Volume 11, Issue 138, April 2016

SAFHOWL

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

Volume 11, Issue 138, April 2016

From the Editor’s Desk

Our hearts go out to our friend Johnny Rodriguez who has been on the forefront of wildlife protection in Zimbabwe for many years and tragically lost his wife and fellow conservation activist recently. We at SAFOW offer our heartfelt condolences to him.

Death is also the theme that dominates our News section, but in all instances is based on senseless, reckless, cruel, cowardly killing. Absolutely despicable.

We have a very interesting snippet on a most unusual joint venture – between Negev wolves and hyenas.

A short, touching tale rounds off our April newsletter. Sorry for its being so bloody, but this is beyond our influence.

Till next month,
Ed.

Upcoming Events

The International Wolf Center (info@wolf.org)

In June:

Wolves After Dark
Date:
 June 3-4
Time: Friday 5 p.m. – Saturday 10:00 a.m
Location: International Wolf Center
Program Rate: $70 Non-members, $63 Members

Registration Deadline: June 1, 2016

Have you ever wondered what happens after dark with the International Wolf Centre’s ambassador wolves? Here’s your opportunity to participate in “Citizen Science” by helping document important behavioural data critical to understanding Exhibit Pack dynamics. Stay overnight in the Centre!

Learn More & Register.

Wolf Pup Bus Trip
Date: 
25 June 2016
Time: Saturday 7 a.m. – 9:45 p.m.
Location: International Wolf Center
Program Rates: Non-members $109, Members $99
Register before 15 May 2016 & SAVE!
Early Bird Rate: Non-members $99, Members $89

Take an exciting day trip to the International Wolf Centre in Ely, Minnesota to see our new wolf pups!  They aren’t little for long, so come to see them when they are still cute little balls of fur. Relax on our luxury coach bus (with restroom) as we head up north for a full day of wolves and fun. The bus leaves Saturday morning at 7:00 a.m. and returns at 9:45 p.m. We will provide snacks, drinks, and wolf-centred entertainment for the ride!

Learn More & Register.

News from the Wolf Front

National

Nothing to report

International

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

  1. USA: Idaho allocates more money for wolf slaughter

You can’t make something like this up.

“I know it sounds like a lot of money, but you get in a helicopter in the air to hunt these wolves and it’s expensive.”

This was the rationale offered by an Idaho state legislator for adding yet another $400,000 to the state’s despicable wolf kill fund.

For the third straight year, Idaho officials are funnelling state taxpayers’ money for the sole purpose of killing wolves. Even when effective non-lethal tools are available to prevent conflicts between wolves and livestock, Idaho is still choosing to use their money to aerially gun down wolf families on our national forest lands.

Enough is enough. Your urgent support for Defenders of Wildlife will help us protect wolves and other vulnerable wildlife:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=Uc6BjclZiOIHmnc5Trm9zg

Many of these killings are sanctioned to artificially inflate deer and elk numbers!

Idaho’s wolves have been in mortal danger since Congress stripped them of federal protection in 2011. Since Idaho took over their management, the number of breeding pairs, which are necessary to maintain the population, has plummeted and nearly 2,000 wolves have been killed in that state.

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

Your urgent support will help us fight to end Idaho’s rogue war on wolves. Please help – before it’s too late:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=a4dg83lejJi3xb7yOflV8g

Thank you for all you do!

  1. USA: Tell FWS to do its job and save Red wolves

Unless the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) drastically changes direction, the critically endangered red wolf will go extinct in the wild in a matter of years.

After more than two decades of work restoring a population of approximately 110 red wolves to the wild, FWS has recently undermined this success through mismanagement. Today only about 50 red wolves survive in the wild, all within five counties northeastern North Carolina.

URGENT: Tell FWS to do its job and save these imperiled animals before it’s too late:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=2LFmNQmLRFqpm72TRYG_0Q

Recently, Defenders announced our withdrawal from the FWS-sponsored Red Wolf Recovery Team. The team was supposed to be the catalyst to spur red wolf recovery. But in reality, the team was not organized in a way that would allow it to succeed.

Here’s just one illustration of the problem. Recently, a member of the recovery team trapped a red wolf on their land and held it hostage for at least a day, while demanding a permit allowing him to kill wolves on his property. Ultimately, FWS retrieved the wolf, and it’s now being held in captivity. This is in the middle of breeding season – a time when every wolf is needed in the wild.

How can this team succeed when it has team members who are actively opposed to red wolf conservation? This hostility undermines red wolf recovery efforts at every turn!

Since red wolves were reintroduced to the wild in 1987, Defenders has gone to court multiple times to protect them and ensure their recovery in the wild. What has changed recently is that it’s now FWS that is undermining red wolf recovery.

URGENT: Tell FWS to act now and save these magnificent creatures:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=gL8w5O-EcKIPMU1PHByfUg

Thanks for all your help.

  1. USA: Red wolf extinction alert

The facts are clear and heartbreaking.

Unless something happens soon, the critically endangered red wolf will go extinct in the wild in a matter of years.

Only about 50 red wolves survive in the wild, all within five counties in north-eastern North Carolina.

URGENT: Please donate to save red wolves and the wildlife you love:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=MKH9Edezt4PLnI2IW4Gy9g

As you may know, these shy nocturnal predators once roamed from Pennsylvania to Florida. The red wolf was declared extinct in the wild in 1980. In 1987, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) reintroduced captive red wolves back into the wild in an effort to restore these predators.

But under constant pressure from a vocal minority, FWS has not followed through to make recovery possible. And now, wild red wolf numbers are plummeting.

Earlier this month, Defenders announced our withdrawal from the FWS-sponsored Red Wolf Recovery Team. The team was supposed to be the catalyst to spur red wolf recovery. But in reality, the team was not organized in a way that would allow it to succeed.

With your support, Defenders will keep up our efforts to save these iconic wolves. Your donations have enabled us to go to court multiple times to protect red wolves and ensure their recovery in the wild. Our field team is on the ground in red wolf country working with landowners, government officials and other stakeholders.

Won’t you donate today to help save red wolves and other wildlife you love:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=Avwkj2_q8salf1JeEKSjgg

This is a preventable extinction, and we mean to prevent it. With your help, we will.

Thanks for all your help.

  1. USA: Urgent: Help prevent the killing of wolves, bear and other wildlife

Despicable.

The state of Alaska plans to allow the killing of bears, wolves and other wildlife by baiting, snaring, killing mother bears with cubs and killing wolves raising pups on national wildlife refuges.

