Volume 12, Issue 153, July 2017

SAFHOWL

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

Volume 12, Issue 153, July 2017

From the Editor’s Desk

Some US Senators really don’t seem to stop at anything when it comes to making the destruction of nature legal. While attempts to this effect have been going on for a long time, actually, their proposed measures now reek distinctly of the Horror Clown who thinks that the world is there only to make some people rich – let me correct this: make some Americans rich first. It is therefore only a logical step to propose: take away the funding of species protection and rather use it for some or other anti-nature measure that serves the personal luxury of an elite few. Read the news section for yourself!

To provide background, we have a portrayal of the battered Red Wolf that highlights everything you should know about the world’s rarest wolf.

A haunting poem, but one that really hits home and is worth not only reading but also contemplating…

Erin has provided another one of her interesting updates, and as far as she, our pack, and I are concerned, well, we had reason to celebrate – see the advert below.

Till next month,
Ed.

New Wolf Book!

 A Houseful Headful of Wolves

The Story of two People sharing their Home and Lives with Wolves

A life stranger than fiction. And it all started when Ted and Erin decided to quit Germany and emigrate to South Africa just when the era of Apartheid came to end there. Animal lovers through and through, they eventually ended up sharing their home with a pack of wolves. If this alone were not strange enough, a teacher came into their lives and taught them Animal Communication. Ted took to this like a fish to water and with almost daily training over the years refined his skills to levels he never thought possible – and to dimensions very few people probably know exist.

Ted tells how everything evolved, sharing the joys and dramas of being part of a wolf pack in a domestic setting. He leaves no doubts, however, that this requires a lot of dedication, compromising, and a deep understanding of wolf mentality. He describes in detail the fundamental requirements for such a setup to work and why the “normal” person may be better advised to stick to a dog with wolfish looks rather than the real thing. He also takes a look at the difficult relationship between people and wolves throughout history, and discusses why Animal Communication is a skill everybody is born with, but most will unlearn later in life.

Told as they unfolded, his realizations have the potential of widely expanding the box humans are generally conditioned to think in – both with regard to the wolf as a physical being and as a spiritual entity of immense wisdom.

Ted Ehrhardt (pseudonym) is an author, ghost writer, editor and translator with more than 30 years of experience in various fields of biosciences, at home in the worlds of both scientific  literature and fiction. Ted is German-born, but has been living in South Africa for more than 25 years, 17 of which in the company of a pack of wolves.

Book: A Headful of Wolves The Story of two People sharing their Home and Lives with Wolves

Available as paperback and E-book from Amazon or from any other Amazon Online-shop.

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.

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 here.

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 here.

Upcoming Webinars 

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

Wolf Conservation Center

Wake Up With Wolves!

Sleeping with Wolves, the Wolf Conservation Center’s popular nocturnal adventure experience, gives guests a chance to camp out overnight with the 25 wolves that call the center home! With all the howls and nature’s nighttime chatter, you will feel like you’re camping under the stars with wild wolves!

Pre-registration is required. Space is limited and dates are selling out quickly!

Information and Registration here.

August 17-18

Wolf Retreats with Sacred Warrior

Join Sacred Warrior founder, Vanessa Chakour, for a wild and powerful 2-day camping retreat at the WCC!

Participate in empowering meditation and movement workshops, herbal medicine making, and more! Space is limited!

News from the Wolf Front

National

Nothing to report

International

From Endangered Species Coalition (action@endangered.org)

  1. USA: Help stop red wolves from vanishing forever

As few as 28 wild red wolves are left in the world today. Decades of hard work by scientists and conservationists could be squandered by Interior Secretary Zinke and the Department of Interior (DOI) if they continue as planned and walk away from the job of recovering red wolves.

Please make an emergency tax-deductible donation today to help stop Secretary Zinke’s plan to abandon the most endangered wolves in the country here.

Red wolves have lived successfully in North Carolina for more than two decades and were steadily coming back until the agency charged with their recovery, the Department of Interior’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), actively neglected this species and allowed its wild population to plummet by nearly 80 percent.

Shockingly, the agency announced in September of last year, that they were planning to radically reduce the recovery area for these highly endangered wolves from five counties to one and to remove most of the wild wolves from their homes and place them in captivity. This plan to abandon wolves is pending and we are fighting it with every tool that we have, but we need your help.

Please make a donation today to help the Endangered Species Coalition organize opposition to Secretary Zinke’s plan and support for real red wolf recovery here

Red wolves are a native species that once thrived in this region. Their recovery is both necessary to restore healthy landscapes, and possible if Secretary Zinke and the USFWS once again commit to the task. We intend to hold them accountable for continuing to work to achieve this Endangered Species Act success story in the making by organizing conservation organizations and activists in North Carolina and around the nation against this planned abandonment and behind real solutions to stop red wolves from disappearing forever. Please support real red wolf recovery with a donation today.

