Volume 11, Issue 140, June 2016

SAFHOWL

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

Volume 11, Issue 140, June 2016

From the Editor’s Desk

Let’s see if my fingers have become defrosted enough to type something sensible here. We had a few days of really icy temperatures here on the Highveld, with one day reaching a maximum of just 5 ºC (the normal range at this time of the year is 15-20) and a very gusty wind that smelled of penguin, I could swear. Three days without a minute of sunshine (normally, our winter days are cloudless and sunny), during two of which it even rained. Mind you, this is the dry season up here when no rain at all is supposed to fall. While this certainly reduced the risk of wildfires, I was painfully reminded of just how much the human species has buggered up this planet’s climate. And all that is done about it by those in the say, is sit down at some or other luxury resort every year anew, sip coffee, nibble biscuits, and talk, talk, talk. And then they come up with some document that is as lengthy as it is useless and hail it as great progress. As though nature could be ordered to limit global warming to less than 2 ºC and so halt climate change. What all these studied heads refuse to see, though, is that they are trying to curb the symptoms rather than tackling the root of the problem.

But enough of that now. What have we got for you today? Bad news for the wolves in the US, of course, as can be expected when power-hungry politicians become involved. Read the snippets for yourself, form your own opinion, and if you can help those fighting them, do it, please. We sign every sensible wolf protection petition we can find.

Our Other News section also contains some horror stories worth taking note of. We tried to find some positive news, but failed dismally, sorry.

An interesting item is the rediscovery of the Himalayan wolf, which was thought by many to be extinct. However, with an estimated 30-50 individuals still persisting and these being pursued relentlessly by livestock farmers, there is not really much hope that this unique wolf will be around for much longer.

As usual, we have a wolf tale, and it befits the current situation.

And true Erin updates us on her pack, which currently experiences great turmoil.

Signing off till next month,
Ed.

Upcoming Events

The International Wolf Center (info@wolf.org)

In June:

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.

Jr. Wolf Biologist Mini-Camp

Date: June 23-24, 2016

Time: Thursday & Friday, 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Let your child release their inner wolf at our Jr. Biologist Mini-Camp! This two-day experience will get your seven to fourteen year old out hiking in natural wolf habitat, doing outdoor games and activities, and learning about wolves first-hand at our ambassador wolf observation center.

Our expert educators will teach your child about the wolves’ social structure, prey, and the importance of predators in our ecosystem.

News from the Wolf Front

National

Nothing to report

International

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

  1. USA: Stop the anti-wolf “hijack and destroy” plan

How low will they go?

There’s yet another congressional attack underway, this time to derail any meaningful recovery efforts for the critically endangered Mexican gray wolf, or lobo.

Senators Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and John McCain (R-AZ) have introduced a bill that could lead to the extinction of the lobo – the world’s most endangered gray wolf.

URGENT: Tell your senators to oppose the provisions of the Flake/McCain proposal in any form: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=i7zJBMwt3Bh_dcJ1etqrDA

The deceptively named “Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery Plan Act” undermines lobo recovery through a “hijack and destroy” strategy. This bill would give unchecked power in Mexican gray wolf recovery planning to special interests and the states of Arizona and New Mexico – and these states are relentless in their efforts to prevent wolf recovery.

Allowing Arizona and New Mexico to hijack recovery planning could spell doom for the 97 Mexican gray wolves clinging to survival in the American Southwest.

Last month marked the 40th anniversary of the Mexican gray wolf’s listing under the Endangered Species Act. But wolf recovery efforts have been hindered from the start, with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under constant political pressure from the states, the livestock industry and anti-government ideologues to keep numbers low in the wild.

Now, some senators want to let these same anti-wolf special interests write a recovery plan that will make sure the Mexican gray wolves never have a chance to thrive – help us ensure that this does not happen:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=tMu6UutoC4iSSavVfZtqmg

Thank you for your help and your commitment!

  1. USA: URGENT: Help stop this wolf extinction plan

It really is a matter of life and death.

Anti-wolf forces in the South-west have joined to destroy recovery efforts for the Mexican gray wolf, also known as the lobo, the world’s most endangered Grey wolf.

The latest assault launched when Arizona Senators Jeff Flake and John McCain introduced a bill that could lead to the lobo’s extinction in the wild.

URGENT: Your donation will help us turn back this attack and protect America’s imperilled wildlife:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=xgoNV2qG20PnYUDPxTywKw

If passed, this bill could devastate recovery planning through a “hijack and destroy” strategy, giving unchecked power to special interests in Arizona and New Mexico – states that are relentless in their efforts to derail wolf recovery.

