1827 Dead Wolves -Northern Rockies/Great Lakes 2013/early 2014

gray wolf USFWS

Update: November 21, 2014

Putting this all together, adding the current 2014 wolf mortality numbers of 443, plus the 1827 wolves killed during 2013/early 2014, minus the 11 wolves who died of natural causes, adds up to 2256  wolves killed between January 2013 and November 21, 2014. They were wiped out by hunters, poachers, Wildlife Service control actions, ranchers and accidents. I believe the numbers are much higher than this. Many more wolves have been killed illegally and will never be counted, so we can only speculate on those numbers but I’m sure they’re not insignificant.

 In less than 23 months over 2200 wolves have been killed! This is an absolute outrage. Wolves cannot sustain these high mortality rates. Something must  be done to stop the carnage.

In the coming days I’ll be exploring a way in which wolf advocates may be able to challenge this slaughter. It’s been written about and discussed but hasn’t been tested.

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November 20, 2014

My previous post dealt with the ongoing number of wolves killed in 2014. This post deals with total 2013/early 2014 wolf mortality in the Northern Rockies/Great Lakes.  It’s a huge number! A slaughter!  What’s behind this madness? It’s certainly not because wolves are harming humans or are a threat to the livestock industry.

From Wildearth Guardians:

Livestock Losses

Cattle

Myth:  Wolves, coyotes, mountain lions, bears, and others kill lots of cattle.

Truth:  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 Agriculture report.

The government’s own data show that the real killers of cattle are not a few endangered wolves or other wildlife – it’s illness and weather.  Yet, the predation myth has directly contributed to a federal, 100-year, paramilitary assault on millions of native carnivores.

The livestock predation myth is a big lie imposed on the American public. While lethal predator control does little to help the fat cats of agribusiness, it ensures that the USDA-Wildlife Services stays in business. While the feds assault millions of our native wolves, bears, cougars, and coyotes, the true cattle killers are illness and weather.  The Wildlife Services’ lethal predator control program must end, and the taxpayers, wildlife, and wildlands will reap the benefits.

Read the full report here

Wolves are being wiped out in record numbers, driven by a hate filled anti-wolf movement Their numbers are small but unfortunately for wolves, the haters dominate policy in wolf states. They also have powerful allies, like The Safari Club, The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Sportsman for Fish and Wildlife, Cattlemen’s Association, etc.  The profit motive is also driving the killing machine. State fish and game agencies win in two ways, a top predator is killed off to inflate ungulate numbers for their customers, the hunters and the state makes money off the sale of wolf hunt tags. Wolves are also the target of ranchers, Wildlife Services and poachers. Anywhere wolves turn,  they’re in danger. Even Yellowstone National Park wolves aren’t safe. Many collared park wolves have been shot by hunters when they step one toe outside the park. The most famous wolf in the world, the Lamar Canyon alpha female, better known as O6 (her birth year), was killed by a hunter’s bullet.

No wolf is safe in America.

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Northern Rockies: 2013 Wolf mortality

Northern Rocky Mountain Wolf Recovery
Program 2013 Interagency Annual Report

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Northern Rockies or NRM -2013 Wolf Mortality

In 2013,  922 wolves were killed in the Northern Rockies. This USFWS chart, shows the breakdown of  wolves mortality in each state. Hunting (Harvest), Control, Human (Poaching/Accidents), Natural Causes, Unknown.

Wolf Mortality Chart NRM 2013

Idaho – 335 wolves

Montana – 473 wolves

Wyoming – 109 wolves

Oregon – 3 wolves

Washington – 2 wolves

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Total 2013 Northern Rockies:  922 dead wolves

http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/species/mammals/wolf/annualrpt13/reports/FINAL_NRM-Sum2_2013.pdf

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Great Lakes -2013/early 2014 Wolf Mortality

Unlike the Northern Rockies, the Great Lakes states combine 2013/2014 wolf mortality  numbers.  In my previous post I did not include the 2013/2014 wolf hunt mortality numbers in that total.

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Minnesota 

2013/2014 Hunt 238 wolves (previous hunt in 2012 killed 413 wolves)

2013/2014 Control Actions 127 wolves killed (previous control actions in 2012 killed 295 wolves)

*No numbers for poaching, accidents or natural mortality

Total wolf mortality Minnesota 2013/2014: 365 wolves

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Wisconsin

Wolf hunt 2013/2014: 334 wolves

Control actions 2013/2014: 65 wolves

Total wolf mortality Wisconsin 2013/2014: 429 wolves

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Michigan

Wolf hunt 2013 : 23 wolves

Control actions: Since there’s no breakdown on the number of wolves killed in control actions between 2012-2013 I’m going to half the 73 control action numbers to 36 for 2013.

*No numbers for accidents, poaching or natural mortality.

 Total wolf mortality Michigan 2013: 109 wolves

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Great Lakes/Total Wolf Mortality 2013/early 2014 – 903 wolves

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Illinois

March 2013, 1 radio collared female wolf, from Wisconsin, found dead

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North Dakota

1 year old male wolf killed by a deer hunter -2013

http://www.fws.gov/midwest/wolf/monitoring/pdf/Year1PDMReportSept2014.pdf

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Total wolf mortality Northern Rockies/Great Lakes - 2013/early 2014

1827 dead wolves!

whats waiting for wolves 1

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Top photo: USFWS

Bottom Photo: Idaho Wild Wolf Images Copyright 2011

Posted in: gray wolf, Wolf Wars, Animal cruelty

Tags: Idaho, Montana, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Illinois, North Dakota, Washington, Oregon, wolf hunts, wolf poaching, wolf persecution, wolf slaughter

426 Wolves Wiped Out in 2014 and It’s Not Over…

Wolf Family fanpop

Update: November 21, 2014

443 wolves killed 2014

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 November 18, 2014

blood drip 2

426 wolves have been wiped out since the beginning of 2014. Pups, alphas, whole packs, gone. The majority have been slaughtered in the ongoing  Idaho, Montana, Minnesota and Wisconsin wolf hunts. 17 wolves were killed in Wyoming’s “predator zone” before a federal judge recently relisted them. 3 wolves were killed in Washington state, even though they’re “protected” there. The Huckleberry Pack alpha female was shot by a WDFW sharpshooter from the air, the alpha female of the Teanaway Pack and a female wolf from the Smackout Pack, were both poached.  And I’m not even counting wolves killed by Wildlife Services this year or wolves killed in the 2014 part of the 2013/2014 hunts. That would push the total much higher.

The saddest part of all this are the hunts are far from over. Wildlife Services killings are not over.

This has to stop, we are traveling down that long, dark road of wolf eradication.

Please don’t give up on wolves, be their voice!  Speak out for them, they’re suffering, in the cold, in traps, shot, snared, torn from their families! We must work to end this nightmare! We are their only voice!

For the wolves, For the wild ones,

Nabekiblood drop

Room For Wolves…

Lamar Canyon Pack Flickr_CC BY_ND 2.0

New Report IDs 350,000 Square Miles of Additional Habitat for Wolves in Lower 48

Obama Administration Prematurely Abandoning Recovery, Despite Ample Room for Wolves in Southern Rockies, West Coast, Northeast

By: Center for Biological Diversity

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 3, 2014 – A first-of-its-kind analysis by the Center for Biological Diversity identifies 359,000 square miles of additional habitat for gray wolves in 19 of the lower 48 states that could significantly boost the nation’s 40-year wolf recovery efforts. The study indicates the gray wolf population could be doubled to around 10,000 by expanding recovery into areas researchers have identified as excellent habitat in the Northeast, West Coast and southern Rocky Mountains, as well as the Grand Canyon, an area where a radio-collared wolf was photographed in recent weeks.

