December 27th, Minnesota: A pack of wolves living near Voyageurs National Park are being studied by the Voyageurs Wolf Project researcher, Tom Gable. You can learn more about the Voyageurs Wolf Project here by listening to an interview with Gable.
December 26th: As the nation prepares to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act on Friday, conservative Republicans in Congress are saying the law — credited with saving the bald eagle and numerous other animal and plant species — is outdated, and they are taking steps to change it in ways that conservationists argue would drastically weaken it.
December 25th, Netherlands: Apparently, ten different wolves, tracked from Germany, have been visiting the Netherlands in 2018. Between August and October, two new females were observed, as well as one she-wolf also spotted multiple times earlier in the year.
December 24th, Alaska: The acting commissioner of Alaska's Department of Fish and Game, Doug Vincent-Lang, is an advocate for predator control, a controversial state program that kills wolves and bears in an effort to leave more moose and caribou for hunters.“If I were a wolf or a bear in Alaska right now, I would be headed for the Canadian border, ASAP,” said Rick Steiner, an environmental advocate and former marine conservation professor in Anchorage.
December 24th, Oregon: The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife reports that Gray wolf OR-7's Rogue Pack has killed another cow at a northeastern Jackson County ranch. OR-7 and his pack will not be subject to lethal removal by ODFW because they are in Western Oregon, where gray wolves are federally protected under the Endangered Species Act.
December 23rd, Montana: The appeal challenges a judge's ruling that restored threatened species protections for more than 700 bears in and around Yellowstone National Park. Protections for the animals had been removed for the second time in 2017. However, a ruling from U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen came down in October, when Wyoming and Idaho were on the cusp of hosting their first public hunts for grizzly bears in the Lower 48 U.S. states since 1991.
December 23rd, New York: A 40-pound male coyote was spotted prowling Harlem streets Saturday night before seemingly making its way downtown. After it was shot with a tranquilizer dart, the coyote was taken to Animal Care Centers of NYC in Brooklyn. The coyote was assessed and is healthy, and has been relocated to an appropriate habitat.
December 21st: In a little over 20 years the population of wolves in the park has grown to roughly 100 animals in 10 packs, enough to attract wolf tourists whose visits to the park pump an estimated $35 million into the local economy. 60 MINUTES visits Yellowstone National Park's wolves during a segment on Dec. 23 at 6 p.m.
December 18th, Washington: Federal law already prohibits lethal control of wolves in the western two-thirds of Washington. However, a bill introduced by a Western Washington lawmaker would bar the state Department of Fish and Wildlife from killing wolves in the eastern one-third of the state. Rep. Sherry Appleton, a Democrat who represents Bainbridge Island across Puget Sound from Seattle, also introduced a bill to prohibit Fish and Wildlife from using hound hunters to pursue and kill cougars, bobcats, black bears and lynx to protect livestock, pets or humans.
December 18th, Michigan: There is a probable reason that the new wolves released on Isle Royale this past year aren't venturing too deep into the island's south quadrant. It is because that area belongs to two others wolves. That would be Isle Royale's two longtime wolves - a male and female whose family tree DNA is so twisted they aren't likely to have viable offspring. Together, they are the last remnants of the island's formerly robust pack system.
December 18th, Texas: While red wolves were declared extinct in this region over 35 years ago and remain critically endangered, researchers have found red wolf DNA in a group of canines living on Galveston Island off the coast of Texas.
December 17th, New Mexico: Craig Thiessen, a New Mexico rancher who trapped an endangered Mexican gray wolf and hit it with a shovel to kill it, was informed in November of the decision to revoke his grazing permit. He is appealing the decision made by the U.S. Forest Service.
December 17th: The Center for Biological Diversity and the Humane Society of the United States has petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to maintain protection for gray wolves under the Endangered Species Act. The petition is to continue federal protection and funding of wolf-recovery efforts and encourage the Service to develop a national recovery plan for the species. It would also give the agency regulatory flexibility to permit state wildlife managers to address specific wolf conflicts.
