Saturday, February 28, 2015

6 years of OR gray #wolf population growth, in one animated GIF

By Kelly House | The Oregonian/OregonLive

on February 28, 2015 

In nearly a decade since wolves first made their return to Oregon, their numbers have reached the critical mass necessary to open up debate over whether the state's population is still in danger of collapse.
The state department of Fish and Wildlife announced earlier this week that there are now 77 known wolves in Oregon, 13 more than at the end of 2013.

An animated .gif created by The Oregonian/OregonLive offers a visual depiction of Oregon's wolf recovery, from 2009 to today.

The vast majority of the state's wolves are clustered in an area bounded by the Snake River to the east, the Columbia River to the north, and Interstate 84 to the south and west. In the past year, OR-7 and his family, plus another lone wolf, have strayed further south and west.

The wolves' continued population growth in 2014 triggered a review of their endangered status.
The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission, the governing body that will ultimately decide whether to remove protections, will begin the discussion Friday with a staff report on the annual wolf count. In the coming months, state officials will continue studying the state's wolves to determine whether the population is strong enough to stand on its own. They'll eventually issue their recommendations to the commission.

Throughout the process, the commission is likely to hear strong advocacy both for an against a delisting from environmentalists, outdoor interest groups and ranchers.

Conservationists argue 77 wolves statewide are not enough to constitute a strong, healthy population. Ranchers, on the other hand, note the bulk of the predators live in a small section of the state that also happens to be the heart of Oregon's ranchland. They argue existing protections for wolves prevent ranchers from defending their livestock.

As wolf numbers have grown, the frequency of their run-ins with livestock has generally increased, although last year the number of confirmed killings decreased despite the wolf population's growth.

The Oregonian will continue reporting on the status of Oregon's gray wolves as discussions continue. In the meantime, enjoy the map and post your questions about wolves in the comments.

--Kelly House
--Mark Graves

Indian Tribes, Others Stand Up for #Wolves

February 27, 2015
By Wayne Pacelle
The United Tribes of Michigan (comprising 12 recognized Indian tribes in the northern part of the state) recently adopted a resolution opposing removal of federal protections for wolves and calling on people to recognize the historical and ecological significance of wolves. It’s a message closely aligned with that of The HSUS, and we are glad to stand with these tribes and so many others who live with wolves and don’t want to see them slaughtered for no good reason. In November, Michigan voters trounced two wolf hunting and trapping ballot measures, and explicitly decided not to cede control of hunting and trapping decisions to the Michigan Natural Resources Commission.

Michigan and Wisconsin wildlife agencies have now officially appealed a December 2014 ruling by a U.S. District Court that restored federal protection for wolves. That’s no surprise, since these state agencies prematurely conducted wolf-killing programs and provided a primary impetus for the court’s action with their reckless actions. The killing programs in Minnesota and Wisconsin showed a special ruthlessness and cruelty. Among the hundreds of animals killed for sport this year alone, 60 percent of the animals were killed with the aid of steel-jawed leghold traps. Wisconsin earned the distinction of even allowing hound hunting of wolves – a circumstance that almost invariably led to an animal fighting situation between the wolves and the hunting dogs.

While we believe the American public is decidedly against the sport killing of the small populations of wolves in the Great Lakes and the Northern Rockies, we have tried to offer a constructive solution that bridges the political and cultural divide on the issue. To that end, we recently petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to downlist wolves from endangered to threatened everywhere in the lower 48 states except the Southwest. This will maintain important federal protections for wolves, but it will give the federal government, and therefore the states, more latitude in conducting control programs, including lethal ones, for wolves causing a problem for ranchers or other private property owners.

Unfortunately, several lawmakers, mainly from the wolf range states, want Congress to remove federal protections for wolves. They are seeking to nullify the judicial branch’s careful examination of the unwarranted delisting actions of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In short, these lawmakers don’t like the court ruling, so they are trying to overturn it. That’s not the way our system should work, and it’s a threat to every endangered species when Congress, for purely political reasons, takes this sort of heavy-handed approach. The judicial branch is co-equal, not subservient.

We’ll work with the Indian tribes, environmentalists, business owners, scientists, and others in opposing this overreaching action. If the November votes in Michigan are a good indicator of where the public is – and I believe they are – the public is not with these lawmakers and they won’t want anything to do with their killing and cruelty.

The United Tribes of Michigan speaks for so many of us when it declares that “we recognize the wolf has a great significance to our community and has an important place in our culture.”


Indirect #wolf losses could fall between repayment cracks

Rocky Wilson
Wallowa County Chieftain
Rocky Wilson/Chieftain Wallowa County Commissioner Susan Roberts with two miles of turbo-fladry on rolls. At best, Roberts says, fladry can slow interaction between wolves and livestock.
Reimbursement dollars for wolf losses have been announced and Wallowa County Commissioner Susan Roberts is convinced that at least two local livestock producers will be "irate" by the numbers.

Wallowa County Commissioner Susan Roberts says she expects “two really irate (livestock) producers” will speak their minds when they find out how little federal and state money is being made available to reimburse cattle and sheep raisers in Wallowa, Baker, Union and Umatilla counties for losses attributed to wolves in the past year.

