Volume 13, Issue 166, August 2018

SAFHOWL

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

Volume 13, Issue 166, August 2018

From the Editor’s Desk

Let’s have a look at what we’ve got for you this month:

More dreadful updates on the US’s plans to reshape their natural fauna according to what will generate money from the trigger-happy portion of the populace and the associated industries. And the world stands by and hardly takes notice.

500 x 50 – an excellent and highly feasible plan to ensure that the Wolf Sanctuary in Reitz can keep on running properly. You don’t understand? If 500 people donated the measly amount of Rand 50 every month, the lives of all the wolves at the sanctuary could be greatly improved. How much would that strain your monthly budget? And if everybody who joins in then brings in one friend, the target of 500 active supporters should be reached in no time. We, Erin and Ted, are participating. Are you?

Genetics can be utterly boring, but this one is really, really interesting: Read what geneticists found out about the wolves of the Pacific Northwest of North America.

We have a wolf tale, as usual, and Erin is jubilant about the first signs of spring, well, most of them anyway…

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:

  • 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 here

  1. 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)

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 centre 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

  1. Join Us for an Adventure in Yellowstone here

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!

FALL WILDLIFE ADVENTURE: September 8 – 13, 2018 here

News from the Wolf Front

National

From the HuskyRomi Wolf Sanctuary (Frans Badenhorst, wolfrescuesa@gmail.com)

Extracts from the HuskyRomi Newsletter July 2018

From the Sanctuary

I put out a plea on FB but I don’t think people understood it. I want to ask you as sponsors of HRWS to please try and assist us by spreading the word. I’m looking for five hundred people to contribute fifty Rand a month for the next while. I need to replace at least half the fencing at the sanctuary and also to put up secondary fencing between enclosures to stop any fighting. I’ve spent thousands of Rand on electric fencing, but the moment the cable touches the fence, it earths out and stops working. Some people donated more than the asked amount, which I’m very grateful for, but this needs to be an ongoing venture so that we can upgrade the whole sanctuary over a period of time. All I’m asking is to sacrifice a burger or something a month, maybe someone has a better idea.

June through July were very trying months. We suffered three horrific attacks on our wolves, two were through the fence by the packs next door and one was where a young female wanted dominance over the older female. Two of them were touch and go. Carley, a lovely wolf dog, was attacked by Frank’s pack and bitten very badly, you could see right inside her chest cavity and her shoulder muscles were crushed by the force of Frank’s jaws. Murray, our vet, didn’t think that she would make it through the night but she did. Carley walks with a bit of a limp but is outside running around with the Free Roamers, her previous pack which she left of her own choice. Thomas said that she never wants to be next door to Frank again.

Maya, an old Siberian wolf, was caught through the fence by the Afrikaner (Frankfort) Pack and had her entire rear end ripped off. This was another case of “she should have been put down”, but with lots of loving care from Kim Dijkman, Maya has come a long way. She may never be perfect again but then again who is? She walks around now, has a smile on her face and is very happy to be alive.

Snowy had her face badly bitten, we had her stitched up and we relocated her to an enclosure for the geriatrics. She has settled down but it did take a while as she longed for her old pack.

These are our three newest wolf arrivals: Akila was rescued from a man who was keeping her in a tiny 1m X 1m X 1m cage, she was three months old and riddled with worms. Her new owner just felt that she would be happier with her own kind so she is with Niska, Trigger and the puppies.

Dysan is a lovely big wolf with the most gentle nature, unwanted due to divorce. Conan also came from an abused home and was rescued by a nice couple, but he’s just becoming way too much for them to handle.

Log Cabin news

For you softer folk who don’t like camping but would like to spend a night with the wolves, we now have a log cabin with two single beds, solar powered lights and plug point to charge your laptop or whatever.

R400.00 per night, please book in advance.