Allowing states and special interests to hijack recovery planning could spell doom for the 97 Mexican gray wolves clinging to survival in the American South-west – we must fight back:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=gKC3UGOpK9t1BG72P-QClA

Since 1998, when I participated in the very first reintroduction of lobos into the wilds of Arizona, Defenders of Wildlife has been at the forefront of efforts to recover this important and majestic species.

We’ve fought for lobos in court time and time again. We’ve worked with ranchers to help reduce conflicts with wolves. And poll after poll shows that the citizens of Arizona and New Mexico favour the return of the lobo. We must protect them!

Your urgent support will be especially helpful right now as we:

  • Continue our fight to secure a scientifically-based recovery plan and send anti-recovery management rules back to the drawing board;
  • Fight for more wolf releases from captivity which are urgently needed to improve the genetic health of the wild population; and
  • Continue to stave off anti-wolf legislation in both Congress and state legislatures.

We will never give up the quest to see Mexican gray wolf populations healthy and growing again. We are the voice of endangered wildlife, and we are your voice too!

Please donate today:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=y5ZIj1wH38TYRb3TTbCTLg

Thank you for all you do!

  1. USA: Why there is hope for Mexican Grey wolves

Restoring Mexican gray wolves, also known as lobos, to the Southwest is among Defenders’ top priorities. But the endless political interference can be discouraging.

Whenever I feel disheartened about the future of the lobo, I’m reminded that we have hardworking and dedicated staff working around the clock to protect these majestic creatures. In fact, we recently doubled down on our efforts to conserve Mexican gray wolves and hired our new Southwest Director, Bryan Bird, to lead our efforts.

I also wanted to share a note from one of our long-time field staff, Senior Southwest Representative Eva Sargent. I hope you find it as inspiring as I did.

  1. USA: Lobo pups deserve to be wild

Late last week, Defenders learned about yet another setback in the fight to recover Mexican Grey wolves. A federal district judge handed down a decision that temporarily stops all releases of Mexican Grey wolves into the wilds of New Mexico.

This is especially devastating because the ruling comes right in the middle of the best time of year for wolf releases. In fact, the ruling effectively blocks a wolf release planned for July!

Defenders is attempting to intervene in this court case in order to prevent the state from further sabotaging Mexican gray wolf recovery.

Your donation will help us keep up the pressure for lobos and other imperiled wildlife – in court, in the field and in the halls of power: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=mMHqsHCeOPouCXtsu945lA

Here’s the situation – the state of New Mexico has gone to court to try and stop the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from releasing captive-bred wolf pups and adults into the Gila National Forest. Even worse, the state has called for recently released pups to be re-captured and placed back into captivity.

That’s just crazy.

Polls have shown that the people of New Mexico overwhelmingly favour wolf recovery. You have to ask yourself, whose interests is the state serving by trying to hinder needed wolf releases?

As you know, Mexican Grey wolves are the world’s most endangered gray wolves, with fewer than 100 clinging to survival in the wild. The maddening thing is that without constant political interference, the lobo could have already gained a steady foothold.

The anti-wolf people are the minority, but they’re a powerful group. Driven by old fears and hatred of the federal government, these forces have thrown sand in the gears of lobo recovery year after year.

We have gone to court time and time again to protect these critically endangered wolves – and we won’t stop until they’re truly on the road to recovery.

From International Wolf Center (info@wolf.ccsend.com)

Dear Friends,

We are proud and excited to announce that we have two new Arctic wolf pups at International Wolf Center!

They arrived safely from Canada last Wednesday, accompanied by our pup acquisition team-Lori Schmidt, Nancy Gibson and Cameron Feaster. After customs inspections, check-ups and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service paperwork, we were finally able to bring the pups to their new home.

They are settling in nicely, and are getting more playful and curious each day – to say nothing of growing incredibly fast! The slightly larger pup (temporarily nicknamed Axel) is a little more dominant and constantly jumping on his brother. Grayback is more timid, but still gives Axel a run for his money in the tussling department.

Both pups are attended night and day by our wolf care staff and trained volunteers. They are now old enough to start eating solid food, in addition to to their regular formula. The pups are also receiving an intense socialization process. This allows them to exhibit natural wolf behaviours in the enclosure while still allowing our wolf care staff to safely feed and care for them.

The pups will graduate to the main wolf enclosure in early August where they will be beautiful, all-white ambassadors for the Arctic wolf.

From Change.org/wolf (translated from German)

Germany: Heartfelt Thanks for 111,000 signatures – New Google page and petition

Mai 2016

Dear Wolf-friends and supporters!