While a total of $3,920 is coming for four wolf depredations in Wallowa County that were confirmed by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), payments for most indirect losses apparently won’t be made unless the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) intercedes. Since March 2014 in Wallowa County, indirect losses that should be reimbursable total $33,200, and the figure for Baker County is even higher.

Although much more federal and state money, a maximum of $106,000, is available for proactive investments in non-lethal deterrence measures, livestock producers who put their animals out to pasture and record significantly fewer returns at season’s end — a phenomenon associated with growing wolf numbers — aren’t guaranteed any reimbursement money.

Roberts sent her annual wolf depredation reports for Wallowa County to the ODA last week, and expects a final determination about how that agency will disperse funds in mid-April. Roberts, who declined to name the two producers she believes are being hit hardest by the lack of funding to reimburse indirect wolf kills, was nonetheless animated in describing the predicament they face.
She estimated that maybe nine or more livestock producers in the county have stock in wolf-patrolled territory and have maintained excellent livestock records over at least the past 10 years, qualifying them to seek indirect wolf loss reimbursements. Yet, she says, only three filed for such potential funding in Wallowa County within the last year.

Roberts suggested the other half dozen or so might not wish to share confidential information, especially since monetary reimbursements could be small or nonexistent.

Among the four direct-loss victims due to be reimbursed from the $3,920 total is the Went Operation on Crow Creek, which lost 23 sheep in one wolf attack May 30, two calves in separate incidents in the Chesnimnus area, and one calf near Imnaha.

The funding breakdown for non-lethal measures includes a maximum of $53,000 from the federal government, which will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the state (for each dollar spent), and $40,000 of that total already has been requested by the county to hire range riders during the next 12 months.
In years past, said Roberts, about $15,000 of non-lethal deterrence money went to purchase five miles of turbo-fladry — flapping red plastic flagging with electrical wiring. She said the fladry was only minimally effective in protecting livestock from wolves, however.

She indicates the only way any or all of the $33,200 of indirect wolf losses suffered here, and more elsewhere, could be refunded in 2015 is if the ODA redirects some of the state money it was going to use for the dollar-for-dollar match on the feds’ non-lethal spending.

According to Roberts, indirect livestock losses to wolves are calculated by using herd histories for the previous 10 years, establishing a base percentage of livestock that are brought back in after being turned out for grazing. Thereafter, if the percentage of returning cattle is lower than usual, the producer should be eligible for some reimbursement.

Roberts points out that indirect losses steadily have increased in tandem with the rise of the wolf population here. ODFW’s latest annual wolf population report for Oregon, released Feb. 24, reported a minimum total of 77 wolves in Oregon compared to a minimum total of 14 wolves at the conclusion of 2009.

Roberts says she has conferred with the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association on the issue of funding producers’ indirect losses. She has also spoken with two state legislators and has drafted proposed state legislation that would provide tax credits for the losses. Currently, producers approved for direct loss compensation have the option of receiving tax credits in lieu of cash reimbursements, but no such option is available for indirect losses, which often reflect depredations occurring in remote areas where ODFW confirmation isn’t feasible.


WA #wolf bill passes key committee

Don Jenkins
Capital Press
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service A key Washington legislative committee has approved a bill calling for the state Department of Fish and Wildlife to rewrite its wolf recovery plan.
Legislation to reopen Washington's wolf recovery plan has won approval from House Appropriations Committee.

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Legislation calling on the Washington Department of Fish an Wildlife to reopen its wolf recovery plan won approval Friday from a key committee in the Democratic-controlled House.

House Bill 2107 received bipartisan support from the Appropriations Committee. Before passing, it was amended to add another layer of environmental review, which could increase the cost and delay when game managers will finish their review.

The bill must still win approval from the full House and survive final budget negotiations.

The vote was a milestone in an effort by northeast Washington representatives to gain acknowledgment in the House that the reintroduction of wolves has harmed their constituents.

The bill would require state game managers to reconsider the recovery plan in light of the fact wolves are concentrated in northeast Washington and attacking livestock. The current recovery plan calls for wolves to remain on the state’s endangered species list until they are more widely dispersed. WDFW estimates the recovery may occur by 2021.

HB 2107’s prime sponsor, Okanogan County Rep. Joel Kretz, proposed reopening the plan to study how to hasten recovery and to consider how conflicts between wolves and livestock can be reduced.

Before approving the bill, the House Appropriations Committee added a provision that would require WDFW to subject any proposed changes to a review under the State Environmental Policy Act.
Previously, the bill exempted wolf plan revisions from SEPA.

WDFW had estimated revising the plan would cost $420,000. Following SEPA may increase the cost, WDFW wolf policy lead Dave Ware said. “It may or may not add much money,” he said.

SEPA also could add time. The bill calls for changes to be made by June 30, 2017. Ware said if required to follow SEPA, the department would want until the end of 2017.

In lobbying for the bill, northeast Washington officials and ranchers told lawmakers it was important for the state to act soon.


