Volume 13, Issue 170, December 2018

SAFHOWL

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

Volume 13, Issue 170, December 2018

From the Editor’s Desk

 Let future generations understand what we loved and why

Wishing all our readers an enjoyable Festive Season
and a fulfilling New Year

www.safow.org

 

Till next year,
Ed.

Upcoming Events

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

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)

 

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 (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

National

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

From the Den of Gary and the Steering Committee

So it came to pass that a number of the clans gathered together in the place called La Vue in the district of Mulders Drift on the 10th day 0f the 11th month to celebrate the taming of the wolf. And this gathering was called Muttterrs owing to the great numbers of non-wolves that were brought forth to show off their man-made teachings such as dancing, obedience and similar non wolf traits.

Some members of the wolf clan known as HuskyRomi did come forth but without their beloved Huskies or wolves for fear that the non wolves present might exhibit their man learned jealousies and in fits of rage may fall upon members of the wolf clan and in so doing might well endanger and cause much hardship to themselves and have to be tended to by a vet. The two-legged servants of the wolf clan, being shrewd of mind did bring with them in their great four wheeled chariots many items that the non wolf servants might desire to acquire for themselves and also for their lords the non wolves.

And so, the day dawned bright and the God Ra did throw down much light and heat upon the place of Muttterrs and the servants, never being satisfied lamented the fact that it was felt that the gods had sent forth too much heat and that some shade would be preferred. The wolf people however took advantage of this and made available for barter Doggee Ice cream which was devoured with much relish by the Muttterrs contenders. All but one of the Jack Russell clan who preferred to pursue a spherical object thrown by his servant. Word soon spread that this non wolf must have been under the spell of a cat.

Whilst the non wolves were scoffing the cool delights of the wolf people their two legged servants observed with great desire the dress normally worn by the wolf people and many parted with their hard-earned stipends so they could appear to be one with the wolf clan. The people of the wolf clan were happy in that only a small amount of non wolf people had attended the Fayre the wolf clan of HuskyRomi would benefit and do some good for the clan.

It is said that the servants of the wolves did howl greatly before retiring early to their sleeping mats that night to dream of the many things that they would be able to provide for their wolf masters in the future. It is also said that the leading wolf servant La Ree did ululate long into the night for he required additional funding to continue with the wolf Ron Da Vel. The structure that La Ree has named the Aud-I-torium.

So as we approach the great festival that celebrates the end of the year, whatever your beliefs or Gods, may I wish you all a safe and joyous celebration. Drive your chariots and the like with great care of the others sharing the highways and byways and be sure to give the wolves and non wolves that you serve something special at this time of the year as we enjoy the warm rays cast down upon us by the God Ra and my Horus be gentle with the passing of the hours until we meet in the future. Joyous howls to you all

Gary

We’ve been extremely busy out here at the sanctuary with construction, fighting biliary, upgrading fencing and the other jobs that need to be taken care of on a daily basis. We were very fortunate to tell our story to the nation with a full length insert on Kwela. In our village I have been risen once again to celebrity status. It means a lot to these people when one of their own is seen on television, especially a full documentary. I’ve also been inundated with messages of support and inquiries.

We’re in the process of building new dams within the enclosures and increasing the shading around the sanctuary. Summer is here so when you come to visit the wolves, bring your swimming costume or a pair of shorts and take a dip at ‘Hermanus’ where we enjoy whale watching.

From Nina Oosthuizen

Hi everybody! I’m the sanctuary’s resident journalist and feral human habitant who loves to camp with the huskies. I found my home here in 2017, I was having a rough time with life in general and Larry and the animals adopted me (poor them). This month, I spent time with Nishka’s pups and I am gob smacked at how much they’ve grown in just six months. Some of them are as big as Trigger already… This is why it’s not always a good idea to cross-breed wolves with certain types of dog breeds. They are going to be HUGE. Walking around the sanctuary I found a lot of new faces due to the animal’s human guardians having to give up on them. From not being able to handle the intensity of the breeds to emigrating, there always seems to be an endless amount of excuses. With Christmas around the corner, I’d like to make a plight in reminding everyone what the Festive Season is about… Don’t bankrupt yourself by buying expensive gifts for one another, rather buy a HuskyRomi T-shirt, Cap or Calendar and support the sanctuary and in turn the animals. My family already know what they’re getting this year.

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!

  1. 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’’

  1. 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:
Committee@Huskyromi.co.za
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
Reg.Number 067-956-NPO
Acc No. 62296463989
Branch code. 230833
Cheque Acc
To reserve your HuskyRomi calendar please email your details and proof of payment to:
Committee@Huskyromi.co.za
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
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, sustainable, 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: URGENT: House votes to delist wolves

On Friday, the House of Representatives voted to delist gray wolves in the lower 48.

This bill, HR 6784, is a last-ditch attempt by this anti-wildlife Congress to strip Endangered Species Act protection for 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.

We can’t abandon wolves to the mercy of hostile states. If we lose this fight, wolves will pay with their lives.

Please, donate today to our Defend America’s Wildlife campaign, and your gift will be tripledDonate here.

  1. USA: There’s still hope (pt. 3)

We’re bringing you our third update in a short series of uplifting messages that we’re sharing with our supporters through the end of the year. These stories remind us all why, even in the direst circumstances, we have reasons to hold on to optimism and hope for wildlife.

