It is time to create a new page of “Interesting Wildlife News.” It has been a long time since we have had a new page. The page and comment loading time has become very slow.

Please put your wildlife news in the comments below. Do not post copyrighted material.

Here is the link to the “old” wildlife news of Nov. 16, 2016.

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.

582 Responses to Do you have some interesting wildlife news? Jan. 15, 2017 edition

  1. Ralph Maughan says:

    I have put up a new page for posting interesting wildlife news.

  2. SATURDAY, JANUARY 14, 2017


    kind regards, terry

    • rork says:

      “Wolf advocates were dismayed that Washington state spent more than $134,000 last year to kill wolves”
      It isn’t just wolf advocates who think that for that much money you could have done something else. I couldn’t confirm that number btw.

      • Mareks Vilkins says:

        Most of the money, $73,440, was spent on helicopters, while $52,431 went for department salaries and equipment. WDFW also spent $9,128 to hire a trapper for 11 days

        • Mareks Vilkins says:

          Q/A section

          5. How much did WDFW spend to remove
          members of the Profanity Peak pack?

          The costs shown below reflect expenditures for WDFW field operations associated with the Profanity Peak wolf pack depredations from Aug 4 to Oct 18, 2016 They include salaries and benefits for the six WDFW staff members

          The costs shown below reflect expenditures for WDFW field operations associated with the Profanity Peak livestock depredations from Aug 4 to Oct. 18, 2016. They include salaries and benefits for up to six WDFW staff members directly involved in that effort, and the services necessary to support the field operation.

          These costs do not reflect time spent by other WDFW staff members on this issue as part of their standard duties

          Helicopter contracts $73,440
          Employee salary and benefits $50,410
          Trapper contract $9,128
          Vehicle costs $1,676
          Supplies and equipment $345

          TOTAL $134,999

      • Nancy says:

        Would of been a hell of a lot cheaper to hire 2-3 range riders to keep the cattle away from the den site.

        • Mareks Vilkins says:

          indeed, as there’s only few places in the wolf area where livestock depredation happens repeatedly – sloganeering about ‘jobs in regions’ all of a sudden is out of fad/fashion

    • Salle says:

      That’s really cool.

      I saw the first wolverine I ever saw up in that area about twelve years ago. I’m glad that research has resumed. I think it was stopped at some point a few years ago..?

      Thanks for posting that, I would have missed it otherwise.

  3. Mareks Vilkins says:

    The Lost Norse: Why did Greenland’s Vikings disappear?

    the average Norse farmer had to balance the spring- and summertime demands of his own farm with annual communal walrus and migratory seal hunts. “It was all happening at once, every year,” Madsen says. Deprivation in lower societal strata “could eventually have cascaded up through the system,” destabilizing large farms dependent on tithes and labor from small ones. The disrupted ivory trade, and perhaps losses at sea, couldn’t have helped. The Greenland Norse simply could not hold on.

  4. Mareks Vilkins says:

    Report Shows Washington’s Wildlife Agency Failed to Prevent Killing of Profanity Peak Wolf Pack

    Agency Inaction Despite Predictable Livestock Conflicts Led to Massacre

    despite awareness by the department in early June that wolves and cattle were close to each other on a public-lands grazing allotment, no additional actions were taken by the department or the rancher-permittee to prevent conflicts until after a calf was killed by wolves nearly a month later. Also, the rancher appears to have put out one or more salt licks to attract livestock to the area, despite the known presence of wolves at what was later determined to be a wolf rendezvous site.

    … The state intended to kill all members of the Profanity Peak pack, but despite an 11-week effort, five ended up surviving, largely because the terrain in the allotments is, as described in the report, very rugged and densely forested. These same characteristics make the allotment marginal for livestock, but excellent habitat for wildlife like wolves and lynx.

  5. Gary Humbard says:

    When I contacted the US Forest Service when WDFW was taking action on the Profanity Pack and talked with an individual that was quite familiar with the allotment terrain, he told me the Land Management Plan clearly defined it as “grazing appropriate”.

    Unfortunately, IMO what the Forest Service defines as appropriate grazing habitat for livestock sometimes is NOT compatible with native wildlife (heavily timbered, numerous mountain streams and some occasional meadows) and I would guess, this is the case with this allotment.

    I have never been to this particular area, but I presume it’s a “poster child” for buying the rancher out of his allotment by an NGO. Give him a price he can’t refuse and problem solved for this allotment. Yes, it’s “kicking the can down the road” but until a federal agency changes its local land use plan (done ~ every 10 years) it’s the only solution I can think of.

  6. Yvette says:

    This one has a reward for information leading to find whoever shot and killed this owl near Gardiner, MT.

    The owl had recently been released after recovering from a wing fracture only to be shot and killed.

  7. Ida Lupine says:

    What was this whatever doing lurking outside of the north entrance to Yellowstone? ♫Oh, I know….♪

  8. Mareks Vilkins says:

    a good way to approach situation where a wild animal is trapped by snare or other device so one can imagine of being ‘completely and utterly trapped’, is to read this article:

    Rolf Harris spread his hands over a blind, disabled woman like an octopus in an attack where she was “completely and utterly trapped”, a court has heard.

    The woman, who was not an inpatient at the hospital at the time of the alleged attack, recalled Harris breathing on her and his beard tickling the back of her neck after he approached “from absolutely nowhere”, and could tell he was getting excited because of the rapidity of his breathing, the court heard.

    • Salle says:

      Sadly, not really unbelievable… it’s Wyoming after all.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      If you didn’t know better, you’d think they deliberately intend to destroy the environment. Maybe they do.

  9. Kathleen says:

    Four mountain lions killed–(believe it or not, they didn’t say “euthanized”)–because they were attracted to (unsupervised?) companion dogs. This happened in a more rural neighborhood on the edge of Missoula. Yet no warning is issued that people should supervise companion animals during this extreme weather (record-breaking cold & snow)–surely humans can take *some* responsibility for keeping their domestic companions and their wild neighbors safe???

  10. Kathleen says:

    GOP targets ESA…we knew this was coming. Excerpt:

    “It has never been used for the rehabilitation of species. It’s been used for control of the land,” said House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop. “We’ve missed the entire purpose of the Endangered Species Act. It has been hijacked.”

    • Ida Lupine says:

      In a similar vein:

      One particularly effected species is the great cormorant, which has made a similar comeback in recent decades, but eagles have been hindering that progress. In the 1990s, there were 240 nesting pairs of the great cormorant in the state, but that number had dropped to 40 in 2016, according to NPR. That drop has been at least partially attributed to eagle attacks.

      And yet, around the Columbia River, they can’t cull cormorants fast enough. I didn’t realize they were endangered. I see many all the time where I live. I’m a little skeptical.

      The number of bald eagles we have here in my state is 30 pair. Call out the National Guard!

      I’m sure the wind industry would love to have bald eagles ‘managed’. 🙁

      • rork says:

        On Columbia, and near you might be double-crested – it is near me. You may have more than one species by you.

        • Ida Lupine says:

          I didn’t see your post! Yes, we have two species here.

          Somebody posted something about eagle poisonings, a ‘chemically euthanized’ farm animal left out and the eagles fed on it? The exact same thing happened where I live – three eagles were affected and luckily some hikers found them and called F&W.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        That should be over 30 pair for the state of MA. The quote refers to Maine.

        The eagles we have locally nest near ponds, and eat fish. I never see them near the ocean; there are the osprey (they’re at the ponds too). I also live near farmland, and I’ve never heard of them carrying off lambs or chickens. I think we have two species of cormorant (both at the ponds and the ocean).

        Terrible about the elk poacher. Was it Wy that wants to make poaching easier to get away with? 🙁

    • Nancy says:

      I suppose they ruled out the rancher? Not concerned enough to fence off the haystack but maybe frustrated enough to fire off a warning shoot at a trespassing elk?

  11. JEFF E says:

    My guess: the U.S. or Russia using high intensity sonar….

    • Mareks Vilkins says:

      Effect of sonar on marine life

      Effect on marine mammals

      Research has shown that use of active sonar can lead to mass strandings of marine mammals. Beaked whales, the most common casualty of the strandings, have been shown to be highly sensitive to mid-frequency active sonar.

      Other marine mammals such as the blue whale also flee away from the source of the sonar, while naval activity was suggested to be the most probable cause of a mass stranding of dolphins. The US Navy, which part-funded some of studies, said the findings only showed behavioural responses to sonar, not actual harm, but “will evaluate the effectiveness of [their] marine mammal protective measures in light of new research findings.”

      Some marine animals, such as whales and dolphins, use echolocation systems, sometimes called biosonar to locate predators and prey. Research on the effects of sonar on blue whales in the Southern California Bight shows that mid-frequency sonar use disrupts the whales’ feeding behavior. This indicates that sonar-induced disruption of feeding and displacement from high-quality prey patches could have significant and previously undocumented impacts on baleen whale foraging ecology, individual fitness and population health.

      Effect on fish

      High intensity sonar sounds can create a small temporary shift in the hearing threshold of some fish

  12. Mareks Vilkins says:

    At home with naturalist Bernd Heinrich

    • Ida Lupine says:

      I enjoyed reading this, thanks for posting Mareks.

      I appreciate Yvette’s post too. I truly believe our indigenous people will be the ones who protect and preserve our wild areas and wildlife.

      I had read about the re-introduction plan for the grizzlies, but I just can’t bring myself to say anything yet. My attitude is one of a guarded optimism. I simply can’t pretend that things are hunky-dory.

      • Mareks Vilkins says:

        when grizzly issue pops-up I try to mention Estonia:

        Estonia (the Baltic state):

        population 1.3M

        total area 17 505 sq mi

        forest area ~50%

        grizzly bears – 700

        from 2007 to 2010 bears destroyed 66-170 beehives annually with a cost in a range of 9-20K euro

        There are eight known cases from Estonia when bears have been shot in self-defence from short distance while four of them were wintering females with cubs. In none of those cases bears had actually attacked people.

        Estonians love to pick wild berries and mushrooms in forest so they are regularly crossing paths with griz

        In Estonia, it is permitted to access natural and cultural landscapes on foot, by bicycle, skis, boat or on horseback.

        Private property may be accessed at any time. If the private property is fenced or posted against trespassing, the permission of the owner is required to proceed. The owner of the private property is also required to post signs stating the ownership of the land, and contact numbers, to avoid legal issues. Land owners may not block access to land, roads or bodies of water that are public or designated for public use, including ice and shore paths

  13. Gary Humbard says:

    On a more POSITIVE note, three draft action alternatives to restore “big bad grizzlies” (give me a break!) to the Northern Cascades Recovery Zone. If you can take a moment, please comment using the link provided in the attached link.

    Besides the birth of my sons, my encounter with a grizzly in Glacier NP forever changed my outlook on life for the better. Even though I invaded his personal space (a screw up I have learned from) he could have easily mauled or killed me but no, all he wanted to do was eat berries before he went to sleep for the winter. Hiking in grizzly country certainly makes me more cognizant of sights and sounds and that is a good thing.

    • rork says:

      I read a woman espousing the do nothing road the other day but can’t find it now. Mostly her idea was that the people opposed to griz will have less cause to complain that way, when they do finally show up, but if we introduce, we will never hear the end of it, and acceptance will be harder.

    • Yvette says:

      Gary, I’ve posted this 2009 research on “Respect for Grizzlies” at least two times on here. I don’t know if you saw or read it when I posted before but given your statement on your encounter I think you’ll find this paper interesting. The research is set in northern Canada and looks at differences in the aboriginal approach to grizzly management/co-existence vs. the Euro-Canadian approach.

      One of the reasons I keep sharing this paper is that the reader can see both the stereotype of the ‘earth loving natural Native’ yet a closer examination actually breaks that stereotype. It’s simply a different epistemology in management approaches. The other thing that intrigues me is how those tribes have learned to live in the densely populated grizzly region with relatively low numbers of attacks or negative encounters with humans. This is even during hunting and fishing during salmon runs.

      Anyway, I hope you enjoy it. The full paper is here,

  14. Immer Treue says:

    Here we go again with the non-native wolf agenda

    Once again, I’m not anti-ranching, but it needs to be understood that any occupation in which one engages, there exist liabilities. Only a few ranchers are hit hard by wolves, but it doesn’t look as though wolves are going to drive anybody out of business. With the current drop in beef prices, perhaps ranchers and the livestock industry are their own worst enemies, and the wolf is once again the scapegoat for all that ails the aforementioned industry.

    • Mareks Vilkins says:

      in OR in the 1990s (that is, before wolves showed up)cattle loss were ~70K annually. In the past decade it was ~60K annually. Few ranchers (let’s say ~15) got compensations for confirmed wolf depredation.

      Bottom line: those few ranchers cannot outshout the rest of rancher community who need to vent out their frustration

      • Nancy says:

        20 years later, after reintroduction of wolves, cattle numbers in Montana alone, came in at 2 + million. Wolves killed (confirmed kills according to the link above) number about what, 40 head of cows/calves? Mostly calves.

        There will be those ranchers whining about weight loss, what with their cattle having to deal with predators, on public lands, bigger than a coyote (that got blamed for a hell of a lot of losses in the past, depending on who you listened to) but simple fact is, if you want to raise livestock, in a predator rich environment, get your fricken act together and stop expecting everyone else AND wildlife, to pay for your lack of responsibility.

        • Gary Humbard says:

          Nancy, if my math is right, a total of 57 head of cattle and sheep were either probable or confirmed kills by wolves while 62 wolves were killed by agencies or landowners.

          It seems if a wolf is suspected of being “naughty” in regards to livestock in Montana, it gets an automatic death sentence. Am I right or wrong?

          Call Wildlife Services and problem temporarily solved and I think ranchers still get fully compensated by the state if they have a confirmed kill. If in fact their animals are losing potential weight gain due to predators, wouldn’t that be an incentive to get some guard dogs, immediately remove carcasses, round their animals up more often and other preventive methods? I believe there are NGO’s like Defenders that assist with some of these costs. Do you know a local rancher who is implementing some new ways and what their effectiveness is?

  15. Nancy says:

    For those who actually appreciated the Obama administration (even with all their faults, over the years, trying to keep things together in this big and often politically, bogged down country 🙂 a link to say thank you, if so inclined:

    • skyrim says:

      Thanks Nancy. Been thinking about that very issue today. Not certain if I need to spend the time giving thanks to President Obama, or giving hell to “F*^* Face”

    • Peter Kiermeir says:

      I admit, I will miss Obama! A very cultivated, intelligent and elegant person with a lovely family. What a difference!

  16. Kathleen says:

    timz posted, above, an article about mysterious antelope deaths in Payette, ID. Here’s the rest of the story:

    “Antelope deaths in Payette blamed on toxic shrub”

    Turns out a non-native landscaping shrub, Japanese yew, was the culprit.

    • timz says:

      This plant needs to be banned. Imagine the hysteria had wolves killed 50 antelope in one day.

      • Kathleen says:

        Imagine the hysteria…yes, excellent point.

      • rork says:

        Which ones to ban where gets into the weeds quickly. Near me there are Canada Yew (Taxus candensis) naturally. People grow English and Japanese, and a cross between the two, and rarely other members of the genus. All 3 are toxic, but just how they compare is hard for me to learn. I’ve never seen deer eat any of them in MI, but reports are that red deer in Europe eat English yew sometimes, and I see an Ontario report saying ungulates are not affected (but that goes against several stories of dead elk out west – so we have some things to learn evidently).
        Out west there’s pacific yew, which is said to be much less toxic (and rarer). We need to know more about how toxic each plant is. We can already discourage people from keeping any of them I think (except pacific), though around me they are often recommended exactly cause deer eat them less, and maybe that’s been true farther west too.

        Since I do cancer research I’ll add that, oddly, it was Pacific yew bark that was the old-fashioned way to get paclitaxel, and there was concern about the plants, but there’s ways to get it from English yew needles now and folks are working on cell lines. Folks discovered the entirely synthetic but related docetaxel now too, not that they are perfectly identical in effect. If you look at the structure of these molecules you might appreciate that it’s not easy to cook them up in the sink, and that it seems unlikely science would have gotten such molecules by from-scratch design, had there not been the example from the plants to point the way. They bind tubulins – not sure if anyone would have thought that might help kill tumors without being handed the plant, seeing it did something, and wondering how it worked. Pharmacognosy is good. Note we don’t make folks chew the bark like naturopaths might try.

        • Ida Lupine says:

          Yes, there are many plants, both native and non-native that are toxic to wildlife, in small or large amounts. It’s how plants have evolved to survive too!

          • Ida Lupine says:

            These are the things I hope are also taken into consideration when State and Federal fish and wildlife departments are planning hunting quotas, and not just strictly numbers.

            There are a lot of unpredictable things that come up that would appear to be hard to anticipate, such as disease outbreaks, poaching, and in this instance toxic plant consumption, and making it an oversimplified matter of numbers does a grave disservice.

            • Logan says:

              I assure you that all these things are taken into consideration when game departments set seasons and quotas. They’re not just making stuff up.

    • Nancy says:

      Its a bad winter this year in parts of the west. Snow’s deep and forage is hard to find.

      Noticed a young elk a week ago in a pasture down the road. Saw it bedded down in the same spot, twice. Yesterday, when I went by, the ravens & magpies were picking on its carcass.

  17. Kathleen says:

    Apologies if this was posted and I missed it.

    “Trump’s pick for Secretary of Interior grilled over Bears Ears National Monument”

    Excerpt: “There’s no doubt the president has the authority to amend a monument, it’s always in the papers. It will be interesting to see if the President has the power to nullify a monument,” said Zinke during the confirmation hearing. It is possible the boundaries of the monument could shrink, but Zinke said it’s unlikely the designation could be completely undone without a legal fight.”

    Ya think???

  18. Kathleen says:

    “White House climate change webpage disappears after Trump’s inauguration”

  19. Nancy says:

    A great brain teaser – how many Long Eared Owls in this photo?

