The Monthly Free E-Newsletter of South African Friends of Wolves
Volume 13, Issue 169, November 2018
From the Editor’s Desk
The current heat wave on the Highveld makes it difficult to think clearly, even for us who like it warm. We have nevertheless tried to put together an informative newsletter for this month.
It was just this week that I found a report in a local farmers’ magazine on how the rain pattern in our region has been changing since the year 2000, with the onset of the rainy season having shifted by now from early September to early November, i.e., by a full two months. It is still bone dry as I write these lines, with the few drops that have fallen so far having achieved nothing more than dampening the dust a little. While the rainy season now also lasts longer than in earlier years, i.e., till April to May or even June, the total annual yield of rain has decidedly shrunk. Well, I look at this and immediately think of the Horrorclown’s statement that climate change is Chinese propaganda…
What have we got for you in this month’s issue? Disgusting anti-wildlife politics in the US. But then again, why should nature conservation and species restoration receive more positive effort than all the rest in Adolf Horrorclown’s United States of Destruction? This general attitude and the resultant situation is by no means really mitigated by news just in about a court ruling that the state agency entrusted with conserving wildlife, in this case the red wolf, must do its job and look after and protect the 24 red wolves remaining in the wild. FWS will sure find an excuse to let these disappear as well and make landowners happy. Personally, I keep firmly in place my sanctions against everything Made in America wherever possible. See the News International section.
Wolves are ruthless killing machines, right? If you are interested in facts, I urge you to read what Rick Lamplugh has to say about that. As usual, it is quite eye-opening. If you should be turned on more by fake news, I recommend you continue listening to Idahoan hillbilly farmers and US politicians instead and cancel your subscription to SAFHOWL. See the Wolves and Wolfdogs section.
Like every month, we have a short wolf tale, but Erin found it too hot to put something sensible in writing. She will be back next month, she promised.
Considering that it is a mere five weeks to Xmas, and if you still don’t know what present to select for a wolf lover, my book (Ted Ehrhardt: A Houseful Headful of Wolves) is still available as paperback and E-book from Amazon at http://amazon.com/dp/1521583714 or http://www.amazon.com/dp/B073DPNN7Q or from any other Amazon Online-shop in both English and German.
Till next month,
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 (email@example.com)
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.
Time: 9AM – 3PM
Fee: $350 per child for the week-long program (Monday – Friday)
- Sessions for children entering Grades 1 – 2
- Sessions for children entering Grades 3 – 4
- Sessions for children entering Grades 5 – 6
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!
- Join Us for an Adventure in Yellowstone (https://nywolf.us8.list-manage.com/track/click?u=96aae4d71726eb91ae4d20fec&id=f466f0759e&e=c4f881378d)
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!
News from the Wolf Front
From the HuskyRomi Wolf Sanctuary (Frans Badenhorst, firstname.lastname@example.org)
From the Den of Gary and the Steering Committee
Larry has honoured me by asking me to Chair the Steering Committee to help HuskyRomi move towards a vision of sustainability and growth. Larry called a meeting at the Sanctuary on Saturday, 8th of September. This meeting was attended by Derek, Kim, Larry and myself, (my wife Glenda tagged along to take the minutes), as my right hand ‘lady’, she will assist me as we move forward to help make a difference to HuskyRomi.
We discussed many of the future goals and objectives for the sanctuary and found that there was a great common thread winding its golden way through our dreams and wishes for this place the animals call home. In order to achieve any of our goals, we need to increase the monthly income for HuskyRomi and this means more fundraising, more ‘virtual adoptions’ and more donors. We are in the process of rebranding the sanctuary to give us slightly more ‘corporate’ look and feel however the core values will remain forever, as will the name in memory of Romi. As soon as our rebranding is complete, we will be approaching corporates to start signing up. In return for the donation, HuskyRomi will offer promotion of the company and / or their products in any way possible. Should anyone be interested in Corporate Sponsorship for their company, please contact me for more information.
Sadly, as with any organizational changes some people struggle with change and ultimately get lost along the way, organizations like HuskyRomi are no different in this respect and unfortunately some of the donors have decided to move on to other causes. I do hope that in the not too distant future they will all return to the wonderful animals that are resident at the sanctuary and bring more people back with them.
