It is time for a new “wildlife news” thread. Please put  your news, links and comments below in comments.

Here is a link to the thread being retired (March 3, 2013).

A grim introduction to a scenic area of BLM lands. This is a carcass dump, loved by coyotes, ravens, crows and other scavengers. Though it looks like the cattle here disappear more as as they are eaten by much smaller creatures. Photo copyright Ralph Maughan

A grim introduction to a scenic area of BLM lands. This is a carcass dump, loved by coyotes, ravens, crows and other scavengers. Though it looks like the cattle here disappear more as as they are eaten by much smaller creatures. Photo copyright Ralph Maughan

 
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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.

398 Responses to Do you have some interesting wildlife news? March 16, 2013 edition

  1. avatar Nancy says:

    Nasty to look at Ralph. But then again, I’ve seen a few of these “dumps” on private land, right next to calving areas.

  2. avatar Lyn McCormick says:

    I regularly drive Hwy 318, aka The Outlaw Trail, thru Browns Park to Flaming Gorge Reservoir. Most of the drive is open range and there are many deer and elk migrating between the Yampa, Little Snake, and Green River valleys. I have noticed that the carrion eaters prefer the wildlife carcasses over the cow carcasses and I have wondered why is this ? But, I trust that they know what is good for them AND what is bad. It has definitely confirmed my preference for game meat over beef. It is such a gift, to learn from the wild ones in this way.

  3. avatar Tom Logan says:

    Failed! A bill in Minnesota would have regulated Conibear style traps to mitigate risks of dogs getting caught/killed. But it stalled out…

    http://www.examiner.com/article/dog-safe-trapping-bill-dies-silent-death-without-legislative-hearing

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      This is discouraging. MN needs to get these conabears off the ground, and also, snares need be replaced/refitted as cable restraints. Perhaps the quickest vector to ending trapping is the intransegence of the trapping lobby.

      • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

        Immer Treue,

        I am pleased to see, however, that the bill to put a moratorium on wolf hunting in MN is still alive.

        • avatar Immer Treue says:

          Ralph,

          One small step at a time. I get the feeling that very few folks who post here are truly antagonistic toward responsible wolf management. The president of the MN Deer Hunter’s Association comment about wolves being a “renewable resource” indicates we still have a long way to go.

        • avatar jon says:

          “We’re not going to give up,” says Reynolds. “The question is, how long is it going to take, and how many dogs are going to needlessly die while we wait to pass laws to protect them?

          David Dill needs to loose his job. Putting trapping and hunting ahead of public safety and pets.

  4. avatar JB says:

    JB says:
    March 15, 2013 at 4:40 pm
    “So why might increased protections actually be worse for wolves? Let’s try a very simple analogy. Billy Bob and Ethan are fighting over a balloon they found. Billy Bob says he saw the balloon first, so it is his and Ethan should bugger off and get his own. Ethan says it doesn’t matter who saw the balloon first, and Billy Bob has had it for an hour so he should get a turn. The recess lady, being a friend of Billy Bob’s mother, sides with him. However, when they get back to the classroom the teacher says that Billy Bob has had the balloon for long enough, it’s time to share. [Okay, this part is important] Billy Bob hates the thought of losing the balloon, but he hates Ethan even more…so he pops the balloon.

    Understand?”

    Louise responds: “JB it appears the kids have already popped the ballon in their selfish childlike and thoughtless way. Lets say the kids get another balloon does the Mom and teacher let the kids do the same thing or should they step in, like all good parents and teachers when things get out of control, create some sharing rules, and explain to the kids how to play nice and then enforce the rules until they are grown up enough to be trusted.”

    Louise: First, I very much disagree that the balloon (i.e., wolf population) has been “popped”. Wolves have been hunted (and even trapped) and generally populations have remained relatively stable.

    And I agree that it would be nice if the parents (policy makers) were to “step in” with a solution. Of course, I don’t know about you, but my parents would have told us to work it out for ourselves, which would involve compromise (something neither side seems to understand). Moreover, in this case, the “parents” are elected by their children, (here’s where the metaphor breaks down) and there are a lot more of them (i.e., parents/legislators) from rural counties. This is the part you miss–if public opinion in rural areas turns on wolves the policy-makers from those areas will have no reason, no incentive to compromise.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      JB you wrote,
      Moreover, in this case, the “parents” are elected by their children, (here’s where the metaphor breaks down) and there are a lot more of them (i.e., parents/legislators) from rural counties. This is the part you miss–if public opinion in rural areas turns on wolves the policy-makers from those areas will have no reason, no incentive to compromise.

      YOu missed my point, I’m arguing that its time for the federal government to enforce regulations to protect wolves. so the parents in this case are the hated feds….and no I don’t believe the populations are healthy and robust or in line with other predator populations. I think that wolves are in grave danger with the all out war against them. I believe wolves deserve federal protection and that American’s deserve to see some reasonable and fair protections of their wildlife and wilderness areas. Montana, Idaho and Wyoming have terrible anti predator policies that should have been left behind a long time ago. They don’t seem to have the capacity to be fair or humane.

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        to be fair most of the country’s states have abysmal predator laws. Wolf policies are just exceptionally antiquated and inhumane for such a social creature.

      • avatar JB says:

        Wait a minute. The context of this comment came about in response to proposed legislation that would delay wolf hunting for 5 years in Minnesota. This is a state with ~3,000 wolves, who killed/harvested ~400 (about 13%). That’s hardly an “all out war” by any stretch of the imagination. And to be clear, wolves’ never had the full protection of the ESA in Minnesota to begin with–they were listed as threatened in that state.

        So I’m wondering, what sort of federal protection do you think should be provided? That is, if you got your way and federal legislation was passed, what sort of provisions would that legislation have?

        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          I think a national predator protection act is warranted to protect them, especially canids from ignorance, hatred and cultural bias. Canids and carnivores are not ungulates, game animals to be eaten (maybe some would argue bears) but not most. Allowing the states to remove certain animals, as a last resort, is unavoidable but allowing people to trap, snare, and hunt wild carnivores is cruel and unnecessary and appears to negatively disrupt their packs, mating, dispersal, and reproduction. What would happen to your family, if you were to disappear one evening. yes maybe your wife would find another partner, but at what cost and disruption. We know that wolves have very tightly knit family units, why should they be hunted randomly with no consideration for the effect that killing their members might have on their ability to hunt, raise pups, fend off other packs, defend their territories or the grief that it might cause their pack members . It has been an all out war on wolves forever with a brief 17 year lull. To allow people to kill wolves for fun, does not assist with any real management objectives other then to kill wolves and remove large numbers of them to appease special interests. It is wrong in my opinion. While 3000 may be considered to be a large number by some, it seemed like wolves were doing just fine, leaving people alone, causing minimal livestock losses, and that Minnesotans were quite tolerant. Why the rush to kill? SOS killing wolves being pushed for by the livestock, and trophy hunting industries. It would be spectacular just once to see what might happen if wildlife managers stopped killing so many natural predators and concerned themselves with protecting wildlife from irresponsible humans. Where are the studies JB that point to the need for hunters to kill wolves in MN or elsewhere?

          • avatar JB says:

            “I think a national predator protection act is warranted to protect them, especially canids from ignorance, hatred and cultural bias…allowing people to trap, snare, and hunt wild carnivores is cruel and unnecessary and appears to negatively disrupt their packs, mating, dispersal, and reproduction.”

            This is where we disagree. You start with the justification that wolves (and other canids) need protection from “ignorance, hatred and cultural bias”; I agree that many (most?) who persecute wolves and coyotes do so out of ignorance and cultural biases. However, it does not follow that bans on hunting and/or trapping will prevent (or even reduce) such biases. Moreover, if largely rural, affected communities feel that they are being told what to do by largely urban, unaffected communities, you risk the real possibility of a backlash. Worse, I would argue that you risk the possibility of instilling the very bias you claim to abhor in these communities.

            The path to tolerance for these species is through bottom-up collaboration, communication and efforts aimed at promoting a better understanding of these animals. The top-down, authoritative approach may get you the POLICY you desire, while having exactly the opposite effect where actual outcomes are concerned.

            • avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

              JB,

              as wolf population can endure ~ 40% killing rate I wouldn’t be surprised if ‘the deal’ between ranchers, hunters, outfitters, game managers and wolf supporters would be to steadily increase wolf harvest bag from 13% to 35-40% ( so officials can tell ranchers & hunters “look, we are increasing wolf quota” but wolf supporters they could assure saying that ‘wolf population is stable or slightly increasing’ )

  5. avatar Wolfy says:

    I like the “redneck tag”(beer can)in the foreground of the carcass dump picture. It speaks volumes.

  6. avatar zach says:

    OR-7 wolf ‘Journey’ returns to Oregon after being in California for 6 months to a year…

    http://earthfix.opb.org/flora-and-fauna/article/wandering-wolf-returns-to-oregon-after-a-year-in-c/

  7. avatar Nancy says:

    Harley – We haven’t heard from Jon Way in awhile but he also had a good thread on the subject:

    p://www.thewildlifenews.com/2011/10/07/biological-mechanisms-for-why-killing-coyotescoywolves-doesn%E2%80%99t-work/

    • avatar rork says:

      The article stunned me:
      “The BLM estimates there are more than 37,000 wild horses and burros roaming BLM rangeland in 10 western states. The agency estimates that number is 11,000 more than can adequately coexist with other resources on those rangelands, so periodically the agency rounds up animals and houses them in short-term and long-term facilities. About 49,000 horses live in such facilities.”

      As an tax-paying anti-horse person, I find this idiotic. (A place near me there is now capture-neuter-and-release of cats going on, meaning other people can let “their” feral cats – which they care for – wander around the yards of people who object to that, as well as in public parks.)

      • avatar Harley says:

        As a horse loving individual, I have a problem with this too. It’s a real tangled mess with the wild horses.

  8. avatar Louise Kane says:

    Kirk Robinson posted this link on the WCCL
    as pertains to TED article on grazing as a solution to desertification.

    http://www.kcet.org/updaily/socal_focus/commentary/east-ca/learn-how-to-hate-the-desert-with-ted.html

  9. avatar sleepy says:

    A moose-wolf interaction study from Minnesota. Note the headline:

    “Wolves Contribute to Moose Decline”

    Then the actual results of the study–2 out of 111 collared moose killed by wolves:

    “DULUTH, Minn. (AP) – Researchers tracking the decline of northern Minnesota’s moose population have found wolves are to blame for some of the deaths.

    State wildlife experts trapped 111 moose in January and February and placed GPS trackers and transmitters on the animals. The high-tech collars send satellite messages when a moose stops moving for six hours. The goal is to get crews to the dead moose quickly to harvest organs and tissue to find out what killed the animals.

    Researchers say six of the 111 moose in the study have died and at least two appear to be victims of wolf attacks.”

    http://www.kaaltv.com/article/stories/S2966817.shtml?cat=10151

      • avatar sleepy says:

        Yes, you don’t have a decline from 8800 to 4200 from 2006 to 2012 due to wolf predation, particularly since the wolf population through that period was stable.

        Brain worm disease as well as the hotter summers is what I’ve been told are the causes. I’m certainly no expert, but I have been told that the moose are spending an inordinate amount of time in the water–and yes, I know they like water–in order to escape the 90+ summer heat they’ve been having. And apparently that, plus the warmer water temps, make them more susceptible to water-borne parasites.

        Anyway, my point is that the article equates wolf-caused deaths with a population decline. That’s two entirely different issues.

      • avatar Immer Treue says:

        Sleepy,

        I agree. No one is saying wolves don’t kill moose, because they do. The wolves and moose have always been pieces of the same puzzle in NE MN. Why did the moose not demonstrate this rapid decline in years past?

        One must be very careful what is read into the study thus far. What can one truthfully conclude? Yes, wolves do kill moose. No, two out of 111 moose does not indicate wolves are contributing to the moose decline.

        • avatar savebears says:

          You guys are not taking in all of the information, there were 2 moose killed out of 6 fatalities, it does not matter they collared 111 moose, what matters is during the time of monitoring, there were 6 fatalities and 2 deaths attributed to wolves. Now is it significant, I can say without looking at all of the study protocols, but on paper it looks like 1/3 of the moose that died were killed by wolves.

          • avatar savebears says:

            That is what I have said for many years now, numbers can be manipulated to attain the results you desire, but in this study, 111 moose were collared, 6 died, 105 lived, of the 6 that died, 2 were killed by wolves. In reality, the 105 that lived, really do not contribute mortality rate in this study.

            • avatar JB says:

              Good points, all. However, a sample size of 6 doesn’t really provide much information. I think we will need to wait a few years to see how more of these 111 moose die to draw any conclusions.

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            SB,

            Yes,

            But the headline reads, “Wolves contribute to moose decline”, which is, by itself disingenuous. Your summation of 33% of moose that die, we’re killed by wolves (early in this study) is much more genuine.

            Wolves have always killed moose in the NE section of MN. The question and main idea of this study is why in the last so many years has the moose population dropped sp precipitously? Two moose killed by wolves does not answer this question.

            • avatar Nancy says:

              Perhaps the species is already doomed and no one knows it yet, as moose continue to be “managed” even though their numbers are declining in parts of the country at alarming rates (half the population gone in Minnesota, in 6 years?)

              “The essential role of the MHC molecules for
              immunological recognition of foreign peptide antigens implies
              that the cause for this selection is related to the influence
              of MHC polymorphism on host defense against pathogens
              (9, 10). Consequently, it has been suggested that species
              with low MHC polymorphism may be particularly vulnerable
              to infectious diseases (11, 12)”

              http://www.pnas.org/content/92/10/4259.full.pdf

              • avatar savebears says:

                One of the biggest situations I have seen concerning moose is the tick infestations, as the climate changes, the moose have had a lot of problems because the cold weather is not controlling the tick populations as it once did.

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                Hair loss due to ticks is particularly tough on calves/yearlings during cold early Spring rains, making younger moose (less body mass) more susceptible to hypothermia.

    • avatar WM says:

      Biggest variable in the estimate is the pack size picked.

    • avatar jon says:

      Immer, I would really like to know what Dave Mech thinks of using dogs to hunt wolves. Do you know if he is for or against this?

      • avatar Immer Treue says:

        Mech for or against using dogs? Gute Frage.
        He does acknowledge their use in pursuing bear, coyote, and bobcat.

        The thing folks have to understand about David Mech is, he has never been against hunting and trapping. At the 2000 wolf symposium, he understood that hunting was part of the wolf equation. He is also on record as saying that with the heal dragging and law suits going on in regard to wolf delisting,it has probably impeded the spread of wolves into other states.

        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          Immer – Mech has most recently provided a great many organizations much fodder for their wolf slaughtering policies. I wish he would stick to biological research instead of providing his seemingly zealous pro hunting and trapping wolf opinions.

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            Louise,

            Mech, to his credit, questions many of the as yet, unsubstantiated benefits of wolves, such as trOphic cascade.

            Also, in his defense, much of what he says is picked to the bone by the antis, a sentence, a phrase, to mold around an argument.

            One of these is the balance of nature… While he was doing his Isle Royale research, wolf and moose populations were relatively stable, yet he used the term dynamic equilibrium to predict what could happen and how wolves had impact on deer populations with wild population swings with cited sources. This was in his dissertation in the 60’s(I don’t have it in front of me now).

            They will CHERRY PICK what he says to FIT their arguments.

            • avatar jon says:

              “They will CHERRY PICK what he says to FIT their arguments.”

              You’re 100% right about this. I’ve seen this do this many times.

  10. avatar JB says:

    Here’s a new summary of wolf recovery by Dave Mech that should raise some hackles:

    http://news.wildlife.org/twp/2013-spring/the-challenge-of-wolf-recovery/

    • avatar savebears says:

      JB,

      I think I know a couple that post here that is going to go ballistic!

      LOL!

    • avatar rork says:

      I thought it a very good summary, though not very long on recommendations. I think the sanctuaries suggestion would be interesting. If you are going to kill wolves in any numbers, at least design a control arm into the experiment, to enable more science. He’s thinking more about appeasing probably (“pacify”).

      (I’ve long wanted more lakes near me with no fishing just so we can go in there and see what’s up, and not just with the fish. There are thousands, can’t we spare 1% of them? Some predators might like that too. Set up the osprey platform.)

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      I would question the definition of “the beast of waste and desolation”. It is humankind, not the wolf.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      with friends like these….
      Mike Jimenez and Mech what a surprise

      • avatar Leslie says:

        After all his years of research…I was not impressed with his assessments in the article and surprised that he didn’t mention the role and value of predators in the landscape and how the states are slow to incorporate this research into policy. I thought the article simply looked at the science of humans, not wolves.

    • avatar jon says:

      That’s absurd. Protecting lions by killing them? Trophy hunters are not protecting african lions, they are killing them.

