Volume 14, Issue 174, April 2019

SAFHOWL

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

Volume 14, Issue 174, April 2019

From the Editor’s Desk

Actually, I dread every new newsletter that I have to go through and edit, simply because it will be then at the latest that I have to read about all the gunk the least civilized bipedal population on Earth has been up to for the past four weeks. It is no different this time. Read the News section to see what I mean.

One good thing from this doomed continent is scientific research that has now irrefutably confirmed the separate taxonomic statuses of Red and Mexican Gray Wolves. Anti-wolf lobbyists now may find it more difficult to just bang away at them, at least in the eyes of the law, I hope.

I would to draw your attention to the excerpt of Husky Romi’s last newsletter that we have reprinted here. Neighbours that threaten somebody with shooting at a neighbour because they don’t want him walking his leashed canine in the street? What is that? I was really shocked to read it.

And – if you happen to live in The Netherlands or nearby: There is something for you!

A wolf tale and Erin’s latest update round off the newsletter for this month.

Till the next,

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!

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: https://nywolf.us8.list-manage.com/track/click?u=96aae4d71726eb91ae4d20fec&id=d1c0d9f9d6&e=c4f881378d

  1. Join Us for an Adventure in Yellowstone here

The Wild is Calling!

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

News from the Wolf Front

National

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

From the Sanctuary

We are so glad to see the back end of March. This has been a terrible month for us, the freezer packed up and the repairs were just way out of our price range. We ended up installing a new compressor and refrigeration unit that doesn’t come from Germany with German price tags on everything.  R56 000.00 later and we are up and running. Kim raised a sizable amount of money in Europe and other smaller much appreciated donations. We are still R21 000.00 short, but we needed the freezer for all our chicken.

On a positive note, we still have Frans Badenhorst around and he will be helping me with the newsletter, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

A Ranting from Frans

Well, I am still around. We had no takers for the distribution of the newsletter and the upkeep of the mailing list, so for now I will attempt to do it to the best of my ability. Somebody did offer to do the final proof read, but that alone will unfortunately not solve our problem.

After an altercation with somebody this morning, while I was taking Titus out for his regular walk, where I was threatened that both my dog and myself will be shot, I realized what exactly my biggest problem in my life is. It is other people. This is probably also the reason why I have difficulty in keeping up with my duties with the newsletter because I just cannot keep up any longer with the arrogance, negativity and ignorance being flung at me from people who are supposed to be on the same side.

Those of you that know me will know that I in general mind my own business as far as that it is possible. I have almost no friends and no social life at all. I spend my time at home when I am not working. I only leave the sanctuary of my home to go to work, drop Lindi off at school, walk the animals, or quickly go to the supermarket to get supplies, avoiding interaction even with people I know as much as possible. My support structure consists solely of my wife and my daughter. So, yes, I am becoming more and more of a recluse by the day. I know it and I am quite content with it.

Enough of my rant, but please, can somebody finding it easier to deal with people in general take over from me, even if it is just for a while to give me a break?

Frans.

Ps – After I have written the above “ranting”, I obtained some legal advice regarding the issues I am having more and more while out on the streets walking my dogs. Even though it is my right to do what I do in the way I do it, I was advised to rather stop walking the animals in the area where the residents refuse to keep their dogs off the streets while unleashed. I was informed to rather keep my animals safe than wait for somebody (or some other dog) to harm them or me. It is sad because my almost daily walks have been an important part of my life as well as the life of my furry friends for quite a number of years, but I must agree that it is probably better to play it safe.

To add on to this – I mentioned to Cathy this morning that it is a week now since I stopped taking the animals out for a walk and it does not seem if they are worried about it at all. The time that we would have taken to walk, I now play with them on the lawn in the back yard. The way they can run and tumble makes me think that the exercise they get is just as good as what they could get from a three km walk. Maybe I am chatting myself in, but it seems positive thus far although I am still extremely upset about the whole situation. Waiting for Karma ……….

