Volume 14, Issue 173, March 2019

SAFHOWL

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

Volume 14, Issue 173, March 2019

From the Editor’s Desk

I do the final readings of every month’s newsletter, and having reached the end of this one, I am fuming once more. What’s new, you may rightfully ask. I won’t even begin to write down what I think of the criminals that dominate the News section, because it would inevitably lead to my using vocabulary unfit for printing. Instead, I urge you to read the news on what is going on in the US, and if you don’t fume as much as I do afterwards, then I don’t know. If you do, and I suppose you will, the least you can do to vent your anger a little is signing every single one of the petitions and protests available.

A stroke of bad luck has hit the Wolf Sanctuary in Reitz, and if you can help them with anything or in any way, please get to it without delay.

We have a wolf tale, as usually, but Erin takes a break, having nothing really important to convey about the pack.

Till next month,

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 here

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 Sanctuary

The end of February already and this has been a month of disaster and rescues from beginning to end.

This will be the last month that we have Frans’s Ramblings, Frans needs to take a bit of a break; no, we are not losing Frans. Frans has been a rock for HuskyRomi right from when he joined us. Through Frans we reintroduced the newsletter, he did the final read and then sent it out to everyone. He coordinated the adoptions and the sponsorship of the wolves. He organized the Full Moon Festival which is still our most successful fund raiser to date, he introduced us to the world of going to events and selling wolf-related merchandise and we were doing very well while Frans was doing it. We only achieved similar success last year at Mutters Day when the new committee went and put up a strong presence and did well, it took a team of people to do what Frans did.

We have a wonderful committee that is taking HuskyRomi to new heights and this was one of Frans’s suggestions, to separate the sanctuary from the day to day running of HuskyRomi. We in a very short space of time have seen the benefits of this. The wolf trailer which he is donating to us, numerous rescues and some very challenging ones which meant going out day after day and never giving up, so many animals enjoy a good life thanks to Frans and the people he roped in to assist. I could go on because there is so much more.

Our 6m Freezer’s compressor has packed up, R 55,000 to replace the original one so we are going with a compromise one that should do the work, once fitted they discovered that the unit inside was full of micro holes and was leaking gas, this is wear and tear from ammonia gas omitted from the meat when some of it goes off, this set us back R 30,0000. Kim raised the bulk of the money for the compressor overseas and some of the committee members also contributed towards the compressor. The fans are an additional expense, so you are always welcome to contribute towards it, ref. Freezer.

We have been working on a pack of wolves down in Gordons Bay packed into a small garden for well over a year. The man has refused to cooperate with us until recently, soon after three of them attacked his son. We moved heaven and earth to move these wolves and a number of you contributed towards their airfare. We had Stan Kessel down in Cape Town coordinating the transport of the animals from the garden to the airport, flights are booked and everything is running smoothly. We’ve created a new enclosure for them at great cost, he’s contributing nothing, we ask him for vaccination certificates for the animals, nothing, not even an old one, these wolves have never seen an injection. Animals must have current certificates in order to fly and they cannot fly for at least fourteen days after they’ve been vaccinated.

The problem with the wolves is that they are being kept in two packs, one of three and the other one of four in a tiny garden and they are never taken out of the garden. They do not like the man and he’s scared to go to them, Stan didn’t experience anything from them. I believe he beat them for attacking his son. Back to the small garden; animals kept in cages and small runs develop kennel stress, so you can imagine two packs of wolves in a tiny garden; what’s the difference? The enclosure that they will be going into is far bigger than that.

Frans’s Ramblings

Well, what can I say. Here we are already at the end of February of 2019.

I am sitting in front of my computer reading through some of the columns that I have done over the last couple of years and wondering how to say what I intend to say this time round. I started my “ramblings” shortly after we started the newsletter. I used the column to share information about relocations and rescues that we were involved with. I also shared information about some of the things happening at the sanctuary and often just vented a bit about the way some people treated and cared for their animals and what their animals were up to. Sometimes I just shared a snippet or some interesting facts that I came across. I never really received any feedback if the readers liked or enjoyed my ramblings, but nonetheless continued with it most months.

Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) the one thing we all can always be sure of, is change. Due to a very radical change in my personal circumstances, I do not see my way open to continue with the column any longer. I will also not be able any more to do the final proof read and distribution of the newsletter and require a new volunteer to contact me as soon as possible that I can explain the procedure and hand the mailing list over. Please contact me by email (caring.wolves@gmail.com) and let me know when it would be convenient to contact you, as I am seldom in a position to answer my phone during the day when it rings.

It is with quite a heavy heart that I have to move on, but I trust that I may be able to get actively involved again in the not too distant future.

Until we may meet again. Keep on howling.

Frans.

P.S. While reading through the insert below about a film, I remembered that I mentioned a film called “Alpha” a while ago. It was on the circuit locally for about a week (only at Hyde Park) and then disappeared. I managed to download a copy online and thoroughly enjoyed it. The good news is that it is now available on DVD and you should be able to source it from wherever you get your DVD’s. As I say, we really enjoyed it and if you enjoy wolves (and other canines) the way I do, you will probably love it as well.

For a detailed review of the movie How to be human: the man who was raised by wolves by Matthew Bremner, see Husky Romi’s February ’19 Newsletter.

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’’

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 (defenders@mail.defenders.org)

  1. USA: Wolves in Montana need your help

Montana’s wolves could once again be in extreme danger.

Anti-wolf extremists are pushing a bill in the Montana legislature that would essentially put a bounty on wolves throughout the state.

If this bill passes, it would be a lethal throwback to the draconian 19th century tactics that led to the extermination of wolves throughout the lower 48 states.

Defenders is on the ground in Montana right now, mobilizing opposition to this and other anti-wildlife bills. And we need you with us. Your emergency donation will help protect Montana wolves and other vulnerable animals: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=s0M6KrLI2YXVA8WtWHixoQ

The bill, HB 279, would offer ‘expense reimbursement’ to trappers who trap and kill wolves. In the past, similar reward systems for dead wolves nearly drove them to extinction.

We’ve stopped anti-wolf legislation like this before. But to keep up our efforts to protect wolves and vulnerable wildlife, we need your help

The bill also reminds us that wolves are still not safe.

Thanks to the support of wildlife lovers like you, Defenders maintains an involved presence in states like Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho.

The good news is many people in these states support wolf conservation. But the extreme anti-wolf minority remains powerful – and this cruel bill is their attempt to exterminate wolves once and for all.

We won’t abandon wildlife in need. Please give today to help keep us on the frontlines protecting vulnerable animals! http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=Csu2RnkN6iNAEMBwGtY1oA

Your urgent donation will support our team of on-the-ground wolf experts, biologists, and wildlife lobbyists – both in wolf country and in Washington DC.

We will never rest until America’s wolves are fully recovered and safe from the threat of extermination.

Thank you in advance for your compassion, commitment, and generosity.

  1. USA: The deadliest place to be a wolf

In Idaho, it costs just $11.50 to kill a wolf.

As if that wasn’t bad enough – some hunters are now actually being paid to kill wolves. In fact, more than 500 of Idaho’s gray wolves have been killed for bounty since they were delisted as part of a coordinated multi-pronged attack by the state and anti-wolf groups.

Right now, these wolves are being killed during the peak of their annual breeding season. Wolves who would be raising new pups by the end of the spring are instead being killed for profit.

The situation is tragic, and I can’t think of a more dangerous place to be a wolf.

You can help protect our wolves today: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=A3jrE42ANBAN9d0qVYUOhw

Wolf hatred has always run strong among many in Idaho. But right now, it’s blazing:

  • Since wolf management was turned over to Idaho, hundreds of wolves are killed every year by hunters and trappers.
  • Idaho’s Fish and Game department is proposing to open huge new areas of the state to wolf trapping and snaring. A trapped wolf faces a gruesome death: wounded, starved, or dying of thirst, often for days.
  • Idaho has adopted a new bounty program to pay hunters and trappers for dead wolves. More than 500 wolves have been killed for bounty so far. This is the same tactic that drove wolves to extinction in the West in the 20th century.
  • And the state has recently created a permanent wolf “kill fund,” funded by ranchers, elk hunters and tax dollars. Its goal: To eradicate as many wolves as possible.

These moves will result in hundreds of wolf deaths, if not more.

