Volume 11, Issue 135, January 2016

SAFHOWL

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

Volume 11, Issue 135, January 2016

From the Editor’s Desk

A Happy New Year to all who love and appreciate the wolf.

2016 starts where 2015 let off – with dirty tricks and the absolutely senseless killing of wolves (and other predators). First prize, as always, goes to the US, and you can only get sick to the stomach reading the news in our International section below.

Over the festive season, we became aware of another country that seems to strive to match them: Norway. Now, I have always been suspicious of this nation for their insisting on continuing whaling, and this now confirms to me that they must indeed be lacking a gene or something. We have compiled a brief overview of the situation of the thirty or so wolves that have dared to recolonize this vast and empty country.

We also have a nice wolf tale, and Erin reports on her Xmas with her furry kids (and Ted).

Let’s hope that 2016 will be the year when people realise that predators have a right to living on this planet just as much as stupid people do.

Enjoy this month’s newsletter,

Ed.

News from the Wolf Front

National

Nothing to report

International

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

  1. USA: About 292 wolves are dead so far

State sponsored wolf killing is underway in the Northern Rockies. About 292 wolves in the Northern Rockies have been trapped or gunned down this year with other wolves being killed by state and federal agencies. And the carnage is just getting started.

You and I are the voice of the wolves and other imperilled wildlife. And our voice has never been more urgently needed.

Raise your voice for wolves and the wild with a generous donation to Defenders of Wildlife:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=aHXNkmL8vP9Gw7fM3rUfUw

Match in effect: Make your donation before midnight on December 31st and our Board of Directors and National Council will match your gift dollar-for-dollar, up to a total of $150,000.

The return of these magnificent predators to the Lower 48 is one of the greatest conservation success stories of the 20th century. But wolves have political enemies, and wildlife managers who treat them differently from any other wildlife. And the voice of those who would turn back the clock and treat wolves as vermin as was the case in Wyoming grows louder and stronger.

Defenders of Wildlife was present on those winter mornings 20 years ago when the first wolves in a generation set foot in Yellowstone National Park and in the Idaho backcountry.

Thanks to you we’ve been there every step of the way, fighting for gray wolves in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, red wolves in North Carolina and Mexican gray wolves in Arizona and New Mexico.

Won’t you help us continue the fight, and double your donation today:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=SrxNYyI9XQcgpQeRj8SIeQ

You and I have celebrated successes together, like the establishment of California’s first wolf pack in nearly a century. And we’ve mourned losses, like the wanton slaughter of wolves in Idaho by federal gunners who killed entire packs at the request of Idaho officials seeking more elk for hunters in the Clearwater National Forest. Or the government trapper who was secretly killing wolves in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness two winters ago, before the public learned of and helped us stop this travesty.

It’s up to you and me now to make sure our elected leaders hear the true voice and true hearts of Americans on wolves, other imperilled species and the natural world around us.

Won’t you help today?

  1. USA: With you on our side we can’t lose

Protecting wildlife is a marathon, not a sprint.

It’s been a tough year for the wildlife we all love, but there have been positive moments too. And you are a big part of those successes!

To thank you for all you’ve done for the wild this year, we’ve prepared this inspiring short video featuring some of the highlights of 2015.

http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=g2OfYRq-wY1dW120IlwytA

With you at our side, we’ll never give up! For now, take a moment to savour the progress you helped make happen.

  1. USA: Stop the indiscriminate killing!

Wolf-haters are relentlessly pushing Congress to return us to the bad old days of treating wolves like vermin.

We can’t let that happen.

If you want a glimpse of Wyoming’s gruesome future for wolves, look at the past.

In the two years that Wyoming’s wolves were stripped of endangered species status, more than 310 of them lost their lives to bullets, snares and traps.

It can’t happen again.

Raise your voice for wolves and the wild with a generous donation to Defenders of Wildlife:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=nGpI1iZnSx2BMOOGcStPig

Match in effect: Make your donation before midnight on December 31st and our Board of Directors and National Council will match your gift dollar-for-dollar, up to a total of $150,000.

