Volume 11, Issue 143, September 2016

SAFHOWL

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

Volume 11, Issue 143, September 2016

From the Editor’s Desk

News other than on election campaigning seem to stand little chance of being noticed these days in the US, and players appear to be fully aware of this. This is the time when they think they can push through whatever new bills they could not otherwise without causing a major uproar. Fortunately, there are organisations that keep a very close eye on them and tell the world what is going on. And we are happy to spread their observations further. Reckless wolf (and other predator) killing in Alaska and giving up on conserving the red wolf for future generations are just two examples. Read the International Wolf News section for yourself and experience your monthly dose of disgust…

We were very happy to for once find an initiative that aims at conserving the very rare Ethiopian wolf and appeal to you to sign the respective petition.

A reader pointed us to a potentially escalating problem of the “wolves vs. farmers” type in Germany, and we have translated the respective article here. It would seem that the notoriously slow authorities in charge need to step up their pace to implement measures before the situation becomes really serious…

We have also found another wolf tale that we found worth reprinting here, and Erin makes good on her promise to update us in detail on her pack.

That much for this month’s newsletter,
Ed.

Upcoming Events

at the International Wolf Center:

Wolf Family Rendezvous

October 8-9, 2016
Time: Saturday 8:30 a.m. – Sunday 10 a.m.
Program Rate: $75 Adults (13 years old+), $50 Children (6-12 years old)
Registration Deadline: September 24, 2016

With plenty of family-focused activities and outdoor fun, your family will talk about this trip for years to come! Spend quality time together learning about the north woods home of the wolf through hikes, crafts, games and observing our ambassador wolves.

Tracking the Pack

October 14-16, 2016
Time: Friday 5 p.m. – Sunday 10 a.m.
Program Rates: Non-member $160, Member $144
Registration Deadline: September 30, 2016

Come and experience the day to day life of a real wildlife biologist.   Our Tracking the Pack adventure weekend includes learning the tools biologists use to track wolf packs, then getting out into the field with telemetry equipment to search for wild wolves. Afterwards, we will do an animal necropsy back at the lab. Then we will have our dinner while the wolves eat theirs. There will be s’mores!

News from the Wolf Front

National

Nothing to report

International

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

  1. USA: Alaska wolf killing out of control

An entire wolf pack killed. Years of research cut short.

Alaska’s campaign of brutal and indiscriminate killing of wolves, bears and other predators is so intense that National Park Service scientists are abandoning a 23-year old study of wolf behaviour because so many of their study animals have been killed.

This cannot stand. Your urgent donation will help us protect predators in Alaska and imperilled wildlife nationwide:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=T3WXFh_itBQznv-WzMDNyw

Since 2005, Alaska has been killing predators using a range of outrageous tactics including aerial gunning, killing mother wolves and their young in their dens, using bait to attract bears and using traps and snares. The state has also expanded hunting seasons and bag limits to aggressively target predators in an effort to artificially inflate moose and other game animal populations so that hunters have more to shoot.

Help us to protect wolves:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=JF5kYtmDlSYIu31IT9rxrg

They even use “Judas wolves,” animals that are caught, radio-collared and then lead shooters back to their doomed packs.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service finalized a rule just two weeks ago to prohibit this sort of abuse on national wildlife refuges. But we are confident that Alaska will continue to pull out all the stops to block these crucial regulations.

And advocates of Alaska’s extreme and excessive killing practices have friends on Capitol Hill. In fact, legislative proposals to nullify this new rule have already passed the full U.S. House of Representatives twice!

Defenders worked hard to help establish these regulations, and now, we are working even harder to stop Congress from blocking them.

These are desperate times for the wildlife you and I love. Together, we can turn back these appalling attacks and protect imperilled animals wherever they are threatened. We can do it, but only with the help of people who care…people like you.

Please donate today.

Thank you for all you do!

  1. USA: Our last chance for red wolf survival

Going, going, tragically almost gone.

Red wolves are dangerously close to extinction in the wild, and they need your help.

Under relentless pressure from special interests in North Carolina, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has all but abandoned its efforts to recover these shy wolves in the wild.

URGENT: Insist that FWS recommit to red wolf recovery – before it’s too late:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=Mu9I-TldPVeE0JsRdK3OnQ

As you read this, there are no more than 60 red wolves in the wild, down from almost 150 if FWS does not take immediate action to protect and expand the existing wolf population as well as prepare a revised recovery plan that ensures the recovery of red wolves in the wild in the South-eastern U.S.

But instead of aggressively advancing red wolf recovery, FWS has made little effort in recent years to proactively recover the species. In fact, it has actually taken steps that have undermined the program.

Speak out for red wolves.

For example, FWS has:

  • Refused to release any new wolves into the wild since 2015;
  • Issued permits to private landowners to kill non-problem wolves;
  • Removed red wolves from the wild, causing significant harm to the breeding population; and
  • Reduced or eliminated critical efforts to collar and track red wolves.

If FWS fails to recommit to the recovery of red wolves, they are effectively dooming them to extinction.

Please don’t let that happen to these magnificent animals – take action today.

  1. USA: A dagger in the heart of Red Wolf recovery

We could hardly believe it when we heard it.

This week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced plans that would effectively abandon their obligation to protect and recover red wolves in the wild.

We can’t just sit idle at this news. We have to fight back.

It’s the news we’ve all been dreading.

Just this week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced plans that would effectively abandon their obligation to protect and recover red wolves in the wild.

They plan to round up most of the red wolves living on both private and public lands in North Carolina, potentially forcing them into captivity. This action would likely all but doom the world’s most endangered wolf to extinction in the wild.

Defenders is fighting for red wolves with every resource we’ve got – including taking court action. But we need your help.

