Welcome to Idaho, home of the cow, the deer, and the elk.

Welcome to Idaho, home of the cow, the deer, and the elk.

Our readers find lots of news, and they have many comments. Please post yours below as a comment –“Leave a reply.”  Here is the link to the old thread that’s now being retired (Jan. 6, 2014).


About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

344 Responses to Do you have some interesting wildlife news? Jan 22, 2014 edition

  1. Nancy says:

    Ugly shot Ralph. Starvation, illness?

    An interesting site on the weather lately:


    • Ralph Maughan says:


      It was taken at the end of the livestock grazing season in Morgan Jones Canyon in the Pleasantview Hills of SE Idaho. BLM-managed land.

      This is not some unique spot of heavy grazing due to loading, corralling, or unloading. The whole bottom of the canyon is like this.

      • Nancy says:

        Depressing Ralph. Interesting to note that the cow is almost mummified, with no signs of predators having been at it. If they were around, parts should of been scattered all over.

      • WM says:

        Maybe this ought to be a poster for the anti-grazing campaign in opposition to the Grazing Improvement Act bill, that gives BLM/FS all kinds of new legal excuses not to review the terms and conditions and environmental consequences of grazing permits. Details of location should be prominent, as well as the name of the permittee.

        • Nancy says:

          “Caught with its pants down, BLM would have us believe it is wearing ankle warmers,” stated PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch, noting that the $40 million study was the biggest in BLM history but will end up being largely useless. “As by far the biggest disturbance factor on Western range lands, commercial livestock grazing simply cannot be left out of a scientific landscape assessment.”.

          “This scientific integrity process will become a complete joke if BLM can get away with claiming ‘the cows ate my homework.’


      • Yvette says:

        Is this because of drought, overgrazing or both?

        • Nancy says:

          Yvette – cows die for all sorts of reasons in these parts and too often they are just left to rot.

      • There are scenes like this all over the west. I found a dead cow in the Birds of Prey Area south of Kuna last spring. She had died from trying to birth too large a calf and both bodies had been left to petrify.
        I used to hunt for shed elk antlers in the Fish Creek area near Carey, Idaho(pre-wolf) and often found dead domestic sheep decomposing in the small streams in the area. The Peruvian herders made no attempt to remove them from the streams.

        The local IDF&G warden got in trouble for tuning in the herders for throwing the used sheep dip cans into Fish Creek. Seems that former Idaho Secretary of State Pete Cennarusa thought he was exempt from obeying laws about proper disposal of pesticides and tried to get the warden fired.

  2. CodyCoyote says:

    “Meet the Coywolf “. Tonight’s episode of ” Nature” on PBS is about the Coyote-Wolf hybrids of the eastern US.

    January 22, 7pm, Wyoming PBS. Your broadcast schedule may vary, but all Nature programs are viewable in full online at video.pbs.org and also at Hulu Plus

  3. Yvette says:

    CodyCoyote, dad gum it, I just missed it. I think it will rerun tomorrow night here at our local PBS. I noticed there is another show on later, ‘Return of the Wolves”.

    Have you seen ‘Radioactive Wolves of Chernobyl”? If not, put it on your list. It’s a PBS ‘Nature’ episode.

    • W.Hong says:

      I don’t understand, the president signed this bill and he is democrat, but the republicans still get blamed? Didn’t the Democrat president have the last say on this bill?

      • W.Hong says:

        I am getting really confused here, the President is a Democrat, those who delisted the wolves are Democrat, right now there are more Democrats in control, but the Republicans still get the blame? Please explain, how those in control(Democrats) are good and those in the Minority(Republicans) are still getting the blame for everything?

        • Nancie Mccormish says:

          W. Hong, I didn’t read all this but here’s my take on the BS in DC.

          We have a Congress made of two separate components of Government: the House and the Senate. Each is composed of people from both parties (Republicans and Democrats) but each has one party in majority (which is not fixed but changes according to numbers in each party).

          Congress writes the laws, not the President (except in pretty limited circumstances). When legislation is passed by both the Senate and the House it goes to the President for his signature. The most he/she can do then is veto it. Sometimes it will happen that the President will say something like “I will sign this if you change this part…”

          Then the fighting begins in earnest as various “sacred cows” are either funded or starved. This happens no matter who is President.

          Not to defend President O but there is blame enough for all to share in DC.

      • Larry Zuckerman says:

        it was this or closed government – political reality delivered by GOP-ran House – problem with split government – no one party Republicans or Democrats control Senate, House, and Presidency. In fact, GOP party barely “controls” its own members in the House. Quite chaotic, but it is democracy.

        • W.Hong says:

          So despite the fact, that the White House is controlled by a Democrat and the Senate is controlled by Democrats, the Republicans still get the blame?

          • sleepy says:

            Blame them both.

            I find both parties complicit in most bad policy.

            I think it’s just as likely as not that Obama was disinterested about this provision of the bill.

            On wildlife, Obama doesn’t even care enough to fake it anymore.

          • Larry Zuckerman says:

            yep – and not all the Republicans but the Tea Baggers that strangle the Federal govt and even their own party.

          • Nancie Mccormish says:

            W. Hong,
            Democrats always get to blame Republicans, Republicans always get to blame Democrats, Minority parties in Congress always get to blame the Majority party in Congress, and the President gets to blame any or all of them, depending on the mood of the moment.

        • Immer Treue says:


          I think you’ve been had, and the river has run its course. 🙂

          • Larry Zuckerman says:

            thanks – must be tired and my guard is down – too much time in cold with bright sun this afternoon near Lost Trail Pass. Probably a bit dehydrated. Night and cheers.

            • W.Hong says:

              I am just curious, perhaps I should return to China! Things seem a little more clear, not better, but less confusing.

              • Nancy says:

                W. Hong – are you here because you had no luck trying to make things better in China?

              • W.Hong says:

                I came to America to avoid being locked up, I am a vocal opponent of the Chinese Government.

              • Nancy says:

                W. Hong – that same reason has brought many people here over the past centuries 🙂

                Hǎo yùn zhōngguó

              • Ida Lupines says:

                Don’t ask me – I think sometimes we have too much freedom and no responsibility in our country!

    • WM says:

      Not sure I understand the issue here completely, because the reporting is a bit sketchy. This “rider” (there’s that dirty word again), apparently applies to 3 exotic and non-native antelope species (probably from Africa, but I don’t know), which have been imported to the US. They are privately owned. Populations of these species are on private property in Texas, where they are the subject of canned hunts.

      The context of this thing is kind of ugly, but hardly worth a Presidential veto. I have a bigger problem with Texans, period.

      • Ralph Maughan says:


        Texas, yes. I was just reading about the brain dead woman being kept from decaying so to gestate a profoundly deformed fetus, all according to state law. It gives me the shivers! A monstrosity growing inside a corpse.

        With the kind of politicians that would create this kind of thing can we expect sensitivity in wildlife policy?

      • Ida Lupines says:

        From Wikipedia:

        The scimitar oryx or scimitar-horned oryx (Oryx dammah), also known as the Sahara oryx, is a species of Oryx now extinct in the wild. It formerly inhabited all of North Africa. There is now a global captive breeding program for the scimitar oryx. In 2005, at least 1,550 captives were managed as part of breeding programs, and in 2008, more than 4,000 were believed to be held in private collections in the United Arab Emirates. Reintroduction plans involve fenced-in herds in Bou Hedma National Park (1985), Sidi Toui National Park (1999) and Oued Dekouk National Park (1999) in Tunisia; Souss-Massa National Park (1995) in Morocco; and Ferlo Faunal Reserve (1998) and Guembuel Wildlife Reserve (1999) in Senegal.

        The dama gazelle, addra gazelle, or mhorr gazelle (Nanger dama, formerly Gazella dama) is a species of gazelle. It lives in Africa in the Sahara desert and the Sahel. This critically endangered species has disappeared from most of its former range due to overhunting and habitat loss, and natural populations only remain in Chad, Mali, and Niger.

        The addax is a critically endangered species of antelope, as classified by the IUCN. Although extremely rare in its native habitat due to unregulated hunting, it is quite common in captivity. The addax was once abundant in North Africa, native to Chad, Mauritania and Niger. It is extinct in Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Sudan and western Sahara. It has been reintroduced in Morocco and Tunisia.
        Today there are over 600 addax in Europe, Yotvata Hai-Bar Nature Reserve (Israel), Sabratha (Libya), Giza Zoo (Egypt), North America, Japan and Australia under captive breeding programmes. There are 1000 more in private collections and ranches in United States and the Middle East. Addax is legally protected in Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria; hunting of all gazelles is forbidden in Libya and Egypt. Although enormous reserves, such as the Hoggar Mountains and Tasilli in Algeria, the Ténéré in Niger, the Ouadi Rimé-Ouadi Achim Faunal Reserve in Chad, and the newly established Wadi Howar National Park in Sudan cover areas where addax previously occurred, some do not keep addax any more due to less resources. The addax has been reintroduced in Bou Hedma National Park (Tunisia) and Souss-Massa National Park (Morocco). The first reintroduction in the wild is ongoing in Jebil National Park (Tunisia), Grand Erg Oriental (Sahara) and another is planned in Morocco.

        The fact that in the US these critically endangered and virtually extinct animals would be raised for something as shallow as canned hunting (under the guise of saving them) speaks volumes about our country, and none of it good.

        As we can see, our contribution isn’t needed, and these animals belong in the countries they evolved in. We should not have exotic animals in our country, and be killing off our native animals.

  4. aves says:

    “Drugs, Death and Neglect: Behind the Scenes at Animal Planet”:


  5. Brent says:

    I’d like to know if Isle Royale has had any wolves make the trek over from the mainland. This winter has been brutally cold, enough for the “ice bridge” to freeze over. An exchange would certainly help their genetic diversity.

  6. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Nice: New Welcome to Montana billboards….


    of course only politically correct wildlife on them, no Wolf, no Grizzly, no Cougar !

  7. MAD says:

    Don’t believe all the doom and gloom that some organizations are proclaiming (in regard to certain species), that really seems only to grow their coffers by eliciting donations from well-intentioned folks. Nature and critters are more resilient than we give them credit for sometimes…


    and a very nice pic of my dog, too!

    • Ken Cole says:

      I don’t get the impression that things are good after reading the article. Their population is still rapidly declining and they are hunting out of desperation while still starving.