Among the first wolves killed when the shooting began was a spectacular alpha she-wolf known only as ‘06 (the year she was born). She was the magnificent matriarch of Yellowstone National Park’s Lamar Canyon Pack. People travelled from all over the world to see her.

One wildlife photographer mourned her as “the most famous, most photographed, most beloved wolf in the world.”

Three years ago this month, ‘06 was gunned down a few miles outside the park boundary. Her radio collar showed that she resided within the park 95% of the time.

If Wyoming’s wolves are once again delisted, the shooting will begin again. You have to wonder, which wolf will be next?

Defenders of Wildlife has led the charge for wolf recovery for decades. We have staff on the ground in the Northern Rockies who not only worked to help restore wolves, but are actively working at the statehouses and state wildlife commissions to testify against actions threatening wolves.

We are the most respected voice for wolves and other imperilled wildlife in our nation’s capital. Our litigators have fought in court, and won, to get stronger wolf recovery efforts nationwide.

And we are your voice for the wild.

The wolf known as ’06 captured the world’s imagination. In her memory, let’s all redouble our commitment to protecting wolves, other imperilled wildlife, and the wild places they inhabit.

Won’t you help today:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=ZWN9kD4DJ2AQjGQflfG6BA

  1. USA: Stand up for endangered animals

I won’t sugar coat it – this is going to be a tough year for wolves and the imperiled wildlife we all love.

Anti-wildlife special interests are mounting historic attacks – on wolves, on protected habitats and even on the Endangered Species Act itself.

I know you love wildlife too.

Help us get 2016 off to a strong start with a generous donation to Defenders of Wildlife:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=3wZcBdnq–pyMysD6iwzEw

Do it for the wolves.

Even as gray wolves in the Northern Rockies die by the thousands, there are other wolf populations in even more dire shape still!

In the Southwest, Mexican gray wolves (also known as lobos) are still hanging by a thread. What’s worse, anti-wolf forces in Congress have introduced an extinction bill that would terminate all recovery efforts for the lobos altogether.

In North Carolina, as few as 50 red wolves cling to survival. We need your help to ensure the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service redoubles their efforts and doesn’t cave to special interests who want wolves eradicated from the landscape.

You know us. Wherever wolves’ survival is at stake, Defenders is at the forefront of their defence. But we’re only as strong as our membership – concerned wildlife loving people like you.

We have a tough year ahead of us. The wolves need you and me, now more than ever:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=lPhXjWGwU6xvxNXdZTdVUg

Thank you so much for your passion and your commitment.

Sincerely,

  1. USA: URGENT: Idaho wolves in mortal danger

Idaho is up to its dirty tricks again when it comes to wolves, and the Forest Service let it happen.

We just learned that the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) has illegally collared four wolves in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness Area. The tracking collars could easily be used by the state to follow the wolves to their packs and kill them.

That means not just four wolves, but entire packs may be in mortal danger.

Tell the U.S. Forest Service to demand that the collars be taken off the wolves or deactivated immediately:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=0i3jB9bicgvbHmjN9DDnew

Members of the IDFG were only authorized by the Forest Service to put radio collars on elk in the Frank Church Wilderness Area. They were not authorized to collar any wolves.

Idaho now claims that while its intention was to just collar elk, four wolves were collared due to a simple “misunderstanding” and “miscommunication.” What an amazing and strange coincidence given the state’s continued efforts to slaughter as many wolves as possible.

All you need to do is locate one collared wolf, and it leads state and federal sharpshooters to an entire pack.

Since the Forest Service authorized the elk collaring in the first place, it is now up to that agency to clean up this mess.

After Defenders and other conservation groups brought a federal lawsuit two years ago to stop wolf culls in the Frank Church, the state has not gone back into that area to try to kill more wolves. The “accidental” collaring of these wolves suggests that this might now change.

Please take action for Idaho wolves – demand that the Forest Service require the deactivation or removal of the tracking collars:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=uDLFOKNKs4P5TyYtnpVNBA

Thank you for your passion and your commitment.

For the wolves,

  1. USA: CRISIS: Idaho playing dirty to kill more wolves

There’s no two ways about it – many Idaho state officials hate wolves and want to kill as many as possible.