Frans’s Ramblings

This morning when I was taking my animals out for their regular walk, I once again became aware of the aggressive small dog attitude that numerous small dog owners have, when a lady was proudly praising her little miniature Jack Russell that stormed out through their open gate attacking my Rottweiler while we were walking on the opposite sidewalk. Well, Titus is a 55kg brute and he nearly pulled me over as he retaliated in defense. The Jack Russell retreated under an oncoming car that fortunately saw what was happening and came to a stop. I did not even look back and just coaxed Titus in the right direction to continue our walk. Unfortunately I know that some people never learn and I know it will probably happen again and next time round the Jackie might not be so lucky.

Until next time, just stay warm and keep on howling.

Frans.

News from the Shire

Seems like things are starting to heat up again and we might be saying goodbye to winter (holding thumbs). Coldest one that we had in a while!

On that note, it is that time of year again when we need to start planning the calendars for 2019. They will be the same format as this year, A3 hanging wall calendar with 13/14 pages. Even as a NPO we unfortunately don’t get printing for free so we are looking for sponsors or donations to help. You can sponsor a page for R500. For that you will receive a calendar for free as well as your logo or message printed on the page you sponsor. There are still a few pages left so if you would like to get involved please send a message to Nolia Meyer on FB, email nolia@pentasure.ws or Whatsapp 0726221764. Plan to have the calendars ready by October.

Been a bit quiet on the event side this last couple of months with only Medieval coming up on the 1st of September but have been looking at other fundraising ideas. If you have an idea how to raise some extra money or if you want to run a fundraiser event, please contact us so we can discuss it further.

Click on the link for more info regarding Medieval. A fun day for the whole family

https://www.facebook.com/events/2064465623838295/

Thank you to everyone who supported Mandela Day and who made donations for the new fencing. We are still a long way from target but every bit helps. The My School has also grown so remember to swipe your card!

That’s all from me.

Keep on howling

Nolia

Check out the HuskyRomi Wolf Sanctuary’s Facebook page for more information here: https://web.facebook.com/huskyromi/?rdc=1&rdr . If you wish to subscribe to HuskyRomi’s monthly newsletter, mail Frans Badenhorst at wolfrescuesa@gmail.com and have yourself added to the mailing list. It’s FREE!

From South African Friends of Wolves (www.safow.org)

500 x 50 – Calling on all South African Friends of Wolves

Set up a standing order with your bank and donate Rand 50 every month to support the wolves, wolfdogs and huskies at the HuskyRomi Wolf Sanctuary

Banking details:

HuskyRomi Rescue and Wolf Sanctuary

First National Bank

Account: 62296463989

Branch: 230833

Type: Cheque Acc

Ref: Donation / Your name

…and then get one of your friends to do the same.

Remember, it’s tax-deductible, no Rand is wasted, …and it really feels good to support a worthy cause!

International

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

  1. USA: A Death Sentence for Red Wolves

The federal government seems bent on destroying what began as one of our nation’s greatest wildlife comeback stories.

As a result, red wolves are all but certain to go extinct in the wild – again.

You and I can’t let what began as such a success story end on such a heartbreaking and tragic note. This is a 100% preventable extinction.

Say ‘hell no’ to the red wolf extinction plan. Help us fight for the wildlife you love here

Last month the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed to cripple the red wolf recovery program by:

  • Reducing the recovery area in Eastern North Carolina by nearly 90% – leaving barely enough room for a single wolf pack.
  • Allowing any wolf wandering outside the cramped confines of the Refuge to be gunned down, no questions asked.

30 years ago when the red wolf recovery effort launched it was destined to become a model for recovery of wolves across the U.S. The once nearly extinct population took root and grew to 150 wolves. But ever since anti-wolf extremists mounted an anti-wolf campaign, numbers have fallen.

Fewer than 40 red wolves cling to survival in the wild – won’t you help us fight for them? http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=cEN6zAx1IK-DxCaVyx_Dag

Red wolves, native to Eastern North Carolina, are a key part of our natural heritage. In our not so distant past, these animals ranged from Florida to Pennsylvania and as far west as Texas. There are no words for how tragic it would be to see them disappear forever.

