Big pile of stories grows on the wolf now named “Journey”-

Time Magazine is one of the latest to do a feature on this story, one that has pleased and gladdened many and no doubt irritated those who see nothing good about the spread of the wolf.  The Terrifying Wonder of Journey, California’s Lone Wolf. By Matt Kettman.

The wolf seemed to have settled down in Lassen County near where the last wild CA wolf was killed in 1924, but but then he recently moved eastward toward, somewhat toward the NW Nevada desert, though finding dry country, he has largely gone back west. He is obviously not done exploring and seeking a mate because it is now mating season.

I didn’t compile the list below. Rather I grabbed it from email, but it is a sampling of recent stories on Journey.

http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2012/01/wolf_or-7_turns_back_from_nort.html

 

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides.

34 Responses to Time Magazine does a feature on wolf OR7, “Journey”

  1. avatar Mike says:

    Glad to hear Journey is still alive.

    Amazing considering all the anti-wildlife venom that is spewed in rural areas, and even on this site.

  2. avatar Nabeki says:

    FYI…The front page New York Times article about OR7 mentions Wolf Warriors and Howl Across America. We were blown away!! (:

    Here’s the quote:

    “This month, people across the country attended full-moon, candlelight wolf vigils organized by groups with names like Howl Across America and Wolf Warriors.”

    Lone Wolf Commands a Following
    By MALIA WOLLAN
    Published: January 27, 2012
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/28/us/wildlife-activists-follow-lone-wolfs-trek-into-california.html?_r=2&hp

    • avatar somsai says:

      I have a news aggregator set to the words “gray wolf” so I’ve been reading most of these stories. The articles themselves often bring a smile to my face, not for the story but how it’s written. I’ve nicknamed the wolf “Jerky”, rhymes with Journey.

      One would think eventually it will have problems, I wonder what. Mistaken for coyote? Road kill? What then, obits and eulogies no doubt. Maybe memorialized in song.

      • avatar Immer Treue says:

        Somsai,

        Any of a number of things can occur to this wolf, most of which are bad.I think all of us are aware of this. However, with the national recognition this wolf has recieved, if one of the “bad” things is the wolf being shot/poisoned, for anything other than livestock or pet depredation, and or perceived threat to people, another name could be martyr.

        • avatar somsai says:

          I think the term martyr is usually reserved for people, using it on an animal would be anthropomorphism wouldn’t it?

          Interesting too that martyr has it’s origins in religion and is still mostly used in that context to this day. I often view some portions of eco advocacy as Fundamentalism.

          Besides all the hoopla and special web page at CA F+W I wish only well for that little love lorn doggie.

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            I guess you could say there was a bit of anthropomorphism with the use of the term martyr. Actually, I was hoping that it was looked upon in a slightly more metaphorical way. Still holds water though if someone decides to make a name for themselves.

      • avatar william huard says:

        Did you think that up with your apron on?

      • avatar Mike says:

        Can we ban thas guy already? Obvious troll.

  3. avatar Ralph Maughan says:

    Mike, somsai, and really anyone interested,

    This might be interesting to you.

    We haven’t removed posting privileges from many folks lately. Sometimes we just put them in moderation and let through their messages that have informational content. I mean comments that at not merely written to irritate others.

    I don’t like comments that ruin thoughtful threads. Sometimes we just delete comments. Folks usually get the message and then quickly become thoughtful members again or they get worse, and so get banned, and then they get their comments deleted as though they never existed.

  4. avatar Doryfun says:

    About wolves and public perception:

    Yesterday was the last day of chukar season, and I gained permission from a rancher friend to hunt his property, once I learned he had no traps or poison out. However, in visiting with him I asked if he had been having any problems with wolves, which we do have in our area, and he said yes. I asked what kind of problems and he said just the fact that they were around made his cows ears go up.

    Rancher Bob, maybe you could help me with this one. He said wolves make cows nervous and affects their breeding with bulls. (“ears go up”). I thought he was kidding, but not. He also mentioned having one calf missing, but had no evidence of any kind for it’s where-abouts.