We recently learned that the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) illegally collared four wolves in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness Area. The tracking collars could easily be used by sharpshooters to follow the wolves to their packs and kill them.

That means not just four wolves, but entire packs may be in mortal danger.

Help us fight for Idaho’s wolves and other imperilled species with a generous donation to Defenders of Wildlife:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=J9iGdiMm5nqcQLEaGUBFUQ

Idaho was only authorized by the Forest Service to collar elk. It now claims that the four wolves were collared due to a simple “misunderstanding” and “miscommunication.”

What an amazing and strange coincidence given the state’s continued efforts to slaughter as many wolves as possible.

This is only the latest chapter in Idaho’s bloody and gruesome track record of so-called “wolf management.” And it’s a warning of even more bloodshed that is likely to come elsewhere if wolves are delisted across the Lower 48!

Idaho’s at it again, and we need each and every one of you to help us in this fight to protect wolves.

Please stand up for Idaho wolves – give generously today:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=Z9GzUO2UzWgAJ0rZtIdp1A

Thank you so much for your passion and your commitment.

For the wolves,

From California Wolfcenter
(californiawolfcenter@yahoogroups.com)

Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project Monthly Update

Endangered Species Updates November 1-30, 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 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 visiting www.azgfd.gov/signup. 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

  1. Process to select release/translocation sites in Zone 1 of the Mexican Wolf Experimental Population Area

In January 2015, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) revised the regulations for the experimental population of the Mexican wolf. These revisions included expansion of the area within which Mexican wolves can disperse into and occupy, and expansion of areas on National Forest lands where Mexican wolves can be released from captivity (initial releases). Under the 1998 regulations, we could only release Mexican wolves from captivity into the primary recovery zone, which comprised only 16% of the Blue Range (the southern portion of the Apache National Forest). Restricting releases to this small area significantly constrained our ability to release additional wolves from captivity to address genetic concerns in the wild population. Releases of Mexican wolves from the more genetically diverse captive population are needed to improve the genetic health of the wild population.

Releases from captivity are now authorized by the 10(j) rule in the Apache, Gila and Sitgreaves National Forests; the Payson, Pleasant Valley and Tonto Basin Ranger Districts of the Tonto National Forest; and the Magdalena Ranger District of the Cibola National Forest. The Arizona Game and Fish Commission has directed that only translocations and cross-foster are permitted by the Commission.

Use of these new areas for the release/translocation of pairs of wolves with pups requires the identification of release sites where temporary pens would be constructed to hold the wolves while they acclimate to the new area. The Mexican Wolf Interagency Field Team is working with the Forest Service to determine the best areas for these release sites. They have developed maps showing buffers around towns, occupied dwellings, Tribal Trust lands, and Forest Service boundaries. They have also held meetings with local Forest Service permittees to gather ground-based information on each site. Based on this information, the IFT will propose a set of sites for the Forest Service to assess under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The Forest Service NEPA assessment will only address the effects of constructing the temporary pens, not the release of Mexican wolves, which was already analyzed in the Service’s November 2014 Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Revision to the Regulations for the Nonessential Experimental Population of the Mexican Wolf (Canis lupus baileyi).

Release/translocation sites on the Gila and Apache National Forests are not included in this NEPA assessment, as the release sites on those Forests have already been evaluated and approved by the Forest Service.

There are no imminent releases/translocations of Mexican wolves planned at this time. The Service and partner agencies are in the processes of developing a release/translocation plan for 2016.

