Volume 12, Issue 155, September 2017

SAFHOWL

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

Volume 12, Issue 155, September 2017

From the Editor’s Desk

Winter on the Highveld ended with a bang just as it did when it began. One day it was a lousy 13 Celsius with an icy wind, and a mere three days later it was 31 with a sandstorm of note. I definitely preferred the latter, though.

This month’s news section is, like always I’m afraid, dominated by scandalous politics, this time not only in the US, but also in parts of Germany and in Switzerland. Read the snippets for yourself to stay informed.

That managing wolves requires managing cattle is a fact illuminated by Rick Lamplugh, and we are grateful for his permission to reprint his insights here. By the way, his books are absolutely worth reading, too!

We have a poem this time that can only be characterized as being ”black and bleak”. Unfortunately, that’s the way it is with humans.

Erin had nothing new to report, but will surely be back when there is.

Till next month,
Ed.

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

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.

News from the Wolf Front

National

Nothing to report

International

From Change.org (change@mail.change.org) (translated here from German)

Germany: Petition update: Saxony again – Please fight for the Rosenthal Pack

Dear supporters,

Unfortunately, I have more bad news from Saxony. The District Administrator of Bautzen, Michael Harig, has again launched an application for the shooting of the Rosenthal pack. Quoting Harig: “I have ordered the department in charge to prepare an appropriate exception permit.”

Read the full article here.

The reason for that is that, like last year, sheep have been apparently killed in Cunnewitz. Last year Harig’s application was rejected, because we took photos of the fences that proved that the sheep had not been properly protected. Today the same shepherd claims that his sheep were being killed and the same District Administrator again demands the shooting of the entire wolf pack.

Read the full report and please sign the petition here.

  1. USA: Oregon: Petition update: Prominent Scientists Call America’s Wolf Slaughter Unjustified and Unethical

EUGENE, OR – A new documentary by the wildlife advocacy group Predator Defense has people across the country fuming at an irresponsible rancher in Washington State who set up a pack of wolves living on public land in a remote forest to attack his cattle. People are also outraged at how state wildlife officials and major conservation organizations were party to the killing of the wolf pack…

Read the full update here.

3. Germany: Petition update: The Madness in Lower Saxony (translated here from German)

I previously reported that the so-called wolf conservationist and hunter Wotschikowsky compared the Cuxhaven wolf pack with the holocaust and, using Nazi diction – he sees the “final solution” for the animals there within the given possibilities.

Based on that I have received some letters, some not as friendly as others, some insulting, claiming that Wotschikowsky never wrote this. The truth is that he has deleted the term from his blog shortly after my update here. Although he views us as a useless organisation (see his earlier blog entry), he reacted promptly. His Nazi speech had been online since 9 August, but nobody cared; strange, isn’t it?

Of course, we took a screen shot of his blog entry before he could delete it, so you can read it for yourself here: www.wolfsschutz-deutschland.de.

But it’s not just the Nazi language: Wotschikowsky takes into consideration killing a whole wolf pack, although there is still no proof that wolves have been responsible for the cattle-killing in Cuxhaven. He did behave in the very same manner last year when the young wolf Kurti was killed – guilty until proven otherwise; he doesn’t need any evidence.

Not a word about the condition of the fences in the Cuxhaven District.

Here is a list of predation instances; almost all incidents are still unresolved: https://www.wolfsmonitoring.com/monitoring/nutztierrisse/ 

And there is another case: the Celle newspaper published a report claiming that 20 German Heath Sheep have apparently been killed by wolves. Here it’s also uncertain whether this was done by wolves. DNA samples taken have not yet been analyzed, but the owner of the animals, Tewes, and the wolf consultant, who is also a hunter, are already sure about it.

The sheep farmer runs an organic farm – shouldn’t one expect an entirely different attitude towards nature from such people?

The Celle newspaper reports that the German Heath Sheep breeders have filed an application to have the wolf removed, and Tewes also points out that there would be a pack of 13 wolves living there.

