It is time to create a new page of “Interesting Wildlife News.”     Please put your wildlife news in the comments below.

Late May thundershowers over the Pocatello Range mountains. Copyright Ralph Maughan

Late May thundershowers over the Pocatello Range mountains. Copyright Ralph Maughan

Do not post copyrighted material, and here is the link to the “old” wildlife news of May 11, 2015.

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.

432 Responses to Do you have interesting wildlife news? June 2, 2015 edition

  1. Yvette says:

    I found this interesting, and even, hopeful. Extinction and bottleneck of species is something that is simply gut wrenching to me.

    There is verified evidence of parthenogenesis in the endangered smalltooth sawfish. These are not captive sawfish. They are wild. Pretty interesting.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      It’s amazing isn’t it? It’s something one would hope for. 🙂

    • Louise Kane says:

      Yvette I posted this awhile back. Like you, I was very disturbed by this. Humans impact species in such negative ways that we have shifted their age and size of sexual maturation, their fecundity, and in this instance created the need for the sawfish to reproduce via parthenogenesis. so troubling and awful

    • Yvette says:

      Nancy, did you see my posts on this back in December? I don’t remember if I attached the videos, but I’m pretty sure I did. They are a must see. It shows exactly what McCain and his cohorts have handed over to this foreign company.

      My blog has the two videos linked. One is only 11 minutes; the other is about 30 minutes and is more thorough.

  2. Louise Kane says:

    authorities kill Mexican wolf seen near people and chasing elk. When less than 100 of these animals exist you would think they might have taken more time to capture to preserve the DNA in the diminishing gene pool.

    • Linda Horn says:

      If this particular wolf truly is a problem, then it should darted and taken to the ABQ zoo for their breeding program. And who would lope a prey animal toward a predator? The “curious” are often foolish. Her horse wasn’t curious or foolish. It simply obeyed its instinct to survive.

  3. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Seems the Amur Tiger census in the far east of Russia is already completed and the (quote)
    „World Wide Fund for Nature is happy to report that the animal’s population has increased to as many as 540 individuals … all the key areas where WWF has been working for many years “This success is due to the commitment of Russia’s political leadership and the tireless dedication of rangers and conservationists in very difficult conditions.”

    One can only hope that they applied a methodology more reliable and reputable than that in India which lead to that sudden increase in population numbers!

    • Louise Kane says:

      the population at 540 individuals
      good that it is progress but man 540 tigers counted in the mid hundreds, that is a sad situation

    • WM says:

      +++ applause

      Ya just can’t fix stupid. Tourist ought to fined for wildlife harassment, and all medical and law enforcement emergency response costs should be assessed and paid before he goes back to Australia.

      • Nancy says:

        Agree WM 🙂

        I haven’t been to the park in a few years. Took my folks and they were amazed at just how close the park’s wildlife was to where traffic was coming and going and how many people would pile out of cars and “crowd” the wildlife.

        Maybe its time for the park to start looking at other ways to expose people to wildlife (with well over a million visits a year?)

        No doubt its a good thing to be able to come and see wildlife “up close and personal” but this kind of harassment (by humans) isn’t good.

        Would guess most of the wildlife – elk, deer, buffalo, even bears and wolves, are pretty well habituated close to roads and points of interest in Yellowstone Park but that kind of habituation gets wildlife shot in other areas of the west.

        Can you just imagine the dialogue?

        One buffalo to another:

        Hey, yeah, I can relate, he got in your face but ya didn’t have toss him THAT high and twice…. too boot”

      • Dawn Rehill says:

        True that !!

  4. Barb Rupers says:

    Ralph, that is a dramatic sky in the Pocatello Mountains; the foreground adds a contrast in brightness even with the cows and corn.

  5. Mareks Vilkins says:

    How a corporate cult captures and destroys our best graduates

    one can compare how this argument complements what NC is saying about smart CEOs who destroy environment & the future of grandchildren:

    “Q: If a moral and rational being from outer space was looking at all that you are describing do you think they would conclude that it is insane and immoral?

    NC: I think you have to distinguish between individual and institutional insanity, and stupidity for that matter. The individuals involved may be perfectly sane, but the institutional structure in which they are operating is insane. That is a fact. Institutional stupidity is much harder to get rid of than individual stupidity. And we are trapped in it. And in fact, we are now in a lethal trap. If we don’t get out of it soon, we will be gone.”

    • Mareks Vilkins says:

      Finance, management consultancy, advertising, public relations, lobbying: these and other useless occupations consume thousands of the brightest students. To take such jobs at graduation, as many will in the next few weeks, is to amputate life close to its base.

      I have come to see the obscene hours some new recruits must work – sometimes 15 or 16 a day – as a form of reorientation, of brainwashing. You are deprived of the time, sleep and energy you need to see past the place into which you have been plunged. You lose your bearings, your attachments to the world you inhabited before, and become immersed in the culture that surrounds you. Two years of this and many are lost for life.

      Recruitment begins with lovebombing of the kind that cults use …. They offer security and recognition when people are most uncertain and fearful about their future … Entrapment is a refined science.

      As far as self-direction, autonomy and social utility are concerned, many of those who enter these industries and never re-emerge might as well have locked themselves in a cell at graduation. They lost it all with one false step, taken at a unique moment of freedom.

  6. Mareks Vilkins says:

    interesting thought experiment:

    Chinese Students Learn That British Democracy isn’t all They Thought It Was

    UK Election: the View from China

    Once all votes had been successfully registered, I found that their choices were markedly different to the UK electorate’s.

    In every class the Greens were the winners, usually by a landslide, with the students telling me (with varying degrees of fluency) that they liked the ten- pound per hour living wage paid for by taxing large firms. They also thought the environment should play a big role in government decision-making.

    …on the board I showed them the percentage of votes that each of the main parties had gained in the UK election. They were mightily surprised to see that the Greens had fared so badly. However they were more surprised when I showed them the parliamentary seats each party had won.

    Once they saw that the Conservatives had translated 36.9% of the popular vote into 331 seats, yet Labour’s 30.4% equated to only 232 seats, the more observant students saw that something didn’t quite add up. For the rest it was left to the apparently third-placed party to really let the absurdity of the British voting system sink in, as 12.6% of the vote had translated into only one parliamentary seat

    That the ‘fourth-placed’ party had gained eight times that number of seats turned many shocked expressions into bemused ones. And that the Greens had won just one seat, seemed to sadden many. I further deflated them by letting them know that the voter turnout of 66% meant that only about 25% of the voting-age UK population had voted for the ‘nasty party’, but that they now enjoy a clear parliamentary majority. And so the unwitting lesson in British democracy ended on a sour note and, I’m sure, most of the students went back to the Chinese world about them filled not with the hope of one day achieving democracy, but rather with the determination of staving it off.

    • WM says:


      Maybe better to use the entire quote:

      ++In every class the Greens were the winners, usually by a landslide, with the students telling me (with varying degrees of fluency) that they liked the ten- pound per hour living wage paid for by taxing large firms. They also thought the environment should play a big role in government decision-making. ++

      Two take-away points from that quote. Optimism of the socialist kind – get guaranteed wage paid by someone else. Put environmental values front and center and for the government to protect.

      Then reality sets in. Someone has to make the goods and provide the services that create the profitability to produce the pay to pay the wages (or the taxes in the case of public workers) that everyone seems to want to support their desire for the 10 pound wage. So, how does that happen – the environment concerns go out the window. China is the prime example. Maybe these persons polled should just stay home, rather than going to Britain or elsewhere for more education, so many of them can come back, wanting the dream of “being rich, and now all the better equipped to extract profits from businesses, which of course includes suppressing wages for workers and prostrating the environment in the process.

      • Mareks Vilkins says:

        Then reality sets in.

        for you it hasn’t set in yet.

        Red Innovation

        Investments pushing the frontiers of scientific knowledge are just too risky. The advances sought may not be forthcoming. Those that do occur may not ever be commercially viable. Any potentially profitable results that do arise may take decades to make any money. And when they finally do, there are no guarantees initial investors will appropriate most of the resulting windfall.

        There is, accordingly, a powerful tendency for private capital to systematically underinvest in long-term research and development. Despite popular perceptions that private entrepreneurs drive technological innovation, the leading regions of the global economy do not leave the most important stages of technological change to private investors. These costs are socialized.

        • Mareks Vilkins says:


          The Idaho Connection

          And it continues — I will just give one last example. Here is a front page story in the New York Times on an ‘economic miracle’ in the United States. They describe ‘the prosperous new economy’ in ‘the nation’s most Republican state,’ with its ‘deep-seated distrust of the Federal Government’ and its ‘tradition of self-reliance,’ it happens to be Idaho.33 They point out, as is conventional, that there is down-side to the economic miracles: Idaho also breaks national records in child-abuse and imprisonment; the unions have been wiped out; reading scores are going down, and so on. But it’s a prosperous new economy, and the most Republican state, and so on. From the article we don’t learn anything about the economic miracle, so you look elsewhere. For example, you can look at the publications of the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Lab. This is a national laboratory, managed by the Department of Energy, jointly with the Lockheed-Martin corporation — that’s the private contribution symbolising self-reliance and distrust of the federal government. The publication opens by saying, ‘Americans have made a huge investment in the Idaho National Laboratory’ since it was founded in 1949 to bring us nuclear energy and a nuclear navy. Last year the Department of Energy put $850 million into this single site, which is the ‘premier engineering lab in the DOE system of national laboratories.’ Its mission is to ‘move federally developed technologies into private industry and academia.’34

          In academia, research and development is also federally funded, very substantially; its role is a kind of funnel for transferring public funds into private profits. Notice the phrase, ‘move federally developed technologies into private industry.’ That’s the role of the government in a free-enterprise economy. In the Idaho DOE lab, it’s not only nuclear energy; it’s also radio-active waste disposal, chemical processing, ‘the world’s most sophisticated materials and testing complex,’ a ‘rapid-tooling technology’ laboratory that should ‘revolutionise the way automobiles and other products are built’, after the tax-payer gifts are handed over to the private sector, a supercomputer centre to ensure that the United States stays at the forefront of computer development. To help out on that, the Clinton administration recently slapped a huge tariff on Japanese supercomputers which were undercutting the US ones — a magnificent contribution to free trade. The Clinton administration’s moves of that sort — tariff interventions — range from supercomputers to Mexican tomatoes, which were banned (technically, by threat, so a tariff was unnecessary), because they were preferred by American consumers, they pointed out.35



          • Mareks Vilkins says:


            These polls demonstrate that most working-class Americans understand which government policies would serve our interests and that a strong majority of Americans are far more left-wing than the corporate media portrays us. These polls show that the vast majority of ordinary Americans are not represented by either the Republican or Democratic Party. Politicians usually take conservative stances to gain support not from the majority of voters but rather from wealthy donors, corporations, and the media.

             65% of Americans would “rather President Obama and Congress focus on job creation than deficit reduction.”
            (CNN/Opinion Research poll, Sept. 2011)

            72% of Americans “favor raising taxes on those making more than $250,000/year to cut the deficit.”
            (Washington Post-ABC poll, July 2011)

            78% of Americans “oppose cutting spending on Medicare, the government health insurance program for the elderly, to reduce the national debt.”
            (Washington Post-ABC poll, April 2011) 

            Americans were asked: “To balance the federal budget, which of the following would be the first step you would take?” They responded:
            61% Tax the rich
            20% Cut the military
            4% Cut Medicare
            3% Cut Social Security
            (60 Minutes/Vanity Fair poll, Jan. 2011)

            78% of Americans want “universal healthcare.”  59% support a “national health insurance program similar to Medicare, but covering everyone.”
            (CBS/New York Times poll, Feb. 2009)

            67% support raising the minimum wage to at least $10/hour.
            (Public Religion Research Institute, June 2010) 

            68% think the government “must do more to hold corporations accountable for their pollution.”
            (NRDC poll, Aug. 2010) 

            66% “oppose the U.S. war in Iraq.”
            (Jan. 2011) 

            58% think “the U.S. should not be fighting the war in Afghanistan now.”
            (Aug. 2011) 

            53% believe “same-sex marriage should be recognized by the law as valid, with the same rights as traditional marriages.”
            (Gallup poll, May 2011) 

            The percent of Americans who think “the country has gotten pretty seriously off on the wrong track” has risen to 77%.
            (ABC News/Washington Post poll, Sept. 2011) 

            67% of Americans think “corporations, banks, and financial institutions have too much power,” and 71% think “lobbyists have too much power.”
            (Gallup poll, March 2011) 

            Bush’s job approval rating peaked at 90% right after 9/11 but eventually slumped to 22%, and he left office as one of the most hated presidents in U.S. history.
            (Feb. 2009)

            60% of Americans believe “Obama has paid more attention” to the needs of banks than to “the problems faced by middle-class Americans.”
            (CNN poll, Jan. 2010) 

            Congress’s approval rating has collapsed to an historic low of 12%.
            (New York Times/CBS poll, Sept. 2011) 

            58% “think the Republicans and Democrats do such a poor job of representing the people that a third party is needed.”
            (USA Today Gallup Poll, Aug. 2010) 

            The highest number of voters in history are registered as independents, 34%.
            (Rasmussen Reports, Aug. 2011)

            Only 52% of Americans react favorably to the word “capitalism,” while 29% react favorably to the word “socialism.” Among 18-30 year olds, supporters of socialism and capitalism are evenly divided at 43% each! Support for socialism is dramatically higher among women, blacks, and people who make less than $30,000/year. Interest in socialism has grown since the economic crisis began in 2008 in spite of the constant barrage of propaganda against socialism from the media and politicians.
            (Pew Research Center poll, May 2010) 

            • Mareks Vilkins says:


              In 2013, China led the world in renewable energy production, with a total capacity of 378 GW, mainly from hydroelectric and wind power. As of 2014, China leads the world in the production and use of wind power, solar photovoltaic power and smart grid technologies, generating almost as much water, wind and solar energy as all of France and Germany’s power plants combined. China’s renewable energy sector is growing faster than its fossil fuels and nuclear power capacity. Since 2005, production of solar cells in China has expanded 100-fold. As Chinese renewable manufacturing has grown, the costs of renewable energy technologies have dropped dramatically.

              • Mareks Vilkins says:


                According to The Global Status Report, which was released earlier this month by the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century, China once again led the rest of the world in renewable energy investment in 2013, spending a total of $56.3 billion on wind, solar and other renewable projects. The report stated that China accounted for 61 percent of the total investment in renewables by developing countries, and that China invested more in renewable energy than all of Europe last year.

                China’s continued commitment to renewable energy investment is all the more striking because it came in the face of a global decline in renewable energy investment. In 2013, global new investment in renewable power and fuels was approximately $214.4 billion, down 14 percent compared to 2012, and 23 percent lower than the record high in 2011. By way of contrast, China has increased its investment in renewables nearly every year for the past ten years. New renewable power capacity surpassed new fossil fuel and nuclear capacity in China for the first time in 2013. China is now home to about 24 percent of the world’s renewable power capacity, including an estimated 260 gigawatts of hydropower.

                China’s renewable energy investment is part of its 12th Five-Year Plan for Economic and Social Development, which calls for the country to spend $473.1 billion on clean energy investments from 2011 to 2015. China’s goal is to have 20 percent of its total energy demand sourced from renewable energy by 2020.

                • Mareks Vilkins says:


                  China’s investment in “clean” energy, including renewables and efficiency improvements, rose 32 per cent to a record $89.5bn, with about three quarters of that going into wind and solar power.

                  High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email to buy additional rights.

                  The US was in second place with 8 per cent growth to $51.8bn, the largest amount since 2012. Its investment was about 58 per cent of China’s.

                  China last year accounted for 29 per cent of all global investment in clean energy, and is expected to remain the global leader.

                • Mareks Vilkins says:

                  Seattle Restaurant Data Demolishes Conservative Argument Against $15 Minimum Wage

                  Ask This State Whether A Higher Minimum Wage Kills Jobs

                • WM says:


                  It is really too early to tell what effect the $15 minimum wage in Seattle will do. It is only weeks into implementation, though there is price creep in everything from restaurant menus, and attendant based parking to dry-cleaning. Museum entrance fees and movies will likely jump in the near future. Rents are already on the rise, in part because those on the lower end are now able to pay more. Some call this inflation – at least I do. And, the next round will be those who were making $15 and worth it are wanting $20 just to keep the spread.

                  In short, the jury is still out on this economic/social experiment.

                • WM says:

                  addendum to previous post:

                  The effects of the minimum wage might no hit everyone. There are lots of new high tech jobs with Google, Amazon, Expedia and some others adding lots of new young cash-flush workers. Things will be fine for them as long as the paychecks keep coming. The rest of WA is not doing so good, nor are the aging baby boomers (age 60 plus)who have had costs increase against fixed incomes. So much of the middle class is shrinking or leaving, what is now known as San Francisco north.

            • TC says:

              Too bad most of those Americans do not vote, and when they do vote, do not vote along those lines in local and state elections. Quoting what 18-30 year-olds think about anything is hilarious – there has never been a more disengaged generation in the political history of the US. We have one of the most conservative congresses in the history of this nation, and thus legislative gridlock. And nobody sees that changing anytime soon – if you think the “left” is going to win back the house or the senate in 2016 I have a bridge to nowhere to sell you. Citizens United changed the game, and winning constituents through fear-based propaganda is carrying the day. A game that conservatives play much better. Quoting empty survey numbers is fun. And not very meaningful in the here and now.

            • Louise Kane says:

              like to see polls on wildlife management.

              • Larry says:

                Louise Kane,
                You and I wouldn’t like what we would see from wildlife polls. Most people spend more time thinking about what to buy next from Amazon than what wildlife contributes to our quality of life.

          • WM says:

            Hey Mareks,

            Where do you think those tax dollars that fund the federal research like INEL come from? I guess Chomsky (with whom I often agree) missed that part, too. See my previous post.