Your emergency donation will help Defenders continue to fight for red wolves and other imperilled species:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=ue3LWQBjaEukkjrFkO70IA

Never before has FWS so directly turned its back on an endangered species recovery effort. The agency is essentially giving up on the red wolves in the wild today, with vague promises of reintroduction efforts elsewhere, sometime in the future.

You’d be shocked to know that once upon a time, the red wolf recovery program was considered a model success story. But that was a long time ago and now, after years of mismanagement by FWS, red wolf numbers have plummeted. This week’s announcement is a devastating blow.

Help us fight for red wolves:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=3lM8OpG19MbHdoIvctvDvA

It’s likely that FWS is caving to political pressure from a small but seemingly powerful group of landowners and special interests. Recent polls show that more than 80 percent of North Carolinians support red wolf recovery. But their views are being ignored.

This cannot stand.

With your help, Defenders can speak for red wolves and other animals who cannot speak for themselves.

Please help protect these shy and vulnerable creatures with an emergency gift today:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=lNwghA_0XKwNkhno4zI7Lg

Time is running out, but Defenders will do everything we can to ensure that the howl of the red wolf continues to be heard.

I’m counting on your help.

  1. USA: Must-pass bills contain deadly anti-wildlife provisions

Poison pills embedded in must-pass legislation pose a direct and deadly threat to wolves and other wildlife you love.

These anti-wildlife amendments must be rejected. And time is short.

Tell your representative to reject all anti-wildlife riders now in pending “must-pass” legislation, including a final bill to fund the government:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=zogPQZEj3EidBxYfjbJ8Ng

We are especially concerned about provisions that have been inserted into three must-pass bills; the House FY 2017 Interior appropriations bill, the House-passed energy package and the House National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

These bills include deadly riders that would, among other things:

  • Strip gray wolves of Endangered Species Act protection across the entire continental United States and remove federal protections for other imperilled species that have not yet recovered;
  • Block the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service from stopping the slaughter of wolves, bears and other native predators on public lands in Alaska;
  • Cripple the management of our national wildlife refuges; and
  • Leave the Endangered Species Act in tatters.
  • Take action to protect the wildlife you love:
    http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=WXyiMMuNcwClpMKl6lrsVg

This is not what most Americans want. It’s the work of a small group of well-funded extremists and special interests who are prepared to ignore the will of the American people in order to further their own anti-environmental agenda.

These riders represent grossly inappropriate action by certain members of Congress who are completely preoccupied with pushing special interest agendas, no matter the cost. These amendments are just more examples of Congress substituting politics for science.

The war against wildlife is coming to a head. We must defeat these unconscionable riders before they become law.

Your voice matters. Please take action today:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=blG8TeUbC3yqODrcozy2iw

From California Wolfcenter
(californiawolfcenter@yahoogroups.com)

Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project Monthly Update

Endangered Species Updates July 1-30, 2016

The following is a summary of Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project (Project) activities in the Mexican Wolf Experimental Population Area (MWEPA) in Arizona, including the Fort Apache Indian Reservation (FAIR), San Carlos Apache Reservation (SCAR), and New Mexico. Additional Project information can be obtained by calling (928) 339-4329 or toll free at (888) 459-9653, or by visiting the Arizona Game and Fish Department website at www.azgfd.gov/wolf or by visiting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website at www.fws.gov/southwest/es/mexicanwolf.   Past updates may be viewed on either website, or interested parties may sign up to receive this update electronically by signing up here. This update is a public document and information in it can be used for any purpose. The Project is a multi-agency cooperative effort among the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD), USDA Forest Service (USFS), USDA-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services (USDA-APHIS WS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the White Mountain Apache Tribe (WMAT).

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

Please report any wolf sightings or suspected livestock depredations to:  the Alpine wolf office (928) 339-4329, Pinetop wolf office (928-532-2391) or toll free at (888) 459-9653.  To report incidents of take or harassment of wolves, please call the AGFD 24-hour dispatch (Operation Game Thief) at (800) 352-0700.

Overall Mexican Wolf Recovery Program Monthly Update

On July 28, personnel from WMAT and USFWS presented to WMAT Chairman, Vice Chairman, and Tribal Council in Whiteriver, AZ.

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

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

CURRENT POPULATION STATUS

Population monitoring requires year round effort documenting births, deaths, survival, total numbers, and distribution all culminating in the end of the year population counts.  Currently, there are 19 packs and 4 single wolves, which include 44 wolves with functioning radio collars that are used by the IFT to collect this data.

IN ARIZONA:

Bear Wallow Pack (collared M1338 and F1335)

In July, the Bear Wallow Pack was located within their traditional territory in the east central portion of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest (ASNF).  During this month, the Bear Wallow pack ceased to show denning behaviour.

Bluestem Pack (collared M1382, F1443, f1488, f1489)

In July, the Bluestem Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the east central portion of the ASNF.  Wolves F1443, f1488 and f1489 were consistently located together near the Bluestem den.  Three pups have been confirmed for Bluestem pack this year.  M1382 continued to travel throughout Arizona and New Mexico on its own for the first part of the month; however, it was found with the rest of the Bluestem pack during the latter part of the month.

Buckalou Pack (collared F1405)

In July, F1405 continued to travel between Arizona and New Mexico in both the Gila and Apache National Forests.  M1404 was found dead in New Mexico; the incident is under investigation.

Elk Horn Pack (collared AF1294 and AM1342)

In July, the Elk Horn Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north eastern portion of the ASNF.  The IFT continued to document denning behaviour by this pack this month. The Elk Horn Pack has periodically used a food cache set up by the IFT to supplement the pack due to the two pups cross-fostered into the pack’s litter in April.  A minimum of one pup was documented from the Elk Horn Pack in July.

