Volume 13, Issue 162, April 2018

SAFHOWL

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

Volume 13, Issue 162, April 2018

From the Editor’s Desk

Here comes another big fat newsletter. Wolf news from around the world make up the bulk, but for a change, there are some positive news from the US. It doesn’t mean, of course, that this section would be free of crass bad and even outright perverse news. The Horror Clown plays a key role here as well. As always, I can only recommend you read through it for yourself to know what’s going on on this poor planet.

We also have a write-up on the wolves in Oregon, and a short story worth reading. Erin updates us on her pack, this time illustrating a musical facet.

And lastly a short reminder that there is also news regarding my own book, A Houseful Headful of Wolves (German edition: Das Haus Den Kopf voller Wölfe), in that there are now links on SAFOW’s Facebook page and on the SAFOW website  for submitting book reviews: http://safow.org/book-review/. Here you can post a short review in English or German without even having to register. We are looking forward to receiving your reviews because we really want to know your thoughts on this book.

Till next month,
Ed.

Upcoming Events

International Wolf Center (info@wolf.ccsend.com); on behalf of International Wolf Center (info@wolf.org)

Register Now for the 2018 International Wolf Symposium 2018:

Wolves in a Changing World

October 11-14, 2018

Calling all Wolf Biologists, Enthusiasts, Educators and Wildlife Conservationists. Registration is now open for the sixth International Wolf Symposium.

Register now

Location & Lodging:

Minneapolis Marriott Northwest
7025 Northland DR N, Minneapolis, MN 55428
Lodging is available at a reduced rate of $119 + taxes per night. All-suite hotel.

Symposium Fees:

  • Early registration – $399.00* (– May 31, 2018)
  • Regular registration – $474.00 (June 1, 2018 – August 31, 2018)
  • Late registration – $500.00* (Any time after September 1, 2018)
  • Student registration – $299.00 (High school or college. Member discount does not apply.)

*International Wolf Center members will receive a $50.00 discount. Not a member? Join today!

Registration includes 3 breakfasts, 2 lunches, a reception, all daily break refreshments and materials.

Optional Events:

  • Welcome Rendezvous Reception with cash bar, Thursday 7:00 – 9:00 p.m., October 11, 2018
  • Wolves and Wilderness Bus Tour, Thursday, October 11, 2018 – $99 (Bus tour will not be back in time for the reception.)
  • The Last Great Wolf Restoration Banquet, Saturday evening, October 13, 2018 – $50

*If your employer will not cover these expenses or you are bringing a significant other, click here to register for the additional events separately.

Program:

Keynote speakers and Plenary sessions will be presented by international wolf experts in their particular fields of study.

Concurrent sessions, given throughout the day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, will focus on a variety of topics under the following categories:

  • Distribution of Wolves Around the World
  • Wolf Ecology
  • Wolf/Human Interactions
  • Wolf Management and Policies
  • Wildlands and Ecosystems
  • Wolf Conservation and Education
  • Emerging Research and Technologies
  • Other

Poster Session: Posters will be on display Friday through noon Sunday, with a Q&A session Saturday at noon.

Exhibitors will have displays throughout the symposium.

Networking opportunities will be plentiful.

Be sure to watch your email and wolf.org for updates! You can help us spread the word by sharing this email.

Learn more here.

  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.

 Upcoming Webinars 

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

Wolf Conservation Center (contact=nywolf.org@mail63.sea91.rsgsv.net)

1. Wolf Camp for Kids!

It may be cold outside, but it’s time to start thinking about summer camp!

Give the young animal lover in your family a chance to thrive among wolves all week long!  The five-day program will include opportunities for your child to learn about nature and wildlife through woodland exploration, scavenger hunts, wilderness games, live animals, etc. Children will learn about various habitats, animal communication and behaviour, food chains, and local wildlife.

Programs will run with a minimum of 4 children and a maximum of 12.  All children who complete the program will get a special “Junior Wolf Biologist” certificate. Pre-registration is required.
SUMMER SESSIONS
Time: 
9AM – 3PM
Fee: $350 per child for the week-long program (Monday – Friday)

Spring Break Camp 
SPRING SESSION: APRIL 3 – 6
For children entering grades 3 – 5  ​
Time: 9AM – 3PM
Fee: $300 per child for the 4-day program (Tuesday – Friday)
Information & registration HERE.

2. Sleeping with Wolves – Our Wild Campout Adventure

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 30 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.

Summer Internships for College Students

The Wolf Conservation Center is pleased to offer summer environmental education internship opportunities for college students! The environmental education internship is designed to expose interns to the field of conservation education and wildlife biology. Interns conduct a variety of education programs and assist with the daily operations of the WCC.

Information here.

 

  1. Join Us for an Adventure in Yellowstone (website)

The Wild is Calling!

Join us for an adventure sure to impart wild memories!
Join professionals from Yellowstone Insight and the Wolf Conservation Center for unique, educational, and wildlife-filled adventures in Yellowstone National Park!
Have you ever wanted to go to Yellowstone? Bask in the natural wonders of the first National Park? If so, one of these adventures is perfect!

SUMMER FAMILY ADVENTURE: August 5 – 10, 2018: Details here.

FALL WILDLIFE ADVENTURE: September 8 – 13, 2018: Details here.

News from the Wolf Front

National

From the HuskyRomi Wolf Sanctuary (newsletter February 2018; Frans Badenhorst, wolfrescuesa@gmail.com)

We are happy to report that wolf Philly has survived the Rinkhals bite, and that a log cabin has been build in the sanctuary for those who don’t like to sleep in a tent. It has two single beds, light and much more, which will be very nice in winter.

There is a new limited Destiny bumper sticker available with a picture of Seth; contact the Husky Romi Wolf Sanctuary to get one; only 100 will be printed.

Check out the HuskyRomi Wolf Sanctuary’s Facebook page for more information here.