  20. Nancy says:

    Women’s March, live webcam at the National Mall. Seems there are more folks there than what attended the inauguration yesterday.

  21. Kathleen says:

    “Horse rescued after 6 weeks in deep snow atop Togwotee:
    Mare was discovered alone in wolf-dense forest.”

    EXCERPT: “What I discovered is this horse had probably been in there for six weeks, and at a least three of those six weeks it was probably in about 5 feet of snow,” Chalfant said, “and occasionally 30 below zero.”
    Six-year-old Valentine had been left in the forest at the end of a hunting trip, having fallen too ill to pack out, said BJ Hill, owner and operator of Swift Creek Outfitters and Teton Horseback Adventures.”

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Wow. Good for her! She obviously wasn’t that ill, was she. 🙁

      Is this the same story that an Idaho news report, never missing an opportunity to vilify wolves? It was described as the poor horse surviving ‘wolf infested’ (before wolf-rich, and now wolf-dense, apparently.) The fact that the poor horse was left behind by the outfitters without any obligation is downplayed. If she really was that ill, the point about wolves is moot.

      What to make of the fact that the wolves never bothered her? Wolf-‘dense’ indeed.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        I should also add that how wonderful that there are people who would take the time and effort to save her. I hope she won’t be returned to the outfitters who treated her as disposable.

        • Nancy says:

          I believe this mare was returned to the outfitter that abandoned her. Did you read the comments?

          What surprised me was this was a hunting trip and no one had a gun? But I’m glad they didn’t, given the fact that she was able to recover, despite her illness.

          Long but interesting read on horse illnesses (colic/foundering)

          Spent an entire night, years ago, walking a horse that had gotten into 50 lbs. of corn, did no good, the vet had to put him down.

          I would imagine like cattle, horses are not native prey to wolves and this was a young horse, capable of driving off an attack but we will never know what she went through for 6 weeks.

          If you look back over the years since wolf reintroduction, there have been very few wolf attacks on horses. And how many wolves might of been in that area this time of year? Especially with snow levels around 5 feet. (The entire state can only lay claim to about 400 wolves)

          • Ida Lupine says:

            Yes, I did read the comments. Some were interesting; one mentioned that the outfitter was ‘no friend of wolves’.

            The other question that just seems to ask itself is are there not other predators out there such as bears and mountain lions, or just wolves?

            I understand the part about the poor horse; but there really was no reason to add wolves to the story is all I’m saying. Simply saying she beat the odds and survived was enough; or just use the word ‘predator’ in the subheading if they absolutely must.

            It seems like anti-wolf propaganda.

            • Nancy says:

              The JHNews is pretty opened minded about wolves Ida so I don’t think the article was written with an anti-wolf slant to it.

              There are a lot of outfitters in WY who feel wolves have impacted their livelihoods.

              • Ida Lupine says:

                If that is so, that the JHNews is open-minded, it just shows how ingrained wolf fear and hatred is. Not very rational to project these many times mistaken ideas onto an animal who cannot fight back. I still say there was no reason to include wolves, especially in the subheading where it will get the most attention.

                There are an entire host of dangers that this horse overcame to survive, and again I will say the trail groomer who spotted her and saved her life deserves a lot of credit.

                Blaming wolves for loss of livelihood – how much of that is real concern and how much is exaggerated. Do they want to erase wolves from the landscape again? Blaming wolves for the loss of livelihoods is like blaming the weather. They’re part of the environment and nature.

                What a dull and boring world we would be with only people and their interests.

                • Immer Treue says:

                  Ida Lupine says:
                  January 10, 2017 at 8:53 am
                  No, I think your posts above are great. Sometimes (many times) I wonder if those days were better and we rely too much on technology today. Don’t feel you have to stop posting! We all have different views.

                  So says Ida to one of the more virulent of anti-wolf posters.

                • Nancy says:

                  “Blaming wolves for the loss of livelihoods is like blaming the weather”

                  Yet the fact is, we, the people (taxpayers) pay through the nose for the weather, when it comes to the farming & ranching industry (droughts, crop loss, low grazing fees, etc.)

                  Its called subsidies, Ida.

                  “I still say there was no reason to include wolves, especially in the subheading where it will get the most attention”

                  Why not include wolves, Ida? They are a part of the ecosystem there. Made for interesting copy given this mare did manage to elude any of the wolves that might of been still left in the area, when the snowfall got serious.

                • Ida Lupine says:

                  Well, I guess I should say we shouldn’t ‘single out’ wolves in news articles for blame. There are other predators out there. Singling out wolves continues a maligning of an animal that we should not be carrying on with in the 21st century, with what we supposedly know about modern science.

                  Yes, since we pay subsidies for other business risks, it’s no different for this.

                  Immer, the post I was responding to of Mat-ters was not about wolves, but about religious history. I don’t agree with him/her on wolves.

  22. rork says:
    I complained that something bad might happen in favor of continued commercial salmon take in OR, against their promises. WA moved their goalposts to try and get OR to not go too far, which itself was a shame. OR failed to agree to that less-bad road. But it’s not as bad as I feared – how’s that for trying to find good in this.
    I think we need a concrete schedule, and method, for buying the commercial fishermen out entirely. Anglers will agree to a rather high price, and many other groups would benefit too, but I’m not sure how to get them to help pay. It may take a long time. Once we are done with that, we can start buying shares of the tribes’ take.

  23. Kathleen says:

    Winter closures seek to protect wildlife

    Excerpt: “One snowboarder got an expensive reminder recently not to poach powder in winter range closed for wildlife.

    “It’s been quite a few years since we’ve gotten this much snow,” said Linda Merigliano, recreation program manager for the Bridger-Teton National Forest. “Animals are up to their bellies.”

    “Someone noticed the snowboarder in the restricted area Friday and called forest dispatch. The $130 ticket is a misdemeanor and can carry penalties of $5,000 or up to six months in jail…”

  24. Immer Treue says:

    Minnesota Chronic Wasting Disease Update: Star Tribune

    Interesting comments from deer hunters:

    “Some hunters in the southeast and elsewhere believe the DNR is misguided in its CWD response and/or that its motives are disingenuous in wanting to kill so many deer in the region.
    Some have speculated that auto insurance companies are behind the plot and have convinced the DNR to take this opportunity to kill whitetails to reduce car-deer collisions.
    Others believe the DNR is caving to landowners who want fewer deer in the southeast, or that, for whatever reason, the DNR itself wants fewer deer in the area, and is using CWD as an excuse to accomplish its goal.”

    My question is, why would anyone not want to reduce deer/car collisions.

    Land owners wanting fewer deer, this sounds strangely familiar.

    • Mareks Vilkins says:

      why would anyone not want to reduce deer/car collisions

      because deer hunters arrive on skis or horses

    • rork says:

      Those “comments” are sentences of the author’s attributed to hunters, for those who didn’t read it. All of the theories mentioned are ridiculous. I’ll bet lots of hunters feel just like I do – MN is doing the right thing, and it is nearly identical to what we are doing in MI. A few, who are highly impacted cause they live right in the hot zone, may have motivated reasoning to conclude it’s not a good plan.

      I would not want to reduce deer/car collisions to zero, or anywhere near zero, cause that would mean so few deer that 1) it would mean a loss of a billion dollars or more to the economy just of MI, 2) too few is also bad for the land. So there’s a point where I don’t want it reduced further. We aren’t at that point though. I know that’s not news.

      • Immer Treue says:

        Dennis Anderson, from what I have gathered from his past writing,is a pretty conservative guy. He did say “some hunters”, and my question was not directed at achieving zero collision. Yes, MN would be doing the correct thing, if it’s not already too late, unlike WI, which appears to have all but given up.

    • rork says:

      Be fair – Those are all state laws.
      Also, is TWN the place for every subject?

      • Nancy says:

        “Also, is TWN the place for every subject?”

        That would of course depend on the subject, Rork.

        “In North Dakota, for instance, Republicans introduced a bill last week that would allow motorists to run over and kill any protester obstructing a highway as long as a driver does so accidentally”

        TWN has a wonderful and lengthy (re: threads, articles, etc.) history of putting the news & opinion out there when it comes to not only wildlife news but issues that surround and effect wildlife and wild lands.

        And IMHO, many of these issues wouldn’t make the “light of day” if not for sites like TWN and…. peaceful protests.

        • Kathleen says:

          Certainly Thoreau, Rosa Parks, ML King, et al. are rolling over in their graves. I’ve blocked a highway in Missoula–tar sands mega-load protest. I did it for native people and animals and the earth.

  25. Gary Humbard says:

    I remember more times than I have fingers that a “sage brush rebellion” has been discussed in the west. President Reagens’ administration probably went the farthest with good old James Watt, but died a fairly quick death too.

    Wyoming, a very “red state” just killed any serious discussion on transferring public lands to the state which should bode well with other western states. You can thank hunters and fishers!

    • Nancy says:

      The 10 minute “blow by blow” was impressive.

      He was very lucky this bull was so calm.

      Bet he got some good publicity out of this 🙂

  26. Logan says:

    I wish the same fervor that recovered wolves and grizzlies could be directed at these caribou.

    • Immer Treue says:

      To keep,the reply short

      Wolf predation, though, is a symptom of a much bigger and far more difficult problem. The fundamental cause of the caribou decline is the unanticipated ecological consequences of development.

      This is why. The environmental niche of these caribou is old growth forests of low productivity. Anthropogenic forces have alter d the landscape, creating better habitat and avenues of incursion for moose, deer, and perhaps elk, thus more wolves, plus seismic test line provide easier access to areas for wolves.

      Only way to fix it is keep man out, and killing wolves won’t do anything to help,the caribou if the other ungulates are not removed.

      • Logan says:

        It will take time for the absence of man to improve the caribou habitat. Like you said they need old growth forests and those don’t pop up overnight. If wolves aren’t reduced in these areas then by the time the habitat has recovered there will be no caribou left to occupy it.

        • Ida Lupine says:

          It’s too late for that. With that method, there will be no caribou or wolves.

        • Immer Treue says:

          Logan, I agree, but if you don’t keep man out of there, it’s killing wolves just to kill wolves. Geochemical outfits must keep out, no more maintaining of seismic line which open the area up to snowmobiles, which in turn become avenues for wildlife, including wolves, and their primary long does it take to restore old growth forests? 100 years, 200 years. I’d hazard a guess man cannot and will not adhere to that type of restoration. If they cannot, woodland caribou are doomed and killing wolves is a fools errand.

          As an afterthought, where I live was once home to woodland caribou. The wolves did not kill them all.

          • Logan says:

            hmmm, I wonder how things would be if 100 years ago they said “it’s too late for elk” or 20 years ago they said “it’s too late for wolves”. There are many people today saying it’s too late for Bison, maybe they’re right.

            • Ida Lupine says:

              As I am sure you realize, that is not what is implied, so let me make it more clear….

              It is too late for the method of killing predators to have any effect on saving caribou populations. It is not too late to save the caribou; to save the caribou, we must protect their habitat from human development and over-logging.

              Killing wolves to save the caribou is not a long-term solution, and is a questionable solution, because habitat will continue to be encroached upon and chipped away at, and that is the issue that we won’t address.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Logan, environmentalists and wildlife protectionists *do* have the same concerns for all threatened and non-threatened wildlife, especially in our modern times when things are so precarious. Of course there is a lot of concern about the caribou, but caribou are threatened by development and human activity, and the continued chipping away at their woodland habitat makes them vulnerable to predators. Targeting the predators just harms both, IMO.

      Humans already have the lion’s share of land in this country already, and those who say we want to achieve a ‘balance’ (we passed balance a long time ago) is tragi-comic.

      There are lawsuits where people who live in that area want to develop, have no restrictions on their vehicles, etc. One example off the top of my head is from this troublesome outfit, who also was instrumental in having the bald eagle delisted:

      It’s been said many times before here – but if wolves, coyotes and grizzles have the loudest outcries, it’s because they are some of the most persecuted and scapegoated animals on the planet (especially wolves and coyotes). Fears don’t seem to go away, despite how successful human beings are on this planet.

      Of course not all hunters think this way, but the perverse pleasure some take in killing these animals is strange, and doesn’t seem to change in response to education about them nor science.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        From the press release:

        Governor Butch Otter’s Office of Species Conservation pointed out to the Spokane Spokesman-Review that the proposed critical habitat includes tens of thousands of acres of state timberland that generates funding for public schools. The new habitat restrictions reportedly could cost the state millions of dollars in lost revenue.

        Cutting down woodland. And this was from five years ago. So no one should ever be mislead that it is the wolves threatening the caribou.

        • Logan says:

          You are all ignoring the issue. No one is saying that killing wolves is the long term solution to saving caribou. They are saying that it takes time to restore caribou habitat and yes further development must be halted. Until such time as the habitat degradation can be halted the caribou need a reprieve from predation or by the time the habitat is ready to support more caribou there won’t be a viable population left.

          I do not deny the threats of habitat loss but I do recognize that it is not the only thing threatening the long term recovery of the caribou. The blind opposition to any action that would lead to the death of a wolf is shortsighted in this case.

          • Immer Treue says:

            Logan, I had posted this below. It’s not a terribly long read, but below, from the discussion.

            Fencing Large Predator-Free and Competitor-Free Landscapes for the Recovery of Woodland Caribou in Western Alberta: An Ineffective Conservation Option


            “According to the Director of Land and Environmental Planning North for Alberta Environment and Parks, the government’s proposed program would avoid the potential caribou population extirpation while ensuring there are enough healthy caribou to maintain a self-sustaining population in a range that would contain sufficient habitat [50]. However, on the basis of the failed results of a previous caribou rearing facility [7], an unsuccessful wolf culling program that did not result in an increase of caribou numbers [9], and no specific strategies to increase the amount of functional caribou habitat [3], we conclude that it is unlikely that the government’s proposed program will meet its objective. In our assessment, we argue that the Alberta Government’s predator-free and competitor-free fencing program will likely fail to (1) safeguard the long-term recovery of the LS caribou population; (2) produce animals that are representative of a wild free-ranging population; and (3) safeguard the welfare of wildlife communities and individuals. Knowing that an alternative program aimed at conserving and increasing habitat can be developed without jeopardizing the integrity of wildlife communities, we conclude that the government’s proposed fencing program is an ineffective conservation option. Furthermore, this has been recently recognized by the Director of Land and Environmental Planning North for Alberta Environment and Parks who stated that “the predator and alternate prey management program alone will not save caribou from extinction” [50].”

            ” That the proposed fencing of a caribou farm will include significant ongoing industrial activity (that may potentially consider voluntary slowing or stopping during the critical calving period) suggests that there is no meaningful buy-in from industry for this proposal and raises critical questions about how likely the proposed caribou farm will succeed.”

          • Immer Treue says:

            I don’t think anybody in their right mind would object to some wolves being killed to save these caribou. I’d have to check my sources, but if memory serves me correct, North of a thousand wolves have been killed. Even you agree habitat is the important issue, and nothing is being done to preserve and increase habitat. Thus it becomes killing wolves and other predators, pretty much, just to kill them.

  27. Immer Treue says:

    Another predator control fatality, in Wyoming. One might ask why this was going on at this time of the year.

    • Nancy says:

      That crash happened over 2 months ago, Immer.

      Don’t recall any photos then of the plane but from this article it looks like the body of the plane is made up of canvas? Ultralight?

      • Immer Treue says:

        My mistake. No excuse. Failed to look at the date as I saw this posted elsewhere. Embarrassing as I originally posted a story about this crash. Big oops to all.

        • Nancy says:

          Fact is, aerial gunning of wildlife needs to end. From a few of the comments here, these people really enjoy it.

          “Next to Prairie Dog shooting on the ground the most fun is shooting coyotes from a plane”

          A blog from 2007:

          • Immer Treue says:

            We all understand that the “persecution” (no better word for it) of coyotes has done absolutely nothing in terms of denting the coyote population. Sort of the definition of insanity. What would happen if a five year hiatus of coyote killing was put in place…and it showed the coyote numbers were either similar or lower. Not a difficult “experiment” to perform, and the conclusion was made that coyote killing is nonproductive…thus banned. What would be the gutslammmer kill just because you can mentality reaction?

            • Yvette says:

              Persecution is the correct word, IMO. From a coyote ecological standpoint, I surmise removing the hunting pressure would relieve problems or conflict in the social order of coyotes in a region. Populations would find an upper and lower range where they function optimally.

              1) How long would it take to reach a population that fluctuates with consistent numbers.
              2) What types of conflict with humans or human work would be affected and on what scale would it decrease (or rise).
              3) What factors other than hunting and killing contests would significantly affect populations and social norms in populations.

              In the past I’ve looked for published research for those answers. I came up short so if anyone has recommendations of papers would you share?

            • Ida Lupine says:

              There’d be a loud outcry that we were killjoys spoiling their fun. (if only!) I don’t think we want to admit that part of human nature – no scientific study will account for it.

              • Ida Lupine says:

                There’s no making sense of the irrational. And this is long before Donald Trump’s influence!

  28. Kathleen says:

    “Colorado Parks and Wildlife Sued Over Planned Cougar and Bear Killing: State’s Unscientific Killing Plans Violate Colorado’s Constitution”

    News release opening paragraph: “WildEarth Guardians sued Colorado Parks and Wildlife Department (CPW) and the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission (Commission) this week over its plans to kill cougars and black bears in misguided attempts to boost mule deer populations. On December 14, 2016, the Commission approved both plans, despite thousands of citizens speaking out against them and letters from leading scientists and scholars raising grave concerns about the veracity and necessity of the plans.”

  29. Kathleen says:

    Washington state: “Cougar hunters kill more than double recommended guidelines”

    Excerpt: “Hunters in Washington have killed more cougars in the 2016-17 season than the state’s science recommends. In some cases, the hunt has already killed more than twice as many cougars as the limit set by guidelines. … Some believe cougars are paying the price for wolves. Wolves are protected from hunting seasons, but cougars are not.”