Many thanks for the huge number of signatures! We are the biggest petition for wolves that ever existed in Germany! With your help I will continue my support and efforts to protect the Goldstedt she-wolf (and other wolves)! We will keep a close eye on the further development! No shooting of the Goldstedt she-wolf … read on.

From California Wolfcenter
(californiawolfcenter@yahoogroups.com)

Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project Monthly Update

Endangered Species Updates April 1-30, 2016

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

Fish and Wildlife Service staff participated in the Arizona Ecological Services Office’s Tribal meeting on April 6, to discuss issues regarding the revised regulations for the Mexican Wolf Experimental Population Area and recovery planning.

The Service, the states of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah; the Mexican agencies SEMARNAT and CONANP; the U.S. Embassy; and independent scientists from the U.S. and Mexico met in Mexico City April 11 to 14 to continue discussions on Mexican wolf demographics and genetics and develop information for habitat modeling in the U.S. and Mexico for the development of a revised recovery plan for the Mexican wolf.

On April 26, 2016, the Service signed a settlement agreement with the State of Arizona and Defenders of Wildlife and other environmental groups to complete a new recovery plan for the Mexican wolf.  The new recovery plan is scheduled to be published by the end of November 30, 2017.  The Service also agreed to complete an independent peer review of the draft recovery plan, in accordance with the Service’s Peer Review Policy and to solicit and consider all available scientific and commercial information from appropriate State agencies and other entities as specified in the Peer Review Policy.  The Service will submit reports on the status of the recovery planning process to the Court and to the parties to the litigation at six month intervals.

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 April 2016, the wild Mexican wolf population consisted of 53 wolves with functional radio collars dispersed among 19 packs and two single wolves.

IN ARIZONA:

Bear Wallow Pack (collared M1338 and F1335)

In April the Bear Wallow Pack was located within their traditional territory in the east-central portion of the ASNF.  The IFT has documented denning behaviour by the Bear Wallow Pack.

Bluestem Pack (collared AF1042, AM1341, M1331, M1382, M1404, and F1443)

In April, the Bluestem Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the central portion of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest (ASNF).  Wolves AM1341 and F1443 have been located in the traditional Bluestem territory during the month. Wolf M1331 has been located in the north-east portion of the GNF in New Mexico in April.

Buckalou Pack (collared M1404, F1405 and M1161)

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 April, the Elk Horn Pack continued to travel within their traditional territory in the northeast portion of the ASNF.  The IFT documented denning behaviour by this pack this month.  On April 30, two pups were flown to Arizona from the Brookfield Zoo and cross-fostered into the Elk Horn litter.

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

In April, the Hawks Nest Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the ASNF.  The Hawks Nest Pack did not exhibit denning behaviour during April.

Hoodoo Pack (collared AM1290, AF1333 and m1441)

In April, the Hoodoo Pack remained in the north-central portion of the ASNF.  The IFT documented denning behaviour by the Hoodoo Pack this month.  On April 25, the IFT documented that the Hoodoo pack had killed a calf elk near Nutrioso Reservoir.  After removing the elk carcass away from development and into the national forest, the Hoodoo Pack was reported near a residence and approaching some chickens. The home owner hazed the wolves away and no further incidents have occurred.

Marble Pack (collared AM1330 and m1440)

At the beginning of April, the Marble Pack consisted of three wolves: AM1330, mp1440, and one uncollared yearling. During April, these wolves split up and have been making broad dispersal movements. AM1330 dispersed onto the FAIR and the southern portion of the ASNF, and has remained in traditional Bluestem Pack territory. Beginning April 18, m1440 has been in New Mexico and travelling east.  No denning behaviour has been documented from this pack.

Maverick Pack (collared AM1183 and AF1291)

In April, the Maverick Pack was located within their traditional territory both on the FAIR and ASNF.  No denning behaviour has been documented by this pack this month.

Panther Creek Pack (F1339 and M1394)

In April, the Panther Creek Pack has been located in the east-central portion of the ASNF.  No denning behaviour has been documented by this pack.

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, the north portion of the ASNF, and non-public land in Arizona.  Wolf f1437 was not heard or located during the month of April.

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 April.

Dark Canyon Pack (collared AM992, AF923, M1293, M1354, M1347, and m1444)

During April, 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 April, M1293 was located separate from other pack members but near the southern extent of the packs territory, and m1444 continued to display dispersal behaviour. Wolf m1347 was located outside the Dark Canyon Pack territory for most of March.

