Volume 12, Issue 154, August 2017

SAFHOWL

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

Volume 12, Issue 154, August 2017

From the Editor’s Desk

Here we go again, this time from an icy Highveld. Sorry for being a week late.

You will need particularly strong nerves to read through the News sections without blowing a gasket. Even I am running out of both suitable and printable words for adequately describing what’s going on in the Land of the Sick, for which reason I will not even try…

Following up on a news snippet in our April issue (#150), we have tracked down for you interesting background information on the wolves of Slovenia. It shows just how ridiculous their “wildlife management plans” are.

As usual we have a poem, and this time we selected a more light-hearted one, because this issue would otherwise have been all gloomy.

Erin puts forward a question that we are unable to find answers to. If you have one, or even if you have just a theory, drop us a mail. We will appreciate it!

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.

Available as paperback and E-book from all Amazon stores.

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

Wolf Family Rendezvous

September 2-3

Add this fun, educational package into your family’s vacation plans. With plenty of family-focused activities and outdoor fun, your family will talk about this trip for years to come!
Learn more at http://www.wolf.org/programs/learning-adventures/wolf-family-rendezvous/

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 night-time 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: http://nywolf.us8.list-manage.com/track/click?u=96aae4d71726eb91ae4d20fec&id=67702359b1&e=c4f881378d

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: Stop the Senate from allowing trophy hunting of wolves

Wolves in the Great Lakes region are facing one of their most serious threats to date. With states including Wisconsin preparing to allow the killing of as many as two-thirds of the wolves in its borders, a U.S. Senate committee has advanced a bill that would allow this and other attacks on endangered species.

Help stop the legislative delisting of gray wolves with a donation today.

The misleadingly-named Help for Wildlife Act (S. 1514) would remove ALL Endangered Species Act protections for wolves in four states, turning the management of these maligned animals over to these states. This is the most worrying legislative threat to these wolves this year due to its bipartisan support. Democratic Senators Klobuchar, Baldwin, and Cardin are supporting this dangerous legislation, making it much more likely to pass. It passed out of committee already and could be voted on as soon as senators return in September from their annual recess.

  1. 1514 would not only legislatively delist these wolves it would block the courts from reviewing this action. Just days ago, a federal court reaffirmed the need to protect these wolves when it ruled that the Department of Interior erred repeatedly in its attempt to strip them of protections. Excluding the courts from reviewing legislation is anti-democratic and threatens the future of the Endangered Species Act. Species listing decisions belong in the hands of scientists, not politicians.

Support the fight against anti-wolf S. 1514 and any other legislative attempt to strip wolves of protections with a 100% tax-deductible donation.

This bill’s impacts don’t end with wolves. It would also block the federal government from regulating lead fishing equipment which is leaching this toxic chemical in our rivers and waterways. Another provision takes aim at the Endangered Species Act by allowing the importation of carcasses of polar bears that trophy hunters killed just before these bears were protected under the Act. Allowing this would simply encourage the killing of other “trophy” species that are slated to receive protections.

We are doing everything we can to stop this bill. Our organizers around the country are mobilizing activists in their regions and we are working in Washington, D.C. to harness organizational opposition to keep pressure on senators to vote NO on S.1514. You may have seen our August Stop Extinction Challenge that is part of this effort! Please help us continue this fight with a 100% secure and tax-deductible donation today.

Thank you for your commitment to wildlife and wild places.

From Change.org 

Germany: Petition update: “The Ministry of Environmental Affairs of Lower Saxony will leave the Goldenstedt She-wolf alone…!”

27 July 2017

Hello, dear wolf lovers!

Hello, dear supporters of the Petition “With the Human! – For the Wolf!”

The talks with the Ministry of Environmental Affairs in Hannover are over, and it has been decided to leave the Goldenstedt she-wolf alone; no radio-collar fitting until January 2018! What will happen then, nobody knows as yet…!

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

  1. USA: Don’t let red wolves go extinct in the wild again!

Red wolves are running out of time – again!

Two years ago, there were an estimated 100 red wolves in the wild, but now their numbers have plummeted to fewer than 45.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has not done its duty to protect the red wolf and now it is threatening to simply walk away from the Red Wolf Recovery Program in the wild.

We need your help to demand that they reaffirm their commitment to red wolf recovery in the wild: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=ynB6lhWoUYrC-UhsGXqOXw

Back in May, FWS published a notice of intent to revise existing rules for the management of the wild population of red wolves in North Carolina.

The proposed revision would shrink the area where red wolves are allowed to live by 90 percent, leaving just one or two packs to roam in an area that’s too small to sustain them. It would also remove all other red wolves from the wild and divert resources from the red wolf recovery program.

Tell FWS to recommit to red wolf recovery in the wild before it’s too late: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=U9Xd8cK6aVzJdG47reEjug

In what was once a model recovery program, FWS reintroduced red wolves in North Carolina in 1987 – just seven years after they were declared extinct in the wild. As a result, the wild population of red wolves rebounded to nearly 150 individuals!

But after years of yielding to pressure from a vocal minority seeking to end the recovery of red wolves in the wild, FWS failed to follow through on its commitment to restore red wolves and is now proposing a rule that could cripple recovery efforts in the wild.

The proposal goes against sound conservation science. Even the scientists whose study FWS relied upon in making this proposal condemned it as being full of “alarming misrepresentations” that “will no doubt result in the extinction of red wolves in the wild.”