    Includes video:

    • Ida Lupine says:

      What price? How ridiculous. If the quotas are not enforced by F&W, or hunting quotas ‘re-examined’, there’s your answer right there. I wish wolves would not continually be scapegoats.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      We have to remember that there are less than 100 wolves in the state of Washington. Of course there isn’t a hunting season!!!! Who is susceptible to this propaganda is beyond me.

  30. Kathleen says:

    “Trump administration puts gag order on Dept. of Agriculture researchers”

    This is on top of the EPA media black-out and approval of two pipelines. The ransacking has commenced.

  31. Larry Keeney says:

    Has anyone followed the 20 euthanized antelope l believe in Rupert area? Wondering how the carcasses were disposed. I assume IFG quite up on secondary poisoning from pentobarbital. If it was a contract operation someone may have left the carcasses available to scavengers which would result in dead eagles and other birds of prey.

  32. Mareks Vilkins says:

    an inquiry about the hunter’s meat consumption rate in wolf countries:

    – in Sweden the hunter on average consumes ~51kg game meat (moose meat represents ~70% of the total volume)

    – in Latvia the hunter on average consumes ~200kg game meat (wild boar meat represents ~50% of the total volume)

    Q: how much game meat consumes average hunter in the Great Lakes area (Minnesota / Michigan / Wisconsin) and NRM (Idaho / Montana / Wyoming)?

    • rork says:

      I have no data, but I think it’s far less than 50 kg. Only 40% of the deer hunters kill a deer. A deer might deliver 35kg on average. I eat lots but it might be 30 kg/year. 200 kg is more than a pound a day – not sure my nutritionist would be on board.

      • Mareks Vilkins says:

        thanks rork,

        I took 170kg meat for moose, 75 kg for elk,40 kg for wild boar and 17kg for roe deer to calculate average amount of game meat for hunter in Latvia (beavers and waterfowl were excluded). 20 000 hunters harvested in 2015/2016:

        5 810 moose / 11 805 elk / 13 170 roe deer / 50 956 wild boar

        a lot of ungulates are shot in collective hunts with beaters

        How much meat is safe to eat?

        adults should aim to have a maximum of 70g per day or 500g per week (cooked weight). To put this in context:

        Two thin slices of roast beef = 60g

        One pork sausage = 50g

        One portion Bolognese sauce = 60g

        One lamb chop = 70g

        One slice ham = 25g

        5oz minute steak = 80g


        so it gives us 25 kg red meat / per person / per year

        • Mareks Vilkins says:

          26. Game meat as a resource in Sweden – with particular focus on moose (Alces alces)

          Published Online: August 11, 2014

          The amount of game meat produced in Sweden in 2010/2011 was estimated at 17,000 tons (carcass weight), all species included. Moose (Alces alces) meat represents 67% of the total volume.

          The turnover of game meat in the Swedish market in 2010/2011 was approximately 1,800 tons (1,300 tons of moose meat and 500 tons other game like wild boar, deer and roe deer) handled through game handling establishments (GHEs) and 1,900 tons imported game meat (mainly deer and wild boar).

          It is obvious that a significant amount of the game meat produced in Sweden (about 15,000 tons) will never reach the market. Only the hunters, their families and friends will have access to these volumes

          • Mareks Vilkins says:

            ~290 K hunters in Sweden


            guess what, LV hunters are still not happy and bitching about wolves (200-300 wolves are left alive on 1April after 250-300 are killed annually) and lynxes (20-25% of population is killed annually)- and promoting Sweden as a role model for how to handle wolves

          • rork says:

            Thanks for pointers and data as always.
            The swedes can send me moose meat.

        • Mareks Vilkins says:


          85 kg for elk

    • rork says:

      2015 MI: 607K hunters tagged 335K deer. At 35kg/deer that’s 19kg per hunter, but maybe 30kg is closer to average. Elk and pigs don’t amount to much here. There’s some bear, geese, ducks, turkey, rabbits, squirrel, and more though. That might be about offset by hunters sharing the meat with non-hunters. Against that I’d note that we have many do-not-try-very-hard “hunters”. It’s just a social thing they participate in. Only 42% harvest a deer in any year, whereas the guys I know manage 2 or 3 every year, and it’s not more than that only cause that’s all we need. It’s why I don’t go in the gun season most years – I’m done before then.

  33. Immer Treue says:

    Fencing Large Predator-Free and Competitor-Free Landscapes for the Recovery of Woodland Caribou in Western Alberta: An Ineffective Conservation Option

    The proposed fencing project is based on killing predators and prey, despite that the peer-reviewed literature clearly indicates that protection and recovery of caribou habitat is the only sustainable solution [2] and provides scant evidence that predator control is effective.

  34. Kathleen says:

    Scientists are planning their own march on Washington

    March for Science Twitter feed:

  35. Ida Lupine says:

    Logan wanted fervor.

    It doesn’t look good for caribou anywhere on the continent. I know that the main argument for killing predators is that the caribou population should improve in time. How much time? It’s very vague and iffy reasoning, especially if humans do nothing to stop their taking of lands. In spite of all this, some hunting of caribou is still allowed! Humans can’t deign to help this animal in any way, except killing wolves (translation: won’t affect human activities and gets rid of the predator too.)

    Maine has neither caribou nor wolves. The last caribou in Maine was killed, not by a wolf, but by a hunter in 1908. The caribou are being driven north further and further. We can’t say there are ‘plenty in Canada’ anyore, as was the reasoning I believe behind their not being protected as well as they should be (caving to special interests) in Idaho. Snowmobiles are more important, if you can believe it.

    Science in unanimous that the primary cause of caribou population loss is human encroachment and development, and indirectly through roads and development, making it easier for predators. So in other words, humans are contributing to more predator killings too. There really are not enough caribou to sustain wolves anymore.

    Climate change probably isn’t doing the caribou any favors either.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Believe me, if I thought the usual coddling and handholding and making excuses would help wildlife, I would be effusive. It ain’t working.

  36. Ida Lupine says:

    From the 2013 CPAWs report:

    “Predator management is a sanitized way of describing the killing of wolves and/or other predators such as black bears and coyotes. Predator management
    in the absence of meaningful habitat protection and restoration is not a viable solution, and may further disrupt the natural balance of functioning ecosystems. Predator ‘management’ must be accompanied by effective habitat protection and restoration measures. Fortunately, at present, predator management is only being practiced in isolated cases.”

    That was back in 2013. The 2016 CPAWs report:

    Still plenty of nothing being done. Lots of promises about protecting habitat, but nothing implemented. I know two of my links were from 2013, but it gives the history.

  37. Nancy says:

    Summed up nicely by a blogger over on NPR Disqus site.

    “Our oils spills are going to be tremendous people. Best in the world. No one will be doing spills like we will. I will have all my best people on it. The best. Tillerson. The best.

  38. Kathleen says:

    Here’s something I haven’t heard reported yet, apologies if it has been posted. I would imagine there are plenty of NPR/PBS consumers on this forum.

    From “The Hill”: “The Corporation for Public Broadcasting would be privatized, while the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities would be eliminated entirely.”

    “Donald Trump set to ‘eliminate arts funding programs’, cutting off NPR and PBS”

    • rork says:

      Finally got to reading that. Thanks. Besides anger at Wyoming elk management, it depressed me to think of heroic struggles against CWD in MI and MN ultimately being in vain cause the deer with CWD will migrate in from neighboring states. Even a 10-mile strip of scorched earth at the state borders likely can’t stop it.
      In MI we had new cases in captive herd recently (only the second time for us) that I think I didn’t report about here yet, which brings up ranching again – it’s happened enough in other places that I’m ready to shut down deer ranchers entirely, unless they place very burdensome restrictions on themselves. Moving ungulates around is crazy, unless testing and quarantine procedures vastly improve, and even then it’s not damned-fool-proof. Trade in ungulate urine needs to stop too.

  39. Nancy says:

    For those that might be unfamiliar with the elk refuge near Jackson Hole, here’s a link. Looking at it earlier today and 2 human filled sleighs were making the rounds.

  40. Kathleen says:

    “Wolves shot and mutilated as Italy considers bringing back a cull after more than 40 years of protecting the predator”

    • Ida Lupine says:

      But yet, the same problem with overpopulations of deer. It sounded like the farmers don’t fence in their livestock. Same as here, nobody wants to spend the extra money to do the right thing. Boycott!

      I’m tired of this ‘awwww, if we let them get it out of their system, people will come to accept the presence of wolves’. Hand holding and coddling doesn’t work. Poaching and ‘message sending’ will still go on in addition to hunting, as wolf hatred has gone on for thousands of years and has changed little since early times. Like here in the US, Why not spend money on fences and dogs, and non-lethal protections? No more handholding and coddling! Like Nancy, I wonder why the Bundys weren’t made to make some kind of restitution for their damages.

      Speaking of ‘message sending’, Michigan is getting impatient for wolf killing and has done a similar thing:

    • Mareks Vilkins says:

      Wildlife experts point out that wolves mostly feed on wild prey such as boar and roe deer, which in Italy are in plentiful numbers, rather than on domestic animals.

      Boar, roe deer and red deer have dramatically grown in numbers in recent years as a result of scrub and forest encroaching on abandoned farmland. Wild boar numbers have risen by around 400 per cent since 2000, while roe deer numbers are up 350 per cent.

  41. Kathleen says:

    This story is a couple of months old but will surely be back in the news: “Tribal leaders of the Tohono O’Odham Nation warn that they would refuse to allow a border wall to cut through their land. … The wall, they say, could be devastating for local animals and wildlife, cutting off the water that flows across the border.”

    Official news release dated 1/26/17:–%20Statement%20on%20Border%20Security%20Executive%20Order.pdf

    • Ida Lupine says:

      This is my worry too – how it will impede migrating wildlife. But what do we care?

      For some reason, I’ve been noticing how much is fenced in; highways, property – I remember driving to work one morning and three deer crossed the road and tried like heck to get past a fence on ‘someone’s land’, it looked like a doe and two fawns. It’s so difficult for migrating deer and other wildlife.

      We humans have a lot of quirks, and fencing everything in or out, and scapegoating are two of them.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        I have no fences on ‘my’ property. My neighbor has three layers of fencing and is constantly obsessing about deer eating his non-native trees (the first line of defence). I feel like I’m the Underground Railroad for wildlife. 🙂

        Fencing, when possible, may be a necessity for farmers and ranchers.

        • Nancy says:

          Ida, I have no choice but to fence in my property because I unfortunately live in an “open range” state (Montana) which basically means, if you don’t want the neighbor’s cattle, for what ever reason (like their lack of attention to their own fence lines, dividing the properties) wandering through your property… you are required to “fence them out”

          I did the required, bare minimum of 3 strands of barbed wire (most ranches do 5 strands or page/sheep wire) because I do care about wildlife being able to come and go and I have a lot of Mule deer coming and going through my property.

          Heart breaking to run across a deer, hung up in a fence line and realizing when you cut them down, they are usually too far gone, after hours or maybe a day or two, of dangling in a fence.

          Mentioned in a previous post about an elk calf that I’d seen on a rancher’s property – same place, bedded down, over the course of a couple of weeks, next time I saw it? Dead. Found out there were actually 2 elk calves plus a cow elk, dead on that property.

          Its been a rough winter here this year and I can’t help but wonder if these elk, if they had been able to migrate out (gentler fences lines) earlier before the snow got too deep, would they have lived?

          A local rancher told me just this morning that they LOVE the elk hanging around come hunting season (they have an outfitter who leases their property) but hate them, hanging around, when winter comes and the ones that don’t manage to migrate out, get into haystacks.

          All about profit, the all mighty dollar.

  42. Ida Lupine says:

    I really don’t understand how or why anyone could be opposed to taking lead out of the environment. As I said before, it’s like some people want to deliberately destroy the environment. And are totally uncompromising. This is why when others are told to compromise, to placate, to accommodate, to coddle – it isn’t well received:

  43. Mareks Vilkins says:

    The 50 Biggest Poaching Fines in History


    $24,000 in fines and restitution ($13,500 suspended); 570 days in prison (535 suspended); seven years probation; suspension of guiding license for five years; forfeiture of guns and a Piper PA-12 Super Cruiser; levied in 2005 against David Haeg of Soldotna, Alaska, for illegally killing wolves while working in a state predator control program near McGrath, Alaska, in 2004.


    $21,252 in restitution; one year probation; nationwide revocation of hunting privileges; levied in 2004 against Robin Shafer of Lewiston, Idaho, for illegally shooting and killing a wolf during a 2003 elk hunt near Elk River, Idaho.

    Details On 20 Illegal Wolf Kills Recorded By DNR In 2012

    In response to an Open Records request, the Wisconsin DNR provided information on 20 illegal wolf kills it recorded in 2012 – – the year in which the first legal hunt was authorized by the legislature and implemented by the DNR.

    The 20 illegal kills were among 123 wolf deaths in Wisconsin outside of the official 2012 hunt “harvest” of 117, the State Journal reported, bringing the total last year to 240.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Wow. Thanks Mareks for clarifying the rise in European deer and boar numbers above too.

      Speaking of ‘Piper PA12 Super Cruisers’ (and wolf crossouts on the side of the planes), has anyone seen the Christmas card sent out by Ryan Zinke and Neil Livingstone back in 2011?

      • Ida Lupine says:

        The cavalierism and sheer gall of that greeting is just mind-boggling, isn’t it?

        Just look at Santa’s bag of toys, logging, pickaxes for mining, oil rigs, fishing rod. A grey wolf slung over the side of the plane, the wolf kill tally crossouts on the side.

        • Kathleen says:

          Just the plunder-and-kill guy we want running Interior.

          • Ida Lupine says:

            I enlarged it and there’s coal in Santa’s bag too, and I’m not sure what the medieval axe is for. No deeds or bills of sale for the public lands tho. Swooping in on the plane is just so offensive.

            My only worry is that any other nominees will be all that and worse, selling off the public lands too!

            • Ida Lupine says:

              Oh I get it – “timberrrrr” for logging. 🙁

              Just read that in a zoo in China, another Darwin award contestant jumped into the tiger enclosure, was mauled, and the tiger killed.

  44. Kathleen says:

    The curse of human entitlement & social media:
    “Another Baby Dolphin Killed By Selfie-Seeking Tourists”

    Excerpt: “They let him die,” one observer quoted in La Capital told C5N, a TV news channel. “He was young and came to the shore. They could have returned him to the water—in fact, he was breathing. But everyone started taking photos and touching him. They said he was already dead.”

    • Ida Lupine says:

      I wish someone would speak out instead of following the herd. Can anyone think for themselves anymore?

      I’m reminded of a goose that spent the summer on a lake near us. Everybody thought they knew all about him or her.

      “She’s pregnant.”

      “She can’t fly.”

      “Something’s wrong with it.”

      “My dog wants to get it.”

      “That goose won’t survive the winter. I, as Animal Control Officer, will have to taker her. Harumph.”

      Well, we used to feed her daily until she left. What I believe happened was someone took the goose when he or she was a cute li’l gosling, and when he or she started to get too big to handle and bite, abandoned her. She could pack a wallop when she wanted to be fed.

      We thought she must have been abandoned because she seemed comfortable around people and was frantic. She came to us. She learned to fly naturally, we watched in great awe as her wings and shoulder muscles strengthened and developed, and one day she flew. But she was very attached to people.

  45. Immer Treue says:

    Interesting phenomena due to last week’s string of eight days with above freezing temperatures up here in NE MN. The once two feet of powdery snow has collapsed to a bit over a foot with a fairly thick crust. This is comparable to March conditions. My 80 pound shepherd yearling can float across the crust while walking.

    What was once an ally for deer and antagonist for wolves has all but flipped. A bit more sun, wind, and/or snow to add to the upper thickness of crust will allow wolves to run without punching through the crust, unlike deer that will punch through. If out winter continues as a normal winter, it does not bode well for deer in this corner of the state.

    • rork says:

      Sound’s bad, and there’s been many bad winter stories from Dakotas. Way down south in lowermost MI by comparison, we lost our snow, and the deer and other animals are able to access the thawed forest floor and meadows looking for food, and finding it. They started winter in outstanding condition too. Farther north it is as you describe though. Even without wolves it’s the start of a fawn-killing recipe.

  46. Kathleen says:

    “Join Utah Leaders in Opposing Rep. Noel’s Quest to Become BLM Director”

    “The Salt Lake Tribune and this OpEd by Better Utah’s Madison Hayes outline how Mike Noel’s confirmation as BLM Director would spell disaster for our public lands. Among the many reasons Mike Noel would be bad for the BLM and our public lands are these:”

    Read the reasons here, at this petition:

    THIS MATTERS BECAUSE the BLM manages more public land than any other agency (over 245 million surface acres), including 223 Wilderness Areas (with 8.7 million acres), 517 Wilderness Study Areas (12.6 million acres) and 27 national monuments (see 25 of them here–the newest two, Gold Butte and Bears Ears, not included yet:

  47. Louise Kane says:

    if this doesn’t shake you up nothing will. F Trump and the GOP. and I do not apologize for writing that. These people are traitors.

  48. Louise Kane says:

    the description of the trophy hunted giraffe is heart breaking.

    the irony of beer guzzling older white men using the thinning the older herd members so appropros.

    trophy hunting is a disgusting, wasteful, immoral “activity”

    • Kathleen says:

      “…the only barriers are one’s coffers and conscience.”
      In other words, the only barrier is one’s coffers.

      And how utterly weird and perverse is this: “The director notes the language trophy hunters use to describe the grizzly [sic] process, a move he says ‘create[s] this certain emotional distance between the act of hunting and the animals.’
      “‘Piece’ becomes a byword for animal; ‘sweat’ for blood.”

