Volume 10, Issue 125, March 2015

SAFHOWL

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

Volume 10, Issue 125, March 2015

From the Editor’s Desk

Let’s see what we’ve got for you this month.

Another instance of double wolficide has occurred at a South African wolf sanctuary, and again two very friendly ambassador wolves were the innocent victims. We knew these two personally, and their senseless loss is heartbreaking. Our thoughts are with their human partner.

Wolf news from the US are once more dominated by perverted atrocities and powerplays at legislative levels. Green thinking, conserving a nation’s ecological wealth, and even science appear to count for next to nothing compared to individual and industrial interests. If it takes a president’s veto to stop the destruction of very large tracts of nature for a pipeline, you know exactly where the priorities lie. However, I bet you, his successor will be differently inclined and render this victory of sense over greed temporary.

Amongst others, dear true Johnny voices his frustration over the birthday bash of the greatest racist African dictator of our time and chooses clear words. I hope these won’t see him end up in jail – or worse… I may add that I recently heard that the European Union were intending to slack their sanctions against Zimbabwe. How this can be justified is beyond me, but I guess there might be an increased need for this country’s huge copper reserves behind it.

We have a very interesting summary of scientific research on Coywolves, that is natural Coyote/Wolf hybrids, in a region where you might not really expect them.

A tale of a wolf, told from his perspective and illustrating vital details of wolf society, rounds off this month’s newsletter.

Enjoy,
Ed.

News from the Wolf Front

National

We were informed of the lethal poisoning of two tame (ambassador) wolves at the Husky Romy Rescue Station and Wolf Sanctuary in Reitz, Freestate Province, during the night from 10 to 11 March. Anyone who might have noticed something untoward during this night or with other relevant information is requested to please come forward and help with nailing the sick bastard(s) responsible. Interestingly, the incident happened just days after the ballistic report on the shooting of two other tame wolves at the sanctuary in 2014 was completed and handed over to the prosecutor’s office.

International

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

  1. USA: Idaho: You need to know

If you love wolves like I think you do, you need to know the truth.
Wolves are in mortal danger and under constant attack in states like Idaho. Twenty years of painstaking progress in reintroducing wolves to the Lower 48 and promoting wolf recovery could come to a tragic end, unless you and I protect them.
Wolves need you, and so do we! Your support for Defenders of Wildlife is the best investment you can make to protect wolves and other vulnerable wildlife:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=MGswsKWDVKv5LfmlAdjlwg

I’ve never seen such a relentless attack on wolves and wolf conservation as we’re seeing today.
Just last week, members of Congress introduced bills to strip wolves in Wyoming and the Great Lakes region of Endangered Species Act (ESA) protection.
I fear they are just getting started – it could be only a matter of time before legislation is introduced to delist nearly all gray wolves in the Lower 48 and bar protections for other critically imperilled species.
But with your help, we will weather this storm of hatred, ignorance and bloodshed.
Your generous support will give us the critical resources to carry on in this fight:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=H1oysWUlCx5VorXUv5ZHAA

Thanks to you and other supporters, Defenders led the successful campaign to reintroduce wolves to the Northern Rockies. With your support we’ve gone to court repeatedly, and won, to make sure wolves get the legal defence they deserve. We’re pioneering new, non-lethal strategies for managing wolves and livestock to co-exist in order to protect wolves from being needlessly killed.
And with you at our side, we’ll turn away this latest barrage of hatred and anti-wolf persecution. Thefuture of wolf recovery hangs in the balance.
We can’t do it without you:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=cMhgMO_-Xroy7gSussVUPg

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for your compassion and generosity.

  1. USA: Help save America’s forgotten Wolves!

You and I are almost out of time to avoid a heartbreaking tragedy.
Two different American wolves could become extinct in the wild within the next decade – unless we act now. Wild populations of red wolves and Mexican gray wolves live 2,000 miles apart but could share a similar tragic fate.
Help us save America’s forgotten wolves, and other imperilled species, with an urgent contribution to Defenders of Wildlife
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=7_b_0CNol6-TnRrqQKRl1Q

Mexican Gray Wolves – Native to the U.S.
Despite their name, Mexican gray wolves are native to both the U.S. and Mexico!
Their fur a mix of gray, rust, black and cream colours, these smaller gray wolves once roamed throughout the south-western United States. Slaughtered as vermin, they were wiped out in the wild by the 1980s.
In 1998, I personally oversaw the release of eleven Mexican gray wolves from captivity – the first of their kind in the wild for many generations. At last count, there were only 109 in the wild lands of Arizona and New Mexico – these beautiful animals are hanging on by a thread.
With your help, the Defenders team has led the fight for Mexican gray wolf survival. We have helped ranchers coexist with wolves, gone to court to make sure the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) does the right thing, and showed up and spoken up wherever we were needed. Now, the lobos are facing grave new challenges.
Your urgent support will help us keep the pressure on FWS to finally save the lobos:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=RqFKWZMQ7VaQ3zUZcMcGKw

Red Wolves: A Fatal Resemblance to Coyotes
Even smaller than Mexican gray wolves, red wolves once roamed from Pennsylvania to Florida. Today, fewer than 100 animals survive in a small section of eastern North Carolina.
These slender, rusty gray wolves look a lot like coyotes which share the wolves’ habitat. Cases of mistaken identity may explain why at least 50 of these critically endangered wolves have been gunned down in recent years.
In November, Defenders won a temporary reprieve for red wolves, halting night hunts for coyotes in red wolf territory. But now, FWS is considering giving up on red wolf recovery altogether!
Your contribution will help our all-out mobilization to breathe new life into red wolf recovery efforts:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=zmX0THCrbbOGkMqslt3_yQ

I know you simply cannot imagine a world without these wolves. It’s a future we can avoid, if we all do our part.
Thanks for all you do!