            Let us not forget INEL is also a nuclear based facility. And, to be sure, there is a federal-industrial complex that includes some of the big industrial players. Lockheed-Martin, General Electric, Battelle (which has an incestuous relationship with the government and industry; inventor of the copper sandwich quarter, heads-up cockpit display, medical devices and nuclear fuel applications), Boeing, Westinghouse (now part of Northrup-Grumman),and bunch of other names I am sure would recognize even from far away Latvia. Also think the high tech folks at Microsoft who make the software that runs most of the personal and linked computers in the world. But then even some of these companies pay few federal taxes. However, their well-paid capitalist loving employees do, and it goes right back into the system. And, some want to bleed this off, to even out incomes for others. Great optimistic goal in theory, but in practice what will be the effect?

            The focus needs to be on tapping non-productive wealth that is siphoned off the federal-military industrial complex. It is these stock brokers and bank executive types on Wall St. and the big banking/venture capital guys that need to be taxed at higher rates. I should also mention that the “too big to fail” mentality is with us even stronger today, as those financial instutions that were on the brink are 30 percent larger than when they almost failed….uh, is there a problem here?

            • Mareks Vilkins says:

              many big industrial players get large chunks of their profits from investments in securities (Wall St etc) – so your ‘focus’ is misplaced one.

              in short, the melody/tune is the same – socialize costs and privatize profits (and don’t pay taxes)

              40% of Today’s Top Paid CEO’s Drove a Firm to Bankruptcy or Taxpayer Bailout in 2008

              The 10 Most Corrupt Tax Loopholes

              • WM says:

                Oh, come on Mareks. The CEO’s your source references isn’t the industrial players. It’s Wall St. investment banking execs, the same ones I called out in my “too big to fail” comment above.

                Just looked at the Boeing Annual report, and I believe many industrial manufacturers have similar profiles. They don’t have a lot of “investments” that produce much income (except maybe cash rich Microsoft). However, many of these big companies do have pension fund obligation investments they manage as trust stewards for the beneficial owners – their capitalist employees. And, if they screw up, they have to tap company assets to meet the pension obligations.

                It is much more complicated than you apparently comprehend. You need to look for better sources than that swill monger “Village Voice” for explanations. They want to get you all worked up without telling the whole story.

                • Mareks Vilkins says:


                  many nonfinancial firms have important financial units. The assets of such units began to increase sharply in the early 1980s. By 2000 they were as large as or larger than nonfinancial corporations’ tangible assets. During the early 2000s, for example, Ford made more money by selling loans than by selling cars, while GE Capital generated approximately half of GE’s total earnings.

                  … The jump in size and profits has also increased finance’s influence on government. From 1998 through 2013 the finance, insurance, and real estate industries spent almost $6 billion on lobbying

                • Mareks Vilkins says:


                  Over the past decade, the companies that make up the S&P 500 have spent an astounding 54 percent of profits on stock buybacks. Last year alone, U.S. corporations spent about $700 billion, or roughly 4 percent of GDP, to prop up their share prices by repurchasing their own stock.

                • WM says:


                  I’m done with this topic. We are way off wildlife. But, I will say in closing, there are large companies, to their detriment, that have gotten off their core expertise. As you point out one is General Electric (GE), which does have several financial units which expanded under the later years of CEO Jack Welch. It is what got them in trouble a couple times, and their leanings also resulted in nearly pulling them out of the DOW Industrials stock index. Their common stock has hovered around $25-27 for quite some time. They were heavy into expanding into selling financial products (that does not mean they invested in the stock market). But some of their finance is integrated with the products they sell. GECAS finances airplanes. Guess what, GE makes airplane engines. It is an integrated product portfolio. Another example, Boeing makes airplanes. Guess what? Boeing has a subsidiary which finances airplanes and other aviation products. And to fill things out in the aerospace arena, AIG, the largest US insurance company had a huge unit that leased aircraft- the largest lessor in the world- called ILFC. It was sold off when AIG just about failed and was taken over by the US government because of the off the books credit default swaps (unregulated finance risks backstopping these high flyers).

                  And, as for the stock buybacks, well corporations also do that sometimes to boost stock price if they are cash flush. It actually helps their employees and other investors who hold their stock and have their mone at risk. Fewer shares in circulation means each is worth more, and the theory is the stock price will increase. It is also a strategy to avoid take-overs in some instances, because the company controls more. I don’t know if it is to “prop up prices” as the author suggests, or to do the things just mentioned. By the way, author of the buyback piece, Nick Hanauer, is a very wealthy venture capitalist who fortuitously made is fortune then got out (he was at the right place at the right time for his financial success) He has a huge ego and is a Seattle guy, and just maybe illustrates some flawed logic in how economics really works (he was anothr of those lucky billionaire types). In fact he was one of the cash flush heavy breathers behind the Seattle $15 minimum wage – you know the one ultimately driving up the price of a restaurant meal, parking and rent in the City, with wage inflation, that will mostly push the middle class out, while the young techies move in.

  7. Cody Coyote says:

    Is the fossil fuel industry engaging in the same style deceitful dishonest deceptive PR campaign that Big Tobacco used to mislead the Public ? Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island wants to believe as much , and says the fossil fuel companies need to be prosecuted under the RICO anti-corruption act that that was Big Tobacco’s undoing.

    Read his op-ed in the Washington Post. I agree with him , except to say he doesn’t go far enough with his assertions about the Hydrocarbon Hegemony.

    • rork says:

      There are coal ads on billboards in PA that make you smile. “Clean and green with new technologies” “Clean carbon neutral coal” (is not totally impossible, but they leave that part out). “The sun is the main driver of climate change. Not you. Not CO2.” ( or something).

  8. Louise Kane says:

    egg thieving snake drops down from spice cabinet to steal egg. So nice to see the homeowner appreciate the snake and not kill it.

    • Nancy says:

      Interesting video Louise.

      Begs the question, has natural habitat for wildlife, become so scarce, in too many areas, that snakes are dropping out of (maybe) poorly built homes, looking for a meal, or was this a fluke of nature?

      And re: eggs left on the counter? A question flashed across the video.

      As the article pointed out, most eggs bought in supermarkets these days (like cuts of beef, pork, chicken etc.) are months old, by the time they reach supermarkets because of the processing, shipping etc. involved.

      And supermarket (factory) eggs are “washed” of the protective covering, when a hen lays an egg, it prevents bacteria like e. coli from settling in, only have to Google recalls to understand that fact. Eggs that make their way from factory farms, in huge numbers for consumers, in to often unsanitary conditions, are then coated with a synthetic material before re entering the food market.

      Eating healthy, which was the norm years ago, when you could buy just about any produce, meat etc. locally…… got bulldozed over years ago by big corporations thinking they could simply “simplify” our eating habits and no one would notice the huge side effects.

    • Harley says:

      That’s a big bag of NOPE right there! Snakes are fine, but NOT in my spice cabinet thank you very much! lol But what a story they had to tell!

    • Immer Treue says:

      Black Rat snakes are fascinating reptiles. Fierce in the wild when escape is blocked. Unique pet that does well in captivity. I had a number of rat snakes in my classroom.

      • Harley says:

        I just… have a problem with snakes and spiders! Outside, fine. I do admit I built up enough courage to hold my nephews snake but he was kinda sleepy so…

        • Immer Treue says:

          Spiders on the other hand… One of the good things about Winter.

  9. Louise Kane says:

    endangered small tooth sawfish and parthenogenis

  10. Louise Kane says:

    Immer had been posting about brain worm and tick infestation as primary factors in declining moose numbers. Nice to see an author identify these two factors as the primary cause for mortality instead of blaming wolves or other predators. The legislators that ignore climate change do so at our peril as well as theirs.

    • Immer Treue says:

      I am not totally discounting wolf predation on moose, as they have had an impact. However, I also have been submitting that an increase in NE MN deer population from ~1999 to about 2008 had an awful lot to do with with an increase in wolf numbers where moose were formally the important component of wolf food economy. Deer also transporting Brainworm and liver flukes just added to the moose trevails.

      • Susan Armstrong says:

        The association among deer numbers, moose numbers and deer-transmitted brainworm was noted in Algonquin Park in the 1960’s.

      • Louise Kane says:

        I understand, the article also points out that the weakened moose and calve succumb more easily to predation but I think that would promote a darwinian chain reaction of the healthiest surviving. I don’t know much about brain worm though and whether any of the moose will develop ability to resist infection.

  11. Yvette says:

    Definitely worth reading.

    The study by scientists from NOAA Fisheries’ Northwest Fisheries Science Center and the University of Washington examines recovering predator populations along the West Coast of the United States and in the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem, and the conflicts surrounding them. The study was published in the journal Conservation Letters.

    ….and what I thought about as I read through the article….

    But the scientists note that resolving conflicts by culling predators may itself have unintended consequences and will face public and legal opposition that may limit management options.

    • Gary Humbard says:

      Yvette, did you notice “Both the ESA and MMPA also provide safety valves by allowing limited control of recovering predators to manage their impacts under certain circumstances.”

      The most significant practice is to use ecosystem based management. However until an ecosystem is restored (i.e. Pacific Northwest forests), some limited quantities of barred owls will need to be killed if northern spotted owls are to be recovered. Same with sea lions and cormorants eating endangered salmon.

  12. Louise Kane says:

    merger from hell Monsanto and Syngenta biggest seed mnd pesticide suppliers (Think bee killing pesticides also)

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Wow. Frightening. What about anti-Christanti-trust laws? 😉

  13. Nancy says:

    Anybody following this guy?

  14. WM says:

    This is frightening – world’s most grown banana subspecies hit hard by fungus that may wipe them out!

  15. rork says:
    Deer killing has begun in MI, near first CWD deer case.
    Discussion by hunters, some intelligent, some not, and definitely long:
    Permits being given to private land-owners too.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Does that even make sense? Killing blind – the healthy with the sick. How are they going to study the disease, or if some have immunity to pass on? I imagine or hope anyway that samples will be taken? How will the effect hunting season quotas in the fall, and will we hear more whining and grumbling that the wolves and coyotes are eating all the deer? Kill first ask questions later is a very primitive way to approach the problem. 🙁

      • Ida Lupine says:

        I guess we shouldn’t expect too much.

        • Ida Lupine says:

          I’m glad to see that the majority of the comments either question this or think it not a good idea. Will they have to cancel deer season in the fall (probably not)?

          • Ida Lupine says:

            I also wonder – now is the time I usually see young fawns, is it a good time to be killing deer and their mothers? Lots of deer are habituated to people too, whether they are fed by humans or not because they’ve adapted to our numbers – so to say that an apparent tameness is acting strangely is not good direction and too subjective.

            Killing seems to be an exaggerated, knee-jerk response to this problem, and probably the cheapest too?

            • TC says:

              No deer is “immune”, nor can pass on immunity. Genetic susceptibility is more complicated than I wish to discuss here. Nobody can tell if a deer has the disease or not just by looking at it, unless it is terminally clinical. The hope of killing deer in a scorched earth policy is to eradicate the disease before it gets a foothold and environmental contamination makes it a permanent entity. It has not worked in most places, it may have worked once or twice (to really have the answer will take decades). Culling is not the cheapest answer – the cheapest answer is to do nothing. You can make arguments for and against this option. You shouldn’t expect too much, but not for any reason you posted – more, because there isn’t much anyone can do about this disease at present from a human management perspective, except stop moving it around the country.

      • rork says:

        We want to collect data on the extent of the prion. You kill the animal to do that. If you know better ways come on out and teach us. Also, we want local extermination – leave no living deer in the area, maybe for a decade. It is an attempt (perhaps with little hope of success) of eradicating or at least slowing the progress of the prion. You don’t cancel deer season, you ask hunters to shoot them to pieces. If they are acting funny, it’s way too late.

        • WM says:


          I see you are finally the victim of one of those, “I don’t live out West (or the Midwest), but I sure know everything about how to deal with natural resource issues, better than you folks trained or experienced in this, and you are going about it all wrong.” attacks. 😉

          • Ida Lupine says:

            OK. So no one can ask questions either, especially since it is something that will effect more than just the local areas? Thanks for letting me know. I’ll be sure not to ask any questions and trouble the superiors. I also don’t believe we know as much as we think we do about this.

            And how do we address the root cause of the problem, which is our messing up of the environment, interfering and feeding deer, and killing off predators. We won’t. The feeding seems to be a much bigger problem in the West with deer and elk, and yet, they haven’t resorted to a ‘scorched earth’ policy.

            I will say you know-it-alls are doing a shitty job, with all your so call expertise.

          • Ida Lupine says:

            A little food for thought:


            We may (or may not) live out West or have relatives who do, and the Mid-West, but we do have deer, an out-of-whack predator-prey system, and a high rate of tick-borne diseases, WM.

            • WM says:

              Sorry, Ida, I sometimes have difficulty discerning your questions from opinions (often not based on verifiable facts). Just making an observation. And, yes putting a topic up for rational discussion, with sources, is good.

          • rork says:

            I do not feel attacked. Many questions are being asked by many people – not everyone follows CWD that carefully. I am sorry that above and now I do not have time to write carefully. TC wrote better.

            • Ida Lupine says:

              You shouldn’t. It’s just for discussion, and I’m sure that’s why you posted the original article, to let people know. It is very concerning. I’m glad you posted it!

              These next paragraphs aren’t directed at you, rork. But since I’m posting:

              Interesting that in the MIT article I posted, dogs as well as horses and rabbits, seem to be immune to prion disease. Does this mean that wolves are immune too? (we really can’t hope to compete or improve upon with the beauty of the predator/prey relationship) I can’t wait to see when the ‘we need to hunt wolves because there are no deer’ argument will come into play. 🙁 We know that the Great Lakes area is hopping mad about protections being reinstated for wolves.

              And ‘doing nothing’ really isn’t a serious option (and is not the cheapest, but could be one of the more costly options!), so I still believe that killing is the cheapest and dirtiest method. We really expect more.

              • rork says:

                There actually is genetic variation at PRNP gene that affects susceptibility to CWD, though no immune deer known yet. Your thought there was reasonable.
                Here’s a starter:
                “Previous studies revealed association between PRNP genotype and susceptibility to CWD in both mule and white-tailed deer in other regions.”
                Once upon a time we thought all humans were crushed by HIV, not that I’m seriously expecting “the Michigan case” wrt PRNP.

                • Ida Lupine says:

                  Fascinating. I do understand that the disease has to be contained early, but I hope that people don’t go too far with killing.

                  This winter was so bad that I didn’t put food out for deer because I couldn’t get to them – maybe only once or twice. But I did see a pair in the early spring who look robustly healthy and beautiful, but they did have their noses headed to my birdfeeder. I doubt they were sick.

                  I hope I see some fawns, one year I was lucky to see twins. What a world they are born into. 🙁

              • TC says:

                Yes, actually we can do nothing and it is as viable an option as any (excluding surveillance and research). There currently are no treatment no prevention & no good control options shown to be effective (never mind cost effective) in most free-ranging applications. Scorched earth has been tried “out west” and it failed and did not pass the sniff test with either hunters or their polar opposites animal rights extremists. Then it was a failure in Wisconsin. It could be tried where you’re fairly sure you have point source and a short timeframe (environmental contamination being minimal – with infectious prions, not with whatever you’re thinking about), but it cannot be half-hearted or piecemeal. Either do it right or don’t do it. But it’s likely the deck is stacked against you unless you were incredibly lucky with very early detection in one of the first few positive free-ranging deer in the population. The maxim do no harm still holds true – here I’d argue do as little harm as possible unless you have some evidence an aggressive culling plan has some hope of success (i.e. Surveillance data documenting a very low prevalence in a very localized population). As to your comment below “I doubt they were sick” – I have dozens of photos of fat sassy deer and elk, some with fawns/calves and some with very admirable antlers that were CWD positive and 6, 12, 18 months from death as emaciated wrecks, and that almost certainly were shedding infectious prions. Questions always good – I’d be happy to answer any about CWD that I can…

  16. Linda Horn says:

    I love Wildlife News, but this thread has gone WAAAY off-topic! How do I turn off comments?

    • rork says:

      Not perfectly clear Linda, but if it’s emails you are getting, there’s a little box you need to uncheck at the bottom of the page (or below the box you are commenting in) that says stuff like “Notify me of new posts by email”, otherwise you probably will go crazy.

  17. Susan Armstrong says:
    “Nearly half the world’s population of the saiga died in just the past few weeks. Now, scientists are digging in to find out why.”

    A shocking development with these fine animals in an astonishingly brief time.

  18. Susan Armstrong says:

    Whoops, I see the saiga story was added to the previous general wildlife news page…

    I don’t think this story has been, though. A faint breath of hope. We must all be wishing deeply that the reported findings will lead to an effective treatment.

    (of course, even if it does, at one pup per year per female, devastated bat populations will take a very, very long time to recover)

    “Here in the Maritimes, we’ve already had such substantial mortality that this treatment is a little too late for us. It’s more promising for western populations that have not yet been infected by the disease.” This winter Vanderwolf said researchers in New Brunswick only found 13 bats in 10 caves where just a few years ago there were 7,000. In Nova Scotia, the bats’ rapid decline resulted in the province’s three species of bats — little brown bats, northern long-eared bats and tri-coloured bats — being added to Nova Scotia’s list of protected species. Hugh Broders, a biologist at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, said the best-case scenario in mainland Nova Scotia is a 98.5 per cent reduction in bats since the fungus hit the province about three years ago.

  19. Susan Armstrong says:

    [sorry for the double post]

    Latest (and completely predictable) news about a wild whale that was discovered as a dying month-old calf in July 2014. The Vancouver Aquarium was issued a DFO licence to take it into their rescue facility. With intensive in-hand care, “Chester” survived and has now been officially deemed nonreleasable.
    This DFO statement on “Long Term Placement of the Rehabilitated Pseudorca – Chester” reads in part:

    “Fisheries and Oceans convened a scientific panel of marine mammal experts from Canada and the United States. The panel has determined that Chester would not survive if released into the wild. This assessment is based on the animal’s age at stranding, his lack of social contact and foraging skills in the wild, and his extensive contact with humans.”