Killing without real evidence? Please read about the case Kurti here: www.wolfsschutz-deutschland.de 

Last but not least I want to ask you for your support: our organisation, Verein Wolfsschutz Deutschland in Pro Nature Conservation Saxony, does not receive government funding. We depend on donations, and there is a good chance that we will have to take two incidences to court, regarding the pack in Cuxhaven and the one in Schmarbeck.

Here are our bank details:

Erzgebirgssparkasse
IBAN DE78 8705 4000 0725 0179 88
BIC WELADED1STB

And I have to ask another favour: change.org is a non-profit organization. Its staff supports people who want to start a petition with all they can; please also support them with donations.

Brigitte Sommer
Germany

  1. Germany: Petition update: Protect the Goldstedt she wolf and her two cubs from being illegally shot! (translated here from German)

Hello dear supporters and wolf lovers of the petition With the human!-For the wolf!

The photo by Jens Feeken (a dedicated supporter and wolf activist from Diepholz) shows the two surviving cups of the Goldstedt she-wolf. In contrast to the official data published by the LJN, that states four cubs, we can presently only confirm two still being alive.

Read the full report here.

  1. Switzerland: Please, help the wolves in Switzerland (translated here from German)

Hello dear supporters.

It is outrageous – not only are permits for the “legal” shooting of wolves issued all the time, now there are even plans to reduce their protection status, although there are as few as less than 40 wolves living in Switzerland! This is an unsustainable practice! It can only be hoped that the outdated way of thinking that killing predators to protect livestock will have an reducing effect on tourism.

Please sign the petition here.

Read the full report here

From California Wolfcenter (californiawolfcenter@yahoogroups.com)

  1. Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project

Monthly Update – July 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 or by visiting www.azgfd.com and clicking the E-news Signup tab on the top left corner of the webpage.

This update is a public document and information in it can be used for any purpose.  The Project is a multi-agency cooperative effort among the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD), USDA Forest Service (USFS), USDA-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services (USDA-APHIS WS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service USFWS) and the White Mountain Apache Tribe (WMAT).

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

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

Overall Mexican Wolf Recovery Program Monthly Update

The Fish and Wildlife Service published the draft Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan, First Revision for public review and comment and for peer review on June 30, 2017. The public comment period closes August 29, 2017. Comments must be submitted in writing by either of the following methods:

Electronically: Go to www.regulations.gov  and enter FWS-R2-ES-2017-0036

Or

Hard copy: Submit by US mail or hand-delivery to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-R2-ES-2017-0036, US Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: BPHC, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803.

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 Southwestern 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

The Fish and Wildlife Service held four public information meetings on the Draft Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan, First Revisions. The public information meetings were held July 18 in Flagstaff, AZ; July 19 at the Hon-Dah Resort, AZ; July 20 in Truth or Consequences, NM; and July 22 in Albuquerque, NM. All four meetings were well attended and provided the opportunity to ask questions about the draft recovery plan and the science that supports it.

On July 13 and 14, the Mexican Wolf Species Survival Plan held its annual binational planning meeting in Cananea, Sonora, Mexico. Discussions involved recommendations for captive breeding and transfers of Mexican wolves in 2017 and 2018, as well as research needs and results.

July 27, AGFD and USFWS personnel conducted presentations at the Arizona Cattlemen’s Association Annual meeting in Prescott, AZ about IFT activities and the Draft Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan.

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 July, there were 57 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 July, 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 pup rearing and use of rendezvous sites. A minimum of three pups were documented with the Bear Wallow Pack in July; however this number is subject to change as the IFT continues to document observations of this pack.

Bluestem Pack (collared F1489 and f1563)

In July, the Bluestem Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the east central portion of the ASNF. Male 1574 showed dispersal behaviour and was documented travelling with the Panther Creek Pack. The IFT documented AF1042, AM1341, F1489, and f1563 showing localized behaviour consistent with pup rearing in July. The IFT conducted prey carcass investigations as part of a kill rate study of the Bluestem Pack during the month of July.

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

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

Frieborn Pack (collared F1443 and m1447)

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

Hawks Nest Pack (collared AM1038)

In July, the Hawks Nest Pack consisted 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.

