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Wolf News - January 2019

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GRAY WOLF RETURNS BACK TO NEVADA COUNTY

January 30th, California: OR-54, a collared gray wolf from Oregon, has again crossed over into the Nevada County area of California. This same female gray wolf previously visited the area last June. In the past year, OR-54 has logged over 4,300 miles and has traveled as far as Bend, Oregon. It is believed that she is still alone and is continuing her dispersal from her Oregon pack.


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ANIMAL RIGHTS GROUPS, ARIZONA HUNTERS AT ODDS OVER WILDLIFE HUNTING CONTESTS

January 29th, Arizona: Hunting coyotes in Arizona is legal and has a year-round open season. There is no bag limit on the number of coyotes that can be harvested by a hunter. However, not everyone is OK with these contests. In the last several months, animal rights groups, including a coalition known as I AM WOLF NATION in partnership with Project Coyote and some Arizona residents, have been working to end the contests.


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ENDANGERED GRAY WOLF IN CALIFORNIA MUST BE PROTECTED, COURT RULES

January 29th, California: A new ruling, by San Diego Superior Court Judge Eddie Sturgeon, upheld a 2014 decision by the California Fish and Game Commission to protect the gray wolves, which have expanded their range into California. “This is a great result for the vast majority of Californians who want wolves to recover and who understand their importance to healthy ecosystems,” said Amaroq Weiss, the West Coast wolf advocate for the Center for Biological Diversity.


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ISLE ROYALE WOLF TRANSPLANT TO ADVANCE

January 28th, Michigan: Thanks to a grant intended to “shutdown proof” the National Parks Service effort from future federal budget woes,the wolf relocation to Isle Royale will move forward. Six wolves from Ontario’s Michipicoten Island in Lake Superiorwill join the three Minnesota wolves brought to the island last fall.


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MUTANT BLUE-EYED COYOTES SPREADING THROUGH CALIFORNIA

January 28th, California: While almost all coyotes have golden-brown irises, in the last few months, at least five coyotes with blue eyes have been seen and photographed in Northern California. Blue is an incredibly rare eye color for coyotes, and it’s likely caused by a chance mutation.


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DEATH OF LEADER HURTS YELLOWSTONE WOLF PACK

January 28th: When a pack alpha is killed, like 926F, the alpha female of Yellowstone’s famous Lamar Canyon Pack, the pack often disintegrates — leaving the younger inexperienced wolves leaderless and more likely to get into trouble. Since 926F’s death, her pack haunts the communities of Silver Gate and Cooke City searching for her.


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2018 WAS A ROUGH YEAR FOR WYOMING GRIZZLIES

January 23rd, Wyoming: A Wyoming Game and Fish Department report published last week shows that on 59 occasions, grizzlies were captured in the aftermath of having killed livestock, pillaged fruit trees, pet food or garbage, or acted too boldly around people. The Yellowstone region’s 700 or so grizzlies made major headlines in 2018, a year that a U.S. District Court judge’s decision reverted the population to “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act and, in doing so, blocked planned hunts in Idaho and Wyoming.


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OREGON RANCHER USES LIME-GREEN INFLATABLE AIR DANCER TO SHOO WOLVES

January 23rd, Oregon: A rancher in Jackson County began using a lime-green inflatable dancing man to keep the predators at bay. This was after the pack killed a calf in the same field where the wolves had already eaten five calves and one guard dog. The rancher said he doesn't know whether the flailing dancer will be a long-term deterrent to the pack preying on his cattle, but the first two nights proved successful.


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AROUND THE TOWN: FILM AND PANEL DISCUSSION ON WILDLIFE KILLING CONTESTS

January 22nd, Arizona: There will be a free screening of the documentary Killing Games: Wildlife in the Crosshairs, which examines the growing plague of wildlife killing contests, at Coconino Center for the Arts on Thursday, Jan. 24 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Killing Games is produced by the nonprofit group Project Coyote. It will be followed by a panel discussion moderated by Betsy Klein, Co-founder of I am Wolf Nation with panelists Matt Francis, Program Associate, Project Coyote; Joe Trudeau, Southwest Advocate, Center for Biological Diversity; Amber Fields, hunter and conservationist, and Emily Renn, Executive Director, Grand Canyon Wolf Recovery Project.