As a Defenders supporter, we hope you know that you’re a valued part of America’s premier community of wildlife lovers and activists. Thanks to your support, Defenders works to protect wildlife on the ground in communities ranging from Alaska to Florida.

Our nationwide network includes scientists, organizers and legal experts. Together they monitor local wildlife developments, from panther movements in the Everglades to polar bear denning in the Arctic. They work within their communities to build support for wildlife protection. And they serve as your eyes and ears on the frontlines of wildlife conservation wherever animals are threatened.

Each regional office specializes in the imperilled wildlife of their region. Here are just a few examples:

  • Our Rocky Mountains and Great Plains office is ‘gray wolf central.’ This team takes the lead in the Northern Rockies, not just on wolf recovery efforts, but also on protecting bison, grizzly bears and black-footed ferrets from further devastation.
  • Our Anchorage-based Alaska team serves as our front line for protecting the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the Tongass rain forest, and a vast mosaic of protected habitats for wolves, bears and other imperilled animals.
  • Meanwhile, our Asheville, North Carolina-based South-east team handles all things red wolf-related, not to mention panthers, manatees and denizens of the unique freshwater habitats that crisscross the region.

And that’s just a small picture of Defenders’ broad work on behalf of wildlife. Our expert team of wildlife advocates is also performing critical conservation work in California, the Southwest, the Northwest and beyond for the imperilled species that depend on us all to ensure they have a future.

We want to share this lesson from our work across the country: even in the states we think of as ‘anti-wolf’ or ‘anti-wildlife,’ there are many, many people who believe as you do – that wildlife and wild places deserve our protection. It’s our job is to help them be heard, so we can ensure wildlife has the voice it needs in every state.

That work would be impossible without the support of wildlife lovers like you. For that you have our undying gratitude.

  1. USA: Heartbreaking: Yellowstone wolf shot and killed

It’s a tragic example of history repeating itself and a heartbreaking loss for Yellowstone wolves.

A former alpha female of Yellowstone National Park’s famed Lamar Canyon pack was shot and killed by a hunter as she made a brief detour beyond the park boundaries. She was known only as 926F.

The death came nearly 6 years to the day after 926F’s mother, a world-renowned wolf known as 832F or ’06,’ met an identical fate.

Your emergency donation to our Defend America’s Wildlife Campaign will help us fight for wolves in court, on the ground, and wherever else we need to take the fight for the wildlife you love. Until December 31st, your gift will be matched 2-for-1, up to a total of $150,000: Donate here.

Although the shooting was legal since the wolf was outside the protected park boundaries, wolves do’t have any way of knowing when they’ve left the safety of the National Park. Unfortunately, neither Montana nor Wyoming have enacted no-kill buffer zones around Yellowstone, and tragically, this isn’t the first wolf killed when it travelled just outside the park.

The killing of 926F is a reminder of how much work we all still have, not only to change laws but to change hearts and minds. That’s one reason that, with your support, Defenders maintains a constant presence in wolf country.

Triple your impact now: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=aLrw531-VTibMxzDrnGYeg

As difficult as it may be for you (and me) to comprehend, wolf-haters still exist. No wolf will be truly safe until values change. The good news is, values are changing; poll after poll shows that most Americans are pro-wolf and pro-wolf conservation.

Your emergency donation will help us fight for wolves, in court and wherever we need to take the fight for the wildlife you love: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=1y86bPNtbUlffolqNpOOig 

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

USA: Every gray wolf in the country could be hunted

It is outrageous to even consider intentionally killing animals that number a tiny fraction of what they once did and what they someday could if we let them.

Make a 100% tax-deductible gift today to help keep wolves protected.

Last Friday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would strip every gray wolf in the continental U.S. of Endangered Species Act protections and turn their future over to state wildlife agencies.

Wolves have just begun to recover from near-extinction. Our ancestors trapped, clubbed, shot, and poisoned them in the mid-twentieth century, killing tens of thousands of these native animals.

Our efforts to restore them have been successful–wolves now roam the Northern Rockies, the Great Lakes states, and are coming back to California and the Pacific Northwest states. If these wolves are going to continue to recover and expand to their former landscapes, we need them protected by the Endangered Species Act.

Help us take on the fight to protect gray wolves and the Endangered Species Act with your donation today.

The legislation that was passed in the U.S. House of Representatives puts wolves in real peril. It even jeopardizes the Endangered Species Act itself. There would be no formal rulemaking process and the decision would not be subject to judicial review. The bill chips away at the use of science in listing decisions and replaces it with cold, political calculations. That’s not what the Endangered Species Act calls for and is not any way to recover a species.

I need your help to fight this attack and others like it. Please make your 100% tax-deductible holiday gift today.

Anti-wildlife special interests have a direct line to some members of Congress. Working behind the scenes to weaken protection for wolves and other imperiled species, they have introduced more than 75 legislative attacks on the Endangered Species Act in this Congress alone. They have seemingly unlimited resources and access.

But science and the facts are on our side. With your help, we can continue to stop dangerous legislation such as this from advancing into law. The Endangered Species Coalition is one of the only organizations in the country that works exclusively to protect endangered and threatened species. We bring hundreds of member organizations together and mobilize thousands of activists to keep wildlife safe. Please support this work with a 100% tax-deductible gift today.