We cannot fail red wolves again. We were given a rare second chance to save this species from being lost to extinction forever – and we were succeeding! Don’t let FWS turn its back on red wolves now.

Speak out on behalf of red wolf recovery today: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=lmc8rAziy0vrK8AuQhvWgQ

  1. USA: Hunting wolves with bait? Idaho must be stopped!

The state of Idaho continues to intensify its war on wolves.

This time they’re proposing a rule that would allow hunters to lure wolves with bait and then shoot them.

Idaho would become the only state where this is allowed and we simply can’t let this appalling proposal become law.

Please, do your part for wolves and tell the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) to strike down the shameful use of baiting to ambush wolves: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=DoB2YdQw0uBwxj16WMTq_g

Baiting wolves is a despicable practice that can draw entire packs in to be killed simply because they are hungry and unsuspecting. It may also create an unnecessary risk to grizzly bears in Idaho too.

There are estimated to be fewer than 800 wolves in Idaho and there is a growing demand to reduce the population to dangerously low levels of 150 wolves or fewer. Wolf hunters and trappers already have the right to legally kill as many as 10 wolves per person each year!

Wolves need YOU to protest this terrible policy before it’s too late. Submit your comments today: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=TBK8toJE_J-Vg9q4I7saiQ

Not sure what to say? You can use some of the following points in your message:

  • I oppose baiting wolves in Idaho. Many of the lands where wolves range are public lands that belong to all of us and, as a steward of that land and the wildlife that call it home, I do not support using bait to lure in and then shoot wolves and their young.
  • The Idaho wolf population is already far below that of black bears, coyotes and cougars. Wolves play an important role in culling diseased animals from elk and deer herds and otherwise help to keep our land healthy.
  • The baiting of wolves is not allowed in other states and should not be allowed in Idaho.

These killing methods are indefensible. Help us stop this attack on wolves and their pups before it’s too late: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=dl0TXTl4EKfH_I8olxLxiw

  1. USA: Idaho: Wolf baiting rule threatens to wipe out wolf packs

The State of Idaho has hit a new low in its war on wolves.

A new proposed rule would allow hunters to lure wolves in with bait and then ambush them with gunfire. This is one of the most horrific proposals I’ve seen – and it could destroy whole families of wolves.

This proposed rule by the Idaho Fish and Game Commission is sickening and utterly despicable. The idea of baiting mother wolves with food that they can share with their hungry pups, or tricking a young wolf that is just scavenging for food, only to shoot these unsuspecting animals is unconscionable.

Please donate today to help us stop this horrific rule from luring wolves to their deaths: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=oW_FHA7VGwM84GLt8LSYPg

Idaho’s wolves have been in mortal danger since Congress stripped them of federal Endangered Species Act protections in 2011. Since Idaho took over their management, nearly 2,000 wolves have been killed in the state and it is estimated that fewer than 800 wolves remain.

There has been enough bloodshed. We must act now to try and stop this disastrous proposal before even more wolves are killed.

Help us fight for Idaho’s wolves and other imperilled species with a generous donation: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=pBljpkfEMZgGsF8-5u4MHA

This newest chapter in Idaho’s horrible war on wolves cannot stand! If this proposal goes forward, the next step could be permitting the use of live bait – bait in the form of animal shelter dogs as suggested by an Idaho state senator. Live baiting should never be allowed under any circumstances.

Defenders is the only national organization with staff on the ground in Idaho who not only helped to restore wolves but who are still actively working to watchdog actions at the statehouse and the state wildlife commission in order to defend wolves.

We need your urgent support to help us fight against Idaho’s unjust war on wolves.

Please help us stop these attacks on wolves and their pups before it’s too late: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=Nb7ACDsuIGfbAfmsEM0VyA

4. USA: California: Big Wolf News in the Golden State!

The Golden State is now home to its second wolf family – the Lassen Pack.

Last week, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) announced the discovery of a new family of wolves (https://cdfgnews.wordpress.com/2017/07/05/cdfw-confirms-presence-of-wolf-pack-in-lassen-county-collars-adult-wolf/), the Lassen Pack. The new pack has at least three confirmed pups, and CDFW successfully collared the alpha female on June 30th. Considering that wolves were absent from the California landscape for nearly 90 years, a second new wolf family establishing itself in the northern part of the state in the span of three summers is nothing short of momentous. The presence of the Lassen Pack marks an exciting new chapter in wolf recovery in the Pacific West.

A Short History of Gray Wolves in California

The gray wolf (Canis lupus) is a native species that was driven to local extinction in California by 1924. In 2011, a male gray wolf, dubbed OR-7 because he was the seventh wolf collared in Oregon, traveled hundreds of miles from his pack in northeastern Oregon to become the first documented gray wolf to enter California in nearly 90 years.

OR-7’s arrival in the Golden State prompted members of the public to petition the California Fish and Game Commission to list the gray wolf as endangered under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA). On June 4, 2014, the commission found that such listing was warranted and voted in favor of listing gray wolves under CESA.

Independent of the state’s listing, CDFW prepared for the return of wolves to California by convening a Stakeholder Working Group (https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Mammals/Gray-Wolf/Stakeholders), comprised of ranchers, hunters, and environmental conservation organizations, including Defenders of Wildlife. This diverse group assisted CDFW in the development of the Conservation Plan for Gray Wolves in California (https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=135026&inline), which was finalized in December 2016.