#Wolf of the Day

Luna, Snowfall 
Luna, Snowfall by Bikeman476 

Friday, February 27, 2015

#Wolves of the Day

Two Wolves by Mark Dumont

#Wolf Weekly Wrap-Up by @Defenders of Wildlife

Wolves featured, © Montana FWP

Fish and Wildlife Service Reinstates Protections for Wolves in Wyoming and Great Lakes: While Congress pushes bills to delist gray wolves in both Wyoming and the Great Lakes, this week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said it would comply with recent rulings from two federal court cases — which overturned delisting rules in both Wyoming and the Great Lakes states – and reinstate Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves in both areas. Gray wolves are now officially relisted as endangered in Wisconsin, Michigan, parts of North and South Dakota, Iowa, Illinois and Indiana. In Minnesota, wolves will be relisted as threated. And in Wyoming, wolves regain their nonessential experimental population status. While these wolves have protection today, all of this could be undermined if Congress succeeds in passing its proposed legislation that would, once again, take protections away from wolves in all these areas, a very likely possibility. As we’ve been saying all along, congressional delisting of wolves in Wyoming and the Great Lakes sets a terrible precedent for congressional meddling with the Endangered Species Act — letting politics trump science in the species listing process. You can help us continue to fight for wolves by sending your own message to Congress today asking them to let science, not politics, determine wolves’ future.

Mexican gray wolf, © ADFG

On The Air: Our Very Own Eva Sargent Airs on Colorado’s “Animal House” Show Tomorrow: If you are in Southern Colorado, tune in tomorrow, February 28, at 8:00 am to hear Defenders’ Eva Sargent featured on AM1300’s “Animal House.” Eva will talk about the state of Mexican gray wolf recovery – not only does Colorado need wolves, but lobos in particular need a home in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado. Eva will also discuss how Defenders is engaging elsewhere in the Southwest and Southern Rockies to protect imperiled wildlife. If you are not local, you can listen to the interview later online.

Oregon’s Wolf Population Increases by Thirteen: Oregon’s gray wolf population shows strong signs of recovery according to Oregon’s official wolf population count for 2014 which was released this week. Oregon now has 77 wolves in the state, an increase of 13 animals from the 2013 year end count. The state has also documented nine wolf packs and at least eight breeding pairs. Oregon’s wolf population is determined annually based on verified sightings of wolves, so these numbers represent the minimum wolf population in Oregon. We’re thrilled to see this wolf population continue to grow and expand westward throughout the state. (Recall that Oregon is home to famous OR-7 and his new family “The Rogue Pack” who made headlines this year for moving farther west in the state than any others.) Oregon’s healthy wolf population is no doubt a result of the state’s continued commitment to implementing balanced management policies for the species — unlike state officials in adjacent Idaho who continue to wage a war on wolves.

But, while the population is increasing, this does not automatically mean that wolves in Oregon should be removed from the state Endangered Species Act — a topic currently under review by the state. Because Oregon has maintained at least four breeding pairs for three consecutive years, Oregon has initiated a status review to determine whether wolves should remain listed, and what level of protection they require. Defenders applauds Oregon’s approach to wolf management and we will continue to encourage Oregon’s state officials to conduct a neutral and unbiased status review to assess wolves’ overall population health.

Anti-Wolf Bills Advance in Washington’s Legislature: The Washington state legislature is moving several anti-wolf bills, which if passed will significantly impede recovery of wolves in the state. The first bill would modify the 2011 Washington Wolf Conservation and Management Plan, unnecessarily disrupting wolf restoration efforts. This bill ignores science: if passed, any future changes or amendments made to the state’s wolf management plan could be approved without first undergoing a peer review process or a standard environmental review.

Gray Wolf, © Gary Schultz

The Committee also passed a second bill which calls for regional delisting of wolves under the state Endangered Species Act. This bill enables local politics to have a greater influence on wolf management decisions in Washington than science. Wolves in Washington are just beginning to gain a foothold in the state, and by no means is the species “recovered” based on the best available science. We still have several opportunities to submit amendments or defeat these bills before they are enacted, and keep them from undermining wolf recovery in Washington. We’ll keep you updated on our progress.

Calling All Photographers! Do You Have Good Pics Of Wolves…Or Other Wildlife?! We’ve opened our sixth annual photo contest and are asking you to submit your wildlife photos to us before Monday, March 16, 2015. Submit your best photos of imperiled wildlife (images of captive animals are not eligible) and wild landscapes, and you could win a week-long guided nature photography trip with renowned nature photographer Jess Lee or other prizes. You will also have a chance to see your photos on Defenders web pages, in Defenders, our quarterly publication and in our calendar, annual report and other publications. Check out the rules, regs and FAQs online … and thank you in advance for your photo contribution!

Melanie Gade

, Communications Specialist

Melanie handles press coverage for wildlife in the Northern Rockies and Great Plains as well as Defenders' national work on the Endangered Species Act. 

#Wolf sighting may be a good thing for environment

Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015 
By STEVE ROGERS - Shaw Media Correspondent

By now I’m sure many of you have heard about the gray wolf incident west of town. I’m not going to rehash that particular story, but instead focus on the larger picture. Right away when I heard about that female wolf, I heard just as many rumors about controlling the deer population. Internet articles were ablaze with all sorts of government blasting rhetoric. I’m not going to speculate about any nefarious plans lurking beneath the public eye.

Instead, I prefer to take a look at how interference with natural environments always leads to some sort of cause-effect relationship. Humans have meddled with animal populations since the beginning of our existence on this planet. The wolf, along with numerous other species, has felt our impact at both ends of the spectrum.