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

Wolfsschutz Deutschland on Facebook.

Germany

  1. USA: “Manage Our Wolves Act” passes House of Representatives without Bigg’s Amendment!

Unfortunately, the House of Representatives passed the “Manage Our Wolves Act” last month, and the bill moves on to the Senate.

On the bright side, it seems like Biggs’ anti-lobo amendment was not in the “Mange Our Wolves Act” when it passed the House of Representatives, so at least the Mexican Gray Wolf is currently safe from delisting.

Here is the text of the version of the bill that passed the House: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/6784/text verses the text of the anti-lobo amendment that Biggs proposed: https://amendments-rules.house.gov/amendments/BIGGS_136_xml111318163707377.pdf

Thankfully, there is a chance that the “Manage Our Wolves Act” will not pass. Right now Congress is rushing to get multiple things done before the deadline of December 14, 2018, which will mark the end of the Congressional session and the beginning of the holiday break. If the bill is not voted on before that date, then it dies and the Gray Wolves are safe.

But the Senate still has a week to vote on “Manage Our Wolves Act,” so we cannot assume that a vote will not be held – to do so would be foolish. And we must make sure that any amendments targeting the Mexican Gray Wolf do not make it into the final bill. So if you live in the USA, then please write to your Senators & tell them to both reject any anti-lobo amendment that is proposed and to vote NO on this dangerous anti-wolf bill!

2. USA: Petition’s Stance on Delisting Northern Gray Wolves.

Contrary to what some people seem to think, this petition does not oppose (nor does it support) the delisting of Northern Gray Wolves in and of itself, since their recovery status is currently the subject of scientific debate. However, this petition recognizes that a political delisting of Northern Gray Wolves by Congress will indirectly harm Mexican Gray Wolves, for at least three reasons:

  1. If the Northern Gray Wolf is politically delisted and is subjected to legal killing, then any Mexican Gray Wolf that wanders north of the Mexican Wolf Experimental Population Area (MWEPA) could be mistaken for a Northern Gray Wolf and killed. This would prevent the natural establishment of the Mexican Gray Wolf in suitable habitat that exists north of the MWEPA.
  2. According to many geneticists, an important part of the evolutionary history of Mexican Gray Wolves that should be restored is admixture with Northern Gray Wolves, and admixed Gray Wolves are of conservation value. A political delisting of Northern Gray Wolves would likely prevent the establishment of admixed Gray Wolves, since Northern Gray Wolves could be subjected to legal killing. In addition, this would leave conservationists unprepared on how to recover and manage admixed Gray Wolves should they ever become established, since no plan currently exists for addressing them. And even if admixed Gray Wolves establish a population, they would most likely remain unprotected and subjected to legal killing, which could result in the loss of valuable Mexican Gray Wolf genes from the population.
  3. The political delisting of the Rocky Mountain Gray Wolf has set a precedent of politically delisting other protected species, including the Mexican Gray Wolf, and a political delisting of other Northern Gray Wolves would continue this dangerous precedent. In fact, Congress has already tried to politically delist the Mexican Gray Wolf (hence the existence of this petition).

Therefore, while this petition is specifically focused on preventing the political delisting of highly endangered Mexican Gray Wolves, it is also opposed to the political delisting of any Gray Wolves. So I have posted a different petition to prevent the political delisting of Gray Wolves in general, which more heavily focuses on Northern Gray Wolves – the link to it is attached to this update.

https://www.change.org/p/don-t-let-politics-delist-the-gray-wolf

 

  1. USA: The USFWS: an Unexpected Obstacle to Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery.

Anti-wolf politicians have been fighting Mexican Gray Wolf recovery for years, but recently there has been another party who has surprisingly hindered Mexican Gray Wolf recovery: the USFWS, the federal agency that is in charge of saving the species. About a year ago, the USFWS published a new Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan, and as you probably know by now, this so-called “recovery” plan is more political than scientific.

To emphasize, this petition is only about anti-wolf legislation that targets the Mexican Gray Wolf; this petition is not about the actions that the USFWS takes in recovering the subspecies, though there is no denying that the new Mexican Wolf “Recovery” Plan is highly concerning. So I posted another petition to ensure that the USFWS follows the science in recovering the Mexican Gray Wolf – the link to it is attached to this update. Please sign and share the petition, cause we cannot let the USFWS mismanage the Mexican Gray Wolf into extinction!

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

Take action to stop Congress from abandoning gray wolves!

Sierra Club petition:

Congress’ attacks on the Endangered Species Act and the struggling wildlife it protects continue to mount. Just last month Congress introduced the “Manage Our Wolves” act, that will strip Endangered Species protections from all gray wolves in the lower 48.

If they succeed, these attacks will become law, and gray wolf recovery would be devastated. We have less than three weeks to stop this from happening. Take action and add your name now.

From the California Wolf Center (californiawolfcenter@yahoogroups.com on behalf of; erin@californiawolfcenter.org [californiawolfcenter] [californiawolfcenter-noreply@yahoogroups.com)

  1. MEXICAN WOLF UPDATE October 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 up to 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

Brady McGee started as the Mexican Wolf Recovery Coordinator on October 1. For the last four years, Brady has served as the USFWS Southwest Region’s Chief for the Branch of Recovery and Restoration. Overall, he has worked in the Southwest Region since 2001 and has extensive experience with the Endangered Species Act, Mexican wolves and the challenges of wolf recovery in the Southwest. Brady has a Masters in Wildlife Biology from Texas State University and a Doctorate degree in Wildlife Science from Texas Tech University.