It must be stopped.

In 1994, Alaska adopted a slate of “predator control” measures intended to artificially inflate moose and other game animal numbers so Alaska could sell more hunting licenses!

Thankfully, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has proposed new regulations to head off the state’s reckless scheme.

Please take action today and support Alaska’s majestic wildlife:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=mjFdZClgblcGJKSOhCzulw

Alaska’s cruel “take no prisoners” approach includes:

  • Killing wolves and pups during the spring and summer “denning” season;
  • Gunning down mother bears and their cubs;
  • Baiting and snaring any black or brown bear or cub; and
  • Airborne shooting of bears and wolves by state agency personnel.

How could the state even contemplate activities like these on America’s refuges? It’s critical that FWS prohibit these sorts of practices on refuges.

Please take action today:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=Pg7lNazeyvMiMwofpPZMww

Thank you for helping to defend the wildlife we love!

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

USA: Save the Mexican Grey wolf from extinction

Mexican Grey wolves need your help.

Political agendas in four different states could drive this rare subspecies of gray wolf into extinction. New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Colorado continue to paralyze protection efforts by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the only organization that can authorize a recovery plan for this species.

The Mexican gray wolf population has dropped 12 percent in the past year to just 97 animals. We can’t let anti-wolf policies continue to wipe out this species. Urge Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to step in and help before it’s too late! Take Action.

From Capital Press

by Eric Mortenson 

USA: Death of OR-4 a sobering turn for Oregon’s wolf plan

They called him OR-4, and by some accounts he was Oregon’s biggest and baddest wolf, 97 pounds of cunning in his prime and the long time alpha male of Wallowa County’s influential Imnaha Pack.

But OR-4 was nearly 10, old for a wolf in the wild. And his mate limped with a bad back leg. Accompanied by two yearlings, they apparently separated from the rest of the Imnaha Pack or were forced out. In March, they attacked and devoured or injured calves and sheep five times in private pastures.

So on March 31, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife staff boarded a helicopter, rose up and shot all four.

The decisive action by ODFW may have marked a somber turning point in the state’s work to restore wolves to the landscape. It comes on the heels of the ODFW Commission’s decision in November 2015 to take gray wolves off the state endangered species list, and just as the commission is beginning a review of the Oregon Wolf Plan, the document that governs wolf conservation and management.

Oregon Wild, the Portland-based conservation group with long involvement in the state’s wolf issue, said shooting wolves should be an “absolute last resort.”

“While the wolf plan is out of date and under review, we shouldn’t be taking the most drastic action we can take in wolf management,” Executive Director Sean Stevens said in an email.

The commission should not have taken wolves off the state endangered species list in the first place, but it isn’t likely to revisit that decision, Stevens said.

The commission should call upon the department to not shoot more wolves until the plan review is finished, he said.

“But, more importantly, they should recognize that de-listing does not mean that we should suddenly swing open the doors to more aggressive management,” Stevens said.

The ongoing wolf plan review, which may take nine months, should include science that wasn’t considered in the delisting decision, and the public’s will, he said. It also should create more clarity on non-lethal measures to deter wolves, he said.

Publicly, at least, no one is celebrating the shootings.

The Oregon Cattlemen’s Association, long on the opposite side of the argument from Oregon Wild, said ODFW’s action was authorized by Phase II of the state’s wolf plan.

“The problem needed addressed and ODFW handled it correctly,” spokeswoman Kayli Hanley said in an email. “We acknowledge that while this decision was necessary for the sake of species coexistence, it was a difficult decision.”

Michael Finley, chair of the ODFW Commission, said the department handled the situation properly.

“I feel that the department acted in total good faith,” Finley said. “They followed the letter and the spirit of the wolf plan.”

Another conservation group, Defenders of Wildlife, called the shootings “a very sad day for us” but also said it appeared ODFW followed the wolf plan.

“The final plan is a compromise, but it is among the best of all the state plans in that it emphasizes the value of wolves on the landscape, and requires landowners to try non-lethal methods of deterring wolves before killing them is ever considered,” the group said in a prepared statement.

Amaroq Weiss, West Coast wolf organizer for the Center for Biological Diversity, said the Imnaha Pack shootings may lead to more poaching, because killing wolves decreases tolerance of them and leads to a belief that “you have to kill wolves in order to preserve them.”

Weiss agreed that coming across a calf or sheep that’s been torn apart and consumed — the skull and hide was all that was left of one calf after the OR-4 group fed on it — must be gut-wrenching for producers. But she said those animals are raised to be killed and eaten. “They don’t die any more a humane death in a slaughterhouse than being killed by a wild animal,” she said. “It’s a hard discussion to find a common place of agreement.”

She said such losses are the reason Oregon established the compensation program: to pay for livestock losses and to help with the cost of defensive measures that scare wolves away.

Weiss said Oregon rushed to delist wolves instead of doing the mandatory five-year wolf plan review first. Management changes are driven by considerations such as population counts, specifically the number of breeding pairs maintained in consecutive years. The ODFW Commission voted to take wolves off the state endangered species list in November 2015, although they remain on the federal endangered list in the western two-thirds of the state.

Like others, Weiss believes the state should have held off on such changes until it finished the mandated review of the wolf plan.

“Under Phase I, Oregon was the state we could all point to” for successfully managing wolves, Weiss said. “I would hope they look at what parts of the wolf plan are working, and look at the parts that are not working.”

Politics and policy aside, the shooting of OR-4 gave people pause. He was a bigger-than-life character; he’d evaded a previous ODFW kill order and had to be re-collared a couple times as he somehow shook off the state’s effort to track him.

OR-4’s Imnaha Pack was the state’s second oldest, designated in 2009, and it produced generations of successful dispersers. OR-4’s many progeny included Oregon’s best-known wanderer, OR-7, who left the Imnaha Pack in 2011 and zig-zagged his way southwest into California before settling in the Southern Oregon Cascades.

OR-25, which killed a calf in Klamath County and now is in Northern California, dispersed from the Imnaha Pack. The alpha female of the Shasta Pack, California’s first, is from the Imnaha Pack as well.

Rob Klavins, who lives in Wallowa County and is Oregon Wild’s field representative in the area, ran across OR-4’s tracks a couple times and saw him once.

Despite his fearsome reputation, the wolf tucked his tail between his legs, ran behind a nearby tree and barked at Klavins and his hiking group until they left.