      • MAD says:

        well Ken, after being on the ground for 5 years of field seasons and thousands of hours, I have to disagree with your assessment and the results of the research that I took part of.

        They are not starving, and they certainly don’t “fast” while on land as the Polar Bear Mafia has been postulating for 30 years and their diet is actually changing quite rapidly. Does this mean that all PBs will survive – absolutely not. But what this research shows, and what my wife is trying to establish, is that PBs are not ultra-specialists who will vanish if they can’t kill as many seals in the past. In fact, they’ve changed seal species in the last 25 yrs also because of availability. All bears are omnivores, they all possess phenotypic plasticity.

        I can show you hundreds of photos of PBs so fat and bloated while on land that they could barely move. So, when Amstrup and Stirling scream to the high heavens about them starving and not eating during summer, it’s crap. In fact, Amstrup and Stirling have never even conducted “on the ground” research during the ice-free period of summer. But people in the team I was with have spent 40 yrs of summers up there with the Hudson Bay population.

        I would have thought you would appreciate good science that was conducted ethically, objectively and with the utmost care to present facts as observed in the field.

        • JB says:


          In all fairness, the article you linked to does not paint a very rosy picture for polar bears:

          “Gormenzano said she hesitates to speculate about how the polar bears will fare if the sea ice completely disappears — “that’s a long way off,” she noted, but added the flexible foraging they observed “could compensate for some energy deficits stemming from lost seal (hunting) opportunities.”

          Derocher, the polar bear biologist, said the only reason these polar bears are eating the snow geese and other plants and animals is that they still have sea ice in the winter to hunt seals and pack on the fat. Once on shore, his and other studies show, polar bears lose about 1.5 pounds per day.”

          That data suggests that off the ice, polar bears are doing as well as on the ice; the question is, as the sea ice melts and bears spend more time on shore will they learn to adapt? Bears certainly exhibit great behavioral plasticity — but will that be sufficient to overcome the changes they will face? Most ecologists I’ve spoken with are not optimistic.

          • JB says:

            Sorry should read: …suggests that off the ice, polar bears are not doing as well as on the ice.

            I hasten to add that I’m not trying to promote one view or the other; just noting that I haven’t seen a lot of optimism among scientists where polar bears are concerned.

            • MAD says:

              The thing is, many factoids that have been thrown out there by Stirling, his clone Derocher, and Amstrup are either completely wrong or grossly misrepresented.

              For example, this crew came up with a “12 second rule” for how long PBs could chase prey before it would be a caloric deficit for them. Turns out it’s not 12 seconds, it’s actually in the minutes – and depending on the age and size of the bear it could be a lot of minutes. Another BS thing they asserted; they analyzed the breath signature of PBs to determine various things. But they never took into account the cortisol stress level increases due to being chased, shot, drugged & handled or even the signature of land-based prey. So their whole study was erroneous, yet all “ecologists” buy into their claims of they’re starving, they can’t survive, etc.

              What is trying to be done is to take an objective look and see what PBs are “actually” doing in response to climate change, not just making predictions based on models. It turns out that they’re not just sitting on land starving or “fasting” as these guys have posited for 30 years. PBs all around the world are altering their behavior and adjusting their diet. That is a fact. Will it be enough? Obviously, no one knows, so anyone who claims that a definitive % of the populations will disappear by a certain point in time in the future is talking out of their posterior.

  8. aves says:

    Canada plans to begin a captive breeding program for sage grouse:

    Endangered sage grouse target of Calgary Zoo breeding program.

    • Ken Cole says:

      Most of the cuts are actually paper cows, or AUMs that don’t get used anyway. In some cases however, they do cut into actual use.

      We put out an online messenger a while back pointing out that the BLM was proposing to allow domestic sheep grazing and trailing in bighorn sheep habitat even though they found that the risk of contact was astronomically high. They then issued a final decision to convert the AUMs to cattle. While not ideal, it is a better decision than one that will wipe out bighorn sheep.

      • Nancie Mccormish says:

        Ken, If you read through the comments the WWP is getting some new fans after reading this, paper cows or no.

      • WM says:


        What is the effect on this litigation should that scumbag “Grazing Improvement Act” being pushed by rancher R’s make its way thru Congress in present form?

      • Larry Zuckerman says:

        of course, the adverse effects of an equivalent number of domestic sheep and cattle are quite different as you are well aware. The Savannah-rooted cattle really trash out streams and riparian areas, while the domestic sheep are more of an upland creature.

        Needs entirely different environmental analysis and new NEPA – I tried (unsuccessfully) arguing that when I worked for the Feds and some sheep allotments were converted to cattle in order to protect bighorn sheep in the Pahsimeroi with funds from the Wild Sheep Society.

  9. Nancie Mccormish says:

    Too many Elk in Idaho?

    “One proposed solution was to move the elk herds to the backcountry, where wolves have reduced the elk numbers drastically.”


    Interesting… since wild horses are removed ruthlessly from the backcountry at great expense. Wonder what it would cost to roundup and remove Elk? Imagine how that could happen, maybe helicopters and slings?

    • Ida Lupines says:

      Just unbelievable the messes we humans make.

      • Nancie Mccormish says:

        Ida, I have to smile since the Elk around here are smart enough to stay OUT of the backcountry, and know wherever there are cattle being fed there will be easy walking and a ready buffet. You can’t run them off with dogs, flares, fireworks or even picking off a few with the extra legal tags provided ranchers as compensation. I can imagine relocating Elk only to find they beat you home!

        • Ida Lupines says:

          So the lying about wolves taking too many elk is even more terrible.

          • Nancie Mccormish says:

            Ida, we don’t have “known” wolves here in CO. I think cars and CWD kill more Elk here than anything else.

  10. Nancie Mccormish says:

    Oh, and how ’bout all that transparency in Gov’t these days? I can see through this pretty well though…


  11. MJ says:

    The State of New York has a possible plan to shoot or euthanize all wild mute swans, determining that they are invasive, but also is announcing that another 115 native species will be “outlawed”. One report suggests that some displacement might be done with the swans in addition to the cull. How do we determine that we have the right to manipulate nature as we are, given our limited knowledge of complex interactions and the extreme influence of corporate interests in our policies (and sometimes our scientific conclusions)?


    NY eyes plan to shoot, sterilize invasive mute swans along Lake Ontario, elsewhere | syracuse.com.


    • Ida Lupines says:

      This is a violent and inhumane, and not a very inventive, way to handle this. What is happening to our country? These birds are not aggressive, only if they are approached, to protect themselves, like most animals (and this is not news) – and people shouldn’t be approaching them. How far from reality have we become when animals cannot behave naturally? New York was shooting snowy owls at airports too until recently.

      • Ken Cole says:

        I’m not a fan of invasive species no matter how pretty they may be, especially when they are displacing native wildlife.

        • Ida Lupines says:

          I don’t think they are invasive, but they are non-native. I think invasives should be controlled, but we pick and choose which ones we want to control, and let others run wild. What’s affecting habitat and native species most of all is human activity. Our activity makes removing invasive species an unrealistic, impossible task. If we brought these animals into the country, we ought to take a humane approach to our mistakes. It’s not like taking out purple loosestrife.

          Here where I live they are controlled, but not brutalized. I think they remove the eggs sometimes. Where I live they relocate the snowy owls, and have done so for at least thirty years.

          • Ida Lupines says:

            What I’d like to see is outlawing exotic pets like boa constrictors and pythons (and then dumping them into the environment when done with them), which I think fall under the non-native species category, and captive hunting is legal in New York. They’ve got a big job ahead of them.

            • Ida Lupines says:

              For example, what is the difference between the regulated invasive species Common Carp (Koi), and the non-regulated and to be destroyed Mute Swan? Can’t they both be ‘regulated’?

              • Ken Cole says:

                Both are regulated and both are controlled. With mute swans however, control can be much more effective because they are easier to find. They are invasive and extremely aggressive to native species. In some places they are displacing trumpeter swans which, at one time, numbered under 100. They should be eradicated from the wild.

                I wish the same could happen for all manner of non-native fish as well. Carp and brook trout especially, but that isn’t going to happen because the only method to do that would kill all the other fish. There is no selective method.

                With mute swans you don’t have to kill all the other birds and wildlife to get rid of them.

              • Ida Lupines says:

                Well, from my own experience mute swans can be aggressive initially, as can Canada geese, but once they become used to human presence they lose their fear. They live in relative harmony with the Canada geese, Mallards, Hooded Mergansers, Buffleheads, etc. in the many ponds and lakes near where I live.

                So whatever is done, I hope it is humane.

              • JB says:


                Mute swans are aggressive toward other (native) species, as Ken mentioned. In particular, they tend to displace native trumpeter swans (which various states–but not the feds–list as threatened or endangered).


                All ecosystems are now in some way impacted by humans. We can either acknowledge this and try to offset our impacts (witness the conversation about genetically rescuing wolves, or removing non-native species that are here because we introduced them) or we can stand by claiming that we don’t ‘have the right to manipulate species’ and watch them disappear.

          • rork says:

            Ida: Extirpating mutes won’t be that hard. Hardly unrealistic or impossible. Those of us that want it have a lofty goal – the return of our very own trumpeter swan, the one that it is our responsibility to care for. We like swans, and can have our very own back.
            I’m seeing them more in summer in MI, it’s working well. Late December I saw about 200 together on the Cheasapeke (Mason Neck) – I almost wept. It’s gonna be sooo cool.

            • Ida Lupines says:

              Yes, it will be cool. I’d like to see lead shot done away with too for bird protection. Any ideas on how to get rid of knotweed? I’m overrun with it. 🙂

              • rork says:

                Japanese knotweed I’m guessing. If it’s in isolated clumps, or even not, consider herbicides – though nasty, digging the roots out on those devils can be back-breaking work, but it can be done.

              • Ida Lupines says:

                Yes, Japanese knotweed. We try to cut it down but it keeps coming back. I wouldn’t mind a little bit, but it grows so much! Someone I know even tried using a front-end loader and it still came back! 🙂

              • Rich says:


                Hopefully you are aware that knotweed regenerates from cut pieces of stems or roots. If pieces are scattered around and/or thrown in the river or lake they will take root and spread the plant even more. The best approach is to dry and burn it or dispiose in a way that it will never have an opportunity to take root.