  1. USA: Shocking: Despicable Anti-Wolf Bills Advance in Congress

You don’t have to be a lawyer to understand how downright diabolical and desperate this is.

Recently, two bills were introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives to strip wolves in four states, including Wyoming, of any protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

Congressional action to delist wolves in Wyoming and the Great Lakes is shocking and misguided – these decisions should be based solely on science and not politics!

Please help us fight back and make a generous donation today:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=jSa-R57gqMKz9_kwJDSS_w

This kind of bare-fisted power politics makes a mockery of wildlife conservation.If passed, these bills could mark another tragic milestone in undermining wolf recovery in America.
We’re fighting these shameful efforts tooth and nail. And if you love wolves like I do, I need your help!
Please make an urgent donation to help Defenders protect wolves and other imperilled wildlife:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=VMc_M2JW_8mBb0SEWeg2Eg

H.R. 843 already has 10 co-sponsors and in one sentence writes wolves in the Great Lakes out of the most important wildlife protection law the nation has ever enacted. If this bill passes, each of the affected Great Lake states would have the power to “manage” wolves within its borders subject to no minimal recovery standards.
H.R. 884, which already has 15 co-sponsors, goes even further. It adds Wyoming’s embattled wolves to the Congressionally unprotected list. And to add insult to injury, it concludes that the forced delisting “shall not be subject to judicial review.”
Those seven words would prevent any court, even the Supreme Court, from reinstating ESA protections, no matter how grave the situation became. 
That’s more than wrong. It is Congress acting at its worst by ignoring the best available science and making critical biological decisions on its own.
We are the voice for wildlife– and we are your voice too.
Your support today could make a world of difference for our wolves, and for imperilled wildlife everywhere.
Can I count on you?
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=YxOiZpq5BtEw8rURjN_w2w

  1. USA: A new wolf massacre in Idaho

We’ve just learned that federal gunmen have aerially shot 19 wolves in remote Northern Idaho at the request of the state. The killings took place on U.S. national forest land in order to artificially boost elk numbers to benefit sport hunters and outfitters.
This is a travesty pure and simple.
Please help us stop the killing with an urgent donation to Defenders of Wildlife:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=MYKCQY6Fgy0uSI6JxzGo1w

Defenders will take whatever action is necessary to stop this tragedy.
Defenders is the only national organization with staff on the ground in Idaho who not only worked to help restore wolves, but who are actively working at the statehouse and state wildlife commission to testify against actions threatening wolves.
Are you as angry as I am that the federal government is hiring out its employees to Idaho to kill wolves from the air?
Please help with a generous donation to protect wolves and other vulnerable wildlife:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=0KhUiWp7eYrGslBCLUeMuQ

The federal wildlife kill-for-hire agency, ironically called “Wildlife Services”, has received hundreds of thousands of dollars from Idaho to carry out the state’s relentless wolf killing agenda. That this latest killing took place on federal public lands only compounds the outrage.
And while the federal government spent millions of dollars helping to restore and recover wolves in the Northern Rockies, it is now helping Idaho slaughter wolves to boost elk populations, causing the situation for wolves to grow more dire.
The number of breeding pairs of wolves surviving in the Idaho wild has been plummeting ever since the state was given back control over wolves. In 2011, there were 40 breeding pairs in the state, but by the end of 2014, estimates projected that number as having declined by 45% to 62%. Based on these plummeting numbers of breeding pairs, the future of Idaho’s wolves is increasingly grim.
If you love wolves as much as I do, you’ll want to do everything possible to protect them from these appalling attacks by federal gunmen.
Your support matters more than ever. Can I count on you to help:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=HpF_WYa70DOC9kfxIjLb5Q

Thanks for standing with us to protect wolves and other imperilled wildlife.

From California Wolfcenter (californiawolfcenter@yahoogroups.com)

Mexican Wolf Blue Range Reintroduction Project Monthly Update

Endangered Species Updates December 2014, January 1-31, 2015

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), 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 http://www.azgfd.gov/wolf or by visiting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website at http://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 visiting http://www.azgfd.gov/signup. This update is a public document and information in it can be used for any purpose. The Reintroduction 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 weekly wolf telemetry flight location information or the 3-month wolf distribution map, please visit http://www.azgfd.gov/wolf. On the home page, go to the “Wolf Location Information” heading on the right side of the page near the top and scroll to the specific location information you seek.

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

The IFT continued efforts to document the overall wolf population this month with track counts and visual observations being obtained on known packs. Food caches and camera traps were also being deployed in an effort to document the uncollared portion of the population.

Project personnel completed the Arizona portion of the end-of-year population count on January 23. The New Mexico portion of this count began on February 1 and the combined results of the Mexican wolf minimum population estimate for 2014 will be available in February. As a result of survey and capture efforts associated with the end-of-year population count, the collared population at the end of January 2015 consisted of 55 wolves with functional radio collars dispersed among 19 packs and 7 single wolves.

Note: In accordance with Standard Operating Procedure 27.0, the end-of-the-year population count is a minimum count with no range of numbers or associated statistical confidence intervals. The count includes three components:

1. All current radio-collared wolves and their pack associates being monitored as of December 31 of each year;

2. Radio-collared wolves whose collars are not functioning, but for which evidence exists indicating they were likely to have been on December 31, as determined by the IFT;

3. Uncollared wolves confirmed by IFT personnel anytime during November, December and January.

On January 18, the IFT captured M1342, a single wolf who has been travelling with the Elk Horn Pack, it was captured, re-collared and released back into the Elk Horn Pack territory.

On January 18, the IFT captured mp1382, from the Bluestem Pack re-collared and released it back into the Bluestem Pack territory.