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

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

Hoodoo Pack (collared AM1290, AF1333 and m1441)

In July, the Hoodoo Pack remained in the north central portion of the ASNF.  The IFT continued to document denning behaviour by the Hoodoo Pack this month.  The Hoodoo Pack has continued to utilize the food cache put in place for them to prevent potential depredation issues in the area.  The Hoodoo Pack had a minimum pup count of two in July.

Marble Pack (collared AM1330)

In July, AM1330 made wide dispersal movements across the ASNF and the FAIR and has been documented as travelling alone.  The Marble Pack consists of one collared wolf.

Maverick Pack (collared AM1183 and AF1291)

In July, the Maverick Pack was located within their traditional territory both on the FAIR and ASNF.  The Maverick Pack localized and continued to show signs of denning.

Panther Creek Pack (F1339 and M1394)

In July, the Panther Creek Pack has been located in the east central portion of the ASNF.  The Panther Creek Pack continued to show denning behaviour and utilize the food cache that the IFT has maintained for them.

Single M1398

During July, M1398 was located in Arizona within the southeast portion of the ASNF.

ON THE FAIR:

Diamond Pack (collared M1249, F1437, m1447, and m1454)

In July, the Diamond Pack was located in the eastern portion of the FAIR and the north central portion of the ASNF.  m1454 made wide dispersal movements in the north central portion of the ASNF and north of the ASNF on private and state trust land.  It is not yet known if the pack denned.

Tsay-o-Ah Pack (collared AM1343, AF1283, f1445)

In July, Tsay-o-Ah was located in the eastern portion of the FAIR.  f1445 travelled into ASNF occasionally.  f1445 was documented travelling with M1347.

Single M1347

During July, M1347 was located on the eastern portion of the FAIR and the east central portion of the ASNF.  M1347 was documented travelling with f1445.

IN NEW MEXICO:

Dark Canyon Pack (collared AM992, and f1444)

During July, the IFT located this pack within its traditional territory in the west central portion of the Gila National Forest (GNF).  In late July, AM992 began making movements outside of its traditional territory.

Iron Creek Pack (collared AM1240 and AF1278)

During July, the Iron Creek Pack continued to utilize their territory in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness and the southern portion of the GNF. A diversionary food cache is being maintained for the Iron Creek Pack to mitigate potential wolf-livestock conflicts.  In July, a wild land fire burned near the pack’s rendezvous site.  Following the fire, the pack moved back toward the food cache.  The IFT documented a minimum of 3 pups following the move and continues to monitor the pack for any negative impacts due to the fire.

Luna Pack (collared AF1115, AM1158, and F1487)

During July, the Luna Pack remained in their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF. The IFT is maintaining a diversionary and supplemental food cache in efforts to reduce potential for further livestock depredations.

Mangas Pack (collared M1296, F1439)

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

Prieto Pack (collared M1386, AF1251, AM1387, m1455, and f1456)

During July, the Prieto Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF.  The diversionary food cache was removed in July.

San Mateo Pack (collared M1345 and F1399)

During July, the IFT documented M1345 and F1399 travelling together within their territory in the north central portion of the GNF and has continued to show denning behaviour.  A diversionary food cache is being maintained for the San Mateo Pack to reduce potential wolf-livestock conflicts.

SBP Pack (AM1284 and AF1392)

In July the SBP Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF.

Willow Springs Pack (collared F1397)

In July, the IFT documented the Willow Springs Pack within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF.

Single M1293

During July, M1293 was located within the Gila Wilderness in New Mexico.

Single AM1155

During July, AM1155 was documented travelling in NM on the outskirts of its former territory.

MORTALITIES

In July, m1404 of the Buckalou Pack was located dead in New Mexico.  This incident is under investigation.

In July, AF1115 of the Luna Pack was located dead in New Mexico.  The incident is under investigation.

INCIDENTS

During July there were ten livestock depredation reports involving wolves and no nuisance reports.

On July 2, Wildlife Services investigated an injured calf in Catron County, New Mexico.  The investigation determined the calf was injured by a wolf.

On July 5, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, Arizona.  The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf kill.

On July 6, Wildlife Services investigated an injured calf that later died from its injuries in Apache County, Arizona.  The investigation determined the calf was not injured by wolves.

On July 11, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, Arizona.  The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf kill.

On July 15, Wildlife Services investigated two dead calves in Apache County, Arizona.  The investigation determined both calves were not killed by wolves.

On July 16, Wildlife Services investigated an injured calf in Catron County, New Mexico.  The investigation determined the calf was injured by a wolf.

On July 19, Wildlife Services investigated an injured horse in Catron County, New Mexico.  The investigation determined the horse was injured by a wolf.  The horse was euthanized days later.

On July 20, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow and calf in Catron County, New Mexico.  The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf kill and the cow was a probable wolf kill.

On July 23, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, Arizona.  The investigation determined the calf was not killed by wolves.

On July 26, Wildlife Services investigated an injured calf in Catron County, New Mexico.  The investigation determined the calf was injured by a wolf.

COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATION

On July 21 and 22, the IFT completed annual chemical immobilization training.

On July 23 through July 25, the IFT completed bi-annual helicopter training.

On July 29, a member of the IFT gave a presentation to a group at the Big Lake campground in Arizona.

PROJECT PERSONNEL

In July, Jeff Dolphin resigned from the AGFD.  Jeff had worked with the IFT for 9 years, most recently as the Mexican Wolf Project Field Supervisor for the AGFD.  Thank you Jeff for your dedication and commitment to the Mexican Wolf Recovery Project.