Your donation will help fuel our all-out effort to rescue the red wolf from oblivion. You’ll help fund public outreach efforts in North Carolina, build community support for wolf conservation, and help us hold Fish and Wildlife Service’s feet to the fire, including legal action if necessary.

Stop the extinction of the Red Wolf: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=2clgYPBRxa4ToAXfrbQsdQ

The story isn’t over. With your help, we’ll get the happy ending we have sought for three decades. It’s the happy ending these wolves deserve. Are you with us?

Please give generously today: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=U83JQAy0CM1yz45DSf1pqg

Thank you in advanced for your help.

  1. USA: Wolves in the crosshairs

If you’ve always wanted to gun down a wolf, then the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wants to make your day.

We cannot let the red wolf program end in tragedy and extinction.

We need to raise $29,000 in the next 48 hours to keep up the fight.

Please donate generously today here

The federal government seems bent on destroying what began as one of our nation’s greatest wildlife comeback stories.

As a result, red wolves are all but certain to go extinct in the wild – again.

You and I can’t let what began as such a success story end on such a heartbreaking and tragic note. This is a 100% preventable extinction.

Say ‘hell no’ to the red wolf extinction plan. Help us fight for the wildlife you love here

Last month the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed to cripple the red wolf recovery program by:

  • Reducing the recovery area in Eastern North Carolina by nearly 90% – leaving barely enough room for a single wolf pack.
  • Allowing any wolf wandering outside the cramped confines of the Refuge to be gunned down, no questions asked.

30 years ago when the red wolf recovery effort launched it was destined to become a model for recovery of wolves across the U.S. The once nearly extinct population took root and grew to 150 wolves. But ever since anti-wolf extremists mounted an anti-wolf campaign, numbers have fallen.

Fewer than 40 red wolves cling to survival in the wild – won’t you help us fight for them? http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=N5E9fa9xmTa25bzVjiKdnQ

Red wolves, native to Eastern North Carolina, are a key part of our natural heritage. In our not so distant past, these animals ranged from Florida to Pennsylvania and as far west as Texas. There are no words for how tragic it would be to see them disappear forever.

Your donation will help fuel our all-out effort to rescue the red wolf from oblivion. You’ll help fund public outreach efforts in North Carolina, build community support for wolf conservation, and help us hold Fish and Wildlife Service’s feet to the fire, including legal action if necessary.

Stop the extinction of the Red Wolf: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=5hriqGdDMrjq69YESVyXJQ

The story isn’t over. With your help, we’ll get the happy ending we have sought for three decades. It’s the happy ending these wolves deserve. Are you with us?

Please give generously today: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=b-KtqWAdnPy2RGWq5AGsDg

Thank you in advanced for your help.

  1. USA: ADD YOUR NAME: Speak up for red wolves

Catastrophic.

No other word comes close to describing the impact on critically endangered red wolves if this appalling proposal goes through.

Defying all logic, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is proposing a 90 percent reduction in the land available for red wolf recovery in eastern North Carolina. This area supports the last wild population of red wolves. And worse, the proposal would allow private landowners free reign to shoot any red wolves that wander across their property.

If this proposal goes into effect, it will be a death sentence for America’s most endangered wolf: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=i57hxbEXFg8TnnBdEYOUMA

URGENT – this proposal is an outrage – tell FWS to do their job and save red wolves!

Fewer than 40 red wolves cling to survival in the wild. If this proposed rule goes into effect, there will barely be room for 15 animals in the tiny patch of habitat that remains.

Protect Red Wolves today: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=Zo9YEl3JkD_wtvo3RuHmTg

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

But after years of yielding to pressure from a vocal minority seeking to end the recovery of red wolves in the wild, FWS failed to follow through on its commitment to restore red wolves and is now proposing a rule that would certainly lead to their extinction in the wild!

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

Wolfsschutz Deutschland on Facebook here

Germany: Let’s end the silence of the majority – Here’s how you can show your support!

Representative research shows that the majority thinks that the wolf has a right to live in Germany. It is also a fact that the wolf has been granted the highest protection status by the EU. Wolves are not allowed to be either disturbed or killed. But reality unfortunately looks different. In the past weeks alone four wolves have been shot, and another male wolf had to be euthanized because of a bad gunshot injury.

