Volume 12, Issue 152, June 2017


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

Volume 12, Issue 152, June 2017

From the Editor’s Desk

We have a bumper issue for you this month. In fact, it felt as though we would never finish it.

The news section is dominated, as usual, by ridiculous and sick attempts to reduce wildlife to something you find in books in the US. Read for yourself what some misguided, wisdom-free Senators, and their armed forces, the Fish and Wildlife Service, have come up with. Also, a saddening instance of poaching occurred in Yellowstone National Park that must upset every friend of the wolf. America Worst is the slogan I would subscribe to, and that is not much alleviated by the fact that a few decent people rightfully celebrate the birth of a few Red Wolf cubs in captivity.

We furthermore have very interesting contributions (sic, plural) in the Wolves and Wolfdogs section, including a historical snippet on the wolf that took revenge for the murder of his family.

Wolves and people is the subject of a brief, yet impressive statement by a native Cherokee that highlights the emotional turmoil wolves and Amerindians share.

Erin kept quiet for this issue, which means everything is in order there.

Till next month,

Upcoming Events

Say Yes to New Adventures!

International Wolf Center’s Adventure Programs

Turn your vacation into a one-of-a-kind wilderness experience. The International Wolf Center offers a variety of Adventure Programs led by informative and enthusiastic wolf experts for people of all ages. Visit our website for a complete list of adventure programs.


Wolves After Dark
June 30 – July 1

Here’s your opportunity to participate in a “Citizen Science” project and document important behavioural data critical to understanding the Exhibit Pack dynamics.
Learn more here.

Tracking the Pack

August 18-20

Learn about the tools biologists use in the field to locate and study wild wolves. Then we’ll take you in our bus to test your new skills with our telemetry equipment to search for that elusive radio collar signal!
Learn more.

Wine, Women, and Wolves: Boundary Waters Adventure
September 15-17

Join us for a fun, relaxing weekend learning about wolves and the north woods while enjoying the company of women who have the same hectic routine as you!
Learn more.

Upcoming Webinars 

Webinar rate: $15 Non-members, $12 Members

News from the Wolf Front


From The Lupus Foundation SA (http://www.wolfsa.org.za)

I guess everybody of you had heard of the major winter storm and the associated wildfires  that hit Cape Town and the whole Cape region recently. Unfortunately the Tsitsikamma Wolf Sanctuary, The Lupus Foundation, was hit quite hard as well.

Roofs of staff member houses were damaged, water pipes burst due to the pressure from overflowing tanks, the fences of three enclosures came down, which means that new poles must be planted and new fences put up, and the electric wiring and the bits and pieces that go with that are also damaged.

Thankfully the furry ones are o.k.

The sanctuary had to close for at least one day for the safety of the wolves and visitors, which means more loss of money that is urgently needed to repair all the broken things. So please, if you can spare a few Rands – every amount, small or large, is welcome and appreciated.

If you wish to donate – Thank You in the name of the wolves.

Please make donations to
The Lupus Foundation
Nedbank, Claremont
Branch Number: 104609
Account Number: 2046548558 (Savings Account)


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

USA: A traumatic loss for wolves in Yellowstone

It’s happened again. Another wolf – a stunning white, alpha female – has been killed. It is with a heavy heart that I share this tragic news out of Yellowstone National Park. We learned late last week that the matriarch of the Canyon pack was illegally shot.

This merciless killing, within what should have been the safe boundaries of Yellowstone, is utterly despicable.

Donate now to help Defenders fight back against tragedies like these: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=17HKew8kAGrlxdRRA-BhMQ

Defenders is working harder than ever to fight anti-wolf extremism. We continue to advocate for expanded buffer zones around Yellowstone so that wolves who stray outside the park may still be protected. We encourage state agencies to enhance outreach efforts. And we work on the ground to educate local communities about the value of wolves on the landscape – and the ways in which landowners and wolves can coexist.

This beautiful wolf, together with the pack’s alpha male, had at least 20 pups over their more than nine years together. Along with the other wolves of Yellowstone, they helped the entire ecosystem, restoring and maintaining balance in the wild.

News like this sends a clear signal that we have so much left to do in the fight to protect the creatures we love.

Help us keep up the fight. Support Defenders’ life-saving work today: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=S_jLVEgRF3zyfNAhfyChhg

Thank you for all you do.

From Change.org (www.change.org)

  1. USA: Yellowstone wants wolf killer, bounty now up to $25,000!

Anyone with info call the ISB tip line

$25, 000 Reward for info on the poacher that shot this wolf in Yellowstone.
The National Park Service is asking anyone with information about the incident to call the ISB tip line, (888) 653-0009. Callers may remain anonymous.

  1. Helping this migrant shepherd means helping the wolf!

(translated here from German)

“It’s always the pro-wolf people who help, not the anti-wolf ones“, that’s what shepherd Neumann once said. Today I ask you to please help a migrant shepherd who wants to protect his sheep using herding dogs, but animal protection laws don’t allow it. To sign this petition you have to register first, but please don’t let this become an obstacle: https://www.change.org/p/wolf-pumpak-muss-weiterleben/u/20397737?utm_medium=email&utm_source=78345&utm_campaign=petition_update&sfmc_tk=ZMQD0jFXES6MURtngxf3yCEbPzCaA6S7mJZujwzXQtrL2r2zyXVE60q%2bgeVabLWA

This is what he has to say:
”My name is Sven de Vries. Presently I’m caring for 650 mother sheep at the southeastern fringes of the Swabian Alp. I have been following the discussions around the migration of wolves in Germany for quite some time. With a petition directed at the government I’m trying to speed up changes to the animal protection law for dogs, which so far makes it impossible in many areas to use herding dogs as protection of our sheep without committing an offense.