  1. Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project Monthly Update

Endangered Species Updates August 1-31, 2016

Overall Mexican Wolf Recovery Program Monthly Update

The USFWS presented information on the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program to a closed session of the White Mountain Apache Tribal Council on July 28, 2016.

The USFWS attended the annual Mexican Wolf Species Survival Plan meeting held August 1-4 at Chico Hot Springs in Pray, MT.  The meeting was also combined, for the first time, with the Red Wolf Program’s Species Survival Plan meeting.

The USFWS held the 4th Mexican wolf recovery planning workshop in Albuquerque, NM August 22 and 23, 2016.  The workshop was attended by staff from the states of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah, the Mexican government agencies CONANP (National Commission of Natural Protected Areas) and SEMARNAT (Secretariat of Environmental and Natural Resources) and independent scientists from both countries.  The workshop focused on review of a habitat model across the border region and input parameters for the Vortex model, which will be used to evaluate extinction risk of various recovery scenarios.

CURRENT POPULATION STATUS

Population monitoring requires year round effort documenting births, deaths, survival, total numbers, and distribution all culminating in the end of the year population counts.  Currently, there are 19 packs and 4 single wolves, which include 47 wolves with functioning radio collars that are used by the IFT to collect this data.

IN ARIZONA:

Bear Wallow Pack (collared M1338, F1335 and fp1548)

In August, the Bear Wallow Pack was located within their traditional territory in the east central portion of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest (ASNF).  A female pup, fp1548, in the Bear Wallow Pack was captured, collared and released in the month of August.  This confirmed that Bear Wallow did produce pups, with a minimum count of one.

Bluestem Pack (collared M1382, F1443 and f1488)

In August, the Bluestem Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the east central portion of the ASNF.  Wolves F1443, f1488 and M1382 were consistently located together near the Bluestem den.

Buckalou Pack (collared F1405)

In August, F1405 continued to travel between Arizona and New Mexico in both the Gila and Apache National Forests. .

Elk Horn Pack (collared AF1294, AM1342 and mp1474)

In August, the Elk Horn Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north eastern portion of the ASNF.  The IFT documented rendezvous behaviour by this pack during the month of August. The Elk Horn Pack has periodically used a food cache set up by the IFT to supplement the pack due to the two pups cross-fostered into the pack’s litter in April.  A male pup, mp1474, with the Elk Horn Pack was captured, collared and released in the month of August.  This pup was not one of the two pups cross-fostered into the Elk Horn Pack in April.

Hawks Nest Pack (collared AM1038)

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

Hoodoo Pack (collared AM1290, AF1333, m1441, fp1549 and fp1550)

In August, the Hoodoo Pack remained in the north central portion of the ASNF.  The IFT documented rendezvous behaviour by the Hoodoo Pack this month.  The Hoodoo Pack has continued to utilize the food cache put in place for them to prevent potential depredation issues in the area.  Two female pups, fp1549 and fp1550, with the Hoodoo Pack were caught, collared and released.

Marble Pack (collared AM1330)

AM1330 was not heard or located during the month of August. The Marble Pack consists of one collared wolf.

Maverick Pack (collared AF1291)

In August, the Maverick Pack was located within their traditional territory both on the FAIR and ASNF.  Pup tracks were documented in Maverick territory during the month of August.

Panther Creek Pack (collared F1339 and M1394)

In August, the Panther Creek Pack was been located in the east central portion of the ASNF.  The Panther Creek Pack continued to show denning behaviour and utilize the food cache that the IFT has maintained for them to supplement the pack due to the two pups cross-fostered into the Panther Creek Pack in April.

Single collared M1398

During August, M1398 was not located.

ON THE FAIR:

Diamond Pack (collared AM1249, m1447)

In August, the Diamond Pack was located in the eastern portion of the FAIR, the northwest portion of the ASNF, and non-public land in Arizona.  m1454 was found dead in Arizona, on non-Tribal land; the incident is under investigation.  Pups were documented travelling with the pack.

Tsay-o-Ah Pack (collared AM1343, AF1283, f1445)

In August, Tsay-o-Ah was located in the eastern portion of the FAIR.  f1445 travelled into ASNF occasionally.  f1445 was documented travelling with M1347.

Single collared M1347

During August, M1347 was located on the eastern portion of the FAIR and the east central portion of the ASNF.  M1347 was documented travelling with f1445.

IN NEW MEXICO:

Dark Canyon Pack (collared AM992, and f1444)

During August, the IFT located this pack within its traditional territory in the west central portion of the Gila National Forest (GNF).  AM992 was documented back in its traditional territory.

Iron Creek Pack (collared AM1240 and AF1278)

During August, the Iron Creek Pack continued to utilize their territory in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness and the southern portion of the GNF. A diversionary food cache is being maintained for the Iron Creek Pack to mitigate potential wolf-livestock conflicts.

Luna Pack (collared AM1158, and F1487)

During August, the Luna Pack remained in their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF. The IFT is maintaining a diversionary and supplemental food cache in efforts to reduce potential for further livestock depredations.

Mangas Pack (collared M1296, F1439)

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

Prieto Pack (collared M1386, AF1251, AM1387, m1455, and f1456)

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

San Mateo Pack (collared AM1345 and AF1399)

During August, the IFT documented AM1345 and AF1399 travelling together within their territory in the north central portion of the GNF and has continued to show denning behaviour.  A diversionary food cache is being maintained for the San Mateo Pack to reduce potential wolf-livestock conflicts.

SBP Pack (collared AM1284 and AF1392)

In August the SBP Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF.  AM1284 was not located during August.

Willow Springs Pack (collared F1397)

In August, the IFT documented the Willow Springs Pack within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF.

Single collared M1293

During August, M1293 was located within the Gila Wilderness in New Mexico.