The report comes as the Obama administration moves to strip Endangered Species Act protection from gray wolves by the end of the year, even though wolves have been recovered in less than 10 percent of their historic habitat and are routinely trekking hundreds of miles to disperse to areas of the American landscape they once called home.

“This wolf’s pioneering journey to Arizona, like the wolf OR-7’s remarkable trek across Oregon to California, highlights the compelling on-the-ground reality made clear in this new report,” said Amaroq Weiss, the Center’s West Coast wolf organizer. “The Obama administration must finally acknowledge that the job of recovering wolves to sustainable populations is far from done.”

Today’s report, Making Room for Wolf Recovery: The Case for Maintaining Endangered Species Act Protections for America’s Wolves, analyzes 27 published research papers identifying suitable wolf habitat. It shows that the current wolf population of 5,400 could be nearly doubled if federal protections were retained and recovery efforts began to restore wolves to some of the places they once called home.

The report documents 56 instances over 30 years where wolves have dispersed from existing core recovery areas to states where they have yet to reestablish, including Colorado, Utah, California, New York, Massachusetts and Maine. These events, which frequently have ended in the dispersing wolves being shot, highlight the need for continued federal protections and recovery planning to increase the odds for dispersing wolves to survive and recolonize former terrain. The most famous dispersing wolf, OR-7, traveled hundreds of miles from northeast Oregon to California and has started a family along the border of the two states.

The report’s findings come as federal wildlife officials are working to verify the genetic identity of the radio-collared wolf photographed near Grand Canyon National Park — a discovery that suggests the wolf is likely a northern Rockies gray wolf who traveled hundreds of miles to historic wolf habitat where wolves were exterminated more than 50 years ago.

“What we’re seeing is that the amazing journeys of OR-7 and the wolf spotted in Arizona are far from oddities — they’re reflections of very natural dispersal patterns in recent years, where wolves have travelled hundreds of miles trying to expand to enough of their historic range to survive ongoing threats,” Weiss said. “But without the protection of the Endangered Species Act, we know that these wolves will too often face the same kind of hostility that nearly drove them extinct a century ago.”

Since endangered species protections were taken away from wolves in 2011 in the northern Rockies and western Great Lakes, the states have enacted aggressive hunting and trapping seasons designed to drastically reduce populations. To date more than 2,800 wolves have been killed, resulting in a 9 percent population decline in the northern Rockies and a 25 percent decline in Minnesota. Idaho passed legislation this year creating a “wolf control board,” with the sole purpose of killing wolves, and appropriated $400,000 for the task. Removal of protection in the rest of the country will ensure that anti-wolf prejudices prevail and wolf recovery is stopped in its tracks.

“State management of wolves has turned an Endangered Species Act success story into a tragedy,” said Weiss. “Rather than sound science, gray wolf management by the states has been dominated by anti-wolf hysteria and special-interest politics. Wolves need federal protection so they can survive, continue to recover, and eventually reprise their historic wilderness role at the top of the food chain.”

The report details the serious problems with state management and the important part wolves play in ecosystems; it can be read and downloaded here.

Background
Large members of the canid family, gray wolves are habitat generalists able to live nearly anywhere other than extreme desert or tropical environments, but which require human tolerance for survival. Living in family packs that typically range from five to 10 animals, wolves are highly social animals, with all pack members involved in rearing of young and in hunting forays for their prey (predominantly large wild ungulates such as elk, deer, moose and caribou). At around the age of two to three years, wolves tend to disperse from their family packs to seek mates and territories of their own.

Gray wolves were once the most widely ranging land mammals on the planet, with an estimated 2 million distributed throughout North America at the time of European colonization. As settlers moved west, they cleared the land for their grain and livestock, wiping out first the wolves’ wild prey and then the wolves themselves. Government-sponsored predator-eradication campaigns conducted on behalf of the livestock industry exterminated wolves everywhere in the lower 48 states, with the exception of a remnant population of fewer than 1,000 wolves in far northeastern Minnesota.

Wolves were first federally protected in 1967, under a precursor to the Endangered Species Act. This allowed Minnesota’s wolf population to expand in number and range into neighboring Wisconsin and parts of Michigan. In the mid-1990s, wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park and central Idaho; their descendants have slowly dispersed into parts of Washington and Oregon, with one wolf making it to California. In the late 1990s, the most highly endangered subspecies of gray wolf, the Mexican gray wolf, was reintroduced to Arizona.

In 2011 Congress stripped wolves of federal protections in the northern Rockies and adjacent areas, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service did the same for wolves in the Western Great Lakes region. Under state management, in less than three years, wolf populations in these states have demonstrated substantial declines, with nearly 3,000 wolves killed in state-sanctioned hunting and trapping seasons.

In June 2013 the Obama administration proposed stripping federal protections from wolves across most of the lower 48 states. Despite receipt of more than 1.5 million public comments opposed to delisting wolves and critical comments from scientists and a peer review panel, the administration is expected to issue an official rule removing protection from wolves before the end of the year.

http://yubanet.com/enviro/New-Report-IDs-350-000-Square-Miles-of-Additional-Habitat-for-Wolves-in-Lower-48.php#.VFm8dvnF-So

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Making Room for Wolf Recovery:
The Case for Maintaining Endangered Species Act Protections for America’s Wolves

gray wolf in snow wallpaper

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/campaigns/gray_wolves/pdfs/Making_Room_for_Recovery_print.pdf

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Top Photo: lamar-canyon-pack-flickr_cc-by_nd-2-0

Bottom Photo: gray wolf in snow wallpaper

Posted in: gray wolf, biodiversity, Wolf Wars

Tags: gray wolf recovery, wolf habitat, Obama admin, war on wolves, Center For Biological Diversity, national wolf delisting, wolf persecution repeat, ESA

Why It’s Bad To Be A Wolf in Northeastern Washington

howlingwolfkewlwallpaersdotcom-1

 by Anonymous for Wolves
October 26, 2014
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For a time, I lived in an old log cabin on 146 acres in Northwest Montana, a stone’s throw from a collared wolf pack, and I listened to their haunting howls during the morning’s wee hours.

Following Montana, I lived in the Methow Valley (on the east slopes of Washington’s North Cascade mountains), fifteen crow miles from the Lookout wolf pack, the pack that the White family all but destroyed. The White’s had lost no livestock to wolves while they attempted to ship bloody wolf pelts to Canada, emailing boasts and images of the dead wolves to friends.

 I spoke up for the Wedge Pack in Olympia (WA’s capitol), after seven members of the pack were shot from a helicopter by Wildlife Services in 2012, all to protect irresponsibly ranged cows grazing on terrain unsuitable to livestock. Lethal removal of the Wedge, said WDFW director Phil Anderson, would hit a re-set button with ranchers so that the action would not need to be repeated. I was at the meeting when he spoke these words and they were indeed in this context.

