Do you have some interesting wildlife news? March 22, 2017 edition
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 Jan. 15, 2017.
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.
Just for kicks…
I was listening to a radio short piece… “The 90-Second Naturalist”
Today the host talked about Dr. David Suzuki, who turns 81 tomorrow, and his commentary on scientific research.
I quickly realized that 90 seconds is hardly enough time to even scratch the surface on the good doctor. This man inspired me decades ago and was one of the few figures who started me on my path as an adult to be mindful of my environment and how I could exist with the minimum negative impact to it if I chose to do so. As time progressed I came to understand that I wouldn’t be so informed without the contributions of scientific research. His stepping up and becoming a public voice for the biosphere reached millions and impacted their thinking over many decades now and I just want to celebrate his legacy.
He still works to offer us so much…
Film crew captures first-ever footage of wild Iberian wolves hunting
Scene just one of many stunning sequences in new Spanish nature documentary ‘Cantábrico’
But the wolf hunt is not the only surprise in Cantábrico, which was shot in the regions of Castilla y León, Cantabria and Asturias.
Using ultra high-definition cameras, drones, and equipment capable of capturing up to 1,500 frames a second, the crew managed to film two brown bears copulating and the birth of a venomous Vipera seoanei viper. Other sequences recorded for posterity include those of carnivorous plants devouring wasps and ants deploying chemical warfare against the largest woodpecker in Europe.
For one of the most stunning sections of the documentary, the crew used a specially fitted-out helicopter to film a group of Ibex traversing snowy peaks.
But the film’s seasoned director warns that some of the footage in the documentary is “unrepeatable” in the forests of the Cantabrian Mountains – such as the presence of five Cantabrian capercaillies in the same shot. Loss of habitat means there are only 200 to 300 males left in the entire range.
Thanks for posting!
WA wolf numbers increase by 28 percent, officially (likely higher):
Yet depredation, by the “ever increasing populations of wolves” is minute, given their numbers in and around, ranching communities.
“No conflicts with livestock were documented for 16 out of the 20 wolf packs identified in the report. Four packs – and one lone wolf – were each involved in at least one event leading to the death of a cow or calf in 2016”
In Montana, 2016 – 39 or so confirmed kills by wolves, out of a population of what, 2 million head of cattle, being raised in the state?
Took at trip to the local trash dumpster this morning and stopped to check out watercress, growing on a rancher’s ditch (going off from the creek) and smack dap in the middle of a raised piece of silt/mud, in that ditch, was a wolf paw print.
No mistaking it, because of the size 🙂
And I could almost picture that wolf, launching off from one side of that ditch, hitting the middle, with one foot and landing on the other side 🙂
FYI – no chatter, from what I’ve gathered, among local ranchers re: wolves “savaging” their cattle, even though wolves have been sighted on and off in the area, since last fall.
Much Ado About Nothing
A cute story I saw on the news this morning about a bear waking up from hibernation. Then I found out it concerns an impact study for a proposed utility-scale wind farm in the Green Mountain National Forest! (approved by the Forest Service, of course). A national forest!!!! It doesn’t sound like a good location? People must have such a genetic predisposition to cut down trees and tear up virgin landscapes. Trammel the untrammeled. “Renewable Energy, Goooood” as they blunder on through. There must be somewhere else to put a wind farm:
“Local environmentalists say they are concerned about the project’s possible impacts on wildlife habitat in the Green Mountain National Forest, which stretches for more than 400,000 acres along the southwestern spine of Vermont, rolling past hills of upland brush and dense stands of sugar and red maples, American beech and yellow birch.”
“The installation would require clear-cutting American beech trees, an important source of food for black bears. The bears feed on the beechnuts, and the western edge of the proposed project site is “dominated by American beech” and “includes areas of concentrated mature beech trees that show evidence of foraging by black bears,” according to the final EIS.
A total of 73 acres of forestland and 14 acres of private land would need to be cleared and graded for the project, including the temporary clearing of nearly 2 acres at each turbine site to assemble and install the turbines, according to the final EIS.”
Carcass-stealing by grizzlies does not mean wolves kill more often.
Arkansas’ governor just signed an extremely egre:gious ag-gag law: “Arkansas lawmakers take ‘civil’ approach with new ag-gag law”
Excerpt: “Arkansas has taken a different approach with its new cause of civil action. It applies to the “unauthorized use” of commercial property, meaning businesses, agricultural or timber production operations including buildings and outdoor areas not open to public and even residential properties used for business purposes.
Anyone who knowingly gains access to a nonpublic area of such property and engages in an act that “exceeds the person’s authority to enter the nonpublic area is liable to the owner or operator for damages sustained by the owner or operator.”
It will impact many whistle-blowers:
“The state enacted a bill that will jeopardize citizens’ ability to report abuse across industries including nursing homes, hospitals, schools, and factory farms.”
Some more background. This is part of a 7-year study funded by the wind corporation, a European firm, Iberdrola, as a condition for getting a permit. It’s right in the middle of prime bear habitat. This is why these types of projects should not be left in the hands of industry to do with as they will. These poor bears would not have to undergo this invasive disturbance otherwise. I think (small) wind installations can be ok in the right locations, but this seems like a terrible location. Not to mention service roads going in, *shudder*:
From the House Committee on Natural Resources:
“Next week, the Subcommittee on Oversight & Investigations will examine the Endangered Species Act and its impact on infrastructure development. The law’s cumbersome consultation requirements have zapped taxpayer resources and imposed interminable delays for infrastructure projects across the country. Here’s a preview ahead of next week’s hearing”: http://www.myajc.com/news/transportation/endangered-bat-delay-dot-projects/0AIaIXht7hMfjY0a9ORl8J/?icmp=ajc_internallink_textlink_apr2013_ajcstubtomyajc_launch
(Don’t miss the newscaster’s biased comment at the end.)
Tuesday, March 28, 2017 10:00 AM
Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations
1324 Longworth House Office Building Washington D.C. 20515
Wow. But I will say that it is interesting that for solar and wind, this will have some impact also. For something that is supposed to help, they’re going to very extremely destructive to wildlife and habitat. This is something that was started during the previous administration too. Take permits up to 30 years for wind farms, without any accountability.
It would be one thing if we converted to solar and wind for the majority of our energy needs – but as it is, with drilling for oil, natural gas, fracking, tar sands, nuclear, it is just more destruction taken in total. 🙁
Flying under the radar:
“The agency concluded that the population of roughly 40,000 golden eagles in the United States could withstand the loss of about 2,000 birds annually. Bald eagles, estimated at more than 140,000, could sustain as many as 4,200 fatalities a year without endangering the species, it found.”
I just have to shake my head. Don’t you just love how easily wildlife deaths are dismissed, and with such certainty that nothing else would contribute, such as disease outbreaks. So the process of breaking down the ESA, like other laws put in place to protect the environment and wildlife, has been ongoing.
Does it have figures for the numbers of Congress people we can lose before endangering their species? Sorry have been sarcastic lately.
Had a feeling the Shasta wolves would start turning up again:
That is good news!
This was the cover of my Sunday paper magazine today. At first I thought it was wolves, until I read that it was about sled dogs. I couldn’t help but think that there’s no doubt as to who their ancestral daddy and momma is:
Doesn’t seem to be any update available on how Bundy’s cows are fairing since last year, when they were footloose, free and starving, on public lands.
WTF? This article makes no sense but I’m sure it makes the livestock industry feel better about decades of trashing sage grouse habitat.
Increasing number of Manitoba cattle fall prey to wolves
I don’t believe anybody in their right mind, at this stage of the game, would argue that a rancher should be able to protect what is theirs. What I find ironic is that this particular cattle-person estimates a dozen losses, whereas in the main body of this story another heading reads:
Manitoba rancher says 150 cows stolen from his ranch this year.
Is cattle theft/rustling more of a problem that wolves?
Begs the question, are wolves really “leaving no trace?”
“You can see them in the afternoon and go back in the evening and that calf has just disappeared,” Green said”
I respectively disagree with that statement because of the years I spent brushing ranch land, on a ranch in the Big Hole. Bones all over the property, from cows, calves etc. who died over the winter months and their deaths had nothing to do with predators.
So lets break it down:
“For cattle producers, their animals are everything — their livelihood, their time and, in many cases, decades of hard work”
No doubt about that, raising cattle is a full time business/a product. Key word here – A business.
But how many ranchers really want to do the dirty work of actually protecting that “product” 24/7 in this day and age where people are starting to care and connect with what’s left of wild areas, they’ve used and too often in the past, abused?
Not many, IMHO, given how many of their product, died from other causes and became food for a whole host of scavengers.
And I don’t know why it would be a stretch to realize (because of the price & demand for beef these days) some aren’t taking full advantage of the fact that cattle too often roam loose, all over the west, on public lands.
Up here, it’s like a scene from the LaBrea Tar Pits when something dies. The birds, ravens year round, eagles and magpies most of the year, vultures during the warmer months, lead one to the dead animal remains.
Hard to ignore the evidence when a ranching “product” dies and it has nothing do to with predation but everything to do with predators, taking advantage of the sudden banquet.
that would be cool
“I am an Arctic researcher. Donald Trump is deleting my citations”
Excerpt: “At first, the distress flare of lost data came as a surge of defunct links on 21 January. The US National Strategy for the Arctic, the Implementation Plan for the Strategy, and the report on our progress all gone within a matter of minutes. As I watched more and more links turned red, I frantically combed the internet for archived versions of our country’s most important polar policies.”
what could go wrong here, a bunch of Ted Nuggets in the skies with rifles. Gross, gross, ugly, misdirected, deplorable people think up these laws. Clinton never should have been squeamish about deplorable she should have pointed out the many instances that backed up that assertion.
Wood’s Hole Research Center statement on Trump’s latest EO disaster.
And now for some levity
The Sandhills should be coming through this area fairly soon.
One of those George Carlin moments. Where have I heard this before?
The Sandhills are already back on the meadow across from me, Immer….. at least 3 weeks early.
They timed it well though, most of the snow has gone off their feeding/nesting areas but, snow is predicated for the area tonight so it won’t be pleasant for them. Temps lower than normal for the next week (a low of 10 next Tuesday??, yuck!!)
I’m SO looking forward to spring!!!!
The weather up here has been really nice, above seasonal averages with plenty of sunshine. Problem is my trail network has been turned into an ice corridor due to the three thaws we have had, interspersed with more snow, and the daily/nightly thaw freeze cycle. Each morning requires stabilicers, folks by slushy slip slides until freeze again at night. Warm and dry sounds nice, but then its ticks, blackflies and mosquitos.
What a kind-hearted man. I’m glad he didn’t get in trouble for having a big heart and doing a kindness. I know that people shouldn’t interfere, but still, it’s sweet:
My sympathies tonight for the eagle nest in Illinois. (Live webcam, may need to enlarge to full screen)
Speculation that Mom may have been killed by intruder eagles and the 2 Dads are trying to feed & protect the 2 eaglets.
One Dad on the nest now trying to shelter not only two growing eaglets but also an egg that failed to hatch. He’s having a rough go, in high winds. Mom was bigger and better able to cover the eaglets.
My hope is these 2 fathers can successfully raise these eaglets.
Oh, I feel so sad. I hope they can too. 🙁
“By harvesting an old boar grizzly like this you actually most definitely increase the survival rate of the grizzly bear population.”
My god, how did bears ever survive before human beings came along to save them by killing them??? How can anyone even say that with a straight face considering that bears once covered the entire Western half of the US pre-European settlement? http://westernwildlife.org/grizzly-bear-outreach-project/history/
If it’s “necessary” to kill boars now it’s because we’ve so decimated their habitat and their populations–and people who make that claim should own up to that.
A little bright news:
That’s great news: “This is huge, not only for the prairie dog but for the Endangered Species Act,” and
“Wednesday’s ruling affirmed the existing standard of allowing the federal government to limit local development using the Endangered Species Act, the 1973 law intended to protect species at risk of extinction.
“In the majority opinion, Judge Jerome Holmes wrote that overturning the earlier ruling was in line with actions by previous circuit courts, which have ruled uniformly to protect the Endangered Species Act in similar cases.”‘
Republicans ain’t gonna like this.
Mexican Gray Wolf makes its way up from Mexico into AZ.
Update on Michigan (UP) predator-prey study;
In the low-snowfall zone, coyotes were discovered to cause the most mortality of adult does, but in the mid-snowfall zone, wolves were the most important mortality source.
“In the zone with less snowfall, coyotes simply outnumbered wolves, he said, but quite a number of livestock carcass dumps on the landscape also were found. Collared wolves foraged heavily on those carcasses, which reduced the predation on does.”
Yet, in my neck of the woods, Moose (Montana) I had a long time rancher tell me, not long ago “that wolves don’t forage dead carcasses. They like fresh meat” That’s the belief.
Fact is, I raked over the bones of quite a few winter dead cow & calf carcasses, on their big ranch every spring, while brushing pastures for them.
These were not predator killed cattle. These cattle died for a whole host of other reasons – disease, weather etc. and their dead bodies, attracted a whole host of scavengers, looking for a meal, protein, etc. including wolves.
wolves don’t forage dead carcasses. They like fresh meat
that BS is borrowed from the hunter lore about the Eurasian lynx who likes to lick roe deer’s fresh blood, then moves on to the next victim like a true zombie
Another sad example of that “tiny town” mentality, propped up by the cattle industry, when it comes to the slaughter wildlife:
“The tradition began in the late 1950s, when ranchers, worried about rattlesnakes biting their livestock, workers and families, held an informal roundup”
More fuel for debate!
This has to be the most insane thing I’ve read that wasn’t directly related to “you know who”.
Are we certain this isn’t an article from “The Onion”???????
Well, the article IS dated April 1st, if you see what I mean.
Good Call Kathleen…..
Were 90 kangaroos released in Wyoming?
The Wyoming Migration Initiative fooled many of its Facebook fans today with a convincing photograph (accompanied by fake news article) about a group of kangaroos that were released in the state:
(egg on my face)
🙂 Happy 4/1.
The photo was very convincing, and frankly, you just don’t know how far state F&G agencies are going to go to please hunters and increase revenue…amiright?!?
I’m sure that in this day of 24 hour news, someone would have heard and posted something about it, in the very least something about an EIS.
Bottom line April Fools day is the only day people, in general, will check something out to make sure it’s not fake news. 🙂
Posted March 24, 2017 – 5:31pmUpdated March 25, 2017 – 8:55am
Wildlife officials verify first wolf sighting in Nevada in 95 years
imgThe Shasta pack on August 9, 2015. (California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife via AP)
Photos show first wild California wolf pack in nearly a century
By Henry Brean
Las Vegas Review-Journal
State wildlife officials have confirmed the presence of a wolf in Nevada for the first time since 1922.
The Nevada Department of Wildlife announced Friday that a wolf from the Shasta Pack in Northern California crossed into the Silver State in early November, but there is no evidence that the animal was here to stay.
The wolf was caught on video near Fox Mountain, about 150 miles north of Reno, prompting an investigation by state wildlife officials.
Animal droppings found during the search were sent for testing to the University of Idaho’s Laboratory for Ecological, Evolutionary and Conservation Genetics, which recently confirmed the presence of a young male wolf from the Shasta Pack.
Officials said the wolf was likely in search of a mate, but the animal hasn’t been spotted in Nevada since the initial sighting.
“This observation is of a lone animal and is not confirmation of wolves with established territories in Nevada,” said state game chief Brian Wakeling in a written statement.
The Shasta Pack has seven known members, two adults and five offspring. None of the wolves in the pack have radio collars and their current whereabouts are unknown, but there is no reason to believe they have settled in Nevada, officials said.
“Clearly, this confirmed sighting has heightened the department’s awareness,” state wildlife director Tony Wasley said. “We will be closely monitoring the situation.”
Contact Henry Brean at email@example.com or 702-383-0350. Follow @RefriedBrean on Twitter.
“Op-Ed: 5 Lies Being Used to Get Mountain Bikes in Wilderness”
“A new bill would open up wilderness areas to bikes—but the arguments in favor of it don’t hold water”
Excerpt: “…wheelchairs have been allowed in wilderness since soon after the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act. The authors of this bill know this. Yet they added “wheelchairs” to hide their motives behind seeming to help the handicapped. Greasy? You could oil your chain.”
Excellent piece in Outside Mag.: https://www.outsideonline.com/2165406/five-lies-being-used-get-mountain-bikes-wilderness
Also “In praise of wildfire”: https://www.outsideonline.com/2161686/praise-fire?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=facebookpost
It’s about time!
Tree Poaching in MN and WI.
Now here’s something:
Awesome! Next week this momentous event will occur: “…the first chimpanzee in the world who has been released from captivity in a zoo through a human legal instrument, Habeas Corpus, will arrive at Guarulhos airport, in São Paulo, from Mendoza, Argentina.”
“First: Badger Buries Entire Cow in Shocking New Video”
“I was blown away,” scientist says about discovery in Utah desert.
Inhofe said some of the members of the scientific advisory boards scheduled for cuts had political biases. “They’re going to have to start dealing with science, not rigged science.”
The Jane Goodall of Wolves
Nearly four decades after Diane Boyd started monitoring the first radio-collared wolf to recolonize the Western U.S. from Canada, she has come full circle with her new job as wolf management specialist for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
Great post. 🙂
How many elk do Yellowstone wolves eat?
Yellowstone wolves may kill up to 2,156 elk in the park each year and as many as 11,600 in the Greater Yellowstone region, according to figures derived from 20 years of wolf study in the park.
In early winter, for example, he estimates a wolf will kill and consume 1.4 elk every 30 days.
In late winter that number goes up to 2.2 elk per wolf every 30 days. Over the entire winter season, the average comes out to 1.8 elk per wolf in 30 days.