      • avatar TC says:

        Jon – read the piece. Evaluate his arguments. Trophy hunting is the number one source of operational funds for game reserves and wildlife management areas. No money = no patrols, no security, no staff, no population estimates or studies, no disease surveillance, no facilities, no training programs, a lot more “no’s”.

        Stop with your kneejerk opinions – biology (and wildlife conservation) rarely are black and white – the issues are complex, sources of funding and support are complex, and bottom line – I’d trust the Director of Wildlife for the Tanzanian Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism to know a bit more about the on-the-ground problems (and solutions) than you. What are your solutions? Do you have approximately $75 million to donate every three years to solve this problem? Do your anti-hunting friends? If so, get cracking – you could do incredible good.

        • avatar Ida Lupine says:

          I have read (here, I believe) where in Kenya they are promoting ecotourism rather than trophy hunting as bringing in more tourist income.

          This might have made sense except that lion numbers are dangerously low. It isn’t going to help the lions – but the countries will lose money from American hunters, which is what they are most concerned about, I am sure. It’s the same as here; between alleged livestock losses and proving their manhood, lions are on the way out.

          • avatar Ryan says:

            Ida,

            Do a little research, Kenya is a wasteland with regards to wildlife outside the national parks. There total animal density has crashed 90% since trophy hunting was banned in the 1970’s. The bushmeat trade and poaching have devestated their populations. Trophy hunting is one of the few things that give animals values to the locals which make damn near nothing every year.

        • avatar jon says:

          You obviously support trophy hunting. Trophy hunters are part of the reason why african lions are declining. If trophy hunters really care about the lions, stop killing them and instead, take out the poachers who are also a big reason why african lions are declining.

          • avatar Ryan says:

            John,

            Do you have anu scientific proof to back up your claim that trophy hunting is decimating lion populations. Can you provide some population comparision between countries that allow lion hunting and those that don’t.

            Facts are useful in meaningful debates. If you want to stick strictly with feelings.. I am sure there are some good places in the internet where you can argue about which american idol contestant is better looking or more talented.

          • avatar Ryan says:

            If you look at the last remaining lion strongholds, they are all countries that allow lion hunting and have extensive trophy hunting opportunites in them. Don’t worry Kenya isn’t on the list and is currently facing some of the biggest total population of large animal populations continent wide. Probably a pretty good indicator that ecotourism doesn’t fund wildlife conservation well.

        • avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

          Can´t stop rolling on floor, laughing.
          “ No money = no patrols, no security, no staff, no population estimates or studies, no disease surveillance, no facilities, no training programs, a lot more “no’s”. #
          This assumption is correct – in theory. But: Only a tiny, tiny amount of the money a trophy hunter spends in Africa for killing his lion or leopard in Africa actually goes into conservation at the end. You do not really believe that your 10 000 bucks you pay for your Namibia trip, Leopard included, goes into conservation? And please, please, don’t´try to sell me again the other myth, how good you feel, when you donate all that meat to those locals……

          • avatar Kathleen says:

            So true. The African lion is up for ESA listing because, in addition to all the pressures on the species in Africa, “American hunters pose a major threat to a species that is already in serious decline.” Matthew Scully, in his excellent book “Dominion,” devoted an entire chapter to Safari Club Internat’l (which claims hunting is “good” for lions) and their supposedly altruistic endeavors. Links to that and more are here, “The lion sleeps tonight…” http://www.othernationsjustice.org/?p=7069

            • avatar Ida Lupine says:

              But why should a foreign species be listed under America’s Endangered Species Act? Because the U.S. is the largest importer of lions and their parts, and “American hunters pose a major threat to a species that is already in serious decline”:

              Unbelievable. We must be the greediest airheads on this planet.

              • avatar Elk275 says:

                Maybe, but Russian and European hunter’s are replacing American hunters in Africa.

              • avatar Ida Lupine says:

                I shouldn’t be so mean. My apologies – it’s not just Americans I am sure.

              • avatar Larry says:

                Once in awhile we hear about good news from leaders throughout the world. Example, the new Pope (disclaimer, I am not Catholic) apparently proclaimed that followers should respect and protect the environment. Now that’s leadership! Is it 4 billion that look to him for leadership? Our nominees for president can’t even mention the E word during their campaigns let alone have a debate about environmental issues. We need to force the issues with public officials and then broadcast their answers.

            • avatar Larry says:

              Safari Club International members are notorious for claiming hunting is good for conservation via all the money they claim they spend on hunts. It’s like, let us kill these animals and we’ll let loose out big bankrolls so you will want to grow more animals for us to come kill every year. The fact is the more rare the species the more the SCI hunter wants the head on the wall no matter what the cost. Case in point: I (as a FWS Special Agent undercover acting as an outfitter) had a New York Chapter President SCI want me to kill a Roosevelt Elk inside Olympic National Park and meet him at the Seattle Airport with the salted hide and antlers including his state hunting license. He would then pay me whatever my fee was for the services and he would enter it in the SCI records and hang it on his wall. The Roosevelt elk native to western Washington is one of the desired species of elk for them to collect. He told me he didn’t have time to actually do the hunt. This kind of stuff is not known to the general public. SCI portrays their public image as true conservationists. There are a lot of sickening stories about their hunts.

          • avatar SAP says:

            Peter – I am not into hunting, other than to put meat in the freezer. That disclaimer out of the way, beyond hunters or outfitters making direct monetary contributions to conservation, high dollar hunting does provide a direct incentive for people to make sure that wildlife populations are sustainable.

            Absent such incentives, “inconvenient” species get treated like vermin to be eradicated.

            Sure, we could wish for a perfect world wherein people valued other life forms for their own sake, rather than viewing them as “resources” that only have value when we can make money off them.

            & what about wolves and economic value? I am sure someone will point out the studies showing that wolf watching brings money to Montana, yet many Montanans still want to kill lots (all?) of wolves. We covered this topic about five years ago
            http://www.thewildlifenews.com/2008/02/18/wolves-are-bringing-tourists-and-money-to-montana/

            Yes, wolves bring money to some communities. Montana has no mechanism for distributing that revenue. Where MT-ID-WY are really missing the boat is in having a “sport” hunting season that still treats wolves as vermin to be eradicated, rather than valued.

          • avatar TC says:

            Peter – first off, never said a thing about Namibia or leopards. Lumping African countries, wildlife species, specific conservation needs and goals, available resources, socioeconomic, political, and ethical conditions, and realities on the ground = no bueno. Second, I don’t trophy hunt at home, and certainly not abroad. Never have, never will. Flies in the face of my personal definition of hunting and why I do hunt, and frankly that’s more than you need to know about me while you’re “rolling on the floor laughing” (sarcasm begets my bad side, as does a patronizing attitude towards me borne of ignorance). Third – my observations were not assumptions. I’ve been there, and seen it. I’ve done a little wildlife work in two African countries, and overseen funding and reviewed and ranked projects for a third. I know some of the problems faced. I also know some of the very creative conservation solutions agencies and motivated individuals have developed on local levels. Some of them are not particularly pretty, likely would be viewed as morally suspect by the great white Bwanas of the Wildlife News site, and yet, are highly effective.

            I don’t have the facts on how much of the money brought into Tanzania for trophy hunts actually reaches the boots on the ground that need it. But neither do you. And I’m not advocating continent-wide trophy hunting, of any species – I’d like to see trophy hunting go away at some point. But. If there are specific examples of viable stable populations that can be hunted, to significant positive effect for their local long-term conservation, for benefit of sympatric species, for conservation of (or God forbid, restoration of) ecosystems, and yes, for humans that need help, I’m hard-pressed to argue against it for now. Please, do me a favor, list the myriad of viable alternatives that will effect sustainable conservation of Tanzanian wildlife? And then describe your credentials for evaluating and effecting them? Just a suggestion before we throw the Tanzanian wildlife director under the bus.

            • avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

              TC
              Where did I accuse you of tropy hunting? Namibia and the Leopard was only meant as a metaphor, thus I actually do have quite strong relations to Namibia, and I´m sure you noticed that. If not, I´m sorry, not being a native speaker, sometimes the finer nuances of a language elude me. You should hear my French :-))
              Been there? Good! By the way: Me too, would you believe! I´m grateful that in my life I had the opportunity, the honor and the pleasure, to visit many regions in a lot of countries on almost all continents of this globe – and, quite often more than once and with more than the passing interest of the average tourist. My interest in these regions and my commitment for global wildlife conservation provided many contacts, a lot of friends (Yes, even on the “opposite end” and even among hunters and outfitters) and many of opportunities to get some deeper insight how things work.

          • avatar Ryan says:

            Peter,

            If healthy wildlife populations support your occupation and community, then one is more likely to support them, their existence, and protect them. Safari outfitters employ lots of locals making thier lively hood depend in large part on hunting.. Before you respond that they don’t get paid much, remember no one in africa gets paid that much because the vast majority of them are uneducated.

            And if they are not directly gaining monetary benefit from wildlife as a commodity, they will then kill wildlife for the bushmeat trade and then they will kill all predators to protect their livestock concurrently with doing their overgrazing the land..

            Do 30 minutes of research on the situation in Kenya, not even the national parks are safe right now from poaching and overgrazing.

            The average ecotourise spends maybe 500.00 where as the average safari hunter spends 10,000 + for a plans game safari, with any of the big 5 costing 3 to 5 times that much.

            • avatar Ida Lupine says:

              Supporting vast numbers of human beings on a dwindling supply of wildlife is just not sustainable anymore. Period.

              • avatar savebears says:

                What is it with you guys that always emphasize your opinion with “Period” You do realize Ida, that your statement is only your opinion and many others disagree with you?

              • avatar savebears says:

                Sometimes y’all act like we are shoulder to shoulder on the planet and have no more room from growth, which is really quite far away from the truth.

              • avatar Larry says:

                Savebears says: “Sometimes y’all act like we are shoulder to shoulder”. I get your point, but my point – The older one is the more “shoulder to shoulder” seems like an appropriate description. Seventy years ago even bad conduct didn’t have the swift impact it does when it happens today because there were not so many of us. Yes we have corrected many bad actions we used to consider normal casual conduct. But there is something to be said for actually having had boots on the ground long enough ago to have first hand knowledge. I wish I had more respected my grandfather’s wisdom about the “old days” when I was younger. No we can’t go back but the wiser of us listen longer to our elders.

              • avatar Ida Lupine says:

                Yes, I realize that.

              • avatar Ida Lupine says:

                I have mixed feelings about room for growth. Billions and billions of people and only several hundred or several thousand of other species is worrisome. Something has to give (out), and it won’t be humans.

              • avatar savebears says:

                Ida,

                There are several species that number in the billions besides humans.

              • avatar savebears says:

                Larry,

                You seem to think I am a youngster, if so, you are quite a ways off base.

              • avatar Jeff N. says:

                SB,

                Based on the content of most of your replies, I would have guessed you were maybe 17 yrs. old tops.

              • avatar savebears says:

                Here we go again Jeff…

              • avatar savebears says:

                But like normal with you Jeff, you add something to a discussion that has nothing to do with the discussion, just to try and take a dig when you can.

              • avatar Jeff N. says:

                SB,

                LOL…no, not this time, was expecting a little more piss and vinegar from you though. Carry on.

              • avatar savebears says:

                Jeff,

                I will add, I would much rather be perceived as young and full of new ideas than old and stuck in the rut that some are on this blog. LOL

              • avatar Jeff N. says:

                SB,

                How many wolverines did you see today?

              • avatar savebears says:

                Didn’t see any Jeff, I have not seen any for over a month now, of course I have been back home for over a month now, so would not expect to see any. I did see a couple of wolves today, they were out in one of the pastures, sniffing each other like it is that time of year again.

              • avatar Ryan says:

                If you can support 10 people off a minimal amount of managed harvest, its better overall than them only using them for meat and overgrazing their land. until everyone is wealthy and edcuated, africa will always be ruled by money and survivalist life style.

  11. avatar Mark L says:

    TC,
    I’m curious if you’ve checked out why the last minister of wildlife and tourism in Tanzania left office. (Oh, the irony) ….heck, check the previous 1 too.
    I’m not saying Jon would do a better job, but I suspect he’d at least DO the job without the kickbacks from hunter’s special interests.
    The common enemy is corruption, not apex predators.

  12. avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

    some good news:

    We’re the comeback cats: endangered Amur leopards making a recovery

    http://siberiantimes.com/ecology/casestudy/news/were-the-comeback-cats-endangered-amur-leopards-making-a-recovery/

  13. avatar Immer Treue says:

    From the International Wolf 

    Last week, as lawmakers prepared to vote on a bill that would reinstate a five-year moratorium on wolf hunting in Minnesota, the International Wolf Center presented a letter urging Minnesota senators to reconsider five prevalent myths about wolves. The letter was well received and cited in the debate at the capitol. The bill passed the first committee with a vote of 7-6 in favor and will advance to a finance committee for further consideration.

    In keeping with the International Wolf Center’s mission to teach people about wolves  and in the interest of keeping our members and donors informed about these issues, attached is the press release that went out about this letter.  
    International Wolf Center
     
    For Immediate Release-March 14, 2013
      
    International Wolf Center Urges Minnesota Lawmakers to Reconsider Five Myths Regarding Wolf Hunt Discussions
     
     
    Ely, Minnesota-In a formal letter to the Minnesota state senators March 14, the International Wolf Center asked lawmakers to reconsider questionable statements about the wolf and the wolf hunt. The letter, signed by Executive Director Rob Schultz, and longstanding Center board member Nancy Gibson, states:
     
    “We advocate for wolves through education, and it is our policy to refrain from taking positions on wolf issues but rather provide factual information and to sustain a forum for many of the controversial issues surrounding wolves. The present situation is no exception. Nevertheless, of late we have frequently heard a number of questionable statements about the wolf hunt being offered as fact. At the very least, these statements have been regarded as factual by some decision makers and officials. On some occasions, the International Wolf Center has been brought into this discussion when remarks made by certain individuals were incorrectly assumed to be the position of the Center on these matters. Center leadership and staff believe it is important to address this confusion and to provide a factual perspective.”
     
    The Center’s open letter to the state legislature points out five myths or factual misconceptions that have been at the core of heated debates and could make a difference in future decisions about wolf management:
     
    Myth 1 – Wolves are evil creatures and often kill for sport: Wolves are natural members of an efficiently operating ecosystem that has evolved over millennia. Wolves are an important component of an ecosystem along with other animals and plants that share their habitat. The wolf has been represented as an evil entity by centuries-old fairy tales, religious allegories and more recently by Hollywood movies. While we cannot explain why these myths have flourished for centuries and continue to do so, it is clear that there are no scientific facts to support these beliefs. Also, the wolf does not kill for sport. Hunting for prey is one of the most dangerous activities that wolves face to survive-posing significant risk of injury or death. Removing any species from an ecosystem can have far-reaching consequences, which must be considered in managing any wild species.
    Myth 2 – Wolf populations double every year: While scientific research shows that the number of wolves can double when pups are born, this is a transitory situation. Wolf pup mortality varies considerably depending on the overall condition of the pack, the availability of food sources, weather, disease and the security of the den. Research shows that the number of wolves can double when pups are born in April, but that number is not sustained. The best information over several years indicates that by the time wolf estimates are typically made in winter (when populations are at their lowest), the Minnesota population has usually remained about the same size as the previous year.
    Myth 3 – A regulated hunt acts as a “safety valve” to relieve hatreds and fears about the wolf and thereby reduces illegal killing (poaching): Some have argued that allowing a regulated hunt will reduce poaching since a wolf can be killed legally. However, the penalties for illegally killing a wolf have also been dramatically reduced, so the net effect is unknown. Due to a lack of data since the wolf was delisted, it is premature to argue that the illegal killing of wolves has been reduced-or increased. Further research is needed to determine these effects.
    Myth 4 – The wolf population is significantly higher or lower than the 3,000 individuals experts have estimated since the 2008 countH: Although no studies of the wolf population in Minnesota have been conducted since the often-quoted 2008 wolf census, several indices of annual wolf population change indicate that the population has remained stable at 3,000 or ha been slightly increasing since 2008. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is in the process of conducting a survey of the wolf population. This information will be useful in determining how the state can prudently move forward in managing the interaction of humans and wolves. The International Wolf Center hopes that decision makers carefully consider the results of this survey and that any policy decision be based on science and tempered with an opportunity for public input on social and economic considerations.
    Myth 5 – Wolf hunting and trapping seasons are the most useful strategies to prevent wolves from taking livestock in farming and ranching areas: Most wolves taken by hunters and trappers are not near farms or ranches and pose no threat to livestock. More effective in protecting livestock is the Minnesota law that allows owners to shoot or destroy wolves that pose an immediate threat to domestic animals on their property. These instances must be reported to a conservation officer within 48 hours.
    The letter to legislators concluded by encouraging all individuals and organizations involved in the debate to work together to find a balanced, respectful approach to resolving sharp differences.
     
