Grizzly and wolf tracks in the Thorofare

It is time to create a new page of “Interesting Wildlife News.”

It has been a long time since we have had a new page. The page and comment loading time has become very slow.  Please put your wildlife news in the comments below. Do not post copyrighted material.

Here is the link to the “old” wildlife news of March 22, 2017.

 
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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, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

114 Responses to Do you have some interesting wildlife news? July 31, 2017 edition

  1. The Marion Superior Court #2 ruled that the State of Indiana was negligent for failing to warn park patrons that their employee was maintaining hidden, deadly animal traps throughout state park property.

    (Link to ruling: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/55ce5757e4b07fb58fa2f707/t/5956b8301b10e37b9e5845a9/1498855536694/Liddle+v.+Clark+Ruling+6-27-17.pdf)

    • avatar Kathleen says:

      As a born & raised Hoosier, this is great news. Too bad a leashed companion dog had to die a horrible death in a body-gripping trap meant for one of the park’s native citizens (raccoon). Thank you!

  2. avatar Kathleen says:

    “There’s no feeling in the world like shooting an endangered elephant.” ~Stan Kroenke, majority shareholder of Arsenal, a pro soccer club in the UK.

    “Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke launches ‘sickening’ bloodsports channel in the UK that shows lion and elephant hunts: Subscription channel My Outdoor TV was launched in the UK over the weekend that will show numerous programmes following trophy hunting endangered animals”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/premier-league/arsenal-owner-stan-kroenke-hunting-tv-channel-my-outdoor-motv-endangered-animals-trophy-a7868361.html

  3. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    Great photo for the new thread, btw! 🙂

  4. avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

    Will the lynx help the largest forest in England claw back some tourists?
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/0/will-lynx-help-largest-forest-england-claw-back-tourists/

    As Kielder prepares for the reintroduction of lynx, Boudicca Fox-Leonard talks to the conservationist behind the idea

    While conservationists have talked for years of reintroduction, it has taken Lynx UK Trust just three years to reach the point where, in as little as two months, lynx may be padding through UK forests once more.

    The project has been spearheaded by Dr Paul O’Donoghue, chief scientific adviser to the Lynx UK Trust. After 20 years in conservation, … he says he was sick of people talking about restoring the lynx and “not having the guts to do it”.

    • avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

      Immer,

      could you post one more time the rule of thumb correlation how to estimate the size of population judging by the proportion / percentage of collared wolves among the whole subset of harvested wolves?

      a/b=c/d (where a – population’s size; b – harvested wolves; c – collared wolves; d – the number of killed wolves with collars). Something like that?

      Thanks.

      • avatar Inner Treue says:

        Mareks,
        That’s the equation. I used it for calculation of poached wolves, but works fine for how you have presented it. Simple algebraic manipulation to solve for any of the four that is the unknown.

  5. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    More info on the Florida wildlife abusers. I can’t believe how much information has been linked to them. I also knew a manatee would be involved. They’re also linking a similar incident where baby chicks and loggerhead nests were run over in a all-terrain vehicle on Anna Maria Island. And this jerk want to say “I’m sorry” and all be forgotten.

    But as I mentioned, it is heartening to see everyone agree that it is wrong, and to take steps to prevent behavior like this in the future:

    “The videos show some of the men shooting fish with handguns and flare guns, pouring beer into the gills of a goliath grouper and the mouth of a hammerhead shark, harassing a manatee by putting a water hose into its mouth, pulling the wings of a white pelican, holding a dead dog while claiming to use it for shark bait and other abuse.”

    http://www.islander.org/2017/08/outrage-investigation-continue-in-shark-drag-abuse-case/

    • avatar WM says:

      …and with this D.C. Circuit ruling the Congressional types in MN, Mi and WI will ask for ESA changes along with the N and S Dakota Congressional types who don’t want any of those WGL wolves in the first place. All will join with the 17 Western states who want the ESA watered down. And the Tweeter in Chief will no doubt sign the legislation (or we get another one of those riders – way to go there CBD and HSUS, yeah way to go). Just wait. It’s gonna happen.

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        WM while your comment may contain truth you seem to miss the Point

        Wolves are uniquely vilified
        These states would be doing worse things if they were not challenged

        Do you really believe tne cause of actions taken against wolves stems from those trying g to protect them

        If that were so
        Idah would not be proposing baiting wolves

        • avatar WM says:

          The DC appellate circuit is one of the most respected. However, most of the judges that sit on that bench have never been off a paved surface,don’t know shit about the West and certainly aren’t trained as wildlife managers and they should not second guess them. That is why the plaintiffs chose that forum. But then Congress does make and change laws reflecting the will of the people (supposedly anyway) over time.