I am sure that we will try our utmost to live up to the ‘Wolfman’s’ confidence in us, but I must stress that our goals will only be achieved through participation of all of you in moving forward and helping HuskyRomi to become the best possible home to all of the animals resident there.
From the sanctuary
There is a lot happening out at HuskyRomi, everything is very positive, it’s like a breath of oxygen has been breathed in, reminds me of when Frans Badenhorst come on board and injected a whole pile of new ideas and took some of the load off me, since then the load got heavier and Frans made some recommendations telling me to step down from running HuskyRomi and to rather implement a good committee so that I could do the things that I enjoy most, working with my animals, we have an amazing committee onboard and I’m the sanctuary manager.
Not that much to tell you but wait until next month, we are starting to build an 8m Rondavel which will be a reception office / shop and can be used for other small events, i.e., as a small wedding chapel.
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 email@example.com and have yourself added to the mailing list. It’s FREE!
- From the HuskyRomi Wolf Sanctuary
HuskyRomi’s Volunteer Programme
Ever dreamt of working hands-on with wolves?
Here is an opportunity of a lifetime!
Phone or mail for all the necessary information and request an application form
Larry Paul – 0027 71 679 5141
E-mail: Larry@HuskyRomi.co.za or Committee@Huskyromi.co.za
Note that this offer is available to volunteers from all over the globe!
Why not combine volunteer work with an exotic holiday?
Our GPS coordinates are:
27.776026, 28.442818 or S 27°46’33,5’’, E 028°26’34,0’’
- CALENDAR SNEAK PEAK !
Who do you recognize, who do you think you will find on our glossy pages?
Only one way to find out 😉
Place your order and email us to reserve your copy, but don’t wait too long, orders are coming in
Each calendar costs ZAR 200,00 and you may choose to pick them up from a central point in JNB, (if possible drop-offs can be organized with the company), or you can have it sent to you personally via PostNet2PostNet for ZAR 99,00.
If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to email us at:
Pre-orders can be placed as of now and payment confirms your copy
Payment can be made to the HuskyRomi bank account (Please note, this is the only account that HuskyRomi uses)
Bank details are as follows:
Husky Romi Rescue and Wolf Sanctuary
Acc No. 62296463989
Branch code. 230833
To reserve your HuskyRomi calendar please email your details and proof of payment to:
Distribution of calendars will be from 12th November and you will be personally contacted to confirm
Alternatively, you can purchase your calendar when you visit our stall on Mutters Day on November 10th, pop in, say hi and meet our hardworking team!
So, buy a calendar – for you, your mom, your neighbour, your vet, your dogwalker, for Christmas stockings, birthday presents, coffee table showpieces, eyecatchers in your home, for any reason and occasion our calendars are the best!
Your generosity helps us take care of our animals and your continuing support is greatly appreciated.
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
HuskyRomi Rescue and Wolf Sanctuary
First National Bank
Type: Cheque Acc
Ref: Donation / Your name
…and then get one of your friends to do the same.
Remember, it’s tax-deductible, sustainable, no Rand is wasted, …and it really feels good to support a worthy cause!
From Defenders of Wildlife (http://www.defenders.org)
- USA: eNews: The Difference We Make Together
The National Park Service has proposed lifting a ban on extreme killing methods on Park Service lands in Alaska. If the ban is removed, wolves, bears and other predators will be vulnerable to appalling and cruel killing methods that most people strongly oppose. Act fast to save wolves and bears, including pups and cubs, from falling prey to these unethical practices! Take action today.
- USA: PROTECT OUR WOLVES: Lawmakers need to hear from you today!
We’ve come a long way toward seeing wolves recover in the lower 48. But we’ve got a long way to go. And if the current anti-wildlife Congress gets its way, most wolf recovery could stop dead in its tracks.
This week, Congress will vote on H.R. 6784, the “Manage Our Wolves Act.” This reckless bill would remove federal protections put in place by the Endangered Species Act (ESA) for most gray wolves in the lower 48 states, leaving each state to determine wolf management for themselves.
A few of those states have already decided protecting wolves isn’t worth the effort.