    “Public perceptions of the vulnerability of the wolf, as a recently recovered endangered species in the Midwest, leave many ordinary citizens questioning how decisions in this manner are being made. We encourage you to weigh the values and emotions of individuals and organizations advocating on each side of this issue with the research and science on hand.”
     
    The International Wolf Center advances the survival of wolf populations by teaching about wolves,
    their relationship to wildlands and the human role in their future.
     

    • avatar rork says:

      Viel Glück, Immer. (Or do we ironically say Weidmanns Heil for this stuff?)

      On the kill for sport thing, around me on PBS they often show a pair of specials where some guy from Michigan goes to Alaska (Twin Lakes) to live without much help – “Alone in the Wilderness” or some such. He’s a good carpenter, but not the best scientist. At one point he finds a dead caribou apparently killed by wolves but not chewed up much. He blames the wolves for sport killing, and then proceeds to take the meat away for himself!
      I think there’s a real chance those wolves came back and weren’t too happy, though I’ve not got data about how often that happens.
      I think I’ve seen that same scene played out in another book too and also thought the person a greedy dolt.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      Immer, I was really happy to see this, as this organization seems to never go out of its way to dispel myths especially the myth about hunting wolves as a safety valve to vent anger. Its especially interesting to see that comment as Mech is a proponent of this view and also longstanding connection to the Center.

    • avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

      Myth 3 – A regulated hunt acts as a “safety valve” to relieve hatreds and fears about the wolf
      ++++

      that’s baloney – in the USSR wolves were hunted and poisoned as the goal was to exterminate them as species and such policy in no way ‘relieved hatreds and fears about the wolf’

      and later with established wolf quotas / harvest bags it had led only to unsupported claims that there’s too many wolves and quotas are too low

      as an example of such prevalent attitude can serve video where 400 hunters (300 riflemen and 100 beaters) tried to kill one wolf pack (one wolf kiled and other 8 escaped – two of them with light injuries)

      Vilku medības Zvārdē

    • avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

      actually wolf hatred during and after that extermination policy was so vehement that popular songwriter Vladimir Vysotsky used wolf hunt with fladry as metaphor for a life within the USSR

      Wolf hunt
      http://www.kulichki.com/vv/eng/songs/hamilton.html#wolf_hunt

      In my flight, sinews bursting, I hurtle,
      But as yesterday – so now today,
      They’ve cornered me! Driven me, encircled,
      Towards the huntsmen that wait for their prey!
      From the fir-trees the rifle-shots quicken –
      In the shadows the huntsmen lie low.
      As they fire, the wives somersault, stricken,
      Living targets brought down on the snow.

      They’re hunting wolves! The hunt is on, pursuing
      The wily predators, the she-wolf and her brood.
      The beaters shout, the dogs bay, almost spewing.
      The flags on the snow are red, as red as the blood.

      In the fight heavy odds have opposed us,
      But the merciless huntsmen keep ranks.
      With the flags on their ropes they’ve enclosed us.
      They take aim and they fire at point blank.
      For a wolf cannot break with tradition.
      With milk sucked from the she-wolfs dugs
      The blind cubs learn the stern prohibition
      Never, never to cross the red flags!

      They’re hunting wolves! The hunt is on, pursuing
      The wily predators, the she-wolf and her brood.
      The beaters shout, the dogs bay, almost spewing.
      The flags on the snow are red, as red as the blood.

      We are swift and our jaws are rapacious.
      Why then, chief, like a tribe that’s oppressed,
      Must we rush towards the weapons that face us
      And that precept be never transgressed?
      For a wolf cannot change the old story
      The end looms and my time’s, almost done.
      Now the huntsman who’s made me his quarry
      Gives a smile as he raises his gun.

      They’re hunting wolves! The hunt is on, pursuing
      The wily predators, the she-wolf and her brood.
      The beaters shout, the dogs bay, almost spewing.
      The flags on the snow are red, as red as the blood.

      But revolt and the life-force are stronger
      Than the fear that the red flags instil
      From behind come dismayed cries of anger
      As I cheat them, with joy, of their kill.
      In my flight, sinews bursting I hurtle,
      But the outcome is different today!
      I was cornered! They trapped me encircled!
      But the huntsmen were foiled of their prey!

      They’re hunting wolves! The hunt is on, pursuing
      The wily predators, the she-wolf and her brood.
      The beaters shout, the dogs bay, almost spewing.
      The flags on the snow are red, as red as the blood.

  14. avatar alf says:

    From the website of Missoula TV station KECI :

    Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation CEO extends contract

    MISSOULA COUNTY

    Associated Press

    POSTED: 7:30 AM Mar 19 2013

    Missoula, Mont. –
    The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s board of directors has given its president and CEO a five-year contract extension.

    David Allen has headed the hunting and wildlife advocacy organization since 2007.

    Board chairman John Caid said in a statement Monday the foundation has exceeded its financial goals for five straight years and membership and development growth has been strong.

    The organization says it now has 196,079 members and recently announced the creation of a $30 million endowment.

  15. avatar CodyCoyote says:

    ” NRA, Safari CLub say Wolves to blame for decline of hunting in NW Wyoming ”

    This is rearing its venomous head on the AP Wires today , a story by the ( not) greatest wildlife reporter of our times, Ben Neary down in Cheyenne WY. Here’s one version:

    http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/35a5930a303d42869bb06cb0c775d663/WY–Wyoming-Wolves

    Funny how Wyoming Game and Fish is bending over backwards to all but give away extra coupons for that 2nd and 3rd elk . How can they be doing that if the wolves are killing all the elk ? Oh …that’s right. They aren’t. Except at hunt club fundraising time.

    Memo to NRA and SCI : the Moose population in Wyoming was declining before the first wolf hit the ground running.

    • avatar jon says:

      “One the one hand you’ve got folks like the Safari Club saying that the wolves are killing all the elk, and on the other hand, you’ve got Game and Fish handing out additional licenses and tags in an effort to reduce the elk population through hunting,” Preso said. “So I tend to side with the data from the wildlife agencies in terms of elk population levels.”

    • avatar Rancher Bob says:

      Cody
      So what hunting areas was Wyoming giving away those elk tags? I did a quick look at Wyoming’s F&G site and could only find odds for a draw. Just let me know area numbers.

      • avatar Leslie says:

        “My hope is that instead of having pack sizes of 15 plus, we’ll have pack sizes of less,”

        That statement by a G&F biologist is disingenuous as we’ve never had pack sizes that big outside the park. The constant killing of wolves by USF&W always kept pack sizes down significantly. In my area alone, they reduced a pack from twelve to nine to none within two years.

        Rancher Bob I’m pretty sure the Meeteesee area was one of the places with extra tags. Elk have brucellosis there and the Antler Ranch bison contacted it from the elk. Unfortunately, their bison meat is off the market now for 2 years. Oh, and there are wolves there too.

        • avatar savebears says:

          Leslie,

          Here in NW Montana, there have been 4 packs confirmed that have more than 15 members, so it does happen outside of the parks.

          • avatar Larry says:

            To Savebears, “Here in NW Montana,”

            So, . . . NW montana must not have cows or Wildlife Services or state wildlife agency attention?

            Just kidding kind of.

            • avatar savebears says:

              Larry, we don’t have a lot of cows, we do have some sheep and there have been packs destroyed several years ago because of sheep attacks. The wolves in NW Montana are not under the same gun as those in SW Montana and around Yellowstone. If we have a problem pop up, we take care of the problem, there is wolf hunting, but our quotas were not real large.

              I think the biggest difference is, our population was a natural migration population, there were no wolves re-introduced in NW Montana.

              We have wildlife services, we have FWP , but not the BS I see in other areas of the state.

          • avatar Leslie says:

            He was speaking of Wyoming, not Montana, as a representative of Game and Fish.

          • avatar Leslie says:

            Savebears, here in Wyoming, there have not been packs that big. Here is a chart of all the pack sizes from 2011 in Wyoming which is typical before the hunt. Therefore, that Wyoming G&F representative was disingenuous when he spoke of such large packs outside the park IN wyoming.

            http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/species/mammals/wolf/annualrpt11/tables/021812_FINAL_Table2a_WY_GYA_2011.pdf

          • avatar Jeff N. says:

            SB,

            A little late coming in on this one but what packs are you referring to?

  16. avatar jon says:

    http://www.yakimaherald.com/news/elections/latestlocalelections/957254-8/bill-would-let-farmers-kill-attacking-wolves

    I think this article tells you how extreme some of these rural legislatures are in their views about wolves. Calling wolves “intruders” and saying that wolves have invaded his ecosystem and comparing the cattle industry to microsoft.

    • avatar SAP says:

      Huh, maybe I’m getting callous from years and years of this stuff, Jon, but I’d hardly call any of that “extreme.” Maybe a little over-dramatic about the dog-killing, but that’s politics.

      As to the substance of the article, recall that you were part of a discussion on the same topic about two weeks ago:
      http://www.thewildlifenews.com/2013/03/03/do-you-have-some-interesting-wildlife-news-march-3-2013-edition/

      I won’t rehash the whole thing, since we covered it adequately then. But I agree with what the state agency guy says in the article:

      “. . . the [Washington] Department of Fish . . . isn’t too concerned with wolf kills diminishing the population, said spokesman Nate Pamplin. He said Wyoming, Montana and Idaho had similar laws in place between 1995 and 2003, and only three wolves were shot during that time.

      It’s rare for farmers to see wolf attacks, as the predators usually strike at night when no one is around. So, while the bill won’t likely do much, it will give farmers peace of mind, Pamplin said.

      “There are some positive aspects of this bill,” Pamplin said. “It can help reduce animosity between ranchers and the government because people will feel like they can protect their property.”

      One clarification, though: I know of one ranch dog (Squirt) that was killed by wolves at dawn while he and his person were out checking cattle; another (Blue) killed in broad daylight right by the ranch house. There are other examples, too. So the advice to just bring dogs in at night doesn’t quite cover it.

      Jon, I work hard on wolf conservation, and I live right here where the wolves are. It is true that wolves aren’t popular, and that there is some flat-out craziness about wolves. But it’s not all Big Bad Wolf nightmares. There are some real, genuine challenges that come with having them here. A little understanding would go a long ways.

      • avatar bret says:

        jon, I would also add that the Center for Biological Diversity said that SB5187 is a wolf -eradication bill, It is not. Hyperbole involving wolves is not new,

      • avatar JB says:

        I don’t know, SAP…I think Jon has come a long way in the past year or so. He did use the word “some” to modify “rural legislators”–that’s a substantial improvement.

        • avatar JEFF E says:

          you have to realize that sunny jon really does live in his mom’s basement.
          with him it is not just a metaphor

    • avatar Rancher Bob says:

      jon
      Nothing make you question the logic of living with wolves more than knowing that the only legal tool you have when the wolves come hunting, is a flashlight. Spent too many nights up doing just that when the south half of the state could use a gun with that flashlight. Imagine sitting in your home when crackheads breaks in, your options are call the cops which will be there around noon the next day or yell. Your not allowed to hurt a crackhead there just not that many in your state currently they’re moving in but the plan calls for more. Then imagine this happening say on a regular basis, at what point do you say enough.

    • avatar JB says:

      So I noted that most of the major changes to the elk harvest were related to increasing opportunity–suggesting the elk population is doing just fine. (So much for the beast of wantonness, waste and destruction.)

      Also noted that all of the changes related to wolves were increases in season lengths, expanding trapping opportunities and increasing harvest limits. Not surprising given that they have failed to put a substantial dent in the population, but disappointing nonetheless. However, this in particular caught my eye:

      “· Extend hunting season on private land in the Panhandle Zone to year-round.”

      That creates a de-facto “nuisance” classification for wolves found anywhere on private land in the panhandle.

      • avatar Rancher Bob says:

        JB
        You see increased take on elk, I see for every increase a decrease in take, now the over all take maybe a increase, maybe a over lay of wolf packs would help before settling on a conclusion.
        Just me being negative again, I should get back to work.

        • avatar JB says:

          Bob,

          An overlay of wolf packs would give you correlative evidence, which is something. However, studies that investigate the question of what is causing elk declines in the NRMs typically haven’t found that wolves play much of a role.

          Now let’s get to the counting!

          increase· Include a net increase of 2,321 controlled hunt tags.
          increase· Increase either-sex tags in units 2 and 3.

          decrease· Eliminate 71 late bull hunt tags in Unit 11 in response to low bull numbers in winter survey.

          increase· Increase antlerless tags in Hells Canyon Units to reduce high cow densities and low calf survival.

          decrease· Place a cap on Bear River B Tag to reduce bull harvest about 20 percent. A cap at 550 tags represents reduction of about 20 percent of hunters based on prior five-year average. Proportional reduction allocation: 440 resident tags, 55 nonoutfitted nonresident tags and 54 outfitted tags.

          increase· Shift tags from nonresident allocation to resident hunters in Diamond Creek and Salmon zones where resident quota has been filled but nonresident tags were left unsold.

          decrease; however, the population was specifically targeted for decrease because of overabundance· Eliminate extra antlerless tags in units 68A, 74 and 76 where depredation conflicts have been successfully resolved.

          increase· Reinstate general season A-tag muzzleloader antlerless hunt in Pioneer Zone units 36A and 50, and

          increaseincrease antlerless controlled hunt tags in Units 49, 50 and 36A.

          decrease· Shorten general A-tag any-weapon antlerless hunts in Tex Creek and Palisades zones to reduce cow harvest and increase population.

          Make of it what you will, but I don’t see these policies as indicative of any shortage of elk.

          • avatar Tim says:

            JB,
            I think the increase in either sex tags in units 2 and 3 is not going to provide much more opportunity. The reason being there just aren’t that many elk in those units. If you look in depth at them you’ll see that they have a much higher human density and just about all the land is private property broken up into 5-20 acre parcels. The largest pieces of property are owned by timber companies and this is where the majority of the elk hang out. I believe fish and game keep the elk population very limited in these units because of the amount of private property and the limited hunting opportunity. Deer hunting fits these units better and I believe fish and game manages them for that. Also note that there are no reported wolf packs in either of these units. Just wanted to give you a perspective of the area as I live in the region. I can’t comment on the other areas mentioned as I have no experience with any of them.
            On another note I wanted to say that The units that have experienced a decline in elk numbers are the most rugged areas of the state of Idaho. I personally believe that the Selway, Lolo and St. Joe regions are productive enough to sustain large herds of elk but not when you have a coursing predator like the wolf. Every time they test the herd they weaken it and in areas that are as rugged as those they just can’t escape with the ease of other areas. This is just something I’ve been kicking around for awhile and would like to get your opinion.

            • avatar JB says:

              Thanks for your perspective, Bob.

              I found this language peculiar: “Every time they test the herd they weaken it…”

              Evolutionary biologists would say just the opposite. Every time a coursing predator tests the herd and finds an animal that’s wanting, it becomes that much stronger. I guess that’s the difference between hunters and biologists…?

              • avatar SAP says:

                Could be that “testing” weakens that particular group of prey animals, in specific ways.

                I don’t think we can draw a sharp distinction between “testing” and “unsuccessful foraging bouts,” but there probably are a number of half-hearted chases by an insufficient number of wolves, which could be labeled “testing.”

                Anyway, regardless of what we call these unsuccessful outings, they surely change the prey animals (let’s just say elk for brevity). On the plus side (for the elk), the elk should get a little smarter each time they evade wolves. (Unless wolves are really as diabolically clever as some say, and the wolves are trying to lull the elk into complacency by deliberately appearing harmless ;) ).

                On the negative side, the elk are at least burning energy. Even without fleeing, mere vigilance burns more energy than being totally unstressed. They may be leaving preferred foraging sites in favor of escape terrain or protective cover.

                In deep snow conditions, being chased may really take a toll. If wolves go beyond chasing to actually biting, I would think there’s a good chance that today’s bitten “tested” animal will become tomorrow’s kill — blood loss, shock, and infection are going to make an elk pretty vulnerable.

                So, on the level of certain individual elk, “testing” probably weakens them and sets them up for death. As JB suggests, the surviving elk are likely smarter, faster, in better shape, whatever sets them apart. And they live to pass on those genes, while the less smart, less fit do not.

                Deep snow in particular could work to the disadvantage of even the smartest, fittest elk. I hypothesize that, if they’re really smart, they leave. Such as leaving the Gallatin headwaters for the windswept flats of the Madison Valley.

              • avatar Tim says:

                I agree that in most cases testing the herd reviels the weak and the strong survive, but I believe portions of Idaho to be a different scenario. If wolves had not been extirpated the elk would never have reached the levels they did. The winters are harsh and limit the escapement of the elk. While I agree with the fact wolves do not kill for fun, they will kill an animal struggling to escape. The river bottoms in these areas have steep banks and deep snow. Yes the ones that escape are the strongest but the herds sustained an overall larger percentage of losses as wolves moved in. The game departments did not start studying the relationship until after the populations crashed. Now the predators are keeping the population where it would naturally be for this geography, which is probably quite low. The elk struggle to exist in an environment they were transplanted to and are made weaker by the coursing wolves. The only thing that keeps elk in these areas is human intervention.