              • Mark L says:

                any thought to using goats on japanese knotweed? Supplement diet with something else (hay, etc.) and let them nibble it down? It’s acidic, but goats could knock it down considerably. Other than that, will suggest a large tarp for a year. I do believe in fighting biology with biology, instead of pesticides and metal.

            • Ida Lupines says:

              There’s not too much more beautiful than swans in flight. 🙂

            • aves says:

              Those would have been tundra swans you saw at Mason Neck in Virginia. We may get a few trumpeters in the state each winter, but the huge flocks by the Bay are tundras. Still a site to see and I look forward to seeing them every winter.

              • rork says:

                thanks aves. I’ll have to learn to distinguish better. It’s always interesting how blind I am before I learn to see. (And they mostly had heads under wings – it was a freezing early morning – but that’s just excuses.)
                I was checking out swan killing articles this morning (NYT and mute advocates), and some articles don’t emphasize getting our natives back. Quite a few articles by mute advocates carefully avoid any mention of our native swans.

              • Mark L says:

                Good point, rork, just read the same and noticed that. Guess there was no reason to bring up the negatives in an op\ed. Might deflate an agrument.

      • Ken Cole says:

        Also, “another 115 native species will be “outlawed”” appears to be a reporting error.

        All of the species listed are non native.

        Are you against control of quagga mussels too?

    • aves says:

      Mute swans are indeed aggressive during the breeding season and incompatible with trumpeter swan recovery. But the narrative often put forth about mute swans overlooks the reason trumpeter swans became so rare to begin with (market hunting) and the myriad of other things we need to do to recover trumpeter swans (http://www.trumpeterswansociety.org/top-ten-threats-to-swans.html).

  12. rork says:

    I saw “return of the wolves” to yellowstone (2013). Niemeyer, Mech, Babbitt, and other famous people were on. It wasn’t perfect but not bad. Except for something about a Canadian landscape that went something like “the area has many sandy depressions called eskers”. A good chuckle, but it’s sad to think nobody objected. Eskers near me are obvious and special features, often with rare plants. North of Superior they are impossible to forget (they look so new, and suggest human design), as is the mental image of their formation. Next time: drumlins, are they evil?

    • Immer Treue says:

      And then you have ravens, where often they look like someone threw an oily rag up into the wind, but you understand that “oily rag”is enjoying itself as it tumbles through the air.

  13. Salle says:


    How the threat to lions, leopards and wolves endangers us all


    The Report mentioned in article:


    • Louise Kane says:

      sally thanks for posting
      this idea of thinking globally about the protection of large carnivores is the idea behind a national act to protect predators in the US.

  14. Immer Treue says:

    Study sheds light on top causes of deer mortality (Wisconsin).


    No real surprises here, to the informed.
    Another telling figur is the % of wounded deer not found by hunters who wounded them. If I remember, it was in the eastern portion of the state, where there are no wolves, and stood at 13%. Not an anti hunting slam at all, but if that figure is superimposed over the remainder of Wisconsin, then deer that die from hunters, but are not found, is a higher % than that taken by wolves.

    • Louise Kane says:

      Great comment Immer…..
      I wonder how those percentages play out for other species…..

    • rork says:

      I missed this earlier – nice study.
      My interpretation was that of the all-cause death, tagged was 53%, unrecovered but killed were 13%, so that’d be about 20% of hunter-killed deer not recovered. That’s actually better than my previous received wisdom, 30%. (Insert a lecture here about how hunters should teach each other to take only good shots, and track fastidiously and don’t give up – if you don’t accept the obligation, don’t shoot.)
      I’m worried the starvation figures will become higher after including the coming months.

  15. Larry Zuckerman says:


    Farm Bill has been tied up in Congress and the price of milk in the grocery, food stamps, the Conservation Reserve Program, and now… kill the wandering Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem elk that naturally migrate in and out of Park boundaries.

  16. JB says:

    Deer mortality study in Wisconsin ranks sources of mortality. Guess, who is killing most of the deer?

    “The rates of mortality were human hunting 43%, starvation 9%, coyote 7%, wolf 6% and roadkill 6%.

    If you added poaching (8%) the human kill gets even more significant.

    But by all means, blame wolves.

    Read more from Journal Sentinel: http://www.jsonline.com/sports/topstories/study-sheds-light-on-top-causes-of-deer-mortality-b99190938z1-241992741.html#ixzz2reHwIhCb
    Follow us: @JournalSentinel on Twitter

  17. Peter Kiermeir says:

    *Warning: Graphic images* Wolf severely injured by trapper’s snare

  18. WM says:

    We should all be concerned about mid-term elections. This prediction from an article in the NY Times:

    “A review of competitive congressional contests suggests that, at the moment, Republicans will hold on to the House, though Democrats could defy midterm history and gain a few seats. Senate Democrats, at the same time, are defending unfavorable terrain and will almost certainly see their majority narrowed. They are at risk of losing it altogether, an outcome that would leave Capitol Hill entirely in Republican control for the conclusion of Mr. Obama’s presidency.”


    This is the kind of political environment that could see the “Grazing Improvement Act” passed in both houses; an effort to gut the ESA; and clarification of the role of state wildlife agencies which currently believe they have the right to manage wildlife as they choose in designated Wilderness. This President won’t risk a veto on any passed laws to stop it.

    • Nancy says:

      Jeff E – what were your thoughts when you read about this encounter? The area did not appear to mountain lion territory.

      • JEFF E says:

        I thought that the guy was lucky that it was his dogs and not him. As far as Mountain lion territory one reads about mountain lion sightings in and around Boise fairly often. One was shot and killed right near BSU university last year I believe, and another by St. Alphonsas Hospital the year before. These are both well within the city limits however BSU is right next to the Boise river and is a natural corridor for all sorts of wildlife.
        Another killed a dog in a back yard in another part of the city and before that there were numerous sightings at the other end of the city in Garden City for a span of a couple weeks. They are the only wildlife that makes me a bit nervous as I believe the thought process goes something like “Am I hungry; yes or no, and are you dinner; yes or no.

  19. Harley says:

    It’s that time of year again for the Isle Royale winter study. I do not envy those guys in this brutal cold weather.


      • ma'iingan says:

        “It’s possible new wolves may have crossed the ice this winter:”

        I don’t believe a bridge has formed yet, and so far only seven wolves have been spotted on the island.

        Ice bridges work both ways – it’s equally likely that the island could lose wolves if a bridge forms. In fact it might be more than equally likely – the wolves on the island are young and of breeding age, prime for dispersal – especially since most are siblings or half-siblings and generally inhibited from breeding.

        • rork says:

          I reported it seemed closed (satellite) around jan 6-8. I haven’t been checking ever day since then – it may have opened after some heavy winds – but it looked closed a week ago as well.
          I think I recall one wolf left in 2008.

          I was interested in the Straits of Mackinac being solid, and what chances that would bring for us lowly folk below the bridge.

  20. WM says:

    Recall not long ago there was a thread on beavers and how to co-exist with them, and their dam building ways, even in urban environments. Golden Gardens Park, just north of the Chittenden Locks, in North Seattle (also home to the Ballard High School Beavers), is in a dilemma. A wildlife pond, once screened by a blanket of protective trees, is being destroyed by the little buggers. No acceptable solution in sight.


  21. Yvette says:

    WM, thanks for the good laugh. I use to live in Seattle. It’s my favorite city, but Ballard has become oh so trendy. Because of that this one made me laugh.

    “Regular visitors say the ponds look like a tornado blasted through. Trees are fallen over, with some still standing but barely so, as they’ve been chewed almost to the core.”

    I’m glad the parks dept. is going to Leave it to the Beavers. Suck it up, Ballard.

  22. aves says:

    Wolf recovery debate videos from last fall’s International Wolf Symposium:


    • Immer Treue says:


      As Stark said, it was probably more a result of the protracted Winter last year. Something interesting might occur if current Winter continues where we would have two bad ones in a row. Deer population could take such a hit that come Spring, there won’t be much for wolves to eat other than livestock.


      Witness graph for years 95-97 where depredations peaked, prior to the rise up until this past year. Two real tough Winters in a row. Estimated 30% of does died winter 95/96. Could we be in or similar spike this coming Spring?

  23. CodyCoyote says:

    My little city of Cody in northwest Wyoming has a large resident Deer population Urban deer, and some ex-urban Deer who frequent our town a lot. The latest Deer census has just been released by the City of Cody urban Deer Task Force, conducted by seven Wyoming Game and Fish Department personnel across 21 hours time in December .

    They actually counted some Whitetail deer in topwn this year, and a whole lot more just outside the City limits. The numbers of Deer have remained relatively constant for three years at ~ 300 Muleys. with nearly 100 Whitetail in the immediate area. We never used to see any Whitetail around Cody , or even in the Big Horn Basin, 30 years ago. The Buck-Doe-Fawn ratios are about as healthy as you could hope for. I note anecdotally from reading the morning rolling log of the Cody Police Department that nearly 100 deer per year are killed by automobiles on city streets, mostly by inattentive or speeding drivers. Some would call that ” population control “.

    I took dozens and dozens of photos of a particularly friendly Mule doe who had and raised triplet fawns this past summer that frequented my neighborhood.
    Here’s a portion of the summary of the 2013 Cody Urban Deer Census just released:

    (quote) A total of 296 deer (292 mule deer and 4 white-tailed deer) were observed within the City Limits of Cody, and an additional 254 deer (162 mule deer and 92 white-tailed deer) were observed in adjacent areas. Mule deer fawn:doe ratios were 70:100 in the City Limits and 64:100 outside the city limits. Total buck ratios were 35:100 in the city limits and 45:100 out of the city limits. Yearling buck ratios were 18:100 in the city limits and 17:100 out of the city limits.
    A total of 7 WGFD personnel were involved during the 2013 survey, for a total of approximately 21 hours of survey effort.
    The total number of deer observed in the City Limits during the 2013 survey is not substantially different from the 261 seen in 2012 or the 307 seen in 2011. Fewer mule deer seen in areas adjacent to the City Limits is likely due to intentionally increased hunting pressure, especially on deer that inhabit the 2ABN area. ( endquote)

  24. aves says:

    Monarch butterfly population status:


    • rork says:

      NY times had a pretty good version too, but that monarchwatch one is even better, and is likely the original source.