Walk for Wolves Netherlands

I have been volunteering at the sanctuary since last year May I was with Larry and all the animals from mid May to end September, give or take a week or two in between. I have always wanted to work with and help animals and HuskyRomi has become the place where I know I want to stay for the long haul The sanctuary to me is a place of lost and found – I lost a piece of my heart there, and I found a piece that was missing – the immense beauty of the Free State and the unconditional love and connections with the animals brought a feeling of coming home. With this I decided to help where I could, including when I am in Holland where I live.

Conny, a dear friend of mine who also does a lot for animal welfare gave me so many ideas, and after many phone calls and brainstorming sessions we came up with our first Dutch event. So, we kick off with Walk for Wolves! Walk for Wolves is an event where people can sign up to participate in a 10km walk, a workshop, something to eat and drink, and a small present as a memory of their participation, all for €20,00. The place we have chosen for this year (I plan to turn this into a recurring event with different locations) is in the stunning area of the Noordhollands Duinreservaat. Stretching over 5.300 hectares, the reservation is one of the biggest natural areas in Holland, the dunes are important for their function as natural seawalls, an area of natural recreation, and water extraction! It is criss-crossed with a network of well-maintained trails and grazing areas for the various animals that the reservation is well known for I hope Walk for Wolves will be a success and that it is the start of many more amazing events and experiences, helping realize part of Larry’s dream – creating the start of HuskyRomi Holland and in doing so taking steps towards making Romi the most famous Husky in the world.

If you have any friends, family, fans, vague acquaintances in Holland please be so kind as to forward them the details of the event and ask them to participate? For people with Facebook you can follow: https://www.facebook.com/events/2254039858182075/

Links to give you an impression of the sanctuary and Heemskerk: https://www.facebook.com/huskyromi/ HuskyRomi Facebook page http://huskyromi.co.za/wp/ HuskyRomi website http://www.gasterijkruisberg.nl/ the Gasterij Restaurant To join please send me an email (committee@huskyromi.co.za) with your phone number and email details

Video details: https://youtu.be/BtLnLhWe3P4

Animal Facts – Marijuana / Cannabis Use

You can read this article in the HuskyRomi Newsletter

Comment from the Sanctuary

I’m no expert when it comes to medication, Frans is a medical doctor so I can only talk from personal experience. We started using cannabis oil at the sanctuary and we have seen a lot of good since we have started using it, my only concern is the amount of THC that is still in some of the cannabis oil that we have used. My recommendation is that when buying cannabis oil is that you use someone with a very good reputation and not just anyone who sells it, remember this is your animals’ life, it may cost a little more but these people have done a lot of research and only use the right plant for the job, a lot of other people are just using cannabis to make oil and don’t care about the THC content in the oil.

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: Seven wolves killed in Idaho!

Heart breaking news from Idaho. We just learned that seven wolves were killed in the remote northern Lolo region of the state. The killings are intended to boost elk numbers so that hunters will have more elk to shoot.

This is just another example of the deadly risks to wolves when they lose federal Endangered Species Act protection.

And it’s why your support today is so urgently important

We hoped this day would never come.

The Interior Department is moving forward with a plan to strip Grey 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 Grey wolves: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=V8YtFAku0kY98rLnXy8kbg

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 Grey wolves protected under the ESA: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=ftLGb37OaK4MPtTGIhctJQ

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

From Wolf Conservation Center (contact@nywolf.org)

  1. USA: Feds Launch New Effort to Delist Wolves and Allow Trophy Hunting Seasons

He is not a trophy.

