Volume 12, Issue 157, November 2017

SAFHOWL

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

Volume 12, Issue 157, November 2017

From the Editor’s Desk

Up on the Highveld, we have been experiencing some of the weirdest weather ever. November is supposed to be a mid-spring month and usually it will be warm to rather hot with more or less daily thunderstorms. Well, there were some hot days and a few thunderstorms this year, too, but there were also two, fortunately brief, periods with outright winter weather, worse actually than most of the winter! Maybe our furry kids knew what was coming, because, untypical for them, they have not even begun to shed their winter coat.

Well, what have we got for you this month? Bad news for wolves and wildlife in general from the US, of course. And there are some minor German politicians who still are misguided into thinking they can do as they please once elected into positions of relative power. Sorry guys, too many eyes are watching you…

Rick Lamplugh provides more insights into wolf (and coyote) management; very valuable information and fresh perspectives indeed, as usual.

We have a poem, a little enigmatic, but really haunting; at least that’s how I feel about it.

Erin updates us on her pack and makes it clear once more that dangers lurk in the most unexpected places and can strike any time.

And if you still wonder what to give to a wolf lover for Xmas (yeah, it’s just six weeks to go!), why not get him or her a copy of my book?

English version

Deutsche Fassung

   
A Houseful Headful of Wolves

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

available from www.amazon.com and all other Amazon online shops

Das Haus Den Kopf voller Wölfe

Die Geschichte zweier Menschen, die ihr Heim und Leben mit Wölfen teilen

erhältlich bei www.amazon.de und allen anderen Amazon Online-Shops

Till next month,
Ed.

Upcoming Events

  1. International Wolf Center’s Adventure Programs

Say Yes to New Adventures!

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 here

  1. Upcoming Webinars 

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

3. Join Us for Wine and Wolves

Annual Holiday Celebration to Benefit the Wolf Conservation Center!
7:00pm – 10:00pm
Thursday, December 7, 2017
Join the Wolf Conservation Center family to toast to eighteen years of success in our mission of education and conservation at a festive holiday party and silent auction at the newly renovated Le Chateau estate!
Le Chateau will be serving an exceptional assortment of their chef’s finest food, accompanied by a selection of wines provided by Candoni De Zan and wolf-inspired cocktails from Montelobos Mezcal.  A DJ from Hal Prince Music will be providing music throughout the evening.
Amazing and unique items will be available all evening for auction via silent bid, including a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience The Walker Library of the History of Human Imagination in Ridgefield, CT!  Our charming Wolf Conservation Center merchandise will also be available for sale – perfect and unique gifts for the holiday season.

Tickets are $125 and attendance is limited to 200. Past years’ events have sold out, so sign up today! You may also call 914-763-2373 to register or for more information.

For Tickets go to https://nywolf.org/benefits/wine-and-wolves-2017

News from the Wolf Front

National

Nothing to report

International

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

  1. USA: Writing the next chapter in wolf recovery

By the mid-1930s, after decades of intolerance and unchecked killing, wolves were eradicated from all but a few areas in the lower 48 states.

It seemed like the end was inevitable for wolves on the landscape in the lower 48.

But Defenders has always been a champion for wolves and we weren’t going to let that be the end of the story.

We’ve had successes. But the greatest threat to wolves remains the same as it did from the start of their persecution all those years ago – humankind.

With the growing populations of wolves on our landscape, the threat of their coming into contact with communities increases every day.

That is why Defenders is determined to help the public share the land with wolves and dispel the myths and misconceptions that nearly silenced them for good. This is the very centre of our coexistence work – and it’s the key to creating a future for wolves and other wildlife.

Help us continue to write the story for wolves: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=ahfATwBBWfOBD4zzAmWM3A

 

  1. USA: Wolves are returning, but they need your help!

I have been lucky enough to hear the howl of wolves echoing in the wilderness. And I will always treasure the fact that, as Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, I had a hand in bringing wolves back to the wild.

You may not realize it, but you did too – in fact, as a Defender of Wildlife, you’ve been there all along.

Continue your commitment to restoring wolves: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=FJoIAPHxfMGEEekXCIzfsw

Over the years, we’ve made great strides and, as a result of our tireless efforts, wolf recovery is working. Wolves are now living in areas where they were once wiped out – places like Oregon, Washington, Arizona, New Mexico and California.

But turning back the clock on the devastation of wolves in this country isn’t as simple as reintroducing wolves to the wild.