  25. CodyCoyote says:

    Some of my favorite wildlife friends, the flying flowers known a Monarch Butterflies, are in grave peril. Their numbers have plummeted as measured at their wintering grounds in the high pine forests of Michoacan State in southern Mexico. Lowest numbers recorded since records began 20 years ago. Lots of reasons for this precipitous drop in Monarch numbers, most man-caused.


  26. Yvette says:

    A conversation about the costs of elk hunting licenses made me check the price of the license in my resident state, Oklahoma. It’s $306.00 for non-residence (we don’t have many elk). In the course of looking for that, I found this article where the OK Dept. of Wildlife Conservation may open elk hunting statewide this year.

    Interesting. Apparently, our elk population has grown a little, but I wonder if the population is large enough for statewide hunts.

    Well heck, if we have a increase in elk maybe we need some wolves! 🙂


  27. Larry Zuckerman says:

    New species of freshwater fish found in Idaho:


    here is press release from FS:

    here is the original, peer-reviewed species description:

    Pretty rare for a new species of fish from North America identified. Unusual for authors to give up the naming rights and instead yield to Coeur d’Alene elders for scientific species name. Common name, cedar sculpin, refers to the majestic Western red cedars that used to line many of the Idaho Panhandle streams.

    • Yvette says:

      Oh, that is just so cool that the Coeur d’ Alene tribal elders gave the species name!

    • topher says:

      “Sculpin are the preferred prey of prized sport fish like cutthroat trout and rare fish like bull trout, and anglers for nearly a century have lured trout with a fly-fishing pattern that imitates sculpin. ”
      Also my favorite for big browns in small water.

  28. Mareks Vilkins says:

    Rare Amur Leopard ‘Reality Show’ Now Available in English


    Unique footage of rare Amur leopards in the wild was put online Tuesday with subtitled commentary in English by a wildlife reserve in Russia working to pull the animal back from the brink of extinction.

    The stars of what is being dubbed as a reality show, “Spotted Family,” are a female leopard named Kedrovka and her three cubs.

    The footage shows the felines hunting, feeding, playing, resting and nursing injuries, mostly unaware of human surveillance, although one scene does offer an extreme close-up of a cub sniffing a camera.

    The video has been produced by the Land of the Leopard wildlife reserve in Russia’s far eastern Primorye Region.

  29. Jeff N. says:

    Mexican Gray Wolf 2013 year end population stats:

    Minimum population – 83 wolves (up from 75 in 2012)

    Pup recruitment – 17 pups (30 were documented being produced)

    Breeding pairs/packs – 5 (up from 3 in 2012)

    Info provided word of mouth by lobo recovery team member.

  30. Jeff N. says:

    Official release from the Mexican Gray Wolf recovery team:


    • Rita k Sharpe says:

      Well, Senator Griffin of Az has set in motion two bills.One allowing trapping/killing of Mexican wolves beyond the minimum amount allowed by the federal law (S B 1211) and another bill {212} wanting/asking for $250.000 for ligations in order to impede the recovery effort of the Mexican wolf.

      • Barb Rupers says:


      • Louise Kane says:

        I can’t imagine this will get far as the state law will supersede federal law. It seems like a waste of taxpayer money and would be a easy challenge in court. It does illustrate that new laws are needed to take predator management away from state legislators who try to win constituents and placate special interests by promoting ecologically destructive, inhumane, and unsound policy and laws.

    • Barb Rupers says:

      Thanks for the interesting article.

      I had a 4 month old border collie that was not learning the sit command. I had her watch my older dog perform the feat and receive a treat. She seemed to get it after one time.

    • Louise Kane says:

      Imagine how terrible it must be for these animals to see their pups and family members trapped and shot. As this study indicates, wolves are obviously quick learners and translate new information easily. It must be especially stressful for them knowing that traps, snares and people in helicopters or on foot will kill them but they have no way of escaping. More troubling is what does randomly killing them in such great numbers mean for their species as the “teachers” continue to be killed off in such great numbers….

  31. rork says:

    It isn’t new (nov 2012) but was a pretty good read, with interesting history, biology, and recommendations.
    I noticed VA and NC have tundra swan hunts, and that in NC they kill about 2,500 per year (5000 tags sold), but couldn’t find the numbers for VA. I was prompted by more blogs and articles in the press about mutes the past week, as well as aves, a commenter here (thanks!).

  32. bret says:

    FWP: Study shows lion numbers higher than expected

    newly refined DNA-based techniques for lions gave scientists another tool to use in the Bitterroot. Researchers collected lion DNA last winter, and results document a population two to four times higher than first estimated.


    • JB says:

      “Results from this model predict 85 lions in the West Fork of the Bitterroot and 82 in the East Fork-lions that are independent adults, excluding juveniles and kittens.”

      So by my reckoning, that 167 adults, plus juveniles and kittens — or ~200 cats just in the Bitterroots. Slightly higher energetic requirements than wolves and the same diet.

    • Nancy says:

      “According to DeSimone, “Most states have no idea what they’re doing. They just hope that nobody challenges them” [about their quota numbers]”


      I’ve never seen one in my years here although their have been a handful of sightings. It sounds like their numbers might be just a bit better than the wolf population.

      • JEFF E says:

        “I’ve never seen one in my years here ”
        I would be willing to bet one or more has seen you.

        • rork says:

          Bahaha! Thanks.
          Northern lower MI is covered with bobcat digestion products and prints, but they too see you first mostly.

  33. Nancy says:

    A little Sunday morning humor:

    “Local residents in Deer Trail, Colorado, have even attempted to pass a law that makes it legal to shoot down drones with the proper drone hunting license”


  34. Ida Lupines says:

    If anyone’s interested this year (I know I am):

    Great Backyard Bird Count

  35. rork says:

    About Minnesota deer goals. Seems some hunters think that lower numbers due to weather means goals are wrong – why can’t those numbskull bologists predict the future? The executive director of the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association, Johnson, says “Biologists say wolves are doing the compensatory harvest of deer that are going to die anyway. I refuse to believe that with the number of wolves we have.” Pretty simplistic idea of compensatory there, eh? Perhaps with a sprinkling of “if it’s not 100% compensated, wolf is 100% guilty”. Article claims Mech would say wolves aren’t a significant factor, btw.
    Companion piece about one particular area (with nice data summary): http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/event/article/id/290325/

    • Immer Treue says:

      Number of things here. Up here in the Ely area we, those who have no problems with wolves, continually hear, let the DNR do their jobs, in regard to a wolf season. Yet, when the MN DNR posts their findings on deer, and everyone with an ounce, no,let’s say a gram of brains up here, knows its Winter severity that has the greatest impact on deer, not wolves. WHere is the, “let the DNR do their jobs” here.

      And I can attest to the fact that deer devastate both white pine and red pine seedlings. A good way to increase the “weed” of the area, Balsam fir, which look pretty with snow on them, but are deadly in regard to fire.

      I wonder if the WI Wisconsin study that indicate 13% of shot/wounded deer are not found? I know of two, perhaps three where this happened around where I live.

      This Winter continues the way it has begun, three things will happen:
      1.Deer population will drop
      2.Pine seedlings will take another hit
      3.Wolf livestock depredation will increase

      • Ralph Maughan says:

        Immer Treue,

        Wolves benefit greatly in the short run from a severe winter that kills deer. I don’t think there would be an increase in livestock depredations the first year.

        In addition, before the wolf hunts began wolves benefited from the deer hunt. They took down the wounded deer not killed by the hunter and ate the gut piles. They still do benefit if they are not shot or trapped first.

        • Immer Treue says:


          One winter, lots starving deer for wolves. We are in the midst of our “2nd” tough winter in succession. More starvation of does= fewer fawns this Spring. Winters of 95/96 96/97 bore this out. I’ll see if I can relocate graghs associated with those Winters.

          • Ida Lupines says:

            But that’s Nature. Deer numbers are high. Are you really saying that there isn’t going to be enough for human hunters? Too bad. (cue violin music) If they have to go without hunting for a season or two, that’s Nature as well. To think we can manage that is foolish. Nature doesn’t care about human concepts of profits and money. If we are contributing to changes in weather, we need to address it. We can’t have it all, all the time.

            • Ida Lupines says:

              That’s known as Nature managing itself, without humans botching it up. Btw, business is ruled by survival of the fittest too, and those who can’t manage go bankrupt.

            • Immer Treue says:


              No, just fewer deer, but wolves will receive the blame from the uninformed.

  36. Peter Kiermeir says:

    This enthralling series documents the return of one very special wolf pack to the snowy peaks of Washington’s Cascade Mountains – the first to return to the American Northwest in 70 years. By BBC


  37. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Wolves at the door
    Can two top predators co-exist in the American West?

  38. Kathleen says:

    “Senator who cried ‘wolf’ sets bad precedent with mandated logging”

    Calling out Jon Tester’s hypocrisy…in today’s Missoulian:


  39. CodyCoyote says:

    Heads up! February 3 news alert.
    NPR just ran a blurb for a story that ” All Things Considered” is running this evening on the Grey Wolf reintroduction.” Wolves at the door ” , audio and reporting by Nathan Rott, photos by David Gilkey. It’s already posted as a standalone presentation.

    Among other sound bites the used was a one liner that ” the Grey Wolf became the Abortion issue of wildlife conservation…” As in severely polarized. But we already knew that.

    NPR publishes the text transcripts and audio clips of their stories online after the broadcast.

    There is already a link to the standalone multimedia story at : http://apps.npr.org/wolves/

    • jon says:

      Good article. That hunter in that article explaining why he hunts wolves is ignorant. He says he has seen what wolves do and than goes on to call them killers completely ignoring the fact that people like him are killers as well and kill far more wildlife than wolves do. He’s a complete hypocrite. It’s absurd to demonize wolves simply because they kill other animals to survive.

  40. jon says:


    This is disgusting. Trappers cause another person’s dog to be killed.

    • jon says:

      “Miller says she called Idaho Fish and Game but the agency said there was nothing they could do because the trapper’s name wasn’t on the trap. Miller says trappers aren’t required to post warning signs.”

      So, trappers aren’t putting their names on traps and they don’t have to post warning signs to let people with dogs know that they are traps in the area. There is something definitely wrong with this picture. Incidents like these show that trapping needs to be banned and the only way dogs are going to be safe is if we ban trapping completely on public lands.