          I think MN could go this on its own and give the DC Court the middle finger if they wanted to under the law. Maybe they will just do that.

          • avatar Louise Kane says:

            I do take offense when I read that courts are not qualified to hear cases beavuse most don’t understand the outdoors

            Ughh wm
            Perhaps those are the most impartial to consider all sides

            Certainly should they have been witnes to wild wolves they would be biased against seeing that fire die in a wolfs eye as a pat back for a doomed cow

            • avatar WM says:

              There are reasons, Louise, appellate (and trial) courts in different geographic locations within the US, make different rulings under the same Constitution, written laws and regulations. Why do you suppose that is?

          • avatar Louise Kane says:

            And when do you see congress recently Making laws on behalf of their constituents
            When it comes to wildlife they choose the minority position almost always

            • avatar WM says:

              Don’t the MN, WI and MI Congressional types have bills that are directed to helping their respective states out of the wolf listing/delisting seesaw? Maybe this DC appellate ruling will be the catalyst to kick it over the top. MN has about 3,000 wolves and a 3 judge panel won’t let them manage them as they see fit. There is a huge disconnect there, Louise.

  6. avatar Kathleen says:

    “Sportsmen may ultimately prevail in Great Lakes endangered wolf ruling”

    Excerpt: “While anti-hunting groups celebrated this week’s court ruling that maintains endangered species protections for the thriving wolf population in the Great Lakes, wildlife managers and sportsmen who would like to control wolf numbers may ultimately gain ground from the ruling.

    The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has voiced optimism that the ruling has provided a path forward to delisting. Following is a detailed analysis from Sportsmen’s Alliance.”

    http://www.spokesman.com/blogs/outdoors/2017/aug/02/sportsmen-may-ultimately-prevail-great-lakes-endangered-wolf-ruling/

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      As Immer said, a war of words has begun. I had seen this earlier and considered posting it as well.

      Wildlife advocates are not necessarily ‘anti-hunting groups’. And I don’t think anyone ‘celebrates’ victories where wolves are concerned anymore because it is a continual struggle. And in this article is the not-so-thinly veiled threat of weakening the ESA. I also agree in wondering if natural recolonization maybe would have been better.

      It sounded to me that they are trying to put the arm on speculating that USF&W create a ‘distinct population segment’ designation in much the same way as is being tried with the Yellowstone grizzlies.

      But is it beneficial to the species in the long run, or just more convenient for special interests? And is it more word games? I still wonder how it is that a certain corner of UT that does not have wolves got a tagalong delisting with WY and ID?

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      It definitely should get protections like Chesapeake Bay – it’s a magnificent place, the parts I have seen, between the wildlife, the ecosystem, bird flyways and even the seafood, like Chesapeake Bay. And talk about culture!

      It’s a shame to see so much destroyed by oil drilling and chemical runoff.

  7. avatar Immer Treue says:

    Something I have been saying for years. Keep those deer at artificially high numbers and remove the predators that are your mousers and what do you get…

    Koyaniqatsi

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/02/science/ticks-lyme-disease-foxes-martens.html

  8. avatar Kathleen says:

    Night of the grizzlies in Glacier, 50 yrs. ago:
    “The true story of two fatal grizzly bear attacks that changed our relationship with wildlife”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/animalia/wp/2017/08/03/the-true-story-of-two-fatal-grizzly-bear-attacks-that-changed-our-relationship-with-wildlife/?utm_term=.8f3183cc8a0e

    • avatar WM says:

      I was camped on Lake McDonald in Glacier NP (then to the North Fork of the Flathead River outside the Park) with my mother, aunt and 14 year old cousin that very week. One can imagine how quickly news traveled even in 1967 with no cell phones and little am or fm radio reception, as campers talked with each other; I think there may have even been some signs up, and rangers having conversations with visitors. This scared quite a few campers. I know we were.

  9. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    I appreciate what that story is trying to say, but it is dredged up every little while, that lurid headline. I don’t know if it is helpful.