Thank you for your commitment to wildlife and wild places.

  1. USA: Take Action: Senate bill would kick Great Lakes wolves off of endangered species list and prevent judicial review

A bill introduced in the U.S. Senate last week would kick wolves in Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin off of the endangered species list and subject them to hunting and trapping.

Contact your senators and tell them you oppose S. 1514 here.

This bill is uniquely dangerous because it currently has bipartisan support. Senators Barrasso (R-WY), Boozman (R-AR), Cardin (D-MD), Baldwin (D-WI), and Klobuchar (D-MN) have cosponsored this legislation and are working behind the scenes to get more support and speed its passage into law.

Ask your senators to oppose S. 1514 here.

If this bill becomes law, the Endangered Species Act will be drastically weakened by again allowing politicians to substitute their judgement for that of scientists working in this field. Worse, it prevents judges from reviewing the action. These senators are seeking to exclude scientists and the courts from doing their jobs in order to score political points with special interests.

Don’t let them. Contact your senators and tell them you expect a “NO” vote on S. 1514 if it comes to the full Senate for a vote here.

Thank you for your commitment to wildlife and wild places.

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

USA: Congress tries to defund ESA protections for gray wolves!

Yesterday a House subcommittee released a funding bill which includes a rider that blocks funding for Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections for all gray wolves in the lower 48 states. The bill also accepts the nearly 17 percent cut in funding to list new species under the ESA proposed in President Trump’s budget.

The House’s dirty budget would gut vital protections for our natural heritage and wildlife, especially for endangered species, including wolves.

Please donate today to help us fight these attacks on wolves and other imperilled wildlife: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=mZ_HkWHAznzPqvcmTHJHnw

This bill continues the intensifying attacks on the ESA. Since the beginning of 2015, we’ve seen 160 proposals introduced in Congress that would either remove protections for individual species or otherwise undermine the ESA.

This wolf rider means certain death for America’s wolves. It forces the Department of the Interior to abandon its responsibilities for protecting gray wolves, which are currently listed as endangered in much of the United States.

It also prevents other federal agencies from complying with their obligations under the law. It is particularly egregious that this rider would halt all efforts to protect and recover the Mexican gray wolf – the most endangered gray wolf in the world, with just 113 wild wolves in the U.S. and 35 in Mexico.

Donate today to help Defenders fight back against this appalling attack and continue our mission to protect and restore imperilled species: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=iq8NlN24C74v65AknUt3YA

This rider makes a mockery of the Endangered Species Act. It leaves America’s wolves sitting in the ESA emergency room and orders our wildlife agencies not to treat them. The drastic cut in funding for new species under the ESA will further delay listing decisions for many deserving species, leading to longer recovery times and possibly even more extinctions.

Help us keep up the fight. Support Defenders’ life-saving work today: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=h2OpeADmHJR6wGPQ6b983A

From Wolf Conservation Center (contact@nywolf.org)

  1. USA: Wolf Pup Update

Growing Pains?

With her 5-week-old Mexican gray wolf pups and three yearlings born in 2016, Mom’s “paws” are full!  Thankfully, raising pups is a family affair; it is natural for all the wolves to pitch in. The yearlings are assisting their parents in rearing their younger siblings by regurgitating food for them, playing with them, and even baby-sitting. Sometimes, however, it is natural for an older sibling to be a little jealous of the babies. Mexican gray wolf F1508 (a.k.a. K.B.) tries to steal some of her mother’s attention by pretending she is a pup too!

Be sure to tune in to the WCC live webcams to watch the family in action!

Mexican Wolf Pup Webcams

From California Wolfcenter (californiawolfcenter@yahoogroups.com)

Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project

Monthly Update – May 1-31, 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 http://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.

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

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 May, there were 58 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.

IN ARIZONA:

Bear Wallow Pack (collared AM1338 and AF1335)

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

Bluestem Pack (collared F1489, fp1562, fp1563 and mp1574)

In May, the Bluestem Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the east central portion of the ASNF. Male pup 1574 showed dispersal behaviour and has been travelling with the Panther Creek Pack. Female pup 1562 has shown dispersal behaviour and is believed to be travelling alone. The IFT documented the breeding pair AF1042 and AM1341 together with F1489 and fp1563. The Bluestem Pack displayed behaviour consistent with denning within their traditional territory during May.

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

In May, 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 May.

Frieborn Pack (collared F1443 and m1447)

In May, 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 have been documented throughout May. The IFT continued to maintain a diversionary food cache for the Frieborn Pack in an effort to reduce potential for wolf-livestock conflict.