I now live a handful of miles from the Canadian border, on the west slopes of the North Cascades and I will tell you there are wolves here, dispersers and with packs on the horizon. I saw my first wolf fourteen years ago in this greater Kulshan area, and my second wolf nine years ago in a canyon above the Methow Valley.

On Tuesday, October seventh, I attended the WDFW wolf meeting in Colville, Stevens County, in northeastern Washington. I sat quietly and observed during the meeting, taking notes and quotes, as well as images with my camera. The crowd in attendance was filled mainly with ranchers and with those opposing wolf recovery. It was a lynch mob scene! WDFW allowed the crowd to call out mean-spirited comments to those few who spoke in support of wolves (this was ranching country, after all). WDFW allowed those speaking against wolves to talk well in excess of their allotted three minutes, permitting speakers to talk back to the WDFW panel and refuse to sit down and shut up when asked. Rancher Len McIrvine refused to stop talking well after using his and other’s time allotments, and the crowd cheered. The department allowed this behavior.

WDFW allowed the crowd to stand and cheer loudly when there was talk of wolves having been killed: the Ruby creek female hit by a car and the Huckleberry female flushed out of dense forest (forest unsuitable for grazing) and shot from a helicopter by Wildlife Services.

I acquired the necropsy report for the Huckleberry female and interviewed the department’s veterinarian who had performed the necropsy and had written the report. It is notable that the Huckleberry pack female’s stomach was empty when she was shot dead. She had not eaten for close to two days. She certainly hadn’t been eating the rancher Dashiell’s sheep, and so the non-lethal tactics and helicopter hazing had worked. And yet a wolf needed to die.

 The Colville crowd called for three more Huckleberry wolves to die, and better yet the whole pack! They demanded a total of at least four dead wolves, although the department had said they would shoot “up to four wolves” never guaranteeing they would shoot four wolves total. The WDFW panel just sat and listened to the calls for more dead wolves, nodding their heads and looking sympathetic, never making this correction to the ranchers’ demands for more wolf blood to be spilled.

The department’s initial statement regarding the aerial assault on the Huckleberry pack is that they would only shoot if there were multiple animals under the helicopter as a means of size comparison so that they would only take out pups and two year-old wolves. They would not target black, adult wolves as the collared male is black (they use the collars for tracking purposes, of course). Later the department’s directive was amended (changed and twisted) and it was stated they would remove any wolf (or wolves) but for the collared male.

When the Huckleberry female was shot, she was the sole animal under the under helicopter and weighed close to 70 pounds while alive (reports of 65 and 66 lbs were post-mortem, although WDFW never made this clear). Said the department’s carnivore specialist Donny Moratello, “We were certainly disappointed in this outcome but, there was no way to sort from the air in this circumstance.” When I asked him why take the risk of shooting the wrong wolf if there is no means of comparison, he replied, “You know going into it you get what you get. We did not have the opportunity to sort in this case.” As well as saying, “To not shoot (a wolf) they would have not been complying with the directive at that point, they would not be following orders.”

So, you get what you get. The helicopter had been up on multiple occasions over a number of days, unable to spot animals due to the visibility limits of the dense terrain, terrain unsuitable for healthy and responsible ranching and in which the sheep were being grazed. Simply, the lethal endeavor was becoming too expensive, so they flushed out a single black, adult sized wolf and shot. Blam! They shot the breeding female whose pups at the time were only a little over 4 months old and unable to hunt on their own. The department’s reports to this day say the pups were almost full grown but, this is grossly inaccurate as per their own veterinarian.

It is also important to note from WDFW’s own reports and slide presentation, that most of the wolf activity and depredations fell outside of Dashiell’s grazing allotment. Dashiell had not had a working range rider for close to thirty days; during the onset and well into the confirmed depredation activity. He had merely two working guard dogs which, is insufficient for the size of the herd (1800) and sprawling, densely forested terrain. Two more guard dogs and additional human presence were added around the period of the Huckleberry kill order, but it was too little too late. Wolves needed to die.

Additionally, rancher Dashiell had not been removing sheep carcasses including well before the confirmed depredations, as evidenced by the carcass’ level of decomposition and thus, the inability to determine cause of death.

Northeastern Washington commissioners spoke in support of the ranchers and the call for dead wolves, speaking to taking matters of wolf control in their own hands. There was talk of shooting, trapping and most of all, poisoning the wolves. In a Seattle Times article Rancher Len McIrvine is quoted as saying, “Our ancestors knew what had to happen — you get poison and you kill the wolves.”

The quad-county commissioners grandstanded and played to the lynch mob. Jim DeTro, Okanogan County commissioner opened his speech with, “Welcome to Okanogan County where you can now drink a Bud’, smoke a bud and marry your bud.” He said this with obvious disdain and the crowd laughed loudly. He said, “People in my county have decided to not shoot, shovel and shut up, but to be totally silent.” He said this as a wink and nod to poisoning wolves while the department panel sat there silently, nodding their heads up and down and looking sympathetic.

I tell you, when a wolf is killed illegally and poisoned, WDFW is guilty of complicity y by not speaking out against these illegal acts and by nodding their heads up and down in agreement.

DeTro continued on that people in his county don’t want the agency to know when they’ve seen a wolf or experienced (alleged) wolf depredation. They want, he said, to take matters in their own hands. DeTro then said smiling proudly, “Olympia, you have a problem.”

Mike Blankenship, Ferry County commissioner, stood there and encouraged people to take matters in their own hands, as well. All the while, WDFW just sat there nodding their heads, looking sympathetic and remaining silent. More complicity!

A local sheriff said, “Wolves are messy eaters, scattering a cow from hell to breakfast,” and making other inflammatory statements about wolves to the again cheering crowd. He said he was “pissed” that only one Huckleberry pack member had been killed.

One rancher cried out angrily, “Wolves kill to eat!” I was curious then, as to what he had done to his livestock before they ended up in the grocer’s meat section, if his livestock were not also killed to be eaten.

At the end of the meeting, WDFW director Phil Anderson acted very cozy and familiar with the ranchers, in spite of them having raked him mercilessly over the coals for not killing more wolves.

He looked sympathetic and referred to them by name, and recalled riding around in their trucks with them. Anderson said he would plan a closed meeting with the area ranchers to discuss wolf issues and management. I demand that NO meeting in relation to Washington wolves be closed.

Two final points:

-In the case of the Huckleberry pack, the department did not adequately implement the state’s wolf management plan, nor did they adhere to their own published procedures, before lethal removal took place. This negligence WILL NOT be repeated.

-We demand full documentation of every wolf mortality, and that given the threats to use poisons, we expect that toxicology reports be made public as part of any necropsy, where cause of death has not otherwise been determined. If wolves are poisoned, WDFW will be held guilty of complicity due to their behavior in Colville; supporting poisoning by remaining silent and nodding their heads up and down.

While I sat silently during the Colville meeting, a rancher two rows back passed me a piece of paper on which he had scrawled, “Wolf Lover!” When I looked back at him he scowled at me severely. I wrote in reply on the note, “So?” along with a happy face, and passed it back to him. I’ll take his accusation as a compliment.