    I saw no tracks of wolves while hunting his lands, and have never heard that type of impacts from wolves before??? However, what it does illustrate to me, is how ingrained the “any wolf is a problem wolf” persistent thinking that prevails. It constitutes evidence of knee-jerk reactions by (at least) one rancher’s fear of potential wolf mayhem. A little different from Predator Friendly Beef attitudes.

    This same fellow didn’t like fish and game and claimed he didn’t owe them or sportsmen anything, since he was feeding their elk on his property. I didn’t question him about the good deal he was getting for his cows grazing on public lands in summer. Or, about wildlife services which help him out, (with M44’s later on) and is supported by my tax dollar, which I don’t particularly like either. However, perception is reality, supported by evidence or not, and is a huge barrier to finding balance in living with wolves or any kind of animal that competes with all our other human values.

    Amen to Ralph’s comment. What good does antagonistic rhetoric and animosity flavored banter offer for finding good solutions and figuring out real world, workable trade-offs for us humans, anyway? That task is hard enough already.

    • avatar Jon Way says:

      Hopefully I am answering your question here Doryfun,
      There has been a study that found that even if wolves don’t kill cows the fact that they are around can cause cows to loose weight just for their share presence. That is, the bovines are more alert and actually acting like an animal. There is also a thought that wolves are changing elk behavior and even if they don’t kill them the elk might lose weight b.c they aren’t in areas (like stream valleys) where the best nutrition is. Elk are also thought to lose weight in some areas from just being more vigilant – acting, of course, like wild elk.

      Hope that helps…

      • avatar Doryfun says:

        Jon Way,

        Interesting. Thanks. BTW – lean dogs live longer than over weight ones. But, what about the notion cows won’t breed due to just knowing a wolf might be around?

        • avatar Jon Way says:

          That’s also a good question. Not sure if I have the answer for that and not sure if it has been studied except for anecdotal accounts. I know the weight loss thing has been studied but again, I’m not 100% on the not breeding thing. Hopefully others can chime in here…

        • avatar WM says:

          Doryfujn,

          Don’t know about cows, but here is a recent paper (literature review and past research) by Scott Creel at Montana State University, drawing conclusions regarding reduced pregnancy rates in elk.

          http://www.montana.edu/wwwbi/staff/creel/risk%20pregnancy%20survey.pdf

          This goes along with lower weight going into to and through winter, which may reduce successful pregnancies because of weaker and underweight calves in Spring.

          • avatar Jon Way says:

            Thank you for this paper WM. I wasn’t aware of it and it provides good evidence that wolves do affect elk in many ways besides simply killing them…

          • avatar Alan says:

            “This goes along with lower weight going into to and through winter, which may reduce successful pregnancies because of weaker and underweight calves in Spring.”
            And yet, elk and wolves evolved together.
            Tossing aside the entire disproved “non-native, monster Canadian wolf” thing, it’s not like they introduced African lions in the Northern Rockies.
            An animal that evolved here, and belongs here, returned.
            So the bottom line is, do we want an ecosystem geared toward maximum elk production, or a natural ecosystem with (perhaps) fewer, but healthier, elk, and more diversity? Depends on your point of view.
            Regarding cows, I would think that it would not be unreasonable to suspect that cows far from human habitation, with little human contact, such as those grazing public lands, might respond similarly to wild elk. Those grazed closer to home, as it were, on private land, with perhaps an occasional cowboy or two, would be less affected. Kind of like how my grandson would be more affected by a ghost story I told him while camping in the woods, then the same story tucked in his bed.
            Just guessing of course.

          • avatar Jon Way says:

            Alan,
            Your point that wolves and elk co-evolved for 1000s of years is definitely an important point here and one that should be emphasized here. Of course there will be changes but elk have been thru all of this before. Good points.