Hawks Nest Pack (collared AM1038)

The Hawks Nest Pack consists of one collared wolf, AM1038. AM1038 was located travelling alone in the traditional territory of the Diamond pack in the northern portion of the ASNF in May.

Hoodoo Pack (collared AM1290, AF1333, and fp1550)

In May, 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 May.

Maverick Pack (collared AF1291)

In May, the Maverick Pack was located within their traditional territory both on the FAIR and east central portion of the ASNF. The Maverick Pack was not localized during May.

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

In May, the Panther Creek Pack was located in the east central portion of the ASNF. Male pup 1574 from the Bluestem Pack has been travelling with Panther Creek. Male pup 1486 has been documented travelling in the Gila National Forest in New Mexico. Male pup 1483 has been travelling between Arizona and New Mexico and fp1484 has been travelling mostly alone in Arizona, occasionally travelling with mp1483. In May, two neonatal pups born in captivity at the California Wolf Center were cross-fostered by the IFT into the Panther Creek den and two wild-born pups were removed to captivity. The IFT initiated a supplemental food cache near the den as part of the cross-foster effort.

Prime Canyon Pack (collared F1488)

In May, F1488 and an unknown wolf continued to travel together within a territory in the east-central portion of the ASNF. This pack did not display denning behaviour in May.

Saffel Pack (collared F1567 and M1441)

In May the Saffel Pack was located 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 May. A diversionary food cache was started by the IFT for this pack in effort to avoid conflict with cattle in the area.

ON THE FAIR:

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

In May, the Diamond Pack was located in the northern portion of the ASNF and on state lands north of the ASNF. This month, fp1570 was located dead in Arizona; the incident is under investigation. Male pup 1572 has been documented travelling apart from the Diamond Pack. The IFT initiated a diversionary food cache on the ASNF for the Diamond Pack to reduce potential for further wolf-livestock conflict.

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

In May, 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 May. It has been more than three months since the Baldy Pack was located and they are now considered fate unknown.

IN NEW MEXICO:

Iron Creek Pack (collared AM1240, AF1278 and mp1556)

During May, the Iron Creek Pack continued to utilize their territory in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness and the southern portion of the Gila National Forest (GNF). The IFT confirmed pups with the Iron Creek pack in May.

Lava Pack (collared F1405 and AM1285)

During May, the Lava Pack was located within their traditional territory in the south eastern portion of the GNF. The IFT set up a diversionary food cache in May to reduce the potential for wolf-livestock conflicts. The Lava pack continued to display behaviour consistent with denning.

Leopold Pack (collared AM1293, AF1346 and mp1561)

During May, 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 May.

Luna Pack (collared AM1158 and AF1487)

During May, 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. The Luna Pack continued to display behaviour consistent with denning.

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.

Dark Canyon (collared F1444 and M1386)

During May, F1444 and M1386 were documented travelling together within the west central portions of the GNF. The Dark Canyon Pack displayed denning behaviour in May.

Copper Creek (collared F1456 and M1354)

During May, F1456 and M1354 were documented travelling together within the west central portions of the GNF. This pair has shown denning behaviour in May.

Prieto Pack (collared AF1251, M1398 and fp1565)

During May, the Prieto Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF. The Prieto Pack displayed denning behaviour during May. A supplemental food cache was established in May to reduce the potential for wolf-livestock conflicts.

San Mateo Pack (collared AF1399)

During May, the San Mateo Pack continued to utilize their territory in the north central portion of the GNF. In early May, the IFT placed two genetically valuable pups into the pack’s den during a cross-foster operation in efforts to increase genetic diversity of wolves from the Brookfield Zoo, in the wild. A supplemental food cache was also set up to assist the pack’s care for the genetically diverse litter of pups.

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

During May, the SBP Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF. The IFT confirmed pups with the SBP pack in May.

Willow Springs Pack

No collared individuals remain in this pack.

Single collared AM1155

During May, AM1155 was documented travelling within New Mexico.

Single collared M1455

During May, M1455 travelled throughout central to east-central portions of the GNF.

Single collared M1552

During May, M1552 travelled throughout north-eastern portions of the GNF and central portions of the Cibola National Forest (CNF).

Single collared m1569

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

MORTALITIES

Diamond fp1570 was found dead in Arizona during May; the incident is under investigation.

INCIDENTS

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

On May 4, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Catron County, NM. The investigation determined the calf had been killed by coyotes.

On May 5, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Socorro County, NM. The investigation determined the cause of death was unknown.

On May 9, Wildlife Services investigated a dead bull and two dead cows in Socorro County, NM. The investigation determined the bull was a confirmed wolf kill and both of the cows were probable wolf kills.

On May 9, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Socorro County, NM. The investigation determined the cow was a confirmed wolf kill.

