Volume 11, Issue 146, December 2016

SAFHOWL

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

Volume 11, Issue 146, December 2016

From the Editor’s Desk

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When family becomes important for everybody

Wishing you an enjoyable Festive Season and a fabulous start into the New Year with your family and loved ones

Ed.

News from the Wolf Front

National

Nothing to report

International

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

USA: A notorious wolf hater

How many threats to wildlife and the environment can fit into one cabinet?

Our job has just gotten a whole lot harder. Donald Trump seems determined to surround himself with Cabinet appointees who have spent their whole careers in fundamental opposition to the mission of the agencies they are being tasked to lead.

Now, more than ever, we need your strong support! Donate now to the Wildlife Defense Campaign, and your gift will be TRIPLED: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=GtmU4tL6f4llMIo7x8p7BA

Just look at some of the cabinet choices:

  • Ryan Zinke (R-MT) was tapped, just yesterday, to head up the Department of the Interior. Zinke is a fervent supporter of coal, oil and gas exploration. He’s voted for Congressional measures that would gut the Endangered Species Act and is a strong backer of building the Keystone XL pipeline.
  • Rick Perry, chosen to run the Department of Energy – an agency he once stated he would like to eliminate. Perry, yet another climate change denier, also serves on the board of directors of Energy Transfer Partners, the company developing the Dakota Access Pipeline.
  • Rex Tillerson, the CEO of Exxon Mobile has been nominated to lead the State Department. Tillerson has used his leadership at Exxon Mobil, the firm at fault for the devastating Exxon-Valdez oil spill in Alaska, to promote fossil fuel development here and around the world.
  • Scott Pruitt, known climate change denier to head the Environmental Protection Agency. Pruitt is well known for suing the agency he is now set to lead and has worked to dismantle basic protections for our nation’s air and water.

This is why we’ve created the Wildlife Defense Campaign – so we’re ready to fight the Trump Administration. With you by our side, we’ll put a stop to dangerous policies from Trump’s stable of climate change deniers, oil executives and drilling enthusiasts:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=lWA9GMK5e_6OMZ2gZfUCNw

We cannot remain silent and let the anti-wildlife extremists and the climate change deniers have their way. These people are taking the most important jobs affecting the natural world.

We must be ready to take action in the face of these growing threats to wildlife. Donate now – every dollar you give to the Wildlife Defense Campaign will be matched 2- for-1, up to $150,000:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=e-bcgVU_3n0I_WAV5HFMKA

 From Change (http://change.org)

USA: Save Alaska’s Rarest, the Alexander Archipelago Wolves

These animals must be listed as endangered species immediately, since this situation is becoming ridiculously catastrophic. Southeast Alaska’s isolated wolf population has declined by 60 percent in just one year, dropping from an estimated 221 individuals in 2013 to 89 wolves in 2014, according to the U.S. Forest Service. Those numbers are already outdated. Another 29 wolves were reportedly killed in the 2014–2015 hunting and trapping season. Back in 1994, an estimated 900 wolves roamed Southeast Alaska, and the Prince of Wales Island population was estimated to be 300 to 350. Today, the population is estimated at 60. This is downright comical and it has to be stopped immediately. In 1993, a petition to list the Alexander Archipelago wolf as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act was lodged with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The agency decided in 1997 that listing was not warranted at that time. In 2011 a second petition to list the species as either threatened or endangered was filed with the Fish and Wildlife Service. It referenced scientific studies and other information that had arisen over the intervening fourteen years. In March 2014, in response to the petition, the agency made a positive initial finding that listing the species as threatened or endangered “may be warranted,” and that it will prepare a formal status review. Thousands, if not millions of people are willing to prevent this situation from becoming even more detrimental, before it will be too late.
During the spring of 2015, the Alaska Dept. of Fish & Game found only one active den with only one wolf pup out of 15 den locations surveyed. When the wolf population gets so low, scientific literature has shown that reproductive ability is severely hampered and the ability of the population to rebound is likewise stymied. Extinction is the next step.
Alexander Archipelago Wolves are not yet a protected species so hunting them is currently legal. Along with hunting and trapping, there are other major factors, such as logging. Both, the wolves and the deer have suffered from it, as it has eroded their island habitats.
Not only it affects the AA wolves, it also affects thousands (if not millions) of other people who want to make a change and would do almost anything in order to save these animals. People are ready to put money, time and effort into this and are ready to help.
I am speaking for thousands of other people, Alexander Archipelago Wolves have to be classified as endangered species. So let’s stand up for these beautiful creatures before it’s too late! If we will speak up and work together, we might save these animals.