  49. Mareks Vilkins says:

    There are five times more urban foxes in England than we thought

    The rise from an estimated 33,000 in the 1990s to 150,000 today seems to have happened largely because foxes have appeared in new areas, or multiplied in low-density towns, particularly in the north of the country. In southern cities, numbers seem to be static.

    Top of the list is Bournemouth, at 23 foxes per km2. London registered 18 per km2. In Brighton, the population is 16 per km2.

    Further north, Newcastle is now home to about 10 foxes per km2.

  50. Mareks Vilkins says:

    Tiger shot in the head by poachers ‘may go back to wild’ after surgery

    photos & video

  51. rork says:
    National parks service has new draft plan for wolves on Isle Royale, open for comment. They do not let themselves imagine extirpating the moose is possible (it would hurt the “wilderness character” to be killing them), and continue to at length, paint themselves into a box, where they must introduce wolves, cause of course the moose will destroy the place otherwise. I’ll have to read the whole thing to see if they ever face the problem of genetic bottlenecks in the future directly. Knowingly putting wolves through genetic bottlenecks is unethical. So you must continue to introduce, even if that is also unethical.
    I’m still in the “restore the lynx/caribou system we destroyed” camp. The section where they dismiss that is very short, and not very good, and I let them know that. It will have no effect. They are just going through the motions of looking like they are thinking.

    • Immer Treue says:

      But, according to this self proclaimed wolf expert

      “For those of you who do not know the truth about Isle Royale; It is quite possible the single greatest failure in wildlife experiments. Without going into great detail, I will try to bring it to the simplest terms possible.

      They claimed that many years ago, in 1949, one pair of wolves miraculously walked across the ice on Lake Superior, to finally make Isle Royale their home. It was pure biological Utopia for the biologists and undergraduates that spent their summers studying the predator/prey dynamics. The Theory of Natural Balance (Balance of Nature) was born here and allowed the scientific community to use that theory to bring wolves into many other states throughout the country, as well as promote wolf recovery around the world.

      As any third-grader would guess, the wolves had finally killed off all the moose, and eventually died themselves. Now these geniuses want to bring in more wolves, and start the racket all over again. This is insane and criminal.

      A letter from them:

      Dear Friend of Isle Royale National Park: …”

      No multiple choice, just fill in the blank. ( )

      • I thought the reason the wolves are dying out is that they are all closely related, the carrying capacity for wolves is small, and the (three) survivors are closely inbred.

        • Immer Treue says:

          I probably should have noted the post was deeply sarcastic in nature. Sometimes it’s good to know what the legends in their own minds are saying/writing.

        • rork says:

          Helen. You are basically correct. “the wolves had finally killed off all the moose, and eventually died themselves” is pure fabrication. Certain people when debating, just make stuff up. The problem will be too many moose.

          About 1300 moose now. There was a 5 year period in the early 90s when there were more, but that’s it. “In response [to fewer wolves], the moose population has been growing at a mean annual rate of 19% or more over the past five years. If that growth rate persists, the moose population will double in size over the next three to five years.”

        • Immer Treue says:

          To reinforce rork, here are the Isle Royale annual reports. A general format is followed in each, which makes for easy reading and cross reference.

      • rork says:

        About half of the draft’s section on not restoring the previous caribou/lynx situation, was based on saying that lynx would not reduce the moose – capitalizing on the gift that some ignorant commenter had made the argument that lynx actually could do that. They didn’t need to make the straw man themselves, someone had made a beautiful one for them.

        • Immer Treue says:

          “During public scoping, some commenters advocated the introduction of lynx and caribou, including the attempted coexistence of moose and caribou and the replacement of moose with woodland caribou, as a means of restoring equilibrium to the ecosystem at Isle Royale. Both caribou and lynx have inhabited Isle Royale during the island’s history. Commenters stated that an introduction of lynx would supplement current levels of moose predation by wolves, thereby serving to effectively decrease moose population and indirectly reduce herbivory on island vegetation. There is no documentation suggesting that lynx would affect the moose population or help address impacts from moose herbivory. Lynx are not known to prey on adult moose. In addition, the future forest ecosystem may not be supportive of caribou as a result of climate change. ”

          I believe the last sentence is the most important in regard to woodland caribou. Whether one believes in the warming of our planet or not, imquestion if the herbivory on Isle Royale, as it currently stands would support woodland caribou.

          • Ida Lupine says:

            I’m all for returning the wolves to Isle Royale, but caribou and lynx, is it large enough to support all that more wildlife? I’d hate to think of it as having to be artificially ‘manhandled’, by periodic culls, etc., and of course the inevitable conflicts with human visitors.

            • Ida Lupine says:

              I don’t think all of them occupied the island at the same time? Probably mammoths were there at one time too. It will start to sound like an amusement park or open-air zoo, and scientific study of it all, a la Jurassic Park. A ‘let’s see what happens when we do this’, etc. Caribou and lynx were extirpated due to man’s activities on the island.

              If only all of these animals were able to migrate back and forth naturally. We need to decide what era to fix and stick with it, not just have a sandbox to play in.

            • Ida Lupine says:

              It makes sense for the wolves, because they are not tolerated anywhere else humans have settled, and they tend to be reclusive. The caribou have to be saved somehow too.

              I don’t know if dogs are allowed on Isle Royale (I think they are), but there could be conflicts. Where I live, nobody pays any attention to park rules about keeping dogs on a leash, nor cleaning up after them. And what about transfer of disease?

              • Ida Lupine says:

                I’m wrong. Dogs are not allowed on Isle Royale unless under special circumstances (service dog). Apparently parvo was accidentally introduced to the island by a pet, which had devastating consequences for the wolf population:

                The park’s primary concern is for the protection of wildlife species; the inadvertent transmission of disease or parasites into the largely isolated Isle Royale ecosystem could have devastating effects on wildlife populations. In 1980, the park witnessed just such an event, when the canine parvovirus was likely transmitted to the island from a pet dog and infected the wolf population. Wolves on Isle Royale plummented from 50 individiuals down to 14.


                The ‘self-appointed wolf expert’ didn’t mention that. Was that Reality? He or she things wolves are a ‘disgusting animal’. Irrational.

            • Chris Harbin says:

              I think he meant recreating the lynx/caribou and that would take the place of the current wolf/moose regime

          • rork says:

            Maybe if the moose were gone for a decade the caribou could work.
            But my main complaint is that the last sentence quoted about climate change MAYBE making the island inhospitable for caribou, is that is exactly all they say about it. No speculation about the plant communities there.

            Ida: in my plan we kill all of the moose first. Then we put caribou and lynx back, and leave them alone. That worked for thousands of years. Effective population sizes are larger cause lynx can be at higher density, so less chance of genetic bottleneck.

  52. rork says:
    Hints about WI deer study, but no pointers to papers or documents yet. Not sure we have a WI expert to speculate why data is being leaked out rather than written up. So informally presented in bits that I hesitate to conclude anything.

  53. Kathleen says:

    Anyone who’d like to support Buffalo Field Campaign this Valentine’s Day can purchase a valentine (BFC will send it to the recipient(s) of your choice) here:

    Feb. 1st is the ordering deadline. Spread the word to save the herd!

  54. rork says:
    “Biological and social outcomes of antler point restriction harvest regulations for white-tailed deer” Wildlife Monographs, Jan 23, 2017. Somewhat flawed but interesting study of APRs in PA. Published 10 years after study completion. I have a theory – they didn’t want to show the data any earlier, because it might have been effectively used by 1) opponents of APRs and 2) opponents of deer density reduction, while the state wanted both to continue. I’ve noticed no outrage so far though, but it might just be nobody noticing. I see a dissertation by the first author in 2012 about the study.

  55. Kathleen says:

    “Trump’s Wall Would Block Animals More Than People:
    People have proven to be extremely resourceful when it comes to getting over, under or across a wall. Wildlife, on the other hand, are stymied.”

    I find the toad photo particularly poignant.

  56. Kathleen says:

    “Policy conundrums, disparate voices, and the wolves of Isle Royale”

  57. Ida Lupine says:

    How do we know wolves and moose *never* were on Isle Royale, or perhaps dispersed to and from? Never is a very absolute word. Very, very few places on the planet are the same as they once were.

    To me, it would seems an ideal place for wolves. Despite reintroductions (and I noticed a blurb on some national parks being ‘short on predation’ – yeah, we know any new reintroductions will go over well), wolves have not been welcomed with open arms and are not tolerated. They are destroyed regularly, and Michigan and WI cannot wait to start killing them again. And we all know how ‘put upon’ the Rocky Mountain West is. In the South for Red Wolves, and the Southwest for Mexican wolves, there are constant complaints and illegal killings that intentionally interfere with the reintroductions. It’s mind-boggling that there can be so much irrational rancor concerning one animal.

    As I said before – on Isle Royale, there are no livestock ranches or farms, no family pets, and no school bus stops. Being an island, and a National Park, it would be extremely difficult to poach or harm them. Noone would be lurking outside the park boundaries or setting up traps to kill collared wolves. Visitors would be thrilled, and the scientists could continue their work.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      The wolf recovery map is pathetically small. Superimposed over the old maps before reintroduction, it looks like it is barely any different. I say reintroduce and by so doing help those that are left on Isle Royale, only two or three.

      It’s a fine time to talk about keeping a place natural when very few places are.

    • rork says:

      You are thinking lots about human factors and not about the biological reality.
      It’s very far from ideal for wolves if there are no moose. Even with moose it’s not nearly ideal – not that many wolves can live on the island, so they will repeat what we are seeing now – genetic deaths extirpating them. They are condemned in the long run unless we repeatedly supplement the population – essentially forever. We don’t need a zoo-like wolf park, cause we have hundreds of wolves on the mainland now – healthy ones!

      • Ida Lupine says:

        I was trying to think of an alternative to the bitterness that occurs wherever wolves are introduced – I should have called it ‘as ideal as we can get’ place. I don’t think the wolf population on Isle Royale would have to be as supplemented as much as we think – there was a disease outbreak that severely brought down the population in the ’80s, and those animals never will be replaced, their genetics lost forever. How does a population recover from that? I’d like to read the studies.

        And if wolves have to be brought in from the Great Lakes, it’s the price to be paid for their careless extirpation of the past, and domination by humans in modern times. It’s a hell of a lot better than killing them off repeatedly.

        In Yellowstone, in 2012, eight collared wolves were destroyed by killers who call themselves hunters. In Alaska, at Denali, an entire study had to be abandoned because so many collared wolves had been killed. The wolf population has dropped dramatically at Denali. Perhaps on an island with a ‘moat’ around it will stop this.

        While I understand those who wish to hunt wolves but do not agree with them, what I cannot understand is the vindictiveness whereby those who do not have the personal integrity to respect the National Parks and the scientific work going on there deliberately kill them. Why can’t the leave the wolves alone and avoid the park boundaries? Simply falling back on the excuse that it is legal does not show any personal integrity. It needs to be stopped.

        For everyone to get along in this matter, it is necessary for hunters and haters to leave the National Park boundaries alone, and it really should be enforced. And wolves need to be brought to Isle Royale for their own safety.

        • Ida Lupine says:

          And before anyone tries that pie-in-the-sky, people have good intentions crap with me – with the Smoke a Pack a Day, the Shoot, Shovel, and Shut-Up crowd, the kill-as-many-as-you-can hunting contests and all the rest of it, and the National Parks constantly under siege, do we really need any more proof?

        • Ida Lupine says:

          Bringing wolves in periodically, I should have said. I don’t believe they have ever done that on Isle Royale. But it may not be necessary as often we think. I’d like to hear from others on this. It really isn’t that much more ‘unnatural’ than having ‘management’ programs for Rocky Mountain wolves and their prey of deer and elk. All managed by humans.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        From what I have read, the moose population has grown too large. Since the initial introduction of wolves on the island, have they ever been supplemented, especially after the disease outbreak of parvo? Whether for political reasons or what, I don’t believe they have – hence the inbreeding. I read that the scientists there have wanted to address it for years.

        Human factors factor in greatly and are very much part of the reality of whether or not wolves will continue to recover as an important member of our American wildlife. The battle against them is constant.

        Timz, I really feel your pain sometimes. This is not the way for the Democrats to redeem themselves, by joining the war on wolves:

        • Ida Lupine says:

          No, since 1958 the wolf and moose population has only been observed, the fluctuations of each:

          One new wolf from Canada, new blood, came to Isle Royale by himself, over the ice bridge that sometimes forms. But since we have altered the environment so much in our favor of our own activities, we are morally obligated to step in and repair what we can. The longer we observe, the more we will learn. We humans like things to be fast, but these kinds of studies aren’t.

          • rork says:

            The new wolf from Canada was studly, and may have helped worsen the bottleneck instead of improve it. Perhaps he was particularly successful because he wasn’t a genetic runt.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      I wanted to add something to this post.

      It was in 2012 that a hunter killed Wolf 832F (06).

      Now, we can believe all the usual excuses for shooting – “I didn’t know (the gun was loaded, and I’ll never, never do it again), I didn’t see the collar, McKittrick, etc.

      But for trappers, it is deliberate because the traps have to be set. Wolf 832’s tracking collar data showed that she was in Yellowstone Park for the majority (95%) of the time. (see link)

      The long-term study going on at Isle Royale is very important, not to mention how thrilling having wolves and other wildlife there is for visitors who appreciate such things.

      Who would have guess that a disease would have had such an effect on a pack, or that a dispersing male from Canada (where else?) would come down? Bad winters, hot summers and tick infestations. It’s such a microcosm of larger habitat. Like the link from the Isle Royale website I posted says, nature is not predictable.

      The deaths of 06 and 754M disrupted the delicate family structure of the Lamar Canyon pack. They were not the only Yellowstone wolves killed in the 2012-13 wolf hunt. A total of twelve park wolves were killed. Six of them wore collars that provided valuable scientific information. Data from 06’s collar shows that she spent ninety-five percent of her time within the park. She was used to the presence of people—she had been observed by thousands and thousands of park visitors—and this would have made her an easy target outside Yellowstone.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        opps, that last paragraph should have been blockquoted from the link.

        It seems that for each hunting season, the wildlife departments don’t consider all those variables – just keep the same hunting quotas? The only area I see protected (somewhat) is North Yellowstone, Gardiner?

  58. Professor Sweat says:

    WASHINGTON – Congressman Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) last night introduced H.J. Res. 46, which seeks to repeal updates to the National Park Service’s “9B” rules. The rules require detailed planning and set safety standards for oil and gas drilling inside the more than 40 national parks that have “split estate” ownership, where the federal government owns the surface but not the subsurface mineral rights.

    The resolution is just the latest in a series of moves by federal lawmakers to weaken environmental protections for national parks under the Congressional Review Act (CRA). If these repeals are signed into law under the CRA, it will not only stop these protections, it will also prohibit agencies from issuing similar rules and protections in the future, unless directed by Congress.

  59. Kathleen says:

    Mountain-top removal, anyone? #resist

    “House Republicans Vote to End Rule Stopping Coal Mining Debris From Being Dumped in Streams”

  60. Mareks Vilkins says:

    Hunting success rates: how predators compare

    It’s tough being a predator – for many species, most pursuits end in failure, while smaller hunters risk losing their hard-won meals to bigger beasts. But who’s top dog and who has to work hardest to get a meal?

  61. Mareks Vilkins says:

    Winter Diet and Hunting Success of Canada Lynx in Colorado

    Lynx successfully captured snowshoe hares on 31% of attempts and red squirrels on 47% of attempts, similar to lynx in other regions. In contrast to other populations, the majority of chases of both prey species were initiated while actively hunting rather than by ambush and this behavior did not change through time. We found evidence for snowshoe hare refugia
    during winter; hunting success for hares peaked at sites with approximately 3,000 stems/ha, but was lower in more dense ve getation where hare densities were greater. Given this finding and the apparent impor tance of red squirrels as alternate prey, we suggest tha t management for lynx in the southern Rocky Mountains, USA, focus on maintenance of mature, uneven-aged Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmannii)-subalpine fir (Abies
    lasiocarpa) stands. Such stands natu rally provide patches of dense and open habitats juxtaposed closely
    together that should simultaneously facilitate high hare densities (and refuge from predation) and
    accessibility to hares by lynx. Mature trees in such stands also provide abundant cone crops to sustain
    populations of red squirrels for use as alternate prey

    • Ida Lupine says:

      ^^This is fascinating. Thanks!

    • rork says:

      My thanks too.
      I have a new theory (for me) about shroom species diversiy being greater in the older growth near me (my 1940’s project). The big trees were even more fragmented between 40 and 120 years ago – they were isolated tiny postage stamps. Some of the shrooms are dependent on flying squirrels, and perhaps somewhat less on the other squirrel species (reds more than fox, grey, and our ground squirrels). The flying squirrels don’t like forest without big trees, so the spore infested feces of the cutest of all squirrels did not fall in second growth. So no shroom restoration, but now maybe.

      • Mareks Vilkins says:


      • Mark L says:

        I’ve seen the same thing in north Alabama, after discussing distribution with shroom hunters. And we have a good number of flying squirrels, but only in the areas with a wide swath of old trees (mostly hilltops) I’ve had 5 get in my house over 20 years…2 died in the toilet (during droughts)

  62. Kathleen says:

    “Trophy Hunters Gather At Safari Club International Convention To Bid On Big Game Kills:
    The top item is the chance to kill a Canadian polar bear valued at $72,000.”

    • skyrim says:

      I guess it’s a given that the 2 young Trump Goons will be in the crowd bidding…..

  63. Nancy says:

    “The Republican-led House voted Thursday to repeal an Obama-era Social Security Administration regulation to keep people with severe mental illnesses from buying guns”

    Let the jokes begin!!

  64. Nancy says:

    Feisty neighbor 🙂

  65. Kathleen says:

    FINALLY! Something to coordinate with my favorite “My Little Pony” sparkle rifle! I hated how that hideous blaze orange (gals, OMG…seriously…WHO looks good in orange?!?) clashed with my outfit when I was out slaying Bambi! Thank you, Montana legislature!