During October, Brady discussed the Mexican Wolf Program with a variety of cooperators and individuals. Brady will continue to conduct meetings with cooperators and individuals in November to develop a broad understanding of the Program.

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 October, there were 84 wolves with functioning radio collars that the IFT was actively monitoring.

 

IN ARIZONA:

Bear Wallow Pack (collared AM1338 and f1683)

In October, 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 and AM1338 were documented travelling separately.

Bluestem Pack (collared f1686)

In October, 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. The IFT initiated a diversionary food cache toward the end of the month in an effort to reduce potential for conflict with livestock.

Eagle Creek Pack (collared M1477)

In October, M1477 continued to be documented travelling with an uncollared wolf in a territory in the east central portion of the ASNF.

Elk Horn Pack (collared AF1294, f1668, m1671, fp1696, and fp1697)

In October, the Elk Horn Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north-eastern portion of the ASNF. A female pup, fp1696, was captured, collared, and released in October.

Hoodoo Pack (collared AM1290, AF1333, m1677, m1681, and mp1789)

In October, the Hoodoo Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north-eastern portion of the ASNF.

Panther Creek Pack (collared AM1382)

Panther Creek AM1382 was not located during the month of October.

Pine Spring Pack (collared AM1394, AF1562, fp1794, and fp1825)

In October, the Pine Spring Pack was located within their territory in the north central portion of the ASNF and occasionally in the north eastern portion of the FAIR. The IFT maintained a diversionary food cache for this pack to reduce potential for wolf-livestock conflict. A female pup, fp1825, was captured, collared and released in October.

Prime Canyon Pack (collared AM1471, AF1488, mp1790, fp1791, and fp1823)

In October, 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. A female pup, fp1823 was captured, collared, and released in October.

Saffel Pack (collared AM1441, AF1567, m1661, m1680, and fp1792)

In October, the Saffel Pack was located in their territory in the north-eastern portion of the ASNF. Yearling m1680 made dispersal movements from the pack’s territory into New Mexico. The IFT maintained 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 October, the Sierra Blanca Pack was located in their territory in the north-eastern portion of the ASNF.

Single collared F1489

In October, the IFT documented F1489 travelling alone in the north and east central portion of the ASNF.

Single collared M1574

In October, 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 October, 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 and fp1828)

In October, the Maverick Pack was located within their traditional territory on the FAIR and east central portion of the ASNF. A female pup, fp1828, was captured, collared, and released.

Tsay-O-Ah Pack (collared AF1283 and f1674)

In October, the Tsay-O-Ah Pack was located within their traditional territory in the eastern portion of the FAIR. They were also occasionally documented travelling in the east central portion of the ASNF.

Tu dil hil Pack (collared M1559 and F1679)

In October, the Tu dil hil Pack was documented travelling in the eastern portion of the FAIR. M1559 was documented travelling with the Tsay-O-Ah Pack.

Single collared M1824

In October, M1824 was captured, collared, and released. Subsequently, M1824 was documented travelling in the eastern portion of the FAIR and the north central and north eastern portions of the ASNF.

 

IN NEW MEXICO:

Copper Creek Pack (F1444)

During October, F1444, the only wolf with a functioning collar in the Copper Creek Pack, was captured, collared and released. Female 1444 was documented making wide dispersal movements outside the pack’s traditional range.

Dark Canyon Pack (collared AM1354 and AF1456)

During October, the Dark Canyon Pack was documented travelling together within their traditional territory, in the west central portion of the Gila National Forest (GNF).

Datil Mountain Pack (collared M1453 and F1685)

During October, 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 October, 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.

Hawks Nest Pack (collared AM1038 and F1473)

During October, F1437 and AM1038 were documented travelling together in the Hawks Nest territory in the north central portion of the GNF.

Iron Creek Pack (collared AM1240, AF1278, M1555, M1556, f1670, m1821, fp1721, and mp1710)

During October, the Iron Creek Pack continued to utilize their territory in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness and the southern portion of the GNF. A cross-fostered pup, mp1710, was captured, collared, and released in October.

Lava Pack (collared AM1285 and AF1405)

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

Leopold Pack (collared AM1293 and AF1346)

During October, 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 October, 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 conflict with livestock.

Mangas Pack (collared AM1296, AF1439, f1664, and f1705)

During October, 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. In October, f1664 was located dead in New Mexico. The incident is under investigation.

Prieto Pack (collared AM1398, AF1251, F1565, m1669, m1678, fp1826, and mp1827)

During October, 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. A female pup, fp1826, and a male pup, mp1827, were captured, collared and released in October.

San Mateo Pack (collared AF1399, f1578, and fp1822)

During October, the San Mateo Pack continued to utilize their territory in the north central portion of the GNF. A female pup, fp1822, was captured, re-collared, and released in October.

Sheepherders Baseball Park (SBP) Pack (collared AF1553)

During October, AF1553 continued to use the traditional territory of the SBP pack in the north central portion of the GNF.