“Generally speaking, I have a rather “neutral” attitude regarding the wolf, but its spread and the numerous reports about killed sheep have also caused some fear
inside of me that my sheep could also become victims one day.
”I’m migrating with my sheep, and almost every night I lock them in at another place using mobile electric fences. There are many trials to create a relatively secure protection with mobile electric fences alone, but a combination of herding dogs and this method would surely be much more effective.
”It is my responsibility to protect my sheep from any harm and illness. A herd trusts its shepherd, follows him through difficult terrain, traffic, and accepts me as part of the herd.

“I want to live up to this responsibility and am concerned I might not to be able to. While wild animals can run away or hide from wolves I present them an unprotected herd.

“But it’s not just about sheep that might be killed, but also about the fact that sheep are very sensitive and fearful animals. One attack will often scare a herd for months after, and I neither have the strength nor the staff to be with the sheep all night, too, to protect them or guide an intimidated and suspicious herd through the difficult terrains of today’s cultivated landscapes.

“Herding dogs could protect my sheep, and they have been bred for exactly that purpose for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.

”But the animal protection law for dogs prescribes that a protection hut be made available to them, and that no electric fencing be used. But without electricity, the fence won’t protect my sheep from breaking out or stop the wolf from breaking in.

“It is practically impossible for a migrating shepherd to carry 3 or 4 huts with him every day and to set these up in difficult terrain. Besides of that, experiences made in Switzerland have shown that these herding dogs don’t use these shelters, because they impede their view.

“From my point of view experienced shepherds should be permitted to use herding dogs to protect their herds. I cannot really understand the current discussion, because almost all arguments lack concern for our sheep and are blown out of proportion.

“Through our sheep, we also conserve the favourite environment of the wolves, we create and conserve smaller and larger natural paradises, and if we are supposed to accept the wolf in these areas, we must be allowed to protect our herds.

Adequate protection, so that we and our sheep can sleep at night without having to worry about an attack all the time.

„Almost 100,000 people were prepared to help the wolf Pumpak, and I think that the protection of our sheep should be as important and worth as many signatures to the pro-wolf people in Germany.

“We need your support now and no trench-fighting that doesn’t help the one or the other side in the end.

Thank you!“

  1. Germany: We are the biggest petition for the Wolf there has ever been!

(translated here from German)

Dear wolf lovers and supporters of the petition, “With people! – For the Wolf!”,

You want to be part of a better protection of wolves? You would like the public to be informed about wolves in a matter-of-fact and honest way in the future? You would like to personally participate in it and help? But you don’t know how? Very easy!

Recently, I, together with a few wolf lovers from Vechta, have founded the non-profit Wolf Information and Protection Center Vechta e.V. (WISZV)!

Our main goals are the matter-of-fact and truthful information of the public, and the protection of wolves in Lower Saxony in particular and Germany in general. This is the biggest petition for the Wolf there has ever been in Germany.

Let’s use this strength for the wolves here in Lower-Saxony and Germany by making WISZV an even stronger representative for all our wolves!

Presently there are still many important things we don’t have yet to make this possible. For example we need a efficient computer for research and club management, a laptop for field work, capturing biological data, and lectures. A vehicle to get to the wolves and to schools for lectures, and much more.

We will therefore be happy about every Euro you can spare. Every donation will go directly towards the protection of wolves!

Account details

Wolf-Informations-und Schutz-Zentrum-Vechta e.V.

Commerzbank Vechta

IBAN DE74 2804 2865 0630 0719 00


You can find more information at http://www.w-i-s-z-v.de

Many Thanks in the name of the wolves,

Your Jan Olsson
Read the full update here (in German).

  1. Germany: The Goldenstedt she-wolf and her cubs are in grave danger!

(translated here from German)

Dear Wolf lovers and supporters of the petition “With people! – For the Wolf!”,

There are three potentially lethal dangers threatening our she-wolf and other wolves.

  1. The secretive threat – the cups of the she wolf are in danger! She had a litter in 2016 and her cubs have “disappeared” (or been killed). Now she has given birth again, and we are very concerned about their wellbeing.
  2. The deceitful threat – Poisoned baits!

We have been informed about the possibility of baits being placed within the territory of the she-wolf. If these are poisoned baits she, the male, and the cubs are in mortal danger to die an agonizing death from poison!

  1. The “legal“ threat – Collaring our wolves!

There are plans to collar at least one wolf of every pack in Lower Saxony! That would be a death sentence for our she-wolf and many other wolves in Lower Saxony as they could be made to serve as Judas wolves. The only wolves in Lower Saxony that had been collared so far and the cubs of she-wolf FT10 were all dead by 2016!

Jan Olsson, who had started the petition, and a few wolf lovers from Vechta have founded the Wolf Information and Protection Center Vechta e.V. to protect the wolves in Goldenstedt/Vechta and Lower-Saxony.

They still desperately need some vital equipment (e.g., radios) to protect the wolves from deadly dangers. Please to all of you, participate so that the cubs of our she-wolf will have a chance to survive this year and other wolves in Lower Saxony can raise their cubs, too!

Every donation, no matter how small, will be very welcome.
Account details:

Wolf-Informations-und Schutz-Zentrum-Vechta e.V.

Commerzbank Vechta

IBAN DE74 2804 2865 0630 0719 00


Get more information at http://www.w-i-s-z-v.de

Read full updates here (in German).