On May 12, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Socorro County, NM. The investigation determined the cow had been killed by a bear.

On May 14, Wildlife Services investigated three dead cows in Catron County, NM. The investigations determined the cause of death was unknown for all three cows.

On May 22, Wildlife Services investigated two dead calves in Apache County, AZ. The investigation determined both calves were confirmed wolf kills.

On May 30, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, AZ. The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf kill.

COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATION

On May 4 and 5, members from the IFT attended a ranching workshop hosted by the X Diamond Ranch in Arizona. The workshop provided a basic understanding of the principles and tools used in low stress livestock handling and stockman ship and a discussion of how these techniques have been used to reduce wolf depredations on cattle.

On May 17, the IFT gave a presentation on Mexican wolf biology, management and reintroduction efforts to a group of 6th grade children from Winslow at their annual camping trip in the ASNF.

PROJECT PERSONNEL

In May, USFWS volunteer/intern Steven Nagy completed his commitment with the program to further his career and experience. Thanks for all your help!

In May, Maya Stahl and McKenna Zandarski joined the project as interns with AZGFD. Welcome to the program, Maya and McKenna!

  1. Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project

Monthly Update – June 1-30, 2017

The Fish and Wildlife Service will hold information meetings to provide the public with information on the draft recovery plan. Written comments on the draft recovery plan may be submitted at these meetings (oral comments will not be recorded). The dates and times of these information meetings are as follows:

Flagstaff, AZ: July 18, 2017 (6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.): Northern Arizona University, Prochnow Auditorium, South Knowles Drive, Flagstaff, AZ 86001.

Pinetop, AZ: July 19, 2017 (6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.): Hon-Dah Resort, 777 AZ-260, Pinetop, AZ 85935.

Truth or Consequences, NM: July 20, 2017 (6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.): Ralph Edwards Auditorium, Civic Center, 400 West Fourth, Truth or Consequences, NM 87901.

Albuquerque, NM: July 22, 2017 (2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.): Crowne Plaza Albuquerque, 1901 University Boulevard NE, Albuquerque, NM 87102.

The Fish and Wildlife Service has also made available the Draft Biological Report and two supporting analyses – “Population Viability Analysis for the Mexican Wolf” and “Mexican Wolf Habitat Suitability Analysis in Historical Range in South-western US and Mexico,” to the public as supplemental background information during the public comment period. These documents, as well as the draft Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan, First Revision are available at: www.fws.gov/southwest/es/mexicanwolf/MWRP.cfm

CURRENT POPULATION STATUS

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 June, there were 58 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.

IN ARIZONA:

Bear Wallow Pack (collared AM1338 and AF1335)

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

Bluestem Pack (collared F1489, f1562, and f1563)

In June, the Bluestem Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the east central portion of the ASNF. Male 1574 is showing dispersal behaviour and has been travelling with the Panther Creek Pack. Female 1562 has been travelling alone and is now considered a single animal. The IFT documented AF1042, AM1341, F1489, and f1563 localized in a den area during June.

Elk Horn Pack (collared AF1294, m1471, m1474, and f1473)

In June, 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 June. Pups were documented with the Elk Horn Pack in June.

Frieborn Pack (collared F1443 and m1447)

In June, F1443 and m1447 were documented within their territory in the east central portion of the ASNF in Arizona and into New Mexico. They have displayed localized behaviour consistent with denning in June. The IFT maintained a diversionary food cache for this pack to reduce potential for livestock depredations.

Hawks Nest Pack (collared AM1038)

The Hawks Nest Pack consists of one collared wolf, AM1038. AM1038 was located travelling alone in the traditional territory of the Diamond pack in the northern portion of the ASNF in June.

Hoodoo Pack (collared AM1290, AF1333, and f1550)

In June, 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 June. The IFT is conducting prey carcass investigations as part of a kill rate study for the Hoodoo Pack during the month of June. Pups were documented with the Hoodoo Pack in June.

Maverick Pack (collared AF1291)

In June, the Maverick Pack was located within their traditional territory both on the FAIR and east central portion of the ASNF.

Panther Creek Pack (collared AF1339, AM1382, and m1574)

In June, the Panther Creek Pack was located in the east central portion of the ASNF. Male yearling 1574 from the Bluestem Pack has been travelling with Panther Creek for three months and is now considered part of the pack. Male yearling 1486 has been documented travelling in the Gila National Forest in New Mexico. Male yearling 1483 has been travelling between Arizona and New Mexico, and female yearling 1484 has been travelling mostly alone in Arizona, occasionally travelling with mp1483. Yearlings m1483, f1484, and m1486 have been travelling separately from the rest of the pack for three months and are now each considered single animals. The breeding pair continues to display localized behaviour consistent with denning. The IFT maintained a diversionary food cache for this pack to reduce potential for livestock depredations and supplement cross-fostered pups.