Wolves Rediscover California

In spring 2015, a CDFW trail camera in Siskiyou County recorded a lone wolf. Additional cameras deployed in the vicinity took multiple photos showing two adults and five pups. CDFW designated this as the Shasta Pack due to its vicinity near Mt. Shasta. The whereabouts of the Shasta Pack is unknown at this time, with the last known sighting via trail camera in California in May 2016, and a juvenile male confirmed to have been in northwestern Nevada in November 2016.

In November 2016, CDFW confirmed a pair of wolves in western Lassen County (now known as the Lassen Pack). After several attempts to track and trap one of these two wolves, they were able to capture and collar the female in late June 2017. Shortly thereafter, they made an even more exciting discovery:  images of three wolf pups playing in front of a nearby trail camera. Genetic analysis shows that the alpha male is OR-7’s son, which dispersed southeast from the Rogue Pack in southern Oregon.

The latest news of California’s second wolf pack underscores the fact that wolves are making their way back to their historical range here. OR-7 proved that a wolf could make the trek to California. The Shasta Pack gave us hope that wolves would take up residency here. Now the presence of the Lassen Pack shows that wolves are eager to return to their native territory in the Golden State.

Preparing the Way

The announcement of the Lassen Pack comes on the heels of a workshop in Shasta County that was co-hosted by Defenders, during which more than 80 attendees learned about various methods to reduce wolf-livestock conflicts. One key takeaway from the event was that diverse stakeholders, including ranchers, wildlife managers, and environmental conservationists, agree on the importance of fitting at least one wolf from each known wolf family with a collar to track pack activities and inform local landowners and ranchers of nearby wolf presence.

With that in mind, it’s particularly encouraging to learn that CDFW has successfully collared the Lassen Pack’s alpha female, the first wolf ever captured and collared by our state wildlife officials. We hope the information gathered by the collar can help inform management and coexistence efforts (https://www.defenders.org/sites/default/files/publications/coexistence-tools-and-techniques.pdf) – proactive strategies that can prevent or minimize conflicts between livestock and our state’s newest wolves.

Coexisting with Wolves

For more than 30 years, Defenders of Wildlife has led the way in reducing conflicts with predators, from polar bears in Alaska, to panthers in Florida, grizzlies in the northern Rockies to wolves throughout the United States. Coexistence is an important way to secure a real future for these iconic species.

Defenders’ California program continues to make coexistence efforts a top priority. Our staff members give educational presentations and host workshops with other coexistence experts across the state. We have also provided tools to livestock producers in need of assistance with implementing proactive methods for reducing conflicts with predators.

Through a grant from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Defenders will be hosting range rider (http://www.defenders.org/coexisting-range#riders) trainings in the coming year. Range riders are one important strategy used to reduce conflict between wolves and livestock by increasing human presence in the field. Range riders monitor livestock for signs of stress, illness and injury, work to keep livestock closely herded to minimize vulnerability to attack, and track predator activity in order to move livestock out of harm’s way when necessary.

California has a golden opportunity to forge new partnerships to reduce potential conflicts between our nascent wolf population and livestock that are the lifeblood to so many ranching families in the northern part of the state. Lawmakers, conservation professionals, local officials and private landowners should increase cooperative efforts to help ranchers use proven, nonlethal methods to keep both livestock and wolves safe from harm.

Follow us on social media (https://twitter.com/defenders and https://www.facebook.com/DefendersofWildlife/) to stay up-to-date on the status of gray wolf conservation and other developments important to wildlife and our work. Don’t forget to sign up for our emails where you will get all the latest news and action alerts to support wildlife.

  1. USA: Don’t Let FWS Turn Tail on Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery

Right now, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is considering a draft recovery plan that would drastically hinder the recovery of Mexican gray wolves, or lobos, in the wild and could lead to their ultimate demise.

Speak up now for Mexican gray wolves by telling FWS to reject this fatally flawed, politically motivated recovery plan: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=zrCEjGIFKnEgDNYH-ae38Q

The endangered Mexican gray wolf is one of the rarest land mammals in the world. In fact, just over 100 of these amazing wolves survive in the wild in the U.S. And FWS is further threatening their survival with this ill-conceived plan.

The plan would institute artificial boundaries for Mexican gray wolves and prevent them from reaching habitat in the Grand Canyon and parts of New Mexico and Colorado that scientists say are essential to their survival. It would also arbitrarily cap the population of wolves at 320 individuals – a number far short of the 750 recommended by scientists to ensure their future.

Tell FWS you do not support a draft recovery plan that could mean the end for Mexican gray wolf recovery: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=P2qqJPpob_Be-USoZbPbFg

The FWS’s plan would abandon their federal oversight responsibilities by improperly delegating decision-making on wolf releases to states that have a long track record of hostility toward lobo recovery.

Don’t let the FWS abandon Mexican gray wolves! Submit your comments on this negligent draft recovery plan today: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=qEbeUFBIe1GFunbVdXHjOw

This may be the last opportunity for public comment on Mexican gray wolf recovery efforts. Speak up now to save wolves before it’s too late.

  1. USA: Help give lobos a lifeline

In 1998, I found myself standing in Alpine, Arizona on the brink of a momentous occasion for Mexican gray wolves.