    “Lawmakers consider letting big game hunters wear pink”

    I was SMH until I realized that other states have already gone this route–desperate to boost their pool of hunters by enticing the fashion-conscious ladies: “Wisconsin is the first state to approve blaze pink as an alternative hunting color. Since it was enacted in February, Colorado, Louisiana and New York have passed similar laws. …In Wisconsin, bi-partisan authors said it was designed to draw more women into hunting and provide hunters an option. Some female hunters have described the bill as sexist.”

    Video here:

    • rork says:

      We passed laws allowing the Michigan NRC to decide what other colors should be legal in Dec, and expect they will allow pink any day, after safety tests. Why not was the attitude. Full camo looks better on both genders, but in some seasons it’s law to wear bright stuff.
      Women here have worn pink camouflage for some time, just as fashion. Where I live it’s not strange for people to wear camo pants or jackets even in town – they are your best weather gear, and why would you buy any other color. In a coastal big city I don’t do that, whereas where I live, I fit in better – it reduces the university stink. We try not to use fancy vocabulary or talk politics or social issues, and we look like them too.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      I’m no hunter, but it would seem to me that if I were, I’d get with the regular program of regular camo and blaze orange when appropriate. 🙁

  66. rork says:
    My brother in eastern WA reports Jan temperatures were 13 degrees below average. Almost unprecedented. Just closing some wildlife areas seems like a smart trick I’ve not seen before. (Perhaps just ignorance.) Oregon, Idaho, and around there also have troubles.

  67. Kathleen says:

    “USDA abruptly removes animal welfare information from its website”

    It appears that the Trump admin. is covering for animal abusers in puppy mills, research labs, circuses, zoos, horse breeding facilities, and elsewhere. The US Dept. of Agriculture is responsible for inspecting animal facilities and exhibitors and for enforcing the federal Animal Welfare Act and Horse Protection Act. Advocacy groups and citizens could access reports of violations…but no more. These reports were removed from the agency website today over concern for individuals’ *privacy rights*. Violators and abusers are protected while it’s now harder than ever to protect animals.

  68. Mareks Vilkins says:

    Guardian dogs conserve ecology of Mongolian steppes

    Livestock protection eases human pressure on predators and reduces overgrazing

    Livestock losses to predation often decline by 80%, or are even eliminated, following the introduction of livestock guardian dogs.

    Mongolian lore indicates that Bankhar dogs have long been used as livestock guardians. However, the turmoil created by 70 years of collectivization and modernization imposed on nomadic communities by the Soviet Union and its Mongolian proxies resulted in the loss of vital traditional knowledge, including the capabilities required to train and employ Bankhar dogs.

    According to Mongolian herders and field biologists, Bankhar dogs were actively destroyed under communist rule because of a misconception that the dogs spread disease to livestock. The dogs survived only in the most isolated herding communities.

    To reintroduce the Bankhar to nomads around Mongolia, Elfstrom raised $40,000 in seed money through Kickstarter, a crowd funding platform, in 2011, and added a larger sum of his own to establish the Mongolian Bankhar Dog Project. The project located 10 Bankhar dogs living with isolated herders around Mongolia, and those animals form the core breeding population.

    Zoe Lieb, a conservation biologist and anthropologist who took over the program in Mongolia in November, said that restoring the breed is a priority. She said the project has so far reared nearly 40 puppies, most of which have been deployed as livestock guardian dogs or are in training.

    To increase its impact, the project has also teamed up with several domestic and international conservation organizations.

    Bankhar dogs can also mitigate desertification, which has increased in recent years because herders now primarily raise goats for cashmere wool to sell on the open market. Goats have voracious appetites and damage pastures more than other livestock, resulting in pasture depletion and increasing desertification. The Gobi Desert is estimated to be growing at 3,000 sq. km a year, with vast sandstorms contributing to smog levels throughout East Asia. Pasture productivity has deteriorated.

    Three times as many goats now roam Mongolia’s steppes as in the 1980s, and herders are keeping ever-larger livestock herds as a hedge against predation and weather-related losses. But reducing the risk of livestock losses can spur herders to keep smaller herds in the expectation that more will survive.

    Further, the use of the dogs encourages predators to focus on natural prey such as the Asiatic wild ass and Mongolian gazelle. The increased threat encourages these wild ungulates to herd and graze in more compact units, helping to reduce pasture damage.

    10 years ago:

    Mongolia – Silent steppe: the illegal wildlife trade crisis

    In Mongolia, an ‘Extinction Crisis’ Looms

    • Mareks Vilkins says:

      from “Silent Steppe”

      p. 98

      In Mongolia, wolves were officially harvested to control numbers and provide furs since at least the early 1920s (Figure 11). From 1926 to 1985, official wolf harvests averaged 5,308 animals with a peak harvest of 18,000 in 1933 and a total trade volume of 313,153 in 55 years of recorded trade. However, these are only the official numbers. Certainly, Mongolians hunted wolves in addition to official trade to protect livestock, for traditional medicines, and killed pups during extermination campaigns, none of which was ever recorded.

      This compares to wolf extermination campaigns in the Soviet Union that averaged 50,000 wolves annually from the mid 1950s through the 1960s. According to V.V. Kozlov, the USSR destroyed 42,300 wolves in 1945, 62,700 wolves in 1946, 58,700 wolves in 1947, 57,600 in 1948, 55,300 in 1949, and similar numbers for the next two decades. Even though overall harvest levels dropped in the 1970s, as they did for most species, hunting never stopped completely and in the 1980s sobering harvests over 30,000 were recorded.


      Given the market values and traditional medicine practices in both China and Mongolia, and Mongolians’ relationship to the wolf, it is not surprising that it is the second most targeted species by hunters in Mongolia. Of the 949 hunters surveyed throughout the country, almost 40 percent (321) claim to hunt wolves. Extrapolated out to the entire population of hunters in the country (245,000), this means potentially 75,000 hunters actively harvest the animal. Th e adjusted mean take for these hunters was 3.4 animals with the highest harvest being 100 animals for a single hunter. Looking only at the hunter respondents in the survey, at least 1,777 wolves were killed in 2004. Total harvest volumes were diffi cult to estimate and are likely the result of exaggeration on the part of respondents. Without absolute certainty, we believe it is possible that Mongolian hunters may have taken at least 20,00030,000 wolves in 2004 with a potential market value of approximately $7 million. One market in Ulaanbaatar claims to have sold 50,000 wolf pelts in 2004 alone. We were unable to verify if all pelts were from Mongolia or from the same year

  69. Mareks Vilkins says:

    Wolves sighting prompts quick school response

    The community of Hunters in Stevens County got an up-close look at what the predators are capable of on Tuesday. A pack of wolves took down a deer right behind one family’s home.

    Administrators at the Columbia School District acted fast and it was truly a grassroots effort. The district personally picked up the phone and warned every parent to be on the lookout for possible danger. Once school was in session, the school said they provided several monitors on the playground to scope out any possible danger.

  70. Gary Humbard says:

    “You are not protecting these cattle from the wolves; you are protecting your wolves from these cattle.”

    “It would take an extreme situation for us to order a removal of OR7,”

    Pardon me if previously posted, but a good article in High Country News regarding OR-7 and wolves in Oregon.

  71. Nancy says:

    Utah Representative Wants Bears Ears Gone And He Wants Trump To Do It.

  72. Immer Treue says:

    Perhaps a half step in the correct direction.

    Still using the old (2014 published, data collected until 2012) Mech/Feinberg study but failing to mention that in the study, Mech did write that deer and beaver helped support the wolf population in areas of moose economy, and that by the time the study was published, the wolf population in moose economy zone was declining.

    What is heartening is reading the comments, and more folks are beginning to understand the moose/wolf story is strongly influenced by deer, in an area prior to anthropogenic forces was almost devoid of deer.

    Wolves are the “canary in the coal mine”. Maintaining that sweet spot in the sigmoid growth curve to appease the MNDHA, even with renewed hunting and trapping of wolves, will do nothing more than further the moose decline due to brainworm, liver flukes, and the all but inevitable incursion of CWD into the moose population.

    Only hope for moose is reduce deer numbers: discontinue feeding of deer; higher deer take during hunting season; hope for a couple back to back tough prolonged winters. Deer numbers will go down, and so will wolves, hopefully vectoring increased moose population.

  73. Nancy says:

    A riot of mushrooms!

  74. Mareks Vilkins says:

    Lead in game meat – Swedish National Food Agency report 2014

    The study showed that adults who consume game meat had significantly higher lead levels in the blood than adults who do not eat game meat (16.3 μg/L compared to 11,0 μg/L in adult men). Women who do not shoot but eat game meat also had significantly higher blood lead levels than women who did not eat game meat (30 % higher)

    … In all, the results show that blood lead levels should be reduced, as 70 % of the males, 30 % of the women and 40-50 % of the children that consumed game meat had blood lead levels above the reference points established by the European Food Standards Authority (EFSA).

    Lead-Free Hunting Rifle Ammunition: Product Availability, Price, Effectiveness, and Role in Global Wildlife Conservation

    There is no major difference in the retail price of equivalent lead-free and lead-core ammunition for most popular calibers. Lead-free ammunition has set bench-mark standards for accuracy, lethality, and safety.

    This study was supported by the personal funds of the author. I thank the journal reviewers for their constructive comments on previous drafts. The author is not affiliated with, or supported by, any ammunition manufacturer.

  75. Ida Lupine says:

    Hello. Are we surprised?

    Wisconsin DNR Underreports Gray Wolf Poaching, Study Says

  76. Ida Lupine says:

    Here’s another view. When a high percentage of animals deaths are all dumped into the “Cause Unknown” category, it does make one wonder. It is a DNR’s responsibility and duty to uphold the law too, not just keep track of numbers:

    “Treves’ paper is surely not the end of the debate about whether to legalize the hunting of gray wolves. But the team is putting all the data online, so that other researchers can analyze their findings.

    “The state has never published all of its mortality data,” says Treves. “We’re doing it for the first time to be totally transparent.”

  77. Gary Humbard says:

    I’ve seen a lot of different animals in the wild, but this one is still on my list to see. If I do see one, I’m sure it will be a fleeting glimpse, but that would be just fine!

    • Kathleen says:

      The wolverine is the one topping my list…have you seen one, Gary? Several years ago we were exploring the backroads looking for a good place to park and take off hiking and came upon a gorgeous big fisher right in the middle of the road–he had chased down his lunch and we watched him subdue the animal and drag away his meal. I’ve come virtually face-to-face with a pine marten way up in the Tetons, and a short-tailed weasel in Yellowstone. A long-tailed weasel came rippling thru the snow one Thanksgiving as we were putting Xmas lights up on the deck. I’ve been very fortunate, mustelidly-speaking. But still waiting for Gulo gulo.

      • Gary Humbard says:

        Oh, yes Gulo gulo, the devil on four paws. Yes I did see one in your neck of the woods just east of Fortine, Montana on a winter evening a few years ago. What a magnificent animal! He or she had caught a pine marten for dinner and just sauntered away like it owned the place (which it did!). Those precious moments are why I go hiking almost every day, you just never know what is around the next corner.

  78. Kathleen says:

    “Trump’s Pick For Interior Is No Friend Of Endangered Species …Yet Ryan Zinke could soon be key to saving 1,600 species under threat in the United States.”

  79. Kathleen says:

    From today’s Missoulian opinion page:
    “GEORGE OCHENSKI: What now collaborators?”

    Excerpt: “For more than 20 years the timber industry, joined by federal and state government agencies and elected officials from both parties, has instigated and nurtured the use of collaboration to supposedly solve public lands resource extraction issues. They have been aided and abetted in this effort by any number of so-called “conservation” groups generously funded by foundations such as the PEW Trust to be collaborators. But now, how can these same groups claim a shred of legitimacy by collaborating with Donald Trump’s “make America raped again” agenda?”

    Also, “Wildfire evolution forces Forest Service into new thinking”

    Excerpt: “When a forest fire threatens your house and you have minutes to run, do you know what you plan to grab besides your family? The photo albums? Computer hard drive? Tax records? Gun collection? Clean underwear?

    “The U.S. Forest Service faces a much bigger version of that question. When wildfire starts, does it deploy its army of yellow-shirted initial attack forces, or let trees burn? Does it chase every smoke on the horizon or concentrate on defending homes? And who gets a say in the decision?”

    • Ida Lupine says:

      They either stand up and fight to preserve what’s left of America’s public lands legacy for future generations or live with the outcome of their past collaboration and the destructive policies and actions it has spawned. The choice seems clear. So what now, collaborators?

      Spot on! And they’re still collaborating. I wonder if Tammy Baldwin realizes she’s giving a stamp of approval to legal dog fights and an anything goes hunting policy? The hunting plan is already in place before the wolves have even been delisted, so she can’t say she doesn’t know.

      To read about a Democrat parroting off the same lines as ‘children in danger’ is very, very dismaying. And the sad part is, it won’t advance the Democrats’ cause – didn’t then and won’t now. 🙁

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Yes, I’m tired of hearing the throw-away term ‘sound science’ with no example of it – real science is what we need.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      No thoughtful human, considerate of other life, should sacrifice for pleasure or a bet so distinctively an American animal, whose roots on this continent go back five million years, which served as a deity for Native people, plays a critical role in nature and obviously takes joy in being alive. After all, a coyote sacrificed in a killing contest does not die in sport. It dies in earnest.

      This is probably one of the most lovely pieces I have ever read. Not only scientifically accurate, but just beautifully expressed. The image of a coyote playing with a sprig of sage – what kind of creature could take the life of another like that in a contest?

    • Yvette says:

      Refreshing, especially coming from NM. NM is as bad, if not worse, than OK with the number of coyote killing contests. I use to go tit for tat with a friend/colleague from the Acoma Pueblo over coyotes. I defended them and he believed they were no better than nasty fleas. The ultimate of losing a friendship happened: He ‘defriended me on Facebook.

      On a bright note, I’ve seen a couple of coyotes out and about on my daily commute. While they aren’t rare animals they are always a joy to see.

    • rork says:

      It’s a bit hard (not impossible) to argue destructive and ineffective at the same time, so I usually stick with ineffective, and tout coyote ecosystem services. My detractors claim local temporary relief is possible, and I find that harder to contradict with evidence, not that they have evidence beyond personal experience – famously the two most dangerous words in medicine.

  80. Yvette says:

    “The researchers found that the biggest contributor to bear status was urban land use. A one per cent increase in urbanization resulted in a 91 per cent increase in human-bear conflict.”

    Wow! That seems to be a small percent of urbanization to increase conflict by that much. I wonder how counted what was considered urbanization.

  81. Kathleen says:


    Excerpt: “In a press release sent out this morning, Patagonia announced it will not be participating in Outdoor Retailer, one of the biggest trade shows in the country held twice a year in Salt Lake City, Utah. The company is doing so in response to Utah Gov. Gary Herbert’s move to revoke the Bears Ears National Monument last week.”

  82. Immer Treue says:

    Another step in the correct direction

    It may cost extra money and effort, but considering the cost of Wildlife Services.
    Also, another step forward in the philosophy of wolf management in areas of livestock.

    “It is believed that stable wolf packs are easier to manage with nonlethal deterrents than unstable packs because stable packs tend to hold and remain in their own established territory, which discourages new wolves from entering the area (Smith 2005; Mech and Boitani 2007). Knowledge of the behavior of stable packs helps guide nonlethal strategies, such as avoiding traditional den sites in the spring, and it increases the odds of successfully avoiding depredations. Packs that are disrupted or eliminated by lethal control leave vacant territory that other wolves soon fill (Mech and Boitani 2007). In the absence of adequate nonlethal strategies for livestock protection, loss of livestock and wolves is more likely to occur. These nonlethal strategies should include adequate livestock husbandry, as noted by Wallach et al. (this issue), because livestock that are weakened by disease, bad weather, complications with birthing, or other problems due to poor husbandry are more susceptible to depredation by native predators.”

    • Ida Lupine says:

      But will this ‘sound science’ be accepted? That’s the thing. The current racket is very entrenched.

  83. Kathleen says:

    Trump administration delays listing bumblebee as endangered

    Excerpt: “The Trump administration on Thursday delayed what would be the first endangered designation for a bee species in the continental U.S., one day before it was to take effect.”

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Oh for crying out loud. Just list the poor bee, will ya!!!!!

      “The American Farm Bureau Federation opposed listing the bumblebee as endangered, saying it could lead to costly limits on land and chemical use …”

      We can’t have limits on chemicals now, can we. *eyeroll*

    • Yvette says:

      Surprised? Does trump and his wannabe royal family eat? Just one more kick in the gut the family who thinks they are royalty.

      We need pollinators.

    • Louise Kane says:

      apparently one federal judge just recently found that one of the class of pesticides is dangerous to the rust bumble bee, and therefore may be banned. But that does not address all of the other pesticides that kill bee populations. If losing most of the bee pollinators in the country and around the world does not create a sense of urgency, I can’t imagine what will. I feel that human stupidity and greed is dooming us as a species and all other species.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      I couldn’t believe this when I read it. Why do people have to ruin everything? Taking a perfectly benign activity and making it violent. There’s no guarantee that it will even work, and do they not realize it isn’t the season for it? Talk about out of touch with the natural world.

      This reminds me of a news article I read (I think it was also here) where blueberry or huckleberry pickers decided to cart away the entire bushes in their trucks! Who has time to pick individually I guess. Greed and speed, that defines us now. I truly believe humans are in a downward spiral in evolution.

  84. Nancy says:

    “Darrah told city leaders about one winter season when FWP removed more than 20 mountain lions within the Missoula area”

    • Ida Lupine says:

      See? People say they want wildlife, but then as development continues to expand farther into wild areas, they suddenly don’t want them around.