  41. Helen McGinnis says:

    Two hour-long interviews on VoiceAmerica, hosted by Eli Weiss–
    Wolves: Soul of the Wild with Carter Niemeyer
    January 27, 2014

    Both reviled and loved, our history with the wolf is complex and emotional and the stuff of legends. Today, we have an opportunity to learn from one of the most knowledgeable wolf biologists around, Carter Niemeyer, author of “Wolfer” which should be prerequisite reading for everyone involved in the back and forth of the wolf debate! We’ll get into the politics and policies that surround wolf management to human interaction and conflict, to public perceptions vs. those of ranchers and the vested interests of those who want to see all wolves dead. From our earliest history to now we continue to wage war against the wolf, and it ‘s taken more than 100 years for science to catch up to understand the ecological cascade of consequences in the wake of their absence and what their presence means for our future- the wolf issue a parable and a symbol of the very soul of wildness.
    American Lion, Looking For Love In A Land Of Fear, William Stolzenburg
    January 20, 2014

    Our story today revolves around a heroic journey of one cat that apparently walked (and swam) from the Black Hills of South Dakota to the green estates of Greenwich, CT, looking for love. The Connecticut lion serves as vehicle for the larger story of the would-be repatriation of the East by mountain lions making forays from the eastern edge of the Rockies across the Great Plains, where they haven’t lived for a century or more. Reminiscent of US war on predators in the early 1900’s, bogus science, intolerance and draconian hunts, these pioneering lions are getting hammered by hunters and state agencies, essentially imposing a gauntlet against the lion’s eastward movements, and worse, this model of intolerance is being copied elsewhere. The news of coexistence coming out of California, while uplifting, is a world apart from the societal and cultural attitudes of America’s rural heartland towards our reigning big cat.

  42. jon says:


    Arizona republicans pushing anti-wolf legislation. The right wing’s war on wildlife continues…..

  43. Ida Lupines says:

    It’s really hard to imagine how the current state of affairs for wolves came to be in modern times. There has been not one ounce of science, reason, or truth in the arbitrary destruction of these poor animals since the delisting. The killing displays have been shocking. Wildlife Services doesn’t even have answer to the public and nobody even knows what they are doing. We’re told on the one hand that people’s pets are in danger from wolves; but what we are actually seeing is that people’s pets are in the most danger from trappers!

    I agree, the first approach would have been the sane approach and nobody has a clue to how many wolves are out there. I’ve always been aware of the hatred in the Rockies, but the Great Lakes have been a shock and a great disappointment.

    • Ida Lupines says:

      ^^The first approach suggested in the DNR letter internal communications letter.

    • Yvette says:

      Ida, I don’t think there has been an ounce of science, reason, or truth in the eradication of wolves since European settlement first began on this continent.

      We’re where we are today for multiple reasons, one of which is hysteria over wolves. What I’ve been asking myself since the Washington Wedge pack got into trouble are these questions:
      + Why do livestock owners that lease public land trump wildlife?

      + Why does the ranching/ag business get reimbursed with federal dollars when they suffer a loss? Every business will suffer some losses, so why is the ranching/ag business being reimbursed for a business loss?

      + Why are we, as a society, tolerating the massive amount of killings perpetrated on all wildlife (and many pets) by the Wildlife Services? At our expense!

      • Ida Lupines says:

        I’ll never forget that Wedge pack incident. It seemed to really upset the WA Fish and Wildlife Dept. and put them in a bad position. 🙁

    • Sid says:

      the article says that 7 of 14 packs produced pups. Didn’t last year’s survey say there was only 3 breeding pairs? Looks like the population may really take off now.

  44. Kathleen says:

    Not sure if either of these has been posted…

    “Hunt for crop-eating bears could start early”
    A Michigan legislator who’s also a dairy farmer wants to kill black bears out of season for eating the corn he grows to feed the cows he exploits.

    “Dismal state of the Great Lakes”
    Even if you aren’t much interested in the Great Lakes, this is worth a look for the pics of the grossly-deformed bill on the cormorant…the result of chemical pollution.

    • Leslie says:

      “McBroom said he typically loses 10 to 15 acres of corn every year of the about 230 acres he farms, amounting to an estimated $5,000 to $10,000 in damage.”

      Well that’s only 5% of his acreage. Its less than a church tithe, so maybe he should think of it as a tithe to the wildlife. I have pretty low tolerance for people whose first solution is the gun. Beehives, which they also discuss in the article, can be protected by electric fencing from bears.

      When I was in CA, our cherry trees were always ravaged by birds. One solution would be netting, but another would be to grow enough for the birds and for us.

      People never want to think, and come up with creative solutions to work with wildlife. They want the easiest way out–poisons, bullets. It’s much more challenging and rewarding to try and outsmart wildlife, than to just kill it. Or just tithe!

    • Yvette says:

      That looks like a good book on the Great Lakes. I don’t know much about that region.

  45. jon says:


    The book doesn’t look like it’s worth buying based on the reviews.

    • Jake Jenson says:

      I don’t believe those reviewers purchased the book nor read it.

      • Immer Treue says:

        “…Don Peay, Laura Schneberger, Heather Smith-Thomas, and Cat Urbigkit each describe a unique aspect of the wolf in the United States. The Real Wolf does not call for the eradication of wolves from the United States, but rather advocates a new system of species management that would allow wolves, game animals, and farmers to live in harmony.”

        Reading this from the synopsis is quite telling. Tell you what, I’ll put it on my reading list. Winter has some time to go up here, then I’ll add a review.

        • Nancy says:

          Immer – Yes winter has some time to go here also, 17 below zero this morning.

          • Immer Treue says:


            We were in serendipity. Was – 17° here when I got up. Since the beginning of January we have been AVERAGING less than -3.5°. Looks like another week ahead of double digit below zero at night. Wood pile is eroding quickly.

            • Immer Treue says:

              Actually -4.7° average here in Ely since the years beginning. Above figure was for Internationl Falls.

    • Ida Lupines says:

      How did they find a publisher? Oh wait, he is the publisher. I think one of the commenters is right – ‘Ted Be Lyin’. 🙂

      Almost as appropriate a name as the Idaho Wildlife Services guy with the surname of Grimm.

      • Yvette says:

        The book summary tells a lot.

        “He ‘proves’ his case”

        “wolves, elk, livestock, hunters, and ranchers can live in ‘harmony'”

        It might be a good one to read just to know how they are thinking, but many of you already know that.

    • Immer Treue says:

      Just went to order “The Real Wolf” and for a book that has just come out, there sure are a lot of reviews. And guess what, most are either one star or five stars. F’N AMAZING! And, most of the names attached to those ratings are pretty damn familiar

      Hey everybody, if you are going to review a book, read the damn book, and don’t be afraid to say more than the book sucks or the book is great. Support what you say, about the book. After going through those reviews, it looks like a bunch of five year olds. You, and them are not doing anyone any favors by putting something down if you have not read it.

      JFC! No wonder the wolf issue continues to smolder!

      • Nancy says:

        “For those of us living with these vicious, filthy, non-native, arctic wolves, this book is spot on”

        Thought that was an interesting comment coming from someone who lives in Utah. Are wolves over running that state now and I missed that important bit of information?

      • JEFF E says:

        looks to be some pretty expensive toilet paper

  46. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Federal sheep station to re-evaluate grizzly-bear conflicts
    The assessment must be completed by June 1. In the meantime, the government is not permitted to graze sheep on the summer pastures in Montana prior to July 1.

  47. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Overlooked it somwhow. Guess I need new glasses :-))

  48. Nancy says:

    When the Olympic committee takes sites under consideration, do that also look at what preparing for them will do to the enviornment?

  49. Ida Lupines says:

    The Oregon Chub is the First Fish Ever Taken Off The Endangered Species List

    “Joe Moll, executive director of the McKenzie River Trust, said the chub’s obscurity made it easier to find solutions because there were none of the high stakes and big egos involved in charismatic species like wolves, grizzly bears and salmon.”

    I hope this little guy is going to be ok now!

  50. Ida Lupines says:

    Over 2,500 Wolves Killed In US’s Lower 48 Since 2011

    6000 – 2500 = Unsustainable

  51. Larry zuckerman says:


    Just in time for Congress’ call for emasculating the ESA – the first recovered listed fish species – interesting timing.

  52. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Wolves are in the crosshairs, thanks to Sen. Gail Griffin

  53. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Alberta: Poachers blamed for 11 grizzly bear deaths in 2013


    “Thirty-one dead grizzly bears for 2013 is the gruesome tally announced Tuesday by Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development, who say the number surpasses anything seen over the past decade.”

  54. jburnham says:

    It’s time to call a truce in the brucellosis wars

    Part 4 in a series on wildlife diseases in Greater Yellowstone

  55. Kathleen says:

    If numbers matter, Montana killers have ‘achieved’ their 200th *reported* wolf as indicated in today’s body count…133 by projectile (rifle season ends 3/15/14); 67 by trap (ends 2/28/14).

    Last year’s total was 225: 128 in hunt; 97 in traps in a shorter overall season.

  56. Ida Lupines says:

    I don’t think the book is something I’d be interested in reading, per the reviews and the synopsis. I’ve read enough from these people to last me a lifetime, and don’t want to support an agenda I don’t believe in. I wouldn’t waste a cent on it, nor a minute of my time.

    • Immer Treue says:

      Something I used to suggest to my students who did not believe in evolution, “learn something about it, so when the time calls for you to debate the issue, you might know what you are talking about and not sound like a rube.”

      It’s obvious that the book is a collection is essays. I don’t know if Graves has ever put anything original on paper. And the excuse he was translating from Russian in his mish-Mash Wolves in Russia” train wreck of a book… Try reading Pasternak, Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky.

      Perhaps the old adage holds water, “keep you friends close, and keep your enemies closer”.

      There are some in the collection I have not read. If it’s a collection of BS, then that’s what the review will say. If there exists thought provoking stuff, all the better.


      • Ida Lupines says:

        Sigh. OK. 🙂

      • Jeff N. says:


        Looking forward to your review. I won’t buy the book regardless as it has been given the blessing of a “Laura” Schneberger(sp), a vocal opponent of Lobo recovery here in the SW….so I know what to expect if she endorses the book….