Right now, wolves and other recovering wildlife are at a critical crossroads. The growth and expansion of wildlife populations into new territories means they are coming into contact with humans more often. And if history is any guide, contact means conflict. That is where our pioneering coexistence efforts come in.

Our coexistence work is at a pivotal point.

In order to achieve lasting success for wolves, we must change people’s hearts and minds about these iconic predators.

Defenders’ pioneering coexistence work has improved relationships with landowners and fostered partnerships with the federal government and state and local decision makers to advance recovery.

Make way for wolves! Give today to further our coexistence efforts to help the public share the land with wildlife: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=oa1ptNHNViUOodv7vlhSzQ

We have known since day one that reducing conflicts between wolves and people is key to long-term wolf recovery. And that long-term vision is what sets us apart.

The life of every wolf is precious, yet as wolf populations continue to grow, our focus must shift to be more about the survival of the species as a whole – especially as interactions with humans increase.

We can’t afford to be short-sighted. If we’re not coexisting with wildlife then we’re condemning wildlife.

Please give today to help us give wolves the long-term future they deserve: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=EXyiGEWfxSR2_BsG14DeFA

 

From ForceChange (TakeAction@ForceChange.com)

USA: Stop Plans to Slaughter Endangered Wolves

Endangered grey wolves will soon be open to slaughter in Wisconsin if ranchers and hunters get their way. Sign this petition to demand protections for this majestic endangered species: https://forcechange.com/421006/dont-allow-killing-of-endangered-wolves/

Now it’s our turn to ask for help: For those of you who are already Premium Members — thank you from the bottom of our hearts! For the rest of our community, please consider the following message:

Our organization is only able to continue our work due to the financial support from people like you: https://forcechange.com/forcechange-now/?utm_source=FC-newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=long-text .This is because running a major online activism platform is expensive. Without our Premium Members, we would be forced to shut down our operations — and animal abusers, environmental polluters and wrongdoers across the globe would breathe a sigh of relief knowing that there was one less watchdog shining light on their evil ways.

Don’t let this happen! Please consider upgrading right now to ensure we can continue our important work. When you upgrade to a Premium Membership, you will also gain access to our Premium Perks, which include:

We’re so sure you will love your Premium Membership and the Premium Perks that if you upgrade right now, we’ll guarantee a full refund for the next 7 days if you’re unsatisfied. Simply email us within 7 days if you’d like to cancel your upgrade and receive a full refund https://forcechange.com/forcechange-now/?utm_source=FC-newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=long-text

From Change.org (Brigitte Sommer (www.wolfsschutz-deutschland.de) via Change.org (change@mail.change.org)

1. Germany: Save the Cuxland Pack – New Petiton! (translated here from German)

Dear supporters,

Pumpak is still missing, and incidents relating to wolves in the whole of Germany have abounded since January this year. The Rosenthal Pack in Saxony is safe for now, but it is still at risk. The wolves in Lower Saxony are presently in great danger. If the Lower Saxony politicians can have it their way, the complete Cuxland Pack should be killed. They pursue lobby politics against the will of the majority. You can read the full article here (in German).

Purportedly, the pack displays abnormal behaviour, but is that really so?

Please sign and share the petition here.

2. Germany: Saxony – again a Wolf shall die! I am asking for your help! (translated here from German)

28 Oct 2017 — Again a wolf in Saxony shall die; a sacrificial lamb for District Councillor Harig who has set his sights on the entire Rosenthal Pack and wants it killed. It was only a short while ago that his proposal to this effect was rejected, and now it seems he is trying to get his will by means of individual shooting permits. He himself is a hobby shepherd and was recently quoted as saying that keeping and breeding grazing animals were more important than species conservation. This man was democratically voted into power and is supposed to act in the interest of all citizens, not to pursue lobby politics for his buddies. The order to shoot Pumpak is not yet 9 months old, and already it all starts over. You can read the press briefing (in German) here: https://www.medienservice.sachsen.de/medien/news/214194

Please send your protests to:

Umweltminister Thomas Schmidt
CDU-Fraktion des Sächsischen Landtages
Bernhard-von-Lindenau-Platz 1
01067 Dresden
Tel. (0351) 493-5576
Fax (0351) 451031-5576
thomas.schmidt@slt.sachsen.de
www.thomas-schmidt-online.de and

Landrat Harig
Landratsamt Bautzen

Bahnhofstraße 9

02625 Bautzen
Tel.: 03591 5251-80000
Fax: 03591 5250-80000
E-Mail: landrat@lra-bautzen.de

And please donate to:
Wolfsschutz Deutschland in Pro Naturschutz Sachsen e. V. (Grüne Liga Sachsen)
Erzgebirgssparkasse
IBAN DE78 8705 4000 0725 0179 88
BIC WELADED1STB

Donations are tax-deductible.
From Wolf Conservation Center (contact=nywolf.org@mail102.atl71.mcdlv.net); on behalf of Wolf Conservation Center (contact@nywolf.org)

  1. USA: HE is not a Trophy

Bill H.R. 424 seeks undermine the Endangered Species Act and allow wolves to be shot and trapped for trophy in 4 states. To add insult to injury, the bill prohibits its judicial review thus preventing any legal challenge.