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STUDENTS WANT CLOSED HUNTING SEASON ON COYOTES

January 21st, Vermont: Two of Vermont Law School students began looking into Vermont’s coyote hunting regulations a year or so ago when the Legislature banned coyote hunting contests. Dave Jennings and Sadie Jacobs are second-year students and said they and others have done some research, sought advice, and gauged public interest in having a closed coyote season via an online petition. The Change.org petition that the Vermont Law School’s Student Animal Legal Defense Fund started had slightly over 5,000 signatures as of Monday afternoon.


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MONTANA LEGISLATOR SAYS IT'S TIME TO DELIST THE GRIZZLY

January 21st, Montana: Grizzlies have become the center of debate recently as state wildlife officials adopt plans to manage the grizzly population should management be handed over to the states. Senator Mike Cuffe believes the grizzly population has recovered thanks to the time spent on the endangered species list. However, in September, a U.S. District Court judge in Missoula vacated a ruling by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service which removed protections for grizzly bears, saying the agency failed to support its conclusion that the “current Greater Yellowstone population is not threatened by its isolation.”


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AUTHORITIES: 2 MEN CONFESS IN SEPARATE ILLEGAL WOLF KILLINGS

January 21st, Michigan: Poachers have confessed to killing two wolves which were found dead in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The Department of Natural Resources announced Friday that prosecutors are reviewing the cases for possible charges against the two men.


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HIGH-PROFILE POACHER PLEADS GUILTY

January 18th, Washington: William Haynes, pleaded guilty this week to five counts of first-degree unlawful hunting of big game (a felony), five counts of first-degree waste of fish and wildlife (a gross misdemeanor), and five counts of illegal hunting with the aid of a dog (a gross misdemeanor). In some cases, bears were still alive as Dill’s dogs gnawed on their flesh, according to Washington Fish and Wildlife.


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LIVING WITH WOLVES, BY JIM POLLING SR.

January 17th: The trophy killing of Spitfire, a seven-year-old alpha female gray wolf revered by Yellowstone biologists and wildlife enthusiasts last fall, has renewed calls for a no-hunt buffer zone around some national parks. The idea is to protect wildlife such as wolves and grizzly bears that live in the parks but sometimes wander beyond their boundaries. Spitfire's death has also called attention to trophy hunting which is killing for ego, for bragging rights, to stuff and display an animal’s body, or to hang its skin or other parts on a wall.


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'OUTDATED' MANAGEMENT PLAN INCREASES RISKS TO ALASKA'S LARGE CARNIVORES

January 15th, Alaska: Gray wolves, brown bears and black bears are managed in most of Alaska in ways designed to significantly lower their numbers so hunters can kill more moose, caribou and deer. Paring populations of large carnivores interferes with important ecosystem services that predators atop the food chain provide, scientists assert.


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WASHINGTON'S FIRST KARELIAN BEAR DOGS, CREDITED WITH BUSTING POACHERS AND SAVING COUGAR KITTENS

January 13th, Washington: Cash and Mishka, the first Karelian Bear Dogs to work for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, assisted in hundreds of wildlife conflict calls. The two canines helped bust poachers, find and save orphaned cougar kittens and proved that a couple lied about being attacked by a cougar. WDFW’s Karelian dog program is funded by private donations. Both recently died of natural causes.


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RED WOLVES NEED PROTECTION, NOT AN EXTINCTION PLAN

January 12th: Last year, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service proposed drastic management plan changes that would allow the killing of red wolves. The proposal, which could be finalized in the next few months, would eliminate protections for all red wolves that wander off federal property and curtail previous goals for range and population size. That could bring a tragic end to the red wolf’s long history.


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WOLF MANAGEMENT PLAN TO MOVE FORWARD WITH MARCH VOTE

January 11th, Oregon: After years of contentious talks and meetings, and the pulling out of those talks by Defenders of Wildlife, Oregon Wild, Cascadia Wildlands and the Center for Biological Diversity, Oregon is moving forward with their revised Wolf Management Plan. Conservationists want non-lethal deterrents that will keep wolves from preying on livestock and ranchers and hunters want more lenient rules on when wolves that repeatedly kill cows and sheep can be killed.


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WOLF KILLING LEADS TO CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION

Lassen County, CA: A young Oregon wolf’s venture into California and Lassen County may have led to his sudden, perhaps criminal and untimely death....

TAKE ACTION


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WOLVES EXPAND THEIR TERRITORY IN WISCONSIN

January 10th, Wisconsin: DNR biologists say that an adult female wolf, recently found illegally shot, likely belonged to a pack in Waupaca County and is further evidence that wolf territory in Wisconsin is expanding. According to DNR Regional Wildlife Biologist Jeff Pritzl, it is estimated that there are 238 packs, accounting for a minimum of 905 wolves in Wisconsin.