  1. In July 2015, the Mexican Wolf Species Survival Plan group met in Mexico City, Mexico, and conducted genetic and demographic analyses of the captive Mexican wolf population. Recommendations for the breeding and transfer of Mexican wolves were later finalized, and include the transfer of 39 wolves among the captive institutions to facilitate housing and breeding needs for 2016. Thirty-one breeding pairs were recommended, plus an additional two pairs as potential release candidates in Mexico and two pairs as potential release candidates in the US.
  1. The Forest Service held a meeting with grazing permittees on the Tonto National Forest regarding potential release/translocation sites on August 20, 2015.
  1. The Forest Service held a meeting with grazing permittees on the Magdalena Ranger District of the Cibola National Forest regarding potential release/translocation sites on October 1, 2015.
  1. The Service participated in a Small Business Administration Hearing on the Mexican Wolf Program on October 14, 2015. The hearing was conducted by phone.
  1. The Service and Arizona Game and Fish Department gave presentations on the Mexican wolf at a meeting of the 4 Forest Restoration Initiative on October 28, 2015.
  1. The Service awarded Livestock Demonstration Grants for fy2015: Arizona Game and Fish Department received $40,000 for depredation compensation and $80,000 for preventative measures; New Mexico Department of Agriculture received $60,000 for depredation compensation and $34,000 for preventative measures, and the White Mountain Apache Tribe received $70,000 for preventative measures.
  1. The Mexican Wolf/Livestock Council disbursed the 2014 Payments for Presence of Mexican Wolves in October 2015 to qualified applicants. In Arizona, $38,000 was disbursed to 15 applicants, and in New Mexico, $47,500 was disbursed to 20 applicants. The applications for 2015 are due June 1, 2016.
  1. Due to livestock depredation, on September 23, 2015 the Service issued a management decision to remove up to two members of the Bluestem Pack if additional depredations occurred. No subsequent depredations were confirmed and the livestock have been removed from the summer range allotment. No wolves were removed. The removal order expired on November 1, 2015.
  1. The Service and Arizona Game and Fish Department met with the Arizona Cattle Growers Association on November 10, 2015 to discuss public involvement and depredation compensation programs.
  1. The Mexican Wolf Middle Management Team met November 19, 2015 to discuss updating the Memorandum of Understanding and Standard Operating Procedures.

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:

At the end of November 2015 the wild Mexican wolf population consisted of 50 wolves with functional radio collars dispersed among 19 packs and two single wolves. Members of the IFT continue pup counts this month and have so far counted 43 pups produced by 11 packs in the MWEPA.

IN ARIZONA:

Bear Wallow Pack (m1338 and f1335)

This pack continues to utilize the east-central portion of the ASNF.

Bluestem Pack (collared AF1042, m1331, f1333, m1382, m1404, f1405, and f1443)

In November, the Bluestem Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the central portion of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest (ASNF). Bluestem wolves’ f1333, m1382, m1404, and f1443 have been located in their traditional territory during the month with at least two other wolves, while m1331 has been located separate from the pack in New Mexico. Wolf f1405 has been located separate from the pack in eastern Arizona and located with M1161.

Elk Horn Pack (collared AF1294 and M1342)

In November, the Elk Horn Pack continued to make broad movements within their traditional territory in the northeast portion of the ASNF.

Hawks Nest Pack (collared AM1038, AF1280, m1383, and f1439)

In November, the Hawks Nest Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the ASNF. AM1038, AF1280, and m1383 were seen travelling together this month. Wolf f1439 dispersed from the Hawks Nest Pack and has been consistently located with Mangas Pack M1296 in the north-western portion of the GNF in New Mexico.

Hoodoo Pack (collared AM1290 and mp1441)

In November, the Hoodoo Pack remained localized in the north-central portion of the ASNF. The IFT has documented AM1290 and mp1441 travelling with a wolf believed to be AF1395, whose radio collar is non-functional.

Marble Pack (collared AF1340, mp1440, and fp1442)

In November, the Marble Pack was located in their traditional territory in the northwest-central portion of the ASNF. The IFT continued to document the Marble Pack utilizing a rendezvous site in November. AF1340 was documented travelling with four other wolves.

Maverick Pack (collared AM1183, AF1291, and f1335)

During November, the Maverick Pack travelled within their traditional territory both on the FAIR and ASNF. The IFT has documented a minimum of four animals travelling together.

Panther Creek Pack (F1339 and M1394)

During November the Panther Creek Pack has been located in the east-central portion of the ASNF.

Rim Pack (AF1305)

Throughout November, AF1305 has been travelling a wide area throughout the central portion of the ASNF.

M1161 (Collared)

M1161 was been documented travelling with f1405 from the Bluestem Pack in eastern Arizona.

ON THE FAIR:

Diamond Pack (collared 1437)

During October and November, the Diamond Pack was located in the eastern portion of the FAIR.