Over a year, an average wolf will kill — mostly with other pack members — and consume 16 to 22 elk a year, Smith said. “That’s a rough estimate.”
Pack sizes correlate to how big the dinner table is, Smith said, and how many wolves can be seated at it. A deer, for example, is large enough to feed a pack of four to six wolves. A dead elk will provide a setting for nine to 10 wolves — typical for pack sizes in Yellowstone.
It’s difficult for me to believe that people would begrudge another animal a meal, or their share. 🙁
Yet a trip back in human history, may explain a lot, Ida:
“We don’t know what benefits these genetic changes had. But others have suggested that it is our hyper-social, cooperative brain that sets us apart.
From language and culture to war and love, our most distinctively human behaviours all have a social element”
That’s got to be the most positive spin on greed and warmongering I have ever read. ♪How Great We Are♫ Thankfully, it is not a universal human trait to begrudge other animals a meal.
It’s just that we are constantly reading about hunters grumbling about wolves ‘taking all the deer and elk’. Just the other day, I read a comment about grizzlies ‘taking all the salmon’. Between fishing and damming up rivers, a grizzly couldn’t possibly compete with what humans take.
They’re doing just what they were intended to do. When was the last mass cull of elk in Yellowstone due to their overpopulation?
Salmon farming in crisis: ‘We are seeing a chemical arms race in the seas’
Congested, polluted and with car jobs at risk, Stuttgart reaches a crossroads
Gee, what a swell guy!
“If Donald Trump is actually interested in helping our parks, he should stop trying to slash their budgets to historically low levels,” said Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club”
Wisconsin Wolf Summit 2
The klatsch returns to Wisconsin, with antiwolf Warlock Jim Beers as a “keynote” speaker.
350 miles away…
here we go:
Wolves – Why 350 (or less) is the maximum for Wisconsin
Who supports a wolf goal of 350 or less in Wisconsin?
• 34 Wisconsin County Boards have passed resolutions supporting a wolf goal of:
• 350 (7)
• 350 or less (24)
• 100 or less (1)
• 80 or less (1)
• 50 or less (1)
WI 2016 take of all weapon types was about 320,000; so it is not lower as per prediction. Also no account of the repercussions of the back to back tough winters 12/13 and 13/14 on deer herd numbers, and thus take. Therefore, it’s a wolf problem.
Between Eau Claire and Superior Wisconsin on the 53 corridor, after thanksgiving, I observed more dead deer along the side of the road since the mid 2000’s. I know, correlation does not necessarily mean cause, but an observation just the same.
They also seem to be failing to account for the fact that deer were being managed (that is, killed by human hunters) to have less deer than there used to be – cause there were too many. We have smartened up about that in MI too, slightly.
That more deer got killed in 2016 than 2015, with all those wolves around, is clearly impossible, and when deer kill goes over 350,000 this fall it will also be impossible – there’s some conspiracy to fudge the numbers. Cause the wolves are clearly annihilating the deer. (Yes, I jest.)
Also fail to account for deer removed in “special hunts”for agricultural damage.
Wolf Summit held in Sugar Camp
More than 50 people gathered in Sugar Camp for the event.
“There’s tremendous momentum to get the delisting to happen, I mean, it’s a bipartisan issue now,” said Tifffany.
“What we found in the study was that the people that are affected by wolves, the rural residents of Northern Wisconsin, deer hunters, farmers, are very concerned. They don’t want more wolves they want less,” said DNR Wolf Committee Member Mike Brust.
Brust says there is a different perspective of the issue between the northern and southern parts of the state.
“Those that are affected have a lot involved with their livelihood, whereas people in the south they just are interested in the fact that it’s nice that we have wolves up north, but they don’t have to deal with them,” said Brust.
Looking at the sponsors and speakers of that thing, it doesn’t look like “bi” should have been present in that word.
Re-defining the value of public lands: this says it all. Here’s the ‘old’ BLM home page. The missing picture across the top was a dad and his son backpacking in one of the BLM’s designated wilderness areas. https://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en.html
Here’s the new page: https://www.blm.gov/
Discover the wonders of the “WayBackMachine”:
They have over 2000 snapshots of the older versions of that page. I picked one from Nov 10, 2016, at random. It does have an oil rig at upper left.
Well this is mind blowing. Certainly might explain cattle that disappear with out a trance (you know, the ones that get blamed on wolves?)
Wolf in badger’s clothing, Nancy
“This suggests that the burying behavior was not a “freak event of one badger just doing something really crazy,” but actually may be something that badgers do regularly.
Badgers are known as excellent diggers and had been known to hide food underground. But the largest previously documented example was a rabbit, he adds.”
The video shows the badger working day and night for five days. Then, it built a den connected to the carcass and did not surface often.
“So it worked overtime for five days like really, really intensely, and then it just had a two-week feeding fest,” Buechley added.
Had quite a few badgers take up residence on my property over the years, Mareks. They keep the ground squirrels in check when they are around. Very interesting to watch if you see them during daylight hours.
MONTANANS – please contact your state senator today. The entire Senate will vote tomorrow (4/5) on House Joint Resolution 9 to release the Wilderness Study Areas in MT. Find the text here: http://laws.leg.mt.gov/legprd/LAW0203W$BSRV.ActionQuery?P_SESS=20171&P_BLTP_BILL_TYP_CD=HJ&P_BILL_NO=9&P_BILL_DFT_NO=&P_CHPT_NO=&Z_ACTION=Find&P_ENTY_ID_SEQ2=&P_SBJT_SBJ_CD=&P_ENTY_ID_SEQ=
Use this link to look up your state senator by map or using your address: http://leg.mt.gov/css/Sessions/65th/legwebmessage.asp
and tell him/her to vote against HJ Res. 9. These WSAs should remain protected for the plants and animals who live there and the citizens who value wilderness-quality landscapes. If HJ 9 passes the MT Senate (it has already passed the House)the MT legislature will request that the US Congress eliminate the WSAs.
When I read that the manatee had been downlisted from endangered to threatened, I knew immediately who was behind it. Why doe this group have so much clout about delisting wildlife?
Here are some interesting statistics to add to the pile. It’s an older article, but then some things never change:
Poachers Kill More Game Animal Than Wolves, North Idaho Officials Say
On PBS Newshour tonight: Ticks, Lyme disease, and deer–and deer culls. Reporting is from Massachusetts.
It would be good if predators could be brought back. Although in my neighborhood, I don’t see as many deer as I once did.
Wildlife watch: the herring are back, yay!!! It’s like our version of the salmon runs. Gorgeous fish. It’s like a little oasis in a tangle of roads, highways and cars. There’s wildflowers and lots of birds too. How they all manage to survive awes and worries me.
10 minute PBS video on Lyme Disease, and its vectors.
I just don’t want to hear about people panicking and killing everything in sight because of it. We’re not only the hotbed of Lyme disease in this area – but West Nile and EEE. I remember at town meetings people flat out not caring about endangered wildlife and wanting to spray the crap out of any protected areas. 🙁
I don’t have a dog, and when I am out hiking I am careful to check for ticks on my clothes, and change. I have found some on occasion and removed them from my clothes.
There used to be one elderly gent ex of USF&W or state F&W who used to be the only one to stand up (literally) for and endangered salamander whose habitat is shrinking a lot like the herrings’.
I was happy to see the presence of the DNR at the herring run too. I almost got into a brawl with a guy (older and who should have known better) about taking herring out of the water and fooling around.
once, I should say. 🙂
or shower and change, I should say. My doctor told me once when I had been bitten (not by a Lyme tick) that there’s at least a 24 hour window before the disease can be transmitted.
“For example, the CDC reports (http://www.cdc.gov/lyme/tra… ) that in most cases, a tick must be attached for 36 to 48 hours before the bacteria that causes Lyme disease can be transmitted. While the exact time window is not known (and may differ from person to person), several studies have tried to pin it down. One 2001 study in mice, for example (http://jid.oxfordjournals.o… ), showed that the maximum transmission of the bacteria that causes Lyme disease occurred between 48 and 72 hours.”
So, as this article says – responsible concern is wise, but not go into a panic:
Five Reasons To Not Totally Panic About Ticks and Lyme Disease
In Belarus, wolf-hunters lay traps at edge of Chernobyl zone
About 1,700 wolves were culled in 2016, according to official data.
I knew it wouldn’t be too much longer, despite the rosy outlook being portrayed. 🙁
Maybe Mareks can tell us if that number is so high partly cause lots are puppies. Otherwise seems unsustainable. I want to hunt in Belarus too – for fungi!
I learned many things through engagement with Vilkins recently, and am grateful. Latvian for wolf is like “Vilki” btw. I was ignorant of the fact that lynx over there are a different species than our “Canadian” lynx, and are twice as big. They eat ungulates allot. Our original lynx (became modern bobcat) and cougar (genus Puma) firt came over about 8 million years ago. When modern lynx migrated here from asia again, during the last land bridge, they faced a landscape that already had a big deer killing cat (at least eventually – some think cougar and smilodon went extinct in Pleistocene in N America, and then cougars from S America invaded). I figure they evolved to be between the size of bobcat and cougar for a reason. They are snow experts ofcourse. There is no hare/lynx cycle in Europe.
For wolves I already already knew that litter size is density dependent, but now learned that so is sex ratio – now that’s a cool trick. Here’s slide show about belarus wolves, which partly cause of the whimsical spelling, I found very enjoyable:
(That is, I do not blame these folks for having less perfect English than Mareks. My Russian sucks, and my Latvian is zero. Let them that can juggle 5 languages from 3 families fluently throw the first stone.)
year / wolf population / cull / cull size as the percentage of the wolf population:
1980- 2510 -2324 -92.6%
1981- 2430 -2046 -84.2%
1982- 2340 -1573 -67.2%
1983- 2360 -2046 -86.7%
1984- 2140 -1689 -78.9%
1985- 2000 -1827 -91.4%
1986- 1880 -1484 -78.9%
1987- 1840 -1822 -99.0%
1988- 1710 -1550 -90.6%
1989- 1720 -1075 -62.5%
1990- 1840 -896 -48.7%
1991- 1860 -723 -38.9%
1992- 1680 -649 -38.6%
1993- 1850 -618 -33.4%
1994- 1860 -717 -38.5%
1995- 2000 -1185 -59.2%
1996- 2090 -1226 -58.7%
1997- 2490 -1267 -50.9%
1998- 2540 -1148 -45.2%
1999- 1740 -1019 -58.6%
2000- 1700 -853 -50.2%
2001- 1590 -832 -52.3%
2002- 1640 -729 -44.4%
2003- 1580 -731 -46.3%
2004- 1340 -813 -60.7%
2005- 1290 -806 -62.5%
2006- 1560 -641 -41.1%
2007- 1540 -735 -47.7%
2008- 1690 -670 -39.6%
2009- 1700 -747 -43.9%
2010- 1800 -773 -42.9%
2011- 1810 -650 -35.9%
2012- 1830 -688 -37.6%
2013- 1880 -829 -44.1%
2014- 1980 -913 -46.1%
Looks to me like they systematically underrepresent the size of the population. This stretch, in particular, seems impossible without massive immigration.
1985- 2000 -1827 -91.4%
1986- 1880 -1484 -78.9%
1987- 1840 -1822 -99.0%
1988- 1710 -1550 -90.6%
Where do lynxes give birth to their kits?
I have been afraid to see the articles about the wolves of Chernobyl, knowing they would then be targeted. Nothing is safe from humans. Including us.
Total area – 208 000 km2
Forests – 86 000 km2 (40% of the total area)
The government wants to reduce the wolf population to 500-600 individuals in winter (that is, before the pups are born in May)
in 2016 they killed 1734 wolves
in 2015 they killed 1481 wolves
but were they really the wolves? or rather the wolf-dog hybrids?
86K (km2) : 250 km2 (the size of avg. wolf territory)= 344 territories
there are not that many ungulates in BY (2015):
moose (Alces alces) – 32 000 (cull -3 800)
elk (Cervus elaphus)- 15 000 (cull -1 150)
wild boar – 8 000 (cull -17 000)
roe deer – 75 000 (cull -8 000)
beavers – 60 000 (cull-9 000)
the game species estimate is based on snow track index (I guess)
wolf population in the Republic of Belarus (2009)
articles about wolves in BY (in Russian)
Sea a presentation a few years back at the IWC. One of the wolf biologists travelled to a symposium in Belarus. One thing she emphasized was dog ownership in Belarus was a lot different than here. A lot of dogs wandered.
Vadim Sidorovich says that nowadays the main source is a pack multi-breeding (12 cases discovered by him) and hybridization with stray dogs.
From the HCN. They always have something good for this day:
Meanwhile, the recalcitrant Utah delegation kept a low profile…
Regarding the “wall of coal” header pic at BLM’s website:
The coal pic is already gone: https://www.blm.gov/
Book notice – this arrived in my inbox & figured I’d post it here–just FYI.
“Wolf Nation: The life, death, and return of wild American wolves” by Brenda Peterson
“Merging science, history, and memoir, Wolf Nation tells of the centuries-long battle to save America’s wild wolves. In a narrative spanning 300 years, Peterson tells what is ultimately a positive and inspiring tale that begins with zealous extermination by western settlers, but ends with the successful reintegration of wolves into Yellowstone National Park. Wolf Nation is an emotionally powerful work that weaves together the stories of specific wolves, and the scientists, ranchers, and activists who are fighting for them.”
What wolves do best – culling the sick & the weak.
This doe does look sick. (slobbering) Also watch day 98.
Drooling is one of the signs that starvation is setting in. I know where that was filmed. Deer up here pretty much live off fat reserves for half the year, browsing woody stem with growth buds (stunting to preventing forest regeneration)throughout the winter. By April, they are teetering on the edge of survival. After a tough winter, when you see whitetail up here, they are nothing but skin and bones.
Almost all snow is gone after and unbelievably mild winter, yet a heavy April snowstorm, not that uncommon here, would be a death knell for many deer.
Deer/Lyme. Correlation or causation, with focus on Minnesota and Wisconsin
Is the attempt to maintain deer populations in the sweet spot of the sigmoid growth curve, in essence the reason for the general increase in Lyme disease in these two states, or just one of the variables, as the deer (black legged) tick Ixodes scapularis feeds upon deer during the latter stage of its adult life. The deer tick, during its two year cycle, actually pick up the bacteria that causes Lymes from white footed mice, other rodents, and some birds, early in the tick life cycle. The deer enter the picture as female ticks engorge on their blood meal, drop off, lay their eggs, and thus repeat the cycle.
All the while, our mousers and other rodent eaters: red and gray fox; coyotes; and various weasels are subjected to trapping, allowing the mouse population to endure. Thus, both reservoirs for the deer tick population are maintained at higher levels, and cases of Lyme’s continue to increase. Correlation or cause?
“What’s at stake in Trump’s proposed EPA cuts”
“Far more than climate change. …The Trump administration’s proposed cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency budget are deep and wide-ranging.”
Everything from tap water (“let them drink lead”) to less enforcement for violators but more (way more) personal security for Pruitt! In today’s NYTimes:
“Experts warn 800 species, many endangered, affected by border wall”
Excerpt: “Animals have no concept of political boundaries created by humans, and to impose a physical barrier that impedes their movement is entirely wrong,” she told Fox News.
“The border region is a massive area of natural beauty and diversity,” she said, “to destroy its ecosystems with a wall when other alternatives are available is unfair to the innocent wildlife which has been there far longer than us.”
I’ve been dismayed to see so little coverage of this aspect of “the wall” disaster. I hate this regime.
No permit needed for killing derby
do you have the 20 page decision by any chance. Does anyone know if this is being further challenged? The implications for later abuses on forest land seem very onerous.
I would contact the Sawtooth National Forest Supervisors office for a copy as I think the derby was planned for on this forest near Stanley, Idaho.
Phone # 208-737-3200
A delayed thank you Gary
“Andrea Santarsiere, senior attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity, said environmental groups plan to discuss a possible appeal of the ruling at a Friday meeting.
“We were disappointed that Judge Bush looked at (the derby) as any other day of hunting in the forest,” she said. “We think it’s dramatically different.”
Absolutely disgusting. I don’t know what is happening with our country. 🙁
How can all of us throw enough money, time and energy into these constant assaults? This is a terrible, shameful time in our history. I feel so badly for the wildlife and wild lands but how do these people not see what kind of world do they are leaving for the children?
These things simply won’t happen, right? Trust us.
“Thousands of salmon escape sea farm in one of biggest breaches in industry history”
Excerpt: “A Norwegian study published last July suggests some domesticated escapees have mated with wild fish, which could weaken the wild population. Scientists are also investigating whether escaped fish could eat or displace wild species.”
Ha. We’ve been assured over and over that ‘this could never happen’. 🙁
Wyoming bill would allow the collection of sage grouse eggs
What is it for, true conservation or hunting? Sounds like a disaster.
For the “night owls” out there on TWN, an excellent live webcam of a pair of nesting Great Horned Owls in Charlo, Mt:
The webcam was down for 2 weeks but back up now and there are 2 “owlets” that hatched in the down time, who are being fed and cared for by both parents. The activities at the nest seem more active during the night hours.
Awwww…I’ll have to see. 🙂
2016 Draft Annual Report
Draft Revised Wolf Management Plan
Parallel evolution in canids is why you can’t trust the fossil record
mtDNA studies are notorious for leading people astray when we’re dealing with closely related species that can and do hybridize
Mitochondrial DNA is inherited only from the mother, and thus, it misses a lot of genetic information
recent genome-wide studies that have found red and Eastern wolves to be hybrids with wolves and coyotes
really need to be careful about morphological studies in canids. That’s because canids can evolve quite rapidly, and there is a great tendency toward parallel evolution in the family
Nature selectively breeds, too, and dogs in the wild can rapidly change to fit new niches.