Fox Mountain Pack (collared F1397 and M1396)

In April, the IFT documented the Fox Mountain Pack within their new territory in the north central portion of the GNF.  The IFT continues to believe that AM1158 is travelling with F1397.

Wolf M1396 continued to be documented travelling with AF1115 of the Luna pack.

Iron Creek Pack (collared AM1240 and AF1278)

During April, the Iron Creek Pack continued to utilize their territory in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness and the southern portion of the GNF.  The IFT documented denning behaviour by the Iron Creek Pack in late April.

Lava Pack (collared m1446)

No evidence of the Lava Pack was documented by the IFT during the month of April.

Luna Pack (collared AM1155, AF1115, and M1398)

During April, 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 AF1115 was located travelling with M1396 of the Fox Mountain Pack again throughout April.  The IFT has documented denning behaviour by the Luna Pack in April.

Prieto Pack (collared M1386, m1445 and F1392)

During April, the Prieto Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north-central portion of the GNF.  The IFT has documented denning behaviour by this pack in April.

San Mateo Pack (collared M1345 and F1399)

During April, the IFT documented M1345 and F1399 travelling together within their territory in the north-central portion of the GNF.

Sheeperherder’s Baseball Park Pack (AM1284 and AF1392

On April 23 the IFT fostered two captive-born pups from the Endangered Wolf Center outside St. Louis, MO, into this pack in New Mexico.

Mangas Pack (collared M1296, F1439)

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

MORTALITIES

No mortalities were documented during the month of April.

INCIDENTS

During April, there were three livestock depredation reports involving wolves and one nuisance report.

On April 2, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Catron county New Mexico.  The cause of death was due to unknown causes.

On April 22, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Catron County New Mexico.  The investigation determined the cow died of unknown causes.

On April 25, AM1290 and m1441 from the Hoodoo Pack were seen close to private property in Nutrioso.  The wolves were seen going toward some chickens.  The home owner scared the wolves away and no further incidences have occurred.  The IFT investigated the report and confirmed it was the Hoodoo Pack.

On April 26, WMAT investigated an injured calf on the FAIR.  The cause of injury was determined to be coyotes.

COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATION

On April 14, WMAT conducted a wildlife presentation at Williams Creek Fish Hatchery on the FAIR.

On April 20, WMAT conducted a wildlife presentation at Whiteriver Elementary School on the FAIR.

On April 22, WMAT conducted a wildlife presentation at Fort Apache on the FAIR.

PROJECT PERSONNEL

No significant activity to report.

REWARDS OFFERED

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

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

  1. Mexican Wolf Update May 1-31, 2016

Overall Mexican Wolf Recovery Program Monthly Update

The Fish and Wildlife Service participated in the New Mexico Ecological Services Office’s annual Tribal Workshop on Endangered Species on May 5, 2016, and gave a presentation on the status of the Mexican wolf and on-going recovery planning workshops.  The Tribal Workshop was attended by several New Mexico Tribes, Pueblos, and Nations, who provided their perspectives on Mexican wolf recovery.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department and the Fish and Wildlife Service participated in the annual Trilateral Committee meeting, which was held in Ottawa, Ontario the week of May 16, 2016.  The FWS provided a joint presentation with Carlos Lopez from Mexico on the status of the Mexican wolf and on-going recovery planning workshops.

The FWS attended a court hearing in Federal District Court in Albuquerque on May 26, 2016, on the State of New Mexico’s Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction against the FWS for further initial releases and cross-fostering of Mexican wolves in the State of New Mexico.  The Judge will provide a ruling within 7-10 days of the hearing.

CURRENT POPULATION STATUS

At the end of May 2016, the wild Mexican wolf population consisted of 53 wolves with functional radio collars dispersed among 19 packs and six single wolves.

IN ARIZONA:

Bear Wallow Pack (collared M1338 and F1335)

In May the Bear Wallow Pack was located within their traditional territory in the east-central portion of the ASNF.  At the beginning of May the Bear Wallow Pack started making broad movements within their territory indicating they probably lost their den.

Bluestem Pack (collared AF1042, AM1341, M1331, M1382, M1404, and F1443)

In May, the Bluestem Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the central portion of the Apache-Sit greaves National Forest (ASNF).  The IFT has not been able to locate AM1341 during the month.  On May 21, an uncollared wolf was captured, collared and designated f1488.  The wolf was then released on site.  On May 23, an uncollared wolf was trapped collared and designated f1489.  The wolf was then released on site.  Wolves f1488 and f1489 have been located with F1443 from the Bluestem Pack after they were collared and released.  At the end of May the IFT documented denning behaviour in the Bluestem Pack. Wolf M1331 has been located separate from the Bluestem Pack for three months and is now considered a single wolf.