Please sign the petition here.

This petition will be delivered to:

  • United States Fish and Wildlife Service
  • World Wildlife Fund
  • Larry Edwards (Greenpeace)

From ForceChange (https://forcechange.com/149837/dont-murder-last-remaining-wolves/)

Norway: Don’t Murder Last Remaining Wolves

Target: Olemic Thommessen, President of the Norwegian Parliament

Goal: Stop hunters from slaughtering over half of the wolves in Norway.

Hunters plan to kill over half of the wolves in a particular wolf population in Norway. Over 10,000 people may be given hunting licenses and granted permission to shoot 16 out of the 30 wolves that are thought to reside in the Norwegian wilderness. We need to take action to better ensure that these wolves will not be completely wiped out.

Hunting season runs from Oct. 1 to March 31. A main reason why wolves are hunted is to protect livestock. However, this reason is difficult to justify when one considers that a great deal of illegal hunting is speculated to take place in Norway. Furthermore, since hunters are allowed to kill all but three breeding females, the wolves are not able to reproduce at a fast enough rate to keep from dying off. With this being the case, hunting season should be canceled to ensure the wolves have a chance to thrive.

Demand hunting season be made against the law until these wolves drastically increase in number. If Norway continues down the same path, all of the wolves that live there will soon be dead.

Please sign the petition here.

From Against Wolf and Fox cruelty petition page
(http://www.shopforyourcause.com/…/minnesota-coyote-killing-…)

USA: Minnesota Coyote Killing Contest
Target: MN DNR Commissioner: Tom Landwehr MN DNR Asst. Commissioner; Policy & Government Relations: Bob Meier MN DNR Asst. Commissioner: Parks & Trails, Fish & Wildlife: Sarah Strommen
We are writing to ask you to stop the annual “Save the Birds” Coyote Hunting Tournament. This tournament is killing for killing sake and awards cash prizes for the most coyotes killed, as well as the largest and smallest killed. This contest goes on with basically no rules and no limit on the amount of coyotes that can be killed.
These contests go on as a form of “charitable gambling” in Minnesota. Massacring members of integral species for entertainment and fun is not what outdoorsmen are about. Not to mention the fact that these contests don’t really do anything to significantly put a dent in the population of coyotes. As outlined in the book “Coyote America,” by Dan Flores. He proves the point that the more of these animals you kill the more that will come back and replace their dead ancestors.

Here is an excerpt from this noted biologist proving that this is a futile and inhumane effort that is basically killing for killing sake: With its uncanny night howls, unrivalled ingenuity, and amazing resilience, the coyote is the stuff of legends. In Indian folktales it often appears as a deceptive trickster or a sly genius. But legends don’t come close to capturing the incredible survival story of the coyote. As soon as Americans—especially white Americans—began ranching and herding in the West, they began working to destroy the coyote. Despite campaigns of annihilation employing poisons, gases, helicopters, and engineered epidemics, coyotes didn’t just survive; they thrived, expanding across the continent from Anchorage, Alaska, to New York’s Central Park. In the war between humans and coyotes, coyotes have won hands-down.

Please help us by insisting that the state of MN abolish these ridiculous contests.

Read more and sign at
http://www.shopforyourcause.com/…/minnesota-coyote-killing-…

From White Wolf Pack
(http://www.whitewolfpack.com/2016/10/romania-bans-trophy-hunting-of-brown.html?m=1)

Romania bans trophy hunting of brown bears, wolves, lynx and wild cats

Romania has banned all trophy hunting of wolves, brown bears, lynx and wild cats in a surprise decision that gives Europe’s largest population of large carnivores a reprieve from its most severe and immediate threat.
“Hunting for money was already illegal, but it was given a green light anyway,” environment minister, Cristiana Pasca-Palmer, told the Guardian. “The damages [clause in the habitats directive] acted as a cover for trophy hunting.”
Announced late on Tuesday evening, the ban is expected to divide Romania’s population, pitching rural and urban dwellers against each other. The government’s decision has strong support in the larger cities, which have seen a growing movement against hunting in recent months. But in much of Romania’s remote countryside large carnivores are a daily threat to villagers and a persistent nuisance to livestock farmers, and many see hunting as the only solution.
The ministry of environment have discussed the possibility of relocating the target animals abroad to countries interested in ‘rewilding’.
The ban comes amid a growing push for the protection of Romania’s wild mountains that has seen anti-corruption officers convict dozens of foresters, hunters and local officials in recent years.

