “Did he do the same?”
Had he witnessed my joy and my pain?
Or maybe he just wanted to know why I came.

He’s now swiftly sprinting over the snow-covered field.
I notice him start to slowly yield.

He turns his head.
Looking one last time.
Savoring his brush with humankind.

When I see that he is finally gone,
I look up at the stars and wait until dawn.

Readers’ Contribution

A Wolfdog Diary

By Erin

Summer has finally turned into autumn up here, the nights getting cooler and the hot days are over too. The trees have started to shed their leaves, and although the grass is still green thanks to the huge amounts of rain we had this summer, you can smell the typical fragrance of winter knocking on our doors. Our furry kids have built up a nice thick undercoat again, and the rather thin and flimsy summer tails have returned to their gorgeous dense and bushy appearance. We have really been lucky this summer with just a single tick on Ascar II and not one flea through the whole season.

Ascar II is still behaving nicely towards Kajack II, although he needs a little reminder from time to time that friendliness is the rule of this house. There had been just one problem with the two that had come up a while ago and needed some solution, and that was that after all the years eating nicely from their food bowls, Ascar II suddenly decided that he, as the leader of the pack, would be entitled not only to his own food portions but also Kajack’s. When I placed the food bowls in front of each of the three, only Taima could enjoy her food undisturbed; Ascar II first had to inspect his bowl, then move to Kajack’s to check whether he had the same food and amount as he got. That was still o.k., but after a while he started to then eat from Kajack’s bowl, so I took his bowl and gave it to Kajack. The next moment Ascar would then decide that his food tasted better and moved back to his bowl, and I gave Kajack his food back. Next step was that I had to hold Kajack’s bowl on my lap for him to be able to eat without Ascar interfering, but that also didn’t work out very long, because Ascar then became jealous of Kajack being allowed to eat “from my lap” and wanted the same preferential treatment. To cut a slightly lengthy story shorter, Ascar then decided that Kajack would only be allowed to eat with his permission, and well behaved and submissive as Kajack is, he obeyed and abandoned his food bowl until Ascar decided to leave him a few crumbs. While in Nature this behaviour is completely normal (if there are no cubs the alphas eat first, then the rest of the pack is allowed to join in, and the Omega has to live on the leftovers and may only eat when the alpha gives his permission), you cannot allow this in captivity.

We had to come up with a solution to the problem, which was easier said than done. Taima had already started to demand her food bowl being placed inside the house, because little madam didn’t like to be disturbed by ill-behaved flies during her meal, and she also didn’t like the permanent quarrelling between the two boys, so she decided to keep her distance. That led to the first try, which was to also separate the boys for their meals. It was a bit of a challenge because Kajack always follows Ascar, no matter where he goes, but with a bit of practice we managed. Now Taima and Kajack could eat in peace, but Ascar didn’t like it at all and instead of eating he had nothing better to do as to find a way to get to Kajack, and the moment Kajack heard Ascar trying to get into the house, he stopped eating. Obviously, this was not the best solution. Then I had an idea. It had been raining cats and dogs all day long one day, and I could not feed the pack outside as I usually would. I therefore put the three food portions into one big bowl, sat down in the living room holding it on my lap. The three had followed me hot on my heals, wondering where I was taking their food. Then I allowed Ascar to choose his first piece of meat out of the bowl, and while he was chewing I gave one piece to Kajack and one to Taima. While they were busy with their pieces Ascar came back for another piece and so it went on until the bowl was empty and all had gotten their fair shares of it. I tried that again the next day and it worked perfectly fine. The only time when Ascar now tries to stop Kajack from eating is when he gets too close to him; Ascar then chases Kajack back into a corner, telling him in very clear growls that he is infringing on his “eating space” and has to stay out of it. This method now also works when I feed them outside, and it looks as though if everyone is now happy with situation, including me and Ted. I still wonder why, after years eating from their bowls without any problems, it suddenly became such an issue, but who is able to read their minds?

Will be continued…

Volume 12, Issue 150, April 2017

SAFHOWL

The Monthly Free E-Newsletter of South African Friends of Wolves

Volume 12, Issue 150, April 2017

From the Editor’s Desk

The time of Happy Easter, and the occasion of our 150th newsletter or not: I am fuming so much that steam seems to come from my ears. And of course it’s the United States once more, who else. But even I am surprised what anti-nature terrorists can come up with when they are let loose. While the clown’s “Climate protection, No thanks” will certainly backfire sooner rather than later and hit those responsible for once, wildlife in the US faces the bleakest future ever. Read for yourself what appalling ideas the states of Alaska (News) and Oregon (Wolves and Wolfdogs section) have come up with, besides of the rest. In fact, I recommend you study these summaries not before tomorrow if you wish to enjoy a Happy Easter today.

Till next month, hopefully with better news, but I am almost sure I’ll be disappointed,

Ed.

Upcoming Events

You are invited by the International Wolf Center (info@wolf.org)

to the 4th Howl at the Moon Gala

An Event to support the International Wolf Center’s Mission.

 

When?

Thursday, May 18, 2017 from 5:30 PM to 9:00 PM CDT

Program: Social Hour, Silent Auction, Dinner, Program and Live Action
Where?

Midland Hills Country Club

2001 Fulham Street
Roseville, MN 55113, USA

 

  • Contact

David Kline
International Wolf Center
763-560-7374 ext. 230
david@wolf.org

 

Get registered at: https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?oeidk=a07edt8lbo47ec70819&oseq=&c=&ch=

Say Yes to New Adventures!

International Wolf Center’s Adventure Programs

Turn your vacation into a one-of-a-kind wilderness experience. The International Wolf Center offers a variety of Adventure Programs led by informative and enthusiastic wolf experts for people of all ages. Visit our website for a complete list of adventure programs:

Geocache Adventures In Wolf Range
June 10 – 11

Test your backcountry navigational skills while you discover the worldwide scavenger hunt pastime known as geocaching!

Learn more here

Wolves After Dark
June 30 – July 1

Here’s your opportunity to participate in a “Citizen Science” project and document important behavioural data critical to understanding the Exhibit Pack dynamics.
Learn more here.  

Upcoming Webinars 

Webinar rate: $15 Non-members, $12 Members

News from the Wolf Front

National

Nothing to report

International

From Defenders of Wildlife (http://www.defenders.org)

  1. USA: Alaska: A tragic day for wolves

Another heartbreaking day.

The U.S. Senate has joined the House and voted to clear the way for the state of Alaska to authorize extreme killing methods such as shooting mother bears with cubs and killing wolves with pups on public lands that belong to all of us.

This is a disgraceful setback for wolves and other wildlife you love.

Help us fight for these imperilled predators with your urgent donation today: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=DW6WOIoimhlZ_2NyNyWN7Q

Not even a year has passed since the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) issued regulations to prevent Alaska’s excessive attacks on predators on national wildlife refuges. But in this extreme anti-wildlife environment, wolves, bears and other wildlife we love…have lost.

Congress used an obscure law called the Congressional Review Act to nullify the FWS protections. And it shows there are no depths these people will not go to green light the most appalling anti-wildlife acts. Further, discarding this rule could slam the door on future regulations that aim to conserve these animals on refuge lands.

Help us fight for the wildlife we all love: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=omfyR6vKZtobxjlPhQXdHw

Now Alaska national wildlife refuges could be open for the state to allow:

  • Killing wolves and pups during the spring and summer “denning” season;
  • Gunning down mother bears and their cubs;
  • Baiting and snaring bears and their cubs; and
  • Using airplanes to scout and shoot bears.

And why? To artificially inflate populations of game animals for hunting.

We will never give up this fight. Your urgent donation today will make a difference: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=-t2Rv8MMOwVfcaeArviKvA

Thanks for your help.

From SOS Wolves
(https://web.facebook.com/?ref=tn_tnmn)

USA: Montana: Well-known Wolf severely injured and Killed in Park

HEARTBREAKING NEWS: The grand old “White Lady” of the Yellowstone Canyon wolf family has died. She suffered fatal injuries near Gardiner, Montana, from a cause yet unknown. This magnificent wolf brought excitement and joy to countless park visitors over her 12 years. Her long-time mate (712M) lives on – heartbroken beyond our comprehension.

https://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/news/17014.htm

From Wolf Conservation Center (contact@nywolf.org)

  1. USA: Senate Votes to Allow Killing of Wolves on National Refuge Lands in Alaska

The Senate passed S.J. RES. 18 by a vote of 51 to 47 to allow the killing of denning wolves and pups, hibernating bears, and other predators on national refuges land in Alaska
Alaska’s unethical predator hunting has been a flash point in a growing battle between state and federal officials over who has authority over federal lands. On August 3, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service took a big positive step and joined its sister-agency, the National Park Service, in finalizing regulations for national wildlife refuges in Alaska that effectively overruled an Alaska state law that encouraged the extreme and excessive killing of bears, wolves and coyotes to promote game animals.
In passing S.J. RES. 18, the Senate joined the House and voted to nullify this important rule and allow cruel and inhumane wildlife management practices on Alaska’s wildlife refuges.
These lands are OUR lands, not Alaska’s. As long as our collective tax dollars help to support them, we, through our representatives, have every right to speak on behalf of science-based management.

We will not give up.
The greatest danger to the future of wolves and all wildlife is apathy. As always, we appreciate your help and active support.

Thank you.

2. You Heard Our Howls!

You did it! Last week we invited you to be a part of #LoboWeek and you heard our howls! Over 300 supporters helped the WCC raise over $20,000 on Wednesday to meet our matching grant of $10,000! We are humbled by your support and incredibly grateful for having friends like you.
Thanks again for your encouragement and your commitment to wolves, ecosystem education, species preservation, and environmental advocacy!

 

  1. A March for Science is a March for Wolves

March with us on April 22!

This Earth Day on April 22nd, the Wolf Conservation Center (http://nywolf.us8.list-manage.com/track/click?u=96aae4d71726eb91ae4d20fec&id=e09963d1d1&e=c4f881378d) will be participating in the March for Science in New York City (http://nywolf.us8.list-manage.com/track/click?u=96aae4d71726eb91ae4d20fec&id=5c512ba009&e=c4f881378d)!
This Earth Day, we will march on behalf of wolves, wildlife, wild lands and water. We will march for the Endangered Species Act. We will march for our children. Tomorrow’s leaders need to be equipped for tomorrow’s challenges. If we allow science to be silenced, we fail ourselves – now and for future generations.

Join us!

Want to march with the WCC? Let us know! Email info@nywolf.org.

The official Science March organizers have yet announce location and other details. We’ll be updating partners with more information as soon as it’s available. Not able to get to NYC? Learn about the other 480 Satellite Marches: http://nywolf.us8.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=96aae4d71726eb91ae4d20fec&id=e2107dd0a7&e=c4f881378d

 

From ForceChange (TakeAction@ForceChange.com)

Stop the Massacre of Bears and Wolves in Slovenia

Target: Irena Majcen, Minister of the Environment

Goal: Prevent Slovenia from allowing hunters to kill 93 bears and 8 wolves this year.

The Government of Slovenia announced that it will allow hunters to kill a certain number of bears and wolves throughout the year. This includes eight wolves out of the mere 50 that currently live in Slovenia, as well as over 90 bears. Around 500 bears currently live in the forests of Slovenia.

People who live near the forests often complain about the damage done to their farm animals and crops as a result of the wolves and bears. However, killing the wolves will force packs to break up and will ultimately lead to more attacks on the livestock. This happens because wolves don’t hunt deer as effectively on their own and are then forced to pursue killing other animals to survive — as proven by research from the EU-funded SloWolf project. Last year, hunters killed 83 bears and four wolves. And in 2010, they killed 75 bears and 12 wolves.

In addition, this announcement follows the building of a barbed wire fence in Slovenia that was constructed to secure its borders from migrants. Wildlife is already in danger of being killed as a result of this fence being built. The fence on its own is inhumane and it is unnecessary to allow hunters to increase the number of deaths already occurring.

It is clear that the hunting lobby holds a large influence over the Slovenian government. With fewer than 50 wolves in their country, there is no real justification as to why these wolves need to be killed. Sign the petition below to help protect the wolves and bears from the hunters in Slovenia.

 

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Irena Majcen,

Allowing hunters to kill off a certain number of wolves and bears that currently live in Slovenia is inhumane and unjustified. There are only 50 wolves remaining in Slovenia. You should instead be working toward keeping them safe.

The people who are complaining about their livestock being killed do not realize that killing the wolves will not solve the issue. When wolves are killed, packs are forced to split up and wolves are more likely to hunt livestock as they aren’t as capable of catching deer on their own. Allowing hunters to kill them off is not a solution. It is just cruel and inhumane.

We highly encourage you to reconsider the decision that has been made in regards to the killing of wolves and bears in your country.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Sign the petition here: https://forcechange.com/196236/stop-the-killing-of-slovenias-bears-and-wolves/

 

From Change.org (www.change.org)

Urgent Cry for Help from Switzerland: Wolf Odin is to be shot dead

There is no concrete news about Pumpak besides of a trace that could possibly point to him having moved to North Rhineland Westphalia; we are currently busy checking that out.

Now Odin in Switzerland needs your help. This wolf is to be shot dead, just like Pumpak. This decision was made in the cantons of Ticino and Graubünden and is valid for 60 days. Time is running out again.

In the case of Pumpak, we were successful in preventing the authorization from being extended. Without the pressure by the now almost 100,000 supporters, this would surely have ended differently. Please, give us your support in Odin’s case, too, and sign the petition of wolf conservationist Elisabeth Barbara Sigron. She keeps livestock in Switzerland, but protects them from wolf attacks and is a dedicated conservation activist of wolves in Switzerland.

She writes: “Wolf ‘Odin’, M75, must live! Innocently sentenced to death without any proof of him being guilty!”

Please help Odin to save his most valuable possession – his life. Wolves are in many ways so similar to humans; they too form families and care for their loved ones. Wolves did not die out but had almost been brought to extinction in Europe by humans. Now it is time to make up for it, it’s pay-back time, because wolves are good for forests and Nature.
Switzerland is home to just 25 to 30 wolves, although there would be much more space in this fantastic country for more of them. Since 2000, seventeen wolf-shootings were authorized and nine of these were executed. Nature conservation organizations in Switzerland protest against these authorized killings, and just recently a court confirmed that the authorized shootings of two young wolves of the Calanda pack had been illegal. Whoever has an interest in the background of wolves in Switzerland can find information in the report of Ralf Manz of the WWF, and although it is already a bit dated it still illustrates the exact problem. You can find it here: https://assets.wwf.ch/downloads/europameisterin_im_wolfe_abschiessen_def_wwf_homepage.pdf

Besides of that it is impossible to ensure that it will indeed be Odin when the deadly shot hits its target. How can the shooter distinguish this one wolf from all the others?

This petition runs, like Pumpak’s, through www.Change.org, which is a non-profit organization that has accomplished a lot this year already. Maybe the one or other of you wants to make a donation to them?

Change.org e.V.
IBAN: DE75 4306 0967 1195 8791 00
BIC: GENODEM1GLS
GLS Bank
Thanks for your help

Other News

National

From SanWild Wildlife Trust (lizel@sanwild.org)

Another survivor saved

Thanks to you – Nellie is safe

We are absolutely delighted to share the wonderful news that Nellie has been successfully relocated to an Intensive Protection Zone where she and other rhino poaching survivors and those rescued from trophy hunting can hopefully once again learn to trust and not fear man.

With this video clip (http://sanwild.us12.list-manage.com/track/click?u=4aca35f79df37c30916dbe17d&id=fc680a7662&e=8c3dc58a76), we would like to honour those of you who helped spread the word and raise the funds needed to rescue Nellie. As a sign of our appreciation we listed each and every donor’s name at the end of Nellie’s documentary.
Our work does not end here.
To keep our rescued rhinos safe and protected is an ongoing mission that we can only successfully execute with your continued involvement.
We need your help once again to guarantee the safety of the animals we rescued with your help.

It is no secret that rhinos are under serious threat. The question we need to ask is what can we do to help save them with the overwhelming odds that are stacked against them?
We know we must make it as difficult as possible for poachers to get to rhinos if they intend to kill them. When they dare to attempt to do so they must be made to understand that there are some that will fight fire with fire if the need arises. Our mission and objectives are to keep rhinos alive and safe and therefore whatever measures we do put in place must be preventative instead of reactive.
We must make it as difficult as possible for poachers to get to rhinos.
Find the video clip here: https://vimeo.com/209162674
 

International

From Care2 Action Alerts (actionalerts@care2.com)

Send Gracie the rhino to a sanctuary before it’s too late

For too long, we’ve watched trophy hunters mercilessly kill animals in the wild. But a couple weeks ago, they brought the hunt much closer to home — at the zoo.

Poachers broke into the Thoiry Zoo in France overnight and mercilessly shot Vince, the 4-year-old white rhino, in the head. They sawed off his horn and were interrupted before they sawed the second horn off. Now the remaining white rhinos at the zoo are in danger: http://www.care2.com/go/z/e/AxQmu/zSPc/GeQa

Vince never had a chance against the poachers, since he was trapped in an enclosure. The zoo’s security is clearly no match for poachers’ greed: one of these white rhino horns can sell for over $200,000 on the black market.

Gracie and Bruno, the other white rhinos at the Thoiry Zoo, are targets. It’s time the zoo moved them to a wildlife sanctuary.

Just 20,000 white rhinos remain today. Gracie and Bruno should live the rest of their lives in unthreatened peace.

You can help prevent another tragedy. Please sign your name and urge the Thoiry Zoo to release Gracie and Bruno to a reputable wildlife sanctuary:

 http://www.care2.com/go/z/e/AxQmu/zSPc/GeQa

Thank you for making a difference,

 

From Faye Cuevas, International Fund for Animal Welfare (news@ifaw.org)

Who could shoot a tiger cub in the face? A poacher, that’s who

A tiger cub in Russia was shot in the face by a poacher – now he needs you.

Little “Yarik” is recovering from his wounds at the PRNCO Tiger Center in Russia where IFAW supports the rescue, care, and release of highly endangered Amur tigers.

He needs round-the-clock attention if he’s going to survive and one day be released back to the wild.

You can help: http://links.mkt4012.com/ctt?kn=89&ms=MTY4MjAyOTUS1&r=NTUyNjI2NTUyMgS2&b=0&j=OTgxNjE4MzUyS0&mt=2&rj=OTgxNjE4MzUyS0&rt=0 .

You can make the difference between life and death for Yarik and injured animals like him.

Yarik spent weeks in intensive care. He’s on the mend, but still has a long way to go. Besides his injured eye, he has broken bones in his jaw and needs constant veterinary care.

At just 5-7 months young, he would still be with his mother in the wild. But now he’s relying on the Tiger Center, and you, for the care and guardianship his mother would have provided.

There are only about 500 Amur tigers remaining, so every cub matters to the survival of the species. But that doesn’t matter to poachers, who only see potential dollar signs in the tiger pelts and organs that they can sell for profits on the illegal wildlife market.

We must save every Amur tiger we can! The cub we can’t save could be the one that seals their extinction.

Help now: http://links.mkt4012.com/ctt?kn=47&ms=MTY4MjAyOTUS1&r=NTUyNjI2NTUyMgS2&b=0&j=OTgxNjE4MzUyS0&mt=2&rj=OTgxNjE4MzUyS0&rt=0

Thank you for caring

From ForceChange (TakeAction@ForceChange.com)

USA: Family Dog Killed by Government Cyanide Trap – Demand End to Practice

Target: Sonny Perdue, Secretary of Agriculture

Goal: Stop using deadly coyote “cyanide bombs” which killed a family dog.

A boy and his dog, Casey, were walking near their home in Idaho when they discovered an object sticking out of the ground that resembled a sprinkler. After getting close enough to investigate it and see what it was, the object exploded and orange powder shot out.

The object was actually an M44 — a cyanide trap that is set out by the U.S. government to kill coyotes. When the trap was set off, the boy noticed his dog on the ground with red froth coming from the dog’s mouth, and ran to find his parents for help. By the time they returned, the dog had already died. The family had no idea these devices had been placed so close to their home.

Casey is one of many animals killed by U.S. Department of Agriculture’s program, Wildlife Services, every year. They are placed by the USDA to make room for human industries like raising livestock. Over 3,400 animals were mistakenly killed between 2006 and 2012 by cyanide bombs — including dogs, black bears, foxes, raccoons and more. This doesn’t include the number of coyotes that are killed as a result of being the target of these devices.

The USDA should end their usage of these devices and make it their goal to find non-lethal ways of getting their work done. It is the only appropriate way to ensure this doesn’t continue to happen to more animals and that more families don’t have to endure losing their pet this way. Sign the petition below to demand these changes be made.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Sonny Perdue,

The family who just recently lost their dog as a result of a government placed cyanide trap near their house deserves an apology from you and those at Wildlife Services. Not only that, but it is time to stop using these inhumane devices and to find a non-lethal way of getting work done.

Cyanide bombs have mistakenly killed thousands of animals, including this family’s pet. These include black bears, raccoons, foxes and more. This is all in addition to the large numbers of coyotes that are killed as a result of being the primary target for these devices.

Wildlife Services should be aiming to protect these and all animals. Instead, you are killing both wild animals and family pets. We encourage and ask you to stop using these devices as soon as possible.

Sign the petition here: https://forcechange.com/201623/justice-for-dog-killed-by-cyanide-trap/

 

From Defenders of Wildlife (http://www.defenders.org)

Which of these photos are your favourites?

In February, we kicked off our 8th annual Defenders of Wildlife Photo Contest – and once again we were amazed by the response! Wildlife shutterbugs submitted hundreds of amazing photos in two categories: Wildlife and Wild Lands. We continue to be astonished by the beauty, creativity and professionalism of the photos submitted every year and this year has been no exception.

After a very difficult and painstaking review, we have narrowed the entries down to just 10 spectacular finalists.

Now we need your help to pick the winners: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=wT-mpu6MpUdBF5jIetzW9w

Vote today to select the winners (http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=OkO35ec3Z9e0yVfP9JlYqA) of a wide range of prizes, including the grand prize: a $1,000 gift certificate to B&H Photo Video.

The winners will be featured in the summer edition of Defenders, our quarterly publication for members.

Please take a moment to see the stunning finalist photos and vote for your favourites: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=f8zHLEKkqppRWrY7OZvHsA

Voting ends at 11:59 PM EDT on Sunday, April 16th, so hurry and get your picks in today! The winners will be announced at the end of the month.

Thanks to everyone who entered – photos like yours help us inspire and educate others about the importance of our wildlife and wild places!

Wolves and Wolfdogs

Wolves in Oregon: Lessons from a dead wolf: the barbaric death of OR48

The woods of northeast Oregon are home to the Wallowa County’s Shamrock pack, a small pack consisting of only 6 members – OR48 was one of them. Last week the two-year old OR48 was wandering about, most likely in search of a mate, a territory of his own, and a chance to boost the still small Grey wolf population of the state of Oregon. But these plans shattered when he found a sweet-smelling device and bit into it and his bite released cyanide poison into his mouth, causing this young, healthy wolf to essentially suffocate, dying a painfully barbaric death initiated by an arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture known as Wildlife Services.

Each year this secretive program kills millions of animals across the country, but only too often the animals that die aren’t those being targeted. In the case of OR48 the M-44 capsule had been placed to hopefully kill a coyote on private property, but it could have easily killed someone’s pet (http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2017/03/labrador_killed_by_cyanide_dev.html) or a raccoon or a fox instead, as it was the case in Idaho where a three-year-old Labrador retriever died and a 14-year old boy was knocked to the ground when a cyanide device deployed by the federal government exploded in Pocatello, Idaho. The Idaho State Journal (http://idahostatejournal.com/news/local/pocatello-boy-watches-family-dog-die-after-cyanide-bomb-explodes/article_d0003a2f-6b7f-5d31-b427-68db03d3b93a.html) reported the boy, who had been on a walk with his dog on a ridge near their home, watched his dog die. According to the Bannock County Sheriff’s Office, the boy was also “covered in an unknown substance” when the device known as an M-44 detonated. He was evaluated at a hospital and released; luckily he survived.

This time it happened to be OR48.

For Amaroq Weiss, a West Coast wolf organizer for the Center for Biological Diversity who has studied wolves for the past 20 years, the loss of such an animal, especially one that was just ready to mate, is a tragedy.

Any animal or human being tugging on an M-44 will be met with a deadly spray of cyanide, because these archaic devices are dangerous and kill indiscriminately. In the past five years, thousands of non-target animals have been killed by M-44s. But what is even more outrages is the fact that the state agency that manages Oregon’s wolves knows the risks. Until wolves were prematurely delisted from the state endangered species act, the agency had a written agreement with Wildlife Services that expressly prohibited the use of M-44’s in known wolf territories, but now the situation has changed.

But regardless of all this there is still a glimpse of hope; Oregon could stop contracting with Wildlife Services altogether. Budget recommendations from Oregon Gov. Kate Brown omit the roughly $900,000 usually dedicated to paying the federal agency for killing Oregon animals. That is a move into the right direction, because scientific research shows that lethal methods for controlling predators repeatedly backfire. When coyotes are killed, others ratchet up reproduction to make up for the losses, and when dominant cougars and wolves are killed, their territory is often opened up for younger, less-experienced animals that may prey on livestock because they are not yet efficient at killing elk or deer.

Unfortunately to Nature Wildlife Services is a rogue agency that often acts rather in the interests of ranchers and other private landowners instead of wildlife, wiping out thousands of large predators. And there is no method too dirty to be employed, may it be aerial gunners, bone-snapping traps and, still, exploding cyanide capsules. These killings are often carried out just beyond public view, and the taxpayers are footing the bill.

The death of OR48 is another very painful and public reminder that there is no end to this terrible work, and it’s long past time for Oregon to stop hiring Wildlife Services for its ineffective and brutal predator controls.

Original article from Amaroq Weiss http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2017/03/lessons_from_a_dead_wolf_orego.html

Amaroq Weiss is a California-based biologist and West Coast wolf organizer with the Center for Biological Diversity.

Wolf Myths and Legends, Part 137

The Ones Who Remained
by Wind Cloud

Some of you have left your kind, Some of you have betrayed us, You thought you were earning a better life, But all you do is grow weaker…

It was a time when the Earth was still young and the gray wolves in Alaska had just begun to notice a change in their world. Loud, two-legged animals were appearing from the land across the ocean, and the wolves were sparked into curiosity. They soon lost this feeling, however. Every time the wolves approached them, the two-legged animals would shoo them away, making odd noises and brandishing sticks and tusks. Thus the wolves learned to avoid the two-legged creatures, and sometimes to fear them.

Little One, an adult male wolf, and his pack were eating well one summer. The caribou were amazingly abundant, and moose could be found at nearly every river. The alpha female, Soaked Paws, had already given birth, and all of the other seven pack members were eagerly finding food for her. The alpha male, Owl Chaser, rallied them together every night to hunt, calling them to him with low wails and high squeaks. The pack sang, then went off to hunt. Little One, as the omega male, trailed along at the back of the pack.

Little One was especially curious about the two-legged animals. He saw a herd of them as Owl Chaser led him and the pack out of the forest and onto a bare plain, which was covered in short, twisted grass. He wanted to venture just a little closer to the two-legs, but Owl Chaser made the pack keep a quick pace. His mate had hungry pups. There was no time for curiosity towards the two-legs. He gave Little One a sharp growl and led the wolves onward.

A caribou was caught, and the wolves ate well from it. Owl Chaser then led them back to the den, carrying a slice of meat in his mouth. He placed it at the mouth of the den, and Soaked Paws snatched it up gratefully.

That day, as the sun began to rise, the pack lay down to rest, all but Little One. With a glance at his dozing family, he stood silently and crept towards a nearby camp of two-legs. From the safety of the trees he could see them, milling around and making weird noises. There was no malice or hunger in his eyes, only innocent curiosity. He would be ready to flee at any moment if the two-legs spotted him. None of them did, and he ventured still closer.

The two-legs were packing their things–animal hides, spears, food, etc.–onto a sledge of bone and hide, on which their cubs sat. A few male two-legs were holding ropes with which to pull the sledge. When all their supplies were aboard, they started off quickly. The majority of the herd trailed behind the sledge.

Little One silently followed, his curiosity mounting and his fear ever present. When he became a bit too hasty in his excitement to follow and strayed within viewing range of the two-legs, they shouted at him. With wide eyes he stopped in his tracks and sped the opposite way from the two-legs. He did not stop until he was back where he had left his pack. Owl Chaser did not wonder where he had been; it was customary for the omega to run off sometimes. When the whole pack had woken, they rallied and sang, then went off to hunt.

Just like the day before.

Little One lived with his pack on the plain for a long time, but never lost his curiosity of the two-legs. One day a new herd of them was traveling through the wolves’ territory, and when dusk settled Little One went to investigate.

Some two-leg cubs were frolicking around a campfire in the presence of a few adults. Little One watched them for a time, then became bored. As he went off to find his pack one of the two-leg cubs strayed into the forest nearby. Little One became rock-still. The child’s parents would probably come after it.

But they didn’t.

Little One watched the cub, amused, his tail swaying. The cub was holding a stick in its fat little hands, chewing it. Little One approached, and the child did not look afraid. It pointed at him and laughed. Startled, the wolf backed up a few paces, his eyebrows twitching. The child got on its hands and knees and imitated a wolf, crawling around, then sat down and looked at Little One. The wolf was highly amused, and decided to take a poke at the two-leg cub. Slowly he meandered closer until his cool, moist nose met the child’s forehead. He sniffed, and the cub laughed. He became even more startled, and dashed away into the shadows of the forest.

Little One kept returning to the same camp day after day. None of the adult two-legs chased him off even though they knew he was there, and did not seem concerned in the least by his presence. Finally Little One decided to take the food they kept offering him. It was raw, and just as good as anything he could catch himself. He was eating from an array of meat on the ground that the two-legs had offered, when he noticed something. Another wolf was nearby, sitting close to one of the adult two-legs, who was watching it. Little One looked at the other wolf, whose name was Wind Feather, and cocked his head. Wind Feather wagged his tail, but kept a watchful eye on the two-legs.

Little One and Wind Feather were soon eating from the two-leg’s hands, and allowed themselves to be touched. They found that eating from the two-legs was much easier than hunting the food themselves, and that they had a much higher chance of surviving. Little One had not abandoned his pack completely; he still ran with them and hunted with them. Yet he felt himself becoming less needy of them. He would live well with the two-legs.

Yes, he surely would…

As summer faded away and the snows of winter hardened on Alaska, the caribou became scarce and rodents were impossible to find. Many of the two-legs starved or froze to death, as did many wolves. Little One was sleeping in camp one day when he heard a shrill yelp and the shout of the two-legs. He opened his eyes to see Wind Feather struggling, a rope around his throat, and many adult two-legs plunging their spears into him. Wind Feather bit and snapped, but the two-legs would not relent. The wolf was the only food they could find.

In shock Little One stood and fled the camp, his heart beating fast. His tongue was soon hanging from his mouth, and he was sprinting as fast as a caribou. He closed the gap between his pack and himself.

He found Owl Chaser, Soaked Paws, and five of the original pack members. The three of Soaked Paws’ pups were now full-sized adults, and they faithfully followed their parents as the pack travelled south. Little One caught up with them and ran with them once more. He would never trust the two-legs again. They only wanted him because of what he could do for them. He, too, would probably have ended up in their stomachs. A free meal was not enough to live with them for, not if he would live only as long as they let him.

As he ran with his pack he lost his horror and confusion. Soaked Paws began a game of “catch-my-tail” as the wolf family came to a rest site. They milled around in the dimness of the winter sky, finally beginning to howl. They sang of their freedom and their wildness as the sun disappeared below the horizon for the winter.

Readers’ Contribution

A Wolfdog Diary

By Erin

Nothing special to report this month, but…

Will be continued…

Volume 12, Issue 149, March 2017

SAFHOWL

The Monthly Free E-Newsletter of South African Friends of Wolves

Volume 12, Issue 149, March 2017

From the Editor’s Desk

Another month, another newsletter, and more bad news for wolves in the US with those living in the states of Wyoming and Alaska now being subject to particularly destructive plans. But as long as dumb people vote dumb leaders into positions where they can cause serious damage, there will be little hope for anything constructive.

One example of hair-raising state dumbness shows in the brief news snippet from Slovenia we have for you this month: a government initiative to cull 20% (= 10) of the 50 wild wolves that roam that country in order “to protect livestock”, even though scientific studies have shown that this measure has just the opposite effect. And in Italy, limelight-hungry state politicians still try to defy opposition from provincial leaders to press through their wish that wild wolves be killed, just to show who’s got the longer [insert what you think fits in here]. Sorry, but even I have no words that could be used to comment on this without resulting in this newsletter being blocked by mail filters.

Our Wolves and Wolfdogs section this time provides background information on the sick US “War on Wolves”, this month’s poem picks up the theme, and Erin briefly updates us on her experiences so far with canine “anger management” in her pack.

Till next month,
Ed.

Upcoming Events

You are invited by the International Wolf Center (info@wolf.org) to the 4th Howl at the Moon Gala

An Event to support the International Wolf Center’s Mission.

When?

Thursday, May 18, 2017 from 5:30 PM to 9:00 PM CDT

Program: Social Hour, Silent Auction, Dinner, Program and Live Action

Where?

Midland Hills Country Club

2001 Fulham Street
Roseville, MN 55113, USA

  • Contact

David Kline
International Wolf Center
763-560-7374 ext. 230
david@wolf.org

Get registered at: https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?oeidk=a07edt8lbo47ec70819&oseq=&c=&ch=

 

Say Yes to New Adventures!

International Wolf Center’s Adventure Programs

Turn your vacation into a one-of-a-kind wilderness experience. The International Wolf Center offers a variety of Adventure Programs led by informative and enthusiastic wolf experts for people of all ages. Visit our website for a complete list of adventure programs.

Wolf Family Rendezvous
April 1-2

Spend quality time together learning about the north woods home of the wolf through hikes, crafts, games and observing our ambassador wolves.
Learn more here. http://r20.rs6.net

Geocache Adventures In Wolf Range
June 10 – 11

Test your backcountry navigational skills while you discover the worldwide scavenger hunt pastime known as geocaching!

Learn more here.

Wolves After Dark
June 30 – July 1

Here’s your opportunity to participate in a “Citizen Science” project and document important behavioural data critical to understanding the Exhibit Pack dynamics.
Learn more here

Upcoming Webinars 

Webinar rate: $15 Non-members, $12 Members

News from the Wolf Front

National

From HuskyRomi Wolf Sanctuary (www.huskyromi.co.za)

The HuskyRomi Wolf Sanctuary’s 2017 Calendar is still available. It is R 50 and all proceeds will go straight to the sanctuary. P&P not included.

You can order yours by contacting Nolia Meyer at nolia@pentasure.ws or
sending an SMS to 072 622 1764

Raffle sale to raise funds

Young Designer Elizma van Heerden has donated one of her designer outfits to Husky Romy Sanctuary to help raise funds. The outfits consists of a cape, coat, top and pants in size 10 tall, with a painted wolf done by Sue-Mari Clark.

The draw will take place at the Fantasy Fayre held at Moorse Castle in Muldersdrift on April 2nd, where Husky Romi will have a stall.

Raffles prices are R 40 per entry or R 100 for 3 entries.

Please also support this raffle sale to raise funds. You don’t have to be at the event to be able to win this awesome prize and it can be posted as well!!

For banking details and further information please contact Nolia Meyer via email, Whatsapp or FB message at nolia@pentasure.ws/0726221764.

You can see pictures of the outfit here.

International

From Defenders of Wildlife (http://www.defenders.org)

  1. USA: It’s up to us to save Mexican gray wolves!

The Mexican gray wolf, also known as the lobo, continues to face extinction in the wild – and it’s up to us to save them.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has proposed releasing two packs of Mexican gray wolves into the wild. However, more releases in more approved locations are critical to the survival of this struggling wolf population.

Unless more Mexican gray wolves are released, and additional populations are established, they are doomed to go extinct in the wild.

URGENT: Tell FWS that we need more lobos released into the wild: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=Ce1wO_yuGBau_K1cmr-jeg

Just over 100 lobos cling to survival in the wild lands of New Mexico and Arizona. And, it’s not just numbers that are the problem. Genetic diversity is low. That can lead to smaller litters and poorer pup survival. That’s a spiral that could easily lead to extinction in the wild.

For years, anti-wolf forces in New Mexico and Arizona have driven stiff opposition to lobo recovery. Defenders has gone to court several times in recent years to protect Mexican gray wolves. If we lose the lobo it will go down in history as a completely preventable extinction.

Scientists on FWS’ recovery team agree that lobos require at least three linked populations in suitable habitat. Habitat capable of supporting two additional populations exists in the Grand Canyon region and in northern New Mexico southern Colorado.

The future of Mexican gray wolves is in our hands. Demand that FWS act now: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=y-r98vfw5S6mkX_od3WGHQ

  1. USA: EMERGENCY: Tragic news for Wyoming wolves

Heartbreaking news from Wyoming.

A federal appeals court has stripped Wyoming wolves of Endangered Species Act (ESA) protection. That means after two years of federal protections, the days of indiscriminate killing in most of Wyoming are back.

I promise you this: We will NEVER give up the fight to protect and restore gray wolves. But I can’t lie – this is a shocking setback.

Stand up for wolves and other imperilled wildlife with an emergency donation to Defenders: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=wosE19hbEMT50-AWXnGoKg

Here’s what happened.

You may recall that after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service stripped Wyoming wolves of ESA protection in 2012, Wyoming turned about 85 percent of the state into a free fire zone. In this so-called ‘predator zone’ anyone could kill a wolf at any time and for any reason.

With your support we went to federal court later that year to try and overturn the delisting. And, in 2014, a federal court held in our favour. Wyoming wolves were once again protected under the ESA.

Last week’s appeals court decision reversed the lower court. So the delisting is back in force.

In all my years as a wildlife biologist and as a conservation leader, I have never seen a more cruel and hard-hearted political environment for wildlife protection.

But you and I know that most Americans favour strong wildlife protection. And if the true voices of Americans can make themselves heard, this despicable era will be behind us.

Let your voice and your love for wildlife be heard with a special emergency gift to Defenders: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=vKfSpBBd6nRF6kY0RCEdqg

For the wildlife you and I love.

 

3. USA: Congressional Attacks on Wildlife and the ESA continue GUTTING THE ESA?

Recently, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held hearings on legislation to “modernize” the Endangered Species Act, part of a push by certain lawmakers to roll back environmental regulations and protections.

Learn more here: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=biuygLPg1dcTBXWdXebw0A

 

  1. USA: Senate to vote on the fate of wolves and bears in Alaska!

Wolves and bears in Alaska desperately need your help.

The Senate is preparing to vote on H.J. Res. 69 – legislation that would revoke a regulation that helps protect wolves, bears and other carnivores on national wildlife refuges in Alaska from brutal killing practices.

If this bill succeeds, Alaska could authorize extreme killing methods, such as shooting mother bears with cubs and killing wolves with pups, on public lands that belong to all of us: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=JLvjMy0jmxuSN_x4K17MsQ

This is our last chance to stop this deadly legislation – the time to act is now.

Please, urge your Senators to oppose H.J. Res. 69 and to protect America’s wildlife!

Anti-wildlife Members of Congress are using an obscure law called the Congressional Review Act to toss aside a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) regulation that restricts gruesome methods of “predator control” on Alaska national wildlife refuges. In addition, discarding this rule could slam the door on any future regulations that aim to conserve these animals on refuge lands.

Alaska’s scheme targets wolves and bears through extreme methods, including killing mother bears and cubs, killing wolves and pups in their dens, and trapping, baiting and using airplanes to scout and shoot bears.

A Senate vote on this resolution is imminent. We need you to speak out for wildlife and let your Senators know that H.J. Res. 69 is unacceptable!

Please, take action today to help wolves, bears and other predators: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=UStvkh_uHRvO3iLWTAueKQ

 

From California Wolfcenter (californiawolfcenter@yahoogroups.com)

  1. Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project Monthly Update

Endangered Species Updates January 1-31, 2017

The following is a summary of Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project (Project)

activities in the Mexican Wolf Experimental Population Area (MWEPA) in Arizona, including the Fort Apache Indian Reservation (FAIR), San Carlos Apache Reservation (SCAR), and New Mexico.  Additional Project information can be obtained by calling (928) 339-4329 or toll free at (888) 459-9653, or by visiting the Arizona Game and Fish Department website at www.azgfd.gov/wolf or by visiting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website at www.fws.gov/southwest/es/mexicanwolf.