              • avatar Robert R says:

                Sap, you make a good point.

                On the negative side, the elk are at least burning energy. Even without fleeing, mere vigilance burns more energy than being totally unstressed. They may be leaving preferred foraging sites in favor of escape terrain or protective cover.
                Do you think this would apply to livestock in the sence of stressed or unstressed?
                Great comments from everyone !

              • avatar Leslie says:

                In the study done in my valley, Middleton found that vigilance was not increased by the presence of wolves vs. the non-presence in the front country herd. He also found that wolves had to be quite close, 1 kilometer, before there was an increase in vigilance and an increase in movement or displacement of the herd.

          • avatar Rancher Bob says:

            JB
            No shortage of elk, deer, wolves or lions, seems Idaho is doing what some people want, some of everything. Looks like the public harvested around 600 lions and 379 wolves in 2011, leaving another 19,580 deer or elk for human hunters. Yet to read here you would think Idaho was a waste land, with no wildlife.

            • avatar Immer Treue says:

              Rancher Bob,

              I can point you to a web site, composed of the antis who believe it is now a wasteland. Odd that one might conclude that the extremes on either side might come to this conclusion. Perspective???

              • avatar Rancher Bob says:

                Immer
                Perspective??, at this point you tell me.
                In the RMA we have been told by biologist for generations not to chase or bother winter wildlife. Most winter grounds prohibit human activity. Enter the wolf and now I’m told when wolves chase wildlife it makes the herd stronger. Perspective?
                As a rancher I know a animals body condition, quality of feed and stress all play a role in a females ability to get pregnant and stay pregnant. Enter the wolf and now I’m told that studies say a wolf typically doesn’t play a role in elk population declines. Seems that now death and reproduction are not major parts of population size. Perspective?
                As a rancher I’m told that wolves don’t kill a large number of livestock and that I should accept a larger wolf population. Yet when I look at the number of livestock killed (pick your source and try it yourself) by each predator species and divide that number by the number of that species in the state I find wolves kill more livestock than any other predators on a individual basis. Perspective, you tell me.

              • avatar Larry says:

                My view about winter harassment wolves v. human activity is all about a natural viewpoint. Snowmobile, etc. are generally a more constant turmoil than predators. Take YNP for example, we can just imagine the turmoil if snowmachines were not restricted to the main road but could run cross country chasing anything and everything. Predators are just plain part of the natural scheme where the internal combustion engine is not. Even travel to and from caring for cattle in winter is not the jolt to the natural scene as weekend warriors on their macho machines. A different selection happens when it is the result of a natural occurence v. unnatural.

              • avatar JB says:

                “In the RMA we have been told by biologist for generations not to chase or bother winter wildlife. Most winter grounds prohibit human activity. Enter the wolf and now I’m told when wolves chase wildlife it makes the herd stronger.”

                Bob: Consider that what is good for the individual is different from what is good for the herd. Energy expended during the chase may or may not weaken individual animals. However, it is much more likely to weaken an already sick or weak animal. If that animal dies or doesn’t get to reproduce, the herd may be considered stronger. Perspective, yes indeed.

              • avatar Rancher Bob says:

                JB
                I understand the idea behind the point but your original comment was black and white where now your into the shades of grey with the may’s. There’s a level at which every animal will fail if the testing continues though a winter. I’ve seen it here where small groups of deer or elk hole up somewhere. Between the lions and wolves by spring the whole group has failed the testing.
                Your second answer is more honest and shows that the whole wolf issue is not black and white it depends on your personal perspective.

              • avatar JB says:

                Not sure which “original” comment you’re referring to, but there’s nothing dishonest in what I wrote. I feel safe putting my money on the same evolutionary processes that brought us these creatures to begin with. :)

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                Rancher Bob,

                What died and crawled up your posterior. I was agreeing with what you said in my response. Add in all the accolytes who believe in “Yellowstone is Dead” who reside in Idaho, and you have the other side.

                Why don’t we just get rid of anything else that eats meat, and provides the least bit of competition for game? Sell all their hides to China. Just get it done. Then every rancher, every hunter who think wild game belongs to them, every kid at a bus stop, every dog stupid enough to run after a wolf will then be safe. Bears, fox , coyotes, wolves, wolverines, mink… Get rid of them all.

                But now that you’ve got my attention, in regard to elk, wolves and elk evolved together over 10’s of thousands of years. This lack of body fat argument due to being on “guard” because of wolves is an argument that makes little evolutionary sense. All the damn elk should be gone, but Rockholm says they are gone.

                Now, your cattle, on the other hand is tied into the dollars per body pound, and as cattle are all but defenseless in regard to wolves, your argument holds water.

                Finis.

              • avatar Rancher Bob says:

                Immer
                Sorry that came off sounding badly when you read my comment, I was just at a point where one has to question is it all perspective or is it about more than perspectives. Take my comment in a none attacking way if possible. Nothing dead up mine but it’s good to see you vent from time to time may your Saturday be enjoyable.

            • avatar jon says:

              Not only here. A lot of other websites too.I’ve seen many websites and anti-wolf facebook pages where hunters claim that the wolves have killed all of the elk.

            • avatar JB says:

              “No shortage of elk, deer, wolves or lions, seems Idaho is doing what some people want, some of everything.”

              I happen to agree with you regarding current populations; however, it seems not everyone agrees with you and–certainly not the people who want more elk, nor the people who want more wolves. Thus, it would seem that what constitutes a “shortage”, as Immer insists, is a matter of perspective.

            • avatar Immer Treue says:

              Rancher Bob,

              Not to worry. I’ve got to remember at times sitting over sitting in
              Person over a couple of beers would always be better than cyber conversation.
              :-)

              • avatar Rancher Bob says:

                Immer
                Any time you get to western MT. the beers are on me. July 10 thur September so is the fishing.

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                Let me try that again. Sitting in person over a couple of beers would be much more effective than cyber conversation.

                Perhaps a pipe dream, but I’d hazard a guess, that more productive talks would originate from folks who participate on this blog than the legislators of most any state with wolves.

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                Rancher Bob,

                If I’m ever in that neck of the woods, I’ll take you up on that. Thanks for the offer.

  17. avatar Larry says:

    For Savebears shoulder to shoulder: Don’t know your age but your history sounds like you have well worn boots. Don’t you, like I do, feel a little disheartened to see the old stomping grounds over run or even administrately closed due to human impact? Just making a comparison back to the old days and how we then didn’t think we need be so concerned about what’s in the future. Now that we are the future we can see more clearly. Wish you well.

  18. avatar john says:

    here is some exciting news and a bit of a surprise,

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/03/20/supreme-court-sides-with-timber-industry-in-runoff-dispute-dealing-blow-to/?test=latestnews

    scalia was the lone dissenter,, fancy that!!

    • avatar JEFF E says:

      who-da thunk it

      Another ally in the control of feral hogs is the coyote. Piglets and small hogs are frequently eaten by coyotes, and coyote populations have been known to increase as feral hog populations increase. However, the extent that coyotes control hog populations remains to be verified. Owls and bobcats also have been documented as predators of piglets and small pigs. Mountain lion and black bear also are known predators.

      http://www.noble.org/ag/wildlife/feralhogs/references/

  19. avatar CodyCoyote says:

    A strange and disturbing story a USA Today …dozens of domestic dogs have disappeared in and around Magic Valley , Idaho ( Jermone County )recently. Many were allegedly stolen since they were taken off chains and out of fenced yards.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/03/21/dogs-stolen-missing-idaho/2006325/

    I apologize if this actuality has previously been posted here at Wildlife News , but I can’t recall seeing it.

  20. avatar jon says:

    http://news.wpr.org/post/gov-walker-wants-end-night-wolf-hunting

    “Governor Walker’s fellow Republican, State Representative Scott Suder, is a key author of the wolf hunt law. Suder says he wants to meet with the governor’s office, to see about keeping the night-time hunt, noting that raccoons and coyotes can be hunted when it’s dark.”

  21. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    Wow. I hope he does put a stop to it.

    • avatar Rancher Bob says:

      If you want more on Montana’s wolf count try.

      fwp.mt.gov/news/newsReleases/headlines/nr_4073.html

  22. avatar Louise Kane says:

    http://www.hlntv.com/video/2013/03/22/wyoming-wolves-under-attack

    national coverage
    Not exactly NPR but its nice to see something about this massacre.

    • avatar WM says:

      “Not exactly NPR…”

      Not exactly making an attempt at objectivity, like NPR either.

      • avatar savebears says:

        WM,

        You should know better, objectivity these days only matters if the piece supports your position.

        • avatar savebears says:

          But then again, even without objectivity, if the piece supports your position, then you are good to go..

          • avatar timz says:

            Funny, WM & SB the two most know-it-all pompous pricks on this site who think only their opinions matter talking about objectivity. Can’t quit laughing.

            • avatar Larry says:

              Call me the self-appointed vocabulary police if you want but I enjoy this blog and am offended when someone intentionally becomes ugly in their vocabulary as you have. There are ways to disagree without the writer showing he is a moron.

              • avatar timz says:

                The instrument has yet to be invented that could measure how little I care about you being offended. Meanwhile keep up the “ugly” name calling you hypocrite.

            • avatar WM says:

              And once again, timmy stretches the limits of both intellect and vocabulary skills to make valuable and insightful (at least with regard to his own dark personality) contributions to the conversation.

              • avatar timz says:

                “Not exactly making an attempt at objectivity, like NPR either.”

                Yes I wish I had the vocabulary and skill to make insightful statements like this. It’s pure genius.

    • avatar Robert R says:

      What pathetic attempted to play on people’s emotions “people who know nothing about animals in general” these same people need to stay out of state issues.
      I don’t think it’s so much about killing animals as its about having control of other people’s lives. They don’t live in these states.
      How would “Jane should report on wolves killing”? I would bet she and others could not watch another animal being killed let alone eaten while alive.
      The wolf is here to stay and will not be eliminated.

    • avatar SAP says:

      What a circus act. Is that Nancy Grace’s little sister? Nice either dishonest or stupid touch portraying the research helicopter as guys hunting wolves aerially.

      I’m sorry, but this kind of thing is just not helpful. Hey, let’s show footage of aerial darting inside YNP and tell gullible viewers that this is what the “wolf masscre” looks like!

      And geez, I am sorry about 832F getting killed. It’s a bummer, but she was 15 miles outside the park boundary when she got killed. It’s not like someone was waiting for her right on the boundary and whacked her when she stuck a toe across. Even a modest buffer around the park wouldn’t have necessarily saved her.

      It’s going to be a fact of life that some famous wolves will get killed. Guy from town trapped a big black wolf up our way a few weeks ago. No collar, no name, just a big black wolf that has mostly stayed out of trouble since he showed up fall of ’07 (if it is indeed the same animal, and I think it probably is). I can feel sad about it, yet still accept that things like this will happen because wolves are going to be game animals.

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        The states managing wolves is the circus act with a lot of creeps and brutes running the stage. That kind of coverage gets attention, and at this point I’m happy to see someone pissed off about it enough to say something on national tv.

        The big black wolf that stayed out of trouble since 07 for 5 years, and ended up in a trap to be brutally killed…..strange in my opinion not to question or challenge the presumption that its a “fact of life” that animal had to suffer and die for sport as a game animal.

        some people disagree that its not helpful to have coverage of this issue. Its been long overdue. Sensationalist reporting is rampant everywhere, its nice to see some of it being used for good. maybe it will eventually help another black wolf doing no apparent harm but trying to make a living. I hope so. I’m sick to death of dead wolves, coyotes and people that like to kill for sport.

        • avatar WM says:

          Louise

          You say: ++That kind of coverage gets attention, and at this point I’m happy to see someone pissed off about it enough to say something on national tv. ++

          Most of that piece was spin, and parts outright lies, especially the helicopter footage. Let’s be clear, this twit who did the piece is in the entertainment business to make money. Indignant responses increase viewership, which sponsors like – you know the part between the indignant segments where they sell their products, and ultimately pay the host’s salary. Then the link up with HSUS and this goon from Fund for Animals is priceless.

          This woman, and ultimately the content of her piece, is as disgusting as some of those conservative talk show types – they too are in the entertainment business to make money. To hell with the facts, and that is, in part, why this country is so messed up right now.

          • avatar Louise Kane says:

            WM Oh lets be honest, where is the honesty in wolf management? The states don’t spin anything, do they? The feds, the states, the legislators, the Don Peays, Ryan Bensons, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Jon Tester, Ken Salazar….spin and turn away while more wolves are slaughtered every day, almost year round. That intellectually pure place that you preach about is a lofty goal that is doing nothing lately but killing more wolves. There is a lot wrong with this country, the one woman saying shame on you Wyoming, is not high on my hate list. I hope she comes on every week and screams bloody murder about this issue. Everybody has their own way to advocate or spin an issue….like I said there is not much spin helping wolves, I’m happy to see some prime time coverage. Maybe one those 70+ recidivist wildlife hating senators that signed the letter to delist wolves, will actually see on prime time what delisting is doing.

            • avatar SAP says:

              Louise, that would be great if she kept the issue front and center, as long as it’s factual, accurate reporting.

              Saying that the other side spins too isn’t much of an argument for sensationalism. I am all for people loving wolves, people being emotional about them. That passion will take people a long ways.

              What we don’t need are legions of mis-informed wolf advocates. That’s where I part ways with the reporter. Be passionate; be emotional. But don’t make it super easy for the anti’s to dismiss you by being poorly informed (such as believing that hunters are shooting wolves from helicopters; such as insisting that hunters are buying telemetry receivers from Cabelas so they can target YNP wolves).

              When you’re going against the status quo, you have to hold yourself to a higher standard of conduct and reason, because the powerful are always looking for any reason to ignore you.

              • avatar Louise Kane says:

                I understand what you are saying SAP, yet one voice on national tv finally is fighting back against the never ending erroneous and deliberately misleading claims such as wolves are a threat to children, that they have decimated elk herds, that they are overpopulated, they breed and reproduce exponentially, they kill for sport, are the scourge of the earth etc…. I’m just sayin, I’m happy to hear it. I’m betting that the production assistant who did the research for the show is a neophyte in all things wolves, and read about the aerial killings and found the footage of the helicopter chasing the wolves and assumed it was the same. Sometimes, those shows get put together quickly as the approval comes late in the game and the rush to find footage becomes a race. Its very possible that if the footage was taken from a collaring study that that it was an honest mistake. As for shooting wolves from helicopters, is it any better that so called managers actually do this using federal funds…? The outrage is deserved in either instance.
                I speak from experience of the mistaken footage issue. I was handed footage of damaged coral that was supposed to have been diseased, and only because I had a background in marine studies and had worked at coral sites did I know the difference. If I had not then a Discovery News segment would have been aired using footage that represented one thing but was actually another and scientists would have been ready to tear the show apart. even though the footage might have been erroneous, the issue still remained, a ship grounded and damaged a coral reef. same thing here, the footage might be of helicopters chasing wolves for collaring purposes, but the fact is that wolves are hunted and killed using helicopters, and that is still disgraceful.

        • avatar Kathleen says:

          I agree, Louise. Jane Velez Mitchell is a long-time vegan and animal rights activist. When asked if her show at HLN is her dream job, she answered, “Absolutely… One of the reasons it is my dream job is that now and then I get to insert something about compassion for animals and it dovetails with human health and the environment.”
          http://www.vegsource.com/news/2010/01/jane-velez-mitchell-on-being-a-vegan-cnn-host.html

          While I don’t care for her style, her message reaches plenty of people who would otherwise never know that these circumstances (wildlife slaughter, trapping, factory farming, Great Apes Protection Act, etc.) are playing out. My 86 year old mother was the one who first alerted me a few years ago to JVM’s animal advocacy segments, which reach an entirely different audience–maybe one that never knew, maybe never cared.

  23. avatar Leslie says:

    New York times article front page on Utah’s war on coyotes. “By early March, six months into the collection, the remains of 5,988 coyotes had been turned in.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/23/us/coyotes-sly-predators-become-targets-in-utah.html?hp&_r=0

  24. avatar jon says:

    http://www.startribune.com/sports/outdoors/199706491.html?refer=y

    It’s sad that someone would think the right for a trapper to trap and kill animals is more important than a dog’s life. No question that more dogs will be killed by traps. It’s really inevitable. Shame on Minnesota legislators.

    • avatar JB says:

      So let me make sure I’ve got this straight, Jon… when a dog owner looses his/her pet to wolves it is his own fault for not keeping the animal leashed, but if the same pet were to step in a foothold trap in the same place, that would be the trapper’s fault?