    FL wildlife abusers continuing story:

    “Back in 2015, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission got a number of complaints about social media posts that showed a man mistreating birds, like the brown pelican and the cormorant, according to the Post. FWC officials took the posts to USFWS wildlife officials for joint investigation. Eventually, federal officials determined the man pictured had violated the Migratory Bird Treaty Act seven times[emphasis mine]. When investigators tried to interview one of the men pictured, he requested his attorney.”

    https://www.orlandoweekly.com/Blogs/archives/2017/08/02/florida-man-in-shark-dragging-video-had-previous-case-dropped-by-wildlife-officials

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      Now we have to add those taken to the ones the rancher wants to have killed. There are only 100 or so wolves in total! Why the uproar over so few animals?

      I think WA is going to have one of the worst management programs of the West, and that takes some doing.

      The killing program proposed for Yellowstone grizzlies is only supposed to be one or so as well.

      • avatar WM says:

        Ida, truth be told WA has one of the better wolf management plans around, with some well educated Commission and staff. They and WA constituents are tired of the conflict. So, cow eating Smackout pack is next for extermination. I made the prediction 3 years ago this stuff would start happening as population and conflict began to grow. It ain’t over yet, by a longshot. And, if a wolf went after my dog I would shoot it in a heartbeat and take my chances with the interpretation of the law.

        https://chewelahindependent.com/wolves-put-stevens-county-crosshairs-controversy/

        • avatar Ida Lupine says:

          I haven’t kept up with Washington’s, but I just read that Oregon’s wolf plan update is 2 years overdue, and has a whole host of problems such as incomplete information on whether use of non-lethal controls were adhered to. From Oregon Wild:

          “Oregon Wild earlier this week sent a letter to Governor Kate Brown urging transparency and accountability in the wolf plan. Conservationists pointed to recent revelations of waste, fraud, and abuse in the taxpayer funded wolf depredation compensation plan as evidence of the state’s inability to hold livestock interests accountable to the law.”

          http://www.ktvz.com/news/odfw-to-kill-2-ne-oregon-wolves-at-ranchers-request/599331063

          Each state only has a hundred or so wolves, and is it correct to assume that too many killed will put them back on the protected list? That must be why only as many as they can get away with are being shot.

        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          http://www.predatordefense.org/profanity/index.htmM

          Brooks new film
          Thanks!
          Killing wolves in retaliation for cattle doomed to slaughter on public lands is unacceptable

          • avatar Ida Lupine says:

            What an absolutely ridiculous landscape to run cattle on – it looks to rugged for them to maneuver, and they could injure their legs and feet.

            Here’s the details about the fraud in the rancher compensation plan in Oregon. Is this what they mean by ‘non-confirmed wolf kill’?:

            http://www.opb.org/news/article/questionable-payments-oregon-ranchers-wolves-cattle/

            • avatar Ida Lupine says:

              How ridiculous is it to release cattle to graze in a big, rugged landscape, with no or very little supervision, and then to act surprised when many of them cannot be accounted for? Got lost, predation, injuries, which came first – it’s too much for the public to accept.

              And then, to top that (from the OPB article):

              “A few years ago, prices spiked and Oregon’s cattle industry surpassed $900 million in total value, making it the state’s top agricultural industry. Prices have fallen since.”

              One state alone. Does that sound like anybody is hurting financially to you or operating on slim margins?

              WA and now OR are embracing the West’s mantra – ‘kill them but not so many that they are relisted again’. We all know it. Doesn’t take much expertise to create a ‘plan’ like that. The wolves in these states were not reintroduced either.

    • avatar WM says:

      And, per the article Jerry linked to, this is the Colville Tribe’s 5th annual wolf hunting season. Something to be said for their common sense approach to wolf management on and off tribal lands where they also are trying to make a living raising cows.

      • avatar Jerry Black says:

        I think this is more about establishing their hunting rights on ancestral lands. I haven’t heard of them losing any cows to depredations.

        • avatar Ida Lupine says:

          If it isn’t on ancestral lands, the count will have to go towards the state’s magic number, will it not?

        • avatar WM says:

          I think the treaties already establish the privilege to hunt off reservation. They already do that for deer and elk. As for wolves, that appears to be new, but as Ida suggests how does that affect wolf count for an off reservation population of a protected species managed by WDFW. Maybe somebody knows how that part works.

          Some background on the general issue of off reservation hunting privileges: http://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/tribal/treaty_history.html

  10. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    Yes, who has rights to kill what doesn’t happen in a philosophical vacuum.

    Meanwhile, another day, another shark abuse video. This isn’t the same guys, I don’t think – and comes with a warning for violence. And this one I think was sent to an animal welfare advocate,(a death threat, of sorts, I guess). It’s hard to believe people are capable of this stuff. Again, thanks to the sportsfishing community for reporting and cleaning up the trash:

    http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/florida/fl-reg-shark-abuse-20170804-story.html

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      “Members of the Wolf Advisory Group who worked with the agency all winter to craft its information policy for this season stated in the letter the agency was not living up to the parameters agreed to.”