On January 18, the IFT captured a single wolf, designated m1394, who was travelling with f1339 of the Bluestem Pack. Wolf m1394 was processed, collared and released near f1339 in Arizona.

On January 19, the IFT captured and re-collared AF1280 of the Hawks Nest Pack. AF1280 was processed and released back into the pack territory.

On January 19, the IFT captured a single wolf, designated f1395, who was travelling near M1290 of the Hoodoo Pack. The wolf was processed, collared and released near M1290 in Arizona.

On January 20, the IFT captured AF1042 from the Bluestem Pack. This wolf was fitted with a new collar and released back into the pack territory.

On January 20, the IFT captured m1331 from the Bluestem Pack. The wolf m1331 was observed limping by members of the IFT in December. This wolf was taken to the project veterinarian after it was captured in January for medical attention. The medical evaluation revealed the wolf had a broken rear foot. This wolf was subsequently released back into its packs territory.

On January 21, the IFT captured M1161 who was travelling with single f1332. This wolf was fitted with a new collar and released near f1332.

On January 21, the IFT captured and removed AF1305 who had dispersed from the Maverick Pack and was travelling with single wolf m1336 from the Maverick Pack. Wolf AF1305 will be temporarily held in captivity to prevent it from breeding with a sibling wolf, m1336.

IN ARIZONA:

Bluestem Pack (collared AF1042, AM1341, m1330, m1331, f1333, f1339, f1340 and mp1382)

In January, the Bluestem Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the central portion of the ASNF. The IFT documented twelve wolves in the Bluestem Pack in January. During the annual helicopter survey the IFT captured and re-collared AF1042 and m1331. Wolf m1331 had a broken foot and was taken to a vet for medical treatment. Wolf f1339 has been located separately from Bluestem from most of January. On January 19, an uncollared wolf was observed travelling with f1339 during the annual helicopter survey. The uncollared wolf was captured and collared and released near f1339. The newly collared wolf is now m1394 and is considered a single wolf.

Elk Horn Pack (collared AF1294 and M1342)

In January, AF1294 was located within its traditional territory in the northeast portion of the ASNF in Arizona. M1342 from the Maverick Pack has continued to travel with AF1294 throughout the month. On January 18, the IFT captured and re-collared M1342. The wolf was processed and released back into Elk Horn territory. On January 25, the IFT obtained pictures from a trail camera, of two uncollared pups associated with the Elk Horn Pack.

Hawks Nest Pack (collared AM1038, AF1280 and mp1383)

During January, the Hawks Nest Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the ASNF. On January 19, the IFT captured and re-collared AF1280. AF1280 was processed and released back into the pack territory. There were 2 uncollared pups documented with Hawks Nest during the annual helicopter survey.

Hoodoo Pack (collared M1290 and f1395)

In January, M1290 was located south of its typical territory and was located in the area northwest of Noble Mountain in Arizona. During the annual helicopter survey the IFT observed an uncollared wolf travelling with M1290. The uncollared wolf was captured, collared and designated f1395. Wolf f1395 was then released near M1290.

Maverick Pack (collared AM1183, AF1291, and F1335)

During January, the Maverick Pack travelled within their traditional territory both on the FAIR and ASNF. During the annual helicopter survey the IFT observed 3 uncollared wolves travelling with the Maverick Pack.

Rim Pack and Maverick Pack (collared AF1305 and m1336)

In January AF1305 and m1336 continued to travel together in the south-central portion of the ASNF throughout November. On January 21, the IFT captured and removed AF1305 temporarily to captivity to prevent breeding between the wolf and its sibling, m1336.

Single f1332 (Collared)

Wolf f1332 has remained in Arizona and has travelled the south central portion of the ASNF. During the annual helicopter survey f1332 was observed travelling with collared wolf; however the collar was not functioning. On January 21, The IFT captured the wolf with the non-functioning collar and determined the wolf was M1161 who has not been observed or documented since December of 2009. M1161 was re-collared and released near f1332.

Single M1161 (Collared)

On January 21, The IFT captured the wolf with the non-functioning collar and determined the wolf was M1161 who has not be observed or documented existing since December of 2009. M1161 was re-collared and released near f1332.

ON THE FAIR:

Tsay o Ah Pack (collared M1343 and AF1283)

During January, the Tsay o Ah Pack was located on the FAIR.

Tse ighan lige Pack (collared AM1249, fp1389 and f1388)

During January, the Tse ighan lige Pack was located on the FAIR.

IN NEW MEXICO:

Canyon Creek Pack (collared AM1252 and AF1246)

During January, AM1252 was not located. AF1246’s collar stopped functioning and the wolves have not been located since January 25.

Coronado Pack (collared M1051 and mp1350)

Throughout January the IFT located M1051 in south-central portions of the Gila Wilderness. Wolf mp1350 has typically been located in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness separate from AM1051.

Dark Canyon Pack (collared AM992, AF923, M1293 and mp1354)

Throughout January, the IFT located this pack within its traditional territory in the west-central portion of the GNF.

Fox Mountain Pack (collared AM1158, AF1212, and mp1384)

During January, the IFT documented the Fox Mountain Pack within their traditional territory in the northwest portion of the GNF. In January AF1212 was located dead. The incident is under investigation.

Iron Creek Pack (collared AM1240 and AF1278)

In January, 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.

Lava Pack (collared M1285 and F1295)

Throughout January, M1285 and F1295 have been located together travelling in the northwest portion of the Gila Wilderness.

Luna Pack (collared AM1155, AF1115, and m1337)

In January, AM1155, AF1115 of the Luna Pack remained in their traditional territory in the north-central portion of the GNF. Wolf m1337 continued to display dispersal behaviour and was last located in early-January.