International

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

  1. USA: Lobos celebrate 20 years back in the wild

In 1998, I was in Alpine, Arizona as we released 11 Mexican gray wolves, or lobos, into the wild for the first time since they had been wiped out in the mid-1970s. Tomorrow marks 20 years since that fateful day – a day filled with so much hope for lobos.

It’s a day I am happy I can share just a little bit with you now – through this short video.

As I reflect on the unforgettable memories of that day, and look at where we are now, I see that despite our high hopes as we began this journey, this incredible wolf species continues to face an uncertain future.

It’s clear that lobos still need our help – and our commitment – to fully recover in the wild.

That’s why I wanted to share this short video about the lobo with you, so that you might be as inspired to protect these animals as I am: Take action.

Today just 114 wolves are found in the Southwest United States. Their future depends on more wolf reintroductions, greater connectivity with populations in Mexico and habitat expansion into the Rockies and the Grand Canyon – all things their new “recovery plan” fails to deliver.

Releasing those wolves 20 years ago was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It was remarkable to see them begin their journey to reclaim the land they once roamed. I knew then – as I do now – that I will do whatever it takes to see them thrive again and I know you will too.

Help us make Mexican gray wolf recovery one of the greatest wildlife success stories of our time: Take action.

 

  1. USA: 20 years in: Are lobos losing the fight?

It was supposed to be a Cinderella story, but 20 years after their reintroduction into the wild, the recovery of Mexican gray wolves is far from its fairytale ending.

Mexican gray wolves are down, but not out. Help us give them the ending they deserve: Take action.

In 1998, I found myself in Alpine, Arizona opening the crates that would give Mexican gray wolves – or lobos – a new lease on life. It was remarkable to play a role in bringing lobos back to the American landscape. But I knew even in that moment of pure joy, they faced a tough road ahead.

Today their population continues to struggle to find a foothold. Political ill-will and illegal killings – the number one threat to lobos – still plague the species’ recovery. Just last month, two lobos were found dead in Arizona – a male and a female.

Lobos are on a collision course with disaster. We need your urgent support to give lobos the future they were promised: Help save Lobos.

This could be the defining moment for the future of Mexican gray wolves.

With their numbers in the wild hovering just above 100, lobos remain one of the most endangered mammals in North America.

In order for lobos to have a fighting chance, more wolves need to be introduced into the wild, they need greater connectivity with populations in Mexico and opportunities to expand their habitat into the Rockies and the Grand Canyon. Tragically, their new fatally-flawed “recovery plan” fails to address these needs – and the proposed construction of a border wall would only make their situation more dire.

Help us turn the tide for lobos facing potential disaster: Take action.

Defenders is suing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over their “Mexican gray wolf recovery plan” that would tip the scales toward ruin.

We won’t give up on the promise made 20 years ago when lobos were restored to the wild. Defenders is fighting for lobos – just as we always have – but the challenges are mounting and we need more help than ever before.

Will you answer the call for lobos caught in the crosshairs? Take action.

Their recovery is achievable and I know it will happen, but we are going to have to continue to fight hard for these amazing animals.

  1. USA: A major victory for wolves!

Yesterday a federal judge decided in our favor and forcefully rejected the catastrophic Mexican gray wolf management rules written by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

This is a major victory for lobos – and we couldn’t have done it without the help of supporters like you!

The judge squarely decided that the management rules unlawfully imposed roadblocks to the recovery of Mexican gray wolves (or lobos), arbitrarily imposed population caps, blocked lobos from accessing habitat necessary for their recovery and made it easier to kill them in the wild.

This decision is an important next step for lobos’ continued recovery. And we have you to thank for it – because without your support we couldn’t have made it this far. But the fight isn’t over.

Help Defenders continue our work to restore lobos and other imperiled species here.

From Change.org (Brigitte Sommer (www.wolfsschutz-deutschland.de) via Change.org (change@mail.change.org, translated here from German)

Wolfsschutz Deutschland on Facebook.

1. Germany: Wolf cubs in Thuringia shot by order of the government. Please help!

Once again German politic has dissociated itself from law and order and taken guidance from the interests of lobbyists. In Thuringia, three of the six hybrid pups were shot, although they should actually have been captured and moved to the Alternativer Bärenpark (“Alternative Bear Park”). We could have lived with this solution, even if this decision was marked by hysteria rather than reasonable management of wild animals.

These six hybrid cups were said to be a threat to the “pure breeding” of Germany’s wolves – and this in our country? A “threat” to “pure breeding” is, from an arithmetically point of view alone, almost impossible. The reproduction rate of our wolves is still below 30%, which means in other words that most of the pups do not even reach their second year of age.

According to the media, this whole exercise has cost the tax payer about Euro 100,000, and furthermore they stated:
“The animals were captured by a contracted trapper, who had placed baits on the army training grounds Ohrdruf to lure the animals into snares. They were then shot by hunters whose identities are kept secret by the ministry.”

This passage was later removed from the online report, but if this statement is true, and there are indications that they, it would be a genuine scandal. Why shoot the pups dead if they already had a place in the bear park?

We from Wolfsschutz Deutschland (Wolf Protection Germany) have laid charges against minister Siegesmund and the unidentified shooters, because hybrid pups are as strictly protected by law as are “true” wolves.
You can read more here.

Every citizen can lay charges at no costs against the minister and the shooters here.

You can also find updated information in our Facebook group here.

 

  1. The surviving wolf cubs are to be shot, too. Here is how you can help!

Three of the wolf hybrid pups were shot last week, now the surviving three are to follow. The Thuringian minister for Environmental Affairs, Siegesmund, sees herself in the right and states that they have permission from the DBB-Wolf (www.dbb-wolf.de), but we have laid charges against her. The DBB-Wolf is made up of the Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, the federal agency for Nature Conservation Senckenberg and Leibnitz institution, as well as the LUPUS institution, which is financed by the Saxon Ministry for Agriculture, the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation, the Federal Forest Administration, and IFAW. One could therefore be so naughty as to claim that they have given permission for the shooting to themselves. The fact of the matter is that not one single independent institution in Germany is responsible for wolves.