Hoodoo Pack (collared AM1290, AF1333, and f1550)

In July, the Hoodoo Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the ASNF. The IFT confirmed pups with the Hoodoo Pack in July and continued to observe localized behaviour consistent with pup rearing. The IFT conducted prey carcass investigations as part of a kill rate study of the Hoodoo Pack during the month of July.

Maverick Pack (collared AF1291)

In July, 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 July, the Panther Creek Pack was located in the east central portion of the ASNF. The breeding pair continued to display localized behaviour consistent with pup rearing. The IFT maintained a food cache for this pack to reduce potential for livestock depredations and to supplement cross-fostered pups.

Prime Canyon Pack (collared F1488)

In July, F1488 and an unknown collared wolf continued to travel together within a territory in the east-central portion of the ASNF.

Saffel Pack (collared AF1567)

In July, the Saffel Pack was located in the north central portion of the ASNF, north of the traditional territory of the Hoodoo Pack. The IFT confirmed pups with the Saffel Pack in July and continued to observe behaviour consistent with pup rearing. A diversionary food cache was maintained by the IFT for this pack in effort to avoid conflict with cattle in the area.

Single collared m1483

Male 1483 made wide dispersal movements in the northern portion of the ASNF in Arizona during July.

Single collared f1484

Female 1484 was documented travelling alone in Arizona at the southern edge of Panther Creek’s traditional territory in the east central portion of the ASNF during July.

Single collared f1562

Female 1562 made wide dispersal movements to the northeast of Bluestem’s traditional territory in the east central portion of the ASNF during July.

ON THE FAIR:

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

In July, the Diamond Pack was located in their traditional territory on the FAIR and in the northern portion of the ASNF. 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 July, 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 July, 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 localized behaviour consistent with pup rearing during July.

Lava Pack (collared F1405 and AM1285)

During July, 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 localized behaviour consistent with pup rearing.

Leopold Pack (collared AM1293, AF1346, and m1561)

During July, the IFT documented the Leopold Pack within their territory in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness. The IFT continued to monitor the pack for pup rearing behaviour in July.

Luna Pack (collared AM1158 and AF1487)

During July, 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 pup rearing.

Mangas Pack (collared M1296 and F1439)

During July, the Mangas Pack was located within their territory in the north western portion of the GNF. The IFT continued to maintain a diversionary food cache to reduce the potential for wolf-livestock conflicts. The Mangas Pack continued to display behaviour consistent with pup rearing.

Dark Canyon (collared F1444 and M1386)

During July, F1444 and M1386 were documented travelling together within the west central portions of the GNF. Although the Dark Canyon Pack displayed behaviour consistent with denning in late April, the IFT does not believe the pack is currently maintaining a den.

Copper Creek (collared F1456 and M1354)

During July, F1456 and M1354 were documented travelling together within the west central portions of the GNF. Although the Copper Creek Pack displayed behaviour consistent with denning in early May, the IFT does not believe the pack is currently maintaining a den.

Prieto Pack (collared AF1251, M1398, and f1565)

During July, the Prieto Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF. The IFT confirmed pups with the Prieto Pack in July and continued to observe localized behaviour consistent with pup rearing. A diversionary food cache was established in May to reduce the potential for wolf-livestock conflicts and was utilized by the Prieto Pack in July.

San Mateo Pack (collared AF1399)

During July, 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. The San Mateo Pack continued to display behaviour consistent with denning. Field observations documented two adults and a minimum of two pups during the month of July; however, there may be additional pups and uncollared wolves associated with this pack.

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

During July, 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 observed the pack continued to display localized behaviour consistent with pup rearing during the month of July. The IFT established a diversionary food cache in June to reduce the potential for wolf-livestock conflicts. The food cache was utilized by the SBP pack during the month of July.

Single collared AM1155

During July, AM1155 was documented travelling within the GNF in New Mexico.

Single collared M1455

During July, M1455 travelled throughout east-central portions of the GNF and central portions of the Cibola National Forest (CNF).

Single collared M1552

During July, M1552 travelled throughout central portions of the Cibola National Forest (CNF).

Single collared m1569

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

Single collared m1486

During July, m1486 travelled throughout northern and central portions of the CNF.