For years, the lobby consisting of politicians, farmer associations and hunters, has been trying to soften this high protection status; against the interest of the majority and existing laws. We cannot allow that legal claims are handled as bagatelles or that politicians, like Söder did recently, demand to shoot transmigrating wolves in the Allgäu. We urgently need the Good Ones to speak out. Wolves cannot speak for themselves and therefore we must do it for them. Please, support the movie project “Menschen fuer Woelfe” (Humans for Wolves) by Volker Vogel; it is a non-profit movie with 100% of all earnings going to the Verein Wolfsschutz Deutschland e.V. (Association for Wolfprotection Germany).

You can find further information about the movie and how to support it here: https://www.gofundme.com/menschen-fuer-woelfe

Thanks and kind regards

From ForceChange (TakeAction@ForceChange.com)

  1. USA: Stop Trump Administration From Allowing Bear Cubs and Wolf Pups to be Slaughtered

Target: Ryan Zinke, United States Secretary of the Interior

Goal: Protect Alaska’s wolf pups and bear cubs from unwarranted slaughter.

Alaska’s bears and wolves will soon be in danger of needless slaughter. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s plan to roll back protection laws for Alaskan bears and wolves is fast approaching, despite strong opposition from the state itself. The rollback of these Obama-era laws would allow cruel and unethical hunting practices such as baiting, killing hibernating bears, and laying traps for wolves during denning season. This would almost certainly spell the extinction of many different species of bear and wolf, who are already dying out due to unnecessary killings.

The legalization of these practices could lead to the extinction of many species of bear and wolf. Too many of these poor creatures have already been shot with “self-defense” as an excuse, while said creatures were quietly going about their own business and living their lives. Due to their history as predatory animals, bears and wolves have gained an unfair reputation used to justify these killings, and the last thing we need is for such cruelty to become fully legal.

We cannot allow this plan to succeed. Bears and wolves are living creatures that deserve better than to have their lives ended out of human paranoia or for sport. Sign this petition to demand Zinke call off his plan immediately.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Secretary Zinke,

Your plan to roll back protection laws for bears and wolves in Alaska is unethical and selfish. Too many of these creatures are ruthlessly killed by humans for sport, or shot while minding their own business with “self-defense” as an excuse. While bears and wolves may have a history as predatory animals, the majority of them would not harm humans unprovoked and are simply trying to live their lives. Additionally, many species of wolf and bear are nearly extinct despite laws set in place to protect them; rolling back these laws entirely would likely result in them disappearing forever.

The state of Alaska firmly opposes these plans to legalize hunting, trapping, baiting, and the killing of hibernating bears. You must respect the wishes of the population and keep protection laws for these animals firmly in place. Do not legalize the wholesale slaughter of innocent creatures for selfish reasons.

Please find the petition form to sign here

Other News

National

Nothing to report

Next Door

Nothing to report

International

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

  1. USA: A sweeping rewrite of the Endangered Species Act

We’ve never been closer to a nation without wolves…without panthers…without sea otters, wolverines or songbirds.

The escalating war on the wildlife we all love has just taken a terrifying turn.

Yesterday, the Trump Administration put forward proposals that essentially take a chainsaw to the Endangered Species Act. If these proposals are enacted, wolves and other imperiled wildlife will be left to the mercy of hostile states.

And you know all too well where that leads.

It’s up to us to protect our nation’s wildlife. Please step up with the most generous donation you can afford: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=rxj3jrZ8R4CLBiZrErSgbg

Without a strong Endangered Species Act, states like Idaho and Wyoming could push wolves – and other animals we cherish – to the point of extermination. These reckless proposals represent the gravest setback I have seen in my 35-year career as a wildlife biologist. And as a mother, I fear for the planet my child will inherit.

Looking ahead, unless we stop this, Mexican gray wolves will once again disappear in the Southwest. Red wolves will once again go extinct in the wild. And our beloved gray wolf in the Northern Rockies will likely spiral toward extermination.