Past updates may be viewed on either website, or interested parties may sign up to receive this update electronically.

This update is a public document and information in it can be used for any purpose.  The Project is a multi-agency cooperative effort among the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD), USDA Forest Service (USFS), USDA-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services (USDA-APHIS WS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service USFWS) and the White Mountain Apache Tribe (WMAT).

To view semi-monthly wolf telemetry flight location information please visit www.fws.gov/southwest/es/mexicanwolf/RWL.cfm.

Please report any wolf sightings or suspected livestock depredations to:(928) 339-4329 or toll free at (888) 459-9653. To report incidents of take or harassment of wolves, please call the AGFD 24-hour dispatch (Operation Game Thief) at (800) 352-0700.

Overall Mexican Wolf Recovery Program Monthly Update

On January 18, 2017, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments on the Preliminary Injunction on releases of Mexican wolves in New Mexico. The Court has not yet ruled.

The Mexican Wolf Executive Committee met January 25, 2017, at the Arizona Game and Fish Department office in Phoenix, Arizona.

Numbering System:  Mexican wolves are given an identification number recorded in an official studbook that tracks their history.  Capital letters (M = Male, F = Female) preceding the number indicate adult animals 24 months or older. Lower case letters (m = male, f = female) indicate wolves younger than 24 months or pups. The capital letter “A” preceding the letter and number indicate breeding wolves.

Definitions: A “wolf pack” is defined as two or more wolves that maintain an

established territory. In the event that one of the two alpha (dominant) wolves dies, the remaining alpha wolf, regardless of pack size, retains the pack status. The packs referenced in this update contain at least one wolf with a radio telemetry collar attached to it. The Interagency Field Team (IFT) recognizes that wolves without radio telemetry collars may also form packs. If the IFT confirms that wolves are associating with each other and are resident within the same home range, they will be referenced as a pack.

CURRENT POPULATION STATUS

The IFT completed the annual year-end population survey which started in November 2016 and concluded with helicopter count and capture operations conducted from January 26, 2017 through February 5, 2017. The IFT documented a minimum of 113 Mexican wolves in the wild in Arizona and New Mexico at the end of 2016. In 2015, the minimum count was 97 wild wolves. At the end of the annual count and capture operation, there were 68 wolves with functioning radio collars that the IFT was actively monitoring. Wolves with functioning radio collars during the month of January are listed by studbook number in the pack updates below.

Annual surveys are conducted in the winter as this is when the population is experiencing the least amount of natural fluctuation (i.e. in the spring the population increases dramatically with the birth of new pups and declines throughout the summer and fall as mortality is particularly high on young pups). Thus, the IFT summarizes the total number of wolves in the winter at a fairly static or consistent time of year. This allows for comparable year-to-year trends at a time of year that accounts for most mortality and survival of young pups.

January pack updates include the annual helicopter count and capture operation which occurred from January 26, through February 5, 2017.

IN ARIZONA:

Bear Wallow Pack (collared AM1338 and AF1335)

In January, the Bear Wallow Pack was located within their traditional territory in the east central portion of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest (ASNF). During the annual count and capture operation, two uncollared wolves were documented travelling with AM1338 and AF1335. AF1335 was captured, re-collared, and released back into its territory.

Bluestem Pack (collared M1382, F1488, F1443, fp1562, fp1563, mp1568 and mp1573)

In January, the Bluestem Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the east central portion of the ASNF. Some wolves from the Bluestem Pack displayed dispersal behaviour during the month. F1443 continued to travel with m1447, of the Diamond Pack, in New Mexico near the Arizona border. F1488 was documented travelling with another wolf near Alpine. M1382 was documented travelling with AF1339 of the Panther Creek Pack. During the annual count and capture operation, F1488 and two Bluestem pups (mp1568 and mp1573) were captured, collared, and released back into their territory.

Elk Horn Pack (collared AF1294, AM1342, mp1474 and mp1471)

In January, the Elk Horn Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north eastern portion of the ASNF. During the annual count and capture operation, a female Elk Horn pup was captured, collared, and released back into its territory. The IFT has yet to receive results from genetic analysis of a blood sample taken from the female Elk Horn pup that will reveal if the pup was wild born or a cross fostered animal from captivity.

Hawks Nest Pack (collared AM1038)

In January, the Hawks Nest Pack consisted of one collared wolf, AM1038. AM1038 made wide dispersal movements within the north central portion of the ASNF throughout the month and was located in New Mexico in the GNF toward the end of the month. During the annual count and capture operation, AM1038 was documented travelling alone.

Hoodoo Pack (collared AM1290, AF1333, m1441, fp1549, fp1550 and f1567)

January, the Hoodoo Pack remained in the north central portion of the ASNF. During the annual count and capture operation, AF1333 was captured, re-collared, and released back into its territory. Sub-adult m1441 was documented travelling separately from the Hoodoo Pack in January. During the annual count and capture operation an uncollared female sub-adult wolf (f1567) travelling with m1441 was captured, collared, and released back into its territory.

Maverick Pack (collared AF1291)

In January, the Maverick Pack was located within their traditional territory both on the FAIR and ASNF.

Panther Creek Pack (collared AF1339, AM1394, mp1483, fp1484 and mp1486)

In January, the Panther Creek Pack was located in the east central portion of the ASNF. During the annual count and capture operation, Bluestem M1382 was documented travelling with AF1339; AM1394 was not located during the month of January. AF1339 and a male pup were captured, collared, and released back into their territory. The IFT has yet to receive results from genetic analysis of a blood sample taken from the male Panther Creek pup that will reveal if the pup was wild born or a cross fostered animal from captivity.

 

ON THE FAIR:

Diamond Pack (collared m1447, f1557, mp1559, fp1560, fp1570, mp1571 and mp1572)

In January, the Diamond Pack was located in the northern portion of the ASNF and on state lands north of the ASNF. Sub-adult m1447 continued to be documented travelling with F1443, of the Bluestem Pack, in New Mexico near the Arizona border. During the annual count and capture operation, AM1249 and mp1558 were captured and removed to captivity in response to repeated and confirmed cattle depredations. Three pups (fp1570, mp1571 and mp1572) were captured, collared, and released back into their territory.

Tsay-O-Ah Pack (collared AM1343 and AF1283)

In January, the Tsay-o-Ah Pack was located within their traditional territory in the eastern portion of the FAIR.

Baldy Pack (collared M1347 and f1445)

The Baldy Pack was not located during the month of January.

IN NEW MEXICO:

Dark Canyon Pack (collared AM992)

During January, the IFT located this pack within and outside of its traditional territory in the west central portion of the Gila National Forest (GNF).

Iron Creek Pack (collared AM1240, AF1278 and mp1556)

During January, the Iron Creek Pack continued to utilize their territory in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness and the southern portion of the GNF. During the annual count and capture operation, all members of the Iron Creek Pack were observed from helicopter travelling together along the northern edge of the Gila Wilderness.

Lava Pack (collared F1405 and AM1285)

During January, F1405 (formerly of the Buckalou Pack) was located within the Lava Pack’s traditional territory in the south eastern portion of the GNF;F1405 is now considered a member of the Lava Pack. During the annual count and capture operation, AM1285 was captured, recollared, and released into the Lava Pack territory.

Leopold Pack (collared AM1293, AF1346 and mp1561)

During January, the IFT documented the Leopold Pack within their territory in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness. During the annual count and capture operation, AF1346 was captured, collared, and released into the Leopold pack territory.

Luna Pack (collared AM1158, AF1487 and mp1554)

During January, the Luna Pack remained in their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF. An independent trapper captured AF1158 in a coyote trap; the IFT responded immediately and recollared AM1158 (collar had failed in 2015) and released the animal on site into its territory. During the annual count and capture operation, AF1487 was captured, recollared, and released back into the Luna pack territory.

Mangas Pack (collared M1296 and F1439)

During January, the Mangas Pack was located within their territory in north western portions of the GNF in New Mexico.

Prieto Pack (collared AF1251, M1386, m1455, f1456, M1552, f1553, fp1565 and mp1569)

During January, the Prieto Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF. AF1251 continues to be located with M1398 and other members of the Prieto Pack. During the annual count and capture operation, AF1251, M1398, fp1565, and an uncollared pup were observed travelling together. Throughout January, including visual observation from the helicopter, f1553 was documented travelling with AM1285 of the SBP Pack. M1386, m1455, f1456, and M1552 continued to display dispersal behaviour within the GNF. M1552 was documented making a large distance dispersal movement north of I-40 in early January before quickly returning to Mexican wolf occupied range within the GNF. M1455 was observed travelling alone. AF1251, f1456, and an uncollared pup (mp1569) were captured, collared and released during the annual count and capture operation.

San Mateo Pack (collared AF1399)

During January, the San Mateo Pack continued to utilize their territory in the north central portion of the GNF. All members of the San Mateo Pack were observed from the helicopter travelling together during the annual population survey.

Sheepherders Baseball Park (SBP) Pack (collared AM1284)

During January, the SBP Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF. During the annual count and capture operation, AM1284 was observed travelling with f1553 of the Prieto Pack.

Willow Springs Pack (collared F1397)

January, the IFT documented the Willow Springs Pack within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF. During the annual count and capture operation, F1397 was documented travelling alone.

Single collared AM1155

During January, AM1155 was documented travelling within New Mexico. During the annual count and capture operation, AM1155 was documented travelling alone.

Single collared M1398

During January, M1398 was documented travelling with AF1251 of the Prieto Pack in the west central portion of the GNF.

Single collared M1354

During January, M1354 was documented travelling in southern portions of the GNF and northern Gila Wilderness. M1354 was observed travelling alone during the annual count and capture operation and later observed travelling with a sibling wolf (f1444).

Single collared f1444

During January, f1444 was documented travelling mostly within west central portions of the Gila National Forest (GNF). Although f1444 continued to utilize portions of its natal pack’s territory, it has not been located with other members of its pack and is now considered a single wolf. During the annual count and capture operations, f1444 was observed travelling with a sibling wolf (M1354).

MORTALITIES

During January, F1437 was located dead in Arizona. The incident is under investigation.

INCIDENTS

During the month of January, there were five confirmed wolf kills and one nuisance report.

On January 13, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, Arizona. The investigation determined the calf died from unknown causes.

On January 25, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, Arizona. The investigation determined the calf was killed by coyotes.

On January 26, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, Arizona. The investigation determined the calf was killed by coyotes.

On January 26, Wildlife Services investigated two dead calves in Catron County, New Mexico. The investigation determined both calves were confirmed wolf kills.

On January 27, the IFT received a report of a collared wolf observed travelling into Alpine Heights in Arizona on the night of January 26. The IFT learned a homeowner in Alpine Heights had an animal get into an outside trash container that same night. The IFT responded on January 27 and found tracks from a domestic dog in the snow around the trash container.

On January 28, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, Arizona. The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf kill.

On January 30, Wildlife Services investigated two dead calves in Apache County, Arizona. The investigations determined both of the calves were confirmed wolf kills.

COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATION

January 10, the Fish and Wildlife Service attended the White Mountain Apache Tribal Council meeting to listen to concerns regarding funding and management of Mexican wolves on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation.

On January 25, the Fish and Wildlife Service attended the White Mountain Apache Tribal Council meeting to discuss funding and management of Mexican wolves on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation.

On January 26, the Fish and Wildlife Service presented in Albuquerque to members of Amigos, the Southwest Regional Forest Service Retirees club.

PROJECT PERSONNEL

In January, Genevieve Fuller and Craig Zurek were hired as wolf biologists on the Arizona Game and Fish Department contingent of the IFT. Genevieve will be based out of the Pinetop wolf office and will assume responsibility for the data collection and on-the-ground management of wolf packs in the northern region of occupied wolf range in Arizona. Craig will be based out of the Alpine wolf office and will assume responsibility for the data collection and on-the-ground management of wolf packs in the southern region of occupied wolf range in Arizona.

REWARDS OFFERED

The USFWS is offering a reward of up to $10,000; the AGFD Operation Game Thief is offering a reward of up to $1,000; and the NMDGF is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the conviction of the individual(s) responsible for the shooting deaths of Mexican wolves. A variety of non-governmental organizations and private individuals have pledged an additional $46,000 for a total reward amount of up to $58,000, depending on the information provided.

Individuals with information they believe may be helpful are urged to call one of the following agencies: USFWS special agents in Mesa, Arizona, at (480) 967-7900, in Alpine, Arizona, at (928) 339-4232, or in Albuquerque, New Mexico, at(505) 346-7828; the WMAT at (928) 338-1023 or (928) 338-4385; AGFD Operation Game Thief at (800) 352-0700; or NMDGF Operation Game Thief at(800) 432-4263. Killing a Mexican wolf is a violation of the Federal Endangered Species Act and can result in criminal penalties of up to $50,000, and/or not more than one year in jail, and/or a civil penalty of up to $25,000.

  1. Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project

Monthly Update – February 1-28, 2017

Overall Mexican Wolf Recovery Program Monthly Update

The Fish and Wildlife Service convened a Mexican wolf recovery planning workshop in Queretaro, Mexico February 7-10, 2017 to continue discussions on biological information for the Vortex model and habitat niche model.  These models will inform the FWS’ development of a revision to the 1982 Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan.  The workshop was attended by representatives from Colorado, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Mexican government agencies CONANP and SEMARNAT, the Forest Service and independent scientists from the U.S. and Mexico.

The Fish and Wildlife Service met with the New Mexico State Director of Wildlife Services on February 13, 2017, to discuss the Mexican wolf range maps on the Service’s website, which inform the public on where due care is needed for trapping.

On February 21, 2017, the Fish and Wildlife Service and Arizona Game and Fish Department met with the Arizona Cattle Growers Association in Phoenix, Arizona to discuss the status of the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program, including the 2017 proposed initial release and translocation plan, status of revision to the 1982 recovery plan and depredation compensation programs.

The Fish and Wildlife Service met with the Forest Service in Albuquerque, NM on February 23, 2017 to discuss communication issues and the status of the Forest Service’s National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review for proposed release sites in Arizona and New Mexico.

Numbering System:  Mexican wolves are given an identification number recorded in an official studbook that tracks their history.  Capital letters (M = Male, F = Female) preceding the number indicate adult animals 24 months or older. Lower case letters (m = male, f = female) indicate wolves younger than 24 months or pups. The capital letter “A” preceding the letter and number indicate breeding wolves.

Definitions: A “wolf pack” is defined as two or more wolves that maintain an

established territory.  In the event that one of the two alpha (dominant) wolves dies, the remaining alpha wolf, regardless of pack size, retains the pack status. The packs referenced in this update contain at least one wolf with a radio telemetry collar attached to it. The Interagency Field Team (IFT) recognizes that wolves without radio telemetry collars may also form packs. If the IFT confirms that wolves are associating with each other and are resident within the same home range, they will be referenced as a pack.

CURRENT POPULATION STATUS

The IFT completed the annual year-end population survey which started in November 2016 and concluded with helicopter count and capture operations conducted in late January through early February 2017. The IFT documented a minimum of 113 Mexican wolves in the wild in Arizona and New Mexico at the end of 2016. At the end of February, there were 67 wolves with functioning radio collars that the IFT was actively monitoring. Wolves with functioning radio collars are listed by studbook number in the pack updates below.

Annual surveys are conducted in the winter as this is when the population is experiencing the least amount of natural fluctuation (i.e. in the spring the population increases dramatically with the birth of new pups and declines throughout the summer and fall as mortality is particularly high on young pups). Thus, the IFT summarizes the total number of wolves in the winter at a fairly static or consistent time of year. This allows for comparable year-to-year trends at a time of year that accounts for most mortality and survival of young pups.

IN ARIZONA:

Bear Wallow Pack (collared AM1338 and AF1335)

In February, the Bear Wallow Pack was located within their traditional territory in the east central portion of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest (ASNF).

Bluestem Pack (collared M1382, F1488, fp1562, fp1563, mp1568 and mp1573)

In February, the Bluestem Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the east central portion of the ASNF. Some wolves from the Bluestem Pack continue to travel separate from the pack. F1443 continues to be documented with m1447, of the Diamond Pack, in New Mexico near the Arizona border. This pair has remained together for three months and is now considered a separate pack and will soon be given a name. F1488 was documented travelling with another wolf near Alpine. M1382 was documented travelling with AF1339 of the Panther Creek Pack. Bluestem male pup, mp1568, was found dead in Arizona and the incident is under investigation.

Elk Horn Pack (collared AF1294, mp1471, mp1474 and fp147X)

In February, the Elk Horn Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north eastern portion of the ASNF. The temporary studbook number, fp147X, for the female pup that was captured, collared and released in January will be replaced with the correct studbook number once genetic analysis results are available to determine if the pup was wild born or a captive born pup that was cross-fostered into the Elk Horn Pack in April of 2016.

Hawks Nest Pack (collared AM1038)

In February, the Hawks Nest Pack consisted of one collared wolf, AM1038. AM1038 previously made wide dispersal movements within the north central portion of the ASNF and was then located in New Mexico in the GNF toward the beginning of the month. By the end of February, AM1038 was documented back in Arizona and travelling with the Diamond Pack.

Hoodoo Pack (collared AM1290, AF1333, m1441, fp1549, fp1550 and f1567)

In February, the Hoodoo Pack remained in the north central portion of the ASNF. Sub-adult wolves m1441 and f1567 were documented travelling together and apart from the Hoodoo Pack. The IFT is conducting prey carcass investigations as part of a kill rate study for both the Hoodoo Pack and the new pair m1441 and f1567 during the month of February.

Maverick Pack (collared AF1291)

In February, the Maverick Pack was located within their traditional territory both on the FAIR and east central portion of the ASNF.

Panther Creek Pack (collared AF1339, AM1394, mp1483, fp1484, mp1486, and mp148X)

In February, the Panther Creek Pack was located in the east central portion of the ASNF. Bluestem M1382 continues to be located travelling with AF1339. AM1394 was not located during the month of February. Pups m1483, fp1484, mp1486, and mp148X have all been travelling separately from AF1339 and M1382 during the month of February. Male pups mp1483 and mp1486 have both been documented travelling in the Gila National Forest in NM. The temporary studbook number, mp148X, for the male pup that was captured, collared and released in January will be replaced with the correct studbook number once genetic analysis results are available.

ON THE FAIR:

Diamond Pack (collared f1557, mp1559, fp1560, fp1570, mp1571 and mp1572)

In February, the Diamond Pack was located in the northern portion of the ASNF and on state lands north of the ASNF.  Sub-adult m1447 has been travelling with F1443, of the Bluestem Pack, in New Mexico near the Arizona border for three months and is no longer considered part of the Diamond Pack. AM1038 of the Hawks Nest Pack was documented travelling with wolves from the Diamond Pack this month.

Tsay-O-Ah Pack (collared AM1343 and AF1283)

In February, the Tsay-o-Ah Pack was located within their traditional territory in the eastern portion of the FAIR.

Baldy Pack (collared M1347 and f1445)

The Baldy Pack was not located during the month of February.

IN NEW MEXICO:

Dark Canyon Pack (collared AM992)

AM992 was located dead in February, the incident is under investigation.

Iron Creek Pack (collared AM1240, AF1278 and mp1556)

During February, the Iron Creek Pack continued to utilize their territory in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness and the southern portion of the Gila National Forest (GNF).

Lava Pack (collared F1405 and AM1285)

During February, the Lava Pack was located within their traditional territory in the south eastern portion of the GNF.

Leopold Pack (collared AM1293, AF1346 and mp1561)

During February, the IFT documented the Leopold Pack within their territory in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness.

Luna Pack (collared AM1158 and AF1487)

During February, the Luna Pack remained in their traditional territory in the north central portion of the Gila National Forest. The IFT has been unable to locate mp1554 and it is now considered fate unknown.

Mangas Pack (collared M1296 and F1439)

During February, the Mangas Pack was located within their territory in the north western portion of the GNF.

New Pack (F1443 and m1447)

F1443, from the Bluestem Pack, and m1447, from the Diamond Pack, have been documented travelling together for a minimum of three months and will receive a pack name. They have been using a territory south of Luna near the Arizona border.

Prieto Pack (collared AF1251, M1398, M1386, m1455, f1456, M1552, fp1565 and mp1569)

During February, the Prieto Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF. After being located with the Prieto Pack for a month M1398 is now considered paired with AF1251 and the new breeding male. f1553 continued to be documented travelling with AM1285 of the SBP Pack and is now considered paired with AM1285 and the new breeding female. M1386, m1455, and M1552 continued to display dispersal behaviour within the GNF. mp1569 is also displaying dispersal behaviour and was documented travelling east as far as portions of the Cibola National Forest. On February 11, f1456 was documented travelling with M1354; they continued to travel together through the remainder of the month.

San Mateo Pack (collared AF1399)

During February, the San Mateo Pack continued to utilize their territory in the north central portion of the GNF.

Sheepherders Baseball Park (SBP) Pack (collared AM1284 and f1553)

During February, the SBP Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF. f1553 continued to be documented travelling with the SBP Pack and is now considered paired with AM1285 and the new breeding female.

Willow Springs Pack (collared F1397)

February, the IFT documented the Willow Springs Pack within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF.

Single collared AM1155

During February, AM1155 was documented travelling within New Mexico.

Single collared M1398

M1398 is now considered part of the Prieto Pack; see above.

Single collared M1354

February, M1354 was documented travelling within its former natal pack territory (Dark Canyon Pack) with f1456 of the Prieto Pack.

Single collared f1444

During February, f1444 was documented travelling mostly within west central portions of the GNF.

MORTALITIES

During February, AM992 of the Dark Canyon Pack was located dead in New Mexico. The incident is under investigation.

During February, mp1568 of the Bluestem Pack was located dead in Arizona. The incident is under investigation.

INCIDENTS

During the month of February, there was one confirmed wolf kill and seven nuisance reports.

On February 3, a homeowner in Nutrioso, Arizona reported there were seven wolves on private property near a pen holding alpacas near a residence. The homeowner used a vehicle to scare the wolves away. IFT personnel responded and located wolf tracks on the property near the alpaca pen. IFT personnel used collar signals to confirm the Elk Horn Pack had been responsible for the nuisance report. IFT personnel pursued the Elk Horn Pack and hazed the wolves from the adjacent area. The homeowner advised that on the night of January 29, 2017 one of their dogs had been injured by what they thought was a coyote, but they were concerned a wolf could have injured it. Wildlife Services investigated the injuries on the homeowner’s dog on February 7, and determined that it was probable that the injuries had been caused by a wolf. GPS points do not implicate the Elk Horn Pack in an incident in Nutrioso on January 29.

On February 7, F1488 and another wolf were observed in a residential area of Alpine, Arizona by a homeowner. The homeowner hazed the wolves to an adjacent property with a vehicle where a second homeowner shot a firearm which caused the wolves to leave. IFT personnel responded and confirmed F1488 was responsible for the report by radio collar signal in the area. On February 8, IFT personnel located the carcass of an elk near the residential area that had been killed by wolves. The carcass was moved and no further incidents were reported at the residence.

On February 10, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, Arizona. The investigation determined the calf was killed by coyotes.

On February 12, a collared wolf was observed in a residential area of Alpine interacting with a dog outside of a residence. IFT personnel responded and observed wolf tracks in the snow that corroborated the report. Radio collar signals of F1488 as well as AM1290 and fp1550 of the Hoodoo Pack were documented in the area.

On February 16, the Nutrioso homeowner with alpacas reported hearing wolves howling from the residence. IFT personnel responded, contacted the homeowner, and documented radio telemetry signals in the area from the Elk Horn Pack. The wolves were successfully hazed from the area using non-injurious explosive scare cartridges. IFT personnel discussed with the homeowner the option of deploying fladry fencing around the alpaca pen to provide a deterrent to wolves.

On February 17, a Nutrioso homeowner reported his teenage daughter had been chased by a pack of wolves while riding horseback on the National Forest. IFT personnel responded and interviewed the father and daughter about the incident. IFT personnel investigated the incident, including interviewing the horseback rider and her father, and determined the rider and her dog were travelling on a trail on February 16, near Gobbler Peak when she rode into the Hoodoo Pack while the wolves were on an elk kill. The dog interacted with the wolves and was described as sniffing, chasing and playing with the wolves. The female indicated one wolf was approximately eight feet from her horse at one point and two or three other wolves were at a distance of 15 to 20 feet from her horse. Based on the description of these wolves, the IFT personnel determined these wolves were likely pups from the Hoodoo Pack. The female reportedly yelled at the wolves then rode away when the wolves did not leave. She indicated the wolves followed her and her dog for a distance of up to half of a mile while yipping and howling. She reported seeing a total of about six to eight wolves. The IFT personnel advised both individuals that though a wolf at distance of eight feet from a human is not desirable, interactions between wolves and dogs are not uncommon and can occur when people with dogs encounter wolves. Wolves vocalizing and following a perceived threat out of an area is a common territorial behaviour exhibited by wolves.

On February 21, the Nutrioso homeowner with alpacas reported hearing wolves howling from the residence. IFT personnel responded and learned that the homeowner observed several wolves and had shot a firearm to scare them off. The IFT confirmed three sets of wolf tracks in the area and made plans to deploy fladry fencing on the following day. Faint signals were heard in the area from the Elk Horn Pack and one of the Panther Creek pups.

On February 22, the Nutrioso homeowner with alpacas reported observing three wolves travelling past their property and again shot a firearm in attempt to scare the animals away. IFT personnel deployed electric charged fladry fencing around the alpaca pens and later installed radio telemetry activated noise and strobe light units on the property that are triggered by signals from wolves with radio collars when they approach the area. The homeowner was aware of their legal right to take, including shooting and killing, any Mexican wolf in the act of attacking livestock or a dog on non-federal land. At the time this report was prepared, there have been no further nuisance reports from this homeowner or on the Elk Horn Pack.

On February 25, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Catron County, New Mexico. The investigation determined the cow was a confirmed wolf kill.

COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATION

On February 28, the Fish and Wildlife Service gave a webinar on the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program to the Western Regional Partnership.

PROJECT PERSONNEL

There are no project personnel updates for the month of February.

REWARDS OFFERED

The USFWS is offering a reward of up to $10,000; the AGFD Operation Game Thief is offering a reward of up to $1,000; and the NMDGF is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the conviction of the individual(s) responsible for the shooting deaths of Mexican wolves. A variety of non-governmental organizations and private individuals have pledged an additional $46,000 for a total reward amount of up to $58,000, depending on the information provided.

Individuals with information they believe may be helpful are urged to call one of the following agencies: USFWS special agents in Mesa, Arizona, at (480) 967-7900, in Alpine, Arizona, at (928) 339-4232, or in Albuquerque, New Mexico, at(505) 346-7828; the WMAT at (928) 338-1023 or (928) 338-4385; AGFD Operation Game Thief at (800) 352-0700; or NMDGF Operation Game Thief at(800) 432-4263. Killing a Mexican wolf is a violation of the Federal Endangered Species Act and can result in criminal penalties of up to $50,000, and/or not more than one year in jail, and/or a civil penalty of up to $25,000.

From Wolf Conservation Center (contact@nywolf.org)

USA: Killing wolves and pups on National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska? Take action now

Urgent – Alaska’s Wolves Need Your Help

Killing wolves and their pups, shooting mother bears and cubs in their dens, aerial gunning, snaring… on OUR National Wildlife Refuges?

Some lawmakers are determined to nullify federal protections for denning wolves, hibernating bears, and other predators on national preserves in Alaska. What are wildlife refuges, after all, if not refuges for wildlife?

Your help is needed. Please urge your Senators to stand up for America’s wildlife and the National Wildlife Refuge System by opposing S.J. RES. 18.

Take action here.

Thank you!

From Care2 Action Alerts (actionalerts@care2.com)

Save 10 wolves from slaughter in Slovenia!

We wrote to you recently asking you to help save endangered wolves in Italy from slaughter. Hundreds of thousands of Care2 members like you signed the petition, and it looks like our efforts could be successful. But now there’s another threat to endangered wolves: The government of Slovenia has just announced it will give hunters permission to kill 20% of its tiny wolf population.

Care2 member David L. was horrified, so he started a petition urging the government to abandon the cull immediately. Sign now to save Slovenian wolves from slaughter before it’s too late: http://www.care2.com/go/z/e/AxJP3/zSl9/GeQa

Slovenian authorities claim the wolf cull will protect livestock and help the country’s farmers, but their decision goes against research that shows culls are ineffective. Hunts break up wolf packs, which leads to more attacks on livestock because wolves are less efficient at hunting on their own.

Only 50 wolves still exist in the forests of Slovenia, but the government is determined to permit the killing of 10 wolves. There are alternative ways to protect livestock that are humane and practical, and these should be used instead. Some examples include enclosing farm animals in fences and installing bright lights.

While the government claims it listened to experts to make this decision, the real reason for this cull is clear. Hunters in Slovenia have a huge lobby that wields incredible amounts of political influence.

Wolves were once on the verge of extinction in Slovenia, until the government made them a protected species. We can’t let these animals be driven toward extinction again. Sign David’s petition now to make your voice heard and stop the wolf slaughter: http://www.care2.com/go/z/e/AxJP3/zSl9/GeQa

Thank you for all that you do,

From Take Action! at GreaterGood Network (news@greatergood.com)

USA: Time Is Running Out For Gray Wolves!

Mexican gray wolves are the most endangered wolf species and are among some of the most endangered mammals in the world. As of 2015, only 97 Mexican gray wolves remain in the wild, while the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently confirmed that 14 Mexican gray wolf deaths were documented last year, the most in a single year since 1998 when the federal government began reintroducing the predators to New Mexico and Arizona.
All of the Mexican wolves alive today are descended from captive breeding programs, and years of delaying their release into the world is causing a genetic crisis. Releasing more wolves into the wild will increase their numbers and improve the genetic health of wild populations. Take action by signing our petition and tell the Trump administration that we won’t be backing down from Mexican gray wolf recovery!

Please sign the petition here.

From ForceChange (TakeAction@ForceChange.com)

Finland: Stop Murdering Endangered Wolves Just to Protect Hunters

Endangered wolves are being slaughtered in Finland because hunters feel threatened by them. This is ridiculous and must be opposed. Wolves are majestic and social animals that should be protected, not massacred: https://forcechange.com/185064/stop-murdering-endangered-wolves/

Endangered wolves are being slaughtered in Finland because some hunters claim they are dangerous. However, there are only 235 wolves in the entire country. Furthermore, the wolf is a protected species in the European Union, which should make hunting them illegal.

Sadly, 43 wolves were recently killed as a part of this campaign against the species. This number does not include the 34 other wolves that were also shot by police and hit by cars. To pile on, the government is now permitting 53 more wolves to be killed this year.

In relation, people are rarely attacked by wolves. In fact, one scientific study showed that when wolves were approached 125 times, the wolves ran away all but twice. In the other two instances, mothers solely displayed protective behavior toward their pups and no direct aggressive behavior toward the people who approached them.

Continuing to kill wolves only ensures that this beautiful animal will become extinct. Demand wolves be saved from this horrible fate. We have to act now if we want these awesome animals to be around for years to come.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Minister Tiilikainen,

Endangered wolves are being slaughtered in your country, even though they are protected by the European Union. It is important that we do everything possible to save this beautiful animal so that they will be able to thrive.

Claiming that wolves have to be shot for the purpose of protecting hunters is a poor argument. Unfortunately, the government has apparently already allowed many wolves to be killed and plans to continue having countrywide hunts take place.

People are hardly ever attacked by wolves. One study even revealed that when wolves were approached, they are most likely to flee instead of act aggressively. The two wolves in the study that did not immediately leave when approached were mothers who only showed protective behavior toward their cubs, rather than aggressive behavior toward the people who approached them.

Continuing to allow wolves to be hunted will only lead to their extinction. We therefore demand that wolves be protected in Finland rather than hunted. If we don’t do what we can to save them today, they may disappear forever.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

From Change.org (www.change.org)

Brigitte Sommer, Germany, 8 Mar 2017

The Wolves in Italy also need your support!

The protection of wolves goes beyond borders

Wolves have been afforded one of the strictest protection measures in Europe; they may not be hunted or killed. Unfortunately not all member states of the European Union adhere to this convention, though. Besides of France and other EU-members, which have created so-called exception rules, wolves in Italy will now also be targeted. The EU already warned Sweden of consequences two years ago, but the bureaucratic mills seem to work slowly.

Back to Italy – although eleven regions of Italy, amongst them the Abruzzi, do not agree with minister Galletti’s plan that makes provision for the killing of certain wolves, he does not want to give up. The fight to stop this plan must continue.

Please help with your signature at:

https://www.change.org/p/soslupo-salviamo-i-lupi-sbonaccini-glgalletti?recruiter=293738677&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=share_facebook_responsive&utm_term=des-lg-34881-custom_msg

 

Other News

National

From SanWild Wildlife Trust (lizel@sanwild.org)

  1. Nellie still needs our help

As you will all know by now Nellie is ready to come home and the SanWild and Wild Africa teams are doing what we can to ensure that we raise additional funding to pay for Nellie’s capture, transportation, transit insurance, pregnancy care and ongoing veterinary support as well as a rhino habitat suitability report that is a new requirement for releasing rescued rhinos back to the wild to ensure their ongoing wellbeing in Intensive Protection Zones.

We need to raise an additional $12 500.00 US

It is imperative that we find the additional funding needed by no later than Monday the 27th February 2017 to ensure that funds reach us in time to meet our contractual obligations with her current owner.

Please do bear in mind that for funds to reach us in South Africa via the current Generosity Campaign, EFT (Electronic Fund Transfers), direct banking transfer (please email Louise on louise@sanwild.org for banking details) or PayPal does take a couple of days so we need you to act now if you would like to help bring Nellie home.

You ARE DEFINITELY making an enormous contribution to help safeguard these critically endangered animals and we trust you will keep up your support for Nellie.  We are almost there.

You can continue to donate via the Generosity Campaign or use this direct PayPal link

Thanks so much for your understanding, love and support.

International

From Care2 Action Alerts (actionalerts@care2.com)

Peru: They say the dog was disobedient, and that’s why it deserved its fate.

Every year, people in the village of Chalhuani in central Peru choose a local dog that is known for trouble-making and tie it onto the back of a bull. As the dog yelps in fear, they strap all four of its legs onto the bull so that it cannot run and can barely even move. Then, handlers release the bull into the fighting ring and it charges out – with the dog still on its back.

Ask the President of Peru to ban the use of dogs in bullfighting. Sign the petition: http://www.care2.com/go/z/e/AxF0F/zSk4/GeQa

In 2015, the Peruvian government passed the Animal Protection and Welfare Law, which outlaws the killing, torture or abandonment of pets or wild animals. Any person who disobeys this law can be sentenced to five years in prison. But the law makes an exception for bullfighting because it is considered part of Peru’s cultural heritage.

But tying a panicked dog onto the back of a bull and sending it into the fighting ring is not about culture. It’s cruelty, pure and simple. Once the dogs are in the arena, they will be brutally stabbed, over and over, until they finally die along with the bull.

When Corinne learned about this practice, she was horrified. She started a Care2 petition to end this cruel and grotesque practice, but she needs signatures from all over the world in order to have any chance of succeeding. Sign her petition to show the Peruvian government this tradition is causing an international outcry they cannot ignore: http://www.care2.com/go/z/e/AxF0F/zSk4/GeQa

From Faye Cuevas, International Fund for Animal Welfare (news@ifaw.org)

Half of Africa’s elephants could be gone in 10 years

Butterbean’s mother nudges her awake so they can join their family on their morning walk to the river in Malawi’s Kasungu National Park. At the same time, a band of armed poachers tracks the elephants to the river. They raise their rifles, and take aim at the small herd. What happens next could be up to you.

Butterbean was born recently in Kasungu National Park in Malawi. There used to be 1,000 elephants in Kasungu, but ivory poachers have killed so many that now only 50 remain.

Ivory poaching has become a mass elephant slaughter. An estimated 20,000 were killed just in the last year – that’s an average of one elephant killed every 26 minutes! At that rate, half of Africa’s elephants could be gone in just ten years!

http://links.mkt4012.com/ctt?kn=39&ms=MTY2MTE5NDES1&r=NTUyNjI2NTUyMgS2&b=0&j=OTYxNzE2MjM3S0&mt=1&rt=0

To stop poachers before they strike, we’ve created a groundbreaking project called tenBoma. It can mean the difference between life and death for elephants like Butterbean.

TenBoma is based on an anti-terrorism model used by the military. Information is gathered from local residents, wildlife rangers, police, other non-profits, satellites and other sources.

When the information points to a serious threat to elephants, rangers are sent immediately to intercept the poachers before they can slaughter the elephants.

We’ve already made numerous arrests, but we need your help to expand tenBoma into areas of Africa where elephants are most vulnerable.

You can join our fight to save elephants and other animals from cruelty and suffering here.

Wolves and Wolfdogs

Wolves in the USA

The “War on Wolves Act”

Minnesota, Wisconsin and Wyoming have decided to eradicate wolves.

Senators from Midwest and Wyoming have introduced a bill to strip protections from endangered Gray wolves. The “War on Wolves Act” is a companion bill to legislation introduced last week in the House that would strip federal protections from wolves and allow trophy hunting and trapping of the species in four states.

If the legislation passes both chambers and gets signed by the president, it would hand the fate of wolves in Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin and Wyoming over to states whose management wolf plans two federal courts ruled inadequate to securing the species at legally required population levels in absence of Endangered Species Act protections.

In Wyoming, this would allow the state to resume a hostile management program that allowed for unlimited shoot-on-sight killing of wolves across 85 percent of the state. The legislation would further strip citizens of the right to challenge these lethal programs in court. The appeals process of two federal court decisions that restored federal protections to wolves in those four states are still underway. Decisions on those cases are expected any day.

The following is a statement from Marjorie Mulhall, Senior Legislative Counsel at Earthjustice:

“A new congress has resurfaced an old vendetta against imperiled wolves. If this legislation is signed into law, wolves in Wyoming will be subjected to unregulated killing across the vast majority of the state, and even on the borders of Yellowstone National Park numerous legal loopholes will authorize widespread wolf killing

Americans widely hailed the return of wolves to the Northern Rockies two decades ago as a triumph of the Endangered Species Act, but now this “War on Wolves Act” would allow for the same unregulated killing that nearly wiped out the species in the first place.
Politicians should not meddle in the science-based listing status of a particular species at any stage, but now is an especially bad time as these cases are still playing out in the courts. We urge those who support the protection of wolves to call their senators and representatives and tell them to vote down this lethal legislation.”

Although this could have also been a small note in our news section we have decided to give you the full report from http://nativeamericans24.us/2017/03/minnesota-wisconsin-and-wyoming-have-decided-to-eradicate-wolves/ in this space because if we, the wolf lovers and protectors, do not act now and fast, this will end in the violent death of hundreds of wolves in the US again.

Wolf Myths and Legends, Part 136

Don’t Kill The Wolf

by Robert Mosteller

The low murmur of chants
and the slow tempo of the drums,
the Indian braves dance around the fire
as the wolf spirit comes.
The slight bellow of a howl
off in the distance you hear,
the wolf and Indian are brothers
to each, they show no fear.

They respect one another
because they share the same land,
the Indian learns from the wolf
the lessons he keeps at hand.
The wolf is strong and stealth
in his characteristic ways,
his howl lets you know
it is the end of the day.

The wolf was many
as in the days of old,
but now there are few
that stand so bold.
The white man shows fear
so with fear, he kills,
thus, he builds up the land
with all his skills.

The white man doesn’t understand
why the wolf kills,
he too has to survive
with his instincts and skills.
The more man builds the land
the more he takes away,
the wolf has nowhere to go
where is his prey?

His prey is the white man’s
chickens, cattle, or sheep,
he attacks them unexpected
when the white man goes to sleep.
Thus, it has made man mad
when he saw the tracks,
it was a dog like animal
for they ran in packs.

They felt threatened and scared
by the wolves periodic attacks,
they’re surely vicious
when they run in packs.
But whose fault is this
is it man or beast?
We all have to survive
to say the least.

But in order to survive
we all have to share,
by giving of something
and to show you care.
Let’s save the wolf
and respect his needs,
he’s not a real threat
give back, on what he feeds.