Tell Congress today: don’t abandon ESA protections for wolves: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=lgxokpjvlgr998ISRyZ8Dg
Here’s why we need to defeat this bill while we still can: if H.R. 6784 passes, it will also block judicial review of the decision to delist these wolves. Americans’ hands would be tied in seeking justice as hostile states decide for themselves how to manage wolves.
And in states where they’ve already lost protection, thousands of wolves have been killed.
We already know how gray wolves will fare without ongoing federal protection. States like Wyoming, Montana and Idaho have shown that, left to their own devices, they have no problem indiscriminately killing wolves.
This callous, indifferent approach to wolf management can’t become the norm. We’re counting on you to tell Congress today that wolves deserve our protection!
ACT NOW: TELL CONGRESS “NO” ON H.R. 6784: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=08RlNZWqQJ6zBH576Qu8Qw
We only have this week to act. We can’t abandon wolves to the mercy of hostile states. If we lose this fight, wolves will pay with their lives. We’re counting on wildlife lovers like you to stand with us right now and speak up for wolves while we still can.
It only takes a moment: stop this destructive bill today: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=1hvTx1bJ-J9ICtXjQOuv_g
- USA: Hope for the Red Wolf?
Today through December, we’ll be sharing uplifting wildlife news stories with you on a weekly basis. As wildlife champions, we need to remember that no matter how bad things seem to be, we still have reasons to hold out hope.
Today I bring you good news that’s only two weeks old: a crucial court victory for the critically endangered red wolf.
Red wolves (Canis lupus rufus) once inhabited forests and mountains across the Southeastern United States, from Pennsylvania to Texas. But generations of extermination campaigns and habitat loss due to human expansion devastated red wolf populations.
In 1980, red wolves were declared extinct in the wild. Hope for the species lay with a small number of captive red wolves. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) launched an all-out effort to rescue these wolves and reintroduce them to the wild.
In 1987, the first captive-bred red wolves were released into North Carolina’s Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. Wolf populations grew. By 2000, nearly 100 wolves roamed the countryside in and around the refuge.
It was shaping up to be one of the most spectacular wildlife recovery stories in history.
But in recent years, under pressure from landowners and politicians, FWS all but abandoned the program. They proposed reducing the wolves’ recovery area by 90%. And they gave blanket permission for landowners to kill any red wolf that wandered onto their property.
The population plummeted. Now only about 24 red wolves survive in the wild.
In the face of this betrayal of wildlife, Defenders and our allies had to act. We joined our partner organizations and went to court to hold FWS accountable to do its job and resume sincere efforts to promote red wolf recovery.
And it worked. Earlier this month, a federal court ruled in the wolves’ favor and ordered FWS to get back to work, as the Endangered Species Act requires. When we fight and win to protect wildlife protection laws, we save lives. But the fight to restore America’s red wolves will continue.
Your support has been essential to all our efforts, including lawsuits, to protect the wildlife you love. We will continue to fight for red wolves, in court and on the ground. As long as there’s a single mated pair of red wolves in the wild, there’s hope.
Wolfsschutz Deutschland on Facebook.
Germany: Three federal states want to shoot Wolves – please complain to the EU!
Saxony, Lower Saxony and Brandenburg have submitted an application to the Federal Assembly to allow future wolf shootings, which also includes a change to the Federal Nature Conservation Act. If that is approved it will be a violation of EU law and a first step towards the renewed extirpation of our wolves.
You can find our letter of objection with a detailed explanation and the original application here.
Please complain to EU Commissioner Karmenu Vella by mail to:
- From Heather L. via Change.org (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- USA: 2019 Appropriations Bill Does Not (Directly) Target the Mexican Gray Wolf!
As reported on previously, Section 117 of the 2019 Interior and Environment Appropriations Bill would require the USFWS to delist the Gray Wolf nationwide, and included within this rider is Subsection 2, which states:
“Shall not affect the inclusion of the subspecies classified as the Mexican gray wolf (Canis lupus baileyi) of the species gray wolf (Canis lupus) in such list.”
Here is a link to the current text of the bill: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/6147/text
The wording of this section is confusing, and a previous petition update questioned what this language means for the Mexican Gray Wolf – mainly, will it delist the subspecies or not? We finally have an answer from a reliable source: according to the Wolf Conservation Center, that confusing section is basically saying that the Mexican Gray Wolf is exempt from the rider and will not be delisted – thank goodness!