From Wolf Conservation Center (contact@nywolf.org)

  1. USA: Feds Propose Changing Protections for World’s Last Wild Red Wolves

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is considering changes to the existing protections for the world’s last population of wild red wolves. Fewer than 35 remain.

The federal agency’s proposed rule intends to revise the existing non-essential experimental population designation of red wolves in North Carolina under section 10(j) of the Endangered Species Act to allow significant changes in the size, scope and management of the current red wolf recovery program.

The rule includes the Service’s plan to allow pulling the last wild red wolves from most of their range in North Carolina to put them in captivity. Ironically, the federal agency claimed its decision was “based on the best and latest scientific information” from the red wolf Population Viability Analysis (PVA).

But the very scientists who drafted the PVA charge that USFWS based its plan on “many alarming misinterpretations” of their scientific analysis and warn that USFWS’s plan “will no doubt result in the extinction of red wolves in the wild.” In a letter they ask the agency to “edit or append” its decision.

The WCC is currently reviewing the proposed rule and will be participating during the public comment period. Stay tuned…

Learn more at http://nywolf.org/learn/the-red-wolf

  1. USA: Wolf Conservation Center Welcomes Critically Endangered Wolf Pups

Endangered Mexican Wolf Pups Born at the WCC!

A critically endangered Mexican gray wolf living at the Wolf Conservation Center (WCC) made a priceless contribution to the recovery of her rare and at-risk species – she had pups! On May 22, Mexican gray wolf F1226 (affectionately nicknamed Belle by supporters) gave birth to a litter of three pups – each no larger than a Russet potato. This is the second litter born to mom (age six), and dad, (age nine).

Although F1226 is currently keeping her newborns out of sight, WCC staff anticipates the precious pups will begin to emerge in a few weeks and be visible to a global audience via live webcams.

Beyond being “adorable,” the pocket-sized predators represent the Center’s active participation in an effort to save a species on the brink of extinction.

The WCC is one of more than 50 institutions in the U.S. and Mexico participating in the Mexican Wolf Species Survival Plan – a bi-national initiative whose primary purpose is to support the reestablishment of Mexican wolves in the wild through captive breeding, public education, and research.

Because the entire existing Mexican wolf population descended from just seven founders rescued from extinction, genetic health is the primary consideration governing not only reproductive pairings, but also captive-to-wild release efforts. Although both components are equally critical to Mexican wolf recovery, release events are far less frequent than successful breeding.

In recent positive steps toward recovery, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has been ushering genetically diverse captive wolf pups into the wild through its pup-fostering initiative. Pup-fostering is a coordinated event where captive-born pups are introduced into a similar-aged wild litter so the pups can grow up as wild wolves.

Mexican wolf F1226’s newborns are not eligible for wild-foster, the timing of the litter is relatively late compared to wild-born pups.

“Although we hoped pups from our center would receive the ‘call of the wild’,” said Rebecca Bose, WCC Curator,  “We’re elated that there have been foster events from other facilities this year! Pup-fostering is an incredibly effective tool for augmenting the genetic health of the wild population.”

“Maybe next year some lobo pups from the WCC will get this amazing opportunity,” said Maggie Howell, WCC Executive Director. “In the meantime, we’re counting on USFWS to continue with releases beyond pup season because recovery demands releasing more family groups into the wild too.”

The wolf parents and pups are not on public exhibit, but thirteen live webcams accessible via the WCC website, invite an unlimited number of viewers to enter the private lives of these elusive creatures. Learn more.

Consider A Puppy Shower Donation! Go to https://nywolf.org/index.php?option=com_civicrm&view=Contributions&Itemid=212&lang=en for more details

  1. USA: Threatened wolves shouldn’t have to wait any longer for protection. Please help.

Protect Threatened Eastern Wolves

Although there are no viable wolf populations in the northeastern United States at this time, the return of wolves to eastern ecosystems remains of critical importance. Ensuring that at-risk wolves north of the border are federally protected is an essential step to allow the return of the eastern wolf in the USA.

The Canadian Government is backlogged with changes to species-at-risk and have proposed an eastern wolf management plan… almost 10 years late.

The wolves should not have to wait any longer for protection.

Please help strengthen the plan now. Comments are due TODAY.

Take Action at http://wolvesontario.org/mp-comment/


  1. USA: Livestream Video of WCC’s Rare Mexican Wolf Pups Reach Over 1 Million People

Endangered Mexican Wolf Pups Debut on Webcam

A critically endangered Mexican gray wolf living at the Wolf Conservation Center (WCC) made a priceless contribution to the recovery of her rare and at-risk species last month – she had pups! On May 22, Mexican gray wolf F1226 (affectionately nicknamed Belle) gave birth to a trio of little girls.

Stashing her pups in a nest among the thick brush, F1226 had been keeping her brood out of sight. However, to the delight of a global audience, the pups debuted via live den-cam early Thursday morning!

Within an hour after the WCC announced the pups’ debut on Facebook via live-stream video, the noisy newborns had unknowingly crept into the homes and hearts of hundreds of thousands of well-wishers! By day’s end, the livestream video feed reached over one million people!

“Beyond being adorable, these pups represent our active participation in an effort to save a species on the brink of extinction, “said Maggie Howell, WCC Executive Director. “That so many people are watching and learning about our efforts to save this critical keystone species has of over the moon!”

The WCC is one of over 50 facilities in the U.S. and Mexico participating in the Mexican Wolf Species Survival Plan – a bi-national initiative whose primary purpose is to support the reestablishment of Mexican wolves in the wild through captive breeding, public education, and research.