Buckalou Pack (collared M1404 and F1405)

Wolf M1404, from the Bluestem Pack, was documented travelling with F1405 during this month.  The IFT has been unable to document M1161 travelling with the Buckalou Pack since M1404 began travelling with F1405. M1161 has not been located for three months and is now considered fate unknown.  M1404 has been located travelling with F1405 for three months and is now considered part of the Buckalou Pack.  The IFT has not documented denning behaviour in the Buckalou Pack for during the month of May.

Elk Horn Pack (collared AF1294 and AM1342)

In May, the IFT continued to document denning behaviour by this pack this month.  The Elk Horn Pack has periodically used a food cache set up by the IFT to supplement the pack due to the two pups cross-fostered into the pack’s litter in April.

Hawks Nest Pack (collared AM1038, M1383, and m1453)

In May, the Hawks Nest Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the ASNF.  The Hawks Nest Pack did not exhibit denning behaviour during May.

Hoodoo Pack (collared AM1290, AF1333 and m1441)

In May, the Hoodoo Pack remained in the north-central portion of the ASNF.  The IFT continued to document denning behaviour by the Hoodoo Pack this month.  The IFT has documented the Hoodoo Pack utilizing the food cache set up for them this month to prevent potential depredation issues in the area.

Marble Pack (collared AM1330 and m1440)

At the beginning of May, the Marble Pack consisted of three wolves: AM1330, mp1440, and one uncollared yearling. AM1330 has travelled within the north-western portion of the ASNF during the month of May. Wolf m1440 has been travelling separately from AM1330 in New Mexico.  No denning behaviour has been documented from this pack.

Maverick Pack (collared AM1183 and AF1291)

In May, the Maverick Pack was located within their traditional territory both on the FAIR and ASNF.  While the Maverick Pack has localized during the month of May, it is not known whether the pack is denning at this time.

Panther Creek Pack (F1339 and M1394)

In May, the Panther Creek Pack has been located in the east-central portion of the ASNF.  The IFT documented denning behaviour by this pack during the month of May.  On May 9, The IFT cross-fostered two female pups into the Panther Creek Pack.  The pack has utilized a food cache set up to supplement the extra pups in the litter and has been documented using the food cache.

ON THE FAIR:

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

In May, the Diamond Pack was located in the eastern portion of the FAIR, the north portion of the ASNF, and non-public land in Arizona.  f1437 was not heard or located during the month of April.  It is not yet known if the pack denned.

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

In May, the Tsay-o-Ah Pack was located in the eastern portion of the FAIR.  Wolf fp1445 minimally travelled to the northwester portion of the ASNF.  The pack exhibited denning behaviour and pups were documented.

IN NEW MEXICO:

Coronado Pack (collared AM1051)

AM1051 of the Coronado Pack was not located in May.  M1051has not been documented in 3 months and is considered fate unknown.

Dark Canyon Pack (collared AM992, AF923, M1293, M1354, M1347, and f1444)

During May, the IFT located this pack within its traditional territory in the west-central portion of the Gila National Forest (GNF).  During May, M1293 continued to display dispersal behaviour and is now considered a single wolf f1444 continued to display dispersal behaviour, M1354 and M1347 have also not been located with the pack for three months and are now considered single wolves: however, neither M1354 nor M1347 were located during May. In May, AF923 was located dead in New Mexico.  The incident is under investigation.

Willow Springs Pack (collared F1397)

In May, the IFT documented the Willow Springs Pack within their new territory in the north central portion of the GNF.  The IFT documented that AM1158 of the Fox Mountain pack was actually travelling with the Luna Pack and therefore has re-designated F1397 the Willow Springs Pack.

Iron Creek Pack (collared AM1240 and AF1278)

During May, the Iron Creek Pack continued to utilize their territory in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness and the southern portion of the GNF.  The IFT documented denning behaviour by the Iron Creek Pack in late May.  The IFT was able to count a minimum of 5 pups produced by the Iron Creek Pack during the month.

Lava Pack (collared m1446)

No evidence of the Lava Pack was documented by the IFT during the month of May.  The Lava Pack has not been documented for three months and is now considered defunct.