At the time, I was head of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and had the extraordinary honour of releasing 11 of these beautiful creatures back into the American Southwest where they had been declared extinct in the wild since the mid-1970’s.

I never would have imagined that just 19 years later, FWS would propose a recovery plan that measurably abandons their responsibility to secure a future for this iconic American species and would mean walking away from the promise we made to those 11 wolves on that historic day.

I won’t let the promise of a future for Mexican gray wolves, or lobos, go unfulfilled – and I know you won’t either.

We need your help to continue the fight to ensure lobos have a future: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=9_qsqhZFFDMd0cHv2y4kew

This is a critical time for one of the world’s rarest land mammals. FWS is proposing a radical new plan that would drastically curtail efforts to restore Mexican gray wolves to the southern borderlands and threaten all recovery efforts thus far. Defenders won’t turn our backs on lobos – we just wish FWS felt the same way.

Just over 100 lobos remain in the wild within the U.S., and this ill-conceived plan could jeopardize this fragile population with devastating consequences. It would draw artificial boundaries that would prevent lobos from dispersing to places that scientists say are necessary for their continued survival.

The plan would also arbitrarily cap the population at 320 individuals – far fewer than the scientifically–recommended 750 needed to ensure their future. Finally, it would improperly turn over decision-making authority on wolf releases to states that have a long track record of hostility toward lobo recovery, allowing FWS to renege on its responsibilities to release lobos.

Please make a donation today to help us push back on this reckless plan: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=w5Uq9WDnqWxZex3CTL-zEw

If Mexican gray wolves are going to have any chance at a future in the wild, they are going to need a lifeline now. Together we can keep the promise of a future for lobos.

From Wolf Conservation Center (contact@nywolf.org)

  1. USA: Closer Look Reveals States Don’t Support Recovery of the Mexican Gray Wolf

Despite Their Central Role in the Recovery Planning Process

Albuquerque, NM – On June 29th the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) released its draft recovery plan for the Mexican gray wolf. The critically endangered species is in the midst of a genetic crisis brought on by indiscriminate removals, a very small founder population, and the unwillingness of the Service to release enough wolves into the wild. The recovery plan has not been updated since 1982, a full sixteen years before Mexican gray wolves were first released. The newest recovery plan was created by collaborating exclusively with four south-western states that have shown hostility towards the program, resulting in a plan that may doom the wolves. Representatives of these states have replaced the expert independent wolf biologists and related experts who were a central part of the last attempt at recovery planning which began in 2011. And all non-governmental stakeholders were cut out of the continued recovery planning process. The resulting draft plan hands total power over releases, wolf genetics, and the success of the program to the states.

Despite strong public support for wolf recovery in the south-western states of Arizona and New Mexico, where the wolves live now, and Utah and Colorado, where they will need to expand in the future, state game agencies have been actively sabotaging the wolves’ chances to recover. “They have been spending tax payer money on anti-wolf lobbyists, supporting increased killing of wolves, denying permits, and suing the federal government to stop needed wolf releases,” said Maggie Howell of the Wolf Conservation Center.

The law says recovery plans must be based on the best available science, but the states have instead told the Service what they will accept – too few wolves to ever be safe from extinction, and where they will accept them – mostly in Mexico, where neither the states nor the US government has any authority. “The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service scrapped a science-based, multi-stakeholder recovery planning process and wilfully invited the states who have demonstrated their hostility to Mexican wolves to rewrite the recovery plan,” said Dave Parsons of Project Coyote. “The last time the Fish and Wildlife service allowed the states to manage Mexican wolf recovery, the population declined by 24% over a six year period.” The paper Four States’ Efforts to Derail Wolf Recovery was released to the public today. It details the various ways the four states have tried to block or frustrate recovery of the Mexican gray wolf.

Without immediate attention to releasing more wolves in more places, this rare little wolf of the southwest United States and northern Mexico will disappear forever. Unfortunately, the draft recovery plan completely turns over the control of releases in the U.S. to the states of Arizona and New Mexico. Given their previous unwillingness to release enough wolves in their states, and their blocking of all releases of adults, the future of our iconic south-western lobos looks grim.

We Need You to Demand a Better Plan

There’s still time for the USFWS to fix the plan before it becomes final, but this will take many voices demanding a workable, science-based plan. It is up to us to speak for the lobos.

Public meetings and a comment period on the proposed plan span the summer, giving Americans one last chance to have their voices heard. The Wolf Conservation Center will be joining a meeting, Learn how you can too here.

2. USA: Senate Bill Rider Takes Aim at Wolves

Your urgent action needed today!

Today the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is considering the new Senate Sportsmen’s bill (S.1514) – a bill that contains a damaging anti-wolf amendment we’re calling the “War on Wolves” Rider.

The toxic legislation proposes to permanently remove federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections for gray wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Wyoming, to allow trophy hunting of wolves to immediately resume within these states. To add insult to injury, the bill prohibits its judicial review thus preventing any legal challenge.

If the War on Wolves legislation is passed into law, wolves will die at the hands of trophy hunters.

Please call your senators TODAY and urge them to oppose S. 1514!

Find your Senator’s contact information here.

  1. USA: Americans Stand Up for Red Wolves

99.8% of Public Comments Show Overwhelming Support.