Gabriel Paun, an activist and conservationist behind a petition that collected 11,000 signatures in the weeks before the hunting ban, sees the government’s decision as a step towards a safer future for Europe’s wild spaces: “The Carpathian mountains are home to more biodiversity than anywhere else in Europe, but for too long they have been ruthlessly exploited for forestry and hunting. Let’s hope the government’s decision is a sign of things to come.”

  1. University of Wisconsin: Killing Wolves and Coyotes May Not Protect Livestock
    (http://www.whitewolfpack.com/2016/09/university-of-wisconsin-killing-wolves.html)

A new study shows that killing predators like the Mexican Gray Wolf may not reduce livestock losses.

The practice of killing predators such as wolves, coyotes and bears to protect livestock has little scientific validity, according to a new study. The article, called Predator Control Should Not Be a Shot in the Dark just came out in a journal called Frontiers of Ecology and the Environment.
Researchers from the University of Wisconsin and two other schools evaluated two dozen prior studies to determine whether they followed the scientific method and found half the studies weren’t sufficiently rigorous.
Michael Robinson, conservation advocate with the centre for Biological Diversity in Silver City, said the results of the remaining studies are somewhat counter-intuitive.
“There’s either no effect on protecting livestock because there’s other predators that can move in, and if livestock protection practices don’t change, that makes sense,” he explained. “Or it actually would increase the number of livestock that would be killed.”

The study found that when the leader of a predator group is killed, it sows chaos in the pack and multiple, less-experienced members may end up targeting the livestock. Robinson said this study undercuts the reasoning behind the actions of a federal program, Wildlife Services, and many state game agencies, that kill tens of thousands of coyotes, bears, bobcats, cougars, even the highly endangered Mexican gray wolf every year.
He added that there are now only 97 known Mexican gray wolves left in Arizona and New Mexico.
“The Fish and Wildlife Service, this year, still trapped and removed the alpha male, the papa of a litter of pups in the Luna pack in New Mexico because of conflicts with livestock,” he said.
Robinson is calling on Wildlife Services to stop using aerial snipers, poisons and steel leg-hold traps to eliminate members of predator species.

From California Wolfcenter
(californiawolfcenter@yahoogroups.com)

  1. Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project Monthly Update

Endangered Species Updates October 1-31, 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.

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 http://bit.do/mexicanwolf or 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 or toll free at (888) 459-9653. To report incidents of take or harassment of wolves, please call the AGFD 24-hour dispatch (Operation Game Thief) at (800) 352-0700.

Overall Mexican Wolf Recovery Program Monthly Update

The USFWS assisted the Rio Grande Zoo with public education during Wolf Awareness Week on October 20, 2016.

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.  Mortality occurs throughout the year and is particularly high on young pups, so while the IFT has documented reproduction this year, the IFT will not have a complete idea of how many of these young pups and adults have died until the annual population survey which is conducted in the winter.  Annual surveys are conducted in the winter because it is when the population is experiencing the least amount of natural fluctuation (i.e. in the spring the population increases dramatically with the birth of new pups and declines throughout the summer and fall as mortality is particularly high on young pups).  Thus, the IFT summarizes the total number of wolves in the winter at a fairly static or consistent time of year.  This allows for comparable year-to-year trends at a time of year that accounts for most mortality and survival of young pups.  At this time, the IFT’s best estimate is that there was a minimum of 97 wolves in the wild as of December 31, 2015.  At the current time there are 53 wolves with functioning radio collars that the IFT is actively monitoring.

IN ARIZONA:

Bear Wallow Pack (collared AM1338 and AF1335)

In October, the Bear Wallow Pack was located within their traditional territory in the east central portion of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest (ASNF).

Bluestem Pack (collared M1382, F1443, and f1488)

In October, the Bluestem Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the east central portion of the ASNF.  The pack continued to display rendezvousing behaviour through the month and periodically used a diversionary food cache to prevent potential depredation issues in the area.

Buckalou Pack (collared F1405)

In October, F1405 dispersed from Arizona and localized in the east central portion of the Gila National Forest in New Mexico.

.
Elk Horn Pack (collared AF1294, AM1342, mp1474, and mp1471)

In October, the Elk Horn Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north eastern portion of the ASNF. The IFT documented rendezvous behavior by this pack during the month of October. The Elk Horn Pack has periodically used a food cache set up by the IFT to supplement the pack due to the cross-foster of two pups this spring. A minimum of two uncollared pups were documented travelling with the Elk Horn pack this month.