Prime Canyon Pack (collared F1488)

In June, F1488 and an unknown collared wolf continue to travel together within a territory in the east-central portion of the ASNF. This pack has not displayed denning behaviour.

Saffel Pack (collared AF1567)

In June, the Saffel Pack was located 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 June. A diversionary food cache was maintained by the IFT for this pack in effort to avoid conflict with cattle in the area. Pups were documented with the Saffel Pack in June.

Single collared m1483

Male 1483 made wide dispersal movements between Arizona and New Mexico in June.

Single collared f1484

Female 1484 has been travelling alone in Arizona at the southern edge of Panther Creek territory during June.

Single collared f1562

Female 1562 has been making wide dispersal movements to the northeast of Bluestem’s traditional territory.

ON THE FAIR:

Diamond Pack (collared f1557, m1559, f1560, m1571, and m1572)

In June, the Diamond Pack was located in their traditional territory on the FAIR and in the northern portion of the ASNF. Male yearling 1572 has been documented travelling apart from the Diamond Pack. The IFT initiated and maintained a diversionary food cache on the ASNF for the Diamond Pack to reduce potential for further wolf-livestock conflict.

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

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

IN NEW MEXICO:

Iron Creek Pack (collared AM1240, AF1278, and m1556)

During June, 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 IFT confirmed pups with the Iron Creek Pack in May and continued to observe denning behaviour.

Lava Pack (collared F1405 and AM1285)

During June, the Lava Pack was located within their traditional territory in the south eastern portion of the GNF. The IFT maintained a diversionary food cache to reduce the potential for wolf-livestock conflicts. The Lava Pack continued to display behaviour consistent with denning.

Leopold Pack (collared AM1293, AF1346, and m1561)

During June, the IFT documented the Leopold Pack within their territory in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness.

Luna Pack (collared AM1158 and AF1487)

During June, 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. The Luna Pack continued to display behaviour consistent with denning. Pups were documented with the Luna Pack in June.

Mangas Pack (collared M1296 and F1439)

During June, the Mangas Pack was located within their territory in the north western portion of the GNF. The Mangas pack continued to display behaviour consistent with denning.

Dark Canyon (collared F1444 and M1386)

During June, F1444 and M1386 were documented travelling together within the west central portions of the GNF. The IFT continued to monitor for denning behaviour in June.

Copper Creek (collared F1456 and M1354)

During June, F1456 and M1354 were documented travelling together within the west central portions of the GNF. The IFT continued to monitor for denning behaviour in June.

Prieto Pack (collared AF1251, M1398, and f1565)

During June, the Prieto Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF. The Prieto Pack has continued to display denning behaviour. A supplemental food cache was established in May to reduce the potential for wolf-livestock conflicts and was utilized by the Prieto Pack in June.

San Mateo Pack (collared AF1399)

During June, the San Mateo Pack continued to utilize their territory in the north central portion of the GNF. The IFT maintained a supplemental food cache to assist the pack’s care for the genetically diverse litter of pups. Visual observations documented two adults and two pups; however, remote cameras have documented at least one uncollared yearling travelling with the alphas.

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

During June, the SBP Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF. The IFT confirmed pups with the SBP pack in May, and the pack continued to display denning behaviour during the month of June. The IFT established a diversionary food cache in June to reduce the potential for wolf-livestock conflicts. The food cache has been utilized by the SBP pack.

Single collared AM1155

During June, AM1155 was documented travelling within New Mexico.

Single collared M1455

During June, M1455 travelled throughout central to east-central portions of the GNF.

Single collared M1552

During June, M1552 travelled throughout north-eastern portions of the GNF and central portions of the Cibola National Forest (CNF).

Single collared m1569

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

Single collared m1486

During June, m1486, a yearling disperser from the Panther Creek Pack, travelled throughout northern and central portions of the CNF.

MORTALITIES

There were no mortalities documented during the month of June.

INCIDENTS

During the month of June, there was one confirmed wolf depredation on livestock and two nuisance reports.

On June 7, the IFT fielded three reports of wolves being observed in a residential area of Alpine, AZ. The reports stated that two collared wolves had been observed multiple times over a two day period beginning on June 6 in the Alpine Village East area near houses. The larger of the two wolves was described as exhibiting a lack of fear of humans. The IFT investigated the reports and determined the Prime Canyon Pack was responsible for the sightings. The IFT determined the Prime Canyon Pack had killed an elk in the area. No wolf interactions with pets or livestock were suspected. On June 8, the IFT located the Prime Canyon Pack south of Alpine and hazed the male with less than lethal rubber bullets. The IFT attempted to haze the Prime Canyon pack again on multiple occasions from June 9 through June 13, and each time was unable to get close enough to haze with less than lethal due to the wolves moving off when the IFT approached.