    Surely nobody involved in the intake decision seriously thought that any other outcome was possible.

    The Vancouver Aquarium website claims:

    “1. Vancouver Aquarium Does Not Capture Cetaceans From The Wild
    “In 1996, Vancouver Aquarium became the first aquarium in the world to make a commitment to no longer capture cetaceans from the wild for display. We now only accept and care for whales, dolphins and porpoises (cetaceans) that were born in an aquarium or were rescued and deemed non-releasable by an appropriate government authority.”

    Seems to me that hand-raising a wild newborn cetacean which will necessarily be unreleasable constitutes capturing it from the wild – not rescuing it.

    Marcus Wernicke, who states he is a volunteer at the Vancouver Aquarium’s Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, writes in the CBC article comments (link above):
    “No cetacean rescued as a neonate has ever been successfully released back into the wild, simply because they lack essential survival skills that they can only acquire through maternal learning; much of it being based on observation of its mother and other individuals in a social group.”

    Mr. Wernicke, a vocal advocate of the Aquarium’s cetacean policies, is defending the aquarium’s action in saving the calf. His comments seem to reveal that the whale was knowingly acquired to spend its life in captivity.

    So this whale cannot be said to have been “rescued” in the sense of wildlife rescue, the primary goal of which is eventual release.

    National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association states:
    “Wildlife rehabilitation is not an attempt to turn wild animals into pets. Patients are held in captivity only until able to live independently in the wild. Fear of humans is a necessary survival trait for wild animals and every effort is made to minimize human contact and prevent the taming of rehabilitation patients.”

    Obviously the calf would have died a natural death without the intervention – but is this a better fate?

  20. Louise Kane says:

    Rick Lamplugh’s summer wolf related reading list

  21. Gary Humbard says:

    Cinder and her fellow black bear were released this week in Washington. Yeah!

  22. Louise Kane says:

    very interesting Ethiopian wolves and monkeys, the wolves finding some advantage to hunting small rodents in the presence of the monkeys who tolerate the wolves.

  23. Immer Treue says:

    Hybridization in nature. Good or bad? Interesting article with a couple of good comments.

    • Nancy says:

      + 1

      “Opponents of hybridization “might argue it’s less fit if it’s a hybrid,” says Arnold. “My argument would be, well, maybe it’s more fit. They would argue that hybridization is destroying biodiversity. And I would argue that maybe it’s not. Maybe it’s adding to it.”

  24. Ida Lupine says:

    If hybridization is proceeding at an unnatural rate due to another species overwhelming activities over (guess who?), with the original species disappearing rapidly because of the overwhelming activities, then no amount ‘looking at the bright side of life’ will justify it. If it makes the genes live on, then that’s a small comfort, I suppose, but can’t let us off the hook.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      This is another article, IMO, for the Anthropocene Booster pile. It’s another way to justify our own behavior continuing on without restraint. It might add to diversity if species weren’t already so threatened with extinction, and natural selection if it weren’t so driven by immediacy – only way to survive. I don’t think it happens much when animal populations are large? And we shouldn’t continue to apply our own morals and behaviors to animals – value judgments on ‘purity’.

  25. Immer Treue says:

    Two killed in USDA plane crash.

    From an undisclosed source, it was suggested on another forum it was a WS plane in predator control.

  26. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Alaska’s Wolves Face Catastrophe
    “Southeast Alaska’s isolated wolf population has declined by 60 percent in just one year, dropping from an estimated 221 individuals in 2013 to 89 wolves in 2014, according to the U.S. Forest Service.
    Those numbers are already outdated. Another 29 wolves were reportedly killed in the 2014–2015 hunting and trapping season.”

  27. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Washington State: State breaks ground on wildlife overpass to help bear, elk, foxes pass over Interstate 90–Wildlife-Bridge

    “When finished, the section of I-90 from Hyak to Easton will incorporate more than 20 major underpasses and overpasses engineered partly or wholly with wildlife in mind.”

    • Ida Lupine says:

      That is good news. I love seagrasses and it’s fun to see all the life they support.

  28. Leslie says:

    Great discussion of the EPA battles to come this summer over clean air and clean water act. Push to listen on “DC Sets up Environmental Showdown” About 50 minutes.

    • rork says:

      I heard that last night, and in what might be taken as a lot of bad news, had this thought: maybe environmental issues might come to more people’s attention, thanks to so much action (some is just dog-whistle though) from folks I don’t like.

    • WM says:

      Good series of interviews on a complex set of issues. Getting the incremental increases in water quality AND clean air are going to be expensive. So, who bears the burden, how will it be paid for, how much useful regulation will result and will it produce the desired results?

      This R Congress will not be receptive to much of what the Administration is proposing to do with its “re-interpretations of the CWA and CAA, ostensibly giving greater regulatory authority after 40+ years of program administration and multiple “mid course correction” changes to the laws.

      Regulating agricultural water and return flows will not be easy, or likely get the desired results, especially in the West. The poopie will hit the fan several times before this is over. And, even regulating municipal and industrial point source discharges under more variable flow conditions with climate change will get harder. What will be the (Q7,10) low flow effluent discharge limit for an NPDES permit? In parts of the West it may well be zero flow to a receiving stream, so that means effluent of a quality sufficient for aquatic life, but the cost of that is way above what city dwellers will be willing to pay in their sewer bills – so expect push back from municipal interests from big cities and little towns alike.

  29. Gary Humbard says:

    “RMEF supports state-regulated hunting and trapping as preferred tools of wolf management. RMEF also remains committed to learning more about wolves and their effect on elk and other prey through research efforts”.

    It sure would be nice if MFWP would implement the wolf stamp program so some of us non-hunters have the ability to provide wolf conservation funding.

    • Immer Treue says:

      “It sure would be nice if MFWP would implement the wolf stamp program so some of us non-hunters have the ability to provide wolf conservation funding.”


    • WM says:

      From the article:

      ++Montana reported a 2014 minimum wolf population of 554 animals but biologists maintain the actual on-the-ground count is 27 to 37 percent higher. If you do the math, that places Montana’s wolf population somewhere between 705 to 760 which is still more than 400 percent above minimum objectives.++

      The truth be known, it would seem MT and RMEF are more interested in where wolves are, how fast they are reproducing and possibly affecting ungulate population than they are about “wolf conservation” which may be interpreted in some circles as wanting even more. So, an educated guess is MWFP doesn’t want wolf stamp money if it comes with a vote for even more wolves.

      And, it would appear, we are well beyond ESA obligations in MT, too.

      • JB says:

        Wait, what happened to Mech’s 10-20%? Oh, I see, now that the minimimum pop. estimate is going down, they need to claim the error is higher in order to justify more killing.

        • WM says:

          I think in Mech’s deposition in the RM DPS litigation before Judge Molloy a few years back, he stated the margin of under counting widens over time as fewer wolves are monitored with collars and as range expands. The logic of that makes sense to me (assuming no huge unaccounted for take-off from the 3S crowd). So, if the state regulators do a little creative thinking and extrapolation maybe they can support the 24-27 percent higher assertion. Or maybe they include the shared populations with neighboring Canada, ID or Yellowstone NP as part time residents.

          • Larry says:

            I am consistently less concerned about the head count than I am about pack disruption by indiscriminant take from all control methods. It is all random take and pack disruptive through trapping, WS gunning, etc. Taking the alphas takes more than that wolf and deteriorates the quality of the predator layer. A rancher wants a healthy herd and wouldn’t stand by for some guy off the street to go out and cut out a portion of the herd for slaughter. Herd health would go down. Wolves cannot be a healthy contributor to the ecosystem when mortality takes them in an unnatural way.

            • Ida Lupine says:

              +1 Larry

              or ‘redefining’ what makes a pack – too much game playing. Although severe headcount is worrisome too.

        • JB says:

          If I recall the logic correctly, it was that a growing/expanding wolf population would have larger error. Of course, error also expands when you change the protocol to use less effort–but by how much? Conveniently, the agency (like Mech) can just pull a number out of their “hat” and claim their expertise makes it credible. Hogwash!

          • Yvette says:

            + 1, JB.

          • WM says:

            I am inclined to believe “informed opinion” by qualified experts with years of field experience, and peer reviewed studies, is a bit more than pulling a number out of their “hat.”

            And, as for the agency estimates, they have no incentive to expend ever more scarce funding to demonstrate higher wolf population levels than the ESA obligation (in the NRM case the FWS rule/rider), plus a bit of a buffer which arguably continues to grow unless there is active management to keep the area-wide population at some sort of plateau while, making management prescriptions to locally reduce what they believe are sub-populations growing faster than they would like.

            • Ida Lupine says:

              I just don’t understand what the continued preoccupation is with these animals.

              There never seems to be enough, hunting seasons keep increasing, wolf numbers are dropping, depredations are dropping, and elk and deer numbers are climbing. They refuse to listen to science, instead picking and choosing certain passages to highlight and ignoring what they don’t agree with.

              Enough is enough. I don’t see how field estimate percentages can climb with wolf numbers declining?

              I’d be interested to hear what Dr. Mech would have to say today.

            • JB says:

              WM: You need to spend more time with the man behind the curtain. My experience is that while in private he is candid about his abilities, when interacting with the public he feels compelled to appear…all powerful. And when there are politics involved that potentially impact one’s career, Oz understands which side to err on.

              Oz: Look, I know I’m not the wizard that you expected. But I might just be the wizard that you need.
              Glinda: You said you were just a con man.
              Oz: Precisely!
              Glinda: Nothing but a trickster?
              Oz: Yes!
              Glinda: A terrible cheat!
              Oz: The best there is.

              — Oz the Great and Powerful

              • WM says:

                “Oz:” Unfortunately, I don’t have the opportunities you describe, though I do not doubt the candor. All I, and the rest of the public, can do is rely on what someone writes down and attests to under oath, states in public hearing testimony including answers to pointed questions, or writes in a peer reviewed scientific journal, in their capacity as a major University professor as an internationally recognized expert in their field for 50 years, federal employee and founder of a well recognized International Foundation dedicated to giving out good wolf information.

                I might suggest that like most good diplomats with survival skills he says what he thinks the current audience (even during those tete-a-tetes) wants to hear, possibly all with shades of truth.

                Above a non-distinct drinking fountain in the U of Colorado School of Law Library is a plaque in which the following is inscribed, “Toto, we are not in Kansas anymore.” [written in Latin]. I might even be able to weigh in on the identity of the the Munchkins, by the way. 😉

                • Immer Treue says:

                  Flying monkeys?

                • WM says:


                  Them too. I was thinking the academics and agency bureaucrats enslaved and subservient to the golden cap (in search of money to study wolves). And, of course, the Wicked Witch of the West, who is in possession of the golden cap is the federal government (how ironic is that?).

                • JB says:


                  Two quick points:
                  (1) The numbers reported by Montana come from the agency–not university professors.
                  (2) Let’s not forget that Minnesota’s conservative approach to wolf management–informed by the best experts– resulted in an unexpected 25% decline.

                  What the western state’s are attempting with wolf management is folly, pure and simple. It’s a great example of what Holling and Meffe(1996) referred to as ‘the pathology of natural resources management’…

                  “Cornmand and control, however, usually results in unforeseen consequences for both natural ecosystems and human welfare in the form of collapsing resources, social and economic strife, and losses of biological diversity.”


                  Dorothy: How do you talk if you don’t have a brain?

                  Scarecrow: Well, some people without brains do an awful lot of talking don’t they?

                • Elk375 says:


                  “(1) The numbers reported by Montana come from the agency–not university professors.”

                  Why are university professors better at counting wolves than the State of Montana? Would a university professor have access to airplanes, trucks helicopters and the vast amount of data the FW&P’s has accumulated over the years.

                  All of the state biologist were educated by professors so the state biologist should use the same methods as a professor. Yes, I know that there is political pressure.

                  The above statement is broad and self serving?

                • JB says:

                  “…he Wicked Witch of the West, who is in possession of the golden cap is the federal government…”

                  Actually, given how far the Feds are taking ‘cooperative federalism’ I’d say the the States are playing the role of the Wicked Witch, the feds can’t decide if they want to be Glinda (the good witch), Oz, or merely one the Wicked Witch’s flying monkeys. But alas, we’re straining this metaphor!

                • Immer Treue says:

                  All things MN considered, should have been a tough Winter for wolves. Prey population down after two consecutive tough winters, this past winter not so tough on deer in respect to both cold and snow.

                  Livestock depredations up last year (repeat of phenomena of depredation increase following two tough winters (95/96 96/97)(2012/13 13/14), would expect more of the same this year as their wasn’t much to eat, though does are dropping fawns all over.

                  Wolf population numbers never really figure in the work of the SSS boys, at 10% annual average.

              • JB says:


                First, I was responding to WM’s comment (above) which implied the Montana numbers came from Mech–a University professor.

                Second, you already know the answer to your question: university professors are (mostly) protected from political interference, agency employees are not. If you don’t think this makes a difference, consider that state governments have tried to fire university professors–tenured professors– for offering opinions politicians didn’t like. Now imagine what kind of effect that political environment has on someone without the protections of tenure.

                • rork says:

                  JB: Are you surprised by 25% decline?
                  There’s been depredation related killing, and pretty big public “harvest”, and that killing happens before they survey the population (if I expect a 3000 wolf steady-state, but we kill 500 of them in Nov, maybe I only see 2500 in Jan). Their DNR also blame it on less prey – predicting future winter weather is hard.
                  (Damn, their public materials make it hard to review the numbers.)

                • WM says:


                  ++WM’s comment (above) which implied the Montana numbers came from Mech–a University professor. ++

                  Actually, I didn’t say that. You were first to bring up his name. I just made the statement that as time goes on and range expands while monitoring (collars) are used less the number of uncounted wolves gets bigger and is not reflected in the official counts. How big is that range? Who knows? Apparently MFWP think they have a handle on it.

                  As to your second point, and one which rork already challenged. This is straight from the 2014 MN wolf population report. ( )

                  It is important when analyzing assertions like yours on the 25% reduction you cite. See last sentence:

                  ++ In 2012, wolves in the Great Lakes Distinct Population Segment were removed as a listed species under the federal Endangered Species Act. The de-listing coincided with the normally scheduled (every 5 year) wolf survey as well as survey timeline specifications in the Minnesota Wolf Management Plan (i.e., first and fifth year after delisting; Minnesota Department of Natural Resources 2001). The 2012-13 survey (Erb and Sampson 2013) concluded that overall wolf range had expanded along its south and west edge, but with minimal change in the total amount of land occupied by wolf packs. They estimated the wolf population at 2,211 (90% CI = 1,652 – 2,641), a 24% decline compared to the 2007-08 survey. The decline since 2007 was attributed to reduced prey populations, a record number of wolves removed for depredation control in 2012, and a public harvest that removed 413 wolves in the 2 months just prior to mid-winter pack counts that were conducted as part of the 2012-13 survey.++

                  Let me print that again. “A record number of wolves removed for depredation control in 2012 +…public harvest of 413…just prior to the ..count.” Do the math. And, yeah the numbers are on the way up again unhampered by harvest (because of the pending litigation). So, what will the weather do to the prey base in the coming years?

                • rork says:

                  I should have added: which we had MI estimates from this last winter, as the placebo-hunting control, to see what the deer demise did to the wolves. I really wanted to see how prey-dependent wolf count was. We may never get a chance that good again.

                • JB says:


                  You seem to have missed my point– the extent of population decline was unanticipated, or much greater than anticipated. The report, doesn’t conflict with anything I wrote; in fact, it bolsters what Holling and others have noted about heavy-handed, top-down resource management (i.e., in attempting precise control over populations we actually destabilize them). So, to answer Rork’s question directly–no, I’m not surprised at all at the decline. And (perhaps ironically), I’m not worried about Minnesota’s wolf population–it’s plenty large to withstand that kind of human mortality. At least in the short term. What worries me are the Western states, where there are (a) far fewer wolves (within states), (b) reduced effort in oversight of populations, and (c) intense pressure to increase human mortality. That’s a recipe for relatively dramatic unanticipated population decline. We’re just waiting for the “right” combination of events (e.g., poor recruitment, heavy harvest, followed by parvo or some other unanticipated environmental stressor).

                • Immer Treue says:

                  1650 known wolf deaths in MN over past three years.
                  The peak in wolf populations,as per data provided by JB coincided with peak in deer population, and coincidentally decline of moose population in NE MN.

                • WM says:


                  I do get your point. I think, however, an explanation of anticipated and unanticipated is complicated. A harvest of 413, depredation control of 203/relocation of 173, the unaccounted for 3S which Immer volunteers at roughly 10% (especially when getting caught was reduced from a federal crime to a state game infraction upon WGL delisting), are pretty hard anticipated numbers for 2012. So, the loss due to weather related prey availability seems not so large to me when you look at what is represented as a total 25% reduction. I am guessing 10-12% might have been “unanticipated.” And, yes I understand the “what if” scenarios that could result in a “1, 2 punch,” that could drop a local population dramatically. The possibly harsh warnings of Holling and Meffe, in this instance, seem to ward caution but not hysteria, IMHO.

                  Seems to me another state that thinks it has too many for their area, might be willing to volunteer some new stock for their neighbors. And, that is what those genetic MOU’s with FWS are all about.

  30. Gary Humbard says:

    “MWFP doesn’t want wolf stamp money if it comes with a vote for even more wolves”.

    MFWP’s budget is falling while its costs are rising. I don’t know the overall success rate of Montana hunters since wolves have returned but clearly there are some units with low success rates partially due to wolf kills, prey behavior changes and numerous other factors (# of cow tags issued, weather, habitat, poaching etc.) The website only indicates whether elk population densities are below, meeting or above objectives with ~ 70% meeting or above. I know those are political objectives but to my knowledge the best available.

    There was some strong support for the stamp when the agency held meetings over a year ago. Some of the funds were to protect habitat, increase law enforcement and monitoring of wolves.