Mangas Pack (collared M1296)

In January, M1296 travelled between the northern portion of the GNF in New Mexico and the north-eastern portion of the ASNF in Arizona.

Prieto Pack (collared AM1387, AF1251, mp1386, fp1392)

Throughout January, the Prieto Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north-central portion of the GNF. On January 25, a dead cow and a dead calf were investigated by Wildlife Services near Rainy Mesa. The cow was determined to have been killed by wolves; the depredation was assigned to members of the Prieto Pack. Wildlife Services determined the calf was a probable wolf kill.

San Mateo Pack (collared AF903 and m1345)

During January the IFT located AF903 travelling with m1345 within the traditional territory of the San Mateo Pack.

Willow Springs Pack (collared AM1185, AF1279, m1338, mp1385, fp1390, and mp1391)

Throughout January, the IFT has located the Willow Springs Pack in their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF. Wolf mp1391 was not located in January and m1338 continued to display dispersal behaviour; roaming throughout the GNF and into Arizona.

M1282 (collared)

M1282 wasn’t located during January and is now considered fate unknown.

M1284 (collared)

Throughout January, M1284 was located traveling the northern-central portion of the GNF.

MORTALITIES

In January AF1126 was located dead in New Mexico. The incident is under investigation.

In January AF1212 was located dead in New Mexico. The incident is under investigation.

INCIDENTS

During January there were three livestock depredation reports and no nuisance reports in the BRWRA.

On January 25, Wildlife Services investigated one dead cow in New Mexico near Rainy Mesa. The investigation determined the cow was killed by wolves.

On January 25, Wildlife Services investigated one dead calf in New Mexico near Rainy Mesa. The investigation determined the calf was a “probable” wolf kill.

On January 28, Wildlife Services investigated a dead bull in Raspberry Basin in Arizona. The bull died of unknown causes.

COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATION

On January 9, a presentation was given to the New Mexico Society for Range Management at the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge headquarters. Approximately 25 people were in attendance.

On January 9, IFT personnel gave a presentation to the “Friends of the Forest” group at the Red Rock Ranger District Office in New Mexico. There were 70 people in attendance.

PROJECT PERSONNEL

No activity to report.

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.

2. Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project Monthly Update

Endangered Species Updates; February 1-28, 2015

CURRENT POPULATION STATUS

Project personnel completed the 2014 end-of-year population count on February 13. The specific minimum population estimate for 2014 is 109 Mexican Wolves in Arizona and New Mexico. As a result of survey and capture efforts associated with the end-of-year population count, the collared population at the end of February 2015 consisted of 61 wolves with functional radio collars dispersed among 18 packs and three single wolves.

Note: In accordance with Standard Operating Procedure 27.0, the end-of-the-year population count is a minimum count with no range of numbers or associated statistical confidence intervals. The count includes three components:

1. All current radio-collared wolves and their pack associates being monitored as of December 31 of each year;

2. Radio-collared wolves whose collars are not functioning, but for which evidence exists indicating they were likely to have been on December 31, as determined by the IFT;

3. Uncollared wolves confirmed by IFT personnel anytime during November, December and January.

On February 2, the IFT captured an uncollared wolf pup from the Fox Mountain Pack. The wolf was collared, designated mp1396 and released back into the Fox Mountain Pack territory.

On February 2, the IFT captured mp1384, from the Fox Mountain Pack. The wolf was re-collared and released back into the Fox Mountain Pack territory.

On February 2, the IFT captured a female wolf pup associated with the Willow Springs Pack. The wolf was collared designated fp1397 and released back into Willow Springs Pack territory.

On February 3, the IFT captured and collared mp1347 of the Dark Canyon Pack. The wolf pup was one of two pups cross-fostered into the Dark Canyon Pack in 2014. The wolf was processed and released back into the pack territory.

On February 3, the IFT captured a male wolf pup associated with the Luna Pack. The wolf was designated mp1398, processed, collared and released back into the Luna Pack territory.

On February 4, the IFT captured m1336 from the Maverick Pack. This wolf was removed to captivity to prevent the animal from breeding with its sibling and pair it with a genetically valuable female.

On February 4, the IFT captured AF1115 from the Luna Pack. The wolf was re-collared, processed and released back into the Luna Pack territory.

On February 5, the IFT captured M1285 from the Lava Pack. The wolf was fitted with a new collar and released back into the Lava Pack territory.

On February 6, the IFT captured AM1158 from the Fox Mountain Pack. The wolf was processed, re-collared and released back into the Fox Mountain Pack territory.

On February 6, the IFT captured an uncollared female wolf pup from the San Mateo Pack. The pup designated fp1399, processed collared, and released back into San Mateo Pack territory.

On February 6, the IFT captured AF1251 from the Prieto Pack. The wolf was re-collared and released back into the Prieto Pack territory.

IN ARIZONA:

Bluestem Pack (collared AF1042, AM1341, m1330, m1331, f1333, f1339, f1340 and mp1382)

In February, the Bluestem Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the central portion of the ASNF. Wolf f1339 continues to travel separate from the Pack with Single m1394 and has been located on the SCAR for most of February. In February the IFT observed f1340 separate from the Bluestem Pack and travelling with another collared wolf. The pair was observed south of Greens Peak in Arizona. Unfortunately the collar on the wolf travelling with f1340 is not functioning. The IFT has started the predation study for winter 2015 and has been investigating GPS clusters associated with the Bluestem Pack.

Elk Horn Pack (collared AF1294 and M1342)

In February, AF1294 and M1342 were located within their traditional territory in the northeast portion of the ASNF in Arizona.

Hawks Nest Pack (collared AM1038, AF1280 and mp1383)

In February, the Hawks Nest Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the ASNF. For the 2015 winter predation study the IFT started investigating GPS clusters associated with the Hawks Nest Pack.