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Photo: Courtesy kewlwallpapersdotcom

Posted in: Washington wolves, Wolf Wars, gray wolf

Tags: anonymous for wolves, Huckleberry pack, WDFW, killing wolves, Northeastern Washington, ranchers, Huckleberry Pack alpha female

Wolf Violation Notice Delivered To Montana Governor Steve Bullock….

wolf-howling fanpop

October 23, 2014

It’s time to start thinking outside the box concerning the decimation of America’s wolves and WWAG is certainly doing that. Trying to protect Montana and Idaho wolves, by fighting for them in federal court,  was hamstrung by the budget bill-wolf delisting rider, passed by the Democrat controlled US Senate, in 2011, which took judicial review off the table.

WWAG is demanding wolves be placed back under federal protection stating  “Montana’s wolf management policy violates the United Nations Charter for Nature, !”

“Why are these psychopaths allowed to torture animals in this country, yet 86 other countries have banned trapping?” asked WWAG member Michelle Domeier.

The group held posters showing wolves dead in both foothold traps and snares identified as legal means of killing wolves in Montana. More than 2,600 wolves had been killed since being strippedfrom federal protections, they said.

After speaking on the Capitol steps, WWAG member Karen Wells delivered the violation notice to the governor’s office, which was taken by staff in Bullock’s absence….Independant Record

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UPDATED: Group demands return of federal wolf protections at Capitol protest

‘VIOLATION NOTICE’ DELIVERED TO GOVERNOR’S OFFICE DURING PROTEST AT CAPITOL

October 20, 2014 6:52 pm  • 

Saying that Montana’s wolf management policy violates the United Nations Charter for Nature, members of the Wolf and Wildlife Action Group delivered a “violation notice” to Gov. Steve Bullock’s office at the Capitol Monday.

Montana’s wolf policy allows for a landowner to kill up to 100 wolves, using what WWAG called cruel and barbaric methods such as aerial gunning and trapping, the violation notice said.

The policy is an attempt to exterminate the gray wolf, and WWAG demanded that wolves return to federal protection under the Endangered Species Act, said member Jeanne Rasmussen.

Bullock was not at his office at the time WWAG delivered the violation notice.

“They are being shot and trapped and gut shot, and they burn baby pups out of their dens,” Rasmussen said. “Hunters just want them eliminated.”

WWAG described itself as an “international grassroots organization” at the Capitol on behalf of 80 percent of Americans who want wolves protected.

Madison County resident Diane Nelson-Steiner spoke passionately about wolves killed near her home along the Big Hole River. She recalled an entire pack shot by government officials flying a USDA plane, and seeing the animals left to rot.

“To see those wolves killed and laying in a field is horrible,” Nelson-Steiner said. “They killed most of the Big Hole pack, and since then we’ve been overrun with elk and deer. It’s getting absolutely ridiculous with the herds getting to be overly large.”

Wolves also kept coyote numbers in check, which have increased dramatically since elimination of the wolf pack, she said.

Nelson-Steiner and her husband, Tim Steiner, brought several foothold traps they said were found illegally set on their property by trappers after wolves. They have found or heard of multiple animals caught in traps including domestic cats and dogs, an eagle, a badger and coyotes, but no wolves, Steiner said.

Yes that’s cruel and inhumane,” Steiner said while holding a trap. “Animal cruelty is against the law in all 50 states. It’s not just wolves they’re catching; it’s everything else.”

“Why are these psychopaths allowed to torture animals in this country, yet 86 other countries have banned trapping?” asked WWAG member Michelle Domeier.

The group held posters showing wolves dead in both foothold traps and snares identified as legal means of killing wolves in Montana. More than 2,600 wolves had been killed since being strippedfrom federal protections, they said.

After speaking on the Capitol steps, WWAG member Karen Wells delivered the violation notice to the governor’s office, which was taken by staff in Bullock’s absence.

“Montana has a highly-effective wolf management plan, developed through collaboration with stakeholders and based on scientific principles and thorough research,” said Kevin O’Brien, Bullock’s deputy chief of staff, in an email. “While some on the far left and far right may take issue with the management plan, it has resulted in healthy wolf populations in Montana.”

Within the violation notice, WWAG made the following statement:

“One Montana landowner deems a wolf a ‘problem’ wolf (and) they can legally kill it, and may ‘legally’ kill up to 100 Wolves in any cruel method, including cruel and barbaric leg hold traps and snares, poisoning, gassing and burning alive pups in their dens, stomping, clubbing, gut shooting, chasing down and shooting from the air, with no restrictions or quotas. In addition, wolf ‘hunting’ and trapping is allowed from Oct. to May.”

That statement contains several inaccuracies in reference to seasons and new regulations for landowners, said FWP spokesman Tom Palmer. Hunting and foothold traps are legal methods of take, while other methods are prohibited by hunters or trappers, he said.

Montana’s general wolf hunting season runs from Sept. 15 to March 15. The archery only season runs from Sept. 6 to Sept. 14. The trapping season runs from Dec. 15 to Feb. 28, according to regulations. Landowners can kill wolves threatening livestock or people out of season and without a permit under FWP rules.

“Most of this isn’t allowed,” he said. “Snares aren’t allowed. You can’t bait or poison them. You can’t burn them alive. Gut shooting isn’t allowed.”

Landowners also do not have special regulations allowing aerial shooting, he said.

The Fish and Wildlife Commission approved rules that allow up to 100 wolves per landowner, authorized at 25 at a time, he said. Landowners have harvested four wolves under the rules, he said, and baiting is not allowed either in hunting or trapping.

“They (wolves) have to be actively threatening you or your livestock,” Palmer said. “The chances of a landowner seeing a threat and setting out a trap immediately is almost nill.”

When told of FWP’s response, Nelson-Steiner insisted that the regulations allow landowners to use “any” means of killing wolves.

Violations of existing regulations have run rampant, and FWP and the sheriff’s office have failed to enforce state laws in her area, Nelson-Steiner said.

On the issue of international law, Bullock was in direct violation of several items within the UN’s charter, Wells said.

“We demand that these violations be corrected forthwith or these violations will be brought before the International Court of Justice,” the violation notice said.

Click HERE To Read the Violation Notice

http://helenair.com/wolf-violation-notice/pdf_6c652dcc-e4fe-532b-bebf-8c4d4c090f11.html

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Photo: Courtesy Fanpop

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Montana wolves, Activism, Animals Cruelty

Tags: WWAG, Gov. Steve Bullock, Montana wolves, Stop the wolf hunt, United Nations Charter for Nature, trophy hunting evil, wolves suffering, wolf persecution

Wisconsin Trophy Hunters Slaughter 91 Wolves in 5 days, Go Over Limit In Two Zones

UPDATE: October 21, 2014

The numbers changed today on the DNR 2014 “wolf harvest”. It’s now 92 wolves dead but the numbers have moved around on the chart.  Hmmmm. Notice there is one less dead wolf in Zone 1, where trophy hunters went over the legal limit. Yesterday the number  of wolves killed in that zone was 37, now it’s 36. So one dead wolf was moved from Zone 1 and added to Zone 3.  Also notice that it says “Zones will close when quotas are reached”. So how did they allow so many wolves to die above the legal limit?  It’s bad enough there is a hunt at all but hunters in Zone 2 killed FOURTEEN more wolves than they were supposed to. And in Zone 1 they killed 5 wolves, now it’s been changed to 4, over the legal limit. That’s 18 dead wolves who shouldn’t be dead. This is outrageous!!