Please make an emergency donation today here

Defenders of Wildlife has the nation’s most committed, accomplished and passionate scientists, lawyers, policy experts, community organizers and other wildlife advocates working tirelessly to save the wildlife we all love.

The American people are on our side. History is on our side. I need you on our side, too! With your support of our work, I still have hope.

Please donate today: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=0U4kTKkEqsgId3YUMXujtw

  1. USA: Stop this sickening attack on endangered wildlife

Everything we love, everything you and I have worked for, is at stake.

The Endangered Species Act (ESA) is under unprecedented assault by Congress and the Trump Administration. More than 100 anti-ESA bills and amendments have been proposed by this Congress alone, and to make matters worse, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke recently proposed changes to the ESA that would dismantle this landmark law by gutting existing protections for threatened and endangered wildlife. We can’t let this happen.

We need your immediate help to stop this despicable plan here

Our planet is currently facing an extinction crisis of epic proportions with the potential for losing half of all species to extinction in as little as 33 years!

We cannot let the Trump Administration dismantle threatened and endangered species’ last line of defense.

Tell the Trump Administration: Hands Off the ESA here

The Endangered Species Act is America’s most effective law for protecting wildlife in danger of extinction – in fact 99% of listed species have survived under the ESA’s care. Many have been set on a path to recovery, including the iconic American bald eagle, the grizzly bear, the Florida manatee, and more.

The Trump/Zinke Extinction Plan would weaken endangered species protections by:

  • Injecting economics into what should be purely science-based decisions about listing imperiled species;
  • Depriving threatened species from automatically receiving protections from killing, trapping, and other forms of harm and commercial exploitation; and
  • Further imperiling endangered species by limiting what wildlife experts can look at in their reviews of federal activities.

The only winners in this proposal are exploitive industries – developers, oil companies, mining companies and the like.

Most Americans favor a strong ESA. This is greed and big money politics at their absolute worst.

Please take action today here

  1. USA: We’d love your help

As a loyal supporter of Defenders of Wildlife, we value your opinion.

Your commitment to our mission makes you a very important partner in the work that we do together – and your thoughts matter to us a great deal.

That’s why we’re asking for just a few minutes of your time to complete an online survey to help us redesign the Defenders.org website. Can you spare just a few moments?

Take the survey now: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=DLfCB_A3ZpXUV86qJD-Tng

Your input is invaluable as we consider improvements to our website. We want to redesign our site in a way that makes it easier for you to engage with Defenders in the way you want.

We realize you are extremely busy, so the survey should not take more than 10 minutes. This survey is also completely confidential.

And, as a special thank you, you’ll receive a 25% discount code here  to the Defenders of Wildlife Gift Center, which you can use toward adopting an animal or purchasing a Defenders t-shirt or other gear that helps fund our mission to protect and restore imperiled species.

Start the Defenders Website Redesign Survey here

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

  1. USA: Trump and Zinke approve permits for Lion Trophies
  • Hunters who donate to Republicans given special permits to import lion trophies, report says
  • Original report here

The US Fish and Wildlife Service provided at least 33 Americans with permits to import 38 lion trophies between 2016 and 2018, according to copies of the applications received by the non-profit advocacy group Friends of Animals.

Those Americans include a major Republican fundraiser, a donor to Mr Trump’s presidential campaign and another donor who supports Republican candidates and committees.

The Fish and Wildlife Service released a statement defending the lion trophy import permits after they were first reported by HuffPost, saying “Legal, well-regulated 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 official with the Fish and Wildlife Service could not specify the number of permits from past years in an interview with The Independent, but suggested that there did not appear to be a significant increase in approved applications.

The report arrived as Mr. Trump’s White House continued efforts to roll back regulations on trophy imports and seemingly reduce the size and scope of federal conservation efforts.

The administration’s recently proposed changes to the implementation of the Endangered Species Act were met with swift backlash from conservation groups, who accused the White House of signing a “death sentence for polar bears.” The changes would significantly alter the way the government determines regions of protected land for endangered species, foregoing a practice of saving land where an animal species could be expected to live if its population were to return to normal levels.