      Apparently four wolves were killed before the demand by the rancher for Smackout killings. Then the Colville tribe wants to additionally kill wovles. Funny how it all adds up, to more than two. If the department withholds information about the actual number of killings, they need to be taken to court. I’m glad the WAG is speaking up about it.

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        ^^”That followed a July 14 report that belatedly revealed four wolves had died in Washington over the past year, including two under circumstances still being investigated. That was at least six weeks and in some instances months after the department had the information.”

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      So the Collville can take a maximum of 6, two have already been shot by F&W, and four somewhere along the line, two under questionable circumstance. I really hope we don’t have to read about any more wolf killings – that is 12 wolves right there. Will it trigger a relisting?

      I certainly think tribal hunting rights ought to be honored, as long as it is sustainable and the heath of the species won’t be harmed in the long run. In this case I don’t think that’s true. These wolves have only just recovered, just over a hundred, and already humans are trigger happy.

  11. avatar Kathleen says:

    “Bees are first insects shown to understand the concept of zero”

    Excerpt: “Apart from ourselves, some other animals grasp the concept of zero, though. Chimpanzees and monkeys, for instance, have been able to consider zero as a quantity when taught.

    “With their tiny brains, bees may seem an unlikely candidate to join the zero club. But they have surprisingly well-developed number skills: a previous study found that they can count to 4.”

    https://www.newscientist.com/article/2142884-bees-are-first-insects-shown-to-understand-the-concept-of-zero/

  12. avatar MAD says:

    We all know it’s about the money – but this we can only hope this project does not get finished and put in operation

    http://billingsgazette.com/business/keystone-xl-survived-politics-but-economics-could-kill-it/article_374a990e-f586-52e7-b43f-12d723acefb7.html

  13. avatar Kathleen says:

    “Summary of this reporter’s summer has included mountain fishing, dirt and wolves”

    Excerpt from wolf report: “Sadly for wolf watchers, only four of the Junction Butte pack’s pups survived through 2016. What’s more, the alpha female, 970F, died two weeks after her estimated whelp date, according to the Yellowstone Wolf Project’s 2016 report. It was two of 970F’s daughters who gave birth to all of the pack’s pups.”

    http://missoulian.com/lifestyles/recreation/summary-of-this-reporter-s-summer-has-included-mountain-fishing/article_6366ad53-5bab-5123-8da4-e09d0f14c2f8.html

  14. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    “If current law does not find this to be a prosecutable crime, I will present a bill this session that brings more clarity,” [Rep. Alex Miller,(R), Sarasota]Miller said in the post.”

    This is about as wonderful an outcome as can be hoped for. T least one of the fishing tournaments has banned these abusers (I wish they’d come up with a better name for that shark tournament), and the Governor, F&W and the public all agree in wanting something to be done. I wish all wildlife abuse could be met with such a response:

    https://www.orlandoweekly.com/Blogs/archives/2017/08/07/shark-dragging-video-could-spur-action-from-florida-lawmakers

  15. avatar Immer Treue says:

    Assumption here based upon type of dog and location, 7 bear dogs killed in Wisconsin training thus far this year.

    http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/wildlifehabitat/wolf/dogdeps.html

      • avatar Immer Treue says:

        I agree and disagree with Beckoff. The concept of conservation goes a bit deeper than what he alludes. Man has altered landscapes so much (throw in a warming planet) and things change. The meat supply of a buddy and his family up here is almost completely deer. Mining, logging, and folks feeding deer have opened NE, MN to this once rare in these parts ungulate.

        Increased deer numbers certainly ripple through the ecology of the area in terms of damage to young forests, more wolves, and the primary and secondary effect of deer on moose. So much is written on the hunting industry and the $ generated. Just recently received my annual F&T Fur Trading Post catalogue. ( I don’t trap! I ordered my cable cutters, recommended by Carter Niemeyer from this outfit, so I receive their annual catalogue). 150 pages of traps and associated gear and literature. An industry unto itself.

        I’ve got nothing against hunting to put meat on the table. But managing wildlife for highest sustainable yield smacks of managing wildlife like livestock. This opens The tool box of associated problems. I could go on and on, but most of these issues have been discussed here countless times over the past.