Single collared AM1155

During August, AM1155 was documented traveling within New Mexico.

MORTALITIES

In August, M1454 of the Diamond Pack was located dead in Arizona.  The incident is under investigation.

INCIDENTS

During August there were seven livestock depredation reports and no nuisance reports.  Five of the seven depredation reports were confirmed wolf kills.

On August 2, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, Arizona.  The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf kill.

On August 9, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Catron County, New Mexico.  The investigation determined the cow was a confirmed wolf kill.

On August 12, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, Arizona.  The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf kill.

On August 23, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, Arizona.  The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf kill.

On August 25, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Apache County, Arizona.  The investigation determined the cow had died from unknown cause.

On August 25, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County Arizona.  The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf kill.

On August 31, Wildlife Services investigated a dead yearling cow in Apache County, Arizona.  The investigation determined the yearling cow had died from unknown causes.

COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATION

On August 4, AGFD gave a presentation on the Mexican wolf reintroduction at the 2016 Southwest Wings Festival in Sierra Vista.

On August 10 and 11, WMAT presented at the Native American Fish and Wildlife Society – Southwest Region Conference on the Navajo Reservation.

On August 11, the USFWS gave a presentation on the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program to the University of New Mexico’s continuing education program.

On August 16, WMAT presented at a community meeting in Cibecue, AZ.

On August 30, the USFWS gave a presentation on the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program to the Rio Rancho Rotary.

PROJECT PERSONNEL

In August, WMAT Mexican Wolf Tribal Youth Conservation Interns:  Hanna Kindelay, Tiexieria Clitso, Rosel Ethelbah, Marissa Gregg, and Hyram Lee concluded their internship.  Thanks for all of your dedication and work!

In August, Steven Nagy began as a volunteer/intern with the USFWS.  Welcome to the program Steven!

REWARDS OFFERED

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

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

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

USA: Help bring Red Wolves back from the Brink of Extinction

As you read this, there are no more than 60 red wolves in the wild, down from almost 150. That number could reach zero if the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) does not take immediate action to resume its recovery plan for these creatures.

Under relentless pressure from special interests in North Carolina, the FWS has all but abandoned its efforts to return these shy wolves to the wild. We cannot allow them to sit idly by while this species spirals toward extinction when a clear path forward for their recovery exists.
Sign our petition today to demand that they take action.

From Endangered Species Coalition
(action=endangered.org@mail.salsalabs.net; on behalf of; Leda Huta, Endangered Species Coalition (action@endangered.org))

USA: Red wolves are the most endangered canid in the worldfewer than 45 remain in the wild, all in the state of North Carolina. In spite of the crucial need to help this highly-endangered species, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) appears to be buckling in the face of political pressure from anti-wolf interests and could shut down the recovery program.

Help pressure the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to do its job and save red wolves with a $25 donation today.

Red wolves are found only in the United States, making the need for continued protection even more urgent. Once these wolves are gone, there will be none left in the wild. As recently as 2006, there were 130 wild red wolves in the recovery zone. In the last year however, the USFWS has radically scaled back its efforts and allowed that population to plummet. It is expected to make a decision on the future of the program this autumn.

Make a $25 donation to help stop the USFWS from walking away from its responsibility to protect red wolves from slipping away.

This is a crucial moment in the future of this species and there is still time to effect change, but we need your help. We are working with our member organizations and partners, on the ground in North Carolina and in Washington, D.C., to keep the pressure on USFWS Director Dan Ashe to do his job and protect endangered wolves. Recent history has shown that when the Service commits to red wolf recovery, it has succeeded and it can again. One of the primary causes of red wolf deaths was mistaken identity, but a limit on night-time coyote hunting has reduced this threat, making recovery an achievable goal. But the USFWS can’t bring red wolves back if they walk away now.

Please support our work to keep red wolves protected and recovering with an emergency $25 donation today.

Thank you for your commitment to wildlife and wild places.

From Colleen H., Care2 Action Alerts
(actionalerts@care2.com)

Ethiopian wolves need help

Ethiopian wolves are one of only three wolves that inhabit Africa, living in just a few enclaves in Ethiopia’s mountains. They look much like foxes with bushy tails and pointed ears. And soon, they could be extinct.

Please sign the petition asking the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority to protect the Ethiopian wolf before it’s too late: http://www.care2.com/go/z/e/AV5rm/zsHs/GeQa

It’s estimated that the population has dwindled to only a few hundred wolves. Diseases such as rabies and canine distemper, carried by domestic dogs, threaten the few that remain. According to the Wildlife Conservation Network, three out of four wolves affected by these diseases will die.

Clearly, these wolves need our help:

These highly social wolves often hunt and raise their pups together in packs. In order to survive, they need groups like the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority to step in and make sure they are protected. But we need to make sure the Authority hears us loud and clear so that these wolves aren’t left behind and forgotten.

Please take a moment and sign the petition to the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority demanding strong protection to help save the Ethiopian wolf.

http://www.care2.com/go/z/e/AV5rm?zsHs?GeQa

Other News

National

Nothing to report

Next door

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

ZCTV Report 1st September 2016

UPDATE

We would like to apologise for the lack of reports and for being so quiet these past few months. As you are all well aware, we lost a wonderful woman, my wife and mother to my children. It has been an extremely difficult time for us all and we have all battled to just carry on with life or even find a reason to continue at all. This year, my family and I have fallen on some really bad times. On the 10th March I had some kidney stones removed, then I lost my dearly beloved wife Cheryl on the 30th March 2016. We have also been left with a massive hospital bill, which we did not expect and do not have the funds to pay for it. My daughter and son tried to auction paintings and drawings to try and help us raise some money but we did not even get one bid.