Tsay o Ah Pack (collared M1343, AF1283, fp 1445)

During October, the WMAT captured and collared a female pup (fp 1445). She was fitted with a GPS collar. During October and November, Tsay o Ah Pack was located in the eastern portion of the FAIR.

Single (mp1447)

During October, the WMAT captured and collared a male wolf in the eastern portion of the FAIR. During November, m1447 was located in the eastern portion of the FAIR.

Other

During October, WMAT recaptured Marble Pack AF1340 on the FAIR. No processing or collar refitting occurred.

IN NEW MEXICO:

Coronado Pack (collared AM1051)

During November, AM1051 of the Coronado Pack was not located.

Dark Canyon Pack (collared AM992, AF923, M1293, m1354, m1347, and fp1444)

During November, the IFT located this pack within its traditional territory in the west-central portion of the Gila National Forest (GNF).

Fox Mountain Pack (collared m1396)

In November, the IFT documented the Fox Mountain Pack outside of their traditional territory and traveling with f1397 of the Willow Springs Pack. Trail camera photos from November confirmed both AM1158 and m1396 were located with f1397.

Iron Creek Pack (collared AM1240 and AF1278)

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 M1285 and F1295)

In November, the Lava Pack was located in its traditional territory between the Gila Wilderness and the Elk Mountains. A diversionary food cache has been maintained to reduce potential conflicts with livestock.

Luna Pack (collared AM1155, AF1115, and m1398)

During November, the Luna Pack remained in their traditional territory in the north-central portion of the GNF.

Prieto Pack (collared AM1387, AF1251, m1386 and f1392)

During November, the Prieto Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north-central portion of the GNF.

San Mateo Pack (collared AF903 and M1345)

During November, the San Mateo Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north eastern portions of the GNF. The IFT conducted efforts to add additional collars to the San Mateo Pack in November but were not successful.

Willow Springs Pack (collared AM1185, and f1397)

In November, the IFT located Willow Springs Pack f1397 in its traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF. Documentation via remote camera confirmed both AM1158 and m1396 from the Fox Mountain Pack are travelling with f1397. AM1185 has been documented travelling outside its traditional territory.

M1284 (collared)

During November, M1284 was located by the IFT within the GNF in New Mexico.

Mangas Pack (collared M1296)

During November, M1296 was located travelling with dispersing wolf f1439 from the Hawks Nest Pack in north western portions of the GNF in New Mexico.

MORTALITIES:

No wolf mortalities were documented during the month of November.

INCIDENTS:

During November, 3 livestock depredation reports involving wolves and no nuisance reports.

On November 8, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow near O bar O canyon in New Mexico. The investigation determined the cow was killed by wolves.

On November 24, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf west of Springerville Arizona. The investigation determined the calf was killed by coyotes.

On November 30, WMAT investigated a dead cow in the eastern portion of the FAIR. The investigation determined the cow was a probable wolf kill.

COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATION:

On November 19, the Management Team met at the SO office in Springerville Arizona.

PROJECT PERSONNEL:

Sara Eno, a former USFWS volunteer, was hired as the new biologist for the FAIR. Welcome back Sara!

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 Sanctuary
(sanwild.org@mail44.suw13.rsgsv.net)

  1. SanWild is offering interested parties a unique opportunity

to work with and learn from a specialist wildlife veterinarian. Students or interested parties will shadow the vet every day from Monday to Friday as he goes about his work and will be able to learn from one of the best in South Africa.

What wildlife veterinarians do. Your chance to find out.

SanWild is offering veterinary students or anyone interested in veterinary science a unique opportunity to work with and learn from a specialist wildlife veterinarian. If this is something you would like to do you will shadow the vet every day from Monday to Friday as he goes about his work and will be able to learn from one of the best in South Africa.

This veterinarian is one of the vets most frequently used by SanWild during our wildlife rescues and also to treat many of our animals. In addition to the work that he does for SanWild he is also called out to a number or private game farms to work on a wide variety of animals amongst others elephants, hippo, sable antelope, nyala, buffalo and predators such as lion and cheetahs.

Only 5 people will be accepted in either April or July to ensure that the vet can give attention to each individual shadowing him while he performs a wide variety of veterinary services.