Hawks Nest Pack (collared AM1038)

In October, the Hawks Nest Pack was typically located within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the ASNF. The IFT documented a dispersal movement by AM1038 west onto the FAIR.

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

In October, 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. A minimum of three uncollared pups were documented travelling with the Hoodoo Pack this month.

Marble Pack (collared AM1330)

AM1330 was not heard or located during the month of October and is now considered fate unknown.

Maverick Pack (collared AF1291)

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

Panther Creek Pack (collared AF1339, AM1394, mp1483, fp1484, fp1485, and mp1486)

In October, the Panther Creek Pack was located in the east central portion of the ASNF.  The Panther Creek Pack continued to show rendezvousing 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. One male pup (mp1483) and two female pups (fp1484 and fp1485) were captured, collared, and released in October. These pups were wild-born and were not one of two pups cross-fostered into the Panther Creek Pack. A minimum of six pups were documented travelling with the pack this month, confirming that at least one cross-fostered pup survived to October.

ON THE FAIR:

Diamond Pack (collared m1447, f1557, mp1558, mp1559, and fp1560)

In October, the Diamond Pack was located within their traditional territory in the eastern portion of the FAIR and the northern portion of the ASNF.  One female (f1557), one female pup (fp1560), and two male pups (mp1558 and mp1559) were captured, collared, and released in October. The IFT confirmed AM1249 was travelling with the pack in October.

Tsay-O-Ah Pack (collared AM1343 and AF1283)

In October, the Tsay-o-Ah Pack was located within their traditional territory in the eastern portion of the FAIR.

Baldy Pack (collared M1347 and f1445)

In October, the Baldy Pack was located in the eastern portion of the FAIR and northern portion of the ASNF.

IN NEW MEXICO:

Dark Canyon Pack (collared AM992 and f1444)

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

Iron Creek Pack (collared AM1240, AF1278 and mp1556)

During October, 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.  During October, mp1555, a male pup that had been captured at the end of September, slipped its collar.

Luna Pack (collared AF1487 and mp1554)

During October, 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 and F1439)

During October, the Mangas Pack was located within their territory in north western portions of the GNF in New Mexico.  On October 24, a private trapper captured F1439 and contacted the IFT.  Members from the IFT responded immediately, processed, recollared and released the female wolf onsite.

Prieto Pack (collared M1386, m1455, f1456, M1552 and f1553)

During October, the Prieto Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF.  f1553 was documented travelling apart from the Prieto Pack with single male wolf M1398 in the west central portion of the GNF.

San Mateo Pack (collared AF1399)

During October, the IFT documented AM1345 and AF1399 travelling together within their territory in the north central portion of the GNF.   The diversionary food cache that had been established and maintained since April was removed.  No known wolf/livestock conflicts were documented for the San Mateo pack during the 2016 denning season.

Sheepherders Baseball Park (SBP) Pack

During October, the SBP Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF.  AM1284 was documented on trail camera travelling with pups.  The IFT began trapping efforts in October to recollar AM1284 and collar any pups.

Willow Springs Pack (collared F1397)

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

Single collared M1293

During October, M1293 was located within the Gila Wilderness in New Mexico.  Trapping efforts were initiated in October to recollar M1293, along with any wolves travelling with him.

Single collared AM1155

During October, AM1155 was documented travelling within New Mexico.

Single collared M1398

During October, M1398 was documented travelling with f1553 of the Prieto Pack in the west central portion of the GNF.

MORTALITIES

There were no mortalities documented in the month of October.

INCIDENTS

During October, there were seven livestock depredation reports and no nuisance reports.  Six of the seven depredation reports were confirmed or probable wolf kills.

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

On October 8, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Catron County, New Mexico.  The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf kill.

On October 13, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Catron County, New Mexico.  The investigation determined the cow was a probable wolf kill.

On October 13, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Catron County, New Mexico.  The investigation determined the cow was a confirmed wolf kill.

On October 13, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, Arizona.  The investigation determined the calf had been killed by coyotes.

On October 15, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, Arizona.  The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf kill.

On October 22, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Catron County, New Mexico.  The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf kill.

COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATION

In the end of September, USFWS personnel presented two informational talks on Mexican wolf recovery to around 250 Phoenix Zoo staff and patrons.

In October, USFWS gave two presentations on Mexican wolf recovery at The Wildlife Society National Conference in Raleigh, NC.