Hoodoo Pack (collared M1290 and f1395)

In February, M1290 was located south of its traditional territory and was located in the area northwest of Noble Mountain and west of Nutrioso in Arizona.

Maverick Pack (collared AM1183, AF1291, m1336 and f1335)

During February, the Maverick Pack travelled within their traditional territory both on the FAIR and ASNF. Wolf m1336 has been located separate from Maverick and was traveling with its sibling AF1305. Wolf m1336 was captured during the end-of-the-year helicopter operation and removed to captivity temporarily to prevent the wolf from breeding with its sibling and to facilitate pair-bonding with a genetically valuable captive female.

Single f1332 (Collared)

In February f1332 was located dead in Arizona. The incident is under investigation.

Single M1161 (Collared)

In February M1161 was located travelling with f1332 in the east-central portion of the ASNF. After the death of f1332 this month, M1161 has been travelling back and forth between New Mexico and Arizona.

Single m1394 (collared)

In February, this wolf was located travelling with f1339 from the Bluestem Pack. Both wolves were located on the SCAR throughout February.

ON THE FAIR:

Tsay o Ah Pack (collared M1343 and AF1283)

During February, the Tsay o Ah Pack was located on the FAIR.

Tse ighan lige Pack (collared AM1249, fp1389 and f1388)

During February, the Tse ighan lige Pack was located on the FAIR.

IN NEW MEXICO:

Canyon Creek Pack (collared AM1252 and AF1246)

During February, AM1252 and AF1246’s have not been located.

Coronado Pack (collared AM1051)

In February the IFT located AM1051 in south-central portions of the Gila Wilderness. Wolf mp1350 has typically been located in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness separate from AM1051 and is now considered a single wolf.

Dark Canyon Pack (collared AM992, AF923, M1293, mp1354 and mp1347)

Throughout February, the IFT located this pack within its traditional territory in the west-central portion of the GNF. During the helicopter operation the IFT captured and collared mp1347. Wolf mp1347 was one of two cross-fostered pups from the summer of 2014.

Fox Mountain Pack (collared AM1158, mp1384 and mp1396)

During February, the IFT documented the Fox Mountain Pack within their traditional territory in the northwest portion of the GNF. During the helicopter operation the IFT captured and re-collared AM1158 and an uncollared wolf pup. The wolf pup was designated mp1396 processed and released back into the Fox Mountain Pack territory.

Iron Creek Pack (collared AM1240 and AF1278)

In 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.

Lava Pack (collared M1285 and F1295)

Throughout February, M1285 and F1295 were located together travelling in the northwest portion of the Gila Wilderness. M1285 was captured during the helicopter operation and was re-collared and released back into the Lava Pack territory.

Luna Pack (collared AM1155, AF1115, m1337 and mp1398)

In February, AM1155, AF1115 of the Luna Pack remained in their traditional territory in the north-central portion of the GNF. During the helicopter operation the IFT captured AF1115 and an uncollared wolf pup. AF1115 was re-collared and released back into Luna Pack territory, and the uncollared pup was processed, designated mp1398 and released back into the Luna Pack territory. In February, the IFT began investigating location clusters associated with the Luna Pack for the winter 2015 predation study. Wolf m1337 has not been located during the month of February.

Mangas Pack (collared M1296)

In February, M1296 travelled within the northern portion of the GNF in New Mexico and east of the Gila National Forest boundary. Several times in February this wolf was located in close proximity to the San Mateo Pack.

Prieto Pack (collared AM1387, AF1251, mp1386 and fp1392)

Throughout February, the Prieto Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north-central portion of the GNF. During the end-of-the-year helicopter operation AF1251 was captured, re-collared and released back into the Prieto Packs territory.

San Mateo Pack (collared AF903, M1345 and fp1399)

During February, the IFT located AF903 travelling with M1345 within the traditional territory of the San Mateo Pack. During the end-of-the-year helicopter operation the IFT captured an uncollared pup associated with the San Mateo Pack. The wolf was designated fp1399 and released back into the San Mateo Pack territory.

Willow Springs Pack (collared AM1185, AF1279, mp1385, fp1390 and mp1391)

Throughout February, the IFT located the Willow Springs Pack in their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF. Wolf mp1391 has not been located for three months and is now considered fate unknown.

M1284 (collared)

Throughout February, M1284 was located travelling the northern-central portion of the GNF.

M1338 (collared)

Throughout February, M1338 was located travelling in the central portion of the ASNF. M1388 has been located separate from its pack for three months and is now considered a single wolf.

mp1350 (collared)

Throughout February, mp1350 has been located in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness. mp1350 has been located separately from AM1051 for three months and is now considered a single wolf.

MORTALITIES

In February f1332 was located dead in Arizona. The incident is under investigation.

INCIDENTS

During February there were 12 livestock depredation reports and one incident reported where a canine-like animal bit a person in the recovery area.

On February 4, Wildlife Services investigated one dead cow on the Deadman allotment in New Mexico. The investigation determined the cow was killed by wolves.

On February 4, an incident was investigated by the USFWS and Wildlife Services that involved a member of the public reportedly being bit by a canine like animal on the Deadman allotment in New Mexico. The incident is still under investigation.

On February 10, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow near Canyon Del Buey in New Mexico. The investigation determined the cow was killed by a wolf.

On February 12, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow near the Cow Springs Ranch in New Mexico. The investigation determined the cow had been killed a wolf.

On February 14, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow near the Maynard Ranch in New Mexico. The investigation confirmed the cow had been killed by wolves.

On February 17, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow/calf pair near Spur Lake Basin in New Mexico. The investigation concluded the cow/calf pair died of unknown causes.