The following dates are available:

  • 10th to 24th April 2016
  • 3rd to 17th July 2016.

COST INVOLVED:
The cost is $1200 per person for international participants or R20 000 for South Africans.  A 50% non-refundable deposit is payable when making your booking and the balance is payable 6 weeks prior to your arrival.

All payments will be treated as a charitable donation towards our drought appeal to provide much needed funding to purchase food for the SanWild animals while we are in the midst of a terrible drought; the worst in 85 years.

For more information please email louise@sanwild.org.

  1. Additional volunteer programs available at SanWild.

Dear SanWild friend,

Recently we had an amazing opportunity extended to volunteers to shadow our veterinarian for a period of 10 days. We had an amazing response and are very grateful to each and every one that responded. The spots were filled up very quickly. At this stage we do not have any further vet-shadowing opportunities in the near future. A number of people expressed their disappointment at not being able to secure a spot.

We do however still have a limited number of opportunities for volunteers to join us to experience life on a wildlife reserve in 2016 and we decided to share the details with you if you should maybe like to take up this opportunity instead?

Running and managing a wildlife reserve is very interesting and exciting, but at the same time it is hard and challenging. Resource management include a wide variety of tasks amongst others counter poaching; determining carrying capacity of the reserve; observe game activity to determine animal behaviour under certain circumstances; providing drought relief; providing water to man-made watering points; repair, build and maintain perimeter fences; combating soil erosion and invader plants; building, maintaining and opening roads and so forth.

If any animal in the SanWild reserve is injured or orphaned, our team will respond to try and help to ensure that these animals receive a 2nd chance. Volunteers will get the opportunity to assist our Veterinarian where necessary, if and when such incidents take place.

SanWild also do operate a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation service and are called upon to capture, collect , treat and rehabilitate a wide range of animals species from time to time. Although we do not allow the interaction with wild animals in the rehab centre volunteers will get the opportunity to accompany us if and when such rescues or collections take place. If we have additional hands to help out we also do use volunteers to help to prepare food and clean out rehab enclosures. Volunteers can also become involved with the building of new rehabilitation enclosures from time to time.

I believe the above will give you a pretty good idea what to expect should you decide to join us. From our side we will show and teach you as much of the resource management of a Big Five Wildlife Reserve as we can during the time you will be spending with us.

We still have the following opportunities available in shared (2 people per safari-tent) accommodation:

  • 13 March – 1 April 2016 (6 spots available) at $1500 per volunteer for 19 nights/20 days
  • 16 -27 May 2016 (8 spots available) at $1100 per volunteer for 11 nights/12 days
  • 12 June – 1 July 2016 (5 spots available) at $1500 per volunteer for 19 nights/20 days
  • 15 – 26 August 2016 (8 Spots available) at $1100 per volunteer for 11 nights/12 days
  • 19 – 25 September 2016 (8 Spots available) at $700 per volunteer for 6 nights/7 days

The Volunteer fee will include the following:

Volunteers will be accommodated in our Bukisa Private Bush Camp situated in the heart of the SanWild Wildlife Reserve. Shared accommodation is provided on a self-catering basis in safari-style tents each with two three-quarter beds, its own bathroom and electricity.

While volunteers will be provided with groceries they are responsible for their own food preparation. The main building will be cleaned by a SanWild staff member, but volunteers will be expected to clear the table and clean the kitchen after each meal. Volunteers are also expected to make their beds and clean their own tents. A laundry service is included in our rates so there is no need for volunteers to wash and iron their own clothing.

A daily game drive is also included in your stay.

A 50% deposit is required to secure your spot and balance 6 weeks prior to arrival. a 5% discount will be given if full amount is paid within 3 working days.

Kindly please note that we only have very limited opportunities available and to avoid disappointment please email me on lizel@sanwild.org asap to reserve your spot.

Kind and warm regards

Lizel Kachelhoffer

International

From Care2 Action Alerts (actionalerts@care2.com)

Justice for Abused and Killed Spanish Hunting Dogs

Every year, Spanish hunters kill thousands of healthy dogs — and the owners are not brought to justice because hunting dogs are under Spanish laws classified as “working labour” and not as pets.