There’s a senseless slaughter
going on these days,
of killing wolves and
keeping them at bay.
This can be stopped
but not without your voice,
let’s save the wolves
make the right choice.

 

Readers’ Contribution

A Wolfdog Diary

By Erin

Just a short update on Ascar’s progress: Although he seems to forget about “his lesson” from time to time and makes attempts to revert to his old behaviour, we can say that, in general, he is much friendlier towards Kajack now. Sure, he has to demonstrate every few hours every day that he is the big boss, but he goes about it with far less brutality than he used to before, and he now also listens much better to Ted and me when we tell him to be gentle. If all else fails, a short rattling with the chain will be enough to drive the point home. He is still most curious about the chain and leash, and we can put it on him without him panicking in the least. Quite the contrary seems to be true – he seems to regard it as some sort of an umbilical cord that will connect him, and him exclusively, to Ted, which shows in him looking almost “admiringly” at him. Taima also seems to be much happier with more harmony in her pack, although she will still reprimand Ascar from time to time for being too bold and pushy. We are certain that time is on our side here and that he will calm down with age (or at least we hope so).

Will be continued…

Volume 12, Issue 148, February 2017

SAFHOWL

The Monthly Free E-Newsletter of South African Friends of Wolves

Volume 12, Issue 148, February 2017

From the Editor’s Desk

Breakfast has a new dimension. Every morning, we habitually watch a news channel to learn what happened while we were blissfully asleep. In particular, we are most curious these days to find out what hair-raising nonsense Benito Mussolini – oops, no, what was his name? Donald or something – has come up with in the last few hours. And very rarely will we be disappointed and either laugh out loud or shake our heads in bewilderment. Obviously, we do realize many of the truly negative implications right away, but how else can you respond to all of that other than with venomous sarcasm?

That the new US administration would cause havoc also for US wildlife I had forecast and, sadly, it’s starting to prove true now. It was clear that it would make opponents of nature conservation crawl out of their holes and try and use the opportunity to push their anti-wildlife pro-huntsmen bills. Our International News section below is full of the first ridiculous to outright barbaric proposals that have sprung up within the past few weeks. Fortunately there are (now more than ever) organisations that coordinate public protest and fight these with legal means. And considering how popular this joker at the helm has made himself already, many a judge will probably like nothing better than an opportunity to shoot his and his helpers’ ideas down.

Possibly motivated – or rather misguided – by what’s happing across the Atlantic, equally nonsensical anti-wildlife measures appear to be considered or pressed by equally brainless politicians in both Italy and Germany (at least). Particularly upsetting is the story of Pumpak, the friendly wild wolf who loves cake so much. We have translated a comprehensive summary of his story below. And we are hoping, like thousands of other wolf-loving people, that he is still alive and well somewhere safe…

We found another dark wolf tale that we share with you here, and Erin updates us on the latest that has been happening in her mixed pack.

Till next month,
Ed.

News from the Wolf Front

National

From HuskyRomi Wolf Sanctuary (www.huskyromi.co.za)

The HuskyRomi Wolf Sanctuary’s 2017 Calendar can now be ordered. It is R 50 and all proceeds will go straight to the sanctuary. P&P not included.

If you want to order yours please contact Nolia Meyer at nolia@pentasure.ws or
send an SMS to 072 622 1764

International

From Defenders of Wildlife (http://www.defenders.org)

  1. USA: Keep up the Fight for lobos!

Mexican gray wolves are the most endangered gray wolves in the world and unless more of them are released into the wild, they are doomed to go extinct. It’s crucial that we make it clear to the incoming administration that we’re not backing down from Mexican gray wolf recovery – please take action today:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=gDB1koD3QXWN5mz4oOuYHA

  1. USA: Wyoming wolves are counting on you

She never had a name, but she was known and loved around the world.

Known as “832F,” or “06,” the matriarch of the Lamar Canyon wolf pack drew wolf-watchers from around the world. And under her leadership, the pack thrived…

…but then she was shot and killed just a few miles outside the Yellowstone National Park boundary – after the death of their matriarch Yellowstone’s Lamar Canyon pack was thrown into chaos.

That’s what happens when states like Wyoming take over wolf management. And it’s exactly what will happen if Congress succeeds in delisting wolves in Wyoming

Don’t let the reckless killing start up again. Your generous donation will help save wolves and other imperilled wildlife:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=lD2om4-HLYlmGhiJCAQc4Q

When the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wrongly delisted Wyoming’s wolves in 2012, we went to court because the state’s wolf plan declared more than 80% of Wyoming a ‘predator zone,’ where anyone could kill as many wolves as they wanted at any time. And we won, but the case took two years. While the case was pending, 832F and more than 200 other Wyoming wolves were killed.

I think you know the threats to wolves and other wildlife have never been greater than they are today.

Your urgent donation will help protect wolves and other vulnerable species by providing the resources we need to uphold America’s commitment to wildlife and wild places:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=xsOtizDfybD2GqJKhRHOVw

The incoming Trump administration and the extremist-dominated Congress have rung the dinner bell for developers, ideologues, and others who see wildlife either as nuisances or fit only for target practice. It’s up to you and me to stop them!

We must do everything we can to fight this legislation! I’m counting on your help today.

  1. USA: Wolves and other wildlife – beware!

From January 20th, things have been going from bad to worse for wolves and other wildlife.

The Trump administration is a who’s who of climate change-denying oil and gas boosters and special interests. And, extremists in Congress are embarking on a ruthless campaign to turn the clock back on wildlife protection.

I won’t lie. Animals will die in alarming numbers if the extremists get their way.

I know you share you my love for wildlife. And you’ve been an important ally in protecting wolves, grizzlies and other wild things we love.

That’s why I implore you to take another step today and become a monthly donor to Defenders of Wildlife:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=KeSVmDICJiWPeK9JBFVATw

And, now’s a particularly good time to do this. Our Board of Directors and National Council have offered to donate $100 for each member who donates $15 or more monthly, up to $25,000.

We’ve seen that President-elect Trump views most things as resources to be exploited. And the ideologues and the oil barons he has named to his cabinet have their own agendas.

As a monthly sustainer, your support provides a steady, reliable source of contributions as we fight habitat loss and threats to wildlife.

  • What will happen to wolves in the lower 48 if stripped of all Endangered Species Act protection?
  • What will happen to dwindling African elephant populations if the doors are thrown open for importing illegal ivory?
  • What will happen to polar bears and other animals if the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and other precious wild habitats are opened for drilling, fracking and mining?

These are real threats, just some of the many we are sure to face in the months and years ahead.

But your monthly donation will give us the resources we need to defend wildlife from the mounting threats they face.

Not everyone shares the commitment to wildlife that you and I do. This is the moment when those of who care must do everything possible.

We can’t do this without you.

  1. USA: Save wolves from certain death

Congress is once again taking aim at our beloved wolves.

A companion bill to H.R. 424, the House bill introduced by Liz Cheney of Wyoming to strip wolves in Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Wyoming of all protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), was just introduced in the Senate.

One thing is for certain: If this bill is enacted, more wolves will die.

Tell Democratic Minority Leader Schumer to oppose S. 164, the “War on Wolves Act!”:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=WdR0C7sbu1g12dUs8R2r-A

This bill would return wolf management in Wyoming to the state, which had previously allowed for unregulated, shoot-on-sight killing of wolves in a “predator zone” that encompasses over 80% of the state.

We are very concerned that a number of pro-conservation Senators have signed onto this bill because we need as much support for the ESA as possible this Congress.

Oppose the “War on Wolves Act”:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=VXkyFLu1iLfT5xsftYrYHg

As the Senate Democratic Minority Leader and a supporter of the ESA, we must urge Senator Schumer to strongly encourage his colleagues to withdraw their support for this terrible legislation and do everything in his power to prevent the Senate from advancing the measure:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=OPs9AREUM4dA8WBHO-qYuw

These decisions are supposed to be about science, not politics.

When Congress intervenes, animals die.

Please take action today:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=thrXDCJnXjRHE62KoGs7Rw

  1. USA: Stop Alaska’s bid to shoot wolves from the air

The state of Alaska refuses to give up on its relentless quest to kill wolves, bears and other wildlife by baiting, snaring and shooting mother bears with cubs and wolves with pups.

We’re pulling out all the stops to defend these animals and end the madness.

Help us defend these imperiled predators. Your urgent donation will help us fight Alaska’s despicable plan:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=ue63GzzbcjMYIaQ_93y71Q

You might recall that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service passed regulations last year specifically outlawing Alaska’s excessive and extreme attacks on predators on national wildlife refuges and preserves. But Alaska is fighting back. They recently filed a lawsuit in federal court to overturn these regulations. And now the Alaska delegation has introduced legislation in Congress to accomplish the same goal.

If Alaska wins, their plan will include:

  • Killing wolves and pups during the spring and summer “denning” season;
  • Gunning down mother bears and their cubs;
  • Baiting and snaring bears and their cubs; and
  • Using airplanes to scout and shoot bears.

We’re fighting a war on two fronts. Thanks to you, Defenders’ is going to court and filing a motion to intervene to try to stop this deadly lawsuit. And on Capitol Hill, we’re gathering opposition to this crude effort to replace science with politics – but we need you!

Your urgent donation today will make a difference:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=AEbCwOjDnp7N1NjciY36ag

Thanks for your help.

  1. USA: Alaska: Stop this under-handed attack on bears and wolves

Wolves, bears and other Alaska carnivores are once again in grave danger.

Congress is trying to revoke a regulation that protects wolves and other predators on national wildlife refuges in the state. If Congress succeeds, Alaska will be allowed to authorize extreme killing methods such as shooting mother bears with cubs and killing wolves with pups.

URGENT: Tell your representative to oppose H.J. Res. 69 to protect America’s wildlife:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=_uZVoEveUX0a7X-9GU-Ruw

Anti-wildlife Members of Congress are using an obscure law called the Congressional Review Act to toss aside a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) regulation that restricts these gruesome methods of “predator control” on Alaska national wildlife refuges. Perhaps even worse, voiding this rule would slam the door on any future regulations that aim to conserve these predators on refuge lands.

Alaska wants to kill these animals to artificially inflate game populations so hunters have more animals to shoot. Alaska’s scheme targets wolves and bears through extreme methods including killing mother bears and cubs, killing wolves and pups in their dens, trapping, baiting and using airplanes to scout and shoot bears.

This resolution opens federal refuge lands that belong to all of us to this despicable predator control program – and it will be voted on this week!

Alaska’s Wildlife needs you:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=9mn5rnPZVxSKdaUF5X_FTg

Alaska’s egregious predator control program is a backwards attempt to artificially inflate game populations and clearly violates the letter and spirit of the National Wildlife Refuge System to conserve biological integrity and diversity for wildlife on refuges.

Thanks for all you do for the wildlife we all love.

From California Wolfcenter
(californiawolfcenter@yahoogroups.com)

  1. Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project Monthly Update

Endangered Species Updates December 1-31, 2016

The following is a summary of Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project (Project)

activities in the Mexican Wolf Experimental Population Area (MWEPA) in Arizona, including the Fort Apache Indian Reservation (FAIR), San Carlos Apache Reservation (SCAR), and New Mexico.  Additional Project information can be obtained by calling (928) 339-4329 or toll free at (888) 459-9653, or by visiting the Arizona Game and Fish Department website at

www.azgfd.gov/wolf or by visiting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website at www.fws.gov/southwest/es/mexicanwolf.

Past updates may be viewed on either website, or interested parties may sign up to receive this update electronically.

 This update is a public document and information in it can be used for any purpose.  The Project is a multi-agency cooperative effort among the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD), USDA Forest Service (USFS), USDA-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services (USDA-APHIS WS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service USFWS) and the White Mountain Apache Tribe (WMAT).

 To view semi-monthly wolf telemetry flight location information please visit http://bit.do/mexicanwolf or www.fws.gov/southwest/es/mexicanwolf/RWL.cfm.

Please report any wolf sightings or suspected livestock depredations to: (928) 339-4329 or toll free at (888) 459-9653. To report incidents of take or harassment of wolves, please call the AGFD 24-hour dispatch (Operation Game Thief) at (800) 352-0700.

Overall Mexican Wolf Recovery Program Monthly Update

Genetic results from a male pup, mp1561, in the Leopold Pack indicate that the breeding female of the Leopold Pack is AF1346; a pup cross-fostered into the Dark Canyon Pack in 2014. This confirms the first instance of a Mexican wolf cross-fostered into a wild den surviving to and successfully reproducing offspring. This is a significant accomplishment in recovery efforts to increase genetic diversity in the wild population through cross-fostering efforts. M1347 of the Baldy Pack was also cross-fostered into the Dark Canyon pack in 2014. M1347 has survived to reproductive age and has paired with f1445 which was named the Baldy Pack by the IFT in September 2016.

On December 1, 2016, the Mexican Wolf/Livestock Council met to discuss requests for depredation compensation that varied from the depredation compensation guidelines. The Council also discussed how they would use estate funds that were provided to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for conservation of the Mexican wolf.

On December 6, 2016, the Fish and Wildlife Service gave a recovery award to Chairman Lupe of the White Mountain Apache Tribe for their exceptional contributions to the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program. The Mexican wolf population on the 1.6 million-acre Fort Apache Indian Reservation has grown and now contributes substantially to the overall recovery of the Mexican wolf. Over fifteen years ago, the White Mountain Apache Tribe became the first tribe to officially facilitate Mexican wolf recovery.

Numbering System:  Mexican wolves are given an identification number recorded in an official studbook that tracks their history.  Capital letters (M = Male, F = Female) preceding the number indicate adult animals 24 months or older. Lower case letters (m = male, f = female) indicate wolves younger than 24 months or pups. The capital letter “A” preceding the letter and number indicate breeding wolves.

Definitions: A “wolf pack” is defined as two or more wolves that maintain an

established territory.  In the event that one of the two alpha (dominant) wolves dies, the remaining alpha wolf, regardless of pack size, retains the pack status. The packs referenced in this update contain at least one wolf with a radio telemetry collar attached to it. The Interagency Field Team (IFT) recognizes that wolves without radio telemetry collars may also form packs. If the IFT confirms that wolves are associating with each other and are resident within the same home range, they will be referenced as a pack.

CURRENT POPULATION STATUS

Population monitoring requires year round effort documenting births, deaths, survival, total numbers, and distribution. Mortality occurs throughout the year and is particularly high on young pups, so while the IFT has documented reproduction this year, the IFT will not have a complete idea of how many of these young pups and adults have died until the annual population survey which is conducted in the winter. Annual surveys are conducted in the winter because it is when the population is experiencing the least amount of natural fluctuation (i.e. in the spring the population increases dramatically with the birth of new pups and declines throughout the summer and fall as mortality is particularly high on young pups). Thus, the IFT summarizes the total number of wolves in the winter at a fairly static or consistent time of year. This allows for comparable year-to-year trends at a time of year that accounts for most mortality and survival of young pups. At this time, the IFT’s best population estimate is that there was a minimum of 97 wolves in the wild as of December 31, 2015. End of year counts for 2016 are currently ongoing and will be completed in February 2017. At the end of December, there were 56 wolves with functioning radio collars that the IFT was actively monitoring.

IN ARIZONA:

Bear Wallow Pack (collared AM1338 and AF1335)

In December, the Bear Wallow Pack was located within their traditional territory in the east central portion of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest (ASNF).

Bluestem Pack (collared M1382, F1488, F1443, fp1562, and fp1563)

In December, the Bluestem Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the east central portion of the ASNF. M1382 and F1488 from the Bluestem Pack displayed dispersal behaviour during the month. F1443 continued to travel with m1447, of the Diamond Pack, in New Mexico near the Arizona border.

Elk Horn Pack (collared AF1294, AM1342, mp1474, and mp1471)

In December, the Elk Horn Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north eastern portion of the ASNF.

Hawks Nest Pack (collared AM1038)

In December, the Hawks Nest Pack was mostly located within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the ASNF. The IFT documented movements by AM1038 outside of the normal pack territory. Two additional sets of wolf tracks with AM1038 and photos from a remote camera indicate male sub-adults M1383 and m1483 from the Hawks Nest Pack may still be travelling with AM1038.

Hoodoo Pack (collared AM1290, AF1333, m1441, fp1549, and fp1550)

In December, the Hoodoo Pack remained in the north central portion of the ASNF.

Maverick Pack (collared AF1291)

In December, the Maverick Pack was located within their traditional territory both on the FAIR and ASNF. AM1183 was documented travelling with AF1291.

Panther Creek Pack (collared AF1339, AM1394, mp1483, fp1484, and mp1486)

In December, the Panther Creek Pack was located in the east central portion of the ASNF.

ON THE FAIR:

Diamond Pack (collared m1447, f1557, mp1558, mp1559 and fp1560)

In December, the Diamond Pack was located in the eastern portion of the FAIR, the northern portion of the ASNF and on private lands north of the ASNF. Sub-adult m1447 continued to be documented travelling with F1443, of the Bluestem Pack, in New Mexico near the Arizona border.

Tsay-O-Ah Pack (collared AM1343 and AF1283)

In December, the Tsay-o-Ah Pack was located within their traditional territory in the eastern portion of the FAIR.

Baldy Pack (collared M1347 and f1445)

In December, the Baldy Pack was located in the eastern portion of the FAIR and northern portion of the ASNF.

IN NEW MEXICO:

Dark Canyon Pack (collared AM992 and f1444)

During December, the IFT located this pack within its traditional territory in the west central portion of the Gila National Forest (GNF). During December, f1444 was often located near Eagle Peak in NM.

Iron Creek Pack (collared AM1240, AF1278 and mp1556)

During December, the Iron Creek Pack continued to utilize their territory in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness and the southern portion of the GNF.

Lava Pack (collared F1405)

During December, the IFT continued to document F1405 (formerly of the Buckalou Pack) travelling within the Lava Pack’s traditional territory in the south eastern portion of the GNF.

Leopold Pack (collared AM1293 and mp1561)

During December, the IFT documented the Leopold Pack within their territory in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness and southern portion of the GNF.

Luna Pack (collared AF1487 and mp1554)

During December, the Luna Pack remained in their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF.

Mangas Pack (collared M1296 and F1439)

During December, the Mangas Pack was located within their territory in north western portions of the GNF in New Mexico.

Prieto Pack (collared M1386, m1455, f1456, M1552, f1553 and fp1565)

During December, the Prieto Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF. There has been dispersal behaviour documented for M1386, m1455, f1456, f1553 and M1552 within the GNF. Remote cameras documented f1553 and M1398 travelling with AF1251 and other uncollared wolves in the Prieto Pack. Photos from remote cameras taken later in the month revealed AF1251 travelling with M1398 and f1553 was travelling with AM1284 of the SBP Pack.

San Mateo Pack (collared AF1399)

December, the IFT documented the San Mateo Pack within their territory in the north central portion of the GNF.

Sheepherders Baseball Park (SBP) Pack (collared AM1284)

During December, the SBP Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF. AM1284 was documented on remote cameras travelling with f1553 of the Prieto Pack.

Willow Springs Pack (collared F1397)

During December, the IFT documented the Willow Springs Pack within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF.

Single collared AM1155

During December, AM1155 was documented travelling within New Mexico.

Single collared M1398

During December, M1398 was documented travelling with AF1251 of the Prieto Pack in the west central portion of the GNF.

Single collared M1354

During December, M1354 was documented travelling in southern portions of the GNF and northern Gila Wilderness. M1354 has been documented travelling with members of the Leopold Pack; M1354 is full siblings to AM1293.

MORTALITIES

There were no documented mortalities in the month of December.

INCIDENTS

During the month of December, there was one confirmed wolf kill and no nuisance reports.

On December 14, Wildlife Services investigated two dead calves in Apache County, Arizona. The investigations determined both of the calves were killed by coyotes.

On December 18, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, Arizona. The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf kill.

On December 23, Wildlife Services investigated a dead adult cow in Apache County, Arizona. The investigation determined the cow died from unknown causes.

COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATION

On December 7, 2016, the Fish and Wildlife Service met with the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish and the Chairman of the New Mexico State Game Commission to discuss issues regarding the recovery of the Mexican wolf.

On December 8, 2016, the Fish and Wildlife Service convened a meeting of the Mexican Wolf Tribal Working Group to discuss the status of recovery planning for the Mexican wolf.

On December 14, 2016, the Fish and Wildlife Service presented on Mexican wolves and the Mexican Wolf Recovery program for the Superstition Area Land Trust in Apache Junction.

On December 14, 2016 WMAT met with the USDA-Farm Service Agency regarding livestock loss compensation options for Tribal cattle growers.

On December 15, 2016, the Fish and Wildlife Service held a community information meeting in Young, Arizona to discuss the status of the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program and listen to issues and concerns raised by the public. The US Forest Service and Arizona Game and Fish Department were in attendance.

On December 20, 2016 the Fish and Wildlife Service met with the US Forest Service regarding coordination of Mexican wolf recovery efforts, including the status of NEPA review for release sites in Zone 1 of the expanded Mexican Wolf Experimental Population Area.

On December 29, 2016 WMAT presented on Mexican wolf biology and recovery at a community event in Vermont.

PROJECT PERSONNEL

During December, USFWS volunteer Craig Zurek left the volunteer program for other professional opportunities. Thanks for all your hard work and dedication Craig!

REWARDS OFFERED

The USFWS is offering a reward of up to $10,000; the AGFD Operation Game Thief is offering a reward of up to $1,000; and the NMDGF is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the conviction of the individual(s) responsible for the shooting deaths of Mexican wolves. A variety of non-governmental organizations and private individuals have pledged an additional $46,000 for a total reward amount of up to $58,000, depending on the information provided.

Individuals with information they believe may be helpful are urged to call one of the following agencies: USFWS special agents in Mesa, Arizona, at (480) 967-7900, in Alpine, Arizona, at (928) 339-4232, or in Albuquerque, New Mexico, at(505) 346-7828; the WMAT at (928) 338-1023 or (928) 338-4385; AGFD Operation Game Thief at (800) 352-0700; or NMDGF Operation Game Thief at(800) 432-4263. Killing a Mexican wolf is a violation of the Federal Endangered Species Act and can result in criminal penalties of up to $50,000, and/or not more than one year in jail, and/or a civil penalty of up to $25,000.

 

From White Wolf Pack
(From http://www.whitewolfpack.com/2017/01/minnesota-wisconsin-and-wyoming-have.html?m=1)

USA: Minnesota, Wisconsin and Wyoming have decided to eradicate wolves

“War on Wolves Act” Senators from Midwest and Wyoming introduce bill to strip protections from endangered gray wolves

January 24, 2017 Washington, D.C. —
Senators from Minnesota, Wisconsin and Wyoming yesterday introduced the “War on Wolves Act,” a companion bill to legislation introduced last week in the House that would strip federal protections from wolves and allow trophy hunting and trapping of the species in four states.
If the legislation passes both chambers and gets signed by the president, it would hand the fate of wolves in Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin and Wyoming over to states whose management wolf plans two federal courts ruled inadequate to securing the species at legally required population levels in absence of Endangered Species Act protections.
In Wyoming, this would allow the state to resume a hostile management program that allowed for unlimited shoot-on-sight killing of wolves across 85 percent of the state. The legislation would further strip citizens of the right to challenge these lethal programs in court. The appeals process of two federal court decisions that restored federal protections to wolves in those four states are still underway. Decisions on those cases are expected any day.
The following is a statement from Marjorie Mulhall, Senior Legislative Counsel at Earthjustice:
“A new congress has resurfaced an old vendetta against imperiled wolves. If this legislation is signed into law, wolves in Wyoming will be subjected to unregulated killing across the vast majority of the state, and even on the borders of Yellowstone National Park numerous legal loopholes will authorize widespread wolf killing.

Americans widely hailed the return of wolves to the Northern Rockies two decades ago as a triumph of the Endangered Species Act, but now this ‘War on Wolves Act’ would allow for the same unregulated killing that nearly wiped out the species in the first place.
Politicians should not meddle in the science-based listing status of a particular species at any stage, but now is an especially bad time as these cases are still playing out in the courts. We urge those who support the protection of wolves to call their senators and representatives and tell them to vote down this lethal legislation.”

From IndefinitelyWild
(https://www.outsideonline.com/category/indefinitelywild)

1. USA: Trump’s Presidency Means the End of Wolves in the American West

And they’re not the only species that should be afraid

Donald Trump’s tenure in the White House, along with the Republican Party’s reign in Congress, will be an unmitigated disaster for the environment. A witch-hunt is already underway for federal employees who support the science of climate change: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2016/12/13/energy-dept-rejects-trumps-request-to-name-climate-change-workers-who-remain-worried/. Protections for the 640 million acres of public land you and I own in this country are already being stripped away: http://www.missionmt.com/journal/2017/1/6/115th-congress-immediately-moves-on-land-transfer.

Oil and gas extraction on public land is expected to be deregulated (http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-congress-zinke-idUSKBN1511DQ), and even coal—a heavily polluting, inefficient energy source the market has rendered obsolete—may see reinvestment: http://www.livescience.com/57535-interior-nominee-zinke-focuses-on-coal.html.

A victim of all of those programs, and even the target of specific GOP plans for eradication? The gray wolf, only recently reintroduced to western states to help check overpopulated elk and deer and restore balance to the natural food chain there.

On January 17, 2017, Republican Senators introduced a bill nicknamed, “The War on Wolves Act.” If passed S.164 (https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/164?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22wolf%22%5D%7D&r=1) will not only remove ESA protections from wolves in Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin and Wyoming, but it will also strip citizens of the right to challenge it in court.

Where the Wolf Stands Today

It’s important to understand that the gray wolf, as a species, is not under threat overall—it’s just specific populations of wolves in certain geographic areas. There are approximately 60,000 wolves living in the wilds of Alaska and Canada. Those will only suffer the general impact of anti-environment policies, accelerated climate change, and habitat loss.

It’s the wolf populations reintroduced to the American West that GOP policy is directly targeting.

There’s also a population of more than 3,500 gray wolves in and around the Great Lakes—in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota—that, to a lesser extent, is also threatened.

Wolves were first brought back to the West in 1995, when 66 were brought from Canada to Yellowstone National Park and Idaho. The Northern Rocky Mountain Wolf Recovery Plan (https://www.fws.gov/montanafieldoffice/Endangered_Species/Recovery_and_Mgmt_Plans/Northern_Rocky_Mountain_Gray_Wolf_Recovery_Plan.pdf) also allowed for the natural southern dispersal of other wolf populations from Canada. Since then, the species has spread to Montana, Wyoming, Washington, and Oregon, and now there’s even a single pack living in Northern California. The population of wolves in those states is approaching 1,700 (http://www.defenders.org/gray-wolf/gray-wolves-northern-rockies) —a huge success story for conservationists, albeit one that’s still ongoing. Wolves numbered 2 million on this continent just a couple hundred years ago but were killed off as modern civilization expanded westward.

As part of the reintroduction, the burgeoning population of gray wolves in the West was initially protected by the Endangered Species Act. Largely due to the controversial nature of the wolf reintroduction that we’ll get to a little later, however, those protections have variously been repealed, replaced, and repealed again at federal and local levels. Wolf populations have returned to just 10 percent of their original range in the West, making their existence there still tenuous and dependent on some sort of protection.

Why We Need Wolves

As an apex predator, wolves create a trophy cascade of benefits in their ecosystem, restoring balance the whole way down the food chain. (This process is explained very well in the video embedded above.)

In Yellowstone, for instance, the reintroduction of wolves corrected an imbalance caused by the unchecked expansion of ungulates. Historically, wolves kept the elk population in balance in that area; without them, the elk became too numerous and their movements too static. Grasslands were overgrazed. Willows, cottonwood, and aspen were damaged, destroying the riparian habitats of beavers, songbirds, otters, muskrats, ducks, fish, reptiles, and amphibians. Wolves fixed that. They also checked the population of coyotes, which preyed heavily on small animals. So those populations returned, too, along with the birds of prey that feed on them. The revitalized shrubbery produced more berries, expanding the bear population. The entire ecosystem benefited and was returned to balance by the mere reintroduction of a handful of wolves. It’s that whole circle of life thing that Elton John once sang about in that Disney movie.

Can wolves restore balance to ecosystems elsewhere in their historic range? This study (http://www.cell.com/trends/ecology-evolution/abstract/S0169-5347%2815%2900005-1), published in the scientific journal Trends in Ecology and Evolution, suggests they can, and that they may also enable the successful coexistence of invasive species with their native counterparts. The study argues that allowing the return of apex predators like the wolf may be much cheaper than trying to manage these environments through human methods.

Need a dollar amount to define their value? Wolves bring in more than $35 million a year of tourist spending (http://www.georgewright.org/251duffield.pdf) to the Yellowstone area. Local businesses benefit from the mere presence of wolves.

Why Republicans Are Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf

Wolves kill and eat stuff. As described above, that’s their job. Things they like to kill and eat include things people like to kill and eat—primarily deer and elk, but also sometimes sheep and cattle; which makes us rivals. Between 1995 and 2005, wolves killed 213 cattle and 173 sheep in Wyoming. The elk population has also fallen since the reintroduction of wolves, though drought, disease, and hunting also play a role. There were 17,000 elk in the park when the reintroduction began. Today there are 4,844 (https://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/nature/elkinfo.htm).

Perhaps due to an exaggerated presence of wolves in nursery rhymes and fairy tales, we humans also find them scary. There have been only six documented fatalities (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wolf_attacks_in_North_America) due to wild wolves (two of which were rabid) in North America in the past 100 years. The number of people killed by wolves pales in comparison to the number of people who die each year due to, say, bee stings (in the United States, that’s 100 people every year, http://www.govexec.com/management/2015/08/bees-are-deadliest-non-human-animals-america-cdc/119328/). Others complain that the loss of livestock hurts ranchers’ livelihood, even though state governments compensate ranchers for any losses. Still others lament the decrease in lucrative guided elk hunts in wolf states, though that has largely been attributed to an increase in out-of-state tag prices.

Politicians from rural areas have been pressured to address those unsubstantiated fears of their constituents, but that doesn’t come close to explaining the scale of the GOP’s war on wolves. The 114th Congress (2015–17) introduced 20 bills targeted at eliminating protections for the gray wolf alone. The Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) called it “the most anti-wildlife Congress we’ve ever had.” Until the 115th, that is.

Why exhaust so much time and energy attacking a single species? The real answer is that the protections wolves require in the West can run counter to the interests of industrial agriculture businesses and the oil and gas industry, both of which want to operate on land that is currently subject to protection because it’s wolf habitat.

The anti-wolf policies being paid for in part by industrial agriculture are actually damaging the small, family-owned farms where problems with wolves killing livestock actually take place and which are often cited as the cause for these policies. It’s been scientifically demonstrated that killing problem wolves actually leads to a direct correlation in increased livestock depredation (http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/killing-wolves-actually-leads-more-livestock-death-180953605/). The killings disrupt pack order and disperse wolves into new areas, and weakened packs are forced to seek easier prey than the wild animals they’d otherwise focus on.

The CBD has tracked donations from those industries to Congress (http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/campaigns/esa_attacks/pdfs/ESAAttacks_09-2016.pdf) and compared them with the number of bills introduced that threaten the Endangered Species Act (ESA). As campaign donations from the oil and gas industry and industrial agriculture have increased, so too have legislative assaults on the ESA. Because wolves have large ranges, the ESA may prevent energy extraction or industrial farming across larger areas than some other species. That explains the focus on removing the wolf’s protections.

From IndefinitelyWild
(
https://www.outsideonline.com/2151411/trumps-presidency-means-end-wolves-american-west)

USA: How Republicans Will Kill the Wolf

In 1973, partly motivated by the plight of the bald eagle, President Richard Nixon called on Congress to take action to protect species on the verge of extinction. Congress created the Endangered Species Act (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endangered_Species_Act_of_1973) by a nearly unanimous vote. Bald eagle populations have since increased from a low of 417 mating pairs to more than 11,000 today. That species was delisted (removed from the ESA’s protections) in 2007, although it remains subject to other protections as our national bird. Today, the ESA protects more than 1,600 endangered plants and animals.

As a depressing side note, Trump’s proposed border wall with Mexico threatens the bald eagle, as well as 111 endangered species:
http://outside-online.press/2075761/these-are-111-endangered-species-threatened-trumps-border-wall.html

Not every animal protected by the ESA is a success story. Due to the precarious nature of many of the species it protects, delistings are infrequent. Take, for instance, the case of the Death Valley pupfish. Only a handful exist in two ponds in Death Valley National Park. Totally isolated, it’s obviously unrealistic to expect that the species will ever expand its population enough that it will ever be considered anything but endangered. Does the pupfish deserve our protection? Environmentalists would say yes. And the law has prevented extinction for 99 percent of the species it protects. But Republicans argue no, because only 1 percent have been rehabilitated.

“It has never been used for the rehabilitation of species. It’s been used for control of the land,” argues House National Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah). He has stated that he “would love to invalidate” the ESA.

A representative survey of registered voters across the United States conducted in 2015 found that 90 percent supported the ESA
(http://earthjustice.org/sites/default/files/files/PollingMemoNationalESASurvey.pdf).

The Associated Press reports that congressional Republicans are preparing to amend the ESA, transforming it “from a tool to protect huge areas of habitat for imperiled species into little more than limits on hunting for protected animals.”

The wolf’s protection under the ESA has always been precarious. Due to the politically charged nature of their reintroduction, initial population targets that would trigger a delisting were set incredibly low—just 150 in Idaho, for instance. That didn’t sound like a viable population to wolf advocates, so, since the species started triggering de-listings shortly after its reintroduction, its status has bounced back and forth both nationally and locally in a process of litigation and lawsuits so confusing and asinine (http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/campaigns/gray_wolves/index.html) that I’ll spare you a recap of it here.

Want to know what happens to wolves without ESA protection? Since 2009, when protections there began to erode, Idaho has killed 1,470 of its wolves, and the state government hopes to reduce Idaho’s wolf population from a high of 856 back to that lowest limit of 150 by 2018:
http://www.defenders.org/publications/War-on-Wolves-infographic-Defenders-of-Wildlife.pdf

To the best of my understanding, wolves are currently protected by the ESA (http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/campaigns/gray_wolves/index.html) everywhere in the lower 48 with the exception of Montana, Idaho, and the eastern third of both Washington and Oregon. In large part, those protections are thanks to lawsuits conducted by environmental organizations like the CBD. Acknowledging that, Republican lawmakers have begun introducing anti-wolf laws as riders on essential budget bills, disturbingly including language that prevents legal challenge.

Trump has yet to go on the record about either the ESA or wolves, but he does oppose environmental policies that get in the way of drilling. It’s not expected that he’d veto any legislation designed to weaken or repeal the ESA or any riders intended to remove wolf protection. Trump’s nominee for interior secretary, Ryan Zinke, who will manage the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which administers ESA programs, once sent out a Christmas card featuring a dead wolf. Last year, Zinke co-sponsored a bill designed to remove federal protections for wolves. It looks like the anti-wolf, anti-ESA Republican Congress is finally getting both the president it needs to rubber stamp this legislation, combined with an administrator of the Department of the Interior prepared to carry it out.

In addition to both that rollback of the ESA and likely direct challenges to the wolf’s inclusion in it, wolves are under threat from the GOP’s plan to steal our public lands. Like all wild animals, wolves need habitat to survive. Development of resource extraction on those lands will further threaten them.

From Wolf Conservation Center
(http://salsa4.salsalabs.com/o/51421/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=20395)

USA: Protect Kenai Wolves from the Alaska Board of Game’s Proposed Wolf Cull

In 2012, the Alaska Board of Game passed its heavy-handed management plan which included aerial gunning of wolves to stop the decline of moose populations in two Game Management Units (GMUs) on the Kenai Peninsula. This despite opposition from biologists and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADFG), who explained that the peninsula’s moose population decline was generally due to overharvest and habitat limitations, not increased predation by wolves.

Later that year, ADFG’s division of Wildlife Conservation decided to hold off on implementing the Board’s controversial wolf cull to collect the information necessary to make a well-informed management decision.

Today, we’re witnessing history repeat itself with the Board proposing to reauthorize its controversial plan to kill all the wolves on a part of the lower Kenai Peninsula despite opposition from the regional Fish and Game Advisory Committee (the Homer Fish and Game Advisory Committee) who objected to the proposal unanimously.

If the Board of Game votes to approve the proposal, Proposal 155, at its upcoming meeting scheduled for Jan. 4–7, it would allow the public to hunt and trap wolves, both from the ground and from the air, and would be allowed to conduct its own aerial hunts.

The Alaska Board of Game has repeatedly opted for lethal predator control as their management tool of choice despite opposition from the scientific community and public outcry. It’s time that science, not special interest groups, guide responsible wildlife management policy, especially with so much at stake in one of Alaska’s most iconic wild places.

Please personalize the letter below.

And to really make your voice heard, please copy the letter below and paste it in Governor Walker’s (AK) feedback page here:
http://aws.state.ak.us/CrmForms/Home/Feedback

Oppose Proposal 155 – Intensive Management Plan in Kenai’s Unit 15C

In 2012, the Alaska Board of Game passed its intensive wolf management plan which included aerial gunning of wolves to stop the decline of moose populations in two Game Management Units (GMUs) on the Kenai Peninsula. This despite opposition from biologists and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s division of Wildlife Conservation, who explained that the peninsula’s moose population decline was generally due to overharvest and habitat limitations, not increased predation by wolves.

The decline of Kenai’s moose population is a complicated and delicate matter that should involve careful consideration of all factors involved.

I am counting on the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to listen to science, as the Department did in 2012, and take the time to make a well-informed wildlife management decision that will ensure both sustainable moose and wolf populations. The Homer Fish and Game Advisory Committee objected to the proposal unanimously.

Thus, I urge the Dept. to hold off on implementing the Board’s controversial wolf cull to collect the information necessary to make a well-informed management decision.

From Care2 Action Alerts (actionalerts@care2.com)

World-wide pressure needed to save Italian wolves

After nearly 50 years of protection, endangered Italian wolves might be slaughtered soon.

Despite a lack of recent scientific population estimates, the Italian Minister of Environmental Affairs is determined to kill off 5% of the endangered wolf population.

His first effort to authorize a wolf cull was defeated by public pressure. Let’s do it again – add your name to our petition to protect wolves right now:
http://www.care2.com/go/z/e/Axa_6/zShN/GeQa

The only reason the Italian government wants to kill endangered wolves is because farmers and ranchers blame them for killing their animals. Outrageously, there are no efforts to humanely protect livestock with electric fences or trained dogs – even though fences and dogs have proven effective elsewhere in Europe.

Even worse, when pressed, farmers admit that feral dogs are far more lethal to their livestock than wolves. But wolves get the blame.

A Care2 activist from Italy launched this petition to urge the EU to help protect Italian wolves. Please add your support to her efforts:
http://www.care2.com/go/z/e/Axa_6/zShN/GeQa

We are closing in on 10,000 signatures, but the Italian Minister of Environmental Affairs will be attempting to pass his wolf cull again at the end of this month, so we need a loud, unified voice to save them now. Please take a moment right now to speak up for wolves, and against this unscientific slaughter:
http://www.care2.com/go/z/e/Axa_6/zShN/GeQa

Thank you for taking action,

Other News

National

From SanWild Wildlife Trust (lizel@sanwild.org)

Rhinos are in a desperate need of help, but the question remains how to help?

It has only been a week ago that we launched a Crowd Funding campaign to help bring Nellie (a poaching survivor) home to an intensive protection zone where she can give birth and live life while being protected against any further poaching attempts.

South Africa is facing the worst conservation crisis in our history and rhinos continue to be butchered at an unprecedented rate. Their numbers are plummeting and the crisis is very real.
The past weekend two orphaned rhino calves were attacked right at the home of the farmer hand rearing them after poachers slaughtered their mothers. From the accompanying photographs, you will be able to see just how terrible their suffering must be. Disturbingly these incidents are quite regular and increasingly many other animals suffer a similar fate. There is no question that there is a massive and growing crisis!