On June 22, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Catron County, NM. The investigation determined the calf had been killed by wolves.

On June 22, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Apache County, AZ. The investigation determined the cause of death was unknown.

On June 29, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, AZ. The investigation determined the calf had been killed as a result of being struck by a vehicle.

On June 30, a collared wolf was observed near a residence in Alpine Village East. The wolf retreated when the homeowner walked outside. The IFT responded to the report, investigated and determined the sighting was of f1483, a yearling disperser from the Panther Creek Pack.

COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATION

On June 10, the AGFD attended the annual Cochise Graham Cattle Growers Association meeting in Wilcox, AZ and provided an update on Mexican wolf reintroduction efforts in Arizona.

On June 10, a member of the IFT talked to a group of homeowners in Alpine about recent wolf sightings, Mexican wolf biology/behaviour, allowable forms of take within the final 10j rule and IFT management actions for nuisance wolf behaviour.

On June 20, the AGFD gave a presentation on IFT annual work activities and an overall reintroduction project update to the Apache County Board of Supervisors in St. Johns, AZ.

On June 23, the AGFD talked to a group at the Butterfly Lodge in Greer, AZ about routine field techniques used by biologists on the IFT to monitor and capture Mexican wolves.

PROJECT PERSONNEL

In June, Ed Davis left the AGFD to continue his education. Thank you Ed for your dedication and contributions to wolf recovery efforts!

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 Change.org (change@mail.change.org)

Well known Elephant Poacher killed in Zimbabwe

3 Jul 2017 — Well known Elephant Poacher killed in Zimbabwe by game wardens.
He was out on bail after a 2016 poaching conviction.

Hwange – An elephant poacher has been shot dead in a contact with game scouts in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park, a conservation group says.

The scouts tracked a group of four poachers after shots were heard early on Thursday near Hwange’s Main Camp and an elephant bull carcass minus its tusks was discovered, said the Bhejane Trust.

Later they discovered “the poachers removing ivory from (a second) elephant carcass, and at a distance of 70 meters, they opened up”, the group said in a statement.

The one poacher was shot dead and another seriously injured. The wounded poacher and his two accomplices escaped.

The patrol managed to retrieve four elephant tusks, a hunting rifle and ammunition.

“The deceased poacher was well known, having been convicted in October 2016 for illegal hunting, but was out on bail,” the statement said. “The wounded poacher will soon be found.”

Earlier this month game rangers discovered at least 10 elephants poisoned in and around Hwange by poachers using cyanide. Three suspects were arrested.

International

  1. Ban Trophy Hunting just posted an update on Boycott Under Armour until they Stop Killing Wildlife! – Take the Pledge!

The American Killer Couple sponsored by Under Armour: Lee & Tiffany Lakosky

Feel free to express your opinion on their various social media pages: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LeeAndTiffany / Twitter: https://twitter.com/ TheCrushTV Website: http://www.thecrush.tv/

  1. USA: Your Typical American Trophy Hunting Couple – Alissa and Adam Zank

By the way, the woman is a clinical social worker. This is what she said after proudly killing a baited black bear 3 days ago: Finally connected on an animal in Alaska with my Hoyt Faktor (bow) last night : ) This guy came in after we had freshened the baits with Bait Em 907 Alaska’s Black Bear Bait & Lure Company. He could not resist and came in 30 seconds after getting up in the tree stand…

Read the full update here

  1. Another American Trophy Killer Couple – Cassi and Dominic Nickles

Cassi Nickles’ own child died as an infant in 2014. One might think Cassi would stop and think, but she does not care and obsessively keeps on murdering wildlife for fun.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cassi.west.5

  1. Under Armour Hunt

This is what they are about: “UA Hunt is within the Outdoor Division of Under Armour. A bunch of Athletes who live to hunt!” Feel free to check out their facebook page and express your opinion: https://www.facebook.com/UAHunt/ The caption of this photo was: Sun setting on a day well-spent. #RidgeReaper

Read the full update here.

Wolves and Wolfdogs

 Saving the World’s rarest Wolf

Red wolves are once again facing extinction in the wild and they need your support to ensure their future.

Red wolves once called the entire Southeast home. Roaming from the Texan plains, down into the swamps of Florida and up into the Midwest, the red wolf’s entire historical range fell within the boundaries of the United States. Truly the “All-American wolf,” Canis rufus can now only be found in one small area of North Carolina where it was reintroduced by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1987 after being officially declared extinct in the wild in 1980. Despite these efforts to regain a foothold for the species in the wild, recent politically-fueled attacks and popular misconceptions have largely undone recovery efforts. Now fewer than 45 red wolves remain in North Carolina, and they are once again facing extinction in the wild.