Take action here.

 

From California Wolfcenter (californiawolfcenter@yahoogroups.com)

  1. Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project

Monthly Update – September 1-30, 2017

The following is a summary of Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project (Project)

activities in the Mexican Wolf Experimental Population Area (MWEPA) in Arizona, including the Fort Apache Indian Reservation (FAIR), San Carlos Apache Reservation (SCAR), and New Mexico.  Additional Project information can be obtained by calling (928) 339-4329 or toll free at (888) 459-9653, or by visiting the Arizona Game and Fish Department website at

www.azgfd.gov/wolf or by visiting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website at www.fws.gov/southwest/es/mexicanwolf.

Past updates may be viewed on either website, or interested parties may sign up to receive this update electronically and clicking on 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 http://arcg.is/0iGSGH 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

Dr. Benjamin Tuggle is the new USFWS Assistant Director for Science Applications. The new USFWS Southwest Regional Director is Amy Lueders, formerly the Bureau of Land Management State Director for New Mexico.

On September 7, the USFWS met with the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish and the Chairman of the New Mexico State Game Commission to discuss Mexican wolf recovery issues.

The  USFWS met September 29 with AGFD to discuss matching funds for Livestock Demonstration Grants for depredation compensation and payments for presence.

The USFWS convened a conference call on September 20 with staff from Congressman Pearce’s office to discuss Mexican wolf recovery issues.

On September 27, a symposium entitled “Mexican Wolf Conservation: Two Decades of Reintroduction and the Future of Recovery” was held at The Wildlife Society Annual Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The symposium featured speakers covering a variety of topics from the USFWS, AGFD, USDA-APHIS Wildlife Services, Wolf Haven International, biologists leading the recovery effort in Mexico, and a local rancher.

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. Studbook numbers listed in the monthly update denote wolves with functioning radio collars. 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 September, there were 64 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 M1338 and F1335)

In September, the Bear Wallow Pack was located within their traditional territory on the SCAR and on the east central portion of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest (ASNF).  A minimum of three pups were documented with the Bear Wallow Pack in late summer; however this number may change as the IFT continues to document observations of this pack.

Bluestem Pack (collared F1489, f1563, and fp1665)

In September, the Bluestem Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the east central portion of the ASNF.

Elk Horn Pack (collared AF1294, m1471, f1473, and fp1668)

In September, the Elk Horn Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north eastern portion of the ASNF. A female pup, fp1668, was captured, collared and released in September. The pack continued to display localized behaviour consistent with pup rearing during the month of September.

Frieborn Pack (collared F1443 and m1447)

In September, the Frieborn Pack was documented within their territory in the east central portion of the ASNF in Arizona and into New Mexico.

Hawks Nest Pack (collared AM1038)

In September, 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, f1663, and mp1666)

In September, the Hoodoo Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north eastern portion of the ASNF.  The IFT continued to observe localized behaviour consistent with pup rearing.  A male pup, mp1666, in the Hoodoo pack was captured, collared and released in September.

Maverick Pack (collared AF1291)

In September, 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 September, the Panther Creek Pack was located in the east central portion of the ASNF.  Single yearling female 1484 and a minimum of three pups were documented travelling with the pack during the month of September.  The IFT continued to maintain 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 September, F1488 and an unknown collared wolf continued to travel together within a territory in the east central portion of the ASNF.  F1488 was captured, re-collared and released in late September.

Saffel Pack (collared AF1567 and mp1661)

In September, the Saffel Pack was located in the north eastern portion of the ASNF, north of the traditional territory of the Hoodoo Pack.  The IFT continued to observe localized behaviour consistent with pup rearing.

Single collared m1483

Yearling male 1483 was documented travelling alone in the north eastern portion of the ASNF in Arizona during September.

Single collared f1484

Female 1484 was documented travelling with the Panther Creek Pack in the Panther Creek’s traditional territory in the east central portion of the ASNF during September.