PROJECT PERSONNEL

In October, USFWS volunteer Elizabeth Karslake completed her six month position to pursue other professional endeavours.  Thank you Elizabeth for your hard work and dedication, and best wishes in your pursuits!

  1. November 1-30, 2016

Overall Mexican Wolf Recovery Program Monthly Update

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service convened the 5th Mexican wolf recovery planning workshop November 2-4 in Tucson, AZ.  Represented at the workshop were the states of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, the Mexican governmental agencies SEMARNAT and CONANP, the USDA Forest Service and independent scientists from the United States and Mexico.  The workshop participants continued with review of scientific information for analyzing areas of suitable habitat and input variables for the VORTEX model.

The Fish and Wildlife Service and the Forest Service met on November 16 to discuss coordination of Mexican wolf recovery efforts, including outreach and NEPA analysis of proposed release sites in Zone 1 of the revised Mexican Wolf Experimental Population Area.

In the month of November, The Fish and Wildlife Service sent letters inviting the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the National Park Service (NPS) to become partners in the Mexican wolf recovery program.  Both agencies have land management responsibilities within the boundaries of the revised Mexican Wolf Experimental Population Area.

On November 30, the Fish and Wildlife Service, as well as members of the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, New Mexico State Game Commission, biologists from CONANP and the University of Queretaro, Mexico, biologists from the Turner Endangered Species Fund (TESF) and several volunteers captured a family of 11 wolves at the TESF Ladder Ranch Wolf Management Facility.  The wolves were collared, crated, and transported to Chihuahua, Mexico for release into the wild.

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.  Mortality occurs throughout the year and is particularly high on young pups, so while the IFT has documented reproduction this year, the IFT will not have a complete idea of how many of these young pups and adults have died until the annual population survey which is conducted in the winter.  Annual surveys are conducted in the winter because it is when the population is experiencing the least amount of natural fluctuation (i.e. in the spring the population increases dramatically with the birth of new pups and declines throughout the summer and fall as mortality is particularly high on young pups).  Thus, the IFT summarizes the total number of wolves in the winter at a fairly static or consistent time of year.  This allows for comparable year-to-year trends at a time of year that accounts for most mortality and survival of young pups.  At this time, the IFT’s best population estimate is that there was a minimum of 97 wolves in the wild as of December 31, 2015.  End of year counts for 2016 are currently ongoing and will be completed in February.  At the end of November, there were 54 wolves with functioning radio collars that the IFT was actively monitoring.

IN ARIZONA:

Bear Wallow Pack (collared AM1338 and AF1335)

In November, the Bear Wallow Pack was located within their traditional territory in the east central portion of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest (ASNF).

Bluestem Pack (collared M1382, F1443, fp1562 and fp1563)

In November, the Bluestem Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the east central portion of the ASNF.  They periodically used a diversionary food cache established by the IFT to prevent potential depredation issues in the area.  Two female pups (fp1562 and fp1563) were captured, collared and released in early November.  Some wolves from the Bluestem Pack displayed dispersal behaviour during the month.  AF1042 was documented in New Mexico travelling in the vicinity of the Sheepherders Baseball Park Pack.  F1433 was documented travelling with m1447, of the Diamond Pack, in New Mexico near the Arizona border.

Elk Horn Pack (collared AF1294, AM1342, mp1474 and mp1471)

In November, 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 November.  A minimum of two uncollared pups were documented travelling with the Elk Horn pack this month.

Hawks Nest Pack (collared AM1038)

In November, the Hawks Nest Pack was mostly located within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the ASNF. The IFT documented dispersal movements by AM1038.

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

In November, the Hoodoo Pack remained in the north central portion of the ASNF.  The IFT documented rendezvous behaviour by the Hoodoo Pack this month.  A minimum of three uncollared pups were documented travelling with the Hoodoo Pack this month.

Maverick Pack (collared AF1291)

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

Panther Creek Pack (collared AF1339, AM1394, mp1483, fp1484, and mp1486)

In November, the Panther Creek Pack was located in the east central portion of the ASNF.  The Panther Creek Pack continued to show rendezvousing behaviour during the month of November.  A female pup, fp1485, was located dead in November and the incident is under investigation.

ON THE FAIR:

Diamond Pack (collared m1447, f1557, mp1558, mp1559 and fp1560)

In November, the Diamond Pack was located within their traditional territory in the eastern portion of the FAIR and the northern portion of the ASNF.

Tsay-O-Ah Pack (collared AM1343 and AF1283)

In November, the Tsay-o-Ah Pack was located within their traditional territory in the eastern portion of the FAIR.

