Gunning For Four Wolf Packs In Montana….What About The Pups?

August 1, 2014

This was first posted in 2010. Wildlife Services continued to kill wolves even though 500 wolves died in the Northern Rockies in 2009,  due to the first wolf hunts held in Montana and Idaho after the Obama admin. stripped them of their ESA protections. Along with poaching and Wildlife Services, wolves continued to die in 2010 after the hunts were over. This is just a fraction of the damage Montana and Idaho have inflicted on wolves  over the last five years. Read it and weep, then get active. There’s  a time to write about tragedy and a time to do something about it.  How many more years will I have to report about dead wolves?  It’s burning a hole in my soul.

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May 5, 2010

Wolf killing season continues even though the “legal hunts” are over.

Wildlife Services and Montana FWP are gunning for four wolf packs. The Trapper Peak Pack, Miner Lakes Pack, Bender Pack and any remaining wolves from the Battlefield Pack.

Do any of these packs have pups? It’s pup season and babies are just weeks old, totally dependent on their mothers to survive. Is this how Montana FWP  intends to further reduce the wolf population by wiping out wolf pups when they kill their parents?  The situation is disgusting to say the least. What happens to these pups when their parents are killed. They are BABIES!  Do they leave them for dead, kill them along with the other members of the pack?  When is this going to end?

The Montana Wildlife Services wolf extermination squad continue  to go after wolves for livestock depredation even though wolf predation is a tiny figure in overall cattle deaths. Let’s ask ranchers how many cows they lose to disease, weather, theft and reproductive issues? They don’t want to talk about that because they don’t get reimbursed for cows killed by lighting.

People are outraged by the continued wolf killing. And the ranchers just sit back and let the feds take care of “the problem” for them. Why do Montanans owe the ranchers anything? It’s their cattle. Hire range riders, use electrified fladry, herders, guard dogs, what ever you have to do but why are federal tax dollars being used to kill wolves for agribusiness? It’s a subsidy for ranching  pure and simple.

Yes, Montana Wildlife Services has been very busy and it’s only four months into the 2010.  Read it and weep.

Stats From Montana FWP Weekly Wolf Reports:

Horse Prairie Pack….12/31 and 1/5 two wolves killed,  3/31 WS authorized to remove entire pack, 4/1, WS authorized to remove remaining two wolves,  4/21 collared female killed. (breeding pair at  end of 2009)
 
Miner Lakes Pack 1/8 two wolves killed, 2/15 authorized to remove entire pack.
 
Bender Pack 1/14 one wolf killed, 1/20 one wolf killed, 3/11 WS  gunning for last wolf in this pack
 
Fishtrap Pack 2/8 authorized to remove 1/2 the pack (up to four wolves), 4/22 WS killed wolf NW221F who was the last collared wolf remaining (was breeding pair end of 2009)
 
Camas Prairie Pack 2/4 two  wolves killed, 2/17 one wolf killed, 4/21 one wolf killed, 4/22 killed remaining collared wolf

Candy Mountain Pack 4/1 Authorized to kill two wolves  (breeding pair end of 2009)

Dry Forks Pack 4/6 Removing wolves and collaring wolves, 4/7  one wolf killed, possibly two. (breeding pair end of 2009)

Ninemile Pack 3/23  one wolf shot from helicopter (breeding pair end of 2009)

Silcox Pack 3/ 5 one pup killed (breeding pair end of 2009)

Superior Pack 4/20 two wolves killed, 4/21 alpha male killed which removed the entire pack ( six wolves killed in total)  (was breeding pair end of 2009)

Cedar Creek Pack  4/22 WS services given permission to kill five wolves from this pack, WS has killed three of those wolves

Trapper Peak Pack:  alpha male and another wolf killed 2009,  4/13 (aprox date) yearling  wolf shot by rancher, 4/23 WS authorized to kill entire pack

 3/8 one wolf killed 

3/23 three wolves killed

 4/9 Gunning for entire wolf pack near Wisdom 

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From Ralph Maughin’s Website: From April 22, 2010

March Idaho Wolf Management Progress Report released

April 22, 2010 — Ken Cole 
 28 wolves killed in control since the beginning of the year 

The Idaho Wolf Management Progress Report has been released by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. So far the report says there have been 28 wolves killed for 14 livestock animals taken. This doesn’t make sense when you consider that last month’s depredation numbers were the same as this month’s yet they report that 8 calves were taken and 10 wolves killed this month. Something didn’t get updated properly. 

It also notes that “Additional capture efforts are planned through April.” This is noteworthy since wolves den in April. Does this mean that they have been capturing pregnant females just before denning? Usually ground trapping doesn’t occur when there is a chance of freezing temperatures due to the possibility of injury to the wolves’ feet so presumably capturing refers to aerial darting of wolves.

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This was not the purpose of the reintroduction. 

Nobody envisioned wolves would be continually killed by the state for agribusiness. Why would you reintroduce wolves in the West only to send them down the road to extinction, once again? This is slaughter pure and simple and it’s WRONG.

And again, what about the newly born pups? They are doomed along with their parents!

Wildlife officials target 3 wolf packs for attacks on stock in Big Hole Valley

 By the Associated Press | Posted: Friday, April 23, 2010 9:47 pm
 

http://missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/article_2fb6262e-4f54-11df-85a6-001cc4c03286.html

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State decides to kill Trapper Peak wolf pack

 Ravalli Republic | Posted: Wednesday, May 5, 2010 12:00 am

http://ravallirepublic.com/news/local/article_436e6a62-57df-11df-8321-001cc4c03286.html

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Bitteroot Wolf Pack To Be Eliminated

Posted: Apr 28, 2010 4:09 PM
By Mark Holyoak

http://www.kpax.com/news/bitterroot-wolf-pack-to-be-eliminated/

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Montana, Idaho and Wyoming Wolf Policies Foreshadow Extinction

The federal authorization for each state to reduce wolves to 100-150 animals puts northern Rockies wolves on a spiral toward extinction.

By Michael J. Robinson, Guest Writer, 4-21-10

 http://www.newwest.net/topic/article/montana_idaho_and_wyoming_wolf_policies_foreshadow_extinction/C559/L559/

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Please write to Carolyn Sime and the rest of the wolf team to express your outrage over the continued killing of wolves for agribusiness:

Carolyn Sime, Helena

Montana Statewide Wolf Coordinator
(406) 444-3242 (work)
(406) 461-0587 (cell)

Click Here To Email Her:

Click Here To Contact Montana Wolf Team:

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Write to Montana’s Office of Tourism and tell them you want Montana to stop killing wolves or you won’t spend tourist dollars in the state:

Montana Office of Tourism

Mailing Address
Montana Office of Tourism
PO Box 200533
Helena MT 59620-0501

Email
mt-webmaster@visitmt.com

Phone/FAX
Phone: 406.841.2870
Fax: 406.841.2871

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Lastly, please stop eating beef!!  It’s a cruel industry and will help save wolves.  Watch Earthlings and Food, Inc. to see how much ranchers care about their cows and sheep.  It will make you sick!

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Helicopter Photo: Courtesy AGRO, James Balog

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Wildlife Services War on Wildlife, Howling For Justice

Tags: wolf pups,  wolf slaughter, wolf persecution, killing wolves for agribusiness

 

The Amazing Journey and Sad End of Wolf 314F (UPDATE)

July 26, 2014

This little Mill Creek Pack wolf was another casualty of the war on wolves.

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UPDATE: October 16, 2012

I posted this story in October 2009 about an amazing little Mill Creek Pack wolf, who traveled 1000 miles from her home in Montana to a lonely hillside in Colorado, called “No Name Ridge”, where her bones were found.

Her death has been under investigation by USFWS all this time.

Finally, after almost two years,  it was announced she was poisoned by the deadly compound 1080. It is one of the horrific poisons Wildlife Services uses in its arsenal to kill our wildlife.

The organization Predator Defense has been trying for years to ban this  deadly compound along with Sodium Cyanide, used in M-44s. So far they have been unsuccessful in their bid to do so. Maybe now people will wake up and realize they must  pressure Congress to ban these deadly poisons FOREVER.

Apparently Compound 1080 is banned in Colorado, which would make 314f’s death an illegal killing.

This is a sad day for me to learn how the little 20 month old 314f  died. Her epic journey to Colorado, ended in an agonizing death at the hand of Compound 1080.

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Wildlife investigators: Poison killed Colorado wolf

DENVER (AP) — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says a gray wolf that strayed from the Yellowstone region into Colorado where it died in 2009 was killed by the poison Compound 1080.

The substance, also known as sodium fluoroacetate, is found in collars used to protect sheep and goats from coyotes.

Gray wolves are considered endangered in Colorado. At least two that wandered from the Yellowstone area have been spotted in the state

The wolf that died was a female from Montana’s Mill Creek pack and was collared as part of an effort to improve wolf-monitoring techniques. Her tracking collar indicated she broke from her pack and wandered about 1,000 miles to Colorado, to Eagle County.

http://www.coloradoan.com/article/20110110/UPDATES01/110110026/Wildlife+investigators++Poison+killed+Colorado+wolf

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The Amazing Journey and Sad End of  Wolf 314f

Wolf1

She traveled through five states, her GPS collar registering 1000 miles.  This young Mill Creek Pack wolf  left her Montana home in September 08 and arrived in Colorado in February 09.  Her epic journey was long and precarious.  She was tracked through Yellowstone National Park, western Wyoming, the Bridger-Teton National Forest, southeastern Idaho , northeastern Utah, finally arriving in Eagle County, Colorado.

Her journey ended in February 09 on a lonely hillside in Colorado called “No Name Ridge, where her bones were found.  Nobody is saying how she died.  The investigation into her death is ongoing.

314F’s life and death reinforces the argument wolves need ESA protection,  especially when they’re dispersing  in search of other wolves or a mate.  They’re under constant pressure from the SSS mentality, which makes this young wolf’s journey so incredible.

Against all odds, this twenty month old wolf showed the world what wolves are made of. I hope Wildlife officials discover how she met her end.  If she died by human hands this person or persons should be prosecuted!

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Lonely Lady Wolf Looks For Love in All The Wrong Places

Rocky Mountain News

By Berny Morson

Published February 25, 2009 at 3:09 p.m.