Last week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) formally announced (https://nywolf.us8.list-manage.com/track/click?u=96aae4d71726eb91ae4d20fec&id=9c1a2b2c3c&e=c4f881378d) its plan to remove federal Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves in the lower 48 states – a plan that would allow trophy hunting to immediately resume in four states and put the future of the gray wolf and its proven benefits to ecosystems at serious risk.
Please take action today here

  1. USA: Scientific Report Finds Red Wolf and Lobo as “Taxonomically Valid”

Is the Red wolf a distinct species or, as critics in North Carolina have long contended, a hybrid unworthy of Endangered Species Act protection? What about the Mexican Grey wolf – is the Lobo a “real” subspecies?
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) recognizes both as valid and lists each as endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA).
Although politicians should leave decisions about whether a species is deserving of protection to scientists and experts at wildlife agencies – these questions were posed by some members of Congress seeking to remove federal ESA protections the rare and at-risk wolves.
In a provision tucked away in the 2018 must-pass budget bill last March, Congress ordered the USFWS to get an independent analysis of whether red wolves and Mexican gray wolves are a taxonomically valid species and subspecies, respectively.
Over the past year, an expert panel appointed by the National Academies of Sciences (NAS), Engineering, and Medicine has been conducting an analysis of scientific literature to answer the following two questions:

  1. Is the Red wolf a taxonomically valid species?
  2. Is the Mexican Grey wolf a taxonomically valid subspecies?

In its new report released today, Evaluating the Taxonomic Status of the Mexican Gray Wolf and the Red Wolf, NAS confirms that both Red wolves and Mexican Grey wolves are indeed valid taxa.

“A majority of experts on Red wolf taxonomy have concluded, time and time again, that the Red wolf represents a unique lineage that is worthy of conservation and should remain a listable entity under the ESA,” stated Maggie Howell, Wolf Conservation Center Executive Director. “No longer plagued by questions of taxonomy, USFWS needs to re-evaluate its recent decisions and management changes and bring its efforts back in line with the conservation mandate of the ESA. Today’s findings give USFWS no excuse to further delay its recommitment to recovering the red wolf within the current five-county Red Wolf Recovery Area in North Carolina.”

The Red wolf and Mexican Grey wolf are among the most endangered mammals in North America. Both species at one time were extinct in the wild. At last count, an estimated 114 wild Mexican Grey wolves remain in the U.S. Only 24 wild Red wolves are known to remain.

Read more here

 

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

MEXICAN WOLF UPDATE February 1-28, 2019

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 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 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 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

The Federal government shutdown resulted in a delay of the annual helicopter count and capture operation by 19 days; however, the count was conducted in February within the appropriate time frame.

USFWS Regional Director Amy Lueders and Mexican Wolf Recovery Coordinator Brady McGee attended the WMAT Council Meeting on February 13.

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

Year-end population counts for 2018 concluded during the month of February. The year-end minimum population count for 2018 will be released by the USFWS in March. 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 February, there were 32 packs (15 in AZ and 17 in NM) and seven single collared wolves. There were 82 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)

In February, the IFT documented AM1338 travelling with F1679 of the Tu dil hil Pack in the eastern portion of the FAIR.

Eagle Creek Pack (collared M1477)

In February, the IFT continued to document M1477 travelling with an uncollared wolf in their usual territory in the east central portion of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest (ASNF).

Elk Horn Pack (collared AF1294, f1668, m1671, mp1695, fp1696, and fp1697)

In February, 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, mp1789, and f1830)

In February, the Hoodoo Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north-eastern portion of the ASNF. During the annual helicopter count and capture, f1830 was captured, collared, and released.

New Pair (collared M1829 and F1489)

In February, the IFT documented F1489 travelling with M1829 in the north and east central portion of the ASNF.  During the annual helicopter count and capture, M1829 was captured, collared and released. If this pair continues to travel together in March a new pack name will be determined before the March update is posted.

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

In February, 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. AF1562 died in AZ after being captured by the IFT to replace a non-functioning GPS collar during the annual helicopter count and capture.

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

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

Saffel Pack (collared AM1441, AF1567, f1792 and fp1833)

In February, the Saffel Pack was located within their territory in the north-eastern portion of the ASNF. During the annual helicopter count and capture fp1833 was captured, collared and released.

Sierra Blanca Pack (collared M1571 and F1550)

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

Single collared f1683

In February, f1683, a yearling from Bear Wallow Pack, was documented travelling with AM1382 of the Panther Creek Pack in the east central portion of the ASNF and occasionally on the FAIR.