Currently 13 Mexican wolves call the WCC home. In the U.S., there is a single wild population comprising only 113 individuals – an increase from the 97 counted at the end of 2015.

Mexican Wolf Pup Webcam at http://nywolf.org/index.php/webcams/webcam-mexican-gray-wolves-f810-and-m1133

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

USA: Take action for America’s most endangered wolf

Red wolves once roamed the south-eastern United States from Florida to Pennsylvania and as far west as Texas, but were hunted to the brink of extinction in the early to mid 1900s. Efforts to recover them have brought them slowly back, but the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) has made decisions along the way that have slowed or completely stopped that progress. Now, they are beginning a scoping process to move forward with the plan they proposed in September – near-total abandonment of red wolves in the wild.

Submit your comment in support of real wolf recovery and against the USFWS plan to give up on wild wolves: http://org2.salsalabs.com/dia/track.jsp?v=2&c=W7M31xlL0eIkqTBOgYiGssxNZ4eUHNtL

In September, the USFWS announced their plan to reduce the range of red wolves to an area suitable for only one mated pair of red wolves. In short, FWS is proposing to reduce the most endangered canid in North America to a few individuals, and place the rest of these now wild wolves into captivity.

This proposal ignores the years of successful coexistence between North Carolinians and red wolves, who are not a threat to livestock and are native to the region. These wolves belong in the wild, not in conservation centers that have indicated they have limited capacity to take them.

The USFWS is asking for feedback (http://org2.salsalabs.com/dia/track.jsp?v=2&c=nLkWyjU8LuuJKoUZmWue7MxNZ4eUHNtL) on this plan before they start moving it forward, and you have an opportunity to tell FWS it is unacceptable to abandon red wolves (http://org2.salsalabs.com/dia/track.jsp?v=2&c=KHz%2FjlObMYTxNAz%2FJJsn3cxNZ4eUHNtL), and discourage them from moving forward with their proposed plan.

Please take action today by submitting your comment opposing this plan and supporting real, positive steps that the USFWS can take to prevent this unique and ecologically valuable species from disappearing: http://org2.salsalabs.com/dia/track.jsp?v=2&c=9IhKLeCA69Tj2ceAcmTN2sxNZ4eUHNtL

Thank you for your commitment to wildlife and wild places
From California Wolfcenter (californiawolfcenter@yahoogroups.com)

Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project

Monthly Update – April 1-30, 2017

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 www.bit.do/mexicanwolf or www.fws.gov/southwest/es/mexicanwolf/RWL.cfm.

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

Overall Mexican Wolf Recovery Program Monthly Update

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) met with the South-western Regional Office of the Forest Service on April 13 to discuss communication and the status of National Environmental Policy Act compliance for release sites in Zone 1 of the 2015 10j Rule.

On April 17, the USFWS met with the states of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah; Federal agencies in Mexico and the Forest Service to review model runs for population viability analysis of the Mexican wolf.

On April 18, the Department of Justice filed the 6-month progress report to the court in compliance with the Stipulated Settlement Agreement for revision of the Mexican wolf recovery plan.

On April 26, the USFWS attended the oral arguments before the District Court Judge in Tucson, Arizona regarding litigation on the revised 10j Rule and associated Environmental Impact Statement.

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.


Annual surveys are conducted in the winter as this is when the population experiences 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.

During annual year-end population counts, the IFT documented a minimum of 113 Mexican wolves in the wild in Arizona and New Mexico at the end of 2016. At the end of April, there were 61 wolves with functioning radio collars that the IFT was actively monitoring.

Wolves with functioning radio collars are listed by studbook number in the pack updates below.


Bear Wallow Pack (collared AM1338 and AF1335)

In April, the Bear Wallow Pack was located within their traditional territory in the east central portion of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest (ASNF). They have displayed localized behaviour consistent with denning.

Bluestem Pack (collared fp1562, fp1563 and mp1574)

In April, the Bluestem Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the east central portion of the ASNF. Male pup 1574, showed dispersal behaviour and travelled outside of traditional Bluestem territory to the south. Female pup 1562 appears to be travelling alone. The IFT documented the breeding pair AF1042 and AM1341 together with F1489 and fp1563 using remote cameras. The Bluestem Pack displayed behaviour consistent with denning within their traditional territory during April.

Elk Horn Pack (collared AF1294, mp1471, mp1474 and fp1473)

In April, the Elk Horn Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north eastern portion of the ASNF. The pack displayed behaviour consistent with denning during the month of April.

Frieborn Pack (collared F1443 and m1447)

In April, F1443 and m1447 were documented within their territory in the east central portion of the ASNF in Arizona and into New Mexico. Localized movements and observations by the IFT indicate the pack initiated denning in April.

Hawks Nest Pack (collared AM1038)

The Hawks Nest Pack consists of one collared wolf, AM1038. AM1038 was not located during the month of April.

Hoodoo Pack (collared AM1290, AF1333, m1441, fp1550 and f1567)

In March, the Hoodoo Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the ASNF. The pack displayed behaviour consistent with denning during the month of April.

Maverick Pack (collared AF1291)

In April, the Maverick Pack was located within their traditional territory both on the FAIR and east central portion of the ASNF. Localized movements from AF1291 during April were consistent with denning behaviour.

Panther Creek Pack (collared AF1339, AM1382, mp1483, fp1484 and mp1486)

In April, the Panther Creek Pack was located in the east central portion of the ASNF. Bluestem M1382 continued to be located travelling with AF1339 and is now considered to be the alpha male of the pack. Pups mp1483, fp1484, and mp1486 have been traveling separately from the rest of the pack. Male pup 1486 has been documented traveling in the Gila National Forest in NM. Male pup 1483 has been traveling between Arizona and New Mexico and fp1484 has been travelling mostly alone in Arizona, occasionally meeting up with mp1483. Denning behaviour was not documented for the Panther Creek Pack in April.