These issues are going to confound virtually every study on canid evolution. This is one reason why we have nothing resembling a consensus on dog domestication. It is very hard to figure out when a sub-fossil wolf is a dog or is too much like a wolf to be a dog.
This is why I trust molecular studies far more than paleontology
The comparative genome study found that the most recent common ancestor of the wolf and coyote lived around 50,000 years ago, and it probably was living in Eurasia at the time. This animal was probably an archaic form of Canis lupus or maybe Canis mosbachensis.
When the numbers are high, coyotes form stable packs and have relatively few young. They hunt mid-sized prey. When numbers are lower, they hunt rodents and lagomorphs, and female coyotes actually have a hormone change when the numbers are low and produce more ova during their estrus cycles. The females mate at 10 months instead of 22 months, and with more ova produced and more bitches breeding, the population can easily recover from a dire wolf or Smilodon attack. This is also why killing coyotes can actually force their numbers up, and it is one reason our intense persecution of coyotes has resulted in them spreading North, South, and to the East
If you’ve ever looked into a coyote’s eyes, it is like looking into the eyes of a very bright dog. They have so many dog-like mannerism that is hard not to see the similarity.
But you’re actually looking into the eyes of a super wolf. This is the wolf that took all we could throw it at, and it thrived beyond our wildest expectations.
In Anthropocene, the meek do inherit the earth.
What a great post. I heard one howl in the early morning a few days ago. I’m always thrilled when I hear them.
Really good “Writers on the Range” essay I lifted from last Thursday’s edition of the Missoula Independent :
To save wildlife, humans better start sharing
By Stephen Capra
We live in a time where we are heading toward a world without wildlife. We have a voice and a vote, yet we elect people who support the destruction of what makes our planet livable. But perhaps our gravest sin continues to be our treatment of wildlife. How is it that, given an earth so rich in life, humanity has chosen to kill—to destroy—the oasis we have been granted?
We live in a time of great knowledge about animals, and many people have become advocates for all species. Yet prejudice, war and social unrest make even our relationships with our fellow humans complex. Governments are already slow to act to protect the natural world. Now, consider how hard we find it to deal with species that look nothing like us, that live underwater or fly through the sky, that compete with us for food or could even make us their next meal.
Add into the mix poverty, hunger, population pressure and cultural norms, then multiply all that by corporate greed, energy development, rapid deforestation and climate change, and you begin to understand the true cycle of genocide that modern civilization is waging against wildlife—and ultimately itself.
We have a long history of destroying wildlife. The Great Plains remains for many the centerpiece of America’s shame, the site of a wanton waste of wildlife, which left species like the passenger pigeon extinct and the bison all but gone. In order to destroy the Native American cultures and take control of the land, many of us saw the killing of wildlife as almost a patriotic endeavor. The aftermath of decay and dried bones scattered across a vast expanse of America marks, without question, wildlife’s own “Trail of Tears.”
Our growing awareness of the decimation of the West’s native species eventually inspired the enactment of laws and regulations designed to prevent such a killing spree from occurring again. Conservationists began working to make people understand the value of species that do not resemble human beings.
In 2014, the World Wildlife Fund issued a report with the Zoological Society of London, which found that a number of species of wild animals had lost half their populations in 40 years. The culprits were many—humans killing wildlife for food in unsustainable numbers, the pollution and destruction of habitat. The report went on to point out that we are “cutting trees faster than we regrow them, catching fish faster than the oceans can restock, pumping water from rivers and aquifers faster than rainfall can replenish them, and emitting more climate-warming carbon dioxide than oceans and forests can absorb.” The most rapid decline of wildlife populations has occurred in freshwater ecosystems, where wildlife numbers have plummeted more than 75 percent since 1970.
click to enlarge
Yet most of us continue to confront such situations with a shrug of recognition, a new-normal sense of futility, or maybe the vague hope that science will ultimately save us from our madness. Right now, we are witness to the last great extinction of species in our history, one that, if not stopped, will remove the final barrier to our complete isolation as humans. Think of the karma we will inherit for our refusal to share our world and to accept our responsibility to live in harmony with all species.
The shift to harmony may only be realized after the implosion of our material-based society, once we make massive shifts in our diet and break the back of the corporations that feed the sickness in our society. But most of all, it requires leadership—placing in power people who respect all species and understand the value of a shared earth. This change will only come with basic human kindness and love. If we pass laws that end cruelty and protect more lands and more waters, we can truly embrace the concept that all life matters.
Like all politics, this shift must begin locally. Like all education, it requires great teachers who will provide the next generation the chance to get it right. What is different for wildlife today is that we are running out of time. We cannot look to make change in 20, 30 or 40 years. The change must happen now.
We are moving toward a world without wildlife, not because we want it but because we have not accepted a formula that truly allows coexistence. That formula will only exist when society, nations and people understand the limitations of being human—when we accept such limits on ourselves in order to share, not control, the world we live in.
The Zen of that concept is the deeper connection and relationship with species that will enrich our lives. Only then will we have finally matured as the species we call human.
Stephen Capra is a contributor to Writers on the Range, the opinion service of High Country News (hcn.org). He is the executive director of Bold Visions Conservation, based in New Mexico.
An article from E. O. Wilson,2 years ago, addressing the same basic concerns, Alf. But who’s paying attention?
“By helping to preserve this piece of American wilderness, Wilson may well be making a down payment on some of the ideas in Half-Earth. In encouraging communities to create preserves and parks, he is helping to save precious patches of remnant wilderness”
The precious patch of meadow land, just across from me, sold recently and I’ve been holding my breath, waiting to meet the new owners.
Wondering whether that small stretch of creek would continue to be degraded by cattle – breaking down the fragile banks and rounding out the willows, lining the banks of the creek.
Would the meadow be chemically fertilized again this year, an awful stench if you happen to be outside, to increase hay yield?
I’m glad to say, I’ve stopped holding my breath. Had a chance to talk with one of the new owners this morning and he sounds committed to leaving this meadow alone, because he finds it as enchanting as I do 🙂
“Wildlife advocates see wolves as ‘best natural defense’ against chronic wasting disease”
The responses to this article on the Missoulian’s Facebook page are so mind-boggling that it’s hard to believe they aren’t said in jest, but I’m afraid not. The Missoulian has a very strong following of anti-intellectual types who spew their hateful opinions nonstop. It’s here for anyone who cares: https://www.facebook.com/Missoulian/posts/1300551140051912
“There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.” ~Isaac Asimov
here is what this sorry sob is up to now, transfer of 200K acres of Tongass forest for logging. After last years transfer of 75K acres in the GOP compromise “conservation” bill this could be even more disastrous for the rare Alexander Archipelago wolves. I hate these people a little more every day
no divide between rural and urban BC voters on trophy hunting of grizzlies 76% oppose
I’m betting it would be the same for wolves
Governments continue to listen to minority voices even when the majority constituents are howling mad. How to change this, is it just a follow your money situation or does it have to do with good ol’ boy relationships?
Now this is good news
Trump, Jr. wants to shoot Montana prairie dogs…
Donald Trump, Jr. will be campaigning in Montana for Greg Gianforte, who hopes to fill our one U.S. Representative seat left vacant by Ryan Zinke, now Trump’s Sec’y of Interior. Though Zinke is entirely unqualified for the job, Junior’s influence helped a fellow hunter obtain a Cabinet post. On Monday, Gianforte spoke to a group of Christian conservatives in Hamilton, MT, saying, “You know what we’re going to do over the weekend? Donald Trump, Jr. wanted bad to shoot prairie dogs. So we’re going to help him scratch that itch…” The comment “was met with laughter and applause.”
To contact Gianforte with a civil message about the pleasure-killing of sentient, social animals who value their lives and families: https://gregformontana.com/contact/
To contact Rob Quist, with a question (or a donation to his campaign 🙂 re: the congressional seat left vacant by Zinke/special election in Montana:
He seems to have gotten himself on the wrong side of the public lands access debate too:
Of course the comment was “met with laughter and applause” Kathleen.
The very idea that wildlife could actually benefit areas (areas they’ve populated and co-existed on…. for centuries) is lost on the human species – geez what a piggish, overbearing species we’ve become and too many humans, haven’t a clue as to how obnoxious (not to mention, dangerous) we’ve become to the rest of earth’s inhabitants.
From the Onion:
So the guy is just another transplant to Montana (and from the notorious East Coast too), and he thinks the way to ingratiate himself with voters is to go out and kill stuff? I’ve noticed several of these loudmouths that run for political office are not from the West originally.
I wonder what the voters will think. I noticed he was addressing a religious group too, having a big yuk over killing prairie dogs. What a bully.
This story is about a week old–apologies if already posted.
“Turkey hunters hiding behind fanned gobbler decoy shot by partner”
“The investigation has yet to determine the distance at which the shot was fired, the sheriff said. He also did not know whether an actual turkey was in the area that both parties were hearing or if they simply were “calling in” each other.”
Sad. But you reminded me, I’m seeing a lot of turkeys fanning their tails and it is just so beautiful. Also, there was a little gray fox in the backyard early this morning. What a cutie.
National Geographic weighs in on M-44’s and Wildlife Services
Another great investigative article from Todd Wilkinson.
Most of us probably have no idea how toxic our world is:
“Originally derived from a nerve gas developed by Nazi Germany, chlorpyrifos has been sprayed on citrus, apples, cherries and other crops for decades. It is among the most widely used agricultural pesticides in the United States, with Dow selling about 5 million pounds domestically each year.”
From: “Dow Chemical is pushing Trump administration to ignore studies of toxic pesticide”
Excerpt: “The EPA’s recent biological evaluation of chlorpyrifos found the pesticide is “likely to adversely affect” 1,778 of the 1,835 animals and plants accessed as part of its study, including critically endangered or threatened species of frogs, fish, birds and mammals. Similar results were shown for malathion and diazinon.”
A similar story:
What if Earth treated us the way we treat Earth?
Happy Earth Day!
My “neck of the woods” in Oregon. Although Oregon can’t boast of the numbers of wolves YET, I will continue to search for them near where I live. It would be a big check off on my bucket list as I have seen almost every species of native wildlife to North America in the wild. Of course, it’s when you are not looking for something, is when you have an encounter!
It would be good if the participants on TWN make public comment on Trump’s EO 13777. Scott Pruitt requested an EPA task force to evaluate existing regulations and to make recommendations to identify regulations that can be Repealed, Replaced or Modified. EPA is requesting input to fulfill the objective of identifying regulations for RRM via conference calls with specific groups or public meetings in some cases.
Get all of that information here, https://www.epa.gov/laws-regulations/regulatory-reform
There is a link on that page to the docket where you make comment but it is here, https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=EPA-HQ-OA-2017-0190
“Bike deal adds heartache, hope to wilderness proposal”
Excerpt: “In return for endorsing full federal protection of 80,000 acres, the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) and two Montana mountain biking groups laid claim to about 3,800 acres for future cycling trails. That’s next to a proposed 2,200-acre recreation management area designated for snowmobile use.”
Excerpt: “Mountain bikers and snowmobilers are going after a different sort of recreational benefit than what I’m going after or hikers are going after. We’re seeking the hush of the land. Solitude. Every turn of the trail is a new experience to enjoy at our own pace.
“Mountain bikers are out to challenge the resource. It’s about how fast you can go and how many miles you can put on. Snowmobilers are after the highest mark on the hillside, the highest speed across the meadow.”
Kind of wildlife related 🙂
Comments Needed on Plan to Recover Grizzlies in North Cascades
The National Park Service in conjunction with the US Fish and Wildlife Service has prepared a draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) on a plan to translocate grizzlies into the North Cascades in Washington. The Forest Service is a cooperating agency, though it appears that agency’s input in the DEIS is minimal. Comments are due April 28.
A natural recovery alternative would require working with British Columbia to protect grizzlies over a larger land base, and would provide for connectivity via protected habitat corridors.
‘Rejected for dubious reasons’, the article says. I would prefer this holistic approach as well. For whose benefit then are the bears being reintroduced? F&W and other agencies need to update their methods.
The other thing is that all of the problems in the GYA haven’t been worked out yet for the grizzlies there, and some of the reasons for delisting are rather ‘dubious’.
“Zinke will recommend Bears Ears fate within 45 days”
Excerpt: “Marc Short, the White House director of legislative affairs, said earlier Tuesday that the review will look at the possible overreach of monument designations, including the impact they have on Americans who graze livestock on federal acreage. He was not sure if the review would seek to change the Antiquities Act, which has been used by every president since Teddy Roosevelt to declare monuments. …
“Short said the concern about the monument designations comes down to people who use the area for grazing who feel their rights were infringed on. “In many cases there’s been an outcry saying that there’s a federal government overreach that was taking away land that they were either using for agriculture purposes or purposes for their cattle, their sheep,” Short said.”
“Fact-checking Trump’s Antiquities Act order:
Trump and his supporters rely on dubious claims to attack national monuments”
An analysis from High Country News:
List of Nat’l Monuments at risk, from
Center for Biological Diversity:
“State of the Mountain Lion: A call to end trophy hunting of America’s lion” a report released a couple days ago
Link to it from here: http://blog.humanesociety.org/wayne/2017/04/hsus-mountain-lion-report-2017.html
or access it directly here:
Predictably, Montana is 2nd only to Idaho for trophy hunt mortalities.
You would think that the people of this country would be proud to have “America’s lion” and do everything the can to protect our own native wildlife. and what a magnificent creature they are.
Dr. Rob Wielgus from Washington State University is going to the mat with the University over the suppression of academic freedom regarding his research on wolves, and his open criticism of the 2016 lethal removal of the Profanity Peak wolf pack in WA state. Not reported is that last month he contacted members of the WA Wolf Advisory Group (WAG) and other state officials attempting clarify and refute WSU’s August 2016 statement that had threw Dr. Wielgus “under the bus”. Essentially WSU tried to “correct” what they claimed were false statements made by Dr. Wielgus regarding the rancher involved with the Profanity pack. However, they weren’t false statements and he attempted recently to revisit the issue and has been slammed by WSU once again (fueled by state republican representative Joel Kretz, who is in the pocket of the WA cattle industry). Kretz has recently stated he is “working” alongside Conservation NW towards wolf conservation, but it boils down to his disdain for wolves and his mission to sink Dr. Wielgus…
Jon way published a testimonial about the discrimination and obstruction he faced because his coyote research conflicts with state policy
They have consistently tampered with his career
And affiliations. His story is appalling. He published it on eastern coyote research
This kind of bs is not uncommon
State agencies and wildlife policy needs a long deserved overhaul
Thank goodness! I’m glad Dr. Wielgus has such integrity. I know that Washington F&W is caught in the middle too.
Every few days there’s something in the news about Washington wolves. There was something recently about non-lethal alternatives, and a rancher grousing that it might delay killing them:
Has anyone ever heard of a program that Virginia tech had years back where they crossbred black panthers and lions and then released them into the wild here in Virginia?
No, not at all.
I’d not heard the one about crossbreeding but have heard many other local myths about VT releasing lions, coyotes, wolves, rattlesnakes, or other scary beasts to control deer herds.
All are completely false but one or the other is always going around. I guess combining a fear of predators and a disdain for higher learning makes for a very catchy conspiracy theory.
Hmmm, this article contradicts what hunters have been saying for years how their licenses and fees fund the majority of the state FWP agency budget. I’m not surprised there is stalling to fund state agencies by the new administration in regard to “positive” action toward wildlife and the environment. Why can’t these be fast-tracked like the extractive industries and the pipelines?
“Much of the money for FWP comes from Pittman-Robertson funds collected from a federal tax on firearms and ammunition purchases, as well as Dingell-Johnson funds that are gathered from a tax on fishing gear and some boat engine sales”.
Unless I’m missing something (if so, please enlighten me), I would bet much of the money spent on firearms and ammo is from hunters so I don’t see any contradiction. Fishers are also paying, albeit at a smaller total amount.
Ticks. Growing concern for Maine and New Hampshire moose.
Insane here right now
You can’t move through a blade of grass without finding ticks
It generally subsides in s month but when first wave comes watch out
Anyone know how rabbits, squirrels, skink, coyotes and fox get through Rick season?
May 1 and snowing here. Depending on source, 1-6 inches of snow. Got to look at the bright side, everyday of snow is a day less of ticks…
I see the spending budget moved forward does anyone know what poison pills were included? I’m hoping nothing related to wolf delisting?
They throw so much shit at us some of it will stick. It feels impossible to react properly because the blows are so steady and tbe dirty fighting has taken on a new low
“Congress did the right thing by not opting to legislatively delist gray wolves in this bill, and instead deferred to the courts currently hearing cases about the fate of wolves in the Great Lakes.” More:
Thank you for that good news
I’ve been unable to find anything definitive
I can barely stand to hear the news lately
Hearing trump speak or being reported on causes me such great anxiety
I’ve been greatly concerned about the wolf delisting maneuvers
One can only hope that the great outcry against the reversal of obamas rule may have also played a role
I’m like wise ignorant about the Great Lakes legislation referenced in the blog
I’m hoping some challenged the legislation that override the mi voter referendum and would provide for hunting if wolves loose federal protections ? Sadly fascinating that casketson and others can’t accept even a voter referendum and vote where their constituents send a clear message no wolf hunts
The arrogant persistence to kill and scapegoat wolves is astounding
Anyone out there with info on the cases please post and thanks again Kathleen
Also very very good news is the continuation of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative: http://www.freep.com/story/news/politics/2017/05/01/federal-budget-deal-protects-great-lakes-funding-now/101177996/
Sigh of relief!