By going to

you say: << YES, I WANT TO PROTECT WOLVES >>

As a thank-you for your urgent support: Make a gift of $30 or more and we’ll send you a free wolf fleece blanket!

Many hunters and trappers want to end all restrictions on wolf hunting, clearing the way for mass wolf extermination.

This treatment of our wildlife is disgraceful – but with your help, Defenders is fighting back: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=dKdNx0Blyuix0oCkDpwysw

With your support, Defenders is working to protect wolves with coexistence programs in communities across the West. Defenders also uses your donations to fight illegal efforts to kill wolves, to hold states accountable for wolf recovery and to protect wildlife in courts across the country.

These are terrifying times for wolves and the people who love them. We’re asking you to stand with us today to fight for their right to survive in the wild.

Please give today to boost efforts to protect wolves and other vulnerable animals wherever they’re threatened: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=3faG6FqVXvVtaoY3Nd5LSA

Thank you for all you do for wildlife.

  1. USA: The worst-case scenario for America’s wolves

We hoped this day would never come.

The Interior Department is moving forward with a plan to strip gray wolves of all protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

As their latest and most heinous attack on our nation’s wildlife, this is nothing short of a death sentence for countless wolves.

Please donate today and help support our all-out effort to protect gray wolves: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=gSrnfAqa4mQp7rs62qzeqA

We’ve seen what happens when premature delisting leaves wolves to the mercy of anti-wolf politics and politicians that are unwilling to protect them. In Northern Rockies states such as Wyoming and Idaho, thousands of wolves have been killed since losing ESA protections.

If this disastrous plan goes forward, decades of hard-won wolf conservation progress could be destroyed, and the future of gray wolf recovery would once again be in jeopardy. Defenders of Wildlife will do whatever it takes to keep this from happening, but we urgently need your help.

Your urgent donation today will help support our all-out effort to keep gray wolves protected under the ESA: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=-jTbJXWq7PRnc1VTbjJvdQ

It’s not too late to stop this despicable proposal. Defenders is ready to fight back for wolves:

  • We’re engaging a network of thousands of wolf-lovers like you to demand ongoing wolf protections at the first sign of this outrageous proposal moving forward;
  • Our experts are providing key ESA policy and legal analysis, making it clear that delisting is not only premature, it also sets a dangerous precedent for other imperiled animals; and
  • We will take this administration to court to fight this premature delisting of gray wolves.

Wolves are counting on you to stand up for their continued protection, and to speak out against a delisting that could halt or even reverse decades of progress.

Please donate today, while we can still make a difference: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=qxnuq3ttrkyN9aRf-eP5yg

  1. USA: Trump administration announces gray wolf delisting

Today, the Trump administration formally announced their plan to strip gray wolves Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections.

This is a heinous attack on our nation’s wildlife and nothing short of a death sentence for countless wolves.

Please join us in the fight to protect wolves across America!

Donate today and help support our all-out effort to keep gray wolves protected under the ESA: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=bBApIOUlyzfss5TKVFehCg

We hoped this day would never come.

The Interior Department is moving forward with a plan to strip gray wolves of all protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

As their latest and most heinous attack on our nation’s wildlife, this is nothing short of a death sentence for countless wolves.

Please donate today and help support our all-out effort to protect gray wolves: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=VgCcW8rwoeXOgnlSO_7rRw

We’ve seen what happens when premature delisting leaves wolves to the mercy of anti-wolf politics and politicians that are unwilling to protect them. In Northern Rockies states such as Wyoming and Idaho, thousands of wolves have been killed since losing ESA protections.

If this disastrous plan goes forward, decades of hard-won wolf conservation progress could be destroyed, and the future of gray wolf recovery would once again be in jeopardy. Defenders of Wildlife will do whatever it takes to keep this from happening, but we urgently need your help.

Your urgent donation today will help support our all-out effort to keep gray wolves protected under the ESA: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=iSvI6Wwx3upJW4PB8vcNuA

It’s not too late to stop this despicable proposal. Defenders is ready to fight back for wolves:

  • We’re engaging a network of thousands of wolf-lovers like you to demand ongoing wolf protections at the first sign of this outrageous proposal moving forward;
  • Our experts are providing key ESA policy and legal analysis, making it clear that delisting is not only premature, it also sets a dangerous precedent for other imperiled animals; and
  • We will take this administration to court to fight this premature delisting of gray wolves.