“Killing animals four or five times your size is a tough way to make a living,” Klavins said. “Some people appreciate OR-4 as a symbol of the tenacity of wolves, even a lot of folks who dislike wolves have sort of a begrudging respect for him.”

Finland approves wolf hunt in trial cull

Authorised hunt of nearly 50 of the country’s 250 grey wolves, beginning this weekend, aims to curb illegal poaching.

Finnish hunters have been authorised to kill nearly 20% of the country’s wolf population in a controversial trial cull that begins this weekend, aimed at managing stocks.

Authorities hope the sanctioned hunt of nearly 50 of the country’s estimated 250 grey wolves will curb illegal poaching, which some rural landowners have resorted to in recent years after seeing wolves on their property, sometimes killing their dogs and livestock.

“We wish to gain experience [to see] if this could be one solution to the conflict around wolves,” Sauli Härkönen, a director tasked with hunting administration at the Finnish Wildlife Agency, told AFP.

The cull begins on Saturday, with quotas for specific regions and carried out by licensed hunters.

To protect the animal, no culls were authorised between 2007 and 2015, after the European commission accused Finland of breaching EU protection rules on the endangered species, resulting in widespread poaching in Finland.

In 2015, Finland resumed its first authorised trial hunt in a bid to address the rift between animal rights activists and landowners. The conflict escalated in 2013 when a group in the rural western municipality of Perho who saw the animals as a threat took the law into their own hands and killed three wolves. Twelve men were prosecuted and found guilty.

Poachers throughout the country’s vast and remote forests had reduced the total wolf population to between 120 and 135 animals in 2013, from an estimated 250 to 300 in 2007. Since 2013, the wolf population has rebounded to around 250, but many Finns have a deep-rooted fear of wolves.

Rural residents frequently express concern for the safety of their dogs and livestock, while some claim their children are in danger, though there have been no reported attacks on people in modern times.

Environmentalists worry the month-long cull may destroy the wolves’ genetic diversity.

The first trial cull was held in 2015 with 24 permits, and 17 wolves were killed. This year the number of permits has been nearly doubled to 46, causing an uproar among protectionists.

“The population should be at least twice as big for it to be genetically healthy,” said Mari Nyyssölä-Kiisla, head of the wolf action group of the Finnish Nature League.

From South West Wildlife (http://www.southwestwildlife.org/)

USA: Notable Humuti – Resident of Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center

Mexican gray wolf M943 is much more than his number. Born in 2005, he’s a dark and handsome wolf with striking golden eyes. The name Himuti was chosen for him by someone who knew him well. In the Hopi language, Himuti means “proud of oneself.” This wolf is all that – and more.

His mother was Tanamara (F547) and his father Picaron (M520). Theirs was a genuine love story. The Endangered Wolf Center in Missouri is where his parents lived and where he was born. His parents were lifelong companions and had three litters of pups which added to the species.

In 2009 Tanamera passed away and Picaron howled for so long that his vocal cords were permanently damaged. Faithful Picaron died in 2012 and they were reunited where wild wolves go.

Himuti was diagnosed in 2015 with a rare form of cancer. He lost a lot of weight after his surgery, but he bounced back and had a great appetite and he regained his weight and is thriving. He was a great patient and he never turned down his medication which is characteristic of other wolves. He just took the situation in stride.

Today you would not know of his serious illness as he is back to his old self. The center takes good care of Himuti and he will have a long life. Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center continues to support Himuti and has a program called Wild Family. His story is on his Wild Family page and tells the story of what he went through.
The center accepts donations to help them care for the animals like Himuti.

The Wild Family page is on their website:
http://bit.ly/1BJoL9l

From Examiner (http://examiner.com/pets)

USA: Wolf at zoo euthanized after child’s finger nipped in area not open to public

A wolf at the Menominee Park Zoo in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, was euthanized after a child entered a non-public area of the zoo and put his or her fingers through the bars – only to be nipped by a wolf, reports Fox11online:
http://fox11online.com/2015/05/26/wolf-euthanized-at-oshkosh-zoo-after-injuring-child/

The incident happened on a Friday. The unidentified child had minor injuries to two fingers.

The Winnebago County Health Department and the Wisconsin Division of Public Health called to euthanize the animal to test for rabies. The parents didn’t want their child to go through the series of painful rabies shot.

The test came back negative for the wolf.

Ray Maurer, the city’s parks director, called the incident unfortunate and said it was the first of its kind to ever happen in the zoo. Maurer stated the only way to test an animal for rabies is to analyze brain samples.

It is not known how long a wild animal needs to be quarantined before showing symptoms of rabies.

According to Northwestern.com, the wolf who was killed was named Rebel. He was one of four Grey wolf siblings who came to the zoo after the previous pack of wolves (http://www.examiner.com/topic/wolves) were euthanized because of health and age reasons. The newest wolves, who are 12-years-old, are named Sienna, Rebel, Thunder and Echo.

A later report stated one of the employees had inadvertently left a gate open, which should have been closed. As a group of people gathered in that area to observe the wolves, the mother of the three-year-old child had been taking photos when someone told her the wolf had nipped at her child’s fingers, which had been inside of the chain link fence.

Zoo visitors who donate specifically to the wolves were devastated Rebel had to bear the consequences of human error.

An investigation continues, and it is not known if any disciplinary action, changes or charges will occur.

Rest in peace Rebel. It wasn’t your fault.

Follow the National Pet Rescue Examiner on Facebook by clicking here or on Twitter. Please visit and “like” my page.

From Report Herald
(http://www.reporterherald.com/ci_29718248/wolf-sanctuary-finds-future-home)

USA: WOLF Sanctuary Finds Future Home
When Shelley Coldiron stepped into what she hopes is the future home for the WOLF Sanctuary northwest of Fort Collins, she felt at home.

“I immediately said, ‘This is home; This one works for us,'” said Coldiron, executive director of WOLF, which stands for Wolves Offered Life and Friendship. “It’s an ideal property we couldn’t pass up.”

WOLF is in the process of closing on a 180-acre site northwest of the current foothills property, which is limited in use from fire and flood damage and has limited access from a private road through an easement agreement.

Since 1995, the non-profit has been rescuing captive-born wolves and wolf-dogs and providing them with lifelong sanctuary, caring for 30 at a time.