      Who is speaking for/protecting wildlife these days – anybody, Democrat or Republican?

      • Gary Humbard says:

        This is not a political issue, it’s called personal responsibility. Ninety percent of cougar attacks to humans (extremely rare) are on children who frequently run from them, which as you know causes a cat instinct to attack. Adults should carry bear spray when out in the wild too. Deer kill 20 times more humans and cause billions of dollars in damage each year due to vehicle crashes and guess what is the mainstay of a cougar diet, bingo deer!

        Adult supervision of children and pets and adequate protection of domestic animals such as chickens would drastically reduce any conflicts.

        Education is the key and a predator plan that requires personal responsibility and that lethal removal is a LAST RESORT instead of a CYA for the state agency.

        • Ida Lupine says:

          People don’t take personal responsibility, and education doesn’t work. This stuff keeps happening.

          What I meant was Democrats and Republicans only care about people’s issues, but in different ways. Nobody is speaking up for wildlife and the public lands – these issues are always on the back burner. Without attention, it will get worse.

          • Ida Lupine says:

            I forgot to add – a prime example is carrying bear spray in Yellowstone – with the last disaster, the park policy was it was a visitor’s ‘personal choice’ to carry bear spray or not. Individual freedoms (without any responsibility) will always come before welfare of the other park inhabitants.

            Until rules like the above change, people won’t have any reason to take personal responsibility. I don’t know why park management is so hesitant.

            • Ida Lupine says:

              Here’s another glaring example – an op ed from WI re Tammy Baldwin supporting delisting wolves and apparently aware of all that entails. I had wondered if she was aware of and approves of hunting dogs deliberately put into harms way, and the taxpayer footing the bill when they are killed to the tune of $1200 per, and apparently she is.

              But because she scores three points on the identity politics scale, no Democrat will challenge it; and if anyone does, they’ll be called a Trump supporter, sexist, and homophobic. Have they learned nothing from the Jon Tester debacle? It won’t help them gain back their footing:


            • rork says:

              Maybe they hesitate cause it would be hard to write and enforce a rule saying just who must carry when and how. And an expensive hassle – most people are at pretty low danger. Those of us straying farther from the well-trampled places must teach each other about our responsibilities to have such gear. I’m not saying all rules are bad, like just closing sensitive spots at certain times.

              • Ida Lupine says:

                I don’t know/remember if bear spray was provided? Maybe they ought to make it easy for people. I know that as soon as you walk into a ranger’s station, the first thing you see is warnings where grizzlies have been seen. How much education do people need?

                • Nancy says:

                  I believe there are places at the park now where you can rent a can of bear spray, much cheaper than buying it.

                  Thousands of people hike in the park every year without incident, so it pays to be “bar aware” also.

                • Ida Lupine says:

                  I just think that the park policy ought to be a little more strongly stressed, than just saying ‘personal choice’. It’s too detached, and doesn’t convey how important it is. I fear the parks are starting to become more ‘guest service’ oriented, like a zoo or a hotel.

                  I hate to go by statistics, because the circumstances are different for all who visit, and until it happens to someone who becomes the statistic. For those who want to go to the less traveled areas of the parks, it is more important to take precautions, and be aware, of course.

                • Peter Kiermeir says:

                  Visited YNP spring last year and did a lot of hiking. Never before encountered so many black bears out on the trails. Was just great. Albeit, no Grzzlies, just one out on Swanlake flats. And, almost all of the (few) other hikers we met out there carried bear spray. Yes, bear spray was for rent at least at canyon.

  85. Kathleen says:

    Reminder – 2/13 at 11:59 pm EST is the comment deadline for the USFWS status review of northern Rockies fishers. Only 91 comments have been received thus far.

    Associated documents are on this page, as is a “comment now” button:

    If you need talking points, glance through “Fishers, Northern Rockies Petition (CBD et al) under Supporting Documents.

  86. Kathleen says:

    “Orangutan alarm calls may reveal origins of the first words in the human language, scientists say”

    (Please, no unfair comparisons (unfair to orangutans) just because they are orange.)

    Our relationship to orangs:
    “Orangutans may be more closely related to humans than scientists previously thought, a new genetic study has shown.
    “The first blueprint of the orangutan genetic code has confirmed that they share 97 per cent of their DNA with people.
    “Although that makes the red-haired apes less closely related to us than chimps – who have 99 per cent of DNA in common – a small portion of orangutan DNA is a closer match to human DNA, the international team of researchers found.”

  87. Immer Treue says:

    Is it about food or trophies. Deer feeding and deer farms…what the purpose for fenced hunting?

    • ma'iingan says:

      You need to run that dude out of your state.

      • Louise Kane says:

        Where do these former deserve to be run out of state management folk end up? Zinke and dept of interior
        Unless he starts providing free endangered species wildlife products to Russia its likely he will be confirmed

    • Nancy says:

      “Canned” hunting is all about a guaranteed trophy. Folks just too lazy to actually go out and hunt.

      The concern about CWD needs to be on the front burner:

      • rork says:

        Both of your links are pure fertilizer, that only folks on the woo bandwagon would point to, or even read for that matter.
        Mercola is one of the most famous quacks on the planet too, so you should have been forewarned. The only reason to read him is to stay abreast of recent lying. Alzheimer’s is not a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy. They are making stuff up out of thin air.

    • rork says:

      That got covered other places, where this quote was obtained by one journalist:

      But in an interview after the meeting, DNR Wildlife Research Manager Lou Cornicelli said Kroll misrepresented what’s happening in the CWD zone.

      “You kill the 1,000 deer to help determine whether you’re dealing with a spark or a fire,” Cornicelli said. “You detect, you investigate and then you concentrate your efforts. Those 1,000 deer were spread out over 500 square miles, so that’s about two deer per square mile. That let us determine that we probably have an infection in a localized area, so now we can concentrate our efforts on that area. And we’re going to do that.”

      end of quoted part.
      I think MN is doing the right thing, and so is MI. I fully agree with ma’iingan. Kroll’s been outright dishonest on other topics since long, long ago, not that he’s always wrong.

  88. Ida Lupine says:

    Somewhat good news, thank goodness for the caring volunteers. But unanticipated events like this are why humans should not become overly confident in the ability to ‘manage’ wildlife or our ‘sustainable’ activities:

  89. Kathleen says:

    Great footage of a fisher! (I had to skip past the part where the groundhog was dying…)Check out the 4:00 min. mark where the fisher stands up on hind legs. Today’s the last day to comment (by 11:59pm EST) on US Fish & Wildlife Svc. status review for the northern Rockies distinct population segment. Please go to bat for these rare forest carnivores…Montana still allows fisher trapping!

  90. Kathleen says:

    “Hunter donation program proposed for lethal wolf management”

    Excerpt: “A proposed checkoff program would allow hunters purchasing licenses to voluntarily donate for lethal control of wolves. … The bill creates a voluntary checkoff where hunters can donate $1 or more to ‘help reduce the impact of wolves on landowners and livestock producers.'”

    Trust the Montana legislature to take care of what’s important.

  91. Nancy says:

    Live streaming webcam, buffalo snoozing in front of Old Faithful geyser this morning. Cool! Click on webcam top of page.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      🙂 This was great!

      A side note to Immer and Louise:

      Did you see that a German Shepherd won Best in Show at Westminster? What a beauty! I know that many of us have mixed feelings about dog shows and dog breeding, and the contradictory way we treat our companion animals, but it was nice to see Rumor win. I love the little dogs, don’t get me wrong, but the herding group and working group are special breeds. 🙂

  92. Ida Lupine says:

    Congress’ behind-the-scenes ‘legislating spree’:

    • Ida Lupine says:

      I usually don’t like these kinds of articles because I feel they promote unnecessary fear. They are also terribly one-sided. To read them, you’d think that humans are incapable of spreading disease. Or maybe we just don’t care about life other than ourselves. Does anyone ever write articles about the disease humans must spread to wildlife, either by themselves or by livestock? Especially in all the unsanitary squalor humans once lived in, and in some areas still do. I believe TB originated in humans, and then spread to cattle. The human virus is older.

      Here’s a reverse study:

  93. Louise Kane says:
    I can only get the abstract if anyone has the full paper Please post the link. Thank you

    • rork says:

      Thanks for pointing to the gold mine. When I click your link I see the full article. So I figure it’s not free to the public, which is bad – SEVERAL of the articles in that issue of the journal are of considerable interest to folks that aren’t professional mammologists.
      There’s one by John Vucetich, Jeremy Bruscotter, Michael Nelson, Rolf Peterson, and Joseph Bump:
      “Evaluating the principles of wildlife conservation: a case study of wolf (Canis lupus) hunting in Michigan, United States”
      Link to the contents of that issue:
      It’s possible you will get an email Louise.

      • Louise Kane says:

        Thank you much
        Indeed all I can see is the abstract of tbe bergstrom piece. It’s good to see this work
        Thank you!

      • rork says:

        This part cracked me up. I’ve never said it this well.

        “When threats to human safety do occur they should be managed appropriately. In particular, protecting human safety should not wait until the upcoming hunting season, with the subsequent
        hope that some hunter has the good fortune to somehow kill the offending wolf. If human safety concerns are dealt with appropriately (i.e., immediately, accurately, precisely, thoroughly), then offending and potentially offending wolves would either be dead or living with plenty of fear of humans by the time the next hunting season arrives.”
        My one criticism would be that the article may underestimate the degree to which hunters are anxious about loss of deer. It’s the most common reason given for wolf hunts that I hear. It’s true though that our DNR has never given that as a reason, yet. I’ve often guessed that the reason is that they lack good data to make such an argument. It’s possible it would be an unpopular argument too, just as allowing wolf hunting so a few can go on trophy hunts would likely be unpopular (a point the article makes well).

      • rork says:

        Another funny:
        “Fear of wolves may be an important reason that many local citizens want to hunt wolves (Lute et al. 2014). The concern is that scientific knowledge (principle 6) indicates that wolves do not actually do the things — injure people and exaggerated claims of their impact on deer and livestock — that cause people to be fearful. The fear is real and important, and it should be managed.” (They go on to talk about education.)

    • rork says:

      There’s another article with Bruscotter’s name on it.
      “Attitudes toward predator control in the United States: 1995 and 2014”

  94. Ida Lupine says:

    “Our HSUS television commercial explains what’s at stake with this vote, but doesn’t show the actual cruelty that bears and wolves endure. If we did show a hunter shooting a wolf puppy at point-blank range, or a grizzly bear thrashing to escape a steel-jawed trap, viewers would recoil and the networks would pull the ads off the air. And that’s part of my argument: if you cannot watch it or broadcast it, it certainly shouldn’t be allowed on lands labeled as national wildlife refuges.”

    What kind of vile people would want to bring these barbaric practices back?

    • Kathleen says:

      Oops, just posted the youTube screen for the commercial below without noticing your post, Ida. Oh well, more exposure. To answer your question, Alaska Fish & Game would want to slaughter predators for a couple of reasons…hunting license revenue and to increase “game” animals for yet more hunters to kill (as the flawed thinking goes). Vile it is.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        Don’t worry, the more it is posted the better! This kind of thing is not hunting, but eradication.

  95. Kathleen says:

    “Cities Want to Kill Coyotes — and Animal Welfare Activists Cry Foul”

    Excerpt: “… while residents of foothill communities in the San Gabriel Valley enjoy their proximity to nature, they’re not as fond of the coyotes that come with it.”

    And of course, it’s all about THEM. Solution? Cruel snaring of coyotes.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Unfortunately, it’s how humans are. Today especially, we’re not taught to share as toddlers. Who’s worse, the ranchers or suburbanites? I remember some saying that those living in developments would be better towards wildlife – wrong! The urban sprawl of So. CA was a shocker for me.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        I actually marvel at how coyotes and mountains lions can actually survive that environment at all.

  96. Kathleen says:

    HJ Resolution 69 commercial released today by HSUS

  97. Nancy says:

    A book that has fueled the imagination of so many, in negative ways, gets even more attention:

    “One of her favourites so far? The image of Little Red Riding Hood walking out of the woods wearing a wolf coat”

    • Mareks Vilkins says:

      Baldwin Library has around 400 copies of Little Red Riding Hood

      does it mean there’s at least 400 versions / clones of this theme? or just different editions (where only pictures are different) of the same story?

  98. WM says:

    To my critics on this forum who suggested I don’t know what I am talking about when I advocate the role of state wildlife agencies, even as reflected in express language in various federal statutes creating designated Wilderness. I think some courts got this wrong, recently and suspect change is in the works, with a mostly R Congress and an R or something as President.

    You will be interested to know the issue of states and cities resisting the federal government is on the rise. Not only have some progressive states thumbed their noses at the federal government and enacted statutes legalizing marijuana use (and now potential safe injection sites for heroin users), but the hotly contested immigration rights issue under the Trump administration is in focus. The concept of “sanctuary cities” and even “sanctuary states” to resist federal enforcement of immigration laws already on the books is on the rise, especially in the progressive coastal states east and west. States and cities are resisting the federal government, even in areas where the federal government clearly has primacy under the Constitution and numerous statutes.

    It would appear even “cooperative federalism” is under siege in so many areas. It is not just the Endangered Species Act, Wilderness, Clean Air and Clean Water Acts. I would suggest federal government strength is waining, and it is not just grounded in the historic “slave states” which some like to point out as being the champion of states rights at the time of the Civil War. This is much bigger than that, and the criticisms are that the federal government does a lot of stupid shit that the states and their municipal subdivision are fed up with. This is a sharp sword that cuts both ways. What is the future of cooperative federalism in America for wildlife and other topics where independent state action might affect other states and the nation?

    • Ida Lupine says:

      You make good points. It’s been notices that some ignore Federal laws.

      NRA & ACLU “Meeting of the Minds”:

      • Ida Lupine says:

        I’m not a proponent of legalizing marijuana. It seems too hedonistic for me, when there are really important issues out there that never get addressed. Change certain laws if need be, but I can’t support legalization.

    • Immer Treue says:

      Well said. Perhaps the Feds loosening up a bit is good for all. Marijuana in particular, other drugs in general…prisons too full of nonviolent people; $ generation for the states;

      Wolf delisting, most probably the right way to go. I believe I have been fairly consistent that folks should be able to protect what is theirs, livestock, pets, etc. That was a feeling of many up here in NE MN. But that first wolf hunting season stirred a minor rebellion. More and more is understood about wolves, much more so than twenty years ago. Will states use this information for the benefit of all their constituents, or just the few…

      Western states and fire. Would the fire season bankrupt state coffers without Fed aid…

      Flint, Michigan neither state or fed help

      Oil pipeline protests…

      I certainly don’t have the answers, yet I’m also aware that one should exercise caution when wishing to be on the other side of the hill.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        Wolf delisting is not the right way to go. Is taking away the right to judicial review also the right way to go?

        Every time it has been done, a hunting season follows that is not based on ‘sound science’. The sound science is ignored, and it has no effect at all on the tolerance level; in fact, just the opposite. Studies have shown that killing just becomes a free-for-all. Not everyone has pure motives; but, hope springs eternal, I guess.

        And while we’re at it – since I am respectful of all life, human included. While I do respect a woman’s right to choose first and foremost, I do believe life begins at conception. More emphasis should be put on preventing pregnancy and education IMO.

        • Immer Treue says:

          Wolf delisting and hunting/trapping can be mutually exclusive. It would be interesting in the states involved if they have learned anything over the past ten years. I think the statement (email) by Dennis Simon opened the flood gates in regard to this in MN.
          Dennis Simon, DNR Chief, Wildlife Management Section, in a forwarded email to fellow DNR officials titled, “Wolf Season W/out Legislation,” writes that “All things being equal I would prefer that we delay the season until we can establish a license, complete the population survey, and draft a population model even if we have to estimate harvest effort and success initially.” Then in the next paragraph, Simon does an about face, writing, “However, after giving it considerable thought over the weekend, I have come to the conclusion that we owe it to our primary clients, hunters and trappers, and to livestock producers as secondary clients, to do what we can to establish a legitimate harvest opportunity now that the wolf is under our management authority.”*

          Next time reality22 comes over here in whatever manifestation, remember what he wrote when I presented this quote.

          • Ida Lupine says:

            I sure hope so! 🙂 In the purest spirit of the Endangered Species Act, the wolves could recover and then be left alone.

          • Louise Kane says:

            but what is the reason for hunting wolves if not for management? I know I know that opens up another whole debate but there is evidence that hunting predators has negative undesirable effects. If for on other reason, why not stop wolf hunting because it is morally repugnant, wasteful and does not achieve its desired “management” goal. trophy hunting has to be on the way out. what is sporting about harassing the small pockets of wild animals that manage to survive in this human dominated landscape. when are hunting and delisting mutually exclusive? Delisting always leads to hunting

            • Ida Lupine says:

              IMO, I wish there should be no support for hunting wolves for ‘sport’ of wolves or predators. The only exception should be made for depredation, and I believe there’s already an existing remedy for that, either the ranchers themselves shoot, F&W does it, or both, or calling in the dreaded government wildlife services.

              If wolves numbers fall too low, then the sport hunters won’t have any to hunt either? But I’m sure that’s the general idea anyway.

          • Immer Treue says:

            What I really wanted to say, or to make it clearer, if a state delisted wolves, that should NOT automatically equate to wolf hunting seasons. If it is to appease hunters and trappers, as per the Simon email, something is askew. But a private land rancher should be able to,protect his stock without repercussions. Public land ranching is an entirely different ball of wax.

        • rork says:

          “Is taking away the right to judicial review also the right way to go?”
          I don’t think you get it. If we pass special laws trumping ESA for wolves, there won’t be any sense in courts applying ESA to wolves. The laws in question are just making this explicit.