Call it the power of  love.

A female wolf has wandered more than 1,000 miles through five states in search of a mate and is now in Colorado’s Eagle County, wildlife officials in Colorado and Montana said Wednesday.

The wolf, known only as 314F, set off on her lonely quest in September when, for reasons unknown, she became unhappy with the male prospects among the pack of seven animals she was born into 20 months earlier.

Since then, 314F has followed her heart from the Paradise Valley north of Yellowstone National Park through Wyoming, Utah and Idaho. She has trotted past areas where other wolf packs are known to live toward a state that has not had a wolf population for 60 years.

Montana officials follow her progress with a global positioning device on a collar that was fitted to her neck in July.

“Basically, what she’s doing is, she’s wandering around looking to see if there’s other wolves around,” said Carolyn Sime, wolf program coordinator for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

Her prospects here are not good. The last confirmed wolf sighting in Colorado was a male who made his way from Yellowstone in 2004. But he was killed on Interstate 70 near Idaho Springs before anyone knew he was here.

Colorado Division of Wildlife biologist Shane Briggs said that when wolf packs get too large, some animals leave in search of a mate with whom to start a new pack in a different area, Briggs said. That’s how the species increases its range, he said.

Before the 2004 sighting, wolves were considered extinct in Colorado. The last confirmed one had been killed in 1943.

Wolves were reintroduced in Yellowstone National Park in 1995.

http://www.rockymountainnews.com/news/2009/feb/25/yellowstone-wolf-travels-1000-miles-colorado/?partner=RSS

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MYSTERIOUS DEATH

News_Colorado_Wolf-300x0

Wolf 314F lies under anesthesia after being fitted with a GPS collar on July 1, 2008. The collar has tracked the wolf on an epic journey from Montana to Colorado. Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks photo

Suspicion Surrounds Colorado Wolf Death

Did the epic journey of Wolf 341F from Montana to Colorado end at the hands of a human? Officials aren’t saying.

By David Frey, 9-27-09

A wolf that wandered from Montana and died in Colorado earlier this year met its end on a hillside about 24 miles north of Rifle, according to government documents obtained by an environmental organization.

Federal wildlife law enforcement officers continue to investigate the death of a Montana wolf that wandered from Montana and died in Colorado, nearly after a year after the wolf’s carcass was collected, raising speculation that the wolf was killed by a human.

“It’s a good question, but I’m not going to answer it,” says George Morrison, Colorado senior wildlife agent for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Morrison confirmed the examination of the body, called a necropsy, had been completed, but he said the results would be closed to the public until agents complete their investigation.

“It could be two weeks or as long as a year,” he says. “It’s important to us not to impede the investigation.”

Wildlife officials have refused to divulge specifics about the wolf’s condition or its final whereabouts. But Rob Edward, carnivore recovery director for WildEarth Guardians, said he discovered its final location through an open-records request seeking information about wolves in Colorado. The documents showed the last location of the wolf to be about 24 miles north of the Western Slope town of Rifle, less than two miles west of Highway 13.

“I have believed for the last couple of months that they definitely have a law enforcement angle on this,” Edward said. “Otherwise they would tell you that it died of natural causes.”

Intentionally killing a wolf in Colorado would be a violation of the Endangered Species Act and state statutes that protect endangered species.

Edward described the site as “within rifle distance of a road.” Maps show the location to be what appears to be a scrub-covered hillside in an area known as No Name Ridge, apparently on Bureau of Land Management land just north of a dirt road called Thirteenmile Road.

“That’s the way the wolves from the Northern Rockies are going to come,” Edward said. “What we have to work on is making those lands safer.”

Known as wolf 341F, the 18-month-old female made headlines for making a 1,000-mile journey from the outskirts of Yellowstone National Park to Colorado. Biologists tracked her movements using a GPS unit in a collar fitted to her neck.

Researchers said she was a member of the Mill Creek pack and wandered from the pack’s location between towns of Gardiner and Livingston, Mont., in search of a mate.

She left her pack in September 2008 and took a meandering path through Wyoming, Idaho and Utah to Eagle County. She crossed back into Wyoming, then back into western Colorado where her collar showed she stopped moving. Biologists responded and gathered her carcass to perform a necropsy.

Native wolf populations in Colorado were wiped out by the late 1930s. The last record of a native wolf killed in Colorado was in 1943. In June 2004, a radio-collared wolf from Yellowstone was found killed by a passing motorist on Interstate 70 near Idaho Springs. In 2007, video footage captured an apparent wolf near Walden.

Officials say among Northern Rockies wolves, 26 out of every 100 wolves are killed, almost all of them shot by animal control officers or poachers. Among lone-dispersing wolves like this one, most are hit by cars or illegally killed.

State law does not call for wolf reintroduction, but it does protect wolves that wander into Colorado.

For wolf reintroduction advocates, this wolf’s death highlights a need for more protections.

“They’re not going to come down here and repopulate the area on their own,” Edward said, “especially if they meet that kind of fate.”

http://www.newwest.net/topic/article/suspicion_surrounds_colorado_wolf_death/C41/L41/

* It’s been reported that wolf  314F’s number is actually 341F but since she is so well-known as 314F, I didn’t make any changes.

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Top Photo Compound 1080: Courtesy of AGRO

Middle Photo Compound 1080: Courtesy of Predator Defense

Posted in: Montana wolves, Wildlife Services War on Wildlife, Wolf Wars

Tags: 314f, dispersing wolves, wolves in the crossfire, deadly compound 1080, No Name Ridge, Montana, Colorado, Mill Creek Pack

Remembering The Hog Heaven Wolf Pack…

Hog Heaven wolf pack

February 3, 2014

I wrote this post in October 2009, a month after  Howling For Justice was created and mere months after wolves in the Northern Rockies were delisted by the Obama administration. The first wolf hunts in Montana and Idaho had just gotten underway  but the Hog Heaven Wolf Pack wasn’t killed by hunters, they were wiped out by Wildlife Services in 2008.

27 members strong, with two breeding females and 15 puppies, they are now just a memory, as so many wolf packs are. Today they barely have names, they’re anonymous wolves, who live and die without any recognition. But I remember when Wildlife Services gunned down one of the largest wolf packs to roam Montana. Here’s a look back at the doomed Hog Heaven Pack. In their memory please vow to work harder than ever to stop the slaughter of wolves.

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Hog Hell: The Demise of the Hog Heaven Wolf Pack

October 23, 2009

In 2008, Montana, Idaho and Wyoming killed 245 gray wolves in the name of ”livestock depredation”.

Twenty seven of those wolves were members of the Hog Heaven Wolf Pack, residing southwest of Kalispell, Montana, in the Browns Meadow/Hog Heaven area. They had been accused of preying on a few calves, some llamas and a bull.  The decision was made in November 08 to take out the entire pack.  Eight members of the pack had already been shot from the air by Wildlife Services.

In a three-day period, December 3rd, 4th and 5th of 2008,  the remaining 19 members of the Hog Heaven pack were gunned down, an almost unprecedented event, causing public outrage. Many articles were written  and opinions voiced, opposing the action. FIFTEEN PUPPIES AND TWO BREEDING FEMALES were among the slain.  The Hog Heaven pack was “the seventh entire wolf pack to be killed by Montana in 2008.”

The zero tolerance wolf management plan is just plain wrong and senseless, especially since cattle deaths by wolves are minimal.  Domestic dogs killed five times the number of cows than wolves in 2005.  I don’t see Wildlife Services taking out Labs and Huskies from the air?

The average number of cattle losses specific to wolf predation in these States is less than 0.7%.  This compares to an average of 1.6% of cattle losses due to predation by coyotes and an average of 90% of losses due to non-predator related causes such as health problems and disease.”

*The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), reports on cattle losses in the lower 48 States every five years.  Nationally, health issues such as respiratory problems, digestive problems, calving complications and disease were overwhelmingly the most significant causes of cattle death in 2005.  (The year for which we have the most recent detailed data.)”

“Only 0.11% (about 1/10 of 1%) of all cattle losses were due to wolf predation in 2005. Coyotes killed 22 times more cattle than wolves killed that year.  Domestic dogs killed almost 5 times as many cattle, and vultures killed almost twice as many cattle as wolves in 2005.  Theft was responsible for almost 5 times the cattle losses as were lost by wolf predation.”

http://www.everythingwolf.com/news/readarticle.aspx?article=234

The Hog Heaven pack was special, one of the largest wolf packs ever recorded in Montana, (the once mighty Yellowstone Druid’s had 37 members at their peak).

Instead of trying non-lethal methods to preserve the pack, the state  eliminated them!  AND this all happened while wolves still had ESA protection!!

The anti-wolf crowd wants you to believe wolves are hanging around ranches waiting to prey on livestock, when in reality most of the miniscule depredations take place on our vast public lands, where cattle and sheep are left unprotected.

George Wuerthner, the famed ecologist, calls cows, “walking picnic baskets”. What would you do if you were a predator surrounded by an ocean of cattle and sheep?  Would you munch on them or go after more difficult prey? We already know the answer. Yet the wolf pays the ultimate price for lazy, sloppy ranching practices and the federal government’s refusal to pull public land grazing permits, even though cattle pollute streams, trample riparian zones and over graze the land.

Wolf supporters realize the unfairness of what’s happening.

In 2008, when the Hog Heaven pack was lethally removed, people spoke out:

“Gunning down an entire pack of wolves — a species that is supposed to be protected under the endangered species act — borders on criminal,” said Jerry Black of the Missoula group Wildlife Watchers.

“We are outraged by this senseless slaughter of one of nature’s most majestic animals.”

Added Whitefish resident Roger Sherman: “It seems to me the so-called ’scientific management’ of wolves boils down to simply killing them to conciliate the livestock industry.”

“Brian Vincent, communications director for the group Big Wildlife, insists that the elimination of the Hog Heaven Pack could have been avoided.”

“Why should an entire pack of wolves pay the fatal price for a situation that could probably have been avoided?” he said.

“Both agencies are acting like it’s the Wild West with all guns blazing.”

Yellowstone_Wolves

It’s too late for Hog Heaven, they’re not coming back. This unique pack, was wiped out by Wildlife Services before Montanans could react. Is it any wonder wildlife advocates question the motives behind so many wolves losing their lives for so little reason? Why are the lives of predators held so cheaply?