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer were intensely focused on keeping this bill free of anti-animal riders, and worked across the aisle with a number of Republicans who have repeatedly championed animal protection issues.
Heartfelt thanks to Nancy and Chuck!!!! I can be a Democrat again without reservation. Whew!
The dangers of cell phone posting and auto spell check always lurking
I’d like to share a petition that I have spent a lot of time on. It was created to ban carnivore hunting in the Cape Cod National Seashore. Most National Parks do not allow hunting. After sending out a similar petition to the Cape Cod National Seashore several years ago and receiving the predictable status quo response we have come into some good luck. The current superintendent is leaving so there is a window of opportunity to open up the request again and since then Jon Way has received a permit to study carnivores on seashore land. The study is similar to what Doug Smith received in Yellowstone. Thus we are also revising the petition to request that the park support the study by hiring Jon Way, since there are also 3 new vacancies. It’s a good time strategically to reopen the petition. Please take a look and if you agree sport carnivore hunting is wasteful and should be banned on National Park Land please sign and share. I would greatly appreciate your support.
as a follow up to the last post, I also attended a town hall with Ed Markey a MA Senator and other democrats. We have a new state senator who was very interested in assisting us and I’ve got a promise for a meeting with the rep and the seashore staff. I’m hopeful we will get some support there for the ban and for the Carnivore Conservation Act! Wish us luck.
Thanking John Maguranis of Project Coyote, Brooks Fahy of Predator Defense and Elizabeth Brook for their support!
That’s wonderful and great news! Good luck!
Excellent job in all your efforts preparing this petition Louise. I look forward to hearing from you on the outcome and am optimistic for success.
Thank you Gary
We’ve received close to 1700 supporters in the last few days for those of you who signed thabk you
Please consider sharing and or sending to those who may be interested in seeing an avenue to protect coyotes and promote a study of them
Apologies if this was already posted–it’s from last week. Fantastic editorial from the Salt Lake Tribune:
“Utah’s national monuments have already justified themselves”
Excerpt: “If this is a review and not a charade, it will come down to Ryan Zinke. Unlike his president, Zinke in his briefing was careful not to say the outcome was preordained. …
“There is no oil pipeline that needs to cross the Bears Ears, Secretary Zinke. There is no boom to be unleashed if the monument vanished, and multiple use is specifically called for in the president’s monument proclamation.
“An honest assessment will show our monuments should stand until our leaders can catch up to our future.”
Sickening. Hope they get ’em eventually.
“Denmark Now Has A Wild Wolf Pack Again — For The First Time In 200 Years” – includes wildlife cam footage.
Meanwhile back in my neck of the woods (Montana) my morning started out early trying to get a hoop greenhouse up.
Suddenly the air was filled with the sounds of a REALLY low flying airplane. No joke, the pilot (who I understand, flies for Wildlife Services) must of buzzed up and down this “cow infested” valley, in a tight circle, more than a dozen times.
After the 5th? 6th? pass right over the top of my cabin, I grabbed my camera and got a couple of shots.
So low, my chickens were afraid to venture out.
Never heard a shot fired in all those passes, so I’m guessing some rancher, down the valley, maybe
saw a wolf and got his “panties in a knot” and speed dialed re-enforcements (WS)
Hey folks, your tax dollars ($$ subsidies) at work for the livestock industry. I think its something like $3 to $5 grand an hour (someone correct me?) to put one of those puppies (planes) up to hunt down and kill a couple of predators?
My neighbor, who’s helping me get the greenhouse up, did finally comment on how many times this plane flew back and forth over my cabin (but fact is, he’s pretty anal about wolves back on the landscape)
So I had a little fun with him and said that maybe it wasn’t WS but DEA? Checking out the ribs for what appears to be a sizable greenhouse, that might lead to the growing of “stuff” other than what’s approved for the area 🙂
Always enjoy reading your comments Nancy, so keep them coming girl!
As for the cost, I think $1,500.00 an hour for a two passenger Cessna with a pilot and killer would be in the ball park and it would still be a total waste of money.
It costs us $150 an hour here in WI for an agency plane and pilot – I don’t understand why it would be 10X that in your region.
Thanks for the $ breakdown, Gary and agree, a total waste of money.
Editorial from Great Falls Tribune giving preference to states’ management plan for wolverines over ESA listing:
And comment from wolverine researcher at The Wolverine Foundation:
“We’re the ones who look at a piece like this and let you know how to quickly distinguish between arguments that have a scientifically valid basis, and those that don’t. Saying that the states’ management plan is better than a federal management plan because it has a lot of participation from different partners is not the same as saying it’s more scientifically defensible. We have nothing against the states, but wildlife management should have a scientific basis. It shouldn’t be based in identity politics.
“We won’t actually know for some time whether the state plan is preferable to the federal plan, because the results of this study are not yet in, and we haven’t seen the plan.”
Three Yellowstone employees do everything right in the backcountry but still have to face down a charging mama griz. A bear spray readiness story–not sure if you need a Facebook account to view this: https://www.facebook.com/YellowstoneNPS/videos/vb.151418891540140/1352802038068480/?type=2&theater
No offense meant, and it’s probably just my hypersensitivity about these things, but choice of words – should it really be called a ‘surprise’ encounter, especially by Yellowstone employees?
Also, the term ‘facing down’ suggests an ‘us against them’ approach to wildlife, which seems to emphasize human dominance over the bears’ natural behavior and right to be there also. Is it so pride damaging to say we ‘backed down’ or ‘backed away’? I don’t think so.
I don’t have Facebook so I wasn’t able to read the actual account – but I wish we’d get to the point where our being in wilderness does not always suggest or legitimize some kind of showdown or war against wildlife where humans ‘trump’ the other inhabitants as the top dogs. A more together or equal approach would be more helpful, I think.
I don’t have Facebook and have no plans to ever have it, I should say. I just think we are much too aggressive in our approaches to wildlife.
These folks weren’t aggressive–they were doing everything possible to keep bears safe…from traveling in a group of 3, to constantly and loudly yelling, to carrying bear spray. Given the size of the group and the yelling, it probably *was* a surprise–but thankfully one they were prepared for with a nonlethal weapon. I’ve been in the exact same situation in YNP (without facing a charging mom)–a group of 4 hiking in (and following) fresh griz tracks, shouting and singing until we were literally hoarse, and carrying 3 canisters of spray among us. Fortunately, we never saw the bear. I consider that video a valuable bear/human safety lesson (that reached nearly 5000 perhaps-otherwise-clueless Yellowstone enthusiasts just in that one post) rather than a lesson in human animal dominance over nonhuman animals.
I was saying the choice of words leaves a lot to be desired. Facing down is an aggressive stance. There’s nothing wrong with avoidance. Reinforcing humans dominant place, I wonder if it just makes people more bold.
It remains to be seen whether or not it does any good (hopefully it will) – but hiking in bear country should not be a surprise to anyone – least of all Yellowstone employees.
Kathleen excellent video
Not only did they save their own lives but the bears too
I remember hiking with a friend in British Columbia in a part of the pacific trail about 15 years ago at least
We were so stupid
I remember reading the bear signs and thinking nothing of them
It was spring and we were having fun
Later, a friend gave me the book bear attack
Up unti tben I did not understand bears would attack
I guess I bemuevef because I loved wildlife I was immune to attacks
That and in tbe northeast we don’t really see bears all that often
Since then I do carry bear spray when bears may make an impromptu visit
Now I’ll keep that spray in a pocket where I can get to it and not in a backpack
When we were hiking in Yellowstone, I read the bear signs and took them seriously. We avoided where the Park Service had posted they had been seen. I had read about a very frightening encounter in the past and the image has stayed with me (woman’s arm pulled out of socket). Not a foolproof way to avoid running into them, but it’s something. And of course bear spray, goes without saying.
See, I know when I can be beat, and I don’t need to prove that a human is the king of the jungle. The resident wildlife prevails, in my view, and I am more than happy to defer. I’m a visitor on their turf.
My experience has been that warnings and information are posted at every turn by the Park Service, how to recognize a grizzly, etc., so there should be no ‘surprise’ encounters by any visitor. Even bison I was careful not to challenge in any way.
I also don’t like to call bad encounters attacks because in the animal’s view, it is defensive. We’re supposed to be the smarter ones, and can take steps to protect ourselves. There’s no barrier to protect visitors like there is in a zoo, and I wish the Park Service would try to be a little bit firmer in their warnings, instead of coddling visitors.
“The NRA Warns Hunters to Prepare for War:
An aggressive new ad campaign tries to pit sportsmen against “perverted” animal lovers”
Fear rules at the NRA: “To save hunting, you must understand the terms of the battle. Because the animal rights extremists fighting to destroy hunting have an even more destructive goal: the systematic diminishment of humanity itself.”
How do you know when you actually might be making a difference? When dealing with animal activists is compared to dealing with Al Qaeda. Don’t miss the one-minute embedded video, “Trust the hunter in your blood: The animal rights dream.”
Scourge of the nation
Not responsible ….
I’ll let you fill in tbe last word
The good news….two wolf pups with valuable genetics cross fostered into the San Mateo pack in NM.
The bullsh!t news….two wild born San Mateo wolf pups taken from the den and placed into captivity due to NM’s no net increase position in this agreement. I have no idea why USFW agreed to this deal regarding this cross fostering of pups.
??????? Don’t understand that at all. The wild born are extremely important. Maybe they’re trying to domesticate wolves, breed the wild out of them.
^^That’s my answer to the latest NRA conspiracy theory – and I noticed there was a ‘hit the donate button’ quote in the NRA’s article, which is what we’re usually accused of. 🙂
A little additional information on why two wild born pups were removed from the San Mateo pack’s den during the cross fostering/placement of two other pups into the San Mateo den.
I understand that this step was needed for genetic diversity; but what I do not understand is taking wildlife out of the wild and placing them into captivity to placate ranchers whims. The point of protecting an endangered species is to increase the population? It is not standard procedure and is unacceptable. Where did the new pups come from?
I wish that the government agencies would have a bit more spine. For example, coddling park visitors – there is no method that will 100% protect people in bear country but staying out of bear country. I wish they’d be a bit more frank about what could happen.
Or where did the new pups’ genetic material come from, I should say. It’s all about fooling around with science and it is repellent. I wish we could leave things alone.
This background is from the Center for Biological Diversity:
At last count in January, Arizona and New Mexico supported 113 wolves in the wild. Approximately 30 live in the wild in Mexico. In addition, 251 wolves are held in captivity among 51 zoos and specialized institutions, but most of those are too old or otherwise unsuitable for breeding or release. In the wild and in captivity, pups will be born toward the end of April and early May.
All Mexican gray wolves in the world stem from just seven animals captured from the wild and successfully bred. These animals were the only survivors of a U.S. government trapping and poisoning program carried out from 1915 to 1972 on behalf of the livestock industry, including from 1950 onward in Mexico as a U.S. foreign-aid project.
Those surviving wolves’ descendants were reintroduced into Arizona and New Mexico beginning in 1998 and in Mexico beginning in 2011, but U.S. regulations forbade the release of captive-raised wolves — despite approving the release of wild-caught wolves — in New Mexico until promulgation of the 2015 rule.
Scientists have linked faltering reproductive success — small litter sizes and few pups living to maturity — in the reintroduced U.S. population to the loss, including to federal trapping and shooting on behalf of the livestock industry, of genetically important wolves, compounded by the rarity of releases of captive wolves into the wild. Experts have recommended stronger wolf protections in the wild, which the Fish and Wildlife Service refuses, and the releases of genetically-diverse wolves into southwestern New Mexico where there is high-quality but unoccupied wolf habitat — for which today’s ruling reinstates authority.
In thinking about this oak disease it’s very similar to the decimation of bat colonies around the world where the white nose pathogen is wiping bat colonies out
Same problem too the pathogen introduced from a foreign site
Most mammals need only 12 seconds to poop
Mechanical engineers studying the hydrodynamics of soft matter have a new universal constant to add to the annals of science: On average, most mammals take just 12 seconds to poop. The researchers studiously observed that mammals from cats to elephants all apply about the same amount of pressure to finish the job, regardless of body size, according to New Scientist. Larger animals compensate for their bigger feces and longer rectums with thicker mucus that keeps the action down to the 12-second average, the researchers write this week in Soft Matter. That’s fully 8 seconds shorter than the universal mammal urination time of 21 seconds, a discovery for which the same team won an Ig Nobel Prize in 2015.
Human males will have a tendency to stretch this out if a sports page is handy.
Or, a Calbela’s catalog.
aye Nancy – some fascinating details
“But it wasn’t all painful this year. Research on relief also got the nod. Scientists at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta who collected urine from various mammals came to the startling conclusion that nearly all of them—from dogs to elephants—took about the same amount of time to pee. Although an elephant may have 100 times more urine in its bladder than a dog, its pee gushes about 100 times faster. In what has come to be known as the Golden Rule, all mammals tend to urinate for about 21 seconds, the team reported last year in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.”
Gut: the inside story of our body’s most under-rated organ
A publishing sensation that … sets out to free toilet talk from its taboo’ – The Times
‘[Enders] is utterly, charmingly obsessed with the gut, gut bacteria and poo. She writes and talks about her subject matter with such childlike enthusiasm it’s infectious … The perfect toilet book.’ – Annalisa Barbieri, Guardian
“Hanford is the nation’s largest nuclear cleanup site, with 56 million gallons of radioactive waste sitting in old, leaky underground tanks just a few hours upriver from Portland. After more than 20 years and $19 billion[,] not a drop of waste has been treated.
***”Hanford sits next to the Columbia River. It was one of the original Manhattan Project sites. Its nine nuclear reactors irradiated uranium fuel rods. That created plutonium, which was extracted with chemicals, processed and shipped to weapons factories. Each step produced radioactive waste. …
“The stored waste has to be treated in special rooms called black cells, which are too radioactive for humans to enter. The machinery in these black cells is supposed to operate for 40 years with no direct human intervention. If something goes wrong, the cells could be damaged.”
Who in the world thinks this is a good method of energy for the future?
How about practice what you preach Obummer.
I agree consumption could be reduced by all including myself
Yet, at least Obama and DiCaprio advocate for policy that acknowledges carbon overloading, ocean acidification and have pushed for responsible agendas toward reducing carbon output. I don’t know what the circumstances are that did or did not require that much security but since drumpf takes every opportunity to impugn president Obama I’m betting the security is not a bad idea. On the one hand you have a president whose last days included protecting two oceans, creating several important national monuments and signing protections for Alaska predators in addition to implementing stronger pro climate change policies
Compare to trump
Let’s keep it in perspective shall we
“They’ll probably just throw it right in the round file,” he said. “I’d be shocked if they even gave it consideration.”
At least his expectations of Good ole Wyoming Fish and Game are realistic and unfortunately archaic. Of all the state agencies, this one seems to be the most predator unfriendly while still feeding elk when it’s known this causes numerous preventable problems. If ranchers cannot afford to protect their livestock and hay piles, they need to get out of the business!
Until WF&G takes a stance that all public wildlife belongs to ALL Americans and not just Wyoming ranchers and hunters, nothing will change. Duh!
No bears were involved:
She’s very lucky; she carried no water with her, and not so much as a pack of lifesavers candy in her pockets. And hiking alone. I’m very happy no bear had to be shot because of her.
“Preliminary Necropsy Results Reveal Well-Known Wolf Shot”
“MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, WY – Preliminary results from the necropsy of the Canyon Pack alpha female wolf showed that she suffered from a gunshot wound. Hikers discovered the mortally wounded wolf April 11, 2017, inside Yellowstone National Park near Gardiner, Montana. Park staff responded quickly to the situation and due to the severity of the wolf’s injuries, euthanized the animal. The deceased wolf was sent to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Forensics Laboratory in Ashland, Oregon for a necropsy. The lab has transferred the preliminary results to Yellowstone National Park.”
Continue reading: https://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/news/17023.htm
I tried to keep an open mind, and there you have it. 🙁 A buffer zone is needed here, desperately. Was this within and/or in addition to the ‘normal’ hunting season? Just wait until Wy gets going too.
I would say that Wy’s wolf management plan belongs in the round file, and I am always glad when the native peoples stand up for wildlife.
The other question I have is did this happen in the Park? Allowing guns in National Parks is a sacrilege and a big mistake, and people blatantly flout the rules, with what looks like full approval from politicians, lawmakers and courts, regardless of party.
A buffer zone at the north entrance to the Park is a small concession and a good compromise – so far the only compromises have been from the government and the wildlife/environmental advocates. No compromise has ever come from hunters, ranchers, gun owners. Reviewing the national monuments? Take a look here about adding a buffer zone.
When people wanted to contribute to a wolf stamp so that they could also be included in those whose good money goes to contribute to conservation, they were shut out and the discussion tabled for who knows when, if ever.
Rifle season for wolves in MT ended 3/15. And it’s still illegal to discharge firearms in YNP…so any way you look at it, this looks like an illegal act of wolf persecution. The news release raises the possibility that it happened inside the park near the northern border. I’ve been on that trail…it seemed to me that it gets less use than more popular trails.
I haven’t hiked it but my husband and me have driven it, and that’s where I saw a magnificent large herd of elk, in the Mammoth Hot Springs area.
They say this killing was estimated to have occurred between 1 am and 2 pm the next day. Maybe a security guard at the North entrance is needed at the very least!
Ah, when you said you’d driven it, I realized I was thinking of the Yellowstone River Trail, which is foot travel only. The ability to drive in on a backroad gives even more access to the evil-doers.
I need to go back, and soon! This was the main, paved road, and it was our last day, driving by the travertine terraces? I’m probably in the vicinity but way off. We stopped for gas in Montana, Gardiner.