Single collared f1562

Female 1562 was localized in the north central portion of the ASNF during September and has been documented travelling with an unknown collared wolf.

ON THE FAIR:

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

In September, the Diamond Pack was located in their traditional territory on the FAIR and in the north central portion of the ASNF. At the end of September m1571 was documented travelling separate from the pack. 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 September, the Tsay-O-Ah Pack was located within their traditional territory on the FAIR.

IN NEW MEXICO:

Dark Canyon (collared F1456 and M1354)

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

Copper Creek (collared F1444 and M1386)

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

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

During September, 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 continued to observe localized behaviour consistent with pup rearing during September.

Lava Pack (collared F1405 and AM1285)

During September, 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 September, 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 September.

Luna Pack (collared AM1158 and AF1487)

During September, the Luna Pack remained in their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF.  The IFT maintained a diversionary food cache to reduce potential for livestock depredations.

Mangas Pack (collared AM1296, AF1439 and fp1664)

During September, 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.  A diversionary food cache established in May to reduce the potential for wolf-livestock conflicts was removed by the IFT at the end of September. The Mangas Pack was not involved in any wolf-livestock conflicts during that time period.

Prieto Pack (collared AF1251, M1398, f1565, and mp1669)

During September, the Prieto Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF.  The IFT continued to observe localized behaviour consistent with pup rearing in September.  The IFT captured, collared, and released mp1669 of the Prieto Pack during routine collaring efforts in September. A diversionary food cache established in May to reduce the potential for wolf-livestock conflicts was removed by the IFT at the end of September.  The Prieto pack was not involved in any wolf-livestock conflicts during that time period.

San Mateo Pack (collared AF1399 and mp1582)

During September, 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.  The IFT captured, collared, and released mp1582 during collaring efforts in September. Male pup 1582 is a wild born pup, not one of the pups cross-fostered this spring.

Sheepherders Baseball Park (SBP) Pack (collared AM1284, F1553, and mp1667)

During September, the SBP Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF.  The IFT continued to observe localized behaviour consistent with pup rearing during the month of September.  The IFT captured, collared, and released mp1667 of the SBP pack during routine collaring efforts in September. A diversionary food cache established in June to reduce the potential for wolf-livestock conflicts was removed at the end of September.  The SBP pack was not involved in any wolf conflicts during that time period.

Single collared AM1155

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

Single collared M1455

M1455 was not located by the IFT during September.

Single collared m1486

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

Single collared M1552

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

Single collared m1569

During September, m1569 travelled throughout central portions of the CNF and eastern portions of the GNF.

MORTALITIES

There were no documented mortalities in September.  From January 1 to September 30, 2017 there have been a total of eight documented wolf mortalities.

INCIDENTS

During the month of September, there were two confirmed wolf depredation incidents on livestock and no nuisance incidents.  From January 1 to September 30, 2017 there have been a total of 16 confirmed depredation incidents in New Mexico and 15 confirmed depredation incidents in Arizona.

On September 6, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Catron County, NM.  The investigation determined the calf had been killed by coyotes.

On September 7, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Catron County, NM.  The investigation determined the calf died from a vehicle strike.

On September 7, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Catron County, NM.  The investigation determined the calf died of unknown causes.

On September 10, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, AZ.  The investigation determined the calf died of respiratory illness.

On September 20 Wildlife Services investigated a dead bull in Catron County, NM.  The investigation determined the bull died from a vehicle strike.

On September 17, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, AZ.  The investigation determined the calf died of unknown causes.

On September 18, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, AZ.  The investigation determined the calf died of unknown causes.

On September 22, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, AZ.  The investigation determined the calf had been killed by a wolf.

On September 28, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, AZ.  The investigation determined the calf had been killed by a wolf.

On September 28, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Catron County, NM.  The investigation determined the cow had been killed by a bear.

COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATION

On September 9, the IFT assisted with the annual calf branding at the Deadman Ranch in New Mexico.

On September 16, the IFT gave a talk on the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program to a group of students studying habitat ecology from Arizona State University.

PROJECT PERSONNEL

In September, two new personnel joined the field team in temporary volunteer positions with the USFWS.

In September, the White Mountain Apache Tribe field personnel returned to the Interagency Field Team working on the FAIR

  1. Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project

Monthly Update – October 1-31, 2017

Overall Mexican Wolf Recovery Program Monthly Update

The USFWS met with Phil Miller, of Conservation Planning Specialist Group, in the week of October 2 to discuss public and peer review comments on the draft Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan, Biological Report and appendices.