I attended the CECIL RALLY on the 30th July and ended up contracting the

E-Coli bug in Washington DC. I spent almost my entire trip sick and in bed. It was not a pleasant experience and I would not like to go through it again.

We have also been plagued by viruses on our computers and have lost a lot of data due to this happening….which has hampered the reports being sent out, too. I am now down to one very old outdated machine so hopefully it will hold out long enough for me to continue my work. If anyone can help me with a lap top I would really appreciate it.

ZIMBABWE SITUATION UPDATE:

From February this year, the Zimbabwean Authorities and the Chinese officials have been capturing animals for export to China. We are aware of 8 lions, giraffe, hyenas, various species of antelope, baboons and vervet monkeys that have already been captured. It has also been reported to us that there are 130 baby elephants and 50 lions on order to be captured for Chimelong Safari Park, in China. Our investigators have furnished us with photographic evidence of some of the captured animals that the capture unit have beheaded, in the Hwange area, to be mounted and sold as trophies. The monkeys are being skinned and apparently being fed to the capture team too.

On our local television station ZTV, they stated recently that they are in the process of capturing elephants under the age of 6 years old to be “relocated” to Chisarira, near Binga. We find this statement very disturbing and suspicious as we feel if it was a legitimate exercise, why don’t they relocate the entire elephant family instead of ripping the babies from their Mother’s knowing full well what a detrimental effect this practice has of splitting up elephant families has. Cages have been refurbished and repainted in the Mtshipi capture area and lined up next to the bomas. We believe that these cages will be used for the capture of the elephants for export and not relocation as they have indicated.

In April this year, 10 armed elephant poachers were found in the Hwange area. Five of the poachers were killed by a pride of lions, 2 managed to escape and the remaining 3 were left seriously injured. In the lower Zambezi area, the poaching of elephants is out of control and the authorities are not containing the problem.

To end off this report, I would like to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has supported us over the years and to those of you that continue to support us by way of donations and just by being there for us. Without your valued support and assistance the ZCTF would never have been able to keep you all up to date with the situation in Zimbabwe. We are also looking for a good second hand 4×4 to assist with carrying out the investigations and follow ups. Our investigators usually travel thousands of kilometres to get the latest information that we share with you. However, we are finding ourselves in a position whereby the funding has decreased quite substantially and we are struggling to pay our undercover investigators, pay transport, accommodation and the general day to day running of the ZCTF. I fear that if we don’t get some assistance soon we may have to discontinue the work of the ZCTF due to lack of funds.

  1. 9th September 2016

YOU CAN NOW DONATE TO THE ZCTF VIA PAYPAL AND GOFUNDME

We are delighted to advise that we can now accept online donations to GoFundMe and PayPal on our Website: www.zctfofficialsite.org. all thanks to the very generous efforts of Will and Martin who have so kindly donated their time and services to help us get back on our feet. We will also be selling some paintings and drawings, which have been done by my children, and prints of Cheryl’s work too. This will be posted on the website very soon….so, watch this space. For your convenience I have attached the links to both sites.

GOFUNDME

https://www.gofundme.com/2mwz6cfb

PAYPAL – DONATE NOW

http://www.zctfofficialsite.org/donate-now

We cannot thank you all for the lovely messages of concern and encouragement that we have received over the past week. There truly are some very special people left on our planet. My family and I would like to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for everything. I would like to leave you with this quote by John Kay that I have dedicated to my late beautiful wife Cheryl…..I love you my angel……

“Take nothing but pictures,
Kill nothing but time,
Leave nothing but footprints”
John Kay

International

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

Global: Help stop deadly wildlife crime

Elephants butchered for their tusks. Parrots smuggled from the jungle to fuel the exotic pet trade. Lizards packed into handbags.

A heartbreaking number of animal species are being traded into extinction.

The international trade in wildlife and wildlife products is big business, and the illegal trade is on a scale comparable to trafficking in drugs and guns. This month, my colleagues and I will attend a global gathering of nations in South Africa to stem the extinction epidemic that threatens so many animal and plant species.

And you can help too, right now, by signing our wildlife protection pledge:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=R9EMaMpUsJ6-fXBIcMLmRA

hen you sign, you’re affirming your commitment to do what you can – as a consumer and as an advocate – to protect the wildlife we all love.

Sign the pledge:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=w00oVHi91w0nZ4qcQZ8F0g

The gathering is the Conference of the Parties for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species in Wild Fauna and Flora, or CITES, which is an international agreement to regulate wildlife that is threatened by trade. One hundred eighty-two countries and territories have signed on since the treaty went into force in 1975.

I’d like you to be with me in spirit at the CITES meeting. I will carry the names of the people who sign this pledge with me every day. It will be an important reminder that I speak not only for Defenders, but for tens of thousands of wildlife-lovers all around the world.

In addition to reducing demand for elephant ivory, Defenders is especially concerned about a range of species that are currently in growing danger – animals like African gray parrots, devil rays, nautilus, Titicaca water frogs, Ocellate River stingrays and arboreal alligator lizards.

These animals have no voice of their own. You and I must speak for them.

Please sign the pledge today:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=w00oVHi91w0nZ4qcQZ8F0g

Thank you so much for your care and concern.

Wolves and Wolfdogs

The risky return of the Wolf to Germany

At least 400 wolves, forming 31 packs, presently live in Germany. But what makes nature conservationists happy also sees growing concern amongst farmers, because the animals have lost their natural shyness and move closer and closer to humans and their homes.