The non-profit hopes to close on the property at the end of April or early May and will disclose the exact location at that point. To begin paying for the property with a price tag of $650,000, the non-profit has so far raised $95,000 toward the $162,500 down payment. The fundraiser officially launched in mid-March.
See the full story at: bit.ly/23bI0Cm

From KXLH.com

USA: Wildlife agents kill last of Rosebud wolf pack

A true tragedy, nothing else was even considered and then the wolves were baited as well as set up with snares. No range riders, dogs, no non-lethal means…

All six members of the Rosebud wolf pack have been killed, a spokesman for the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks said on Friday.

The pack was targeted after recently killing two yearling heifers on a ranch near Absarokee.

Authorities said the same pack had killed a yearling on another area ranch in January and two calves last year.

The first two wolves were killed after being caught in leg-hold snares on March 30.

Gibson said two more wolves were killed about a week ago, and the last two were killed on Friday; both wolves were wearing radio collars..

When the cattle deaths were reported, it was prompting officials with Montana Wildlife Services of the U.S. Department of Agriculture to set leg-hold snares near the carcasses.

The two wolves were part of a Rosebud pack that killed a yearling on a nearby ranch in January and two other calves last year.

Due to the problematic nature of pack, the decision was made by Wildlife Services to eradicate all six wolves in the pack.

According to Bob Gibson of Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, the situation remains ‘ongoing.’

FWP reports that 44 cattle were killed by wolves in Montana last year, and another 14 were injured. ( whether or not there’s a shred of truth to this, who knows….)

For the full story go to: bit.ly/1Sl2GzP

USA: From White Wolf Pack
(http://www.whitewolfpack.com/)

A true love story unfolded at Kisma Preserve in Mt. Desert, Maine, USA. It all began when 2 young wolves were turned over to the sanctuary, when their owner who had intended to profit from them by using them to breed for wolf hybrids, decided they couldn’t handle them. As Heather from the sanctuary described it, “It was thought they had been snatched from the wild for the purpose of breeding them with dogs to make hybrids – a big fad in America. It causes many problems, it’s purely for a fad and people don’t realize the difficulties of caring for these wild breeds. Then they either dump them or hand them over to us.”

Gandalf, the male was only one, and Kahlani, the female was two, and it was thought they both were too young to have babies. Wolves in the wild do not breed until they are at least two years old. So it was a massive shock when Kahlani gave birth. The people at the sanctuary didn’t even know that Gandalf had it in him and suddenly they had a little wolf pup on their hands. But the miraculous birth suddenly took a sad turn when because of her young age, Kahlani’s maternal instincts failed to kick in and she ignored the new arrival. Also Gandalf didn’t have a clue what to do and they were really concerned that he might hurt the pup who was named Beldaran.

In a desperate attempt to get the pup some maternal care, the sanctuary team placed Beldaran with another canine at the center – a tiny Yorkshire Terrier, named Mia, who had just finished raising her own litter and was still lactating. But the Yorkie wasn’t interested either and made every effort to avoid the pup that was being pushed on her. But all was not lost yet because that’s when Ulrok stepped up to help out. Ulrok was a fully-grown Rottweiler who at 18 months old weighed in at 150lbs.

Ulrok was a rescue dog whose previous owners had imported him from Europe and gave him up when they decided they couldn’t cope with him. But ever since Beldaran’s arrival, Ulrok had been trying to get involved in everything with the wolf pup. He would clean her and when she would whimper he would bound over to make sure she was ok.

Ulrok had such a huge interest in her that they decided he would be their best option for Beldaran. They would bottle feed the wolf pup and Ulrok would be her companion and mother/paternal substitute. It worked out brilliantly, in fact they slept together, played in the sun and even howled at the moon in unison. The ‘Mutt and Jeff’ duo soon became a huge attraction at the sanctuary.

The staff also made the decision that once Beldaran was full size and could fend for herself, they would gradually introduce her to a group of adult wolves at the park to make sure she stayed all wolf and was not alienated from her own kind. But for the time being it was a perfect match. Dogs and wolves are very similar biologically and they both need strong social ties when they are developing.

They however also felt that the wolf pup’s bond with Ulrok would always be there. After all their time together they would surely never forget each other. It was a true love story that had touched the hearts of everyone who visited the preserve. As Heather stated, “You just can’t be in a bad mood when these two are around. It’s impossible to look at them and not feel good.”

 From California Wolfcenter
(californiawolfcenter@yahoogroups.com)

Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project Monthly Update

Endangered Species Updates February 1-29 2016

The following is a summary of Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project (Project) activities in the Mexican Wolf Experimental Population Area (MWEPA) in Arizona, including the Fort Apache Indian Reservation (FAIR), San Carlos Apache Reservation (SCAR), and New Mexico.  Additional Project information can be obtained by calling (928) 339-4329 or toll free at (888) 459-9653, or by visiting the Arizona Game and Fish Department website at www.azgfd.gov/wolf  or by visiting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website at www.fws.gov/southwest/es/mexicanwolf .  Past updates may be viewed on either website, or interested parties may sign up to receive this update electronically by 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

The Fish and Wildlife Service gave a presentation on the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program to the US Forest Service’s Region 3 Leadership Team in Tubac, AZ on February 4, 2016.

The Fish and Wildlife Service and the Arizona Game and Fish Department met on February 8, 2016 with the Black Mesa and Lakeside Ranger Districts on the A/S National Forest and grazing permittees to discuss proposed release/translocation sites on the Sitgreaves National Forest, in Zone 1 of the Mexican Wolf Experimental Population Area.  No initial releases of Mexican wolves are proposed on the Sitgreaves National Forest in 2016.

The Mexican Wolf Interagency Field Team completed the 2015 Annual Count and Capture operation on February 6, 2016.  The count resulted in a minimum of 97 Mexican wolves in Arizona and New Mexico.

The IFT ceased the population count and capture operations on January 28, to review capture protocols and procedures after the deaths of two Mexican wolves (F1295 and F1340) which both died during the annual population count and capture operation this year. Both have been sent to the Fish and Wildlife Service’s Forensics Laboratory in Ashland, Oregon, which will conduct necropsies to determine causes of death for each wolf. The techniques, protocol, and drugs used were the same as those used throughout this year’s count and last year’s count. F1295 was darted and processed on January 23, released back into the wild and died four days later. F1340 was captured on January 28, and died within minutes of being darted. This year, 15 additional male and female wolves were successfully darted, processed, collared and released back into the wild.  After completing the review, the Service determined that it was appropriate for the helicopter operations to continue on January 30.  Due to this temporary suspension, some mechanical issues, and a few days of inclement weather, the helicopter operations were extended through the following week to ensure a complete population count for 2015.  The 2015 population survey concluded on February 6.