Prime Canyon Pack (collared F1488)

In April, F1488 and an unknown wolf continued to travel together within a territory in the east-central portion of the ASNF. The pair has remained together for over three months and is now considered a pack. This pack did not display denning behaviour in April.

Saffel Pack (collared F1567 and M1441)

In April, the pair 1567 and 1441 has been documented together for three months and is now considered the Saffel Pack. They have been holding territory in the north central portion of the ASNF, north of the traditional territory of the Hoodoo Pack. The pack has displayed behaviour consistent with denning during the month of April.


Diamond Pack (collared f1557, mp1559, fp1560, fp1570, mp1571 and mp1572)

In April, the Diamond Pack was located in the northern portion of the ASNF and on state lands north of the ASNF. Male pup 1572 was translocated back into the Diamond territory on the northern portion of the ANSF in Arizona after successful rehabilitation at the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, and has been travelling alone in that same area. mp1572 was initially removed from the wild in March to be provided veterinary care after having been located lame.

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

In April, the Tsay-o-Ah Pack was located within their traditional territory on the FAIR.

Baldy Pack

The Baldy Pack was not located during the month of April.


Iron Creek Pack (collared AM1240, AF1278 and mp1556)

During April, the Iron Creek Pack continued to utilize their territory in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness and the southern portion of the Gila National Forest (GNF). The Iron Creek Pack did not display denning behaviour during April.

Lava Pack (collared F1405 and AM1285)

During April, the Lava Pack was located within their traditional territory in the south eastern portion of the GNF. The Lava Pack displayed denning behaviour in late April.

Leopold Pack (collared AM1293, AF1346 and mp1561)

During April, the IFT documented the Leopold Pack within their territory in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness. The Leopold Pack did not display denning behaviour during April.

Luna Pack (collared AM1158 and AF1487)

During April, the Luna Pack remained in their traditional territory in the north central portion of the Gila National Forest.  The IFT maintained a diversionary food cache to reduce potential for livestock depredations. In late-April the IFT documented denning behaviour in the Luna Pack.

Mangas Pack (collared M1296 and F1439)

During April, the Mangas Pack was located within their territory in the north western portion of the GNF.  In late-April, the Mangas pack displayed behaviour consistent with denning.

New Pair (collared F1444 and M1386)

During April, F1444 and M1386 were documented travelling together within the west central portions of the GNF. The pair did not display denning behaviour during April.

New Pair (collared F1456 and M1354)

During April, F1456 and M1354 were documented travelling together within the west central portions of the GNF.  This pair has shown signs of denning behaviour towards the end of April.

Prieto Pack (collared AF1251, M1398 and fp1565)

During April, the Prieto Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF. The Prieto Pack did not display denning behaviour during April.

San Mateo Pack (collared AF1399)

During April, the San Mateo Pack continued to utilize their territory in the north central portion of the GNF. In late-April the IFT documented denning behaviour.

Sheepherders Baseball Park (SBP) Pack (collared AM1284 and F1553)

During April, the SBP Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF.  The SBP Pack has shown signs of denning behaviour towards the end of April.

Willow Springs Pack (collared F1397)

During April, the IFT documented the Willow Springs Pack within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF. F1397 slipped its collar in April.

Single collared AM1155

During April, AM1155 was documented travelling within New Mexico.

Single collared M1455

During April, m1455 travelled throughout east-central portions of the GNF and southern portions of the Cibola National Forest (CNF).

Single collared M1552

During April, M1552 travelled throughout north-eastern portions of the GNF and central portions of the CNF.

Single collared m1569

During April, m1569 travelled throughout northern and central portions of the CNF.


There were no documented mortalities during the month of April.


During the month of April, there were three confirmed wolf depredations on livestock and no nuisance reports.

On April 11, Wildlife Services investigated a dead bull in Socorro County, NM. The investigation determined the bull was a confirmed wolf kill.

On April 15, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Catron County, NM. The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf kill.

On April 15, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Catron County, NM. The investigation determined the cow was a confirmed wolf kill.

On April 20, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Socorro County, NM. The investigation determined the calf was killed by coyotes.


On April 6, the Fish and Wildlife Service held a community meeting in Heber, Arizona on the status of the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program. The Forest Service and Arizona Game and Fish Department were also in attendance.

On April 7, the Fish and Wildlife Service held a community meeting in Young, Arizona on the status of the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program. The Arizona Game and Fish Department was also in attendance.

On April 7, the IFT gave a presentation on Mexican wolf biology, management and reintroduction efforts to a Becoming an Outdoors Woman Camp in the Prescott, AZ area.

On April 26, the Fish and Wildlife Service gave a presentation on the status of the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program at the Tribal ESA meeting in Ak-Chin, Arizona.


In April, USFWS volunteer/intern Rachael Nickerson completed her commitment with the program to further her career and experience in Oregon. Thanks for all your help!

In April, Amy Fontaine began her position with the program as a USFWS volunteer/intern. Welcome to the program Amy!

In April, Nick Riso began his position with the program as a USFWS volunteer/intern. Welcome to the program Nick!


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


From SanWild Wildlife Trust (lizel=sanwild.org@mail10.suw13.rsgsv.net); on behalf of; SanWild Wildlife Trust (lizel@sanwild.org)

  1. Saving Josh
    No matter who tells you what; or what arguments you may hear to justify the trophy hunting of rhinos, no rhino wants to die and Josh is no exception. His life is just starting and he is in his prime, but despite being a young, healthy rhino ready to start breeding , he has been condemned to die in a trophy hunt unless you and I do what is necessary prevent his death.