          • avatar Jay says:

            Jon Way, you might read this paper by PJ White et al. 2011 (elk guy for YNP, who is probably more familiar with elk demographics in that area than anybody, including scott creel) before putting too much stock in Creel’s surrogate fecal pregnancy testing method over actual pregnancy tests:

            Body condition and pregnancy in northern Yellowstone elk:
            Evidence for predation risk effects? (Ecological Applications)

          • avatar Jay says:

            S. Creel et al. reported a negative correlation between fecal progesterone concentrations and elk:wolf ratios in greater Yellowstone elk (Cervus elaphus) herds and interpreted this correlation as evidence that pregnancy rates of elk decreased substantially in the presence of wolves (Canis lupus). Apparently, the hypothesized mechanism is that decreased forage intake reduces body condition and either results in elk failing to conceive during the autumn rut or elk losing the fetus during winter. We tested this hypothesis by comparing age-specific body condition (percentage ingesta-free body fat) and pregnancy rates for northern Yellowstone elk, one of the herds sampled by Creel et al., before (1962-1968) and after (2000-2006) wolf restoration using indices developed and calibrated for Rocky Mountain elk. Mean age-adjusted percentage body fat of female elk was similarly high in both periods (9.0%-0.9% pre-wolf; 8.9%-0.8% post-wolf). Estimated pregnancy rates (proportion of females that were pregnant) were 0.91 pre-wolf and 0.87 post-wolf for 4-9 year-old elk (95% CI on difference = -0.15 to 0.03, P = 0.46) and 0.64 pre-wolf and 0.78 post-wolf for elk > 9 years old (95% CI on difference = -0.01 to 0.27, P = 0.06). Thus, there was little evidence in these data to support strong effects of wolf presence on elk pregnancy. We caution that multiple lines of evidence and/or strong validation should be brought to bear before relying on indirect measures of how predators affect pregnancy rates.

          • avatar ma'iingan says:

            Here’s a document that’s more specific to wolf presence and cows.

            http://dnr.wi.gov/org/land/er/publications/pdfs/wolf_impact.pdf

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            Does data exist on gender of aborted fetuses, either elk or domestic cows?

            There is some interesting data on post 9/11 miscarriages. I have read that the % increase over the norm (due to the stress associated with 9/11) was almost entirely male.

          • avatar WM says:

            Jay,

            If you had read the Scott Creel paper I cited above, you would know the PJ White, et al paper, was the subject of Creel’s. I tend to go with Creel’s work because he doesn’t have a dog in the fight so to speak. White on the other hand, as chief ungulate biologist for Yellowsone NP, on the other hand …..

          • avatar Jay says:

            WM–of course you always go with Creel, because he says what you want to hear. Kind of like how you singled out the data of wolf impacts on prey out of the MT wolf-ungulate report, than dismissed the same report when it stated that human hunting has larger affects on elk behavior. Creel may be good at data mining and getting papers published, but he doesn’t impress me as a scientist. And what dog does White have in any fight?

          • avatar Jay says:

            Dr. White and his silly actual measurements of pregnancy and body condition, compared to Creel’s pseudo-testing via secondary, lower precision methodology–certainly sounds like White is a biased scientist based WM standards and interpretations.

          • avatar WM says:

            Jay,

            I had been hoping MT would update Ken Hamlin’s wolf-ungulate report from a couple of years ago, since he was analyzing data that was as much as six years old even then, before the wolf population there had wider distribution and larger numbers.

            Maybe the work of Proffit and Hebblewhite is beginning to come together on the West fork of the Bitterroot. Seems they were expecting wolves to take several of their collared winter elk calves. Notwithstanding the lack of a published report MT GFP has seemed to draw conclusions that wolf numbers needed reduction, and presumably they had some science to suppport this.

            And, to be accurate, I don’t think I made any comment about Hamlin’s work except to say the data was a little old, it had been rushed to completion due to his retirement, and that it had not been peer reviewed (an admission in the document itself). And, yeah, one would expect hunters would take more elk than wolves when the population is smaller. The problem comes when the wolves start taking too many young of the year, and that starts messing with the population dynamics IMHO.

    • avatar Nancy says:

      Doryfun – decided on my way to town and back today, that I’d take a good look at the hundreds of cows along the way, on various ranches.