Squirrel Springs Pack (collared F1788)

During October, the Squirrel Springs pack continued to travel in the north central portion of the GNF.

Single collared M1486

During October, M1486 travelled throughout the northern and central portions of the CNF.

Single collared M1673

During October, M1673 continued to travel in the western portion of the GNF.

 

MORTALITIES

During the month of October, f1664 of the Mangas Pack was located dead in New Mexico; the incident is under investigation. From January 1, 2018 to October 31, 2018 there have been a total of 12 documented wolf mortalities.

 

INCIDENTS

During the month of October, there were eight confirmed wolf depredation incidents on livestock. There were two nuisance incidents in October. From January 1, 2018 to October 31, 2018 there have been a total of 62 confirmed wolf depredation incidents in New Mexico and 29 confirmed wolf depredation incidents in Arizona.

On October 5, the IFT took a report from a woman who indicated she had been in a camp trailer on the Apache Sitgreaves National Forest near Forest Road 26 when an uncollared wolf was observed approximately 30-40 yards from the trailer. The woman opened the door of the trailer which caused the wolf to retreat and eventually walk out of sight. The woman stated she believed the wolf was attracted by the sound of the barking dogs from inside the camp trailer.

On October 7, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Greenlee County, AZ.

The investigation confirmed the calf was killed by wolves.

On October 9, Wildlife Services investigated a dead yearling cow in Apache County, AZ. The investigation confirmed the yearling was killed by wolves.

On October 11, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Catron County, NM. The investigation confirmed the calf was killed by wolves.

On October 14, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Catron County, NM. The investigation confirmed the cow was killed by wolves.

On October 18, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Greenlee County, AZ. The investigation confirmed the cow was killed by wolves.

On October 22, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Catron County, NM. The investigation confirmed the cow was killed by wolves.

On October 23, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Catron County, NM. The investigation confirmed the cow was killed by wolves.

On October 24, the IFT investigated an elk carcass in Alpine that had been killed during the night by wolves approximately 200 yards from the nearest residence. The carcass was removed from the area by the IFT to eliminate further attractant to the wolves returning to the location. Collar data indicated the elk had likely been killed by the Elk Horn Pack.

On October 25, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Catron County, NM. The investigation confirmed the calf was killed by wolves.

On October 30, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Catron County, NM. The investigation confirmed the calf was killed by coyotes.

 

COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATION

On October 2, WMAT provided a Tribal program update on KNNB Radio, in Whiteriver, Arizona.

On October 6, AZGFD provided a project update and overview to participants at the Arizona Elk Society/AZGFD elk viewing workshop at Sipe Wildlife Area outside of Springerville, AZ.

On October 12, USFWS personnel provided a project update to approximately 100 people at the International Wolf Symposium. In addition, the merits of the Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan were debated by AZGFD personnel in front of approximately 500 people that evening.

On October 19, AZGFD provided a project update at the Alpine Alliance monthly meeting in Alpine.

On October 21, USFWS personnel provided a project update and discussed the project with approximately 10 people from the Lobos of the Southwest group.

On October 25, USFWS personnel participated in a panel discussion on wolves at a Timber Wolf Alliance meeting in front of approximately 50 people.

On October 25, AZGFD presented at the Coconino Natural Resource Conservation District conservation outreach forum at the Mormon Lake Lodge in Arizona.

On October 26, USFWS personnel gave a keynote presentation to approximately 150 people associated with the Timber Wolf Alliance annual meeting.

On October 26, USFWS personnel discussed wolves with approximately 20 students at Northland College in Ashland, WI.

On October 27, USFWS personnel discussed wolf biology and behavior with approximately 20 people participating in a tracking class at Northland College in Ashland, WI.

 

PROJECT PERSONNEL

In October, Julia Smith left the IFT to continue her career in wolf recovery efforts. Janess Vartanian also left the IFT in October to continue her career in wildlife conservation. Janess and Julia were tenured members of the IFT and contributed significantly to the efforts of Mexican wolf recovery. Julia and Janess, thank you for all your hard work, dedication and leadership; you will both be missed.

Maggie Dwire was promoted to Deputy Mexican Wolf Recovery Coordinator in October. Congratulations Maggie.

  1. Monthly Update – Nov. 1-30, 2018

 

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 pup mortality generally occurs in this period). 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 when the Mexican wolf population is most stable. At the end of November, there were 80 wolves with functioning radio collars that the IFT was actively monitoring. Not all of the wolves in the population are collared.

IN ARIZONA:
Bear Wallow Pack (collared AM1338 and f1683)
In November, 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 and AM1338 were documented travelling separately.

Bluestem Pack (collared f1686)
In November, the IFT documented yearling f1686 in the pack’s traditional territory in the east central portion of the ASNF. Yearling f1686 made dispersal movements from the pack’s territory within the eastern portion of the ASNF.

Eagle Creek Pack (collared M1477)
In November, M1477 continued to be documented travelling with an uncollared wolf in a territory in the east central portion of the ASNF.

Elk Horn Pack (collared AF1294, f1668, m1671, mp1695, fp1696, and fp1697) 
In November, the Elk Horn Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north-eastern portion of the ASNF. A male pup, 1695, was captured, collared, and released in November. The IFT started a diversionary food cache to reduce the potential for human-wildlife interactions near residences. The IFT conducted hazing efforts on the Elk Horn Pack on two occasions when the pack was observed within the community of Alpine.