Before Europeans colonizing North America, the wolf roamed freely and called pretty much all of this continent home. With colonization came agriculture. This included raising livestock.

Needless to say, wolves can do significant damage to domestic herds. This financial factor, along with the overall reputation as an undesirable predator, led to the almost complete extirpation from many localized areas. The wolf survived by maintaining viable populations throughout Canada and the very northern reaches of the United States. The gray wolf did receive endangered species protection in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan in 1974. In 2003, the wolf was reclassified to threatened in these same regions.

With the near eradication of the wolf, the entire cycle and balance of nature changed. Herds that were normally controlled by natural predation flourished. When these herds expanded, the natural flora in those areas were over utilized and in many cases, severely damaged.

Probably the most famous case of wolves and the idea of re-establishing a viable population occurred in Yellowstone National Park in 1995. The elk population within the park was causing serious issues, including those mentioned above. The idea was to bring in some natural predators to help control the balance.

Fourteen wolves were released in two separate groups in 1995. In 1996, another 17 were introduced to the park. In 2010, there were 10 areas in which wolf populations existed. If you Google the National Park Service and search for wolves in Yellowstone, you actually will find the distribution map along with the names of the packs and their territories. It is quite interesting to look at.

The reintroduction of the wolves have had a major effect on the elk population, which in turn trickles down to other animals and plant species. The natural flora started to return, including willows. Because of this, the population of beavers in the park started to rise.

Another animal that felt the effect was the coyote. Wolves are a natural enemy to coyotes. Before the wolf introduction, the coyote population in the park was massive. The introduction of the larger predator changed that rather quickly. Because of fewer coyotes, the red fox population proceeded to rise. Coyotes are natural enemies for foxes.

The list of effects goes on and on. We could write about it forever. The point is the repercussions of making a single change in an ecosystem can have effects that even the most educated biologists can’t predict. The wolf population in the areas surrounding the National Park have reached sustainable levels, to the point of allowing limited predator hunting of wolves to proceed. To be clear, the hunts cannot take place in the park, but on lands outside of it.

Of course, the reintroduction of the wolves to Yellowstone has plenty of critics. Many say the predators are taking more elk than originally predicted and causing other stresses on the herd as well.
Who knows what will happen? The only thing we do know is as policies change and peoples attitudes and opinions sway, we will continue to try to manipulate Mother Nature. Only time will tell if our tampering will be for the betterment of all living things.


Meet Oregon's #wolves: 77 animals, 9 packs, 26 new pups

Published: Feb 25, 2015
Meet Oregon's wolves: 77 animals, 9 packs, 26 new pups
Photo of a young wolf from the Walla Walla Pack taken on Feb 5, 2014. Photo courtesy of ODFW.
EUGENE, Ore. - Oregon's wolf population grew from 64 at the end of 2013 to 77 by the end of 2014, the Oregon Department of Wildlife reports.

The animals attacked more livestock than in 2013, with domestic sheep by far the prey of choice.
And the endangered species established its first pack in the Oregon Cascades since wolves first returned to the state by crossing the Snake River from Idaho.

The findings are part of the annual report on Oregon Wolf Conservation and Management.

The figures will factor in any decision on whether to remove wolves in eastern Oregon from the state's endangered species list.

Wolves west of Highway 395 remain protected under the federal Endangered Species Act.

The state dispersed more than $150,000 to livestock producers, primarily to support efforts to prevent predation by wolfs. Some of the money compensated producers for lost animals.

Overall, there were fewer incidents of wolf depredations in 2014 than 2013, according to the report. But more animals were lost, due to a high number of sheep killed or injured by wolves.

State biologists tracked 9 documented wolf packs, defined as 4 or more wolves travelilng together in winter. | Map of Known Areas of Wolf Activity

Eight breeding pairs produced 26 known pups. | Graph: Growth of Oregon wolf population

Biologists captured and put tracking collars on 6 wolves. Data was received from 18 wolves throughout the year, which showed 4 of the wolves dispersed elsewhere in Oregon - and 3 left the state.

Meet Oregon's wolves

Imnaha Pack: The Imnaha Pack was first documented in 2009. The packs’ long-time breeding female (OR2) was not with the pack in 2014. In her place a new breeding female produced only one known pup and by year’s end no surviving pups were observed despite multiple observations of the pack. Therefore the pack was not counted as a breeding pair. Two radio-collars (1 GPS, 1 VHF) remained in the pack – OR4 (breeding male) and OR25 (other male). The pack showed a use area of 958 mi2 in 2014 and 26% of the pack’s location data points occurred on private land, a decrease from 32% in 2013. Two depredation incidents were attributed to this pack in 2014.

OR25, a yearling male in the Imnaha Pack, after being radio-collared on May 20, 2014. Photo courtesy of ODFW.

Minam Pack: The Minam Pack was discovered within the Eagle Cap Wilderness in the Minam Unit in June 2012. The pack produced at least three pups that survived to the end of the year and was counted as a breeding pair in 2014. The breeding female (OR20) was GPS-collared in May of 2013 and her data shows the pack using a 352 mi2 area, primarily public lands (89%).

Minam Pack. A 72 pound female wolf of the Minam Pack, after being radio-collared on June 3, 2014.