I hate that I have to look at this chart. I hate that I have to ask about dead wolf numbers. I hate I used the word “harvest”, if only to describe what’s on the chart.

Have wolf advocates been reduced to counting dead wolves? It’s so incredibly maddening.

Wisconsin 2014 DNR

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Wisconsin Wolf Slaughter

Wisconsin DNR Wolf “Harvest”

It’s bad enough 91 wolves have been slaughtered in Wisconsin since October 15 (just five days) but notice Wisconsin trophy hunters are going over  legal limits of killing wolves. In Zone 1 by 5 wolves and in Zone 2 by 14 wolves. Is the DNR ignoring what amounts to poaching of wolves by not monitoring the hunt closely and letting hunters kill wolves with impunity?

Please flood their lines and ask why hunters have been allowed to go over the legal hunting limit in Zone 2 by 14 wolves and Zone 1 by 5 wolves. Do they care?

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Governor Scott Walker

(608)266-1212

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Wisconsin DNR

Call Center Staff Available 7 Days a Week (7 a.m.-10 p.m.)

General Information 1-888-WDNRINFo | (1-888-936-7463) | Hours: 7 a.m. – 10 p.m.
101 S. Webster Street . PO Box 7921 . Madison, Wisconsin 53707-7921 . 608-266-2621

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This picture out of the Wisconsin killing fields has been making the rounds on the internet.  This is just one of the 85 wolves reported killed since last Wednesday.

“This picture out of the Wisconsin killing fields has been making the rounds on the internet. This is just one of the 85  91 wolves reported killed since last Wednesday. Source unknown and used under “Fair Use.”  (From Our Wisconsin, Our Wildlife)”

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Seems like Wisconsin trophy hunters are well on their way to beating the 2013 over-limit:

UPDATE: Wis. wolf season ends with 6 extra wolves killed

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin wolf hunters and trappers went slightly over the quota this season.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources said Thursday the 2013 season ended with 257 wolves harvested. That’s six animals over the 251-wolf limit.

http://www.nbc15.com/news/state/headlines/Wis-wolf-hunt-gets-underway-227838411.html

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Posted in: Wolf Wars, Wisconsin Wolves, gray wolves

Top Photos: Wisconsin DNR

Bottom Photo: Courtesy Our Wisconsin, Our Wildlife

Tags: Wolf killing frenzy, Wisconsin, wolf slaughter, State should be ashamed, wolves suffering, contact the Wisconsin DNR, over-limit in 2013 as well

Wisconsin Trophy Hunters Wipe Out 65 Wolves In Just 4 Days..

Wisconsin wolf public domain

Deja’ Vu – Slaughtered Wisconsin Wolf – 1909 – What’s different today?

October 18, 2014

There’s a wolf killing frenzy going on in Wisconsin. In just four days Wisconsin trophy hunters have slaughtered 65 wolves, that’s over 16 wolves per day. Wolves are being tracked and trailed by up to 6 dogs per hunter and I don’t believe for one second that some of those wolves haven’t been directly killed by dogs or at the very least bitten multiple times before they’re killed by the hunters. Can you imagine the terror wolves face as their chased by barking dogs and hunters?

Besides legalized dog/wolf fighting,Wisconsin allows wolves to be trapped, arrowed, shot and baited. And they’re killing wolf puppies, who are barely eight months old. Trophy hunting is sick and anyone who engages in it needs their heads examined.

The Badger state trophy hunters are acting like barbarians, this is nothing but blood lust and hatred toward an animal who’s been persecuted for hundreds of years in this country. Shame on the Obama Administration for allowing  USFWS to delist Great Lakes wolves. They’ve turned wolves over to their greatest enemies, fish and game agencies.

IMO Ted Nugent was obviously encouraging poaching of Wisconsin wolves when he  posted this on his Facebook page on October 17, 2014.

“WISCONSIN Spirit BloodBrothers the Weisner family trapped this stunning wolf. Though no state has issued an adeqaute number of wolf tags, believe when I tell you that certain WE THE PEOPLE in touch caring Americans are killing MANY MANY more wolves than the numbnut corrupt dishonest PC government thugs allow. Kill as many as you can real conservationists. The wolf population is irresponsibly & dangerously out of control. Wolf jackets ROCK!!”

Is Wisconsin DNR investigating Nugent’s outrageous comment? I doubt it, they’re too busy sucking up to their customers, the hunters.

BOYCOTT WISCONSIN!

Don’t buy their cheese or any products they sell. Don’t visit or take vacations there. The only way to send a message to the state is to hit them in their pocketbook. Maybe they’ll reconsider their disgusting “dog fighting” wolf hunt.

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Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: Why is the DNR destroying our wolves?

October 12, 2014 4:30 am  • 

“My favorite recipe for wolf is to skin it, piss on it and let it rot for the maggots. Then cash in the hide and watch people like you squirt a tear over it.” — Dwayne Glosemeyer, Wisconsin Wolf Hunt Facebook page 

Dwayne Glosemeyer’s in-your-face arrogance flinging torture and disrespect for wolves at wolf advocates mirrors the hatred of wolves promoted by the Department of Natural Resources. The DNR has a flagrant disregard for science, nature, and the majority of citizens in Wisconsin.

Paul Paquet is a world-renowned Canadian biologist who has been studying wolves for over four decades. He is on the advisory/science and recovery board of the Living with Wolves organization started by Jim and Jamie Dutcher after they lived with and filmed the Sawtooth Pack for six years. The organization’s goal is to stop the slaughter of wolves. Jane Goodall and Robert Redford are on the honorary board. I heard Paquet speak passionately against hunting wolves, as a moral issue, at the International Wolf Symposium last October in Duluth, Minn. He co-signed the letter sent by UW-Madison’s Adrian Treves recommending suspension of the 2014 Wisconsin wolf hunt.

READ MORE:

http://host.madison.com/news/opinion/column/patricia-randolph-s-madravenspeak-why-is-the-dnr-destroying-our/article_f47037c0-845d-57e8-8a01-923ea29bad48.html

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Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Wisconsin wolves, gray wolves

Tags: brutality, barbarism, 65 wolves slaughtered in 4 days, Wisconsin DNR,  Ted Nugent encourages poaching of wolves?, wolves suffering, Patricia Randolph, Madravenspeak

Anti-Wolf Comments Demonstrate Ignorance and Hysteria Wolves Face….

Wolf paranoia Rational Wiki
A typical wolf about to take your children and eat your job!

It’s been awhile since I cleaned out my spam folder and deleted anti-wolf comments. This is just a small sampling, I could write an entire book on these little gems. They’d be laughable if it wasn’t so serious for wolves. They show the mentality wolves are facing and demonstrate once again why wolves need protection under the ESA.