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NEW COLORADO "STOP THE WOLF COALITION" KICKS-OFF EFFORTS WITH PROGRAM SCREENING

January 11th, Colorado: The Colorado "Stop the Wolf Coalition" will work to educate the public and ultimately stop introduction of wolves into the state. The newly formed Coalition is made up of concerned sportsmen, farmers and ranchers, businesses and individuals from southwest Colorado.


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GOVERNMENT RESTAFFS WILDLIFE REFUGEES DURING SHUTDOWN TO ALLOW HUNTERS ACCESS

January 9th, Washington: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is directing dozens of wildlife refuges to return to work to make sure hunters and others have access despite the government shutdown, according to an email obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press.


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'IT'S TOUGH SLEEPING AT NIGHT': RANCHERS SEEK TO PROTECT THEIR HERDS AS THE WOLVES MOVE IN

January 9th, California: Now that a pack of wolves has settled into the northern California mountains, environmentalists are celebrating—wolves were extirpated from the state in the 1920s—however, ranchers are wringing their hands amid a handful of livestock killings. Karin Vardaman with the advocacy group Defenders of Wildlife helped form the "Working Circle Proactive Stewardship" which promotes a suite of non-lethal wolf deterrents and teaches tactics like bunching cattle together and rotating them around grazing areas, which helps keep wolves at bay.


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EARTH NOTES: MEXICAN GRAY WOLF CROSS-FOSTERING

January 9th, Arizona: Mexican wolves remain the rarest subspecies of the gray wolf in North America, with just over a hundred in the wild. In order to boost genetic diversity to the remaining population, biologists have applied an experimental technique in recent years called cross-fostering. They swap out wild or captive-born pups into wild litters, and the young are then raised by surrogate parents.


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HUNTER SHOOTS WOLF NEAR NORTHEASTERN MONTANA'S GLASGOW

January 9th, Montana: A local hunter who was out hunting coyotes about a mile southwest of Glasgow, happened to see the female wolf and shot her. Wolves may be hunted throughout the state, with a season from Sept. 2-Sept. 14 (archery) and Sept. 15-March 15 (rifle).


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NEW NONPROFIT SEEKS TO BE 'RAND CORP. OF HUNTING' FOUNDER SAYS HE'LL DRAW A LINE ON HUNTER ETHICS WHERE OTHER GROUPS SHY AWAY.

January 8th, Wyoming: Regulation demanding ethical behavior is needed to save big-game hunting, says Jackson Hole hunter Rob Shaul, who is starting a new nonprofit to advance his cause. “When it comes to ethics, our focus is not only to maintain the balance of fair chase, but also to understand what nonhunters think and perceive about hunting,” Shaul said.


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WOLF EXPERT COMING TO NORTHERN GREAT LAKES VISITOR CENTER

January 8th, Wisconsin: On Jan. 17 at the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center at 7 p.m., Adrian Wydeven, a wolf biologist and chairman of the Timber Wolf Alliance council, will present an update on wolf status and management issues in Wisconsin. He will also cover the wolf relocation program at Isle Royale National Park.


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TROPHY HUNTING PROTEST SET SATURDAY

January 7th, Wyoming: The Jackson-based Wyoming Wildlife Advocates say that Saturday's protest is part of a larger Worldwide Rally Against Trophy Hunting (WRATH) focusing on the Safari Club International Conference in Reno, Nevada this weekend. The protest is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, January 12, at the Jackson Town Square.


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ENVIRONMENTALISTS WITHDRAW FROM 'BROKEN' OREGON WOLF PLAN NEGOTATIONS

January 7th, Oregon: Ranchers, hunters and wolf conservation advocates have been in talks with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife over an update to the rules governing the protection and management of the state’s wolf population, But Oregon Wild, Defenders of Wildlife, Cascadia Wildlands and the Center for Biological Diversity are now pulling out of the process and plan to oppose the state’s plan.


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FEDERAL SHUTDOWN DELAYS WINTER STUDY, COULD STALL EFFORTS TO BRING NEW WOLVES TO ISLE ROYALE

January 7th: For the last sixty years, researchers at Michigan Tech have conducted a wolf and moose study on Isle Royale, monitoring the health of the eecosystem. Rolf Peterson, one of the study’s authors, said the Winter Study was supposed to be the first chance researchers would have to check on the wolves recently released there. He said if the shutdown lasts longer than 7 weeks the study might not happen.