There have always been hybrids, a fact that is also stated in a brand-new publication by the Senckenberg Institute. Even whales ignore “racist laws”, as you can read here.
Instead of shooting the black Thuringian wolf pups, Thuringian politics should rather ensure that dog owners won’t let their dogs roam free in Ohrdruf without being heavily fined.

Unfortunately laying charges against the minister will not protect the remaining three pups from being shot; for that an emergency appeal or restraining order were necessary. But such a court order can only be obtained by recognized environmental associations, which have the right to sue. This is a very complicated right, and the associations that would like to lay charges are not allowed to do so, and the ones that are allowed don’t want to do it. We would therefore like to support a small environmental association to save the hybrid pups. The media have published an article about that, but the reason why it is so difficult to find a cooperative partner has not been mentioned: details here.

NABU Thuringia have told us that they preferred if we did not mention that the Thuringia NABU-collaborator did not support the “killing” of the pups but the “removal” – how cynical is that: so far all “removed” wolves ended up dead.

We appeal to the common sense and the compassion of minister Siegesmund. Please, let the remaining hybrid pups live.
Please send your appeals via mail to: info@anja-siegesmund.de

From Change.org (Heather L. via Change.org (change@mail.change.org)

USA: Appropriations Bill Passed Without Anti-Lobo Rider!

Victory! The anti-lobo rider was not included within the Omnibus Appropriations Bill when it was passed by Congress! Thank you to everyone who fought against the anti-lobo rider – this victory would not have been possible without your help!
While we celebrate this victory, we should keep in mind that Congress may try to delist Mexican Gray Wolves again in the future, so we must keep an eye on them and ensure that they do not get away with this!

From Leda Huta, Endangered Species Coalition (action@endangered.org)

  1. USA: Great Lakes wolves to remain protected!

I have an update–and my sincere thanks–for you today. We have learned in the last hour that policy riders that would have delisted Great Lakes wolves have been eliminated from the final version of the omnibus spending bill! This is fantastic news and means that wolves in Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin will not face hunting and trapping seasons in the near future!

This is an enormous win for both Grey wolves and for the Endangered Species Act. Had the War on Wolves Act rider advanced, it would have paved the way for even more politically-based listing decisions. We have heard from allies in Congress that senators and representatives received thousands of emails, phone calls, and tweets asking them to keep these wolves protected. The bill is not perfect. It contains concerning language about greater sage grouse and the border wall, but have no doubt – this is a huge, huge win. This victory for wolves would not have been possible without you. Thank you for standing up for wolves and for being an active member of the conservation community.

  1. PETITION: Tell the Trump Administration to save lobos

This LoboWeek  marks the 20th anniversary of the release of 11 captive-reared Mexican gray wolves (or lobos) into the wilds of Arizona and New Mexico. Hunting, trapping, and poisoning caused the extinction of lobos in the wild three decades before this effort to bring them back.

Add your name to tell the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) to release more lobos here.

In the twenty years that followed that release, lobos have slowly come back to the Southwest but progress has been limited by the politics of state agencies and anti-wolf special interests. Today, the wild population stands at 114 wolves. In 2017, 12 wolves died in unexplained circumstances and another was killed by the USFWS.

If lobos are ever to come back, the USFWS and states of the Southwest need to commit to their recovery. Additional locations must be established for lobos to be released into.

Sign the LoboWeek petition asking the USFWS to release more lobos into the wild  here.

We know that the public supports these wolves. Our analysis demonstrated that 99 percent of people submitting public comments support lobo recovery efforts. In spite of that, the recently-released recovery plan from the Trump Administration does the bare minimum under the law. Please join us in asking the USFWS to focus on bringing lobos back by releasing more lobos  here.

Thank you for your commitment to wildlife and wild places.

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

  • USA: One Year Ago the US-Senate Voted to Kill Wolf Pups and Hibernating Bears. The Law is still in effect
  • One year ago today, the US-Senate passed S.J. RES. 18 by a vote of 51 to 47 to allow the Killing of Denning Wolves and their Pups, Hibernating Bears, and other Predators on National Refuges Land in Alaska. Trump signed it into law without hesitation.
    THIS LAW IS STILL IN EFFECT!
    All 51 Republicans and one Independent voted in favor, all 47 Nays were Democrats and 1 Independent.
    Vote them out of office coming November.
  • Read the full article here.

 

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

  1. USA: Victory – Great Lakes Wolves to Remain Protected

Policy riders that would have eliminated Endangered Species Act protections for Grey wolves in 4 states were dropped from the final version of the omnibus spending bill (see details here)!

A Victory for Wolves and the Endangered Species Act!

You did it! Congress heard your howls!

Every voice raised in support of wildlife and wild places can make a difference. And when we all work together, we can make big things happen! None of this would have been possible without your calls, emails and the leaders in Congress who stand for wolves!

  1. USA: It’s LoboWeek – Celebrating 20 years of Mexican Gray Wolves in the Wild. Celebrating a Wild Milestone

On March 29, 1998, 11 captive-reared Mexican gray wolves were released to the wild for the first time in Arizona and New Mexico. Missing from the landscape for more than 30 years, the howl of the rarest and most unique subspecies of gray wolf was once again greeted by the mountains of the south-west.
March 2018 marks the 20th anniversary of this historic event, a significant milestone for the lobo and wildlife conservation!

In recognition of the anniversary, the Wolf Conservation Center is among a growing group of partners participating #LoboWeek, an international movement to educate people about the Mexican wolf, or “lobo,” and our efforts to successfully restore this critically endangered predator to its ancestral home in the wild.

All week long, the WCC was celebrating on social media with interesting lobo facts, ways to take action, special events, “Lobo Loot” giveaways and more!