      Did see a few cows with their “ears up” and after tracking their gaze, it appears they were just looking at other cows and…. they were doing what cattle around here usually do this time of year – foraging and waiting for that twice, daily dump (from a tractor) of last year’s hay crop.

      In the years that wolves have been around here, on and off, I haven’t noticed any changes in cattle behavior unless, of course, a rancher on horseback w/dogs, comes into a pasture and then they run, hellbent, to find their calves and move away, or they just run, hoping their calves pick up on the situation.

      Years of conditioning I would imagine, since the biggest, overall threat to most bovine’s daily existence (here in the west anyway) is when they are forced to move from one area to the next, seperated, weaned, preg tested, shipped etc.

  5. avatar Doryfun says:

    WM,

    Thanks for the info. Harassment has been a known disruption to cow elk aborting fetuses, for a long time in wildlife management schooling. So it is reasonable to assume the same would hold for bovines. However, that is harrassment – not just “knowing” a wolf is around. That is the part I question.

    Elk don’t leave riparian zones just because they are nervous, they get chased out initially and killed more easily in those areas. So they gravitate to steeper, uglier grounds for safety. It is not easy for wolves to bring down an elk, even in flatter ground, and is dangerous to them, as well.

  6. avatar Doryfun says:

    Alan,

    Good points. I like the ghost metaphor. I guess the “just knowing” wolves are around is more important to people than cows. Since I can’t read animal minds or can communicate with them more deeply, I can only imagine they don’t think as abstractly in the “what if a wolf is around” category.

    But ranchers worrying about such is as important to them, as it is to those who wish more were around. Still, a difficult balance to work out or maintain.

    • I have watched a number of wild animals interact with wolves. Caribou, Dall Sheep, Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep,Pronghorns, Elk and Mule Deer. These animals can tell by wolve’s behavior if they are hunting or just passing though. If they wolves are moving in a way that indicates hunting behavior, the animals all get ready to flee to safer ground.
      Bighorns and Dall Sheep get closer to cliffs and watch the wolves very carefully. Elk and deer move to steeper ground and pay attention. If the wolves move toward them they take off.
      If the wolves are perceived to be playing around or just going somewhere, Bighorns don’t show any interest at all.
      I watched a large herd of elk north of Swan Lake in Yellowstone this past fall when the Blacktail Pack was near and the elk grazed up higher on the mountain, but did not show alarm. They apparently interpreted the wolve’s behavior as non-threatening.
      The claim that elk leave the country when wolves are present is just not true.
      If ranchers would quit grazing hornless cows like angus and polled herefords and get some cows with sharp horns, the cows would be better suited to protecting themselves and their calves against wolves.

      • avatar Elk275 says:

        ++If ranchers would quit grazing hornless cows like angus and polled herefords and get some cows with sharp horns, the cows would be better suited to protecting themselves and their calves against wolves.++

        Why do ranchers raise hornless cows? There is one reason that I know of. Maybe Rancher Bob knows other reasons.

      • avatar Doryfun says:

        Larry,

        Many years ago an interesting conclusion reached by Dr Hornkocker’s study on cougars,in the Middle Fork country, was that only when a cat made a kill did elk move into an entirely new drainage. He felt it was nature’s way of helping ranges keep from getting over-grazed.

        How far an elk might move when wolves are in an area, is probably dependent on wolf behavior and the type and size of area, too. How far is subjective, relatively, but elk do move when threatened to steeper areas (in general) which makes it physically more difficult for a wolf to make a kill. Other times, they may find safety in numbers. In either case, they pay attention and ready to do whatever it takes for self preservation.

  7. avatar Nancy says:

    “Creel may be good at data mining and getting papers published, but he doesn’t impress me as a scientist. And what dog does White have in any fight?”

    Curious Jay – Since wintertime pretty much shuts down most areas in the Rockies… other than those “for profit” fur trappers, what does extending hunting season seasons on wolves – hunters not normally in the backcountry – do to struggling prey species like elk and deer, who would normally have a break from those types of intrusions?

    I mean we already know how this plays out in in other areas:

    http://www.bchuntingadventure.com/winter-hunt-predator.html

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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