Luna Pack (collared AF1115, and AF1487)

During May, the Luna Pack remained in their traditional territory in the north-central portion of the GNF.  AM1158 of the Fox Mountain Pack was documented with the Luna Pack, and appeared to be pair-bonded with AF1115; indicating that it has been travelling with the Luna Pack for some time and is considered a member of the Luna Pack. On May 10, an uncollared wolf was captured, collared and designated f1487. On May 21, f1487 was re-captured and it was determined it was a lactating female wolf. This is the first time the IFT has documented two wolves in the same pack having bred.  The IFT believes AM1158 and AF1115 bred, and that M1396 and AF1487 may have bred based on behavioural observations. Genetic analysis of any pups captured later in the year will hopefully elucidate this.  On May 24, M1396 was captured and removed from the wild in accordance with a USFWS removal order for repeated livestock depredation. The IFT is maintaining a diversionary and supplemental food cache in efforts to reduce potential for further livestock depredations and assist other pack members feed pups following the removal of M1396.

Prieto Pack (collared M1386, m1455, and f1456)

During May, the Prieto Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north-central portion of the GNF.  The IFT has continued to document denning behaviour by this pack. During May the IFT documented that AF1251 was lactating via remote camera.

San Mateo Pack (collared M1345 and F1399)

During May, the IFT documented M1345 and F1399 travelling together within their territory in the north-central portion of the GNF.  The IFT believes that F1399 is denning due to evidence captured on trial camera.

SBP Pack (AM1284 and AF1392)

In May the SBP Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the north-central portion of the GNF. In May, the IFT continued to document denning behaviour and documented that AF1392 was still lactating via remote camera. A supplemental food cache has been maintained for the pack throughout May. As May progressed the SBP Pack began making broad movements suggesting that they are no longer denning.

Mangas Pack (collared M1296, F1439)

During May, the Mangas Pack was located within their territory in north-western portions of the GNF in New Mexico.  No denning behaviour has been documented by this pack during the month of May.

Single M1398

During May, M1398 continued to make movements in Arizona and New Mexico.

Single AM1155

AM1155, formerly of the Luna pack was displaced by members of the Fox Mountain Pack in February and is now considered a Single wolf. During May, AM1155 was documented travelling in NM on the outskirts of its former territory.

MORTALITIES

In May, AF923 of the Dark Canyon Pack was located dead in New Mexico.  The incident is under investigation.

INCIDENTS

During May, there were nine livestock depredation reports involving wolves and no nuisance reports.

On May 1, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Catron county New Mexico.  The investigation determined the cow was killed by a wolf.

On May 10, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County in Arizona.  The investigation determined the calf died of unknown causes.

On May 13, Wildlife Services investigated three dead cows and 1 dead calf in Catron County New Mexico.  The investigation determined all four animals were killed by wolves.

On May 21, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Catron County New Mexico.  The investigation determined the cow was killed by a wolf or wolves.

On May 22, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County in Arizona.  The investigation determined the calf was killed by a wolf.

On May 28, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Catron County New Mexico.  The investigation determined the cow was killed by a wolf or wolves.

On May 29, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Catron County in New Mexico.  The investigation determined the calf was killed by a wolf or wolves.

On May 30, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County in Arizona.  The investigation determined the calf was killed by a wolf.

On May 31, Wildlife Services investigated three dead calves in Apache County in Arizona.  The investigation determined the calves died due to unknown causes.

COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATION

On May 18, a member of the IFT gave a presentation to the Winslow elementary school at Bear Canyon Lake.

On May 30, a member of the IFT gave a presentation to a High School class from Corona Del Sol at the Alpine Divide Campground.

PROJECT PERSONNEL

During May, Elizabeth Karslake started a volunteer position with the USFWS.  Welcome Elizabeth!

REWARDS OFFERED

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

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

Other News

National

Nothing to report

Next door

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

Silent Auction – urgent appeal for help 

My brother and I are trying to raise funds for my Mom’s hospital bill after her passing. We have already spent in the region of $28000 towards the medical expenses and have to raise a further $13 095. We do not want to part with one of my Mom’s paintings as that’s all we have left of her. The next best thing is, if we donate some of our art to the ZCTF to try and raise the money.

The painting is called “Lady by the Tree” and is an original oil on canvas with an African carved wooden frame. The painting measures: 1 x 1.5 m

The pencil drawing of the Kudu has been done by my brother Shane. Size A3 unframed.

Both pieces of art will be auctioned together. There is a reserved price of $6000 the auction will run until the end of June. Please also note that shipping is not included in this auction cost so the shipping amount will be added on to the final sale price. All insurance and duties etc. will be for the buying parties account.

View the paintings here.

Please send your bids to galorand@mweb.co.zw
or lorr@mweb.co.zw or private message me on FB.