          As for federal government strength waining, it would be the first time, and all of history seems to point the other way, and there’s an understanding of the mechanism for why that is – it discovers more new ways of amassing power. Take schools, a state’s thing, over which the feds clearly have no power it would seem. But they find a way. Usually it involves money they take from you and then threaten not to give back unless you do as they say. Tocqueville assured us this would happen. Feds could do such a trick with pot, but there’s not enough motivation, for what I hope are obvious reasons.
          I admit it’s possible that the people will ask the feds to pass laws weakening their powers in certain circumstances.

          • Louise Kane says:

            “If we pass special laws trumping ESA for wolves, there won’t be any sense in courts applying ESA to wolves.”

            what about when we allowed the ESA to be abrogated by ranching interests when the law itself was created to protect species from harassment, take or threat regardless of financial considerations. See Dale Gobel’s excellent of Wolves and Welfare Ranching which argues wolves were being condemned under the ESA because of the “special” exemption. Wolves have always been treated unfairly.

            further evidence of the crazy incessant pestering to remove protections so slaughter can ensue is your state’s recent legislation. I think introduced in response to Capserson’s all out of proportion bellyaching when the voters rejected wolf hunting.
            Lets pose a different question, if wolves are to be singularly targeted for persecution then why can;t they singularly be targeted for special consideration to protect them against the powerful lobbyists, special interests and deranged state legislators who ignore their own constituents.

            Michigan fought hard to protect wolves, I think the vote was 60% plus against wolf hunting in a fair vote and still the minority interests pushed for and got a way around the voters.

            whats democratic or fair about that?
            those legislators are disgraceful, as are most of the actions so blithely committed against wolves in the name of “management”

            • Louise Kane says:


              a little bit about the shenanigans that Michigan legislators pulled to trophy hunt wolves.

              Its a common theme
              people fight hard for wolves
              witness the federal register notice on the national delisting proposed by the USFWS, I beleive the register recieved more comments on this issue than any prior.

              People recognize that without protection wolves are sitting ducks. They will endure endless seasons, cruelty beyond words, and needless slaughter. People are not stupid they see the insane, “radical” single minded purpose of some legislators and special interests to accommodate the ranching and trophy hunting industries by removing protections from wolves.

              statistically speaking wolves cause a tiny fraction of losses, from the illogical and hateful persecution directed at them you would think they are a branch of ISIS

              our legislators should be worried about whether or not a foreign country interfered with an election, protecting resources from being squandered and protecting american families and their education opportunities, health insurance, medicare and social security instead of trying to myopically destroy predator families, plunder public lands and roll back civil, social justice and environmental rights.

              I’m tired of seeing these kill predator bills pop up time and again under the guise that the ESA population target numbers have been reached so the animals don’t need further protection. Somehow a lot of educated people that are brought into the judiciary under both parties appointments seem to get the argument that the states can’t or shouldn’t manage wolves for slaughter.

          • Ida Lupine says:

            I know what you’re saying, but I was commenting on what usually goes hand-in-hand with a delisting, a hunting season, and the barring of any kind of judicial review. That happened back in 2011, and the bill that is floating around now that the two Democratic senators from MN and WI are complicit in sponsoring hopes to bar judicial review also. I think one said that these types of decisions shouldn’t be made through the courts, or some such wording. It’s very dismaying to see a Democrat with the same talking points as Republicans in wildlife matters.

            There are remedies already in place for farmers and ranchers who have wolf depredation of livestock, and if they have done all they possibly can to prevent it, in few instances it may be necessary to take lethal action. But complete neglect of livestock is unreasonable to expect, as is running cattle near wolf dens because of ideological disagreement with F&W! That should not be catered to.

            I know that if the ESA is weakened, it won’t make much difference, as you say.

      • Louise Kane says:

        The problem with delisting wolves is that the states can not be trusted to “manage” them.

        “Management” of other species, when we fail to account for human population impacts on all species, is a bizarre concept to me.

        Anyhow, managing species under state management plans have time and again, when given independent review by the courts, been found to be inadequate.

        Lethal management of wolves appears to be counterproductive, ignores their natural inclination to limit their populations (MN wolves at 3000 for 10 years or more) and conveniently begs the issue of unnecessary cruelty and the historic persecution of wolves that persists all of our proportion or reason.

        Ending federal protection has come to mean immediate trophy hunting, snaring, trapping and merciless killing. Despite WM’s well made point that states are pushing for less control by the federal governments, wolves are a public trust resource as are public lands.

        Unfortunately the great tracts of public lands that support large wild predators are in the west where their ideology and logic is fueled by regional conservatism and hatred of predators thwarts meaningful recovery.

        Many scientists agree that wildlife must be allowed the space to migrate in order for species to successfully adapt to changes in the environment, to find suitable prey and to sustain healthy populations. This is true for any species, not just wolves. Idaho and Montana wolves are heavily hunted and slaughtered even in wilderness areas where they should be highly protected. If wolves are delisted they will be treated the same, as state wildlife agencies seem to be incapable of limiting or ending wasteful and unnecessary trophy hunting.

        The national interest in protecting predators, endangered species and public lands for future generations imho overrides the states rights to pillage and destroy public trust resources that should be protected for the health and prosperity of the country.

        I continue to believe a national carnivore conservation act is a radical but necessary departure to protect species from irrational regional bias that is out of step with science, logic, humane management, public consensus, and intelligent ecological management decisions.

        In the meantime, the ESA is the only barrier between some states’ radical heavy handed management of predators and the public’s recognition that bias and illogical hatred of one species still constitutes a “threat” to wolves, deserving of federal protection as envisioned by the drafters of the ESA.

        It’s not just a numbers game.

        • rork says:

          Your accustomed brevity appreciated, in trying to use ESA to accomplish your no hunting agenda, and having no relationship to my explanation of how laws work.

  99. WM says:

    WA legislator introduces legislation to delist wolves from state endangered list in NE part of state (where they are already federally delisted)

  100. Ida Lupine says:

    Shares a border with Canada.

    We can see where this is going. Just like in the Northeast, some want to stop the natural dispersing. They already have stopped any reintroductions, and now they would like to inhibit natural disbursing.

    It’s just a constant advancement and dishonesty, isn’t it. I don’t know why anyone trusts these people. Those who advocate for wildlife were assured that an trustworthy, protective plan would be in place. This is why it was so disappoint for the Obama administration and Sally Jewell to take a compromise approach. It was terribly naïve.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      sorry, ‘natural dispersing’. We’d like to put the kybosh on disbursing for ranchers. 🙂

  101. Jeff N. says:

    2017 Mexican Gray Wolf Initial Release and Translocation Proposal document.

    Notice the genetic dominance of the Bluestem Pack throughout the current population.

  102. Louise Kane says:

    The house narrowly voted to overturn a ban on public lands in Alaska that prevented the state’s most aggressive polices against predators including gassing wolf cubs in their dens, same day aerial killing of bears and wolves, killing bears when their cubs are present.

    Shit, what kind of people want to to this? or find it acceptable? This is exactly why most states should not be controlling wildlife populations.

    See comments on Don Young’s FB page, I could not find more than one comment in favor of. Politicians like Young don’t listen to their constituents. I hope this administration and the small and single minded determination and zeal of the GOP to destroy wildlife, public lands and the environment feel the wrath of its constituents. I don’t believe most people support this kind of debauchery as wildlife management. Its sick

    This is the HSUS blog

    “Only the U.S. Senate and President Trump can now stop this unwinding of a decision by a professional wildlife management agency. Please contact your U.S. Senators and tell them to steer clear of a disgraceful resolution, and to honor limits in the conduct of wildlife policy in the United States of America.”

    • Kathleen says:

      From ‘NRA on the Record’ – the Don Young page (Young is a board member for NRA):

      “A February 21, 2016 profile of Young reported that his congressional office is ‘filled with hunting trophies, especially a very large bear that sits in the lobby. He claims to have shot and killed every animal that’s hung along the walls, expect for the Walrus—he’s not allowed to shoot them.’ Reporting on how he killed the bear, Young says, ‘There were seven of them in a bunch. They came up on the bank, laid down in the sunshine. And uh, I shot him. And everybody says ‘Well, that’s not very sporty.’ And I said, I had a little rifle–and that’s a big bear.'”

      • Ida Lupine says:

        For what it’s worth.

        I personally don’t care if people use it or not, and certainly if it has medicinal value I support that, just that too much importance is placed on it when there are much more important issues this country faces. It’s not something I care about. But perhaps keeping a man like this high and laying around the shanty instead of killing things, it might be a good thing? jk

      • Louise Kane says:

        He has always been an ass….
        still is and always will be
        Time to get these Neanderthals out if office
        Look at his face book page
        Pure outrage
        I don’t think there are more than several comments in favor of the cowardly resolution the corrupted house just passed
        Guess who called him out

  103. rork says:
    Home town professor speaks. Near me, freshwater clams and butterflies are a pain to conserve, cause their habitats have been fragmented or altered, but changing that is good. When I fly over Missouri the endless unbroken crops frighten me. Early settlers weren’t scared it. I can hardly believe they didn’t keep refuges and corridors.

    • Professor Sweat says:

      I had the same feeling driving through nearly all of IL south of I-80 and north of Carbondale. There are solutions to the mono-crop problem and we’ve had the knowledge for a long time, but we need more farmers to get on board.

      “Tree Crops: A Permanent Agriculture”

    • Louise Kane says:

      Flying over anywhere is terrifying
      Endless destruction and human manipulation
      The east coast is one long corridor of cement and houses
      Just finished the sixth extinction
      Well written but hard to read
      The author describes a long running study of habitat fragmentation done in tbe amazon
      Tbe term used to desribe the inevitable loss of biodiversity that occurs in fragmented habitats is relaxation
      In every plot they studied of 25 acres all experienced great extinctions even when some habitats were connected
      Knowing this and seeing that some species are able to adapt to human presence ought to lead to great efforts to protect those species instead of killing them because they are a presence
      Coyotes come to mind particularly

  104. Immer Treue says:

    Weather. 56° in NE MN today. OK, that’s weather, but let’s look at trends. 1995/96 & 96/97 two consecutive tough winters. 1999 blowdown in BWCA followed by a series of easier Winters until 2008. Deer numbers rise, wolf numbers rise, moose begin decline in NE MN. Winters normal to easy until 12/13 and 13/14 where deer take a hit. 14/15 winter pretty mild, as was 15/16. Winter of 16/17 has bee very mild. Tough to argue with trends over an extended period of time. It’s getting milder up here.

  105. Yvette says:

    Thank you, Representative Polis.

    Please, let’s try to stop this aerial slaughter of wolves and bears and den gassing of puppies.

    We have heard the sell of ‘fair chase’ since the days of Theodore Roosevelt. But hunters in today’s era are too wussy to compete with predators.

    • rork says:

      His argument on the economics was not nearly air-tight. He was computing as if killing some predators would make all tourism stop. The reality is probably closer to some predator killing helps the economy but not too much. I might use “we deserve the real deal” more. but that might be asking for some places to become no-hunting, which I’m afraid is not popular enough right now.
      Maybe for Owyhee too, I’d rather have bigger chunks well-protects than everything just slightly protected. Monument status means grazing can continue forever, which is not very satisfying, though it would avert some mining. Doubling the size of the part called Wilderness would get my backing. Lessons welcomed.

  106. Nancy says:

    Appears to be a dead bull elk and possibly wolves? Coyotes? Hanging around the snow bank, above the elk.

    • Gary Humbard says:

      Thank you Jeff N. for the update. It seems like you have an interest in Lobos and I always celebrate a positive story instead of looking for something to complain about and just being negative.

      • Jeff N. says:

        You’re welcome Gary. Living down here in AZ puts me near Lobo country, so I tend to keep track of the recovery process.

  107. Nancy says:

    Stood outside this morning and listened to the resident coyotes howling (talking) at about 6am, down on the meadow/creek in front of me and up in back, in the sagebrush.

    Its been a harsh winter here for wildlife. Close to 2 feet of snow in my yard alone. Snow that you crash through and wallow around in with just a slight amount of pressure. Snow that has hung around since the end of December, into February.

    But with warm days now (spring, thankfully, is just around the corner 🙂 The snow is starting to compact, freezing at night, allowing a lot of wildlife to once again, move around on top of it, while they go about their lives (which is often at night) until the snow is a distant memory.

    Can see their tracks if you look.

  108. Kathleen says:

    “Anger, suspicion boil over at Mesquite meeting on Gold Butte National Monument”

    Excerpt: “A contingent of Bundy’s relatives and supporters were in attendance Thursday, including one audience member who proudly identified himself as a member of several different militia groups.

    “’Where in the Constitution do you get your authority?’ one man asked of the local BLM officials gathered at the front of the room.”

  109. Ida Lupine says:

    Now here’s someone after my own heart. An editorial from the Bigfork Eagle re Ryan Zinke:

    “The reason I wrote to Ryan (we have met a couple of times) is that while I admire his getting this latest position, I had to remind him that I am an independent, progressive, environmentalist and I fight like hell on behalf of wildlife and wilderness (public land stewardship) and global warming issues as my current life’s missions.”

  110. Kathleen says:

    We saw “100 Years” today at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival in Missoula. This is the story of Elouise Cobell (Blackfeet Nation treasurer) taking on the government with a class action lawsuit over the mismanaged Indian Trust Fund that cheated natives out of payment for resource extraction on their land. What an inspiration she was. Film trailer:

    • rork says:

      I think non-lead being too expensive is not that true.
      I’ve used only non-lead for quite awhile (fishing too). Even the super-fancy muzzleload bullets I use, at $1 per bullet, mean absolutely nothing to my overall expenses, cause I only use about 3 per year. The article makes that point. Let people use their old ammo at the range – they recover the metals from the places I know, and you don’t have to pay the people who recover it, cause they pay the range, so long as they get to keep the metal recovered. There’s a human public health win to no lead too. It can reduce blood lead levels in humans eating game. Fishing maybe too – why even touch the stuff, and why ever put it in rivers or lakes. There, non-lead is getting very competitive in price.

      • Nancy says:

        “Bald eagle populations are soaring in the U.S.,” says Lawrence Keane, the senior vice president at the National Shooting Sports Foundation. “They are at record levels.”

        Keane says he opposes the ban because it will make hunting more expensive.

        There’s no reason to ban traditional ammo unless there’s evidence of a population impact, and that’s the only solution to address that problem,” Keane says”

        Got to love Keane’s “positive” attitude if you are all about greed and don’t give a shit about ALL living beings:

  111. Nancy says:

    Another live webcam of eagles nesting in Decorah, Iowa. Raining there, a smoothing sound, and mom doing her best to shield her egg.

  112. rork says: “Molecular Mechanisms of Chronic Wasting Disease Prion Propagation” Julie Moreno, Glenn Telling.
    A new gorgeous and exhaustive and well written review paper on the topic, with pointers to a zillion studies. I get the feeling it’s behind a paywall for awhile though (I can tell it knows where I’m sitting, but I can’t tell for sure if that matters), which is a damn shame. Sure, there’s no new original research in it, but just bringing together the finding of 100 papers in an orderly way is pretty important as a resource.

  113. Kathleen says:

    2/21/17 LA Times editorial: “With this Congress, the Endangered Species Act itself might be endangered”

  114. Louise Kane says:

    New esa harmful legislation being proposed to prioritize de listing of species, factor in and prioritize costs to Buisness like oil and gas development, hinder new listings etc
    Keep an eye out for methods to contact your congress members
    This is not a time to sit and wait things out
    I hate this regime

  115. Nancy says:

    Not a great shot but I don’t think that’s a coyote.

    • Kathleen says:

      Wonderful news!
      Great quote: “I’ll call it a crisp slap in the face…I’ll also call it a warning shot about growing political power, a changing American West, and a reaction to the challenging political times we’re in.”

      Not just a slap in the face, but a *crisp* one. Love it.

  116. Kathleen says:

    California moves to pre-empt Trump on environment, endangered species

    “California lawmakers are expected Thursday to propose legislation to fold existing federal air, water and endangered species standards into state law, sources said, enshrining pre-Trump levels of protection in California regardless of any reversal at the federal level.”

  117. Nancy says:

    From an article by Louisa Willcox (a champion of grizzlies)

    “For example, arbitrary lines were drawn to exclude bears from certain areas of suitable habitat, under the argument that grizzly bears are “not socially acceptable.” Who decided that? If you dig into the history, you will find the influence of sheep producers in excluding grizzly bears from Wyoming’s remote Wyoming Range; the influence of conservative elected officials in excluding bears from the southern tier of Wyoming’s Wind River Mountains (which boasts some of the healthiest whitebark pine forests left in the ecosystem); the influence of political hard liners in Idaho in keeping bears out of the Palisade Mountains and the southern side of the Centennial Mountains, which comprises the best ecological connection to another grizzly bear ecosystem.

    These decisions were hardly fair or justified in the first place. Now, they suffer from age, having been made 12 or more years ago. The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem has changed a lot since then and all of the people with a stake in this grizzly bear population — not just the politically well-connected — should be asked where they would be willing to live with bears now, and what management systems should be in place to facilitate coexistence and manage risk”

    • Ida Lupine says:

      I’m no expert obviously, but while I am happy that grizzlies are being considered for reintroduction to the Cascades, I was wondering whether the work is done in the Yellowstone area. The connectivity issue is concerning, and if there is great habitat in the Wind River range, it seems a tragedy not to have them there because of human politics.

    • Louise Kane says:

      Plus one
      Wolves suffered from similar compromise under the esa exemptions
      A shortsighted path

  118. Nancy says:

    Relationships 🙂

  119. WM says:

    AZ Senator Jeff Flake weighs in on Mexican wolf recovery….with his own bill… and takes a swat at the (uber liberal, some would say) federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, while touting states’ rights and the 10th Amendment):

    This is scary stuff as cooperative federalism seems to be currently on the wane with both the R and D parties (and D’s showing disdain for federal drug laws and the concept of sanctuary cities harboring illegal immigrants perhaps in violation of federal law).