Please sign the petition asking the government to crack down on the people who are killing their hunting dogs and to amend animal welfare laws so they protect hunting dogs.
http://www.care2.com/go/t/e/AuAqN/zrlT/rSHT
Spanish hunting dogs include galgos (greyhounds), podencos, setters, pointers, and more. They are extremely gentle dogs who are good with people and eager to please. Owners kill their hunting dogs when they “embarrass” their owners who do not want to feed them, or are deemed no longer useful.
One common way of killing these dogs is to hang the dogs by the neck just high enough so that they have to support themselves using their back legs.
Eventually, the dogs get too tired to stand any longer, so they collapse and hang themselves, slowly dying in agony and terror. It’s called “The Typewriter” because of the noise the dogs’ nails make as they skitter frantically on the ground, trying to get free.
Other times, hunters abandon the dogs to starve to death or shoot them.
This is illegal, but the hunters are rarely punished for it as hunting dogs are not legally protected as pets. In fact, some don’t even know that it is outlawed, since people have been murdering their dogs in this way for generations.
It’s outrageous that people aren’t punished for these cruel killings. The laws need to protect these dogs and police need to arrest the hunters who mishandle and murder these animals. There should be appropriate laws which allow the courts to bring them to prison and punish them.
Please sign the petition to demand that the authorities crack down on the practice and keep hunting dogs safe by including all kinds of dogs in the Spanish animal welfare laws.

http://www.care2.com/go/t/e/AuAqN/zrlT/rSHT

Thank you,

Wolves and Wolfdogs

Wolves in Norway

Do you know the dimensions of Norway? Norway is a part of the Scandinavian Peninsula, and its area is slightly larger than the US state of New Mexico, with a boundary length of 2,544 km and a coastline of about 21,925 km. In other words – it’s really big! A mere 5 million people live there. The vast forests of Norway are home to many animals, amongst them brown bear, wolverine and wolf. Now, would you say that as few as 30 wolves living in such a vast country are too many? Certainly not, but the Norwegian government has a different opinion when it comes to predators like wolves. The government policy at present allows three breeding females in a designated area. No, we did not forget to add a 0 behind the 3. They are very serious about this number, although it certainly is not enough to sustain a healthy population, and we cannot help but suspect that that’s exactly what the Norwegian government has in mind.

Wolves top the league in new figures that reveal a trigger-happy community of hunters, and have emerged as the most sought-after victim for Norwegian hunters this season. A total of 11,571 people have been registered for licences to shoot 16 wolves, which gives you a ratio of 723 hunters per wolf.

The Norwegian brown bear comes second in line with 10,930 registered licence holders who are keen to hunt down 18 individuals, followed by 10,820 licence holders interested in 141 wolverines.

When comparing the number of registered wolf hunting licences of the 2015/16 season with the 2013/14 season, the numbers are quite similar, with just under 10,000 for the latter.

The hunting season in Norway starts on 1st October and ends on 31st March.

Norway has a strong tradition of hunting, and is home to more than 200,000 registered hunters, most of which have signed up for automatic notification once the licences are issued. Hunting is viewed as a thrill in Norway, and with just 500 women being registered hunters (although this number is steadily growing) definitely a male domain.

The main wolf pack has a designated habitat in the southeastern part of Norway where they cannot be hunted, but many individuals stray into other areas of the country, not knowing that they are risking their lives in doing so. Some enter into Sweden, Finland or Russia and might be the lucky ones, because those countries are more concerned with the sustainability of such a fragile animal populations. And although neither the wolf nor the bear populations are yet at the level sought by Norwegian authorities, the decision to grand hunting licences even before this level has been reached is, according to the country’s environment agency, based on the protection of livestock. Sheep farmers in Norway habitually let their flocks roam freely, even inside national parks, from spring through autumn, without shepherds, guard dogs, or any other protection measures. This obviously renders them vulnerable to predator attacks.