Taking all the factors into consideration, including all the amazing work being done by so many to curb rhino poaching and to bring about change with education and awareness, time unfortunately is running out for rhinos. The only sure-thing on the short-term, to end the terribly cruelty and suffering is to set-up private intensive protection zones and bring as many rhinos as possible into these protected areas; be they poaching survivors, orphans, or unwanted rhinos.
Two weeks ago, a local man was arrested and charged for contravening our conservation laws pertaining to rhinos. This individual purchased unwanted rhinos from their owners, relocated the poor animals to his farm and summarily executed them. Their horns were removed and only certain body part where recovered by the authorities.
As the investigation continues an increasing number of rhino carcasses is being unearthed revealing the callous murder of many rhinos for commercial gain. What this incident illustrates without a doubt is that no rhino is safe anymore and if they fall into the wrong hands the animals will die. Poachers coming under cover of darkness are not the only enemy these unfortunate creatures have to fear.
Unfortunately, the world remains slow to respond and where help is provided, in some instances is not used effectively to end rhino poaching. There is also increasing donor fatigue as people, frustrated and saddened by the ongoing slaughter simply turn their backs on the rhinos and walk away. Many people feel that there is nothing to be done anymore to save the species, but we beg you to please reconsider and not desert South Africa’s rhinos! They are just too special to lose.

With your help, we intend finding individual rhinos that need our help on a priority basis and where possible we intend buying these rhinos and relocating them to Intensive Protection Zones at undisclosed locations as a matter of urgency.
http://www.sanwild.org/intensive-protection-zone

It is pretty much like throwing that one star fish at a time, back into the ocean, but we feel that with your support and understanding we will inspire many more people to share our dream of seeing rhinos living wild and in safety for many years to come.
Steve Jobs once said; that it is the people that are crazy enough to believe they can change the world, that actually do.
By leading and proving that the concept is working well, we believe others will follow and use the example to establish more PIPZ’s that will, over the next couple of years, ensure that an increasing number of rhinos will be spared a brutal death and ensure that the genetic viability of the species is protected for future generations.
Thanks for taking the time to read this and we hope and trust that Nellie’s story will inspire you to help bring her to safety.

To Donate towards the Save Nellie campaign please click on this link or email louise@sanwild.org for more details or for the banking details.

  1. Silent on-line Auction to help save Nellie

To help a very special rhino cow, called Nellie, that survived a brutal poaching incident we will be giving you the opportunity to make a donation towards her rescue and enter a silent auction for two respective Accommodation Vouchers.

  • Beach House (Saldanha Bay) Western Cape South Africa 4 nights 5 days 4 people self-catering.
  • Bukisa Private Bush Camp (SanWild Wildlife Sanctuary) Limpopo Province South Africa 8 people self-catering

Please submit (donate) your offer to help Save Nellie by using this PayPal link only and email us proof of your donation to louise@sanwild.org

AUCTION AMOUNTS ON BOTH DESTINATIONS OPEN AT $100.

In other words the amount you donate may not be less than $100.

Please insert your preferred option (either the Beach House or Bukisa Camp) as your email subject line when you send us proof of payment to louise@sanwild.org

If you prefer to donate and make your offer via an EFT please find the banking details below:

SanWild Trust account at

ABSA, Danie Joubert Street, Tzaneen,0850.

Bank account 911 122 1180,

Branch Code 334349,

Swift Code ABSAZAJJ

 IBAN CODE: ZA632005

Please use “Silient Auction” as reference

The highest offer (donation) received by close of business on Wednesday the 15th February 2017 on either of the two available destinations will be awarded the respective accommodation voucher for either the Beach House or Bukisa Camp.

If you would like more information on Nellie or the Silent Auction please email Louise on louise@sanwild.org

We have also created a on-line Facebook event for the Silent Auction.  To view the Facebook event, please click on the Facebook icon below:

International

From Take Action!
at GreaterGood Network (news@greatergood.com)

USA: Pipelines before Nature

A single decision by President Donald Trump has undone years of fighting to stop the dangerous Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines from being built, hampering progress for short-term profits and environmental destruction.
These combined projects would result in 2,279 miles of potentially leaking pipelines, contaminating everything in their path: rivers, forests, underground aquifers — everything. By approving the advancement of these projects, President Trump blatantly denies the link between oil and climate change, and ignores the damage that the pipelines will inevitably spread across the country.

While it is true that the American economy depends on oil, now is the time to act on the fact that we cannot build a future on oil without sacrificing our farmlands, forests, water sources and climate. Please sign our petition today to implore President Trump to put an end to the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines — investing in viable green-energy and the sustainable jobs that accompany that industry instead.

Please go to: http://therainforestsite.greatergood.com/clickToGive/trs/petition/dakota-keystone-pipelines/?utm_source=trs-ta-enviro&utm_medium=email&utm_term=01302017&utm_content=takeaction-f&utm_campaign=dakota-keystone-pipelines&origin=ETE_013017_dakota-keystone-pipelines_f&oidp=0x2bd25baa4cd41335c0a82937 to sign the petition.

 

From Change (http://change.org)

Urgent appeal for animals, like humans, to be legally recognized as “sentient beings”.

In 2015, France, New Zealand and the province of Quebec, Canada recognized animals as sentient beings. I believe South Africa should lead the way as the first African country to do the same.

To recognise that animals are sentient is to acknowledge clearly that they are able to experience both positive and negative emotions, including pain, distress and emotional trauma.

This would make hunting of wild animals, animal testing and capture or ill treatment, illegal and would afford animals the right not to be owned as property.

This would go a long way towards ensuring decent and humane housing and treatment of animals by individuals, breeders and retailers. Currently the requirements for the care and housing of animals are minimal, and inadequately enforced.

It really is time we South Africans climb aboard and stand up for our fellow non human beings, who give us so much and enrich our lives in so many ways.

Please sign the petition at:
https://www.change.org/p/south-african-government-urgent-appeal-for-animals-like-humans-to-be-legally-recognised-as-sentient-beings?recruiter=35707139&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=autopublish&utm_term=des-lg-share_petition-no_msgo

From Care2 Action Alerts (actionalerts@care2.com)

They are auctioning off animal murder

Trophy hunting is a disgusting hobby wherein people pay large sums of money to slaughter and then stuff and bring home the bodies of animals, many of whom are at risk of becoming extinct.

One website, www.onlinehuntingauction.com, makes money hosting hunting auctions online. It allows users to bid virtually on “safaris,” hunting extravaganzas, military firearms, and taxonomy itself. Sign this petition to get the website closed down:
http://www.care2.com/go/z/e/AW6vk/zSFZ/GeQa

Each year, over 126,000 wildlife trophies are imported to the U.S. Most trophies are iconic, beloved mega fauna: African elephants, African lions, African leopards, southern white rhinos, and African buffalo. Over 1,000 different beautiful species have been killed and turned into trophies. Between 2005 and 2014, over 1.26 million in total were brought in.

The website is full of images of people standing next to lifeless, bloodied animal bodies. Some are smiling proudly, others hold an emotionless face. But all share a few things in common: they spent a lot of money to kill animals, and they love doing it.

Sign now to tell this website: animals are living creatures. Take down your auctions website, and end the auctioning of trophy killing big game animals:
http://www.care2.com/go/z/e/AW6vk/zSFZ/GeQa

Thank you,

 

  1. Argentina: A baby dolphin died for an Instagram photo.

Tourists in San Bernardo, Argentina, dragged the baby dolphin out of the ocean after he swam close to shore. A video shows a crowd taking pictures and touching the animal, who lay in just a few inches of water. Now, the baby dolphin is dead.

“They let him die,” news source La Capital quoted a witness saying. “He was young and came to the shore. They could have returned him to the water — in fact, he was breathing. But everyone started taking photos and touching him.”

This isn’t the first time tourists have killed wildlife in the area, either. Last February, tourists on a beach in Santa Teresita killed an endangered baby dolphin after pulling it out of the water. Tourists passed the dolphin around for photos until it died of dehydration.

Care2 petition author Paige D. argues that animals in Argentina are particularly vulnerable to abuse because the country does not support the Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare, an inter-governmental agreement to reduce animal suffering and promote animal welfare standards. In fact, World Animal Protection, an animal welfare charity, gives the country an overall D rating in the protection of animals.

Please sign Paige’s Care2 petition asking Argentina to strengthen animal welfare laws:
http://www.care2.com/go/z/e/AW8vt/zSgi/GeQa

Thank you,

Wolves and Wolfdogs

Wolves in Germany

Petition against shooting the cake-loving wolf „Pumpak“

The fight over the re-introduction of wolves is headed for new heights. More than 83,000 people have already signed an Internet petition against the shooting of a wolf in the Oberlausitz (Lower Saxony) that seems to have lost almost all shyness of humans. Saxony’s authorities have decided to have the so-called problem wolf „Pumpak“ killed by a bullet; will he have to share the same fate as Bruno, the problem bear of Bavaria?

„We are a group of people who are fighting for the protection of wolves in Germany“; these are the introductory words of an Internet petition (https://www.change.org/p/wolf-pumpak-muss-weiterleben) that has the goal of saving the life of Pumpak, a wolf living in the area of Rietschen. He was seen on numerous occasions at night in the village searching for food in compost heaps, seemingly unperturbed by the presence of humans. When people approached him he calmly trotted back into the nearby pine forest. Sometimes he would watch from a safe distance how the frightened two-legged ones reacted to him by retreating into the safety of their homes. He is still a young wolf, and youngsters are curious.

         Pumpak loves cake

Wolves are very shy and will usually disappear into thin air before humans even spot them. But the young male wolf of Rietschen seems to be an exception to the rule. It is possible that he was fed by humans as a pup when he lived on the banks of the German/Polish border river Neisse. Pumpak seems to love cake, because he tried to steal a freshly baked one from a windowsill where it had been placed for cooling down.

His curiosity, his searching for food in gardens, and the fear of humans of this legendary predator make Pumpak a problem wolf for the authorities. The district magistrate’s office Görlitz has declared the two-year old wolf free to be shot, and the Saxony Ministry for Environmental Affairs has also given the “green light” for shooting him in the Polish border area.

           Pumpak must live!

Nature conservationists and animal lovers are shocked about the order to shoot and kill him, but some huntsmen welcome the decision, because a hardheaded fight has ensued since wolves have emigrated from Poland and re-occupied territory after territory. A similar scenario played out with a bear in Bavaria eleven years ago.

Bruno the Bear had become a “problem” when after waking from hibernation, he chose Bavaria as his new hunting territory. He was the first bear there in 170 years and his presence was obvious in that he made a meal of six sheep. Again and again Bruno was seen in the close vicinity of villages; he broke into a pigsty, and he cleaned out a chicken pen on another occasion. All people saw of him was a fleeing shadow, and he divided Germany into camps of supporters and opponents. And like back then, the order to shoot and kill Bruno was causing the same storm of indignation as the one now to shoot and kill Pumpak.

More than 83,000 people have already signed the Internet petition that is meant to prevent the so-called “removal of the wolf“. With the term “removal“, authorities describe the killing of wild animals exhibiting an abnormal behavior. A wolf can be removed if, e.g., he repeatedly attacks flocks of sheep, ignores protective fences or, like in Pumpak’s case, loses its natural shyness of humans.

But wolf welfare activists are not only active on the Internet; more than 100 e-mails have been received by the Saxony Ministry for Environmental Affairs that are in favour of Pumpak. Even in Berlin, the Federal Minister of Environmental Affairs, Barbara Hendricks, has to deal with the so-called problem wolf and answer questions. She refers to the decision of the Dresden authorities by stating that the decision to remove the wolf has been made by experts who have the necessary knowledge about nature conservation and legal interests. Therefore the decision by the authorities is not really suitable for a public referendum, said Frank Meyer, press speaker for the Ministry of Environmental Affairs, Saxony.

The huntsmen of the Oberlausitz are watching the fight over problem wolf Pumpak with great interest. For years they have been demanding orders to shoot and kill wolves that cause problems. One huntsman says, however, that Pumpak is actually not a problem yet, but he could become one if he, at a later stage, formed a pack and taught his experiences to his offspring, so that they would also lose their shyness of humans. Brigitte Sommer, who initiated the Internet petition, does not accept this statement without counter-arguing that there will always be curious young wolves that investigate their territory and learn from experience. She refers to a young wolf that strolled through villages around Oldenburg. If every curious young wolf is seen as a problem and is therefore shot and killed, it would be catastrophic, she says.

She is trying for more than 100,000 signatures to make it clear to the provincial government that there is a huge public interest in nature, wild animals, and wolves in particular, and that a small lobby of politicians, huntsmen and farmers tries to accomplish their own goals against the will of the rest of the public, and that cannot be, she says.

Meanwhile The Green Party wants to know from the Saxon state government who has been chosen to kill the problem wolf in the Oberlausitz. And a private person is said to have applied for a temporary interdict to prevent shooting Pumpak.

           Pumpak is missing

Since the Rietschen wolf has officially been handed the death sentence, Pumpak has gone missing. For more than a week, the two-year old predator hasn’t been seen. Maybe he has moved back to Poland across the Neisse into the Görlitzer Heide, or he is travelling through the neighbouring army trainings ground.

[ Editor’s note: …or maybe he has already been shot dead, or some clever person has made use of the fact that he is not shy, caught him, and is hiding him somewhere to save his life? There would be quite some other options to “remove” that wolf without having to kill him: for once it might be interesting to fix him with a collar and monitor his behavior in other situations of life in comparison with other wolves who have kept their natural shyness of humans. And there would also be the option to move him to a wolf park or sanctuary where he could make for a perfect ambassador wolf. In any case, killing should never even be considered as long as there are non-lethal options to solve the problem.)

By the way, the Görlitz district council’s office would not reveal who will be the one to train the rifle at and shoot Pumpak and keep him as a trophy afterwards.

Original source:
http://www.mdr.de/sachsen/bautzen/problemwolf-pumpak-soll-leben-petition100.html

Update on Pumpak, 15.02.2017

  • The mandate to shoot Pumpak is still in force until 19th February, but will then become invalid
  • Without the support of all the people who signed this petition this might not have been possible, and therefore many, many Thanks to everybody.
    The order to shoot Pumpak will expire on 19 February, the MDR radio and TV station announced this morning, although there is no official confirmation from the provincial government yet.
    We will have to hope and wait till Sunday, so please continue to sign and share the petition:
    http://www.mdr.de/sachsen/bautzen/problemwolf-pumpak-abschussgenehmigung-laeuft-aus-100.html

Wolf Myths and Legends, Part 135

Darkstorm’s Life

by Kai

Darkstorm is an Alpha wolf that was killed 4 years ago while saving another wolf in his pack, and carried off into the forest by an injured bear that was slowly dying from a wound caused by Darkstorm… What made Darkstorm so unique from the other wolves? What made him special? Well sit back and listen to the story of Darkstorm’s Life….

Darkstorm was born under the sign of the shadow… he had abilities that already would made another Alpha wolf bow to him as a pup! He was able to take down caribou and other large animals as a teen wolf… he could talk with nature itself… he was known as Natures Child. Darkstorm lost his mother around the time he was a pup, and his father, an alpha wolf at the time, blamed him for his love’s death. So he banned Darkstorm far from his homeland. Darkstorm was raised by many different animals and learned to communicate with the wind and earth… he could easily tell were game was by the feel of the earth… and the smell of the wind… he could tell what type of storm was brewing by the way the earth shifted.

Back then, Darkstorm was not his name, it normally was Fang, but I’ll tell you how he earned the name Darkstorm. One day, Fang was out running with the other animals to see who was the fastest. Darkstorm easily won, but what scared the animals was that when he would run, he left a path of destruction behind him! He was so dark and fast he was like a DARK STORM!!! So he earned the name Darkstorm.

When he left the new home he lived in for many years, he decided it was time to go back to his home and claim the rightful position as the new Alpha Wolf; but doing so he would have to challenge his Father! Darkstorm crossed many green fields and rocky mountains till he was home. The wolves saw Darkstorm enter and were ready to attack until they smelled his scent.. it was exactly like his father’s, Tundra. Darkstorm walked in between the wolves until he reached his father. When he saw his father Darkstorm totally changed; his eyes were no longer blue, but now forever a green-red, which showed the hatred he had for his father, and his black coat had a few white stripes showing now. His teeth a little more sharper and his claws a little more jagged, sharp as ice cycles in a cave. Darkstorm had changed and knew that the only way for him to become the new Alpha wolf, was to kill his father, even though it was forbidden. Darkstorm got into an attack position and leaped toward Tundra to begin the combat…..

Darkstorm’s sacrifice

by Madie

Darkstorm nimbly leaped onto the boulder, his slitted amber eyes never leaving his opponent’s. His misty charcoal coat rippled in the twilight breeze as a low growl escaped his tightened throat. A set of silvery fangs were bared, tinted with a thin shade of dark blood. He suddenly pivoted, and sprang, using every ounce of thick muscle in his legs. He launched himself towards Silverfeet and sunk his teeth into the alpha’s tough flank, ripping savagely at the wolf’s flesh, spraying deep red about the granite rock.

Silverfeet flung himself against his challenger, fighting off Darkstorm with both tooth and claw. Darkstorm snarled, and shook away his attacker, then lunged at him again. The alpha crumpled, dark blood staining his silvery fur. His breath slowed, and then stopped, and the wolf lay motionless, the constant pounding of his heart now silent. Darkstorm raised his head, staring at the pack as they were at him. They were dumfounded at the sudden and short death of their leader, and now lowered their eyes and heads submissively to their new alpha, now standing proud in the rising fire of the sun. He was their future.

Darkstorm stood tall in the frigid waters of the creek, upon the cliffs from which careened the mighty East Ridge Falls. The wind snapped icily at his skin, and tossed his dark fur like angry fire. He bent his head, and thirstily lapped up the cold water, which slid pleasantly down his dry throat. He then gazed upwards, staring at the cloudless skies. Below the cliffs lay a sea of forest, and beyond that, a golden tundra. It was early spring, and only two winters back he had challenged and caused the death of the alpha, his father Tundra, of the Whitehawk Creek Pack, the pack that he now held responsibility for. He knew from his previous pack, the West Ridge Pack, that it was against the wolf code to kill in a challenge – or even for a pack-less wolf to challenge an alpha. Yet he had ignored this – he had hated and dismissed all law of the wolf then, as it was what had affected his position as a beta in West Ridge, and placed him without family or pack.

Russet came bounding towards him, his cinnamon coat gleaming and glossy in the sunlight. Darkstorm could tell straight away from the excited wags of the wolf’s tail and the spark in his pale brown eyes that they were here – pups! The two wolves streamed down the cliff-side, eagerly dodging the trees and following the scent path to their pack den. The alpha barked happily, and his pack welcomed him into the den, followed by Russet. He saw Raven, his mate, laying on her side, and her four pups wriggling and fighting beside her. Their tiny eyes were sealed shut, and their teeth were tiny but sharp. They were all black, like he and raven, but two had splotches of white on their faces and stomachs. One of the white-masked pups had a white tip on its tail, which was thumping the ground enthusiastically. Raven glanced at Darkstorm with tired eyes, and then her heavy eyelids shut from exhaustion. He nudged her with his nose, and left the den.

Skysong stood in the shallow depths of Whitehawk Creek, feeling the wind blow through her fur and giving her a carefree, spirited attitude. She raced along the creek, her paws sending cold water splashing up her dark coat. Her pale green eyes scanned the jagged horizon, watching the sun rise, showering sparks of gold upon the tundra.

Skysong walked ashore, shaking the water off her night-black fur. She paused for a moment, sensing a sort of danger unknown to her. She sniffed the air, and suddenly cried out at an agonizing pain in her back muscles. Skysong tried to free herself from the bear’s weight, then snarling and clawing at its face and eyes, but the bear remained unharmed. The female wolf knew she was as good as dead. She tried to helplessly shake it off, but its teeth were firmly sunk into her back. The wolf cried out for help from Blackfire, her brother, as the great bear prepared for its fatal bit to her jugular vein, but he only yelped at her sorrowfully, then turning and running to the forest in the opposite direction. Suddenly she heard the bear roar with pain and rage, and it let go of Skysong, turning to fight Darkstorm, who had then leaped upon the bear’s back and sunk his razor-sharp teeth into the bear’s massive neck muscle. Though the attack wasn’t enough to cause the bear serious harm, it distracted it long enough so that Skysong could drag herself to a hiding place. She watched, suffering from untold pain and unable to help, as the bear lifted her sire with its enormous forepaws and delivered the fatal bite to Darkstorm. The alpha convulsed in the bear’s tight grip, and then went limp as the bear dragged the wolf away. Skysong felt her strength ebbing away from her as her dripping blood formed a dark crimson path behind her as she made her way slowly to the den. Darkstorm had died in order to save her life – a sacrifice she wouldn’t soon forget.

Readers’ Contribution

A Wolfdog Diary

By Erin

I have previously made mention of Ascar II being a little bully who loves to order Kajack II around and play the big boss. Now, lately Ascar was becoming so aggressive towards Kajack over no issues at all, that the latter was screaming for his life (it seemed) several times a day every day. He ended up with lots of small bits and pieces of scurf all over his face. Whatever we tried only resulted in Ascar taking out his frustration over his being reprimanded on Kajack. Taima, on the other hand, didn’t like our interfering at all and growled and even snapped at Ted a couple of times. Something had to happen, however, before Kajack would possibly lose an eye, for example. One day two weeks ago, it was particularly bad, and Ted couldn’t stand it anymore. While I was screaming at Ascar out of frustration, telling him we would oust and bring him back to where he came from, Ted grabbed a leash with a choke chain, slipped it over Ascar’s head, lifted him off Kajack, and dragged him out the back door. He fiddled the leash through the burglar bars of the door from the outside and pinned him against it from the inside. After a very short while Ascar became completely catatonic, which Ted knew to be a sign of him capitulating unconditionally. He held him there for a moment longer to make sure, then unfastened the chain. Ascar trotted off while Ted was torn between hating himself for having to be so drastic and fury over Ascar’s brutal mobbing of the most pacific pack member in the house. A short while later, Ascar could be seen trying to find a place where to jump the fence in order to get back into the house (the connecting gate was closed). We ignored him for half an hour and even closed the front door in case he should manage to get to the front yard.

Ted eventually went out to have a talk with Ascar and meditate over the problem. He first addressed him and tried to tell him where his behaviour would end him up. All he got in response was “get in, get in, get to Kajack”. Ted eventually realized that Ascar needed a teacher. And because there was no four-legged dominant male that could teach him at our place, he realised he would have to take on this role.

Some half-hour later, Ted and Ascar walked back to the still-closed backdoor. First, Ascar just wanted to get to Kajack on the inside, but when Ted didn’t let him, he sat down next to him and looked at him. Ted told him to apologize, and now the most unexpected things started to happen. Ascar got up and apologized to Ted, who told him that he must apologize to Kajack and true enough, he got up once more and started to wash Kajack’s face and ears through the bars. Ted praised him over the blue moon, opened the door, and he continued to wash Kajack, then Taima, then me, and Ted some more. He laid down next to Kajack and has been a new animal ever since. Whenever he gets too rough with Kajack (he can of course play with him, even wildly), Ted or I just have to touch the leash and make a small noise with the chain, and all aggression will cease this instant. We now even leave the set lying on the living room table so that he is reminded of it every time he walks past it. He will often sniff and touch it, and then sit down in front of either of us so that we can acknowledge him for his good behaviour. He will now also listen most of the time if we just tell him to be a little gentler or stop mobbing him.

I was a bit worried at first that Ascar would now be scared of the leash and chain, but it is most curious that he doesn’t show any fear of them. When Ted picks it up, he sometimes even tries to put his head through the loop. Not that we are complaining, mind you.

Subduing a canine as Ted did is nothing that could be recommend to anybody, for it is not exactly not dangerous to both the handler and the animal. However, in the above scenario, there was no way about it, and now we are glad that Ted mustered the courage. It just could not continue like it was.

Will be continued…

Volume 12, Issue 147, January 2017

SAFHOWL

The Monthly Free E-Newsletter of South African Friends of Wolves

Volume 12, Issue 147, January 2017

From the Editor’s Desk

And so we have arrived in 2017. Whether this new year will bring some relief for wolves in the wild remains to be seen, but personally, I doubt it very much. With what’s taking the helm in the US next week, things are more likely to go from very bad to even worse for nature.

This month we bring you a small set of news snippets that adequately outline the present situation and they give me creeps just as they do every month. However, there is one exception from Norway. It shows that at least some governments take petitions seriously, especially if they expand to an international scale. Read them for yourselves and you will see what I mean.

It saddened me greatly to learn that the last member of the once-proud, world famous Druid Peak Pack in Yellowstone has now also succumbed to a hunter’s bullet. Not that it mattered much after all members of his family had been killed before him. The US have lost one of their major attractions, and the film industry can now safely shelve as history all the wonderful documentaries that hailed the success story of wolf reintroduction to the world’s largest national park. Well, it’s symptomatic of this sick, degraded country. See the Wolves and Wolfdogs section.

We also have a poem that is quite haunting if you contemplate it more thoroughly. Its last line also provides a fitting obituary to Big Brown and his family – if people only could have left him and them be…

Ed.

News from the Wolf Front

National

Nothing to report

International

From Defenders of Wildlife (http://www.defenders.org)

1. USA: Keep up the fight for Lobos!

Here’s the heartbreaking truth:

Mexican gray wolves are the most endangered gray wolves in the world and unless more of them are released into the wild, they are doomed to go extinct.

At the end of 2015 there were an estimated 97 Mexican gray wolves remaining in the wild. And just this week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) confirmed that 14 Mexican gray wolf deaths were documented last year, marking the most in any single year since the federal government began reintroducing them in New Mexico and Arizona in 1998.

It’s critical that we make it clear to the incoming administration that we’re not backing down from Mexican gray wolf recovery!

Please, take action today:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=e5zbSMFx__xKjrLTHbrNZQ

We must let the incoming administration know that Mexican gray wolf recovery is a top priority. That’s why we’ll deliver your comments to the new Secretary of the Interior, once they are appointed and take office.

Please, tell the incoming administration that more Mexican gray wolves MUST be released:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=LuPAcCJ-4w1vxIxjmbFdow

It’s been 40 years since the Mexican gray wolf, or “lobo,” was first listed under the Endangered Species Act. Since the lobo reintroduction program began in the late 1990s, FWS has never released enough wolves from captivity. In fact, from 2008 through 2015, only five new wolves were released into the wild.

These wolves are running out of time. It’s up to you and me to protect their future in the wild.

  1. USA: Your help needed to protect wolves from Congress

Here we go again.

Barely 10 days into the new Congress, and a bill has been introduced to delist wolves in Wyoming and the Great Lakes region.

If this legislation passes, wolves will die.

Tell your Representative to oppose Congressional attempts to delist wolves:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=Wn74EntV3w0q6mlo9B8xsg

Even more despicable, the bill would prevent courts from reviewing the legitimacy of the law.

We’ve seen wolf management Wyoming-style before. In 2012 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service delisted wolves in Wyoming. The state wildlife agency declared more than 80% of Wyoming a ‘predator zone,’ where anyone could kill as many wolves as they wanted any day of the year. Even wolves that wandered outside of the protection of Yellowstone National Park were at risk of being shot or trapped.

One of the early victims of Wyoming’s wolf killing was a magnificent collared Yellowstone wolf known only as “06.” The matriarch of the Lamar Canyon pack, ‘06’ drew wolf-watchers from around the world. Her death just a few miles outside the Yellowstone National Park boundary was a tragic loss for science, for wolf tourism, and for her pack.

Thanks to a lawsuit brought by Defenders and our allies, a federal court ordered Wyoming’s wolves back on the endangered species list in 2014. But since then there’s been a continued effort in Congress to undo that decision.

Protections under the Endangered Species Act are not supposed to be about politics. They’re supposed to be about science. And the science is abundantly clear: Wyoming’s plan is not acceptable for wolf recovery, and until Wyoming creates a science-based plan, these wolves continue to deserve federal protection.

Please don’t let extremist politics crush sound science again. Take action today to protect our wolves:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=dwxYz0zkGNyGIpDtFOT6sQ

From SOS Wolves
(https://www.facebook.com/SOS.Wolves/?hc_ref=NEWSFEED&fref=nf)  through Change (http://change.org)

  1. USA: Urgent! Stop Wolf Hunting in Michigan

Urgent!!  The Wolf hunt in Michigan may be on again even though the voters rejected it twice in 2014 and the courts upheld this vote.   Please sign this petition urging Gov. Rick Snyder to VETO SB 1187, which allows wolf hunting and trapping in MI.  Additionally, this bill transfers authority to an unelected body, The Natural Resources Commission, to choose all the animals to be hunted and the voters CANNOT overturn their decisions, as the NRC are appointees not legislators. This bill takes away our voting right to referendum. Please sign this Petition urging Gov. Snyder to VETO SB1187.  Tell Gov. Snyder that NO means NO!

Wolves have tremendous value to the Great Lakes ecosystem and have posed no hazards to people.  Livestock deaths rightly or wrongly attributed to wolves have been incredibly rare at 0.0005 in 2015.

Bill SB 1187 blatantly circumvents the voters of MI in favour of big lobbyists.

You will find the petition link on the SOS Wolves facebook page (see above).

From SOS Wolves
(https://www.facebook.com/hashtag/saveourwolvessui?source=feed_text&story_id=1260874037364861)

  1. Norway: Great News!

The wolves in Norway today are a bit ‘safer, or almost. The Norwegian Minister of Climate and Environment, Vidar Helgesen, did an about-face with respect to the decision announced last September about cutting down 2/3 of the (already very low) wolf population of the northern European country. The four wolf packs in Letjenna, Slettås, Kynna Osdalen will continue to live.

The Ministry has, in fact, just announced that it had annulled the ruling by the regional management which would allow the planned hunt 24 wolves inside the wolf management area and 8 wolves out of the area. The hunting license will be limited to 15 copies out of the wolf management area, 6 of which have already been felled.
WWF has expressed his thanks through the words of the director of WWF Norway, Nina Jensen: “Today we express our heartfelt thanks to the Minister Helgesen for having saved the lives of 32 wolves so listening to the reasons of those who fight every day for the survival of wolves”. “Today we feel a great sense of relief and we can not wait to tell this first success to all our supporters: Thanks to their commitment and support for the life of these 32 wolves is finally saved.”

“We hope this is a first step towards the total abolition of wolf hunting in this country so advanced for so many other aspects – added the WWF Italy – The fact that Norway is still possible to break down the wolves holiday (if you are equipped license) is for us a source of great sadness. “

The wolf population in Norway has only 65-68 individuals, which means that the slaughter program, thankfully largely thwarted, would kill 70% of the entire population of the northern European country. The wolves in Norway are also listed as “critically endangered” national list of animals in danger of extinction in 2015.
WWF launched a campaign #saveourwolvessui company and was strongly committed to convince politicians and the authorities to stop the planned massacre of Norwegian wolves. The organization has been working closely with other NGOs in Norway and it was still ready to appeal against the felling plan.

From White Wolf Pack
(http://www.whitewolfpack.com/2016/08/obama-bans-sport-hunting-of-wolf.html)

USA: Obama bans sport hunting of wolves

The Obama administration is banning sport hunting of bears and wolves on federal lands in Alaska’s outback in an effort to stop what it calls the unethical practices of the state’s game board, practices that former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin has touted.

The Fish and Wildlife Service on Wednesday approved the regulations that ban hunting in Alaska’s national wildlife refuges without express permission from Washington and without proving it would serve a vital role in the conservation of the species.
“In the name of hunters and hunting, [the Alaska Board of Game] have approved shooting of brown and grizzly bears over bait; shooting mother bears with cubs, and even the cubs themselves; targeting bears and wolves from planes; and killing wolves and wolf pups in their dens,” said Fish and Wildlife Director Dan Ashe in a blog post.
The practices he is referring to are those that Palin, a former Alaska governor, has touted in support of maintaining the caribou and moose herds that rural Alaskans depend on as a food source. She was criticized by conservation groups and Democrats for supporting the hunting and shooting of wolves from helicopters.
“This is not sportsmanship,” Ashe said. “It is purportedly aimed at increasing populations of caribou and moose but defies modern science of predator-prey relationships. And finally, it is inconsistent with the laws guiding management of our National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska.”
He added that the practices are “wholly at odds with America’s long tradition of ethical, sportsmanlike, fair-chase hunting, in something they call ‘intensive predator management.'”

The regulations come in response to what Ashe called a persistent movement in the nation to give states ultimate authority over federal lands, alluding to a clause in the Republican Party’s national platform that was approved in Cleveland last month.
“Special interest groups are quietly working at the federal and state level to lay the groundwork for federally managed lands to be handed over wholesale to state or even private ownership,” he said. “Others have sought to erode federal management authority piecemeal, dealing death by a thousand cuts.
“Unfortunately, without the protections of federal law and the public engagement it ensures, this heritage is incredibly vulnerable,” he said.

From Against Wolf and Fox cruelty petition page

(https://www.facebook.com/groups/againstanimalcrueltypetitiongroup/;

https://www.change.org/p/mr-john-donahoe-ceo-of-ebay-stop-selling-wolf-pelts-on-ebay)

Please join me in telling eBay that selling wolf pelts online is unacceptable.
The wolf (only recently removed from protections in the US) has only just started to recover in areas where they were wiped out. Hunting has started again in places like Idaho, Montana and Wisconsin, including such obscenities as hunting with hounds, trapping and bow hunting. Collared research wolves have also been targeted and killed, rendering years of valuable and costly research void. The ‘harvest’ rate for wolves is not based on any environmental science. Instead, it is being dictated to Government Departments by pressure from various groups lobbying for the demise (and extinction) of this apex predator.

eBay – by allowing the sale of such pelts, you are part of the problem! Please – for the love of the wolf, stop.
This petition will be delivered to:
CEO, eBay
Mr John Donahoe, CEO of eBay

From Wolf Conservation Center (https://www.facebook.com/nywolforg/?hc_ref=NEWSFEED)

USA: Throw 2017 to the Wolves!
The Wolf Conservation Center 12-month calendar allows you to enjoy WCC’s wolves in your home or office all year long!
Shop here >> http://nywolf.org/shop/categories

All proceeds help support the Center’s work to protect and preserve wolf populations in North America.

Other News

National

From SanWild Wildlife Trust (lizel@sanwild.org)

We are in urgent need of funding to continue our on-going drought relief program.  Our most recent appeal and mailer resulted in almost no response and our funding to feed the SanWild animals has been depleted.

 To help raise funds we are offering you the first opportunity to grab 3 Discounted Accommodation Vouchers @ R10 000 each (or $800) on a first come first serves basis.

Vouchers may be redeemed within the periods given below that fall within the South African School Holidays or any other dates of your choice subject to availability.

Voucher 1 – 31st March – 18th April 2017 (SA Easter Weekend)

Voucher 2   30th June – 24th July 2017 (SA School Holidays)

Voucher 3   29th September – 9 October 2017 (SA School Holidays)

About Bukisa Camp:

Bukisa Private Bush Camp, dwarfed by Spitzkop is situated in the heart of the SanWild Wildlife Sanctuary and looks out over the vast vista of the Drakensberg Mountains.

At the waterhole just below the camp you are almost guaranteed a visit by Bukisa’s herd. This small group of African elephants was rescued from an imminent culling operation in the Thukela Biosphere Reserve in 2006 and was relocated to the safety of the SanWild Wildlife Sanctuary where they have built a new life for themselves.

To read more about them and to view the Operation Jumbo Journey video, please click here to be directed to our website.

You can view a wide variety of animals such as impala, kudu, blue wildebeest, zebra, waterbuck, red hartebeest and giraffe amongst others are observed during game drives. You may even be fortunate to spot an elusive aardvark, pangolin, caracal or even a leopard in the late afternoon.

Bukisa Camp consists of 4 Safari-styled tents, each with an on-suite bathroom and electricity. The Central Facility consists of a lounge, dining room, a pub area with a fireplace and a rock pool. The kitchen is fully equipped for self-catering. Under cover parking is provided.

Game drives depart from Bukisa Camp daily and cycle tours can replace a regular game drive by prior arrangement.

The discounted accommodation voucher includes:

  • 3 nights for up to 8 guests on a self-catering basis
  • A daily game drive is included and additional drives can be arranged at R150 per person.
  • A daily accompanied cycle tour can be arranged upon request. Cyclists need to provide their own bikes.
  • Firewood can be purchased on site.

For more information regarding our appeal or the vouchers, please do not hesitate to contact us on either mailto:lizel@sanwild.org or mailto:louise@sanwild.org

Next Door

From Care2 Action Alerts (actionalerts@care2.com)

Keep trophy-hunting out of Botswana!

The Minister of Natural Resources and Environment in Botswana is sounding the alarm about trophy hunting in his country. That might sound strange since Botswana banned trophy hunting in 2014 and has taken the lead on wildlife conservation in Africa. But over the past few years, the country has come under immense pressure from the pro-hunting lobby in Europe and neighbouring countries to reverse the ban.

Sign Christina’s petition urging the European Union to state its unequivocal support for Botswana’s ban on trophy hunting:
http://www.care2.com/go/z/e/AWVAZ/zSAl/GeQa

Botswana’s policy to fight wildlife hunting is working, and there’s plenty of proof. Ecotourism, such as wildlife safaris, has become a booming part of the economy as tourists enjoy the chance to observe wild animals in their natural environment. Wildlife that used to live in neighbouring countries is relocating to Botswana to seek refuge. Roughly 130,000 elephants now live in Botswana, which is the most in any country.

But now that animals are moving into Botswana in such large numbers, European hunters want access. In other nearby countries where hunting is legal, including Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe, the “game” has become scarce because of overhunting and poaching.

But we cannot allow these hunters to sway Botswana. It’s time to show that our voices are louder than theirs.

Botswana doesn’t need more political issues to contend with in its mission to end trophy hunting. It needs support from the international community. Will you sign the petition asking the European Union to save endangered wildlife and stand with Botswana?
http://www.care2.com/go/z/e/AWVAZ/zSAl/GeQa

Thank you for all that you do,

International

From Defenders of Wildlife (http://www.defenders.org)

We are so grateful for you!

You are the reason why, even during these difficult times, I’m optimistic about the future.

Your tireless support is a big reason why we’ve made significant progress for wildlife in 2016.

As we continue to be unrelenting in our fight for wildlife, it’s important to remember that there are a number of accomplishments worth celebrating.

To thank you for all you’ve done for the wild this year, we’ve prepared this short video featuring some of the highlights of 2016:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=oIosJvE39FMSPIJI7NMZYQ

Wildlife is depending on us – and we will not let them down. It’s going to be a challenging year ahead, but with you at our side, we’ll never give up! For now, just take a moment to savour the progress you helped make happen.

From Endangered Species
(www.endangered.org; mailto:action=endangered.org@mail.salsalabs.net; on behalf of; Leda Huta, Endangered Species Coalition
[mailto:action@endangered.org]

Happy Holidays and Thank You

The holidays are a period that we at the Endangered Species Coalition use to take stock of the year that’s behind us and that which is to come.

2016 has been a year of successes and some setbacks for the imperilled wildlife that we hold dear. Those successes were vital and we could not have achieved them without you.

Crucially, our community held the line on national wolf delisting and kept Great Lakes and Wyoming wolves protected. Thousands of you spoke out online, in person, by phone, and through social media to tell decision makers that our country’s wolves need protections. To date, these protections remain intact.

Together, we celebrated the 11th-annual Endangered Species Day:
http://org2.salsalabs.com/dia/track.jsp?v=2&c=553rtAx0rsRLkc62JeKZBXOnWnX8EzTQ

This celebration of the Endangered Species Act is something that the Endangered Species Coalition launched in 2006 with the support of the U.S. Senate. Since then, it has become a species-saving-celebration like no other. Hundreds of events were held around the world and proclamations at the local level in cities including Madison, WI marked the date. The White House even tweeted about it for the first time ever:
http://org2.salsalabs.com/dia/track.jsp?v=2&c=Ue4gqt11Tqhd9tHpF3EqiWH11oDJQ6E4

We stopped a predator hunting competition before it began in Wisconsin, protecting endangered wolves in that state. We delivered comments from more than 17,000 of you that spoke out in support of introducing wolves to Isle Royale National Park to bolster the Park’s declining wolf population. We learned last week that the National Park Service heard you and is proposing adding 20 to 30 wolves to keep this population from vanishing.

Many of you in Colorado turned out in person and submitted comments online to demonstrate support for predators such as bears, mountain lions, and someday wolves in the state when the Parks and Wildlife Commission proposed studies that could threaten their population. The Commission did not heed our wishes to follow a science-based path but the movement to maintain healthy predator populations in Colorado is invigorated and we will be watching this state closely for ways we can take action to shape better, predator-friendly policies.