    IMO, it would make sense to try it on a trial basis to see how much revenue it produces, knowing some anti-wolf folks will complain, write to their legislatures and numerous other activities. Otherwise, MFWP will need to continue to reduce their programs and for a state like Montana where hunting and fishing is big, that is not a good alternative.

    • JB says:

      Unfortunately, the agency sided with the most extreme wolf-haters, who, while representing a tiny proportion of the population, are very vocal and politically connected–the status quo for wolf politics.

    • Immer Treue says:

      Angry? Heck, it made them apoplectic!

    • Helen McGinnis says:

      I am ready and willing to donate my $20.00 from my limited funds and give it a try.

    • Nancy says:

      Some outstanding and touching photos Jeff E. Thanks for posting the link!

    • skyrim says:

      Yes, thanks Jeff. How could one not be moved by these images?

    • Yvette says:

      Those pictures are stunning and I love the story line of the laughter interrupting their work.

      For some unknown reason, since I was a teenager I’ve had a strong desire to visit Russia. These pictures confirm that desire. What a vast and beautiful land.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Yes, a man on a mountain bike for sure. This is why it’s a bad idea, you cannot stop for a moose, person, horse, or anything. What’s even more puzzling is that he and others seem surprised that something like this could happen.

    • rork says:
      I found that the other day when someone in another thread was so worried about Griz danger in WA (and got hit with depleted uranium rounds from Gary Humbard). I was trying to show that moose might be more likely to kill you, but could not demonstrate that. Some places, like Alaska, they injure more people than black and brown bears combined. Seems killing is not that frequent though. PS: This does not count car accidents. I’ve known several people with dangerous moose stories – years ago it was common for folks here to hunt moose in Ontario, and males were more ornery.

      • Jerry Black says:

        Yep….I had a business when I was living in Montana, collecting, drying, and selling moose poop as incense..(Moosecense LLC)
        Spent lots of time in grid, lion, and wolf country collecting the poop…..I concur, moose are by far the most dangerous and always wondered if my bear spray would be affective on them.

    • Nancy says:

      I’m wondering why he didn’t just turn his bike around and head back up the trail Elk?

      He made matters much worse (for himself) charging down the trail at her. He was a perceived threat, to her and her baby. Some humans just don’t get that.

    • Outdoorfunnut says:

      The grizzly would be my thoughts. BUT, I have seen 1st hand your moose in action. On the trail (early fall) We came across a cow / calf and stopped to take a break hoping they would move on. Another set of hikers came by but proceeded. After pinning her ears back she (the moose) made a half effort charge of the unsuspecting teenagers then moved on perpendicular to the trail calf in tow. The teenagers made a retreat back our way. The only comment they made is that they would not have had time to get out their bear spray it happened so fast.

  31. Ida Lupine says:

    Couple things from HCN:

    Proposed ESA only to apply to species having ‘commercial value’:

    “If applied to other species located in a single state and without commercial value, Benson’s ruling would roll back ESA protections for up to 70 percent of the plants and animals covered by the law.”

    More ‘green’ energy threatening wildlife, this time the already pressured bighorn sheep. Or “I’ll gladly plan for protections in the future at the expense of today”:

    And speaking of prairie dogs, Castle Rock Promenade to proceed as planned; petition opposing it quietly withdrawn. If this developer couldn’t be trusted to do the right thing initially, what makes people think they will do the right thing now? The same issues that large scale development brings such as too much traffic still exist:

  32. Nancy says:

    Okay, well, some people just shouldn’t be outdoors 🙂 I would of found the tank a lot more frightening…….

  33. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Folks, I hope you forgive me that the following is not entirely wildlife related. But I could not resist to share what should be a really fine trip:

    • Ida Lupine says:

      What a contradiction – if lion hunting were helping, why is the population so drastically low and getting lower? I noticed that the bulk of hunters are American too. It’s such a selfish need.

      Peter’s presentation had at least one or two no-hunting reserves, just enjoying the wildlife and the tremendous views. They don’t have to pay their way to live and justify their existence. What a crock to say. This man calling wildlife ‘stock’ to be manipulated at human will is revolting.

  34. rork says:

    I am so angry with my local rag ( not covering outdoor issues, though they have countless meaningless team sports stories every day – we know how important it is to be expert at that (yes, sarcasm).
    Michigan NRC did slightly tweak UP bow hunting regs so we can’t shoot does like we used to (not a big deal, and I approve, should have gone state-wide):
    Interview with the chief of our wildlife division about our CWD: He was outstanding, speaking clearly, and delivering painful truth, correcting himself from “lots of deer” to “too many deer”, and likening baiting deer to smoking cigarettes (you can smoke less, or less potent ones, but it’s still bad – analogies to upper limits on amount of bait and how distributed). “It’s a bad idea.” Thankyou Dr. Russ Mason. He pleaded with hunters to get those deer tested, and disposed properly. I can’t find a single story about it, grrr.

  35. timz says:

    A foolish waste of lives while pursuing a foolish endeavor.

  36. Nancy says:

    “Mize says he shot the wolf in self-defense” “thought he was killing a coyote” What?

    The comment below the article says it all:

  37. Kathleen says:

    13th endangered FL panther death this year–struck by car, died in surgery. “…the current management plan isn’t meeting its goals.”

    Also, ALL chimpanzees, including captives, are now fully protected as ‘endangered’ under the ESA. According to Save the Chimps, “This ends decades of ‘split listing’ that allowed captive chimps in the US to be harmed in research, entertainment, and the pet trade.”

  38. Kathleen says:

    Black bear confirmed in Indiana for first time in 144 years. From article: “Black bears are now listed as an exotic mammal that’s protected under Indiana code.”

    The bear came down from MI into the more populated northern end of the state rather than up from KY into the more heavily wooded southern part. Black bear population map (2011):

  39. Yvette says:

    This is interesting and I hope it works. CA needs help with this drought.

    Native Americans in northern California traditionally used a different approach to controlled burning, carrying it out every year in the late fall and early winter while the ground was damp and cold, experts said.

    Indigenous groups also helped preserve fire-slowing open areas by clearing out some of the coniferous trees that often invade oak forests, meadows and grasslands, Flores said. The conifers, especially older and larger ones, also use a large amount of available water to the disadvantage of other plants and local inhabitants.

    Tribal Chairman Ron Goode — who has been working on such projects with the U.S. Forest Service for over 20 years — said he has been receiving more requests to share knowledge of traditional land management techniques since the current drought began gripping the state.

    Goode’s technique to combat drought and wildfires focuses on restoring meadows, which he said achieves dual purposes: keeping more water in the ground by thinning the forest canopy, and thus also creating clear, wetter areas that act as buffers to large fires.

    • rork says:

      That made me study up for an hour, cause it was counter-intuitive for where I live in MI, but it could be my intuition is as bad as an MD’s about statistics. And maybe I’m thinking about groundwater recharge rather than surface water to streams. I know trees use allot of water, but they cool things down. Where I live we worry about tree thinning increasing flood risk. Maybe it depends on how much rain falls. I’ve only scratched the surface, and would appreciate lessons from people who know more.

      I’d also like more lessons on spring vs fall burns. We burn in spring. Always. And I’ve always been skeptical about that. It’s more safe cause moisture is higher in fuel is perhaps our main reason – we have better control. But I’ve seen areas where unplanned fire has done a better job, cause I think it was hotter. Takes dry times to make that happen though – and we’re too chicken to set fires under those conditions of course. (“We” is my handlers. I only get to help before and after.) I see fairly dramatic fuel increases near me so maybe more unplanned fire is coming. Rumors circulate that guerrilla forest fires are being set by eco-warriors who deplore our petty concerns about burning houses down – it’s not me, so far.
      I surveyed species, fantastic and horrible, in top-of-the-kame prairies today. A cubic mile of gravel. You’ve got me wondering if it does help the water-tower effect. Thankyou.

      • Yvette says:

        rork, Jared Aldren’s dissertation, Chap. 2, provides some history on the North Mono Tribe’s cultural use of fire to manage the land and water. It may be of use.

        I’ve recently taken in interest in learning more about traditional ecological knowledge (TEK). There seems to be a growing buzz with TEK but it’s been studied and used more up in Canada from what I’ve read so far. One of the things that piqued my interest in the article was the state and federal agencies in CA that are now seriously looking at the North Mono’s traditional fire regime methodology. I like it when states, feds and tribes find ways to work together with mutual respect, and without the state/feds marginalizing tribal knowledge which is unlikely to be based on empirical science.

        One more short article on the North Mono working with USF service using their fire methodology.

        • WM says:


          I think you raise some good points about “re-learning” the old ways, and trying to work cooperatively to find solutions. Within the North Mono NRP piece you cite to is a reference to some quantitative hydrology (science of determining water yields from forests). The idea of thinning forest canopy to increase water yield is not new. There was a lot of research done on that in the ’70’s, in part to justify more logging on federal/state lands. That is where this is ultimately taking us again, I suspect – justification for more partial cut or selective cut logging. Including increased water yield/longer snowpack retention would seem to be worth considering. A 16% increase in watershed water yield is hard to ignore. Of course, that is “managing” the environment and some folks don’t like that.

          • WM says:

            A little more detail from the forest hydrology article including an Environmental Defense Fund co-author:


            ++The SWEEP (Sierra Nevada Watershed Ecosystem Enhancement Project) team contends that forest management for water supply is worth the trouble for four main reasons.

            First, previous analyses do not consider changes in the value of the water flow. In the Sierra Nevada, the significant amount of runoff diverted through hydroelectric turbines more than doubles the economic value of the runoff (Stewart 1996). Forest management has the potential to enhance revenue for in-forest and downstream water users and engaging these beneficiaries in paying some of the costs of forest management should be considered.

            Second, fires are more common in the Sierra Nevada than the nation as a whole and upstream fires can deliver large loads of sediment and debris that impair hydroelectric production.

            Third, many of the constraints regarding forest management for water yield are operational in nature. In study after study, reductions in tree cover have resulted in measured increases in water yield, but the increases have been short lived because the vegetation has been allowed to regrow. Sustained management of evapotranspiration may be possible.

            Fourth, climate change is forcing a reconsideration of all options. Not only does a warming climate directly impact water supply and storage, it also aggravates the risks posed by wildfire (Westerling et al. 2006).

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Yes, a much more ‘working with’ approach instead of dominating and forcing the environment into submission.

  40. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Resumption of Montana’s grizzly bear hunt may reignite calls for Alberta to follow suit
    When it comes to Alberta’s grizzly population, conservation success will ultimately be measured by a warm gun.

      • JB says:

        Hmm…this strikes me as an intellectually dishonest review. For example:

        “A battery is direct current and electricity in the U.S. is alternating current, so every battery has to have an inverter, which costs around $4,000 by the time it’s installed.”

        This is extremely disingenuous because you need an inverter to convert DC power from your solar panels to AC power for your home; you wouldn’t buy one of Tesla’s Powerwall batteries unless you had the solar array, so there would be no additional cost (not to mention you can bet a much better deal on an inverter and installation that $4K).

        “Considering the fact that the average U.S. home consumes 30 kWh of electricity a day, you might want nine Powerwalls for three days of backup power to augment solar power, just in case it’s cloudy.”

        But if you only needed to store power for the nighttime hours, one 7kWh battery would suffice for most homes.

        The better critique is about net-metering. If your utility offers net metering (i.e., the ability to send energy back to the grid and get compensated for it), then the battery becomes far less advantageous.

  41. Nancy says:

    I hope that wasn’t their only fledgling:

    On a brighter note – first “lift off” at the Decorah eagle nest:

    And a fly by – the kid’s fast!

  42. Louise Kane says:

    From Howling for Wolves:

    “The wolf needs you to pick up your phone and call – yes, call – your U.S. senators right now. Tomorrow morning (Tuesday, June 16) anti-wolf protection language can be included in a Senate appropriations subcommittee bill. The language will delist wolves and reverse the federal court ruling that restored their federal protections in the Great Lakes and Wyoming. We need to let our senators know that this is unacceptable and that wolves need continued protection.

    The U.S. House has already included language that delists wolves in their appropriations subcommittee bill and we think the same process is in negotiations for tomorrow’s Senate appropriations subcommittee meeting. A legislative delisting of wolves will need the senate’s support – and we need to speak out to them for the wolf and her pack.

    Your call is extremely high impact for the wolf at this stage in the senate, especially if you have a senator on our priority lists (see below).

    Our priority calls are as follows:

    1. Senators in Midwestern states with wolves: Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan:

    Senator Amy Klobuchar, (202) 224-3244
    Senator Gary Peters, (202) 224-6221
    Senator Debbie Stabenow, (202) 224-4822
    Senator Tammy Baldwin*, (202) 224-5653

    2. Senators on the appropriations subcommittee:

    Senator Lamar Alexander, (202) 224-4944
    Senator Thad Cochran, (202) 224-5054
    Senator Roy Blunt, (202) 224-5721
    Senator John Hoeven, (202) 224-2551
    Senator Mitch McConnell, (202) 224-2541
    Senator Steve Daines, (202) 224-2651
    Senator Bill Cassidy, (202) 224-5824
    Senator Dianne Feinstein, (202) 224-3841
    Senator Patrick Leahy, (202) 224-4242
    Senator Jack Reed, (202) 224-4642
    Senator Jon Tester, (202) 224-2644
    Senator Jeff Merkley, (202) 224-3753

    Please call now – do not underestimate the power of your voice. Tell your senators that wolves need federal protections and they should not over-ride a court’s decision.”

    Hope you’ll share and call

  43. Peter Kiermeir says:

    India: After tiger, leopard facing threat

    Until now, it was common understanding, that the leopard population in India is quite healthy and doing fine. It was thought, that available leopard habitat is saturated because the animals have reproduced so well in recent years. It was accepted that, with such a high reproduction rate, more leopards mean more and more leopard/human conflicts. There are dozens of human victims annually. Seems, that the opposite is true. The available habitat is saturated – but from loss and destruction of habitat! And more and more leopards seeking habitat lead to more and more leopard/human conflicts. There is however no nationwide leopard census. Reliable numbers are not available (Not that there would be a reliable tiger census as we have seen recently) and – of course – the leopard is not nearly as glamourous as the tiger. Poaching – the leopard takes over the place of the tiger – is taking it´s toll (Wildlife protection society of India gives the numbers of poached leopards as already 16 for 2015, total 23 for 2014).

    • Ida Lupine says:

      the leopard is not nearly as glamourous as the tiger.

      I disagree! 🙂

      The available habitat is saturated – but from loss and destruction of habitat!

      Wish we could admit that.

  44. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Rare Alaskan Wolves Nearly Eradicated in a Year

    Read more:
    A wolf population survey in Alaska’s Alexander Island Archipelago has revealed startling results: The rare species of wolf found only on these islands has declined radically. From an estimated number of 221 wolves, there are only 60 left, and they skew about 75 percent male. Alaska’s Department of Fish and Game hasn’t ruled out a “harvest” for this year — open season for hunting wolves, in more blunt terms.

    (We had this subject already on earlier Interesting Wildlife News but I think the “75 percent males” seems fresh news).

    • Louise kane says:

      Peter I have been following this with a growing sense of anger and outrage
      This wolf is a smaller wolf almost always black and lives in the tongass
      Now they are Also faced with 75000 acres that may be lost to logging after the give away in the rider
      I wonder how dare they allow hunting and where the f is the USFWS
      I repeat myself but states management if most wildlife and predators is very problematic

      This really pisses me off

  45. skyrim says:

    A little Cliven Bundy related news:
    (Apologies if this has been posted already)

    • Ralph Maughan says:

      Notice from the story that Bundy is now not only claiming the right to graze for free, but he also refers to springs and seeps 12 miles from his home as his.

      • skyrim says:

        There are so many things wrong with this issue and now among them the rights to the water. I know very little about water rights but do know that surface water is treated much differently than ground water.
        How he claims the former is a mystery.
        You can own shares of groundwater in a certain drainage, but that doesn’t give you rights to the surface water (seeps and springs). In fact (in Utah) you can be fined up to $5,000.00 per day for a violation. An Owners Association I was affiliated with had to learn that valuable lesson.

        • Yvette says:

          “In fact (in Utah) you can be fined up to $5,000.00 per day for a violation.”

          Sigh, Bundy has never even had to pay the million dollars + he owes for his grazing fees. It’s not likely anyone is going to charge him for being in violation of any water use issues. Did you notice how he claimed the property has ‘his private property’?

          Obviously, Cliven Bundy has ticked me off more than just about any other issue in the last several years. He just keeps on stealing, keeps on violating laws, and keeps on trucking. And frankly, that is the fault of the federal agencies that are not enforcing the law.

          • Ralph Maughan says:

            Yes, Yvette and Skyrim, every day this scoflaw continues as a free man pricks me with a mighty sense of injustice and anger toward the politicians who are afraid to touch him.

  46. Professor Sweat says:

    Hunters and aerial gunning may be used to remove the last of the Tendoy herd, but they plan to restock it with healthy sheep. Nothing in the article even hinted at why they are sick. Thoughts?

    • Ida Lupine says:

      I had read this too. Do they plan on addressing the spread of disease from domestic sheep (the root of the problem), if this is where it comes from with the wild sheep? Probably not. What an exercise in futility, just like everything else we do.

  47. Professor Sweat says:

    An interesting quote I came across on Arizona Fish and Game’s Facebook page: Senator McCain comments on his legislation to allow hunters to remove excess bison from Grand Canyon National Park:

    “The bison population inside Arizona’s Grand Canyon National Park has exploded to over 600, overgrazing and destroying its pristine lands, and yet the Interior Department says it opposes our bill because it’s busy conducting its own study which began in April 2014 and won’t be completed until December 2016 at the earliest. Nowhere in its testimony did the Interior Department argue that our common-sense solution to enlist volunteer hunters wouldn’t work. Hunters are eager to help manage these herds and will recover the full animal carcass at no cost to the U.S. taxpayer. The Interior Department is taking too long to advance a solution to stop the degradation of Grand Canyon National Park, which I believe must be preserved and protected so that it remains a national treasure for generations to come.”