The Fish and Wildlife Service and the Arizona Game and Fish Department gave presentations at the USDA- Wildlife Service’s Non-Lethal Predator Damage Management Workshop on February 18, 2016 at Hon Dah.

The Fish and Wildlife Service met with the Navajo Nation Fish and Wildlife program In Window Rock, New Mexico on February 25, 2016 to discuss management of Mexican wolves.

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

Project personnel concluded the end-of-year population count on February 6.  As a result of survey and capture efforts associated with the count, the collared population at the end of February 2016 consisted of 50 wolves with functional radio collars dispersed among 18 packs and 2 single wolves.  The overall minimum population estimate for the wolf population in 2015 was 97.

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 alive on December 31, as determined by the IFT;

  1. Uncollared wolves confirmed by IFT personnel anytime during November, December and January. During February, the IFT located M1284 travelling with dispersing wolf f1392 from the Prieto Pack within the GNF in New Mexico. On February 4, during the annual population survey, M1284 was captured and recollared.

IN ARIZONA:

Bear Wallow Pack (collared m1338 and f1335)

In February the Bear Wallow Pack was located within their traditional territory in the east-central portion of the ASNF and the northeast portion of SCAR.

Bluestem Pack (collared AF1042, AM1341, m1331, f1333, m1382, m1404, and f1443)

In February, the Bluestem Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the central portion of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest (ASNF).  Bluestem wolves’ AM1341, m1382 and f1443 have been located in their traditional territory during the month, while m1331, f1333, and f1405 have been located separate from the pack.  Wolf m1331 has been located in the north-east portion of the GNF in New Mexico in January.  Wolf f1333 has been travelling with the Hoodoo Pack. Wolf m1404 has been documented travelling with f1405 of the Buckalou pack. The IFT has been conducting a predation study on the Bluestem Pack during the month of February, visiting and analyzing potential kill sites and associated prey items.

Buckalou Pack (collared M1161 and f1405)

Wolf m1404 from the Bluestem pack was documented travelling with f1405 during this month.  M1161 has a non-functional radio collar.  The IFT has been unable to document M1161 travelling with the Buckalou Pack since m1404 began travelling with f1405.

Elk Horn Pack (collared AF1294 and M1342)

In February, 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, M1383, and mp1453)

In February, the Hawks Nest Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the ASNF. Wolf f1439 has remained with M1296 of the Mangas Pack in the north-western portion of the GNF in New Mexico and is now officially part of the Mangas pack. AF1280 died this month.

Hoodoo Pack (collared AM1290 and mp1441)

In February, the Hoodoo Pack remained localized in the north-central portion of the ASNF.   AM1290 has been located travelling with Bluestem F1333. AM1290, F1333, and mp1441 have continued travelling together this month.

Marble Pack (collared AM1243, mp1440, and fp1442)

In February, the Marble Pack was located in their traditional territory in the northwest-central portion of the ASNF. The IFT has been conducting a predation study on the Marble Pack during the month of February.

Maverick Pack (collared AM1183 and AF1291)

During February, the Maverick Pack was located within their traditional territory both on the FAIR and ASNF.  The IFT has observed 2 uncollared wolves travelling with the pack this month.

Panther Creek Pack (F1339 and M1394)

During February, the Panther Creek Pack has been located in the east-central portion of the ASNF.  The IFT observed 2 collared wolves with this pack in January.

ON THE FAIR:

Diamond Pack (collared M1249, f1437, mp1447, and mp1454)

During February, the Diamond Pack was located in the eastern portion of the FAIR and the north portion of the ASNF. M1249 and f1437 spent the majority of the month on the FAIR and mp1447 and mp1454 spent the majority of the month on the ASNF.

Tsay o Ah Pack (collared M1343, AF1283, fp1445)

During February, the Tsay o Ah Pack was located in the eastern portion of the FAIR.

IN NEW MEXICO:

Coronado Pack (collared AM1051)

AM1051 of the Coronado Pack was not located in February.

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

During February, the IFT located this pack within its traditional territory in the west-central portion of the Gila National Forest (GNF).  M1293 was not located in February and mp1444 displayed movements suggesting possible dispersal. M1347 was located outside the Dark Canyon Pack territory for most of February.

Fox Mountain Pack (collared m1396)

In February, the IFT documented the Fox Mountain Pack within their new territory in in the north central portion of the GNF.  Wolf m1396 was documented travelling with AF1115 of the Luna Pack in mid-February.

Iron Creek Pack (collared AM1240 and AF1278)

During February, the Iron Creek Pack continued to utilize their territory in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness and the southern portion of the GNF.

Lava Pack (collared mp1446)

In February, the Lava Pack was located in its traditional territory between the Gila Wilderness and the Elk Mountains

Luna Pack (collared AM1155, AF1115, and m1398)

During February, the Luna Pack remained in their traditional territory in the north-central portion of the GNF.  The IFT continues to document dispersal behaviour of m1398 travelling mainly in portions of the GNF in New Mexico. In mid-February, AM1155 was documented separate from the Luna Pack and AF1115 was located travelling with m1396 of the Fox Mountain Pack. During February AF1115 and m1396 of the Fox Mountain were involved in the death of two cows; the IFT has initiated hazing efforts and established a diversionary food cache.

Prieto Pack (collared m1386, mp1445 and f1392)

During February, the Prieto Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north-central portion of the GNF.  On February 4, during the annual population survey, an uncollared wolf was captured, collared, released and assigned studbook number mp1455.  Wolf f1392 has continued to be located with single wolf M1284 in the north-central portion of the GNF during February.

San Mateo Pack (collared M1345)

During February, the San Mateo Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north eastern portions of the GNF.

Mangas Pack (collared M1296, F1439)

During February, M1296 was located travelling with dispersing wolf f1439 from the Hawks Nest Pack in north western portions of the GNF in New Mexico.  In February, f1439 became a member of the Mangas Pack, having been located travelling with M1296 for three months.

M1284 (collared)

MORTALITIES

In February, AF1280 from the Hawks Nest Pack was located dead in Arizona.  The incident is under investigation.

INCIDENTS

During February, there were 8 livestock depredation reports involving wolves and no nuisance reports.

On February 8, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow near Cerro Montosa in Arizona.  The investigation confirmed the cow was killed by wolves and assigned to uncollared wolves, or uncollared wolves associated with the Diamond Pack.