Mt Emily Pack: This pack was first identified in 2013 in the central portion of the Mt Emily Unit. The breeding male is a radio-collared disperser from the Walla Walla Pack. A subadult female was collared (OR28) in 2014 and her data shows the pack using a 257mi2 area comprising 96% public lands. The pair produced at least four pups that survived to the end of the year and was counted as a breeding pair. Two depredation incidents were attributed to this pack in 2014.

Mt Emily Pack. A 100 lb adult male wolf was GPS radio-collared in the Mt Emily unit on 5/25/2014. Photo courtesy of ODFW.

 Snake River Pack: The Snake River Pack was first discovered in the fall of 2011. The pack was counted as a breeding pair in 2014 with four pups surviving to the end of the year. Two radio-collared subadult wolves were monitored during the year, both dispersing from the pack by spring. The location data showed a pack area of 397 mi2 and 96% use of public lands within the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area.

Umatilla River Pack: First discovered in 2011 in the northern part of the Mt Emily Unit. The pair was counted as a breeding pair for the third year with at least two pups. This pack was responsible for three depredation incidents in 2014. The breeding male and another male are GPS radio-collared and collar data shows the pack using a 153 mi2 area with 87% of locations on private lands, 3% public land and 10% tribal land.

Wenaha Pack: This pack was first discovered in 2008. The pack produced four pups surviving to the end of the year in 2014, thus qualifying as a breeding pair. One female is GPS collared within this pack. In addition to the pack’s traditional area (Wenaha unit), 12% of its locations occurred within the Sled Springs Unit in 2014. The collar data shows the pack using an 870 mi2 area with 85% of location data on public land. Though monitoring data showed a small amount of time (9%) spent in Washington, most of the packs locations, and the den, were in Oregon therefore this pack is counted in Oregon’s wolf population.

Walla Walla Pack: This pack was first discovered in 2011. The pack produced at least four pups that survived to the end of the year and was counted as a breeding pair. Three collared wolves dispersed during the 2012/2013 winter, leaving no radio-collared wolves in the pack during 2014.

Meacham Pack: This newly formed pack was identified in 2014 in the southern portion of the Mt Emily Unit. One incident of depredation was attributed to the Meacham Pack in 2014. The pack produced two pups that survived to the end of the year and is counted as a breeding pair. The packs breeding male (OR26) was GPS-collared in May and his data shows the pack using a 95mi2 area which consists of 82% private land.

Rogue Pack: This new pack was first recognized in 2014 in the southern Cascade Mountains. The packs breeding male (OR7) is collared with a GPS-radio collar, and in 2014 he paired with a female, establishing a territory in the eastern Rogue and western Keno Units. The pair produced three pups that survived to the end of the year and was counted as a breeding pair in 2014. OR7’s location data in 2014 shows the pack area of use at 355mi2, with 82% on public lands.

Other wolves

Catherine Pair: Both wolves, OR24 and OR27, are two year-old GPS-collared wolves from the Snake River (OR24) and Minam (OR27) packs. These wolves dispersed from their natal packs and paired in July of this year. Since that time the pair has been located in the upper elevation forested portions of the Keating and Catherine Creek Units, with most locations occurring within the Eagle Cap Wilderness. The area of use for both wolves is 232mi2 comprising 97% public lands.

Desolation Wolves: In December of 2014 tracks of two wolves were documented in the Desolation Unit (Grant County) by department biologists. Irregular reports of wolf activity have been received over the past year in this general area of National Forest, and department biologists documented two instances of a single wolf in this same area earlier in the year.

Chesnimnus Pair: In November of 2014, OR23 (a female from the Umatilla River Pack) dispersed to the northern portion of the Chesnimnus Unit and later paired with a male wolf. Prior to OR23’s arrival in this area, at least four wolves had been documented in the same area during the summer, and three incidents of depredation were attributed to these wolves. All depredation incidents were prior to OR23 arriving. Collar data shows the new pair using a 380mi2 comprising 75% public lands.

Sled Springs Pair: In October of 2014, OR21 (a radio-collared female form the Wenaha Pack) dispersed to the central portion of the Sled Springs Unit and paired with a male wolf. Location data shows the pair use area at 287mi2, primarily on private lands (92%).

Keno Pair: In December 2014 and January 2015, evidence of a pair of wolves was documented in the western portion of the Keno Unit. It is an area where irregular reports of wolf activity were received over the past year.

South Snake Wolves: Evidence of wolf activity in the south Snake River Unit began as early as August 2014 and information of repeated use of this area (by wolves other than the Snake River Pack or the Imnaha Pack) was later documented in January 2015. Although evidence of at least two wolves was confirmed, little is known of these new wolves at the time of this report.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

77 known Oregon gray #wolves made it through 2014

This July 6, 2013 photo shows OR-17, a non-breeding female from the Imnaha pack on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. She is with a pup born in 2013. The 2-year-old female was shot legally March 2, 2014, by a hunter in Idaho about a week after the wolf left Oregon. Another GPS-collared wolf from the Imnaha pack was shot by a hunter in Idaho in 2012. (ODFW/The Associated Press)