        I do like the Amazon review by Tom McNamee as I enjoyed his book about the YSNP reintroduction.

  57. Salle says:

    FYI… for those who might be interested:

    There is a public comment period that lasts only 30 DAYS!! STARTS TODAY!!!


    A 30-day public comment period begins on February 5, 2014 and will close on March 7, 2014. During this period, members of the public and other interested parties are encouraged to submit comments on the national interest determination to


    Comments are not private and will be made public. Comments may also be mailed directly to:

    U.S. Department of State
    Bureau of Energy Resources, Room 4843
    Attn: Keystone XL Public Comments
    2201 C Street, NW
    Washington, DC 20520

    Direct link to comment page:


  58. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Isle Royale wolf watch update
    Researchers hope Great Lakes ice will allow new animals to reach the island

  59. Louise Kane says:

    Two things posted on the western carnivore conservation list today of note. The first is about the newest version, and equally as vile as the earlier versions, of the Sportsman Heritage Act….

    The second was regarding Trap Free Montana’s initiative. If any of you are interested in helping you may want to contact Trap Free for the draft initiative and also to help with signature gathering once they finalize the language and get it approved. http://www.trapfreemt.org

    RE Sportsman Heritage Act
    1) The House of Representatives passed the so-called “Sportsmen’s Bill,” HR 3590, today by a vote of 268-154.

    This extremist bill:
    – Prevents the Environmental Protection Agency from protecting wildlife from lead poisoning, exempting toxic lead in ammunition and fishing equipment from regulation under the Toxic Substances Control Act;
    – Attempts to open up all federal lands for fishing, sport hunting, and recreational shooting;
    – Requires federal agencies to lease or permit use of federal public land for toxic shooting ranges;
    – Exempts all National Wildlife Refuge management decisions from review and public disclosure under the National Environmental Policy Act;
    – Authorizes non-compatible uses in federal wilderness areas, such as mechanized equipment and construction of temporary roads and permanent structures;
    – Allows the import of polar bear “trophies” from Canada

    Also tacked onto the bill:
    – Preventing the National Park Service from restricting or managing motorized boats in sensitive areas of the Ozark National Scenic Riverway in Missouri;
    – Overturning a Forest Service decision to end the use of dogs for deer hunting in the Kisatchie National Forest in Louisiana;

    An amendment by DeFazio (D-OR) to strike the National Environmental Policy Act waivers in the bill failed. An amendment by Holt (D-NJ) to have the Secretary of the Interior consider climate change when making decisions related to recreation and conservation on public lands failed.

    We do not yet know when this will be before the Senate, but please contact your Senators and ask them to oppose the “Sportsmen’s Heritage Act.” The Senate rejected a similar version of this bill passed by the House last year.

    More info on our Get The Lead Out campaign at http://www.GetTheLeadOut.org

    Call your senators

    • WM says:


      It is interesting that Section 804 of this Act directly addresses several of the issues we have recently talked about regarding the underlying legal issues of the IDFG trapper efforts in the Frank – specifically it calls out the requirement that federal agencies in their PLANNING efforts to coordinate with state wildlife agencies and “facilitate” the use of federal lands (including designated Wilderness) that supports recreational fishing, hunting and shooting.

      So, if this thing passes, we may expect “adjustments” to forest and wilderness management plans which would likely make it clear a state wildlife agency could do focused wolf management control actions using a trapper (if this wasn’t already permissible under existing statutes).

      And, it would exclude such forest/wilderness plans as any sort of major federal action significantly affecting the human environment, thus taking such decisions outside the review of NEPA (also one of the causes of action in the IDFG trapper wolf removal effort).

      One has to wonder whether the litigation is running a parallel path to this legislative proposal, or whether it was intended to give a real life example of how things MAY BE if allowed by the courts under current law, or how they definitely WOULD BE under this proposed legislation. Or, it just could be coincidence.

      I wonder if Ralph or Ken could share light on this?

      • Louise Kane says:

        Everything about this and other versions of the “Sportsman Heritage Act” I detest, but preventing NEPA review and allowing non compatible uses in Wilderness areas really piss me off. Its outrageous that out of our congressmen… it seems only DeFazio worked to strike the NEPA provision and it still passed. This sportsman heritage act, and its many prior iterations seems to elevate the status and rights of gun owners, hunters, trappers and wildlife extraction industries at the expense of others while hiding behind the “cultural tradition” argument. I’m scared every time I see legislation whose tenants are based in some pseudo patriotic or cultural ethos that’s been mangled by its creator. These laws often come with a pretty hefty price tag for others and in this instance for wilderness and for wild animals. It seems that creating an elevated status for these people and activities means trumping/bypassing other laws and encumbering future generations with bad and destructive policies. The intent reeks of the same nefarious logic behind the Patriot act, cry patriot, cry american, cry cultural heritage and do exactly the opposite of what a true democracy would embrace. I hate this as much as I hate that gun control laws, even for semi automatic weapons can not be advanced for the reason that its acceptable to use these weapons on wild animals and therefore restricting them would be a restriction on a cultural tradition. The stranglehold that gun lobbies have on legislators is disgraceful. This Sportsman Heritage Act is equally disgraceful.

      • Louise Kane says:

        “One has to wonder whether the litigation is running a parallel path to this legislative proposal, or whether it was intended to give a real life example of how things MAY BE if allowed by the courts under current law, or how they definitely WOULD BE under this proposed legislation. Or, it just could be coincidence.”

        considering the prior attempts and versions of this proposed legislation it seems more like a trend than coincidence……

      • Louise Kane says:

        PS interesting comments WM.

  60. Louise Kane says:


    some better news
    state considers ban on wildlife killing contests! Finally, That these barbaric events are legal in 2014 speaks leagues about the power of the gun and trophy hunting industries as well as why we see rampant violence in this country. It’s about time that people demand an end to killing contests. What a relief to see the commissioner’s comments. Are there no other states with the common sense and decency to ban these horrific events?

    • Elk375 says:


      ++ speaks leagues about the power of the gun and trophy hunting industries++

      You should be in Las Vergas today. The SCI is having there annual convention and you would see first hand the power of the gun and trophy hunting industries. It is one of Las Vergas’s biggest shows.

      • Louise Kane says:

        at least we agree on something….

        possibly where we disagree….money and power do not equate to good, humane, defensible policy. With those lobbies they have created some very destructive and indefensible policies, IMHO

  61. Peter Kiermeir says:

    PETA says no to Bigfoot hunting
    “We don’t acknowledge that one exists. But if you wanted to shoot and kill a Bigfoot in the state of Texas, you would just need a hunting license,” Major Larry Young, game warden with Texas Parks and Wildlife, said Tuesday.

  62. Kathleen says:

    Scary stuff: This chemical compound was banned in 1978.

    “Record levels of banned insecticide found in Illinois otters”

    Excerpt: “…highest concentrations of dieldrin ever reported in otters anywhere in the United States…

    Dieldrin is one of the organochlorine insecticides banned in 1978. More than three decades later, high levels of the chemicals remain in river sediments and accumulate in the fish…

    …linked to neurological, behavioral and immune-suppression problems in wildlife. Scientific studies disagree on adverse human effects, but some studies have linked dieldrin to asthma, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and breast cancer…”


    • Mark L says:

      Hope nobody can trap otters in Illinois…that could get ugly if they go to a commercial outlet.

      • Kathleen says:

        From the same article:

        “The state’s first trapping season in many years ran from November 2012 until March 2013 and yielded about 2,000 otters, McCloud said. The current season will end March 31.”

        The worry, it seems, is about the contaminated fish that both otters and humans might eat.

  63. Larry Zuckerman says:

    looks like FWS’ peer-review of wolf delisting did not go quite as planned – public comment reopened – whoops!


    here is the independent science review of their flawed process:

    here is FWS press release:

  64. Harley says:

    More interesting stuff from the frozen midwest.


  65. Ida Lupines says:

    “The process was clean and the results were unequivocal,” said panel member Steven Courtney, a scientist at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis at the University of California in Santa Barbara. “The science used by the Fish and Wildlife Service concerning genetics and taxonomy of wolves was preliminary and currently not the best available science.”

  66. Immer Treue says:

    For the daffodils who were all over this. Might be a bit more to the story.


    • Barb Rupers says:

      Thanks Harley. I hope it gets used by wolves going to the island.

      Jack Baker’s first comment reminds me of some I have read elsewhere.

  67. Nancie Mccormish says:

    Scotland debates reintroducing wolves to the Highlands…


    • Ida Lupines says:

      I love the idea – and in our modern world, an enclosed preserve might be the only way to restore a semblance of a natural world, and to protect wolves from humans, as well as prevent the constant conflict of livestock depredation. Enclosed preserves in America might not be such a bad idea either, considering how disastrous delisting wolves has been. It’s not the most desirable way, but perhaps the only realistic way to protect wolves, if they aren’t under government protection.

      • Ida Lupines says:

        or I should say the constant accusations of livestock depredation, real or exaggerated.

        Reading this article, despite all of our technological and scientific advances, and our calls for reason over emotion, there are still irrational fears of wolves.

    • Harley says:

      Actually, for the British Isles, fear of wolves was not irrational, it was based on a very tarnished past with humans clashing with wolves. Read up on the history. It was fascinating. I think if wolves were re-introduced, it would go a long way in keeping the deer numbers down. That said, there would also, in my opinion, need to be some sort of control so that numbers did not swing the opposite way. I know everyone here likes to think that nature will keep itself in check, however, it didn’t work back in the 14th century and there are a LOT more variables in the 21st century. It’s interesting to note in what I read, wolves were not affected by island dwarfism which could have a negative affect on the native wildlife now like it did 600 years ago.

      anyway, just my two cents worth.

      • Ida Lupines says:

        What I meant was whatever happened back then, does not apply today. I know my history.

        • Ida Lupines says:

          Actually, even then, to carry fears from superstition, fables, stories and Christianity equating nature and certain animals with the devil is irrational by today’s standards. In fact, the pre-Christian animist beliefs of the Briish Isles were more in line with the Native American beliefs of the New World.

          Even in a book that was mentioned here, in the 21st century, there was a description of the wolf’s eyes in devil terms. Irrational and irresponsible.