  1. USA: Hope For Mexican Gray Wolves

The last hope for Mexican gray wolves lies in the hands of conservationists.
The Mexican gray wolf (Canis lupus baileyi) or “Lobo” is the most genetically distinct lineage of wolves in the Western Hemisphere, and one of the most endangered mammals in North America.
The critically endangered predator almost vanished from the face of the earth in the mid-20th century because of human persecution. The entire population of Mexican wolves alive today descends from just seven individuals that were captured and placed into a captive breeding program before the species was exterminated from the wild.
Twenty years ago, 11 captive-reared lobos were released to the wild for the first time in Arizona and New Mexico. Missing from the landscape for more than 30 years, the howl of the rarest and most unique subspecies of gray wolf was once again greeted by the mountains of the south-west.
As the result of a reintroduction program, today there is a single population of approximately 114 Mexican wolves existing in the wild in the United States. However, the reintroduced population suffers from high mortality due to illegal killing and compromised genetics because of its brush with extinction.
For almost two decades, the Wolf Conservation Center has played a critical role in preserving and protecting these imperiled predators through carefully managed breeding, research, and reintroduction. To date, the WCC remains one of the three largest holding facilities for Mexican gray wolves and three wolves from the Center have been released to their ancestral homes in the wild.
In 2014, Earthjustice—on behalf of the Wolf Conservation Center, Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife, retired Fish Wildlife Service Mexican Wolf Recovery Coordinator David R. Parsons,  and the Endangered Wolf Center  — filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for failing to develop a recovery plan. A settlement of that lawsuit led to the issuance of the Mexican wolf recovery plan that the same plaintiffs are now challenging. We’re asking a federal judge to order the government to develop a Mexican wolf recovery plan that legitimately responds to recovery needs for the species as the law requires.

  1. Man Armed with Semiautomatic Rifle Guns Down Family of 10 Wolves

Denali Wolves Need Your Voice

Although it’s illegal to hunt and trap wolves within Denali National Park, wolves are vulnerable as soon as they cross the park’s invisible boundary. A man armed with a semiautomatic rifle recently gunned down a family of 10 wolves near the park’s border.

It’s too late for these 10 wolves, but we can’t give up on protecting the others who call Denali National Park home. Please take action today.

Take Action here.

Wolves in Alaska are not protected under state or federal law. Thus, despite the fact that hunting and trapping are illegal within Denali National Park itself, wandering wolves are vulnerable when they slip beyond the park’s border.

On March 30, 2018, Alaska officials issued an emergency order closing the wolf hunting and trapping season on state land adjacent to the eastern boundary of Denali over concerns that excessive kills may destabilize this iconic wolf population.

A few days later photos surfaced showing a man armed with a semiautomatic rifle displaying ten wolf carcasses outside Denali.

For several years now, there has been a notable decline in the number of wolf sightings in Denali and research indicates that wolf mortality rates in the park have recently spiked to worrying levels, with the lowest estimated wolf density recorded since monitoring began in 1986.

Meanwhile, the percentage of sightseers who have spotted a wolf has dropped from 45% to just 5%.

It’s time for the state to make changes.

Please join us and demand Alaska to restore a no hunting/trapping buffer adjacent to Denali National Park!

Take action here.

From California Wolfcenter (californiawolfcenter@yahoogroups.com)

Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project

Monthly Update – March 1-31, 2018

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 . For information on the FAIR call (928) 338-4385 ext. 226 or visit www.wmatoutdoors.org.

Past updates may be viewed on these websites. Interested parties may sign upto receive this update electronically by visiting www.azgfd.com 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 (AZGFD), 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 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: the Alpine wolf office at (928) 339-4329, Pinetop wolf office at (928) 532-2391 or toll free at (888) 459-9653. For sightings or suspected depredations on the FAIR, please call the FAIR wolf office in Whiteriver at (928) 388-4385 ext. 226. 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

On March 24, 2018 Sherry Barrett retired from the position of Mexican Wolf Recovery Coordinator for the USFWS. The IFT thanks Sherry for her leadership and dedication to Mexican wolf recovery efforts during her 7 years as coordinator. The Mexican Wolf Recovery Coordinator position will be filled by temporary acting assignments until a new coordinator is hired.

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) are used to indicate wolves younger than 24 months. A lowercase “p” preceding the number is used to indicate a wolf pup born in the most recent spring. 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

The IFT completed the annual year-end population survey which started November 1, 2017 and concluded with helicopter count and capture operations conducted from January 24, 2018 through February 3, 2018. The year-end minimum population count for 2017 was 114 wolves in the wild in Arizona and New Mexico. 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. At the end of March, there were 75 wolves with functioning radio collars that the IFT was actively monitoring.

IN ARIZONA:

Bear Wallow Pack (collared AM1338, AF1335, m1676, and fp1683)

In March, the Bear Wallow Pack was located within their traditional territory on the east central portion of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest (ASNF), and occasionally documented on the SCAR. Female pup 1683 made dispersal movements north of Bear Wallow’s traditional territory, but rejoined the pack by the end of the month.

Bluestem Pack (collared f1686)

In March, the IFT documented Bluestem in the pack’s traditional territory in the central portion of the ASNF. Yearling female 1686 was captured, collared, and released on site.

Elk Horn Pack (collared AF1294, fp1668, and mp1671)

In March, the Elk Horn Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north-eastern portion of the ASNF. The IFT maintained a diversionary food cache on the ASNF for this pack to reduce potential for wolf-livestock conflict.

Frieborn Pack (collared F1443 and m1447)

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

Hoodoo Pack (collared AM1290, AF1333, f1550, mp1666, mp1677, and mp1681)

In March, the Hoodoo Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north-eastern portion of the ASNF. The IFT hazed the Hoodoo Pack several times this month in the Nutrioso area to deter them from frequenting areas with residences. Sub-adult f1550 was documented travelling apart from the Hoodoo Pack with m1571 in the month of March.