By Kelly House
The Oregonian/OregonLive
on February 24, 2015

Petition demands B.C. stop killing #wolves

The Canadian Press
Wolves, file photo.
Wolves, file photo.
AFP/Getty Images
VICTORIA – A coalition of 60 environmental groups has sent the B.C. government an open letter supporting a petition that demands it stop killing wolves.
More than 173,000 people from all over the world signed the online plea saying that shooting wolves in two regions in B.C.’s Interior — one in the northeast and one along its border with Idaho — will not protect shrinking caribou herds.
The government says it plans to have hunters shoot as many as 184 wolves from helicopters this year.
Petition backers and letter signatories Pacific Wild and The Valahalla Wilderness Society argue that human encroachment is threatening caribou, not wolves.
They say limits to mining, snowmobiling and backcountry skiing would be a better way to grow the herds.
The provincial government plans to continue culling wolves by sterilizing and shooting them for four more years.


Oregon #wolves up, livestock attack cases down

Associated Press 
February 25, 2015  

The report released Tuesday by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will be a key document as the state Fish and Wildlife Commission considers taking wolves off the state endangered species list in coming months.

Biologists found 77 wolves, compared with 64 last year. For the first time, there is a pack in the southern Cascades, as well as another pair of wolves.

Wallowa County rancher Todd Nash, chairman of the Oregon Cattlemen's Association wolf committee, said the report "bodes well" for delisting, showing wolves continue to thrive.
While acknowledging that preventative measures for reducing wolf attacks on livestock were working, he felt that wolves in counties with intensive prevention efforts were moving to other locations, such as Baker County and remote national forest grazing allotments. He added that ranchers were noticing more missing cattle, and there were likely many more than the census documented because of the difficulty of finding every wolf.

Steve Pedery of the conservation group Oregon Wild says a slow rate of population growth should give the commission reason to move slowly on delisting.

"You'll struggle to find a credible scientist willing to say a couple dozen wolves in the northeast corner of the state is a real recovery," Pedery said in a statement. "ODFW must resist giving into political pressure, declare mission accomplished, and turn their back on important protections for wolves that have gotten this far."

The federal government has lifted wolf protections in the eastern third of the state, and it has proposed lifting them in the western two-thirds of the state.

The number of wolves in Oregon has been steadily growing since the first pack was documented in 2009. They are descended from wolves reintroduced into the Northern Rockies in the 1990s. Until then, the last known wolf in Oregon was shot in 1946 by a bounty hunter in the Rogue-Umpqua Divide area of the southern Cascades.

FILE - This March 13, 2014 file photo provided by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife shows a female wolf from the Minam pack outside La Grande, Ore., after it was fitted with a tracking collar. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife announced Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015 the latest wolf census finds that wolves continued to grow in numbers and spread across Oregon in 2014, while livestock attack cases were down. OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE — AP Photo

Oregon now has nine packs, with eight of them producing pups. Among them is the Rogue pack in the southern Cascades, with the famous wandering wolf OR-7 at its head. He and his mate had three pups survive to the end of the year. Another pair has established itself in nearby territory to the south. He and his pack have not been blamed for a livestock attack. The report said GPS tracking collar data showed 82 percent of his 355-square-mile territory is on public lands.

The Imnaha pack, Oregon's first, has a new alpha female, who did not produce pups this year. Four of the nine confirmed packs attacked livestock in 2014, the report said. They were the Imnaha, Mt. Emily, Umatilla River and Meacham packs, as well as a group of wolves in the Chesnimnus area. There were 11 confirmed cases of wolf attacks on livestock, down from 13 in 2013. The number of livestock lost was up sharply, due to a rise in sheep deaths. Three cattle were confirmed killed, and 30 sheep, compared with six sheep and five cattle in 2013. Most attacks came in spring and fall.

The state wolf compensation fund paid $8,482 for dead livestock, the bulk of it in Wallowa County, and $33,878 for missing livestock, with more than half of that in Baker County. A total of $105,500 was spent on prevention in seven counties, with the bulk of it going to Wallowa and Umatilla counties.

Public interest was also up. The department's webpage got 193,020 views, up about 21,000 from 2013.


We’re Blowing These #Wolves’ Houses Down

The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission has asked the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to terminate their Red Wolf Recovery Program. The Wildlife Commission believes that the project is not meeting its goals as many red wolves are encroaching onto private land and mating with coyotes, threatening the restoration of the species.
The wolf population was initially devastated by a loss of natural habitat and a strong livestock protection effort. These factors left the population reduced to a mere 17 wolves.

In 1973, the Endangered Species Act became federal law and red wolf recovery plans were put into action. The remaining wolves living in the wild were captured for breeding purposes, and by 1987 their descendants were beginning to be released in North Carolina. We now have around 100 wolves living in the wild today, and around 200 remain in captivity.Red wolves are essential to their North Carolina habitat, as they are a predator that helps to keep

Red wolves are essential to their North Carolina habitat, as they are a predator that helps to keep rabbit, raccoon, and other rodent populations in control. Without the help of humans, the red wolf population will continue to fade away, leaving their ecosystem very unbalanced. We were the cause of the species rapid decline and it is now our job help the red wolf population heal from the detrimental loss inflicted upon them.