International

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

China: Dogs for Dinner

In Yulin, a city in China’s Guangxi Autonomous Region, thousands of dogs, many of them stolen pets, are captured and kept under horrific conditions. They’re transported and held in crowded cages without food or water before being beaten and killed in front of other terrified animals. These poor creatures are then eaten as part of a 400-year-old “festival.”
In addition to being a serious animal welfare issue, many people in China and globally are concerned about the mass consumption of dogs leading to an increase in rabies and cholera in humans. Last year, thanks to overwhelming international pressure, Yulin authorities announced that they would not support the festival. As a result, fewer dogs were killed in a more subdued event than in previous years. While authorities have claimed that the festival won’t happen this year, it’s suspected that dog meat traders will continue with or without official endorsement.
Please sign our petition now to urge to Yulin authorities to intervene and end mass dog slaughter in the name of a festival.

From Forcechange.com – Petition to change your world
(http://www.forcechange.com)

Dog Dragged Behind Truck and Killed Deserves Justice

A dog was reportedly tied to a truck and dragged down the road while the helpless animal cried as the cruel driver tortured it to death. This has become a common form of animal cruelty and it must be stopped. Demand that this man be sentenced to the maximum penalty if found guilty:
http://forcechange.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=0dd93fa0930de1dbe9a01c531&id=4ccdc4784c&e=868912623b

From Lacey K., Care2 Action Alerts (actionalerts@care2.com)

Yani the elephant’s last moments were spent lying on the dirty ground with tears streaming down her face.

The 34-year-old Sumatran elephant was being kept at the Bandung Zoo in Indonesia when she fell seriously ill of an unknown disease last week. Since the zoo has not had a veterinarian for almost a year, Yani received no medical attention. She died in pain because of Bandung Zoo’s negligence.

When Emily heard about Yani’s heartbreaking story, she decided to create a Care2 petition demanding that the Indonesian government shut down the Bandung Zoo for good. Will you sign it?
http://www.care2.com/go/z/e/AvSY3/zRTG/CK7Wl

Before her death, Yani had spent a sad life confined to a cramped, filthy enclosure with rusting bars. The Bandung Zoo claims that the poor conditions of Yani’s cage and those of its other animals is due to lack of funds. The Bandung Mayor, however, dismissed that excuse by saying, “If they don’t have the budget to manage [the zoo], they should seek support.”

Unfortunately, what happened to poor Yani is all too common in Indonesian zoos. Animal rights activists have long fought for stricter rules on how the country’s zoos should be run humanely.

Perhaps Yani’s untimely death will inspire policy change to ensure that no more animals have to suffer and die. Authorities have already started an investigation into what happened to the poor elephant, and have temporarily shut down the zoo.

If enough of us speak out, we might be able to make sure that the zoo never re-opens its doors. Sign Emily’s petition now to demand that the Indonesian government shut down the Bandung Zoo for good: http://www.care2.com/go/z/e/AvSY3/zRTG/CK7Wl

This could be the first step in shutting down all of the country’s “death zoos.”

Thank you,

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/178/497/497/?z00m=27942008&redirectID=2083267637

Wolves and Wolfdogs

The Himalayan Wolf still exists

Scientists have found proof that a particularly rare wolf still exists, but it is in real trouble.

Researchers say that these ancient wolves have diverged from other wolves hundreds of thousands of years ago, and that humans seriously threaten the existence of a rare type of wolf in Nepal.

An international research team, led by graduate student Madhu Chetri from Norway’s Hedmark University College, confirmed that four faecal samples that belonged to the Himalayan wolf were found in Nepal’s Trans-Himalayan region, and that there was anecdotal evidence indicating that these wolves still roamed the mountains of Nepal, India and Tibet. The work of the team was published in the journal ZooKeys, and has proven that the animals are still around.

Himalayan wolves are smaller than the Grey wolves native to North America and Eurasia. According to the news release about the study they have shorter legs, longer snouts, and white fur around the throat, chest and belly.

Now scientists are debating the question whether the Himalayan wolf is simply a type of the Tibetan wolf, which is a subspecies of the Grey wolf, or part of a separate species. Research team member Bibek Yumnam from the Wildlife Institute of India suggests that the Himalayan wolf should be classified as a subspecies.

But it is the DNA that really makes these wolves so special, because it is evidence for the suggestion that they come from a genetic line that split from the “wolf-dog clade”, the ancestral group predating the Grey wolf and domestic dog between 800,000 to 1.5 million years ago.

“Due to the fact that they evolved in isolation without mixing with other wolf and domestic dog lineages and their critically endangered status, it is prudent to focus on conserving them as an evolutionary distinct entity,” Yumnan said.