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Wolf Hysteria

“Wolf hysteria (also known as wolf persecution, or rarely, lupophobia) is the widespread public hatred of wolves, incorporating both their enduring role as folk devils, and societal attitudes favouring policies of active persecution of wolves, and opposition and resistance to policies aiming to protect existing wild populations, or reintroduce the species into former ranges where it has become extinct relatively recently. The phenomenon shares much in common with moral panics, including the use of scaremongering, unverifiable anecdotes, demonisation, exaggeration, moral high roading etc., to the extent the phenomenon could be considered a moral panic in and of itself, though it is not commonly referred to as such”…Rational Wiki

REAED MORE : http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Wolf_hysteria

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Idaho bone pickers
Submitted on 2014/10/08 at 7:57 pm
I’ve killed 4, all pups. You all have killed unborn children with your voting skills. Try to not be so hypocritical. You do your thing, we will do ours. Geographical differences are human nature now leave us the fuck alone. Got my 2014 tag ready for this Friday:)
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joe
Submitted on 2014/08/10 at 7:42 pm | In reply to meirad.
I cant wait for this wolf season, so I can get revenge for all the damn wolfs eating my elk!!!!!
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Doug
Submitted on 2014/07/02 at 12:03 am | In reply to nina clausen.
Get your. Head out of the fog and spend a little time in the forests of montana. We have oodles of wolves. I have one of the hog heaven pack myself. Another pack already is in the region once occupied by them,,, less than two years later.
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This comment is  particularly ridiculous since there have been just two controversial wolf/human fatalities in the last 100 years but domestic dogs kill on average 30 people per year and bite millions more. I’m a dog lover but those are the facts. Deer are more dangerous to humans than wolves. Comments like the one below demonstrate the hysteria surrounding wolves. Wolf haters are either sadly misinformed or blindly repeating anti wolf talking points, without having a clue what they’re talking about. 

cheri kessler
Submitted on 2014/06/11 at 10:27 am
I’m sorry but many of these posts seem a little ridiculous. Wolves are dangerous predators who attack people and will hunt people- including children. They produce large numbers of offspring in a relatively quick amount of time, and they are an alpha predator with nothing to keep them in check. They are not going extinct and are actually becoming quite dangerous because of their large numbers even in northern Colorado. Saying they are more scared of us seems pretty false to me since they are in large packs and weigh around 100 pound each vs 1 person— I know I wouldn’t be scared of much, plus they become accustomed to being around people and get less wary, taking more risks Again, they are a wild animal and if it means living or dying, they will attack you to survive, or your ranch animals which you might rely on financially. There is a reason why in Idaho and Montana they have open season to hunt- to keep the population numbers down and in check, not to just keep killing them needlessly. Just like all other animals with a hunting season, it is to help keep the population healthy.

They are quite beautiful but don’t be fooled, they are also quite dangerous.

And to say anything about killing baby’s—my goodness, really? You would rather have a wolf live and have a child die? That’s disgusting–they are animals–and animals are definitely below my children and any child, and I would hope you feel the same. Not that only your children matter but all children. Children are unable to protect themselves, literally, especially babies–leave them out of this.
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Jim Duggins
Submitted on 2014/06/01 at 8:37 pm | In reply to Marilyn Glasgow.
“Knuckledraggers”. I like how you stereotype everyone in Idaho. All you tree hugging queers will make your wish come true. You won’t be able to reproduce, so the earth will go back to the animals because YOU have destroyed the human species. Gay wad.
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Wolf Killer
Submitted on 2014/05/22 at 7:34 pm
You people are sick. Do you realize that wolves are killing just about every deer, moose, and elk in their area? Not to mention the cattle and sheep they kill. Drive thru Yellowstone and you can count on one hand the number of elk still in the park ..no thanks to these predators. Wolves need to be managed just as much as the rest of the wildlife. What’s wrong with you? Ever seen a deer get eaten by a pack of wolves? It’s not pretty. The deer is usually still alive as it’s back end is eaten. But I guess you have no “feelings” for the animals these wolves kill. Misinformed self righteous idiots.
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Animals are tasty
Submitted on 2014/05/15 at 12:27 pm | In reply to Bonnie Browm.
GO kill yourself you piece of shit!
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Tony
Submitted on 2014/04/28 at 10:29 am
Letting one species stay protected while others are regulated is assanine. These wolves are slowly decimating the wildlife that is hunted by humans already. There must be a system of balance which will require a wolf season. I am not saying kill all the wolves, but keep them from eating themselves out of food.
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J pancheri
Submitted on 2014/04/21 at 4:36 pm | In reply to Kathy Vile.
Yes since wolves show so much mercy on the things they munch on we need more wolve predators like grizzlies and wolverines rippin there guts out and there unborn young.
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joe
Submitted on 2014/03/20 at 7:07 pm | In reply to orionsbeltwolf.
dont you think they would be better off in central park and LA where they would do more good and you can keep them safe
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ggggg
Submitted on 2014/03/12 at 12:49 pm
Kill them all, fuck all of you
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Jim
Submitted on 2014/03/11 at 4:10 pm
There is a reason Wolves were exterminated. They kill everything, that is what they do and they do it well. Living in Alaska and Wyoming I have seen them decimate the Caribou herds and Sheep and Cattle. They have really terrorized the Elk populations in Idaho. The only places big enough and wild enough to support them are Canada and Alaska. I agree it is romantic to see them in the wild but there is not enough room in the lower 48 for them and agriculture. If you made your living raising livestock you would have a different view. I’m sure someone who makes their living sitting in a cubicle will spout off here.
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mark

Submitted on 2014/03/03 at 5:36 pm | In reply to AGNES DELANIS.
Hello, I have no interest in trying to chang anyones mind but would like to offer an alternate opinon.I understand how some could get a distorted picture of the wolf situationbut i must ask myself how many of the wolf advocates or supporters have actually been in the wild for any length of time both pre and then post wolf. The problem is that wolves, unlike man is totally opportunistic and none selective, they inhabit an area( many square miles) until it is practically devoid of game and them move on and repeat. I also doubt that any of you have seen a large wolf pack corner a small heard of elk in deep snow and kill them all ,eat the noses and a little meat then move on leaving the rest to rot or for scavengers. I wont go into detail but watcthing a wolf pack make a kill is anything but humane. If anyone has the guts and respect to engage in a true honest dialogue regarding this i would welcome your response. I love all animals and being in the wilderness no less than anyone alive, and i consider myself qualified to make honest and unbiased observations. wolves are not being eradicated, only managed,unfortunatly to do that some must be culled. Remember ,if we truly revert to natural selection then only the strong survive,you want that in the human world to?
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Charles
Submitted on 2014/02/17 at 3:27 pm
Wolves need to be extermited in the lower 48 states. Not one alive!
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Anna
Submitted on 2014/02/04 at 7:21 pm
I love wolves! I love dogs and I love animals and amen I hate seeing them killed and hunted. It makes me really sad, but we have to look at it from both sides. the wolves are eating the bison and elk calves and are lowering the levels of those animals. sure its not that bad because the elk where getting overpopulated but now they are practically extinct from the park! the wolves are growing into too big amount Also when the elk and bison go extinct because they will be eaten by wolves too often, the wolves will eventually decrease in number because they wont have any prey. and it wouldn’t be a good idea to remove them from the park because it would effect the animals way of life so I think it would either be wise to hunt few of them or take some out of the park to different parts of the US.
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Stu Markell
Submitted on 2014/01/16 at 8:27 pm | In reply to Darren Thomassie.
Good we don’t want your punk Aziz wolf scat eaters here.
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fee spirit
Submitted on 2014/01/09 at 6:48 pm
I will shoot and kill any wolf that come into my site.

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Bill
Submitted on 2013/11/03 at 6:33 pm
Trappers are VITAL in controlling the predation on other animals. Just like every animal, They need to be managed.