If the failed policies of the states and feds to “manage wolves” continue, it’s certain they will never fully recover. We’ll be left with fragmented populations of wolves, genetically isolated, constantly under the gun.

What’s behind the intolerance of wolves?  It’s certainly not because they’re killing large numbers of livestock, wolf predation on livestock is minimal.  It’s not because wolves are decimating elk populations. Elk in Montana and Idaho are strong, with numbers way up.  Idaho has 105,000 elk and Montana numbers are even higher at 150,000 plus.

Yet the war on wolves continues. This year the Sage Creek Pack and Yellowstone’s Cottonwood pack were gunned down, one wiped out by Wildlife Services and the other shot in the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness at the beginning of Montana’s wolf hunt.  They join the Hog Heaven Pack and many others in the ever-increasing death toll of gray wolves.

Will it be Hog Heaven or Hog Hell for wolves in the Northern Rockies?

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Wolf photos: Courtesy Wikipedia Commons, All About Wolves, Wolf Wallpaper
Categories posted in: Montana Wolves, Wildlife Services War on Wildlife
Tags:  gray wolf, wolves or livestock, wolf intolerance, Wildlife Services, Hog Heaven Wolf Pack, National Agricultural Statistics Service

Alert: Montana Proposes To Turn Day-To-Day Wolf Management Over To Wildlife Services!!!

Just when you think things couldn’t get any worse for Montana wolves, with the approval of trapping and no quotas during the upcoming 2012/2013 wolf hunt, now the state is proposing to turn the day-to-day management of wolves over to Wildlife Services!!

I’m speechless!!

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From Center For Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, August 23, 2012

Montana to Give Wolf Management to Federal Agency With Legacy of Wolf-killing

SILVER CITY, N.M.— The state of Montana is proposing to turn most day-to-day management of wolves over to Wildlife Services — the same U.S. Department of Agriculture agency responsible for exterminating wolves throughout the West before they gained federal protection in the 1970s.

In a draft protocol released this month to address wolf-livestock conflicts, Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks proposes transferring its authority to decide which wolves will be killed for livestock depredations to Wildlife Services, the federal agency that has killed millions of animals — including thousands of wolves — as part of its work to eradicate and suppress animals considered livestock predators or agricultural pests. The state would retain jurisdiction over public hunting seasons; unlike citizen hunters, Wildlife Services is not limited in where, or how many wolves, it can kill.

“Montana proposes to hand over key decisions on wolves, including how many will survive above a barebones minimum number, to the very federal agency that originally wiped out the West’s wolves,” said Michael Robinson of the Center for Biological Diversity, a group that has advocated for western wolves for more than 20 years. “With no one looking over its shoulder, a secretive branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, partially funded by the livestock industry, will once again serve as prosecutor, judge and, most especially, executioner.”

According to the proposal, Wildlife Services will respond directly to ranchers’ complaints of cattle killed by wolves and could initiate aerial gunning of the animals it deems guilty, informing Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks of how many it has killed only later. Wildlife Services is funded not only by federal appropriations but by matching funds from livestock associations and/or the state and local counties.

Wildlife Services’ only constraints would come if the wolf population drops below 150 animals or 15 breeding pairs. At the end of last year, 653 wolves, including 39 breeding pairs, survived in the state.

A series of investigative articles this spring by Sacramento Bee reporter Tom Knudson found that just since 2000, Wildlife Services has killed millions of animals using methods that are inhumane, illegal and ignore science. In his 2005 book Predatory Bureaucracy: the Extermination of Wolves and the Transformation of the West, the Center’s Michael Robinson documented multiple instances of the agency circumventing or outright breaking rules intended to protect wildlife.

“Putting Montana’s wolves fully in Wildlife Services’ hands will mean two things,” said Robinson. “More wolves will die, and fewer people will know why.”

Background
As a result of hunting and trapping in Idaho and Montana that was intended to drastically reduce wolf numbers, 545 of the 1,900-plus wolves in the two states have been killed over the past year. Additional wolves have been killed by Wildlife Services under criteria loosened since the removal of wolves from the endangered species list in May 2011.

In its decision last year to circumvent the Endangered Species Act and delist wolves by attaching a rider to a budget bill, Congress bypassed the Act’s requirement to adhere to the best available science. Federal courts had previously ruled that wolf delisting was illegal because the Fish and Wildlife Service disregarded scientific findings that wolves in Yellowstone National Park could become genetically isolated and that the wolf population still occupied only a small portion of its historic range.

Wolves are vital to their ecosystems. By deterring elk from browsing on cottonwood sprigs in low-visibility areas alongside rivers, the return of wolves has resulted in more stream side trees, benefiting beavers, fish and songbirds. By controlling the numbers of coyotes, the presence of wolves has led to increased numbers of foxes and pronghorn. Wolves also provide carrion from their leftovers, which is relied upon by scavenging animals such as badgers, eagles and bears.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 375,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2012/wolves-08-23-2012.html

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The Sacramento Bee’s Exposé On Wildlife Services

Deadly Poison 1080 Compound 

The killing agency: Wildlife Services’ brutal methods leave a trail of animal death

By Tom Knudson tknudson@sacbee.com
Published: Sunday, Apr. 29, 2012 – 12:00 am | Page 1A
Last Modified: Wednesday, May. 2, 2012 – 10:52 pm

First of three parts

The day began with a drive across the desert, checking the snares he had placed in the sagebrush to catch coyotes.

Gary Strader, an employee of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, stepped out of his truck near a ravine in Nevada and found something he hadn’t intended to kill.

There, strangled in a neck snare, was one of the most majestic birds in America, a federally protected golden eagle.

“I called my supervisor and said, ‘I just caught a golden eagle and it’s dead,’ ” said Strader. “He said, ‘Did anybody see it?’ I said, ‘Geez, I don’t think so.’

“He said, ‘If you think nobody saw it, go get a shovel and bury it and don’t say nothing to anybody.’ “

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/04/28/4450678/the-killing-agency-wildlife-services.html#storylink=cpy

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Wildlife Services’ deadly force opens Pandora’s box of environmental problems

By Tom Knudson tknudson@sacbee.com
Published: Monday, Apr. 30, 2012 – 12:00 am | Page 1A
Last Modified: Wednesday, May. 2, 2012 – 10:52 pm

Second of three parts

Like the prow of a ship, the Granite Mountains rise sharply from the creamy-white playa of the Black Rock Desert in Nevada.

Here, in rugged terrain owned by the American public, a little-known federal agency called Wildlife Services has waged an eight-year war against predators to try to help an iconic Western big-game species: mule deer.

With rifles, snares and aerial gunning, employees have killed 967 coyotes and 45 mountain lions at a cost of about $550,000. But like a mirage, the dream of protecting deer by killing predators has not materialized.

“It didn’t make a difference,” said Kelley Stewart, a large-mammal ecologist at the University of Nevada, Reno.

For decades, Wildlife Services, part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, has specialized in trapping, poisoning and shooting predators in large numbers, largely to protect livestock and, more recently, big game.

Now such killing is coming under fire from scientists, former employees and others who say it often doesn’t work and can set off a chain reaction of unintended, often negative consequences.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/04/30/4452212/wildllife-services-deadly-force.html#storylink=cpy

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Unforgiving Snares and How They Work

http://www.sacbee.com/2012/04/30/4452212_a4452108/wildllife-services-deadly-force.html

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Long struggles in leg-hold device make for gruesome deaths

By Tom Knudson
tknudson@sacbee.com
Published: Sunday, Apr. 29, 2012 – 12:00 am | Page 15A
Last Modified: Wednesday, May. 2, 2012 – 10:52 pm

No tool in Wildlife Services’ arsenal kills more non selectively – or slowly – than the leg-hold trap.

Since 2000, more than 90 species of wildlife have died by mistake in agency traps, including pronghorn antelope, mule deer, river otters, swift foxes, badgers, porcupines and federally protected bald eagles, government records show.

But whether animals are caught accidentally or not, they often struggle for days and die of exposure, injuries and other causes long before a trapper returns to the site.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/04/28/4450686/ex-trapper-leg-hold-device-probably.html#storylink=cpy

And this is the agency  Montana is going to entrust Montana wolves?

I’m proposing a write-in campaign to the 81 Senators who sold wolves out in the Northern Rockies and delisted them via budget rider. All US Senate Democrats voted for this horror except three, Wyden, Leahy and Levin. I will have more on the write-in campaign soon. We must hold them accountable for what they did and let the world know that Democrats, who say they support the ESA, betrayed wolves, while President Obama signed the bill into law. Obama has delisted wolves twice since he took office, a feat even George Bush couldn’t accomplish.

Now is the perfect time to hold them responsible for throwing wolves under the bus. There’s an election in just 2 1/2 months. We must demand they correct the terrible wrong perpetrated against wolves, letting them know wolves must be placed back on the Endangered Species list, where they won’t be subjected to wolf hunts and brutal state management.  We can remind them if they choose to do nothing we won’t pull  be pulling the lever for them come November.

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Photo: Courtesy James Balog

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Montana wolves, Wildlife Services War on Wildlife

Tags: Wildlife Services, persecution of Montana wolves, MFWP, stand up for wolves, Michael Robinson, Center for Biological Diversity

The Amazing Journey and Sad End of Wolf 314F

May 31, 2012

This important story deserves a repost. The little Montana wolf didn’t have to die. She traveled so far searching for a mate, only to be poisoned for her efforts. Wildlife Services and it’s cache of deadly toxins must be abolished!!

UPDATE: January 10, 2011

I posted this sad tale in October 2009 about an amazing little Mill Creek Pack wolf, who traveled 1000 miles from her home in Montana to a lonely hillside in Colorado, called “No Name Ridge”, where her bones were found.

Her death has been under investigation by USFWS all this time.

Finally, after almost two years,  it was announced she was poisoned by the deadly compound 1080. It is one of the horrific poisons Wildlife Services uses in its arsenal to kill our wildlife.

The organization Predator Defense has been trying for years to ban this  deadly compound along with Sodium Cyanide, used in M-44s. So far they have been unsuccessful in their bid to do so. Maybe now people will wake up and realize they must  pressure Congress to ban these deadly poisons FOREVER.