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WOLF KILLING LEADS TO CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION

January 7th, California: On Dec. 9, 2018, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife was notified by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife that it had received a “mortality signal for OR-59, a young Oregon wolf who had ventured into California and Lassen County. Investigators responded to the scene and found OR-59 deceased. According to the CDFW website, “This is now under a criminal investigation conducted by wildlife officers from CDFW’s law enforcement division.


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LAS CRUCES FILM SCREENING AND PANEL DISCUSSION ON WILDLIFE KILLING CONTESTS

January 7th, New Mexico: Wildlife killing contests are events in which contestants compete for prizes for killing the most animals in a given time frame. The targets are usually carnivores such as coyotes, bobcats, and foxes. The film Killing Games: Wildlife in the Crosshairs which examines the growing plague of wildlife killing contests will be screened on January 10, 2019 at the Las Cruces High School


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COMPETITIVE COYOTE HUNTING: DISCOVERY OF CARCASSES MAY POINT TO LOCAL ORGANIZED HUNTS

January 6th, Indiana: A grisly discovery on Dec. 21st of coyote carcasses on the side of the road indicated that whoever dumped the carcasses might have been involved in a loosely organized competitive hunt. Katie Stennes, programs and community manager for Project Coyote, a nationwide organization that is part of the National Coalition to End Killing Contests,said that there are three organized coyote killing contests in January and February in Indiana. This is something the organization is monitoring, along with contests in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois, states where the contests are very popular.


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ROGUE PACK OF WOLVES TAKES DOWN EIGHTH COW IN OREGON

January 4th, Oregon: The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife says a livestock owner found an injured calf on New Year's Day on a ranch in the Boundary Butte area where the Rogue Pack has killed before. Gray wolf OR-7's Rogue Pack has been blamed for the killing at a ranch in southwest Oregon, marking the eighth confirmed livestock kill attributed to the pack since late October.


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PUBLIC RECORDS LAWSUIT SEEKS EMAILS ON TRUMP ADMINISTRATION'S RED WOLF EXTINCTION PLAN

January 4th, North Carolina: A lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court by The Center for Biological Diversity regarding the highly controversial management plan for the critically endangered red wolf. The lawsuit comes after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service illegally refused to comply with the Center’s 2016 request under the Freedom of Information Act, seeking public documents on the plan’s development. The agency’s management plan could undermine Endangered Species Act protections for the world’s most endangered wolf.


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GRANT PROGRAM AIMS TO DETER MEXICAN WOLF, CATTLE CONFLICTS

January 3rd, Arizona: The Arizona Game and Fish Department announced Thursday that the livestock loss board unanimously approved a grant program that would research measures that could prevent conflicts between livestock and Mexican gray wolves. As part of its role, the board reimburses livestock producers whose cattle were lost to the endangered predators.


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DESCENDANTS OF HISTORIC PENNSYLVANIA WOLVES LIVE IN MONTANA

January 3rd, Montana: Wolf Haven International, a Washington-based wolf rescue group, have become the new owners of some captive wolves this year, taking over a legacy that dates back to 1921. That’s when Edward McCleery — a Kane, Pennsylvania, physician — began buying pups as wolves were being exterminated across the West, in order to preserve the animals’ bloodline from extinction.


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AS WOLVES PROLIFERATE IN WISCONSIN, VOLUNTEERS TRACK RANGE AND NUMBERS

January 2nd, Wisconsin: With a comeback aided by protection from the Endangered Species Act of 1973, wolves reclaimed habitat in Wisconsin. By the 2010s, the species was established across the entire northern third of Wisconsin as well as in the Central Sand Plains region, with numbers hovering around 900 by 2017. Volunteers are an integral part of helping the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources keep track of the state's gray wolf population.


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BRING BACK THE GRAY WOLF

January 2nd, Arkansas: Can the ecological success in Yellowstone be replicated in the state of Arkansas? There are those who believe that it can if there is a concentrated effort to restore the gray wolf there.


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ZOO HOPES NEW ARRIVAL WILL HELP BOOST GRAY WOLF NUMBERS

January 1st, New Mexico: A 4-year-old Mexican gray wolf was transferred earlier this month from the Binder Park Zoo in Michigan to join a 4-year-old female at ABQ BioPark Zoo in New Mexico. At the same time, a 7-year-old male was moved from the BioPark Zoo to his new home at the Brookfield Zoo near Chicago. The transferring of the animals from zoo to zoo is part of the Mexican Gray Wolf Species Survival Plan.