The Department of Justice submitted the 6-month status report to the court on October 18, in compliance with the Stipulated Settlement Agreement to complete the Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan by the end of November 2017.

Southwest Regional Director Amy Lueders met with the WMAT Tribal Council on October 18 to discuss several USFWS issues, including the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program.

The USFWS convened a conference call with Mexico’s National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP by its Spanish acronym) to discuss actions and costs necessary to achieve recovery of Mexican wolves in Mexico.

The USFWS met with the AGFD and New Mexico Department of Game and Fish on October 25 to discuss issues regarding the final Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan.

On October 27, 2017, Peter Siminski retired from the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in Palm Desert, California, and as the Mexican Wolf Species Survival Plan Coordinator and Studbook Keeper.  The USFWS expresses its gratitude for the more than 30 years that Peter Siminski has devoted to the recovery of the Mexican wolf.

Regional Director Lueders convened a conference call on October 30 with the Mexican Wolf Tribal Working Group to discuss Tribal perspectives on Mexican wolf recovery.

On October 31, Regional Director Lueders contacted the leaders of several Tribes and Pueblos directly affected by Mexican wolf recovery in Arizona and New Mexico to discuss concerns, process and communication.

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 October, there were 69 wolves with functioning radio collars that the IFT was actively monitoring.

IN ARIZONA:

Bear Wallow Pack (collared AM1338, AF1335, and m1673)

In October, the Bear Wallow Pack was located within their traditional territory on the SCAR and on the east central portion of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest (ASNF).  A yearling male, m1673, travelling with the Bear Wallow Pack was captured, collared, and released.  A minimum of three pups were documented; however, minimum pup numbers may change as the IFT continues to document observations of wolf packs.

Bluestem Pack (collared F1489, f1563, and fp1665)

In October, the Bluestem Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the east central portion of the ASNF.  Two pups were documented with the pack in October.

Elk Horn Pack (collared AF1294, m1471, f1473, m1477, fp1668, and mp1671)

In October, the Elk Horn Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north eastern portion of the ASNF. A male pup, mp1671, and a yearling male, m1477, were captured, collared and released in October. Two pups were documented traveling with the pack in October.

Frieborn Pack (collared F1443 and m1447)

In October, the Frieborn Pack was documented within their territory in the east central portion of the ASNF in Arizona and into New Mexico.  No pups have been documented travelling with F1443 and m1447.

Hawks Nest Pack (collared AM1038)

In October, 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, f1663, and mp1666)

In October, the Hoodoo Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north eastern portion of the ASNF. Hoodoo f1663 dispersed from her natal territory and has localized in the eastern portion of the FAIR and north central portion of the ASNF with Diamond m1571.

Maverick Pack (collared AF1291)

In October, the Maverick Pack was located within their traditional territory both on the FAIR and east central portion of the ASNF.  AF1291 was observed travelling with another wolf.  No pups have been documented with this pack.

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

In October, the Panther Creek Pack was located in the east central portion of the ASNF.  Single yearling female, f1484, was documented occasionally travelling with the pack.  The IFT continued to maintain a food cache for this pack to reduce potential for livestock depredations and with the goal of increasing survival of pups that the IFT cross-fostered into the Panther Creek Pack in May.

Prime Canyon Pack (collared F1488)

In October, F1488 was documented travelling within a territory in the east central portion of the ASNF with an uncollared male.  The unknown collared wolf that F1488 had been travelling with was not documented in October.

Saffel Pack (collared AF1567 and mp1661)

In October, the Saffel Pack was located in the north eastern portion of the ASNF, north of the traditional territory of the Hoodoo Pack.  Four pups were documented travelling with the Saffel Pack in October.

Single collared m1483

Male 1483 continued to travel alone in the north eastern portion of the ASNF in Arizona during October.

Single collared f1484

Female 1484 was documented travelling alone and occasionally with the Panther Creek Pack in the Panther Creek’s traditional territory in the east central portion of the ASNF during October.

Single collared f1562

Female 1562 was localized in the north central portion of the ASNF during October and has been documented travelling with an unknown collared wolf.

Single collared mp1672

A male pup, mp1672, with unknown parentage and affiliation was caught, collared, and released in the north central portion of the ASNF during the month of October.