It is unclear how many Himalayan wolves still exist, and a report dating from 1995 estimated that there were only around 350 specimens left in the wild. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has classified these wolves as “Critically Endangered” in Nepal’s National Red List, noting that it is possible there are only 30 to 50 individuals left within the country’s borders.

According to the Red List, the major threats to these animals include habitat loss and conflict with humans, some of which Chetri’s team also observed. Interviews with about 400 locals, many of whom were livestock owners or herders, revealed that the wolves were widely considered a serious threat to livestock. As a result, some communities hunt the wolves in order to protect their livestock.

Comprehensive mapping of the animals’ range could help promote peaceful wolf-human relationships, since that information could help herders avoid wolf-heavy areas, said Chetri, and he also floated the idea of “livestock insurance policies” that could make farmers less fearful of wolves attacking their animals.

But what is most important to these wolves’ survival is studying them while there is still time. Therefore long-term research on the ecology of the species is urgently needed.

Find the original article by Viral News, Hilary Hanson, Editor, The Huffington Post with information updates by Madhu Chetri and  Bibek Yumnam at

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/himalayan-wolves_us_571f9dc3e4b01a5ebde37907

Wolf Myths and Legends, Part 127

Shadows of Grey And White

by ravenwinged_99

The air carried a stillness, a gentle reminder of the wounds which his mate now tended too. The green eyes quietly closing with every loving touch, the wounds of past and past lives forgotten about in the quiet folds of the snow and the fading sun. His eyes scanned, almost lost in the moments when she would nurture him back to health, fixating on some unknown quality which evaded every other living soul. In the hunts, she ran with him; a quiet thunder padded out on the soft folds of early snow.

In the pack there were only two, him and his mate. Her beautiful grey coat was bushy, her eyes always locked on him as he left to get food or snarled innocently to avoid confrontation. His black coat was never hard to miss, the imprint of love and faithfulness written all over his smile. As the winter subsided, she could hear his heartbeat, calling out beyond the love they had. In the approaching sun she knew that his time would be coming soon, that the bonds of trust would transcend into heavens shadows and she would be alone. As he kissed and said good-bye to her, her tail cowered, left without a reason to cry as he left one last time. The night called with a warning, the crows melancholy voices screeching of death and shadows … after midnight the wolf came home, his spirit rested and laid beside his mate, unaware of the dream of living, which had passed him by.

Readers’ Contribution

A Wolfdog Diary

Our pack is going through hell right now. Just after the last newsletter went out we woke up one morning to the noise of heavy building machines, people shouting and calling, and unbelievable clouds of dust – roadworks had started without any prior warning to the residents.

They now started to excavate tons of sand and stones to build a deep “bed” for the new road. There were big trucks coming and going to transport the sand away. They dug up the road to about a metre deep from end to end. After that, they brought in truckloads of sand, mixed with some other stuff to make it denser, and huge amounts of gravel to fill the bed up by about half a metre. And they are still busy with that, compacting the mix again and again with a huge roller, then adding more of the mix, spreading it evenly with a big grader for the roller to compact it. In the process of digging they damaged two of the main power cables that run across the street, leaving us in the dark for many hours on end.

All this is already very stressful for us humans, especially if you have to find out on certain days that you cannot leave or enter your property because they have again destroyed the temporary “ramp” connecting your driveway to the street. But for the pack it’s a never-ending nightmare, and by now they are so paranoid about noises and people that they will hide in a dense planting of agaves and aloes in the back yard all day long. If Ascar II and Kajack II come into the house at all they will try to hide under our desks in the office or climb onto my lap (that’s nice and warm in this cold we presently have, but having 80 kg plus sitting on your lap is not really my idea of fun). Taima is nowhere to be seen until the late afternoon when the workers start to pack up and go home. During the first week, they even worked until late into the night and over the weekend, but luckily that has apparently stopped now. And when they work in the closer vicinity of our property Ted and I cannot go out together, because we don’t know what our furry kids will do if they are left to themselves in that chaos.

Feeding the pack has also become very difficult. Usually they have food in the morning and afternoon, but now they refuse to eat during the day, only eating after dark when all has gone quiet. It will take us weeks after the roadwork have been finished to get them back to their normal schedule, because they will stay nervous and alert even when there are no workers and machines, not trusting the silence. We have heard that the road should be finished by the end of this month, but seeing that they have not done anything for the past two days and how much work is still to be done, I have serious doubts that they will stick to their schedule and be out of here for good in just two weeks. But what can we do? We have to sit it out, no matter what.

By Erin

Will be continued…