On February 18, Wildlife Services investigated an injured dog near Aragon New Mexico. The investigation determined the dog had been attacked by wolves.

On February 23, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf near Stray Horse in Arizona. The investigation determined the calf probably died due to the cow stepping on the calf while trying to protect it from coyotes.

On February 26, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf near Spur Lake Basin in New Mexico. The investigation confirmed the calf had been killed by a wolf.

On February 28, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf near Spur Lake Basin in New Mexico. The investigation confirmed the calf had been killed by a wolf.

On February 28, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf near Spur Lake Basin in New Mexico. The investigation confirmed the calf had been killed by wolves.

On February 28, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow and calf near Spur Lake Basin in New Mexico. The investigation determined the cow and calf had probably been killed by wolves.

On February 28, Wildlife Services investigated a dead yearling heifer near Eagle Peak in New Mexico. The investigation confirmed the heifer had been killed by wolves.

COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATION

On February 19, the Middle Management Team Executives met in Phoenix.

On February 20, the Middle Management Team met in Phoenix.

PROJECT PERSONNEL

Dan Tomasetti, a volunteer for the USFWS, completed his internship at the end of February. Thanks Dan, for all your hard work!

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 relevant to report

Next Door

From Johnny Rodrigues, Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force (www.zctfofficialsite.org)

EXPORT OF BABY ELEPHANTS, 20th February 2015

To date we haven’t heard any more about the export of the baby elephants which were captured in Hwange National Park. If they have already left the country, we don’t know about it but we have heard that China has ordered either 80 or 100 elephants. We would like to sincerely thank everybody who has tried to help us to prevent the export. We really appreciate your efforts and we hope they will succeed.

MUGABE’S 91ST BIRTHDAY PARTY

This weekend, Mugabe is having a huge party at Elephant Hills Hotel in Victoria Falls to celebrate his 91st birthday. Apparently 20 000 people are expected to attend and a vast array of wildlife meat will be on the menu. They will be killing elephants, buffalo, kudu, warthogs etc to feed the guests. We are disgusted about this. Mugabe once gave a speech on TV saying that he looks after all the animals in the country, right down to the insects. There are so many people starving in Zimbabwe and the people invited to the party will not be those who are starving.

GRACE MUGABE’S GAME FARM

It’s common knowledge by now that Grace Mugabe has evicted over 1 000 peasant farmers in the Mazowe area and taken the land to start a “big 5 game reserve”. She demanded that National Parks fund and erect a game fence which they did. At a cost of over one million dollars, one wonders where they got the money from as they apparently don’t have any money. The first animals to take up residence in the new game farm was a herd of 100 zebra and shortly after arriving there, they broke through the fence and ate all the crops in the surrounding area. If she can’t keep zebra confined to the game park, we wonder how she will keep elephants and buffalo. It will also be interesting to see how she is going to keep leopards who will easily be able to escape.

2. TWO RHINOS KILLED, 27th February 2015

 Two rhinos, a cow and her calf were killed in the Save Conservancy and their horns were taken.

TUSKS AND RHINO HORN FOUND

29 elephant tusks and 2 rhino horns were recovered at Tambora National Park. Either Zambian or Zimbabwean poachers are suspected but no arrests have been made.

MUGABE’S BIRTHDAY PARTY

The birthday party was postponed and took place on the 28.2/1.3. weekend. Various wild animals were donated for the 20 000 guests to eat such as 3 elephants, 1 lion, buffalo, sable, warthog and crocodile. It is really amazing that locals and poachers are prosecuted for killing animals and yet Mugabe is allowing all these animals for his birthday feast. It seems he is no better than a poacher himself.

 3. INFORMATION ON EXPORTATION OF BABY ELEPHANTS 13th March 2015

We have recently been informed that a lady by the name of Li Song is involved with the exportation of the baby elephants in Hwange National Park. We believe she brought some wealthy Chinese people into the country in connection with the exportation of the elephants and she is apparently connected with high ranking officials in the government ministry. We have also heard that she is associated with a questionable luxury safari camp in Mana Pools and is a co-director of ECIS Investments. This company is the owner of Eagle Tannery which we believe is in Marondera.

There is far too much commercialisation in areas which used to be reserved for wildlife only. For example, Li Song has built or is building a 36 room lodge in Mana Pools which is a UNESCO heritage site. This means that there is less room for the wildlife to roam and too many people milling about. This will also increase the poaching situation. It seems that National Parks are only interested in making money and not paying attention to conservation and the needs of the animals. At the moment, that area in Mana Pools is inaccessible during the rainy season and we are worried that they may decide to tar the roads which will destroy the beauty of the place. Zimbabwe is at risk of losing their heritage site status with UNESCO. They have already been warned once before and now they are continuing to break the rules. The commercialisation of wildlife areas is reducing the amount of space which is supposed to be reserved for the animals. In Zimbabwe, when animals end up in a confrontation with humans, the animal is normally shot and labelled a “problem animal”.

International

USA: Take Action: Thank President Obama for the Keystone XL Veto

With the stroke of his pen, President Obama took an important stand yesterday for wildlife and for science. By vetoing the bill that would have forced approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline, the President has said “No” to Big Oil and other special economic interests that have no regard whatsoever for the wildlife and habitats you and I hold dear.
Take action – join us in thanking the President for his bold stand:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=J25MIT0T_URQzpWudIwXZQ

The Keystone XL Pipeline would be a disaster waiting to happen for wildlife and habitats along its entire proposed 875-mile traverse through the heart of our country. The impact of an oil spill along that route could be devastating.
And, it would prolong the era of dependence on dirty fossil fuels at precisely the time we need to be leading the way toward cleaner, more ecologically sustainable energy sources.
The Keystone XL Pipeline is dangerous for wildlife and local communities and will only advance climate change.
Please thank the President for his courageous decision:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=Hg6xSpTBbEcPKtMlNsx8lQ

Wolves and Wolfdogs

The story of the Coywolf

Last year, the retired professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Michigan, Phil Myers, heard stories told by Cheboygan County farmers about odd, oversized animals that looked larger than a coyote but smaller than a wolf, and hunted in packs. Since that sounded more than just strange, he wanted to hear and see for himself.