Through a third party we have secured the right to buy Josh to save his life by means of a legal sales agreement and have three weeks to make good on the terms of the contract.

If there was any other way to do it, we would have opted to not buy him from the very people that have no problem seeing him die a painful death, but there simply is no other option!

From past experience we know the only sure and most effective way to save dehorned rhinos that are already offered up for trophy hunting is to buy them and relocate them to the safety of Intensive Protection Zones where they are physically protected against poaching.

Josh, like Big Boy was advertised on trophy hunting website.  Crazy enough to believe that together we can change the world, we once again call on you to join us and help save Josh from being hunted.

Once secured and relocated to safety these rescued rhinos are free to live in the wild where they belong to contribute to the overall survival of their species.  Protected and secure with their “ownership” in a registered Wildlife Trust they will never ever be traded, dehorned or hunted ever again.

Please get involved and help us save one rhino at a time!

For more information please feel free to email me on louise@sanwild.org or phone me on +27 (0) 83 310 3882

Please do keep in mind that we only have three weeks to raise the funding needed and this appeal is time critical.

*Like many other rhinos in South Africa, Josh’s horn has also been removed supposedly to help protect him against possible poaching, but despite having his horn removed, it does grow back again over a period of time.

PERKS TO CLAIM:  Donors that donate $60 or more may claim any one of the two T-shirts on offer.  Donors that donate $120 or more may claim both.  For more information please email me on louise@sanwild.org



  1. It is time to celebrate

We would like to thank each and every individual that have donated to our Saving Josh Campaign.  With your help not just one, but two rhinos have been spared a painful death at the hands of trophy hunters and on their behalf we would like to extend our sincere appreciation and gratitude.

In our quest to help rhinos we have met some wonderful people and what has been a heart-warming experience, is to realise that whether your donation is $1 or $100; it truly does make a huge difference.  It is evidently clear that ordinary people can achieve the extraordinary.  Slowly but surely our small circle of Rhino Warriors are growing and this makes us realise that we can beat the odds in favour of these majestic animals.  We can choose life instead of death for them and we will make it happen. Rhinos may not be the sharpest pencils in the box, but rhinos are beautiful, they are kind and they are loving and they deserve our protection and help.

Now let me tell you some more wonderful news and the mystery rhino we named Annie.

As if by some miracle, just as we lodged the Saving Josh Campaign we were contacted by someone who wanted to help rhinos; in particular rhinos that were offered up for trophy hunting.  They had seen our posting on Facebook and when we told them that Josh was not the only rhino offered up for hunting they indicated that they would be interested in more information.  Although we cannot share all the intimate details at this stage; we had further information that another rhino had arrived on this hunting farm and that she was a cow. Sadly all the other bulls that lived with Josh had already been killed in trophy hunts.

When we shared this information with them, they let us know almost immediately that they will help and that we should secure a sales agreement not only for Josh, but also for Annie so that both rhinos could be relocated to safety a.s.a.p.   Within days we had a personal visit from their representative so that they could verify personally that indeed the Intensive Protection Zones were up and running and that it was a bona fide project.  We were delighted when they let us know that they were happy with what they had found and that their donation was a sure thing.  They immediately put up the funding to pay the required deposit on the sales agreement, but made us promise that their identities will remain confidential.

Our sincere appreciation also go to these wonderful individuals.  In closing I want to let you all know that it is possible to become good friends on Google translate and although you guys may not quite get it; our anonymous friend will fully understand. What fun we had communicating!

We have applied for the relevant permits to move Josh and Annie a.s.a.p. and their capture and relocation is scheduled by month end.  We are expecting the permits to be issued in the course of next week. We will obviously keep you informed and will let you know when we are ready to go.  We have been informed that there is also a slight chance that Annie; like Nellie may be pregnant and when the pair is darted for capture and relocation the veterinarian in charge will take the necessary blood samples to confirm if she is.

We have had such an overwhelming and wonderful response on our Saving Josh Campaign that we will come out with some surplus funding and all of this will be allocated to the on-going upgrades of the high-tech perimeter fences of the Intensive Protection Zones.  It is not just important to rescue injured, orphaned or wounded rhinos; or those destined for trophy hunting; we have to also secure their new homes against poaching.

Our IPZ Generosity Campaign is of the utmost importance because without this type of security the rescued rhinos are in serious danger.

Have a wonderful day and thanks again so much for your support.

Lots of love

Louise Joubert



From Change.org (www.change.org)

Karma: Big Game-Hunter dies after elephant falls on him

A professional big game hunter from Tzaneen, Theunis Botha, 51, died on Friday afternoon during a hunt in Gwai, Zimbabwe, when a member of his group fired at a storming elephant cow and the dying animal fell on him. RIP elephant!


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

1: USA: [VIDEO] The law our wildlife can’t afford to lose

The Endangered Species Act (ESA) is the bedrock law protecting the wildlife we love. It has been successful at keeping 99 percent of species listed from going extinct. But it’s also more than that. It’s the promise we make to our children and grandchildren to pass on our wildlife treasures to future generations.

But the ESA is under attack.

Please take a minute to watch our short video to learn more about this staple of wildlife conservation and why we desperately need to protect it: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=-Lg01jcT7E-dwU5IcDE27w

Powerful members of Congress and their corporate supporters have this incredible law in their sights.