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HAHA you guys are so brainwashed into believing anything some citiot would has never held a rifle in his hand or seen a dirt road before has to say about northern Minnesota and what farmers want to do with their land. Really you can think what you want to think and talk about how wolf hunting is inhumane but what you don’t realize is that farmers that are making an honest living raising and selling cattle are losing more and more cattle every year because of huge wolf populations in certain areas. “Murdering wolves”? Seriously you believe that the DNR only has a hunt so that people can Murder wolves? Oh you are so terribly wrong and mistaken. People who live in the city should have no say in what rural people want to do with their land and I am more than happy to take care of some of them wolves for those farmers. And by the way, wolf furs are going for around 800 dollars right now! Cant wait for the December late season! I’ll post a couple pictures of my trophies.

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I think we should capture and release 200 of these snugly little guys and release them in Edina. It would be really neat to see them thrive in that environment.

NatureColdWarriors_3wolves

Top Photo: Courtesy Rational Wiki

Bottom Photo: Courtesy Nature Cold Warriors

Posted in: Wolf Wars, gray wolf

Tags: wolf hysteria, moral panic, scaremongering, unverifiable anecdotes, demonization, exaggeration, moral high-roading, Rational Wiki, wolf persecution, anti wolf comments, wolf hatred, ridiculous comments, stupidity

It’s Official: Wolves Are Protected In California!

OR7

OR7  - dual citizen of California and Oregon (:

October 9, 2014

Even though, officially, there are no known gray wolves in California, the state extended endangered species protection to canis lupus today. This is critically important, since the USFWS plans to rubber stamp a national wolf delisting plan, removing all federal protections for wolves in the lower 48. Without state protections, wolves across the country will face tremendous risk.

Gray wolves are subjected to persecution in Montana, Idaho, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, even Washington and Oregon, where they remain listed. Wyoming wolves, until recently, could be shot on sight in 80% of the state. Last week, US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson,  placed Wyoming wolves  back on the Endangered Species List. Her ruling was the result of a lawsuit challenging the state’s faulty “wolf management” plan, specifically the predator zone, where wolves could be killed by any means, 365 days of the year, seven days a week. Mexican gray wolves face an uphill battle on a daily basis, as their tiny, inbred numbers struggle to survive, surrounded by thousands of cattle in the Blue Range Wolf Recovery area and hostile ranchers.

Now that wolves are protected in California they can safely disperse from other states, as the iconic Oregon wolf OR7 did ( so named because he was the seventh wolf to be collared in Oregon.) OR7 made history when he set paws on California soil in December 2011, the first wolf to officially do so since the 1920′s, when canis lupus was eradicated from the Golden State, almost ninety years ago.

OR7 dispersed from the Imnahas, his natal pack in Eastern Oregon. OR7′s mother is famous in her own right. Swimming the Snake River from Idaho into Oregon in 2008, B-300 and her mate became Oregon’s first breeding pair in almost sixty years. Her son went on to become even more famous and provided the impetus for the protection of gray wolves in California.

OR7′s Mother B-300 (Sophie) making her way into NE Oregon 2008

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ODFW caught the ten member Imnaha wolf pack walking single file through the eastern Oregon woods with at least six pups!! Leading the pack is alpha female B-300. OR7 was born in April  2009, so he’s somewhere in this video. Where’s Waldo? 

OR7 logged thousands of miles on his tracking collar, as he searched for a mate. His arrival in California set off an international sensation. OR7, also known as Journey, moved back and forth between California and Oregon, before finding a mate and settling down in Oregon, now with pups in tow.  If it wasn’t for this amazing wolf it’s unlikely wolves would now be protected in California. It was OR7′s presence in a state long devoid of two of its top predators, the grizzly bear and wolf, that sparked the conversation leading to California’s  decision to right the wrong of almost a century ago. Thank you California. Now lets work on returning your state animal, the grizzly bear, to its native home.

OR7 Pup

One of OR7′s Pups ( ODFW 2014)

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California Fish and Game Commission ratifies gray wolf findings

The California Fish and Game Commission held a meeting in Mount Shasta on Wednesday, drawing a crowd for its decision to ratify findings supporting the listing of the gray wolf as an endangered species in California.

By David Smith
@SDNDavidSmith
Posted Oct. 9, 2014 @ 9:57 am

http://www.siskiyoudaily.com/article/20141009/NEWS/141009745/-1/news

Alpha male Imnaha pack

Alpha male Imnaha Pack 2011

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Top Photo: Courtesy Wiki

Middle Photo: Courtesy ODFW

Bottom Photo: Courtesy ODFW

Top Video: Courtesy YouTube ORWild

Bottom Video: Courtesy YouTube ODFW

Posted in: Wolf Wars, California wolves

Tags: California wolves, Oregon wolves, OR7, B-300, Imnaha pack, California Fish and Wildlife, California lists gray wolves, ODFW

Of Wolves and Men…….

black wolf nexus wallpaper

October 7, 2014

This was one of my first posts. It traces the origins of wolf hatred and persecution. Wolves have suffered greatly at the hands of man.

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September 29, 2009

Nature Magazine examines reasons behind wolf hatred and the systematic campaign to remove them from the lower forty-eight. It merits repeating that for thousands of years Native Americans were able to live with wolves and bears, while settlers saw them as a threat. Even the famed naturalist James Audubon partook in torturing wolves, which was particularly shocking to learn.

As noted in Michael Robinson’s “Predatory Bureaucracy: The Extermination of Wolves and the Transformation of the West”, the federal government became the wolf killing arm for the livestock industry.

By understanding the roots of wolf prejudice it’s clear to see why wolves have been demonized in American culture. The wolf has paid dearly for these attitudes. Even though the same outdated beliefs exist today, we are moving forward to a clearer understanding of the important role predators play in maintaining healthy ecosystems.

Man cannot continue to play god, deciding which animals are good or bad. Predators do not have ulterior motives, they hunt because that is what they are born to do and by so doing contribute to the health and stamina of their prey.

The nexus of wolf wars is the continuing presence of livestock on the Western range. This has been and will continue to be the reason wolves remain caught in the crossfire.

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From Nature Online:

The Wolf That Changed America
Wolf Wars: America’s Campaign to Eradicate the Wolf

 Wolves have been feared, hated, and persecuted for hundreds of years in North America. Before the arrival of Europeans, Native Americans incorporated wolves into their legends and rituals, portraying them as ferocious warriors in some traditions and thieving spirits in others. European Americans, however, simply despised wolves. Many, including celebrated painter and naturalist John James Audubon, believed wolves ought to be eradicated for the threat they posed to valuable livestock. This attitude enabled a centuries-long extermination campaign that nearly wiped out the gray wolf in the continental United States by 1950.

Origins of Wolf Hatred

In the New World, two top predators – wolves and men – that otherwise would have avoided each other clashed over livestock. In Vicious: Wolves and Men in America, Jon T. Coleman writes:

Wolves had a ghostly presence in colonial landscapes. Settlers heard howls, but they rarely spotted their serenaders. The fearsome beasts avoided humans. People frightened them, and colonists knew this: “They are fearefull Curres,” reported Thomas Morton in 1637, “and will runne away from a man (that meeteth them by chance at a banke end) as fast as any fearefull dogge.”