Wolves are counting on you to stand up for their continued protection, and to speak out against a delisting that could halt or even reverse decades of progress.

Please donate today, while we can still make a difference: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=13O2Qvvke8qTGGL5wuaxyg

 

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

1. USA: Trump Administration proposes stripping Wolf Protection across Nation

Today, acting Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt announced a proposal to strip federal Endangered Species Act protections for wolves across nearly the entire lower-48 states, reversing gray wolf recovery in the United States.

You can read the full article at http://earthjustice.org

From Change.org, Heather L. via Change.org (change@e.change.org)

USA Congress Spares Mexican Gray Wolves! At Least for Now…

I am happy to report that no anti-lobo legislation was passed into law during 2018. Thank you to everyone who fought against the anti-wolf legislation – this victory would not have been possible without your help! While we celebrate this victory, we should keep in mind that Congress might try to delist Mexican Gray Wolves again in the future, so we must keep an eye on them and ensure that they do not get away with this!

 

From Endangered Species Coalition (action@endangered.org)

  1. USA: Add your name to tell Senator Tammy Baldwin: No more attacks on wolves and the Endangered Species Act

The Endangered Species Act is our nation’s most effective tool for protecting wildlife from extinction. It has saved some of our most iconic species from disappearing forever. The law works – but it only works if politicians let it.

Tell Senator Tammy Baldwin to end her repeated attempts to weaken the Endangered Species Act and legislatively delist gray wolves here

Wisconsin’s junior Senator Tammy Baldwin has repeatedly introduced legislation that would do an end run around the Endangered Species Act and ignore scientists and biologists by kicking gray wolves off of the endangered species list.

Most recently, she cosponsored an anti-wolf amendment to the Natural Resources Management Act–an important law that will protect public lands and reauthorize important conservation programs. The amendment that she cosponsored would remove Endangered Species Act protections from gray wolves in the Great Lakes. Thankfully that effort failed. But, she has introduced or cosponsored similar legislation or amendments that would delist wolves on multiple previous occasions.

Sign the petition to tell Wisconsin Senator Baldwin: No more anti-wolf, anti-Endangered Species Act riders or legislation here

Legislatively removing protections from gray wolves puts their continued recovery in real jeopardy. Without these protections, states are free to set hunting and trapping seasons on wolves. We know from past experience that Wisconsin aggressively manages wolves and have every indication that the state would do so again.

The damage extends to the Endangered Species Act itself. By allowing politicians to replace scientists in decisions around endangered species protections, Senator Baldwin is giving a green light to future politically-based assaults. Would she support slashing protections for other endangered species that big industry finds inconvenient? If not, she should not be attempting repeated rewrites of the rules for gray wolves. Please add your name to tell Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin to protect wolves and the Endangered Species Act by ending her attempts to legislatively delist our gray wolves here

Thank you for your commitment to Wisconsin’s wildlife and wild places.

  1. Wolves from coast-to-coast could lose Endangered Species Act protections

Every wolf in the continental U.S. is on the verge of losing crucial protections under a reckless proposal announced by Acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt this week.

Please make an emergency gift to help fight the Trump Administration’s national wolf delisting here

Hunting, trapping, and habitat loss drove gray wolves from their rightful homes just decades ago and pushed them to the very brink of extinction. Thanks to the Endangered Species Act, wolves have begun to come back – but that recovery has only just begun. Gray wolves occupy a mere five percent of their historic range and barely more than a third of the suitable habitat.

If the Trump Administration succeeds, wolves from coast-to-coast could be faced with indiscriminate, deadly traps and trophy hunters’ bullets. In Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming, where wolves have already lost Endangered Species Act protections, nearly 3,500 wolves have been killed just since 2011.

I need your help to fight this gutting of protection here

Gray wolves that have just begun to come back in Oregon and Washington could lose the protections that have brought them this far. Wolves in the Great Lake states that are just getting their foothold, could be subject to aggressive management by state agencies intent on favoring hunting and trapping over conservation.

Wolves everywhere could face terrible new threats, breaking up their packs and ending their historic comeback.