The Mystery of the Red Wolf

What exactly is a red wolf, genetically speaking? There are two popular theories (among others). The first, and more widely held theory, argues that the red wolf evolved from an ancient wolf, which branched off into three distinct species—coyotes, eastern wolves, and red wolves—thousands of years ago. The alternative theory, the hybrid argument, contends that the red wolf is 75 percent gray wolf and 25 percent coyote. Under this theory, it is held that, as settlers killed off Southeastern gray wolves, the remaining populations bred with coyotes, producing today’s red wolf. The debate about the red wolf’s origin is ongoing and is unlikely to be resolved anytime soon (several scientists are preparing to publish a paper rebutting a recent hybrid study). At this point, what we know for certain is that the red wolf is the best example we have of a large Southeastern wolf; it plays a hugely important role in the ecosystem; and, under both theories, it is protected under the Endangered Species Act.

Restoring Balance in the Southeast

Just as the wolves of Yellowstone are shown to balance the ecosystems of the West, red wolves have similar positive impacts on the landscape of the Southeast. Anecdotal evidence suggests that because red wolves prey on the weak and sick, the surviving deer herd in the red wolf recovery area, is healthier, the bucks have grown larger, and their racks are bigger. Since red wolves also eat small predators, like raccoons and opossum, ground nesting critters like turkey, quail and songbirds are flourishing. For the same reason, when red wolves were placed on islands to acclimate them to the wild, sea turtle survival rates were also higher. There is no evidence indicating that red wolves have precipitated a “wildlife disaster” in the recovery area, as some opponents of the recovery effort have claimed.

Crying Wolf Over Hybridization

The best available science shows that hybridization—when red wolves mate with coyotes—is not the most significant threat to red wolf recovery. In fact, a recent study showed that “hybrids composed only four percent of individuals” in a large-scale study area. These hybridization events, though rare, also usually occur as a matter of necessity. With so few red wolves on the landscape, when a wolf is shot—which, to date, is the leading cause of red wolf deaths—its mate often has no choice but to pair bond with a coyote. On the other hand, when red wolves are within stable, healthy numbers, as they were about a decade ago, they push out and suppress coyotes, since they have no need for them. So, ultimately it’s something of a numbers game. The more red wolves we have, the fewer coyotes.

The Real Threat

By far the most significant challenge to red wolf recovery is simply the way in which red wolves are being managed. Since the program’s inception, red wolves were managed by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) biologists, working on the ground in Manteo, North Carolina. The program grew from 14 founders to nearly 150 wolves, and for a time, red wolves seemed poised for regional expansion. Sadly, this all changed due to shifting politics.

Succumbing to pressure from the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and a few private landowners, FWS regional administrators stripped the recovery biologists of management control. Then they reassigned the red wolf recovery coordinator; abandoned the adaptive management strategy; virtually eliminated poaching enforcement (to date, dozens of red wolves have been killed, and no one has been prosecuted); allowed some landowners to shoot wolves; and began removing red wolves from private property. Consequently, around 75 wolves were lost in just two to three years.

A Disastrous Proposal

Adding insult to injury, the FWS has also proposed significantly scaling back the wild red wolf recovery effort. In particular, the agency has proposed shrinking the red wolf recovery area by almost ninety percent, confining one or two wolf packs to the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge and Dare County Bombing Range, and removing all other red wolves to zoos. As justification, the agency said that the captive population of red wolves is not secure, and to safeguard them, resources must be diverted from wild red wolves. The science does not support this whatsoever. In fact, the scientists whose study the agency relied upon condemned this proposal, stating that it was full of “alarming misinterpretations” and “will no doubt result in extinction of red wolves in the wild.”

What We’re Doing About It

Defenders has launched an exhaustive outreach campaign throughout the Southeast. We’ve held dozens of red wolf events, reaching thousands of people, and this much is clear: people care deeply about red wolves. In fact, a recent survey concluded that over 80 percent of North Carolinians believe that the FWS should do whatever it takes to recover red wolves. Defenders will continue to leverage this sweeping public support. We will also continue to develop landowner incentives for those who manage their land in a manner beneficial to red wolves, urge FWS administrators to recommit to full red wolf recovery in the wild, work with elected officials to revitalize the recovery effort, and inspire Defenders’ supporters to act on behalf of the world’s rarest wolf.

What You Can Do About It

Ten years ago, the red wolf recovery program was, even by the FWS’s admission, “remarkably successful.” We can achieve that level of success again, with your help.