Maverick Pack (collared AF1291)

In March, 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 March, the Panther Creek Pack was located in their traditional territory in the east central portion of the ASNF. The members of the pack have been travelling separately. Sub-adult m1574 has been occasionally documented travelling on the SCAR.

Pine Spring Pack (collared F1562 and AM1394)

In March, the Pine Spring Pack was located within their territory in the north central portion of the ASNF. The IFT continued to maintain a diversionary food cache on the ASNF for this pair to reduce potential for wolf-livestock conflict.

Prime Canyon Pack (collared F1488 and m1471)

In March, the Prime Canyon Pack continued to travell within a territory in the east central portion of the ASNF.

Saffel Pack (collared AM1441, AF1567, mp1661, and mp1680)

In March, the Saffel Pack was located in their traditional territory in the north-eastern portion of the ASNF.

Single collared m1477

In March, m1477 was documented in the east central portion of the ASNF.

Single collared F1489

In March, F1489 was documented travelling in the east central portion of the ASNF.

Single collared m1571

In March, m1571 was documented in the north central portion of the ASNF. Sub-adult m1571 has been documented travelling with Hoodoo f1550 during the month of March.

Single collared m1673

In March, m1673 made wide dispersal movements into New Mexico and has been documented travelling in the south central portion of the ASNF.

ON THE FAIR:

Baldy Pack (collared AM1347 and mp1672)

In March, the Baldy Pack was documented travelling in the eastern portion of the FAIR and the north-eastern portion of the ASNF.

Tsay-O-Ah Pack (collared AM1343, AF1283, and fp1674)

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

Single collared wolf m1559

In March, m1559 was documented travelling in the eastern portion of the FAIR with f1679, and occasionally using the SCAR.

Single collared wolf f1560

In March, f1560 was documented travelling with the Baldy Pack in the eastern portion of the FAIR and north-eastern portion of the ASNF.

Single collared f1679

In March, f1679 was documented travelling with m1559 in the eastern portion of the FAIR, and occasionally using the SCAR.

IN NEW MEXICO:

Copper Creek Pack (collared AM1386)

During March, the Copper Creek Pack was documented travelling in the western portion of the Gila National Forest (GNF), within the pack’s traditional territory. In March, AM1386 was located dead in New Mexico. The incident is under investigation.

Dark Canyon Pack (collared AF1456 and AM1354)

During March, the Dark Canyon Pack was documented travelling together within their traditional territory, in the west central portion of the GNF.

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

During March, the Iron Creek Pack continued to utilize their territory in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness and the southern portion of the GNF.

Lava Pack (collared AF1405 and AM1285)

During March, the Lava Pack was located within their traditional territory in the south-eastern portion of the GNF.

Leopold Pack (collared AM1293, AF1346, and m1561)

During March, the IFT documented the Leopold Pack within their territory in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness. Male 1561 continued to make dispersal movements within the GNF.

Luna Pack (collared AM1158, AF1487, and fp1684)

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

Mangas Pack (collared AM1296, AF1439, and fp1664)

During March, the Mangas Pack was located within their territory in the north-western portion of the GNF. The IFT initiated and maintained a diversionary food cache for the Mangas Pack to reduce potential for livestock conflict. The IFT documented three uncollared wolves with the Mangas Pack

Prieto Pack (collared AF1251, AM1398, f1565, mp1669, and mp1678)

During March, the Prieto Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF.

San Mateo Pack (collared AF1399 and fp1578)

During March, the San Mateo Pack continued to utilize their territory in the north central portion of the GNF.

Sheepherders Baseball Park (SBP) Pack (collared AM1284, AF1553, mp1667, and fp1682)

During March, the SBP Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF.

Single collared AM1038

During March, AM1038 of the old Hawks Nest Pack continued to travel with f1473 in north central portions of the GNF.

Single collared AM1155

During March, AM1155 of the old Morgart’s Pack was not located by the IFT.

Single collared M1453

In March, M1453 was documented travelling within the western portion of Cibola National Forest (CNF) with f1685.

Single collared f1473

During March, f1473 was documented travelling in north central portions of the GNF with AM1038.

Single collared m1486

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

Single collared m1569

During March, m1569 travelled widely in New Mexico and was located dead. The incident is under investigation.

Single collared f1685

During March, f1685 was documented travelling with M1453 in the western portion of the CNF.

MORTALITIES

In March, M1386 was located dead in New Mexico. The incident is under investigation.

In March, m1569 was located dead in New Mexico. The incident is under investigation.

From January 1 to March 31, 2018 there have been a total of four documented wolf mortalities.

INCIDENTS

During the month of March, there were 11 confirmed wolf depredation incidents on livestock. There were five nuisance incidents investigated in March, three of which were confirmed as wolf by the IFT. From January 1 to March 31, 2018 there have been a total of 22 confirmed wolf depredation incidents in New Mexico and 4 confirmed wolf depredation incidents in Arizona.

On March 4, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Sierra County, NM. The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf kill.

On March 4, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Socorro County, NM. The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf kill.

On March 6, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Greenlee County, AZ. The investigation determined the cow was a confirmed wolf kill.

On March 6, WMAT investigated an injured calf on the FAIR. The investigation determined .the probable cause of injury to be wolf.

On March 8, Wildlife Services investigated two dead cows on the SCAR. The investigations determined both cows were confirmed wolf kills.

On March 8, the IFT investigated reports of three wolves feeding on a dead elk in the Chapache housing area in Alpine. The IFT responded and located two recently killed elk in an open field near several houses. The wolves had left by the time the IFT arrived. The IFT learned that the wolves were scared away when a homeowner walked out of their house. The remains of the elk carcass were removed from the area to eliminate the attractant of wolves returning to the area. Other homeowners in the area were contacted by the IFT and advised of their legal rights under provisions in the Federal Final 2015 10(j) rule to protect domestic dogs and livestock from wolves. Private land owners or their designee can shoot wolves that are in the act of biting, killing, or wounding domestic animals (livestock or non-feral dogs) on non-federal land (private, tribal, or state land). Any form of harassment or shooting of Mexican wolves 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 March 9, WMAT investigated a dead heifer on the FAIR. The investigation determined the cow died of unknown causes.