The U.S Fish and Wildlife Service is considering the request of the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission to halt their recovery program. Speak up for the red wolf population and tell Dan Ashe, the U.S Fish and Wildlife Services’ director, that you value the species and would like to see them thrive in their natural habitat.

Oonagh Cavanagh, Intern 

Oregon Gray Wolf Population Rebounding, But Remains Fragile


By Courtney Sherwood

PORTLAND, Ore., Feb 25 (Reuters) - Oregon's once decimated gray wolf population has rebounded to at least 77 animals, and the wolves are now pairing off and breeding across a wide region, state officials with the state's Department of Fish and Wildlife said on Wednesday.

Gray wolves, native to Oregon but wiped out in the state by an eradication campaign in the early 20th century, first returned there in 2008 and have now spread out to multiple parts of the Pacific Northwest state.

"The wolf population continues to grow and expand, and for the first time we've had wolf reproduction in southern Oregon," said Michelle Dennehy, spokeswoman for the state wildlife department. "And we had eight breeding pairs last year. We also documented six new pairs of wolves, and 26 pups."

But as population growth triggers a review of state Endangered Species Act restrictions on harassing or killing wolves that threaten livestock, conservationists cautioned it remained too early to celebrate the species' recovery.

"The population remains fragile," Steve Pedery, conservation director at environmental group Oregon Wild, said in a statement. "You'll struggle to find a credible scientist willing to say a couple dozen wolves in the northeast corner of the state is a real recovery."

The Oregon Cattlemen's Association has been pushing for revisions to state laws that would allow its members to shoot wolves when livestock are threatened, perhaps by removing state endangered species protections.

Wolves killed at least 30 sheep and cows in Oregon last year, according to a state tally, and ranchers have been lobbying for more freedom to kill the predators.

"Until the laws change, the cow people in northeast Oregon are going to suffer," rancher Roger Julick said in a statement issued by the Cattlemen's Association.

Wildlife officials will review the gray wolf's Oregon endangered species status at a hearing in April, and Dennehy said that even if statewide protections were lifted, federal Endangered Species Act safeguards would remain in place in the western two-thirds of the state. (Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Peter Cooney)


Dingoes could be the answer to Australia’s wildlife decline

February 20, 2015
Conservation This Week
Australia’s mammals are going extinct at an alarming rate. Invasive rabbits are gobbling up all the native plants, and feral cats are preying upon the rabbits when they can, and just about everything else with a pulse when they can’t. Introduced red foxes do a fair bit of damage as well. Attempts to curb the plague of invasive creatures are met with resistance because lethal methods are unpalatable to many folks, because they’re costly, and because they require long-term planning and persistence to have even a minute chance of being effective.

But one strategy for restoring order and an ecosystem out of balance that’s tried and true is restoring apex predators to those landscapes after they’ve been wiped out. If it isn’t yet called the “Yellowstone strategy,” it probably ought to be. For Australia, the analogue to the grey wolf would be the dingo, Canis dingo.

Throughout much of their historic range, dingoes have been wiped out due to exclusion or lethal control. But theoretically, dingoes should be able to suppress smaller predators like feral cats and red foxes through competition, which would benefit small rodents and marsupials due to reduced predation. Dingoes should also be able to suppress medium-sized herbivores like feral goats and native kangaroos through predation. Left alone, those herbivores would proliferate and overgraze the vegetation down under. Still, other researchers have argued that the dingo doesn’t control smaller predators as well as might be expected, and that the large canid comes with its own problems in terms of over-predation.

Still, University of Sydney researcher Thomas M. Newsome argues, together with his colleagues in the journal Restoration Ecology, that there is a need to “further define the ecological role of the dingo” to see whether it merits a reintroduction analogous to that of the Yellowstone wolf. They propose a large, landscape-scale experiment to determine what reintroducing the dingo might mean for Australia’s wildlife.

Here’s what it might look like:

There is currently a 5,500 kilometer-long dingo-proof fence separating New South Wales from Queensland and South Australia, meaning that New South Wales (NSW) is essentially devoid of the predators. Newsome’s idea is to relocate part of that fence to the opposite side of Sturt National Park, located in the northwestern edge of the state. That would open up the park to colonization by dingoes, while continuing to protect the rest of NSW.

The park isn’t just an ideal site because of its location adjacent to the fence; it’s also ecologically ripe for the experiment. Dingoes, red foxes and feral cats are all extant within the park, and dingo abundance would increase if the dingo-proof fence was realigned and if the park ceased its lethal control of the dingoes. In addition, the park is home to numerous red kangaroos and emus, and a fair number of feral goats, European rabbits, and feral pigs, all of which would provide opportunities to assess the effects of dingoes on a variety of bird and mammal species. There are also many populations of native rodents and smaller marsupials within the park, allowing researchers to assess whether the dingoes suppression of smaller predators would prove beneficial to the smallest critters. The 3,000-square-kilometer park is large enough to sustain several individual packs of free-ranging dingoes.

Such an ambitious plan would require adjusting state laws currently requiring Sturt National Park to control dingoes. Livestock farmers and local communities adjacent to the park would have to be convinced of the plan’s long-term value.

Researchers would need to divide the park up into monitoring plots and spend 1-3 years establishing baseline data before moving the fences and adjusting the park’s dingo policies. Newsome recommends that monitoring continue after dingoes are allowed to roam the park for at least five years, or longer if prolonged dry periods impede their ability to recolonize or enhance their ability to suppress other predators. “It would be ideal to run the experiment over multiple wet and dry cycles,” he writes.