    The part where he mentioned the bison destroying pristine lands made me lol. Whether or not they are overgrazing their habitat, it’s the pot calling the kettle black.

  48. Nancy says:

    Too early to know what their environmental policy will look like 🙂

  49. Mareks Vilkins says:

    The Big Waste: Why Do We
    Throw Away So Much Food?

    A glaring paradox of the U.S. food system is that while no country produces food as efficiently, no country wastes as much. Every year, 30 to 40 percent of what is grown and raised in the United States is thrown away or rots between farms and kitchens. That’s a startling 133 billion pounds of food — more than enough to feed the 800 million people worldwide who face hunger every day.

    the U.S. as a whole, has taken only minor steps to reduce this enormous waste and its related human and environmental costs. By contrast, Seoul has adopted innovative programs to minimize the amount of food that ends up going to landfills to rot.

    The environmental impact of our wastefulness is extraordinarily high, considering the huge amount of fuel, fertilizer, pesticides, and other resources needed to grow and transport food. And when it is dumped in landfills, decaying garbage releases vast amounts of methane. If global food waste were a country, it would rank third in terms of greenhouse gas emissions.

  50. Ida Lupine says:

    Something a little on the lighter side, have you ever seen anything so cute? 🙂

    • Kathleen says:

      What a sweet little octopus! I was struck by this statement from the biologist: “These animals are part of a greater ocean ecosystem, and in order to have a healthy, functioning ocean ecosystem, we need to understand the ecology and behavior of the individual species.” Really? Why can’t we just take care of the oceans–quit dumping crap and plastic and toxic pollutants in them, and quit warming them–and let the animals take care of themselves, as they’ve done for millennia–without us? No, instead we have to capture the animals, kill some of them for dissection, put others in aquaria/aquariums, take their eggs away, etc. etc.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        I know, we just can’t seem to mind our own business, can we? It struck me also that with our constant pollution and overfishing and wrecking our oceans, the fact that this little octopus’ eggs take over a year to mature means the species could be in trouble someday. 🙁

  51. Yvette says:

    More news on cougars. This time it’s on proposed changes to harvest rules in NM. Bears are also included.

    From the NM Wildlife Federation Game Commission Report on Saturday’s public meeting in Taos.

    Part of the Department’s justification for the cougar rule changes was the fact that hunters were not reaching the annual mortality quota of 749 lions that the NMGF has set. Therefore other methods than “fair chase” hunting were deemed necessary to kill more lions.

    The 14-year annual average of all known cougar moralities in New Mexico is 224.

    749 lions is the annual quota. What? My guess is they don’t know the cougar population. I think I’ll do some more research and drive over to Santa Fe and attend the August meeting.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      That seems awfully high, doesn’t it. I just don’t understand the obsession with killing wildlife this country still has, even in modern times.

  52. Elk375 says:

    Here is some interesting news on both Grizzlies and Sage Hens in the Red Lodge area. Both are increasing.

    • WM says:


      Newmont mining is proposing a gold mine in NE Nevada, between Wells and Salt Lake City to the east. It purports to be two miles long x 1 mile wide and a couple hundred feet deep. It is along the old pioneer California Trail and a section of trail called the Hastings Cut-off, a bad and costly detour for the ill-fated Donner party that ended up in the High Sierras in heavy snow and made meals of the ones who didn’t survive. The Hastings cutoff at a place called Big Springs is filled with seeps, actually the only water around, and serves as the municipal supply of Wendover (on the Utah line) some 32 miles away.

      In the open water at Big Springs is a small fish called a dace (sorry don’t remember the sub-species). You can imagine what this mine will do for water quality and the little fish which is likely not expected to survive the mining. If I recall the mine project is called Long Canyon, mostly on BLM land and there was an EIS that covered these aspects, but the project is going forward anyway.

      • Nancy says:

        Thanks for the additional info WM.

        The human species gets ever closer to wearing out Nature’s welcome mat.

      • Louise kane says:

        If you really think about gold it’s a bizarre commodity to have such a high value
        Costing many lives wreaking havoc on the environments from where it’s mined and to what use?

        People are a vain species and not all that smart really

        Shiny metal used for making trinkets providing the basis for civilizations, tied to global economic markets and wArs
        To place such a high value on a relatively useless commodity speaks volumes about the trivial things some value

        Women are taught to value expensive and gaudy wedding and engagement rings and men try to impress them by spending huge sums on the rings or other jewelry

        It’s all screwed up and ass backward

        • W. Hong says:

          The amount of gold used for jewelry is very small compared to the amount of gold used in computers and other electronic devices. The medical machines in hospitals have gold in them. Gold is a very highly prized commodity and many items used today has gold in it.

          • Barb Rupers says:

            Thanks W. Hong for the comment about the uses of gold other than in jewelry. Gold is a very stable element that reacts with few others to form compounds so it is important in applications which require resistance to chemical reactions.

            • Ida Lupine says:

              But let’s not try to overlook the fact that over the millennia gold was mostly used for self-adornment and currency; uses in medicine and technology are very recent uses, and it has been the cause of a lot of bloodshed, strife and destruction of the environment to acquire it.

              “Drain the whole sea, get sumthin’ shiny”.

              I think this is the point Louise was making.

              • Barb Rupers says:

                Points well made, Ida. Being somewhat of a chemist I appreciated W. Hong’s mention of current uses. I agree about the past abuse by cultures to obtain this element as pointed out by Louise.

                • Ida Lupine says:

                  Thanks Barb – it’s probably me, but I get touchy when it appears to me that people don’t want to accept and gloss over or rationalize some of the negative aspects of our behavior in an attempt to redeem it.

                  Everyone check out Google doodles today for Father’s Day – esp. the little wolf or coyote.

                  Have a good day,

  53. WM says:

    A not too enlightened editorial on New Mexico’s expanding wolf population, by the Catron County wildlife investigator (I guess this is the County employee who investigates “incidents” and is in the midst of the negative vibes:

    This will stoke the fires on both sides of the issue.

    • Yvette says:

      Catron County. Says everything. That is the county where they built ‘wolf cages’ at the bus stops over a whooping 109 Mexican greys spread out in both AZ and NM.

  54. Kathleen says:

    Peter Singer, utilitarian philosopher, author of “Animal Liberation: A New Ethics for Our Treatment of Animals” (1975) was asked if carnivorous wild animals should be eliminated because they cause the suffering of prey animals.

    “The world’s most famous utilitarian on whether all carnivorous animals should be killed”

    • Ida Lupine says:

      I don’t know why humans have so much trouble with this concept. There’s a lot of animal suffering that we are responsible for, and yet we don’t stop it, but judge carnivores! I don’t know that it is true that carnivores cause undue suffering. Just like hunters’ claims of compensatory mortality!

      We don’t have the right to make moral judgments about nature. We can choose to make them about our own behavior, but it doesn’t apply outside of our own species. We have the ability to (most of us anyway) to modify our behavior to standards we find desirable. Animals behave the way nature made them, nature is a higher power than us, and outside our jurisdiction and moral authority.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        I’ve never heard of this Jeff McMahan person. Eliminating carnivores isn’t going to eliminate animal suffering.

        Nature’s plan is pretty near perfect – carnivores keep populations in check by taking the sick and weak, older and some young. We have deemed this morally unacceptable for humans. We do not like death, I’ve seen an article in TIME recently about life expectancies increasing to 140 years. We eliminated smallpox because we don’t like the thought of human beings dying or being subject to the same natural laws the rest of nature is. But yet smallpox is natural.

        Carnivores don’t reproduce at the same level as other animals, and hunting other animals is not always a winning proposition for them. It’s a tough life for them and a natural checks and balances system.

        This man sounds extremely dangerous.

        • Kathleen says:

          I’m certainly no philosopher, but it seems to me they’ve entirely missed the point that ungulates and other ‘prey animals’ are the amazing, fleet-footed, wary animals they are precisely *because* of evolutionary pressure from predators…or what am I missing?!? A few years ago some other Ivory Tower types suggested that we stop using the term “wild animals” because “wild” has negative connotations; instead, we should use:

          ““free-living”, “free-ranging” or “free-roaming” rather than “wild animals”… For most, “wildness” is synonymous with uncivilized, unrestrained, barbarous existence. There is an obvious prejudgment here that should be avoided.”

          These are animal rights thinkers whom I respect, but I did think that their negative take on the word ‘wild’ revealed a lot about their personal relationships to nature.

          • Ida Lupine says:

            For the most part, I agree – ‘pest’ and ‘vermin’ are misapplied, ‘owner’ implies property or even slavery. But I draw the line at ‘wild’, because this is how I see the word:

            1.(of an animal or plant) living or growing in the natural environment; not domesticated or cultivated.

            NOUN (the wild)

            a natural state or uncultivated or uninhabited region.

            • Ida Lupine says:

              I’ve been thinking about this, and I’m thinking that tampering with our perception of ‘wild’ is sounding more like it belongs on the Anthropocene Booster scrapheap (as well as the assisted carnivore extinction theory). Once we start changing definitions as a convenience, and teaching the new definition, there goes wilderness for a rambunctious human tended garden.

              And can we really consider ourselves having empathy if we do not extend it to other creatures on the planet? I don’t think so.

          • Larry K says:

            The Pete Singer article lacks an adjective to describe it because it is so thought provoking. First off I don’t find much that offends me except for exterminating ANY species or class of life. He used small pox in an example of eradication. In answer to his question on that, some things we do just because it is the right thing to do and our internal empathy controls that decision. His discussion re labeling animals and classes of animals I do agree with. I said earlier that I recoil at the term “lone wolf” being applied to terrorists. Just look at the damage the simplistic story of Red Riding Hood has done to how we reinforce with children how they should start thinking about wolves. But similar examples are around us that apply to races, religion and other human characteristics as well. While I paid money for my dogs, I use the metaphor that they agreed to live with me if I held up my bargain that I provide them food, shelter and medical needs for their life. He also talks about animals as a whole may be more important to the world than people because of our minority numbers. While some animals have senses, concepts and abilities that we will never experience, I ponder whether we miss the boat in not allowing our superior intellect to expand into another dimension by using empathy in our relationship to animals. There is a different dimension for our mind that results in different actions from us if we enter that dimension. For instance it is one thing to enjoy watching a well filmed NGeo flick or keeping our animals well fed; and actually being a part of the lives of animals in our mind. What do we learn when we become a part of an animals’ life as we do our closest friend? Do we benefit, do we change our person, do we learn something deep about life? I think we do. There is much written about what is good to achieve in life. Could it be that this dimension is the key to all other worthy achievements? I think we miss much of being a living being if we go through life without opening that empathy dimension about other forms of life here on earth. The good thing about opening that dimension is that there is no end to it but every day we travel it we become a better person which in turn spreads out like a hub to others around us. The early 20th century philosopher Albert Schweitzer looks into that dimension in his essays, “Reverence for Life” which is the point of what I’m clumsily trying to say.

            • Kathleen says:

              Hi Larry–thanks for your thoughtful reply. I hope you didn’t misread my intent–I also firmly believe that empathy for nonhuman animals is the key to a just and compassionate world for all of us. However, I do reject the idea that vaccinating humans against a virus is in any way analogous to wiping out an entire order of sentient nonhumans because they survive by preying on other sentient nonhumans.

              If you aren’t already familiar with him, you might be interested in this abolitionist (abolition of all animal exploitation) philosopher/lawyer who takes exception to Singer for his utilitarian views:

              • Larry K says:

                No worry, you are always main stream logic in my book.

              • Ida Lupine says:

                Thank you for that link, Kathleen. I reject Singer’s utilitarian views, and I was just appalled at Jeff McMahan’s proposal for eradicating all suffering. I suppose I needn’t worry because by the time all human-caused animal suffering has been changed, it may be the end of time.

                I knew that people would get all hung up on the smallpox issue and misunderstand what I meant. Human life and population is such a taboo subject no matter which side you are on. All I meant was that because of our medical advances, (and not just disease prevention) we have removed ourselves from diseases and other threats to human life that in the natural world still exist for other forms of life. We seem to have an idealized view of human life, because we can’t seem to control human violence, case in point the recent shootings in South Carolina. These things happen so frequently now I can’t keep up with them all.

                We do not really know what another living being’s perception of the world is, and to say that animals are not aware of their lives is just preposterous. We only know our own awareness, and what kind of suffering we can inflict, and what suffering feels like to us, and that we would not want another creature to suffer like that.

                I do not believe that as a group all of us are the forward-thinking, aware individuals we think we are. If we think of only our own suffering as a species, and care nothing for that of others, it is not empathy but self-preservation.

                As far as predators, that applies to us too. When there were less of us, we hunted like wolves and lions, and we are entitled to eat and survive too. Now, we resort to unnatural factory farming where the suffering is much, much, worse than a sustenance hunter could ever inflict, and cruelty and sadism have free reign.

                • Ida Lupine says:

                  Here is an interesting philosophical question: far from eliminating all suffering, when a patient is terminally ill and suffering, we will not let them die in peace. We value life so much we are willing to keep people on life support indefinitely. (Although this is changing). Besides wolves, right to life is a subject that gets Congress in a tizzy also. So, in order to eliminate suffering, sometimes death is necessary.

                  Sounds like a chicken v. egg argument, doesn’t it.

              • Ida Lupine says:

                Kathleen, just for the record: I just took exception to Singer saying that smallpox was unnatural (I had the disappointing feeling that somebody would pick up that ball and run with it) – I didn’t say vaccinating people was wrong, or controlling disease was the equivalent of wiping out entire species of sentient beings. Just that disease is a natural part of our environment. Thank you.

                • Kathleen says:

                  Hi Ida–for the record, I didn’t misunderstand what you were saying. I was responding to the interview with Singer, wherein he said that just because something is ‘natural’ doesn’t automatically mean it’s ‘good.’ Smallpox might be natural, but we did something about it anyhow (vaccines) to alleviate massive human suffering. The point I was attempting to make is that it isn’t an analogous situation to say that nonhuman carnivores should be eliminated because they cause suffering in prey animals–despite the fact that the predator/prey relationship is ‘natural.’ In other words, it’s one thing to use medical technology to control a human viral disease in humans and end human suffering, and something else entirely for humans to wipe out an entire order of nonhumans who are *obligated* (by nature) to prey on other nonhumans–based on some human philosophical construct about suffering. (I didn’t interpret Singer to be saying that smallpox was unnatural–just the opposite. Maybe that’s where the misunderstanding comes in.)

                • Ida Lupine says:

                  I don’t know that you can call elements of nature ‘good’ or ‘bad’, they just are the way they are. For the most part, I do believe that natural is better than non-natural, or human interference. Curing disease is only one example of where we were able to help – but where do you draw the line. Snatching a chimpanzee from the wild to subject him to forced inhalation of tobacco smoke when we know it causes illness is just plain unnecessary.

                  I have begun to see huge inconsistencies with this man’s philosophy. There are other animal rights philosophers who I tend to agree with more. For example, Singer’s defending beastiality is just plain bizarre to me, and completely indefensible. Utilitarian indeed. I compare that to taking advantage of an individual who did not have the same mental capacity?

  55. rork says:
    It’s a CWD update for MI. 122 additional deer from the area around the index case tested – none found to be infected. I’m still worried. It mentions that single deer situations in Minnesota and New York happened without finding any others. So it’s not impossible we will get out of this. It briefly sketches “the plan”. Unlimited doe tags and mandatory check-in of deer in that area, coupled to hunter education about carcass disposal. No feeding, no baiting. Some landowners have deer permits now, USDA contracted to shoot some. I do not doubt on the hunting forums writers are saying it’s not a sport there anymore, it’s our duty.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      This is a good example of the suffering that comes about when there are no carnivores to keep a deer population in check and remove unhealthy animals naturally. We’ve got to shoot in the dark basically.

      • rork says:

        On the narrow CWD subject I think that where CWD is endemic, all the predator species on the continent would not eliminate it. However I fully agree on the broader point: humans are terrible at not having the hygienic effects like other predators (quite the opposite, except perhaps we select for something like “smart”), and worse, by diminishing those predators blunt their hygienic effects. Hunters and the managers who overcoddle them, need to take some heat for that, and start changing. It’s like an addiction now though, cause so much money swirls around deer hunting here. We sin in fisheries management too.

  56. Gary Humbard says:

    Not wildlife news but wolves just can’t get a break in that the national news stated the white racist multiple murderer in Charleston, SC was possibly a “lone wolf”. The southern states still have not “evolved” like other areas in the US accepting humans for what they do instead of the color of their skin, nor has the national news in casting an animal that harms no human beings.

  57. Immer Treue says:

    Not wildlife related, but in regard to a recent event, very pertinent, and makes a connection with a scofflaw who has graced these pages.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Ha! I always knew they were smarter than humans.

      I had the most interesting encounter the other day. I was out hiking in the woods, and a red fox stepped out onto the path. He or she stopped and stared at me (either out of fear or curiosity), and I stopped. Then I gently called out, and he or she bounded away. I couldn’t help but think that if this had been in the Southwest, the community would have been demanding the poor thing be shot because of not knowing their place in the human hierarchy. 🙁

      • Ida Lupine says:

        It was a very large fox, at first I thought it was a coyote, very long-legged. But it had the darker legs…long muzzle. I suppose the Marines would have been sent in if it were a wolf! 🙂

  58. Gary Humbard says:

    Don’t hold your hopes out but at least some groups are trying to get Yellowstone NP to start thinking of bison as wildlife instead of cattle.

  59. Ida Lupine says:

    Or here’s something controversial. Maybe what I mean is that trying to save all human life and to cure all human suffering from hangnails to infertility, etc. is unnatural. Western society does not like ending human life, but thinks nothing of disposing of non-human life. We do not live forever, people do get sick, and life is unfair. The Eastern view values all life more. The more people we have on Earth, the more other creatures will be pushed out. Is that ethical? It’s the world we will inhabit someday.