We’ve hiked in other parts of the Park, but not there.
To me, the biggest hurdle won was to get approval to bring concealed, loaded guns into the National Parks in the first place. After that, saying it’s illegal to discharge the gun is meaningless. How can that be enforced, much less even known about? It makes it so easy for poachers too. Here, the poor wolf probably was wounded enough where she could have gotten away and the evidence couldn’t be destroyed.
One of the worst decisions ever, to me. So naïve it is dismaying.
Here, and on the border with WY, if Trump wants a wall or a gate, I’m all for it. Why make it easy on these bums?
Gardiner mostly depends on Yellowstone tourism. Tourist money lets the community thrive. There are however a lot of wolf-haters around. Just walk into K-Bar, whisper “wolf”….and get out fast!
Years ago I learned from Ralph that the term “buffer zone” should better not be used here. There was a reason, but I cannot remember. Can somebody step in?
Just think about how outrageous it is to allow killing wolves for sport under any condition and then look at the end of the season
Just before they give birth
How sick and twisted is that?
Somehow these laws have to change
I should ammend that by saying during birthing period
PUBLIC COMMENTS for National Monument review now open. Please note 2 different deadline dates:
“To ensure consideration, written comments relating to the Bears Ears National Monument must be submitted before May 26, 2017. Written comments relating to all other National Monuments must be submitted before July 10, 2017.”
I guess this is wildlife news…
“Zimbabwe pastor trying to walk on water at the Crocodile River gets eaten by 3 crocodiles”
What immediately came to mind Kathleen, after reading this article:
“Clovis advised Trump on agricultural issues during his presidential campaign and is currently the senior White House advisor within the USDA, a position described by The Washington Post as “Trump’s eyes and ears” at the agency.
Clovis was also responsible for recruiting Carter Page, whose ties to Russia have become the subject of intense speculation and scrutiny, as a Trump foreign policy advisor”
“…compared the move to appointing someone without a medical background to lead the National Institutes of Health.”
OR, appointing someone who has never been a teacher or administrator or even a public school student to be secretary of education. Qualifications are irrelevant in TrumpWorld. SMH.
Perhaps while Trump is at it, in regard to agriculture, he can appoint a Lysenko surrogate.
That would fit his agenda perfectly.
Yesterday’s Washington Post: “Under Trump, inconvenient data is being sidelined”
Includes a link to a page titled “How Trump is rolling back Obama’s legacy: During President Trump’s first year in office, Congress and his administration plan to review, revoke and overwrite key parts of his predecessor’s domestic legacy. As of May 12, here are the Obama-era rules and regulations impacted by:” and it goes on to list the executive actions, legislation, and other methods used to take the country backwards.
Loved this in the comment section:
“George Orwell would be proud of this manipulation of data. However, there is no truth to the rumor that an Executive Order has been signed to change all the White House calendars to the year 1984. Still, such an order to change the White House calendars to 1952 is under serious consideration”
“What Animals Taught Me About Being Human”
“Surrounding myself with animals to feel less alone was a mistake: The greatest comfort is in knowing their lives are not about us at all.”
A personal essay in the NYTimes magazine.
A couple of weeks ago I posted a petition that I had been working on as part of a strategy to
1) Move the Cape Cod National Seashore to ban carnivore hunting
2) Ask the seashore to hire dr. Jon Way who is a carnivore biologist who already works at the park as a ranger. Jon also has recently acquired permits to study coyotes on park land. The study is similar to Doug Smith’s permit that allowed him to study wolves in Yellowstone. This is good timing as there are 4 vacancies open and Jon already works there.
3) Obtain a face to face meeting with the seashore and local scientists and advocates
4) Present the seashore with a petition and a sign on letter
Since then, a short story was published in the Cape Cod Times. I will also be contacting the Boston Globe and working to finish the sign on letter and obtain more petition signatures.
If you haven’t already please consider signing and sharing
I will be sending a sign on letter similar to the one many of you signed in 2014
I intend to keep chipping away at this
Gary Hubbard you asked for update
also a radio story was done on our local staton 91.5 of all places on conservative radio show! I’ll continue to update if folks are interested.
Please keep us posted, Louise!
Will do thank you
link to comments on federal register notice on review of monuments
This administration sucks….
I know this is no surprise to most of us on this site but great article on wildlife viewing from Jackson Hole.
2013 government shutdown which I think lasted for ~one week, cost his business $60,000.00 and it occurred during the end of October and early November (end of peak season).
“7 western senators object to suspension of BLM councils:
Michael Bennet calls advisory boards ‘invaluable’ for community input”
Excerpt: “The Trump administration’s decision to suspend the Bureau of Land Management’s citizen advisory boards has drawn criticism from those who say the councils were one of the few ways to engage with federal land managers.”
explains a bit more (it’s a useful site sometimes).
Administration is reviewing monuments and will be making other decisions about land use in the coming days. Might be convenient to not have locals making as much news or have opinions.
Interior spokeswoman’s lies are beautifully Orwellian. They need to review the charge of these boards you see, “to maximize feedback”. So they need to close them for awhile.
Like Spicer, she may be wondering why we don’t just believe them when they tell us what their logic is.
Very good article…thanks.
“”The Trump administration and Interior Secretary Zinke talk a big game about including Western communities in decision-making on public lands, but this action proves it’s nothing more than talk. They are shutting out input from communities just as the administration takes unprecedented steps toward wiping national monuments from the map.””
~Greg Zimmerman, deputy director of the Center for Western Priorities
As a former career BLM forester from western Oregon; the agencies’ decisions are derived mainly from Land Use Plans (LUPs) where the public is heavily involved, federal laws such as the ESA, Clean Air and Water Acts, the NEPA and policies specific to BLM.
Although I rarely attended RAC meetings, the ones I attended were not critical to the everyday functioning of the agency and overall the employees were not made aware of them.
Right now the biggest problem is a hiring freeze as the agency needs to fill some critical vacancies. Of course with anything that is urgent, there are ways around by hiring private contractors but it’s not as effective as an agency employee.
Some very interesting forensic paleontology.
A bit more comprehensive report.
Interesting Brown says predators today are extremely endangered
That categorization is not always applied but I wish it were
Also, I wonder if dire wolves were similar in their pack dynamics and problem solving
35000 animals is a huge number
I think if Wolves today and wonder would that many be lured into a pit that perpetually killed them?
Having recently completed (over period of a couple of years) my collection of Stephen J Gould essays on evolution and it’s driving force, natural selection, it was time to dust off another book for morning reading along with the rising sun and two mugs of eye opener, post the morning dog walk.
What better volume to dig into than Kenneth R Miller’s “It’s Only a Theory”.
Miller talks about science in the United States during the books beginning, and a certain phrase really caught my attention for two reasons. One obvious reason would be 45’s administration’s seeming callous disregard for science, but also the work of Robert Wielgus and Jon Way.
Here is the statement. “Science, first and foremost, is a revolutionary activity. A genuinely new discovery changes our view of the world around us. truly great science overturns our accepted ideas of nature, and therefore always provides a threat to the natural order. To be effective in science a young investigator has to feel free to contradict and even to disrespect scientific authority.”
Here is the most important phrase of this statement.
“He or she has to be bold (or foolish) enough to do work that flies in the face of existing ideas, and then must be willing to set his or her career on the line to continue that research.”
The continuing saga of Wielgus
and the continual problems faced by Jon Way, an individual who for a while graced the pages of TWN with his ideas and studies in regard to coy-wolves and coyotes are good examples of Miller’s above passage.
An interesting essay, in particular in regard to the current political divisions in our country.
I feel Gould’s strengths in his essays reflected the strategies of a great teacher. He was not remiss to use the strength of analogy to drive home the meat and potatoes of his ideas.
As an avowed baseball nerd, Gould dedicated an entire volume “Triumph and Tradgedy in Mudville a Lifelong Passion for Baseball” as an interface between baseball and science.
As I have read all the volumes currently in my possession, I continue to search for volumes misplaced or loaned out and never returned such as “The Mismeasure of Man” and “Ontogeny and Philogeny”. His essays are pleasant ways to fire up a sluggish brain during the transition between sleep and the daily routines of ones life.
What’s a bigger problem to some Oregon ranchers, wolves or elk?
Wolves, elk, birds, bees, butterflies and other pollinators,
weedswildflowers, it’s always something, isn’t it. It’s getting to a point where the entire house of cards is falling down.
“Isolated caribou herd in Quebec set to relocate to a zoo:
Conservation biologists say the Quebec government has failed to explore other options that would keep the herd wild”
Excerpt: “Martin-Hugues St-Laurent, a caribou specialist and professor at la Université du Québec à Rimouski, has openly dissented to the decision, and questions the science behind it. “It’s kind of crazy that they decided something that’s not necessarily based on science,” he said.
“St-Laurent wants to see an analysis conducted in which different conservation strategies for the herd are modeled to see what will work, and what will not. “I have the only lab that can do that,” he said, adding that the Quebec government has yet to come to him. “For the Val D’Or herd, we really need that kind of analysis done.””
“Washington loses fight, might pay up to $2B to save salmon”
Excerpt: “”This is a win for salmon, treaty rights and everyone who lives here,” Lorraine Loomis, chair of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, said in a statement. The group represents 21 tribes in western Washington that challenged the state over the culverts in 2001, part of decades-long litigation over tribal fishing rights.”
Terrible that the elephant died
Imagine trying to protect your family and friends from ghouls with guns and baying dogs
Humans are awful
I’m ok with saying tbe hunter got his due
One less tormented of big game
Yes, my regret is this elephant died. When are humans going to stop the slaughter?
This is what happens when people decide to mess with nature. I realize some think feeding wild animals can be justified but I will NEVER feed wildlife.
Right. Here’s another one…not intentional feeding, but feeding via laziness or lack of responsibility or concern or whatever. It almost sounds like it’s a game to this woman–how can people who live in bear country NOT know the consequences of this behavior? Clean up your act and put your frickin’ garage door down!!!
Can’t remind our species enough about our use of chemicals:
“Estimates suggest that destroying them could cost anything up to $70bn.”
lets see spend money on cleaning up something that prevents species from reproducing and causes extinction and has unknown health impacts for humans or build a useless, mind boggling asinine, divisive wall for about the same amount?
anyhow this is like round up that ever pervasive gift that keeps on killing and is still on the shelves.
what stupidity humans are capable of is appalling.
“Hunting Big Game: Why People Kill Animals for Fun”
Excerpt: “Why should anyone spend money to protect an animal that a wealthy American can then pay to go kill?”
COMMENT DEADLINE FOR BEARS EARS NAT’L MONUMENT!
The text reads that comments are due BEFORE May 26, 2017–does that means tomorrow, May 25th at 11:59pm ET? Seems to me a particularly confusing way to state a deadline, but maybe that’s the point. So if you haven’t commented, please get your comment in tomorrow (Thurs.) to be on the safe side!
More confusion: At the “comment now” button, it states that the deadline is July 10, but that’s for the remainder of the nat’l monuments, excluding Bears Ears.
If the monument is threatened, the wildlife is threatened:
This is the ‘man’ who likes to shoot prairie dogs for fun, too. What a guy:
Its gone viral. Special Election is today. The sad news is, a lot of people have already cast absentee ballots.
How much you wanna bet, Trump offers him a position in his administration if he loses the election?
Anyone have information on the Park Service’s plans to shoot bison in Grand Canyon NP? There’s talk of bringing in “special hunters” to cull the herd on the North Rim. I’m not opposed to hunting but would prefer to see wolves or lions do the job. So far (that I’m aware of)the park has not made plans for the reintroduction of wolves. Anyone with more info on this please post!
Sorry forgot the link
Damn Wyoming. If not for that mistake of a state, most of the wolf BS in the NRM would have been over long ago, and wolves would still be subject to hunting/trapping seasons.
These wolves that have not been hunted are sitting ducks. The whole thing reeks. Their enthusiastic description of a “whole new way of managing wolves’ makes me physically ill. Managing forth lowest population number but then again there is no valid management reason to trophy hunt wolves. Its a bizarre sickness to kill wolves for sport.
I agree that having the minimum required numbers being the only goal in sight is depressing. Sounds a bit like we only have wolves cause the national government says we have to.
That’s exactly what it is. It isn’t based on science or what’s best for genetic diversity of the species, but on ‘But you said we only had to have 100!” based on the initial reintroduction, and stubbornly holding to that. Based on emotion.
I know, it’s still the same old eradication plan disquised in livestock’s clothing. You have to wonder just how it all got approved by the courts.
I did note that if they go below this magic number, which is entirely possible given their zeal, their ‘management’ will be revoked. I hope there are those who will pay close attention.
“To avoid having its management powers revoked again Game and Fish must maintain at least 100 wolves and 10 breeding partners at the end of each calendar year outside of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park.
It must have 150 wolves, including 15 breeding partners, in the state, including the national parks and the Trophy Game Management Area.”
Who’s countin’? And I wonder if a buffer zone around the parks will assist them in their noble goal.
Since wolves were reintroduced to Wyoming in 1995 the wolf population has nearly reached its sustainable carrying capacity
380 wolves = carrying capacity ?
Mills reported a “record number” of cattle depredations last year — almost 150 — and sheep depredations, and 113 wolves were killed in control actions by or at the direction of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Accounting for the number of pups born each spring Game and Fish estimated the ideal population to meet standards is 160 wolves. According to its data and prevalent population studies, 40 deaths a year would stabilize the population at 210 wolves. An additional 50 mortalities would reduce the population to 160 wolves and 14 breeding partners, providing room for margin of error.
With roughly 48 wolves estimated to die each year from nonhunting human causes, the hunting quota for 2017 is recommended to be 42 wolves.
Yeah carrying capacity in one of the largest states with millions of acres of public land
Always biased against wildlife, especially predators
This world hard to understand even worse with the confederacy of dunces at the helm with the idiotic GOP climate deniers cheering in the bleachers for every play that hurts all Americans and tbe global community
I despise them for their shortsighted greed and traitorous actions against the environment, wildlife, tbe oceans and humans
42 is hardly worth the trouble. Of course, we know there will be more. Do they account for poaching in their ‘margin of error’? Which as we know is a pretty wide margin. LOL and of course to justify their actions, there is a ‘record number’ of cattle depredations.
As far as climate change, I’m not sure Paris talks are worth anything, with wasteful travel and talk of ‘eating smaller steaks’. It isn’t enough. The time for ‘talking’ is long past, and the time for ‘doing’ is well at hand – this means to me for people to make the individual choices (and difficult sacrifices) that I am not sure people want to make.
“That’s why I object to the Democrats as much as to the Republicans. The only way the public will allow a carbon fee is if you give the money to them—people don’t want to see the price of gasoline at the pump going up.”
Someone had mentioned Germany – the price of fuel is very expensive, as well as it being a different culture than the US. Can we get people to use less and pay a higher tax? I don’t know.
“Silent but deadly: Texas will allow hunters to kill pigs from hot air balloons:
State senate passes bill to permit aerial targeting of hogs and coyotes from quieter alternative to helicopters to outwit ‘smart’ feral animals, says GOP lawmaker”
The whole system of wildlife management is WTF to me
endless killing under the guise of management
with so little habitat and few animals why are wildlife agencies in the business of killing instead of conservation?
For the pigs at least, I have an answer, for coyotes not so much. I’m skeptical how important this is – might be mostly hot air. I figure it’s a plug for the balloon industry more than wildlife management, but I could be wrong.
“Redmond man who shot caged cougar loses hunting rights”
“It seemed like such an egregious situation for him to have received such a mild penalty for such a heinous crime,’ said Dan Paul, Washington director of The Humane Society of the United States.
If hunting wolves and cranes threatened them with extinction she might have a point. We don’t hunt cranes in MI, at least not yet, but if we ever do, it will be because we protected them well enough that we have hundreds of thousands where just a few were before. People who shoot cranes eat them.
It’s really bad that someone supposedly on my side strings together a mess of illogical unconnected arguments and just plain old silly strawman stuff like the wolf+crane mount. Some hunters argue that all environmentalists are nutty, and can point at people like this.
Have you read the sixth extinction
One of the subtle points made over and over in the book pertained to how humans are linked to extinctions and how they took place sometimes quickly and sometimes over hundreds of years. Extinctions occurred generally from over hunting of species that were once numerous.
Humans are isolating populations of wildlife including wolves making it impossible for them to migrate successfully
Obviously there are exceptions but what chance does a wolf have in Idaho or Montana and now Wyoming? What does hunting do to wolves? Recent research suggests chronic stress and long lasting detrimental
What is it that we hope to achieve through “management”
Is it only to ensure hunting rights and a steady supply of animals to kill, or should we be looking to boost populations and seek greater biodiversity and the ability for species to be successful outside of the few spaces we allocate?
You may not agree with patrica Randolph or the way she presents her argument but she believes as many do that wildlife management is corrupted and actually works hard to change the system
When people have learned to think one way because it has always been so, even when that way may no longer has merit resistance is easily marked as lunatic or fringe
That is how animal rights activists have come to be labeled as extremist
I’ve seen that patricia correctly calls out trapping, snaring, hounding wolves, buying commissions and politicians, exclusion of wildlife advocates from the decision making process and general corruption in policy making.
I’ve yet to see one argument that I think legitimizes trophy hunting.
Anyhow, the concerns Randolph raises especially in Wisconsin have a lot of merit in my mind regardless of whether you agree with the presentation
And some may argue that all hunters are vile …
with some excellent examples to illustrate irrational hatred of particular species and or desire to kill for “sport”
That is nutty to me
It’s telling you said nothing about cranes, and their spectacular resurgence – there are tons near me. Is eating cranes “trophy hunting” – your overused intentionally vague term.
