Apathy, Cowardice, and Ignorance are the Deadliest Weapons of All (Wolf Song Of Alaska)

February 12, 2013

I thought this would be a timely re-post considering the apathy, cowardice and ignorance that continues to surround wolves.

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May 24, 2010

This one of the best articles I’ve read on wolf persecution and it’s root causes. The author, Edwin Wollert/Wolf Song of Alaska/Education Coordinator, puts it all in perspective. 

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Apathy, Cowardice, and Ignorance are the Deadliest Weapons of All

by Edwin Wollert/Wolf Song of Alaska/Education Coordinator.

“Previous versions of this article have appeared on the Wolf Song of Alaska web site, and also been submitted to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

I tell my philosophy students on the first day of each semester in every course I teach that my job consists of helping them to become better thinkers. And in my studies of philosophy, I am often returning to the ancient Greeks, the creators of the first systematic rational philosophies as well as of the world’s earliest known democratic society, and there are some basic considerations in that part of history which are really the topic of this latest summary about wolf and wildlife education.

Democracy does not merely thrive and benefit from participation. It actually requires participation. And it must be active and ongoing. Apathy is precisely what kills a democratic organization, far more effectively than a hostile competitor or differing ideology could ever hope for. And this applies to all aspects of a democratic group: politics, policies, beliefs, and economics.

On the topic of economic interests, consider this: eleven years ago I went on a wildlife safari to the equatorial African nation of Kenya. Now I will not compare that ecosystem to Alaska’s, nor its wildlife to Alaska’s: vastly different climates, topographies, and species occupy each region. But what really stuck out, as we eagerly took to the field twice a day to look for the larger creatures, was the fact that during that trip I learned about a policy of the KWS, the Kenyan Wildlife Service, which is that country’s national agency for protecting and managing wildlife.

Field agents of the KWS are allowed to shoot poachers: on sight, without offering any warning. And when they shoot, it is not to scare or intimidate, but to kill. It is actually humans hunting other humans, legally. Poachers and rangers alike have been slain since Kenya first put its wildlife under such protection. The KWS would prefer to arrest and prosecute poachers, and frequently does, though more extreme measures have been deemed justifiable on some occasions.

How could a policy like this possibly be justified? you might wonder. This strong policy is based on Kenyans reaching a simple realization, in two parts: first, that Kenyan elephants, zebras, giraffes, lions, leopards, cheetahs, crocodiles, wildebeests, warthogs, rhinoceri, buffalo, hippopotami, various species of antelopes, and other “game” species are literally worth more, financially, alive than dead, and second, that the reason they are worth more is because people from other countries are willing to pay to visit Kenya for the specific purpose of seeing these creatures in their own habitats, bringing much needed wealth into the country by doing so.

Thus, there is no more legal trade in that nation in animal pelts, or horns, or, in the case of the elephants, in ivory. When the poaching policy was first instituted, the KWS invited CNN, the BBC, and the other major international news media to broadcast a live burning of millions of dollars worth of elephant tusks, to show that the organization was serious. That ivory could have been sold through illicit markets. It could have been turned into a hard currency, like dollars or euros or yen, which might have gone quite a long way in a country which is considered part of the “third world.”

So why would I share such a story with those of you who have already indicated at least a passing interest in Alaska’s wolves? I am not actually recommending that Alaska adopt a similar no-holds-barred approach to poaching intervention (although one might imagine that poaching would dry up rather quickly if we did, and yes, poaching does occur in Alaska). The reason for such an extreme measure is that a nation like Kenya is rather financially poor, and it needs the hard currencies brought in by visitors who are able to spare their disposable income on wildlife interests, while Alaska is instead part of the world’s wealthiest nation.

Rather, I relate the background of the KWS to point out one key detail: in Alaska, “our” wildlife is likewise worth more alive than dead. And this means all of it, not just the bears, or the moose, or the caribou, or the marine mammals, or the eagles and fish, but the wolves as well. With that in mind, there is an essential principle at work here which must be reiterated, since it keeps being ignored or glossed over by politics and the taking of sides, and which is non-economic even though it has economic considerations. The principle is this: an ecosystem must have predators.”

To read the rest of this excellent article CLICK HERE

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Photo: wolf wallpaper

Posted in: gray wolf/canis lupus, Alaska wolves, Howling For Justice, Wolf Wars, wolf intolerance

Tags: aerial gunning of wolves, wolf persecution, wolves in the crossfire, Alaska wolves, Wolf Song Of Alaska

Looking Back: Remembering The Sage Creek Pack..

May 27, 2012

The Sage Creek Pack was eliminated by aerial gunners in 2009.  It was a huge loss. Yellowstone wolves are genetically isolated, the  Sage Creek Pack could have provided them with important genetics but that means nothing to the wolf killers. Wildlife Services was aerial gunning wolves even as the first wolf hunt was taking place outside the park, which decimated the famed Cottonwood pack.