Walking away from its responsibility to protect these wolves is a betrayal of conservation and the spirit of the Endangered Species Act. We will fight this disgusting plan with every resource we have. Our field organizers around the country are already working tirelessly to organize and mobilize opposition–but I need your support. Please make a contribution today to keep the Endangered Species Coalition in this long, arduous fight to keep wolves protected until they are truly, fully recovered – and not a minute sooner

Thank you for your commitment to wildlife and wild places.

From Wolf Conservation Center (contact@nywolf.org)

  1. Feds Seek to Strip Protection for Gray Wolves Nationwide

Yesterday, Acting Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt announced that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) will soon propose a rule to remove federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections for gray wolves in the lower 48 states.

Wolves once ranged across most of North America, a vital part of many varied ecosystems. But an unremitting slaughter by humans brought wolves to the brink of extinction. By the 1960s, government-sponsored extermination had wiped out nearly all wolves in the Lower 48 states. Only a small population of gray wolves remained in extreme north-eastern Minnesota and on Isle Royale.

The Endangered Species Act, signed into law in 1973, gave us a second chance to right this wrong.

With ESA protections and the support of the American public, the gray wolf was able to return to limited portions of its native range. In areas where wolves began to recover, like the northern Rocky Mountain states and western Great Lakes states, scientists have noted more diverse plant and wildlife thriving where they had been suppressed for decades.

By stripping federal protections from nearly all gray wolves nationwide, wolves in historically occupied areas like the southern Rockies and Northeast may never be able to establish viable populations despite suitable habitat and availability of prey.

Losing federal ESA protections would also have deadly implications for wolves: in just the last few years, thousands of wolves have been shot or trapped in states where protections were temporarily or permanently lifted.

This isn’t the first attempt by USFWS to strip gray wolves of federal protection. The Obama administration had also proposed removing the wolves’ endangered status in 2013, but the effort was unsuccessful. In the Independent Peer Review of the 2013 delisting rule, the five-member panel of scientists agreed unanimously that USFWS’s proposal was based on insufficient science.

USFWS intends to publish the proposed rule in the Federal Register in the coming days, opening a public comment period on the proposal. This proposal will exclude Mexican gray wolves, which would remain a listed subspecies under the ESA.

Stay tuned for updates and ways to take action.

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

MEXICAN WOLF UPDATE January 1-31 2019

The following is a summary of Mexican Wolf Recovery Program

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 Program 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 www.atfws.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 Mexican Wolf Recovery Program 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

Due to the Federal government shutdown that lasted from December 22, 2018 until January 28, 2019, the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program Monthly Update for December did not include any project information for the State of New Mexico. The January Monthly Update will include project information from New Mexico for December and January. The shutdown also resulted in a delay of the annual helicopter count and capture operation by 18 days, however; the count will be conducted in February within the appropriate timeframe.

During the month of December, USFWS met with the San Carlos Apache Tribe, White Mountain Apache Tribe, and Zuni Departments of Game and Fish.

The captive reared Mexican wolf that escaped from a wildlife center in Divide, Colorado, on Nov 11, 2018, was captured near the center on December 12, 2018 and is being held for veterinary care at the Rio Grande Zoo in Albuquerque, New 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 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. Year-end population counts for 2018 continued during the month of January.

At the end of January, there were 25 packs (11 in AZ and 14 in NM) and seven single collared wolves. There were 76 wolves with functioning radio collars that the IFT was actively monitoring. Not all of the wild wolves are collared. Studbook numbers following individual pack names below denote wolves with functioning radio collars.

IN ARIZONA:

Bear Wallow Pack (collared AM1338 and f1683)

In January, 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.

Eagle Creek Pack (collared M1477)

In January, the IFT continued to document M1477 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 January, the Elk Horn Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north-eastern portion of the ASNF.

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

In January, the Hoodoo Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north-eastern portion of the ASNF. Hoodoo m1677 was documented making dispersal movements in New Mexico and the central portion of the ASNF.

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

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

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

In January, the IFT documented the Prime Canyon Pack within their territory in the east central portion of the ASNF.

Saffel Pack (collared AM1441, AF1567, and fp1792)

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

Sierra Blanca Pack (collared M1571 and F1550)

In January, the Sierra Blanca Pack was located in their territory in the north-eastern portion of the ASNF.