Single collared AM1382

In February, M1382 of the Panther Creek Pack was documented travelling with f1683 of the Bear Wallow Pack in the east central portion of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest (ASNF) and occasionally on the FAIR.

Single collared M1574

In February, the IFT documented M1574 travelling with an uncollared wolf in the east central portion of the ASNF and the SCAR.

Single collared f1686

In February, the IFT documented yearling f1686 continuing to make dispersal movements within the eastern portion of the ASNF and most recently in the north central portion of the Gila National Forest in New Mexico.

Single collared m1677

In February, Hoodoo m1677 was documented making wide dispersal movements in New Mexico and the central portion of the ASNF.

ON THE FAIR:

Baldy Pack (collared AM1347 and F1560)

In February, 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 February, the Maverick Pack was located within their traditional territory in the eastern portion of the FAIR and east central portion of the ASNF.  During the annual helicopter count and capture, a new collar was deployed on AF1291.

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

In February, the Tsay-O-Ah Pack was located within their traditional territory and occasionally documented north of their territory on the FAIR. Additionally, f1674 was documented on the SCAR. During the annual helicopter count and capture, a new collar was deployed on f1674.

Single collared F1679

In February, F1679 of the Tu dil hil Pack was documented travelling in the eastern portion of the FAIR. F1679 was occasionally documented on the SCAR. During the annual count and capture, F1679 and Bear Wallow AM1338 were documented travelling together.

Single collared M1824

In February, M1824 was documented travelling with San Mateo f1578 in the north-western portion of the Gila National Forest in New Mexico.

IN NEW MEXICO:

Copper Creek Pack (F1444)

During February F1444, the only wolf with a functioning collar in the Copper Creek Pack, was documented making wide dispersal movements in New Mexico outside the pack’s traditional range.

Dark Canyon Pack (collared AM1354, AF1456, and mp1717)

During February, the Dark Canyon Pack was documented travelling together within their traditional territory, in the west central portion of the Gila National Forest (GNF).  During the annual helicopter count and capture operation, mp1717 was captured, collared and released. In May 2018, mp1717 was cross-fostered by the IFT from the wild Lava Pack litter into the Dark Canyon Pack litter to reduce litter size and increase the chance of survival of two genetically valuable pups from captivity fostered into the Lava Pack.

Datil Mountain Pack (collared F1685)

During February, the Datil Mountain Pack travelled within their traditional territory in the western portion of the Cibola National Forest (CNF), as well as portions of the ASNF in Arizona.

Frieborn Pack (collared AF1443 and fp1702)

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

Iron Creek Pack (collared AM1240, AF1278, M1555, M1556, f1670, m1821, fp1721, mp1710 and fp1712)

During February, the Iron Creek Pack continued to utilize their territory in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness and the southern portion of the GNF. During the annual helicopter count and capture operation, fp1712 was captured, collared and released. Female pup 1712 was cross-fostered by the IFT in May of 2018 from the Endangered Wolf Center into the Iron Creek den.

Lava Pack (collared AM1285, AF1405, and mp1715)

During February, the Lava Pack was located within their traditional territory in the south-eastern portion of the GNF.  During the annual helicopter count and capture, mp1715 was captured, collared, and released.

Leopold Pack (collared AM1293 and AF1346)

During February, the IFT documented the Leopold Pack within their territory in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness.

Luna Pack (collared AM1158, AF1487, and mp1831)

During February, the Luna Pack remained in their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF.  Also during February, a private trapper captured mp1831. The IFT was notified and processed, collared and released the animal on site.

Mangas Pack (collared AM1296, AF1439, f1705 and m1832)

During February, the Mangas Pack was located within their territory in the north-western portion of the GNF. During the annual helicopter count and capture operation, m1832 was captured, collared and released. The IFT established a diversionary food cache for the Mangas Pack to reduce potential conflict with livestock in February.

Prieto Pack (collared AM1398, AF1251, and mp1827)

During February, the Prieto Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF. During February, M1678 was located dead in New Mexico. The incident is under investigation. The IFT continued to maintain a diversionary food cache for the Prieto Pack to reduce potential for conflict with livestock in February.