      • avatar rork says:

        Some anti-hunters ignore that most hunting in place like where I live (MI) is for deer. The word does not even appear in the article. All hunting is painted as trophy hunting, which is never defined, a common ploy. There’s lots of types of hunting I don’t like either, but some anti’s don’t try hard at that low hanging fruit for some reason, but would rather generalize. I don’ think that’s very effective. Is having an effect even a goal?

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      Why do they insist upon deliberately bringing hunting dogs into wolf territory? And the are reimbursed for the loss of their hunting dogs on the taxpayers’ dime. I really hesitate in calling it a ‘depredation’. More like as assumed risk. What a racket.

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      Apparently, the WI DNR is not supposed to be handing out taxpayer-funded depredation payments like candy while an animal is an endangered, protected species.

      The good news is that a criminal complaint has been filed against the hounders *and* the DNR by PEER:

      “The PEER complaint asks the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to open criminal investigations of twenty-two individuals who engaged in hounding during the 2016 season in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest or on DNR-managed land and who also received wolf-related compensation for damage or loss of hounds from the state. If the agency determines that criminal take took place, PEER asks that the cases be referred to the U.S. Justice Department for prosecution.”

      https://www.peer.org/news/news-releases/wisconsin-hounders-illegally-harass-wolves.htmlPEER

      A more detailed summary and complaint letter from Wolf Patrol:

      https://wolfpatrol.org/2017/08/04/public-employees-for-environmental-responsibilitys-criminal-complaint-against-wisconsins-bear-hound-training-season/

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        It should be noted that one of the guys ‘on the DNR dole’ was convicted of 3 counts of intentional abuse of animals (3 misdemeanors) – if you remember the story I think was posted here too about the guy who intentionally ran down 3 coyotes in a snowmobile, that was him. Also he has a misdemeanor bear poaching charge and a misdemeanor charge for resisting a warden. Let’s reward the guy with taxpayer money to replace his hunting dogs! He has received $5000 for ‘depredation’. 2017 is only half over, but as we see in the articles, almost $100,000.00 ($99,400.00) taxpayer dollars has been handed out for this state-approved scam.

        What a fine, upstanding citizen! These people shouldn’t be allowed to own hunting dogs to abuse like this, or be allowed to hunt.

    • avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

      Sweden

      http://www.timberwolfinformation.org/se-why-wolves-kill-dogs/

      the risk of a dog used for hunting in a wolf territories will be injured or killed is approximately 1 in 9000 hunting days, if it is a lone wolf or a pair of wolves in the territory . If there is an entire family group in the territory the risk increases to 1 in 5000 hunting days.

      In other words, with 150 hunters in a wolf territory hunting 20 days per season, so one can expect an attack every three years if there is a wolf pair in the territory and every two years if there is a family group.

      It has also been shown that there is a difference between wolf damage depends on what breed of dog used for hunting:

      Another interesting connection that scientists have seen is that dogs exercising in an exercise yard or kennel run less risk of being injured or killed by wolves.

      The reason for this is not clear, but one theory is that these dogs are more “socialized” than dogs staying indoors. And through this social skills so can the kennel dogs manage wolves in a smoother manner.

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        It looks like that in the US Mareks, specifically WI, ‘hunters’ like to start intentional dog/wolf fights and have the taxpayers fund it! 🙁

        • avatar josh says:

          Ida have you been around hunting dogs? Do you know the time/money investment that goes into making a good hunting dog? Its a lot. And no one I know would willingly start over.. Not taking hunting dogs into “wolf” country would basically be all of Idaho. And thousands of people come to Idaho each year to hunt birds. And I hunt birds 100+ days a year and have not had a conflict. Though some followed my buddies dog back but did not engage the dog.

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            Most birders are in fairly close proximity to their dogs. I don’t believe this holds true for bear hounders in WI.

          • avatar Ida Lupine says:

            It’s only WI I was talking about, the unusually large number of dogs killed.

            If these men want to train hunting dogs, fine, but if they lose them during hunting it shouldn’t be up to the taxpayers to subsidize, and wolves shouldn’t be shot just to accommodate them.

            Somehow the laws in WI include hunting dogs under ‘livestock’. I don’t know why the people of WI put up with it.

            • avatar Ida Lupine says:

              Here’s a recent article. If it is a tradition, let them pay for it themselves. And it mostly concerns abusers of the ‘system’, not all hunters everywhere who do follow the rules:

              “He [Adam Carlesco, PEER] said Wisconsin is the only state that reimburses dog owners in addition to farmers and livestock owners for wolf depredation.”