Baldy Pack (collared M1347 and f1445)

In November, the Baldy Pack was located in the eastern portion of the FAIR and northern portion of the ASNF.

IN NEW MEXICO:

Dark Canyon Pack (collared AM992 and f1444)

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

Iron Creek Pack (collared AM1240, AF1278 and mp1556)

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

Lava Pack (collared F1405)

During November, the IFT documented F1405 (formerly of the Buckalou Pack) travelling with M1285 of the Lava Pack.  The IFT trapped and re-collared F1405 and this pack is travelling in the south eastern portion of the GNF.

Luna Pack (collared AF1487 and mp1554)

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

Mangas Pack (collared M1296 and F1439)

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

Prieto Pack (collared M1386, m1455, f1456, M1552, f1553 and fp1565)

During November, the Prieto Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF.  There has been dispersal behaviour documented for M1386, m1455, f1456 and M1552 within the GNF.  Sub-adult, f1553, continues to be documented apart from the Prieto Pack and travelling with single male wolf M1398 in the west central portion of the GNF.

San Mateo Pack (collared AF1399)

During November, the IFT documented the San Mateo Pack within their territory in the north central portion of the GNF.

Sheepherders Baseball Park (SBP) Pack (collared AM1284)

During November, the SBP Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF.  AM1284 was captured, re-collared and released.  The IFT has documented the survival of pups with the SBP Pack.

Willow Springs Pack (collared F1397)

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

Leopold Pack (collared AM1293 and mp1561)

During November, the IFT documented that AM1293 had formed a pack and had pups.  One of these male pups, mp1561, was captured, collared and released in November by the IFT.  This is the first documented wolf pack that has formed naturally within the Gila Wilderness in New Mexico.

Single collared AM1155

During November, AM1155 was documented travelling within New Mexico.

Single collared M1398

During November, M1398 was documented travelling with f1553 of the Prieto Pack in the west central portion of the GNF.

MORTALITIES

During November, a female pup, fp1485, of the Panther Creek Pack was located dead in Arizona.  The incident is under investigation.

INCIDENTS

On November 28, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, Arizona.  The investigation determined the calf was killed by coyotes.

On November 7, an uncollared sub-adult male wolf, M1564, was captured and removed to captivity due to previous depredations associated with a removal order.  Genetic analysis confirmed M1564 dispersed from the Hawk’s Nest Pack.  The removal of M1564 completed the removal order, and the FWS will evaluate the potential for this wolf to contribute to recovery in the future.

COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATION

On November 3, WMAT presented to a school group in Whiteriver, Arizona.

On November 14 and 15, the WMAT Mexican Wolf Program and the WMAT Rangeland Management Program met with the WMAT Tribal Cattle Associations regarding the Tribal Payment for Wolf presence application and funding for wolf/livestock mitigation measures.

PROJECT PERSONNEL

There are no personnel updates for the month of November.

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)

NEWSLETTER 16th November 2016

It has been reported to us that the hyenas that were impounded and kept at a sanctuary near the airport have now been returned to the capture boma in Hwange, we assume to be re-exported to China. One of the hyenas has an injured leg and is limping whilst 3 others have also been reported to have injuries due to the transportation to Harare and back again.

Four Chinese men have been seen rebuilding relocation cages in Hwange. The security in the area is very high at the moment around the capture unit.

In Hwange this year, we have lost 62 elephants to cyanide poisonings as the authorities have still not managed to contain the situation.

The animals should be leaving the country any day now……

On a happier note, In Zimbabwe at the moment we have been blessed with much needed rainfall.

International

From ForceChange
(ForceChange [TakeAction=ForceChange.com@mail81.atl91.mcsv.net]; on behalf of; ForceChange [TakeAction@ForceChange.com]

USA: Dog Buried Alive with a Nail in His Skull – Demand Justice

An unnamed couple was walking in the woods when the sound of whimpering in the forest attracted them to a freshly turned mound of earth. Nothing could have prepared them for the horrific find they were about to make. They uncovered a dog with a nail hammered squarely between his eyes. The poor animal was rushed to the vet, but nothing could be done to save him. They had to put the dog to sleep to end his terrible suffering.

Burying this poor dog alive is a sick and twisted thing to do. The animal would have gone through immense fear as it was held down and the blows that lodged the nail into his little head were struck. After this show of sadistic violence, the disturbed persons that committed this crime callously left him to suffer a slow and agonizing death in an unmarked grave.