San Mateo Pack (collared AF1399, f1578, fp1822, and fp1834)

During February, the San Mateo Pack continued to utilize their territory in the north central portion of the GNF.  Collared female f1578 has continued to travel with single M1824 in the north central portion of the GNF. During the annual helicopter count and capture fp1834 was captured, collared, and released.

Sheepherders Baseball Park (SBP) Pack (collared AF1553)

During February, AF1553 was confirmed travelling in the traditional territory of the SBP pack in the north central portion of the GNF.

Squirrel Springs Pack (collared F1788 and M1349)

During February, the Squirrel Springs pack was located in the north central portion of the GNF.

Single collared M1673

During February M1673 was located dead in New Mexico. The incident in under investigation.

Single F1684

During February F1684 was located travelling in the north central portion of the GNF.

MORTALITIES

During the month of February, AF1562 of the Pine Spring Pack died in AZ after being captured by the IFT to replace a non-functioning GPS collar during the annual helicopter count and capture. M1678 of the Prieto Pack was located dead in New Mexico. Single M1673 was located dead in New Mexico. All of the incidents are under investigation.

From January 1, 2019 to February 28, 2019, there have been a total of 4 documented wolf mortalities.

INCIDENTS

During the month of February, there were eight confirmed wolf depredation incidents on livestock; determination of one investigation in NM is still pending. There was one nuisance incident investigated in February.  From January 1, 2019 to February 28, 2019 there have been a total of 18 confirmed wolf depredation incidents in New Mexico and two confirmed depredation incidents in Arizona.

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

On February 11, WMAT investigated a dead cow. The investigation determined the cow died of unknown illness.

On February 12, the IFT took a nuisance report involving wolves in Catron County, NM. The reporting party told the IFT he was on horseback with hounds and that six wolves came within 50 yards. The outfitter yelled and ran at the wolves and the wolves left the area.

On February 12, Wildlife Services investigated an injured horse in Greenlee County, AZ. The investigation concluded the cause of the injuries were unknown.

On February 13, Wildlife Services investigated two dead cows in Catron County, NM. The investigation determined that one cow was a confirmed wolf depredation; the determination on the second cow is still pending.

On February 15, Wildlife Services investigated two dead cows in Catron County, NM. The investigations determined both cows were confirmed wolf depredations.

On February 19, Wildlife Services investigated two dead cows in Catron County, NM. The investigations determined both cows were confirmed wolf depredations.

On February 19, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Apache County, AZ. The investigation determined the cow was a confirmed wolf depredation.

On February 19, Wildlife Services investigated an injured cow in Greenlee County, AZ. The investigation concluded the cause of the injuries were unknown.

On February 25, WS investigated a dead calf in Apache County, AZ. The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf depredation.

COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATION

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

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

From SanWild Wildlife Trust (lizel@sanwild.org)

  1. Discounted accommodation offer to raise funds

This is an amazing offer that cannot be missed!

Imagine the entire camp to yourself and 10 friends/family for only R7000 / $500 a night.

This is a special fundraiser to help support our Counter Poaching Units on the ground, because without them, our wildlife and especially our rhinos are under constant threat. You will meet the animals that you are helping and see what SanWild is all about.

Please help us, help and safeguard all the animals at SanWild.

Email us now to book one of 5 vouchers available. We will offer 5 of these vouchers every month to support our rangers in the field. Dont miss out!

Vouchers can be bought now and used at a later stage. Vouchers are valid for 12 months and are subject to availability.

Email: reservations@sanwild.org for more info or phone us on 083 459 4913 or book your voucher now here

Next Door

Nothing to report

International

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

1. USA: Suspected Rhino Poacher Killed by Elephant, Eaten by Lions in South Africa

I’d say well done. Poachers killed 769 rhinos in South Africa in 2018, according to the country’s environmental affairs ministry.

Read here what happened.