              “A relatively small number of hunters are “repeat offenders.” He asked the Fish and Wildlife Service to investigate 22 individuals. The list includes one who was compensated for three different wolf encounters in nine days[emphasis added] and another who has been convicted of poaching and intentional mistreatment of animals who was compensated twice for the loss of dogs.”

              http://www.startribune.com/a-wisconsin-tradition-hunting-bears-with-dogs-comes-under-attack-by-wolf-advocates/439739523/

          • avatar Nancy says:

            Josh – for those that go out of their way to put their good hunting dogs in harms way, there is insurance for that:

            Additional/Optional Perils
            Accidental Shooting (except by the Insured or employees of the Insured);
            Drowning;
            Artificial Electricity;
            Attack by dogs or wild animals;
            Collapse of building; and
            Theft (death of animal need not be a factor

            http://www.arkagency.com/insurance-services/animal-insurance/dog-insurance/

  16. avatar Immer Treue says:

    Short film by Predator Defense League on demise of the Profanity Pack last year.

    http://www.predatordefense.org/profanity/

  17. avatar Kathleen says:

    VIDEO: “The National Butterfly Center fights the border wall”

    Excerpt: “The National Butterfly Center staff is used to running into U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents on their land, which is along the Rio Grande, but they were surprised to find a government work crew on July 20.

    “Executive Director Marianna Treviño Wright saw the contractors clearing trees and discovered paint marks and wooden survey stakes in the levee that cuts through the private property.”

    http://www.themonitor.com/news/youtube_c7407f00-7862-11e7-baa1-0bf8dba5d957.html

  18. avatar Immer Treue says:

    Interesting article. Attempts to tease apart the trophic cascade issue, with points and counterpoints of cause/correlation with ecology of fear.

    http://e360.yale.edu/features/the-fear-factor-how-the-peril-of-predators-can-transform-a-landscape

  19. avatar Kathleen says:

    “Salmon becomes world’s first genetically-modified animal to enter food supply”

    “-US firm sells genetically engineered salmon to retailers in Canada.
    -First time a genetically modified animal has been sold for food on the open market.
    -Company claims GM fish can reach adult size in just 18 months.”

    Excerpt: “It’s a world first … The first genetically modified animal is on the market, and consumers in Quebec and Canada will become the first guinea-pigs unknowingly. In the absence of mandatory labeling we still cannot make an informed choice,” said Thibault Rehn, a coordinator at Vigilance GMO.

    “Some concerns have also been raised about cross breeding with wild fish but AquaBounty said its fish are sterile and are only being raised in landlocked tanks.”

    *trust us, nothing can go wrong*

    https://www.cnbc.com/2017/08/09/salmon-becomes-worlds-first-genetically-modified-animal-to-enter-food-supply.html

    • avatar louise kane says:

      reckless and irresponsible
      nothing new and certainly green lighting of bad policy not unexpected in this gross ass backwards idiotic administration

      • avatar rork says:

        I’d contradict your reasoning, but you failed to give any. Your aim is horrible too – FDA approved this during Obama administration, and even then I wouldn’t blame the administration, it’s just about science and risk assessment. Conservationists being anti-science though use of knee-jerk naturalistic fallacy and genetic illiteracy is not good for our image. The right wing often points to left wing anti-science attitudes just like this – you are giving them ammunition. Let the other folks corner the anti-science territory please.
        Kathleen did slightly better – but I’m not very concerned with these genes getting out into wild fish because even if fertile fish did escape, the genes will not improve fitness of wild fish.

        As a person concerned with aquatic ecology I’m not fond of most fish farming in general, since most of it is not nearly perfect. I’ll also admit this solution is strictly a for a tiny first world problem of the privileged, hardly a golden rice or Bt cotton win. Still, it attempts to make a slight gain in efficiency of raising salmon for those privileged people.

        • avatar louise kane says:

          Please take a moment to read this editorial that succinctly illustrates the problems inherent in wildlife management. It is written by two well informed, articulate, respected wildlife specialists/scientists. This editorial assessment of the need to reform wildlife management is equally urgent for the corruption and disastrous policies taking place in state wildlife agencies across the United States.

          Comment: Wildlife-management reform is long overdue
          The underpinnings of contemporary wildlife management are political and ideological, largely at the expense of wildlife for the presumed benefit of people. Unsurprisingly, wildlife management in . . .
          TIMESCOLONIST.COM

        • avatar louise kane says:

          OK Rork,
          fair enough. It’s true I did not provide any reasoning for my lashing out. My contempt for most fish farming, and now GMO fish, dates back to my days at NOAA.