“The Sage Creek Pack roamed the Centennial Mountains between Yellowstone National Park and central Idaho – precisely in the area that could alleviate genetic isolation through the influx of wolves from Idaho and the possibility (for now, lost with the pack’s demise) of yearlings making their way into Yellowstone.”

Sage Creek Pack Wiped Out By Aerial Gunners in Montana

October 9, 2012

Aerial gunners wiped out the remaining four members of the Sage Creek Pack, which will serve to further genetically isolate Yellowstone’s wolves. The Center for Biological Diversity issued a statement concerning this outrageous event. This pack was originally targeted because it killed ONE SHEEP!!

“The initial cause for the destruction of the eight-member Sage Creek Pack was its predation on a single sheep on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Sheep Experiment Station, which grazes thousands of sheep on more than 100,000 acres in Montana and Idaho”

It always comes back to grazing livestock on public lands and who pays the price? The Wolf!

Montana FWP recently closed the backcountry area WMU-3 (which encompasses the wilderness outside of Yellowstone) in part due to the loss of nine wolves in that area, including the Cottonwood Pack. This pack was part of ongoing research on Yellowstone’s famous wolves. The hunts eliminated the pack because buffer zones were not in place for the wolves, who can’t read boundary signs. Their only crime was leaving the protection of the park. So that’s two wolf packs gone in a matter of weeks. One lost to hunters and the other to FWP aerial gunners.

For Immediate Release, October 9, 2009

Aerial Gunning of Wolf Pack in Montana Isolates Yellowstone Wolves, Undermines Recovery

SILVER CITY, N.M.— This week’s aerial gunning of the last four members of the Sage Creek wolf pack in southwestern Montana contributes to the genetic isolation of wolves in Yellowstone National Park – even as, on Thursday, the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks commission suspended the public wolf-hunting season near Yellowstone in order not to isolate the national park’s wolves.

Said Michael Robinson of the Center for Biological Diversity: “We are saddened by the loss of the Sage Creek Pack. Suspending the permitted wolf-hunting season near Yellowstone will not be enough to save these animals as long as the U.S. Department of Agriculture continues to gun down entire packs from the air.”

The initial cause for the destruction of the eight-member Sage Creek Pack was its predation on a single sheep on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Sheep Experiment Station, which grazes thousands of sheep on more than 100,000 acres in Montana and Idaho.

In 2007, the Center for Biological Diversity and Western Watersheds Project sued the sheep station for its failure to disclose the impacts of, and analyze alternatives to, its operations, which has occurred in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act. The sheep station settled the lawsuit with an agreement to disclose and analyze and to decide its future via a public process.

“The USDA Sheep Experiment Station is undermining gray-wolf recovery and should be shut down,” said Robinson.

Genetic isolation of the Yellowstone wolves, which may be exacerbated through the federal killing of the Sage Creek Pack, is at issue in a lawsuit filed by the Center for Biological Diversity and allies seeking to place wolves back on the endangered species list after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed them from the list this spring. Such genetic isolation was part of what led a federal court, in July 2008, to order the relisting of wolves after a previous delisting action.

The Sage Creek Pack roamed the Centennial Mountains between Yellowstone National Park and central Idaho – precisely in the area that could alleviate genetic isolation through the influx of wolves from Idaho and the possibility (for now, lost with the pack’s demise) of yearlings making their way into Yellowstone.

A 1994 environmental impact statement on wolf reintroduction to Yellowstone and central Idaho identified genetic exchange between sub-populations as key to wolf recovery.

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2009/wolves-10-09-2009.html

Top photo: kewlwallpapersdotcom

Photo courtesy James Balog/www.goagro.org

Categories posted in: aerial gunning of wolves, biodiversity, Wolf Wars, Yellowstone Wolves

Tags: wolves or livestock, aerial gunning of wolves, wolf intolerance

ACTION ALERT: Idaho Senate Poised To Vote on S1305, “Live Bait, Kill Wolves Bill”

(NPR Photo)

The Idaho Senate is poised for a vote on  S1305, the “Live Bait, Kill Wolves Bill”. Please continue to sign the petition and contact the Idaho Senators. If it passes out of the Senate it will go to the House for a vote and then on to  Governor Otter’s desk, which I have no doubt he will sign.

We need an extra push today  for signatures  to reach 5000 and urge Idaho Senators to vote no on this very bad, cruel bill. Wolves are already dying  by the hundreds in the Idaho hunts, 332 dead as of today!!

Idaho: No Animals Used as Live Bait

CLICK HERE TO SIGN PETITION

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Idaho Senators

CLICK HERE TO CONTACT

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From the Humane Society of the United States

Idaho: Stop the Use of Dogs as Live Wolf Bait

CLICK HERE TO SIGN THEIR PETITION

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Live Bait Okay to Kill Idaho Wolves

by

February 24, 20129:00 pm

Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/live-bait-okay-to-kill-idaho-wolves.html#ixzz1niDlidbB

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Photo: Courtesy NPR Kristine Lokken Nilsen For the Northwest News Network

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Idaho wolves, Action Alert

Tags: defeat S1305, Live Bait, Kill Wolves Bill, Idaho wolves, wolf persecution, animal cruelty, aerial gunning wolves, HSUS, Care2

Anti-Wolfers Worried Senate Bill 1305 Could Get Wolves Relisted…..