Single collared F1489

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

Single collared M1574

In January, the IFT documented M1574 travelling in the east central portion of the ASNF, the SCAR, and the eastern portion of the FAIR.

Single collared AM1382

In January, the IFT documented AM1382, of the Panther Creek Pack, travelling in the east central portion of the ASNF.

Single collared f1686

In January, the IFT documented yearling f1686 continued to make dispersal movements within the eastern portion of the ASNF.

ON THE FAIR:

Baldy Pack (collared AM1347 and F1560)

In January, 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 January, the Maverick Pack was located within their traditional territory in the eastern portion of the FAIR and east central portion of the ASNF.

Tsay-O-Ah Pack (collared M1559, AF1283, and f1674)

In January, the Tsay-O-Ah Pack was located within their traditional territory and occasionally documented north of their territory on the FAIR.

Single collared F1679

In January, F1679 of the Tu dil hil Pack was documented travelling in the eastern portion of the FAIR. F1679 was occasionally documented on the SCAR.

Single collared M1824

In January, M1824 was documented travelling in the north-western portion of the Gila National Forest in New Mexico.

IN NEW MEXICO:

Copper Creek Pack (F1444)

During December and January, 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 December and January, 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 F1685)

During December, the Datil Mountain Pack travelled within their traditional territory.  In January, the Datil Mountain Pack male, M1453, was confirmed dead. The incident is currently under investigation. F1685 continued to travel in the western portion of the Cibola National Forest (CNF).

Frieborn Pack (collared AF1443 and fp1702)

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

Hawks Nest Pack

During early December F1473 travelled within their traditional territory.  In late December, the Hawks Nest Pack female, F1473, was confirmed dead. The incident is currently under investigation. With the death of F1473 and the death of AM1038 in November, the Hawks Nest pack is considered defunct and will not be reported on in future updates.

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

During December and January, the Iron Creek Pack continued to utilize their territory in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness and the southern portion of the GNF. M1556 was captured by a private trapper, processed and released.

Lava Pack (collared AM1285 and AF1405)

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

Leopold Pack (collared AM1293 and AF1346)

During December and January, 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 December and January, the Luna Pack remained in their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF. Sub-adult female, f1684, continued to travel in the south-eastern portion of the GNF.

Mangas Pack (collared AM1296, AF1439, and f1705)

During December and January, the Mangas Pack was located within their territory in the north-western portion of the GNF.

Prieto Pack (collared AM1398, AF1251, m1678, and mp1827)

During December and January, the Prieto Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF. In December, the IFT was notified that two wolves were potentially travelling with traps from a private trapper on their feet. A helicopter capture was immediately initiated and F1565 and m1669 were captured.  F1565 and m1669 were placed under veterinary care. Unfortunately, F1565 died the first night under veterinary care. This case is under investigation. Male 1669 was transferred to the Rio Grande Zoo Veterinary Clinic for continued care, but the injuries sustained required the amputation of the leg. On January 23, M1669 was moved to Sevilleta Wolf Management Facility. The IFT has also documented m1678 travelling with the SBP pack in December and January. The IFT established a diversionary food cache for the Prieto Pack to reduce potential for conflict with livestock in January.

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

During December and January, the San Mateo Pack continued to utilize their territory in the north central portion of the GNF.  Collared female f1578 has been traveling with single m1824 in the north central portion of the GNF.

Sheepherders Baseball Park (SBP) Pack (collared AF1553)

During December and January, AF1553was confirmed travelling with Prieto m1678 in the traditional territory of the SBP pack in the north central portion of the GNF.

Squirrel Springs Pack (collared F1788 and M1349)

During December and January, the Squirrel Springs pack was located in the north central portion of the GNF. The IFT responded to a male wolf caught by a private trapper in December within the Squirrel Springs territory. The IFT confirmed the wolf was M1349, a formerly missing wolf from 2014, and successfully collared and released the wolf. M1349 is now considered a member of the Squirrel Springs pack.

Single collared M1673

During December and January, M1673 was not located.

MORTALITIES

During the month of December, the following wolves in New Mexico were confirmed mortalities: F1565 of the Prieto Pack and F1473 of the Hawks Nest Pack.  Both incidents are under investigation by USFWS Law Enforcement.

During the month of January, M1453 of the Datil Mountain Pack was located dead in New Mexico; the incident is under investigation.