California’s long-awaited wolf plan was released. Thousands of you provided input in shaping that plan and assured that conservation came first.

2017 is filled with hope of victories to come and the knowledge that threats are just around the corner. We will be fighting a proposed delisting of grizzly bears that would turn management over to states intent on sport hunting, and proposed wolf delisting bills that Congress will likely take up as soon as they return from recess. I hope we can count on your support in these fights:
http://org2.salsalabs.com/dia/track.jsp?v=2&c=uPuZlLwI4m8ehKObBnTXqHOnWnX8EzTQ

I want to personally thank you for standing with us this past year and I wish you and yours a most joyous holiday season.

Wolves and Wolfdogs

The end of Yellowstone’s famous Druid wolves

The most famous and celebrated Druid wolves of the Yellowstone National Park’s history have lost their last surviving member – 778M was legally killed in Montana by a hunter.

Wolf 778M, also known as “Big Brown”, spent most of the past couple of years north of the park boundary, and it was there that he was shot dead a few weeks ago.

Big Brown was born in spring 2007 into the mighty Druid Peak Pack, which ruled the heart of the Lamar Valley in north-eastern Yellowstone for years, and was well known by thousands of dedicated wolf-watchers. In fact, this pack was one of the biggest attractions of Yellowstone National Park.

A part of the mountain-walled, wildlife-rich steppe lands north of the Yellowstone Plateau, the Northern Range, is often revered to as “America’s Serengeti”, given its plentiful and varied mega fauna that includes bison, elk, pronghorn, mule deer, bighorn sheep and moose as well as a full roster of native Rocky Mountain carnivores. And the Druids were what one could call its “haughty top dogs” for most of their 14-year existence.

The pack was among the second cohort of wolves reintroduced to Yellowstone in the mid-1990s. The founding wolves of this pack came from northern British Columbia, and were released into the Lamar Valley in April 1996. They didn’t take long to assert themselves, and early in the 2000s their numbers had grown to nearly 40, which made them one of the biggest wolf packs ever recorded.

Their primary den, and one of their preferred rendezvous sites, were close to the Lamar’s Northeast Entrance Road, where the growing pups, after leaving the den, could be closely observed playing and interacting with the adults by anyone with a binocular or spotting scope, and so the Druid Pack became the best known and most watched wolf pack in Yellowstone and the rest of the world.

A total of 100,000 visitors watched and observed the Druids in their wild, wide open arena of the Lamar Valley. They saw them dragging down elk, mobbing grizzlies, rumbling with other packs and performing downright Sopranos-worthy internecine dramas. In 2000, the pack’s alpha female, 40F, was killed in fight with other Druid she-wolves, amongst them also her sister, 42F, who then took over the leadership role.

The Druids were the flashy face of an exciting new chapter for the oldest national park in the US, as its ecology rapidly readjusted to the return of an apex predator to the stage.

But in 2010, the Druid Peak Pack was in shambles; ravaged by a terrible pack-wide mange infestation, beset by rivals, and dwindled by natural dispersal and deaths.

But 778M, the grandson of the Druids’ celebrity alpha male 21M, a magnificent black wolf from the first litter of one of Yellowstone’s original reintroduced groups, had left his natal pack well before its sorry unravelling. One year after his birth, in 2008, he and several other pack members left the pack and founded the Blacktail Deer Plateau Pack to the west. Big Brown became its alpha male by late 2009.

When Yellowstone’s head wolf biologist, Doug Smith, fitted him with a radio-collar in 2011, Big Brown tipped the scale at a solid 55 kg. It was his classic confidence and quiet self-assurance that made him a born alpha.

778M and his female alpha, 693F, were leading a pack of impressive 15 wolves in early 2010, but this number soon declined, and 693F died in 2013, most likely killed by other wolves. At this point 778M was the last surviving Druid. He remained in the Blacktail territory and even managed to find a few companions, but the pack never really reformed. Eventually, he drifted north of the park into the Gallatin National Forest, changing from one of the main wolves in the park into a peripheral one and then into a wolf nobody was keeping track of anymore.

In 2009 Montana held its first “modern wolf hunt”. There was none in 2010, but since 2011 these hunts became an annual regular, when the federal government removed wolves in the region from its endangered species list. Over 200 wolves were killed during the 2015 season alone. Conservationists have been pushing for buffer zones around Yellowstone where wolf hunting is prohibited, but the efforts have been unsuccessful thus far.

Despite of the fact that 778M’s death marks the end of the Druid wolves, their bloodline lives on in other Yellowstone packs. In fact, the old Druid kingdom has been home to a confederation partly composed of Druid descendants for several years – the Lamar Canyon Pack. These wolves have denned in the same grove that saw generations of Druid pups whelped, and in some seasons they have been visible enough to summon throwback visions of the Druids’ royal heyday. The most famous and celebrated alpha female of the Lamar Canyon Pack, known as “06 Female”, was also killed outside the park in late 2012, sharing the fate of about a dozen Yellowstone-ranging wolves having been shot outside the boundaries of the park during that winter’s hunting season.

The death of 778M is certainly a sad affair; he lived a long but difficult life. But even now that he’s gone, there are still descendants of the Druid wolves roaming Yellowstone.

There are only a few places on earth were wolf societies and wolf geopolitics are so scrutinised as in Yellowstone, and therefore the death of a long-lived, long-tracked individual like Big Brown causes a powerful resonance amongst scientists and wolf-watchers alike. And in his passing, the glories and tragedies of the Druids truly become the stuff legends are made of.

Original story by Ethan Shaw (19 December 2016) at

http://www.earthtouchnews.com/conservation/human-impact/lone-survivors-death-marks-the-end-of-yellowstones-famous-druid-wolves

Wolf Myths and Legends, Part 134

Wish

by Megan Wilson

I want to know…..
How it feels to be one of them.
Who is my friend and who is my foe.
Howling for the night while the light grows dim.
Chasing my prey.
Feeling the wind blow through my hair.
Wondering what will happen the next day.
Knowing I have a pack that shows their care.
They are wolves and I wish I was one.
They are a magnificent creature.
They seem so fun.
With their usual grey fur.
I would lead such and exciting life.
Oh how wonderful that would be.
My fangs like a knife.
If only I could be…..

Readers’ Contribution

A Wolfdog Diary

By Erin

Erin is still in holiday mode, taking a break from the Festive Season stress, and will be back next month.

Will be continued…

Volume 11, Issue 146, December 2016

SAFHOWL

The Monthly Free E-Newsletter of South African Friends of Wolves

Volume 11, Issue 146, December 2016

From the Editor’s Desk

 image002

When family becomes important for everybody

Wishing you an enjoyable Festive Season and a fabulous start into the New Year with your family and loved ones

Ed.

News from the Wolf Front

National

Nothing to report

International

From Defenders of Wildlife (http://www.defenders.org)

USA: A notorious wolf hater

How many threats to wildlife and the environment can fit into one cabinet?

Our job has just gotten a whole lot harder. Donald Trump seems determined to surround himself with Cabinet appointees who have spent their whole careers in fundamental opposition to the mission of the agencies they are being tasked to lead.

Now, more than ever, we need your strong support! Donate now to the Wildlife Defense Campaign, and your gift will be TRIPLED: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=GtmU4tL6f4llMIo7x8p7BA

Just look at some of the cabinet choices:

  • Ryan Zinke (R-MT) was tapped, just yesterday, to head up the Department of the Interior. Zinke is a fervent supporter of coal, oil and gas exploration. He’s voted for Congressional measures that would gut the Endangered Species Act and is a strong backer of building the Keystone XL pipeline.
  • Rick Perry, chosen to run the Department of Energy – an agency he once stated he would like to eliminate. Perry, yet another climate change denier, also serves on the board of directors of Energy Transfer Partners, the company developing the Dakota Access Pipeline.
  • Rex Tillerson, the CEO of Exxon Mobile has been nominated to lead the State Department. Tillerson has used his leadership at Exxon Mobil, the firm at fault for the devastating Exxon-Valdez oil spill in Alaska, to promote fossil fuel development here and around the world.
  • Scott Pruitt, known climate change denier to head the Environmental Protection Agency. Pruitt is well known for suing the agency he is now set to lead and has worked to dismantle basic protections for our nation’s air and water.

This is why we’ve created the Wildlife Defense Campaign – so we’re ready to fight the Trump Administration. With you by our side, we’ll put a stop to dangerous policies from Trump’s stable of climate change deniers, oil executives and drilling enthusiasts:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=lWA9GMK5e_6OMZ2gZfUCNw

We cannot remain silent and let the anti-wildlife extremists and the climate change deniers have their way. These people are taking the most important jobs affecting the natural world.

We must be ready to take action in the face of these growing threats to wildlife. Donate now – every dollar you give to the Wildlife Defense Campaign will be matched 2- for-1, up to $150,000:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=e-bcgVU_3n0I_WAV5HFMKA

 From Change (http://change.org)

USA: Save Alaska’s Rarest, the Alexander Archipelago Wolves

These animals must be listed as endangered species immediately, since this situation is becoming ridiculously catastrophic. Southeast Alaska’s isolated wolf population has declined by 60 percent in just one year, dropping from an estimated 221 individuals in 2013 to 89 wolves in 2014, according to the U.S. Forest Service. Those numbers are already outdated. Another 29 wolves were reportedly killed in the 2014–2015 hunting and trapping season. Back in 1994, an estimated 900 wolves roamed Southeast Alaska, and the Prince of Wales Island population was estimated to be 300 to 350. Today, the population is estimated at 60. This is downright comical and it has to be stopped immediately. In 1993, a petition to list the Alexander Archipelago wolf as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act was lodged with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The agency decided in 1997 that listing was not warranted at that time. In 2011 a second petition to list the species as either threatened or endangered was filed with the Fish and Wildlife Service. It referenced scientific studies and other information that had arisen over the intervening fourteen years. In March 2014, in response to the petition, the agency made a positive initial finding that listing the species as threatened or endangered “may be warranted,” and that it will prepare a formal status review. Thousands, if not millions of people are willing to prevent this situation from becoming even more detrimental, before it will be too late.
During the spring of 2015, the Alaska Dept. of Fish & Game found only one active den with only one wolf pup out of 15 den locations surveyed. When the wolf population gets so low, scientific literature has shown that reproductive ability is severely hampered and the ability of the population to rebound is likewise stymied. Extinction is the next step.
Alexander Archipelago Wolves are not yet a protected species so hunting them is currently legal. Along with hunting and trapping, there are other major factors, such as logging. Both, the wolves and the deer have suffered from it, as it has eroded their island habitats.
Not only it affects the AA wolves, it also affects thousands (if not millions) of other people who want to make a change and would do almost anything in order to save these animals. People are ready to put money, time and effort into this and are ready to help.
I am speaking for thousands of other people, Alexander Archipelago Wolves have to be classified as endangered species. So let’s stand up for these beautiful creatures before it’s too late! If we will speak up and work together, we might save these animals.

Please sign the petition here.

This petition will be delivered to:

  • United States Fish and Wildlife Service
  • World Wildlife Fund
  • Larry Edwards (Greenpeace)

From ForceChange (https://forcechange.com/149837/dont-murder-last-remaining-wolves/)

Norway: Don’t Murder Last Remaining Wolves

Target: Olemic Thommessen, President of the Norwegian Parliament

Goal: Stop hunters from slaughtering over half of the wolves in Norway.

Hunters plan to kill over half of the wolves in a particular wolf population in Norway. Over 10,000 people may be given hunting licenses and granted permission to shoot 16 out of the 30 wolves that are thought to reside in the Norwegian wilderness. We need to take action to better ensure that these wolves will not be completely wiped out.

Hunting season runs from Oct. 1 to March 31. A main reason why wolves are hunted is to protect livestock. However, this reason is difficult to justify when one considers that a great deal of illegal hunting is speculated to take place in Norway. Furthermore, since hunters are allowed to kill all but three breeding females, the wolves are not able to reproduce at a fast enough rate to keep from dying off. With this being the case, hunting season should be canceled to ensure the wolves have a chance to thrive.

Demand hunting season be made against the law until these wolves drastically increase in number. If Norway continues down the same path, all of the wolves that live there will soon be dead.

Please sign the petition here.

From Against Wolf and Fox cruelty petition page
(http://www.shopforyourcause.com/…/minnesota-coyote-killing-…)

USA: Minnesota Coyote Killing Contest
Target: MN DNR Commissioner: Tom Landwehr MN DNR Asst. Commissioner; Policy & Government Relations: Bob Meier MN DNR Asst. Commissioner: Parks & Trails, Fish & Wildlife: Sarah Strommen
We are writing to ask you to stop the annual “Save the Birds” Coyote Hunting Tournament. This tournament is killing for killing sake and awards cash prizes for the most coyotes killed, as well as the largest and smallest killed. This contest goes on with basically no rules and no limit on the amount of coyotes that can be killed.
These contests go on as a form of “charitable gambling” in Minnesota. Massacring members of integral species for entertainment and fun is not what outdoorsmen are about. Not to mention the fact that these contests don’t really do anything to significantly put a dent in the population of coyotes. As outlined in the book “Coyote America,” by Dan Flores. He proves the point that the more of these animals you kill the more that will come back and replace their dead ancestors.

Here is an excerpt from this noted biologist proving that this is a futile and inhumane effort that is basically killing for killing sake: With its uncanny night howls, unrivalled ingenuity, and amazing resilience, the coyote is the stuff of legends. In Indian folktales it often appears as a deceptive trickster or a sly genius. But legends don’t come close to capturing the incredible survival story of the coyote. As soon as Americans—especially white Americans—began ranching and herding in the West, they began working to destroy the coyote. Despite campaigns of annihilation employing poisons, gases, helicopters, and engineered epidemics, coyotes didn’t just survive; they thrived, expanding across the continent from Anchorage, Alaska, to New York’s Central Park. In the war between humans and coyotes, coyotes have won hands-down.

Please help us by insisting that the state of MN abolish these ridiculous contests.

Read more and sign at
http://www.shopforyourcause.com/…/minnesota-coyote-killing-…

From White Wolf Pack
(http://www.whitewolfpack.com/2016/10/romania-bans-trophy-hunting-of-brown.html?m=1)

Romania bans trophy hunting of brown bears, wolves, lynx and wild cats

Romania has banned all trophy hunting of wolves, brown bears, lynx and wild cats in a surprise decision that gives Europe’s largest population of large carnivores a reprieve from its most severe and immediate threat.
“Hunting for money was already illegal, but it was given a green light anyway,” environment minister, Cristiana Pasca-Palmer, told the Guardian. “The damages [clause in the habitats directive] acted as a cover for trophy hunting.”
Announced late on Tuesday evening, the ban is expected to divide Romania’s population, pitching rural and urban dwellers against each other. The government’s decision has strong support in the larger cities, which have seen a growing movement against hunting in recent months. But in much of Romania’s remote countryside large carnivores are a daily threat to villagers and a persistent nuisance to livestock farmers, and many see hunting as the only solution.
The ministry of environment have discussed the possibility of relocating the target animals abroad to countries interested in ‘rewilding’.
The ban comes amid a growing push for the protection of Romania’s wild mountains that has seen anti-corruption officers convict dozens of foresters, hunters and local officials in recent years.

Gabriel Paun, an activist and conservationist behind a petition that collected 11,000 signatures in the weeks before the hunting ban, sees the government’s decision as a step towards a safer future for Europe’s wild spaces: “The Carpathian mountains are home to more biodiversity than anywhere else in Europe, but for too long they have been ruthlessly exploited for forestry and hunting. Let’s hope the government’s decision is a sign of things to come.”

  1. University of Wisconsin: Killing Wolves and Coyotes May Not Protect Livestock
    (http://www.whitewolfpack.com/2016/09/university-of-wisconsin-killing-wolves.html)

A new study shows that killing predators like the Mexican Gray Wolf may not reduce livestock losses.

The practice of killing predators such as wolves, coyotes and bears to protect livestock has little scientific validity, according to a new study. The article, called Predator Control Should Not Be a Shot in the Dark just came out in a journal called Frontiers of Ecology and the Environment.
Researchers from the University of Wisconsin and two other schools evaluated two dozen prior studies to determine whether they followed the scientific method and found half the studies weren’t sufficiently rigorous.
Michael Robinson, conservation advocate with the centre for Biological Diversity in Silver City, said the results of the remaining studies are somewhat counter-intuitive.
“There’s either no effect on protecting livestock because there’s other predators that can move in, and if livestock protection practices don’t change, that makes sense,” he explained. “Or it actually would increase the number of livestock that would be killed.”

The study found that when the leader of a predator group is killed, it sows chaos in the pack and multiple, less-experienced members may end up targeting the livestock. Robinson said this study undercuts the reasoning behind the actions of a federal program, Wildlife Services, and many state game agencies, that kill tens of thousands of coyotes, bears, bobcats, cougars, even the highly endangered Mexican gray wolf every year.
He added that there are now only 97 known Mexican gray wolves left in Arizona and New Mexico.
“The Fish and Wildlife Service, this year, still trapped and removed the alpha male, the papa of a litter of pups in the Luna pack in New Mexico because of conflicts with livestock,” he said.
Robinson is calling on Wildlife Services to stop using aerial snipers, poisons and steel leg-hold traps to eliminate members of predator species.

From California Wolfcenter
(californiawolfcenter@yahoogroups.com)

  1. Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project Monthly Update

Endangered Species Updates October 1-31, 2016

The following is a summary of Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project (Project) activities in the Mexican Wolf Experimental Population Area (MWEPA) in Arizona, including the Fort Apache Indian Reservation (FAIR), San Carlos Apache Reservation (SCAR), and New Mexico.  Additional Project information can be obtained by calling (928) 339-4329 or toll free at (888) 459-9653, or by visiting the Arizona Game and Fish Department website at www.azgfd.gov/wolf or by visiting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website at www.fws.gov/southwest/es/mexicanwolf.  Past updates may be viewed on either website, or interested parties may sign up to receive this update electronically.

This update is a public document and information in it can be used for any purpose.  The Project is a multi-agency cooperative effort among the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD), USDA Forest Service (USFS), USDA-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services (USDA-APHIS WS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service USFWS) and the White Mountain Apache Tribe (WMAT).

To view semi-monthly wolf telemetry flight location information please visit http://bit.do/mexicanwolf or www.fws.gov/southwest/es/mexicanwolf/RWL.cfm.

Please report any wolf sightings or suspected livestock depredations to: the Alpine wolf office (928) 339-4329 or toll free at (888) 459-9653. To report incidents of take or harassment of wolves, please call the AGFD 24-hour dispatch (Operation Game Thief) at (800) 352-0700.

Overall Mexican Wolf Recovery Program Monthly Update

The USFWS assisted the Rio Grande Zoo with public education during Wolf Awareness Week on October 20, 2016.

Numbering System:  Mexican wolves are given an identification number recorded in an official studbook that tracks their history.  Capital letters (M = Male, F = Female) preceding the number indicate adult animals 24 months or older. Lower case letters (m = male, f = female) indicate wolves younger than 24 months or pups. The capital letter “A” preceding the letter and number indicate breeding wolves.

Definitions: A “wolf pack” is defined as two or more wolves that maintain an established territory.  In the event that one of the two alpha (dominant) wolves dies, the remaining alpha wolf, regardless of pack size, retains the pack status. The packs referenced in this update contain at least one wolf with a radio telemetry collar attached to it. The Interagency Field Team (IFT) recognizes that wolves without radio telemetry collars may also form packs. If the IFT confirms that wolves are associating with each other and are resident within the same home range, they will be referenced as a pack.

CURRENT POPULATION STATUS

Population monitoring requires year round effort documenting births, deaths, survival, total numbers, and distribution.  Mortality occurs throughout the year and is particularly high on young pups, so while the IFT has documented reproduction this year, the IFT will not have a complete idea of how many of these young pups and adults have died until the annual population survey which is conducted in the winter.  Annual surveys are conducted in the winter because it is when the population is experiencing the least amount of natural fluctuation (i.e. in the spring the population increases dramatically with the birth of new pups and declines throughout the summer and fall as mortality is particularly high on young pups).  Thus, the IFT summarizes the total number of wolves in the winter at a fairly static or consistent time of year.  This allows for comparable year-to-year trends at a time of year that accounts for most mortality and survival of young pups.  At this time, the IFT’s best estimate is that there was a minimum of 97 wolves in the wild as of December 31, 2015.  At the current time there are 53 wolves with functioning radio collars that the IFT is actively monitoring.

IN ARIZONA:

Bear Wallow Pack (collared AM1338 and AF1335)

In October, the Bear Wallow Pack was located within their traditional territory in the east central portion of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest (ASNF).

Bluestem Pack (collared M1382, F1443, and f1488)

In October, the Bluestem Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the east central portion of the ASNF.  The pack continued to display rendezvousing behaviour through the month and periodically used a diversionary food cache to prevent potential depredation issues in the area.

Buckalou Pack (collared F1405)

In October, F1405 dispersed from Arizona and localized in the east central portion of the Gila National Forest in New Mexico.

.
Elk Horn Pack (collared AF1294, AM1342, mp1474, and mp1471)

In October, the Elk Horn Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north eastern portion of the ASNF. The IFT documented rendezvous behavior by this pack during the month of October. The Elk Horn Pack has periodically used a food cache set up by the IFT to supplement the pack due to the cross-foster of two pups this spring. A minimum of two uncollared pups were documented travelling with the Elk Horn pack this month.

Hawks Nest Pack (collared AM1038)

In October, the Hawks Nest Pack was typically located within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the ASNF. The IFT documented a dispersal movement by AM1038 west onto the FAIR.

Hoodoo Pack (collared AM1290, AF1333, m1441, fp1549, and fp1550)

In October, the Hoodoo Pack remained in the north central portion of the ASNF.  The IFT documented rendezvous behaviour by the Hoodoo Pack this month.  The Hoodoo Pack has continued to utilize the food cache put in place for them to prevent potential depredation issues in the area. A minimum of three uncollared pups were documented travelling with the Hoodoo Pack this month.

Marble Pack (collared AM1330)

AM1330 was not heard or located during the month of October and is now considered fate unknown.

Maverick Pack (collared AF1291)

In October, the Maverick Pack was located within their traditional territory both on the FAIR and ASNF.

Panther Creek Pack (collared AF1339, AM1394, mp1483, fp1484, fp1485, and mp1486)

In October, the Panther Creek Pack was located in the east central portion of the ASNF.  The Panther Creek Pack continued to show rendezvousing behaviour and utilize the food cache that the IFT has maintained for them to supplement the pack due to the two pups cross-fostered into the Panther Creek Pack in April. One male pup (mp1483) and two female pups (fp1484 and fp1485) were captured, collared, and released in October. These pups were wild-born and were not one of two pups cross-fostered into the Panther Creek Pack. A minimum of six pups were documented travelling with the pack this month, confirming that at least one cross-fostered pup survived to October.

ON THE FAIR:

Diamond Pack (collared m1447, f1557, mp1558, mp1559, and fp1560)

In October, the Diamond Pack was located within their traditional territory in the eastern portion of the FAIR and the northern portion of the ASNF.  One female (f1557), one female pup (fp1560), and two male pups (mp1558 and mp1559) were captured, collared, and released in October. The IFT confirmed AM1249 was travelling with the pack in October.

Tsay-O-Ah Pack (collared AM1343 and AF1283)

In October, the Tsay-o-Ah Pack was located within their traditional territory in the eastern portion of the FAIR.

Baldy Pack (collared M1347 and f1445)

In October, the Baldy Pack was located in the eastern portion of the FAIR and northern portion of the ASNF.

IN NEW MEXICO:

Dark Canyon Pack (collared AM992 and f1444)

During October, the IFT located this pack within its traditional territory in the west central portion of the Gila National Forest (GNF).

Iron Creek Pack (collared AM1240, AF1278 and mp1556)

During October, the Iron Creek Pack continued to utilize their territory in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness and the southern portion of the GNF.  A diversionary food cache is being maintained for the Iron Creek Pack to mitigate potential wolf-livestock conflicts.  During October, mp1555, a male pup that had been captured at the end of September, slipped its collar.

Luna Pack (collared AF1487 and mp1554)

During October, the Luna Pack remained in their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF.  The IFT is maintaining a diversionary and supplemental food cache in efforts to reduce potential for further livestock depredations.

Mangas Pack (collared M1296 and F1439)

During October, the Mangas Pack was located within their territory in north western portions of the GNF in New Mexico.  On October 24, a private trapper captured F1439 and contacted the IFT.  Members from the IFT responded immediately, processed, recollared and released the female wolf onsite.

Prieto Pack (collared M1386, m1455, f1456, M1552 and f1553)

During October, the Prieto Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF.  f1553 was documented travelling apart from the Prieto Pack with single male wolf M1398 in the west central portion of the GNF.

San Mateo Pack (collared AF1399)

During October, the IFT documented AM1345 and AF1399 travelling together within their territory in the north central portion of the GNF.   The diversionary food cache that had been established and maintained since April was removed.  No known wolf/livestock conflicts were documented for the San Mateo pack during the 2016 denning season.

Sheepherders Baseball Park (SBP) Pack

During October, the SBP Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF.  AM1284 was documented on trail camera travelling with pups.  The IFT began trapping efforts in October to recollar AM1284 and collar any pups.

Willow Springs Pack (collared F1397)

During October, the IFT documented the Willow Springs Pack within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF.

Single collared M1293

During October, M1293 was located within the Gila Wilderness in New Mexico.  Trapping efforts were initiated in October to recollar M1293, along with any wolves travelling with him.

Single collared AM1155

During October, AM1155 was documented travelling within New Mexico.

Single collared M1398

During October, M1398 was documented travelling with f1553 of the Prieto Pack in the west central portion of the GNF.

MORTALITIES

There were no mortalities documented in the month of October.

INCIDENTS

During October, there were seven livestock depredation reports and no nuisance reports.  Six of the seven depredation reports were confirmed or probable wolf kills.

On October 5, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, Arizona.  The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf kill.

On October 8, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Catron County, New Mexico.  The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf kill.

On October 13, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Catron County, New Mexico.  The investigation determined the cow was a probable wolf kill.

On October 13, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Catron County, New Mexico.  The investigation determined the cow was a confirmed wolf kill.

On October 13, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, Arizona.  The investigation determined the calf had been killed by coyotes.

On October 15, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, Arizona.  The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf kill.

On October 22, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Catron County, New Mexico.  The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf kill.

COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATION

In the end of September, USFWS personnel presented two informational talks on Mexican wolf recovery to around 250 Phoenix Zoo staff and patrons.

In October, USFWS gave two presentations on Mexican wolf recovery at The Wildlife Society National Conference in Raleigh, NC.

PROJECT PERSONNEL

In October, USFWS volunteer Elizabeth Karslake completed her six month position to pursue other professional endeavours.  Thank you Elizabeth for your hard work and dedication, and best wishes in your pursuits!

  1. November 1-30, 2016

Overall Mexican Wolf Recovery Program Monthly Update

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service convened the 5th Mexican wolf recovery planning workshop November 2-4 in Tucson, AZ.  Represented at the workshop were the states of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, the Mexican governmental agencies SEMARNAT and CONANP, the USDA Forest Service and independent scientists from the United States and Mexico.  The workshop participants continued with review of scientific information for analyzing areas of suitable habitat and input variables for the VORTEX model.

The Fish and Wildlife Service and the Forest Service met on November 16 to discuss coordination of Mexican wolf recovery efforts, including outreach and NEPA analysis of proposed release sites in Zone 1 of the revised Mexican Wolf Experimental Population Area.

In the month of November, The Fish and Wildlife Service sent letters inviting the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the National Park Service (NPS) to become partners in the Mexican wolf recovery program.  Both agencies have land management responsibilities within the boundaries of the revised Mexican Wolf Experimental Population Area.

On November 30, the Fish and Wildlife Service, as well as members of the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, New Mexico State Game Commission, biologists from CONANP and the University of Queretaro, Mexico, biologists from the Turner Endangered Species Fund (TESF) and several volunteers captured a family of 11 wolves at the TESF Ladder Ranch Wolf Management Facility.  The wolves were collared, crated, and transported to Chihuahua, Mexico for release into the wild.

Numbering System:  Mexican wolves are given an identification number recorded in an official studbook that tracks their history.  Capital letters (M = Male, F = Female) preceding the number indicate adult animals 24 months or older. Lower case letters (m = male, f = female) indicate wolves younger than 24 months or pups. The capital letter “A” preceding the letter and number indicate breeding wolves.

Definitions: A “wolf pack” is defined as two or more wolves that maintain an established territory.  In the event that one of the two alpha (dominant) wolves dies, the remaining alpha wolf, regardless of pack size, retains the pack status. The packs referenced in this update contain at least one wolf with a radio telemetry collar attached to it. The Interagency Field Team (IFT) recognizes that wolves without radio telemetry collars may also form packs. If the IFT confirms that wolves are associating with each other and are resident within the same home range, they will be referenced as a pack.

CURRENT POPULATION STATUS

Population monitoring requires year round effort documenting births, deaths, survival, total numbers, and distribution.  Mortality occurs throughout the year and is particularly high on young pups, so while the IFT has documented reproduction this year, the IFT will not have a complete idea of how many of these young pups and adults have died until the annual population survey which is conducted in the winter.  Annual surveys are conducted in the winter because it is when the population is experiencing the least amount of natural fluctuation (i.e. in the spring the population increases dramatically with the birth of new pups and declines throughout the summer and fall as mortality is particularly high on young pups).  Thus, the IFT summarizes the total number of wolves in the winter at a fairly static or consistent time of year.  This allows for comparable year-to-year trends at a time of year that accounts for most mortality and survival of young pups.  At this time, the IFT’s best population estimate is that there was a minimum of 97 wolves in the wild as of December 31, 2015.  End of year counts for 2016 are currently ongoing and will be completed in February.  At the end of November, there were 54 wolves with functioning radio collars that the IFT was actively monitoring.

IN ARIZONA:

Bear Wallow Pack (collared AM1338 and AF1335)

In November, the Bear Wallow Pack was located within their traditional territory in the east central portion of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest (ASNF).

Bluestem Pack (collared M1382, F1443, fp1562 and fp1563)

In November, the Bluestem Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the east central portion of the ASNF.  They periodically used a diversionary food cache established by the IFT to prevent potential depredation issues in the area.  Two female pups (fp1562 and fp1563) were captured, collared and released in early November.  Some wolves from the Bluestem Pack displayed dispersal behaviour during the month.  AF1042 was documented in New Mexico travelling in the vicinity of the Sheepherders Baseball Park Pack.  F1433 was documented travelling with m1447, of the Diamond Pack, in New Mexico near the Arizona border.

Elk Horn Pack (collared AF1294, AM1342, mp1474 and mp1471)

In November, the Elk Horn Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north eastern portion of the ASNF. The IFT documented rendezvous behaviour by this pack during the month of November.  A minimum of two uncollared pups were documented travelling with the Elk Horn pack this month.

Hawks Nest Pack (collared AM1038)

In November, the Hawks Nest Pack was mostly located within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the ASNF. The IFT documented dispersal movements by AM1038.

Hoodoo Pack (collared AM1290, AF1333, m1441, fp1549, and fp1550)

In November, the Hoodoo Pack remained in the north central portion of the ASNF.  The IFT documented rendezvous behaviour by the Hoodoo Pack this month.  A minimum of three uncollared pups were documented travelling with the Hoodoo Pack this month.

Maverick Pack (collared AF1291)

In November, the Maverick Pack was located within their traditional territory both on the FAIR and ASNF.

Panther Creek Pack (collared AF1339, AM1394, mp1483, fp1484, and mp1486)

In November, the Panther Creek Pack was located in the east central portion of the ASNF.  The Panther Creek Pack continued to show rendezvousing behaviour during the month of November.  A female pup, fp1485, was located dead in November and the incident is under investigation.

ON THE FAIR:

Diamond Pack (collared m1447, f1557, mp1558, mp1559 and fp1560)

In November, the Diamond Pack was located within their traditional territory in the eastern portion of the FAIR and the northern portion of the ASNF.

Tsay-O-Ah Pack (collared AM1343 and AF1283)

In November, the Tsay-o-Ah Pack was located within their traditional territory in the eastern portion of the FAIR.

Baldy Pack (collared M1347 and f1445)

In November, the Baldy Pack was located in the eastern portion of the FAIR and northern portion of the ASNF.

IN NEW MEXICO:

Dark Canyon Pack (collared AM992 and f1444)

During November, the IFT located this pack within its traditional territory in the west central portion of the Gila National Forest (GNF).

Iron Creek Pack (collared AM1240, AF1278 and mp1556)

During November, the Iron Creek Pack continued to utilize their territory in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness and the southern portion of the GNF.

Lava Pack (collared F1405)

During November, the IFT documented F1405 (formerly of the Buckalou Pack) travelling with M1285 of the Lava Pack.  The IFT trapped and re-collared F1405 and this pack is travelling in the south eastern portion of the GNF.

Luna Pack (collared AF1487 and mp1554)

During November, the Luna Pack remained in their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF.

Mangas Pack (collared M1296 and F1439)

During November, the Mangas Pack was located within their territory in north western portions of the GNF in New Mexico.

Prieto Pack (collared M1386, m1455, f1456, M1552, f1553 and fp1565)

During November, the Prieto Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF.  There has been dispersal behaviour documented for M1386, m1455, f1456 and M1552 within the GNF.  Sub-adult, f1553, continues to be documented apart from the Prieto Pack and travelling with single male wolf M1398 in the west central portion of the GNF.

San Mateo Pack (collared AF1399)

During November, the IFT documented the San Mateo Pack within their territory in the north central portion of the GNF.

Sheepherders Baseball Park (SBP) Pack (collared AM1284)

During November, the SBP Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF.  AM1284 was captured, re-collared and released.  The IFT has documented the survival of pups with the SBP Pack.

Willow Springs Pack (collared F1397)

During November, the IFT documented the Willow Springs Pack within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF.

Leopold Pack (collared AM1293 and mp1561)

During November, the IFT documented that AM1293 had formed a pack and had pups.  One of these male pups, mp1561, was captured, collared and released in November by the IFT.  This is the first documented wolf pack that has formed naturally within the Gila Wilderness in New Mexico.

Single collared AM1155

During November, AM1155 was documented travelling within New Mexico.

Single collared M1398

During November, M1398 was documented travelling with f1553 of the Prieto Pack in the west central portion of the GNF.

MORTALITIES

During November, a female pup, fp1485, of the Panther Creek Pack was located dead in Arizona.  The incident is under investigation.

INCIDENTS

On November 28, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, Arizona.  The investigation determined the calf was killed by coyotes.

On November 7, an uncollared sub-adult male wolf, M1564, was captured and removed to captivity due to previous depredations associated with a removal order.  Genetic analysis confirmed M1564 dispersed from the Hawk’s Nest Pack.  The removal of M1564 completed the removal order, and the FWS will evaluate the potential for this wolf to contribute to recovery in the future.

COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATION

On November 3, WMAT presented to a school group in Whiteriver, Arizona.

On November 14 and 15, the WMAT Mexican Wolf Program and the WMAT Rangeland Management Program met with the WMAT Tribal Cattle Associations regarding the Tribal Payment for Wolf presence application and funding for wolf/livestock mitigation measures.

PROJECT PERSONNEL

There are no personnel updates for the month of November.

REWARDS OFFERED

The USFWS is offering a reward of up to $10,000; the AGFD Operation Game Thief is offering a reward of up to $1,000; and the NMDGF is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the conviction of the individual(s) responsible for the shooting deaths of Mexican wolves. A variety of non-governmental organizations and private individuals have pledged an additional $46,000 for a total reward amount of up to $58,000, depending on the information provided.

Individuals with information they believe may be helpful are urged to call one of the following agencies: USFWS special agents in Mesa, Arizona, at (480) 967-7900, in Alpine, Arizona, at (928) 339-4232, or in Albuquerque, New Mexico, at(505) 346-7828; the WMAT at (928) 338-1023 or (928) 338-4385; AGFD Operation Game Thief at (800) 352-0700; or NMDGF Operation Game Thief at(800) 432-4263. Killing a Mexican wolf is a violation of the Federal Endangered Species Act and can result in criminal penalties of up to $50,000, and/or not more than one year in jail, and/or a civil penalty of up to $25,000.

Other News

National

Nothing to report

Next door

From Johnny Rodrigues, Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force (www.zctfofficialsite.org)

NEWSLETTER 16th November 2016

It has been reported to us that the hyenas that were impounded and kept at a sanctuary near the airport have now been returned to the capture boma in Hwange, we assume to be re-exported to China. One of the hyenas has an injured leg and is limping whilst 3 others have also been reported to have injuries due to the transportation to Harare and back again.

Four Chinese men have been seen rebuilding relocation cages in Hwange. The security in the area is very high at the moment around the capture unit.

In Hwange this year, we have lost 62 elephants to cyanide poisonings as the authorities have still not managed to contain the situation.

The animals should be leaving the country any day now……

On a happier note, In Zimbabwe at the moment we have been blessed with much needed rainfall.

International

From ForceChange
(ForceChange [TakeAction=ForceChange.com@mail81.atl91.mcsv.net]; on behalf of; ForceChange [TakeAction@ForceChange.com]

USA: Dog Buried Alive with a Nail in His Skull – Demand Justice

An unnamed couple was walking in the woods when the sound of whimpering in the forest attracted them to a freshly turned mound of earth. Nothing could have prepared them for the horrific find they were about to make. They uncovered a dog with a nail hammered squarely between his eyes. The poor animal was rushed to the vet, but nothing could be done to save him. They had to put the dog to sleep to end his terrible suffering.

Burying this poor dog alive is a sick and twisted thing to do. The animal would have gone through immense fear as it was held down and the blows that lodged the nail into his little head were struck. After this show of sadistic violence, the disturbed persons that committed this crime callously left him to suffer a slow and agonizing death in an unmarked grave.

Police believe that more than one person is responsible for this despicable act of cruelty. These disturbed individuals could be abusing other animals or people. Sign this petition to urge police to find and bring these criminals to justice, so that their torture of animals can be stopped.

Urge the police to find whoever sadistically tortured this poor dog by signing this petition:
http://forcechange.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=0dd93fa0930de1dbe9a01c531&id=53aca77f82&e=868912623b

From Defenders of Wildlife (http://www.defenders.org)

  1. Inspire a love of wildlife – all year long!

There’s no denying it – after last week’s election results, the wildlife you love is in for a fight. The task of protecting the animals we all love looms ahead of us and can seem overwhelming, but there is so much that you can do.

This holiday season, give the gift of inspiration! Talk to the young – and the young at heart – in your life about the importance of conservation. And inspire their love of wildlife all year long with Defenders’ Animal of the Month Club – an exclusive holiday offer that sends your loved one 12 precious wildlife adoptions starting this December and throughout 2017:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=MNJeyn-xHbnmM3Zy1SG7Pw

When you give your loved ones the Animal of the Month Club, they will learn what they can do to help imperilled species – every month throughout the year!

For a limited time, you can get the Animal of the Month Club for a special discounted price of only $199 (individually priced adoptions valued at $398!). That’s 12 different animal adoptions for the price of six!

You or your chosen recipient will receive the first adoption kit, including a gray wolf plush, a personalized welcome letter and certificate, a 5×7 full color portrait of the animal in a bi-fold frame, plus a factsheet and kids’ activity book all in a festive Defenders reusable gift bag – all guaranteed to be delivered by December 22nd!

Each monthly adoption kit will include a new collectible plush, a certificate of adoption, a full colour photo of the animal featured that month and a factsheet on its conservation.

And best of all, proceeds from your adoptions help support Defenders’ life-saving work on behalf of wolves, sea turtles, polar bears and other vulnerable wildlife.

Hurry, this exclusive offer is only available during the holiday season while supplies last:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=Xu4Ny6JdyPkD2vwbv3BJxA

  1. USA: Join the fight for wildlife – your donation tripled!

As last week’s stunning election news continues to sink in, there is one thing I know deep in my bones – WE WILL NOT GIVE UP.