Nearly all of the comments submitted to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) support recovering the wild red wolf population in the south-eastern United States. 54,992 out of 55,087 public comments (99.8%) supported recovering the red wolf in the wild in North Carolina, compared to only 25 anti-wolf comments (0.045%) and just 10 comments (0.018%) that supported the federal agency’s proposed plan to remove most red wolves from the wild and into captivity.

Statements from North Carolina residents similarly support restoring and conserving the red wolf. Fully 98.6% of comments from North Carolinians encouraged the USFWS to do more to save the critically imperilled species, one of the most endangered carnivores in the world. Zooming in to north-eastern North Carolina, more than two-thirds (68.4%) of the comments from the current 5-county recovery region were supportive of the Red Wolf Recovery Program, undermining claims that local residents oppose red wolf restoration.

“Every voice raised in support of wildlife can make a difference and Americans overwhelmingly support red wolf recovery,” said Maggie Howell, Executive Director of the Wolf Conservation Center. “We’re counting on USFWS to take notice and follow the best available science to ensure that the world’s most endangered wolves remain a living, breathing part of the south-eastern landscape.”

Conservation groups and a team of scientists also submitted detailed comments to the USFWS. These letters cite evidence that the agency’s proposal to pull back on red wolf conservation actions would cause the extinction of the red wolf in the wild. In the hopes of dramatically shifting the scope of USFWS decision-making on Canis rufus, the letters also offer proactive suggestions for recovering the species across the south-eastern US, including generous landowner incentive programs and more robust law enforcement.Read more.

Read more here.  

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

USA: Don’t Let The Mexican Gray Wolf Go Extinct!

At the end of 2015, there were an estimated 97 Mexican gray wolves remaining in the wild, making them the most endangered gray wolves in the world. Unless more of them are released into the wild, they are doomed to go extinct.
What’s even worse is that years of delaying needed releases of wolves from captivity has led to a loss of the genetic diversity among the wild wolves. This genetic loss has resulted in smaller litters, lower pup survival and, if it’s not corrected, eventually extinction.
The release of more wolves from captivity would greatly improve the genetic health of the wild population, but political foot dragging and attempts to block releases has made this difficult. Please sign our petition today to tell the Trump administration that we’re not backing down from Mexican gray wolf recovery.

Other News

National

Nothing to report

Next Door

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

Petition update: Son of Cecil, the Lion, killed by trophy hunter

20 Jul 2017 — The trophy hunt was organised by Zimbabwean private hunter Richard Cooke but his clients, who may have paid tens of thousands of dollars, have not been revealed. Xanda was wearing a tracking collar, fitted by scientists led by Andrew Loveridge at Oxford University, who have studied the Hwange lions for many years.

Article published by The Guardian:

Son of Cecil the lion killed by trophy hunter

Six-year-old Xanda was shot and killed by hunters when he roamed outside the protected area of the Hwange national park in Zimbabwe

A son of Cecil the lion has been killed by trophy hunters in Zimbabwe, meeting the same fate as his father whose death in 2015 caused global outcry.

Xanda was six years old and had fathered a number of cubs himself. He was shot on 7 July just outside the Hwange national park, not far from where Cecil died, but news of the death only became public on Thursday.

The trophy hunt was organized by Zimbabwean private hunter Richard Cooke but his clients, who may have paid tens of thousands of dollars, have not been revealed. Xanda was wearing a GPS tracking collar, fitted by scientists led by Andrew Loveridge at Oxford University, who have studied the Hwange lions for many years.

“Xanda was one of these gorgeous Kalahari lions, with a big mane, big body, beautiful condition – a very, very lovely animal,” Loveridge told the Guardian. “Personally, I think it is sad that anyone wants to shoot a lion, but there are people who will pay money to do that.”

“I put the collar on Xanda last October and spent a bit of time following him around,” he said. “You have handled them so you feel a personal engagement with the animal.” But Loveridge does not condemn trophy hunting outright: “Trophy hunting protects an area about the size of France and Spain combined in Africa. So if you throw trophy hunting out, what happens to all that habitat?”

Xanda was the pride male in a group with two adult lionesses and cubs which roamed near the boundary of the national park. “He was shot 2km from the park boundary, which is a hop and a skip for a lion,” Loveridge said.

The scientists want a 5km no-hunting zone around the park. “It is something we have suggested for years,” he said. “But there is a lot of resistance because a lot of the hunting happens right on the boundary, because that is where the animals are. The photo-tourism operators in Hwange are very keen to have that discussion. They are annoyed that this has happened.”

Xanda’s death poses no immediate danger to the 550-strong lion population in Hwange national park, which spreads over 15,000 sq km, Loveridge said: “The lion population is pretty healthy, but it would probably be better if it didn’t happen,” said Loveridge.

The scientist said Cooke is a responsible operator and had a legal quota for the hunt: “He is very ethical, he doesn’t cut corners. He has always communicated with us when he has hunted an animal, and given us the collar back. He is not one of the fly-by-night guys.” Cooke has killed several collared lions in the past, Loveridge said. Cooke did not respond to requests for comment.

“I’ve had a look at the GPS collar data and it all seems to be as [Cooke] says,” Loveridge said. “The collar goes to a hunting camp and this is when you know the animal has been shot.”