  25. avatar jon says:

    http://www.lobowatch.com/adminclient/Legislation13/go

    “More specifically, within the designated provisional hunt areas, SB397 would allow hunters to use bear hunting scents, and would permit baiting for bears. The bill would also legalize bear hunting with dogs during the spring season, and during these hunts during a provisional season, hunters would not be required to keep the meat from a bear, just the head and hide. Hunters taking a lion in districts designated as a provisional hunt unit would not be required to purchase a trophy license to possess and transport a lion harvested. During the wolf hunts in these districts, trapping would also be allowed, including the use of snares. The proposed provisional wolf hunting and trapping season would run from September 1 to June 30. The cost of a non-resident wolf, bear or lion tag for hunting the provisional hunt areas would be reduced to $50 each.

    Other provisions in the bill call for the closing of the wolf season should the statewide population fall below 200.”

    Let’s all hope for the sake of wildlife that this bill dies. These anti-wildlife bills by Montana republican legislatures make me sick! :mad:

    • avatar jon says:

      legislators

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      Again, they are killing young if they take the parents during these long, drawn out hunting seasons, and maybe directly as well when the sickos get going. Really selfish.

      • avatar jon says:

        They don’t care Ida. They’re extremists. I hope sb 397 gets defeated. There are two hunting organizations in Montana that oppose it and Montana fish and wild parks oppose it. If it does reach Governor Bullock, I think he will veto it.

        • avatar savebears says:

          Jon,

          You have to realize, the FWP commissioners have been changed since Bullock has taken office. As I said, Bullock has actually said he supports most of it, he did that at a lunch in Kalispell.

      • avatar jon says:

        Sb 397 allows no quota hunting, snaring, and trapping of wolves Sep 1 to June 30 in some parts of Montana. That means that wolf pups are targets also. This is a real dangerous bill and I hope it’s defeated. The bill not only targets wolves, but bears and mountain lions as well. The war on wildlife continues.

        • avatar Ida Lupine says:

          We’ve never had a more ecologically clueless Presidency. Sally Jewell sailed quietly past the Energy and Natural Resources Committee – so I’m sure the “all of the above” energy strategy is going to proceed full steam ahead and damn the wildlife. Obama sees things from a solely people-oriented perspective and doesn’t seem to see the value of wild lands and wild places for their own sakes like previous leaders.

    • avatar savebears says:

      Some of the particulars have already been passed in other bills and as far as I have heard, the Governor is indicating he is in support.

      • avatar jon says:

        We’ll see. I predict this bill dies.

        • avatar savebears says:

          Jon,

          Who really cares what you predict, you have to realize a lot of things go on in Montana that you will never know about.

          I am not siding on it passing, but passing information I heard while in attendance at the Lunch that Bullock was at.

          • avatar jon says:

            What Bullock supports and what the Montana fwp supports are two different things Dave.

            • avatar savebears says:

              Jon,

              Bullock has the last word on these issues in the state of Montana Jon. FWP can tell Bullock to bite the big one and Bullock can still sign something into law And you jerk, my name is Donald. Why do you insist on calling me Dave? Please explain.

              • avatar savebears says:

                Jon,

                You seem to forget who the FWP works for, and Bullock has the power to replace anyone he wishes at that dept, Just as he did with the commissioners a couple of weeks ago.

          • avatar jon says:

            Dave, two well known hunting organizations in Montana oppose sb 397 and I predict that at the meeting for this bill on Tuesday, Montana fwp will be there opposing it. You just love arguing with people on here Dave. Seen any wolverines as of late?

            • avatar savebears says:

              Nope, I have not seen any wolverines since I have been back home, which has been over a month now.

              Talk about loving arguments, you have never even been any of the places you preach about but yet, you believe you are an expert because of media pieces you read. You love to argue with anyone that disagrees with your position, and it does not matter if you are right or wrong.

              • avatar jon says:

                Dave, we should start calling you the “wolverine whisperer”. :)

              • avatar jon says:

                Have yourself a good night Dave.

              • avatar savebears says:

                Jon,

                If you are going to continue to call me by the wrong name, I would like to see where or what information you have that has lead you to believe my name is Dave? At least you could do that Mr. Wilson.

            • avatar Ida Lupine says:

              C’mon now – let’s be nice. :)

              I’ve got go sign off, have a good night everyone! I’ll hope for the best, but I’m not optimistic. :(

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      Only March, but the que is already beginning to form for the Darwin Awards.

      Sad thing is, this woman’s lack of common sense may lead to the destruction of the animal.

      • avatar WM says:

        Clearly a nominee for the Darwin Award (except she didn’t succeed in exiting the gene pool it appears).

        I expect the truth is probably somewhere between witness version and the account of the injured person. Maybe a paid magazine article is in order for both, as the truth steps aside to be replaced by titilating text for those who want to see the worst.

        Paul Pacquet (Canadian wolf scientist/advocate who said Kenton Carnegie wasn’t killed by a wolf) has already said he doubts the woman’s account of the details, in another article I read. Go figure. If there is verification the attack was indeed a wolf (as it now appears is the case), regardless of the details, I hope somebody corrects Pacquet publicly, if his opinion, was intended to deflect an assertion that it was indeed a wolf, sick/injured or otherwise, by a person with bad judgement.

      • avatar Harley says:

        I think I read someplace else that the wolf had been killed? Perhaps though, if it had been sick, that was the kindest thing for it.

    • avatar Nancy says:

      Harley – good that this story got a followup.

  26. avatar mikepost says:

    Why hunters and fishers command the attention of government agencies and politicians…

    P-R funding reaches record $522.5 million

    Due primarily to the spike in sales of firearms and ammunition in 2012, a record $882 million will be distributed to states this year for fish, wildlife and recreation projects, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Thursday. Pittman-Robertson funding will provide an unprecedented $522.5 million to the states, up from a previous high of $473 million in 2010. The sport fish fund, under the Dingell-Johnson Act, will provide $359.9 million this year, up from $349.7 million in 2012. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

    • avatar Larry says:

      Can anyone refresh my memory re restrictions on the use of P-R funds? I used to know but there are a lot of things I am finding that I “used to know”. Seems I remember it is primarily non-operational funds such as land access/acquisition, etc. Can it be used to aerial gun wolves? How about contracts with elk organizations to come into schools and teach about the big bad woofs? Just wondering if someone should get nosey about an audit.

      • avatar savebears says:

        Here is a small overview Larry from the USFWS website:

        http://www.fws.gov/laws/lawsdigest/FAWILD.HTML

        • avatar Larry says:

          For savebears; I’m sure you can see the tongue in my cheek from there when I ask how much of the P-R money the states spend on “restoration of wildlife (wolves)”. But it does sound like they could screw that into hunter education concerning the big bad wolf. I know when I used to do hunter education as an Idaho C.O. more than half the time at each school was about elk and deer management. I didn’t like hunter education work at all because a significant number of kids just didn’t want anything to do with guns and I just felt firearms safety was a family education matter not to be force fed to 7th grade kids by the state.

          • avatar Louise Kane says:

            “I just felt firearms safety was a family education matter not to be force fed to 7th grade kids by the state.”
            + 1 not to mention teaching children to trap and kill wildlife before they have even developed an understanding of the animals they are being taught to kill.

  27. avatar Louise Kane says:

    http://exposingthebiggame.wordpress.com/author/exposingthebiggame/

    USFWS offers 2500 in golden eagle case
    a tragedy, but what might we expect when bait piles, snares and traps are commonplace and strewn everywhere to kill. Something has to change! These devices are inhumane and indecent.

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      The total carelessness which some hunters operate never ceases to amaze. How can anyone not take into consideration ‘collateral damage’ from their actions?

  28. avatar JBurnham says:

    Montana Legislature now debating a horrible anti-predator bill. Would open up seasons on all big predators anywhere elk licenses are restricted. Would allow baiting, hound hunting liberalized trapping.

    listen now: http://montanalegislature.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=89&event_id=419

    Read the bill: http://data.opi.mt.gov/bills/2013/billhtml/SB0397.htm

  29. avatar Sam Parks says:

    As predicted, the wolf killings in the Wyoming predator zone have increased with the opening of the flex zone on March 1. Since then, at least 7 wolves have been legally killed in the predator zone, bringing the total, known wolf deaths in Wyoming (outside YNP) since 2012 began to at least 135 (44 killed prior to the hunting season mostly for livestock depredations, 42 killed in the trophy game area by hunters, 39 killed in the predator zone by hunters, 3 poached, 3 natural deaths during the hunting season, 1 hit by car during the hunting season, and 3 wolves killed during the hunting season by game and fish for livestock depredations). The non-YNP wolf population at that time was 230.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      more than 1/2
      and thats not slaughter?

      • avatar Sam Parks says:

        I would certainly call it a slaughter. One thing to keep in mind is that last years pups would have been born in April, so the 230 number does not include any pups born last year. Assuming mostly adults were taken in the hunt and control actions, we could accurately say that over half the adult wolf population has been removed since 2012 began. I will be very curious to see the final 2012 numbers. Game and fish should be releasing them in the next couple weeks. The population will be 95 + however many pups were produced in 2012 (perhaps 70). My guess is that the non-YNP WY population will be in the neighborhood of 160.

  30. avatar JB says:

    New Study…

    Relative influence of human harvest, carnivores, and weather on adult female elk survival across western North America

    Summary

    Well-informed management of harvested species requires understanding how changing ecological conditions affect demography and population dynamics, information that is lacking for many species. We have limited understanding of the relative influence of carnivores, harvest, weather and forage availability on elk Cervus elaphus demography, despite the ecological and economic importance of this species. We assessed adult female survival, a key vital rate for population dynamics, from 2746 radio-collared elk in 45 populations across western North America that experience wide variation in carnivore assemblage, harvest, weather and habitat conditions.
    Proportional hazard analysis revealed that ‘baseline’ (i.e. not related to human factors) mortality was higher with very high winter precipitation, particularly in populations sympatric with wolves Canis lupus. Mortality may increase via nutritional stress and heightened vulnerability to predation in snowy winters. Baseline mortality was unrelated to puma Puma concolor presence, forest cover or summer forage productivity.
    Cause-specific mortality analyses showed that wolves and all carnivore species combined had additive effects on baseline elk mortality, but only reduced survival by <2%. When human factors were included, ‘total’ adult mortality was solely related to harvest; the influence of native carnivores was compensatory. Annual total mortality rates were lowest in populations sympatric with both pumas and wolves because managers reduced female harvest in areas with abundant or diverse carnivores.
    Mortality from native carnivores peaked in late winter and early spring, while harvest-induced mortality peaked in autumn. The strong peak in harvest-induced mortality during the autumn hunting season decreased as the number of native carnivore species increased.
    Synthesis and applications. Elevated baseline adult female elk mortality from wolves in years with high winter precipitation could affect elk abundance as winters across the western US become drier and wolves recolonize portions of the region. In the absence of human harvest, wolves had additive, although limited, effects on mortality. However, human harvest, and its apparent use by managers to offset predation, primarily controls overall variation in adult female mortality. Altering harvest quotas is thus a strong tool for offsetting impacts of carnivore recolonization and shifting weather patterns on elk across western North America.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      Synthesis and applications. Elevated baseline adult female elk mortality from wolves in years with high winter precipitation could affect elk abundance as winters across the western US become drier and wolves recolonize portions of the region.

      The statement above is unclear to me… why would adult female elk mortality necessarily increase …if wolves recolonize drier areas? Its not new news that the success of wolves hunting has a direct correlation to the amount of precipitation/snow and that its the snow that gives wolves an advantage. what does not follow is the logic that if wolves recolonize in areas where winters are drier that their impact on female elk may still be greater. The abstract states that the Proportional hazard analysis revealed that ‘baseline’ (i.e. not related to human factors) mortality was higher with very high winter precipitation, particularly in populations sympatric with wolves Canis lupus. the claims are inconsistent

      • avatar rork says:

        I think “affect elk abundance” is true with “drier” Louise, and you are agreeing with that. Their sentence isn’t saying in which direction the impact of “drier” is, if you read very very carefully.
        I’m not blaming you – it’s not a great sentence in that respect. Abstracts often suffer from having to be so short.

        A trouble with the conclusion is that wolf-caused deaths may be compensatory only because managers adjust human-caused deaths. The compensatory conclusion is what we (derogatorily) call “purely descriptive” – it might have been found not to be compensatory in an actual controlled experiment. I’m afraid I’ll have to consider that wolves may actually negatively influence hunters, though I’m not claiming that was demonstrated (haven’t read the paper yet – always a good way to make errors). I’m rather happy when studies find no such influence, so I’m biased in the other direction.

        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          Rork, like you, I need to take the time to read the whole paper. The abstract annoyed me because it seemed the claims were contrary. I agree with your statement. “I’m afraid I’ll have to consider that wolves may actually negatively influence hunters…” a full read is needed.

  31. Important legal victory for the Tongass National Forest — the Clinton era roadless rule will stand because the state was too late in challenging it.
    http://juneauempire.com/state/2013-03-26/judge-rejects-alaskas-challenge-roadless-rule-tongass

    My daughter is looking forward to her legal internship this summer at the local Earth Justice office, and working with the quoted attorney.

  32. avatar rork says:

    In Michigan, yesterday:
    “The coalition called Keep Michigan Wolves Protected says it will turn in more than 240,000 voter signatures to state election officials on Wednesday. If at least 161,305 of those signatures are deemed valid, a new state law that could lead to a wolf hunt would be at least temporarily suspended. Michigan voters would then decide the law’s fate during the November 2014 election.” It is in many papers. One example:
    http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2013/03/michigan_wolf_hunt_repeal.html
    Again the new state law being questioned is one declaring wolves to be game animals, which would let our Natural Resources Commission set rules for hunts.

    Previous news stories of about a week ago had our DNR hinting that they would recommend only guns and leg-hold traps, no use of dogs, and a hunt being sold as not trophy, but only to reduce wolves in some areas. The last part, about intentions, was a bit ludicrous. I doubt hunters are a good way to manage wolf populations in our upper peninsula (we aren’t trying for none in large areas, like WY). I’m actually more inclined to listen to folks wanting trophy hunts (few animals, not trying to alter populations – in fact trying not to). Not that I or my hunting comrades would ever participate.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      Thanks for posting this Rork, I was trying to find this. 240,000 signatures is a HUGE accomplishment and a testament to the notion that many people want wolves protected. This is great news. Maybe MN and Michigan will become safe havens for wolves where their pack structures can be somewhat intact and they can live in areas free from constant death and harassment.

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        http://keepwolvesprotected.com/?utm_source=masthead&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=KeepMIWolvesProtected

        This is the link to Keep Michigan Wolves protected that describes the work they did to keep Michigan wolves from being hunted. What an accomplishment. Its usual for organizations like Big Game Forever, Safari Club International to sneak around back rooms and push their slimy anti wolf agendas. These people are heroes, in my mind, they organized 2000 people to collect signatures, did so in freezing weather, gave up free time to dedicate themselves to an issue they cared about deeply and collected 251,000 signatures in UNDER 6 weeks. The herculean task of collecting these signatures within this time frame seems to underscore that Michigan wants their wolves protected. I think America does too. Consistent and strong support for wolf recovery was evidenced through studies and polls taken by institutions like Pew. The sleaze factor in delisting the RM wolves via a budget rider and then having the usual suspects push for the GL delisting is chilling. People care about wolves, they do not agree with slaughtering them. Mainstream Americans understand that wolves are social, intelligent, the forbearers of domesticated dogs. Its a national tragedy that they are now slaughtered under the cover of “management”. I’d like to see 251,000 want to be killers of wolves organize in MI in under 6 weeks. I bet there is not a small fraction of the state, that agrees with the wanton wasted aspect of killing wolves for trophies, or as game. But you can bet the sleaze factor will be working hard to ram lies, misinformation and anti wolf propaganda down the citizen’s throats before the vote. This is truly amazing. Thank you keep Michigan Wolves protected. This is democracy overturning sleaze, corruption, and special interest behind the scenes politicking.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      maybe if they just trust the DNR they’ll do the right thing.

    • avatar TC says:

      That it happened at Walmart says as much as anything else.

      To answer your implied question timz – he’s not a hunter, he’s a poacher, an idiot, and a menace; hopefully facing a handful of serious charges. Pennsylvania is a member of the interstate wildlife violator compact, so I’d guess he’s lost his hunting and fishing privileges in most states for a significant amount of time (and if he’s convicted of a felony, his firearms rights). That’s assuming the story is accurate and justice is served.

    • avatar Robert R says:

      timz come on you cannot have hunters associated with poachers. You can’t fix stupid and this is stupid.

  33. avatar CodyCoyote says:

    Planet Jackson Hole reporter Jake Nichols concludes his 2-part exposé on our favorite federal agency , Wildlife Services with an article succinctly titled ” Coyote Ugly ” about Wyoming’s eternal hatred of coyotes.

    http://planetjh.com/2013/03/19/coyote-ugly-wyomings-legacy-of-brutality/

    The first part can be found at : http://planetjh.com/2013/03/12/trapped/

    [ Apologies if this has been previously posted here ]

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      Harley,

      Well that was good — mountain lions around his remote mountain home and he sees it as a privilege to witness the wildness, not call in the government wildlife killers.