We’re in for the fight of our lives. And Defenders of Wildlife – backed by our resilient community of people like you who care about safeguarding wildlife, stopping the effects of climate change and protecting our wild lands – will be tackling that fight head-on:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=86ixM01LfmWQpIN_5vbGWA

The unprecedented assaults we’re about to witness must be met with equally unprecedented action. That’s why we are launching the Wildlife Defense Campaign – and to underscore our commitment, our Board of Directors and National Council have just authorized a triple match challenge.

Your gift today will be matched 2-for-1, up to a total of $150,000. Please make your urgent gift to Defenders of Wildlife right now:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=3Lo16jZ8_CfFp-ws2mGO8w

There is no question – a Trump Administration is going to be a disaster for wildlife. Already, the signs are unmistakable. President-elect Trump has announced that he will support the following in his first 100 days:

  • Green-lighting the Keystone Pipeline;
  • Aggressively rolling back existing regulations that protect against irresponsible fracking, coal mining and oil drilling on our wild lands; and
  • Cancelling American obligations to fund U.N. climate change programs.

Donald Trump has made no secret of his disdain for the Environmental Protection Agency. In fact, he’s selected well-known climate change denier Myron Ebell to oversee his administration’s environmental policy – including the restructuring of the Agency.

These policies will be devastating for wildlife – and the land and climate that imperilled species depend on to survive.

Defenders will continue to lead the fight through our Wildlife Defence Campaign.

We need you by our side right now. And today, your gift will go THREE times as far to help: here and here.

When President-elect Trump digs in on policies that will harm wildlife and wild lands, he’s going to have to answer to all of us. We will stand together. And we will never give up on the wildlife that depends on our protection.

We’re ready to do this. And we need you with us.

Invest in the future and support our Wildlife Defense Campaign:

Wolves and Wolfdogs

It’s Time to Thank Wolves

by Rick Lamplugh, author and wildlife advocate

As the thankful time of year arrives, I think wolves deserve our thanks. With the help of wolves, early humans improved their hunting skills and chances of survival. With the help of wolves, we out competed Neanderthals.

For hundreds of thousands of years, wolves dogged herds of reindeer that migrated between what is now Spain and Siberia. After the last Ice Age, perhaps 10,000 years ago, early humans may have seen wolves bringing down reindeer. Our ancestors may have been as hungry as those wolves. Stomachs growling, they puzzled over how to plunder some of their competitor’s bounty.

A couple of early humans–no matter how desperate–couldn’t just take a pack’s kill. They were no match for wolves. But early humans were superior to their competitor in some ways, say Wolfgang Schleidt and Michael Shalter in the journal article “Coevolution of Humans and Canids.” Humans have greater cognitive ability. Humans can see better at longer distances, because we stand taller than wolves. Humans with weapons could hit a target from a distance. These strengths could have enabled early humans to assist wolves in hunting.

Ancient wolves hunted, as they do now, by sorting and sifting a herd to expose the animal that required the least effort to bring down. Once wolves cut that animal from the herd, the dangerous work of bringing down a much bigger animal began. And that’s where humans might have come in. With bigger brains, better vision from a distance, and weapons, humans could have helped the wolves. Working together, a meal was won using the strengths of both predators. The partners shared the spoils.

There is even more evidence that wolves helped humans survive. To read more: http://bit.ly/2ghK7TZ

Rick Lamplugh lives near Yellowstone’s north gate and is the author of the Amazon Bestseller “In the Temple of Wolves: A Winter’s Immersion in Wild Yellowstone”. Available as eBook or paperback at http://amzn.to/Jpea9Q. Or as a signed copy from the author at http://bit.ly/1gYghB4.

Wolf Myths and Legends, Part 133

“Two Golden Eyes”

by Silky Wolf

Two golden eyes,
are staring at me.
Gazing through the woods,
but I dare not flee.

I try to relax,
this feeling completely new.
But I feel panic rising,
and I’m unsure of what to do.

I gaze back at these orbs,
and suddenly realize;
the gold in them is welcoming,
there’s no threat in these eyes.

Feeling confused,
I want to be near.
But what confuses me more,
is that what I feel is not fear.

I reach out to touch
the owner of these eyes,
but I’m horrified to find
that all my thoughts had been lies.

What I feel is flat,
and is hard to the touch.
I shut my eyes tight,
feeling this is just too much.

When I open my eyes,
the wolfish orbs are still there.
I’m starring in a mirror…
I am finally aware.

By the time I awoke,
the sun was agleam.
And I was upset to find,
it had all been a dream.

Readers’ Contribution

A Wolfdog Diary

By Erin

I cannot believe that it’s just a week to Christmas – this year has been flying by with cosmic speed, or at least that’s what it feels like. It has been a pretty busy year with lots of things happening – good and not so good ones, but in general I have to say it has been a good year. It is pretty hot up here on the Highveld, but luckily we have much more rain than last year around this time. We have quite a good fruit harvest this time, which means extra work so short before the festive season. Cooking juice and jam in this weather is not really my idea of fun, but what can you do? Looking at what fruit cost these days, it would be a sin to let them go to waste. The other thing that keeps us from starting to relax and think of holidays and doing nothing than vegetate in the garden is that the grass is growing at a speed that you can watch it happening because of all the rain, but as I said already – what can you do?

The pack is healthy and full of energy, and Kajack II celebrated his second birthday at the beginning of this month. He and Ascar II are now young adults, still very playful, as is Taima with her five years, but there is also competition between the two. Kajack II is still the gentle type who wants nothing more than peace and harmony in the pack, while Ascar II is clearly the dominant one, who has to prove his superiority on a daily basis, even though Kajack doesn’t challenge him in any way. Ted and I sometimes wonder if the reason for that might be that he actually feels rather insecure in his alpha position and for that feels the urge to demonstrate his dominance to Kajack over and over again. Although Ascar II looks taller than Kajack because of his long legs they are actually of the same size. Kajack is more massive, heavier and stronger than Ascar, though, and sometimes we fear that one day Kajack might have had enough of being bullied around and that the two could get into a real fight over ranking. It would not be the first time that two males fight over pack position, and we know from experience that it never gets too serious – some ruffled fur, maybe a few scratches, but no real injuries except of one bruised ego. But still, it’s never nice to have such a fight, and it always sounds like they would rip each other into pieces, but all you can do is to stay out of it and accept the fact that you have to live according to pack rules as much as they have.

Well, there is not much more to say besides of thanking all of you again for your loyalty and contributions to this newsletter, and to wish all of you a merry and peaceful festive season and a happy (and accident-free) start into the New Year.

Ted and I will be back in January with more news about our pack. So, stay healthy, do not over-indulge in all the good food, and have a wonderful time with family and friends.

Will be continued…

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Volume 11, Issue 145, November 2016

SAFHOWL

The Monthly Free E-Newsletter of South African Friends of Wolves

Volume 11, Issue 145, November 2016

From the Editor’s Desk

I suppose you were as surprised as I when you learnt about the outcome of the US elections. I had followed the campaigning of the candidates with a particular keen eye on nature conservation issues and was stunned to see that the eventual winner was blunt enough to suggest going back on the Paris climate protocol. By that time I still thought that even Americans couldn’t really be dull enough to vote such a character into power, but, obviously, I was gravely mistaken. Now we shall see what all this means for US wildlife and the world in general. I for once hope that this new president will happily forget at least most of his election promises just as is common practice in politics …

That the situation for wolves living in the US is getting worse by the month is again shown by the snippets we have collected for you over the last month. Read them for yourself and form your own opinion.

A deeply shocking story involving fox cubs has also emerged from the UK – you find it in the International section below.

Against the background of a drama currently playing out in New York, we have a write-up on coyotes that is more detailed than usual. In principle, coyotes are another type of wolf, which have opted for an alternative social system. And they are by all means just as interesting to study.

We have another haunting wolf tale, and Erin tells of the Great Fluff Season that has started smothering her home. It is a story with a “twist”, though…

So much for this month,
Ed.

News from the Wolf Front

National

Nothing to report

International

From Defenders of Wildlife (http://www.defenders.org)

1. USA: Living with Wolves

You care about wolves. And you and I will never give up on our quest to see wolf populations healthy and growing.

Majestic wolves must be free to run in the wild. But people pose the greatest threat to wolves today.

Wolf recovery is working. Wolves are now living in areas where they were once wiped out – places like Oregon, Washington, Arizona, New Mexico and California. They are helping restore the balance of nature once again. But more wolves on the land bring more people into close contact with wolves. And when conflicts occur, the wolves are blamed. But it’s not their fault. They’re just doing what they’ve always done…looking for food and raising their young.

Reducing conflicts between wolves and people is one of the best ways to advance wolf recovery for the long term. I hope you’ll take a moment to watch our video for a glimpse into what we’re doing to help people and wolves live together:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=lQ4IWeHCvw9bVucKrk4F8w

We must never accept a “shoot first and ask questions later” approach to living with wolves, or any wildlife. Too much hard work has gone into the decades of gray wolf recovery efforts that have brought these amazing creatures back from the brink in the lower 48 states.

There is still a lot of work to be done. And Defenders of Wildlife is here to do it:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=nVQS6HZaDRnRe45XOYBKtw

We’re partnering with landowners, livestock producers, biologists, community leaders, other conservationists and state and tribal agencies to develop creative solutions…like flag fencing and range riders that reduce the chances that livestock will encounter wolves. Our smart solutions are aimed at creating important dialogues and finding solutions while always putting the wolves first.

Together, you and I can save more wildlife – from wolves to panthers, bears to black-footed ferrets.

Watch our video to learn more about how we’re making it happen:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=QDYwdF1XNnbwsQQLqeO1bQ

I hope you feel good knowing you are part of the solution when you support Defenders of Wildlife. You are helping wildlife thrive in their natural habitats and helping people appreciate the wild world around them.

Sincerely,

P.S. Watch our video now to learn how your support for Defenders of Wildlife is helping wildlife and people coexist:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=WiHYWn2SNWTK1xbDQ1iC5A 

  1. USA: You can save more Wolves

Whether it’s red wolves on the brink of extinction in the Southeast, gray wolves under attack in the Northern Rockies or the last 97 wild Mexican gray wolves in Arizona and New Mexico, wolves are threatened everywhere you turn.

The good news is there is something you can do to protect wolves – not just today, but for many years to come. Please donate now to support Defenders of Wildlife’s smart solutions for peaceful coexistence between wolves and people:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=OqvC2E6axUs2wU-RBGtoiQ

This is no time for business as usual.

To save wolves – and ensure they continue to survive and thrive – we need unique, innovative approaches to protecting habitat and reducing conflicts with people.

That’s what Defenders of Wildlife is known for. And today, we need your support to help bring these solutions to more communities:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=BGjaNnsQ5PSUbdNZigJzIA

Defenders works around the clock to reduce conflict between wolves and livestock. We’re working to implement nonlethal deterrents like fencing and encouraging the use of range riders and herders to reduce the chances that livestock will encounter wolves.

And we’re educating communities about the important role that wolves play in healthy landscapes.

Solutions like these help wolves and people share the land:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=YK6b55etwWjs_qrNkLSZEg

Defenders has spent decades bringing wolves back from the brink in the lower 48 states. We simply can’t afford to let conflicts with ranchers and communities set back the gains we’ve made.

Please DONATE NOW to support wolf coexistence efforts and protect other imperilled wildlife:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=1uJ2spn6ljVleLutK8x7Gg

Wolves have come a long way since the early days of reintroduction, but we cannot let their fledgling success also be their demise. As wolves return to their historic ranges, we must ensure that people and wolves can coexist.

Together, we will save more wolves.

  1. USA: Disaster for Wolves in America?

The anti-wolf people are the minority, but they’re a powerful group.

Driven by old fears and hatred, they never rest in their pursuit to eliminate wolves from the U.S. Donate now to fight back against anti-wolf forces:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=uQ4aECQUFrOdPRt-RtEuNA

There’s a war raging against wolves in our country and, too often, wolves are losing.

  • Earlier this year, the state of New Mexico blocked the planned release of captive-bred Mexican gray wolves into the wild. These wolves were ready to help rewrite the story of their species – and now they may never be free to run in the wild;
  • In September, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced plans that would effectively abandon their obligation to protect and recover red wolves in the wild;
  • And Alaska is considering a lawsuit to overturn a new federal rule that prohibits the state from applying its extreme predator control program on national wildlife refuge lands – a program that includes practices like aerial gunning, killing mother wolves and their young in their dens, using bait to attract bears and using traps and snares.

We need your help. Make a gift today to help us fight for wolves:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=nqdtstUb0BdLRZQUxx6ckg

We must not falter in the face of these threats. We’ve come too far.

Your donation today will make a difference for wolves:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=PC_i75X_Q4Cyx1MqAoVqRQ

With you by our side, I promise we won’t stop until critically endangered wolves are finally on the road to full recovery.

Thank you for all you do for wildlife.

  1. USA: Red Wolf, Red Herring

While the FWS tried to claim that they are still committed to recovery of the red wolf, the agency’s proposed actions speak much louder than their rhetoric:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=hHGvwTP36FBIgoYkKsXx-g

From Endangered Species Coalition
(http://www.endangered.org)

  1. USA: Wolves in Wisconsin

Despite being protected under the Endangered Species Act, wolves in Wisconsin are chased, harassed, and sometimes wounded or even killed by packs of hunting dogs that run the state’s landscape for more than six months of the year. Bear “hounders” face few regulations and little to no enforcement when turning packs of dogs loose to pursue native wildlife.

Please make a $25 donation today to help fight bear hounding and baiting in Wisconsin to protect wolves and other endangered species:
http://org2.salsalabs.com/dia/track.jsp?v=2&c=6K25dyytyv08m2ac77RCcp46XglzNs0k

These hounds are most frequently released at bear “baiting” sites. These are areas where hunters have dumped hundreds of gallons of stale pastries, syrup, or other foods with the intent of habituating bears to feed there. At last count, there were more than 82,000 baiting sites in the state! Not only is this practice disastrous for bears, and destructive to public lands–imagine dumping hundreds of gallons of syrup and rotting pastries in your favourite park–but it puts Wisconsin’s wolves in frequent conflict with packs of hunting dogs.

Help us fight the entrenched political interests that further this dangerous and unsporting hunting practice:
http://org2.salsalabs.com/dia/track.jsp?v=2&c=roroSS%2Bk6YZ%2Fg%2BQAEgBYN546XglzNs0k

With more than 82,000 bait stations covering Wisconsin’s wild spaces, it is difficult for wolf packs to establish rendezvous sites that do not intersect with these pastry dump sites. Wolves are territorial, protective animals–it’s how they have survived for centuries. This same defensive behaviour leads them to defend their packs and their pups from these hoards of bear hunting dogs running the state half of the calendar year. In protecting their rendezvous sites, these wolves are often wounded or killed, and often kill or wound dogs from the hunter’s pack. Hunters in the state are disincentivized to change their ways by a state program that pays them up to $2,500 for dogs lost to wolves safeguarding their pups, packs, and rendezvous sites. This has led to wolves and hunting hounds being killed and wounded at an unprecedented and alarming rate.

This is no way to protect Wisconsin’s wolves or any of its wildlife.  Anyone who loves wolves, anyone who loves dogs, should want to see an end to these practices. We are working on the ground in Wisconsin to stop bear hounding and the virtually-unregulated dumping of bait across the state. We need your help. Please make a 100% tax-deductible donation today to help us fight to end bear baiting and hounding to protect the state’s wolves.
http://org2.salsalabs.com/dia/track.jsp?v=2&c=7mDPgvQjx%2BIDeALsjQEgiZ46XglzNs0k

Thank you for your commitment to wildlife and wild places.

From Earthjustice Newsletter
(http://earthjustice.org; http://earthjustice.org/blog/2016-october/congress-continues-its-quiet-attack-on-wolves?utm_source=crm&utm_content=Wolves_blurb&curation=newsletter)

  1. Will Congress bring back a “kill-on-sight” wolf policy?

The most anti-wildlife Congress (http://earthjustice.org/blog/2016-april/congress-just-unleashed-its-100th-attack-on-endangered-species) in U.S. history is entering its final stretch and quietly working to pass members’ last pet pieces of legislation. Much of the proposed legislation would have damaging and lasting impacts on America’s wildlife and wild lands. These include measures that could prove devastating to a variety of wolf populations.

Last week, Earthjustice went to court to defend a 2014 victory that ended the state of Wyoming’s extreme anti-wolf management plan. Wyoming had instituted a “kill-on-sight” policy for wolves in more than 80 percent of the state and allowed one wolf-killing loophole after another in the rest. Among the victims of this policy was of one of Yellowstone’s most famous animal celebrities, 832F, the alpha female of the Lamar Canyon pack. The wolf had been hailed as a heroine in the dramatic success story of gray wolves’ return to Yellowstone. She was the subject of podcasts and was featured in a National Geographic TV documentary.

When she was killed, The New York Times wrote what amounted to an obituary for the wolf:
http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/10/mourning-an-alpha-female/?_r=0

Earthjustice took the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to court over the agency’s decision to hand over wolf management to a state with a history of extreme anti-wolf policies—and we won. We expect a decision in Wyoming’s appeal of our victory in the next three to six months. But while the judges deliberate, some members of Congress are trying to bypass the legal process by using legislative edict to remove wolves in Wyoming and three western Great Lakes states from the list of species protected under the Endangered Species Act.

Measures like the Wyoming-western Great Lakes wolf delisting threat are appearing as legislative “riders” tacked onto must-pass government spending bills and other large pieces of legislation. Another rider would block the act’s protections for Mexican gray wolves, despite the fact that there are fewer than 100 of these highly imperiled animals left in the United States. And yet another rider would delist all gray wolves in the entire lower 48 states—despite the fact that wolves currently occupy just a small portion of their former U.S. range. These and other anti-environmental riders will be considered as part of negotiations between both political parties and the White House over how to keep the federal government funded beyond early December.

Earthjustice continues our fight in the courtroom on behalf of wolves, and you can help give this incredible species the chance it deserves by urging President Obama to reject any legislation that includes deadly provisions for wolves.

Take Action! Protect Wolves and the Endangered Species Act:
https://secure.earthjustice.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=1885

From Change (http://change.org)

  1. Germany: Death sentence for the Goldenstedt she-wolf! – Update on the petition

Jan Olsen has just published an update of the above petition, which you will hopefully have signed.

4 Nov. 2016 — Dear supporters and Wolf lovers,

It’s been a while since you have heard from me, but now we must become active and react immediately, otherwise it will be too late. This she-wolf needs your help!

The Minister of Environmental Affairs, Stefan Wenzel, has ordered the Goldenstedt she-wolf to be fitted with a radio collar. This will be her death sentence!

The only two collared wolves in Lower Saxony – MT6 (“Kurti”) and his sister, FT10, as well as her cubs – are already dead.

The Goldenstedt she-wolf is the alpha female and mother of the young of her pack. There is no valid reason for her to be collared.

This is not a scientific study, they just want to know where she is so that they can find her and possibly chase her away or even kill her undetected. She is a strictly protected animal! She has never endangered or threatened a human being!

Please share this update on Twitter and/or Facebook

From California Wolfcenter
(californiawolfcenter@yahoogroups.com)

  1. Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project Monthly Update

Endangered Species Updates September 1-30, 2016

The following is a summary of Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project (Project)

activities in the Mexican Wolf Experimental Population Area (MWEPA) in Arizona, including the Fort Apache Indian Reservation (FAIR), San Carlos Apache Reservation (SCAR), and New Mexico.  Additional Project information can be obtained by calling (928) 339-4329 or toll free at (888) 459-9653, or by visiting the Arizona Game and Fish Department website at www.azgfd.gov/wolf or by visiting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website at www.fws.gov/southwest/es/mexicanwolf.

Past updates may be viewed on either website, or interested parties may sign up to receive this update electronically.

This update is a public document and information in it can be used for any purpose.  The Project is a multi-agency cooperative effort among the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD), USDA Forest Service (USFS), USDA-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services (USDA-APHIS WS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service USFWS) and the White Mountain Apache Tribe (WMAT).

To view semi-monthly wolf telemetry flight location information please visit http://bit.do/mexicanwolf or www.fws.gov/southwest/es/mexicanwolf/RWL.cfm.

Please report any wolf sightings or suspected livestock depredations to: (928) 339-4329 or toll free at (888) 459-9653. To report incidents of take or harassment of wolves, please call the AGFD 24-hour dispatch (Operation Game Thief) at (800) 352-0700.

Overall Mexican Wolf Recovery Program Monthly Update

On September 1, The Mexican Wolf/Livestock Council met to approve payments for Mexican wolf presence for calendar year 2015.  Checks from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation will be sent out to livestock producers who qualified for the payments within the next few weeks.

On September 28, The Fish and Wildlife Service met with the Forest Service South-western Regional Office to discuss issues surrounding public communication, coordination on release sites, and data sharing.

Numbering System:  Mexican wolves are given an identification number recorded in an official studbook that tracks their history.  Capital letters (M = Male, F = Female) preceding the number indicate adult animals 24 months or older.  Lower case letters (m = male, f = female) indicate wolves younger than 24 months or pups.  The capital letter “A” preceding the letter and number indicate breeding wolves.

Definitions:  A “wolf pack” is defined as two or more wolves that maintain an established territory.  In the event that one of the two alpha (dominant) wolves dies, the remaining alpha wolf, regardless of pack size, retains the pack status.  The packs referenced in this update contain at least one wolf with a radio telemetry collar attached to it.  Studbook numbers listed in the monthly updated denote wolves with functioning radio collars.  The Interagency Field Team (IFT) recognizes that wolves without radio telemetry collars may also form packs.

CURRENT POPULATION STATUS

Population monitoring requires year round effort documenting births, deaths, survival, total numbers, and distribution all culminating in the end of the year population counts.  Currently, there are 20 packs and 3 single wolves, which include 47 wolves with functioning radio collars that are used by the IFT to collect this data.

IN ARIZONA:

Bear Wallow Pack (collared AM1338 and AF1335)

In September, the Bear Wallow Pack was located within their traditional territory in the east central portion of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest (ASNF).  The female pup, fp1548, captured in August in the Bear Wallow Pack slipped its collar in September, but is believed to be healthy and still with the Bear Wallow Pack.

Bluestem Pack (collared M1382, F1443 and f1488)

In September, the Bluestem Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the east central portion of the ASNF.  The pack continued to display rendezvousing behaviour through the month.

Buckalou Pack (collared F1405)

In September, F1405 continued to travel between Arizona and New Mexico in both the Gila and Apache National Forests.

Elk Horn Pack (collared AF1294, AM1342, mp1474 and mp1471)

In September, the Elk Horn Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north eastern portion of the ASNF.  A male pup, mp1471, with the Elk Horn Pack was captured, collared and released in the month of September.  mp1471 is one of the two pups cross-fostered into the Elk Horn Pack in April 2016.  The IFT documented rendezvous behaviour by this pack during the month of September. The Elk Horn Pack has periodically used a food cache set up by the IFT to supplement the pack due to the cross-foster of two pups this spring.

Hawks Nest Pack (collared AM1038)

In September, the Hawks Nest Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the ASNF.

Hoodoo Pack (collared AM1290, AF1333, m1441, fp1549 and fp1550)

In September, the Hoodoo Pack remained in the north central portion of the ASNF.  The IFT documented rendezvous behaviour by the Hoodoo Pack this month.  The Hoodoo Pack has continued to utilize the food cache put in place for them to prevent potential depredation issues in the area.

Marble Pack (collared AM1330)

AM1330 was not heard or located during the month of September. The Marble Pack consists of one collared wolf.

Maverick Pack (collared AF1291)

In September, the Maverick Pack was located within their traditional territory both on the FAIR and ASNF.

Panther Creek Pack (collared F1339 and M1394)

In September, the Panther Creek Pack was been located in the east central portion of the ASNF.  The Panther Creek Pack continued to show rendezvousing behaviour and utilize the food cache that the IFT has maintained for them to supplement the pack due to the two pups cross-fostered into the Panther Creek Pack in April.  A male pup, mp1486, was captured, collared, and released in September. mp1486 is not one of the pups cross-fostered into the Panther Creek Pack.

Single collared M1398

During September, M1398 was located in Arizona and New Mexico.  On September 16, M1398 was captured, processed and released.

ON THE FAIR:

Diamond Pack (collared m1447)

In September, the Diamond Pack was located within their traditional territory in the eastern portion of the FAIR and the northwest portion of the ASNF.  Visual observations by the IFT confirmed AM1249 was travelling with the pack in September.

Tsay-o-Ah Pack (collared AM1343 and AF1283)

In September, the Tsay-o-Ah Pack was located within their traditional territory in the eastern portion of the FAIR.

Baldy Pack (collared M1347 and f1445)

In September, M1347 and f1445 were documented maintaining a territory together for at least three months – therefore they are considered a pack. f1445 is formerly from the Tsay-o-Ah Pack and M1347 is formerly from the Dark Canyon Pack in New Mexico.  The pack was located in the eastern portion of the FAIR and northern portion of the ASNF.

IN NEW MEXICO:

Dark Canyon Pack (collared AM992 and f1444)

During September, the IFT located this pack within its traditional territory in the west central portion of the Gila National Forest (GNF). f1444 was documented on trail camera travelling alone.

Iron Creek Pack (collared AM1240, AF1278, mp1555 and mp1556)

During September, the Iron Creek Pack continued to utilize their territory in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness and the southern portion of the GNF.  A diversionary food cache is being maintained for the Iron Creek Pack to mitigate potential wolf-livestock conflicts.  On September 29, an uncollared male pup was captured, collared and assigned studbook number 1555.  On September 30, an uncollared male pup was captured, collared, and assigned studbook number 1556. AM1240 and AF1278 were also captured and recollared on September 30.

Luna Pack (collared AF1487 and mp1554)

During September, the Luna Pack remained in their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF.  The IFT is maintaining a diversionary and supplemental food cache in efforts to reduce potential for further livestock depredations.  On September 28, an uncollared male pup was captured, collared and assigned studbook number 1554.

Mangas Pack (collared M1296 and F1439)

During September, the Mangas Pack was located within their territory in north western portions of the GNF in New Mexico.

Prieto Pack (collared M1386, m1455, f1456, M1552 and f1553)

During September, the Prieto Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF.  On September 14, an uncollared adult male was captured, collared and assigned studbook number 1552.  On September 15, an uncollared yearling female was captured, collared and assigned studbook number 1553.

San Mateo Pack (collared AF1399)

During September, the IFT documented AM1345 and AF1399 travelling together within their territory in the north central portion of the GNF.   A diversionary food cache is being maintained for the San Mateo Pack to reduce potential wolf-livestock conflicts.  On September 3, an uncollared female pup was captured, collared and assigned studbook number 1551.  Unfortunately, the pup slipped its collar a few weeks later.  Trapping efforts will continue this fall.

Sheepherders Baseball Park (SBP) Pack

In September, the SBP Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF.  AM1284 was not located during September.  AF1392 was located dead in New Mexico in September; the incident is under investigation. The IFT is trying to secure good opportunities to re-collar AM1284 or any surviving pups.

Willow Springs Pack (collared F1397)

In September, the IFT documented the Willow Springs Pack within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF.

Single collared M1293

During September, M1293 was located within the Gila Wilderness in New Mexico.  A public sighting report suggests M1293 may be travelling with an uncollared wolf.

Single collared AM1155

During September, AM1155 was documented travelling within New Mexico.

MORTALITIES

In September, AF1392 of the SBP Pack was located dead in New Mexico.  The incident is under investigation.

INCIDENTS

During September there were ten livestock depredation reports and one nuisance report.  Six of the ten depredation reports were confirmed wolf kills.

On September 3, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Navajo County, Arizona.  The investigation determined the calf had been hit by a vehicle and died from related causes.

On September 5, Wildlife Services investigated two dead cows in Apache County, Arizona.  The investigation determined both cows were confirmed wolf kills.

On September 6, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, Arizona.  The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf kill.

On September 7, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Apache County, Arizona.  The investigation determined the cow had died from unknown cause.

On September 9, AGFD and Wildlife Services investigated a report of two wolves fighting with dogs and acting aggressive toward people near Young, AZ.  The investigation determined domestic dogs were involved in the reported incident, not Mexican wolves.

On September 13, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, Arizona.  The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf kill.

On September 15, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Apache County, Arizona.  The investigation determined the cow had been killed by coyotes.

On September 16, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Apache County, Arizona.  The investigation determined the cow died of unknown causes.

On September 25, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Catron County, New Mexico.  The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf kill.

On September 26, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Catron County, New Mexico.  The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf kill.

On September 29, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, Arizona.  The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf kill.

COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATION

On September 15, WMAT presented at a community meeting in Cedar Creek, AZ.

On September 27, WMAT presented on KNNB radio in Whiteriver, AZ.

PROJECT PERSONNEL

In September, Cyrenea Piper began her position in the IFT as a biologist with the USFWS.  Welcome to the program Cyrenea!

In September, Rae Nickerson began as a volunteer/intern with the USFWS.  Welcome to the program Rae!

REWARDS OFFERED

The USFWS is offering a reward of up to $10,000; the AGFD Operation Game Thief is offering a reward of up to $1,000; and the NMDGF is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the conviction of the individual(s) responsible for the shooting deaths of Mexican wolves.  A variety of non-governmental organizations and private individuals have pledged an additional $46,000 for a total reward amount of up to $58,000, depending on the information provided.

Individuals with information they believe may be helpful are urged to call one of the following agencies: USFWS special agents in Mesa, Arizona, at (480) 967-7900, in Alpine, Arizona, at (928) 339-4232, or in Albuquerque, New Mexico, at(505) 346-7828; the WMAT at (928) 338-1023 or (928) 338-4385; AGFD Operation Game Thief at (800) 352-0700; or NMDGF Operation Game Thief at(800) 432-4263.  Killing a Mexican wolf is a violation of the Federal Endangered Species Act and can result in criminal penalties of up to $50,000, and/or not more than one year in jail, and/or a civil penalty of up to $25,000.

Other News

National

Nothing to report

Next door

From Johnny Rodrigues, Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force (www.zctfofficialsite.org)

HYENAS DESTINED FOR CHINA – UPDATE 5th November 2016

The 8 hyenas that were captured on Hwange as per our last report were transported to Harare by 3 Chinese men and were trying to export them out of the country by having them loaded on an aeroplane at Harare International Airport on Thursday 3rd November 2016. The Chinese men were stopped by the Customs and Excise for trying to export the hyenas with fraudulent paperwork. The animals were in a poor state of health with cuts and grazes on their bodies from being transported in unsatisfactory cages. The hyenas have been impounded and were released at a sanctuary close to the airport. One of the hyenas has managed to escape which will cause a huge problem to the residents in that area.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the Zimbabwean Customs and Excise for carrying out their duties and preventing these animals from being loaded.

About 2 weeks ago in Hwange, two of the captured baby elephants have died from starvation and thirst due to neglect. We are expecting these animals to be sent to their destination in the next week. We have had confirmation that the captured elephants are destined for Shanghai Wild Animal Park and they have submitted a permit for 17 elephants and the balance is to go to Yunnan Wildlife Park in China.

We believe that there is a delegation from the Zimbabwe National Parks and the ZNSPCA who will be travelling to China to inspect the holding pens for the captured animals.

We found that after investigations have been carried out, the poachers that are arrested or shot in the Zambezi area, the weapons are confiscated and handed over to the police. Mysteriously, these very same weapons are ending up back in the hands of the poachers once released.

We sadly have to report that Katanga the baby elephant from Imire Safari Park has recently died…our sincerest condolences to John and Judy Travers who lovingly cared and looked after him.

International

From Care2 Action Alerts (actionalerts@care2.com)

  1. Great Britain: Fox cubs thrown to hounds

Fox cubs were thrown alive to hunting hounds at kennels in Herefordshire, U.K. this summer. This is illegal and those responsible must be held accountable: http://www.care2.com/go/z/e/AwWx9/zsSk/rSHT

Secret footage was released showing live fox cubs being delivered to the kennels of the South Herefordshire Hunt before being thrown to the pack of fox hounds. The lifeless body of a cub is then seen to be dumped into a wheelie bin, before another is taken to meet the same fate.
British police investigating the allegations have arrested five people and are examining the footage from anti-hunt activists. All five arrested people have been released on bail while officers continue their investigation.
Sign the petition demanding that those responsible for this illegal killing of fox cubs be prosecuted to the full extent of the law:
http://www.care2.com/go/z/e/AwWx9/zsSk/rSHT

If enough people sign, it will put international pressure on the police and Crown Prosecution Service to ensure that justice is served, and others will be deterred from carrying out similar cruel practices.

Prosecute fox cub killers from South Herefordshire Hunt!

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/engb/takeaction/585/334/658/?z00m=28498878&redirectID=2230584519

Thank you,

Wolves and Wolfdogs

A Rikers’ Island Coyote family is not allowed to live

Because officials say that coyotes cannot be relocated after having been trapped, a whole coyote family that took up residence near LaGuardia Airport in Queens, New York, has been sentenced to death.
This statement from the state Department of Environmental Conservation was released after animal lovers had started a campaign to save the coyotes, including an online petition that drew over 800 signatures in a matter of just hours.

The agency announced that “The DEC does not support and will not permit coyotes to be live-trapped and released in another location”, and “When animals like coyotes become habituated to humans, relocation is not feasible as the animals will continue to cause problems once relocated.”
The grim fate of the coyote family could have been initiated by people feeding the animals’ food scraps at local cemeteries and the Rikers Island parking lot on Hazen Street, because according to the DEC a coexistence of humans and coyotes can only work if the animals maintain their natural fear of humans.

But Frank Vincenti of the Wild Dog Foundation believes that the coyotes could still be humanely conditioned to stay away from people and remain in the area. After monitoring the family for months he says that this is not a lost cause. He asks what is going to happen with the next coyote family, because there will certainly be a next one.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey plans to trap and euthanize the coyotes, because they have roamed too close to workers and a Little League field near the airport.

But maybe there is still hope – Philanthropist Jean Shafiroff has offered to fund the relocation of the coyotes. She is working with state Assemblywoman Rebecca Seawright who is asking DEC to consider the offer.

Urban coyotes are present in practically every city across the United States. For many cities, the appearance of coyotes has happened only within the last few decades, and residents are still trying to get used to their new neighbors. Though there is a rise in awareness that coyotes are around, there is still a great deal of misunderstanding among city residents about coyote behavior and their role in urban ecology. Here are ten facts about urban coyotes that will clear up common misconceptions and shed more light on this adaptable canid.

Urban coyotes can create territories out of a patchwork of parks and green spaces.
While many urban coyotes make their homes in large parks or forest preserves, this isn’t the case in all situations. Urban coyotes don’t need one cohesive piece of green space like a single park or a single golf course to call home. They manage to make due with surprisingly small patches of hunt-able land woven together as a whole territory.

Coyotes can thrive in a small territory if there is enough food and shelter, but if there isn’t — such as in sections of a city with only a handful of small parks, soccer fields, green spaces and the like — then they will expand the size of their territory to include enough places to hunt for food to sustain themselves. The size of an urban coyote’s range is dependent on the abundance of food and can be anywhere from two square miles to ten square miles or more. Urban coyotes tend to have smaller territory sizes than rural coyotes because there is so much more food packed into smaller areas, even if that area has only a few scattered parks.

Studies have shown that coyotes much prefer forested areas and large parks where they can steer clear of humans, and they try to avoid residential areas. But when that’s not available, they still figure out how to make due. In a large-scale study of urban coyotes by the Urban Coyote Research Program, it was discovered that “29 percent of collared coyotes have home ranges composed of less than 10 percent of natural land and 8 percent having no measurable patches of natural land within their home ranges.”

There is still a lot to learn about how coyotes use urban landscapes, which inevitably varies depending on the building density of different cities, the quality of green spaces, and many other factors. But one thing is for sure: the more researchers learn about urban coyote territories, the more it becomes apparent that coyotes make use of the most surprising places, even those that at first glance seem like an ecological desert.
Coyotes are masters of staying out of sight. Most urban residents don’t even realize coyotes are living among them. © Karine Aigner/The Natural History of the Urban Coyote

Urban coyote dens are surprisingly hard to find. Although coyotes may be denning in the middle of an urban park, in old storm drains, or even under sheds, it is still not likely you’ll stumble upon one while strolling down the street or hiking through a preserve. Coyotes do their best to hide their dens and will often have multiple dens and multiple entrances to a den to help conceal their activity. These dens are usually tucked away in shrubbery or the wooded patches of parks, washes, culverts, golf courses, preserves and similar spaces.

Coyotes avoid residential and commercial areas when they can, and instead seek out whatever remaining fragments of natural habitat are available, which usually is well away from the eyes of humans. Though this is where they prefer to be, they’ll use what they can get. Eastern Coyote Research notes that urban dens have been found “in culverts under heavily trafficked roads, basements of abandoned houses, and directly behind a drive-in movie screen” and according to National Geographic, “one GPS-collared coyote named 748 and his mate even raised a litter of five healthy pups inside a secret concrete den in the parking lot of Soldier Field Stadium, home of the Chicago Bears.”

However because coyote parents want to keep their pups protected and hidden from threats, once humans disturb a den the coyote likely will move pups to a new location. So even if you find a den one day, the family may not be there the next.

Urban coyotes may live in family packs or on their own at different points in their lives.
It’s common to see a single coyote hunting or traveling on its own, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it is alone. Coyotes are highly social animals and this didn’t change when they entered the urban ecosystem. Coyotes may live as part of a pack, which usually consists of an alpha male and female, perhaps one or two of their offspring from previous seasons (known as a “helper”) and their current litter of pups. The pack may also welcome in a solitary traveler if their territory can support another member. Packs living in sizable protected areas can have as many as five or six adults in addition to that season’s pups.

However, a coyote may also spend part of its life on its own, known as a solitary coyote. This is common when young coyotes disperse from their pack and go in search of their own territory, a new pack to join, or a mate with whom to start their own pack. A coyote may also spend a stretch of time as a loner if it was an alpha in a pack but lost its mate. According to Urban Coyote Research Program, between a third and half of coyotes under study are solitary coyotes, and they are usually youngsters between six months and two years old.

Because coyotes hunt and travel alone or in pairs, it is often thought that they don’t form packs. The study of urban coyotes has helped to correct this misconception and has revealed much about the social lives of coyotes.
Researchers were surprised to discover how faithful urban coyote pairs are. They mate for life and stay faithful the whole time. © Jaymi Heimbuch/The Natural History of the Urban Coyote

Urban coyotes mate for life and are monogamous.
Speaking of mates, coyotes mate for life and are 100 percent faithful to that mate. A 2012 study published in the Journal of Mammalogy found that “among 18 litters comprising 96 offspring, [researchers] found no evidence of polygamy, and detected a single instance of a double litter (pups from different parents sharing the same den).”

“I was surprised we didn’t find any cheating going on,” study co-author Stan Gehrt, told Science Daily in an article. “Even with all the opportunities for the coyotes to philander, they really don’t. In contrast to studies of other presumably monogamous species that were later found to be cheating, such as arctic foxes and mountain bluebirds, we found incredible loyalty to partners in the study population.”

This loyalty holds even when there are other coyotes in adjacent territories and plenty of opportunity for cheating. But coyote pairs stay faithful and faithful for life. Some of the pairs followed by the research team were together for as long as 10 years, only moving on when one mate died.

The researchers believe that this monogamy plays an important role in the success of urban coyotes. Because a female can adjust her litter size based on the availability of food and other factors, she can have larger litters of pups in a city where there is a buffet of rodents, reptiles, fruits, vegetables and so much else in a relatively small area. She also has a dedicated mate to help her feed and raise the pups, so these large litters have a higher survival rate, resulting in more coyotes reaching an age to disperse to other areas of a city.

Even when food is less abundant or there is territory pressure from other coyotes, the couple stays together year after year. Coyotes may be opportunistic about matters of food and shelter, but not when it comes to love.

Urban coyotes do not feast on pets and garbage; they typically stick to a natural diet.
Due to sensationalistic reporting, many urban residents think all coyotes are out to eat their dog or cat at the first opportunity, or that they’re dumpster divers of the first degree. On the contrary, studies have shown that urban coyotes stick mainly to a natural diet.

Coyotes are opportunistic omnivores and will eat fruits and vegetables along with animal prey. A study by Urban Coyote Research Program analyzed over 1,400 scats and found that “the most common food items were small rodents (42%), fruit (23%), deer (22%), and rabbit (18%).” Only about 2 percent of the scats had human garbage and just 1.3 percent showed evidence of cats. “Apparently, the majority of coyotes in our study area do not, in fact, rely on pets or garbage for their diets,” say the researchers.