On February 9, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow near Cerro Montosa in Arizona.  The investigation confirmed the cow was killed by wolves.  The depredation was assigned to the Diamond Pack.

On February 20, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow near Y canyon in New Mexico.  The investigation determined the cow was killed by wolves. The depredation was assigned to Luna Pack AF1115 and m1396 of the Fox Mountain Pack.

On February 23, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow near Y canyon in New Mexico.  The investigation determined the cow died from calving complications.

On February 24, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow near Y canyon in New Mexico.  The investigation determined the cow was killed by wolves. The depredation was assigned to Luna Pack AF1115 and m1396 of the Fox Mountain Pack.

On February 24, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow near Hard Castle Gap in New Mexico.  The investigation determined that the calf died of natural causes.

On February 24, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow near Hard Castle Gap in New Mexico.  The investigation determined that the cow died if unknown causes.

On February 29, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow near Y canyon in New Mexico.  The investigation determined the cow died of unknown causes, but likely calving complications.

COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATION

On February 11 project personnel gave a presentation as part of the University of California, Riverside, Deep Canyon Lecture Series in Palm Springs, CA. Approximately 250 people were in attendance.

On February 12, the IFT presented a Mexican Wolf Project update to 55 people at the McDowell Mountain Regional Park

On February 18, the IFT participated and presented at the Less than Lethal workshop set up by USDA Wildlife Services.

PROJECT PERSONNEL

In February, Becca Thomas-Kuzilik, a USFWS volunteer left the program.  Thanks for all your help Becca!

  1. Mexican Wolf Update

Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project Monthly Update March 1-31, 2016

Overall Mexican Wolf Recovery Program Monthly Update

The Fish and Wildlife Service, the Mexican government, the states of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah and independent scientists from both countries met in Wickenburg, Arizona for the second recovery planning workshop for the Mexican wolves.  The participants continued to review demographic information for the Vortex model, which will evaluate extinction risk of various recovery scenarios, and explored availability of GIS layers that would enable modelling habitat in both the United States and Mexico.

The Fish and Wildlife Service met with the Mexican Wolf Tribal Working Group to discuss various issues regarding recovery planning and ongoing implementation of the revised 10j Rule.

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 March 2016, the wild Mexican wolf population consisted of 50 wolves with functional radio collars dispersed among 18 packs and one single wolf.

IN ARIZONA:

Bear Wallow Pack (collared m1338 and f1335)

In March the Bear Wallow Pack was located within their traditional territory in the east-central portion of the ASNF and the northeast portion of SCAR.

Bluestem Pack (collared AF1042, AM1341, m1331, m1382, m1404, and f1443)

In March, the Bluestem Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the central portion of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest (ASNF).  Bluestem wolves AM1341, m1382 and f1443 have been located in their traditional territory during the month, while m1331 and f1405 have been located separate from the pack.  Wolf m1331 has been located in the north-east portion of the GNF in New Mexico in March.  Wolf f1333 has been travelling with the Hoodoo Pack for three months and is now considered a Hoodoo Pack member.  Wolf m1404 has been documented travelling with f1405 of the Buckalou pack. The IFT conducted a predation study on the Bluestem Pack during the month of March.

Buckalou Pack (collared M1161 and f1405)

Wolf m1404 from the Bluestem Pack was documented travelling with f1405 during this month.  M1161 has a non-functional radio collar.  The IFT has been unable to document M1161 travelling with the Buckalou Pack since m1404 began travelling with f1405.

Elk Horn Pack (collared AF1294 and AM1342)

In March, the Elk Horn Pack continued to travel within their traditional territory in the northeast portion of the ASNF.

Hawks Nest Pack (collared AM1038, M1383, and mp1453)

In March, the Hawks Nest Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the ASNF.

Hoodoo Pack (collared AM1290, F1333 and mp1441)

In March, the Hoodoo Pack remained in the north-central portion of the ASNF.  AM1290, F1333, and mp1441 have continued travelling together for three months.  F1333 is now considered part of the Hoodoo Pack.

Marble Pack (collared AM1243, mp1440, and fp1442)

In March, the Marble Pack was located in their traditional territory in the northwest-central portion of the ASNF.  The IFT has been conducting a predation study on the Marble Pack during the month of March.

Maverick Pack (collared AM1183 and AF1291)

During March, the Maverick Pack was located within their traditional territory both on the FAIR and ASNF.

Panther Creek Pack (F1339 and M1394)

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

ON THE FAIR:

Diamond Pack (collared M1249, f1437, mp1447, and mp1454)

During March, the Diamond Pack was located in the eastern portion of the FAIR and the north portion of the ASNF. M1249 and f1437 spent the majority of the month on the FAIR and mp1447 and mp1454 spent the majority of the month on the ASNF.

Tsay o Ah Pack (collared M1343, AF1283, fp1445)

During March, the Tsay O Ah Pack was located in the eastern portion of the FAIR.

IN NEW MEXICO:

Coronado Pack (collared AM1051)

AM1051 of the Coronado Pack was not located in March.

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

During March, the IFT located this pack within its traditional territory in the west-central portion of the Gila National Forest (GNF).  Wolf m1354 was not located in March, M1293 was located separate from other pack members but near the southern extent of the packs territory, and mp1444 continued to display dispersal behavior. Wolf m1347 was located outside the Dark Canyon Pack territory for most of March.

Fox Mountain Pack (collared f1397 and m1396)

In March, the IFT documented the Fox Mountain Pack within their new territory in in the north central portion of the GNF.  Wolf m1396 continued to be documented travelling with AF1115 of the Luna pack.

Iron Creek Pack (collared AM1240 and AF1278)

During March, the Iron Creek Pack continued to utilize their territory in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness and the southern portion of the GNF.

Lava Pack (collared mp1446)

In March, the Lava Pack was located in its traditional territory between the Gila Wilderness and the Elk Mountains

Luna Pack (collared AM1155, AF1115, and m1398)

During March, the Luna Pack remained in their traditional territory in the north-central portion of the GNF.  The IFT continues to document dispersal behaviour of m1398 travelling mainly in portions of the GNF in New Mexico. Wolf M1398 is not considered a single wolf. Wolf AF1115 was located travelling with m1396 of the Fox Mountain Pack again throughout March.

Prieto Pack (collared m1386, mp1445 and f1392)

During March, the Prieto Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north-central portion of the GNF. F1392 has been located travelling separate from the pack and with m1284 for three months; f1292 and m1284 have been designated the SBP pack.