MORTALITIES

There were no mortalities documented during the month of July.

INCIDENTS

During the month of July, there were 3 confirmed wolf depredation incidents on livestock and no nuisance reports.

On July 4, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, AZ. The investigation determined the calf was a probable wolf kill.

On July 4, Wildlife Services investigated four dead horses in Apache County, AZ. The investigation determined the horses been killed by lightning.

On July 5, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Apache County, AZ. The investigation determined the cow died from an unknown cause, but was not killed by wolves.

On July 5, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, AZ. The investigation determined the calf had been killed by coyotes.

On July 11, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Apache County, AZ. The investigation determined the cow was a probable wolf kill.

On July 14, Wildlife Services investigated three dead calves in Apache County, AZ. The investigations determined all three calves were killed by wolves. Two of the calves were killed during a single depredation incident.

On July 24, Wildlife Services investigated a dead bull in Catron County, NM. The investigation determined the bull was a confirmed wolf.

COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATION

On July 14, the IFT conducted an education and outreach presentation to a group of tribal high school students from New Mexico.

On July 20, the IFT gave an education and outreach presentation to a group from the Arizona Conservation Corps.

PROJECT PERSONNEL

In July, Maya Stahl concluded her internship with the AGFD. Thank you Maya for your hard work and contribution to wolf recovery efforts!

  1. Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project

Monthly Update – August 1-31, 2017

The Fish and Wildlife Service met with the Mexican Wolf Tribal Working Group in Albuquerque, NM on August 16 to discuss the draft Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan.

The Mexican Wolf Recovery Program and the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program met with the Natural Resource Conservation Service on August 17 to discuss conservation programs for the Mexican wolf.

The Fish and Wildlife Service met with Mexican wolf partner agencies in Springerville, AZ on August 22 to discuss the draft Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan Implementation Strategy.

The Fish and Wildlife Service held a conference call with Mexico’s National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP by its Spanish acronym) on August 28 to discuss the Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan Implementation Strategy.

The public comment period for the draft Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan closed August 29.

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 August, there were 60 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 August, 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). The pack displayed localized behaviour consistent with pup rearing and use of rendezvous sites. A minimum of three pups were documented with the Bear Wallow Pack in August; however this number may change as the IFT continues to document observations of this pack.

Bluestem Pack (collared F1489, f1563 and fp1665)

In August, the Bluestem Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the east central portion of the ASNF. The pack continued to display localized behaviour consistent with pup rearing. The IFT documented a minimum of four pups with use of remote camera during the month of August. A female pup, fp1665 was captured, collared and released and continued to travel with the pack.

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

In August, the Elk Horn Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north eastern portion of the ASNF.  The pack continued to display localized behaviour consistent with pup rearing during the month of August.

Frieborn Pack (collared F1443 and m1447)

In August, the Frieborn Pack was documented within their territory in the east central portion of the ASNF in Arizona and into New Mexico. The pack continued to display localized behaviour consistent with pup rearing in August.

Hawks Nest Pack (collared AM1038)

In August, the Hawks Nest Pack consisted of one collared wolf, AM1038.  AM1038 was located travelling alone in the traditional territory of the Diamond Pack in the northern and central portions of the ASNF.

Hoodoo Pack (collared AM1290, AF1333, f1550 and f1663)

In August, the Hoodoo Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north eastern portion of the ASNF. The IFT continued to observe localized behavior consistent with pup rearing. A yearling female, f1663, in the Hoodoo pack was captured, collared and released in August.

Maverick Pack (collared AF1291)

In August, 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 August, the Panther Creek Pack was located in the east central portion of the ASNF. The breeding pair continued to display localized behaviour consistent with pup rearing. A minimum of three pups were documented with the Panther Creek Pack during the month of August. The IFT maintained a food cache for this pack to reduce potential for livestock depredations and with the goal of increasing survival of genetically valuable pups that the IFT cross-fostered into the Panther Creek Pack in May.

Prime Canyon Pack (collared F1488)

In August, F1488 and an unknown collared wolf continued to travel together within a territory in the east central portion of the ASNF.