South African authorities say they have recovered the remains of a suspected rhinoceros poacher who was believed to have been killed by an elephant before his body was devoured by lions.

The victim’s family say they were informed of his death by fellow members of a poaching gang that entered Kruger National Park in northeastern South Africa on Tuesday, South African National Parks said in a release (https://www.sanparks.org/about/news/default.php?id=57777).

The family then called state police, who sent a search party to the area even as four other poachers from the group were arrested.

The man’s remains were found on Thursday — but not before a pride of lions got to them.

“Indications found at the scene suggested that a pride of lions had devoured the remains, leaving only a human skull and a pair of pants,” park authorities said.

The head of Kruger National Park expressed his condolences to the family of the deceased suspected poacher, saying that his death was a tragic reminder of the dangers of illegal entry into the park.

“Entering Kruger National Park illegally and on foot is not wise, it holds many dangers and this incident is evidence of that,” said the park’s managing executive Glenn Phillips.

“It is very sad to see the daughters of the deceased mourning the loss of their father — and worse still, only being able to recover very little of his remains.”

The four arrested individuals will appear in court in due course, officials said.

South Africa is believed to have around 80 per cent of the world’s rhino population of over 20,000, making it an epicenter of the global poaching crisis.

Poachers killed 769 rhinos in South Africa in 2018, according to the country’s environmental affairs ministry. That figure represents a 25 per cent drop from 2017.

Rhinos are targeted by poachers for their horns, which fetch big money from black markets in countries like Vietnam, where they are prized for their purported ability to cure health ailments ranging from cancer to erectile dysfunction.

There’s no evidence that rhino horn, made of the same substance as human fingernails, actually holds any medicinal value.

Rhino horn is also bought and consumed as a symbol of wealth, according to the World Wildlife Fund.

There is an international ban on the trade in rhino horn.

Article by By Rahul Kalvapalle National Online Journalist  Global News at

(Ed.: Very little sympathy from me here!)

Wolves and Wolfdogs

What do South Tyroleans think about the return of the Wolf?

In an Online research, run by Eurac Research, 1818 South Tyroleans [Switzerland] were asked about their thoughts on the return of the wolf and 70% of them said that they wanted to know more about the wolf, his behavior, and his appearance in their country. 43% of the people asked said that they have no idea how many wolves are presently living in their area. The majority of the interviewees prefer preventive protection measures like fences, livestock guard dogs or shepherds to shooting the animals. For the first time the researchers of Eurac Research have questioned the South Tyrolean public and tourists in their study about what they, apart from media reports, really think about the wolf.

Although the study does not claim to be representative it shows tendencies that were so far not being considered in the discussion about the return of the Wolf. The majority of the questioned South Tyroleans accept the wolf in their living area and are not scared of sharing it with wolves. The researchers also interviewed 46 livestock farmers, hunters and representatives of the tourist sector from all districts of South Tyrol. In contrast to the sympathetic public their answers were different: being directly emotionally and economically affected by losses of livestock they displayed a negative attitude towards the wolf.

Nevertheless half of them would make use of preventive protection measures if these were effective. But it is exactly the effectiveness of common solutions, such as protective fencing, which is doubted by livestock farmers. During the personal interviews another point was made that must be considered. Livestock farmers are under the impression that they don’t get enough support and appreciation for the daily challenges they have to deal with from politicians and the broad public, especially the city people. But they feel that they keep traditions alive, which are the basis of tourism in South Tyrol.

Damages caused by the wolf and suggestions for what they see as little-tested counter-measures are the final straw. The opinion of the questioned persons from the tourist sector is not as uniform: half of them fear a negative impact on tourism, while the other half sees the return of the wolf as a chance for a new tourism niche or is completely neutral. Even the tourists themselves had a word in the study. Close to 400 holidaymakers in South Tyrol from Germany, Italy, Austria and Switzerland were questioned. 60% of them were positive-minded towards the wolf and more than half of them showed interest in extracurricular activities in the wolf areas.