On March 11, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Catron County, NM. The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf kill.

On March 12, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Greenlee County, AZ. The investigation determined the calf was killed by coyotes.

On March 12, the IFT took a report of a dead elk in Nutrioso near Hulsey Creek. The IFT investigated the carcass and did not have any evidence to confirm that the elk had been killed by wolves. There were no GPS points from wolves in the area during the time when the elk would have died. The carcass was removed from the area.

On March 13, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Catron County, NM. The investigation determined the cow was a confirmed wolf kill.

On March 14, the IFT took a nuisance report of wolves coming into a camp north of Alpine. The reporting party indicated they had heard howling close to their camp and thought animals may have come into their camp at night while sleeping. The IFT confirmed from GPS points that the Elk Horn Pack was in the area that night, but did not have evidence to corroborate that wolves had come into the camp.

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

On March 17, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Catron County, NM. The investigation determined the cow was a confirmed wolf kill.

On March 17, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Catron County, NM. The investigation determined the cow was a probable wolf kill.

On March 18, Wildlife Services investigated a dead bull in Catron County, NM. The investigation determined the cow died from unknown causes.

On March 20, the IFT received a report that wolves had killed an elk in Dry Valley in Nutrioso. The IFT responded to the area and confirmed the Hoodoo Pack had killed an elk in the area approximately 100 yards from the nearest residence. While in the area, several people were contacted who reported seeing wolves on the elk carcass and travelling back into the forest that morning. The remnants of the elk carcass were removed to eliminate further attractant of wolves to the area. Because this was the second confirmed elk kill this month by the Hoodoo pack in proximity to houses, the IFT initiated multiple and sustained hazing efforts on members of the Hoodoo pack in effort to increase their aversion to areas with human presence. Several residents in the area were also issued less than lethal rounds to use to haze any wolves that return to the area of Dry Valley.

On March 21, Wildlife Services investigated a dead bull in Catron County, NM. The investigation determined the cow was a confirmed wolf kill.

On March 23, WMAT investigated a dead cow on the FAIR. The investigation determined the cow died of unknown causes.

On March 23, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Apache County, AZ. The investigation determined the cow died of unknown causes.

On March 27, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Catron County, NM. The investigation determined the cow was a confirmed wolf kill.

On March 30, Wildlife Services investigated an injured domestic dog in Greenlee County, AZ. The investigation confirmed the dog’s injuries were caused by wolves several days prior. The IFT responded to the area on the following day and initiated monitoring efforts in the area that remain ongoing at the time of this writing. The IFT confirmed there were no wolves with functional radio collars and no known wolf packs in the area at the time of the incident.

On March 30, Wildlife Services investigated an injured calf in Greenlee County, AZ. The investigation confirmed the calf’s injuries were caused by wolves.

COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATION

On March 15, WMAT presented at an Integrated Natural Resources Group meeting in Whiteriver, AZ.

On March 22, WMAT presented to BIA Fort Apache Fire Management personnel in Whiteriver, AZ.

PROJECT PERSONNEL

There are no project personnel updates for March.

REWARDS OFFERED

The USFWS is offering a reward of up to $10,000; the AGFD Operation Game Thief is offering a reward of up to $1,000; and the NMDGF is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the conviction of the individual(s) responsible for the shooting deaths of Mexican wolves. A variety of non-governmental organizations and private individuals have pledged an additional $46,000 for a total reward amount of up to $58,000, depending on the information provided.

Individuals with information they believe may be helpful are urged to call one of the following agencies: USFWS special agents in Mesa, Arizona, at (480) 967-7900, in Alpine, Arizona, at (928) 339-4232, or in Albuquerque, New Mexico, at (505) 346-7828; the WMAT at (928) 338-1023 or (928) 338-4385; AGFD Operation Game Thief at (800) 352-0700; or NMDGF Operation Game Thief at (800) 432-4263. Killing a Mexican wolf is a violation of the Federal Endangered Species Act and can result in criminal penalties of up to $50,000, and/or not more than one year in jail, and/or a civil penalty of up to $25,000.

Other News

National

Nothing to report.

Next Door

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

Kenya: The last male Northern White Rhino has died

Sudan was a captive male northern white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum cottoni) who lived from 1975 to 2009 in the Dvůr Králové Zoo in Czechia from where he was moved to the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Laikipia, Kenya.

At the time of his death, he was one of the last three living northern white rhinos worldwide and the last known male of his kind. On the 19th March 2018 he was euthanized after suffering from “age-related complications”.

Sudan was two years old when he and another five northern white rhinos were captured in Shambe, in Sudan, by animal trappers. The captured group comprised two males (Sudan and Saut) and four females (Nola, Nuri, Nadi and Nesari).

At that time the number of northern white rhinos was already considered to be only around 700 animals in the wild. For many environmentalists, leaving the animals in nature was the only acceptable way of preserving the already rare subspecies, and the Dvůr Králové Zoo and their Chipperfield partners were heavily criticized for the capture. The zoo was specializing in African fauna and already displayed one of the largest collections out of Africa.

In 1975 Sudan and his group were shipped to the Dvůr Králové Zoo, which was the only zoo in the world where northern white rhinos were successfully bred. Their last calf was born in 2000.

Two years later Nasima joint the group. Nasima originated from Uganda and had lived in the Knowsley Safari Park near Prescot.

At the beginning of 1990 the northern white rhinos in Uganda and Sudan were wiped out; the only 13 still alive were living in the Garamba National Park in Zaire (now Democratic Republic of the Congo).