San Mateo Pack (collared M1345)

During March, the San Mateo Pack was located within their traditional territory in the northeastern portions of the GNF.

Mangas Pack (collared M1296, F1439)

During March, in the Mangas pack was located within their territory in north-western portions of the GNF in New Mexico.

M1284 (collared)

During March, the IFT located M1284 travelling with dispersing wolf f1392 from the Prieto Pack within the GNF in New Mexico. M1294 and f1392 have been consistently located together for three months and have been designated the SBP pack.

MORTALITIES

In March, fp1442 from the Marble Pack was located dead in Arizona.  The incident is under investigation.

INCIDENTS

During March, there were 9 livestock depredation reports involving wolves and no nuisance reports.

On March 1, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Catron County, New Mexico. The investigation determined the cow died of unknown causes.

On March 2, WMAT investigated a dead cow on the eastern portion of the FAIR.  The investigation determined the cow died of unknown causes.

On March 4, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Catron County, New Mexico.  The investigation determined the cow was killed by a bear.

On March 9, WMAT investigated a dead cow and unborn calf on the eastern portion of the FAIR.  The investigation determined the cow and calf died of illness/pregnancy complications.

On March 12, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Catron County, New Mexico.  The investigation determined the cow was killed by wolves.

On March 13, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, Arizona.  The investigation determined the calf was killed by wolves.

On March 15, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Catron County, New Mexico.  The investigation determined the cow died of unknown causes.

On March 15, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Catron County, New Mexico.  The investigation determined that the calf died of unknown causes.

On March 25, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Catron County, New Mexico.  The investigation determined that the cow died of unknown causes.

COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATION

On March 2, project personnel gave a project update at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

On March 8, WMAT gave a wolf project/predator presentation at the Rainbow Treatment Center on the FAIR.

On March 15, WMAT gave a wolf project/predator presentation at the Alchesay Event Center on the FAIR.

On March 28, the Mexican Wolf Executives Management Team met in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

On March 29, the Mexican Wolf Management Team met in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

PROJECT PERSONNEL

In March, Rowan Converse, a USFWS volunteer left the program. Thanks for all your hard work Rowan!

In March, Kenneth Loonam, a USFWS volunteer left the program.  Thanks for all your hard work Kenneth!

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)

Rooting for Vinnie the Rhino

Rhino poaching continues to escalate and last week 17 animals were killed in only 6 days.  For most people these animals will remain only a statistic as they will never see a dead rhino other than on a photograph and it is highly unlikely that that they will ever visit a crime scene.

For those of us working extremely hard to secure reserves where rhinos can be protected 24/7 the situated is very different and extremely difficult. We are fighting overwhelming odds with limited funding.

Day becomes night and night becomes day.  Twenty four hours shifts for counter poaching units are common practise and stress levels and emotions are running high.  We all know drastic action is needed to save rhinos, but how does one achieve success when it appears to be impossible to stem the tide of death and destruction?

It is not going to be easy we all know that.  It will take millions of rands and a government that will act in a decisive and swift manner.  Sadly for us right now the latter is lacking in so many respects and funding is difficult to come by. There are many NGOs’ raising money to help rhinos, but very limited funding if any, reach projects on the ground. It is difficult to determine which fundraising drives will benefit bona fide projects so if you are considering making a donation ensure that you ask the relevant questions before you make your donation.

Suitable habitat continues to shrink for a number of reasons; amongst others the fact that many private game farmers simply cannot afford the cost and risks associated with the protection of rhinos.

This brings us to a scary conclusion that extinction is no longer a by-product of poaching; it has become its very purpose.

Working on our own we stand to achieve very little under these dire circumstances.  However collectively we can move mountains. This is truly our belief.

We would like you to help us save one rhino at a time by bringing such rhinos into protective custody where they will physically be protected with the best money can buy. Close protection operatives are contracted to place themselves  between a rhino and a poacher and will do whatever it takes to keep that particular rhino alive. To further protect rhinos we are using the best technology available to safeguard reserves’ perimeter fences.

The program to bring rhino poaching survivors into a protective situation at a undisclosed location is up and running. We are saving one rhino at a time and need your urgent help to bring yet another survivor, called Vinnie, into protective custody and introduce him to a new rhino family.

We currently have an online campaign running for Vinnie and would like to invite you to join our fund raising campaign on Generosity to Root for Vinnie or simply go to our website where you may donate the amount of your choice:

These graphic rhino & elephant sweaters are exclusively available for donations of $100 or more made via our online Fundraiser on Generosity by Indiegogo

Thank you for taking the time to read this and I look forward to finding you rooting for Vinne.

Next door

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

SAD NEWS FROM THE ZCTF

Only after the last tree has been cut down.
Only after the last river has been poisoned.
Only after the last fish has been caught.
Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.

Cree Indian Prophecy

To all Z.C.T.F supporters, family, and friends

It is with great difficulty to write this email to all of you…We have lost one of the best conservationists on this earth…

My beautiful wife, that I have loved for 41 years, Cheryl Ann Rodrigues (Whyte) has sadly passed. I never thought this day would come so soon, I did not expect this to happen, my heart is broken as she has left all of us…She was my best friend, my soul mate , my companion. Nothing will ever compare to her and there will forever be a part of me left shattered, lost and confused. Cheryl over the past two years had slowly been losing her memory, as it got worse and worse it was time to confront a doctor. After a few appointments and meetings the doctors decided to send her for scans to see if everything was alright…Unfortunately in life, we get faced with challenges and problems that we have to deal with or solve, mine was finding out that my wife Cheryl had a brain tumour four and a half cm long and five cm wide. I have been through many struggles in life, yet to this day this has been the hardest to deal with…

Due to complications in the surgery she sadly passed away. Cheryl’s spirit will forever be living in my heart, I will cherish the memories and will always remember her as the strong, independent and joyful woman she always was. She helped me achieve so many things in my life, she always encouraged me to believe in myself and she guided me into the right path. She was and always will be my light at the end of the tunnel. Cheryl is to thank for the existence of the Z.C.T.F, She helped me organise, conduct and inspire new innovative ideas to help save our wild life. She is an inspiration to us all.

I, Johnny Rodrigues, will be out of reach for a while as at hard times like this, it is hard to deal with my loss.

We are all so grateful for your prayers.

Thank you
John

International

From International Fund for Animal Welfare
(news@ifaw.org)

Mali: Help to save the last 300 Elephants

The last 300 desert elephants of Mali urgently need your help!