In Neuhaus (Solling County, southern Lower Saxony), the police was called in the middle of the night because 49 young stallions had escaped from their pasture, crossed a national road in panic, demolished cars, and broken down a number of fences. After fleeing for kilometers, they had disappeared into the dense forest. Helicopters searched for the escaped horses still the next day. This incident sadly saw many animals injured, some with deep cuts and abrasions, and one horse dead.

Luckily no humans were hurt. However, the raging horses could have caused much more damage, and two of them were still missing even two weeks later.

But that is not the end of it, with the question remaining – what caused all this panic? Some in Solling have been whispering a suspicion: that was the wolf.

Nine packs live in Lower Saxony

Nine wolf packs are confirmed to live in Lower Saxony – parents, yearlings and cubs. In addition there are some single wolves and one confirmed pair that has not had cubs yet. That makes for a total of 80 wolves. Although nature conservationists applaud the return of the wolf, its growing population increasingly causes problems and sees farmers and horse breeders more and more worried.

The 49 horses belonged to the stud farm Hunnesrück that is managed by Lower Saxony’s Ministry of Agriculture. The ministry assured the public that there was no reason for “wild speculations” about the cause of the break-out and blaming wolves for it. The official statement was that there were no wolf packs or indications of single wolves to the south of Hannover in the Solling region. Purported sightings in recent years could never be confirmed.

Wolves no longer satisfied with wild prey

There are rumors about single wolves roaming the Solling region the about 140 honorary wolf consultants of the national government get to hear over and over again. They think that it is just a question of time until these rumors will become reality. Since wolves have immigrated into Saxony in the 1990’ and raised their first cubs in 2000, they have continuously expanded their range to the northwest. They are strictly protected, and their worst enemy is the traffic on roads.

Opportunistic and intelligent as they are, these wolves are no longer satisfied with wild prey animals. It is much easier to predate on domesticated ones – first it was sheep, but meanwhile they also go for calves and even young cattle, something experts thought impossible.

A dairy farm in the Cuxhaven district was hit especially hard. In August of 2014, a wolf killed two young cattle of about 250 kg each; two months later he came back and injured another one so seriously that it had to be euthanized. The lady farmer is still upset when she tells of these attacks. It had been the first evidence of a wolf attack on such a large cattle. The provincial government paid compensation and also took over the costs for improved security around the pasture by adding two more wire lines to the electric fencing, making it five wires tall. But just two weeks ago, one calf was found on this pasture with its throat ripped open and lots of chewing wounds; another calf also succumbed to its injuries. Both animals were half a year old and weighed about 150 kg each.

Dairy farmers are angry, because the public wants farmers to keep their animals on pastures, in settings as naturalistic as possible, but at the same time, politics encourage the dispersal of wolves. They feel these directives don’t go together. They say, it is the farmers paying the bill for the state’s love of wolves. Not even the 4-foot five-wire electric fence was enough to protect the animals. The culprit supposedly entered the pasture through a narrow furrow under the fence.

Hunting horses

It is not yet certain beyond doubt that these calves were really killed by a wolf. Tissue samples from the bite wounds have been sent to the Laboratory for Wild Animal Genetics in Gelhausen. If traces of saliva (genetic material) of the attacker can be isolated, it would be possible to identify the animal species. Sometimes even stray dogs kill sheep or calves, but the results of the genetic analyses are still pending.

The fact that wolves live in the Cuxhaven District, the centre of German dairy farming, is evidence for how well the animals have adapted to humans and their altered landscapes. Wolves don’t need dense forests, said Dammann-Tamke, member of the provincial parliament and president of the provincial hunting association of Lower Saxony. He warns that the animals will further lose their shyness towards humans and may continue to close in on them. Indeed, some farmers have reported seeing wolves roaming about close to villages and farms. Would they also hunt horses?

Willa Bohnet, an expert on equestrian behaviour at the Veterinary High School of Hannover, thinks it very unlikely that a single wolf would attack a large herd of horses, because these could fight back very effectively and were therefore an unattractive prey for wolves.

Why the 49 young stallions fled from their pasture might never be fully explained. Horses do not have an inborn fear of the scent of a wolf, but what they don’t know can cause them to panic.

Original source: Die Welt http://www.welt.de/politik/deutschland/article157652246/Die-riskante-Rueckkehr-des-Wolfs-nach-Deutschland.html (translated here from German and summarized)

Wolf Myths and Legends, Part 130

Journeys Of The Spirit Within

By: Bryan Jones

Awakening of the White Wolf

He rises from his long slumber.

Much time has passed since he has walked in her light, but a voice he remembers from a time ago is like a song to his ears and has awoken him from his deep sleep.

Although it has been many years he can still recall the short time they were together and it saddens his heart that he slept so long and almost forgot the spirit inside of him, but he does not weep for he is also glad to be awake once more.

As he emerges from where he has slept and stretches his tired muscles his senses become sharper and he greets the coming evening with a renewed energy and sees again with his eyes the world before him.

He begins to move through the wild and a hunger starts in his belly for it has been a long time since he has enjoyed her company and knows only one way to satisfy his growing hunger.

Once more the hunter inside him arises.

As his journey begins he stops by a pool of water to quench his thirst.

While he is drinking he looks at his reflection and contemplates what he sees.

Although he is older his heart is still young and in his eyes you can still see the glint of the youth that wants to play and run through the country without a care in the world.

But you can also see the elder who has gained the wisdom that comes with age and is more careful as he travels in this life.

As he moves on his mind returns to his ever growing hunger and he must begin his hunt. He travels on and soon comes to the top of a tall mountain and he searches for a sign to show him the way, but as he looks out over the land he sees nothing to help him in his quest.

Above him as the clouds move in the night sky he sees what he is searching for. Although she is far away he has traveled far before and as the sky clears and the stars emerge she shines brightly like a beacon in the night and he walks in her light once more.