In 1986 the Conservation Breeding Specialist Group of the IUCN met in the Dvůr Králové Zoo to discuss ways to preserve last northern white rhinos; they decided to import Ben (an older male from London) to return Saut (a calf from the original 1975 group) from the San Diego Zoo to the Dvůr Králové Zoo. Attempts to add several southern rhinos to the group resulted in only mixed success. Several surgeries were performed on the females and their eggs to preserve genetic material, including Sudan’s semen.

Sudan fathered three calves and became the grandfather of one. The Dvůr Králové rhinos were getting older and after 2000 no more calves were being born around the world.

In June 2008 specialists again met in the Dvůr Králové Zoo to decide further steps to save the subspecies. In cooperation with the IUCN African Rhino Specialist Group (AfRSG), the World Zoo and Aquarium Association WAZA, the Berlin institute IZW as well as experts from the Vienna Veterinary institute and the European Zoo and Aquarium Association it was recommended to move Sudan and his group from Czechia to Africa. Substantial debate succeeded and strong objections were raised against this proposal, especially given the fact that expert and scientific organizations were available in Europe and insemination efforts could have continued in Czechia.

In December 2009 the rhinos, together with three other northern white rhinos, were moved to the Ol Pejeta Conservancy for a breeding program named “Last Chance To Survive”. It was hoped that Ol Pejeta would provide a more natural habitat and better hormonal balance for the animals to induce breeding, but all breeding attempts with Sudan at Ol Pejeta Conservancy were unsuccessful.

After Suni, one of the other three rhinos in the group, died in 2014 Sudan spend the final years of his life together with his daughter Najin and granddaughter Fatu.

At the end of 2017, Sudan suffered from an infection in his right hind leg, and although his condition improved over the following months, the infection returned and caused a serious deterioration of his condition in March 2018. Despite intensive care Sudan had to be euthanized on 19th March 2018.

In the weeks before Sudan’s death, Richard Vigne, CEO of the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, stated that “Sudan has been technically infertile for many years, so him dying is not going to affect the possibilities of recovery for the northern white rhino as a species.”

  1. US-Trophy Hunters Killed Rare Black Rhinos for $350.000 and $200.000 Respectively

Texas-based SAFARI CLUB INTERNATIONAL sells these hunts to its members as rare opportunities to kill something endangered before it’s gone. They are the organization behind these demented hunters.
Corey Knowlton from Texas paid $350.000,- and Michael Luzich of Las Vegas, NV paid $200.000,- for killing one of the most endangered animals in the world.

Read the full story here.

International

Nothing to report.

Wolves and Wolfdogs

Wolves in Oregon, USA

(a summary of three articles by Zach Urness)

State wildlife officials issued a permit that allows the killing of two wolves from an Eastern Oregon pack blamed for attacking livestock.

The Pine Creek Pack attacked and killed two calves and injured four more in early April, according to state reports.

The livestock producer involved requested the state take action against the pack, because he would like to see the whole pack annihilated. His argument is that if a pack is killing livestock, you’ve got to kill every one of them that has been involved in that.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife stopped short of that request but did authorize the livestock producer to kill two wolves from the eight-member pack. ODFW officials also are authorized to kill the two wolves.

Under the terms of such a permit, the producer can kill up to two wolves on the private property he leases where the depredations occurred when his livestock is present on the property. This permit expires on May 4.

Pine Creek is a new pack of eight wolves — a breeding male and female, five yearlings and one other adult wolf. According to the ODFW the breeding female appears to be pregnant, and the permit does not stipulate which two wolves can be taken out.

Sean Stevens, executive director of the environmental group Oregon Wild, said that wolves should not be killed, especially not a pregnant female. Oregon is in the middle of a poaching epidemic and using a wolf management plan that expired three years ago.

Under state law, livestock producers are required to take non-lethal measures to deter wolf attacks. But if that doesn’t work, lethal action can be taken following “two depredations by wolves on livestock.”

ODFW officials said that the livestock producer had taken non-lethal measures to prevent attacks, including using range riders, hazing and delaying turning his cattle out, but it was apparently to no avail.

The two attacks took place on April 6 and 7 in the Fourmile Creek area of Baker County. ODFW officials inspected both incidents and confirmed both attacks came from wolves in the Pine Creek Pack.

Seven wolves of the Pine Creek Pack were observed in the same pasture as the calves, and the locations and size of the pre-mortem bite wounds are indicative of wolf attack. These, combined with the presence of wolves, were adequate to confirm this incident as a depredation of five calves by wolves of the Pine Creek Pack.

But that’s not enough; authorities plan to kill another two wolves in Northern Oregon after more livestock were attacked.

The Oregonian reports the wolves authorities are targeting are in the same pack as the two that were killed last week.

The pack of wolves in Wallowa County has become a problem for livestock in the area. State biologists estimated in December that the pack consists of about 10 wolves, and state officials previously said they’ve documented wolf attacks on seven cattle in the past 13 months, including three cattle kills.

Oregon removed wolves from the state’s Endangered Species list in 2015, but the animals remain on the federal list and are protected in Western Oregon. In north-east Oregon, however, the animals are managed under the state’s wolf plan.

Grey wolves only recently began returning to western Oregon, but there are increasing signs the small population of predators is no longer welcome.

Three collared wolves have been killed during the past year in south-west and south-central Oregon, prompting multiple investigations and a total of $40,000 in reward money for information on the unnatural deaths.

The most recent victim was OR-25, a 4-year-old male that was found dead Oct. 29 near Fort Klamath in Sun Pass State Forest. He joined OR-33 and OR-28, collared wolves that have also been killed in the Klamath Falls area since last October.

The deaths are significant because according to officials western Oregon is home to only about 15 to 20 wolves.

It’s a violation of the federal Endangered Species Act to kill a Grey wolf in the western two-thirds of Oregon, punishable by a $50,000 fine and a year in jail.

John Heil, spokesman for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said that this is an unfortunate situation and they are concerned about it; they are going to work with their partners to try and find out what’s going on here.