The Gourma region of central Mali, West Africa, is home to one of the world’s last herds of desert elephants.

Poachers have slaughtered 16 elephants since January, with over 80 killed in 2015. At this rate, the remaining 300 could be gone in three years unless the Malian government does more to protect them from poachers. The situation is urgent.

You can help me save them by telling the Malian Environment Minister to do more to save the last of the desert elephants.

Be a voice for the voiceless.

Mali’s elephants are all that remain of a population of elephants that once stretched across the Sahel from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea. They make the longest annual migration of all elephants and are the most northerly on the continent.

They’re disappearing at an alarming rate and could go extinct much sooner than other African elephants.

Poachers have taken advantage of the political unrest and violence in the lawless north to step up ivory trafficking.

Help us save the last 300.

In a world where so many elephants are brutally slain for their ivory tusks and threatened with extinction, every elephant matters.

That’s why we’re calling on the government of Mali to protect these elephants from poaching and tackle ivory trafficking while there’s still time to save the country’s last herd.

Please sign and share this message showing your support and urging the Malian government to act now to protect the last 300 elephants of Mali.

Act now to protect these elephants.

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

USA: Over 300 dogs were rescued from a puppy mill

Help puppy mill victims recover

After receiving a tip on their hot line, an expert team from the Humane Society of the United States seized over 300 animals from an illegal puppy mill in Arkansas. These dogs and puppies were living in unsanitary and unsafe conditions, many of them nursing neglected injuries.
We have the opportunity to help these animals get back on their feet and into loving homes. A donation of just $5 will help us transfer these dogs to an emergency shelter where they can receive the treatments they need. It doesn’t take much to make the difference in the life of a dog or puppy!

Please Give.

From Care2 Action Alerts (actionalerts@care2.com)

Australia: Sign If You Agree: Koala Killers Deserve Jail time!

Two Australian men just got a slap on the wrist after bludgeoning and burning a koala alive.

Despite committing a horrific and cruel act towards a protected species, these men will not spend a single day behind bars:
http://www.care2.com/go/z/e/AUJuN/zr9e/rSHT

The pair were camping along the Murray River last year when a koala approached their site. To keep the koala away from a pet dog, one of the men hit the koala several times with a machete. They then threw the injured — but still alive — koala on to their campfire and buried its remains.

The men were rightfully charged with disposal of protected wildlife, animal cruelty and aggravated animal cruelty. The judge originally sentenced them to confinement at a Youth Justice Centre, but the pair appealed and the judge settled on giving them community service.

Care2 animal activist Georgina B. believes animal cruelty deserves harsher punishment. Do you agree?

Help stop the injustice against animals. Sign Georgina’s petition to stand with her to demand tougher sentencing for people who commit animal cruelty!

Take Action here.

Thank you for making a difference.

Wolves and Wolfdogs

Wolves and hyenas hunt together and prove Middle East peace is possible

There has been a Middle East peace pact for some time. You didn’t know? In the arid desert of southern Israel, the two sides realized that they needed each other, and so they quietly struck a deal. So far it is not known who brokered the agreement between wolves and striped hyenas, but according to a new study published in the journal Zoology in the Middle East, the alliance between predators who compete for scarce resources is once more proof that in the animal kingdom, enemies sometimes set aside differences for their own good.

Vladimir Dinets, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Tennessee, said that animal behaviour is often more flexible than described in textbooks, and that animals can abandon their usual strategies and learn something completely new and unexpected when necessary. That would indeed be a very useful skill for people, too.

Striped hyenas are, despite of their dog-like looks, related more closely to cats and some kind of mysterious animals that usually hang out alone. They are highly intolerant of other large carnivores and known to kill big, mean dogs. Wolves in contrast are very social, live in packs, and have been noted on occasion to go hunting with dogs, although they usually prefer to kill them, just as they tend to do with coyotes and jackals that get in their way.

In the Negev Desert in southern Israel, both hyenas and wolves hunt mammals, reptiles, birds, insects, plants and scavenge garbage, and since natural prey is not abundant, they are by definition competitors.

It is therefore easy to imagine how surprised Dinets was when he came across overlapping, nearly-intact footprints of three wolves and one hyena in the surroundings of the town of Eilat in the Negev Desert. They showed that the hyena was sometimes following the wolves and sometimes was being followed by them. Beniamin Eligulashvili, an Israeli zoologist, then witnessed a few years later a pack of seven wolves and one hyena cruising together the same general area. This hyena was not just following the wolves, but moving in the middle of the pack. He and Dinets surmise that the most likely reason for this unlikely friendship could be that the hyena benefits from the wolves’ more refined hunting skills, and the wolves benefit from the hyenas’ superior sense of smell and other talents, such as cracking open large bones, unearthing garbage, and ripping open tin cans.

While both species are found in many spots in the Middle East, Dinets thinks that this is probably a behavioural trait existing only in these Negev animals, because there are so few other large mammals around. The wolves and hyenas might just have realized that they need each other to survive, because food is so limited.

According to Dinets, this sort of alliance, known in science as interspecies cooperative hunting, is much more common than people suppose. Coyotes and American badgers, coral trout and moray eels, and moray eels and grouper also do it. And humans also used to hunt alongside canines for a long time. They are the exceptions, of course. But prosperity, they have all seemed to agree, depended on peace.

Original source here.

Wolf Myths and Legends, Part 125

Freedom

by Zachary Gamble

The wolf passed silently behind the bars of steel. The little children made faces at him. He pulled his lips away from his teeth. The uniformed man pushed the children along. He threw a large piece of raw meat into the wolf’s cage. He muttered about the animals eating better than he did and moved on. Soon thereafter, the zoo closed. The sunlight faded into black, and the moon rose. The wolf laid on tattered straw, and quickly fell asleep.

The wolf awoke to the sound of his cage being opened. An unfamiliar man opened his steel door. The wolf jumped to his feet and bit the man on his shoulder. The man hit the wolf with his flashlight and tried to spray his assailant with mace. The mighty wolf let go and ran off.

As the wolf ran to the exit, another man obscured his path. The man was tall and heavily built. The mighty, robust wolf overtook the tall man as if he were but a small child. The wolf pressed on.

As the light of day struck the earth anew, the wolf came to a great forest. No humans were around, and the wolf was free to roam. He walked into the woods, unchallenged. Freedom was his.

Readers’ Contribution

A Wolfdog Diary

By Erin

Erin has nothing to report this month, but will be back in the next issue

Will be continued…