Apparently Compound 1080 is banned in Colorado, which would make 314f’s death an illegal killing.

This is a sad day for me to learn how the little 20 month old 314f  died. Her epic journey to Colorado, ended in an agonizing death at the hand of Compound 1080.

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Bill to Ban Two Deadly Agents Stalled in Congress

http://www.predatordefense.org/

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From Predator Defense:

Help Us Ban Compound 1080

“From its inception, Predator Defense has fought for a worldwide ban on the deadly poison called Compound 1080. Unfortunately, our bill to ban it is stalled in Congress.”

http://www.predatordefense.org/1080.htm

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2009 Colorado dead wolf was killed by poison . . . the notorious 1080

by RALPH MAUGHAN on JANUARY 10, 2011

http://www.thewildlifenews.com/2011/01/10/colorado-wolf-1080-poison/

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“Two Killers that Need to Go: The Case Against Poisoning our Wildlife and Pets”

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It’s not just used in the US. “New Zealand uses 80% of the world’s production of 1080″ compound.

1080 Compound New Zealand’s Deadly Toxic Poison of Choice

http://www.careydillon.com/unpurenzfinal/poisons.html

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The Amazing Journey and Sad End of  Wolf 314f

October 10, 2009

Wolf1

She traveled through five states, her GPS collar registering 1000 miles.  This young Mill Creek Pack wolf  left her Montana home in September 08 and arrived in Colorado in February 09.  Her epic journey was long and precarious.  She was tracked through Yellowstone National Park, western Wyoming, the Bridger-Teton National Forest, southeastern Idaho , northeastern Utah, finally arriving in Eagle County, Colorado.

Her journey ended in February 09 on a lonely hillside in Colorado called “No Name Ridge, where her bones were found.  Nobody is saying how she died.  The investigation into her death is ongoing.

314F’s life and death reinforces the argument wolves need ESA protection,  especially when they’re dispersing  in search of other wolves or a mate.  They’re under constant pressure from the SSS mentality, which makes this young wolf’s journey so incredible.

Against all odds, this twenty month old wolf showed the world what wolves are made of. I hope Wildlife officials discover how she met her end.  If she died by human hands this person or persons should be prosecuted!

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Lonely Lady Wolf Looks For Love in All The Wrong Places

Rocky Mountain News

By Berny Morson

Published February 25, 2009 at 3:09 p.m.

Call it the power of  love.

A female wolf has wandered more than 1,000 miles through five states in search of a mate and is now in Colorado’s Eagle County, wildlife officials in Colorado and Montana said Wednesday.

The wolf, known only as 314F, set off on her lonely quest in September when, for reasons unknown, she became unhappy with the male prospects among the pack of seven animals she was born into 20 months earlier.

Since then, 314F has followed her heart from the Paradise Valley north of Yellowstone National Park through Wyoming, Utah and Idaho. She has trotted past areas where other wolf packs are known to live toward a state that has not had a wolf population for 60 years.

Montana officials follow her progress with a global positioning device on a collar that was fitted to her neck in July.

“Basically, what she’s doing is, she’s wandering around looking to see if there’s other wolves around,” said Carolyn Sime, wolf program coordinator for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

Her prospects here are not good. The last confirmed wolf sighting in Colorado was a male who made his way from Yellowstone in 2004. But he was killed on Interstate 70 near Idaho Springs before anyone knew he was here.

Colorado Division of Wildlife biologist Shane Briggs said that when wolf packs get too large, some animals leave in search of a mate with whom to start a new pack in a different area, Briggs said. That’s how the species increases its range, he said.

Before the 2004 sighting, wolves were considered extinct in Colorado. The last confirmed one had been killed in 1943.

Wolves were reintroduced in Yellowstone National Park in 1995.

http://www.rockymountainnews.com/news/2009/feb/25/yellowstone-wolf-travels-1000-miles-colorado/?partner=RSS

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MYSTERIOUS DEATH

News_Colorado_Wolf-300x0

Wolf 314F lies under anesthesia after being fitted with a GPS collar on July 1, 2008. The collar has tracked the wolf on an epic journey from Montana to Colorado. Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks photo

Suspicion Surrounds Colorado Wolf Death

Did the epic journey of Wolf 341F from Montana to Colorado end at the hands of a human? Officials aren’t saying.

By David Frey, 9-27-09

A wolf that wandered from Montana and died in Colorado earlier this year met its end on a hillside about 24 miles north of Rifle, according to government documents obtained by an environmental organization.

Federal wildlife law enforcement officers continue to investigate the death of a Montana wolf that wandered from Montana and died in Colorado, nearly after a year after the wolf’s carcass was collected, raising speculation that the wolf was killed by a human.

“It’s a good question, but I’m not going to answer it,” says George Morrison, Colorado senior wildlife agent for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Morrison confirmed the examination of the body, called a necropsy, had been completed, but he said the results would be closed to the public until agents complete their investigation.

“It could be two weeks or as long as a year,” he says. “It’s important to us not to impede the investigation.”

Wildlife officials have refused to divulge specifics about the wolf’s condition or its final whereabouts. But Rob Edward, carnivore recovery director for WildEarth Guardians, said he discovered its final location through an open-records request seeking information about wolves in Colorado. The documents showed the last location of the wolf to be about 24 miles north of the Western Slope town of Rifle, less than two miles west of Highway 13.

“I have believed for the last couple of months that they definitely have a law enforcement angle on this,” Edward said. “Otherwise they would tell you that it died of natural causes.”

Intentionally killing a wolf in Colorado would be a violation of the Endangered Species Act and state statutes that protect endangered species.

Edward described the site as “within rifle distance of a road.” Maps show the location to be what appears to be a scrub-covered hillside in an area known as No Name Ridge, apparently on Bureau of Land Management land just north of a dirt road called Thirteenmile Road.

“That’s the way the wolves from the Northern Rockies are going to come,” Edward said. “What we have to work on is making those lands safer.”

Known as wolf 341F, the 18-month-old female made headlines for making a 1,000-mile journey from the outskirts of Yellowstone National Park to Colorado. Biologists tracked her movements using a GPS unit in a collar fitted to her neck.

Researchers said she was a member of the Mill Creek pack and wandered from the pack’s location between towns of Gardiner and Livingston, Mont., in search of a mate.

She left her pack in September 2008 and took a meandering path through Wyoming, Idaho and Utah to Eagle County. She crossed back into Wyoming, then back into western Colorado where her collar showed she stopped moving. Biologists responded and gathered her carcass to perform a necropsy.

Native wolf populations in Colorado were wiped out by the late 1930s. The last record of a native wolf killed in Colorado was in 1943. In June 2004, a radio-collared wolf from Yellowstone was found killed by a passing motorist on Interstate 70 near Idaho Springs. In 2007, video footage captured an apparent wolf near Walden.

Officials say among Northern Rockies wolves, 26 out of every 100 wolves are killed, almost all of them shot by animal control officers or poachers. Among lone-dispersing wolves like this one, most are hit by cars or illegally killed.

State law does not call for wolf reintroduction, but it does protect wolves that wander into Colorado.

For wolf reintroduction advocates, this wolf’s death highlights a need for more protections.

“They’re not going to come down here and repopulate the area on their own,” Edward said, “especially if they meet that kind of fate.”

http://www.newwest.net/topic/article/suspicion_surrounds_colorado_wolf_death/C41/L41/

* It’s been reported that wolf  314F’s number is actually 341F but since she is so well-known as 314F, I didn’t make any changes.

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Top Photo Compound 1080: Courtesy of AGRO

Middle Photo Compound 1080: Courtesy of Predator Defense

314F Photo: Courtesy New West

Posted in: Montana wolves, Wildlife Services War on Wildlife

Tags: 314f, dispersing wolves, wolves in the crossfire, deadly compound 1080, No Name Ridge, Montana, Colorado, Mill Creek Pack

Wildlife Services Brutality Exposed, WildEarth Guardians Sues….

“An Arizona wildlife official photographed these heads of mountain lions killed to “protect” cattle in 1989 by Wildlife Services, formerly Animal Damage Control, and provided to the state agency for research. In 2005, Wildlife Services killed 330 mountain lions nationally.”

UPDATE: May 6, 2012

I’m pulling this post back up to the top of the blog because the SacBee posted the third part of their expose on Animal Damage Control  Wildlife Services today.  Please scroll down for link.

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It’s been a long time coming.  Animal Damage Control, better known by the misnomer Wildlife Services,  is finally getting their due.  WildEarth Guardians is suing  the agency and it couldn’t come any sooner.

From the Washington Post:

“They are asking in a lawsuit filed Monday that a federal judge in Nevada shut down the agency that spent $127 million in 2010 to exterminate more than 5 million animals.”

At the same time, in a three-part series,  the Sacramento Bee is exposing the agencies’ dark, dirty secrets.

Wildlife Services is a barbaric federal agency, the extermination arm of the USDA. They relentlessly kill America’s wildlife because agriculture considers any animal that gets in its way to be collateral damage.  This federal  goon squad shoots, traps, poisons, snares and slaughters millions of animals every year and no group of animals has suffered more than predators. The war on wolves, bears, coyotes and mountain lions has been merciless. The suffering this agency causes is immeasurable.

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The Sacramento Bee’s Exposé On Wildlife Services

Deadly Poison 1080 Compound 

The killing agency: Wildlife Services’ brutal methods leave a trail of animal death

By Tom Knudson

Published: Sunday, Apr. 29, 2012 – 12:00 am | Page 1A
Last Modified: Wednesday, May. 2, 2012 – 10:52 pm

First of three parts

The day began with a drive across the desert, checking the snares he had placed in the sagebrush to catch coyotes.

Gary Strader, an employee of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, stepped out of his truck near a ravine in Nevada and found something he hadn’t intended to kill.

There, strangled in a neck snare, was one of the most majestic birds in America, a federally protected golden eagle.

“I called my supervisor and said, ‘I just caught a golden eagle and it’s dead,’ ” said Strader. “He said, ‘Did anybody see it?’ I said, ‘Geez, I don’t think so.’