          • Ida Lupines says:

            sorry, British Isles. Pre-Christian Celtic beliefs share a lot in common with Native American beliefs. Believe or not, they were a lot more incorporating of nature and wildlife, and a lot less destructive. All of our disregard for wilderness and wildlife, and placing humankind above all other life stems from Christian beliefs, IMO. We may not think we believe all that in today’s world, but it has left its mark in our legal system, morality and culture, and the founding of this country with the concept of manifest destiny.

            • Harley says:

              It would not be correct to equate Christian beliefs with ‘no regard’ for for wilderness and wildlife. While I know it is your humble opinion, I would be bold to say it is an incorrect one. Man was put above animals, this is what the Bible says however, that does not equate to ‘no regard’. We are to be stewards of the creation. Stewards should have every regard for wilderness and wildlife, without putting an animal’s welfare before a human’s.

              Sorry but it kinda bugs me when Christians get labeled as such. Same as labeling Christians as gay bashers and haters.

              • Harley says:

                I find it interesting that the wolves did not follow the Island dwarfism like other species. I wonder why? Wolves in the south are much smaller than wolves in Canada, maybe due to the climate and the climate in the Isles can be pretty harsh. Hmm… Other speculations are very welcome!

              • Harley says:

                To add to that, it’s obvious that the wolves of Isle Royale are much smaller than their mainland counterparts, based on the larger grey animals that, it was speculated, crossed over to the island from the mainland a couple of years ago.

              • Ida Lupines says:

                I’m sorry you feel that way, but it is my opinion. I’d hardly call deforesting and the en masse killing off native wildlife good stewardship. We are not stewards. I don’t look at humanity with gauze over my lens.

              • Harley says:

                Agree to disagree! I can handle that. Any speculation on the dwarfism part?

              • Ida Lupines says:

                No, I don’t know about the dwarfism. I don’t know if it is significant either? It’s another way to say the wolves were big and bad (200 lb. Candians)? Old beliefs die hard! Agriculture and wolves don’t mix, but it is unethical to wipe them out. Since we are the self-proclaimed highest form of intelligent life on earth, we should be able to come up with a better idea, especially in modern times.

                I was raised a Christian also, but all I am saying is that certain tenets have established themselves in our modern culture. It isn’t hating to be objective about the things that we have been taught. Nobody is putting an animal’s welfare over a human’s (God forbid) but we don’t have to view them as objects without feeling either.

              • Ida Lupines says:

                A good discussion, I’m not saying I’m right, just stating an opinion.

                More interesting stuff:

                Although the Irish had long hunted wolves, it is evident from documentary data that they did not see the same need to exterminate them as the English did. Even though wolves were perceived as threats, they were nonetheless seen as natural parts of the Irish landscapes. The bulk of anti-wolf legislation occurred during the decade following the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland. A number of writers from this time period suggest that as a result of ongoing military campaigns in Ireland, particularly the Cromwellian wars 1641-1652 and the devastation of much of the country, wolf numbers were on the increase.

                Wolves in Ireland

              • Harley says:

                well, I would think it would be significant because a larger predator would eat itself out of house and home with a significantly smaller prey base, that kinda sorta makes sense to me. I said nothing about the controversy out west, nor was I even eluding to it. I’m of the opinion the large wolves don’t just stay north of the line between Canada and the U.S. and would have eventually, if they hadn’t already, moved their way south. That’s just my opinion of course. I just found it interesting, the whole size thing.

                As for the other, I’m not here to debate theology or philosophy. I just thought I would present to you an ‘opinion’ that perhaps you had not thought of. I see you’ve thought of it and dismissed it and I’m perfectly fine with that! If that means I have a veil over my eyes, well, I guess I can live with that too. I have to walk in my shoes, not you.

              • Harley says:

                Huh, that’s very interesting! But then again lol not a surprise since the Irish and English could never get along! LOL!

              • Ida Lupines says:

                oops, that wasn’t a good link:

                Wolves in Ireland

                I don’t dismiss the apparent lack of island dwarfism, it’s just that I don’t know, but maybe prey was very abundant before human agriculture swept the land? I wonder if one of our biologists would have a theory. It sounds like a very bleak period in time.

  68. Nancie Mccormish says:

    New peer-reviewed article on equine nativity and ecosystem resotoration:



    The Horse and Burro as Positively Contributing Returned Natives in North America

    Pages: 5-23 | Full PDF Paper | DOI: 10.11648/j.ajls.20140201.12

    Craig C. Downer, Andean Tapir Fund, P.O. Box 456, Minden, NV 89423-0456 USA

    To cite this article
    Craig C. Downer, The Horse and Burro as Positively Contributing Returned Natives in North America, American Journal of Life Sciences. Vol. 2, No. 1, 2014, pp. 5-23. doi: 10.11648/j.ajls.20140201.12

    Since the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, debate has raged over whether horses and burros are restored North American natives. Fossil, genetic and archeological evidence supports these species as native. Also, objective evaluations of their respective ecological niches and the mutual symbioses of post-gastric digesting, semi-nomadic equids support wild horses and burros as restorers of certain extensive North American ecosystems. A Reserve Design strategy is proposed to establish naturally self-stabilizing equine populations that are allowed to harmoniously adapt over generations within their bounded and complete habitats. These populations should meet rigid standards for viability based on IUCN SSC assessments (2,500 individuals). Basic requirements are described for successful Reserve Design including viable habitat as well as specific regions of North America where this could be implemented.

    • rork says:

      Peer reviewed is laughable if you read the article.
      May as well propose that we recreate and rewild mammoths, except for this: we’ve got over 10 million horses in north america (and don’t need feral ones) whereas mammoths are currently not common.
      Let folks who care about the ecology be clear that having wild horses on public land is something only our enemies favor. To do otherwise discredits us, and lets others label our groups as insane.

    • Yvette says:

      I had to send a ‘shout-out’ to my WA family on this one. I’m guessing this initiated from the more conservative, agricultral Eastern side of the state. Hopefully, this will fail. I don’t see this going over well in Washington.

    • jon says:

      If the bill makes it to Governor Inslee, I hope he vetoes it. He is a democrat and he gets a very high score by the humane society on animal rights issues. I am sick and tired of these extremists on the right trying to overturn the will of the voters who voted to ban hound hunting of cougars in 1996. They are trying to do the same thing in Oregon.

  69. jon says:


    Older articles, but still good none the less. This article talks about how the rural anti-wildlife extremists will become a minority in the near future in Idaho.

    “Though Hurlock lost, Otter’s decision to fight for her nomination is yet another sign of change in a state where cities are growing far faster than rural precincts and folks born outside Idaho outnumber the native-born.”


    “Faced with those financial realities the Fish and Game Commission has a choice: Do they become a leaner agency devoted to hunters and anglers — and the 17 percent of Idahoans who want the agency to manage only the species that hunters and anglers kill?

    Or does the agency appeal to the more than 90 percent of Idahoans who told a F&G poll that they support Idaho wildlife beyond just hunting and fishing opportunities.”

    • Ida Lupines says:

      I worry tho that too much of a modern mindset will create nothing but recreation, resorts, big homes and photo-ops and habituated wildlife. There has to be places that are left ‘untrammeled’.

      We can see it with our Interior Secretary, the former CEO of an outdoor recreation gear company, where the only important thing seems to be people’s enjoyment and use, not preservation in and of itself. People don’t seem to get that concept, or only have a superficial understanding of it. There are a lot of good things about rural life.

      Not once in this Administration has wildlife protection ever been mentioned. I don’t consider constant talk of energy ‘green’, it’s energy that is destroying the environment, the exact opposite.

      • Nancie Mccormish says:

        Ida, great comments here. SJ is no gem, for sure and someplace I found she recently garnered over $1million in bonus $ from REI, I think I posted that link elsewhere on this site.
        It seems rural life itself is an endangered species as we turn our country into only slightly different theme parks and windshield experiences.

        • Elk375 says:

          Is rural life endangered or are large tracts of private lands becoming estates, lordships and duchies of landed gentry that made there money in oil or wall street. The smaller tracts 10 to 20 acres will be the home of the new serfs happy with their paycheck and heath insurance. It is happening all over Montana, the latest is the Dana Ranch near Cascade, Montana with more to come.

  70. Kathleen says:

    Service Manufactures Scientific Studies to Support Politically Negotiated Deals”

    Excerpt: Washington, DC — This was an exceptionally tough week for the scientific reputation of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). On Friday, FWS had to release findings from a specially convened independent peer review panel panning its plan to remove federal protections from the gray wolf. A day earlier, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) posted an internal investigation confirming that senior FWS officials overrode their experts to significantly shrink the range of the American burying beetle (ABB), a critically endangered species in the path of the proposed XL pipeline.


    • Louise Kane says:

      I was just reading this…its very disturbing but has been obvious unfortunately

  71. CodyCoyote says:

    Monday February 10
    Sitting here listening to Wyoming Governor Matt Mead’s ” State of the State ” address to the Wyoming Legislature, a budget session.

    As he was going down thru his bullet list of budgetary priorities, he mentioned he submitted a request for a very significant increase in PREDATOR CONTROL FUNDING.

    I’m betting that provision will fly thru the Wyoming Lej.

    ( No specifics yet )

  72. White Pine says:

    Bad news for the Red Wolves of NC.


    Very sad story.

  73. WM says:

    Keystone Pipeline:

    Here is some food for thought – although the messenger is about as disgusting as it can get (And by the way, Ted Cruz is a VERY smart guy academically and R Party savvy, so don’t sell him short).


  74. Ida Lupines says:

    Just a cute little side note and something I didn’t know:

    I happened to be watching the Westminster Dog Show last night, and guess which breed is the closest relative to the wolf, according to DNA studies?

    The Tibetan Llasa Apso!

  75. Ida Lupines says:

    <a href=The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History

    The Spine of the Continent

  76. Ida Lupines says:

    oops that first one didn’t work:

    The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History

  77. Ralph Maughan says:

    Yesterday the Idaho Department of Fish and Game released its predator management plan for the Middle Fork area of the Frank Church Wilderness.

    The plan details IDFG’s intentions regarding wolf removal in the Middle Fork area. Specifically, it makes clear IDFG’s intention to reduce the wolf population in that area by 60% through several successive years of professional hunting and trapping efforts in order to inflate the local elk population.

    The plan is available for review here: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/wildlife/planMiddleForkPredation.pdf. It is a download.