      • avatar Harley says:

        LOL! I would have been scared to death probably! But I do admire mountain lions, they are my favorite of the big cats.

        Three traveling together, again, that’s supposed to be kind of a rare thing, right? I think I saw, didn’t someone else post a picture with several together that were possibly juveniles?

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      “I consider it a privilege to live with these animals and share this space with them,” he said.

      I love it. I would consider it a privilege too. What a beautiful face looking in the window! I would keep a respectful distance tho. Thanks for posting, Harley. :)

  34. avatar WM says:

    A strong opposition piece to the feral cat TNR (trap/neuter/return) program some here advocate. It would also appear a growing number of state health departments are not so keen on the idea either -disease riddent and rabid cats on the increase:

    http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2013-03-14/news/os-ed-feral-cats-031413-20130313_1_feral-cats-feral-cat-problem-alley-cat-allies

  35. avatar CodyCoyote says:

    Today’s helpful hint for wildlife enthusiasts; do NOT taunt Bison in small enclosures by throwing rocks at them and rattling their chain link fence. The Bison may take umbrage at this.

    http://www.today.com/video/today/51359083/#51359083

    There is a Dumb Animal in this video, and it’s not the four legged shaggy beast…

  36. avatar Louise Kane says:

    http://www.sacbee.com/2013/03/27/5295472/fish-and-wildlife-officials-take.html#storylink=cpy
    Fish and Wildlife Service agency fighting the good fight, not using any logical discretion, sos

    • avatar WM says:

      Yep. Everybody should have their own pet deer. And, don’t you just love the way the Sacramento Bee reports objectively, peeing on agency officials just doing their jobs? Mazey Maloney, one of the original Sac Bee owners, would roll over in her grave if she knew the kind of crap reporting it does today – slant and all.

      And, Louise, that would be the CALIFORNIA fish and wildlife folks.

      Follow up article that tells the fate of this deer.

      http://www.sacbee.com/2013/03/28/5298546/in-turnabout-state-fish-and-wildlife.html

      • avatar JB says:

        ??? Did you actually read the article, WM? Certainly the author is guilty of playing up the sob story [which, I'm sure the editors appreciate]. However, she also hit all of the points that agencies try to hammer home in these cases, specifically:

        “A deer is a wild animal, not a pet,” said Fish and Wildlife spokesman Mark Michilizzi. “We keep wild animals wild.”

        “Friends said the family wanted to save the fawn’s life and didn’t realize keeping the deer was a violation.

        Fish and Wildlife officials said family members won’t be cited.”

        “Mackey said many people take in fawns they find alone in the woods, thinking they have been abandoned by their mothers.

        “Mothers will leave their young while they forage for food,” she said. “Deer moms have been doing that for hundreds and hundreds of years.”

        • avatar JB says:

          “Yep. Everybody should have their own pet deer.”

          False dichotomy? I didn’t hear anyone claim that everyone should be able to have their own deer. Perhaps we should limit ownership of deer to wealthy landowners who build big fences and charge people thousands of dollars to shoot the deer? (Wait, is that a false dichotomy? Oh well, what’s good for the goose…)

        • avatar WM says:

          Oh, come on JB, I READ the article carefully. Just tell me this isn’t the sob story slant, of a human interest story with those bad wildlife people coming to take the deer way? Get real.

          Saida Cervantes and her two boys were too upset to come outside to meet with reporters. She agreed to speak by telephone.

          “I’ve bottle-fed her from 7 days old,” Cervantes said of Floracita.

          The deer was like any other pet, Cervantes said.

          “She is friendly with animals, the goats, my son. Good with the neighbors.”

          Then repeat,(this time earlier in the article, from Mrs. Cervantes), “”I bottle-fed her when she was little,” said his sobbing wife, Saida Cervantes. “It really hurts, and they won’t tell where she will go.”

          • avatar JB says:

            WM:

            So are you saying that Cervantes and her children were not devastated by the loss? I agree that the author presented the sob story–but apparently that was Cervantes side of the story. My point was that all of the agency talking points were also presented–there side of the story is there as well.

            Were the author to have simply stated that a deer was removed from a family who held it illegally, then Cervantes could have claimed that the author misrepresented the harm they felt was inflicted upon their family. Bottom line–the fact that this was emotional for ONE SIDE involved and not at all for the other comes out pretty well, and the agency’s talking points (i.e., don’t adopt wildlife) are there in black and white for everyone to read.

            • avatar WM says:

              Ok, you win. LOL

              But, for the record, the stuff about illegal keeping of wildlife was not the reason Louise posted it; was not the dominant message I took away from it; was not in the topic sentence or the title, and in fact I didn’t find the words, deer kept in violation of law or illegally anywhere in the article. Lots of tears, though, enough that reporters were called ahead of time, and protestors held signs.

              Rewrite of topic sentence: “Illegally kept pet deer was removed from home of devastated Good Samaritans, while neighbors and reporters watch…..”

              How is that for balance?

              • avatar JB says:

                Ha, that’s better. But I’m not looking to win an argument here; in fact, I’ve been frustrated recently by how much of our back-and-forth banter seems to be motivated by reaction to a perceived opponent, rather than thoughtful dialogue about the issue. This story was an example where I am sympathetic to both sides of the debate, and really believe some dialogue is warranted.

                Sorry to jump on you.

            • avatar Larry says:

              Just another sidebar story from me on this subject. No point one way or the other is intended. I was an Idaho District C.O. many years ago and received a call from an acquaintance, the DISTRICT RANGER OF BOISE NATIONAL FOREST. Asked me very sheepishly if I could find a home for a pet mule deer that he picked up and brought to his home in Boise when it still had spots. The deer was now about 10 months and jumping neighborhood fences, pulling clothes off lines and intimidating neighbors and children. After my astonishment subsided I asked my colleague the what, when, how and why. He said he just liked animals and thought his kids would enjoy but one day led to the next and so on. Didn’t intend to keep it and planned to take it back up river after the kids petted it. Of course the story is obvious. He was very embarrassed about the whole thing and well he should have been. Only point I can see here is that a warm heart can get us in trouble. But then if some of us including Grandpa Ugg didn’t have a warm heart and handed that meat scrap to the wolf that didn’t run away we wouldn’t know the joys of having dogs as pets.

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        My point is WM that sometimes these agencies do things without any consideration for the particular circumstance. These people did not take a fawn out of the woods that might have been abandoned. They found it next to its dead mother, they had the deer under control or so it seems, and the deer was in an enclosure and situation that was humane. What was the purpose of removing the animal to euthanize it? or in the happy ending story you posted, to let it loose. as some commenter pointed out that was cruel, the deer probably will walk up to someone that would do it harm or be the first to get shot in a hunting season. this story had no happy ending and it was extremely traumatic for the people that loved the deer and very cruel to the deer. Call me crazy for feeling that this was a situation that could have been handled much better and with some humanity.

  37. avatar jon says:

    http://www.kivitv.com/news/local/200329651.html

    “Supporters of shifting funding from the Sportsmen’s Access Yes! program to Idaho’s animal damage control account argued the cash would reduce predators, helping ranchers as well as big-game hunters angry that wolves eat too many elk.

    Foes included Pocatello Sen. Roy Lacey, who said he was among residents eager to see wolves eradicated.

    Lacey suggested they might attack him while he rides his bike near Island Park.

    Even so, Lacey said this bill amounted to raiding Fish and Game money.”

    • avatar JEFF E says:

      sunnyJon,
      this is standard govt. practice. raid one fund to address a manufactured crises, then at some point down the road declare that the original fund is underfunded and we will need an increase (taxes, fees, whatever) to make up the difference. Government at its finest.

    • avatar frank Renn says:

      Jon
      I caught that information on the Journal website this morning. As one would expect HO278 was backed by the livestock industry and opposed by the fish and game commission. Interesting a rancher could get access yes monies then turn around and have it used for wolf control. As an avid upland game bird hunter I took the opportunity to Email Senator Monty Pearce and express my displeasure at the bill. Won`t go into the Email contents here, suffice it to say I am glad the legislature is winding down before they cause more damage.

      • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

        This is really irritating. It can greatly reduce amount of land were you can get access for hunting or other recreation.

        Anti-wolf is being used to drive another agenda here. Of course, it has from the start — to stir people up with a phony issue so Idahoans forget about their poverty and lack of health care, education, etc.

  38. avatar jon says:

    http://forums.yellowstone.net/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=15780

    Scott Boulanger’s anti-predator bill sb 397 passed on a vote of 6-4. It has to go through a few more hurdles and than signed by Governor Bullock to become law. Most people testified in opposition to sb 397 and several hunting groups and Montana fwp testified in opposition to sb 397 as well telling the natural resources committee that sb 397 could end up getting wolves relisted in Montana. This bill would allow snares, traps, calls, etc to be used on wolves for 10 months straight.

    • avatar jon says:

      Conibear traps would also be allowed for wolves.

      • avatar jon says:

        And according to the link I posted, Scott Boulanger is Montana transplant originally from Connecticut.

        • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

          This, as we have seen, is so true of many of the people who have no use for the wildlife and natural beauty of Montana and Idaho.

          Living most of my life in Idaho, I noticed people like this guy slithering into the state beginning in the Reagan years.

      • avatar Immer Treue says:

        “Conibers traps would also be allowed for wolves.”

        Not a good idea. They’d probably have to use 330’s and 440,s, which mean the curious elk, deer, moose would also be killed by such traps.

        I’d be willing to wager before a kid is attacked by a wolf at a bustop, one will get seriously injured or killed by a conibear.

        The race to kill wolves is becoming surreal.
        I’ve understood from the start that wolves would be hunted in the NRM states. There is nothing sporting about some of the methods being cooked up to take wolves. The term sportsman is becoming an oxymoron.

        • avatar jon says:

          The conibear traps and the snares would be allowed on wolves for the whole 10 month season. Who knows how many non-target animals would get killed.

        • avatar jon says:

          “Trapper, Outfitter-owner and appointed Montana Senator Scott Boulanger doesn’t think recent passage of more aggressive bills to kill wolves is enough. He has sponsored SB 397 which allows for wolves to be trapped using suffocating SNARES and spine-breaking CONIBEAR traps, and allows for baiting wolf sets with the SKINNED CARCASSES OF OTHER WOLVES, Road-kill or naturally dead BIG GAME SPECIES, increase trap check time for wolves to 72 HOURS (more suffering), and make wolf trapping and hunting season run SEPT 1-JUNE 30! His bill includes more aggressive measures against mt lions and bears also.”

        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          The race to kill wolves is becoming surreal.

          I felt this way from the start – surreal to kill wolves in light of their extirpation in the past….

  39. avatar CodyCoyote says:

    Wyoming had a record Elk harvest last year by hunters. Record elk populations, to shoot at, too. So it sounds like those rampaging carnivorous Wolves aren’t wiping out much hunting opportunity after all.

    http://wgfd.wyo.gov/web2011/news-1001370.aspx

    57,331 unique hunters took 26,385 elk for a success rate of 46 percent, including some rather liberal ( and cheap ) second and third licenses for cow elk in some areas, like Meeteetse just down the road from me, which also has a good number of wolves ” they” say. The perceived impacts of wolves on elk herds is just not holding up based on Wyo G&F’s own numbers.

    This article does not state the estimated total population of Elk in Wyoming , but it is north of 110,000. And still growing, thanks in part to the feedgrounds and milder winters and warmer autumns.

    • avatar TC says:

      While I agree with the premise that wolves in no way are “decimating” elk herds, for folks outside of Wyoming I’d be careful making these arguments – there are many many elk taken in the Bighorns, Laramies, Snowies, Sierra Madres, Seminoes, Rattlesnakes, Shirleys, other ranges, and in the basins and deserts where there are no wolves. In some hunt areas/herd units without wolves there weren’t enough elk killed by hunters to return herds to objectives (and begin to recover range that truly has been decimated by drought, overgrazing by livestock, and too many elk), but the issues in no way revolve around wolf/prey dynamics. Folks should be careful to make sophisticated and locally appropriate arguments here, and do it well – don’t just point to Wyoming having a record elk season.

      • avatar JB says:

        TC:

        Localized arguments are all well and good, but we cannot necessarily parse out causation in every drainage (we simply don’t have the data). Recent analyses on larger datasets are suggesting that large carnivore effects on ungulate populations are highly conditional (for example; they tend to occur concurrent with harsh winters), whereas human harvest tends to be additive (or “super-additive” according to some studies). Also consider that elk populations in the West were at or near all time highs near the time of wolves’ reintroduction, which means regression toward the mean will, at some point, set in, and populations will be reduced (wolves be damned). These types of arguments get glossed over in the ridiculously oversimplified banter that often passes for argument on this forum.

        • avatar TC says:

          Actually, for many of the elk herd units in Wyoming (elk are not classified by drainages), data on demographics, hunting success, range conditions and climate parameters, predator population estimates or density estimates, etc., do exist, and with a little more information on vital rates analysis of elk herd population lambda (and significant parameters driving it) is pretty straightforward. In many of the non-wolf areas mountain lions are the only significant predator, and their ecology and biology is significantly less tied to environmental conditions (i.e., your argument about snow cover/depth or “harsh winters”) – ambush versus coursing predators and all that fun stuff. In many of these areas it boils down to some simple realities – elk use private lands, human hunting access (and success) is limited, and anthropegenic mortality is compensatory at best and ineffective at maintaining elk herds at levels compatible with range conditions (or at least range conditions as we mandate them spatially and for multiple use – i.e., grazing livestock). There are great arguments that could be made to support Leslie’s claim below that wolves may do a tremendous amount of good (actual additive mortality?) in these areas; problem is they will not be accepted under any current circumstances and as development continues, the opportunity will further fizzle. I’d love to see wolves in the Snowies, the Sierras, the Red Desert, the wilder parts of the Laramies, but I’m pretty certain it will never happen. Little Red Riding Hood runs the show in Cheyenne.

        • avatar JB says:

          Sorry, perhaps I wasn’t clear. It isn’t really possible to tease out causal factors at localized scales (whether drainage or WMUs) for a variety of reasons (e.g., measurement and sampling error, low sample sizes, incomplete data, etc.). The *best* long term dataset on predator-prey interactions (the Isle Royale Moose x Wolf project) has a number of advantages over NRM data (e.g., no emigration or immigration, ability to literally count all individual animals, data that spans 10-20 times the length of a “normal” project, single predator, single prey, etc.) and yet their best models account for less than half of the variance in moose populations. Frankly, I’m extremely skeptical that Wyoming (or any other state) could do better–especially at the local scale.

      • avatar Leslie says:

        Actually this just supports the fact that WY should not have a ‘predator’ zone. Many of the hunt zones in NW WY like Meeteesee were giving out xtra tags. Those elk were documented with brucellosis and in fact shut down a bison ranch there for the next two years (where I like to get my bison meat).

        It would be interested to see the breakdown of the hunt takes in which areas.

        • avatar CodyCoyote says:

          Leslie- we used to have great rolling data on game harvest numbers in near real time and afterwards , when Wyo G&F had a network of 39 check stations statewide and all hunters were required to check in and report. I really miss those check stations. They became clearinghouses, and were run in a very congenial manner , like rural Post Offices, where youw ent to get official stuff like Mail, but also to gossip and gab and even socialize on the surface.

          The check station west of Meeteetse was a dandy for all that, in its day. We knew where the elk and deer and ‘lopes were being taken , along with field mice in the camp tent , rabbits, coyotes all added to the chalkboard for fun . Four miles up the road from same , I ran a ‘ private ‘ check station at the front gate of the Pitchfork Ranch for 12 years doing much of the same, except alcohol was involved. between these two installations we knew what was going on with The Hunt every fall.

          Sad that Wyo G&F has so few checkstations these days , like that transient one at the Chief Joe turnoff going into your country , and the main one on the west end of Cody at the riverfork.

          Wyo G& F now has to rely on hunters making voluntary reports. Instead of having much more exact field reports, they now have to ” ballpark” game harvest info. I think that degrades the overall accuracy, but it has become du rigeur for determining the comings and goings of hunting seasons, and therefore the basis for next year’s quotas etc.

          A lot of hunting activity is not getting reported, coming and going, IMHO, just when we need it most.

  40. avatar jon says:

    http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/governor-vetoes-bill-barring-gun-ban-enforcement/article_b8ddd07a-7708-5a44-8d83-1e120f7ffdc7.html

    Some good news for Montana wolves. Steve Bullock has vetoed a bill that would let hunters use silencers to kill wolves.

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      I think leaders are beginning to see the folly of this obsession with wolves. Good news!

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      wow i’m shocked
      wonder if he will veto the new anti wildlife/wolves bill

      • avatar savebears says:

        He has already signed the one preventing FWP from closing wolf hunting around the park.

      • avatar jon says:

        I think if FWP supports something, Bullock will as well. The Boulanger bill 397 which would allow a 10 month long season on wolves in Montana with snares, conibears, etc being used on wolves for the whole 10 months was opposed by hunting groups and FWP, so I believe if 397 does reach Bullock’s desk, he will veto it, but you really just never know what’s going to happen.