    Anybody remember the 55 mph speed limit on federal highways as a result of a federal law in 1974 to help address oil shortages. In response some of the Western states gave the feds the finger and basically ignored the rule, and found ways around it? Some states just took down speed limit signs, while others adopted nominal fines for violating the law, with some sort of “energy infraction” which did put points on a driver license or result in insurance rate hike, but maybe a $5-10 fine which nobody paid.

    Well, I think cooperative federalism will be a real challenge for the remaining years while the R’s hold both houses and The Donald is our President (still waiting for the gold leaf furniture to show up in the Oval Office and a paige announcing all to bow their heads or kneel as he enters a room.

    • WM says:

      Sorry. “…did NOT put points on a driver license…”

      • Louise Kane says:

        Waiting for gold leaf furniture and bowing or kneeling when entering the room…
        Oddly the strangest most unimaginable scenarios somehow seem to become reality when tbe donald is involved. You might not have to wait that long. Or you might see his son’s trophies of endangered species as the NRA and safari club become even more influential players in wildlife management

        It would be hysterical if it weren’t so awful

  120. Nancy says:

    There are close to 500 thousand military personnel stationed in CA & Texas. Can’t do some sort of rotation along the border instead a spending a few billion on a wall?

    As one commenter said”

    “There is no need to build any wall on our southern border. It is the job of our military to protect our borders. The US is going to greatly expand our military forces in the near future, and they could be deployed to keep everyone out without spending any additional taxpayer money to do the job”

    Most know what a wall (or even continuous fencing) will do to wildlife, so here’s a chance to weigh in:

    Seems like most of the time is spent on “preparing” anyway, right?

  121. Kathleen says:

    This goes beyond despicable.

    “‘Big pool of blood’: Redmond man shoots cougar in research cage”

    The $1300 fine is despicable, too…considering that he first lied.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      It said they were ‘no strangers’ to killing research animals, and had killed two bears. Why are they allowed to continue like this, and deliberately interfere with scientific research? There should be more than ‘frowning’ on the killing of collared animals, like a fine or jail time.

      We all know about the killing of collared wolves around Yellowstone and Denali. Until something is done about it, it will continue. At some point, it becomes the fault of weak enforcement and protections by the state and federal gov’t. The taxpayers won’t be happy either, to be faced with the fact that certain groups get preferential treatment time after time, with their hard-earned money.

      Also, we knew it was too soon to celebrate the success of the Mexican wolves, didn’t we?

      • Ida Lupine says:

        Sorry, that should read – ‘It said they were ‘no strangers’ to killing research animals, and had killed two bears as well.’

        In this case, where they had killed collared animals twice before, something more than giving them the benefit of the doubt ought to be done. Maybe they need to go in for more hunter’s education and training. *eyeroll*

    • Yvette says:

      I saw that on Mountain Lion Foundation’s Facebook page but didn’t have it in me to click. The occurrence of these incidents won’t change until we change the paradigm in which we humans view hunting, wildlife and wildlife management. I don’t foresee that happening in my lifetime.

      As long as our society continues to accept killing for sport as normal these incidents will continue. As it is now, state wildlife management promotes sport hunting as family fun. The laws do little to deter heinous behavior. The evidence is in the volume so incidents that have been documented. As long as we deem it normal for children to pose for pictures as they stand over the bloody body of the living being just killed then our society will continue to be ingrained that the killing is normal.

      Since I’m not a psychologist or anything similar this is only my opinion, but the desire to shoot and kill something, even if it is caged or on a ‘hunting ranch’ is deranged. It is abnormal and sick.

  122. Moose says:

    “The study, scheduled to last at least five years, will assess the health of deer and elk herds in northeast Washington, where they support hunting and other recreational opportunities while providing prey for wolves and other predators.”

  123. Ida Lupine says:

    Pierce asks that hunters who take a collared deer or elk contact the department, so researchers can recover the collar.

    Well that’s interesting. They’re not ‘frowning on’ taking collared research animals, but taking it as a given. Before they at least would ‘ask’ that hunters not take collared animals. Pretty please? With sugar on top?

    • Ida Lupine says:

      I don’t understand what it is this study is trying to prove? Won’t killing collared ungulates (and probably the predators too) skew the data?

      There are so many human variables that put pressure on and affect the health of all wildlife, it just seems to not tell the entire story to focus on wolves only. We’ve limited habitat and prey for them all. There are only 100 or so wolves, and a pack can contain as few as two according to F&W, so saying 19 packs is a little misleading. It’s a lot like the wild horse studies that exclude cattle in the assessments of degradation of lands. Meaningless.

      It sounds like trying to prove a foregone conclusion, that wolves natural prey and behaviors will take deer and elk away from humans, and now other animals.

      I still cannot accept and never will the idea that killing another being is recreational. And just what is considered ‘other recreational opportunities’ for deer and elk? Wildlife watching? I’m sure wildlife watchers would happily accept the predators having their fair share. What it is to me is an activity that was once for food has morphed into just the killing only, and an entitlement at that. We don’t need to hunt for food only with agriculture, so now we are just left with the killer instinct only.

      There was an opinion article posted here that tried to make the case that when wolves recover in large enough numbers they will be left alone? I can’t imagine that ever happening, or when that will ever be, with the human obsession with them. Their presence will always make them a cause célèbre, and focused on to death, whether public interest or hysteria. Hysteria because there are only 100 wolves.

    • rork says:

      Collard ungulates die from many causes. Human hunters are one of them. Typically near me, the biologists do not want you to spare the collard deer, cause that would bias the data (they want data on causes of death in deer – get it?), but there is still bias probably, since hunters are indecisive when faced with collard deer. We have an 11-year-old collard doe in one of my favorite areas, and I called the scientists at Michigan State. They do not want her spared. They do want the collar back. I have never even heard of a deer study in MI where they asked hunter to spare the collard deer.
      PS: They are collaring cougars too.
      I kill deer, mostly for the meat, but I won’t deny that it is recreation too – it recreates hunting that has been and iconic part of being human for over 10000 years near me. Fishing is pretty ancient too. I don’t need to garden either, but I do it.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        Thank you for your answer. I just hope that it will provide real answers, not just the usual ‘wolves are stealing elk and deer from human hunters’, when it appears to be exactly the opposite.

        But hunting for food and the recreation associated with it is what true hunting is all about. Wanting to get a guaranteed trophy because you only have a week’s vacay is not.

      • Yvette says:

        That makes sense about introducing bias, but wouldn’t the number of animals collared and the type of study be a factor?

  124. Immer Treue says:

    Call for review on MN deer and elk farms.

    The operative question, why are theses farms even necessary?

    • Nancy says:

      In a nutshell Immer. Well written and IMHO, this sums it up:

      “Proponents of these hunts claim they are a great way to introduce newcomers to the sport, or that it’s the only way they can hunt with their “busy schedule”. Or maybe it’s the only hunting within 500 miles.

      And sadly, for the “hunter” out there who has no time to “hunt” but wants to “fit in” and get a “bang” out of it with his/her buddies, this kind of sums it up:

      “For some, it’s what hunting is all about”

      “Some simply state: “It’s legal and I’m having a good time, so mind your own damn business and quit putting ideas in the anti’s heads!”

      With all the new (and vital) information out there these days regarding mankind’s negative effects/impacts on other species and the environment, its getting down right embarrassing and shameful, to be affiliated with the human species……..

    • rork says:

      They aren’t remotely necessary. They are an industry, so some money is made, but it’s not much, the land could be used for other things, and it’s risking diseases that threaten to cost hundreds of times what the deer farming is worth. If we don’t stop it completely, let’s at least make it more damned-fool-proof. Start with banning deer transport. Yes, that will kill some people’s current business plan.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Bad news. And this is for soy. It’s getting so that there are so many people on this planet and we’ve taken so much already, everything we do is no longer sustainable. 🙁

    • Yvette says:

      I’m a pessimist by nature and I do not see where anything related to our environmental protections for land, water and air changing without a total major shift away from the global capitalism economic system.

      I think the article is fantastic but would like to research a little more for additional references on some of the policies from the countries mentioned and agriculture companies.

      Forest loss is detrimental to the earth’s climate. The clearing of woodlands and the fires that accompany it generate one-tenth of all global warming emissions, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists, making the loss of forests one of the biggest single contributors to climate change.

      Only about 15 percent of the world’s forest cover remains intact, according to the World Resources Institute. The rest has been cleared, degraded or is in fragments, wiping out ecosystems and displacing indigenous communities, scientists say.

      Behind the rise in deforestation is a strategy by multinational food companies to source their agricultural commodities from ever more remote areas around the world. These areas tend to be where legal protections of forests are weakest.

      Does anyone remember when the little children were walking to America from Honduras? There was a huge number of children coming to America from, primarily, Honduras. It was all over the news in 2014, I think. It made me curious. There were a lot of reasons for the uptick in the Honduras child immigration, but while I was digging I found some things about the 2009 coup that overthrew the democratically elected Manual Zalaya. President Zalaya made the mistake of raising the minimum wage, which affected and angered Dole and Chiquita. Zalaya also was working to put on a ballot so the Honduras citizens could vote on whether they wanted a constitutional convention. The constitution they had/have was the one Reagan had his hand in putting in place. Zalaya was also friends with Venezuela President Chavez. Big no-no for America and her corporations. Hillary Clinton was SOS at the time. The story is that an oligarch (of course approved by Clinton, Clinton connected people, and the American agriculture corporations in Honduras) and Zalaya was forced out without proper procedures.

      What does any of this have to do with the uptick in deforestation in the Amazon and Southern Cone? I think it’s the style of economics that has spread across the globe. It’s not just capitalism but it’s a severe style of capitalism. It is not simply working where your company earns a profit, but it’s mega profits. Mega profits require mega destruction. Somebody or something pays a price.

      Do you think it will be resolved before we denude the entire planet? It certainly seems like it will get much worse under Trump. I’m a pessimist. I do not see us humans resolving our many environmentally destructive ways because of greed in some sectors of capitalism.

      “The frog will not drink all the water in his pond.” But we humans will not only drink or drain the last drop we will drive the frog to extinction and move on up the food chain until there is nothing left but humans. What will we eat and drink then? I guess we can start calling it cannibal capitalism.

  125. Kathleen says:

    “Just who are these 300 ‘scientists’ telling Trump to burn the climate?: As with all such lists, the 300 ‘scientists’ badly lack climate expertise”

    A reporter from the Guardian checks up on some of the credentials (or lack thereof) of these so-called climate scientists. He concludes: “When the folks denying human influence on climate can only generate the type of signatures attached to this letter, it shows that while they are good at getting press, they are not good at climate science. Of course, press may be all they ever wanted in the first place.”

  126. Kathleen says:

    “Action Alert: politicians from four states pressuring House Speaker Paul Ryan for a fast floor vote
    Call House Speaker Paul Ryan Phone: (202) 225-0600”


  127. Kathleen says:

    Vikings’ beautiful glass stadium is killing birds at an alarming rate

    Excerpt: “The stadium is apparently located in the Mississippi Flyway, ‘a bird migration route that stretches from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico and Central and South America.’”

  128. Kathleen says:

    Here’s a coyote-killing ‘challenge’ that’s promoted by a state DNR–in Georgia, where coyotes are considered non-native.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Just how did they skew that coyotes are non-native wildlife? GA would be the only place on the continent where coyotes are non-native? Who staffs this particular DNR, the old-boy network of hunters, I imagine, because it doesn’t appear that they are biologists. 🙁

      • rork says:

        Coyotes were never present in allot of the east until recently. That’s true even in MI and we had a bit of prairie. Of course they are forgetting to add “cause we had wolves instead”.
        Without data collection and analysis plans it’s not science. I expect they don’t want to conclude it has essentially no effect, if that is the case. Bounties have not worked. SC has a different incentive program:
        I think it’s about “it seems like we are doing something”.

  129. Kathleen says:

    Hunter uses a distressed rabbit call to lure in coyotes and calls in a mountain lion instead. Predictably, it doesn’t end well for the lion.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Moral of the story: When you call, you’d better be ready for who answers. 🙂

  130. Kathleen says:

    Yesterday, due to pressure from a public access law suit filed by the Animal Legal Defense Fund on behalf of BFC, Yellowstone Nat’l Park held one of two escorted media tours of their infamous buffalo trap (*inside* the nat’l park!), where this year alone nearly 700 wild buffalo have been captured for slaughter. BFC was present along with journalists and other advocates–to get a guarded glimpse as more than 60 buffalo were brutally run through squeeze chutes and pushed into sorting pens, where they would spend the night before their fatal trip to the slaughterhouse. Read more here:

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Stomach turning. I hope that with more journalist coverage more people will be made aware of this unnecessary slaughter, and that at last something will be done to stop it. It should never be occurring in ‘the’ National Park, especially. Shameful.

  131. Immer Treue says:

    “Sportsmen” at it again, in Wisconsin.

  132. Kathleen says:

    Two recent stories: Bald eagle in WA state dies of severe lead poisoning the same day Trump’s Secretary of the Interior reversed Obama’s ban on lead ammo and fishing tackle.

    An Oregon eagle is being treated for the highest levels of lead that this wildlife center has ever seen. They feel it’s unlikely he’ll live.

    A YouTube video of his treatment is here:

    and his progress can be followed here:

  133. Kathleen says:

    SALEM, Ore.—Wolf OR48, a Shamrock Pack adult male, died on Feb. 26 on private land in northeast Oregon after an unintentional take by the US Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services.

    The wolf died after encountering an M-44 device, a spring-activated device containing cyanide powder. The device was in place as part of Wildlife Services operations to control coyotes and prevent coyote-livestock conflict on private land in northeast Oregon.

    We need a BAN on these hideous things–it’s shocking to me that they are still in use!

    • Ida Lupine says:

      I just do not like the shrug-their-shoulders, oh well attitude – unintentional take? They know very well that these things are indiscriminate, even family dogs have been killed by them. Also, where it is ‘private’ land they must have been called in, they didn’t take it upon themselves. I hate the slant of these articles. The tone is very defensive of their state ranchers. One recent article has a college student talking about having ’empathy’ for the ranchers’ losses, while they learn to ‘cope’ with losses due to predators – which we know are not very high to begin with, and they get every type of government help and breaks known to man.

      Richard Nixon, yes he did, banned these poisons, ‘the time has come for man to make his peace with Nature’. But for some reason, President Ford amended the order and brought these poisons back.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Here’s an update. There was a bill in the works to eliminate these horrible things, but of course it was left to die in committee. Marijuana is more important:

  134. Kathleen says:

    “Isle Royale: Keep it Wild and Let the Wolves Decide”

    An action alert from Wilderness Watch: comments due 3/15.
    As a long-time Wilderness proponent, I totally agree with Wilderness Watch on this.

    • rork says:

      I’ve given my views several times – back to caribou and lynx. It’s what was there before. But I’ll never get that.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      I don’t agree. With human interference, wolves really don’t get a decision in these matters. Put them here to save them from the rest of the country.

  135. Kathleen says:

    “Trump to Undo Vehicle Rules That Curb Global Warming”

    Excerpt: “The Trump administration is expected to begin rolling back stringent federal regulations on vehicle pollution that contributes to global warming…essentially marking a U-turn to efforts to force the American auto industry to produce more electric cars.

    “The announcement — which is expected as soon as Tuesday and will be made jointly by the Environmental Protection Agency administrator, Scott Pruitt, and the transportation secretary, Elaine L. Chao — will immediately start to undo one of former President Barack Obama’s most significant environmental legacies.”


    • Louise Kane says:

      Trump is a corrupted monster, the GOP who support him are just as monstrous. Any thinking person with an ounce of intellectual curiosity or moral compass understands that destroying the earth for short term profits for the already wealthy is stupid and wrong. This “election” illustrates the the heinous corruption of party and congress. Trump is a puppet but a devious, mentally ill, dangerous puppet. Not my president ever.

  136. rork says:
    He tries to do something like this every day. It’s the silly string tactic, or something. Immediately condemned even by GOP senators of course.

    • Kathleen says:

      Un-frickin-REAL! He is systematically dismantling environmental protections that will lead to the ruin of this country…what the hell are we going to do?!? ANYONE???

      “We absolutely need those dollars. If you’re going to build a wall, why not build a wall to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes?”
      “…the cuts threaten to undo 40 years of environmental progress for the Great Lakes, which hold 20 percent of the world’s fresh surface water.”

      • Nancy says:

        The entire show is “spot on” but 34:26 minutes in? Wow! Listen up people:

        • Yvette says:

          I was so glad to hear McKibbon say, “physics doesn’t care”. I just can’t wrap my brain around how the ultra uber rich think they can be protected from an ecologically crashing earth, if they even think about that potential.

          Our best, or maybe only, hope is trump and company fall to the Russian scandal.

  137. WM says:

    Yesterday (3/3/17) the DC Circuit Court of Appeals agrees that the WY management plan agreed to by FWS in regulations is adequate, and delists WY wolves reversing DC trial court ruling in 2014.

    The decision:$file/14-5300-1664135.pdf

  138. Ida Lupine says:

    Here’s WaPo’s take on it:

    Wolves Could Soon Be Shot On Sight in Wyoming, Appeals Court Rules

    What a great management plan that sounds like. Not. More so-called judges. Not surprised.

    The first comment was great:


    8:27 AM EST

    Wyoming men have been feeling emasculated for many years, this measure will help them feel like men again. What else can the State do to help them? Maybe increase the speed limit?”

  139. Kathleen says:

    “Turkeys Circling A Dead Cat Are Probably Wary, Not Working Dark Magic”: Video

    Interesting wild turkey behavior.

  140. Ida Lupine says:

    Well some good news for the Sierras and the drought. Any wolverines out that way?

  141. Nancy says:

    Buffalo & a couple of coyotes by Old Faithful 6:35 pm