The 2019 Interior and Environment Appropriations Bill was passed by the Senate last month, and negotiations between the House and the Senate are ongoing. Please write to President Trump and tell him to not sign the bill into law until the Gray Wolf delisting rider is removed from it, because while it does not directly target the Mexican Gray Wolf, it will indirectly harm the subspecies! Here is his contact: https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/
2. USA: Congress Orders Study of Mexican Gray Wolf Taxonomy.
So apparently, when Congress passed the must-pass budget bill back in March, they did add a wolf provision into it – but it wasn’t a delisting rider as we all feared. Rather, it was an order to determine whether the Mexican Gray Wolf is a taxonomically valid subspecies or not.
In compliance with the order, the USFWS hired the The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to conduct the taxonomic study, which began last month and continues until March 2019. You can learn more about the study and keep updated on its meetings with the provided link.
Now in of itself, a scientific review of Mexican Gray Wolf taxonomy is not a bad thing – science works by constantly reviewing and revising its theories as new data comes in, and taxonomy is no exception to this rule. But there are two things about this order to review Mexican Gray Wolf taxonomy that seem a little suspicious:
- The order limits this taxonomic study to the two most endangered wolves in North America: the Mexican Gray Wolf and the Red Wolf (Canis rufus); it does not include all North American wolves, despite the fact that other Gray Wolf subspecies are in great need of taxonomic review.
- The status of the Mexican Gray Wolf as being genetically distinct from other Gray Wolves (regardless of whether it is called a subspecies or an ecotype) is more or less scientifically unquestioned, and the anti-wolf belief that the Mexican Gray Wolf is a wolf-dog hybrid has been disproven with genetic research.
So what do you think? Is this order to study Mexican Gray Wolf taxonomy the result of genuine scientific interest, or is Congress just making a political attempt to delist the Mexican Gray Wolf?
In any case, we must keep an eye on this to make sure that politics does not intervene with the scientists’ research. And if Congress tries to use/twist the study to strip the Mexican Gray Wolf of its ESA protections, then we must stop them!
- Proposed Amendment to “Manage Our Wolves Act” will Delist Mexican Gray Wolves!
Arizona Representative Andy Biggs has proposed an amendment to the “Manage Our Wolves Act” that will delist the Mexican Gray Wolf (the bill currently excludes the subspecies from the nationwide Gray Wolf delisting).
Here is a link to the text of the amendment: https://amendments-rules.house.gov/amendments/BIGGS_136_xml111318163707377.pdf
The House of Representatives is going to hold a vote on the “Manage Our Wolves Act” this Friday! If you live in the USA, then please write to your Congressmen/Congresswomen & tell them to both reject Bigg’s anti-lobo amendment and to vote NO on this dangerous anti-wolf bill! The fate of the Mexican Gray Wolf depends on it!
From the California Wolf Center (email@example.com on behalf of; firstname.lastname@example.org [californiawolfcenter] [email@example.com)
MEXICAN WOLF UPDATE September 1-30, 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
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 AZGFD 24-hour dispatch (Operation Game Thief) at (800) 352-0700.
Overall Mexican Wolf Recovery Program Monthly Update
On September 5, the USFWS hosted an Executive Committee meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Representatives from the Lead Agencies and Cooperating Entities attended, as well as representatives from the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish (NMDGF). The Executive Committee meets at least twice a year to discuss actions and resources necessary for the recovery and management of Mexican wolves.
On September 27 and 28, representatives from the AZGFD, NMDGF, and USFWS met with government officials from Mexico’s National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP by its Spanish acronym) and with Mexican biologists to discuss Mexican wolf recovery in the United States and Mexico.
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 lower case letter “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 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. Counting the population at the end of each year 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 September, there were 75 wolves with functioning radio collars that the IFT was actively monitoring.
Bear Wallow Pack (collared M1338 and f1683)
In September, the IFT documented the Bear Wallow Pack in their territory on the east central portion of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest (ASNF) and occasionally on the SCAR and the FAIR. Yearling f1683, M1676, and AM1338 were documented travelling separately. Subadult male 1676 made dispersal movements across the central and western portion of the ASNF and on the Coconino National Forest, and was located dead in September. The incident is under investigation.