OR-25, who originally dispersed from the Imnaha Pack in north-eastern Oregon, made headlines after roaming into California in 2016. One website even celebrated the arrival with the headline “Welcome OR-25: California’s Sexy New Lone Wolf!”

But OR-25 returned to Oregon and while likely searching for a mate roamed mostly in the area north and east of Klamath Falls. Details about how the wolf died were not released by the Fish and Wildlife service because of the “ongoing investigation.

Wolves first began arriving in Oregon, from Idaho in the late 1990s. But it wasn’t until 2011 that the animals reached the state’s west side. The first wolf to reach Oregon’s Cascade Range, OR-7, was celebrated as something of a folk hero, garnering international headlines as he roamed thousands of miles to find a mate.

OR-7 eventually put down roots in south-west Oregon and is now head of the Rogue Pack, which has an estimated 12 members, by far the largest pack in western Oregon.

But as more wolves headed west, the transition hasn’t always been as smooth.

Last summer, OR-33, who’d followed OR-7’s path west, roamed almost within Ashland city limits. From June 10th-12th, the young wolf attacked and killed two goats and one lamb at a small livestock operation north-east of the city.

Greg Roberts, a media personality in Southern Oregon at that time, said that this wolf was acting like David Lee Roth. He had eight people in Ashland say that they’ve seen him around their property. A year later, OR-33 was shot, his carcass found about 20 miles northwest of Klamath Falls in Fremont-Winema National Forest.

The story was somewhat different for OR-28, a 3-year-old female wolf who’d just had a pup with a mate near Silver Lake. While officials didn’t speculate about what was causing the incidents, it’s possible that an increased number of wolf attacks on livestock, including three blamed on OR-7’s Rogue Pack, could have eroded some public support. Conservation groups bemoaned the recent trend, saying the number of wolves killed by humans in Oregon represented a serious problem.

Last week, a hunter claimed self-defense after shooting a wolf in north-eastern Oregon. Considering the small number of wolves in Oregon, and even smaller number that have managed to disperse outside the north-east corner of the state, it should now be clear to state wildlife officials that illegal wolf killing represents an existential threat to recovering this native species, said Arran Robertson, spokesman for Oregon Wild.

Details on three wolf killings: 

OR-33 – Investigation open; a collared male was found dead April 23, 2017, about 20 miles northwest of Klamath Falls in Fremont-Winema National Forest. Cause of death was by gunshot. There is a $5,000 reward from Fish and Wildlife Service and an additional $10,000 dollars from nonprofit groups for information leading to the arrest or a criminal conviction of the person(s) responsible.

OR-28 – Investigation open; a collared female was found dead on Oct. 6, 2016, in the Fremont-Winema National Forest near Summer Lake, Oregon. Cause of death not released. There is a $5,000 reward from the USFWS and an additional $15,000 from conservation groups for information leading to the arrest or a criminal conviction of the person(s) responsible.

OR-25 – Investigation open; a collared male was found dead Oct. 29, 2017, near Fort Klamath in Sun Pass State Forest. Cause of death is not released. There is a $5,000 reward from the USFWS.

Original articles by Zach Urness, an outdoors writer, photographer and videographer in Oregon. He is the author of the book “Hiking Southern Oregon” and can be reached at zurness@StatesmanJournal.com or (503) 399-6801. Find him on Twitter at @ZachsORoutdoors.

Articles published here.

Wolf Myths and Legends, Part 149

Breaking Free

by Jennifer Tissot

At last here I was. The time had come for me to truly experience the great wild all the others had told me about.

I took in my surroundings, smelling the sweet fresh earth and watching every leaf as it quivered in the warm summer breeze.

Around my neck was the collar they, the humans, had placed around it before I’d left my comfort zone in the fenced in world that had been my home for so long.

But now I was grown. Strong and swift legged, alert and brimming with the deep forces of youth. My gray-white hairs on my back bristling with the excitement.

“Come,” Windbolt urged me. He stood beside me, green eyes eager for me to follow him.

I looked and caught the scent of the humans watching us from far off.

Then I turned with Windbolt, my brother, and we bounded forth into the deep embrace of the forests.

This was our world now and together we’d find our place in it. Living a new life of the wild. Raising a truly free family. This was the destiny of our kind. Of the wolves we were from ancient times. Born to break away free into all nature’s wonderful splendor designed just for us.

Readers’ Contribution

A Wolfdog Diary
By Erin

Ascar II has discovered his love of howling. So far, howling was something initiated by the undisputed alpha female, Taima, typically when Ted and I left for our weekly shopping trip or to meet some friends once in a while. My friend Monika from half a kilometre down the road always mocked us about that, saying that the whole neighbourhood would know when we go out. Since that is not too often the case and never on the same day or time it does not really bother me, even though she often points out that the bad boys would also know exactly when nobody is at home and they might take a chance one day. On the other hand, I know how the pack behaves if somebody comes close to the gate and I have serious doubts that somebody would be brave enough to try out whether their impressive show of aggression is just show or if they mean real business.

However, a while ago, they also started howling in the middle of the day when Ted and I were at home and I had no idea what was cooking. It first turned out that it was the postman filling our little post box at the gate. A few days later they started again seemingly out of the blue, and this time it was the guy who comes to read the electricity meters. When I went to meet with Monika for our twice-weekly walk she asked me where we were the day before. I said we had been home but that the kids howled like mad because of the guy reading the meters. Meanwhile it’s the postman, the meter man, the rubbish collectors, people wearing red pieces of clothing passing, us going out, and heaven knows what else triggers their howling, and it’s no longer Taima acting as the choir master but Ascar II. I have watched him actually pushing the other two to join in no matter what. In earlier times I had thought so often how nice it would be if I could hear them howling more often, but now I wonder when the first neighbours may start complaining. Well, at least now people do not know any longer when we are out and when not, but honestly, I fear for the peace with our neighbours.

Will be continued…