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Wolf News - February 2019

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THE ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT IS STILL AMERICA'S MOST RADICAL LAW

February 28th: In 1973 the US Congress came together in bipartisan agreement to pass the Endangered Species Act, which made preventing extinction a moral and legal imperative. Forty-five years later, the ESA remains the best and most effective law for wildlife conservation in the world. However, from the moment of its inception, the ESA has been under attack, most notably from the mining, oil and gas, and livestock industries.


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WOLF WATCHING: MICHIGAN DNR SEEKS PUBLIC'S HELP FOR WOLF SURVEY

February 28th, Michigan: The Michigan Department of Natural Resources launched its citizen-based wolf survey this month. It’s the first time the wolf population survey has been completed in Lower Michigan since 2015. State wildlife officials are partnering with several tribal groups to conduct the winter wolf survey, including the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, and the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians.


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BILL TO KEEP IDAHO WOLF CONTROL BOARD RUNNING BECOMES LAW

February 28th, Idaho: Idaho Gov. Brad Little signed legislation Wednesday to repeal a section of Idaho law that would have ended the five-year-run of the Idaho Wolf Depredation Control Board in the summer of 2020. The board pays a federal agency to kill wolves that attack livestock and elk.


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UNDERSTANDING AMERICA'S EARLIEST DOGS

February 27th: Dr.Chris Widga, the head curator at the East Tennessee State University Museum of Natural History, has said that we don’t know where the first domestication of dogs came from, but it is hypothesized it could have started from a direct selection from the local wolf populations or unintentional selection of human-tolerant wolves.“There’s about a 0.2 percent difference between dogs and wolves genetically," according to Widga, "That's about the same as our genetic history and Neanderthals.”


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PAUL COLLINS: DNR SHOULD UPDATE THE WOLF 'MANAGEMENT' PLAN

February 27th, Wisconsin: "The hostility that Wisconsin exhibited toward this species was disturbing and made many question whether this state was capable of responsibly “managing” this species at all," according to an editorial by Mr. Collins.


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RETURN OF THE WOLVES: HOW DEER ESCAPE TACTICS TO SAVE THEIR LIVES

February 27th, Washington: Researchers from the University of Washington and other institutions monitored the behavior and activity of wolves and deer in Washington for three years.They found that mule deer exposed to wolves, in particular, are changing their behavior to spend more time away from roads, at higher elevations and in rockier landscapes.


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GOV. SIGNS BILL ALLOWING GRIZZLY HUNTS

February 25th, Wyoming: A law, SF93, giving Wyoming Game and Fish authority to determine if a grizzly bear hunt is needed and – if so – to enact one, was passed by large margins in both houses of the legislature, receiving support from all of the area legislators . Conservation groups are already reacting to SF 93.


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RANGERS SUCCESSFUL IN INVESTIGATION AND CONVICTION OF ILLEGAL TAKING OF WOLF

February 25th, Wyoming: Two Wyoming individuals—a male, 56, and a female, 55—were charged with the illegal taking of a gray wolf within the Teton National Park boundaries after Park rangers recently conducted an investigation .


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WOLF ATTACKS ON LIVESTOCK RISE IN GERMANY

February 16th: Germany's federal documentation center said attacks on livestock by wolves increased by some 66 percent in 2017 compared with the year before, with 472 cases registered. The report concludes that the only way to alleviate the problem was "to comprehensively protect sheep and goats in areas where wolves live. In areas where the wolf has survived down to the present day, herds are watched over by shepherds and dogs as they always have been, and are kept in pens overnight."


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THE WISDOM OF WOLVES: ENCHANTING NEW BOOK REVEALS HOW THEY CARE FOR THEIR ELDERLY, PLAY WITH THEIR YOUNG AND ALWAYS PUT FAMILY FIRST

February 16th: After 25 years of observing wolves loving, living and dying in the wilds of the US, Canada and Germany, author Elli H. Radinger learned a rather disconcerting truth: no species is socially so close to humans as the wolf.