Saffel Pack (collared AF1567 and mp1661)

In August, the Saffel Pack was located in the north eastern portion of the ASNF, north of the traditional territory of the Hoodoo Pack. The IFT confirmed a minimum of four pups with the Saffel Pack in August and continued to observe behaviour consistent with pup rearing. A male pup, mp1661, was captured, collared and released in August. A diversionary food cache was maintained by the IFT for this pack in an effort to avoid conflict with cattle in the area.

Single collared m1483

Male 1483 made wide dispersal movements in the north eastern portion of the ASNF in Arizona during August.

Single collared f1484

Female 1484 was documented travelling alone in Arizona at the southern edge of Panther Creek’s traditional territory in the east central portion of the ASNF during August.

Single collared f1562

Female 1562 remained outside of the Bluestem Pack’s traditional territory in the central portion of the ASNF during August.

ON THE FAIR:

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

In August, the Diamond Pack was located in their traditional territory on the FAIR and in the central portion of the ASNF.  F1557 was lethally removed by Wildlife Services due to repetitive confirmed depredations on livestock. The IFT 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 August, 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 August, 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 localized behaviour consistent with pup rearing during August.

Lava Pack (collared F1405 and AM1285)

During August, 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.

Leopold Pack (collared AM1293, AF1346, and m1561)

During August, the IFT documented the Leopold Pack within their territory in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness. The IFT continued to monitor the pack for pup rearing behaviour in August.

Luna Pack (collared AM1158 and AF1487)

During August, the Luna Pack remained in their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF. The IFT captured, collared and released female pup, fp1662, in the Luna Pack. Near the end of the month, fp1662 slipped the collar it was wearing. The animal is alive and still travelling with the pack. The IFT maintained a diversionary food cache to reduce potential for livestock depredations.

Mangas Pack (collared AM1296, AF1439 and fp1664)

During August, 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 pup rearing. The IFT captured, re-collared and released AF1439. The IFT also captured, collared and released a female pup, fp1664, with the Mangas Pack. The IFT continued to maintain a diversionary food cache to reduce the potential for wolf-livestock conflicts.

Copper Creek (collared F1444 and M1386)

During August, F1444 and M1386 were documented travelling together within the west central portions of the GNF.

Dark Canyon (collared F1456 and M1354)

During August, F1456 and M1354 were documented travelling together within the west central portions of the GNF.

Prieto Pack (collared AF1251, M1398 and f1565)

During August, the Prieto Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF. The IFT confirmed pups with the Prieto Pack in July and continued to observe localized behaviour consistent with pup rearing in August. A diversionary food cache was established in May to reduce the potential for wolf-livestock conflicts and was utilized by the Prieto Pack in August.

San Mateo Pack (collared AF1399)

During August, the San Mateo Pack continued to utilize their territory in the north central portion of the GNF. The IFT maintained a supplemental food cache with the goal of increasing survival of the genetically diverse litter of pups.

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

During August, 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 observed the pack continue to display localized behaviour consistent with pup rearing during the month of August. The IFT established a diversionary food cache in June to reduce the potential for wolf-livestock conflicts. The food cache was utilized by the SBP Pack during the month of August.

Single collared AM1155

During August, AM1155 was documented travelling within the GNF in New Mexico.

Single collared M1455

During August, M1455 travelled throughout east-central portions of the GNF and central portions of the Cibola National Forest (CNF).

Single collared M1552

During August, M1552 travelled throughout central portions of the CNF.

Single collared m1569

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

Single collared m1486

During August, m1486 travelled throughout northern and central portions of the CNF.

MORTALITIES

In August, F1557 of the Diamond Pack was lethally removed by Wildlife Services due to repetitive confirmed depredations on livestock.

INCIDENTS

During the month of August, there were four confirmed wolf depredation incidents on livestock and one nuisance report.

On August 2, Wildlife Services investigated two dead calves and a dead cow in Apache County, AZ. The investigations determined one calf had been killed by wolves, the second calf was a probable wolf kill during an earlier incident and the cow had died from ingesting twine.

On August 3, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, AZ. The investigation determined the calf had been killed by wolves.