Researchers based at the UM’s Biological Station in Cheboygan County had found dens and a place they thought could be a rendezvous point. A rendezvous point is a place where wolves come together in the evening to sleep and get together as a pack to go off hunting. This was the place Myers chose one night last August for his observations; he parked his pickup about half a kilometre from the spot and listened.

As the full moon came up, one of these strange animals started howling. It was neither the yipping sound of a coyote nor the full voice of a wolf, but rather a hoarse, sustained call. About five minutes later, he heard a bark coming from the right, then one from the left. He knew that he was surrounded by these animals, and that they were no dogs – these were pack members meeting at their rendezvous point.

What Myers had experienced that night was an encounter with a unique, fairly unknown and misunderstood coyote hybrid known as the eastern coyotes or Coywolves. These animals are to the larger extent coyotes, but have a small percentage of wolf blood running through their veins that stems from an unlikely mating of these two species about a century ago. And although it might rather sound like a legend, Coywolves do exist through the whole northeast of the USA and eastern Canada. In the northeast of lower Michigan, their existence has been scientifically confirmed through blood-testing and DNA analyses.

Coywolves are generally a little larger and heavier than their western coyote counterparts, but still much smaller than the smallest North American wolves. They look like coyotes, but show wolf-like characteristics in their faces and fur.

The range of Coywolves has been identified as stretching from the Great Lakes east to the far south (Virginia), but very little is known about their numbers and behaviour, and whether it is different from that of pure coyotes. The Cheboygan County farmers however strongly believe that they have seen wolves.

Coyote expert Stan Gehrt, professor of wildlife ecology at Ohio State University, rejects the term “Coywolf”, doesn’t even like to call them hybrids, because this gives the impression that they would be close to a 50/50 cross of wolf and coyote. He says that they are eastern coyotes, and that they are, besides of a small genetic difference, still just nothing else but eastern coyotes.

He had trapped and tracked hundreds of Midwestern coyotes and many eastern coyotes in Nova Scotia, and could not find any difference between the two.

But farmers and biologists, who encountered Coywolves up close in the Lower Peninsula say they have some wolf-like features. In 2010. an animal was discovered in the Pellstone and Cheboygan area that left unusually large tracks in the snow. This triggered the interest of scientists who thought that a wolf might have appeared in the Lower Peninsula. The last time the presence of a wolf had been confirmed south of the Mackinac Bridge was in 2004, in Presque Isle County, and there were more reports of wolf sightings since then that lead to surveys searching for wolves in the northern Lower Peninsula.

Photos of the trail cameras installed in 2010 showed wolf-like animals. In July 2010, a USDA wolf biologist trapped a male pup in Cheboygan County, and after taking blood tests the pup was ear-tagged and released. A little while later, a coyote trapper caught two half-grown animals and contacted the DNR because of the obvious difference (to him) from typical coyotes. Again, blood samples were taken and the animals fitted with radio collars.

One researcher got up close to the Coywolves trapped in October, and said she had never seen an animal like that before. According to her, the nose was a little narrow for a wolf, but the feet were large like a wolf’s. They were cubs of that season, females, and tipped the scale at between 19 and 22 kg, which is pretty much, even for an adult female coyote.

After several weeks of tracking, the radio signal of one of the collars transmitted a mortality signal. When this collar was found later in a ditch it was clear that it had been cut off, and that the female wearing it had presumably been poached. The other female is still alive and followed by Myers and his class at the UM Biological Station.

The genetic results from the three animals’ blood tests showed that all three were from the same litter, and more coyote than wolf.

Since thepercentage of wolf DNA found in the blood tests is rather low, many scientists presume that their interspecific breeding must have occurred in the early 1900s, and most likely in Ontario, when western coyotes migrated east from the Great Plains. Some split off and headed north of the Great Lakes into Canada, others moved south to Ohio. Based on the Coywolves’ range as it is now known, it was presumably a coyote in this northern group without a mate of its own species that must have mated with an eastern wolf. From the mitochondrial DNA type it is known that this wolf must have been a female.

The populations of the coyotes that had migrated eastwards to the north of the Great Lakes and started to interbreed with wolves there, grew and spread much faster than those without wolf DNA to the south. Although highly unusual, coyotes, wolves and even dogs have been known to interbreed on occasion and produce viable and fertile offspring.

Usually wolves kill or at least chase them out of their territories and ranges, but there is no scientific consensus that the wolf-coyote mating occurred long ago and not again since. A study in 2012 based on the blood results of the three captured Coywolves in northern Michigan showed that their hybridization could have occurred in the Lower Peninsula, e.g., when a recolonizing wolf encountered a coyote and mated with it in the absence of another wolf.

Last year researchers from the UM biological station tracked radio-collared Coywolves and found their range to be slightly larger than a typical coyote’s but still smaller than a wolf’s.

Coywolves have been observed to hunt in packs and even go for larger prey animals like white-tailed deer successfully, but that is something conventional coyotes also occasionally do, and the size of the range is more likely driven by the availability of prey. One researcher claims that the idea of the 5% wolf DNA having such an impact on the morphology and ecology of these animals, should be subjected to some rigorous testing, and that it would be more reasonable to presume it is just not going to have that much effect.

There is still a lot to learn about these animals, and one of the study points is whether the small percentage of wolf DNA will start working its way into western coyotes, or whether it will be diluted away.