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      If a person wanted to murder someone or simply shoot something without anyone hearing it, being able to posses a legal silencer (for wolf hunting, of course) would be beneficial indeed.

      You might say using a silencer for non-wolf shooting would be an illegal use, subjecting you to fines, will yes it would.

      I am well aware that silencers do not reduce the sound of the discharge to little “pows” like you hear in movies.

      • avatar savebears says:

        Ralph, Owning suppressors is legal now

        • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

          Savebears,

          Yes, I know; but they are not legal for hunting in Montana as far as I know.

          My question is this, was the law a general opening up to use suppressors for hunting (seems to me like it was), or was it only for wolves?

          • avatar savebears says:

            Ralph,

            I don’t know if it was just targeted to wolves, I do know, that any animal that is not classified as a game animal, it is legal to use a suppressor.

            Montana is not the only state that wanted to allow these to be used, most people don’t realize, that there are close to 30 states that have passed laws to allow suppressors to be used for hunting.

            • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

              Savebears,

              My guess is this wasn’t a strictly anti-wolf measure.

              Shooting with a suppressor, especially target shooting, can be more pleasant because of smaller report, less kick to influence aim, and you might get safely away without hearing damage without wearing ear protection for people who don’t want to bother or forget to bring it.

              However, in the woods I do like to hear any shots that happen. Absolutely, noise suppression aids poaching of game and livestock.

              I thought under the National Firearms Act you had to buy a $200 federal permit regardless of the state to own a silencer.

              • avatar savebears says:

                Ralph,

                You do have to purchase the $200 permit and have an extensive background check.

              • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

                savebears,

                I thought so.

                Well the more I read about this “silencers for wolves” bill, the more it sounds like just another finger to the federal government bill that serves no other rational purpose.

              • avatar jon says:

                “Absolutely, noise suppression aids poaching of game and livestock.”

                That’s why FWP and many others opposed this bill. The only reason those who supported this bill came up with is it will protect their hearing.

    • avatar bret says:

      a good editorial from the Wenatchee World, might be helpful for people unfamiliar with Washington state.

      http://www.wenatcheeworld.com/news/2013/mar/28/suddenly-wolves-at-the-door/

      • avatar Immer Treue says:

        “Currently, if a rancher finds a wolf attacking livestock, or a homeowner finds a wolf consuming a pet, they can take no action without a permit from the Department of Fish and Wildlife. Of course, permits come too late.”

        This is wrong. Ranchers, farmers, pet owners should be able to protect their livestock/animals. This should be a given. It should be a reality, before the crying begins, do you expect us to stay out there all night comes to play. That is where adjustment on part of the ranchers must occur, not merely adjusting to the presence of wolves.

        • avatar Ida Lupine says:

          Yes, I have thought about this also.

        • avatar JEFF E says:

          I have been an ardent wolf supporter a few decades before there was an Internet and the current crop of experts, whatever their bona fides,…having said that if a wolf attacks any of mine, then there will be a reduction.

    • avatar jon says:

      This is quite disgusting to allow hunters to kill pregnant wolves and newborn wolf pups. If a wolf hunter finds a den with 5 wolf pups in it, he can legally “harvest” those animals and he can get away with it. All so there are more elk and deer for hunters to kill. So much for science based killed eh? :rolleyes”

  41. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    Ugh. I happened to be driving today and caught a glimpse of where they are installing a solar farm near where I live. They have begun clearcutting 33 acres of land near ponds and wetlands, it is horrible. Thinking of all of the displaced birds and wildlife makes me ill. How does this green energy lie get approved? These things are sprouting up everywhere – replacing decades-old trees with shrubs ‘guaranteed for at least two growing seasons’ as if they were putting up an industrial park or housing development (which they are, I guess). Tearing down forest doesn’t do much for reducing CO2.

    On the plus side, our herring have returned for the spring. One adult man, a father, grabbed one out of the water – then dropped it on the ground, leaving it to flop around and die after he was done. I told him that they were endangered and it was illegal to interfere with their migration, and he was pissed off royally. Good. :)

    • avatar Leslie says:

      Grabbing one out of the water and leaving it to die–now that is pretty sick behavior

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        For an adult male, yes. Then he picked it up and threw it for a few feet back into the water. I was kinda shocked by his behavior, the entitlement.

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        Leslie,
        we live down the street from a herring run, it used to be packed every spring and fall. Now they trickle in and out. They are finally protected but for years when I was a kid, I would be traumatized seeing people bring buckets, collect the fish throw them on the ground and leave or prod them with sticks etc. My sister and I would go down and patrol the river telling people they’d be arrested for taking the fish. And we’d take our own buckets to collect any that were left or strewn about. I still go out with my dog on the flats and put the small struggling fish into the deeper water. I can’t stand to see them dying on the flats if they miss the outgoing tide or worse yet sometimes a tourist (I am told by the town after inquiring) will pull up the lever that releases the water and the fish get caught going out on a low tide.

        • avatar Leslie says:

          “you don’t know what you got till its gone” Joni Mitchell

        • avatar Ida Lupine says:

          Yes, they are protected now – there are signs everywhere! Thank goodness. It’s a beautiful miracle – and when the little fish are born at the ponds, and then return to the sea it is really something. It’s strange to see this little oasis, with development all around it, fish doing what they have done for millennia. Beautiful. I think it’s the bluebacks here now. It makes me think of what a salmon run must be like.

  42. avatar SEAK Mossback says:

    There’s a talk out at the University in an hour by a sociologist examining the killing of Romeo, the solo black wolf that hung around Juneau for several years, mostly out at the glacier. I don’t know if I’ll burn the hydrocarbons to go out and listen, or just read his paper when I get a chance, but here’s the news story:
    http://www.ktoo.org/2013/03/29/presentation-about-romeo-tonight-at-egan-library/
    Here’s the link to his paper (note he cites JB):
    http://www.ktoo.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/HistoricalAnalysis.pdf
    I have not read it yet, but he was on the radio this morning likening it to somebody 50 years ago in the south burning down a successful black-owned business. I can certainly see some validity in that comparison — Regardless of how the perpetrators tried to present themselves when exposed, they lashed out in a cowardly way similar to a nocturnal arsonist, shooting for a re-set in favor of their values over those they percieved as advancing and threatening. I’ll be interested in reading the responses here, but the best hope of effectively combating that particular problem would not seem to be more frantic choir preaching and broad attacks on the motives of other interests. Wildlife management and conservation is not and should not be accepted as a zero-sum game. If an increasing number of people can work around that simple theme while insisting on mutual respect, then there is some hope of balancing different interests while mutually ostracizing would-be arsonists.

    • avatar JB says:

      ” Wildlife management and conservation is not and should not be accepted as a zero-sum game. If an increasing number of people can work around that simple theme while insisting on mutual respect, then there is some hope of balancing different interests while mutually ostracizing would-be arsonists.”

      Very well said, Seak. I wish more people understood this, but the rhetoric in the NRMs suggests the political elites (and interested stakeholders) are happy to use wolves as a pawn in a zero-sum conflict over how wildlife and public lands should be managed.

    • avatar SAP says:

      Thanks for posting – very insightful piece. Very concise summation at end:

      “it is predictable that some individuals will
      feel compelled to exact revenge on the animals and/or people whom reactionary
      institutions and individuals have identified as their oppressors”

      There seems to be a lot of this going on. Then again, we should remember first to understand. In the case of the killing of “Romeo,” the killers actually made statements about their motives. Absent such data, I’ll try not to jump to conclusions about the motives of people who killed wolves here during the hunts. But the “stick a thumb in the bunny huggers’ eyes” rhetoric is sure prevalent.

  43. avatar aves says:

    7 photos of a standoff between cougar cubs and a pack of coyotes at the National Elk Refuge:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwsmtnprairie/8599954273/in/set-72157633115008883/

    • avatar bret says:

      just wait till mom gets back!!

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      amazing images. I wonder why the cats did not wait it out, especially being over the water and that the coyotes could not have got to them

      • avatar WM says:

        Louise,

        Does that mean you have a preference of preservation of these cougar kits over coyote needs for a meal?

        This could be natural selection at work, or just be that one or both kits got lucky in their chosen (but inexperienced) way to deal with survival of this peril. I somehow suspect at this age they would not have much of an ability to reason that water may have served as a buffer from death, much like a child does not know that staying on a sidewalk is a buffer from death from cars on the street.

        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          WM no preference…just curious as to why they left where the coyotes might not have gotten them. Perhaps the child analogy is a good one. You can see in one of the images their ears are flattened and they look stressed. I wonder what happened after the one cat took off. At least they have a chance, more so then if a gun or arrow was aimed at them of dogs chasing them down.

  44. avatar jon says:

    http://hunting-washington.com/smf/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=121645.0;attach=250308

    Letter from a supposed former USFS biologist that lives in Montana. He claims in the letter that a much larger non native wolf was brought into Idaho and Yellowstone illegally and also claims introducing non native wolves was a violation of the ESA. The most ridiculous thing in the letter is the absurd claim that the so called “native” wolves lived in harmony with the elk and livestock in Montana. If this is true, why were the “native” wolves eradicated?

    • avatar CodyCoyote says:

      If or when Carter Niemeyer reads this letter, he will either roll over onto the floor laughing , or start typing a factual reply . Hopefully the latter. Carter was the guy in charge , sent north to coordinate the capture, preparation, and transfer of the grey wolves from Hinton ALBERTA , due west of Edmonton ( roughly a thousand miles SE of Yukon) to Yellowstone and Idaho in 1995 and ’96 , including some very dark colored critters.. The wolves trapped in Canada were chosen specifically for their proclivity towards coexisting ” in harmony” with Elk. They were not Tundra wolves at all.

      His second and thirdhand accounts of a conspiracy resulting in the release of McKinley NP Alaskan tundra wolves into Yellowstone in the 1970’s and/or 80’s is pure mythology. People who beleive that probably could be convinced the South won the Civil War. He cites a guy I know, amateur cinematographer Jay Ward of Cody WY who is to put it politely a ” storyteller”.

      This nonnative wolf argumented has echoed thru the halls of the antiwolfers for 20 years now, long discounted disproven and dismissed by all who know. Yet here we have some guy with biology credentials and a government service resumé making unsubstantiated anecdotal claims as though he were reading from stone tablets. But he obviously has no working knowledge of the ESA.

      How amusing. I note it was published in the Western Ag Reporter on March 7. Not carved in stone… Draw your own conclusions.

      • avatar SAP says:

        The kind-hearted, mostly vegan native wolves fit in quite well because they were imaginary.

      • avatar Larry says:

        Re: Richard Mitchell

        I was case agent in 1988 concerning a USFWS investigation with Mitchell as subject. The INV also included Klineburger of Seattle, Clayton and Modesta Williams (Texas Repub nominee for gov against Ann Richards) and two other wealthy SCI members. Mitchell is well known for his unethical and some call fraud importation of Endangered Spp for trophy hunters in the name of science. This 1988 hunt was conspired with SCI members and high Chinese officials to allow the first ever trophy hunt for Ovis ammon hodgsoni to be conducted in Gansu Province. Mitchell worked himself through Klineburger Co., Seattle, and accompanied the 4 SCI hunters acting as a scientific authority in order to classify their dead sheep to a new subspecies O. a. modesti (after Clayton’s wife Modesta). By doing so he planned to allow for import and the hunters to escape jurisdiction of the E.S.A. Mitchell at the time was a joint employee of USFWS Office of Scientific Authority and Smithsonian Institution he was also collecting money from SCI members to fund his private enterprise of worldwide trophy hunting. By working in the Office of Scientific Authority of USFWS it gave him manipulative ways and means for otherwise prohibitive species to be imported by SCI trophy hunters. In 1991, Mitchell was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney at Alexandria, VA., concerning his import of O.a.hodsoni and ethics violations brought by Department of Interior OIG. Williams and others escaped prosecution through political pressure from the highest offices in the Bush administration.
        Further facts and info to be considered before taking his letter to heart:

        http://www.tibetanliberation.org/dlvshunting.html

        http://endangeredspecieshandbook.org/persecution_illegalities.php

        Mitchell seems to float to the top when it benefits some organization or group to have a species reclassified or altered on paper. In the past it seems to have increased the size of his wallet. This investigation comprised hundreds of pages. The synopsis here is just the tip.

  45. avatar Louise Kane says:

    I wish you all a productive, peaceful and harmonious Easter holiday and hope that you extend kindness toward living wild things today and every day.

    anyone wanting recipies for a great wild cream of mushroom soup made with chestnuts and cashew cream send me an e mail. It goes great with sauteed king oyster mushrooms, green salad and good port!

    Happy Easter

    • avatar Nancy says:

      Happy Easter to you too Lousie :)

      Close to 60 degrees here and while outside earlier, saw a couple of little butterflies.

      There’s nothing even close to blooming around here (green grass is just starting to make an appearance) so they may be a tad bit early this year.

      Hey Salle, spring coming in on schedule, your way?

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      Thank you Louise – I hope you and everyone had a wonderful Easter too.

      The soup recipe sounds awesome – I’d love the recipe. I had a neighbor, and older woman, who knew all about gathering wild mushrooms (I wouldn’t dare!) and she gave me some that she had dried, and they had the most incredible, earthy aroma. I’d love to learn, and it’s the kind of thing that takes experience, and lots of it! :)

  46. avatar JB says:

    Well, this should blow a few people’s minds:

    Summary

    There is a growing theoretical basis for the role of predation risk as a driver of trophic interactions, conceptualized as the ‘ecology of fear’. However, current ungulate management ignores the role of nonlethal risk effects of predation.
    We introduce the concept of ‘hunting for fear’ as an extension of the more classical ‘hunting to kill’ that is typically used in large herbivore management. Hunting for fear aims to induce a behavioural response in ungulates, for example, as a way of diverting them from areas where their impact is undesired.
    Synthesis and applications. Hunting for fear asks for novel, potentially controversial, ways of hunting to induce strong enough risk effects, including more hunting on foot and with dogs, extended hunting seasons (ideally year-round) and increased hunting of calves. Hunting for fear may offer novel opportunities to help manage the growing human–wildlife conflicts that we experience globally.

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1365-2664.12076/abstract?deniedAccessCustomisedMessage=&userIsAuthenticated=true

    • avatar Mark L says:

      JB,
      I’ve actually been advocating this for years, albeit in a different form. I brought it up to Christina Eisenberg as an afterthought on an internet chat back in 2011.

      • avatar JB says:

        Makes sense to me. An ancillary benefit would be (presumably) not having a whole bunch of hunters in the woods at the exact same time. Though that could also reduce total harvest, as deer would not be moved around nearly as much during the hunt (just thinking out loud). On the other hand, such hunting may reduce the visibility of deer if the learn that any human is potentially to be feared. Some won’t be happy about that.

    • avatar SAP says:

      Interesting. From an evolutionary standpoint, loss of dependent offspring should make a big impression on a k-selected organism. From experience, watching a cow elk stand vigil for hours while a grizzly eats her calf makes me think she’s going to remember this for next time.

      [If you really wanted to light up the switchboard, JB, you'd extend this logic to "denning."]

      The hunting on foot suggestion is interesting too. I’ve talked to people over the years who’ve suggested that using aircraft to kill wolves just makes them wary of aircraft, while chasing them afoot, labor intensive as it is, might be more effective at getting surviving wolves to go live elsewhere.

      • avatar JB says:

        [If you really wanted to light up the switchboard, JB, you'd extend this logic to "denning."]

        Now you’re just trying to be provocative, SAP. In all seriousness, I’m shocked that the normal, anti-hunting contingency have stayed silent on this. After all, the authors are at least implicitly asserting that we might not need apex predators to achieve “trophic cascades”, assuming human hunters can simulate such effects.

        • avatar Mark L says:

          JB says,
          ” After all, the authors are at least implicitly asserting that we might not need apex predators to achieve “trophic cascades”, assuming human hunters can simulate such effects.”
          True to a point, but remember, when your aunt gets sick, or your car won’t start, or the weather just sucks, the deer would still need hunting (that’s EVERY year). It’s one thing to hunt when it’s fun, another to hunt cause you HAVE TO.
          Apex predators won’t be replace by people because most people see ‘what we hunt’ as a luxury item, to be used when needed (wolves and puma don’t). Take away the facade of luxury, and the hunter becomes a better conservationist than even a ‘libby’ environmentalist, because his family depends on it….after he figures ‘it’ out. Give him the option of running to Walmart to get food when he fails, and he will never get much better.
          Life…iron sharpens iron. Just my .02 cents

        • avatar WM says:

          JB,

          Is there some confusion here? From the abstract, I gather the idea is to chase UNGULATES around to keep them out of sensitive areas (not wolves, though the concept seems to have some application to this idea, as well).