    • bret says:

      Washington wolverine with an attitude

    • Louise Kane says:

      Exactly how reliable are Idaho and Montana wolf counts? When seeing plans such as this I ask myself how does the USFWS excuse themselves from their 5 year monitoring requirements? Perhaps a batter tact to take to protect wolves would be for some of the scientists dedicated to wolf studies to work together to understand how these hunts are truly impacting wolf populations and also challenge that “gold standard” for all wolf recovery the 150 wolves per state…..

      • Louise Kane says:

        From the IDFG report

        “Radio-telemetry, non-invasive genetic sampling, hunter observation and harvest information (e.g., location and number observed by hunters, location and age-class data obtained from harvested wolves) provide insight into pack activity in the MFZ. Based on this information, IDFG has documented 6 to 8 resident packs in the MFZ in recent years (2008 – 2012), and an additional 2-3 packs whose territories include significant area within the MFZ (Fig. 4). However, additional packs that have not been detected may use the MFZ, and annual minimum population estimates generated for such a vast and remote back-country area should be treated as conservative estimates.”

        I wonder that IDFG uses hunter observations? It seems questionable to trust this source of information in population estimates when the guides and hunters seem to constantly complain that the wolves, “ate all our elk or that now wolves are everywhere” Really sad that in a wilderness area a couple of packs of wolves can’t eek out an existence without being targeted for extermination. Its heartbreaking that the USFWS is a complicit partner.

        • Louise Kane says:

          and the report says that estimates using these methods should be considered conservative.

          I always wonder about the efficacy and accuracy of using dead animals to predict understand living populations. I think that was tried in fishery models …..and oh wait …..the ground fish stocks are commercially dead in the Gerorges Banks and north east now.

  78. Yvette says:

    It looks like Animal Welfare Institute is suing the state of North Carolina. Read the details on this blog.


    It sounds like this may be an example where the wildlife management paradigm is failing wildlife. NC allowed night time hunting with spotlights and day time hunting of coyotes in the red wolf recovery area. Since 2008, 10% of the red wolf population has been killed each year.

  79. Larry Zuckerman says:

    congress is still trying to tinker with ESA – here is their report:


    • Ida Lupines says:

      Just imagine if there was no ESA or one that was amended to “reflect societal needs of the 21st century”, proposed by that task force representing a “broad geographical range of the United States” (which is basically the West and the South, the Northeast totally absent). These animals would be gone – they are in dire straits already.

  80. Immer Treue says:

    More news out of Wisconsin.

    Father and son charged with poisoning bald eagles and other wildlife, and guess why?


    One must wonder how often and how widespread this practice is. No excuse whatsoever, and penalties should be ‘robust’!

    • Ida Lupines says:

      Carbofuran is soluble in water and has a moderately lengthy soil half-life (3-60 days). It is therefore expected to have a high potential for groundwater contamination.

      We have to better regulate who can have access to these poisons – some can even be bought at the hardware store, like rat poisons. In our modern world, we cannot afford damage to the environment and wildlife on top of what has already been done in the past.

    • Yvette says:

      I couldn’t access the jsonline link, but found a similar article.

      It says they’ve been charged and face ‘up to one year in jail’ along with the $100,000 fine.

      I think that is far too light of a sentence given the damage done. “During a search on May 12, 2010, at seven locations on the Sowinski property in Sugar Camp, investigators found one bald eagle, 21 crows and ravens, four coyotes, one hawk, two songbirds, one weasel and two small unidentified mammals.”

      That is only what was found on that particular day.

      Read more: http://host.madison.com/news/local/crime_and_courts/father-and-son-farmers-face-charges-after-poisoned-bald-eagles/article_4164ac05-03e0-5a27-a7ba-6a5cc3fbbf79.html#ixzz2tDZSJlkQ

    • Mark L says:

      Isn’t there an insurance commercial encouraging the use of kitty litter for cars stuck in snow? Ever wonder where all that used litter goes with those chunks? So essentially cat hunting coyotes are trying their damndest to help the beluga whales (indirectly) but are being prevented by humans. Who knew they were eco-heroes?

      • Yvette says:

        So you think they’re using soiled litter to cart around in the cars in the event of getting stuck in the snow?

        Coyotes aren’t preying on cats that use the litter box…..for the most part. They prey on outside cats, which use the dirt and bury their scat.

        • Mark L says:

          The kitty litter part was a joke (apparently a poor one). The point I am making is that the litter isn’t the issue at all, its the poop (the only way humans even care is through the litter issue) of cats. Had people not been infected also, this may be a mystery, for the most part. Few could predict large amounts of cat poop having this effect, but it does make sense after some thought.

          • Yvette says:

            Mark L, I was just razzing you. Guess my joke failed, too. 😉 I read this news earlier and just hate it. I am a true cat lover; have been as far back as I can remember. I obviously love wildlife, too.

            I think I would need to read the study before I jump to too many conclusions. I think it’s likely it does somehow come from cats, but I’d need to know more about the carriers other than domestic cats (are there any?) lifecycle and other pertinent info about toxiplasmosis. However, many things are carried through the watersheds and finally end up in the oceans.

  81. WM says:

    Here is something most of us can applaud. Doc Hastings (R- Eastern WA), House Chair of the Natural Resources Committee, has decided not to seek another term. The seat will remain conservative R (bordering on redneck reactionary, regardless of who gets the nod from the R power structure).


    However, this just might boost Cynthia Lummis, as the current Vice Chair of that Committee. And, Hastings leaves a legacy of disdain for the ESA, and other conservation/environmental statutes. Also anticipate he isn’t done yet as long as he occupies this Congressional seat. Here is their recently released report on the ESA (as Larry Zuckerman previously noted above – pay attention to the swipes they take at CBD and Defenders for all the litigation under the Act):


    • WM says:


      So George Monbiot, British environmental rewilding activist, summarizes the effects of reintroducing wolves to Yellowstone. First he applauds terrestrial trophic cascade (the alleged effects of which are still mostly not proven to the degree asserted). Then Monbiot speaks of the “deer” which were in overabundance in Yellowstone at the time of wolf reintroduction. At least you could hope he gets the prey species right – elk, even if he goes beyond what science suggests may or may not be regarding trophic cascade.

      • JEFF E says:

        in britan they are called deer as in “red deer”

        • WM says:

          Yes, and I have seen them there. Though if Monbiot is going to talk about American ecosystems as examples he needs to get the nomenclature right. He calls them red deer (OK), then he talks about wolves killing calves (OK, but when referring to red deer in Britain it is my understanding they stay with the term “fawns.”) He even shortcuts the beaver reintroduction by the FS outside the Park/repopulation part too. And, he oversimplifies the coyote reduction (which turns out was temporary mostly according to Dr. Mech). Then rivers changed course in Yellowstone because of the wolves.

          Wow! His conclusion: “Wolves in Yellowstone changed the physical geography of the land.”

          Rewilding is a great concept, but should be factual, and not be oversold in Yellowstone, or in Europe.

          • WM says:

            Sorry. If, he calls them (red) “deer”…..

            • Louise Kane says:

              I posted that link without comment….its not a new or unfounded concept WM why so up in arms

          • rork says:

            In US, we call elk moose, and our red deer elk, vultures buzzards (from bustard = buteos), and various falcons (already well known in Europe)this or that kind of hawk. When I talk to German hunters they never know what to call our animals. I cut them slack. I say “unserer hirsch” to help them.

    • Kathleen says:

      The Rewilding Institute has shared this, just FYI for anyone interested:

      “A few weeks ago Dave Parsons, TRI’s Carnivore Conservation Biologist, gave a lecture in Santa Fe for a program called Science Cafe for Young Thinkers sponsored by the Santa Fe Alliance for Science. The lecture is about wolf ecology and trophic cascades explained at a high school level.” – See more at:


      • Ida Lupines says:

        Thank you, very impressive, especially ‘the case of the missing trees’!

        Why do people continue to resist these concepts? “Restoration of wolves and Mountain Lions to as much of the North American continent as possible” (Terborgh 2005). Hear that, U.S. Fish & Wildlife? No postage stamp-sized habitats!

        • Ida Lupines says:

          sorry, that should read ‘practical’.

          ‘Restoration of wolves and mountain lions to as much of the North American continent as practical’.

  82. Louise Kane says:


    state of california commissioners agree to consider ban on killing contests. If this is passed, what an accomplishment. There is no defensible argument to allow killing contests of any animal. Thanks Project Coyote and others like Predator Defense who’ve worked so hard over the years to stop these events.

  83. Louise Kane says:


    one for the birds

    The article states that death may have been contributed by lack of seeking medical attention???? I wondered at first if this was true as its hard to believe someone could be so stupid but it appears to be.

    • Sid says:

      They will usually attache razor sharp blades to the Roosters spurs for fighting so if it jumped up and cut you in the neck, you could easily be killed…

  84. Kathleen says:

    The beat goes on. Sheep are involved.

    “Little Red Riding Hood Beheads Wolves in ‘Mafia Warning’ to Animal Rights Groups”


    • bret says:

      State fishery managers unveiled surprisingly large Columbia River chinook forecasts Friday, yet another indication that there could be a landmark return of nearly 3 million chinook and coho.

      “It is a mind-boggling forecast, and the largest fall chinook return since at least 1938


      • Ida Lupines says:

        Wow, that’s great news!

      • WM says:

        This would be in contrast to the rather dismal winter steelhead runs on the Columbia and Olympic Peninsula thus far.

      • rork says:

        I’ll be on the Hanford reach again in Sep.
        Many articles from late last year talking about numbers of chinook caught, but none tally fish by size or sex. It’s a touchy issue, so I think fish managers don’t want to say, except to say how great it all is. Maybe a few true adults will manage to get upstream before Oct this year. To repeat my concern: 8inch gill nets may be removing all the large adults that return at the usual time, so we catch 90% male superjacks, and are concerned about selecting against early run fish. Most fish were hatchery, and if there are enough, I guess anglers won’t care about how the wild genes are doing. I admit lack of fish over 25lb makes it less fun too, and that it’s hard to see a solution, short of buying the gill netters out.

  85. aves says:

    First fish (Oregon chub) to be removed from ESA due to recovery:


  86. snaildarter says:

    I have high hopes for the restored Elwha river, 110 miles of salmon run every little bit helps.


January 2014


‎"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