Myers said that despite the belief that Coywolves are more likely to take down a deer, he is not aware of any instances of attacks on farm animals such as cattle or sheep in northeast lower Michigan. Management and regulation of these animals could become complicated, since the hybrids cannot be confirmed without DNA testing and are therefore simply treated as coyotes in Michigan.

While coyotes can be legally hunted and trapped almost all year round, wolves are an endangered species, and that makes everything pretty complicated. Scientists tell people that if an animal looks like a wolf, it should be treated like one, so that if coyote hunters think it could be a wolf they should leave it alone.

When it comes to Coywolves, people and scientists are split into two camps. The one thinks that hybridization is bad, because it dilutes the genotype of the two species that are hybridizing, so that the wolf and coyote genotypes will both be lost in the end. The others think that places like the Northern Lower haven’t had an apex predator for close to 100 years and that the deer population has grown out of control, something deer hunters do not agree with. According to them, there are not enough deer. The fact is that the numbers are nowhere near where they were 100 to 150 years ago.

There will always be one group who hate them both, who always hated coyotes and strongly opposed (and still oppose) the growth of the wolf population. And then there is the other group that feels that it is great to get a more natural and balanced ecosystem in the forests. The eastern coyotes are fascinating animals, and the native Indians used to call the coyote the trickster, saying it had the ability to change shapes.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is currently conducting a wolf survey in northern lower Michigan, looking for reports of wolf tracks or sightings from the public. Coywolf information is also welcome, and the DNR would appreciate getting reports of animals that show wolf-like characteristics in the northern Lower Peninsula to make it possible to find out how many and where animals like these may exist.

For more information or reporting sightings you can contact Keith Matheny at 313-222-5021 or kmatheny@freepress.com on the wolf — and coy wolf — watch in northern Lower Michigan

For the full article go to: http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2015/02/28/coywolf-coyote-wolf-hybrid/24186739/

Wolf Myths and Legends, Part 113

Thratch

by Alex McCarthy

I am a wolf. I have been called many names by man, pestilence, pest, witch, but they are not right.

My name is Thratch.
I am part of the Shadow Mountain tribe.
I once was sent away by my father, but I returned, strong and proud. My father would not apologize, and he attacked. This is my story.

The first thing I saw in this world was a small tunnel. Three walls were made of rock and stone and snow, but the fourth was a bright shining light. My mother did not let me go near this wall, but every day, I, alone, rejected from play with the other pups, saw my father and other wolves enter and exit through this hole. They kept bringing food, and then left. As I and my brothers and sisters grew stronger, I stood out more and more. My dark fur grew darker, until, if I laid down in shadow, I could hide myself from Rabbitchaser and the other pups who tormented me. My ice-blue eyes grew more blue each day, till finally I could stare Rabbitchaser down. That was one of my finest qualities. I had a hypnotizing stare, not unlike a snake. I could stop a rabbit in its tracks by staring at it. Then one fate full day, as I ran with Snowfire, my only friend, the entire pack came to me. My father, Darkshadow, looked at me with a sneer.

“You are to leave, Thratch, leave and never return. If you do, I will kill you myself.”

I felt myself trembling with anger. I bared my teeth, but then caught myself. If I attacked my father now, even Snowfire would shun me, even if my father did not kill me himself. I turned around and blazed up the trail, a dark arrow spinning up the mountain. At an out hanging I turned and looked at the wolves still standing there. I opened my mouth to howl.

“Wait for me, Darkshadow, I will return. Wait for me, Darkshadow, I will return. Wait for me, Snowfire, I will return. Wait for me, Snowfire, I will return.”

I saw my father gathering wolves to come after me, so I ran. I ran for three days till I found an area bountiful with caribou. I stayed there for a year, hunting caribou and growing stronger and smarter, more cunning. I also developed an unusual talent. I could see things that I knew hadn’t happened, but would. I learned that if I tried to usurp my father’s position, then I would triumph, and at the time win over Snowfire, one of my greatest hopes, but if I attacked my father, my firstborn would do the same to me, and forever on for the rest of existence.

I battled on this with myself for almost a month, then I returned to Shadow Mountain. As I looked down, I saw my father sitting in the middle of the circle of my pack. As I ran down the side of the mountain, I howled;

“Darkshadow, I have returned. Darkshadow I have come to right the wrong.”

My father saw me coming, and tried to rouse the wolves to attack me. I halted.

“Darkshadow, I have returned to take my place in the tribe. I am your son. Accept me.”

My father growled and attacked in answer.

I lunged below his charging body, and shoved him in the air with my paws.

He flew into Shadow Mountain lake, and before we could move to him, he sank below the lake.

I turned to Rabbitchaser, my old rival, only to see him grinning.

“Good brother, Thratch. We have starved for the last year since you left, many of us died, including your mother.”

I started to nod, when I saw the young pups running back and forth. I pointed to them, and asked who their mother was, if mine was dead.

Rabbitchaser gave me a pained look. He beckoned, and I followed him. He led me to a den, where Snowfire was laying, feeding the new pups. I felt pained, looking at her. Rabbitchaser growled in agreement.

“Your father asked if she would be the new female alpha, but she refused. He forced her, and…well.”

Just then, Snowfire looked up. She saw me and stared like I was a ghost. I ran into the den and laid down in front of her. We licked each other, and I told her the whole story.

It is half a year later, and I am now the alpha male. My firstborn, a lively pup by the name of Longtooth, is growing up, and I sense soon I will die. However, life is short, but joyful, and I don’t want to waste any of it. Thank you for reading my story. I feel like playing with my pups.

Readers’ Contribution

A Wolfdog Diary

By Erin

Nothing new to report.

… will be continued