Hoodoo Pack (collared AM1290, AF1333, m1677, m1681, and mp1789)
In November, the Hoodoo Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north-eastern portion of the ASNF. Yearlings, m1677 and m1681 and mp1789 were documented travelling separate from the rest of the pack in the east central part of the ANSF during a portion of the month.

Panther Creek Pack (collared AM1382)
Panther Creek AM1382 was not located during the month of November.
 
Pine Spring Pack (collared AM1394, AF1562, fp1794, and fp1825)

In November, the Pine Spring Pack was located within their territory in the north central portion of the ASNF and occasionally in the north eastern portion of the FAIR. The IFT continued to maintain a diversionary food cache for this pack to reduce potential for wolf-livestock conflict.

Prime Canyon Pack (collared AM1471, AF1488, mp1790, fp1791, and fp1823)
In November, 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 to reduce the potential for human-wildlife interactions near residences.

Saffel Pack (collared AM1441, AF1567, m1661, and fp1792)
In November, the Saffel Pack was located in their territory in the north-eastern portion of the ASNF. Yearling m1680 continued dispersal movements in New Mexico and was found dead in New Mexico in November. The incident is under investigation.  Yearling m1661 made dispersal movements from the pack’s territory in the south central portion of the ANSF in late November.

Sierra Blanca Pack (collared M1571 and F1550)
In November, the Sierra Blanca Pack was located in their territory in the north-eastern portion of the ASNF.

Single collared F1489
In November, the IFT documented F1489 travelling in the north and east central portion of the ASNF.

Single collared M1574
In November, 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 November, the Baldy Pack was documented travelling in the eastern portion of the FAIR and the north central portion of the ASNF. Yearling m1672 was not documented in November and is now considered fate unknown.

Maverick Pack (collared AF1291 and fp1828)
In November, the Maverick Pack was located within their traditional territory on the FAIR and east central portion of the ASNF.

Tsay-O-Ah Pack (collared AF1283 and f1674)
In November, the Tsay-O-Ah Pack was located within their traditional territory in the eastern portion of the FAIR. They were occasionally documented travelling in the east central portion of the ASNF.

Tu dil hil Pack (collared M1559 and F1679)
In November, the Tu dil hil Pack was documented travelling in the eastern portion of the FAIR. M1559 was documented travelling with the Tsay-O-Ah Pack.

Single collared M1824
In November, M1824 was documented travelling in the eastern portion of the FAIR and the north central and north eastern portions of the ASNF.

IN NEW MEXICO:
Copper Creek Pack (F1444)
During November, F1444, the only wolf with a functioning collar in the Copper Creek Pack, was documented making wide dispersal movements outside the pack’s traditional range.

Dark Canyon Pack (collared AM1354 and AF1456)
During November, the Dark Canyon Pack was documented travelling together within their traditional territory, in the west central portion of the Gila National Forest (GNF).

Datil Mountain Pack (collared M1453 and F1685)
During November, the Datil Mountain Pack continued to travel in the western portion of the Cibola National Forest (CNF).

Frieborn Pack (collared AF1443 and fp1702)
During November, 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 to support cross-fostered pups and to reduce the potential for wolf-livestock conflict. In November, AM1447 was located dead in New Mexico. The incident is under investigation.

Hawks Nest Pack (collared F1473)
During November, the Hawks Nest Pack was documented travelling together in the Hawks Nest territory in the north central portion of the GNF. In November, AM1038 was located dead in New Mexico. The incident is under investigation.

Iron Creek Pack (collared AM1240, AF1278, M1555, M1556, f1670, m1821, fp1721, and mp1710)
During November, the Iron Creek Pack continued to utilize their territory in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness and the southern portion of the GNF. The IFT maintained a food cache to support cross-fostered pups and to reduce the potential for wolf-livestock conflict.

Lava Pack (collared AM1285 and AF1405)
During November, the Lava Pack was located within their traditional territory in the south-eastern portion of the GNF. 
Leopold Pack (collared AM1293 and AF1346)

During November, 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 November, 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 conflict with livestock. In November, a private trapper in New Mexico caught f1684 and contacted the IFT. The IFT responded, replaced the wolf’s collar, and then released f1684 on GNF.

Mangas Pack (collared AM1296, AF1439, and f1705)
During November, the Mangas Pack was located within their territory in the northwestern portion of the GNF. The IFT maintained a diversionary food cache for the Mangas Pack to reduce potential for conflict with livestock.

Prieto Pack (collared AM1398, AF1251, F1565, m1669, m1678, and mp1827)
During November, 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 to reduce potential for conflict with livestock. In November, fp1826 was located dead in New Mexico. The incident is under investigation. 

San Mateo Pack (collared AF1399, f1578, and fp1822)
During November, the San Mateo Pack continued to utilize their territory in the north central portion of the GNF.

Sheepherders Baseball Park (SBP) Pack (collared AF1553)
During November, AF1553 continued to use the traditional territory of the SBP pack in the north central portion of the GNF.

Squirrel Springs Pack (collared F1788)
During November, the Squirrel Springs pack was located in the north central portion of the GNF. The IFT continued efforts in November to maintain a consistent presence in the pack’s territory, as well as haze the pack away from livestock to decrease conflict due to a confirmed depredation in October.