Under Mr. Trump, the federal government has also changed the way it processes trophy import applications, agreeing to review each in a “case by case” basis. The government has also reversed bans on imports from African countries like Zambia and Zimbabwe, with the Fish and Wildlife Service claiming sport hunting in those regions would “enhance the survival of the species in the wild.”

Priscilla Feral, president of Friends of Animals, said in a statement that trophy hunting “must expire” in order to save certain species from extinction.

“If African wildlife is to survive the next few decades in their homelands, these elephants, lions and other animals ― coveted by hunters for their strength and beauty ― must be worth more alive than dead,” she said. “That means safeguarding habitat along with photographic safaris and ecotourism must outpace blood-drenched trophy hunting expeditions. Trophy hunting must expire and collapse from its own dead weight.”

Wolves and Wolfdogs

Wolves in the Pacific Northwest

Mixed-ancestry wolves are recolonizing the Pacific Northwest

In the early 20th century, wolves had been wiped out in Washington; they had fallen victim of bounty hunting to make space to expanding ranching and farming. But thanks to protection by the state and federal wildlife authorities, wolves over the past two decades have been reclaiming their former space, although new research has discovered a magnificent difference – the wolves now living and hunting in Washington’s forests are different from those that lived there more than a century ago. These new wolves are hybrids — crossbreeds of inland wolves from the interior United States and a unique, beach-loving subspecies from as far north as Southeast Alaska.

The researchers who have discovery this fact think that the hybrid wolves’ DNA could help them thrive in a changing landscape.

First it was thought that the wolf packs slowly re-colonizing not only Washington but also Oregon and California are descendants of wolves migrating west from the interior, the mountains, plains, and forests of Montana and Idaho. But the DNA analyses from wolves throughout the Pacific Northwest told a different story. Recent results show that some of the wolves have unique genetic markers that could have only come from the distinct coastal wolves of British Columbia and Southeast Alaska.

Coastal wolves differ from their interior cousins in a number of important ways. They don’t stalk large mammals such as elk through forests and fields, but spend much of their time on beaches, hunting salmon and marine mammals such as seals. Coastal wolves also look different; they are smaller and their fur has a red-brown tinge.

So far, the hybrid wolves are sticking to the lifestyle of their ancestors from the east, because they presently inhabitat a territory more suited for the live of interior wolves, but the researchers suspect that over time they’ll begin to establish in habitat that’s more suitable for coastal wolves. As the climate continues to change, it is furthermore suspected that the hybrid wolves’ genetic diversity will allow them to adapt better than if they just had genes from interior wolves.

Even without the benefits of genetic mixing, wolves are generally quite adaptable animals. In Yellowstone Park, for instance, wolves hunt prey as large as bison, because these wolves are much larger than those in surrounding regions, but their size is the consequence of a diet driven by learned behavior rather than genetics.

The finding also offers a life preserver of a sort to the coastal wolves of British Columbia and Alaska, whose populations are dwindling in many parts of their range. The hybrids may serve as a genetic reservoir, protecting some of the coastal wolves’ distinctive traits.

But while the hybrid wolf population may act as a reservoir, it also could cause problems in the case if the Alaskan coastal wolves became protected under the United States Endangered Species Act, because that would force wildlife managers in the Pacific Northwest to manage wolves that share genetic traits with federally protected animals. The Endangered Species Act doesn’t have a lot of language regarding how to deal with hybridization.

Still the researchers hope that their findings will inspire biologists and policymakers to focus on sorting out the unanswered legal question of what should be done when the ancestor of a hybrid animal is an endangered species and whether these mixed-lineage descendants should be protected as well or left vulnerable to hunting and habitat loss. They think that the hybrid wolves’ mixed heritage will be an asset as they continue to reclaim their species’ old haunts across the Pacific Northwest.