On August 8, the IFT received a call from a hiker that described an encounter they had with a wolf pack on August 1, while hiking in the ASNF. GPS collar data was used by the IFT to determine the encounter reported by the hiker was with the Saffel Pack which consists of two adult wolves and their pups from this year. The hiker told the IFT they were hiking on the Apache Trail southeast of Mexican Hay Lake on August 1 at approximately 12 noon, when they noticed a collared adult wolf standing approximately 15 feet away. The hiker stopped and looked at the wolf at which point the wolf ran to about 60 feet and then stopped. The hiker stated they observed a second collared adult wolf approximately 20 to 30 yards away and three uncollared pups approximately 50 to 60 yards away. The hiker yelled at the wolves and they did not run off. The closest wolf, which was apparent to the hiker as a male, defecated and then started jumping up and down on its front feet. The hiker fired a shot from a handgun into the ground to scare the wolves away. The closest wolf jumped at the sound of the gunshot but remained. The hiker began walking again and the closest wolf retreated to about 50 yards. The wolves then moved off into the woods to a distance of approximately 100 yards. The hiker stated that the two adult wolves paralleled the hiker and followed along the trail for a distance of about 400 yards. The hiker stated the pups were only visible intermittently at a distance during this time. GPS collar data from the Saffel Pack showed in the days following the hiker’s encounter, the Saffel Pack had moved out of the location where the encounter had occurred and by the day the IFT received the report, the Saffel Pack had begun travelling in another area to the east.

The IFT concluded the encounter the hiker had with the Saffel Pack was a result of the hiker walking into a rendezvous site where the alpha wolves exhibited behaviours to protect the pups present. At the time of the incident, the wolf pups in the Saffel Pack would have been four months old. The behaviour of the adult male jumping up and down on its front feet is often observed of Mexican wolves in captive breeding facilities with young pups in response to human presence. Wolves vocalizing and following a perceived threat out of an area is a common territorial behaviour exhibited by wolves. At the time this report was prepared, there have been no further nuisance reports on the Saffel Pack.

The public is encouraged to report all wolf interactions to the IFT using the contact information provided at the beginning of this document. Any person may take (which includes killing as well as nonlethal actions such as harassing or harming) a Mexican wolf in self-defence or defence of the lives of others. Any form of take must be reported within 24 hours to the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by telephone 505-346-2525; or fax 505-346-2542.

On August 9, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, AZ. The investigation determined the calf had been killed by a wolf.

On August 14, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, AZ. The investigation determined the calf had been killed by a wolf.

COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATION

On August 24, the USFWS attended the New Mexico State Game Commission meeting where the draft Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan was discussed.

On August 29, the USFS attended a Coronado National Forest Permittee meeting in Sonoita, AZ and provided a wolf program update.

On August 29, the USFWS met with the Western Landowners Alliance in Albuquerque, NM to discuss conservation programs.

PROJECT PERSONNEL

In August, Erika Sertyl started a volunteer position with the USFWS. Welcome to the program Erika!

In August, McKenna Zandarski concluded a summer internship on the IFT with the AGFD. Thank you McKenna for your hard work and commitment to Mexican 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

Nothing to report

International

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

USA: Congress is back… to their old dirty tricks

Congress is back in town and they’ve brought with them another round of deadly attacks on wildlife. They barely had time to unpack their suitcases before reigniting their anti-wildlife agenda with a slew of riders aimed at undermining the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

This week, the House is preparing to vote on a massive bill to fund the federal government, including the Department of the Interior, and some shameless representatives are using it as a tool to hurl attacks at the ESA.

URGENT: Tell your representative to oppose any anti-wildlife riders on this bill: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=rsuJ0f4PXvrICRRqKit8Yw

By loading anti-wildlife riders onto this “must pass” bill, they could succeed in removing ESA protections for individual species and undermining the role of science in wildlife conservation. The bill also includes a nearly 17 percent cut to the budget that protects new species under the ESA – a significant cut that will lead to delays in protections.

It is devious and downright dirty to use a necessary funding bill as a vehicle by which to throw wildlife under the bus. Help us send a clear message that we won’t stand for it!