December 17th, Vermont: The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Board will be holding a public hearing next month concerning proposed changes to trapping in that state. These proposed changes would require that trappers visit traps within a timely manner, use approved labeled traps, and submit carcasses of certain species and a biological survey report to the Fish & Wildlife Department.
December 16th: The point of the 11th-hour vote on HR 6784, an anti-wolf House bill, that had little chance of passing a lame duck Senate, was merely to send a message of pure animosity towards wolves.Bills like the “Manage Our Wolves Act” rely on an antiquated notion of “management” that would turn public lands into killing fields where wolves (or whichever species happens to be in Congress’s crosshairs) can be shot on sight.
December 16th: Coyotes, who are typically the target of killing contests, are fortunately not without advocates. Now more than 50 scientists and 30 animal advocacy organizations have formed the National Coalition to End Wildlife Killing Contests. This Coalition is calling on state lawmakers and wildlife officials to shut down a current contest, which is one of the first to combine different regions of the country, taking it to the national level.
December 16th, New Mexico: The Southwest Program for Defenders of Wildlife works with ranchers to keep wolves at bay, using older methods such as range riders and newer approaches like red flagging, called flandry, and scaring devices. Those devices blare loud noises when a wolf’s radio tracking collar indicates it is in the vicinity. Whether the methods will be successful — or even accepted — remains uncertain.
December14th, Arizona: Hunters who pride themselves on fair and ethical behavior should resist the attempt to link their sport with the massacre of wildlife. They should recognize the danger of having their legitimate sport used as a front to justify this wanton slaughter. It's in their interest to condemn wildlife killing contests.
December 14th, New Mexico: Five wolves were found dead in New Mexico in November, bringing the total for the year to 17. That marks the most wolves killed in any single year since the reintroduction effort began in 1998, and it’s one of the deadliest months in the program’s history. The Mexican wolf was all but eliminated from the U.S. and Mexico by the 1970s after conflicts with livestock.
December 13th, California: New studies show that more than 85 percent of mountain lions, bobcats and the protected Pacific fishers tested have been exposed to rat poisons. This alarming new evidence should spur the state to ban these dangerous poisons,” said Jonathan Evans, legal director of the Center for Biological Diversity’s environmental health program.
December 13th, Washington: Cinder, a bear cub that received national attention after being badly burned in a 2014 fire, has been shot by a hunter who cut off her radio transmitting collar. Her rescue back in 2014, captured global attention as she healed in centers in California and Idaho, doubling her weight within months.
December 12th, Yellowstone: Last month's shooting death of the wolf named Spitfire by wolf enthusiast was a legal kill because the animal had wandered outside Yellowstone's invisible protection borders. Montana has allowed the trophy hunting of wolves since 2011. Conservationists say that there should be a buffer zone that extends from the park's boundaries -- effectively a safety net for the animals that wander too far outside the park.
December 12th, Michigan: Killing western Great Lakes wolves is a federal crime unless human safety is at stake. Therefore, when wolves killed nearly four dozen cows worth tens of thousands of dollars in 2016, the human safety factor was falsely used to justify the culling. According to Nancy Warren, executive director of the National Wolfwatcher Coalition, “The killing of three wolves to protect livestock, when there was no threat to human safety, was politically motivated and in violation of federal law.”
December 11th, New Mexico: New Mexico rancher Craig Thiessen, who has a grazing permit for a grazing allotment near Canyon del Buey, pleaded guilty to trapping and killing an endangered Mexican Wolf in 2015. In response to public outcry, Gila National Forest pulled Thiessen’s grazing permit in late November and will offer the allotment to other ranchers once the administrative process is completed.
December 11th, Texas: New research has found red wolf ancestry, an animal once on the brink of extinction and still severely endangered, on Galveston Island, Texas. The red wolf alleles—variant forms of a given gene—appear to have persisted in a population of canids on Galveston Island, likely because of their isolation from coyotes and therefore low probability of interbreeding and hybridization. This new research indicates that the.red wolf ancestry has persisted independently without focused management action.