The death of Cecil the lion in 2015, killed by US dentist Walter Palmer, led to widespread criticism of the trophy hunting of lions, which has become a big business with the number killed tripling to 1,500 a year in the last decade. Lions have lost 90% of their overall population in the last century and only about 20,000 remain.

Philip Mansbridge, UK director of the International Fund for Animal Welfare, said: “IFAW opposes the cruel and needless killing of wild animals for recreation and encourages enjoyment and appreciation of these magnificent animals within their natural habitats through sustainable ecotourism opportunities. This has proven to be more beneficial for communities living with wildlife.”

“The unprecedented global outcry after Cecil the Lion was killed just goes to show the vast majority oppose the actions of the minority that enjoy slaughtering these animals for trophies,” he said. “These animals deserve our protection, not bullets.”

Masha Kalinina at the Humane Society International said: “Trophy hunters have learned nothing. To stop lions slipping into extinction, it is critical that countries like Zimbabwe focus on keeping as many lions alive as possible. It could follow the examples of Botswana and Kenya, which ban trophy hunting.”

Prof David Macdonald, another of the Oxford team, told the Guardian in December that strictly regulated and sustainable hunting could provide valuable funds to protect lion habitats.

“Of course I understand if people say there are simply no circumstances under which [trophy hunting] will be acceptable to me,” he said. “If so, then they have to look for a mechanism of replacing it with something that is acceptable. That might be people putting their money where their mouth is, buying out the hunting interest and replacing it with some sort of international payment for conservation.”

Cecil, who was 13 when killed, was believed to have had 13 surviving sons and daughters and 15 known grand cubs as of June 2016.

International

From Adam Parascandola, Humane Society International, HSI (info@hsi.org)

CLOSED: Another dog meat farm

Last week, we rescued more than 130 dogs from a dog meat farm in South Korea and shut down the operation for good. They were suffering in some of the worst conditions we’ve ever seen–hungry and terrified – but they won’t ever feel this way again.
See what love and a new chance at life looks like for these dogs: https://www.facebook.com/hsiglobal/videos/10155768210572262/

(Don’t worry, you can still view this video even without a Facebook account.)

This kind of happy ending never gets old. Thank you for your continued support in protecting animals across the globe.
Sincerely,

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

Feeling overwhelmed? Wildlife is too

These past few months have been exhausting and frustrating for all of us who cherish wildlife and wild places. We are living through a time in history that is unlike any other.

The relentless attacks coming from Congress, the states and the Trump administration have culminated in the worst period for wildlife and wild lands in my professional career.

Without your help, these continuing and intensifying attacks could prove catastrophic: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=wCQ4G9waZIZkoHmvUjfD5w

Since taking office, President Trump has been unapologetic about his intentions to sell out our precious lands, waters and wildlife to Big Oil – from the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, to the waters of the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, to our national monuments and marine sanctuaries.

This willful disregard for the value of wildlife and their habitats is compounded by the repeated attempts in Congress to undermine the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and remove vital protections for iconic American species.

Help us stop the madness! Donate today to help us fight back for wildlife: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=mmB51IS6UKJdS-CELDsCCQ

The recent attacks on wildlife are some of the most egregious we’ve ever seen. In the span of a few months, we’ve witnessed the lifting of the prohibition on the cruel Alaska predator program on wildlife refuges, a proposal in Idaho to permit hunters to lure wolves to slaughter with bait and the advancement of the ludicrously named “HELP for Wildlife Act” which would delist wolves in the Great Lakes, reaffirm the delisting of wolves in Wyoming and bar legal challenges to both these decisions.

The Trump administration and Congress are on a path of record-setting destruction when it comes to our wildlife and wild places. But as the threats have amped up to a new terrifying level, Defenders is working swiftly to meet each new assault head-on. We have increased our legal capacity, added more resources to hold lawmakers and agencies accountable and are expanding our presence on the ground where imperilled species need us the most. But we need your support to keep it up.

Will you stand by our side? http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=NuU6kAoMKRGeoN8tGRMaeg

Thank you for sticking with us when wildlife need you the most.

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

1. Petition update: Another Redneck Trophy Killer sponsored by Under Armour: Jessica Taylor Byers

3 August 2017 — Wife + Texan + Dreamer (Her own words)
Remember, Under Armour makes all this possible. #BoycottUnderArmour and spread the word!
Jessica Taylor Byer’s Trophy Killer Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/followherarrow
Under Armour Hunt Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/UAHunt

2. Petition update: Under Armour Redneck Trophy Killer: Jessica Taylor Byers – 2

3 August 2017 — The caption of a picture posted is: “Thank you God.”

Just before she touches her forehead to the dead bear’s, in a redneck mockery of respect.
I don’t think the bear would agree with her notion of respect.
But these people are really that dumb, they believe it is “God” allowing and urging them to subdue the earth and animals.
We call them White Trash.
Under Armour happily promotes this slaughter all over social media. Check out their Facebook page linked below.
Jessica Taylor Byer’s Trophy Killer Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/followherarrow
Under Armour Hunt Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/UAHunt

3. Petition update: Under Armour also sponsors Kendall Jones, another inhumane Killer.

7 Aug 2017 — In her own words:
“In 2008, (age 13) I took my second trip to Africa to start my Big 5 experience, but this time to South Africa. Although I had many other opportunities to shoot animals I wanted to save it for the Big 5, so the first animal I ever shot was a White Rhino with a .416 Remington!! On this trip I also took some plains game, such as impala, kudu and mountain reedbuck home.”
Well, she didn’t stop there. Now it is 2017 and a good thousand more animals killed by her, later. For sport and attention.