Single collared M1486
During November, M1486 was located dead in New Mexico. The incident is currently under investigation.

Single collared M1673
During November, M1673 continued to travel in the western portion of the GNF.

MORTALITIES
During the month of November, the following wolves were located dead in New Mexico: AM1447 of the Frieborn Pack, fp1826 of the Prieto Pack, AM1038 of the Hawks Nest Pack, m1680 of the Saffel Pack, and Single M1486. All of the incidents are currently under investigation by USFWS Law Enforcement.

From January 1, 2018 to November 30, 2018 there have been a total of 17 documented wolf mortalities.

INCIDENTS
During the month of November, there were six confirmed wolf depredation incidents on livestock. There were two nuisance incidents in November. From January 1, 2018 to November 30, 2018 there have been a total of 66 confirmed wolf depredation incidents in New Mexico and 31 confirmed wolf depredation incidents in Arizona.

On November 14, Wildlife Services investigated two dead calves in Catron County, NM. The investigation determined one calf was a confirmed wolf kill and the other calf died of unknown causes.

On November 16, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, AZ. The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf kill.

On November 17, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Catron County, NM. The investigation confirmed the cow was killed by wolves.

On November 17, Wildlife Services investigated a dead goat in Catron County, NM. The investigation determined the goat was killed by a domestic dog.

On November 17, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Catron County, NM. The investigated confirmed the calf was killed by wolves.

One November 20, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Catron County, NM. The investigation confirmed the calf was killed by wolves.

On November 21, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, AZ. The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf kill.

On November 24 and 25, Wildlife Services hazed the Elk Horn Pack after locating the wolves in an open pasture in Alpine, AZ near residences.

COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATION
On November 15, USFS personnel provided a poster presentation at the Second International Wildlife Reintroduction Conference. The conference was attended by approximately 150 people.

PROJECT PERSONNEL
There were no personnel updates for the project during the month of November.

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.

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Wolves and Wolfdogs

by Rick Lamplugh

Lawsuit to Create a National Wolf Recovery Plan

The US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) expects to publish by the end of 2018 a proposal to remove endangered species protection from nearly all gray wolves in the lower 48. To stop this delisting, the Center for Biological Diversity has sued the FWS and Secretary of the Interior Zinke for violating the Endangered Species Act by never providing a comprehensive recovery plan for gray wolves nationwide. The Center’s lawsuit argues that wolves must remain federally protected until the FWS implements a national recovery plan.
A recovery plan, writes the Center, would enable wolves to establish viable numbers in areas where small populations are still recovering, including California, Oregon, and Washington. It would also promote recovery in areas like the southern Rockies, Dakotas, and Adirondacks, which have suitable wolf habitat but no wolf populations.
In their complaint, the Center charges that the FWS has never prepared the required nationwide plan to guide gray wolf recovery efforts and has unreasonably denied a 2010 petition the Center filed to ask for development of that recovery plan. The agency has also failed to review the status of the gray wolf in the last five years, even though the ESA requires them to do so.
The Center wants the court to order FWS to develop a nationwide recovery plan and conduct a five-year status review for the gray wolf.
This may be a long fight. While the delisting proposal is expected in December, wolves will remain protected until the FWS proposal is finalized. That could take a year or so. The Center has filed the complaint and now awaits the FWS response. The Center expects a decision on this issue about a year from now.

In their complaint, the Center includes a number of important facts about wolves and the treatment of these essential predators:

The gray wolf once occupied the majority of North America, excluding perhaps only the driest deserts and the south-eastern U.S. where the red wolf roamed. Scientists estimate that as many as two million wolves may have lived in North America pre-European settlement.

Wolves are important to the ecosystems they inhabit. Studies of gray wolves in Yellowstone National Park and elsewhere demonstrate that wolves significantly shape ecosystems, promoting biodiversity and overall ecological health.

Government agents used deadly poisons and traps to kill wolves during the late 19th century and first half of the 20th century. By 1967, when wolves were first federally protected under a precursor to the ESA, they had been reduced to fewer than 1,000 wolves in north-eastern Minnesota, with a very small isolated population on Isle Royale.

Rather than develop a nationwide gray wolf recovery plan, the FWS developed separate plans for wolves in three areas: the Northern Rocky Mountains, the Great Lakes, and the Southwest. The FWS never developed recovery plans for many areas where wolves could and should recover, including the North-east, Pacific Northwest and California, Southern Rocky Mountains, and Great Plains.

Today, wolves occupy only about ten percent of their historic range in the U.S. with most progress in those three areas covered by recovery plans. Their total population is less than 6,000 wolves. While this represents an improvement in the status of the gray wolf since its protection, threats remain inadequately addressed in both occupied and unoccupied portions of the range.

Because recovery efforts have focused on just three regions and not on gray wolves throughout the lower 48, full recovery has not occurred.

Source: http://ricklamplugh.blogspot.com/2018/12/lawsuit-to-create-national-wolf.html, reprinted with permission

Wolf Myths and Legends, Part 156

Vivian-Wolf

by Vivian Wolf Gandion

One day, Hermes, messenger of the gods, was flying over a dense wood when he saw the lovely Artemis, goddess of the hunt, stealthily tracking a wild boar. He fell in love and knew instantly that he must father her son. Swooping down through the trees he grabbed her and flew away to a nearby cave. Less than an hour later a dark-haired girl was born. Hermes was so furious that Artemis had not bore him a boy that he banished the young Vivian, daughter of Artemis, to live forever with the wild beasts and animals of the forest.