“He said, ‘If you think nobody saw it, go get a shovel and bury it and don’t say nothing to anybody.’ “

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/04/28/4450678/the-killing-agency-wildlife-services.html#storylink=cpy

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Wildlife Services’ deadly force opens Pandora’s box of environmental problems

By Tom Knudson

Published: Monday, Apr. 30, 2012 – 12:00 am | Page 1A
Last Modified: Wednesday, May. 2, 2012 – 10:52 pm

Second of three parts

Like the prow of a ship, the Granite Mountains rise sharply from the creamy-white playa of the Black Rock Desert in Nevada.

Here, in rugged terrain owned by the American public, a little-known federal agency called Wildlife Services has waged an eight-year war against predators to try to help an iconic Western big-game species: mule deer.

With rifles, snares and aerial gunning, employees have killed 967 coyotes and 45 mountain lions at a cost of about $550,000. But like a mirage, the dream of protecting deer by killing predators has not materialized.

“It didn’t make a difference,” said Kelley Stewart, a large-mammal ecologist at the University of Nevada, Reno.

For decades, Wildlife Services, part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, has specialized in trapping, poisoning and shooting predators in large numbers, largely to protect livestock and, more recently, big game.

Now such killing is coming under fire from scientists, former employees and others who say it often doesn’t work and can set off a chain reaction of unintended, often negative consequences.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/04/30/4452212/wildllife-services-deadly-force.html#storylink=cpy

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Unforgiving Snares and How They Work

http://www.sacbee.com/2012/04/30/4452212_a4452108/wildllife-services-deadly-force.html

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Long struggles in leg-hold device make for gruesome deaths

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By Tom Knudson
tknudson@sacbee.com
Published: Sunday, Apr. 29, 2012 – 12:00 am | Page 15A
Last Modified: Wednesday, May. 2, 2012 – 10:52 pm

No tool in Wildlife Services’ arsenal kills more nonselectively – or slowly – than the leg-hold trap.

Since 2000, more than 90 species of wildlife have died by mistake in agency traps, including pronghorn antelope, mule deer, river otters, swift foxes, badgers, porcupines and federally protected bald eagles, government records show.

But whether animals are caught accidentally or not, they often struggle for days and die of exposure, injuries and other causes long before a trapper returns to the site.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/04/28/4450686/ex-trapper-leg-hold-device-probably.html#storylink=cpy

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Environmental group sues to halt killing practices of federal wildlife agency

By Tom Knudson

Published: Wednesday, May. 2, 2012 – 12:00 am | Page 1A
Last Modified: Wednesday, May. 2, 2012 – 10:37 pm

The federal government’s wildlife damage control program is based on outdated science and indiscriminate tools that kill many non-target animals, including protected species, according to a lawsuit filed Monday by WildEarth Guardians, a Colorado-based environmental group.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/05/02/4458430/environmental-group-sues-to-halt.html#storylink=cpy

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Suggestions in changing Wildlife Services range from new practices to outright bans

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By Tom Knudson
tknudson@sacbee.com
Published: Sunday, May. 6, 2012 – 12:00 am | Page 1A

Last of three parts

Like many ranchers, Bill Jensen drives a pickup, shoots a high-powered rifle and loves to talk about sheep, cattle and the outdoors.

But unlike many ranchers, he no longer relies on the federal government for predator control.

Nor does the Marin County rancher have a choice. Ten years ago Marin, known for its environmental activism, halted lethal federal control and launched a program emphasizing nonlethal methods. Jensen, initially skeptical, has turned the program into a success with miles of electric fencing.

“We’ve pretty much learned how to control coyotes on our own,” said Jensen, whose losses to coyotes have declined 60 percent to 70 percent – from about 50 lambs a year when a federal trapper worked there to 15 to 20 today. “Anything that can help you 24 hours a day, like electric fencing, is a good thing.”

What’s happening in Marin County shows that ranchers can co-exist with predators without lethal federal control. It is part of a broader and varied spirit of reform aimed at finding new, less destructive ways to live with predators and other wildlife.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/05/06/4469067/suggestions-in-changing-wildlife.html#storylink=cpy

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Wildlife Services At Work

Thanksgiving Week Massacre of  Basin Butte Wolves

December 6, 2009

http://howlingforjustice.wordpress.com/2009/12/06/thanksgiving-week-massacre-of-basin-butte-wolves-stanley-idaho/

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Remembering The Hog Heaven Wolf Pack

October 23, 2009

http://howlingforjustice.wordpress.com/2009/10/23/hog-heaven-or-hog-hell/

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Sage Creek Pack Wiped Out By Aerial Gunners In Montana

October 10, 2009

http://howlingforjustice.wordpress.com/2009/10/10/sage-creek-pack-wiped-out-by-aerial-gunners-in-montana/

Thank you WildEarth Guardians and The Sacramento Bee for shining a very bright light on this gruesome agency that should be defunded or eliminated altogether.

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Top Photo: Missoula Independent

Photo: Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Posted in: Wildlife Services War on Wildlife, Wolf Wars

Tags: USDA, Animal Damage Control AKA Wildlife Services, Sacramento Bee, WildEarth Guardians, war on wildlife, traps, snares, 1080 compound, M-44’s, Sage Creek Pack, Hog Heaven Pack, Basin Butte Pack

Locked And Loaded: Wildlife Services Takes Aim At Wolves & Other Predators

aerial gunning of wolves

UDATE: May 2, 2012

In light of the Sacramento Bee’s explosive expose on Wildlife Services and the lawsuit filed against the agency by WildEarth Guardians, I felt it would be important to re-post this 2009 piece.

 Remember this is a repost, reflecting what was happening in 2009,  so a few of the links are outdated but Wildlife Services hasn’t changed, they’re still doing what they’ve been doing for decades, killing wildlife.

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October 19, 2009

Who is Wildlife Services? If you asked the majority of Americans, they probably couldn’t tell you.  It was formerly known as “Animal Damage Control (ADC)”. The agency is the extermination arm of the Department of Agriculture.

“It’s just a subsidy to agriculture.. Somehow we’ve decided  as a culture that agriculture should be subsidized through the death of animals and this agency is particularly destructive because it robs the public of wildlife and doesn’t even do that much good.” (Jay Tutchton, Environmental law clinic, University of Denver School of Law)

They have the authority  to trap, poison, shoot and aerial gun animals, done mainly for the livestock industry.  Because Wildlife Services keeps a low profile, most people have no idea their tax dollars are paying a federal agency to kill off predators and other wildlife to “protect ranching.”

If you’ve ever wondered, as I have, what’s happened to all the foxes, raccoons, beavers and coyotes, just to name a few, well now you know.  A good many of them are being blown away each year by this agency.  And most of us, have absolutely nothing to say about it.  Does that seem right to you?

The statistics are shocking:

Wildlife Services killed 1456  gray wolves nationally from 2004 to 2008.  That’s an average of 364 dead wolves per year.  They even killed 9 Mexican Gray wolves in that same time period, one of the most endangered animals in the US, they only number 52 wolves.

“The governments own figures again show that mammalian carnivores kill very few livestock (0.18%)  Of the 104.5 million cattle that were produced in 2005, 190,000 (or 0.18%) died as the result of predation from coyotes, domestic dogs, and other carnivores (USDA, 2006). In comparison, livestock producers lost 3.9 million head of cattle (3.69%) to all sorts of maladies, weather, or theft, respiratory problems, digestive problems, calving, unknown, other, disease, lameness, metabolic problems, poison (USDA, 2006)

Coyotes were the primary cattle predators — they killed 97,000 cattle in 2005, followed by domestic dogs — which killed 21,900 cattle. Wolves killed remarkably few cattle, 4,400 head, as did the felids (USDA, 2006)” http://www.goagro.org/index.html

So let’s get this straight. DOMESTIC DOGS killed more cattle than wolves!. That’s from the USDA, 2006 numbers.  Coyotes, who killed the most cattle, 97,000, which still is a very small percentage, paid dearly with their lives.  696,936 coyotes were eliminated by Wildlife Services between 2004-2008.

Truth really does put everything in perspective and when you see how little damage wolves really do compared to other factors,  it’s mind-boggling that we’re having organized wolf  hunts, management plans, aerial gunning, poisoning, denning and  trapping of wolves with whole federal and state agencies devoted to making sure the wolf population doesn’t get any bigger.  You have to ask yourself why? Can you guess?  It’s called irrational fear, intolerance of another species and appalling arrogance.

just another day for wildlife services

Photo: courtesy James Balog

“Wolves killed in Polaris, Montana in 2004 for the purposes of livestock protection. Wildlife Services agents, school children, and teacher pose with dead wolves.”

Photo Courtesy:  http://www.goagro.org/

2005

“In just one year, your tax dollars helped kill 252 gray wolves, 72,816 coyotes, 1.2 million starlings, 6,832 skunks, 330 mountain lions, 2,172 red foxes, 33,469 beavers, 356 black bears, three bald eagles and two grizzly bears. Have you heard of Wildlife Services?” (excerpt from The Exterminators)

2006

“Wildlife Service kill totals for mammals were up sharply from previous years:

  • A record number of gray wolves (278), the subject of a highly publicized reintroduction effort, were killed in numbers that are up more than six-fold since 1996;

Another 116,610 mammalian carnivores, including 87,000 coyotes, 10,000 raccoons, 2,500 bobcats, 500 badgers, and 318 black bears were taken by federal wildlife agents who also killed 1,184 house cats and 512 dogs; and

  • Approximately 50,000 animals from the rodent and rabbit families—the largest toll came from beavers (28,000), followed by nutria (2,500), and marmots and woodchucks (3,700).”

2004-2008

Click this link to see the number of  mammalian carnivores  killed by Wildlife Services from 2004 through 2008:  Beavers aren’t included on the list because they’re in the rodent family  but we know Wildlife Services kills large numbers of them each year, 28, 000 in 2006.

http://www.goagro.org/index.html

Photo courtesy James Balog/www.goagro.org

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We’ve seen the brutal statistics.  How do they accomplish this mass killing of  America’s wildlife?