You and I both know that their true intention is to dismantle the ESA – to take authority away from scientists and put it in the hands of Congress so that they can make decisions that help the special interests that line their campaign coffers.

Since 2015, more than 150 legislative measures have been introduced to undermine the ESA. And now, some in Congress are seeking to further undermine it by calling for “modernization” of this bedrock environmental law. In fact, we believe Senator Barrasso (R-WY) will introduce a bill to do just that in the coming weeks!

Senator Barrasso’s effort to rewrite the ESA must be stopped, and Defenders is preparing to respond to an all-out assault on the ESA this summer.

Without the ESA, it is estimated that 227 species would now be extinct. And extinction is forever. Species like the gray wolf, the bald eagle, the California condor, the North Atlantic right whale, the Florida panther and many more were all saved by the ESA.

Please watch this video to learn more about the ESA and why it’s so important to ensure its protection: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=79-Q090gWFgIwOVhESw_Dg


  1. USA: URGENT: The ESA is Under Fire

Congress may decide to kiss the polar bears goodbye. And the Florida manatees. And the grizzly bears. They may say farewell to red wolves. And the thousands of other species protected by the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

Powerful members of Congress and their corporate supporters have the ESA in their sights – and they’re preparing to launch an all-out assault on the nation’s most effective conservation law.

This could be a matter of life and death for the wildlife you love. Please donate today: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=lGxOpR7eoCF79G2-_WRn8g

Now is, without a doubt, a critical time for the future of our planet and the wildlife that are already dangerously close to the brink of extinction. Since 2015, Congress has levelled more than 150 legislative attacks against the ESA.

This month, Senator Barrasso (R-WY) is expected to introduce a bill to rewrite the ESA, opening the door to harmful provisions that could undermine the law, strip it of its effectiveness and compromise the role of science in protecting endangered species.

This bill could deal the fatal blow to this landmark legislation and doom countless species.

Please, donate today to help Defenders fight back against this appalling decision and continue our mission to protect and restore imperilled species: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=GXzUOD5obr6yCAyzey49kA

The ESA has successfully protected 99 percent of listed species from going extinct. Without this crucial law, it is estimated that 227 species would now be lost to us forever.

The ESA is more than just a proven, effective means of safeguarding our most imperilled species. It is a promise to future generations to preserve our wildlife treasures.

Saving the wildlife you love from the threats in Washington is our highest priority – and frankly the best hope for saving the ESA lies with you.

Your financial support matters. Your voice matters.

Congress needs to be reminded that the ESA is an important symbol of America’s commitment to protecting wildlife and wild lands. To destroy it is to destroy our most precious legacy.

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

Pet food recalls

Pet food recalls have become a part of daily life—which is scary… not knowing if the food you so carefully pick for your pet is going to inadvertently hurt them or even kill them!

Clean Label Project wanted to know how contaminants were getting in our pets’ food. We took a closer look at over 900 of the bestselling pet food products—and had them tested at an ISO accredited laboratory for 130+ potentially life-threatening environmental and industrial toxins, like heavy metals, pesticides, BPA/BPS, and mycotoxins.

The results are shocking:

Lead – 16 times higher than Flint, Michigan’s drinking water.

Arsenic – 19 times higher than is found in cigarettes.

And worse…

None of these products were recalled.

We need your help to make the pet food industry change their ways—to stop slowly poisoning our pets. Please make a tax-deductible donation today to help us protect our nation’s pets.

Please go to: https://cleanlabelproject.z2systems.com/np/clients/cleanlabelproject/donation.jsp

Wolves and Wolfdogs

  1. Trying to Understand the Poaching of the Canyon Alpha Female

    by Rick Lamplugh, author and wolf advocate

The death by poaching of the Canyon pack’s alpha female angers and saddens me. In the few weeks before she was shot, the white wolf was spotted twice walking alone at night down a main street of Gardiner, bothering no one, heading north. After the first sighting, an informal network of locals formed to try and find the alpha female, watch her movements, and make sure no harm came to her. We spent hours hiking and driving just north of Gardiner. We kept each other informed via text, email, phone, and talking along the roadside. My friend Leo Leckie and I were lucky enough to see her early one morning, unharmed and moving through the sage just north of town, not far from where she was found shot a couple of weeks later.

That so many people immediately came together to try and protect a wolf that had stepped out of Yellowstone, speaks highly of Gardiner residents. Unfortunately there are other people who want to see wolves dead. This time the killers succeeded. Was the shooter a local? Someone from elsewhere? No one knows.

Gardiner, located at Yellowstone’s north gate, sits at the center of a wolf controversy. The town is bordered by two Wolf Management Units of Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (MFWP). Wolves that step paw outside the park can be legally shot in those units during wolf hunting season. (When the Canyon alpha female was shot, wolf hunting season had long since closed. And her body was found inside Yellowstone, not in one of the hunting units.)

Some time ago, Leo, my wife Mary, and I attended a public meeting in which MFWP staff came to Gardiner to hear comments on the wolf quota in those units bordering Yellowstone. Should the number of wolves killed be higher, lower, or the same? Though MFWP may have wanted a number, they heard much more. They heard the range of local opinion about wolves.

After learning of the poaching of the Canyon alpha female, I found myself thinking again and again of that meeting and the thoughts and feelings revealed there about wolves. Thoughts and feelings that I’m sure are echoed across the US. Thoughts and feelings that may help to understand the white alpha’s death.

To continue reading: http://bit.ly/2ratbSU

Rick Lamplugh writes to protect wildlife and preserve wildlands. He lives near Yellowstone’s north gate and is just finishing a new book about Yellowstone’s grandeur and controversy. He is the author of the Amazon bestseller In the Temple of Wolves. Available as eBook or paperback at http://amzn.to/Jpea9Q. Or as a signed copy from Rick at http://bit.ly/1gYghB4.