From a scientific standpoint, the plan seems sound. From a cultural standpoint, things are trickier. The researchers point out that it took twenty years of divisive debate before wolves were eventually allowed back into Yellowstone. Similarly, “it is likely that the idea of a dingo reintroduction in Australia would spur a strong and emotive debate,” they say. However, the tale of the Yellowstone wolf also provides evidence that such a plan could work – the challenge would be to effectively communicate that to various stakeholders. The key, they say, would be to focus on the positive effects of predator reintroduction, rather than focusing on advising people on how to avoid negative encounters with large carnivores.

Newsome and his colleagues acknowledge that the plan is bold, and say that it is purposefully so. “Our proposal—a controlled dingo reintroduction experiment at a scale large enough to generate meaningful results—would, if implemented as suggested, actually resolve the long-running debate: whether the dingo can help halt Australia’s biodiversity collapse and help to restore degraded rangeland environments.” And that would allow policymakers to have actual, empirical information in their hands when making wildlife management decisions. 

– Jason G. Goldman | 20 February 2015

Source: Newsome T.M., et al. (2015). Resolving the value of the dingo in ecological restoration, Restoration Ecology. DOI:

Header image: Bob Tamayo.


#Wolves of the Day

shy wolf puppy by morho

winter song by morho

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The corrupt murdering of Swedish endangered #wolves (must see video)

Feb 24, 2015

This is a recording made with swedish authority where the caseworkes admit to granting protective hunt on false grounds on our endangered wolves. There is way more revealed in this but the call is made in swedish. However for english speaking people the text explains what goes on during the conversation up til the picture of Angel. To EU I urge you to get a translator immediatly and take this evidence of the unjust murdering allowed by our authorities that actually goes on here. ACT NOW EU!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Controversial coyote hunting in red #wolf area to start (TY @rachelwt72)

Karen Chavez,  
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will allow conditional daytime coyote hunting on private lands in the five-county red wolf reintroduction area by individuals issued an authorizing permit beginning Friday, which does not sit well with some wildlife conservation groups.

Permits to hunt coyotes on private property from one half hour before sunrise to one half hour after sunset in Beaufort, Dare, Hyde, Tyrrell and Washington counties will be available through a free, self-serve process after 5 p.m. Thursday at

Hunters will be required to report all coyotes killed in the five-county area.

In North Carolina's other 95 counties, including in Western North Carolina, hunting regulations allow coyote hunting on private land at any time, day or night, with no bag limit, and on public land at night with a permit.

Coyotes are found in all 100 counties of the state and pose a predatory threat to pets, livestock and native wildlife. Hunting and trapping are effective tools for landowners to manage coyote populations on a localized basis.

The Wildlife Commission will hold a public hearing to receive comments on permanent rules regarding coyote hunting in the five-county red wolf reintroduction area at 7 p.m. March 3 at the Wildlife Commission's headquarters in Raleigh. (Due to winter weather, this was changed from a public hearing scheduled for Feb. 24).

In light of the March 3 Wildlife Commission's public hearing, several groups today voiced their opposition to the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission's recently adopted decision to terminate the red wolf recovery program in North Carolina.

The Animal Welfare Institute, in collaboration with Defenders of Wildlife, the Red Wolf Coalition, WildEarth Guardians, Born Free USA, the Endangered Species Coalition, the Center for Biological Diversity, and the National Wolfwatcher Coalition, issued a written appeal to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service asking the department to oppose the resolutions by the N.C Wildlife Commission that call for the termination of the Red Wolf Recovery program and demand the removal of red wolves from private lands.

"The NCWRC is calling for the extinction of an endangered species in the wild for no valid reason whatsoever," Tara Zuardo, wildlife attorney at AWI, said in a statement.

"Termination of this program would set a dangerous precedent under the Endangered Species Act, allowing the recovery of endangered species to be abandoned in order to satisfy the narrow self-interest of a few individuals in a given state."

The letter explains that the NCWRC, by requesting that the federal government terminate the program, is calling for the extinction of an endangered species, acting on unsubstantiated claims of impact by landowners, and defending previously debunked assertions about coyote-red wolf hybridization.

AWI, Defenders, and the RWC previously reached a settlement agreement with NCWRC in November to promote red wolf conservation. Zuardo said the NCWRC's resolutions are specifically tailored to undercut this agreement.

The organizations are advocating for the continuation of the Red Wolf Recovery program, which has been highly successful in reintroducing and maintaining the world's only wild population of the critically endangered red wolf.

There are only an estimated 200 red wolves in captivity today (including two at the WNC Nature Center in Asheville) and only 100 roaming the wild today. Red wolves and coyotes can appear to look very similar.

See the full text of the appeal letter:

AWI and the other wildlife groups encourage North Carolina residents to attend NCWRC's public hearing on the coyote-hunting proposal on March 3.

People who cannot attend the meeting in Raleigh can comment on the NC Wildlife Commissions coyote hunting rules online at

Or mail comments by letter to N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, 1701 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, N.C. 27699-1701. Comments will be accepted through March 16.