Bluestem Pack (collared f1686)
In September, the IFT documented the Bluestem Pack in the pack’s traditional territory in the east central portion of the ASNF. Yearling f1686 made dispersal movements from the pack’s territory this month within the eastern portion of the ASNF.
Eagle Creek Pack (collared M1477)
In September, M1477 continued to be documented travelling with an uncollared wolf. The pair has been holding a territory in the east central portion of the ASNF.
Elk Horn Pack (collared AF1294, f1668, m1671, and fp1697)
In September, the Elk Horn Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north-eastern portion of the ASNF. A female pup, fp1697, was captured, collared, and released in September.
Hoodoo Pack (collared AM1290, AF1333, m1677, m1681, and mp1789)
In September, the Hoodoo Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north-eastern portion of the ASNF. A male pup, mp1789, was captured, collared and released in September.
Panther Creek Pack (collared AM1382)
Panther Creek AM1382 was not located during the month of September.
Pine Spring Pack (collared AM1394, AF1562, and fp1794)
In September, the Pine Spring Pack was located within their territory in the north central portion of the ASNF. The IFT maintained a diversionary food cache for this pack to reduce potential for wolf-livestock conflict. A female pup, fp1794, was captured, collared and released in September.
Prime Canyon Pack (collared AM1471, AF1488, mp1790, and fp1791)
In September, the IFT documented the Prime Canyon Pack within their territory in the east central portion of the ASNF. The IFT maintained a diversionary food cache for this pack in a proactive attempt to reduce the potential for human-wildlife interactions near residences. Two pups, mp1790 and fp1791, were captured, collared, and released in September.
Saffel Pack (collared AM1441, AF1567, m1661, m1680, and fp1792)
In September, the Saffel Pack was located in their territory in the north-eastern portion of the ASNF. Two pups, fp1792 and mp1793, were captured, collared, and released in September. Later in the month, mp1793 was found dead. This incident is under investigation. The IFT initiated a diversionary food cache for the Saffel pack in an effort to reduce potential for wolf-livestock conflict.
Sierra Blanca Pack (collared M1571 and F1550)
In September, the Sierra Blanca Pack was located in their territory in the north-eastern portion of the ASNF.
Single collared F1489
In September, the IFT documented F1489 travelling in the north and east central portion of the ASNF.
Single collared M1574
In September, the IFT documented M1574 travelling in the east central portion of the ASNF, the SCAR, and the eastern portion of the FAIR.
ON THE FAIR:
Baldy Pack (collared AM1347 and F1560)
In September, the Baldy Pack was documented travelling in the eastern portion of the FAIR and the north central portion of the ASNF.
Maverick Pack (collared AF1291)
In September, the Maverick Pack was located within their traditional territory both on the FAIR and east central portion of the ASNF.
Tsay-O-Ah Pack (collared AF1283 and f1674)
In September, the Tsay-O-Ah Pack was located within their traditional territory in the eastern portion the FAIR.
Tu dil hil Pack (collared M1559 and F1679)
In September, the Tu dil hil Pack was documented travelling in the eastern portion of the FAIR.
IN NEW MEXICO:
Copper Creek Pack
During September, the Copper Creek Pack was located via a remote camera travelling in the western portion of the Gila National Forest (GNF). Currently, there are no functioning collars in this pack. Single M1673 was documented travelling with F1444 in September.
Dark Canyon Pack (collared AM1354 and AF1456)
During September, the Dark Canyon Pack was documented travelling together within their traditional territory, in the west central portion of the GNF. The Dark Canyon Pack continued to exhibit behaviour and movements consistent with rearing pups during September.
Datil Mountain Pack (collared M1453 and F1685)
During September, the Datil Mountain Pack continued to travel in the western portion of the Cibola National Forest (CNF).
Frieborn Pack (collared AM1447, AF1443, and fp1702)
During September, the Frieborn Pack was documented within their territory in the east central portion of the ASNF in New Mexico and Arizona. The IFT maintained a food cache near the den to support cross-fostered pups and to reduce the potential for wolf-livestock conflict. A female pup, fp1702, was captured, collared, and released in September.
Hawks Nest Pack (collared AM1038 and F1473)
During September, F1437 returned to the Hawks Nest territory in the north central portion of the GNF. AM1038 was not located in September. The IFT is trying to document if this pair is still travelling together.