The light of the Bright Moon.

And the White Wolf howls.

A Meeting Of A New Friend

The White Wolf howls but there is no moon.

No longer does he yearn for the sight of her brightness in the night sky for its hold on him is no longer as strong as it once was.

He has found a new reason to lift his voice to the night. His howls now echo with a new song in his heart.

In his voice a song of a new found friend now fills the woods. Although he travels alone most times and draws strength from his independence the chance of meeting a kindred spirit has elated his soul.

Seldom in his travels does he meet another who understands his ways and has traveled along the same roads in life that he has journeyed over.

The ways of the wolf are strange to most, but inside of her he sees that she also shares some of the same spirit he has in her own ways and is attracted to her because of it.

As they get to know each other better he sees in her a jumble of mixed emotions and knows that her mind and soul are troubled and wants to help her sprit mend. He listens as she tells him of the obstacles that block her happiness. He hears her spirit yearn for a simpler life.

A life without problems brought about by others who want to bring her down and it saddens his heart to feel all the sadness in her life that she does not deserve to have.

He also listens as she tells him of good things in her life and sees how her eyes light up when she speaks of her son.

He feels the emotions of a proud mother come out of her and knows that his young spirit gives her strength in times of need.

He can also see within her the beautiful spirit that is the true soul within her and knows she deserves so much more happiness in her life and wants to help her find it.

As he rests and thinks to himself how he can help mend her broken spirit and bring more light to her soul his senses remind him to be careful.

In the past his willingness to help others has hurt him and he has learned to stay cautious and guard his feelings well.

While he contemplates his new friend’s dilemma he also senses more from her soul and it confuses him.

But it also intrigues his senses for he knows the future with this new friend can be a new adventure and he decides that he will take on this task, because if he can help to brighten her spirit it will also strengthen his own spirit and be good for them both and that makes him glad.

Once again the White Wolf howls.

Readers’ Contribution

A Wolfdog Diary

By Erin

Hurray, our road has been completed, well, almost I have to say, because although the tarmac is on and it now looks like a decent road, they are still busy to “repair” the damage they have done with all the digging and big machines to the strips of ground in front of the individual properties. They brought in truckloads of sand to make the ground even with the road again, which again caused great stress to the pack (and us) with trucks and front-end loaders moving up and down the road all day long. We now don’t have a sand road any longer that would cause tons of dust to settle everywhere during the dry season, but now all the grass and other plants that had been growing in front of the properties have been buried, and what remains is an about 3-m wide strip of desert along both road sides where nothing grows at present and will not before it starts raining.

On top of that they have now realised that rainwater cannot run off the road because apparently their planning did not include something like a drainage system. About four weeks ago, we had two days of heavy rain and even hail (absolutely strange for this time of the year), and that had resulted in the road being under water in some places for a few days, so that they had to pause their work until it had dried up. I guess that must have given them a wake-up call, and they started right away to take out the newly laid kerb stones in places, dig up the soil again in front of some properties, and take out an about 20-cm wide strip of the new tarmac along the kerbs to make space for some or other gutter system that is supposed to deal with rainwater. Although all this is happening on the opposite side of the road, because the tarmac is slanted to this side, it is still causing noise and again involves machines and people moving up and down the street. I don’t know when or if this will ever come to an end, considering how long they have been busy with this road already, but at least it seems that the pack got used to it at least to some extent and now responds much more relaxed rather than freaking out every time they hear a truck or see a worker. But still, I cannot wait for all of it to disappear; it’s bad enough that most people driving down our road now think it has been turned into a dragster race track that is to be taken at full speed, which is something we and the pack have to get used to as well.

But enough of that; it’s now spring up here, and although day temperatures are more like summer, the nights are still rather like early spring. Ted uses Sundays to finish the work on his new workshop and I’m busy in the garden once more. Ascar II and Kajack II are happy about us spending so much more time outside and think it is very funny to steal our tools and run off with them. For her part, Taima thinks of this as rather childish and is more interested in hunting pigeons and chasing lizards. And she has (once more) figured out a way to open the door to the old greenhouse to check out whether any birds have got stuck in there. Every now and then birds will walk in there and then cannot find their way back out. They will then fly around inside, knocking over flower pots in the process, and settle on the plant benches for a short rest before they fly up again to try and find an exit. Hearing them, Taima will just dig her teeth into the horizontal wooden bar at the bottom of the fairly heavy door, lift it from its arresting mechanism in the ground, and pull it open far enough for her to squeeze through, and Kajack II and Ascar II will happily follow her. If I’m lucky enough to be nearby, I will hear what’s going on and open the door and foil flap wide enough for the bird to fly out before one of the three can catch it, but if this is not the case I will only find out when I see the open gate or one of the kids running around with a bird in his or her mouth with the other two in hot pursuit. Luckily I don’t have any valuable plants in there anymore, because you can imagine what it looks like inside after the three have been chasing that poor bird around until one of them eventually got it.

I have now moved a big rock in front of the door to stop Taima from pulling it open, but I guess it will not take long before she will find another “entry”. There is never a dull moment in this household, and whenever I think they have outgrown the one or other nonsense, they will come up with something new. It looks like they have used the winter to think up new tricks, and now they have to try it out in practice. Take Ascar II for an example – as a youngster, he loved to steal the couch cushions and chew them up, so that I had to take them away or put them into places too high for him to reach them. After a while he dropped this habit, and although the cushions were back on the couches he has been completely ignoring them for more than two years. Next month he will turn 3 years and guess what? He has rediscovered his old hobby and is after my cushions again, biting off the buttons or tearing out the zips. These guys seem to relive their puppy stages every few years again, no matter how old they are.

Will be continued…