ON THE FAIR:

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

In October, the Diamond Pack was located in their traditional territory on the FAIR and in the north central portion of the ASNF.  Yearling males m1559 and m1572 were documented occasionally dispersing into new areas in the eastern portion of the FAIR. The IFT continued to maintain a diversionary food cache on the ASNF for the Diamond Pack to reduce potential for further wolf-livestock conflict.  Yearling male, m1571, made a large dispersal movement north of the ASFS onto the Navajo Nation. At the request of the Navajo Nation, the IFT captured m1571, translocated and released the wolf back within the MWEPA. Following the translocation, m1571 has localized in the eastern portion of the FAIR and north central portion of the ASNF and has paired with Hoodoo f1663.

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

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

IN NEW MEXICO:

Copper Creek (collared F1444 and M1386)

During October, M1386 was documented travelling within the west central portion of the GNF.  F1444 was not located during October due to a collar malfunction, but is believed to still be travelling with M1386.

Dark Canyon (collared F1456 and M1354)

During October, F1456 and M1354 were documented travelling together within the west central portion of the Gila National Forest (GNF).

Iron Creek Pack (collared AM1240, AF1278, m1555, m1556, and f1670)

During October, the Iron Creek Pack continued to utilize their territory in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness and the southern portion of the GNF.  The IFT continued to observe localized behaviour consistent with pup rearing during October.  The IFT captured, collared, and released sub-adult wolves m1555, m1556 and f1670.  Sub-adult m1555 had its radio collar slip off after it was collared as a pup in 2016.

Lava Pack (collared F1405 and AM1285)

During October, the Lava Pack was located within their traditional territory in the south eastern portion of the GNF.  In October, the IFT discontinued the diversionary food cache that had been maintained for the Lava Pack as a result of the pack making larger movements within their territory during the fall.

Leopold Pack (collared AM1293, AF1346, and m1561)

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

Luna Pack (collared AM1158 and AF1487)

During October, the Luna Pack remained in their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF.  The IFT discontinued the diversionary food cache in October which had been maintained for the Luna Pack to reduce potential for wolf livestock conflict.

Mangas Pack (collared AM1296, AF1439, and fp1664)

During October, the Mangas Pack was located within their territory in the north western portion of the GNF.

Prieto Pack (collared AF1251, M1398, and f1565)

During October, the Prieto Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF.  The IFT continued to observe localized behaviour consistent with pup rearing in October. Male pup 1669, which was collared in early September, had its radio collar slip off in October.

San Mateo Pack (collared AF1399 and fp1578)

During October, the San Mateo Pack continued to utilize their territory in the north central portion of the GNF.  The IFT captured, collared and released fp1578, which is one of two pups from the Brookfield Zoo that were placed into the pack’s den during a cross-foster operation this past May in effort to increase genetic diversity of wolves in the wild.  The IFT continued to maintain a supplemental food cache with the goal of increasing survival of the genetically diverse litter of pups.  Male pup 1582, which was collared by the IFT in September, had its radio collar slip off in October.

Sheepherders Baseball Park (SBP) Pack (collared AM1284, F1553, and mp1667)

During October, the SBP Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF.  The IFT continued to observe localized behaviour consistent with pup rearing during the month of October.

Single collared AM1155

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

Single collared M1455

M1455 was not located by the IFT during October.

Single collared m1486

During October, m1486 travelled throughout northern and central portions of the Cibola National Forest (CNF).

Single collared M1552

During October, M1552 travelled throughout central portion of the CNF and eastern portion of the GNF.

Single collared m1569

During October, m1569 travelled throughout central portion of the CNF and eastern portion of the GNF.

MORTALITIES

There were no documented wolf mortalities during the month of October.  From January 1 to October 31, there have been a total of eight documented wolf mortalities in 2017.

INCIDENTS

During the month of October, there were no confirmed wolf depredation incidents on livestock and there were no nuisance incidents.  From January 1 to October 31, 2017 there have been a total of 16 confirmed depredation incidents in New Mexico and 15 confirmed depredation incidents in Arizona.

On October 16, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, AZ. The investigation determined the calf died of unknown causes.

COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATION

There were no communication and coordination updates for the month of October.

PROJECT PERSONNEL

There were no personnel updates for the project in October.

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 ForceChange (TakeAction@ForceChange.com)

  1. India: Justice for Baby Elephant Burned Alive

The back legs of a baby elephant were consumed in fire as she desperately ran to her mother, screaming in pain and fear. This was the scene captured by a photographer in India who witnessed an angry mob attacking a mother and child elephant with flaming tar balls and firecrackers. Demand authorities take immediate action to protect elephants from attacks: https://forcechange.com/412955/justice-for-baby-elephant-burned-alive/

From Change.org (Salty Dog via Change.org (change@mail.change.org))

  1. USA: Trump to allow imports of African elephant trophies

Elephants are on the list of threatened species; the global community has rallied to stem the ivory trade; and now, the U.S. government, on Ryan Zinke’s urging and Trump’s decision, is giving American trophy hunters the green light to kill them.