Police believe that more than one person is responsible for this despicable act of cruelty. These disturbed individuals could be abusing other animals or people. Sign this petition to urge police to find and bring these criminals to justice, so that their torture of animals can be stopped.

Urge the police to find whoever sadistically tortured this poor dog by signing this petition:
http://forcechange.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=0dd93fa0930de1dbe9a01c531&id=53aca77f82&e=868912623b

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

  1. Inspire a love of wildlife – all year long!

There’s no denying it – after last week’s election results, the wildlife you love is in for a fight. The task of protecting the animals we all love looms ahead of us and can seem overwhelming, but there is so much that you can do.

This holiday season, give the gift of inspiration! Talk to the young – and the young at heart – in your life about the importance of conservation. And inspire their love of wildlife all year long with Defenders’ Animal of the Month Club – an exclusive holiday offer that sends your loved one 12 precious wildlife adoptions starting this December and throughout 2017:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=MNJeyn-xHbnmM3Zy1SG7Pw

When you give your loved ones the Animal of the Month Club, they will learn what they can do to help imperilled species – every month throughout the year!

For a limited time, you can get the Animal of the Month Club for a special discounted price of only $199 (individually priced adoptions valued at $398!). That’s 12 different animal adoptions for the price of six!

You or your chosen recipient will receive the first adoption kit, including a gray wolf plush, a personalized welcome letter and certificate, a 5×7 full color portrait of the animal in a bi-fold frame, plus a factsheet and kids’ activity book all in a festive Defenders reusable gift bag – all guaranteed to be delivered by December 22nd!

Each monthly adoption kit will include a new collectible plush, a certificate of adoption, a full colour photo of the animal featured that month and a factsheet on its conservation.

And best of all, proceeds from your adoptions help support Defenders’ life-saving work on behalf of wolves, sea turtles, polar bears and other vulnerable wildlife.

Hurry, this exclusive offer is only available during the holiday season while supplies last:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=Xu4Ny6JdyPkD2vwbv3BJxA

  1. USA: Join the fight for wildlife – your donation tripled!

As last week’s stunning election news continues to sink in, there is one thing I know deep in my bones – WE WILL NOT GIVE UP.

We’re in for the fight of our lives. And Defenders of Wildlife – backed by our resilient community of people like you who care about safeguarding wildlife, stopping the effects of climate change and protecting our wild lands – will be tackling that fight head-on:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=86ixM01LfmWQpIN_5vbGWA

The unprecedented assaults we’re about to witness must be met with equally unprecedented action. That’s why we are launching the Wildlife Defense Campaign – and to underscore our commitment, our Board of Directors and National Council have just authorized a triple match challenge.

Your gift today will be matched 2-for-1, up to a total of $150,000. Please make your urgent gift to Defenders of Wildlife right now:
http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=3Lo16jZ8_CfFp-ws2mGO8w

There is no question – a Trump Administration is going to be a disaster for wildlife. Already, the signs are unmistakable. President-elect Trump has announced that he will support the following in his first 100 days:

  • Green-lighting the Keystone Pipeline;
  • Aggressively rolling back existing regulations that protect against irresponsible fracking, coal mining and oil drilling on our wild lands; and
  • Cancelling American obligations to fund U.N. climate change programs.

Donald Trump has made no secret of his disdain for the Environmental Protection Agency. In fact, he’s selected well-known climate change denier Myron Ebell to oversee his administration’s environmental policy – including the restructuring of the Agency.

These policies will be devastating for wildlife – and the land and climate that imperilled species depend on to survive.

Defenders will continue to lead the fight through our Wildlife Defence Campaign.

We need you by our side right now. And today, your gift will go THREE times as far to help: here and here.

When President-elect Trump digs in on policies that will harm wildlife and wild lands, he’s going to have to answer to all of us. We will stand together. And we will never give up on the wildlife that depends on our protection.

We’re ready to do this. And we need you with us.

Invest in the future and support our Wildlife Defense Campaign:

Wolves and Wolfdogs

It’s Time to Thank Wolves

by Rick Lamplugh, author and wildlife advocate

As the thankful time of year arrives, I think wolves deserve our thanks. With the help of wolves, early humans improved their hunting skills and chances of survival. With the help of wolves, we out competed Neanderthals.

For hundreds of thousands of years, wolves dogged herds of reindeer that migrated between what is now Spain and Siberia. After the last Ice Age, perhaps 10,000 years ago, early humans may have seen wolves bringing down reindeer. Our ancestors may have been as hungry as those wolves. Stomachs growling, they puzzled over how to plunder some of their competitor’s bounty.