From January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018, there were a total of 21 documented wolf mortalities.

INCIDENTS

During the month of December 2018, there were two confirmed depredation incidents on livestock.  In January 2019, there were 18 confirmed wolf depredation incidents on livestock.  There was one nuisance incident in January.

From January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018 there were a total of 68 confirmed wolf depredation incidents in New Mexico and 31 confirmed wolf depredation incidents in Arizona.

On December 16, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Catron County, NM. The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf kill.

On December 22, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Catron County, NM. The investigation determined the cow was a confirmed wolf kill.

On January 5, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Catron County, NM. The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf kill.

On January 14, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Catron County, NM. The investigation determined the cow was a confirmed wolf kill.

On January 18, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Catron County, NM. The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf kill.

On January 20, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Catron County, NM. The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf kill.

On January 24, the IFT took a report of an elk calf killed by wolves near a residence in Nutrioso, AZ. The reporting party saw two uncollared wolves on the elk carcass. The animals ran off when the reporting party drove a vehicle toward them. The IFT removed the carcass from the property to eliminate further attractant to wolves.

On January 27, Wildlife Services investigated separately a dead cow and a dead calf in Catron County, NM. The investigations determined both were confirmed wolf kills.

On January 28, Wildlife Services conducted six investigations: three dead cows and three dead calves in Catron County, NM. The investigations determined four were confirmed wolf kills, one calf was a coyote kill and one died of unknown causes.

On January 30, Wildlife Services investigated separately five dead calves in Catron County, NM. The investigations determined all five calves were confirmed wolf kills.

On January 31, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf and an injured cow in Apache County, AZ.  The investigation concluded the calf was a probable dog kill and the injuries caused to the cow were confirmed to have been caused by dogs.

On January 31, Wildlife Services investigated separately two dead cows and a dead calf in Catron County, NM. The investigations determined all three were confirmed wolf kills.

COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATION

On January 8, WMAT presented an update on KNNB radio in Whiteriver, AZ.

In January, WMAT provided an article on the WMAT Mexican Wolf Tribal Youth Conservation Program in the Native American Fish and Wildlife Society newsletter.

REWARDS OFFERED

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

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

Other News

National

Nothing to report

Next Door

Nothing to report

International

From Take Action! at GreaterGood Network (news@greatergood.com)

USA: Defend The Endangered Species Act

The Endangered Species Act (ESA) plays a crucial role in conserving national park wildlife. Currently supporting over 500 plant and animal species with habitat in our national parks, thus far it has helped save more than 99 percent of those listed. We have the ESA to thank for the bald eagle and Channel Island fox, to name just a few.

Rather than continuing this important preservation work, Congress has instead introduced dozens of bills and amendments that would turn this bedrock legislation into the ‘eliminating species act.’

This is a direct threat to the long-term conservation of iconic American wildlife and wild lands. Sign our petition to today to ensure that even our national parks’ most vulnerable species remain protected!

Take Action here

Wolves and Wolfdogs

Wolves in the USA

The biggest threat to Wolves in decades

U.S. wildlife officials plan to lift protections for gray wolves across the Lower 48 states, re-igniting the legal battle over a predator that’s run into conflicts with farmers and ranchers after rebounding in some regions, an official told The Associated Press.

Acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt announced the proposal during a Wednesday speech at the North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference in Denver, a weeklong conservation forum for researchers, government officials and others, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Spokesman Gavin Shire said in an interview with the AP.

The decision was based on gray wolves successfully recovering from widespread extermination last century, Shire said. Further details were expected during a formal announcement planned in coming days.

Wildlife advocates reacted with outrage and promised to challenge in court any attempt to lift protections. Agriculture groups and lawmakers from Western states are likely to support the administration’s proposal.

Long despised by farmers and ranchers, wolves were shot, trapped and poisoned out of existence in most of the U.S. by the mid-20th century.

They received endangered species protections in 1975, when there were about 1,000 left, only in northern Minnesota. Now more than 5,000 of the animals live in the contiguous U.S.

Most are in the Western Great Lakes and Northern Rockies regions. Protections for the Northern Rockies population were lifted in 2011 and hundreds of wolves are killed annually by hunters in Wyoming, Idaho and Montana.