From all-creatures.org:

Wildlife Services utilizes killing methods that are non-selective, haphazard, and brutal, including:

Trapping and Snaring

Trapping may be the most inhumane method used by Wildlife Services. Traps can go unchecked for days, allowing the animal to suffer. When not killed outright by the trap, animals can endure physiological trauma, dehydration, exposure to severe weather, and predation by other animals. Most traps are notoriously indiscriminate, capturing almost any animal who triggers them. Non-target species found in traps include endangered species, raptors, dogs, and cats. The most commonly used trap is the steel-jawed leghold trap, a restraining device with spring-loaded jaws that clamp on an animal’s foot or leg when triggered. Leghold traps can cause fractures, self-mutilation, limb amputation, and death. A desperate animal will even try to chew off a limb to escape. Snares are primitive wire nooses that tighten around an animal’s leg or neck. When snared, an animal may struggle for days.

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Aerial Gunning

Alaskan wolf shot by aerial gunner

“Wildlife Services uses helicopters and fixed wing aircraft to shoot animals from the air. In 2007, the agency killed over 37,000 animals using aircraft. An agency Environmental Assessment revealed many wounded animals may be left to die.[4] Because Wildlife Services uses snowfall to track coyotes in early spring, agents may kill pregnant or lactating females. Deaths of the latter leave pups to starve. Aerial gunning is also used for “preventative predator control,” permitting agents to shoot as many carnivores as they can prior to domestic animals entering an area. The price tag for shooting carnivores from the sky can be high: killing one coyote can cost $1,000.

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Poisoning

M-44s

Photo courtesy USDA

In 2005, Wildlife Services used M-44, small devices that shoot cyanide gas into an animal’s mouth when triggered, to kill more than 12,700 animals nationally.

danger

Wildlife Services prefers two toxins to kill predators: Sodium Monofluoroacetate (aka Compound 1080), a rat poison developed by the Nazis during World War II, and sodium cyanide. To distribute 1080, the agency uses Livestock Protection Collars – rubber bladders attached to the neck of a goat or sheep that, when pierced, releases the poison. 1080 is so lethal a single teaspoon can kill 100 people. Wildlife Services also sets M-44 devices, spring-loaded, baited mechanisms that release sodium cyanide into the mouth of any animal who disturbs the device. 1080 and sodium cyanide present serious national security risks. The FBI has listed both as “super poisons” that are “most likely to be used by terrorists or for malicious intent.”

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Denning

wolf pups 2

Denning is the practice of tracking carnivores to their dens then killing pups inside. Poisonous gas canisters are placed in dens to asphyxiate pups. Or government agents dig pups out and shoot, club, or decapitate them. Pups have even been burned alive in their den.

Wildlife Services’ lethal control programs ignore the importance of carnivores. As “keystone species,” carnivores play a pivotal role in sustaining ecological integrity and preserving species diversity. For example, large carnivores regulate deer and elk, as well as smaller mammal, populations. The disappearance of top carnivores triggers the loss of other species and the intricate connections among the remaining residents begin to unravel. Many carnivore species need big, wild areas to survive. Wide-ranging animals like grizzly bears are considered “umbrella” species. By protecting habitat for such predators, we save places for many more animal and plant species.””

http://www.all-creatures.org/alert/alert-20081206.html

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The Exterminators

June 7, 2007

Missoula Independent

mountain lions killed

In just one year, your tax dollars helped kill 252 gray wolves, 72,816 coyotes, 1.2 million starlings, 6,832 skunks, 330 mountain lions, 2,172 red foxes, 33,469 beavers, 356 black bears, three bald eagles and two grizzly bears. Have you heard of Wildlife Services?

http://missoulanews.bigskypress.com/missoula/the-exterminators/Content?oid=1137944

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HOW CAN YOU HELP?

Predator Defense

Support HR 4775, (UPDATE: It’s now  HR4214)“The Compound 1080 & M-44 Elimination Act”, sponsored by Predator Defense. It’s stalled in Congress and needs our help.  Please call your representative and ask them to support this important legislation.  Eliminating the use of these deadly poisons against wildlife is critical!! Barbarous methods like these do not belong in the 21st century.  Make your voice heard!!

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Conservation groups have continually called on the USDA to end Wildlife Services’ mass killing of predators and other wildlife, yet they still operate with impunity at the bidding of big ranching.  What will it take for a policy change in Washington?

Contact President Obama and ask him to abolish this destructive agency, who is poisoning, trapping and shooting America’s wildlife.

President Obama

White House Phone Numbers

202-456-1414 (switchboard)
202-456-1111 (white house comment line)

comments@whitehouse.gov

http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/submit-questions-and-comments

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Group Calls for End to the War on Wildlife

WildEarth Guardians

Seeks End of Aerial Gunning & Poisoning of Wildlife on Public Lands

http://idahostatejournal.com/news/national/article_3254d8c6-db91-11de-b8ab-001cc4c002e0.html

wolf pack in winter

FOR THE WOLVES, FOR THE WILD ONES

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Photo: Courtesy The Missoula Independent

Posted in: Wildlife Services War on Wildlife, Wolf Wars, gray wolf

Tags:  wolf intolerance, wolves or livestock, USDA, Wildlife Services, M-44, Compound 1080

Wolves Scapegoated: “Less Than 1% of Cattle Killed by Native Carnivores and Domestic Dogs”

Wendy Keefover-Ring wrote a terrific piece for the Huffpost, Denver about the government’s war on our native carnivores, specifically wolves. She writes:

“Less than a quarter of one percent, 0.23%, of the American cattle inventory was lost to native carnivores and dogs in 2010, according to a Department of Agricultural report released last week. These findings call into question the tens of millions per year taxpayers and livestock growers spend on lethal control of native carnivores.

“The government’s own data show that the real killers of cattle are not a few endangered wolves or other wildlife — they’re illness and weather. Yet, the predation myth has directly contributed to a federal, 100-year, paramilitary assault on millions of native animals and birds in America. Despite governmental evidence about miniscule livestock losses, ongoing covert federal wildlife-killing operations are conducted each year on our most treasured wildlands and forests.”

  The  numbers are from the NASS (National Agricultural Statistics Service) the sister agency of the USDA Wildlife Services. Every five years, the number of cattle deaths, due to non-predation and predation, are compiled, excluding Alaska.

Number of Head and Total Value of Cattle and Calf Death Loss by Cause – United States: 2010

http://www.nass.usda.gov/Publications/Todays_Reports/reports/catlos11.pdf

As you can see coyotes and domestic dogs are the number one and two predators of cattle BUT the real news is respiratory illness is the main killer of cattle, claiming over a million cows in 2010.

 Wolves barely make a dent in cattle losses, yet Wildlife (Dis)Services relentlessly hounds and kills them. WHY?? It’s a boondoggle, a red herring and your tax payer dollars are contributing to the pogrom against wolves.

Write to Ken Salazar, Interior Secretary and demand Wildlife Services be de-funded. Aside from persecuting and slaughtering wolves WS  kills millions of our wildlife every year.

Ask yourself why were wolves underhandedly delisted by Congress? Why are two wolf hunts in Idaho and Montana being planned? Why are wolves being hounded in the Lolo zone in Idaho? Why is Oregon’s tiny wolf population being targeted when ranchers know they lose thousands of cattle to other causes?

Why is this happening? Because a small, vocal minority of haters are influencing wolf policy. This is all trumped-up hysteria.

The media contributes to the demonizing of wolves by writing about miniscule depredations, as is happening now in Oregon, while non-predation is the main killer of cattle.  I guess talking about cows dying from pneumonia, metabolic disease and weather doesn’t sell papers.  Giving the extreme wolf haters a forum to vent their hate, in a barrage of “wolf news” makes the situation even more volatile.   Try and find a positive article written about wolves in Northwestern newspapers, you’ll have to do some serious digging.  The old adage, if you don’t learn from your mistakes you’re doomed to repeat them fits this newest wave of wolf persecution, with deadly results.  Wolves are once again the ultimate scapegoats.

We can also thank Congress, especially the 81 Senators who voted for the budget wolf delisting rider, which gutted the ESA and stripped wolves of their protections in the Northern Rockies, literally giving them no place to hide from the hate.

Government Report: Less Than 1% of Cattle Killed by Native Carnivores and Domestic Dogs

Wendy Keefover-Ring

WildEarth Guardians Carnivore Protection Director

Posted: 05/18/11 04:35 PM ET

Less than a quarter of one percent, 0.23%, of the American cattle inventory was lost to native carnivores and dogs in 2010, according to a Department of Agricultural report released last week. These findings call into question the tens of millions per year taxpayers and livestock growers spend on lethal control of native carnivores.

The government’s own data show that the real killers of cattle are not a few endangered wolves or other wildlife — they’re illness and weather. Yet, the predation myth has directly contributed to a federal, 100-year, paramilitary assault on millions of native animals and birds in America. Despite governmental evidence about miniscule livestock losses, ongoing covert federal wildlife-killing operations are conducted each year on our most treasured wildlands and forests.

Read More: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/wendy-keefoverring/native-carnivore-controls-unnecessary_b_863717.html

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Photo: Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Wildlife Services War on Wildlife

Tags: wolf depredation a boondoggle, wolf depredation miniscule, wolf myth, wolf persecution

Once There Was A Wolf Pack….

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It fills my heart with sorrow when I think of the wolves and wolf packs that are gunned down by Wildlife Services for agribusiness every year. They write their reports to back up the killing of wolves and their families. Emotionless words like confirmed kills, probable kills, strongly suspected kills or “probable depredation confirmed”, mask the meaning of what is really happening. Wolves are being slaughtered for the livestock industry and it’s all paid for with tax payer dollars.

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From the Sept.11-24, 2010 Montnaa FWP Wolf Report:

“On 9/9, WS confirmed a calf was injured by wolves in the Bitterroot Valley east of Stevensville (10j area).  The calf was likely injured several days prior but took some time to round-up.

The Welcome Creek pack denned near this herd of cattle and wolves have been active in that area throughout the summer.(what does that even mean? It just says wolves, what wolves?) In June a bunch (a bunch?) of cattle were run through a fence and a cow and calf were run into an old barn and died as a result. Wolves were strongly suspected at the time. (Where’s the proof? What did the cow and calf die from? Where are the rest of the facts?)FWP stepped up monitoring efforts afterwards and set up a volunteer range rider to also help increase monitoring.  Seven calves have been reported missing in the past month. (Were these calves ever recovered? Why were wolves suspected of their disappearance?)