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GAME & FISH CONTINUES WOLF MONITORING

February 16th, Wyoming: The Wyoming Game and Fish Department plans to put out as many as 40 additional radio collars on wolves over the course of the winter to evaluate new packs and changing distributions, and to derive an accurate count for wolves in the trophy game management area. Their objective is to have at least one wolf collared in every known pack.


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WHEN WOLVES FLY: ANNUAL MEXICAN WOLF COUNT UNDERWAY

February 15th, Arizona & New Mexico: Late January through early February is when the Mexican wolf Interagency Field Team works to get an accurate count of the number of Mexican gray wolves in eastern Arizona and western New Mexico. The Mexican gray wolf is the rarest subspecies of wolf in North America, and the scientists working towards the recovery of this federally endangered species want to give each individual animal the best possible chance of survival.


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GERMANY'S WOLVES ARE ON THE RISE THANKS TO A SURPRISING ALLY: THE MILITARY

February 15th: In Germany, where populations of wolves have been growing by 36% per year, military bases have played a surprisingly central role in helping the animals reclaim habitat. When compiling death records, researchers were shocked to find that wolf mortality rates were higher in protected areas than in the military training grounds. The difference appears to be poaching.


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INDISCRIMINATE TRAPS HARM ENDANGERED MEXICAN WOLVES

February 15th, New Mexico: New Mexico House Bill 366, called “Roxy’s Law” in honor of a dog who died in a trap on public lands in November, would prohibit traps across public lands in New Mexico with some exemptions. Mexican wolves are at tremendous risk due to their small population size, limited gene pool, threats from trapping, Wildlife Services’ activities, and illegal killings.


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FERRY COUNTY RANCHERS FED UP WITH WOLF ATTACKS, DEMAND STATE ACTION

February 14th, Washington: The number of wolf attacks on cattle in Eastern Washington has doubled in the past two years as the wolf population continues to climb.


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WOLVES MAY KEEP COWS OFF WASHINGTON FISH AND WILDLIFE LAND

February 14th, Washington: If the Washington Fish and Wildlife Department follows through with an internal review of grazing policies, some of the 129,459 acres of grazing land owned by Fish and Wildlife likely would be off-limits to cattle in order to avoid conflicts with wolves. In other places, ranchers would have to sign detailed plans to prevent attacks by wolves with non-lethal measures.


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BILL TO KEEP WOLF CONTROL BOARD OPERATING CLEARS HOUSE PANEL

February 13th, Idaho: Legislation to keep operating an Idaho board that pays a federal agency to kill wolves that attack livestock and elk moved to the full House on Wednesday.


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AN ANCIENT RURAL CULTURE DEALS WITH WOLVES HALFWAY AROUND THE WORLD

February 13th: Mojo columnist Rebbeca Watters returns from a research mission to Mongolia where she tracked Lobos, and Wolverines


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SEMINAR TO FOCUS ON RANCHING WITH WOLVES

February 12th, Oregon: This two-day seminar set for Tuesday Feb. 26 and Wednesday Feb. 27, at the Klamath County Fairgrounds, will look at creative ways to minimize livestock losses due to wolf depredation in large pastures and open range. Participants will learn about the many proactive techniques ranchers can use to tackle tough issues – including understanding wolf behavior, range riding, low-stress livestock handling, carcass management, profitability of different management regimes, and community-based problem solving.


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ENDANGERED WOLVES BEING CAUGHT IN TRAPS IN NEW MEXICO

February 12th, New Mexico: The federal government has struggled over two decades to reintroduce the Mexican gray wolf to its historic range, being hampered along the way by everything from legal challenges to poaching, politics and concerns over genetic diversity. Now four wolves have been caught in traps in New Mexico over the past two months. Environmentalists are calling on New Mexico lawmakers to ban trapping on public land.


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MONTANA WOLF PAYOUT BILL CALLED UNETHICAL

February 11th, Montana: A pair of bills to encourage more people to kill wolves drew spirited debate at the Montana Legislature’s Fish, Wildlife and Parks Committee Jan. 31.
Committee Chairman Rep. Bob Brown, R-Thompson Falls, said the measures would restore balance to struggling elk and deer populations in his region. Opponents called the changes unnecessary and unethical.