The research of the Institute for Regional Development of Eurac Research took place in summer 2018 and is the first scientific contribution to an emotionally heated discussion. What is needed now are educational work and encouragement of the exchange between all interest groups. That and to be open for compromises are the basis for lasting and efficient wildlife management.

The complete study can be downloaded free of charge at:  or:

Translated and summarized here from the original article in German at

Wolf Myths and Legends, Part 160

Kai of the Wind

by: Kai

A wolf that was abandoned and left to die alone by his pack after losing his position as Alpha leader. He dragged his body across many mountains and hills, across mossy lands, lakes and rivers till he met the great spirit of life. He asked the great spirit to give him his strength back and to give him one more chance to regain his position as Alpha, the great spirit told him he must perform a task in order to see if he was able to be the rightful leader of the clan, he must help him retrieve a prize that was dearest to the great spirit. Kai accepted the task and was told to go to the top of the mountain to receive the strength he urged for, and was told to kill the new alpha leader.

Kai climbed for three days up the mountain, acquired his strength, and went back to his clan in Woodfalls, to kill the new Alpha leader. When Kai appeared, the wolves stared at him as if to see a ghost, the new Alpha leader, Kou, looked at him and snarled. He attacked Kai, but was no match for him, Kai dodged to the left and jumped up and landed on Kou and ripped his throat out. The rest of the clan looked at Kai and lowered their heads as Kai traveled back to the Great Spirit. He told the Great Spirit that he has done what was wished, but did not find what the Great Spirit wanted. The Great Spirit smirked and looked at Kai and told him you are the prize that I wanted. Kai was lifted to the air and his body shook and felt as if his body was going to turn inside out.

Kai lived, and the Great Spirit saw the element that suited Kai. He told Kai he would now be in control of the wind and was told that only he would be responsible for it. This was such a burden for Kia that he fled. The Great Spirit was angered, so he turned Kai into the wind itself. Kai was then made, and forever will remain as the wind.

Readers’ Contribution

A Wolfdog Diary

by Erin

Gosh, time is running so fast I can hardly believe that’s almost Easter again. It feels like I packed away the Christmas tree just a week ago, hehe.

Although we still have good rain (luckily) you can feel winter approaching; the nights are pretty nippy now, but I hope it will stay warm for another good while. With having been sick for so long it feels like summer has been much too short, at least for my taste. In contrast to my opinion the furry pack seems to enjoy the cooler days and especially the cold nights and early mornings with thick fog and high humidity.

Ascar II is a real pest in the moment because Taima has taken to flirting with Kajack II quite often. I have no clue why she is so attracted to him lately, but it’s so cute to watch them. She muzzles and licks him and all over his face and then motivates him to play with her in a very love-sick lady-like manner, something Ascar cannot stand to watch. Although Kajack knows that very well and tries to stay out of Ascar’s way, the fact alone that Taima seems to prefer Kajack’s company more than his is something he cannot stand. Poor Kajack can now hardly move two steps without Ascar being hot on his heels, and if he gets too close to Taima Ascar will immediately demonstrate his dominance by mounting him. That has resulted in Ascar spending more time on Kajack’s back than doing anything else all day long. I really wonder where Kajack takes this amazing patience from to deal with that behaviour with almost no aggression at all. From time to time he growls at Ascar or even snaps at him, but most of the time he just throws him off and moves to a space too small for Ascar to follow. Shame, he is such a handsome and strong boy, physically much stronger than Ascar, but he is such a gentle and calm character that he just won’t even think of showing Ascar how strong he really is. Ted often calls him a sheep. No wonder that Taima loves Kajack’s gentle manner more than Ascar’s bold and hyperactive behaviour. When Kajack doesn’t want to play he will just walk off, but Ascar never accepts No for an answer and will not stop to pester him or Taima until he gets things going his way. He also always tries his luck with Ted and me, pushing, moaning and even climbing over us to get what he wants, but it doesn’t work with us and so he fully concentrates on the one pack member who just gives in to him.

I think that Taima and Kajack make an awesome couple, but for the peace in the house and Kajack’s sake I hope she will give up earlier or later.

Will be continued…