This aligns logically with urban coyotes’ preference of sticking to parks, preserves, cemeteries, and other out-of-the-way areas as much as possible. The food available in these locations is rodents, reptiles, fallen fruit and other food items that are part of a natural diet.

Coyotes of course take feral cats or the occasional domestic cat that has been left outdoors, and there is certainly evidence that coyotes that have become habituated and overly bold will go after small dogs. However pets are not primary prey for them, not by a long shot.

As it is with the presence of apex predators in any ecosystem, having coyotes living and thriving in an urban area is a positive sign of the health and biodiversity of urban areas. Their presence can be considered a thumbs-up for the quality of a city’s urban ecology.

Rodents make up the bulk of a coyote’s diet. Even when garbage is plentiful, coyotes prefer an all-natural menu. © Jaymi Heimbuch/The Natural History of the Urban Coyote

Voles, gophers, rats, mice and other rodents are all targeted by coyotes, a fact that makes parks maintenance workers very happy. However, it can also leave coyotes (as well as cats, hawks, owls and other predators) vulnerable to being slowly poisoned by rodenticides. © Jaymi Heimbuch/The Natural History of the Urban Coyote

Urban coyotes reduce the presence of feral and free-roaming cats in natural spaces, which helps protect songbirds in parks.
While the issue of cats and coyotes is a sensitive and controversial one, there are aspects of their interaction that may come as a happy surprise. In a 2013 study, urban coyote researchers collared 39 feral cats. They found that while urban coyotes tend to stick to parks, wilderness preserves and other fragments of green habitats, the cats steer clear of coyotes’ turf. The felines keep out of these small patches of wilderness and thus aren’t predating songbirds. Songbirds aren’t really on a coyote’s menu, so they have a better chance to thrive when coyotes are present and deterring mesopredators such as cats. Other studies in California showed that coyotes reducing cat activity in habitat fragments resulted in an increase in the nesting success of songbirds in those habitats.

Stan Gehrt, the study’s lead author, told Science Daily, “Free-roaming cats are basically partitioning their use of the urban landscape. They’re not using the natural areas in cities very much because of the coyote presence there. It reduces the cats’ vulnerability to coyotes, but at the same time, it means the coyotes are essentially protecting these natural areas from cat predation.”

Coyotes have a clear impact on how free-roaming cats use the urban landscape, but the exact scope of the ecological benefit still needs more study. Urban Coyote Research Program points out, “Within cities, domestic cats may be the most abundant mesocarnivore in some parts of the urban landscape. [F]ree-roaming cats have been reported to depredate native wildlife and, in some instances, appear to have reduced or even extirpated some populations. However, data on the population ecology of free-ranging cats, and especially aspects that relate to potential predation or disease risk are needed. This information gap is especially true for cats inhabiting urban landscapes, where their numbers can reach inordinately high levels and the systems are already stressed from other anthropogenic effects.”

Urban coyotes help control the populations of other sometimes problematic urban wildlife like rodents, deer and Canada geese.
It’s so easy to think of urban places as home to humans, pigeons, crows and raccoons, and that’s about it. But our cities are increasingly home to an ever more diverse array of wildlife species. Unfortunately, these species are not beneficial when they become overabundant. Canada geese can wreak havoc on baseball fields and golf courses, deer can easily become a nuisance in yards and gardens of residential housing and spread disease-carrying ticks, and rats have been an issue in cities ever since cities were invented. Coyotes play a role in limiting the populations of these species and more, helping to keep a balance and increase biodiversity in urban ecosystems.

Rodents are the primary food source for coyotes in rural and urban areas alike, and studies have shown an increase in the rodent population in areas where coyotes are removed. Deer fawns are also a prey source for coyotes, and coyotes can take anywhere from 20 percent to 80 percent of fawns in various populations. Because coyotes rarely ever take adult deer, they don’t cause a reduction in populations, but they do help to stabilize or slow the growth of deer populations in urban and suburban areas.

The same goes for Canada geese; the presence of coyotes is highly beneficial to slow the growth of goose populations, which helps out managers of parks, golf courses, sporting fields and other grassy areas that geese graze in abundance. Urban Coyote Research Program writes, “By placing modified video cameras at the nests, this project was able to identify coyotes as the major predator on the nests. Thus, coyotes are serving as a biocontrol for urban geese. Because egg contents are not detected in coyote scat, the extent of coyote predation on goose nests could only be determined by placing cameras at nests. As with deer, coyotes do not take enough adult geese to reduce the population, but they can slow the population increase through egg predation.”

The predation of coyotes on deer and other species is often controversial, but it is important to remember that what we are witnessing is the return of an apex predator to an ecosystem. When apex predators are present, an ecosystem is more balanced and more diverse. Humans have cleared out other predators like wolves, cougars and bears from their historic territories but the coyote is now filling in this blank in the food web. What we are witnessing with coyotes taking up residence in urban and suburban areas is the return of an apex predator to an ecosystem, and watching what happens is a fascinating area of study for urban ecologists.
Coyotes are naturally diurnal or crepuscular. Urban coyotes’ switch to nocturnal activity is a survival strategy, allowing them to live among humans relatively undetected. © Jaymi Heimbuch/The Natural History of the Urban Coyote

Urban coyotes often switch from naturally diurnal and crepuscular activity to nocturnal activity.
When urban residents see coyotes “in broad daylight” it is often assumed that the coyote has grown overly bold or is ill in some way. Actually, it is perfectly normal for a coyote to be out during the day, as this is their natural time for hunting.

Urban coyotes have made a behavior change to avoid humans, switching from being active at dawn and dusk or during daylight hours, to being mostly active at night. This strategy lowers their risk of encountering a species of which they are naturally afraid while still hunting in an urban territory.

However, if a coyote needs to be out during the day to hunt or to get from one place to another, there isn’t necessarily anything wrong or odd about the coyote’s behavior. In fact, in the spring and summer when raising their pups, coyotes need to find more food and so may be more active during the day and thus spotted more often. Urban residents frequently misinterpret daytime sightings as a rise in the urban coyote population or that the coyote could be rabid, neither of which are usually true.

The easiest way for city residents to avoid negative interactions with coyotes is to avoid feeding them, either accidentally or on purpose, and otherwise habituating them to humans.
When coyotes become overly bold or aggressive, and in the rare instances when coyotes have bitten humans, it usually is discovered that they were being fed. Coyotes have a natural fear of humans, and like most wildlife, will start to lose that fear and even become aggressive if they are being fed. This is the reason wildlife managers warn people to never feed wildlife, and there is the saying, “A fed coyote is a dead coyote.” Once a coyote loses its fear, it is likely to become a problem animal and that means animal control will have little choice but to lethally remove it.

Feeding coyotes sometimes happens on purpose, but it can also be done accidentally when people leave pet food on their porches intending it for cats or dogs, when they leave scattered seeds under the bird feeder, or even when they leave fallen fruit or compost in their yards.

Educating the public on the importance of not feeding wildlife and removing any food sources, as well as educating them on safe and humane coyote hazing strategies to maintain coyotes’ fear of humans, is the best way a city can avoid negative interactions and instead enjoy quiet coexistence.

Though well-meaning, people who feed coyotes are ultimately causing the animal’s death. The kindest thing one can do for a coyote is to avoid habituating them to humans. © Jaymi Heimbuch/The Natural History of the Urban Coyote

Trapping and killing or relocating urban coyotes does not reduce the overall population of coyotes.
A common reaction from urban and suburban residents when they learn coyotes are living in their area is to ask for the removal of the coyotes, either through lethal means or by trapping and relocating them. However, animal control officers have learned through a lot of experience that this is not only a lot harder to do than it sounds, but it does nothing to reduce the number of coyotes living in an area. In fact, it has the opposite effect.

Coyotes are territorial and keep other coyotes out of their home range. The larger the territory of a coyote pack, the fewer coyotes are present overall. Removing coyotes from an area opens that location up for new coyotes to come in and claim it as their own (and there will always be more coyotes coming in to fill a void), often resulting in a short-term increase in coyotes as the territory lines are redrawn by the newcomers. Additionally, when there is less pressure from neighboring coyotes and more food available, female coyotes will have larger litters of pups, again creating a short-term increase in the number of coyotes in that area.

There are other problems with trapping coyotes. As the Humane Society points out, “The most common devices used to capture coyotes are leg-hold traps and neck snares. Both can cause severe injuries, pain, and suffering. Leg-hold traps are not only cruel and inhumane for coyotes, but may also injure other wildlife, pets, or even children. Non-target wild animals are also caught in traps, and many sustain injuries so severe that they die or must be killed.”

If a city wants to limit or reduce the number of urban coyotes living there, the easiest thing to do is allow existing coyotes to work out their own territories, naturally stabilizing the coyote population. There will never be more coyotes in an ecosystem than that ecosystem can support, so (despite what some may think) a city can never become “overpopulated” or “infested” with coyotes.

Citizens can take extra steps to make an area less appealing to coyotes by removing all extra food sources – from fallen fruit or ripe vegetables from backyard gardens to pet food left on back porches – and removing sources of water. The fewer resources available, the larger the territories need to be to support the resident coyotes, and the fewer coyotes there are overall.

This is not to say that removal of problem coyotes isn’t necessary. If a coyote has become so bold that it begins targeting pets as prey or biting people and the coyote’s behavior is beyond being solved by hazing techniques, then removal is the only solution left to animal control officers. Unfortunately, this typically means lethal removal. Relocation is not an option because it doesn’t fix the problem behavior, and actually puts the coyote in danger as it can be hit by cars as it tries to return back to its home territory or can be injured in fights with the resident coyotes of territories it passes through. Targeted removal of a specific problem animal is a very different issue than the indiscriminate removal of any and all coyotes.

Coyotes are here to stay and removing them is not and will never be an option. Our one and only path forward is coexistence.
Coyotes have proven to us time and again that they are a permanent and beneficial part of the rural, suburban and urban landscapes. Our one and only option in dealing with them is to learn how to coexist. © Morgan Heim/The Natural History of the Urban Coyote

Wolf Myths and Legends, Part 132

I have a Myth

by Ronda Ebeling

The reason why wolves sing to the moon every night.

There once was a very, very beautiful daughter of their leader named Rose and, every night she would sing a song to wolves from her den.

“Wolves of the night”
“The day has passed”
“Sleep, sleep in the den”
“Wake at light then hunt”
“Run like wind”.

Then all would fall silent one cold and dark night when a nearby pack didn’t like Rose’ singing so they decided to kill her. So they snuck up and ambushed her while she slept and silently killed her. When the wolves awoke they found her dead; her throat slashed by teeth. When they buried her, the father sent a message with her spirit so that she may walk the moon every night. 100 years have past and the story has been passed on, so every night they sing the song to her loud and clear so that she may hear it. Now, the pack that killed her was never found and wolves today are not sure if it was another wolf. It might have been a jealous mountain lion or a bobcat or lynx, who knows, but all they know is the story of their elders who pass it on from pup to pup from pack to pack.

Readers’ Contribution

A Wolfdog Diary

By Erin

Oh boy, moving all the stuff from the garage into the new workshop and store rooms has been quite a job, but luckily that’s done and dusted now.

Summer has arrived here with pretty high temperatures and luckily also more or less regular rainfalls so that the garden looks much better than last year around the same time. The pack is perfectly healthy, full of energy, and (unfortunately) the shedding season is also in full swing. Ascar II and Kajack II are not going through a complete coat change yet (Ascar II has just celebrated his second birthday with a sardine party for all and Kajack II’s is coming up in December), but Taima is looking like an old sheep coat after an encounter with a lawnmower. There are bunches of hair sticking out of her left, right and centre, and hair is falling out of her wherever she walks. Touch and pet her and you will be standing in a cloud of fluff. Have I ever told you about Ted and I collecting the hair of our pack? We started with that many years ago; I cannot even say why – maybe because it smells so nice and feels so soft to the touch – I don’t know, but whenever we brushed them, we collected the brushed-out hair in bags and stored them away when they were full. O.k., I can hear the question – what for? What do you do with it? Well, as I said, in the beginning we didn’t know either, but somehow Ted was convinced that one day he would have an idea, and that idea came to him while watching a TV documentary about a lady spinning wool from animal hair and either selling the wool or even knitting things from it for people who sent her their animals’ hair to spin it into wool. That’s when we remembered a friend saying once when he visited during shedding season, playing with a bunch of hair, that this might be good material to spin wool from it. But how do you spin wool without really knowing how it is done? We started looking around in our region for somebody spinning wool by hand to whom we could bring or send our hair collection, but we had no such luck. Next I checked out the Internet for spinning wheels, but I nearly keeled over when I saw the prices, because most offers for new or second hand ones were from people in overseas. Then Ted discovered a series of tutorial videos on YouTube that demonstrated in detail how to spin wool, which tools are needed, and how you can build some of these yourself. He fell head over heels in love with spinning, and after just a short time he had sourced suitable carding brushes and assembled flying cross-spindles and started to train himself in the art of spinning. Evening after evening he sat and span first half-yarn, which he later twisted into full-yarn (wool), from the seemingly inexhaustible stock that had accumulated from our 23 years of collecting. Surprisingly, the thread produced thus was so strong, I guess, you could tow a car with it. But then we had another problem – who was going to do the knitting? I’m not at all a good knitter, I’m lacking the patience for such things. And Ted himself was way too busy with spinning to take on this task on top of it. Luck was on our side, though, as a close friend who spends her holidays here with her hubby twice a year is passionate about knitting and was curious to find out what quality this strange kind of wool would be, what knitting it would be like, and what the final product would look like. Ted handed her a bag full of ready-to-knit balls of wool when they came here, and she spent every free minute knitting. She produced standardized squares from that wool so that we could decide what we wanted to make from them. The first project was a winter poncho for Ted that would be large enough to cover his legs when sitting and working at his desk on cold winter days. I put together the squares, and the result was stunning. O.k., you cannot wear it on naked skin because although it feels very soft to the touch it may become scratchy and itchy in direct body contact with time, but who will run around in winter with no other clothes on anyway? The next project was a “duvet” for winter; after stitching the squares together, I sewed this pretty heavy duvet into a fabric cover to prevent it from slipping around loosely. Ted could not stop talking about his perfect new “duvet”. It gets warm instantly when you slip under it, but then never gets too hot, and because it is so heavy, it will sort of mould around your body so perfectly that the weight is spread so evenly over your body that you hardly feel it. Now our friend is busy with the squares for another duvet (for me), and after that we have planned to make a jacket. I thought that after such a long time of spinning kilo after kilo of fluff Ted would get tired of it one day, but that’s not at all the case. It seems to be something that is rather relaxing to him, and he cannot get enough of it. When people come and visit and see him spinning they often give him that funny look first, then ask what he is doing and why, and when he starts to explain and show them the results, they cannot believe how beautiful it looks and how nice it feels. So, besides of the fact that shedding season means lots and lots of hair everywhere and an overworked vacuum cleaner and missus of the house, in some way, we are still looking forward to it.

Will be continued…

 

Volume 11, Issue 144, October 2016

SAFHOWL

The Monthly Free E-Newsletter of South African Friends of Wolves

Volume 11, Issue 144, October 2016

From the Editor’s Desk

Spring has arrived in our part of the world. It took only a few days for day temperatures to rise from a measly 20 or less to 30 and above, and that’s degrees Celsius. Night temperatures were hesitant to follow suit at first, but have also recovered by now, hovering around 12-14 degrees.

This month’s newsletter is unusual insofar that it does not start with bad news for wolves in the US for once. Instead it starts with bad news for wolves in Norway and Canada, and both instances cannot be termed anything else but outrageous and scandalous. Read the excerpts for yourself, form your own opinion, and take the minute or so to sign the petition via the link provided. Of course, the US wolves are not at all off the hook, as is demonstrated by the snippet on Idaho wolves, but news from there are difficult to come by at the moment, with nearly everybody being focused on their presidential elections – speaking of scandals. We help disseminate another one in the International section.

That not all Americans are evil is shown by our snippet on an Arkansas man in the

Wolves and Wolfdogs section. I urge you to read it.

This month’s newsletter ends with a wolf tale, as Erin has been too busy otherwise.

So much for this month,
Ed.

News from the Wolf Front

National

Nothing to report

International

From The Guardian
(https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/sep/23/norways-wolf-cull-pits-sheep-farmers-against-conservationists)

Norway’s wolf cull pits sheep farmers against conservationists

Norway’s recent decision to destroy 70% of its tiny endangered population of wolves shocked conservationists worldwide and saw 35,000 sign a local petition. But in a region dominated by sheep farming, support for the cull runs deep

Conservation groups worldwide were astonished to hear of the recent, unprecedented decision to destroy 70% of the Norway’s tiny and endangered population of 68 wolves, the biggest cull for almost a century:
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/sep/16/norway-wolf-cull-government-wwf-friends-earth-environment-protest

But not everyone in Norway is behind the plan. The wildlife protection group Predator Alliance Norway, for example, has campaign posters that talk of wolves as essential for nature, and a tourist attraction for Norway.

Nothing unusual about that, given it’s a wildlife group, except that the group is based in Trysil, the heartland of the territory where most of the wolf culling announced by Norwegian authorities last week will take place.

Predator Alliance Norway is an anomaly in this area, a land inhabited by the most fervent advocates of culling – many of them farmers and hunters. Here, you pass cars with large stickers pronouncing “Real Men Shoot Wolves” to show support for six local poachers who were imprisoned for illegal hunting last year:
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/apr/19/norwegian-court-to-rule-on-six-men-accused-of-illegal-wolf-hunt

Lars-Erik Lie, a 46-year-old mental health worker who founded the group in 2010, told the Guardian: “I got so upset and saddened by the locals’ thirst for wolf blood, and wanted to show that not all villagers are in favour of wiping out this beautiful animal.

“Many locals think there should be room for both predators and livestock, but they have kept their mouths shut out of fear for repercussions.” Lie has himself been the target of threats.

At the heart of the matter is the conflict between sheep farmers and conservationists. Norway is a large sheep farming nation, unique in letting most of its 2 million sheep roam free all summer without herding, fencing and with little supervision.

As a result, 120,000 sheep are lost each year, and 20,000 of these deaths are attributed to predators, judging by state compensation payouts, which are based on documentation and assessment by the authorities. Beyond that, 900 cadavers found annually are confirmed to have been killed by predators. The wolf accounts for 8% of kills.

Wolves, bears, lynx, wolverines and golden eagles are Norway’s native top predators.

In 1846, the authorities issued bounties to hunt them down, resulting in all species being virtually extinct by the mid-20th century, The wolf was given protected status in 1973, a watershed in wildlife management for the acknowledgement of its part in Norwegian fauna and in need of protection. The first wolf returned in 1980, though the first breeding entirely on Norwegian soil did not take place until 1997.

In the meantime, a new breed of sheep had invaded the land. “The breed of sheep vastly favoured by Norwegian farmers is unsuited to roam around the rugged terrain of the country,” said Silje Ask Lundberg, from Friends of the Earth Norway.

The sheep is favoured for its size and large proportion of meat, but is a bad climber and has poor herding and flight instincts, unlike the old short-tail land race, considered the original Norwegian sheep race, prevalent on the west coast, where ironically there are no wolves.

Just across the mountain from Lie’s house in Trysil, is the territory of the Slettåsen pack, which has been marked out for a complete cull even though the wolves live within a designated wolf zone.

The framework for predator management has been set by parliament, with local predator management boards setting hunting and culling quotas when population targets have been achieved.

“The lack of a scientific and professional approach is obvious,” said Lie. In January his organisation filed a complaint that the board votes in representatives with vested interests, such as farmers, whereas green party members have been excluded.

At his office in Oslo, Sverre Lundemo of WWF Norway is also puzzled. “It seems strange that we should punish the wolf for following its natural instincts, particularly within specially designated zones where the wolf supposedly has priority over livestock,” he says.

“The Slettåsen pack is very stable and of genetic importance. Scandinavian wolves are subject to inbreeding and poaching, and this makes the small population more vulnerable to random events. Culling these individuals can undermine the viability of the entire Norwegian wolf population.”

According to Lundemo, the decision for culling appears to be based on politics as much as on science. The WWF have examined the case document that formed the base of the decision. “This is a questionable decision on many levels. The case documents don’t substantiate why these three particular territories were singled out for culling,” said Lundemo.

Despite the population within the wolf zone having almost doubled since last year, attacks on livestock have almost halved. “Most of the injuries are inflicted by roaming young wolves from Swedish packs,” said Lundemo.

Sweden has stricter regulations for sheep farmers, refusing to compensate farmers who don’t protect livestock properly. As a member of the EU, Sweden had a planned licensed cull of 10 % of their wolf population of 400 in 2014 reduced following pressure.

Friends of the Earth advocate more suitable breeds of sheep, or cattle, and better fences and herding. WWF is exploring the option to challenge the decision legally before the wolf hunt sets in on 1 January 2017.

Back in Trysil, the Predator Alliance is gaining momentum. The group has submitted a 35,000-signature petition for protecting the wolf to the Prime Minister, Erna Solberg. “We humans have become greedy, behaving like nature is there for our taking,” said Lie. “When you have a population as small as the one we have in Norway now, you have to draw the line.”

From Care2 Action Alerts (actionalerts@care2.com)

Stop the Slaughter of Endangered Wolves in Norway!

The wolves in Norway are in grave trouble. They’re already near-extinct, and last winter, researchers estimated that only 65 or 68 wolves still exist in the wild. Authorities even red-listed these animals as “critically endangered.”

But now, the Norwegian government has authorized the mass slaughter of 47 endangered wolves. When Tracey and Julie heard this news, they started a Care2 petition to save the wolves before it’s too late. Will you sign?
http://www.care2.com/go/z/e/AwLJX/zsNw/GeQa

Why would the government decide to sacrifice these animals? Sport. Hunting is hugely popular in Norway. Last year, more than 11,000 people applied for special licenses to shoot and kill just 16 wolves. This slaughter would be even larger – in fact, it’s the biggest government-sanctioned wolf culling since 1911.

Norwegian authorities also claim this wolf-hunt will help local farmers protect their sheep from predators. But environmental groups say wolves account for only a small percentage of sheep deaths, and that the government is obviously not relying on sound scientific data.

If all 47 animals are shot, Norway will have lost more than two-thirds of its wolf population. Only about 20 wolves would be left in the wild. We cannot stand by and watch as hunters destroy the already-tiny wolf population in Norway.

Sign the petition demanding that Norway stop the slaughter now:
http://www.care2.com/go/z/e/AwLJX/zsNw/GeQa

Thank you,

From Wolf Conservation Center

http://nywolf.org/ontario-opts-to-allow-threatened-algonquin-wolves-to-be-huntedtrapped /

Canada: Ontario Opts to Allow Threatened Algonquin Wolves to Be Hunted/Trapped

Posted on September 15, 2016 by Maggie Howell

In June 2016, status assessments by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) and by the Committee on the Status of Species at Risk in Ontario (COSSARO) resulted in a reclassification of and name change for the eastern wolf. Ontario’s remnant eastern wolves are now called “Algonquin wolves.” Moreover, the wolves are now listed as “threatened” under the province’s Endangered Species Act (ESA), granting the species an extra degree of protection from its previous listing of “special concern” issued in 2008. Under the ESA, all threatened and endangered species and their habitat are automatically protected.

But on September 15, 2016, the very day Ontario’s hunting and trapping seasons open, the Ontario government announced that despite the its “threatened” status, the province is limiting protection of Algonquin wolves to three small, disconnected ‘islands’, keeping all others areas open to hunting and trapping. These islands constitute less than 10% of the wolves’ habitat in Ontario. Thus, threatened Algonquin wolves will remain unprotected from hunting and trapping in the majority of their range.

View Ontario’s decision notices here and here.

Beyond undermining the intent of the province’s ESA, Ontario’s decision to allow hunters and trappers to kill Algonquin wolves across the majority of their extent of occurrence sends a message to the American people and your own constituents that species-at-risk recovery is not a priority. As the global stronghold for a threatened wolf species that researchers now know roamed much of the eastern side of North America, Ontario should let science, not political pressure, steer conservation policy.

From Take Action! at GreaterGood Network
(news@greatergood.com)

USA: Protect Idaho Wolves from being slaughtered

Idaho wolves are being slaughtered by the state government in order to artificially inflate elk numbers for sport hunters and boost the sale of elk hunting licenses. These disturbing actions are not just inhumane — they are misguided. While the state of Idaho feels it needs to kill these carnivores to address elk population decline, there are many other natural factors such as weather, disease and human activities that cause population fluctuation.

Please sign our petition today to urge Secretary of Agriculture Vilsack to stop the aerial gunning of wolves. Since Congress prematurely forced Idaho’s wolves off of the endangered species list in 2011, more than 1,900 wolves have been killed in the state. Mass slaughter for profit is not an appropriate use of taxpayer resources.

Save Wolves: Sign Petition

From Focusing on Wildlife
(http://focusingonwildlife.com/news/vaccines-may-save-africas-rarest-wolves-from-extinction)

Ethiopia: Vaccines may save Africa’s rarest wolves from extinction

During his 1991 field season, Claudio Sillero-Zubiri trekked through the rugged highlands of Ethiopia’s Bale Mountains for his PhD research, searching for the world’s rarest canid: the Ethiopian wolf (Canis simensis).

Fewer than 1,000 wolves remained, making conservation work on the species imperative. But even Sillero-Zubiri began having trouble finding them alive. Instead, he came across arid landscapes littered with their corpses.

After analyzing blood samples back at the University of Oxford, where he was studying, he soon identified the culprit: rabies.

In the years since, Sillero-Zubiri, now a professor at Oxford, and his team at the Ethiopian Wolf Project have identified four major rabies outbreaks among Ethiopian wolves in the Bale Mountains. Each time the virus hit—in 1991, 2003, 2008, and 2014—the wolf population declined by as much as 75 percent. Now, only around 500 Ethiopian wolves remain in the wild, thanks to habitat loss and the repeated outbreaks.

But there may be a straightforward solution to the wolves’ existential crisis: vaccination programs, which have helped control rabies in both wild and domestic animals across North America and Europe. In a new study in Vaccine, Sillero-Zubiri and colleagues show that immunizing Ethiopian wolves against rabies could help save the species.

“The big rabies outbreaks are catastrophic, but this vaccine could make a big difference,” he says.

Immunizing the Wolf

Rabies is unique among viruses, both for its ability to engender fear and its knack for infecting a broad range of mammals—190 species in all.

“It’s a horrible, gruesome way to die that can take many days,” says William Karesh, the executive vice president for health and policy at EcoHealth Alliance. He was not involved with the study.

Because the virus can infect so many different species, different parts of the world need different strategies for controlling the virus. In the U.S., vaccinating domestic dogs has made the largest impact, although the virus continues circulating at low levels in bats, skunks, raccoons, and foxes. Some parts of Europe have completely eradicated the virus by vaccinating both dogs and wildlife.

In the Bale Mountains, rabies circulates between a large population of domestic dogs and the Ethiopian wolf. Efforts to immunize local dogs were minimally successful at best, thanks to difficulties in reaching the sizeable feral dog population. Sillero-Zubiri had tried using injectable vaccines on the wolves, but capturing the animals to administer the vaccine was too expensive, time-consuming, and stressful on the animals.

The researchers then turned to an oral rabies vaccine that they could leave out for the wolves to find, but even that wasn’t a perfect solution. To get animals to ingest the drug, the vaccine packet came laced with a liver-flavored bait that many animals loved—but not the Ethiopian wolves.

So the scientists conducted field tests to determine how best to entice the wolves to eat the vaccine. Inserting the vaccine sachet into a dead rat—the wolves preferred food—was only partly successful. The wolves’ favorite flavors? Goat meat and intestines. (Find out how peanut butter and drones could help vaccinate the endangered black-footed ferret.)

Of the 21 wolves captured after vaccine administration, 14 tested positive for a harmless chemical that showed they had eaten the vaccine. Of these wolves, 86 percent were successfully immunized against rabies—enough for the vaccine to help the species, says Karesh.

“Even immunizing just half of the wolf population would make a huge difference for conservation purposes,” he adds. “These people did a good job, doing the rigorous work to prove that the approach would work for these wolves.”

Although the trial was a success, Sillero-Zubiri still has to convince the Ethiopian government to begin a proactive vaccination program for the wolves.

“Some people believe that if we have to start vaccinating the wolves, we’ll have to keep it up forever,” he says. “That’s not true, but it’s no reason we can’t get started.”

This article was first published by National Geographic on 05 Sep 2016

Other News

National

Nothing to report

Next door

From Johnny Rodrigues, Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force (www.zctfofficialsite.org)

Our Beloved Tatenda is gone 4th October 2016

It is with great sadness that we have to report that our beloved Tatenda has passed away. John and Judy Travers had saved him after his parents were killed by poachers. He turned into a very handsome young man. I would drive to Johannesburg 4 times a year, when he was a baby, to buy him special milk powder, antibiotics and teats. This little guy was so close to my heart and my family’s. My daughter even made him a rhino birthday cake for his first birthday. I remember Judy would sleep in his pen with him and take him on daily mud baths, one of his favourite activities. I would like to take this opportunity to thank John and Judy Travers for everything that they have done for him and for all the other animals in their care. I have never seen such love and compassion shown or given to animals as these two give to all their animal family members…..

My dear friend Tatenda, rest in peace until we meet again….

International

From ForceChange
(TakeAction=ForceChange.com@mail53.atl91.mcsv.net); on behalf of; ForceChange (TakeAction@ForceChange.com)

Stop Trump Family’s Slaughter of Elephants and Leopards 

Social Media Alert

Stop Donald Trump’s Sons From Killing Exotic Animals #StopTrumpTrophies.

In a series of sickening photos, Donald Trump’s two sons pose next to the bodies of murdered elephants, big cats, and other exotic animals they shot and killed. Trump himself supports his sons’ participation in cruel trophy hunting, bragging that “They love it.”

A wave of ForceChange members have spoken out against the Trump family’s sadistic and cruel treatment of wild animals. Help make Donald Trump renounce his support for trophy hunting by sharing this on social media.

Bring our wave of change by sharing this on Facebook and Twitter.

Wolves and Wolfdogs

Arkansas man leaves his world behind to care for rescued wolves/hybrids (Video)

James Gage being the nature lover that he is studied environmental science in college. He also loved wolves and it was at this time that he first got a wolf hybrid, named Bailey. In order to take care of her properly, he learned as much as he could about them and while doing that he also learned about the strife they go through as pets. It was at this point that he decided he wanted to do something to help.

He had learned that while there are less than 10,000 wild wolves left in the United States, there are more than a quarter million in captivity and that some of these were being kept as pets. He also discovered there was a need in Arkansas for wolf rescues since many people tend to abandon their wolf/hybrids when they realize that the novelty had worn off or that they were in over their heads.

He understands this because he has been there. “I know first hand it’s not a good idea to keep them as pets in captivity because I’ve done it,” Gage said. “They (pet-owners) put them in positions where they don’t have enough space to be healthy or they don’t know about their medical care, and then it compromises the health of the animal. Or they don’t meet the requirements of the state and then the animal gets confiscated and there’s nowhere for it to go except to be euthanized.”

It was at this point that he decided it was time to move out into the middle of nowhere and get a place to give these misunderstood wolves/hybrids somewhere to live and to rescue some of the wolves in captivity. Buying a property just north of Batesville, Arkansas, and hours away from his family and friends, Gage is now saving domestic wolves one at a time. He has seven wolves that come from all different situations, but all came from the pet trade. After working and studying with a wolf sanctuary in Colorado, Gage is now working to set up Wolf Hollow in Arkansas. He is applying for non-profit status and a USDA license, which will allow him to use the organization for education. “I hope to eventually have a non-profit organization set up that will rescue the animals and advocate for them in the wild,” Gage said. “And teach science and conservation, maybe, where I can have interns and volunteers and teach to classroom groups and things like that.”

His days start and end with his wolves. Until all of the licenses are approved though, he keeps the wolves as his own. He lives in a remote area, sacrificing cell or internet reception in order to have the room for the wolves to exercise. Gage is currently working as a bartender at night to pay for his day job caring for the wolves.

Gage sums it all up by saying, “In my eyes it’s worth it just to be able to fill that spot to give them what they need. If I’m going to do it I’ve got to do it right.”

Find the video at White Wolf Pack
(http://www.whitewolfpack.com/2013/08/arkansas-man-leaves-his-world-behind-to.html)

Wolf Myths and Legends, Part 131

Fox Ears – The Father

People have tried to find the meaning of life for decades, but I have found it. Because I am not human it was very difficult, although I met my mate along the way. “Who am I?” you ask. I am Lilly Moon, a wolf; my mate is Lion Paw. We were the alphas of the pack. We were recently separated from the pack by an avalanche. As I walked around the cave, worried Lion Paw might not come back with food for our pups, I heard a long slow growl. I jumped to my left to see Lion Paw facing off with Fox Ears, the legendary black wolf.

I ran deeper in the caves to risk my life for the pups if needed. Even though I only had two pups they mean more to me than the world. Finally Lion Paw limped into the cave with his right shoulder torn, and a gash in his throat. I sensed he wouldn’t make it so I did my best to keep him alive. Three days later one of my pups died because I could not produce enough milk for both. Then I saw a dark figure at the entrance of the cave. It was Fox Ears; he was holding the remains of a half eaten moose. I jumped to my feet and growled a low deep growl, I never knew I had. Fox Ears just looked at me friendlily as if nothing had happened. So I relaxed, and as I did he trotted up to me, put the meat at my paws and began to lick my pup as though it were his own flesh and blood. There are many meanings to life, but the one I found was Fox Ears. He was my father, which was the reason he had been searching for me for years. It turned out that Lion Paw was a member from another pack set on killing my father. My son Fox Tail has left our pack in order to start his own. I have found another mate called Avalanche, a pure snow white wolf. After my father had died, I had a litter of pups of which all but one was pure white. That pup was black so I called him Fox Ears.

Look for the conclusion
Fox Ears – The Son

Readers’ Contribution

A Wolfdog Diary

By Erin

Erin is busy moving storerooms, garage and workshops, and will be back with more news about her pack in the next issue.

Will be continued…

Volume 11, Issue 143, September 2016

SAFHOWL

The Monthly Free E-Newsletter of South African Friends of Wolves

Volume 11, Issue 143, September 2016

From the Editor’s Desk

News other than on election campaigning seem to stand little chance of being noticed these days in the US, and players appear to be fully aware of this. This is the time when they think they can push through whatever new bills they could not otherwise without causing a major uproar. Fortunately, there are organisations that keep a very close eye on them and tell the world what is going on. And we are happy to spread their observations further. Reckless wolf (and other predator) killing in Alaska and giving up on conserving the red wolf for future generations are just two examples. Read the International Wolf News section for yourself and experience your monthly dose of disgust…

We were very happy to for once find an initiative that aims at conserving the very rare Ethiopian wolf and appeal to you to sign the respective petition.

A reader pointed us to a potentially escalating problem of the “wolves vs. farmers” type in Germany, and we have translated the respective article here. It would seem that the notoriously slow authorities in charge need to step up their pace to implement measures before the situation becomes really serious…

We have also found another wolf tale that we found worth reprinting here, and Erin makes good on her promise to update us in detail on her pack.

That much for this month’s newsletter,
Ed.

Upcoming Events

at the International Wolf Center:

Wolf Family Rendezvous

October 8-9, 2016
Time: Saturday 8:30 a.m. – Sunday 10 a.m.
Program Rate: $75 Adults (13 years old+), $50 Children (6-12 years old)
Registration Deadline: September 24, 2016

With plenty of family-focused activities and outdoor fun, your family will talk about this trip for years to come! Spend quality time together learning about the north woods home of the wolf through hikes, crafts, games and observing our ambassador wolves.

Tracking the Pack

October 14-16, 2016
Time: Friday 5 p.m. – Sunday 10 a.m.
Program Rates: Non-member $160, Member $144
Registration Deadline: September 30, 2016

Come and experience the day to day life of a real wildlife biologist.   Our Tracking the Pack adventure weekend includes learning the tools biologists use to track wolf packs, then getting out into the field with telemetry equipment to search for wild wolves. Afterwards, we will do an animal necropsy back at the lab. Then we will have our dinner while the wolves eat theirs. There will be s’mores!

News from the Wolf Front

National

Nothing to report

International

From Defenders of Wildlife (http://www.defenders.org)

  1. USA: Alaska wolf killing out of control

An entire wolf pack killed. Years of research cut short.

Alaska’s campaign of brutal and indiscriminate killing of wolves, bears and other predators is so intense that National Park Service scientists are abandoning a 23-year old study of wolf behaviour because so many of their study animals have been killed.

This cannot stand. Your urgent donation will help us protect predators in Alaska and imperilled wildlife nationwide:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=T3WXFh_itBQznv-WzMDNyw

Since 2005, Alaska has been killing predators using a range of outrageous tactics including aerial gunning, killing mother wolves and their young in their dens, using bait to attract bears and using traps and snares. The state has also expanded hunting seasons and bag limits to aggressively target predators in an effort to artificially inflate moose and other game animal populations so that hunters have more to shoot.

Help us to protect wolves:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=JF5kYtmDlSYIu31IT9rxrg

They even use “Judas wolves,” animals that are caught, radio-collared and then lead shooters back to their doomed packs.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service finalized a rule just two weeks ago to prohibit this sort of abuse on national wildlife refuges. But we are confident that Alaska will continue to pull out all the stops to block these crucial regulations.

And advocates of Alaska’s extreme and excessive killing practices have friends on Capitol Hill. In fact, legislative proposals to nullify this new rule have already passed the full U.S. House of Representatives twice!

Defenders worked hard to help establish these regulations, and now, we are working even harder to stop Congress from blocking them.

These are desperate times for the wildlife you and I love. Together, we can turn back these appalling attacks and protect imperilled animals wherever they are threatened. We can do it, but only with the help of people who care…people like you.

Please donate today.

Thank you for all you do!

  1. USA: Our last chance for red wolf survival

Going, going, tragically almost gone.

Red wolves are dangerously close to extinction in the wild, and they need your help.

Under relentless pressure from special interests in North Carolina, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has all but abandoned its efforts to recover these shy wolves in the wild.

URGENT: Insist that FWS recommit to red wolf recovery – before it’s too late:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=Mu9I-TldPVeE0JsRdK3OnQ

As you read this, there are no more than 60 red wolves in the wild, down from almost 150 if FWS does not take immediate action to protect and expand the existing wolf population as well as prepare a revised recovery plan that ensures the recovery of red wolves in the wild in the South-eastern U.S.

But instead of aggressively advancing red wolf recovery, FWS has made little effort in recent years to proactively recover the species. In fact, it has actually taken steps that have undermined the program.

Speak out for red wolves.

For example, FWS has:

  • Refused to release any new wolves into the wild since 2015;
  • Issued permits to private landowners to kill non-problem wolves;
  • Removed red wolves from the wild, causing significant harm to the breeding population; and
  • Reduced or eliminated critical efforts to collar and track red wolves.

If FWS fails to recommit to the recovery of red wolves, they are effectively dooming them to extinction.

Please don’t let that happen to these magnificent animals – take action today.

  1. USA: A dagger in the heart of Red Wolf recovery

We could hardly believe it when we heard it.

This week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced plans that would effectively abandon their obligation to protect and recover red wolves in the wild.

We can’t just sit idle at this news. We have to fight back.

It’s the news we’ve all been dreading.

Just this week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced plans that would effectively abandon their obligation to protect and recover red wolves in the wild.

They plan to round up most of the red wolves living on both private and public lands in North Carolina, potentially forcing them into captivity. This action would likely all but doom the world’s most endangered wolf to extinction in the wild.

Defenders is fighting for red wolves with every resource we’ve got – including taking court action. But we need your help.

Your emergency donation will help Defenders continue to fight for red wolves and other imperilled species:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=ue3LWQBjaEukkjrFkO70IA

Never before has FWS so directly turned its back on an endangered species recovery effort. The agency is essentially giving up on the red wolves in the wild today, with vague promises of reintroduction efforts elsewhere, sometime in the future.

You’d be shocked to know that once upon a time, the red wolf recovery program was considered a model success story. But that was a long time ago and now, after years of mismanagement by FWS, red wolf numbers have plummeted. This week’s announcement is a devastating blow.