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GETTING GRIZZLIES OF THE ENDANGERED LIST AGAIN ON WISH LIST FOR MONTANA LAWMAKERS

February 10th, Montana: If a joint resolution passes a public hearing, the state’s congressional delegation will be asked to draft a bill giving Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Department responsibility for grizzly management and blocking any court review of the move. Fish and Wildlife Services attempted to delist the Greater Yellowstone grizzlies in 2017, but a federal court ruling last September vacated that decision.


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GROUPS CONTINUE LOBBYING TO REINTRODUCE THE GRAY WOLF TO COLORADO; CCA PRESIDENT SAYS 'GRAY WOLVES ARE RECOVERED'

February 8th, Colorado: The Sierra Club, Rocky Mountain Wolf Project, and the Ted Turner Foundation have been active and vocal about their intent to lobby for the reintroduction of wolves into Colorado. However, members of the Colorado Cattlemen's Association, say that gray wolves reintroduced into some of the states to the north have quickly grown in numbers and have caused extensive livestock depredation.


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BEST BETS | 'STILL WILD AT HEART' TO BE SCREENED AT RIO

February 6th, California: This intriguing film, which tells the story of the return of coyotes to San Francisco and other American cities, begins at 7 p.m. Saturday, February 9th at the Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave, Santa Cruz. It is a fundraiser for Native Animal Rescue. The film will feature scientists who will give insights into how coyotes impact city ecosystems, how humans can coexist with them safely, and why people should choose to do so. Following the film, guest speaker Camilla Fox, founder of Project Coyote, will share her knowledge and wisdom about coexisting with coyotes and other carnivores.


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MINNESOTA WOLF TAKEN TO ISLE ROYALE LAST FALL WALKS ACROSS ICE BACK TO MAINLAND

February 6th: A female gray wolf, which was among four wolves moved from Minnesota to Isle Royale National Park last fall, decided to return to the mainland, a more than fifteen mile journey across the frozen surface of Lake Superior. Studies have shown that a wolf moved less than 80 miles from its original territory might try to return home.


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LIMITS OF HUNTING ON COYOTES IN N.H. GETS THUMBS DOWN FROM COMMITTEE

February 6th, New Hampshire: Currently, there are no daytime hunting restrictions on Eastern coyotes, including no limits on how many may be killed or what time of year they can be hunted, Chris Schadler, a New Hampshire expert whose Project Coyote is a well-respected resource on animals is generally not a proponent of hunting coyotes. She argues that the structure of coyote interaction means that killing adults, particularly adult females, can actually increase the coyote population because it disrupts family dynamics and leads to larger, or more, litters of pups.


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YELLOWSTONE WOLVES SHOULD BE OFF LIMITS TO HUNTING, TRAPPING

February 4th, Montana: SB 185, a new bill introduced in the Montana Senate, would close two “wolf management units” adjacent to the northern boundary of the Yellowstone National Park to wolf hunting and trapping. The long-running debate over whether to close certain areas just outside Yellowstone Park to protect some of its most admired wildlife is complex; however, SB 185 offers a targeted, warranted solution.


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ANNUAL MEXICAN WOLF SURVEY COMING IN ARIZONA, NEW MEXICO

February 2nd: The annual Mexican wolf population survey and capture is a cooperative effort among the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Arizona Game and Fish Department, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and the White Mountain Apache Tribe. The winter survey creates a snapshot of the Mexican wolf population for agencies making decisions on their future. A Friday news release about the survey said there were a minimum of 114 wolves in the wild in Arizona and New Mexico at the end of 2017.


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MONTANA WOLF MANAGEMENT MAY SEE CHANGES

February 1st, Montana:If bills introduced within the state legislature pass, they would allow for increased wolf hunting quotas and more scrutiny when it comes to trapping, the Independent Records reports. These bills are reportedly a result of discussions with hunters in the northwest portion of the state, who report more wolves and less deer and elk.