Original article by Timothy Cama – 11/15/17 08:48 PM EST: http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/360614-trump-to-allow-imports-of-african-elephant-trophies

The Trump administration is reversing an Obama administration ban on bringing to the United States the heads of elephants killed in two African countries.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) said it has determined that hunting African elephants in Zimbabwe and Zambia “will enhance the survival of the species in the wild,” which is the standard by which officials judge whether to allow imports of parts — known as trophies — of the animals.

“Legal, well-regulated sport hunting as part of a sound management program can benefit the conservation of certain species by providing incentives to local communities to conserve the species and by putting much-needed revenue back into conservation,” an FWS spokesman said in a statement late Wednesday after hunting group Safari Club International announced the policy.

Imports will be allowed for elephants killed between Jan. 21 and the end of 2018.

The decision, cheered by some hunting and gun rights groups, is a reversal of the policy under the Obama administration. The United States and international authorities say the African elephant is a threatened species, and the Obama administration argued that allowing trophy imports would harm the animals by encouraging killing them.

The reversal is part of a wide-ranging effort by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, whose department includes the FWS, to promote hunting.

“Some of my best memories are hunting and fishing with my dad and granddad, and then later teaching my own kids to hunt and fish. That’s something I want more families to experience,” Zinke said in a September statement in which he announced that the arcade game Big Buck Hunter would be temporarily installed in the department’s headquarters.

The National Rifle Association’s lobbying arm praised the elephant trophy decision.

“By lifting the import ban on elephant trophies in Zimbabwe and Zambia the Trump Administration underscored, once again, the importance of sound scientific wildlife management and regulated hunting to the survival and enhancement of game species in this country and worldwide,” Chris Cox, executive director of the group’s Institute for Legislative Action, said in a statement.

Animal rights groups slammed the Trump administration.

“Let’s be clear: elephants are on the list of threatened species; the global community has rallied to stem the ivory trade; and now, the U.S. government is giving American trophy hunters the green light to kill them,” Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States, wrote in a blog post.

“What kind of message does it send to say to the world that poor Africans who are struggling to survive cannot kill elephants in order to use or sell their parts to make a living, but that it’s just fine for rich Americans to slay the beasts for their tusks to keep as trophies?” he continued.

Wolves and Wolfdogs

A Way to Protect Wolves and Coyotes

by Rick Lamplugh, author and wildlife advocate

Far too often, people charged with illegally killing a wolf claim they thought they were shooting a coyote. The hunter who recently shot and killed a wolf in Oregon made such a questionable claim. So did the man who shot the first wolf to reach the Grand Canyon. Often the dead wolf was protected under state or federal laws. Such illegal killing happens in shocking numbers according to a commentary by scientists published in the international journal Biodiversity and Conservation.

In “When Shooting a Coyote Kills a Wolf: Mistaken Identity or Misguided Management?”, Thomas Newsome, Jeremy Bruskotter, and William Ripple present these statistics:

  1. Of the 711 radio-collared grey wolves that died in the western U.S. between 1982 and 2004, 12% were killed illegally.
  2. Of all the red wolves that have died to date, 25% of them fell to illegal shooting.
  3. For Mexican wolves, illegal killing accounts for about 55% of all deaths from 1998 to 2013.

These are just the deaths that researchers know about. The count does not include the number of wolves killed secretly by those who believe in “shoot, shovel, and shut up.”

Whatever the total number, the authors state that illegal killing of wolves represents a substantial failure in wolf management, because to meet the objective of the Endangered Species Act wolves need to recolonize significant portions of their former range. And—after decades of trying—grey wolves still occupy only about 15% of their historic range in the lower 48. Worse yet, “…Mexican wolves and red wolves are among the rarest terrestrial mammals in the world.”

The authors believe that new management strategies are required to help wolf populations recover. They suggest that one way to reduce illegal wolf killing is “the banning of coyote hunting at least during the ungulate hunting season to prevent cases of mistaken identity, especially where wolves are at low densities, or recolonizing new areas.” (This was the scenario in Oregon: the hunter was after elk in a state where wolf numbers are low.)

The authors report this approach worked in the 1980s when Wisconsin implemented a coyote hunting ban during deer hunting season to eliminate wolf killing due to mistake identity. After that ban, wolves had unprecedented population growth.