Iron Creek Pack (collared AM1240, AF1278, M1555, M1556, f1670, fp1721, and m1821)
During September, the Iron Creek Pack continued to utilize their territory in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness and the southern portion of the GNF. The Iron Creek Pack continued to exhibit behaviour and movements consistent with rearing pups during September. Wolves fp1721, m1821, and M1556 were captured, collared, and released in September.
Lava Pack (collared AM1285 and AF1405)
During September, the Lava Pack was located within their traditional territory in the south-eastern portion of the GNF.
Leopold Pack (collared AM1293 and AF1346)
During September, the IFT documented the Leopold Pack within their territory in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness.
Luna Pack (collared AM1158, AF1487, and f1684)
During September, the Luna Pack remained in their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF. The IFT maintained a diversionary food cache for the Luna Pack to reduce potential for livestock conflict.
Mangas Pack (collared AM1296, AF1439, f1664, and f1705)
During September, the Mangas Pack was located within their territory in the north-western portion of the GNF. The IFT maintained a diversionary food cache for the Mangas Pack to reduce potential for conflict with livestock. The Mangas Pack continued to display behaviour consistent with rearing pups within their traditional territory during September.
Prieto Pack (collared AM1398, AF1251, F1565, m1669, and m1678)
During September, the Prieto Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF. The IFT maintained a diversionary food cache for the Prieto Pack and implemented continuous hazing efforts to reduce potential for conflict with livestock. The Prieto Pack continued to display behaviour consistent with rearing pups within their traditional territory during September.
San Mateo Pack (collared AF1399 and f1578)
During September, the San Mateo Pack continued to utilize their territory in the north central portion of the GNF. The IFT discontinued the diversionary food cache for the San Mateo Pack. The breeding female (AF1399) was captured, re-collared, and released in September.
Sheepherders Baseball Park (SBP) Pack (collared AF1553)
During September, AF1553 continued to use the traditional territory of the SBP pack in the north central portion of the GNF. During September, M1561 was located dead in New Mexico. This incident is under investigation.
Squirrel Springs Pack (collared F1788)
During September, the Squirrel Springs pack continued to travel in the north central portion of the GNF.
Single collared M1486
During September, M1486 travelled throughout the northern and central portions of the CNF.
Single collared M1673
During September, M1673 was located via a remote camera travelling in the western portion of the Gila National Forest (GNF) with F1444 in August. The IFT continued monitoring efforts to determine if M1673 has joined the Copper Creek Pack.
During the month of September, M1676 of the Bear Wallow Pack and mp1793 of the Saffel Pack were located dead in Arizona. Male 1561 of the SBP Pack was located dead in New Mexico during September. The incidents are all under investigation.
From January 1, 2018 to September 30, 2018 there have been a total of 11 documented wolf mortalities.
During the month of September, there were four confirmed wolf depredation incidents on livestock. There was one nuisance incident in September. From January 1, 2018 to September 30, 2018 there have been a total of 58 confirmed wolf depredation incidents in New Mexico and 26 confirmed wolf depredation incidents in Arizona.
On September 6, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow and calf in Catron County, NM. The investigation concluded the cow and calf were a confirmed wolf kill.
On September 8, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Catron County, NM. The investigation concluded the calf was a confirmed wolf kill.
On September 13, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, AZ. The investigation concluded the cause of death was unknown.
On September 14, the IFT took a nuisance report involving wolves on the ASNF near Lee Valley Reservoir. The reporting party told the IFT he had four bird dogs running 200 to 300 yards away from him when he observed a pack of eight wolves moving toward his dogs. The dog handler called his dogs back to his location and the wolves followed the dogs to within 20 yards of the dog handler and his truck. The dog handler stated the wolves’ attention was focused on the dogs and indicated the wolves appeared startled when they saw him and his wife at which point the wolves retreated to a distance of 50 to 60 yards. The dog handler stated the wolves remained barking and howling for approximately 10 minutes. The dog handler stated he did not make any efforts to haze or scare the wolves away during this time. There was no physical interaction between the dogs and the wolves.