  60. Ida Lupine says:

    This is further to Peter K’s posts on the sever deline of the Alexander Archepelago wolves, and a hunt is still planned even thought there are as few as 50 wolves left, if you can believe that! WTF is wrong with these people.

    Alaska Confirms Massive Decline of Rare Wolves; Still Plans to Hunt Them

    I happened to come across this in my readings, I thought you all might appreciate it. I’m not sure if this is a book, or just the essay. Note that historically Japan revered her wolves, until influenced by Western ideas:

    The Lost Wolves of New England

  61. WM says:

    It would appear wolves are moving south and west toward Yakima. Sign seen in the Wenas drainage (this is just south of Ellensburg and on the north side of Clemans mountain). It won’t be long before they hit the state’s biggest elk herd, on the east side of the Cascades. Am waiting for the wolf poopie to the fan, for it surely will here as wolves begin to take hold.

    • Louise Kane says:

      ‘it won’t be long before they hit the state’s biggest elk herd”

      god forbid they eat some of the people’s treasured endangered elk

      • WM says:

        …Lots of hobby ranches with horses and other critters, even a fair number of cattle and dairy. So, “god forbid,” indeed.

        • Nancy says:

          Come on WM, enough with the “doomsday” mentality. Been on the MFWP site lately?

          11 cows confirmed dead thru May by wolves (out of what? close to a million head of cattle in the state? ) No sheep, no hobby critters. And, Montana has more than triple the number of wolves.

          “As of the spring of 2015, the Washington State Department of Wildlife reports there are a minimum of 68 wolves in Washington, with 16 wolf packs and at least five successful breeding pairs in 2014. Because surveying wolf numbers is a very tricky process, the actual number of wolves in our state is likely higher, possibly around 100 individuals”

          And, it has been “tit for tat” – 11 wolves shot for depredations, 6 more that the deaths aren’t quite so obvious. And then of course, you’ve got the SSS crowd and hunting season.

          And no one paying any attention to how well its worked shooting coyotes on sight for years, when it comes to controlling their numbers.

          Would love to see the numbers (within the past 10 years or so) of cattle going to market these days that didn’t die of exposure, disease, etc. because ranchers are actually starting to pay attention to their cattle (not only because of the price per head $$) but because the “big dog” is back on the landscape now 🙂

          • WM says:

            WA is the smallest land area of the states with wolves, smallest elk population,largest human population and most disconnected/discontinuous habitat. Not doomsday, Nancy, but a hard reality check. If little conflict happens, that would be fine, but I think the laws of biology, are against this being a non-event, within 5 years.

            • Louise Kane says:

              WM so if there is an “event” at some point wolves will pay the price sadly. Is it fair to expect that all predators will leave all all livestock and domestic animals alone, as sacred belongings of humans. That is an unrealistic, unfair, dangerous mindset that ought to be revised.

              seems like there are about 76,000 elk in Washington and another 5,000 Roosevelt Elk. Lots of sites explaining how to reduce conflicts with elk. Wolves are one way


              • WM says:


                I think you might be a bit high on the total elk population, and a bit low on the number attributed to Roosevelt sub-species. The “conflict” problem is lack of winter range and wolves certainly won’t help with that issue. If anything, wolf presence may in some spots result in elk moving closer to where people are, creating more potential for elk-human conflict. Indeed, that is one reason why wolves were rejected for reintroduction to Rocky Mountain National Park (town of Estes Park), and Olympic National Park (towns of Sequim and Port Angeles). Both parks, were also considered too small, and local tolerance for reintroduction was(is still?) considered low.

                • Larry K says:

                  I really agree with WM on the issue of wolves out on the peninsula in WA state. Wolves out there would be maybe less welcome than they were (are) in Catron County New Mexico. That of course doesn’t mean I wouldn’t cheer dropping a truck load of wolves off at the end of the road on the Queets River.

            • Outdoorfunnut says:

              WM “11 cows confirmed dead thru May by wolves” I’ve read somewhere that only a small percentage of depredations are estimated to be confirmed. What is the actual numbers? I believe one of the most knowledgeable biologist is quoted to estimate at only one in seven wolf kills are confirmed. If so that would mean that 77 cows were actually killed by those 65 wolves and here we are only in May??? How many other animals calves, dogs, sheep, horses cats etc? How many Vet bills? I don’t think Nancy’s Million cattle are all in the path of where these wolves are?

              WM How many cattle are confirmed killed by WA 25000s + black bears ?

        • Yvette says:

          Oh come on, WM. When it comes to wolves you are comparable to FOX News on Obama and gun control; or Obama and Benghazi; or Obama and the ACA; or Obama and “the attack on Christianity”.

          Honestly, I’m not sure if you are truly this full of fear or just making those comments to stir the pot. That’s how absurd it comes across.

          Your comments on wolves remind me of those coming out of Catron County, NM. The mindset is the same and that’s with only 109 Mexican grey wolves spread out over NM and AZ. Kid cages anyone? Freakout Nation.

          • WM says:


            Wanna be more specific in which of my assertions is FOX like? I am just comparing with fact based statements, or predictions as as someone who actually lives in WA and spends time in the places mentioned.

          • rork says:

            Some people may get excited. I did not read that as advocating for wolf killing. I did find the update useful.

            • Yvette says:

              We now there will be that crowd that always responds with hyper-sensitivity toward the potential of wolf depredation. That is a given. For whatever reason, there is that group of people that freak out over wolves and they most certainly turn them into bigger villains than they actually are.

              WM, you apply logic to most issues. You also are good at seeing the direction of people’s and political responses toward wolf issues, but unfortunately, you apply a whooping dose of hyperbole on the potential of wolf depredation on livestock and/or elk. There is a need for calm heads when it comes to wolves. Like you said, you live in WA, so I just wish you would work more toward looking at the scale of how much damage wolves do in comparison to non-wolf related livestock losses. The more people that can talk to the locals to calm them the better—–and you are a local. Heck, you’re even from the Eastern side of WA, right? So, you know their language. We need logic and honesty, not hyperbole.

  62. Louise Kane says:

    removing the dams is the only solution/hope for Chinook salmon recovery

    orcas, sea lions and cormorants all suffering because these dams won’t be removed

    • WM says:

      From the article:

      ++In truth, already well known to others but not to me, these four Snake River dams are obsolete for their intended purposes and are being maintained at huge taxpayer expense for the benefit of a very few users. Plus, they are salmon-killers in a former river (now a series of lakes) that historically provided spawning and rearing habitat for millions of Chinook salmon. ++

      Ken Balcomb is a very well respected orca researcher (offices on San Juan Island, if I recall, outside Friday Harbor). He fails to point out that “the few” affected by lower Snake dam removal include the towns of Lewiston (Potlatch mill) and the Port itself, as well as neighboring Clarkston on the WA side. They will be impacted very significantly if the Snake is no longer navigable to that point. Recall the oil rig stuff destined for the Tar Sands was barged up river to this point before being offloaded and trucked up Highway 12 (stopped with litigation over Wild and Scenic (Recreational actually I think) legal issues. While storage capacity behind the Snake dams is small, one does have to wonder if even nominal water storage in the small reservoirs created here are important with climate change/warming?

      By the way, Louise, we don’t know if those dams will be removed. The movement to do so has become stronger over the last couple years. I personally would like to see them gone.

      • Louise Kane says:

        I guess I find it a hard argument to worry about navigable water issues when weighing the benefits of removing the dams. We seem to agree on the matter of removing dams, as we do occasionally!

  63. Yvette says:

    This has been in multiple news outlets over the weekend, but there is a new study out by Ceballos et al on the current rate of extinctions of vertebrates.

    Things are not looking good for any of us.

    Here is the link to the study.

  64. Louise Kane says:

    hunted wolves in BC involved in more depredations….I’ve forgortten the study last year that illustrated similar results here in the states, anybody have it?

  65. aves says:

    Conservation groups condemn killing of red wolf mother:

    (scroll down page for link)

    • Louise Kane says:

      How dare they?
      What am I missing here
      less than 100 red wolves
      and the USFWS issues a take for a denning female just because the landowner wants the wolf gone
      no depredation complaints
      no issues just wants the wolf gone?
      The USFWS issued the take based on the fact they could not capture the wolf
      but the reason they could not get the wolf was because the landowner denied them access

      What in the hell are they doing?
      anyone have more info on how this happened and why no lawsuit was brought against the USFWS

      This is surreal.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        It is surreal. They haven’t had access for two years the article said. Didn’t someone post here that the state doesn’t want the project anymore? Is this how they plan to end it – by killing them off? I seem to remember something being posted here about a petition, or maybe that was for the Mexican wolves – same story everywhere. This one is particularly bad, because USF&W is negligent. Something better be done about it.

        • Ida Lupine says:

          Negligent or derelict. 🙂

          • Ida Lupine says:

            Why can’t they relocate the wolves? I wonder which politician is in the landowner’s pocket. Scumbags and weaklings.

            Landowner Makes Case To End Red Wolf Recovery Program

            • Ida Lupine says:

              This person was given a take permit. Why can’t USF&W go on his property?


              • Ida Lupine says:

                I’ve been thinking about this. If this gentleman is the one involved with the latest shooting of a red wolf – if his property abuts a wildlife refuge, doesn’t that come with some restrictions and obligations as well as any benefit? He bought the property in 1999, so I imagine there must have been easements included, so why can’t the USF&W access the property for their work.

                This long-suffering man claims that he hates to have to kill the wolves (yeah, sure) but has no other choice.

                The end of this program is coming up, and the public comment period ends sometime in September unless people speak up who want to continue the Red Wolf program. This appears to be another example of a squeaky wheel making a lot of noise and an unaware public who has no idea what is going on. I wonder who is assisting him, a few wolf-delisting politicians (Democrats too).

                Plague is in the eye of the beholder I guess.

                • Ida Lupine says:

                  If his property abuts a wildlife refuge, the migratory wildlife therein is not his personal, private ‘zoo’.

        • Ida Lupine says:

          How do they plan to handle this in the future so this isn’t continuous occurrence? Having a hostile landowner abutting a wildlife refuge doesn’t inspire much confidence. Can they put a fence up separating the property from the refuge?

          • Ida Lupine says:

            That’s usually how property disputes are handled when you can’t stand your neighbors. Put up a wall or a fence! Heh. 🙂

          • Ida Lupine says:

            Does anyone know if the pups were destroyed too? Probably. I still can’t understand why the ‘landowner’ won’t allow F&W on the property to handle any ‘transgressions’ on the wolves’ part. It makes him look very uncooperative and hostile to the program.

          • aves says:

            Unless they get sued, this will likely happen again. The USFWS has given out several of these lethal take permits over the last few years.

            A small, but loud and politically connected minority of landowners want the wolves gone because the wolves kill animals they want to kill themselves. They are putting pressure on the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission who is in turn putting pressure on the USFWS, including Director Dan Ashe, who hasn’t shown any spine yet.

    • Yvette says:

      Federal regulations authorize the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to issue permits to take red wolves on private property after a property owner requests that wolves be removed from property and the Service abandons efforts to capture them. The landowner in this case denied the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service access to the property to trap and remove the wolves. The extent of the effort by the
      landowner to trap the wolf before killing it is unknown.

      Release the name of the landowner, who refused to allow USFWS onto the property to trap and relocate this wolf. Identify the USFWS staff that made the decision to permit this landowner to kill this breeding female. In fact, if USFWS failed to follow regulations then sue them. What a ridiculous decision to permit this landowner, who obviously, just wanted this mother wolf dead.

      This right on the heel of the new study of how severe and rapid the extinction of vertebrates. We must change our thinking, our approach, and revise regulations to get a handle on these extinction rates. But what good are regulations is the federal agencies don’t follow them.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        And a mother of future generations to boot. I have read that he did/does hire a private trapper and apparently he says they did capture 5 red wolves I think it said. What did they do with them? USF&W says there are none, and the coyote confusion defense is being used too.

  66. Nancy says:

    A beautiful recap of the Decorah eagles 2015.
    The snow scene gives one an idea of how dedicated the parents are.

  67. WM says:

    Looks like the West is not the only place plagued by coyotes. NY suburbs are now in the mix, as well – wonder if they get any help from those evil people at WS?

    • Yvette says:

      These links might be of interest to you on coyotes in large metropolitan areas.

      Chicago: (isn’t the coyote the most amazing animal?)

      San Francisco (great blog)

    • JB says:

      “Plagued by coyotes”? Seriously?

      • WM says:

        I believe the context was proper, and afterall the article itself used the terms “wreak havoc” and “outbreak:”

        transivitve verb. PLAGUED, plagu·ing, plagues
        1. To pester or annoy persistently or incessantly. See Synonyms at harass.

        a. To cause suffering or hardship for: “Runaway inflation further plagued the wage- or salary-earner” (Edwin O. Reischauer).

        b. To be a widespread or continuous problem or defect in: Confusing jargon plagues the entire subject.

        Or, we could just ask the folks in TX. WS thumps about 20,000 coyotes a year there, if memory serves. The state and private landowners get a bunch more. A total number from memory was around 50,000/year if I recall correctly.

        • JB says:

          According to Wildlife Services, New York State killed or dispersed 15 coyotes in 2014. Fifteen coyotes / 20 million residents = .00000075 incidents per resident (or put another way, less than 1/10,000 of 1 percent chance of an incident).

          But hey, I know what you’re going to say: ‘not everyone reports a conflict to WS!’ Okay, let’s assume the rate is one-thousand times higher; that is, for every coyote WS had to kill or disperse, 1,000 more coyotes caused problems. Well, you’re still less than 1/10 of 1% (.00075) or less than 1 in a 1000.

          Still sound like a plague?

          • WM says:

            With a population of upwards of 30,000 coyotes, somebody is removing more than 14 problem coyotes a year. Afraid I can’t find the WS stats for NY to confirm your assertion. It would appear their data reports are not easily available on line anymore – at least that I could find on the APHIS national website. Also could not find a specific NY office of WS. Seems their big focus is on geese at airports and raccoon diseases, though.

            Again, plague- transitive verb with several meanings. I didn’t say
            “plague” I said “plagued with problem coyotes” per the referenced article. The term was mean to mean “pestered or annoyed by” in this setting. For context of common usage, one might also say, “He is plagued by a bad back,” “Our ball club is plagued with errors this season.”

            Don’t know how you missed that usage, which was intended. 😉

              • Nancy says:

                Wow, look at the number of crows on this chart! I love crows.

                Just the other day a small mob of crows, down on the meadow across from me, forced a bald eagle to the ground. Would imagine it walked out of the area. It was good news for me with free range chickens. Crows, along with the Magpies, do the same when hawks come into their “no fly” zone.

            • Louise Kane says:

              First question

              where are the statistics coming from on population numbers of coyotes, anywhere? I question them, anywhere. In most states coyotes are not a protected species. They do not enjoy the small protections afforded to game species and are listed under nuisance or predator categories. As such there are no reporting requirements from which to obtain data. Jon Way has worked for several years to get permits from the CC National Seashore to study and track the coyotes. He finally received the permits but his is the only study I am aware of here in MA. And that study will cover only coyotes in the NS. In Ma, like other states, there are no restrictions on # of coyotes taken, age, sex, and no reporting requirements. How then do these states claim with certainty or legitimacy the population of coyotes or other nuisance species. I hate that term. By the way, the carnivore conservation act that Jon and I wrote would fix many of the problems with state management of carnivores. in case you have not seen it

    • Professor Sweat says:

      Ignorant people leaving their pets outside and a few nips on unsuspecting suburbanites. Hardly a plague. They’re probably helping in some ways to control other things that aren’t so apparent (rodents, Lyme’s disease). These are also eastern coyotes, a critter that can attribute its existence to human activity and IMO a different animal than the coyotes we have here in the west. It will be some time before we fully understand their behavior.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        Yes, and ‘inconvenience’ maybe, but doesn’t rise to the level of plague.

        I can’t believe modern people expect a life without any inconvenience at all.

        As you say, coyotes would not have filled the niche of wolves if we hadn’t killed the wolves off first. Keeping an eye on your pet, your kid, and taking care not to leave out food or garbage that might attract wildlife is not too much to ask.

        Constantly reading about unreasonable complaints and expectations of suburbanites and others is what really is a nuisance, IMO.

        One woman was actually feeding the coyotes, the article said, so you never know what draws them.

      • Harley says:

        Well… they’ve done nothing for a chipmunk population which has exploded! I live in a suburb of Chicago.

        • Barb Rupers says:

          Do you see coyotes about much?

          Hear that Chicago had a big storm this week. Hope all is well in your area.

        • Professor Sweat says:

          I’m from Woodridge, close to the border of Naperville near Greene Valley forest preserve. I’ve lived between there and Chicago for 24 years. I’ve seen coyotes and chipmunks, along with skunks, opossum, red foxes, raccoons, squirrels, field mice, voles, shrews, and more but the only over abundant species in my area was white-tail deer.

          • Yvette says:

            PBS Nature has that episode on coywolves, but it has a segment on the urban coyotes in Chicago, and now, NYC. In fact, most of the episode covers the urban coyotes and coywolves. One of the researchers said there may be over 2,000 coyotes in Chicago.

            I watched it again last night and it’s truly interesting how smart and adaptable coyotes, and apparently, coywolves are. It goes to show how few problems they actually cause.

            • Professor Sweat says:

              That is a great episode. When I lived downtown, I used to see one milling around in nearby CVS parking lot. 2000 seems reasonable based purely on the abundance of garbage and rats I observed there. There is also a long strip of parkland along the lake on the north side of the city that I used to bike at night. It had a lot more wildlife than I ever expected to see while living in such a massive city.

            • Ida Lupine says:

              It was a good episode ultimately, but the opening sequence seemed to support the old trope of wild canids lurking about schoolyards and homes. That was a disappointment.

              Continuing those kinds of myths really does more harm than good, IMO. Instead, it should be about education that being cautious and careful about unwittingly (and sometimes wittingly) attracting wildlife to your yard, and the steps to take to be proactive.