Banning coyote killing won’t be easy. Some people see coyotes as vermin to be destroyed without remorse. Others feel strongly that coyote hunting and derbies help reduce livestock losses.

But banning coyote killing makes sense. The authors point to research that shows “coyote populations are far too resilient to be affected by most periodic control eradication programs, let alone from derbies or recreational hunting.”

Though coyotes are resilient, wolves aren’t. The scientists write that humans killing wolves “is a critical risk factor that requires management, especially when individuals move into new territories unoccupied by other wolves.”

Wolves—especially—dispersing wolves need all the protection we can provide. Banning coyote hunting during deer and elk hunting season would be good for wolves and coyotes.

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 best seller, 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 144

Wolf and His Assassins

by Taren (Werewolf Mage)

Flash of black across the plain,
Repeating into the distance.
Loping canine, fangs of white,

Over paths of wooded stretches.
Woven forward as the reeds of baskets,
Step after step, paw prints in the new earth.
The call of wind in his ears.

He hears the cry of the torn-up earth,
He scents the blood of dying stars,
The wail of the mournful wind,
The scream of nature’s scars.

But he cannot stop this madness,
Nor can he prevent it.
For if the wolf stresses concern,
He lies dead upon the bleeding grass.

And if you ask the frequent question
Of this forgotten lore,
Who these dreaded killers are,
World and wolf shall scream their answer.

And ever after wail it to the moon,
For the demons of this deed
Are close at hand.

And every fallen tree and howling wolf proclaims,

The killers are staring at this tale this very moment!

Readers’ Contribution

A Wolfdog Diary

By Erin

If nothing bad has happened for a long time you can bet that Murphy is sitting just around the corner, waiting for the right moment to strike. That moment came when our gardeners decided to clean out the weeds from between the pavement bricks in front of the house. And since it is almost impossible to do that without also removing at least part of the soil stuck in there together with the weeds you will end up with small gaps between the pavement bricks. Well, I have to admit that it looks quite neat and tidy, but it is also sort of a trap for the claws of four-legged family members.

In the afternoon of that specific Sunday the furry kids heard something going on in the street, jumped up from their afternoon nap and stormed out into the front yard to investigate. Five minutes later they came back inside with Taima limping on three legs, holding her right front leg up in the air and looking rather unhappy. I wanted to check out what had happened, but she did not allow me to touch her leg or paw so that I could only have a look from a distance and search for blood or a swelling, but there was nothing. First I was relieved that she did not have any apparent injury, thinking she might just have strained a muscle when jumping up and running outside so quickly, but Ted and I quickly discovered that she was in pain, not able to sit or lie down without whimpering. I thought of giving her an anti-inflammatory/painkiller but she refused any food in which I could have concealed it. Just when Ted and I were thinking about taking her to the emergency vet she managed to lie down on her side and started licking her paw – o.k., it was obviously not the leg but the paw, I thought. I suspected a broken claw but that’s usually easy to detect because it will either protrude up or to the side or be bleeding, but all her claws looked perfectly in place. Maybe she had stepped on a thorn that got stuck in her paw? But then she would not just lick the paw but nibble and try to pull it out. When she had calmed down a bit and found a position to rest without her paw hurting too much I started to give her some Reiki (that’s what Reiki masters usually do), not touching her paw but working above it. In the first moment she wanted to back off but then decided to let me go on and enjoy the “nice warm feeling”. After that she fell asleep.

When she woke up she was still walking on three legs, but looked a bit more comfortable. I gave her a second round of Reiki, after which she fell asleep again. Shortly before we went to bed she got up and even managed the three steps of the front stop into the garden for her last small business, limped back inside, made herself comfortable on her sleeping place and allowed me to give her a third treatment. Although I slept with one eye and ear open she seemed to be relaxed and fast asleep throughout the night. When Ted and I woke up the next morning she jumped onto the bed, smiling from one ear to the other, handing out kisses to both of us, declaring herself fine once more. For the first few hours she was still limping a bit, but walking on all four, and a while later we watched her playing chasing games with Kajack and Ascar as though nothing ever had happened the day before. Apparently she got stuck with the two middle claws in one of the gaps between the pavement bricks and overstretched the two “fingers”, maybe even pulling them out of their sockets for a moment and pinching a nerve when they slipped back in.

Although I love to see my garden neat and tidy I have to admit that I will much rather live with “green seams” between the pavement bricks than see one of our pack getting hurt. And although I’m sure it was just a freak accident that might never happen again, I have instructed our gardeners not to clean there again but leave it to me to come up with a better (and safer) plan.

Will be continued…