  1. USA: The Revenge of a Wolf

After his mate and pups were killed by cattle ranchers in 1911, this wolf took revenge and hit the ranchers where it hurt them the most: their livestock. He never took another mate and was responsible for the death of $25,000 (equivalent to roughly $300,000 in 2016) worth of horses, cattle, and calves. The wolf eluded professional hunters, sportsmen, and bounty hunters alike for 9 years.
The government sent a highly experienced federal hunter and it still took that guy seven months to successfully hunt down this animal.

Submitted by Birgitt Roedder (http://www.catility.de; translated here from German)Dogs and wolves have a sense for fairness

When wolves feel treated unfairly they will refuse to cooperate.

“That’s unfair!“ In humans, the sense for justice and fairness is deeply rooted. Dogs also realize when they are treated differently, but whether this behaviour is a result of domestication or a natural trait is something scientists have now investigated with the help of play-experiments. The result: wolves do have a refined sense of justice, and dogs have inherited this trait from them – and belong to the very few animals known for such behavior.

Play-experiments show that small children already have a sense for fairness and justice: they protest when sweets are not evenly shared and will even stop others from stealing. Even three year-olds realize whether a playmate refuses intentionally to take part in group activity or not. Scientists therefore presume that the sensibility to equal treatment and fairness was very strongly developed already in our ancestors: the sense for justice developed, because they lived together in groups and their survival depended on cooperation.

But what is the story with other animals? In our closest relatives, the chimpanzees and bonobos, the sense for fairness does not seem to be very strongly manifest: in sharing experiments, these apes were more interested in their own gains – no matter whether food was equally shared or not. But dogs displayed first signs of disliking unequal treatment. However, it was still not clear whether this behavior had developed through domestication and their long history with humans or not.

Strike as result of unfair sharing

Jennifer Essler and her colleagues from the Veterinary University of Vienna have re- investigated the sense of justice in dogs and wolves by using reward-experiments. Two dogs or wolves were placed in neighbouring enclosures where they learned to paw a lever on command to receive a food reward. There was one problem, though: in some attempts, only the partner of the acting animal was rewarded while the acting animal received nothing. In other attempts, both were rewarded, but the partner received the preferred food item. The ability to realize this unequal treatment became evident when the wolves or dogs refused to cooperate further.

And indeed: the dogs as well as the wolves went on strike after they received nothing for a few times whereas their passive partner was rewarded. They refused to cooperate further in the test. A similar behavior was noticed when the animals were discriminated regarding the quality of the reward and only received the low-quality food item while their partners was given the preferred one: here they also refused to cooperate after a short while.

This response suggests that wolves and dogs really understand when they are unequally treated, said Essler. The wolves even react more sensitively than the dogs – although both had grown up and were kept under the same conditions. That this refusal indeed is a response to the perceived discrimination and not just of losing out or being insufficiently rewarded, is clearly shown in single trials: if the wolves and dogs performed without a partner they kept performing, even if there was no reward from time to time. Therefore the refusal is a result of the one receiving something while the other got nothing, explained co-author Friederike Range.

A profound sense of fairness

According to the scientists, these trials demonstrate that wolves and dogs have a concept of fairness – and that dogs have not acquired this behaviour as a result of their close contact with man. Rather must the common ancestors of today’s wolves and dogs have had a rudimentary sense of justice. This is probably a consequence of living closely together in packs: Like in the clans of our own ancestors, the success of a pack depended on how well the members cooperated. And this would promote fair behaviour as well as a sense of inequality. One indication of this being so was provided by the level of the wolves’ rejecting responses: “In higher-ranked animals, unequal treatment would trigger frustration more quickly, because they were not used to not receiving something or something of lower quality,” Range explained. “The order within their pack is therefore directly correlated to its members’ responses to unequal treatment.”

Domestication has nevertheless left its mark on dogs, also with regard to their sensibility towards unequal treatment. Wolves that were treated unfairly afterwards kept their distance to people, whereas dogs did not. “Even though these canids do not live together with humans, they are more approachable,” says Range, and adds, “Domestication appears to influence the behavior of dogs in this regard. Their close contact to people could therefore suppress their responses in such situations rather than trigger them.”

Original Source: Jennifer Essler (University for Veterinary Medicine Vienna) et al., Current Biology, doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2017.05.061 (summarized and translated here from German)

Wolf Myths and Legends, Part 139

A note about the Wolf

by Richard Fox

True, wolves can’t be mastered, but they can be tamed to some degree. They are most magnificent animals. To watch them tuck their tails between their legs, humping the back, and so displaying their love for you, is quite a sight.

Not everyone gets to enjoy the thrill of watching a wolf walk the edge of the woods keeping his/her distance from people.

A shy animal indeed. But their love is very powerful and provides a pleasure only few people like us can appreciate. Ears laid back while around us, a warm feeling of contentment I would say. My sister wolf and I are quite a pair.

No, not everyone should have a wolf, but only those who do have a gift from nature. If you have a wolf and don’t have these wonderful feelings toward that animal, you might need to find another home for it, because the wolf is lacking something to satisfy its inner self. Never stop a wolf from howling.

In 1836, (the trail of tears) my people were told to stop speaking Cherokee, and some forgot our language as time went on. I say, let the wolf spirit run free, wolves and Indians should be kept together.

Readers’ Contribution

A Wolfdog Diary

By Erin

Nothing major to report

Will be continued…