Source: http://www.defendersblog.org/2017/06/saving-worlds-rarest-wolf/ 

Wolf Myths and Legends, Part 140

The Wolves are Coming
by Sloane Jensen

The wolves are coming…

Their feet are falling on forgotten paths, their long-lost voices are filling the sky. While their yellow eyes cut through the night, they leave their tracks on the muddy riversides.

The wolves are coming…

The forest whispers of their return, of their attempt to restore themselves in Creation, to weave themselves back into the web of life that connects all living things.

The wolves are coming…

Their teeth are seeking out their pray tonight, the deer and the elk, the cattle and sheep, and they will leave blood and bones scattered in their wake. Yet meat is what they need, so on meat they must feed.

The wolves are coming…

Some of us will greet them with traps and bullets, others of us with songs and drums. Some will say “Welcome home brother.” others will say “Be gone killer!”

The wolves are coming…

Some of them will come alone, others will come in packs. Gray wolves, black wolves, brown wolves, silver wolves, even white wolves, all coming back, back to the lands they once roamed.

The wolves are coming…

Some of us will like it, some of us will not. Some of us will stalk them with cameras, and others of us will stalk them with guns. And then we tremble if they stalk us.

The wolves are coming…

They are clothed in mystery and majesty, surrounded by our love and hate. They wander through our thoughts and dreams, and they appear in our stories and legends.

The wolves are coming…

Their young will play in the meadows, the old ones will doze in the sun, and the alphas will watch over them both, for they are not just a pack, but a family.

The wolves are coming…

Now their howls are echoing in the mountains, carried by the cold winds down into our logging camps, our real estate developments, our cities, and our delusions of conquest.

The wolves are coming…

Readers’ Contribution

A Wolfdog Diary

By Erin

It’s a lovely day today – the weaver birds are busy building new nests, the sun is shining, it’s nice and warm outside with just a gentle wind going, und the buds on the trees in my garden are ready to burst. It feels like early spring, and if we can rely on our gardener’s gut feeling, and believe me, he is much more reliable in his weather forecasts than the weather news on TV, the end of winter is very close. Well, it suits me fine, although I have to admit that this has been anything but real winter. Anyway, to me anything below 25 Celsius is cold, and I’m running around dressed like an Eskimo – winter is not my cup of tea.

Otherwise not much has happened during the past few weeks. The furry kids are all fine, no complaints on that front. Ascar II still sticks to his newly achieved good behaviour (o.k., every now and then he suffers from sudden memory loss, but just for a short moment and then a reminding look from Ted or me is enough the kick his memory back into action). He has calmed down quite a bit I must say – he even has discovered that being brushed is actually very nice, and he and Kajack II fall over each other when they see Ted with the brush, because everyone wants to be first in line. Taima has no understanding for that; to her the brush is the scariest thing in the world and she snaps at it the moment Ted closes in on her with that evil thing. She even tries to keep Ascar and Kajack away from it, growling at them, Ted and the brush, but I think she mostly wonders why they like it so much, and she can clearly see that it doesn’t cause any harm to either of them. I had hoped that when she watches the two being brushed and fully enjoying it she would somehow change her mind and give it a try too, but no luck on that front. But, I’m not giving up hope – I mean, it took her three years of her life to discover how nice it is to cuddle up with us. Usually she came every now and then for a pat, but that was all. Then suddenly, she started to come into bed in the morning, rolling up into a fur ball between Ted and me, or dishing out little kisses. Today she creeps under Ted’s blanket, playing the “duck” (head down, butt up in the air), rolling around making the funniest noises, not getting enough of hugging and kissing and patting. It also took her years to accept even our closest friends in the house without disappearing into thin air for the length of their visits. As you can see, it’s never too late to hope for the better when it comes to her.

Ascar also took a long time to learn that cuddling up with us is something enjoyable. He has always been friendly with other people coming to the house, inspecting them from toe to head in great detail (he seems to have a special liking for the shampoos and/or conditioners people use; he always sticks his nose into their hair and investigates the scent), but he wasn’t really one to cuddle with and pat. He enjoyed lying in bed in the evening before sleeping time, but the moment we went to bed he was out. On the other hand he did not like it when we cuddled with Kajack who is the real cuddly type and can rest his (very heavy) head on your lap for hours on end, wanting to be stroked gently all the time. In such situations Ascar always came, pushed Kajack aside and chased him away – not because he wanted to be patted too, but only to divert our attention away from him. Now he sleeps in bed between Ted’s and my feet, wakes us up with little kisses (o.k., he is still practicing and is coming in a bit too fast and close, so that a kiss is rather half of a face wash, but he will get there I’m sure), wants to be stroked and hugged, and when we cuddle with Kajack he will come and join us instead of chasing him away. All in all I must say that the harmony within the pack has improved a big deal over the past year, and that proves once again that patience, tolerance and understanding are the key to success.

Will be continued…

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