Raised by a grizzly bear, she learned from all the woodland creatures, and the great hunters were her teachers. Vivian came to be the goddess of the moon. Soon she learned that not only did she have a great talent for the hunt but also that she could become a creature of it, able to shape shift at will from one form to another. The first of her forms was her human self; eyes as yellow as a cats and long rippling hair, blacker than night, that flowed smoothly over her strong but slim figure of about 16 years. She was already far more poised and beautiful than Aphrodite, the goddess of love, herself. Vivian’s latter shape, an animal larger than a fox but smaller then a bear, was a deep ebony in summer and silvery white in winter. A creature with tawny eyes that could penetrate even the blackest night. Moving without a sound, she was a true hunter that loved a clear, cool night and always yearned for the moon.

As time wore on Vivian became lonely and started to search for another of her kind, another wolf, the name granted her by the other creatures of the wood. Now as Athena, goddess of warfare and wisdom, was travelling through the forest where Vivian was searching for other wolves. She saw the girl, took pity on her, and as Athena approached, Vivian, turned into wolf shape to protect herself from this warlike goddess. When Athena saw this she knew immediately that this was the daughter of great Artemis and rash Hermes. As Athena explained herself to the girl, she began to sense the great loneliness that was broiling up inside the young goddess. Therefore, when Vivian asked her for help, she directed the girl to the one man who might know how to help, Zeus, king of the gods. Without hesitation, Athena took Vivian to see Zeus. When he first heard of what Hermes did he thundered and roared, and threw his great lightning bolts as the two goddesses cowered in the corner, waiting for him to calm himself and once again become reasonable. Then Vivian, with help from Athena, told him her request. Zeus said that he would ponder what he could do and that they should return in a fortnight’s time to receive his answer.

Two weeks later, when Athena and Vivian returned, Zeus spoke, his voice filling the very chasm of time, “Fair Vivian, daughter of Artemis and Hermes, I hear your plea and wish greatly to aid you, for you are more beautiful and poised than the goddess of love herself, a feat never before accomplished. However I cannot help you directly, only give advice. I happen to know that, on a small island in the north, there lives an old and wise man who can tell you where to find another wolf.” So with that and well wishes from Athena, Vivian made for this man who was said to have the answer to her problem.

Since she was a swift runner and never ran out of food for she could hunt anywhere she liked, the trip took but a few days time. Soon she was at the house of the wise man that Zeus had spoken of. As she changed back into her upright form she knocked on the door and a cracked voice came from inside, “Come in Vivian. Yellow-eyed wolf goddess. Black-haired creature of the moon. Come in and I will tell you what you want to know, in time. After all, I am told that you are more beautiful than the goddess of love and that, of course, is hard to do.” Vivian froze, but then remembered Zeus saying something about the old man being a fortuneteller so the surprise was short lived and she quickly entered the house.

In an open hearth a green fire was burning and in the flame she saw shapes and figures flickering along with the fire in which it appeared. Sitting near the hearth was a man with three faces, one, that looked as old as the very mountains themselves, was puffing on a small handcrafted pipe. The second face, which was that of a middle-aged man, about in his thirties was reading a book and paying her no mind. The third was that of a young man, no older than her, who was staring at her as if he were in a powerful trance. In the youngest face she saw something that wasn’t in the other two faces, something that moved her deeply, something called love.

The oldest one spoke in the same voice she had heard coming from the door, “To get what you seek you must grant each of us our hearts desire. My desire is that you bring me the oldest crow alive so that I may learn his secrets.” She nodded but suddenly stopped when a voice came from the face that was hiding behind a thick and crinkled book “Bring me the longest book in the world, The History of the Gods.” She asked if they knew where she could find such things but instead of answering the youngest one chirped, “My only wish is that I may have your fair hand in marriage and that you love me as much as I love you.” Thinking about this Vivian thought of Eros, son of Aphrodite, and said that she would do this but that if she would marry him she must at least learn his name. Their only response was to look at fire and disappear.

With that she captured the oldest crow, found and stole the longest book and borrowed one of Eros’s arrows so that she could prick herself and fall in love with the young man. They were wed and the day after the wedding night she once again spoke with the eldest man. He said that with the crow’s knowledge he could tell her where to find the only other wolf, “Reaching it may not be possible and certainly beyond mortal means.” However, Vivian paid no mind to this small inconvenience, determined to reach her goal.

Vivian learned that at the heart of the moon was a wolf that never has had a name and merely runs through the sky on pure white paws. The stars move away as he soars by, always alone and always yearning for company, before crashing into the sea. And so with her husband at her side, she turned into a wolf and leaped up after the moon. That’s why the wolf is always right behind the moon and sometimes she catches up with the white wolf. To this day there is a small group of great hunters who always run in pack and just can’t help howling at the moon.

Readers’ Contribution

A Wolfdog Diary

By Erin

Erin has been quite ill for a while and incapable of continuing her diary. She is getting better, even if slowly, and says she will be back shortly.

Ted