December 11th, Washington: Washington Fish and Wildlife Director Kelly Susewind spoke on a department video about being confronted with the decision in August to kill three wolf packs. He stated that while it was a difficult decision, it was the right one. The Center for Biological Diversity and Cascadia Wildlands, havefiled challenges to lethal-removal operations and are continuing to press a lawsuit alleging that Fish and Wildlife broke the law by not subjecting its lethal-removal protocol to scientific and public review.
December 10th, Denmark: The European Union is now strongly encouraging human-wolf coexistence by offering full compensation to farmers across member states for livestock lost to wolves and other predators and is funding nonlethal ways to keep wolves at bay, such as fences and livestock dogs. However, nonlethal management strategies are difficult to implement due to wolves’ lasting, mythic legacy as an adversary of people.
December 9th, Montana: In 2017, Wildlife Services in Montana dispatched thousands of coyotes with varied methods. These methods include M-44 devices that, once triggered, spray sodium cyanide into the carnivores’ mouths, where it mixes with moisture to form deadly cyanide gas.The M-44 ejector devices have stirred controversy because of incidents where they have accidentally killed non-target wildlife and other non-target animals, such as pet dogs, and injured people.
December 7th, Arizona: The senseless and wanton killing of wildlife has no place in a civilized society,” said Council member Doug Treadway. Dewey-Humboldt joins Tucson, Pinal County, Albuquerque and California and Vermont in passing similar resolutions or bans on such hunting contests.
December 7th, Minnesota: Researchers charted the locations of seven northern Minnesota wolf packs 68,000 times throughout the summer. The findings show how rigidly wolves stick to their own turf.
December 7th, Yellowstone: The carefree rapport that some Yellowstone wolves have built with humans is reportedly attractive to trophy hunters looking for an easy kill. Doug Smith, a wolf biologist for Yellowstone, told The New York Times, "They just stand there and have no fear." Smith says one idea currently being considered is a kind of "hazing" policy for wolves by using cracker shells, paintball or beanbag guns and other non-injurious deterrents.
December 6th, Washington: The new animal overpass is part of a $551 million project to rebuild 15 miles of roadway east of Snoqualmie Pass. The bridge offers animals a safe space to cross the interstate, linking the north and south sides of the road.
December 5th, North Carolina: A pair of red wolves, a species so endangered they are considered “scientifically extinct, have come to Asheville, where staff hope the wolves will mate and one day produce pups that can be released into the wild. The survival program is designed to assist in conservation and ensure the long-term sustainability of animal populations like the red wolf.
December 3rd, Canada: An Alberta government program intended to cull wolves and protect endangered caribou herds is using lethal snares, leghold traps, aerial shooting and strychnine poisoning. Andrew Budziak is the producer of Poisoned Earth, a new documentary that takes a critical view of Alberta's wolf cull practices.
December 3rd: House Republicans last month passed legislation to remove gray wolves in 48 states from the list of species shielded by the Endangered Species Act, which could make it easier to kill them.But the House’s initiative has been stuck in the Senate, and with only days remaining in this year’s congressional session, key backers are not optimistic that bill will go anywhere.
December 3rd, Yellowstone: A Montana hunter legally killed the wolf known as 926F and "Spitfire." Montana, Idaho and Wyoming have established wolf hunting seasons to help control their numbers. Montana law forbids making buffer zones around Yellowstone to prevent wolves that stray just outside the park from being hunted, according to the Times.
"Everybody's mourning, everybody's thinking about what to do to stop this madness."
December 1st, North Carolina: A judge in North Carolina ruled that a plan to shrink the territory of the only wild population of the red wolf violates endangered species protections. The judge further stated that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services also violated the Endangered Species Act by authorizing private landowners to kill the canine predators when they aren't threatening humans, livestock or pets.