Excerpt from the article by Rebecca Heisman at 

Wolf Myths and Legends, Part 152

To the Sky by Aimee Yuna

Raising his blood-stained muzzle to the sky, Phantom wondered how it would all turn out. His pack, full of worthy, strong wolves was falling apart. His mate sick, but soon to be well with pups on the way. Phantom gnashed his teeth and returned to his meal, ripping at the raw caribou flesh. His mate, Tanja strode up beside him gracefully, sweeping her silver streaked head under his ruff. Phantom flinched at her touch, then his golden yellow eyes stared down at her. How beautiful she was, her rime-silver fur, those doey brown eyes. She brushed by him and started eating at the caribou carcass. He opened his mouth in a wolf-grin. The rest of his pack, the seven other members, betas and omegas alike were together.

The yearlings of before there too. They stood, watching the two alphas share a meal, waiting as the snow began to fall. The snow peppered the sky, falling to the ground, covering it in white velvet.

As the two mates finished their feast, the other wolves closed in. Licking her chops, Tanja walked away from the carcass. She walked away and flicked her tail at Phantom’s nose. She sat at the edge of the forest. Phantom looked up at the approaching wolves. He watched them, stepping away from the kill, he recognized all the members of his pack. Jahotec, his strong and powerful beta. Brother, friend and fierce fighter. The icy white wolf walked towards the caribou and began to feast, sinking his teeth into the flank. Then came the two females, both a tawny red shade walking behind Jahotec, their names were Ryn and Riika. Riika brushed by her brother Kyo and ran to the feast. Then came the distempered ones. Lupa, Augen, Zai and of course, the Sero. Sero and his group were to overthrow the alpha. He knew … but how to change him?

Readers’ Contribution

A Wolfdog Diary

By Erin

Hooray, spring has arrived, eventually. The weather is sunny and warm, night temperatures are bearable again and Nature has started to awake from hibernation. I just love this time of the year when everything comes back to life, looking fresh and renewed. What’s still missing is the rain, but the rather strong winds we have at times are promising.

Unfortunately this also brings some not-so-nice things with it; the pack has started shedding the thick undercoat, very much to my dislike, because now the most commonly ingested fibre in our household is fluff. And that also means that it is time for spring cleaning – another type of work that I cannot really call my favourite, not to mention the garden that now needs lots of attention and watering in particular.

While I don’t mind the watering too much, going after the weeds, loosening the soil and preparing it for seeding and planting is another fish to fry. Surely I have help from the gardeners when it comes to heavy work, but how much can they manage in just one day per week? I have already visited some nurseries and the big table behind the house is full with new plants so I guess I have no choice but to shake off the winter blues and get going.

The biggest problem I have in the moment is that our pack loves to “help” me with the gardening; they think because I seem to have so much fun digging holes for the new plants they must make sure that I’m not running out of fun by digging the newly planted plants out so that I can plant them again (if there is enough of the plants left that’s worth re-planting). I therefore have to either find spots for them where the furry kids have no access to, or I have to put up temporary fencing around the new flower beds to prevent them from getting in there. I have already tried any trick in the books like wearing gloves when planting to prevent the smell of my hands becoming an attraction for digging, spraying pepper or vinegar around the new plants to make that area smell bad to their noses, but so far nothing has worked. I know that it will get worse when the first rain comes – and the little creepy crawlies deep in the ground wake up and come closer to the surface the kids will stand with their noses close to the ground, moving their heads and ears at high alert from side to side, listening attentively to what’s going on underground. Then, with a sudden leap (like foxes do) they will attack the spot and dig as if there would be no tomorrow to get whatever is moving about down there. And that not only in flower beds but also in the middle of the lawn. Sometimes it’s so bad that I fear I have to put up warning signs for pot holes in the lawn for potential burglars that could step into one during the night, break a leg and then sue us for causing them bodily harm. I don’t know if that’s at all possible here in SA, but it has happened in the US.

Springtime also means that Ascar II thinks he has to re-establish his position as alpha, spending most of the day with his nose tucked under Taima’s tail (I always wonder what he thinks he can smell there since she is spayed) and making it clear to Kajack II that he is boss. I think that’s called “spring feelings”.

Will be continued…