The Welcome Creek pack numbers 7-9 adults and has a litter of 7 pups.  FWP has authorized Wildlife Services to remove up to 5 members of the pack, preferentially removing a combination of pups and adults.

It seems the Welcome Creek Pack, who according to the report, wasn’t actually caught killing livestock but happened to den in the vicinity of cows, was selected as the villains. The report states a calf was injured by wolves on 9/9 but it doesn’t identify a wolf pack. Then wolves were suspected of running a “bunch of cows” through a fence and a cow and calf ran into a barn and died. It doesn’t say what they died from. It also doesn’t prove those wolves had anything to do with it, only that “wolves were strongly suspected at the time.”

It states wolves were active during  the summer, but active doing what and what packs were involved?  Seven calves supposedly disappeared but no wolf packs were connected to the disappearance. Did wolves just drag off calf carcasses somewhere without a trace?   In the end the Welcome Creek Pack paid the ultimate price, five members slated for death, “preferentially removing a combination of pups and adults.”

Isn’t that “stone cold”? I ask again, who kills PUPPIES? Who traps and kills wolves, coyotes and other wildlife for a living?

(*Blue italics mine)

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That’s just one example, read through the reports yourself to see what I’m talking about.

I ask you this, who’s watching WS? What supervision does Wildlife Services face? Who goes behind them and questions their judgement? Who determines wolf kills? Do ranchers have a vested interest in having wolves kill livestock instead of say a coyote or mountain lion?  They aren’t paid for those kills. All we have are the ranchers, landowners, private citizens and Wildlife Services’ side of the story. Where is the oversight? Think about it.

There are 3 million cattle in Montana. Most of the losses are from non-predation like weather (over 10,000 calves died in winter storms one year), disease, reproduction, theft, even altitude sickness in some states. Wolves were responsible for just 97 cow losses in the entire Northern Rockies in 2009. That’s Montana, Idaho and Wyoming. Out of millions and millions of cows. Does that sound like a wolf crisis to you? It would be laughable if the hysteria and myths weren’t so deadly for wolves.

Here are some of the wolves that met their untimely deaths at the hands of Wildlife Services (formerly Animal Damage Control) in 2010. These are shadow wolf hunts that are being carried out with your tax dollars. And yet the states want to kill even more wolves. They want  state-sponsored wolf hunts. Is this what wolf recovery was all about? To kill wolves, their pack-mates, their babies, their brothers, their sisters, their mothers, their fathers? Is this what the American people want.? If not stand up and make your voices heard loud and clear in 2011.

STOP THE SLAUGHTER OF WOLVES.

Tell your Politicians, the Interior Secretary, the President, Fish and Game agencies, write letters to the editor, get this story out of the Northern Rockies. Tell everyone you know!! Raise a ruckus. We  have to outshout these people. They may be a tiny minority but they’re loud and well-funded.

STAND FOR WOLVES IN 2011.

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Montana Wolf Mortality WS 2010

(I’m only reporting wolves killed)

12/31 & 1/5 Horse Prairie Pack…2 wolves killed by WS

1/8 Miner Lakes Pack…2 wolves killed by WS

1/20 Bender Pack…1 wolf killed by WS

Dry Forks Pack…2 wolves killed by Mt. WS

Feb..Fish Trap Pack….3 wolves killed by WS

2/17 Camas Prairie Pack….1 gray male wolf killed by WS

3/5 Silcox Pack…..1 female wolf pup killed by WS

3/8… 1 wolf killed by WS

3/13 Camas Pack…2 gray female wolves killed by MT WS

3/18 Ninemile Pack….1 wolf killed by WS

3/23 Superior Pack…3 wolves killed by WS

3/23 Ninemile Pack…1 uncollared black wolf (more than likely a yearling) killed by WS via aerial gunning (helicopter)

4/5 Horse Prairie Pack …1 wolf killed by WS

4/7 Dry Forks Pack…1 -2 wolves shot by WS but not recovered.

4/20 Superior Pack…1 uncollared black wolf killed, 1 uncollared gray wolf killed by WS

4/21 Superior Pack …alpha male (father) of the pack killed by WS (entire pack removed)

4/21 Horse Prairie Pack…1 collared female wolf killed by WS

4/21 Camas Prairie Pack…1 wolf killed by WS

4/22 Camas Prairie Pack…1 collared male wolf killed by WS

4/22 Fishtrap Pack…1 collared wolf, NW221F, was killed by WS

5/6…1 wolf trapped and killed WS

5/7 Ninemile Pack…2-year-old collared male wolf killed by WS

5/11 Trapper Peak Pack…1 black male wolf trapped and killed by WS

5/17 Trail Creek Pack…1 wolf trapped and killed by WS

5/18 Bender Pack…2 wolves killed by WS

5/18 Elevation Mtn. Pack….the collared alpha female (mother) and uncollared gray male were shot by aerial gunning (helicopter)WS

5/19 Bender Pack…1 collared wolf killed by WS

5/19 Trail Creek Pack…1 wolf killed via aerial gunning (helicopter) by WS

5/20 Selow Pack?….1 black adult male wolf killed by WS

5/21…4 wolves killed in two separate actions by WS

5/26 Selow Pack?…2 gray male wolves killed by WS

6/1 Cedar Creek Pack…1 collared gray male wolf killed by WS

6/2 Trapper Peak Pack…1 gray yearling female wolf was trapped and killed by WS

6/2 Selow Pack…1 collared male wolf killed by WS

6/7 Trapper Peak Pack….1 yearling wolf killed by WS

6/18 Selow Pack…1 black adult female wolf killed by WS (believed to be last member of pack)

6/25 Silcox Pack…1 female wolf killed by WS

6/27 Silcox Pack…1 male wolf killed by WS

6/28 & 6/29 Table Mountain Pack…3 wolves killed by WS

6/30 Miner Lakes Pack…1 wolf killed by WS

7/9 Horn Mountain Pack…1 wolf killed by WS

7/10…2 wolves killed by WS

7/15 Canyon Creek?…1 wolf killed by WS

7/29 Horse Creek Pack…1 wolf killed by WS

8/6 Horse Creek Pack…1 wolf killed by WS

8/17 Horse Creek Pack….2 wolves killed by WS (not sure if they were from this pack, report confusing)

9/2 Montitor Mountain Pack?…MT FWP authorizes the removal of 3 wolves

9/4 Monitor Mountain Pack…2 wolves killed by WS

9/5 Monitor Mountain Pack…2 wolves killed by WS

9/10 Horse Creek Pack…2 wolves killed by WS (believed one adult and 2 pups remain in the pack. Wildlife Services is looking to wipe out the rest of the pack or “full pack removal”

9/10 Murphy Lake Pack….1 wolf killed north of Whitefish, Mt by WS

9/10 Horse Creek Pack…1 black adult male wolf killed by WS

9/12 Ovando Mountain Pack…3 wolves killed by WS

9/16 Horn Mountain Pack…WS given permission to kill the entire pack of 9 wolves or more

9/16 Horn Mountain Pack…1 wolf killed from the pack by WS

9/21 Horse Creek Pack…1 gray female radio collared wolf & 1 gray wolf killed by WS

9/23 & 9/24 Horn Mountain Pack…4 wolves killed from the pack by WS.

Wildlife Services looking to remove the remaining 5 members of the pack

9/27 Welcome Creek Pack…1 adult male wolf killed by WS

9/29 Welcome Creek Pack…1 adult male wolf killed by WS

9/3o Horn Mtn. Pack…5 wolves killed by WS (entire pack is now dead)

10/5 Irvine Pack…1 wolf killed by WS

10/7 & 10/8 Murphy Lake Pack..3 wolves killed by WS

10/8 Irvine Pack…1 wolf killed by WS

10/15…3 black wolves killed by WS

New Pack (unnamed?)…WS has been authorized by FWP to kill breeding pair (mother and father) and their 3 pups

10/15…1 adult wolf killed by WS

10/15…1 wolf killed near Hall by WS

10/21…1 wolf killed by WS

10/25 Welcome Creek Pack…2 adult male wolves were killed by WS

11/11…1 wolf shot under 10(j) Big Hole Valley (under investigation by USFWS)

11/24 Mill Creek Pack…1 black wolf pup killed by WS

12/21…1 wolf killed in Ulm area by WS

12/21 Baker Mountain Pack…2 wolves killed by WS

Except for one mention of a range rider and a few instances of using fladry, pro-active animal husbandry is sorely lacking from this picture. When are the ranchers going to step up and protect their investment instead of running to the federally funded Wildlife Services for “predator control?”. Who say’s they have the taxpayer-funded right to have predators removed? What business doesn’t have risk? Why should the taxpayers fund their “tiny” risks from wolves? Please ask these questions of your Senators and Representatives. Tell them you don’t want your tax dollars funding WS, so they can kill wolves and other wildlife.  Don’t let the anti-wolf crowd direct the conversation. Ask these common sense questions about this wasteful, expensive, deadly program of killing wolves for agribusiness.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Law Enforcement/(Wolves dying from other causes in 2010)

(IE: motor vehicle accidents, “state defense of property”, (10j), suspicious deaths being investigated, et. al)

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1/9 DeBorgia Pack? …1 gray female wolf pup hit by a car and killed on 1-90 near St. Regis

1/10…1 dead wolf found, North Fork of the Flathead, investigation by MT FWP

1/15 Saphire Pack…1 collared gray female disperser wolf shot by livestock owner.

1/21…Satire or Wolf Creek Pack?…1 wolf hit and killed by vehicle on Wolf Creek Road.

1/30…1 yearling wolf killed in a snare that had been placed for coyotes, in Wolf Creek Area.

2/9…1 wolf pup hit and killed by a vehicle on Hwy 287

3/27…1 wolf found dead south of Butte. Death under investigation

4/18…1 wolf shot by private citizen on private land in Madison Valley, warning issued, no follow-up by FWP

4/18…1 wolf  shot by private citizen near Lennep, FWP investigating

4/27…1 wolf killed by ranch manager, south of Butte

4/27  Trapper Creek Pack..1 yearling wolf found dead by FWP. It’s collar was found on 4/28. It was determined by FWP the wolf had  been illegally killed.