Urge your representative to stand up for this critical law and the imperiled species that depend on it for their continued survival: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=sv2B8GDAinqu1aaB0n97yA

The ESA enjoys overwhelming public support and has been successful at keeping 99 percent of listed species from going extinct. It is the last line of defence for species on the brink of extinction.

YOU are the last line of defence for the ESA. Help protect it from conniving politicians intent on taking science out of conservation decisions and catering to the special interests that line their campaign coffers.

Don’t let anti-ESA lawmakers get away with these underhanded schemes to dismantle the ESA: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=kpHPkhrMbjl5Vky7bHir9A

The fate of threatened and endangered species should be left up to science – not politics.

Don’t let Congress turn its back on the wildlife you love.

Wolves and Wolfdogs

Managing Wolves Requires Managing Cattle
by Rick Lamplugh, author and wildlife advocate

The recent slaughter of wolves by state officials in Washington and Oregon highlights a sad fact: cattle grazing on public lands is lethal for wolves. Washington has 1.1 million cattle, Oregon 1.3 million. About a third of each state is public land that many cattle run roughshod over. Those public lands are by necessity the home of each state’s minuscule wolf population. With so many cattle invading wolf territory, conflict happens.

Each state has a Wolf Management Plan. Each plan’s basic premise: wolves are the problem and must pay the price for cattle-wolf conflict.

Each state needs a Cattle Management Plan. The premise of the plan I propose: Killing wolves on public land is not acceptable; wolves have no where else to live. Instead, the livestock owner bears the burden for reducing conflict his animals cause while grazing on public land in wolf territory.

Just as wolves have several chances under current Wolf Management Plans, the owner would have several chances under the proposed Cattle Management Plan.

With the first cattle-wolf conflict on public land, the state’s Department of Fish and Wildlife would determine the non-lethal steps the owner must take to keep livestock separate from wolves. This analysis and compliance would happen quickly, let’s say within fourteen days.

With the second conflict, the owner’s herd would have to be moved away from the wolves they infringed upon. Let’s say a move of thirty miles within seven days.

With the third conflict, the owner’s privilege of grazing livestock on public land would be suspended for perhaps two years.

A Cattle Management Plan such as this should be operating in Washington, Oregon, and every other state with cattle causing conflict on public land. This plan puts the responsibility for reducing cattle-wolf conflict on the shoulders of the owner that benefits from the cost savings of grazing in wolf territory. And it saves the lives of many cattle and wolves.

I will send letters about this plan to elected officials in wolf states with lots of cattle and lots of public land. Perhaps some will find it of interest. If you know of a possibly receptive official in your wolf state, please send me the name via Facebook comment or private message.

Indie author Rick Lamplugh writes to protect wildlife and preserve wildlands. His new book, Deep into Yellowstone: A Year’s Immersion in Grandeur and Controversy, is available signed from Rick at http://bit.ly/2tIEt62, or unsigned on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2tgPU3E. His bestseller, In the Temple of Wolves, is available signed at http://bit.ly/1gYghB4, or unsigned on Amazon at http://amzn.to/Jpea9Q.

Wolf Myths and Legends, Part 142

Men are Murderers
by Gypsy Yawgel

If only he knew
What was happening as the wind blew.

He left his den for less than an hour,
And decided to return home when the air turned sour.

He returned to only see death,
It was man he would bet.

There was bloodshed everywhere,
Why was man so unfair?

They never hunted humans,
So why do they hunt them?

We are not the vicious creatures man makes us up to be,
We only wish to live free.

Now his pack is dead,
They were the ones he had lead.

Oh why did I leave today? I should have listened to my instinct, I should have stayed,

There’s nothing left for me
If only they could see.

Everything I have cared about as been murdered on this day,
I wish I could see the man, who did this and say,

“Why do you come out of your way, just to slay?”

I wish so much I couldn’t I have been here
I would have made a difference; I would have fought with no fear.

So this is the way it ends,
It’s all over now, my family is gone,
I will wait for the break of dawn,

For one day man will come for me,
And I will no longer be able to run free.

Readers’ Contribution

A Wolfdog Diary

By Erin

Nothing to report

Will be continued…