Kendall Jones’ Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/officialkendalljones

From Southwest Wildlifesouthwestwildlife.org; https://www.homeoanimal.com/the-ultimate-guide-to-pet-adoption;

The Ultimate Guide To Pet Adoption: Sneak Preview

Thinking about adopting a furry companion?  That’s great!  Pet rescues and shelters are filled with animals waiting to be adopted and re-homed. Giving a new forever after home to a rescued pet is a big decision.  You want to give him a loving home and the best care possible. Pet adoption is lots of fun, but it does take time to plan and research.

You may ask yourself: How does it work? How do you choose the right pet? Where can I find a rescue or shelter near me? How does the adoption process work? We know you’ve got many questions on pet adoption, and we’ve put the answers together for you!  We have created “The Ultimate Guide To Pet Adoption”.  This guide is divided into captivating articles that will teach you everything you need to know about pet adoption.  Also, keep a lookout for great tips to simplify your pet adoption process.

In order to write this guide, more than 200 rescue groups and shelters across America were asked to give you their best advice and tips on pet adoption. We take the opportunity to thank all the rescues and shelters that have collaborated with this guide and helped us transmit an important message to all those who wish to adopt an animal. This would not have been possible without your valuable support. Check out what topics and questions these articles will address:

https://www.homeoanimal.com/blogs/blog-pet-health/81113348-the-ultimate-guide-to-pet-adoption-the-benefits-of-adopting-a-pet

Know the many benefits of adopting a pet and seize this wonderful opportunity to make a difference in your life and in the life of your new pet.

  • “ Animal Rescue and Animal Shelter: What is the Difference? ”

https://www.homeoanimal.com/blogs/blog-pet-health/81114180-animal-rescue-and-animal-shelter-what-is-the-difference

It’s important to understand the difference between shelters and rescues.  This will save you time in finding the pet you want and in choosing which organization you would like to support in your community.  They do have similar functions but there are also major differences between the two.

  • “ Pet Adoption Myths ”

https://www.homeoanimal.com/blogs/blog-pet-health/81114628-the-ultimate-guide-to-pet-adoption-pet-adoption-myths

There are many misconceptions about adopting a pet from a rescue or shelter. Learn the truth behind each myth.

  • “ What Should You Consider Before Adopting? ”

https://www.homeoanimal.com/blogs/blog-pet-health/81114628-the-ultimate-guide-to-pet-adoption-pet-adoption-myths

Pet ownership can be lots of fun. But, you want to think through a couple of things before you make your final decision and adopt.

  • “ Find Your Perfect Match? ”

https://www.homeoanimal.com/blogs/blog-pet-health/81141124-the-ultimate-guide-to-pet-adoption-find-your-perfect-pet-match

Choosing the right pet for your family is essential for both your family’s and the animal’s happiness and wellbeing. You will learn how to make an educated decision and choose the right pet for you.

  • “ Meet and Greet ”

https://www.homeoanimal.com/blogs/blog-pet-health/81141636-the-ultimate-guide-to-pet-adoption-the-meet-greet-your-new-pet

Talking to a pet counselor at the animal rescue or shelter will really help you make the right choice.Know what questions to ask them!

  • “ The Adoption Process ”

https://www.homeoanimal.com/blogs/blog-pet-health/81114820-the-ultimate-guide-to-pet-adoption-the-adoption-process

Once you are ready to adopt, learn what you have to do to get approved for the adoption.

  • “ Preparing Your Home ”

https://www.homeoanimal.com/blogs/blog-pet-health/81143300-preparing-your-home-the-ultimate-guide-to-pet-adoption

Transform your house into a cozy home before you welcome your new four-legged friend.

  • “ Pet Supplies ”

https://www.homeoanimal.com/blogs/blog-pet-health/81142340-pet-supplies-the-ultimate-guide-to-pet-adoption

We’ve created a complete checklist of all the necessary (and fun) things you should think about getting before your new pet arrives.

  • “ Pet Care ”

https://www.homeoanimal.com/blogs/blog-pet-health/81144132-best-pet-care-the-ultimate-guide-to-pet-adoption

We will give you many tips and tricks on how to care for your pet.

  • “ Bringing Home Your New Pet ”

https://www.homeoanimal.com/blogs/blog-pet-health/81144452-bringing-your-new-pet-home-the-ultimate-guide-to-pet-adoption

Bringing home your new companion is a big deal. Learn what to expect in the first couple weeks.

  • “ How To Be a Responsible Pet Owner ”

https://www.homeoanimal.com/blogs/blog-pet-health/81145348-how-to-be-a-responsible-pet-owner-the-ultimate-guide-to-pet-adoption

Learn how to become a responsible pet parent. We will give you tips and advice on how to be the best pet parent you can be.

  • “ How You Can Help Your Local Rescue or Shelter? ”

https://www.homeoanimal.com/blogs/blog-pet-health/81146244-how-you-can-help-your-local-rescue-or-shelter

Learn how to give a helping hand to your local rescue group or animal shelter. There are many great reasons why these organizations need your help.