4/29…1 two year old gray male wolf was shot by landowner, north of Missoula

5/11 Elevation Mountain Pack…1 female black yearling wolf shot by rancher

5/11…report of possible wolf who was killed on private land in Carter County. After investigation it was determined it was not a wolf but of domestic dog origin. The animal was also wearing an orange fluorescent pet collar.

5/11 Elevation Mountain Pack…1 black yearling female wolf was shot by rancher, near Helmsville.

5/18 Mitchell Mountain Pack…wolf hit and killed by vehicle north of Wolf Creek.

May 2010…Person plead guilty in federal court in Missoula for shooting and killing a wolf illegally, violating the Endangered Species Act. (This incident was also mentioned in the Feb 27 to March 5th wolf report. I’m assuming it’s the same case?)

5/18 Mitchell Mountain Pack…1 collared gray female wolf (last remaining member of this pack) shot by landowner

5/25 Cilly Pack…1 breeding female (mother) wolf was hit and killed by a vehicle on the Swan Highway. She was lactating, which means it left her pups motherless.

6/22 …1 adult gray wolf was hit and killed by a vehicle  on 1-90 between  St. Regis and Superior.

7/27…1 adult wolf was hit and killed by a vehicle on 1-90 near Lookout Pass.

8/19 Cougar 2 Pack?…1 yearling wolf hit and killed by a vehicle on Hwy 191 near Daly Creek

9/9 Silver Lake Pack…. 3 wolf pups were found dead at the pack’s rendezvous site. Investigation ongoing.

September 2010…Cache Creek Pack…2 wolf pups found dead were autopsied, they had not been shot and no cause of death determined. Investigation ongoing.

9/12…1 black wolf pup found dead by FWP west of Clyde Park, Mt. Cause of death under investigation.

9/12…1 black wolf pup was found dead by FWP, Brackett Creek Area, Bangtail Mtns. The death is under investigation

9/17 Ksanka Pack…1 gray wolf pup was euthanized by FWP near Eureka. The pup was emaciated and in poor condition. The death is under investigation.

10/8…1 wolf killed by ranch manager in the Big Hole

10/11…1 wolf  shot and killed by landowner in Miller Creek.

10/24…1 wolf killed by livestock producer

10/30…1 wolf killed by hunter. Under investigation by USFWS.

11/3…1 wolf found dead, west of Missoula. Turned over to USFWS for investigation.

11/11…1 wolf shot in the Big Hole Valley under (10j). Under investigation by USFWS.

11/17…1 wolf found dead near Olney. Death under investigation.

11/17…1 wolf found dead in the Coal Creek area, North Fork of the Flathead. Under investigation.

So many little pups found dead under suspicious circumstances? Were their parents and packmates killed in the hunt or by WS? Was their nobody to protect them, feed them, give them love and care? Did they stave to death?  Were any poisoned? What happened to those pups?

*Information obtained from Montana FWP 2010 weekly wolf reports.

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Americas Secret War on Wildlife

A Federal Agency Keeps The West Safe For Cows By Killing Coyotes, Wolves, Bears…..and Pet Dogs

http://www.predatordefense.org/docs/m44_article_Mens_Journal_waronwildlife_Jan2008.pdf

Safe For Cows

 [...] Montague Stevens saw only the surface of the land he hunted over. His active days afield coincided with the advent of erosion in the cow country, but he did not see it. The better to keep up with his hounds, he practiced riding his horse across the cavernous arroyos which were then invading the fertile valleys, but he did not recognize the invasion as something new in history, nor did he perceive its cause: the terrific overgrazing practiced by the early cowmen. Small wonder, then, that less intelligent men still fail to perceive that something more important than bears is departing from the western range. New Mexico’s grizzlies succumbed visibly to trap, gun, and poisoned bait, but New Mexico’s fertile valleys slipped down the Rio Grande in the night. Neither will return.

The University of New Mexico has done well to preserve this saga of how the state was made safe for cows. How the state is to be made safe from cows is a saga yet to be written

Aldo Leopold, “Review of “Meet Mr. Grizzly”, Journal of Forestry, March 1944.”

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Top Photo: Courtesy kewlwallpapers.com

Bottom Photo: Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Montana wolves

Tags: Wildlife Services, killing wolves for agribusiness, wolf slaughter, killing wolf pups, killing wolf families

Remembering The Hog Heaven Wolf Pack…

Hog Heaven wolf pack

February 3, 2014

I wrote this post in October 2009, a month after  Howling For Justice was created and mere months after wolves in the Northern Rockies were delisted by the Obama administration. The first wolf hunts in Montana and Idaho had just gotten underway  but the Hog Heaven Wolf Pack wasn’t killed by hunters, they were wiped out by Wildlife Services in 2008.

27 members strong, with two breeding females and 15 puppies, they are now just a memory, as so many wolf packs are. Today they barely have names, they’re anonymous wolves, who live and die without any recognition. But I remember when Wildlife Services gunned down one of the largest wolf packs to roam Montana. Here’s a look back at the doomed Hog Heaven Pack. In their memory please vow to work harder than ever to stop the slaughter of wolves.

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Hog Hell: The Demise of the Hog Heaven Wolf Pack

October 23, 2009

In 2008, Montana, Idaho and Wyoming killed 245 gray wolves in the name of ”livestock depredation”.

Twenty seven of those wolves were members of the Hog Heaven Wolf Pack, residing southwest of Kalispell, Montana, in the Browns Meadow/Hog Heaven area. They had been accused of preying on a few calves, some llamas and a bull.  The decision was made in November 08 to take out the entire pack.  Eight members of the pack had already been shot from the air by Wildlife Services.

In a three-day period, December 3rd, 4th and 5th of 2008,  the remaining 19 members of the Hog Heaven pack were gunned down, an almost unprecedented event, causing public outrage. Many articles were written  and opinions voiced, opposing the action. FIFTEEN PUPPIES AND TWO BREEDING FEMALES were among the slain.  The Hog Heaven pack was “the seventh entire wolf pack to be killed by Montana in 2008.”

The zero tolerance wolf management plan is just plain wrong and senseless, especially since cattle deaths by wolves are minimal.  Domestic dogs killed five times the number of cows than wolves in 2005.  I don’t see Wildlife Services taking out Labs and Huskies from the air?

The average number of cattle losses specific to wolf predation in these States is less than 0.7%.  This compares to an average of 1.6% of cattle losses due to predation by coyotes and an average of 90% of losses due to non-predator related causes such as health problems and disease.”

*The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), reports on cattle losses in the lower 48 States every five years.  Nationally, health issues such as respiratory problems, digestive problems, calving complications and disease were overwhelmingly the most significant causes of cattle death in 2005.  (The year for which we have the most recent detailed data.)”

“Only 0.11% (about 1/10 of 1%) of all cattle losses were due to wolf predation in 2005. Coyotes killed 22 times more cattle than wolves killed that year.  Domestic dogs killed almost 5 times as many cattle, and vultures killed almost twice as many cattle as wolves in 2005.  Theft was responsible for almost 5 times the cattle losses as were lost by wolf predation.”

http://www.everythingwolf.com/news/readarticle.aspx?article=234

The Hog Heaven pack was special, one of the largest wolf packs ever recorded in Montana, (the once mighty Yellowstone Druid’s had 37 members at their peak).

Instead of trying non-lethal methods to preserve the pack, the state  eliminated them!  AND this all happened while wolves still had ESA protection!!

The anti-wolf crowd wants you to believe wolves are hanging around ranches waiting to prey on livestock, when in reality most of the miniscule depredations take place on our vast public lands, where cattle and sheep are left unprotected.

George Wuerthner, the famed ecologist, calls cows, “walking picnic baskets”. What would you do if you were a predator surrounded by an ocean of cattle and sheep?  Would you munch on them or go after more difficult prey? We already know the answer. Yet the wolf pays the ultimate price for lazy, sloppy ranching practices and the federal government’s refusal to pull public land grazing permits, even though cattle pollute streams, trample riparian zones and over graze the land.

Wolf supporters realize the unfairness of what’s happening.

In 2008, when the Hog Heaven pack was lethally removed, people spoke out:

“Gunning down an entire pack of wolves — a species that is supposed to be protected under the endangered species act — borders on criminal,” said Jerry Black of the Missoula group Wildlife Watchers.

“We are outraged by this senseless slaughter of one of nature’s most majestic animals.”

Added Whitefish resident Roger Sherman: “It seems to me the so-called ’scientific management’ of wolves boils down to simply killing them to conciliate the livestock industry.”

“Brian Vincent, communications director for the group Big Wildlife, insists that the elimination of the Hog Heaven Pack could have been avoided.”

“Why should an entire pack of wolves pay the fatal price for a situation that could probably have been avoided?” he said.

“Both agencies are acting like it’s the Wild West with all guns blazing.”

Yellowstone_Wolves

It’s too late for Hog Heaven, they’re not coming back. This unique pack, was wiped out by Wildlife Services before Montanans could react. Is it any wonder wildlife advocates question the motives behind so many wolves losing their lives for so little reason? Why are the lives of predators held so cheaply?

If the failed policies of the states and feds to “manage wolves” continue, it’s certain they will never fully recover. We’ll be left with fragmented populations of wolves, genetically isolated, constantly under the gun.

What’s behind the intolerance of wolves?  It’s certainly not because they’re killing large numbers of livestock, wolf predation on livestock is minimal.  It’s not because wolves are decimating elk populations. Elk in Montana and Idaho are strong, with numbers way up.  Idaho has 105,000 elk and Montana numbers are even higher at 150,000 plus.

Yet the war on wolves continues. This year the Sage Creek Pack and Yellowstone’s Cottonwood pack were gunned down, one wiped out by Wildlife Services and the other shot in the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness at the beginning of Montana’s wolf hunt.  They join the Hog Heaven Pack and many others in the ever-increasing death toll of gray wolves.

Will it be Hog Heaven or Hog Hell for wolves in the Northern Rockies?

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Wolf photos: Courtesy Wikipedia Commons, All About Wolves, Wolf Wallpaper
Categories posted in: Montana Wolves, Wildlife Services War on Wildlife
Tags:  gray wolf, wolves or livestock, wolf intolerance, Wildlife Services, Hog Heaven Wolf Pack, National Agricultural Statistics Service
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