          I spent a fair bit of time at fish farming sites and at runs in California filming a documentary about dam removal and the benefits to wild populations of salmon when the dams were removed.

          It was then that I interviewed fish farmers, scientists and managers about their thoughts and concerns about fish farming impacting native populations, harming genetic diversity and or otherwise creating problems in wild populations of salmonids.

          You said, that people like myself risk “being (perceived as) anti-science though use of knee-jerk naturalistic fallacy and genetic illiteracy.

          But stating that, “its just about science and risk assessment” is a fairly simplistic analysis of why the government and NOAA have been behind fish farming and GMO production.

          You are correct that the Obama administration was favoring GMO production and offshore fish farming, as have others so I stand reminded. But this is not just about science and risk assessment, its about money and production goals linked to reaching those goals.

          NOAAs position, when it comes to fish farming or wild fisheries, has rarely been precautionary. In this instance ,the administration sees a deficit in salmon production caused by declines in populations, and thus has supported farming in general to augment the loss of harvest. But that is an economic consideration. NOAA has worked hard to produce data to support their position for more productivity.

          Despite the bolstering of their position to green light farming and or GMO production, many of the agency’s own scientists expressed major concerns about inadvertently introducing GMO salmon into wild populations that are already struggling.

          We have little understanding of how these fish might impact populations when they escape or how resilient native species may be to genetic tinkering, and virtually no studies exist to support what I consider to be a reckless enterprise. How could they, this is new stuff.

          You wrote, “but I’m not very concerned with these genes getting out into wild fish because even if fertile fish did escape, the genes will not improve fitness of wild fish.” I understand what you are trying to say, that the introduction of these genes will not make the new fish more competitive or at least that is what you believe from the paucity of data that actually exists. But what of the potential to weaken populations, their ability to reproduce, olfactory memory ect?

          NOAA and our agencies might try removing more dams, work to reduce fishing effort to allow the species to recover so that native wild populations become more sustainable for human consumption and as food for other species instead of looking for ways to end run around the original problem.

          History shows salmon existed in tributaries, rivers and estuaries without for 18–22 million years. Something about their genetic history must have been replicated and preserved for them to be so successful up until the 1900s when we began decimating their populations.

          It seems glib, and perhaps a bit pedantic, to insist that this is only about science and risk assessment. Science always evolves as we test theories and learn from data.

          The possibility of releasing potentially harmful genes that may further weaken salmonid species reproduction and future survival seems a very real threat to me. I prefer a precautionary approach and trust evolutionary process much more than I do human tinkering, with its oft disastrous results.

          while two of these publications are not technical white papers they do a good job of summing up my concerns.

          https://www.forbes.com/sites/fayeflam/2015/11/19/the-benefits-and-risks-of-newly-approved-gmo-salmon/#6b1fd89341a1

          https://www.nwfsc.noaa.gov/publications/scipubs/techmemos/tm49/tm49.htm

          http://calmfulliving.com/project/examining-the-true-risks-of-gmo-salmon/

          and I stand reminded/corrected to better articulate my concerns. One of the best reasons for visiting this site. Many extremely bright people that hinder the tendency to be lazy and reactionary.

          ***this administration deserves every bit of negative reaction it receives.

          • avatar rork says:

            As brief and on point as ever.
            I am more concerned about the genetic risks of augmented “wild caught” (not “wild”) Alaskan runs than I am about GMO salmon as currently approved. Most of that last article you link is worried about the dangers of GMOs in open net-pens, which is not approved.

          • avatar rork says:

            I have a better summary. Almost all of what you have said is about what is bad about fish farming. Consider how many of these things are made worse by the means that are used with this new GMO salmon compared to other farmed Atlantics. I can’t think of a single one, and on some points the new salmon is an improvement – more care to limit escape and breeding, less pollution per pound of fish, less disease risk due to isolation and shorter life perhaps.

            It makes salmon farming less bad.

            The one new concern might be that the genetic risk of the new gene is more than the genes of other farmed salmon, and I don’t think that’s true, partly because of the expectation of fewer escapes of fertile fish. The number of genetics deaths I expect from the new gene is way lower than the number I expect from ordinary inbred escapes, cause the later are much more common and fertile.