The IFT investigated the incident and determined the Saffel Pack had GPS collar locations in the area of the incident on September 14. It is not uncommon for wolves to interact with dogs even when people are present. Wolves will often exhibit aggressive behaviour toward dogs when young pups are present with the pack, as was the case with the Saffel Pack in this incident. Yelling at, throwing sticks and rocks in the direction of wolves and scaring wolves away from an area are all allowable forms of opportunistic harassment (under the Final 10(j) Rule), provided that the wolves are not purposefully sought out to harass. The IFT encourages members of the public to report all interactions when wolves display unacceptable behaviour using the contact information provided at the beginning of this document. Any person may take (which includes killing as well as nonlethal actions such as harassing or harming) a Mexican wolf in self-defence or defence of the lives of others. Any form of take must be reported within 24 hours to the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program, USFWS by telephone 505-346-2525; or fax 505-346-2542.
On September 19, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, AZ. The investigation concluded the calf was a confirmed wolf kill.
On September 28, WMAT investigated a dead cow on the FAIR. The investigation concluded the cow died from unknown causes.
On September 29, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, AZ. The investigation concluded the calf was a confirmed wolf kill.
On September 29, Wildlife Services investigated a second dead calf in Apache County, AZ. The investigation concluded the calf was killed by coyotes.
COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATION
On September 26, USFWS participated in a panel discussion at the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Annual Conference in Seattle, Washington. The discussion was entitled “Keys to Successful Reintroduction – Beyond the Biology.”
- USA: Public Overwhelmingly Opposes Feds’ Plan to Nearly Wipe Out Wild Red Wolves in North Carolina
Public Comments Show Overwhelming Support for Red Wolf Recovery
99.9% of Submitted Comments Support Red Wolf Conservation
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s proposal to remove protections from the nation’s only wild population of endangered red wolves has been met with near unanimous opposition from the public.
In June, USFWS solicited public comments on its proposal and out of 108,124 comments submitted, 107,988 comments (99.9 %) favoured the need for strong federal protections for red wolves.
“Americans overwhelmingly support the Red Wolf Recovery Program,” said Maggie Howell, Executive Director of the Wolf Conservation Center. “We’re counting on the Service to take notice and follow the best available science to ensure that the world’s most endangered wolves remain a living, breathing part of the landscape in eastern North Carolina.”
USFWS’s proposal to reduce the red wolf recovery area by nearly 90%, limit the population to just 10-15 wolves, and allow landowners to kill wolves who stray beyond the newly-designated recovery area is a recipe for extinction.
USFWS’s decision is slated to be finalized by Nov. 30.
Volunteers from the Wolf Conservation Center, Wildlands Network, the Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife, and the Animal Welfare Institute each reviewed thousands of comments submitted to produce this analysis.
More about the analysis here.
2. House Bill Seeks to Remove Federal Protections For Gray Wolves Nationwide
If passed into law, wolves will die at the hands of trophy hunters.
The U.S. House this week is expected to vote on a controversial bill that would legislatively remove federal Endangered Species Act protections for all gray wolves in the lower 48 states except the critically endangered Mexican gray wolf.
In addition to stripping protections for most gray wolves from the federal endangered species list, H.R. 6784, the so-called “Manage our Wolves Act” from Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.), prohibits its judicial review thus preventing any legal challenge.
Science, not Congress, should be the decision maker when it comes to endangered and threatened species. Please urge your representative to stand up for wolves, the Endangered Species Act, and the rule of law by opposing H.R. 6784.
Nothing to report
Nothing to report
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Wolves and Wolfdogs
Fact Check: Are Wolves Ruthless Killing Machines?
By Rick Lamplugh
A common criticism by those who dislike wolves is that wolves are ruthless killing machines compelled by instinct to take whatever prey crosses their path. To check the reality of this, I dove into the writings of several well-respected wolf experts. It turns out that wolves are discriminating hunters; they have to be since they are not well equipped for hunting big prey. Wolves choose “weaker and naive animals and have their greatest success” with elk calves and older elk, writes Jim Halfpenny, an eminent naturalist and author of Yellowstone Wolves in the Wild.
But getting dinner is not easy—can even be deadly—and most hunts are unsuccessful. Yellowstone wolves, for example, only succeed 21% of the time, according to David Mech and Rolf Peterson, renowned wolf biologists writing in the book Wolves Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation. “In no case, can a wolf merely walk up and kill a healthy ungulate that is more than a few days old.”