I’m against many of the things you mention, but try to use only good arguments, and do not appreciate others using silly ones – cause it harms my cause.
http://blogs.mprnews.org/statewide/2010/07/the_sandhill_crane_is_now_the_ribeye_of_the_sky/Read the comments under this article for and against crane hunting
I think they are very telling especially the first
One commenter said just because they are “recovered” does that mean they must be shot
I guess I stand in that camp
I’m also question the term recovered and whether or not allowing hunting will lead down the same road
Another person questioned how the whooping crane could be protected
killing migratory birds seems a bad practice
By the time they get here they are so freaked they squawk and panic at the slightest movement
I hate seeing them stressed and stuck down rivers trying to find shelter in the storm from relentless hunting
But I digress
Anyhow in a purely anectodal way these comments seem very familiar
Pro hunting trophy or otherwise
Killing legitimized because the population is over minimum threshold
Crop or livestock damage
Just cause libtards, tree huggers ir couch potatoes don’t know what they are talking about
Badly stated rationale or none
Concern for wildlife
Concern for pain or stress
Against because they see animals as more than food or for human sport
Consideration of issues surrounding management and lack of precautionary or adaptive management principles being applied
And reactionary as well
Interesting how nothing is ever noted about how supremely idiotic and short sighted it is that humans manage species using their own flawed interpretations of carrying capacity yet we do such a miserable job of managing our own invasive species
I realize we often agree on many issues
I see the trigger point not only as presentation but the issue of hunting
I don’t see it as a right for humans to kill other species especially when there are so many of us and relatively so few of them and when we gobble up tbeir hsbitats and chase them mercilessly with every technological advantage possible
Not exactly wildlife news but I had the pleasure of meeting Elk 275 this past weekend. He’s “threatened” in the past to stop by Smile and I’m glad he finally did. Enjoyed the visit, Elk!
🙂 Very nice.
Nancy, I enjoyed the visit,also. You live your dreams in one of the most beautiful valleys in Montana. Nancy is the real deal everyone.
I’m still annoyed that I missed him back in 2014 when I was visiting. Alas.
Trees on the move:
Nancy thanks for posting this
Here on cape cod I wonder is this is part of what we have been seeing with the big die offs of oak and even white pine
Last year, in particular, theviaks were ravaged by a disease that took root because we had an extremely dry spring. We lost huge swaths of large oaks and white pines.
If these species are migrating west and north, taking advantage of conditions more favorable for their growth o wonder if the author noted which species may be filling the niches that are voided? He does not note.
With such rapid change normally seen over millennia we might hope that our officials would be using precautionary approaches to avoid rapid climate change
But that would require sacrifice, intelligence and commitment
None of which this administration can be accused of
On another note
Wonderful you got to spend time with elk
You are certainly the “real deal” as I suspect is elk despite our at times heated exchanges
Baiting, how very sportsman like. At least the bear got in a few licks.
I also notice that a couple stories have stated that the animals poached or otherwise hunted have been old (rhino in Namibia, white wolf in Yellowstone, and now this bear). I guess that is supposed to be a mitigating factor? 🙁
I hope it doesn’t become a trend!
Trophy hunting is a trend already
At least among a minority of “sportsmen”
It’s all about bragging rights and tbe thrill of a kill so selecting the most desirable, well loved, most recognized, largest, smallest, most Rare is tbe objective
She says her husband is the bravest man she has ever known
Shooting an old bear over a bait pile is revolting
Until all of us start objecting loudly to current wildlife policies that promote and allow hounding, calling, trapping, trophy hunting earth is hell for wildlife
Many people are unaware of the hellish practices unleashed on wild animals
Cowardice and unconscionable
Calling is not usually hellish or cowardly and it spoils your argument so try to omit that. Imagine what a duck hunter might think. (Electronic calls should be illegal in my opinion though.)
I stand corrected
Calling is not hellish
The result is
Much of what I read on predator hunting is the use of electronic calls to bait coyotes that think they are hearing another distressed coyote
I stand by my assertion that the cumulative impacts of hunting coyotes using the various methods makes life hellish for them and other predators
You originally said exactly nothing about coyotes or electronic calls.
thanks again Ron Meador!
Recreational shooters are carrying a lot of lead in their blood, analysis shows
Think your voice can’t be heard
petition and outrage spare three bear cubs and mother
For those of us following every moose article, this one paints a picture of northern NH that makes it seem almost all about ticks. They admit there is brain worm elsewhere, but not underlying causes, or heat stress. One group is proposing reducing the moose population as a means of decreasing ticks, to benefit the remaining moose. Others are skeptical. I want more data. Perhaps an experiment is warranted though.
Couple of things going on, in general perspective. As things appear to be warming, in general, most folks don’t recognize it, a bit like the frog in slowly heated water. These ticks may An example the handwriting on the wall that we are on a very slippery slope. Yet, if one looks at Isle Royale (no deer)where ticks are plentiful, even with the presence of wolves (at least in the past) moose have done well.
As one who enjoys venison, and not opposed to hunting for food, I do question the need/desire/sanity of managing wildlife for highest possible yield. Is it ecologically healthy? With the spread of CWD, brainworm, liver flukes, Lymes disease, one must begin to scratch their head at the artificially high concentrations of native animals. Expecting predation to control this is probably not the answer, yet I do question the war on coyotes, and the trapping of mousers such as fox.
Isle Royale (and the MI coast south of the Keweenaw, and Ontario north of me) are especially cold and snowy places – if near enough to Superior. I know you know – just pointing it out for others.
Good news. I don’t know the particulars, but copper mining has a checkered past in regard to long term pollution. Up here we are fighting a copper mine at the headwaters of the BWCA. Millions have been spent on both sides of the issue. At stake is a similar number of jobs as in your article, for an estimated twenty years or so vs potential drainage of acidic/toxic waste toward the BWCA and/or Lake Superior.
Copper is a valuable commodity during our present times, and I doubt recycling can keep up with the need for Cu. yet, I believe Cu is warehoused in many parts of the country as a speculative material by major financial institutions.
There seems to be a lot of research with regard to replacing copper:
Copper mining. Copper is the metal that Resolution Copper and Rio Tinto, the foreign mining company that was after the Oak Flats in Arizona. https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/from-standing-rock-to-oak-flat-arizona-the-fight-against-big-mining
Tick, tick, tick, tick…….
some history reading:
The Bear Slayer
I remember that shortly after the Ceausescus were executed, SNL commented that they were turned into “Puppy Chow Ceausescu”.
Funny, in a rather sick way !
If this plays out, then what?
Cattle give disease to elk and bison
Solution is to reduce bison and elk herds
Livestock are a threat to wildlife and the planet
Apart from considerations of them as living beings that don’t deserve to be slaughtered they compact soil
Create the all consuming desire to protect cattle and a consequebt hatred of native predators
Not once in tbe article did it mention a solution involving less cattle
I wonder the outrage when they start wanting to cull elk
I believe that funding by nonhunters is essential for restoration of carnivores and recognition of their value.
Nothing to Fear Except Fear Itself—Also Wolves and Bears
By terrorizing island raccoons, scientists finally confirm that large predators can affect their prey through fear alone.
For Zanette, this utopia of fearless raccoons was the perfect setting for testing how fear shapes the natural world.
Predators kill, obviously. But even without baring a tooth or lifting a claw, they can affect their prey. Their very presence, manifesting through tracks, smells, growls and glimpses, produces a state of vigilance, apprehension, and stress. From their prey’s point of view, there will be safe areas where lines of sight are long, and danger zones where hiding places are more common and escape is trickier. The result is a landscape of fear—a psychological topography that exists in the minds of prey, complete with mountains of danger and valleys of safety.
Meanwhile, the landscape of fear concept has since moved beyond correlative observations of wolves and elk, and into the world of experiments. In 2011, Zanette showed that song sparrows in the Gulf Islands raise 40 percent fewer chicks if they hear the calls of hawks, owls, and other predators through speakers—even if their nests are surrounded by protective nets and fences. A year later, Dror Hawlena showed that spiders with glued mouthparts can still terrify grasshoppers enough to change their metabolic rates, the chemical composition of their bodies, and the amount of nutrients they return to the soil when they die.
Her team, including graduate student Justin Suraci, traveled to the Gulf Islands and lashed speakers to trees facing the raccoon-infested shoreline. For a month, they blasted out the sounds of either barking dogs (which kill raccoons) or seals and sea lions (which do not). For another month, they swapped. And all the while, they kept an eye on the raccoons with cameras, and combed to beach to count other tidal species.
Their results were stark. When the raccoons heard the dogs, they became more vigilant and abandoned the shorelines, spending 66 percent less time foraging in the tidal zones. This had a huge effect on their prey. After the month of barking, the team found 81 percent more fish in the rock pools, 59 percent more worms, and 61 percent more red rock crabs. And that meant falling numbers of staghorn sculpin fish (which the crabs compete with) and periwinkle snails (which they eat). Fear rippled through the entire beach, affecting everything from raccoons to snails.
“The experiment is elegant, inarguable, and far-reaching,” says Joel Brown from the University of Illinois at Chicago. “I shall certainly use it as a landmark example of the ecology of fear.”
Zanette’s team is now trying to see if they can reduce populations of deer by scaring them with the sound of dogs.
Isn’t that something. I wonder if something similar can be done with predators and livestock (non-lethal and non-violent of course)? One of the farms near me does something similar with his crops – a recording of birds.
Ravens remember people who suckered them into an unfair deal
Ravens, known more for their intelligence, but only slightly less for their love of cheese, were trained by researchers to trade a crust of bread for a morsel of cheese with human partners. When the birds then tried to broker a trade with “fair” and “unfair” partners—some completed the trade as expected, but others took the raven’s bread and kept (and ate) the cheese—the ravens avoided the tricksters in separate trials a month later
“They worry the data is too unreliable to be used to manage the population”
I heard just a couple of days ago (from a hunter) that there are at least 3 active wolf packs in my valley. Wow! They must be joining forces!!
“Music to Ears”
A gift from the North Country.
Yes. Whenever I hear howls from coyotes or wolves, I think ‘what if we were to lose something so priceless like this’. 🙁
We are getting settled into our new home in southwest Colorado and hear coyotes *every* night–beautiful choruses of song dogs in the high desert night. My internet use is limited to the public library for now…hope to rejoin the discussions in the near future.
I’m not sure where you are in southwest Colorado, but I spent two great weeks hiking in the San Juan Mountains near Montrose. I tried to find one last live grizzly, as the last known great bear was killed in the late 70’s. If you are near there, I think you found the golden nugget of the west.
We’re near Cortez, with a killer view of Mesa Verde and Sleeping Ute Mountain. My old stomping ground is the San Juans north of Durango and also the LaPlatas, so I’m back in my element. Gary, I guess you didn’t find the last grizzly…I’ll check in the Weminuche Wilderness and let you know!
Thanks for the reminder to watch (& listen to) this wonderful site, Immer!
Press release about Michigan Moose survey, done only on the western population. Estimate is 378. In 2015 it was 323. 2013 it was 451. 2014 and 2015 were our bad winters. They did not complete the usual survey and think there might be over 420 now. Deer are nearly excluded in some of the western upper peninsula – too much snow. Result is encouraging for me. Note the estimates are counting from planes and then adjusting – I’m not sure of the accuracy or precision, but expect neither is the best.
We initially transplanted moose from Isle Royale in the 30’s but it failed (poaching, high deer densities after logging). In the 80’s our dear friends from Ontario gave us the ancestors of most of our current moose.
They are the large, vicious Canadian moose you’ve heard about, not like the gentle little ones we had before.
Wildlife watch: I was out in the yard today checking on an old birdhouse I had. No birds, but bumblebees are in it now. It’s probably too good to be true that they could be the rusty patched, but fingers crossed! There’s a couple of different types in the garden. It’s in the 90’s here today and they were fanning the hive to keep it cool. I’d never seen that up so close and it is fascinating to see!
I haven’t learned the bee species in southwest CO yet but some of the biggest honkin’ bumblebees I’ve ever seen are here! Oh, and cottontails…not sure if they’re mountain, desert, or both, but we have darling babies! We have lizards (again, don’t know what kind–we still aren’t hooked up to the internet at home and have to use the library in Cortez), many birds, and saw one mule deer thus far. The moving van with our stuff arrived just yesterday (12 days after WE arrived), so now I can set up water stations, hummer feeders, etc. Haven’t seen a bat yet, which is both surprising and disappointing. Fingers crossed that your bees are rusty patched!
That sounds great! Congrats on your new home and enjoy! I was checking my humming bird feeders and saw the bees – this year we seemed to have giant bumblers too, and then the smaller ones, and this one seems to have a spot on its abdomen, brown not rusty. But they are adorable.
Thank you! We love it here and found a very nice house. We’ve adjusted to the altitude (6700+) but June is the month of the dreaded cedar gnats that infest the pinyon-juniper forest, and we’re a mass of itching welts. This, too, shall pass.
Here’s a concise graphic showing why cedar gnats suck: http://lh6.ggpht.com/_6LWjP0sZ22w/Sh_TvKfqnvI/AAAAAAAAEwM/tsl2SIeYnbg/s1600-h/GnatMosquito4.jpg
“Wise elk learn to outsmart hunters and tell apart their weapons”
You go, girls!
This is not surprising
I find it quite tragic that humans so radically alter species habits that most animals have become nocturnal
Coyotes, fox and raccoon are thought to be nocturnal so much so that seeing them in daylight often creates fear that they are rabid
But In fact they are just avoiding humans and the myriad ways we might harm them by moving at night. Imagine a world for humans where we were hunted near year round trying to navigate arrows, bullets, traps and snares that were set by a species that had gps, phones, cameras, snowmobiles boats and cars to track us down
We have created a hell on earth for most species
Trump Administration Scraps New Protection For Endangered Whales, Sea Turtles
Excerpt: “It hasn’t been a good week for America’s endangered species. The Trump administration has been taking aim at protections for some of the country’s most vulnerable creatures: Last week, it was the imperiled sage grouse; this week, it’s endangered whales and sea turtles off the Pacific Coast.”
This is just shocking to me, I really am speechless. I think swordfish is also a threatened/endangered species? And then reading about the wolf killings in MN. And then the rationale for doing it in both cases! We are hopeless, I think. I really don’t think we have learned from the mistakes of the past, and will continue to make them until fish/whales/turtles etc. are gone. 🙁
Apologies if already posted.
“Feds trap and kill two grey wolves near Glyndon, Minn.”
Isn’t this awesome? Bringing the message about climate change, without fossil fuels. I’ve always thought traditional navigation was fascinating:
I’ve not been in here much lately so but I didn’t see this posted when I did a quick check.
First, good work to the WA wildlife officers that caught the poachers.
Just no regard whatsoever to the lives they stole.
“A little blood satisfies a lot of anger” – Ed Bangs
historical snapshot from Latvia’s wolf management 2001, page 3:
“From 1995 till 1999, the premium(bounty)of amount up to 75 LVL was paid by State Forest Service for killing a wolf regardless of its age, sex or hunting means”
75 LVL = $ 125
to put it context – minimum wage per month in LV was 28 LVL (1995); 38 LVL (1996); 42 LVL (1998); 50 LVL (1999)
Bangs got it wrong
He might have said it takes a lot of blood to satisfy the few
Too many wolves killed to placate a minority voice who somehow have hijaked the system
I know; it seems to make them insatiable. I always think of a movie entitled ‘Blood Simple’, when I hear or read comments like this about hunting. I just cringe when I read the assurances about how all the ‘management’ is supposed to never go wrong.
Why do these people have so much influence, you have to wonder.
The film’s title derives from the Dashiell Hammett novel Red Harvest (1929), in which the term “blood simple” describes the addled, fearful mindset of people after a prolonged immersion in violent situations. – Wikipedia
Go toads! 🙂
From an article written 8 years ago, regarding the status of Montana’s amphibians:
“The inventories suggest that amphibians in a variety of elevations, habitat types and areas of disturbance appear to be in decline”
Wonder how those inventories are doing now?
Are the national parks doing enough to get through to tourist about how to behave around bears? Thank goodness Glacier took the bears’ side in this instance and closed an incredibly popular hiking trail!
“Grizzly bears converge on Avalanche Lake, trigger trail closure in Glacier Park”
Excerpt: “On Saturday, the park rangers received a credible report of a group of people nearly completely surrounding a grizzly bear along Avalanche Lake, causing the bear to swim out into the lake to create distance between itself and the crowd.”
Yes. Glad to hear this.
There were a couple of incidents in Alaska, one at a wilderness bike race. I read something to the effect of official are ‘looking into what can be done’. Maybe not go alone in wilderness or court disaster by having races there? But no one has any plans to stop doing it. And sensational headlines don’t help.
And of course, it’s and away we go for the season at Yellowstone with incidents – stepping off the designated boardwalks.
“rogue bears” –of course. Find a way to subtly or not-so-subtly put the bears at fault rather than those interloping in their home.
Not being scared of humans, or acting aggressively without being provoked, is very rare for black bears. You sound a bit like attacks should be expected. Such bears can be repeatedly “unusual”. In Ontario they say “crazy” instead, and think of them like insane humans, which are also fairly rare but exist. They are the ones we are scared of – with the others it’s enough to just not be seriously stupid.
I don’t think anyone can say with absolute certainty what wildlife will do. That’s the problem. We should not give people a false sense of security by assuming what is normal wildlife behavior and what isn’t. We can’t even do that with our own behavior. I think an animal of any kind will strike out when provoked.
While I wouldn’t say attacks should ‘expected’ exactly, I would say anticipated and to plan accordingly. Aww hell, I’ll say they should be expected.
Or when they perceive a threat, I should say.