            • avatar louise kane says:

              why do either as proposed. I suggested removing dams, lowering catch and reducing fishing effort as well as improving habitat. Your argument seems to be that GMO is less potentially harmful than current fish farming. Mine is that neither should be introduced especially when salmon populations, already historically low and imperiled, face unknown risks.

  20. avatar Moose says:

    Re: Washington wolves and the Dr Wielgus controversy

    http://projects.seattletimes.com/2017/wsu-wolf-researcher-wielgus/

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      Things like wildfires that cause wildlife to move need to be taken into account when ‘managing’ wolves by F&W – a stubborn rancher needs to work with, not against, or try to not change his routine.

      The Profanity Peak killing of the entire pack could have been avoided, if this rancher wasn’t to stubborn to move the salt lick and the cattle. Why didn’t F&W insist?

      Good article and it needs to be said. To many cower and have no integrity.

    • avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

      this is THE article 🙂

  21. avatar Professor Sweat says:

    The Red Wold Coalition posted some photos on their Facebook page showing what appear to be red wolves in East Texas. No official ID yet, but hopeful stuff considering the decline of the east coast population:

    https://www.facebook.com/redwolfcoalition/posts/10154786750223144

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      What a handsome guy! I sure hope he can, but the Trump team has bypassed every environmental law know to the US for this monstrosity of a wall.

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      At our own peril. 🙁

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        We just can’t stop ourselves. It’s shocking that we don’t care or understand that we need these fish.

        We seem to think that we can live on Frankenfish, beef cattle and glug down an oil chaser or two. Such hubris!

        We don’t need clean water, or even any water it seems, and don’t even care about fish enough for our own future food, let alone care about a species going extinct!

        For areas of this country known for salmon in the past, such as Idaho and Alaska, it is shocking.

        The wild horses post got me thinking about cheatgrass, and the latest thinking to control it is to introduce a microbe. Never the easy and obvious solution.

        And all the complaints from gov’t agencies about how much time and limited dollars is spent on wolves, so that other species go wanting – well don’t blame the environmentalists!

        If it weren’t for waste and fraudulent use of taxpayer funds (WA state’s entitlement to aerial gunners and WI hounders come to mind), there would be a lot more time and money to go around.

        • avatar Nancy says:

          Ida, there is here but the now, continues to confuse a lot of the human species, which pretty much dominates the world, the idea of now 🙂

          https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/philosophy-dispatches/201205/what-does-it-mean-be-human

          Spent the last couple of years looking at this live webcam at Old Faithful, in Yellowstone Park:

          https://www.nps.gov/features/yell/webcam/oldFaithfulStreaming.html

          Worth watching the ebb and flow of humans, planning their vacations, come summer, around this simple eruption of a geyser.

          But do any of these good folks know how much more there is to this huge national park they chose to visit? Filled with all sorts of wildlife and natural beauty, if one wants to actually get out of their comfort zone and explore?

          But maybe, its a best kept secret for now 🙂

          • avatar Ida Lupine says:

            But maybe, its a best kept secret for now

            Sometimes I wonder if it is better this way too.

            Old Faithful is pretty fascinating though, I remember seeing it throughout my visit, even one evening. Maybe that was the best time.

            Perseids at their peak tonight, btw! I’ve been forgetting to watch all week.

            I love this time of year, the baby birds are all fledging, and still begging their parents to feed them. Very cute, with their scruffy feathers. Even hummingbirds with scruffy feathers, so I hope they are this year’s young. 🙂

    • avatar rork says:

      We can perhaps gain leisure and wealth by making the green world and it’s animal communities impoverished and ghastly to see, but it’s removing much of that which I wanted the leisure and wealth for.
      Less migrating fish impoverishes even the far upstream localities including plant communities, as most people know.

  22. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    Well, there’s always the sea lice infestation problem from raising farmed salmon in a confined space, which has spread to the wild populations:

    http://time.com/4643134/salmon-prices-lice/

    But I suppose the solution to that is dumping more dangerous chemical pesticides into the water? Nobody is anti-science, but it’s like the more we tinker, the more problems we create, but we just can’t stop ourselves.

    There really is no magic bullet to fix the problems we have created by human overpopulation, and our modern lifestyles.

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      I was being sarcastic, but from the above article:

      “Salmon producers have largely used pesticides to try to eliminate the problem, but some strands of sea lice have grown immune to the problem. Salmons farmers, who have lost millions thanks to sea lice, have invested heavily in developing farms where the pest cannot thrive. One $71 million project from the Norwegian company Nordlaks aims to help fish avoid tight confines at a length of nearly five football fields.”

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

~ Edward Abbey

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