          The problem with having hunters chase ungulates around is that it would likely need to be during winter, when it would seem they do the most damage – riparian ecosystem integrity, at least in the areas studied in YNP, has to do with inability to recruit aspen and willows, plants that elk tend to eat when they have nothing else, which prevents other species which rely on those plants from occupying those areas. Elk, will go into riparian areas in search of food in winter when snow is deep, and for cover to escape weather and maybe even predators.

          So, now the idea is to have “hunters for fear” (surely no hunter is going to do this for fun), harass ungulates to keep them away from sensitive areas to allow recovery of the vegetation and trophic cascade to result. Winter, spring, summer, fall?

          Who is going to do this “harassment,” why would they want to, and what is the benefit to those who engage in the activity, and if there are no volunteers, who would pay for it? Guess I need to read the paper you reference, but I don’t see much practicality here or wide-spread application.

          I can see it now, for example in the NP operating budget for Olympic NP or Rainier NP, or even YNP if they don’t have enough wolves – contractor wildlife riparian harassment diplacement – $xxx.xx, or the same function carried out by Park employees.

          Isn’t harassment of wildlife by humans an illegal activity in most states and federal reservations (NP’s, wildlife refuges, etc.)?

          Then, if the concept is extended and applied to wolves to keep them away from sensitive areas – Oh, dear what a stir that would create with advocates! But, maybe not as much as a hunting season to reduce wolf numbers.

          • avatar JB says:

            “Who is going to do this “harassment,” why would they want to, and what is the benefit to those who engage in the activity, and if there are no volunteers, who would pay for it?”

            WM: Hunting is harassment–at least in this context. As I understand it, the idea is to extend the ‘landscape of fear’ by allowing (or requiring) ungulates to be hunted (not just harassed) year round. Over time, the ungulate populations would learn that humans are not just a risk during that 1-2 week window in the fall, but rather, are predators to be feared year round.

            Other “harassment” (e.g., by dog-walkers) would be incidental; that is, no incentive would be needed. You would simply open up areas that restrict dogs (again, as I understand it).

            Lots of reasons why this is unlikely to happen.

    • avatar WM says:

      Haven’t local and state authorities been doing that kind of thing for decades, now, chasing geese off of public parks and golf courses with dogs? Hunting for fear, yes.

      The hunting for fear concept, would seem to apply to a different stakeholder or user base, as well. Hunt to kill results in a dead ungulate. Hunt for fear results in animals that live for another day, until maybe the hunt for fear thing wears off – and they just get chased in circles, where they re-occupy the place they left, when they realize there is no penalty for staying away from where humans think they don’t belong. Think of the deer that someone chases out of their rose garden, on day only to find that they return during the night. Same applies to deer/elk that like apple orchards, or somebody’s vegetable garden. Large riparian zones at lower elevation, with some cover, nice willows to munch on in winter etc.

      Only speculation on my part, as I can’t get the full paper without being charged for it, so don’t know what it actually says.

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      JB,

      The paragraph quoted from article, as pertaining to/ perceived by people: changing behavior due fear.

      Successful wolf recovery requires attention to community values

      http://www.capitalpress.com/content/PA-wolf-op-ed-032913-w-Phil-Anderson-mug

      Many residents do not want wolves near their communities. Rural residents are genuinely afraid for their children, pets and livestock. Many families are changing their behavior because of those fears.

      • avatar Elk275 says:

        Just glancing at the above statements it appears that something similar has and is going on in New Zealand. Year around hunting, no predators and no bag limits. A quick thought

      • avatar Mark L says:

        Immer,
        the same argument was used to keep blacks out of ‘white only’ establishments for decades….’they’re scary, so they need to go away’. 150 years ago indians were removed in the same manner.
        Meanwhile, the dog living in the same house as the scared families is much more likely to cause injury. It’s a ‘culture of fear’ as well.

        • avatar Immer Treue says:

          Mark L,

          From your comment, tough to tell if you are agreeing, or disagreeing with me.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      yes mind blowing an appropriate response

  47. avatar Immer Treue says:

    Reported Illinois wolf sighting?????????????????
    Article accompanied with recent wolf history in Illinois.

    http://plainfield.patch.com/articles/wolves-in-plainfield-resident-reports-sighting

    • avatar SAP says:

      Could be. Southwest suburbs of Chicago, I’d lean toward feral dogs. But it’s not far from Wisconsin, and the suburbs — plentiful deer and very little livestock — might be attractive to wolves for at least a little while.

      • avatar Harley says:

        Lots of wolves in the forest preserves here. Had a small herd cross in front of me Sunday morning, about 8 of them. Used to be there wasn’t a lot to stop their population but lately the coyotes have been stepping up.

    • avatar WM says:

      Just thinking of raw wolf numbers, on the landscape in the greater WGL.

      Should these wolves, however many there are, that have apparently made their way to Illinois, be subtracted from the number WI claims? Or, are they part of the undercounting by upwards of 20% that those who do official estimates wolf numbers assert?

      • avatar JB says:

        “Should these wolves, however many there are, that have apparently made their way to Illinois, be subtracted from the number WI claims? Or, are they part of the undercounting by upwards of 20% that those who do official estimates wolf numbers assert?”

        That depends. If you’re the federal government, you would be counting wolves by DPS. So if the dispersing wolves fall within the demarcated DPS, then they would count toward that total. If, on the other hand, you are a state…well, we all know how seriously states take the notion that wildlife within their borders “belong to” the state. ;)

      • avatar sleepy says:

        While it was probably from Wisconsin, the wolf could have come from any number of states. In 2001, a wolf was killed in Missouri and its ear tag showed that it was from the UP of Michigan.

        http://mdc.mo.gov/newsroom/dna-tests-shed-light-cougar-wolf-sightings

      • avatar ma'iingan says:

        “Should these wolves, however many there are, that have apparently made their way to Illinois, be subtracted from the number WI claims?”

        I don’t know what purpose that would serve – the WI late winter minimum count is just that – actual observations of wolf tracks, aerial sightings, and trailcam pics. A snapshot, if you will, taken at the annual nadir of wolf abundance.

        It’s not an estimate – again, it’s a snapshot, so there’s no attempt to adjust for animals leaving or entering the state, or for annual mortality.

        Skeptics may claim that wolves are under-counted by 20% using this methodology, but my perspective is from ground zero, and the margin of error is much lower than that. Wolves don’t go undetected on the WGL landscapes – not for long, anyway.

        • avatar Jeff N. says:

          Unless I’ve missed confirmation of this sighting actually being timber wolves, I would be very skeptical that there is a pack of wolves living near Plainfield, IL.

          I used to live in Joliet, IL and I worked for a lumber distributor south of Joliet in the early 90’s. There is some old arsenal property that has been converted into the 19,000 acre Medewin National Tallgrass Prairie. SW of Plainfield, IL.

          I saw dozens of coyotes on the old arsenal (rather wild) property as I drove the few miles of frontage road that led to my employer. Some were rather large and were clearly coydogs. I actually saw a light cream colored coyote one time. It wasn’t an albino but it was clearly a hybrid of some sort.

          I’m not saying it’s impossible, and I suppose a wolf or two could eventually end up at Medewin Prairie and probably make a decent living on whitetail, beaver, and other rodents, who knows…..BTW they are/were planning on putting some bison there and it’s only about 50-60 miles from Chicago if I recall.

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      As SAP points out, deer are plentiful. In the Argonne National Lab Area, swat teams are occasionally brought in to remove deer. Chicagoland forest preserves are choked with deer.

      Perhaps a bit of Natural Selection going on, with plentiful deer population favoring, over time, larger coyotes. While visiting the Palos Park area about 10 years ago, the coyotes I observed were probably in the 50+ pound range.

      Also have to remember that most will exaggerate the size of an animal they observe. For grins, I’ll ask people how much my 90 pound Shepherd weighs, and invariably the reply is somewhere between 120 and 150 pounds. Woooooooooosh!

      • avatar Harley says:

        Oh yeah, Argonne would be a great place for wolves, if there were any. Might help thin out the coyotes too? Though if I were a wolf, I’d probably rather settle down somewhere not so close to the city. Oh wait! Wolves aren’t in danger, it’s people walking around on Michigan Ave. that have to worry! ;-)

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        Yes, very true. I suppose we should verify whether it actually was a wolf first. :)

      • avatar JB says:

        Immer:

        I once attended a presentation by Mission Wolf at a high school in Logan, Utah. The students were asked to guess how much the (very small) female wolf weighed. Guesses ranged from 150 to 700 lbs. It was all I could do not to fall out of my chair. (It was also an outstanding lesson in how people inflate risk.)

        • avatar JEFF E says:

          It would be interesting too take an average wolf and in winter coat, then present it to two different groups, telling one group that it was c.l irremotus, and the second group that it was c.l.occidentalis and see what the size/weight estimates would be.

        • avatar Immer Treue says:

          JB,

          Doing the once through Denali on the bus prior to entering the back country, the same oddity of scales fell into the realm of Grizzlies. Most estimates of the bears we observed were twice their actual weight.

          Returning to the wolf, as Jeff E stated, winter coat, longer legs, and comparable to same sized dog larger skull, and the 200 lb beasts of mythology take form.

          Jeff E,

          I agree. It would be interesting to see the results of the ” test” you suggest.

  48. avatar savebears says:

    Yakima Nation asking that horse slaughter ban be lifted:

    http://www.columbian.com/news/2013/apr/01/yakamas-urge-horse-slaughter/#comments

    • avatar bret says:

      thanks for the link savebears.

      I hope the ban is lifted, if anyone is able to gain management authority it would/should be the Yakama’s.

    • avatar rork says:

      Thanks for pointer.
      I favor re-instituting horse slaughter of both domestic and wild horses, and decimating wild populations as we might any other invasive alien species. I think the Yakima have a pretty good case for the former. Whether they also want wild horse eradication wasn’t clear – maybe a steady stream would be more financially advantageous to them than the replacement elk or deer might be (but guided hunts seems like they might bring more).

      • avatar Nancy says:

        Hey, why just limit it to horses? Why not unwanted/feral cats and dogs? Pitbull a’lorange, Shepard/Mix Pie, Pooch Wellington, Kitty Marengo – coming soon to a restaurant near you!

        The possibilities are endless if we humans really want to “clean up” the mess we’ve left unchecked for years, by NOT neutering and spaying what we deem our pets/companions.

        • avatar savebears says:

          Nancy,

          I have owned horses, but have never considered them pets of companions.

          • avatar Nancy says:

            The difference between you and me SB :)

            Is it the body weight? How “livestock” is preceived? The true defination of a pet or companion? The culture you were raised in?

            Or the inability to see another living, breathing being in thoses eyes that are ignored, when we are hunting them or disposing of their bodies for our needs for meat or hides or entertainment?

            • avatar Ida Lupine says:

              Or the inability to see another living, breathing being in thoses eyes

              For a horse, I cannot imagine someone not being affected by looking in those eyes. If you ride, how can you not think of them as a companion. How someone can look into those eyes and make their living killing them on a daily basis I can’t imagine. It shows a lack of basic humanity.

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        …decimating wild populations as we might any other invasive alien species.

        That doesn’t bode well for those of us of European descent – but I’ve always advocated we be shipped back on the first outgoing boat home anyway….

  49. avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

    Give me a train ticket – a bear on the rampage at remote railway station

    http://siberiantimes.com/ecology/others/news/give-me-a-train-ticket-a-bear-on-the-rampage-at-remote-railway-station/

    +

    WM,

    +++
    I was under the impression the Romanian brown bear population was closer to 4,000 (rather than 6,000).

    http://www.thewildlifenews.com/2013/01/23/have-you-come-across-interesting-wildlife-news-jan-23-2013-edition/#comment-238236
    +++

    see page 4

    Table 1 Assessment of national brown bear population size and trends in the Carpathian region:

    Large carnivores in the Alps and Carpathians: Living with the wildlife

    http://www.alparc.org/resources/our-publications/(offset)/5

    • avatar WM says:

      Thanks Mereks,

      It looks like Romania is THE place to go to see brown bears, wolves and lynx.

      All that in a country the size of the state of Oregon, with 21M people. Makes on wonder why Europeans would want to come to America to see YNP, except for the geothermal stuff and the vistas.

      • avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

        WM,

        it’s because there’s no documentaries about wolves in Romania or neither Russia for that matter … I mean, the responsibility/blame for that staff goes to Europe’s filming centers like UK’s BBC

        but it is similar to complaint about lack of long-term studies of wildlife in Europe in general and wolves (or large predators in specific)… that’s why the whole world is watching US wolf documentaries or reading wolf books written by American authors

      • avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

        The clue is that the chance to see a bear in relatively close proximity is higher in the American West, Alaska and Canada. Here in Eastern Europe you´ve got some countries with breathtaking scenery (Carpathian Mountains, High Tatra mountains, etc.) and a healthy bear population – but chances of actually seeing one without the help of binoculars are slim. I love the Slovakian High Tatra Mountains for hiking, but I see bears there at some distance only, mostly crossing or foraging on avalanche chutes. They are nowhere as omni-present as some newspaper article let you believe. So terrain, with dense forests is the problem. Besides that, America has still that “Wild West” Image we Europeans enjoy so dearly.

        • avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

          Further on why Romania has so many bears, in fact an over-population. Long time communist leader Ceausescu (executed in 1989) considered himself one of the greatest nimrods of all times. What makes a great hunter? The killing of large and dangerous beasts and many of them: bears! To satisfy his demand a bear breeding program was initiated and many bears released into the wild. Today you do not meet them in the dense forests but on the large rubbish piles near towns and villages, most prominently in a town named Brasov. Orchards are also quite popular. Unfortunately there are many human / bear conflicts every year.

        • avatar Ida Lupine says:

          We Americans love it dearly too – but are afraid it may disappear.

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      Tsk, tsk – and it still isn’t enough of a decrease? Do the statistics show how many pups are killed by these big, bad manly hunters?

      • avatar Rancher Bob says:

        Ida
        Big, bad manly hunters have killed wolf pups in the America’s since big, bad manly hunters have lived here. It’s one way humans have use to limit wolf numbers since Native American times.

        • avatar Leslie says:

          RB, please explain which native american tribes killed wolf pups and controlled wolf numbers before whites were here. I’m interested as different tribes have completely different relationships with wolves.

  50. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    Ken’s post yesterday reminded me of this from New Zealand:

    http://www.treehugger.com/environmental-policy/river-new-zealand-granted-legal-rights-person.html

    Isn’t ‘hunting by fear’ inherent in regular hunting? I don’t know that I’d give this idea any extra points for creativity or effort. Chasing animals down to wherever they run to sort of negates it anyway.

    • avatar Elk275 says:

      ++The Humane Society of the U.S. has tangled with the NRA on ballot initiatives in about 15 states, and has consistently come out ahead with voters when it came to banning captive hunts (Montana),++

      The Humane Society of the U.S. had little or nothing to do with the banning of captive hunts in Montana. It was a ballot inititive started by the sportman’s and women of the state that banned captive elk hunts. They may take credit but they had little influence.

  51. avatar BobofWyo says:

    Interesting project in the Kaibab NF, but why weren’t the cow’s owners required to clean up the mess? Still hats off to those folks who did the dirty job of cleaning up!!!

    http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/kaibab/news-events/?cid=STELPRDB5413768

    • avatar Nancy says:

      “The cows have littered the area with manure, trampled structures, and wallowed beneath the overhangs, which has contributed to undesirable erosion within the drainage.

      During two days, employees removed more than two tons of manure surrounding a handful of the most visited sites.

      More employee and volunteer work days will be scheduled throughout the year to mitigate the damage done by the animals”

      Ahhhh, an example of what the best of the west has to offer – BS, as in bovine sh*t by the ton :)

      • avatar Jeff N. says:

        I imagine that when it is all said and done, the rancher responsible for the livestock couldn’t give a rat’s ass about the damage done to the cultural sites, couldn’t care less that others volunteered their time to clean up the mess his livestock made. The entire state is open range. Hell, the Phoenix police didn’t have the authority to capture a cow that escaped from its owner and was wandering thru Phx and the surrounding environs a few years ago.

        When in camp in AZ lobo country, Nat’l Forest land, it’s difficult to find a place to pitch my tent because most of the ground is covered in cow pies. It’s a fucking joke.

  52. avatar Jeff N. says:

    I imagine that when it is all said and done, the rancher responsible for the livestock couldn’t give a rat’s ass about the damage done to the cultural sites, couldn’t care less that others volunteered their time to clean up the mess his livestock made. The entire state is open range. Hell, the Phoenix police didn’t have the authority to capture a cow that escaped from its owner and was wandering thru Phx and the surrounding environs a few years ago.

    When in camp in AZ lobo country, Nat’l Forest land, it’s difficult to find a place to pitch my tent because most of the ground is covered in cow pies. It’s a freaking joke.

    • avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

      in corporate newspeak it’s called ‘externalities’ – when costs are socialised but profits privatised

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Quote

‎"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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