Because humans and wolves frightened one another, they logically avoided confrontation, opening space between the species. But that space closed when European colonists brought horses, cattle, sheep and pigs with them over the perilous journey across the Atlantic. Without these animals – sources of food and transportation for the European settlers – the colonies would have failed. But because most early colonial communities were small, livestock often grazed on the periphery of the settlements with little protection. Their pastures abutted and bled into the wild, exposing the animals to hungry wolves in search of prey. Wolves quickly learned that docile cattle and sheep made easy meals. Suddenly, colonists found their livelihoods in danger, and they lashed out at wolves, both with physical violence and folklore that ensured wolf hatred would be passed down from one generation to the next.

Amateur and Professional Wolf Baiting

The campaign to eradicate wolves in North America began with private landowners and farmers baiting and trapping wolves. Often, colonists turned wolf baiting into both sport and protection for their livestock. Jon T. Coleman describes an incident that took place in the winter of 1814 deep in the Ohio River Valley, in which John James Audubon assists a farmer as he mutilates trapped wolves.

During the fall, a pack of wolves had robbed [the farmer] of “nearly the whole of his sheep and one of his colts.” For him, it made sense to devote his winter labor to digging pits, weaving platforms, hunting bait, and setting and checking his traps twice daily. The animals had injured him, and “he was now ‘paying them off in full.’” Audubon’s reaction to the slaying of the wolves is less understandable … The ingenious pit traps amazed him, as did the fearsome predators’ meek behavior and the childlike glee the farmer took in his work. The violence Audubon witnessed, however, did not shock him. Watching a pack of dogs rip apart terrified and defenseless animals was a “sport” both he and the farmer found enjoyable.

Further west, in Yellowstone National Park, wolf baiting and hunting had become a lucrative profession. Paul Schullery, in his guidebook to Yellowstone wolves (The Yellowstone Wolf: A Guide & Sourcebook), describes the profession and the devastating affect it had on the Yellowstone wolf population: “At least as early as 1877, ungulate carcasses in the park were poisoned with strychnine by free-lance ‘wolfers’ for ‘wolf or wolverine bait.’ By 1880, [Yellowstone National Park] Superintendent [Philetus] Norris stated in his annual report that ‘…the value of their [wolves and coyotes] hides and their easy slaughter with strychnine-poisoned carcasses have nearly led to their extermination.’”

In the Southwest, as settlers depleted bison, elk, deer, and moose populations – the wolves’ natural prey – the predators turned more and more to picking off livestock. In states like New Mexico where cattle ranching was big business, ranchers responded by turning to professional wolfers and bounty hunters. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reports, “To protect livestock, ranchers and government agencies began an eradication campaign. Bounty programs initiated in the 19th century continued as late as 1965, offering $20 to $50 per wolf. Wolves were trapped, shot, dug from their dens, and hunted with dogs. Poisoned animal carcasses were left out for wolves, a practice that also killed eagles, ravens, foxes, bears, and other animals that fed on the tainted carrion.”

Government-Sanctioned Wolf Extermination Programs   

            

Government Trapper

Towards the end of the 19th Century, wealthy livestock owners increased both their demand for wider grazing ranges and their influence over policymakers in Washington, D.C. In 1885, the federal government established the U.S. Bureau of Biological Survey, initially chartered to research insects and birds. However, the livestock lobby quickly diverted the Bureau’s attention to wolves. Stockowners complained that their land was infested with wolves, calling them “breeding grounds.” They demanded the federal government secure their land for safe pasturage.

In 1906, the U.S. Forest Service acquiesced to the stockowners and enlisted the help of the Bureau of Biological Survey (now USFWS) to clear cattle ranges of gray wolves. In other words, the Bureau became a wolf-extermination unit. Bruce Hampton writes in The Great American Wolf:

That same year [1906], bureau biologist Vernon Bailey traveled to Wyoming and New Mexico to investigate the extent of wolf and coyote depredations. Upon Bailey’s return to Washington, D.C., President Roosevelt invited him to the White House to see what he had learned. Although there is no record of their conversation, immediately following Bailey’s meeting the President, the Biological Survey recommended that the government begin “devising methods for the destruction of the animals [wolves].”

By the middle of the 20th Century, government-sponsored extermination had wiped out nearly all gray wolves in the Lower 48 states. Only a small population remained in northeastern Minnesota and Michigan. Yet the Bureau of Biological Survey was still disseminating anti-wolf propaganda as late as 1940. One poster from the time read:

According to estimates of stockmen [the Custer Wolf, pictured in the poster] killed $25,000 worth of cattle during the seven years he was known in the vicinity of Custer, South Dakota … A local bounty of $500 failed to secure his capture. A Department hunter ended his career of destruction by a skillfully set trap. Many notorious wolves are known to have killed cattle valued at $3000 to $5000 in a year. More than 3,849 wolves have been destroyed by the predatory animal work of the Department and its cooperators since the work was organized in 1915.

It was not until the late sixties, when a greater understanding of natural ecosystems began changing attitudes in the scientific community and the National Park Service, that the plight of wolves in North America began to improve.

In 1973, Congress gave gray wolves protection under the Endangered Species Act. According to Douglas Smith and Gary Ferguson, in Yellowstone National Park, where the last gray wolf was killed in 1926, “the entire [gray wolf] restoration program was guided by directives contained in the Endangered Species Act – a law created to ground a decades-old cornerstone of science that says the healthiest, most stable natural systems tend to be those with high levels of biodiversity.”

Since then, wolf populations throughout the country have increased. In 1995 and 1996, researchers in Yellowstone National Park released 31 Canadian gray wolves back into the wild. The event was hailed as a testament to the conservation movement’s efforts to revive wild wolf populations in America. Yet anti-wolf attitudes persist. Shortly after the release of the Yellowstone wolves a hunter shot and killed Wolf Number 10. Smith and Ferguson write about the incident: “As disturbing as the shooting itself was, more unsavory still was the reaction of a handful of locals who cheered the killing, calling it an act of heroism.”

Photos © Arizona Historical Society

Sources

Coleman, Jon T. Vicious: Wolves and Men in America. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 2004.

Hampton, Bruce. The Great American Wolf. New York: Henry Holt and Company, Inc., 1997.

Robinson, Michael J. Predatory Bureaucracy: The Extermination of Wolves and the Transformation of the West. University Press of Colorado, 2005.

Schullery, Paul. The Yellowstone Wolf: A Guide & Sourcebook. Worland, Wyoming: High Plains Publishing Company, Inc., 1996.

Smith, Douglas W. and Gary Ferguson. Decade of the Wolf: Returning the Wild to Yellowstone. Guilford, Connecticut: The Lyons Press, 2005.

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Gray Wolf Fact Sheet. [updated January 2007; cited November 2008]

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/episodes/the-wolf-that-changed-america/wolf-wars-americas-campaign-to-eradicate-the-wolf/4312/

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The Wolf That Changed America

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Photo:  Courtesy Nexus wolf wallpaper

Video: Courtesy YouTube thejungletv95

Posted in: Wolf  Wars

Tags:  gray wolf, wolves or livestock, wolf intolerance, The Wolf That Changed America, Nature

Published in: on October 7, 2014 at 2:59 am  Comments (17)  
Tags: , ,
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