        • Kathleen says:

          They are Cubs fans…what’s not to love??? Go Cubbies!

          • Professor Sweat says:

            Wrigleyville is a buffet of discarded or half-digested tacos/pizza/burgers/you-name-it on a weekend in the early A.M. hours. Easy pickings for a coyote.

  68. timz says:

    here kitty kitty…

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Hey, cuz! 🙂 It’s almost like they recognize each other.

      • Harley says:

        I think the cougar was thinking more along the lines of meal or interloper lol! That was pretty incredible though.

        • Nancy says:

          Agree Harley, interloper, the flattened ears are a good indicator.

          • Yvette says:

            I disagree that the lion was looking for a meal. A cat is a cat is a cat. Look at the lion’s ears; she/he lays them down a bit but they are sideways. That is a sign of apprehension and a bit of nervousness, but not fight mode. Notice the lion’s face, too. A cat’s brow tends to crunch up (like a human) and it’s eyes squint more (like a human) when it is truly mad and in fight mode. If his ears lay flat and face backward then get the hell out of the way. This lion is simply curious and being in a strange environment the lion is not at ease. Curious, but apprehensive. There are other signs, too. The lion paws at the screen door. It’s just several light taps. I see my cats do this all the time when they notice something new like if I’ve moved something in the house. They will lightly tap the object, then back away; then tap and back away until they have determined that the object is not a danger. It is exactly the way this lion is moving. Lastly, that hiss is not an aggressive hiss. Read the lion’s face when he hisses. It’s a mild warning like a first warning but not yet aggressive.

            This lion was definitely not looking or thinking of making that domestic cat a meal. Trust me on this one. This was a curious and apprehensive lion, but definitely not in fight or aggressive mode. He wasn’t in hunt mode, either.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        He or she doesn’t look full size, maybe a young cat? I was kidding with the cousin quote of course, but they are the closest of relatives. The mountain lion, while cautious, doesn’t look in full-on fight mode.

        • TC says:

          Not really the closest of cousins – same family, not same genus; domestic cats have quite a few closer “cousins” in the small wild cat world, and mountain lion’s closest relative is the jaguarundi.

          It has adult pelage and no obvious markings of a subadult (it offers a nice view of the inner forelegs several times), and likely is a young adult female (quick glimpse of canine teeth when it hisses – saw no clear wear or staining). It appears normal sized for a female – they can be less than 100 pounds and often are…

          And dollars to donuts had it gotten the chance it would have killed that cat inside of 5 seconds either to eliminate feline competition or more likely to eat. I’ve pulled domestic cat parts out of several cougar stomachs. Pretty cat, it would be wise to spend less time around peoples’ homes, and the people would be wise to keep their cats (and dogs) indoors or well supervised.

          • TC says:

            Ha. I was wrong. Closer look – there are still spots on the inner forelegs. Now voting for subadult female, almost adult.

    • Louise Kane says:

      The man has a funny sense of humor
      the wife asks, “where are the kids?” he says, “Oh they are out back”
      instead of freaking out about the cat being in their yard he is joking – pretty cool

    • Ida Lupine says:

      The plan authorizes the company to make 571 motorized trips annually into the wilderness area to build 11 drill pads. Vehicles would include four-wheel-drive pickups, a dump truck, a flatbed truck, a bulldozer and a small excavator.

      Can’t this be challenged and stopped? We can’t stop destroying, can we. Just the thought of this in the Frank Church River-of-no-Return Wilderness is disgusting.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        The claim is inside the Frank Church Wilderness and in the headwaters of Big Creek, which flows into the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. The preliminary decision would allow the use of dumptrucks, bulldozers and drilling rigs to open roads, clear drill pads and excavate trenches within the wilderness. It would also allow 24-7 drilling operations and authorize up to 571 motorized vehicle trips into the Frank Church Wilderness each year for three years.

        Here’s an article from March. Surely it can be opposed on environmental and clean, safe water protection grounds?

        See more at:

        • Ida Lupine says:

          This ought to be interesting. I wonder how it will conflict with the non-motorized vehicles laws?

          Apparently it was suggested that they go in as the 1870s prospectors – on foot, horse and mule to mine for gold, and it did not go over well. If they want to make adjustments to the laws to reflect modern times, then so should the American public demand that the compliance with the Mining Act be mitigated to reflect modern changes. 🙂

        • Barb Rupers says:

          Thanks for the link, Ida. I have spent more than one night at the confluence of Big Creek and the Middle Fork of the Salmon. It could be a great loss to the Frank Church Wilderness if this project progresses.

          • Ida Lupine says:

            You’re welcome Barb –

            I read that the company ‘hasn’t ruled out open pit mining’. Yeah sure.

            FLPMA provides that the Secretary shall take any action necessary to prevent unnecessary or undue degradation of the lands. Today, these provisions and the multiple use mandates of FLPMA are implemented alongside the 1872 Mining Law.

            Other state and Federal laws also play a critical role in ensuring that hardrock mining operations on public lands occur in an environmentally sound manner. Although the 1872 Mining Law itself is over 100 years old, statutory requirements to comply with state and Federal Laws, such as the Clean Water Act; Clean Air Act; Endangered Species Act; National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA); Wilderness Act; and National Historic Preservation Act, ensure that mining operations meet today’s cultural and environmental needs.

            Another miner in a Colorado wilderness has too go in with pack mule, pick axe and have supplied dropped in by helicopter. 🙂

            • Gary Humbard says:

              “The Forest Service’s right to manage AIMMCO’s activity is limited in that it may not deny a plan of operation for development of such resources provided that it is reasonably incident and not needlessly destructive, and complies with applicable federal mining laws and regulations, and applicable state and federal laws and regulations related to air, water, and solid waste”.

              The NEPA requires federal agencies to take a “hard look” at the environmental impacts of projects and proposals and the FEIS did that. Also I’ve attached the 65 page decision record that summarizes the actions. Unfortunately the 150 year old Mining Law trumps the Wilderness Act and hopefully they won’t find enough minerals to continue their operations.


              • Ida Lupine says:

                I don’t believe it. Why is it an issue now? This assumes they have a valid claim to begin with. I hope people watch this closely. I hope they are required to pack up their sh*t afterwards too, if in fact they ever do set foot in there.

                • Ida Lupine says:

                  I know the Forest Services’ hands are somewhat tied in this.

                  “John Robison of the Idaho Conservation League, however, said he’s concerned the company is seeking deposits in new areas, a move he said violates what is allowed in the wilderness. “It appears to be more of a treasure hunt looking for new mineral deposits rather than confirming old ones,” he said.”

                  This concerns me too. This should be addressed before they go in there while the general public is unaware. It would appear any old claims are invalid?

                  To me, this is less about mining rights than about the continual chipping away at the Wilderness Act and other environmental laws. Be wary of this. I do hope a lawsuit is being considered.


                • Ralph Maughan says:

                  Ida Lupine,

                  Gold miners have been digging around what is now the western edge of the Frank for about hundred years now.

                  Except for the first strikes near the ghost town of Roosevelt they have had little to no producing ore, but still they keep digging, and most likely speculating in stock.

                  About once a decade they seek permission to enter the wilderness. They usually get it. Then they mess around for a while, leave a few pock marks and go away. Hopefully it will be the same again.

              • WM says:

                Good points Gary. In addition the legislation creating the Frank Church Wilderness also has specific language reserving mining activity and access. Ironic that some environmental interests who didn’t want road access used were pushing helicopters as an alternative means of getting building materials to the sites.

                And, also, it is important that many designated wilderness areas would likely not have been created at all if there were not concessions regarding some activities which seem/are inconsistent with “wilderness character,” and “wilderness values.”

                • Ida Lupine says:

                  I don’t know if anyone was ‘pushing’ the use of helicopters (it may have been the lesser of all the evils), but here was the original article I read about. I wonder if the mining claims were abandoned? It should be interesting to see what happens with the Frank Church mine.

                  This particular mine in Colorado wasn’t able to run rampant. Why would Idaho be any different?

                  A Gold Mine in the Colorado Wilderness?

                • Ida Lupine says:

                  Oh, I see the difference now. The Colorado owner has a personal environmental ethic and is reducing his impacts voluntarily. The Idaho owner isn’t encumbered by such trivialities. 🙂

  69. Gary Humbard says:

    A really good article on how ranchers are learning to co-exist with nature near Yellowstone NP.

  70. Louise Kane says:

    From Nancy Warren of Wolfwatcher

    “Here are some upcoming events involving wolves in Arizona, Wisconsin & West Yellowstone. A few years ago I attended the Howliday Campout & I can attest that it is an emotional experience to stand at the Green Fire overlook.

    Big Lake Howliday Campout Weekend
    Join the Grand Canyon Wolf Recovery Project for a weekend learning about & celebrating the return of Mexican wolves to the wild.

    This year marks the 17 year anniversary of the first releases of Mexican wolves back into the wild in the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area.

    Where: Apache Trout Campground Fir Group site at Big Lake in the Apache National Forest, Arizona.

    When: Friday, July 10th, 2015 starting at 3:00 pm through Sunday, July 12th at noon

    All activities during the weekend are free, however, a suggested donation of $50 per person is requested to cover the cost of meals and camping fees.
    Registration is required

    Bring your own personal camping equipment and appropriate clothes for hiking in high elevations during the Monsoon season.

    Optional Weekend Activities Include:

    – Wildlife tracking workshops
    – Morning bird walks
    – Hike on Paseo del Lobo trail
    – Evening talks

    Hike to the “Green Fire” site where Aldo Leopold had his epiphany about wolves and watched the green fire die


    Wolf and Wildlife Conservation & Coexistence Initiative

    Through focus groups, panel discussions and expert presentations examining the biases and scientific shortfalls shaping current wildlife stewardship, the conference will encourage collaboration and development of an ethical, science-based, democratic vision of wildlife conservation that respects diversity and the intrinsic value of life.

    It will empower and encourage collaboration for people to have an active voice for wildlife.

    July 15-16th, 2915
    Ho-Chunk Convention Center
    S3214 County Hwy BD
    Baraboo, WI 53913
    608 356 6210


    Friends of the Wisconsin Wolf and Wildlife is a grassroots organization formed in response to the aggressive wolf hunting / trapping practices in Wisconsin. They advocate for wolves and other imperiled Wisconsin wildlife.

    Howl for Wolves Wisconsin
    Travel into wolf territory to perform a survey by literally howling at the wolves.

    Learn about wolf ecology, the status of Wisconsin wolves, and how researchers use surveys to track packs, territories, and populations.

    Transportation provided. Space fills quickly for this popular program so register now! $22 ($18 members); $10 Youth 16 and under.
    07/01/2015 07:30 PM – 10:30 PM CT
    08/12/2015 07:30 PM – 10:30 PM CT
    08/26/2015 07:30 PM – 10:30 PM CT
    09/09/2015 07:00 PM – 10:00 PM CT
    10/14/2015 07:00 PM – 10:00 PM CT

    North Lakeland Discovery Center
    215 County Highway W
    Manitowish Waters, Wisconsin
    VISIT THE DISCOVERY CENTER and download the 2015 Summer / Fall Guide of other exciting events.
    Speak for Wolves
    On August 7-9, 2015 Americans from all over the country will meet in West Yellowstone, Montana (Union Pacific Lodge) to discuss, strategize and unite in building a coalition to address the need to reform wildlife management in America.

    It’s time for wildlife management to integrate the science of the 21st century and the ever-changing demographics and values of our citizenry. The status quo of wildlife management in America is broken and it needs to be fixed.

    This 3-day family-friendly event will feature prominent speakers, panel discussions, live music, education booths, children’s activities, local food vendors and screening of wildlife documentaries.
    There will be a screening of the documentary, OR7 The Journey, about the incredible journey of a lone gray wolf that dispersed from eastern Oregon to northern California. The film is a journey of survival, connectivity and inspiration for wolf recovery in America.

    For the schedule of events or to purchase tickets to the screening of OR7, click here SPEAK FOR WOLVES”

  71. Louise Kane says:

    food for thought about hate symbols and slogans related to wildlife

  72. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Stunning Amur tiger face printed to nose of aircraft to highlight animal’s endangered status

    Read more:

  73. Mareks Vilkins says:

    To commemorate and put Cliven Bundy’s case in historical context:

    few excerpts from Appendix to the Second paperback Edition of Norman G. Finkelstein’s „The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering” Second edition 2003,
    pages 264-273

    „In June 1996 the Native American Rights Fund filed the largest class-action lawsuit in US history on behalf of Elouise Pepion Cobell of Montana’s Blackfeet tribe, and 300 000 – 500 000 other Native Americans.

    … At issue were Native American monies held in trust by the US government. The genesis of these Individual Indian Money (IIM) trust accounts reached back to the late nineteenth century when, under the General Allotment Act (1887), 140 million acres of communally-owned tribal lands were broken up into private plots. „As the government concedes,” Judge Lamberth stated, „the purpose of the IIM trust was to deprive plaintiffs’ ancestors of their native lands and rid the nation of their tribal identity.” Fully 90 million acres were deemed „surplus” and quickly opened to non-Indian settlement, while another 40 million acres „have never been accounted for.” Revenue from leases for grazing, mining, drilling and lumbering rights on these lands – now reduced to 10 million acres – was supposed to go into the IIM trust accounts. The class-action suit called on the US government to finally audit – „abide by its duty to render an accurate accounting of” – these accounts. Designating their condition a „national disgrace,” a 1992 Congressional report found that IIM accounts „look as though they had been handled with a pitchfork,” and were the „equivalent of a bank that doesn’t know how much money it has.”

  74. Mareks Vilkins says:

    … „It would be difficult to find a more historically mismanaged federal program,” Judge Lamberth concluded. „The United States … cannot say how much money is or should be in the trust … It is fiscal and governmental irresponsibility in its purest form.” And again: „The Department of Interior’s administration of the Individual Indian Money trust has served as the gold standard for mismanagement by the federal government for more than a century … The federal government regularly issues payments to beneficiaries – of their own money – in erroneous amounts.”

    … Noting that apparently „no sitting Secretary in modern times has been held in contempt of court,” Lamberth charged defendants with „actions that can be characterized as nothing short of contumacious,” a „behind-the-scenes cover-up,” „campaign of stonewalling,” and „shocking pattern of deception,” „numerous illegitimate misrepresentations,” „nothing short of travesty,” „reckless disregard for the orders of this court,” „misconduct that rises above the level of ‘reckless disregard’ ,” „wilfull dereliction … perilously close to criminal contempt of court” and so on. „I have never seen,” he concluded, „more egregious misconduct by the federal government.”

    … In a December 1999 report the court-appointed Special Master disclosed the Treasury Department’s renewed destruction of documents „potentially responsive or potentially relevant to the Cobell litigation … at the exact time the Secretary of the Treasury was held in contempt for violation of his discovery obligations,” as well as its failure „to disclose the destruction … notwithstanding myriad opportunities to do so.” „This is a system,” the Special Master concluded,”clearly out of control.”

  75. Mareks Vilkins says:

    … Upholding Lamberth’s opinion, the US Court of Appeals subsequently ruled that the Treasury Department’s „destruction of potentially relevant IIM-related trust documents that may have been necessary for a complete accounting is clear evidence that the Department” breached its „fiduciary duty”; and that „given the history of destruction of documents and loss of information necessary to conduct an historical accounting, the failure of the government to act could place anything approaching an adequate accounting beyond plaintiffs’ reach.”

    … „In my fifteen years on the bench I have never seen a litigant make such a concerted effort to subvert the truth seeking function of the judicial process. I am immensely disappointed that I see such a litigant today and that the litigant is a Department of the United States government. The Department of Interior is truly an embarrassment to the federal government in general and the executive branch in particular”; „The egregious nature of the Department’s conduct in this is exacerbated by the fact that attorneys in the Solicitor’s Office actively participated”; „It is almost unfathomable that a federal agency would engage in such a pervasive scheme aimed at defrauding the Court and preventing the plaintiffs from learning the truth about the administration of their trust accounts.”

  76. Mareks Vilkins says:

    The U.S. government’s handling of the actual audit has proven equally scandalous. With cost estimates ranging from $200 to $400 million, already in the early 1990s both Congress („it makes little sense to spend so much”) and the Department of Interior („a difficult task, perhaps costing over $200 million”) questioned the financial wisdom of auditing the accounts. In 1996 Interior requested only a modest sum for the audit and even this amount was slashed by the federal government. In the September 2002 contempt trial Judge Lamberth found that, despite a court order, for more than a year and a half Interior „had not even taken the preliminary steps” toward conducting the audit.

    … Reviewing the entire court record, Judge Lamberth scathingly observed that the Department of Interior „handled this litigation the same way that it has managed the IIM trust – disgracefully”; that „the defendants’ contention that the Court should consider their ‘good-faith’ efforts would be laughable if it were not so sad and cynical”; that „the recalcitrance exhibited by the Department of Interior in complying with the orders of this Court is only surpassed by the incompetence that the agency has shown in administering the IIM trust”; and so on. „I may have life tenure,” he concluded, „but at the rate the Department of Interior is progressing that is not a long enough appointment.” In January 2003, Native American plaintiffs presented Judge Lamberth a „detailed court filing … based on private historical records asserting that the government had cheated them out of as much as $137.2 billion over the last 115 years.”

  77. Mareks Vilkins says:

    Some footnotes / references:

    United States District Court for the District of Columbia, Elouise Pepion Cobell et al., Plaintiffs, v. Bruce Babbitt, Secretary of the Interior, Lawrence Summers, Secretary of the Treasury, and Kevin Gover, Assistant Secretary of the Interior (Civil Action No. 96-1285) (RCL), Memorandum Opinion: Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law (21 December 1999)

    Jeffrey St. Clair, „Stolen Trust” in CounrePunch (5 September 2002)

    Joel Brinkley, „American Indians Say Documents Show Government Has Cheated Them Out of Billions,” in New York Times (7 January 2003).