A couple of early humans–no matter how desperate–couldn’t just take a pack’s kill. They were no match for wolves. But early humans were superior to their competitor in some ways, say Wolfgang Schleidt and Michael Shalter in the journal article “Coevolution of Humans and Canids.” Humans have greater cognitive ability. Humans can see better at longer distances, because we stand taller than wolves. Humans with weapons could hit a target from a distance. These strengths could have enabled early humans to assist wolves in hunting.

Ancient wolves hunted, as they do now, by sorting and sifting a herd to expose the animal that required the least effort to bring down. Once wolves cut that animal from the herd, the dangerous work of bringing down a much bigger animal began. And that’s where humans might have come in. With bigger brains, better vision from a distance, and weapons, humans could have helped the wolves. Working together, a meal was won using the strengths of both predators. The partners shared the spoils.

There is even more evidence that wolves helped humans survive. To read more: http://bit.ly/2ghK7TZ

Rick Lamplugh lives near Yellowstone’s north gate and is the author of the Amazon Bestseller “In the Temple of Wolves: A Winter’s Immersion in Wild Yellowstone”. Available as eBook or paperback at http://amzn.to/Jpea9Q. Or as a signed copy from the author at http://bit.ly/1gYghB4.

Wolf Myths and Legends, Part 133

“Two Golden Eyes”

by Silky Wolf

Two golden eyes,
are staring at me.
Gazing through the woods,
but I dare not flee.

I try to relax,
this feeling completely new.
But I feel panic rising,
and I’m unsure of what to do.

I gaze back at these orbs,
and suddenly realize;
the gold in them is welcoming,
there’s no threat in these eyes.

Feeling confused,
I want to be near.
But what confuses me more,
is that what I feel is not fear.

I reach out to touch
the owner of these eyes,
but I’m horrified to find
that all my thoughts had been lies.

What I feel is flat,
and is hard to the touch.
I shut my eyes tight,
feeling this is just too much.

When I open my eyes,
the wolfish orbs are still there.
I’m starring in a mirror…
I am finally aware.

By the time I awoke,
the sun was agleam.
And I was upset to find,
it had all been a dream.

Readers’ Contribution

A Wolfdog Diary

By Erin

I cannot believe that it’s just a week to Christmas – this year has been flying by with cosmic speed, or at least that’s what it feels like. It has been a pretty busy year with lots of things happening – good and not so good ones, but in general I have to say it has been a good year. It is pretty hot up here on the Highveld, but luckily we have much more rain than last year around this time. We have quite a good fruit harvest this time, which means extra work so short before the festive season. Cooking juice and jam in this weather is not really my idea of fun, but what can you do? Looking at what fruit cost these days, it would be a sin to let them go to waste. The other thing that keeps us from starting to relax and think of holidays and doing nothing than vegetate in the garden is that the grass is growing at a speed that you can watch it happening because of all the rain, but as I said already – what can you do?

The pack is healthy and full of energy, and Kajack II celebrated his second birthday at the beginning of this month. He and Ascar II are now young adults, still very playful, as is Taima with her five years, but there is also competition between the two. Kajack II is still the gentle type who wants nothing more than peace and harmony in the pack, while Ascar II is clearly the dominant one, who has to prove his superiority on a daily basis, even though Kajack doesn’t challenge him in any way. Ted and I sometimes wonder if the reason for that might be that he actually feels rather insecure in his alpha position and for that feels the urge to demonstrate his dominance to Kajack over and over again. Although Ascar II looks taller than Kajack because of his long legs they are actually of the same size. Kajack is more massive, heavier and stronger than Ascar, though, and sometimes we fear that one day Kajack might have had enough of being bullied around and that the two could get into a real fight over ranking. It would not be the first time that two males fight over pack position, and we know from experience that it never gets too serious – some ruffled fur, maybe a few scratches, but no real injuries except of one bruised ego. But still, it’s never nice to have such a fight, and it always sounds like they would rip each other into pieces, but all you can do is to stay out of it and accept the fact that you have to live according to pack rules as much as they have.

Well, there is not much more to say besides of thanking all of you again for your loyalty and contributions to this newsletter, and to wish all of you a merry and peaceful festive season and a happy (and accident-free) start into the New Year.

Ted and I will be back in January with more news about our pack. So, stay healthy, do not over-indulge in all the good food, and have a wonderful time with family and friends.

Will be continued…

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