The internationally acclaimed wolf expert, Petter Wabakken, suspects, that although licensed hunting is part of a policy to keep predator populations under control, such populations, and especially wolves, are kept small through illegal hunting. This thought is very disturbing, especially if such a population consists of as few as just 30 animals. One can only imagine what will happen to the populations of wild animals in Norway when protection of livestock takes on a higher priority than that of wildlife. The one is bred in captivity in large numbers, and the other fully depends on the understanding and acceptance of humans – guess whose chances of survival are better in a society of trigger-happy people?

Wolf Myths and Legends, Part 122

The Huntress

by Rod_d_46

The night was brightly lit by the light of a full moon, so bright that only the brightest stars could be seen. The hunter set by his fire sipping his coffee. Looking out over the river before him, seeing the tree tops as if it were day, and the shadows they cast on the forest floor below. The hunter, a cruel man, who had befriended the Indian known as brother of the wolf, but only to learn his secrets of tracking the wolf, before killing him and dropping him from a cliff. Hired to hunt the wolf he had taken the life of all that lived on the mountain, all but the grey wolf, the one they called the huntress.

The night was alive with sounds of the small creatures – frog, raccoon, and the hunters like the owl. The hunter listened quietly, he had tracked his prey for months and knew her den was near and that she would not stray far from it for she cared for pups. So for now he waited to hear his prey, knowing the sight of the moon would be too much for her to bare, the urge to call the wind to strong. The hunter knew she was near. He thought of the reward the farmers put up on her head, not knowing that it was he not the wolf killing their chickens and their sheep, laughing at how easily they had believed that it was her. But his thoughts were abruptly interrupted by a piercing cry as the howl of the huntress breached the night. The hunter had known she was near but he had never dreamed he was so close, the cry had come from the other side of the hill. The hunter grabbed his rifle and crawled his way to the top. Looking over the hill he saw his prey, the moonlight on her silver back made her shine in its light. The hunter eased the rifle up, placing the cross-hairs on her head. Just as he was about to pull the trigger he realized she was hunting food, her nose to the ground, making small circles, sniffing and tracking. The hunter thought I will follow her to her kill. Then to her den, there I will kill the huntress, I will show her body to the farmers and collect my reward and then skin her as a prize, tack her hide to my cabin wall, and her pups I will chain to my porch and make guard dogs of them. Through the woods the huntress ran faster and faster, the hunter right behind her as she moved in and out of the shadows. The hunter began to struggle to keep up, but the huntress only quickened her pace till at last the hunter could go no more. He watched out of breath as the huntress went out of sight. How foolish he had been not taking his shot when he had the chance. As for the huntress she moved in on her prey and with a quick snap of her sharp teeth the artery in the neck of her prey laid open. She set and watched as her prey slowly died, its life blood leaving it. The hunter would not see her again, or make a prize of her skin, and her pups would not be chained to his porch. For the hunter had learned much too late that the prey the huntress hunted that night was he.

Readers’ Contribution

A Wolfdog Diary

By Erin

A Happy New Year to all of you.

Well, there is actually nothing much to report this month. We all had a nice and quiet Festive Season, with the furry kids enjoying their Xmas gifts in the shape of healthy chewing toys and a meal of sardines, which they really loved. New Year’s Eve was also rather quiet, because almost all neighbours were either out or away on holidays, and so we only heard a few distant firecrackers go off at midnight for about 5 minutes, and that was it.

The only disturbing thing that happened was that somebody had abandoned a little dog puppy of maybe 7 weeks old and most likely an unwanted Christmas gift, by throwing him over the wall of some friends of ours who run a dog kennel and a cat sanctuary a day after Christmas. Luckily, other friends of ours had been looking for a puppy after losing their two dogs shortly after each other to cancer within the last quarter of the year, and so the little one now has a good new home where he is loved and cared for. I will never understand how people can live with themselves doing such a cruel thing. Would they do the same with an unwanted child? Certainly not, or? I’m not sure; I have always been of the opinion that humans who abuse animals are also capable of setting fire to schools and eating kids. Sorry, that might sound a bit harsh, but really, are there not enough other and more humane ways of getting rid of an unwanted animal? I wish animal breeders and dealers would stand together and refuse to breed and sell animals over the Christmas season, because that alone would spare so many animals around the world so much heartache and save many animal lives.

Will be continued…