    • Mareks Vilkins says:

      Stolen Trust Gale Norton, Native Americans and the Case of the Missing $10 Billion

      Stolen Trust


      American Indians Say Documents Show Government Has Cheated Them Out of Billions

      • Mareks Vilkins says:

        Government Owes 30,000 Indians Royalties for Land but Can’t Find Them

        Elouise Cobell, 65, Dies; Sued U.S. Over Indian Trust Funds

        Elouise Cobell, a heroine to American Indians for leading a 15-year legal battle that ended with the federal government’s agreeing to pay $3.4 billion in compensation for mismanagement of Indian trust funds since the late 1800s, died on Sunday in Great Falls, Mont. She was 65 and lived on the Blackfeet reservation near Browning, Mont.

        More than 300,000 members of many tribes will receive payments under the settlement.

        Ms. Cobell, whose Indian name was Yellow Bird Woman and who was a great-granddaughter of a renowned tribal leader, Mountain Chief, was the lead plaintiff in Cobell v. Salazar.

        The case, the name of which changed over the years as successive interior secretaries took office (the current secretary is Ken Salazar), was filed in 1996. It was settled in December 2009 and received a federal judge’s final approval on June 20 of this year after President Obama signed legislation passed by Congress.

        The lawsuit spanned three presidencies, engendered seven trials and went before a federal appeals court 10 times.

        Under the settlement, the government will pay $1.4 billion to compensate Indians for their claims of historical accounting irregularities; each member of the class will receive a check for $1,000. The remaining $2 billion will go into a fund to be distributed to Indians based on how much land they own.

        • skyrim says:

          Mareks Vilkins
          Thank you for your tireless efforts here and on other threads. Your dedication to the cause is honorable.

          • Louise Kane says:

            “The Department of Interior is truly an embarrassment to the federal government in general and the executive branch in particular”; „

            I would add that the Department’s handling of red and mexican wolves rises to this level of obfuscation and ineptness. As for Grey wolves their determination to ignore the realities of recovered status under state’s management is criminal.

      • Larry K says:

        Your articles +++

  78. Kathleen says:

    For snake lovers/appreciators/respecters:
    How dry is it in Western Montana? Snakes are drinking from dishes! I keep a few small dishes of water under our native rosebush (Rosa woodsii) for small birds and mammals–looked out two days ago and there was a snake getting a drink! I identified it as an Eastern (or North American) racer, Coluber constrictor. This snake was over two feet long and when he/she was done drinking, slithered right into and through the center of the dish before taking off, refreshed! A couple of pics are here:

    • Louise Kane says:

      Kathleen great image and story
      we had a very large black racer or rat snake (10 ft or so) last year. I have not seen much of him this year. I’m hoping he made it through the winter and that no one molested him. We actually have quite a few snakes due to surrounding conservation land, a salt water river and wetlands leading out to the bay and a cranberry bog. I love to see them but from a short distance. They often come right into the garage and claim spaces. we don’t make them leave but I admit to being nervous about coming on one unexpectedly. My dog, very prey driven, whimpers and hides behind me when we come on snakes. Once in walking on a lake trail he stepped on the path into a black snake, the snake in trying to escape started up his leg before realizing its mistake. The dog, leg stiffened out, crying and whining took off in the opposite direction and could not be coaxed back onto that trail for a log time. Funny how there is an instinctual fear with snakes….in my case respect and admiration also but really would not like to handle and like them to be at a bit of a distance.

      • Kathleen says:

        I’m picturing the snake getting confused and climbing the dog’s leg–must have been traumatic for the dog, but it’s a rather funny image. We had a rubber boa make him/herself comfortable in our garage while the house was being built–a cute little tan colored snake, hard to tell which end was which.

        As for the instinctual feelings about snakes–must be a very primal, protective thing that’s installed on our hard drives. First time I ever encountered a rattlesnake (hiking in the Smoky Mtns), I heard the rattle before I saw the snake and just the sound–which I’d never heard for real before–instinctively gave me chills.

  79. Kathleen says:

    Another snake story…we’re hearing more reports of rattlesnakes in Western MT. This snake was minding his/her own business just sunning in a road. Before the county commissioner could shoot the snake (because it’s a “hazard to livestock”), another guy said he could “handle” it and picked up the snake–who bit him three times. I fear that stories like this will just feed the fear-based hatred of snakes.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Isn’t that something. We had one of our extremely endangered timber rattlesnakes come out of hiding the other day – I’m glad steps are being taken to save them and it’s thrilling to have our own rattlesnake (and copperheads too):–309555851.html

    • Yvette says:

      They would have shot that snake either way. A lot of people are more hysterical over snakes than they are wolves, and when a human sees one, poisonous or not, they usually end up dead. The snake had the misfortune of being seen by two dumbazzes. At least he nailed one of them 3 times.

      Most snake bites are on the hands or arms. Go figure.

    • Barb Rupers says:

      Thanks for the tip on keeping small critters watered during dry spells.

      The following was at the end of the article in the link “Similar-looking bull snakes imitate the rattlesnake by shaking their tails in tall grass “. I had a gopher snake on my living room carpet once when my dog approached, its tail went up and vibrated fast enough to make a rattle sound – no grass necessary; also observed the same action in a county road ditch with no grass.

      • Kathleen says:

        Living room carpet!!! I encountered a large bull snake on our property a few years ago–I didn’t know about them then–and the vegetation was dry, so when he/she vibrated the tail I darn near freaked out. I like snakes and am not afraid of them, but had always been told that “we just don’t have venomous snakes around here.” Was relieved and fascinated to learn about the bull snake.

        • Ida Lupine says:

          Isn’t that funny. I found one in my basement (non-venomous), put on some leather work gloves and put him back outside. I wish those guys had been wearing gloves when they captured him!

          I’m very happy too Barb that our timber rattlers are still surviving. Who knows for how long.

          • Ida Lupine says:

            Like the pygmy rabbits, there’s a man out here who has made it his life’s mission to protect the timber rattler. Thank goodness for people like this!

      • rork says:

        Our eastern milk snake in MI seems to be mimicking our rattlesnake, in both look and behavior. It coils and shakes it’s tail. It’s a kind of king snake and the taxonomy is a mess. Ours look nothing like the king snakes I know from other areas, which sometimes look like they are mimicking other species like coral snakes. The divergence in the king snakes is fascinating. They lay a clutch of eggs in my compost pile every year, which I dutifully take care not to harm. The hatchlings are charming, the adults dignified, often holding their ground. Gorgeous.

        • Ida Lupine says:

          They are beautiful. In the fall I have seen small hatchlings of what is I think a water snake, crossing the trail in that “S” shape. I see the adult snake basking near the ponds too.

    • Mareks Vilkins says:

      Man bitten three times by adder left in serious but stable condition

      The 44-year-old … was bitten by an adder that he had picked up


      I don’t have a death-wish, I just pick up a viper, man – you see?

    • Ida Lupine says:

      I thought this was great news to read – nice to see kids getting involved too.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      What is wrong with people today – trying to ride a moose, picking up rattlesnakes, climbing beaver dams, getting too close to bison and grizzlies.

    • Rich says:

      I wonder if they will have to euthanize the beaver?

    • Immer Treue says:

      Perhaps a bit of misplaced humor, but a song by Primus comes to mind.:-)

      • Nancy says:

        You forgot the link Immer 🙂

      • Immer Treue says:

        Thanks. Wanted to be careful not to be offensive. 🙂

        • WM says:

          That was obnoxious on oh so many levels.

          • Professor Sweat says:

            As someone who has spent thousands of hours attempting to master the bass guitar, I agree. Les Claypool and his band are obnoxiously skilled. But, that’s a discussion for a different forum.

  80. Kathleen says:

    Indiana Coyote Rescue Center needs help to remedy flooding issues:

  81. Ida Lupine says:

    I sure hope so! It’s just that saying ‘they’ ‘haven’t ruled out an open pit mine yet’ is just so much gall and throwing down the gauntlet! I’d say for all intents and purposes, that at least should be ruled out….

  82. Louise Kane says:

    this Congress
    who do they work for?
    with some scientists arguing we are in a 6th extinction short sighted morons like those seeking to legislatively delist species that are historically mismanaged and persecuted are criminals.

    what is needed is a national carnivore protection act

    • Ida Lupine says:

      What’s needed is a thorough Congressional housecleaning at the next election!

    • Yvette says:

      I don’t see how it is legal for them to lose protection when there are only 109 wild lobos left on the planet.

      I’m off work tomorrow, so I’ll prepare a letter to the editor and submit. I’ll also send to the OK reps though I have zero faith in any of them.

      • Louise Kane says:

        I am trying to sort through this, maybe even worse is the treatment of red wolves. Less is numbers, less attention and the agency just killed a lactating female because a landowner did not want the wolves on his property and prevented the service from entering his property to remove and relocate the wolf. So they killed it. I can’t figure out how this happened without a lawsuit. It’s outrageous.

    • Professor Sweat says:

      The text doesn’t seem to be available for this bill yet. I’m curious to see if they included a provision that prevents judicial challenge to the Lobo delisting. Is that boilerplate language at this point? I sure wish these Congress men and women could spend some time working on things that matter, like infrastructure and unemployment. Leave the big bad wolf to the fairy tales.

  83. Ida Lupine says:

    the agency just killed a lactating female because a landowner did not want the wolves on his property and prevented the service from entering his property to remove and relocate the wolf.

    How cruel and uncooperative is that? And yet he goes on and on in the press about how ‘concerned’ he is about the future of the Red Wolf Program like a phoney. What happened to any pups? His wolfer probably took care of them too?

    This may or may not be true, but according to a wolf-hating blog, apparently one of the poor, long-suffering ‘landowners’ has been on the Batphone directly to Dan Ashe bitching about this as a leak of information! How is all of this secret goings on fair to the general public who wants the continuation of this program?

  84. Immer Treue says:

    Every once and a while I peruse the sight of self proclaimed scholar Mr. Rockholm. He has since taken down this “very reliable source” photo. The bamboozler was evidently bamboozled. And so goes the anti-wolf movement.

    Scott Rockholm
    I was just sent this photo, from a very reliable source. I am trying to confirm the location, and I am told this is North Dakota. Notice, no children playing in the yards. If a child was outside, when this pack was cruising, they would be dead. Wake up Americans!

    • Professor Sweat says:

      I have it from a “very reliable source” that it was actually a wolf trained by USFW on the grassy knoll that took out JFK.

  85. Gary Humbard says:

    “The FWS has never really explained how they are going to get (the Mexican gray wolf) to delisting,”

    “They just don’t have a process to take it out of the recovery program. It’s a big economic problem. It’s a safety problem. It’s going to become a bigger problem now that they’ve expanded the area.”

    “Ideally, we’d like to see the program go away,” said Caren Cowan, executive director of the New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association in Albuquerque. “We believe it is a failed experiment.”

    As a former NEPA specialist, I always ask two basic questions; what is the purpose and need of the proposal. Clearly wolves pose no safety issues to humans and in fact probably improve the safety of driving by reducing the deer population and thus reducing collisions.

    Cattle predation losses due wolves is less than one half of one percent and again probably reduce total predation by reducing the coyote population.

    Even though the recovery plan is over 30 years old and should be updated, (probably due to lack of funding) does not mean that FWS is not working for the recovery of Mexican gray wolves. The congressmen simply do not like the expanded habitat rule which gets me to the real purpose and need.

    Money and ultimately power. I’m confident that Cattle Grower Associations and Farm Bureaus are BIG contributors to these congressmen. Until their desire to have a sanitized landscape evolves to recognize the importance of predators, working with conservation organizations in implementing protection measures against predation and begin working with nature instead of against it, these bills will continue. Lastly, the mystical “big bad wolf” still exists, but with time this is changing as shown by public opinion surveys.

  86. skyrim says:

    Some more Cliven Bundy news. Me thinks we’re getting closer to resolution here. I agree that the political atmosphere may play into it, but Obama and administration and Harry Reid all lame ducks could speed it up some.

    • skyrim says:

      Total Insanity…….
      What’s wrong with this picture?
      What doesn’t belong?
      It’s the damn sheep I tell ya!

  87. Yvette says:

    For those interested in water news, the Western Governors’ Association drought forum report is out. There is a link to the report and to a couple of other water related information here,

    More water news: The California Water Board issued a notice of unavailability of water in the upper San Joaquin R. to those that hold pre-1914 water rights. This drought. Oy.

  88. Louise Kane says:

    perhaps this decision by the USFWS will give the HSUS a basis for challenging the decision

    • rork says:

      The irony. They went to court but were too successful.

      • Louise Kane says:

        I don’t see it as ironic rather a failure by the USFWS to fulfill their obligations to wolves and to the US public. Their recent actions in red and Mexican wolf management demonstrate their irresponsible and purposeful maneuvering to abrogate and lessen wolf recovery for two struggling subspecies of grey wolves.

        The agency has repeatedly acted against the advice of expert wolf and canid scientists and ignored a demonstrable and huge outpouring of public opinion against delisting. They have not heeded considered court opinions that have consistently found found the agency actions arbitrary and capricious. Even this compromise geared toward allowing greater flexibility in management was rejected.

        Nothing but removing protections and allowing the states to slaughter wolves seems to fit in their paradigm for wolf “recovery”.

        The agency deliberately ignores the best available science and has been caught redhanded more than once trying to stack the decks.

        They are grossly and willfully negligent and complicit in their determination to shun wolf recovery. This is criminal not ironic

        • Ida Lupine says:

          The question I have is if the project is abandoned, what will happen to the wolves? Will they open a ‘hunting season’ on them so that the hostile landowners can get rid of them? What a ghastly concept.

          I do wish these agencies would stand up to pressure from them a little more.

  89. skyrim says:

    Rand Paul gets private lesson on lands rights from Cliven Bundy:

    • WM says:

      From the article:

      “I don’t think he really understood how land rights really work in the western United States,” Bundy said. “I was happy to be able to sort of teach him.”

      I am going to guess the federal court judgments AGAINST Bundy didn’t come up in the conversation about “rights.”

      Paul just wants to solidify his support with the far right, and get some cash from them, for the Primary.

      Still got to wonder why a couple federal Marshals didn’t take Bundy into custody while he was away from “the compound.” Maybe the were “packing heat.”

  90. Peter Kiermeir says:

    One of world’s rarest tigers steps out of the wild to listen to music
    “As if he owned the place (and he probably does), the tiger lies down on the track in the Khasan district of Primorsky region, ignoring the driver’s attempts to get him to move on.”

    • Nancy says:

      Interesting video Peter. I think there is something in the trees that has his full attention though. About three quarters of the way thru the video it looks like a monkey? climbing branches on the left side of the road.

  91. Kathleen says:

    Montanans can weigh in on a plan to “depopulate” (read: kill) an entire herd of bighorn sheep–only to replace them with others who are expected to reproduce better–for hunters to kill. Background info here:

    Comment here by July 2 at 5pm MDT:

    Blog item with other news links:

    • Nancy says:

      Passing it on and more, Kathleen:

      “As of late, my politeness, as strongly as I might try to maintain it for the sake of diplomacy, has developed an increasingly sharp edge. I am one survivor of 523 years of attempted genocide in the “land of the free, and the home of the brave.” As I read of too many attempts to drill in the Arctic, “Wildlife Killing Derbies, force this country to drink from the fountain of the Keystone Pipeline, and so on; as I sign petition after petition in defense of my Relatives of the Earth, I find myself declaring in no uncertain terms what I feel about the crimes being planned, and/or already perpetrated, why I feel the way I do, and uncharacteristically applying historical events to point out the wrongness of governmental and corporate vileness, and their connected attitudes and crimes against Earth, Sky, and All In Between. In short, I tell it like it is – with absolutely no equivocation. Eventually, perhaps, there will be a price to pay for speaking the truth, but my Ancestors didn’t lie. Why should I?”

  92. Ida Lupine says:

    I’m thrilled – I was refilling my hummingbird feeder when I saw a new butterfly – gorgeous bright orange, about the size of a Monarch but without the black dividing lines. I got a fair look at him, and I believe it is a Fritillary of some kind. My lawn is beginning to look like more of a meadow in the back as we no longer treat it with chemicals, and the we have a lot of wild violets in the lawn this summer. That is their host plant, apparently. What a reward!

  93. Peter Kiermeir says:

    The Red Wolf and the Feds

    Mr. Congressman elaborates on “Mexican Grey Wolves” released in North Carolina and….”says that even the service has confessed by phone on January 15, this year, that no more than half of the Mexican wolves bred while in captivity actually survive. Those who do make it and are released, are subsequently confused and are therefore often cause incidents with children, or other residents.”

    • Louise Kane says:

      What incidents with children or other residents? That is a load of BS

  94. Ida Lupine says:

    Rarest Wolves in the World Apparently Abandoned

    1. Why do you think the USFWS would halt reintroduction when the Red Wolf is one of the most endangered animals in the world?

    T.Z. In this particular case, USFWS is responding to the concerns of the few in NC — namely the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, and a few very vocal landowners — in holding back the program instead of continuing activities consistent with its adaptive management program that have been maintaining the status quo for the population.

  95. Nancy says:

    Wildlife, wildlife related news:

    And this (how could it not be photo shopped) shot, making the rounds:

    I’ve witnessed many encounters between crows (and ravens, magpies, blackbirds and even bluebirds) and birds of prey (eagles, hawks) and these shots are not how they play out. Lots of angry calls, attacks and mid air tumbling but catching a free ride? Come on……

  96. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Armenia: Serda and the Wolves, One Woman’s Mission to Protect Armenia’s Wildlife
    Always fascinating, when news leak through from countries „off the beaten track“.

  97. Yvette says:

    A follow up on the Bundy/Paul meeting of great minds. Have ya’ll heard that if Rand Paul is elected President he will allow Nevada their independence from the United States of America. Straight from the cow rancher’s mouth.

    Sweet. This one made my day. Rand Paul got what he deserved for giving this two-bit, welfare rancher respect.


June 2015


‎"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