State officials and government biologists have said wolves continue to thrive despite pressure from hunting. The animals are prolific breeders and can adapt to a variety of habitats.

But wildlife advocates have fought to keep federal protections kept in place until wolves repopulate more of their historic range that stretched across most of North America.

Since being reintroduced in Yellowstone National park and central Idaho in the mid-1990s, the Northern Rockies population has expanded to parts of Oregon, Washington and California.

The Fish and Wildlife Service has argued for years that gray wolves have recovered in the lower 48 states, despite experts who contend they occupy about 15 percent of the territory they once roamed. Agency officials insist that recovery of wolves everywhere is not required for the species no longer to be in danger of extinction.

John Vucetich, a wildlife biologist at Michigan Technological University, said most wolf experts probably would agree the species is not at imminent risk, but he said he considers dropping federal protections as a premature move.

He said he could not pinpoint a threshold at which he would consider the wolves to be recovered but that “it’s nowhere near as small as 15 percent” of the far-flung regions where they once lived.

Many people “still find it difficult to live with wolves,” primarily because they kill livestock as well as deer and elk that people like to hunt, Vucetich said. If wolves are returned to state management, he said, “I do worry that some of the states could be overly aggressive and that wolves could fare worse than their current condition.”

The government first proposed revoking the wolf’s protected status across the Lower 48 states in 2013, but backed off after federal courts struck down its plan for “delisting” the species in the western Great Lakes region states of Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Fish and Wildlife Service officials disclosed to the AP  (https://www.apnews.com/0a9027ff419a4b3d9b547968e6042c32) last year that another scientific review of the animal’s status had been launched.

Shire declined to disclose the agency’s rationale for determining the species had recovered, but said members of the public would have a chance to comment before a final decision in coming months.

“Recovery of the gray wolf under the Endangered Species Act is one of our nation’s great conservation successes, with the wolf joining other cherished species, such as the bald eagle, that have been brought back from the brink,” Shire later added in an emailed statement.

Jamie Clark, a former director of the Fish and Wildlife Service now with the Defenders of Wildlife group, said endangered species protections were need to prevent “an all-out war on wolves” in states that would allow hunting.

“We don’t have any confidence that wolves will be managed like other wildlife,” she said. “We’re going to fight this I any way possible.”

Lawmakers in Congress frustrated with court rulings maintaining protections for wolves have backed legislation to forcibly strip protections in the Great Lakes region and beyond. A similar effort by lawmakers succeeded in 2011 for Northern Rockies wolves.

Original article at

Wolf Myths and Legends, Part 159

Once in a Blue Moon by Jessica Bruce

A sharp breeze rustles through the open field. Numbness grips the weary bones of an ancient soul. Between the heavy swoosh of open air and the cracking of a forgotten soul’s heart, it’s as if the two were symbolic. Each had an untimely connection with each other. The cold wind each year would sweep the lands and take all life in its pass, followed by its brother the frost without thought or forgiveness. The frost kills life and so has robbed his spirit.

He knew his time would come. He knew there would be a time when it would be useless to carry on any longer.

“I’m old”, He said out loud.

But had he known that his kin, his own flesh and blood would a banded him for being the weak and slowing down the hunts, maybe one would have planned better. Maybe, one would have focused more on its surroundings and realized that the prey had moved on and there is simply nothing left in the barren lands.

A heavy wheeze escapes his nostrils in short breaths. He could see the mist from his breath. Gazing down his body, while laying on the ground, his once amber fur has turned a sleek gray with just a few strands of light brown left. His fur, now a matted jungle of dirt and leaves. Lifting his weary paw to scratch his side, he could feel the thick ribs sticking out of his body. His once powerful hind legs that used to pump him through the woods at high speed were nothing more than two frail sticks.

Pulling, himself up off the frosty ground, he began to stare at the deep blue sky and golden stars and started to remember a time when life was good and gracious. He had a name and rank. He knew there was a time when he was highly respected by all his fellow wolves for he was the Alpha. He had a family then. He had an identity.

There was a time when he thought his name meant respect among his pack. His name once was Shadow Fang. A name now that has been forgotten.

Readers’ Contribution

A Wolfdog Diary

by Erin

Nothing major to report this month, but…

Will be continued…