My only two adverse contacts with bears were with black bears : Once in Jasper or Banff National Park in Canada, and the other in Bowron Lakes Provincial Park in British Columbia. Both bears were obviously habituated to humans.
The one and only grizzly I’ve seen outside Yellowstone was in the Bob Marshall Wilderness in Montana. As soon as it caught our scent, it stood up on its hind legs, took a couple sniffs, then dropped down to all four, and turned around and made tracks in the opposite direction as fast as it could.
Chuck Jonkel, the late University of Montana bear biologist, once told me that for every bear you see, there are probably a couple dozen that scent you first, and get out of your way.
Ticks and Meat allergy, rare, but …
Thanks for posting, as one who has gotten lyme disease and know many with chronic lyme, the authors assertion that, “ticks may be responsible for modulating the immune system in ways not imagined” rings true. I wonder what these diseases are doing to mammals?
Has the extension of the public comment period for the Bears Ears Nat’l Monument review been noted on this forum? The deadline is now July 10th, same as the comment period for all the other NMs under review. One suspects that they got too many pro-Bears Ears comments…
From Friends of Cedar Mesa: https://www.friendsofcedarmesa.org/defendbearsears/
and since that doesn’t link directly to the government comment portal, here it is: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=DOI-2017-0002-0001
This should be of great interest to many participants on this forum: “FISH AND WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT ON FEDERAL LANDS:
DEBUNKING STATE SUPREMACY”
From the Bolle Center for People and Forests (U. of Montana):
“The authority and responsibility for managing fish and wildlife on federal lands and in federally designated wilderness is often a source of controversy. Conflicts between federal and state governments in the management of wildlife on federal lands have intensified in recent years. Consider, for example, recent decisions by the National Park Service and Fish and Wildlife Service to preempt Alaska’s hunting regulations and predator control measures that were in conflict with National Park and Refuge laws (and the use of the Congressional Review Act to rescind one of these rules in March, 2017). Other examples include predator killing contests on lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management, wolf control in federally designated wilderness areas, and controversy surrounding hunting and trapping on private inholdings within Grand Teton National Park.”
The Bolle Ctr. has undertaken “an authoritative review of the legal and policy context of wildlife management on federal lands with the objective of providing a more common understanding amongst federal and state agencies.” It will be published this fall in ‘Environmental Law,’ Vol. 47, no. 4 (2017).
To say that the agencies are displeased is putting it mildly, and the states must be absolutely apoplectic:
“The common claim that “states own wildlife”—full stop—is incomplete, misleading and needlessly deepens divisions between federal and state governments. The claim is especially dubious when states assert ownership as a basis to challenge federal authority over wildlife on federal lands. State assertions of wildlife ownership are subordinate to the federal government’s statutory and trust obligations over federal lands and their integral resources, including wildlife.” (from the 3-pg. briefing paper, June 2017)
Access the 3-page briefing paper or the entire article here: http://www.cfc.umt.edu/bolle/perspectives/wildlife-2017.php
This almost sounds too good to be true. But let’s be careful of what we wish for. It’ll surely generate a huge public firestorm, and our fine, highly intelligent, special interest-serving kongress will then almost certainly weigh in and “clarify” the situation — in favor of “states’ rights”, of course, science be damned. I think I can almost guarantee that John Tester, Greg Gianforte, and the Idaho delegation will lead the charge.
Pardon my cynicism.
Kathleen thank you for posting this. I’m about to meet with National Park officials in Cape Cod to challenge predator hunting. Ive been thinking about the meeting and the claims by the park that they are subordinate to state rules, which I know to be a weak and lazy response to legitimate questions we raise. This is very helpful
I was hoping that you, in particular, would see it, Louise. Good luck with your NPS meeting! Please keep us posted.
And before anyone goes all Trump on this, the process was started during the Obummer administration.
Funny but it doesn’t change the facts.
“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Thursday it is time to delist Yellowstone area grizzly bears. Service Director Dan Ashe made the announcement from Denver.”
When does hunting season start, tomorrow? (First things first and all that) I hope it won’t be for at least five years after delisting, isn’t there a ruling about that, before they are abandoned to hunters?
Ida – sadly, there seems to be a hunting season pretty much all year round out here in the west, for lots of species, especially those that might interfere with the human species.
And then you’ve got the “when ever you feel like shooting something” season, that includes a whole host of species like coyotes, badgers, skunks, ground squirrels, magpies, crows, ravens, etc. etc.
Pretty sure ground squirrels and their relatives, in various parts of the country, top the list when it comes to idle minds, with money to spend on ammo, killing wildlife just for the fun of it:
Too sweet. It’s terribly sad that the lives of animals are not valued.
And guaranteed under trump Jrs zinke
Yellowstone Grizzly Bear to Lose Endangered Species Protection
By JIM ROBBINSJUNE 22, 2017
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A grizzly bear in Hayden Valley in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. Credit Jim Urquhart/Reuters
HELENA, Mont. — After 42 years on the Endangered Species list, the Yellowstone grizzly bear — whose numbers have grown to more than 700 from fewer than 150 — will lose its protected status, the Interior Department announced on Thursday.
The controversial move has long been debated, despite the bear’s increasing population in areas where it had not been seen in decades. The Fish and Wildlife Service tried to delist the bear in 2007, but was ordered by federal court decisions to reconsider its analysis because of a decline in white bark pine, a key bear food source that has been decimated by insects partly because of warmer temperatures in the region.
In making the decision to lift the protection, Ryan Zinke, the secretary of the interior, remarked on the long-term efforts that have allowed the bear to thrive: “This achievement stands as one of America’s great conservation successes; the culmination of decades of hard work and dedication on the part of state, tribal, federal and private partners,” Mr. Zinke said in a statement. “As a Montanan I am proud of what we’ve achieved together.”
This action will not affect the other major population of grizzlies in the lower 48 states, those that live in and around Glacier National Park of Montana, which number about 1,000. However, experts say this population too could soon be delisted.
Continue reading the main story
He Will Soon Run a Fifth of the Nation. Meet Ryan Zinke. MARCH 1, 2017
After a Comeback, New Challenges for Yellowstone’s Grizzly Bears MAY 2, 2016
Opinion Taking Note
The Future of Grizzly Bears MARCH 4, 2016
Counting Bears JULY 7, 2013
A Shifting Approach to Saving Endangered Species OCT. 5, 2015
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The rule to remove the Yellowstone bear from the endangered list will be published in the federal register sometime in the near future and take effect 30 days after that.
Eliminating threatened species protection under the Endangered Species Act paves the way for Montana, Idaho and Wyoming to take over responsibility for the big bear from federal managers outside the park. That means fewer restrictions on the bear’s management — it could be shot by landowners if it’s stalking cattle for instance — and will likely include a hunting season for grizzlies. Bears within the boundaries the national park will remain a federal responsibility and will not be hunted, unless they leave Yellowstone.
Delisting the big bruin, or Ursus arctos horribilis, is opposed by a number of conservation groups and Native American tribes who say climate change has cast the Yellowstone region into ecological uncertainty and could lead to problems for the bear in the future.
“We have to wait 60 days, but on the 61st day we will sue to stop the delisting,” said Matt Bishop, of the Western Environmental Law Center, a Montana based nonprofit that intervenes on behalf of conservation groups.
The bear isn’t thriving. Arrrrgggg I hate spin. Grizzlies have just ‘bearly’ recovered, and their food supply is a big question mark.
From our favorite Congressman Raul Grijalva, a press release re grizzly delisting:
Yellowstone Grizzly Delisting Ignores Science and Disrespects Tribes
I’m wondering how many comments received in the federal register and now many opposed
I’d like to see a revision of the esa forbidding trophy hunting of species thT have been listed like wolves snd beArs
Such a gross tragic thing to do
It took surprisingly long from the first whisperings about delisting. But finally it´s reality. Didn´t we all know that it will come? Well, when will the first Grizzly be killed by an overenthusiastic hunter, finally allowed to harvest a Griz in the lower 48´s? Any offer?
Some good comments with this article.
About a month ago, just up the valley from me, a black bear (just out of hibernation) decided to test the windows on a neighbor’s cabin. It decided not to be driven off by the owner (who banged pots & pans, and fired off a few gunshot rounds, in it’s general direction)
I heard some other “thoughtful” neighbor came to the rescue and it was shot, because hey, after all, it was black bear season. (Not to be confused with black berry picking, season)
This same neighbor (a few years ago) got frightened by a mountain lion that appeared occasionally, mostly tracks in the yard, around their home. A local came in with their hounds and tracked this lion down and it was also shot.
I guess my thought is, if you love the idea of living close to (or in) wild areas, be prepared FOR the wildlife that share the area, to come calling on occasion.
And, get in tune with what their needs might be at the time – whether its ground squirrels invading your garden or a black bear, testing how well your home stands up to “hey, I’m just looking for a quick meal and something has got me checking YOU out!” Maybe a birdfeeder? Or tossing scraps out for that really cute little fox that comes by on occasion?
Hey, you don’t want to challenge the King of the Forest, do ya? *eyeroll*
This is why F&W and scientists need to be a bit less coddling about potential ‘conflicts’ with wildlife, whether due to natural curiosity or defending their turf from humans.
is Michigan deer harvest report for last fall. They make us wait forever. 586K hunters tagged (= killed and recovered) 350K deer. Of interest to me was 322K bow hunters tagged 125K deer, and to my shock 60% of those now use cross-bow, and shot 59% of the deer, so not all of them suck. As I posted to my local sportsman blog (I’ve been intruding, slyly challenging ideas here and there, but not too much) I was also shocked that upper peninsula buck kill went up from 17K to 20K, which however must be a mistake cause the wolves will soon extirpate the species. I was perhaps too subtle cause I’m not sure people understood I had a sprinkle of sarcasm in there. Instead, I predicted 24K to be tagged this fall, and one person thought it would be much more.
I was in the 3.1% of people obtaining 3 or more, but some hunters mostly go for antlers (2 bucks max) or don’t want that much meat.
Ugh. Perfect though. The creature’s eyes are frightening. *shudder*
Deer permit area changes in NE Minnesota, largely to try and help moose.
Over the past few years it had become more and more obvious that the shrinking moose numbers in MN had much more to do with deer than wolves. Sure, wolves had an impact on the moose numbers, but deer brought in brainworm and liver flukes, which killed adult moose, therefore less breeding, and increased deer numbers helped support the wolf population.
Also, deer feeding in SE Minnesota has been banned. This is in regard to attempting to check the spread of CWD.
Kudos MN DNR.
That’s good news!
“No love for grizzlies: Rocky Mountain Front folks recount trials of living with bears”
Excerpt: “I don’t like living with them,” Leanne said. “That hasn’t changed in 33 years. It’s changed the way we live. People just aren’t comfortable with it anymore. They’re a nuisance.”
Maybe Leanne and John should consider moving to someplace like Iowa or Illinois, where they probably wouldn’t have to worry about anything bigger or more dangerous than a fox or coyote, or an occasional rabid bat or skunk.
Most people I know would be happy to have go endure such “trials of living.”
This will be the extent of states’ wildlife ‘management’. Butch Otter passed a law back in March to allow killing of grizzles that threaten domestic pets and livestock in anticipation of a delisting. There’s going to be no concern for the health and welfare of the species. ‘It’s too soon to talk about hunting’ because they don’t want a public outcry or any obstacle for the time being. For the media and agency spokespeople to put this forward and lie to the public is a real slap in the face:
“The Idaho Legislature passed a law, signed in March by Republican Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter, that would allow owners of pets and livestock to kill a grizzly if they believed the bear was threatening their animals. The law would apply to people living within the Yellowstone ecosystem but outside the national park boundary — and only once delisting occurred.”
Conservationists and Tribes Denounce US Plan to Remove Yellowstone Grizzly Bears From Endangered Species List
What a dull and boring country we would live in if some’s vision of it were realized! Killing off a magnificent creature so that you can sell yarn!
Forgot to mention, I was reading about how the grizzly bears’ food supply is still in question, and a spokesperson listed all the things they eat, along with ‘ladybugs and moths’. You have to wonder just how many ladybugs will be able to sustain a 700 lb. grizzly! 🙁
FYI Ida 🙂
🙂 I’ve seen swarms of them on my back porch some years, maybe not quite that large. But can we comfortably expect grizzlies to live on them? You know that elk will be contested by hunters, the salmon situation isn’t good, and the white pine is declining due to climate change. All that’s left are lady bugs and moths, apparently.
Also, to me it is becoming painfully obvious that all political parties are climate change deniers when it comes to wildlife. Not enough evidence to list wolverines even though they depend on snowpack, whitebark pine threatened by grizzlies? As long as it doesn’t affect human interests nobody cares. Just send somebody to Paris and forget about it, I guess. 🙁
whitebark pine threatened for grizzlies, that should read.
Article about army cutworm moth (“Miller”) says griz can eat 40000 per day at best times. I’ve usually been up high in late July rather than August but people still warn you about traditional places not to go.
http://www.montana.edu/cpa/news/wwwpb-archives/moths.html estimates 10000 calories per day on average for a whole month, that being 1/3rd to 1/4th of the yearly calorie consumption.
I attended a presentation by Steve and Marylin French, and if I remember correctly he said that late in the season, each of those moths is comparable to a lump of butter.
Ida how many bears should there be before they are delisted? You cried “Wolf” in 2013 about the white pine food source becoming smaller, yet grizz populations continued to rise. They are adaptive creatures, you think that’s the first time in millions of years a food source changed for a wild animal? They will be fine with delisting.
Yes, they will be fine with delisting….stuffed and hidden in the trophy rooms, in front of the fireplace….nailed to the wall. So much better looking than alive. Same as it was with the wolves: How many wolves should there be before they are delistet? Everybody asked. And now they are delisted and fine, hunted by the dozen every season…..Well, hunt those bears. Kill´em! This makes America great again!
Peter the whole point of the ESA is to help them recover and then remove them from the ESA. It is designed for them to be delisted, and the wolves are doing just fine!
Perhaps what Peter is alluding to, and what many others have brought up, (including a large number of folks in MN when wolves were delisted)is why the rush to general hunting seasons, rather just allowing livestock and pet owners to protect what is theirs? Reduction in general numbers may help, in particular with slower reproducers like grizzly bears, yet, there seems to be a trend in studies that support the idea that hunting may actually exacerbate the “problems”.
Prime example would be coyotes. With no other term appropriate, coyotes have been subject to year round persecution, yet, their numbers increase. Why not, at least in certain areas of states try just leaving them alone, and see what happens?
+ 1 Immer.
Put another +Immer.
Pretty good article, thanks. However “Scientists have also found genes that give some animals resistance to prions.” might have told you it is variation in the PRNP gene itself (the one that makes the protein that can miss-fold) that most obviously matters, and that alleles with greater resistance are expected to increase in frequency. That will happen rather slowly though.
Bees can’t take the heat: “Hot cities spell bad news for bees”
Date: June 26, 2017; Source: North Carolina State U.
Summary: “Common wild bee species decline as urban temperatures increase, a new research study concludes.”
I’m sure you are all aware of natures symbiotic relationships but it still amazes me!
Going to Yellowstone in early September to visit these high elevation areas come alive!
🙂 Nice article.
In an attempt to counter the loss, Forest Service and Fish and Wildlife Service teams are collecting cones from “plus trees” that resist the fungus and raising a generation of resistant trees. The project can produce 200,000-400,000 seedlings per year
if 500 seedlings per hectare (2 acres) then it gives 800 hectares per year or 8 km2
Bark Beetles Are Decimating Our Forests. That Might Actually Be a Good Thing.
But Six has a different way of looking at the trees’ plight: as a battle for survival, with the army of beetles as a helper. She found compelling evidence of this after stumbling across the work of Forest Service researcher Constance Millar, with whom she had crossed paths at beetle conferences.
Millar was comparing tree core measurements of limber pines, a slight species found in the eastern Sierras of California that can live to be 1,000 years old. After mountain pine beetles ravaged one of her study sites in the late 1980s, certain trees survived. They were all around the same size and age as the surrounding trees that the beetles tore through, so Millar looked closer at tree ring records and began to suspect that, though they looked identical on the outside, the stand in fact had contained two genetically distinct groups of trees. One group had fared well during the 1800s, when the globe was still in the Little Ice Age and average temperatures were cooler. But this group weakened during the warmer 1900s, and grew more slowly as a result. Meanwhile, the second group seemed better suited for the warmer climate, and started to grow faster.
When beetle populations exploded in the 1980s, this second group mounted a much more successful battle against the bugs. After surviving the epidemic, this group of trees “ratcheted forward rapidly,” Millar explains. When an outbreak flared up in the mid-2000s, the bugs failed to infiltrate any of the survivor trees in the stand. The beetles had helped pare down the trees that had adapted to the Little Ice Age, leaving behind the ones better suited to hotter weather. Millar found similar patterns in whitebark pines and thinks it’s possible that this type of beetle-assisted natural selection is going on in different types of trees all over the country.
When Six read Millar’s studies, she was floored. Was it possible, she wondered, that we’ve been going about beetle management all wrong? “It just hit me,” she says. “There is something amazing happening here.”
2 grizzlies euthanized after livestock attack
The Associated Press
Posted: Jun 27, 2017 10:13 AM MDT
Updated: Jun 27, 2017 10:13 AM MDT
STANFORD, Mont. – Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks euthanized two grizzly bears for preying on livestock in Montana.
The two subadult males, who were siblings, were killed Monday.
Fish, Wildlife and Parks say the bears were the farthest east of the Rocky Mountain Front than any grizzly bear has been seen in more than a century.
According to Fish, Wildlife and Parks, the bears killed four calves late Friday night or early Saturday.
Fish, Wildlife and Parks and U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services responded in a joint effort to capture the bears.