Help us fight for red wolves:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=3lM8OpG19MbHdoIvctvDvA

It’s likely that FWS is caving to political pressure from a small but seemingly powerful group of landowners and special interests. Recent polls show that more than 80 percent of North Carolinians support red wolf recovery. But their views are being ignored.

This cannot stand.

With your help, Defenders can speak for red wolves and other animals who cannot speak for themselves.

Please help protect these shy and vulnerable creatures with an emergency gift today:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=lNwghA_0XKwNkhno4zI7Lg

Time is running out, but Defenders will do everything we can to ensure that the howl of the red wolf continues to be heard.

I’m counting on your help.

  1. USA: Must-pass bills contain deadly anti-wildlife provisions

Poison pills embedded in must-pass legislation pose a direct and deadly threat to wolves and other wildlife you love.

These anti-wildlife amendments must be rejected. And time is short.

Tell your representative to reject all anti-wildlife riders now in pending “must-pass” legislation, including a final bill to fund the government:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=zogPQZEj3EidBxYfjbJ8Ng

We are especially concerned about provisions that have been inserted into three must-pass bills; the House FY 2017 Interior appropriations bill, the House-passed energy package and the House National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

These bills include deadly riders that would, among other things:

  • Strip gray wolves of Endangered Species Act protection across the entire continental United States and remove federal protections for other imperilled species that have not yet recovered;
  • Block the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service from stopping the slaughter of wolves, bears and other native predators on public lands in Alaska;
  • Cripple the management of our national wildlife refuges; and
  • Leave the Endangered Species Act in tatters.
  • Take action to protect the wildlife you love:
    http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=WXyiMMuNcwClpMKl6lrsVg

This is not what most Americans want. It’s the work of a small group of well-funded extremists and special interests who are prepared to ignore the will of the American people in order to further their own anti-environmental agenda.

These riders represent grossly inappropriate action by certain members of Congress who are completely preoccupied with pushing special interest agendas, no matter the cost. These amendments are just more examples of Congress substituting politics for science.

The war against wildlife is coming to a head. We must defeat these unconscionable riders before they become law.

Your voice matters. Please take action today:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=blG8TeUbC3yqODrcozy2iw

From California Wolfcenter
(californiawolfcenter@yahoogroups.com)

Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project Monthly Update

Endangered Species Updates July 1-30, 2016

The following is a summary of Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project (Project) activities in the Mexican Wolf Experimental Population Area (MWEPA) in Arizona, including the Fort Apache Indian Reservation (FAIR), San Carlos Apache Reservation (SCAR), and New Mexico. Additional Project information can be obtained by calling (928) 339-4329 or toll free at (888) 459-9653, or by visiting the Arizona Game and Fish Department website at www.azgfd.gov/wolf or by visiting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website at www.fws.gov/southwest/es/mexicanwolf.   Past updates may be viewed on either website, or interested parties may sign up to receive this update electronically by signing up here. This update is a public document and information in it can be used for any purpose. The Project is a multi-agency cooperative effort among the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD), USDA Forest Service (USFS), USDA-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services (USDA-APHIS WS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the White Mountain Apache Tribe (WMAT).

To view semi-monthly wolf telemetry flight location information please visit www.fws.gov/southwest/es/mexicanwolf/RWL.cfm.

Please report any wolf sightings or suspected livestock depredations to:  the Alpine wolf office (928) 339-4329, Pinetop wolf office (928-532-2391) or toll free at (888) 459-9653.  To report incidents of take or harassment of wolves, please call the AGFD 24-hour dispatch (Operation Game Thief) at (800) 352-0700.

Overall Mexican Wolf Recovery Program Monthly Update

On July 28, personnel from WMAT and USFWS presented to WMAT Chairman, Vice Chairman, and Tribal Council in Whiteriver, AZ.

Numbering System:  Mexican wolves are given an identification number recorded in an official studbook that tracks their history.  Capital letters (M = Male, F = Female) preceding the number indicate adult animals 24 months or older.  Lower case letters (m = male, f = female) indicate wolves younger than 24 months or pups.  The capital letter “A” preceding the letter and number indicate breeding wolves.

Definitions:  A “wolf pack” is defined as two or more wolves that maintain an established territory.  In the event that one of the two alpha (dominant) wolves dies, the remaining alpha wolf, regardless of pack size, retains the pack status.  The packs referenced in this update contain at least one wolf with a radio telemetry collar attached to it.  The Interagency Field Team (IFT) recognizes that wolves without radio telemetry collars may also form packs.  If the IFT confirms that wolves are associating with each other and are resident within the same home range, they will be referenced as a pack.

CURRENT POPULATION STATUS

Population monitoring requires year round effort documenting births, deaths, survival, total numbers, and distribution all culminating in the end of the year population counts.  Currently, there are 19 packs and 4 single wolves, which include 44 wolves with functioning radio collars that are used by the IFT to collect this data.

IN ARIZONA:

Bear Wallow Pack (collared M1338 and F1335)

In July, the Bear Wallow Pack was located within their traditional territory in the east central portion of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest (ASNF).  During this month, the Bear Wallow pack ceased to show denning behaviour.

Bluestem Pack (collared M1382, F1443, f1488, f1489)

In July, the Bluestem Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the east central portion of the ASNF.  Wolves F1443, f1488 and f1489 were consistently located together near the Bluestem den.  Three pups have been confirmed for Bluestem pack this year.  M1382 continued to travel throughout Arizona and New Mexico on its own for the first part of the month; however, it was found with the rest of the Bluestem pack during the latter part of the month.

Buckalou Pack (collared F1405)

In July, F1405 continued to travel between Arizona and New Mexico in both the Gila and Apache National Forests.  M1404 was found dead in New Mexico; the incident is under investigation.

Elk Horn Pack (collared AF1294 and AM1342)

In July, the Elk Horn Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north eastern portion of the ASNF.  The IFT continued to document denning behaviour by this pack this month. The Elk Horn Pack has periodically used a food cache set up by the IFT to supplement the pack due to the two pups cross-fostered into the pack’s litter in April.  A minimum of one pup was documented from the Elk Horn Pack in July.

Hawks Nest Pack (collared AM1038, M1383, and m1453)

In July, the Hawks Nest Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the ASNF.

Hoodoo Pack (collared AM1290, AF1333 and m1441)

In July, the Hoodoo Pack remained in the north central portion of the ASNF.  The IFT continued to document denning behaviour by the Hoodoo Pack this month.  The Hoodoo Pack has continued to utilize the food cache put in place for them to prevent potential depredation issues in the area.  The Hoodoo Pack had a minimum pup count of two in July.

Marble Pack (collared AM1330)

In July, AM1330 made wide dispersal movements across the ASNF and the FAIR and has been documented as travelling alone.  The Marble Pack consists of one collared wolf.

Maverick Pack (collared AM1183 and AF1291)

In July, the Maverick Pack was located within their traditional territory both on the FAIR and ASNF.  The Maverick Pack localized and continued to show signs of denning.

Panther Creek Pack (F1339 and M1394)

In July, the Panther Creek Pack has been located in the east central portion of the ASNF.  The Panther Creek Pack continued to show denning behaviour and utilize the food cache that the IFT has maintained for them.

Single M1398

During July, M1398 was located in Arizona within the southeast portion of the ASNF.

ON THE FAIR:

Diamond Pack (collared M1249, F1437, m1447, and m1454)

In July, the Diamond Pack was located in the eastern portion of the FAIR and the north central portion of the ASNF.  m1454 made wide dispersal movements in the north central portion of the ASNF and north of the ASNF on private and state trust land.  It is not yet known if the pack denned.

Tsay-o-Ah Pack (collared AM1343, AF1283, f1445)

In July, Tsay-o-Ah was located in the eastern portion of the FAIR.  f1445 travelled into ASNF occasionally.  f1445 was documented travelling with M1347.

Single M1347

During July, M1347 was located on the eastern portion of the FAIR and the east central portion of the ASNF.  M1347 was documented travelling with f1445.

IN NEW MEXICO:

Dark Canyon Pack (collared AM992, and f1444)

During July, the IFT located this pack within its traditional territory in the west central portion of the Gila National Forest (GNF).  In late July, AM992 began making movements outside of its traditional territory.

Iron Creek Pack (collared AM1240 and AF1278)

During July, the Iron Creek Pack continued to utilize their territory in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness and the southern portion of the GNF. A diversionary food cache is being maintained for the Iron Creek Pack to mitigate potential wolf-livestock conflicts.  In July, a wild land fire burned near the pack’s rendezvous site.  Following the fire, the pack moved back toward the food cache.  The IFT documented a minimum of 3 pups following the move and continues to monitor the pack for any negative impacts due to the fire.

Luna Pack (collared AF1115, AM1158, and F1487)

During July, the Luna Pack remained in their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF. The IFT is maintaining a diversionary and supplemental food cache in efforts to reduce potential for further livestock depredations.

Mangas Pack (collared M1296, F1439)

During July, the Mangas Pack was located within their territory in north western portions of the GNF in New Mexico.

Prieto Pack (collared M1386, AF1251, AM1387, m1455, and f1456)

During July, the Prieto Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF.  The diversionary food cache was removed in July.

San Mateo Pack (collared M1345 and F1399)

During July, the IFT documented M1345 and F1399 travelling together within their territory in the north central portion of the GNF and has continued to show denning behaviour.  A diversionary food cache is being maintained for the San Mateo Pack to reduce potential wolf-livestock conflicts.

SBP Pack (AM1284 and AF1392)

In July the SBP Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF.

Willow Springs Pack (collared F1397)

In July, the IFT documented the Willow Springs Pack within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF.

Single M1293

During July, M1293 was located within the Gila Wilderness in New Mexico.

Single AM1155

During July, AM1155 was documented travelling in NM on the outskirts of its former territory.

MORTALITIES

In July, m1404 of the Buckalou Pack was located dead in New Mexico.  This incident is under investigation.

In July, AF1115 of the Luna Pack was located dead in New Mexico.  The incident is under investigation.

INCIDENTS

During July there were ten livestock depredation reports involving wolves and no nuisance reports.

On July 2, Wildlife Services investigated an injured calf in Catron County, New Mexico.  The investigation determined the calf was injured by a wolf.

On July 5, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, Arizona.  The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf kill.

On July 6, Wildlife Services investigated an injured calf that later died from its injuries in Apache County, Arizona.  The investigation determined the calf was not injured by wolves.

On July 11, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, Arizona.  The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf kill.

On July 15, Wildlife Services investigated two dead calves in Apache County, Arizona.  The investigation determined both calves were not killed by wolves.

On July 16, Wildlife Services investigated an injured calf in Catron County, New Mexico.  The investigation determined the calf was injured by a wolf.

On July 19, Wildlife Services investigated an injured horse in Catron County, New Mexico.  The investigation determined the horse was injured by a wolf.  The horse was euthanized days later.

On July 20, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow and calf in Catron County, New Mexico.  The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf kill and the cow was a probable wolf kill.

On July 23, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, Arizona.  The investigation determined the calf was not killed by wolves.

On July 26, Wildlife Services investigated an injured calf in Catron County, New Mexico.  The investigation determined the calf was injured by a wolf.

COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATION

On July 21 and 22, the IFT completed annual chemical immobilization training.

On July 23 through July 25, the IFT completed bi-annual helicopter training.

On July 29, a member of the IFT gave a presentation to a group at the Big Lake campground in Arizona.

PROJECT PERSONNEL

In July, Jeff Dolphin resigned from the AGFD.  Jeff had worked with the IFT for 9 years, most recently as the Mexican Wolf Project Field Supervisor for the AGFD.  Thank you Jeff for your dedication and commitment to the Mexican Wolf Recovery Project.

  1. Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project Monthly Update

Endangered Species Updates August 1-31, 2016

Overall Mexican Wolf Recovery Program Monthly Update

The USFWS presented information on the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program to a closed session of the White Mountain Apache Tribal Council on July 28, 2016.

The USFWS attended the annual Mexican Wolf Species Survival Plan meeting held August 1-4 at Chico Hot Springs in Pray, MT.  The meeting was also combined, for the first time, with the Red Wolf Program’s Species Survival Plan meeting.

The USFWS held the 4th Mexican wolf recovery planning workshop in Albuquerque, NM August 22 and 23, 2016.  The workshop was attended by staff from the states of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah, the Mexican government agencies CONANP (National Commission of Natural Protected Areas) and SEMARNAT (Secretariat of Environmental and Natural Resources) and independent scientists from both countries.  The workshop focused on review of a habitat model across the border region and input parameters for the Vortex model, which will be used to evaluate extinction risk of various recovery scenarios.

CURRENT POPULATION STATUS

Population monitoring requires year round effort documenting births, deaths, survival, total numbers, and distribution all culminating in the end of the year population counts.  Currently, there are 19 packs and 4 single wolves, which include 47 wolves with functioning radio collars that are used by the IFT to collect this data.

IN ARIZONA:

Bear Wallow Pack (collared M1338, F1335 and fp1548)

In August, the Bear Wallow Pack was located within their traditional territory in the east central portion of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest (ASNF).  A female pup, fp1548, in the Bear Wallow Pack was captured, collared and released in the month of August.  This confirmed that Bear Wallow did produce pups, with a minimum count of one.

Bluestem Pack (collared M1382, F1443 and f1488)

In August, the Bluestem Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the east central portion of the ASNF.  Wolves F1443, f1488 and M1382 were consistently located together near the Bluestem den.

Buckalou Pack (collared F1405)

In August, F1405 continued to travel between Arizona and New Mexico in both the Gila and Apache National Forests. .

Elk Horn Pack (collared AF1294, AM1342 and mp1474)

In August, the Elk Horn Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north eastern portion of the ASNF.  The IFT documented rendezvous behaviour by this pack during the month of August. The Elk Horn Pack has periodically used a food cache set up by the IFT to supplement the pack due to the two pups cross-fostered into the pack’s litter in April.  A male pup, mp1474, with the Elk Horn Pack was captured, collared and released in the month of August.  This pup was not one of the two pups cross-fostered into the Elk Horn Pack in April.

Hawks Nest Pack (collared AM1038)

In August, the Hawks Nest Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the ASNF.

Hoodoo Pack (collared AM1290, AF1333, m1441, fp1549 and fp1550)

In August, the Hoodoo Pack remained in the north central portion of the ASNF.  The IFT documented rendezvous behaviour by the Hoodoo Pack this month.  The Hoodoo Pack has continued to utilize the food cache put in place for them to prevent potential depredation issues in the area.  Two female pups, fp1549 and fp1550, with the Hoodoo Pack were caught, collared and released.

Marble Pack (collared AM1330)

AM1330 was not heard or located during the month of August. The Marble Pack consists of one collared wolf.

Maverick Pack (collared AF1291)

In August, the Maverick Pack was located within their traditional territory both on the FAIR and ASNF.  Pup tracks were documented in Maverick territory during the month of August.

Panther Creek Pack (collared F1339 and M1394)

In August, the Panther Creek Pack was been located in the east central portion of the ASNF.  The Panther Creek Pack continued to show denning behaviour and utilize the food cache that the IFT has maintained for them to supplement the pack due to the two pups cross-fostered into the Panther Creek Pack in April.

Single collared M1398

During August, M1398 was not located.

ON THE FAIR:

Diamond Pack (collared AM1249, m1447)

In August, the Diamond Pack was located in the eastern portion of the FAIR, the northwest portion of the ASNF, and non-public land in Arizona.  m1454 was found dead in Arizona, on non-Tribal land; the incident is under investigation.  Pups were documented travelling with the pack.

Tsay-o-Ah Pack (collared AM1343, AF1283, f1445)

In August, Tsay-o-Ah was located in the eastern portion of the FAIR.  f1445 travelled into ASNF occasionally.  f1445 was documented travelling with M1347.

Single collared M1347

During August, M1347 was located on the eastern portion of the FAIR and the east central portion of the ASNF.  M1347 was documented travelling with f1445.

IN NEW MEXICO:

Dark Canyon Pack (collared AM992, and f1444)

During August, the IFT located this pack within its traditional territory in the west central portion of the Gila National Forest (GNF).  AM992 was documented back in its traditional territory.

Iron Creek Pack (collared AM1240 and AF1278)

During August, the Iron Creek Pack continued to utilize their territory in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness and the southern portion of the GNF. A diversionary food cache is being maintained for the Iron Creek Pack to mitigate potential wolf-livestock conflicts.

Luna Pack (collared AM1158, and F1487)

During August, the Luna Pack remained in their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF. The IFT is maintaining a diversionary and supplemental food cache in efforts to reduce potential for further livestock depredations.

Mangas Pack (collared M1296, F1439)

During August, the Mangas Pack was located within their territory in north western portions of the GNF in New Mexico.

Prieto Pack (collared M1386, AF1251, AM1387, m1455, and f1456)

During August, the Prieto Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF.

San Mateo Pack (collared AM1345 and AF1399)

During August, the IFT documented AM1345 and AF1399 travelling together within their territory in the north central portion of the GNF and has continued to show denning behaviour.  A diversionary food cache is being maintained for the San Mateo Pack to reduce potential wolf-livestock conflicts.

SBP Pack (collared AM1284 and AF1392)

In August the SBP Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF.  AM1284 was not located during August.

Willow Springs Pack (collared F1397)

In August, the IFT documented the Willow Springs Pack within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF.

Single collared M1293

During August, M1293 was located within the Gila Wilderness in New Mexico.

Single collared AM1155

During August, AM1155 was documented traveling within New Mexico.

MORTALITIES

In August, M1454 of the Diamond Pack was located dead in Arizona.  The incident is under investigation.

INCIDENTS

During August there were seven livestock depredation reports and no nuisance reports.  Five of the seven depredation reports were confirmed wolf kills.

On August 2, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, Arizona.  The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf kill.

On August 9, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Catron County, New Mexico.  The investigation determined the cow was a confirmed wolf kill.

On August 12, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, Arizona.  The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf kill.

On August 23, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, Arizona.  The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf kill.

On August 25, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Apache County, Arizona.  The investigation determined the cow had died from unknown cause.

On August 25, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County Arizona.  The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf kill.

On August 31, Wildlife Services investigated a dead yearling cow in Apache County, Arizona.  The investigation determined the yearling cow had died from unknown causes.

COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATION

On August 4, AGFD gave a presentation on the Mexican wolf reintroduction at the 2016 Southwest Wings Festival in Sierra Vista.

On August 10 and 11, WMAT presented at the Native American Fish and Wildlife Society – Southwest Region Conference on the Navajo Reservation.

On August 11, the USFWS gave a presentation on the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program to the University of New Mexico’s continuing education program.

On August 16, WMAT presented at a community meeting in Cibecue, AZ.

On August 30, the USFWS gave a presentation on the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program to the Rio Rancho Rotary.

PROJECT PERSONNEL

In August, WMAT Mexican Wolf Tribal Youth Conservation Interns:  Hanna Kindelay, Tiexieria Clitso, Rosel Ethelbah, Marissa Gregg, and Hyram Lee concluded their internship.  Thanks for all of your dedication and work!

In August, Steven Nagy began as a volunteer/intern with the USFWS.  Welcome to the program Steven!

REWARDS OFFERED

The USFWS is offering a reward of up to $10,000; the AGFD Operation Game Thief is offering a reward of up to $1,000; and the NMDGF is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the conviction of the individual(s) responsible for the shooting deaths of Mexican wolves.  A variety of non-governmental organizations and private individuals have pledged an additional $46,000 for a total reward amount of up to $58,000, depending on the information provided.

Individuals with information they believe may be helpful are urged to call one of the following agencies: USFWS special agents in Mesa, Arizona, at (480) 967-7900, in Alpine, Arizona, at (928) 339-4232, or in Albuquerque, New Mexico, at(505) 346-7828; the WMAT at (928) 338-1023 or (928) 338-4385; AGFD Operation Game Thief at (800) 352-0700; or NMDGF Operation Game Thief at(800) 432-4263.  Killing a Mexican wolf is a violation of the Federal Endangered Species Act and can result in criminal penalties of up to $50,000, and/or not more than one year in jail, and/or a civil penalty of up to $25,000.

From Take Action! at GreaterGood Network
(news@greatergood.com)

USA: Help bring Red Wolves back from the Brink of Extinction

As you read this, there are no more than 60 red wolves in the wild, down from almost 150. That number could reach zero if the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) does not take immediate action to resume its recovery plan for these creatures.

Under relentless pressure from special interests in North Carolina, the FWS has all but abandoned its efforts to return these shy wolves to the wild. We cannot allow them to sit idly by while this species spirals toward extinction when a clear path forward for their recovery exists.
Sign our petition today to demand that they take action.

From Endangered Species Coalition
(action=endangered.org@mail.salsalabs.net; on behalf of; Leda Huta, Endangered Species Coalition (action@endangered.org))

USA: Red wolves are the most endangered canid in the worldfewer than 45 remain in the wild, all in the state of North Carolina. In spite of the crucial need to help this highly-endangered species, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) appears to be buckling in the face of political pressure from anti-wolf interests and could shut down the recovery program.

Help pressure the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to do its job and save red wolves with a $25 donation today.

Red wolves are found only in the United States, making the need for continued protection even more urgent. Once these wolves are gone, there will be none left in the wild. As recently as 2006, there were 130 wild red wolves in the recovery zone. In the last year however, the USFWS has radically scaled back its efforts and allowed that population to plummet. It is expected to make a decision on the future of the program this autumn.

Make a $25 donation to help stop the USFWS from walking away from its responsibility to protect red wolves from slipping away.

This is a crucial moment in the future of this species and there is still time to effect change, but we need your help. We are working with our member organizations and partners, on the ground in North Carolina and in Washington, D.C., to keep the pressure on USFWS Director Dan Ashe to do his job and protect endangered wolves. Recent history has shown that when the Service commits to red wolf recovery, it has succeeded and it can again. One of the primary causes of red wolf deaths was mistaken identity, but a limit on night-time coyote hunting has reduced this threat, making recovery an achievable goal. But the USFWS can’t bring red wolves back if they walk away now.

Please support our work to keep red wolves protected and recovering with an emergency $25 donation today.

Thank you for your commitment to wildlife and wild places.

From Colleen H., Care2 Action Alerts
(actionalerts@care2.com)

Ethiopian wolves need help

Ethiopian wolves are one of only three wolves that inhabit Africa, living in just a few enclaves in Ethiopia’s mountains. They look much like foxes with bushy tails and pointed ears. And soon, they could be extinct.

Please sign the petition asking the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority to protect the Ethiopian wolf before it’s too late: http://www.care2.com/go/z/e/AV5rm/zsHs/GeQa

It’s estimated that the population has dwindled to only a few hundred wolves. Diseases such as rabies and canine distemper, carried by domestic dogs, threaten the few that remain. According to the Wildlife Conservation Network, three out of four wolves affected by these diseases will die.

Clearly, these wolves need our help:

These highly social wolves often hunt and raise their pups together in packs. In order to survive, they need groups like the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority to step in and make sure they are protected. But we need to make sure the Authority hears us loud and clear so that these wolves aren’t left behind and forgotten.

Please take a moment and sign the petition to the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority demanding strong protection to help save the Ethiopian wolf.

http://www.care2.com/go/z/e/AV5rm?zsHs?GeQa

Other News

National

Nothing to report

Next door

From Johnny Rodrigues, Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force (www.zctfofficialsite.org)

ZCTV Report 1st September 2016

UPDATE

We would like to apologise for the lack of reports and for being so quiet these past few months. As you are all well aware, we lost a wonderful woman, my wife and mother to my children. It has been an extremely difficult time for us all and we have all battled to just carry on with life or even find a reason to continue at all. This year, my family and I have fallen on some really bad times. On the 10th March I had some kidney stones removed, then I lost my dearly beloved wife Cheryl on the 30th March 2016. We have also been left with a massive hospital bill, which we did not expect and do not have the funds to pay for it. My daughter and son tried to auction paintings and drawings to try and help us raise some money but we did not even get one bid.

I attended the CECIL RALLY on the 30th July and ended up contracting the

E-Coli bug in Washington DC. I spent almost my entire trip sick and in bed. It was not a pleasant experience and I would not like to go through it again.

We have also been plagued by viruses on our computers and have lost a lot of data due to this happening….which has hampered the reports being sent out, too. I am now down to one very old outdated machine so hopefully it will hold out long enough for me to continue my work. If anyone can help me with a lap top I would really appreciate it.

ZIMBABWE SITUATION UPDATE:

From February this year, the Zimbabwean Authorities and the Chinese officials have been capturing animals for export to China. We are aware of 8 lions, giraffe, hyenas, various species of antelope, baboons and vervet monkeys that have already been captured. It has also been reported to us that there are 130 baby elephants and 50 lions on order to be captured for Chimelong Safari Park, in China. Our investigators have furnished us with photographic evidence of some of the captured animals that the capture unit have beheaded, in the Hwange area, to be mounted and sold as trophies. The monkeys are being skinned and apparently being fed to the capture team too.

On our local television station ZTV, they stated recently that they are in the process of capturing elephants under the age of 6 years old to be “relocated” to Chisarira, near Binga. We find this statement very disturbing and suspicious as we feel if it was a legitimate exercise, why don’t they relocate the entire elephant family instead of ripping the babies from their Mother’s knowing full well what a detrimental effect this practice has of splitting up elephant families has. Cages have been refurbished and repainted in the Mtshipi capture area and lined up next to the bomas. We believe that these cages will be used for the capture of the elephants for export and not relocation as they have indicated.

In April this year, 10 armed elephant poachers were found in the Hwange area. Five of the poachers were killed by a pride of lions, 2 managed to escape and the remaining 3 were left seriously injured. In the lower Zambezi area, the poaching of elephants is out of control and the authorities are not containing the problem.

To end off this report, I would like to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has supported us over the years and to those of you that continue to support us by way of donations and just by being there for us. Without your valued support and assistance the ZCTF would never have been able to keep you all up to date with the situation in Zimbabwe. We are also looking for a good second hand 4×4 to assist with carrying out the investigations and follow ups. Our investigators usually travel thousands of kilometres to get the latest information that we share with you. However, we are finding ourselves in a position whereby the funding has decreased quite substantially and we are struggling to pay our undercover investigators, pay transport, accommodation and the general day to day running of the ZCTF. I fear that if we don’t get some assistance soon we may have to discontinue the work of the ZCTF due to lack of funds.

  1. 9th September 2016

YOU CAN NOW DONATE TO THE ZCTF VIA PAYPAL AND GOFUNDME

We are delighted to advise that we can now accept online donations to GoFundMe and PayPal on our Website: www.zctfofficialsite.org. all thanks to the very generous efforts of Will and Martin who have so kindly donated their time and services to help us get back on our feet. We will also be selling some paintings and drawings, which have been done by my children, and prints of Cheryl’s work too. This will be posted on the website very soon….so, watch this space. For your convenience I have attached the links to both sites.

GOFUNDME

https://www.gofundme.com/2mwz6cfb

PAYPAL – DONATE NOW

http://www.zctfofficialsite.org/donate-now

We cannot thank you all for the lovely messages of concern and encouragement that we have received over the past week. There truly are some very special people left on our planet. My family and I would like to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for everything. I would like to leave you with this quote by John Kay that I have dedicated to my late beautiful wife Cheryl…..I love you my angel……

“Take nothing but pictures,
Kill nothing but time,
Leave nothing but footprints”
John Kay

International

From Defenders of Wildlife (http://www.defenders.org)

Global: Help stop deadly wildlife crime

Elephants butchered for their tusks. Parrots smuggled from the jungle to fuel the exotic pet trade. Lizards packed into handbags.

A heartbreaking number of animal species are being traded into extinction.

The international trade in wildlife and wildlife products is big business, and the illegal trade is on a scale comparable to trafficking in drugs and guns. This month, my colleagues and I will attend a global gathering of nations in South Africa to stem the extinction epidemic that threatens so many animal and plant species.

And you can help too, right now, by signing our wildlife protection pledge:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=R9EMaMpUsJ6-fXBIcMLmRA

hen you sign, you’re affirming your commitment to do what you can – as a consumer and as an advocate – to protect the wildlife we all love.

Sign the pledge:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=w00oVHi91w0nZ4qcQZ8F0g

The gathering is the Conference of the Parties for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species in Wild Fauna and Flora, or CITES, which is an international agreement to regulate wildlife that is threatened by trade. One hundred eighty-two countries and territories have signed on since the treaty went into force in 1975.

I’d like you to be with me in spirit at the CITES meeting. I will carry the names of the people who sign this pledge with me every day. It will be an important reminder that I speak not only for Defenders, but for tens of thousands of wildlife-lovers all around the world.

In addition to reducing demand for elephant ivory, Defenders is especially concerned about a range of species that are currently in growing danger – animals like African gray parrots, devil rays, nautilus, Titicaca water frogs, Ocellate River stingrays and arboreal alligator lizards.

These animals have no voice of their own. You and I must speak for them.

Please sign the pledge today:
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Thank you so much for your care and concern.

Wolves and Wolfdogs

The risky return of the Wolf to Germany

At least 400 wolves, forming 31 packs, presently live in Germany. But what makes nature conservationists happy also sees growing concern amongst farmers, because the animals have lost their natural shyness and move closer and closer to humans and their homes.

In Neuhaus (Solling County, southern Lower Saxony), the police was called in the middle of the night because 49 young stallions had escaped from their pasture, crossed a national road in panic, demolished cars, and broken down a number of fences. After fleeing for kilometers, they had disappeared into the dense forest. Helicopters searched for the escaped horses still the next day. This incident sadly saw many animals injured, some with deep cuts and abrasions, and one horse dead.

Luckily no humans were hurt. However, the raging horses could have caused much more damage, and two of them were still missing even two weeks later.

But that is not the end of it, with the question remaining – what caused all this panic? Some in Solling have been whispering a suspicion: that was the wolf.

Nine packs live in Lower Saxony

Nine wolf packs are confirmed to live in Lower Saxony – parents, yearlings and cubs. In addition there are some single wolves and one confirmed pair that has not had cubs yet. That makes for a total of 80 wolves. Although nature conservationists applaud the return of the wolf, its growing population increasingly causes problems and sees farmers and horse breeders more and more worried.

The 49 horses belonged to the stud farm Hunnesrück that is managed by Lower Saxony’s Ministry of Agriculture. The ministry assured the public that there was no reason for “wild speculations” about the cause of the break-out and blaming wolves for it. The official statement was that there were no wolf packs or indications of single wolves to the south of Hannover in the Solling region. Purported sightings in recent years could never be confirmed.

Wolves no longer satisfied with wild prey

There are rumors about single wolves roaming the Solling region the about 140 honorary wolf consultants of the national government get to hear over and over again. They think that it is just a question of time until these rumors will become reality. Since wolves have immigrated into Saxony in the 1990’ and raised their first cubs in 2000, they have continuously expanded their range to the northwest. They are strictly protected, and their worst enemy is the traffic on roads.

Opportunistic and intelligent as they are, these wolves are no longer satisfied with wild prey animals. It is much easier to predate on domesticated ones – first it was sheep, but meanwhile they also go for calves and even young cattle, something experts thought impossible.

A dairy farm in the Cuxhaven district was hit especially hard. In August of 2014, a wolf killed two young cattle of about 250 kg each; two months later he came back and injured another one so seriously that it had to be euthanized. The lady farmer is still upset when she tells of these attacks. It had been the first evidence of a wolf attack on such a large cattle. The provincial government paid compensation and also took over the costs for improved security around the pasture by adding two more wire lines to the electric fencing, making it five wires tall. But just two weeks ago, one calf was found on this pasture with its throat ripped open and lots of chewing wounds; another calf also succumbed to its injuries. Both animals were half a year old and weighed about 150 kg each.

Dairy farmers are angry, because the public wants farmers to keep their animals on pastures, in settings as naturalistic as possible, but at the same time, politics encourage the dispersal of wolves. They feel these directives don’t go together. They say, it is the farmers paying the bill for the state’s love of wolves. Not even the 4-foot five-wire electric fence was enough to protect the animals. The culprit supposedly entered the pasture through a narrow furrow under the fence.

Hunting horses

It is not yet certain beyond doubt that these calves were really killed by a wolf. Tissue samples from the bite wounds have been sent to the Laboratory for Wild Animal Genetics in Gelhausen. If traces of saliva (genetic material) of the attacker can be isolated, it would be possible to identify the animal species. Sometimes even stray dogs kill sheep or calves, but the results of the genetic analyses are still pending.

The fact that wolves live in the Cuxhaven District, the centre of German dairy farming, is evidence for how well the animals have adapted to humans and their altered landscapes. Wolves don’t need dense forests, said Dammann-Tamke, member of the provincial parliament and president of the provincial hunting association of Lower Saxony. He warns that the animals will further lose their shyness towards humans and may continue to close in on them. Indeed, some farmers have reported seeing wolves roaming about close to villages and farms. Would they also hunt horses?

Willa Bohnet, an expert on equestrian behaviour at the Veterinary High School of Hannover, thinks it very unlikely that a single wolf would attack a large herd of horses, because these could fight back very effectively and were therefore an unattractive prey for wolves.

Why the 49 young stallions fled from their pasture might never be fully explained. Horses do not have an inborn fear of the scent of a wolf, but what they don’t know can cause them to panic.

Original source: Die Welt http://www.welt.de/politik/deutschland/article157652246/Die-riskante-Rueckkehr-des-Wolfs-nach-Deutschland.html (translated here from German and summarized)

Wolf Myths and Legends, Part 130

Journeys Of The Spirit Within

By: Bryan Jones

Awakening of the White Wolf

He rises from his long slumber.

Much time has passed since he has walked in her light, but a voice he remembers from a time ago is like a song to his ears and has awoken him from his deep sleep.

Although it has been many years he can still recall the short time they were together and it saddens his heart that he slept so long and almost forgot the spirit inside of him, but he does not weep for he is also glad to be awake once more.

As he emerges from where he has slept and stretches his tired muscles his senses become sharper and he greets the coming evening with a renewed energy and sees again with his eyes the world before him.

He begins to move through the wild and a hunger starts in his belly for it has been a long time since he has enjoyed her company and knows only one way to satisfy his growing hunger.

Once more the hunter inside him arises.

As his journey begins he stops by a pool of water to quench his thirst.

While he is drinking he looks at his reflection and contemplates what he sees.

Although he is older his heart is still young and in his eyes you can still see the glint of the youth that wants to play and run through the country without a care in the world.

But you can also see the elder who has gained the wisdom that comes with age and is more careful as he travels in this life.

As he moves on his mind returns to his ever growing hunger and he must begin his hunt. He travels on and soon comes to the top of a tall mountain and he searches for a sign to show him the way, but as he looks out over the land he sees nothing to help him in his quest.

Above him as the clouds move in the night sky he sees what he is searching for. Although she is far away he has traveled far before and as the sky clears and the stars emerge she shines brightly like a beacon in the night and he walks in her light once more.

The light of the Bright Moon.

And the White Wolf howls.

A Meeting Of A New Friend

The White Wolf howls but there is no moon.

No longer does he yearn for the sight of her brightness in the night sky for its hold on him is no longer as strong as it once was.

He has found a new reason to lift his voice to the night. His howls now echo with a new song in his heart.

In his voice a song of a new found friend now fills the woods. Although he travels alone most times and draws strength from his independence the chance of meeting a kindred spirit has elated his soul.

Seldom in his travels does he meet another who understands his ways and has traveled along the same roads in life that he has journeyed over.

The ways of the wolf are strange to most, but inside of her he sees that she also shares some of the same spirit he has in her own ways and is attracted to her because of it.

As they get to know each other better he sees in her a jumble of mixed emotions and knows that her mind and soul are troubled and wants to help her sprit mend. He listens as she tells him of the obstacles that block her happiness. He hears her spirit yearn for a simpler life.

A life without problems brought about by others who want to bring her down and it saddens his heart to feel all the sadness in her life that she does not deserve to have.

He also listens as she tells him of good things in her life and sees how her eyes light up when she speaks of her son.

He feels the emotions of a proud mother come out of her and knows that his young spirit gives her strength in times of need.

He can also see within her the beautiful spirit that is the true soul within her and knows she deserves so much more happiness in her life and wants to help her find it.

As he rests and thinks to himself how he can help mend her broken spirit and bring more light to her soul his senses remind him to be careful.

In the past his willingness to help others has hurt him and he has learned to stay cautious and guard his feelings well.

While he contemplates his new friend’s dilemma he also senses more from her soul and it confuses him.

But it also intrigues his senses for he knows the future with this new friend can be a new adventure and he decides that he will take on this task, because if he can help to brighten her spirit it will also strengthen his own spirit and be good for them both and that makes him glad.

Once again the White Wolf howls.

Readers’ Contribution

A Wolfdog Diary

By Erin

Hurray, our road has been completed, well, almost I have to say, because although the tarmac is on and it now looks like a decent road, they are still busy to “repair” the damage they have done with all the digging and big machines to the strips of ground in front of the individual properties. They brought in truckloads of sand to make the ground even with the road again, which again caused great stress to the pack (and us) with trucks and front-end loaders moving up and down the road all day long. We now don’t have a sand road any longer that would cause tons of dust to settle everywhere during the dry season, but now all the grass and other plants that had been growing in front of the properties have been buried, and what remains is an about 3-m wide strip of desert along both road sides where nothing grows at present and will not before it starts raining.

On top of that they have now realised that rainwater cannot run off the road because apparently their planning did not include something like a drainage system. About four weeks ago, we had two days of heavy rain and even hail (absolutely strange for this time of the year), and that had resulted in the road being under water in some places for a few days, so that they had to pause their work until it had dried up. I guess that must have given them a wake-up call, and they started right away to take out the newly laid kerb stones in places, dig up the soil again in front of some properties, and take out an about 20-cm wide strip of the new tarmac along the kerbs to make space for some or other gutter system that is supposed to deal with rainwater. Although all this is happening on the opposite side of the road, because the tarmac is slanted to this side, it is still causing noise and again involves machines and people moving up and down the street. I don’t know when or if this will ever come to an end, considering how long they have been busy with this road already, but at least it seems that the pack got used to it at least to some extent and now responds much more relaxed rather than freaking out every time they hear a truck or see a worker. But still, I cannot wait for all of it to disappear; it’s bad enough that most people driving down our road now think it has been turned into a dragster race track that is to be taken at full speed, which is something we and the pack have to get used to as well.

But enough of that; it’s now spring up here, and although day temperatures are more like summer, the nights are still rather like early spring. Ted uses Sundays to finish the work on his new workshop and I’m busy in the garden once more. Ascar II and Kajack II are happy about us spending so much more time outside and think it is very funny to steal our tools and run off with them. For her part, Taima thinks of this as rather childish and is more interested in hunting pigeons and chasing lizards. And she has (once more) figured out a way to open the door to the old greenhouse to check out whether any birds have got stuck in there. Every now and then birds will walk in there and then cannot find their way back out. They will then fly around inside, knocking over flower pots in the process, and settle on the plant benches for a short rest before they fly up again to try and find an exit. Hearing them, Taima will just dig her teeth into the horizontal wooden bar at the bottom of the fairly heavy door, lift it from its arresting mechanism in the ground, and pull it open far enough for her to squeeze through, and Kajack II and Ascar II will happily follow her. If I’m lucky enough to be nearby, I will hear what’s going on and open the door and foil flap wide enough for the bird to fly out before one of the three can catch it, but if this is not the case I will only find out when I see the open gate or one of the kids running around with a bird in his or her mouth with the other two in hot pursuit. Luckily I don’t have any valuable plants in there anymore, because you can imagine what it looks like inside after the three have been chasing that poor bird around until one of them eventually got it.

I have now moved a big rock in front of the door to stop Taima from pulling it open, but I guess it will not take long before she will find another “entry”. There is never a dull moment in this household, and whenever I think they have outgrown the one or other nonsense, they will come up with something new. It looks like they have used the winter to think up new tricks, and now they have to try it out in practice. Take Ascar II for an example – as a youngster, he loved to steal the couch cushions and chew them up, so that I had to take them away or put them into places too high for him to reach them. After a while he dropped this habit, and although the cushions were back on the couches he has been completely ignoring them for more than two years. Next month he will turn 3 years and guess what? He has rediscovered his old hobby and is after my cushions again, biting off the buttons or tearing out the zips. These guys seem to relive their puppy stages every few years again, no matter how old they are.

Will be continued…