In Yellowstone the average female elk killed by wolves is about 14 years old, writes Halfpenny. By that age the elk’s teeth are worn down and less effective. This means the animal does not get proper nourishment and is weaker and more vulnerable to attack.
How do the wolves find a vulnerable animal? “Wolves stalk just like a house cat does,” writes Halfpenny. Wolves want to get as close as possible to an elk herd before starting a chase. Once the chase begins, the wolves sort and sift the herd trying to find a weak animal, one less likely to harm them. Wolves are risk averse and by chasing a herd, may detect a male that has been weakened by defending his females during the rut. Or they may separate a calf from the protection of the herd. Or they may find an animal that is diseased, has been injured, or was born with an abnormality.
But wolves also attack healthy animals, even big male elk with dangerous hooves and antlers. Wolves have a tactic that can turn that healthy elk into a vulnerable one: They attack the elk and before the animal can drive them off, they bite it as many times as possible. Those wounds cause blood loss. “Wounded animals,” writes Halfpenny, “seldom travel far, and wounded animals stiffen up, especially during long cold nights. A previously unbeatable foe may now be an easy target.”
Whether the prey is healthy or vulnerable, wolves are not well equipped for bringing down big animals. A wolf’s skeleton is not built for killing, write Dan MacNulty, Dan Stahler, and Doug Smith in Yellowstone Science. A wolf’s skull is not designed to deliver a killing bite. A wolf’s front-most teeth are all it has for grabbing prey and those teeth wear out with age. A wolf’s jaw cannot be locked when biting prey. A wolf—unlike a cougar and grizzly bear—doesn’t have the right kind of claws and forelimbs for gripping prey. Finally, a wolf’s hunting ability decreases with age; the best hunters are two to three years old. (The average Yellowstone wolf lives to be four or five. Outside the park the average life span is two to three years.)
To reduce risks and overcome their shortcomings, wolves hunt in packs. Packs with four wolves are more successful than packs with fewer wolves when hunting elk. To take down a bison, a pack needs three times that many members.
Wolves are far from being ruthless killing machines. Wolves know they can die trying to dine, so they look for prey that is less dangerous. But even when they find such prey, wolves fail far more often than they succeed.
Rick’s award-winning Deep into Yellowstone and best-selling In the Temple of Wolves are available signed or unsigned on Amazon.
Wolf Myths and Legends, Part 155
by Taren a Werewolf Mage.
Her black fur gleamed in the dim moonlight, and her vermillion eyes produced a light of their own.
“I am wolf of Shadow.”
She sang to the stars. The howl carried down wind, and over miles of mountain terrain. Far away the pack heard her. The ivory alpha male uplifted his great, shaggy head. His title ringing back to her,
“I am wolf of Ice.”
The black wolves hackles raised, and a snarl escaped her throat. She would not return to them. Miles away, the alpha hung his head. Sorry for his loss. A lesser wolf tried to persuade the shadow wolf. His golden fur gleaming.
“I am wolf of Light. Will you not return?”
The shadow wolf spat,
“Never again shall you see me.”
She hated Light wolf, her elemental enemy. The packs omega tried, silver fur sparkling.
“I am wolf of Wind. Please come to us!”
The she-wolf snapped,
“Coward Wind wolf! I should never return for your sake! For one wolf’s sake alone will I come.”
The pack stood puzzled for a moment, confused of what she meant. They had tried Ice wolf, who was bravest. Used Light wolf, who was strongest. And even Wind wolf, the most attractive. They were desperate for their lifelong companion. Brown Earth wolf called to no avail, and jet blue Wave wolf sang loudly. But no Shadow wolf appeared. Tan Poison wolf screamed his highest, and only received insults.
“Who.” pleaded Ice wolf, “can bring our female back?”
Then shy, silent, humble reddish Flame wolf meekly slunk forward,
He howled long and loud, his deep soothing voice a joy to behold. He stopped and sighed, a silence falling over the ridge. And then loud as thunder, clear as crystal Shadow wolf replied,
“I am coming, wait for me Flame wolf.”
A Wolfdog Diary
Nothing to report this month
Will be continued…