Pet adoption is such a wonderful thing. Whether you’d like to adopt a dog, a cat, a rabbit, a ferret or any other animal, you want to make sure you consider all that it takes to become a very good and caring pet owner. Find out all about pet adoption in this book and you will be able to start enjoying a brand new lifelong friendship with your new pet.

Disclaimer: This guide is intended to provide you with the information you need to make better decisions about pet adoption. The views and opinions in this guide have tried to regroup the general procedure of pet adoption, but remember that all animals, rescues and shelters are unique. Therefore, pet adoption will be different for each animal, rescue and shelter. However, we have made every effort to be truthful, fair and accurate when we wrote this guide. HomeoAnimal has used all reasonable care in compiling the information from the interviewed rescues and shelters but make no warranty as to its accuracy. We recommend contacting your local rescue or shelter to help assist you in making your final decision.

Wolves and Wolfdogs

Wolves in Slovenia

Wolves were once abundant in Slovenia’s forests, but hunting drove them to the brink of extinction. It took protection from the state to stabilize their numbers, but their long-term survival is still far from certain.

For centuries, wolves were seen as little more than a threat to people and their farm animals. Habsburg authorities even paid hunters large bounties for every wolf they killed. The strategy was so successful that wolves became a rare sight in Slovenian forests by the end of the 19th century.

People living in sparsely populated areas, driven by fear of losing sheep and other animals, even formed wolf-killing committees to rid Slovenia’s forests of their adversary. Unlimited hunting led to the extinction of the Eurasian lynx, and for much of the 20th century, it seemed that the wolf would suffer the same fate.

For a long time, the situation appeared hopeless, but the wolf eventually got a reprieve. Bounties on wolves continued to be paid off until 1973, but by that time, attitudes had already begun to change. Within a few years, wolves became protected in some parts of Slovenia, even though there was still no national plan to protect the species. With pressure from conservationists growing, however, year-long hunting moratoria on wolves were increasingly common by the early ‘90s.

In 1993, the wolf was finally declared an endangered species by the government of newly independent Slovenia. The decision did not mean a total end to wolf hunting – exceptions can still be made for wolves that threaten farm animals. However, the new status has helped the wolf population to begin a slow rebound.

Today, many wolves have been tagged to enable electronic monitoring. Recent estimates of wolves in Slovenia’s forests show that the population is down to less than 50 animals. New roads, the encroachment of human settlements, and poaching all represent very real threats to this very fragile wolf population. Conservation groups have been calling for a total ban on wolf hunting – with no exceptions. They point out that even simple measures such as the use of higher fences for sheep enclosures could reduce the number of conflicts between wolves and farmers.

It’s becoming increasingly clear that educating the public about wolves – which are almost never dangerous to people – is the key to ensuring the long-term survival of a species abundant in the country’s forests long before the arrival of humans.

But now the government of Slovenia has just announced that in 2017 it will permit the killing of 10 wolves out of a total estimated population of less than 50. This is in spite of research from the EU-funded SloWolf project which showed that such killing breaks up wolf packs and leads to more attacks on livestock because single wolves are unable to hunt deer effectively. The government claims it listens to the experts, but it seems that the hunting lobby has a large influence here (also shown by the fact that this year 113 brown bears will also be killed or ‘removed’ from the environment). The wolf is a protected species in Slovenia. This cull should be abandoned immediately.

Wolf Myths and Legends, Part 141

Wolf Pups Dream
by Jennifer Tissot

From within the warm, secure den, I watch Father, his coat thick and white as the snow under his paws, disappearing into the deep woods beyond for the night’s hunt.

I whine in disappointment of not being able to hunt with them because I’m still young.

“Very soon,” begins my older brother sitting beside me, “you’ll be out there leading the pack just like him and mother.”

I know this is true but it seems so far away when I think about it.

My sister nuzzles me with her stout nose to play a game with her.

My brother is amused and tells me to not think of hunting, but to live and enjoy my precious moments as a pup.

“You’ll be a grown wolf soon enough,” he says.

Feeling a twitch of hope within my heart, I race after my sister and over the cold, powdery face of Mother Earth.

I tumble and roll within the flying flakes of Mother Earth’s hair so white and clean, knowing that I will someday be a leader, a hunter, and a father of a pack all my own.

Readers’ Contribution

A Wolfdog Diary

By Erin

This time I want to ask a question, and maybe one of you can give me an answer.

Taima is spayed, and not only since yesterday – her surgery took place four years ago and she never was in heat in her life. But comes June/July, the time she would come into heat, the boys, especially Ascar II, go nuts. They have their noses under her tail all day long, sniff and taste her pee and then chatter their teeth, and Ascar II tries to mount her as often as he can. Kajack would not dare to give that a try, but also behaves differently towards Taima, almost romancing her, which Ascar doesn’t like at all and he always pushes him away from her. Taima is more affectionate than usual during that time, wants to be petted all the time, always offering her rear part to me and Ted to scratch, and then lifting her tail and stepping from one hind leg to the other. That’s exactly the behaviour of the alpha female we know from unspayed females, but why does it still happen that long after she got spayed? In theory there cannot be any attractive smell or “urine-aroma”, but the males still behave as if she were in heat. Is there still a change of the hormone system that causes it, although she is not getting into heat anymore? It lasts about two weeks and then everything will go back to normal. Does somebody have an idea whether this is normal and, more importantly, what’s causing it?

Will be continued…

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