The two bears are part of the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem population, which is more than 1,000 bears and remains listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.
So why do we need a hunting season again? When I read stories like this, I am thankful that I do not eat beef, and that I do not contribute to this kind of thing in any way (except for any taxpayer money demanded for ransom from me, and which I can’t control.)
To say that there is going to be no rush to hunt grizzlies isn’t being truthful. I’m sure we all remember the articles that came out from only last year, saying how the three states were going to ‘divvy up’ the grizzly population:
Why do we need a hunting season again ? Because Fish and Wildlife departments are bureaucracies, and like all bureaucracies, are constantly in search of new and expanded ways to justify their existence, to grow, and to broaden and expand their authority.
Color me cynical.
Well theres also the need for funding. People like to keep their jobs. I think it was pretty stupid to delist Yellowstone bears before their population could link up to the NCD ecosystem bear genetics, but I don’t think the states will manage their hunting seasons the same idiotic way many other predator species are managed. WY, ID, and MT F+G agencies can potentially make a nice slice of revenue of money off of grizzly bear tags. They can charge whatever they want, seeing as how the only other option is going to Alaska, hiring a guide, and paying a grand for their nonresident license (or paying upwards of 10-15k to hunt one in Canada). I don’t like the idea hunting grizzlies, but I think it stands to reason that they’ll be at least somewhat responsibly managed. I’d like to at least wait and see what the three states come up with.
Prof. Sweat : I think your first two sentences pretty well confirm what I said about bureaucracies.
That said, I generally agree with the rest of your post, but would add that it’s a shame that we (our society, in the USA in particular) seems to think EVERYTHING has to be monetized. We can’t seem to appreciate ANYTHING intrinsically, without putting a dollar value on it.
As Oscar Wilde said — in another context, of course, “They know the cost of everything and the value of nothing”
+1 alf, and I couldn’t agree more. And I am not convinced at all that any ‘plan’ is going to be fit for anything but ‘the round file’, as WY so ‘respectfully’ put it re tribal requests for a wolf buffer zone. We’ve seen this too many times to continue to be willfully blind. Too many hopeful chances have been given, with too many disappointments.
“I don’t like the idea hunting grizzlies, but I think it stands to reason that they’ll be at least somewhat responsibly managed”
Managed for whom, is the bigger question Gary, at least in my mind and perhaps many other minds?
Josh likes to think that wolves are “doing just fine” but hunting and trapping them for half the year, here in Montana, not only has reduced their populations but causes all sorts of problems within recognized, documented, family structures of wolves not to mention, other predators.
And wait for it – trying to exist along side the human species, in what’s left of wilderness areas.
“Why not, at least in certain areas of states try just leaving them alone, and see what happens?”
I totally agree with Immer on that comment.
Livestock raisers, especially out here in the western states, where it takes twice, if not more acreage, just to raise one cow, have a disgusting history of exterminating anything(whether it be plant or animal) that might interfere with their way of doing business and federal (and state agencies) like Wildlife Services, go out of their way to accommodate them.
Time to shout loudly, about this archaic approach to managing wildlife, in what’s left of wild areas.
Yes, and as our population continues to grow, where is the wildlife supposed to go? The term exceeds ‘carrying capacity’ always reminds me of one of those horror movies where a room’s wall keep closing in on the occupants, and the room is squeezed down smaller and smaller.
“There’s a consequence when you put 94 percent of our offshore off limits. There’s a consequence of not harvesting trees. There’s a consequence of not using some of our public lands for creation of wealth and jobs,” he said.
There are going to be even greater consequences, Mr. Zinke, if you can’t be bothered to wrap your tiny, profit motivated mind, around the fact that too much of the earth has already been plundered for the creation of wealth and jobs.
Nancy wolves are doing just fine. Resilient animals. And the bears will be just fine also, you were all freaking out about the whole pinenut debacle but of course it was a non event for grizz.
“Now, FWS argues that it’s once again time to strip these bears of their frail legal protection. No matter that the whitebark pine epidemic is far worse than it was 10 years ago. No matter that the bear population is essentially the same size as it was in 2007.
The delisting a decade ago shows us that the government does not have the capability to manage the delicate balance of grizzlies and their diminishing habitat. In fact, as climate change continues to kill off one of these bear’s main food sources, grizzlies will need more and more land to survive, not less”
Nancy it will always be a revolving door. 10 years ago it was doom and gloom, the forecast for the destruction of the species was imminent. Populations have risen slowly over the years mainly because areas have reached capacity and its slower to expand into other areas. That does not mean the species as a whole is in danger. No bear/wolf ever being killed for any reason will be acceptable to the majority of the “pro” side. So its pointless to argue for a compromise, because there will never be one.
“No bear/wolf ever being killed for any reason will be acceptable to the majority of the “pro” side. So its pointless to argue for a compromise, because there will never be one”
Curious Josh, do you get most of your inspiration/ information, regarding how predators need to be treated/managed, regarding their impact on the western landscape, from hunting sites or ranchers?
Sic ’em, Nancy !
I dont like public land ranching. And most of the hunters dont feel the same way as I do, or approach hunting the way I do. I want wolves and grizzlies, and I live in Idaho! I want states to manage the animals in their respective state.
I get my sources of info from many sources, some on the pro side and some on the no side.
Do you get all your information from pro wolf blogs sharing their opinions?
I hope you are right. Like you, I read and get information from the entire spectrum of sources. We won’t get anywhere preaching to the choir, and sometimes I am pleasantly surprised as well.
I just think we are a little too confident in our ability to manage anything, not just wildlife.
“Do you get all your information from pro wolf blogs sharing their opinions?”
Nope, not everyone is sharing their opinions, Josh, a lot of people, especially here on the Wildlife News site (who care about wildlife) post excellent links to scientific facts & information.
Over a thousand head of cattle have past by my driveway in the last 2 days, all heading to public lands, 10 miles up the road.
There will be wolves up there and have been the past couple of years.
They’ve been following the elk, who pasted through the area earlier this month. Will the lame cow, I watched hobble by, become a meal? There’s a good possibility.
Course that’s one thing you and I agree on – we don’t like public land ranching. If livestock were better managed, there would be less need to manage wildlife.
And Nancy you posted a blog from a person who loves grizzly bears and expect me to treat that as fact and an unbiased opinion? Should I post an article from Don Peay and have you accept that as truth… ?
Russia sea tests white whales for military purposes in Arctic waters
A news article on one human caused grizzly bear death (Scarface), and 2016 mortality stats for the Yellowstone GYE:
2017 thru March indicates mortality of 8.
The more bears the more unforeseen encounters and deaths and those who will second guess the circumstances leading to those deaths.
Well then, if we want to eliminate all risk, why not clear the landscape of all life except human and those unfortunate creatures we’ve dominated/domesticated and semi-domesticated for our use? Anything that inconveniences us and our lifestyles. I think that at some point that’s where we’re heading anyway.
I can see in the future a national park the size of a postage stamp, and still we claim that whatever manages to survive has exceeded its carrying capacity!
I’m still aghast at Ryan Zinke’s latest proposal about more development on the public lands for jobs. Where will it end? The ‘consequences’ of that are that if there is nothing left, nobody’s gonna have a job!
I should add to my first sentence: ‘instead of the death by a thousand cuts’ method we use now on wildlife and wild lands’.
WM, there is enough information available to help keep grizzlies alive if we just implement them.
There are ranchers who have lost few cattle to grizzlies because they implemented new techniques and problematic grazing allotments bought out.
Hikers have plenty of information available to keep close encounters to a minimum and if one occurs, have bear spray at your fingertips and know how to use it. Most GYE campgrounds have bear proof trash and food containers and even backcountry sites have bear poles.
Hunters also have the do’s and don’ts and frankly, this hunters attitude (I would do it again) indicates he is not interested in changing his ways. Unfortunately, de-listing is only compound this attitude.
Predatory attacks are so rare, you would be hard pressed to find one.
I admit, many years ago, I had a close encounter in Glacier NP because we were not making noise and on top of that were not carrying bear spray. I’m now prepared whenever I go hiking for “Murphy” to show up.
such as the following: like hike in groups and make consistent noise, have bear spray immediately available and know how to use it, bear proof attractants such as food and smells, is is not rocket science
If I understand the charts correctly, most of the bear mortality that results in lethal removal is related to human interaction other than confrontation with a hiker/hunter (but in some cases you don’t know what preceeds a sanctioned removal it would seem).
However, the more bears, the higher the probability of opportunities for those interactions of various kinds to occur. I, too, have had a couple personal encounters in AK and Yukon Territory, BC.
And, to be fair, bear spray or lethal means aren’t always deployable. Horseback riders can typically use neither, mountain bikers would be, unless stopped, unable to use spray. Livestock, on the range, penned or tied up – well that kind of speaks for itself. My cousin, an engineer and land surveyor in MT and ID, has had several encounters with grizzlies while on the job, or camped at work sites. They are pretty bear savvy – grizzly or black. His crew members carried large bore fire arms and bear spray was available, as well. You never hear about the close calls in the news, and they are never included in the statistics.
I think the tally is roughly 7-8 percent of the grizzly population in the GYE gets in trouble to the point of eventually being removed. It would be reasonable to expect that percentage to roughly hold, as the population grows, maybe even go higher as habitat becomes a constraint to expanding population. So, get ready for bear mortality stories, some even compellingly sad. I see HSUS just announced they are going to sue FWS over the delisting.
grizzly bears – 700
forests – 20 000 km2
population – 1.3 million
Conflicts exist over destruction of beehives while damage to livestock is very rare in Estonia
grizzly bear – 800…1100
forests – 20 000 km2
population – 5.4 million
Which is to say, social science research has shown over and over again that white males with less education, living in rural areas, and employed in agriculture have notoriously little tolerance for large carnivores such as grizzly bears. Interestingly, most of these guys are hunters. And, of direct relevance to the drama of Yellowstone’s grizzly bears, these guys dominate wildlife management by holding the purse strings and controlling wildlife commissions. Moreover, they are amongst the politically best connected of all in the states of Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana…where we are trying to sustain the few grizzly bears left in the contiguous United States.
Grizzly bear managers are using “social carrying capacity” as rhetorical cover for maintaining the status quo. And the status quo is all about serving political masters (read conservative white male hunters, ranchers, or energy executives) who dominate wildlife commissions and have direct-line access to congressional delegations, state legislatures, and governor’s offices controlled by fellow regressive conservatives.
In fact, wildlife managers are talking about political carrying capacity configured by their assessment of career prospects and the budgetary or other special interests of the wildlife management agencies they work for. To be fair, agency culture is also a major factor, including a deep-seated prejudice against predators that kill animals that would otherwise generate agency revenues through the sale of hunting licenses…at least according to agency myth.
+1 If we have any hope of preserving wildlife for the future, we are going to have to require certain behaviors from those out wreck-reating in wilderness – like bear spray is not optional, especially if wildlife is to be delisted.
The Scarface example is just plain entitlement, and should not be acceptable if there are only 700 grizzlies in the GYA. I think that the ‘isolated population’ designation is going to be challenged in court, and I wish them much success. There should be connectivity for the species to be healthy after a delisting. Why are they designated an isolated species?
This article shows just how certain concepts get twisted for human benefit.
‘sorry, ‘isolated population’. They are not there for $$$ generation and people’s entertainment i.e. ‘glorified zoo’. But yes, some feel deprived of having the experience of seeing wildlife on our own public lands because of special interests, and the catch-22 of being told we haven’t experienced them so we have no right to an opinion or input!
I know this will sound like heresy, but I am less concerned about wildlife for people’s enjoyment than I am for protecting wildlife for their own benefit and survival unrelated to us and our activities. It is important for us, but primarily it is for their survival first.
I hate that word recreating. It’s got to be the most dispassionate sounding word ever. It sounds robotic and too generic. Add a little humanity to it.
Missoula Independent cover story:
“One wolf’s journey from survivor to star, and what her death says about our appetite for the wild”
Regarding the death of the 2nd generation white wolf in Yellowstone.
ha, I was just thinking whether to post a link to this very same article – that ‘individual wolves do matter’:
‘the Canyons were denning just outside Mammoth, feeding on elk and using the park’s road system to weave between the territories of other wolf packs. The Canyons’ habit of navigating those road corridors became a defining characteristic of their presence in Yellowstone. Few wolves feel comfortable so close to the park’s human visitors, but for the White Lady and her packmates, proximity seemed almost like a key to survival.
A former alpha male of the Lamar Canyon pack called 755, whose mate, the well-known wolf 06, had been killed by a hunter outside the park in 2012, had come to court one of the White Lady’s sub-adult daughters. The reactions of the two Canyon alphas drove home to Dixon how different individual wolves’ personalities can be. The White Lady had never appeared to be an affectionate mother, and, by Dixon’s recollection, she was hardly fazed by her daughter’s departure. Her mate, 712, his fur now graying, was quite the opposite.
“He was sitting there howling forever,” Dixon says. “It’d been going on for a couple of days, and it was obviously the final goodbye. He was really devastated by it, but [the White Lady] just kept on going.”
FEATURE: The Grand Teacher or The Big Bad Wolf
Dobson says a turning point for him as an activist was when he videotaped outfitters riding right by the den where the Junction Butte pack lived in Yellowstone. “They were within 75 feet of the den, which is illegal, and their horses were loose, but they didn’t receive a ticket or get banned,” he said. A district park ranger called them 30 times, and Dobson asserts, “they saw the missed calls but claimed their phone never rang.” He believes this is what drove the pack out of the area to create another den, which had a negative impact on the size and health of the pack.
“It’s disgusting,” Dobson said, “what people—ranchers and hunters—get away with.” He said a lot of Native Americans believe in protecting wolves but don’t want to be outspoken or ruffle feathers. But a true activist, he said, doesn’t sugar coat the issues or compromise integrity by allowing rich outfitters to get away with disturbing a wolf sanctuary. When they’re “in bed” with the local politicians and ranchers who have donated to advocacy groups that play “both sides of the fence,” then prominent wolf experts support management plans that put ranchers ahead of wildlife and treat wolves like “pests.”
Dobson said he has received more than 100 death threats, but it doesn’t bother him. He told one caller, “We’ll just meet in the woods and handle this the old Indian way,” and never heard from him again.
… Protect the Wolves has been up against governors, senators, ranchers, hunters and businessmen, and a lot of people don’t like mixing Native American traditions with advocacy groups. “It’s the typical 1800s rancher mentality. … Ranchers everywhere are the worst. They all have the same typical mentality: shoot, shovel, and shut up,” Dobson said. “Leave your Indian stuff at home,” is what they are silently expressing, he said. It’s a constant tug-of-war between what people want and what’s right.
link to the referenced BBC article:
When you start killing wolves, something odd happens
Very apropos opinion from the Missoulian:
Owning Our Hypocrisies
Some things never change
Classic and shocking poaching case. One of the comments says it has been going on for 40 years? Is ‘illegal trapping’ the new PC word for poaching? It really decreases the impact of what this truly is.
If there was better enforcement of the laws, perhaps there would be a lot more cooperation from wildlife advocates about hunting and government ‘management’.
It’s also a big example of why we need the Endangered Species Act. Wolverines should have been listed. I’m not sure of the status of pine martens and fishers?
Wolverines and Fishers definitely should be listed, but we all know how milk-toast and politically controlled by the extactive industries FWS is. BTW, don’t forget the Lynx. It should be listed, too. Martin probably not (yet), but they are definintely over-trapped, at least in the northern Rockies, and tighter limits are needed. (Like most readers on this site, my preference would be for NO trapping, period.)
If I remember correctly, marten and fisher take are both down in NE MN.
It is fascinating how the word “trapped” has evolved over the last century or so, to include human feelings now.
Maybe if humans could somehow understand the difference – an emotional reaction i.e. trapped in a situation verses the ending of a another specie’s life – we might move forward on the issue of trapping for the sport/fun/profit of it.
I don’t know, it seems if we haven’t gotten the message by now after millennia, we never will. Also, ‘illegal trapping’ implies that there’s such a thing as ‘legal trapping’, so it, to me, just softens the blow to much of what pain and suffering for these people truly is. Metaphorically being trapped just doesn’t mean the same, to me – we can always up and leave. The poor critter can’t. I’m tired about making it about us all the time.
Sorry, I am a word and etymology enthusiast.
or should read: softens the blow too much of what pain and suffering for these animals truly is.
lynx reintroduction (in Kielder forest) coverage in local newspaper:
British Deer Society commissioned study:
The potential for reintroduction of Eurasian lynx to Great Britain: a summary of the evidence
♪”Preso said the delisting is illegal because the federal government’s argument for delisting the Yellowstone bears relies on the bears being considered a distinct population — a move that was rejected by one court when the USFWS used it with wolves in the Great Lakes region. The government has appealed that court’s ruling, but a decision has not been handed down yet”♫.
“Managing the vegetation within the park would enhance stewardship of land by protecting archeological, cultural, and historic resources and limiting fuel availability to wildfires thus reducing fire danger to the park and surrounding properties.
***Additionally, the grazing program would improve range health, spur plant growth, and improve wildlife habitat”
“Everything from Whales to Plankton Killed by Underwater Oil Survey Air Guns”
Excerpt: “NOAA and its National Marine Fisheries Service will hold a public hearing on July 6 with five companies that need permits to conduct air-blast surveys. The Marine Mammal Protection Act allows incidental harassment of whales, dolphins, and manatees, and the interpretation of this is part of the ongoing debate between finding new oil reserves and protecting fragile marine environments.”
Can we STOP this???
“Trump Administration Seeking Permits For Seismic Air Gun Surveys In Atlantic”
We don’t NEED this fossil fuel and certainly not at the expense of all this marine life!