Update: February 28, 2012

Signatures are @ 4126, close to 5000. We can do this…just 874 to go!!!!

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The Care2 Petition against Idaho S1305, the Live Bait, Kill Wolves Bill has over 3300 signatures!!  We just need that little extra push to make it to 5000 before the Idaho Senate votes!! Keep signing Warriors!

Idaho: No Animals Used as Live Bait

CLICK HERE TO SIGN PETITION

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Contact Idaho Senators

Click here

Something interesting is happening. Unintended consequences are starting to dawn on the wolf hating community.  Some are worried 1305 has gone too far, even for them.

Rep. Mike Simpson R-ID  has spoken publicly about his concerns over the bill. I’m sure  he doesn’t want all his hard work helping to delist wolves, undone. He’s the US Idaho Representative who inserted the wolf delisting rider into the House of Representatives budget bill and helped remove wolves’ ESA protections, along with Tester over in the Senate. He knows 1305 is over the top. It could void the agreement Idaho has with the feds and put wolves right back under federal protection, where they belong.  It could open the door for environmental groups or even a private citizen to petition to have wolves relisted. The case most assuredly would end up on the desk of  Federal District Court Judge Donald Molloy. Wouldn’t that be the ultimate irony?

They may not be able to stop themselves despite the warnings. Idaho Wildlife Services just aerial gunned 14 innocent  Lolo wolves for breathing air. These wolves died on the altar of the elk god. It seems they will stop at nothing to try to recreate a phantom elk paradise in the Lolo, so hunters can once again become the top dog in that region, even going so far as to extend the wolf hunt in the Lolo and Selway zones through June 2012, all the way though wolf breeding, denning and pupping season. And we can’t forget the 321 wolves who’ve lost their lives in the ongoing Idaho wolf hunt, to say nothing of the untold number of wolves who’ve been poached, including Journey’s (OR7) brother OR9 who was killed by a hunter with an expired wolf tag and received just a slap on the wrist by IDFG. I wonder what charges would have been brought if he had killed a 7 point bull elk out of season?   But nothing will  rival the carnage and senseless slaughter Senate bill 1305 would bring down on wolves.

Idaho is like a kid with a twenty-dollar bill in a candy shop. They can’t be trusted  not to spend the entire twenty dollars and gorge themselves. They’re  gorging on wolf blood and don’t know when to stop.  It’s disgracing the entire state.  In their feeding frenzy to kill as many wolves as possible, they are actually helping the pro-wolf side show the world how irresponsible their “wolf management/killing” really is.

An Editorial by the Idaho Statesman:

Our View: Taking the bait? Wolf ‘control’ bill says a lot about the session

12:00am on Feb 26, 2012; Modified: 9:47am on Feb 26, 2012

Reflecting their constituents, many state legislators hold the wolf and the federal government in roughly equal contempt.

How ironic, then, that an over-the-top wolf “control” bill working its way through the Legislature could actually cost the state its ability to manage this predator.

And how fitting, in a 2012 session long on bluster and blatantly bad legislation.

State law already allows ranchers and pet owners to kill wolves that kill or harass livestock or domestic animals, without a permit. But that isn’t enough for Sen. Jeff Siddoway, R-Terreton, who is leading this misguided measure to put the wolf control law on legislative steroids.

Click here to read more

During the last wolf  extermination, that left almost every wolf dead in the lower 48, except for a tiny population in Minnesota. the wolf killers employed any means necessary to kill wolves no matter how brutal. One of the most effective and disgusting practices used was denning, killing wolf puppies, still tied to their dens. They would often use a small child to aid them in ferreting out the pups, since they were  small enough to crawl into the dens. I guess they weren’t too worried about those children getting attacked by a wolf mother, whose babies were being systematically murdered before her eyes,  with her fate sealed as well.

“One of the most successful ways professional wolfers removed pups from their dens involved employing the services of a young child. The child, small enough to crawl into the den space, would grab a pup. Once the child possessed the pup, the wolfer, standing outside the den, would pull the child and pup out. This was done repeatedly until all of the pups were removed and killed (Young and Goldman 1944). One trapper relates his experiences denning with a small child, “My son often took hold of a young wolf that was extremely difficult to handle, and…occasionally he got hold of an old adult female, but never suffered any disastrous results” (Young and Goldman 1944:319). 

Yes wolf advocates,  that’s just a tiny part of the ugly legacy of wolf decimation foisted upon these long-suffering, persecuted animals. It looks like we are sinking back into that dark period once more.  Everyone who understands the history of wolf eradication in the lower 48 predicted this holocaust if the  states were ever given control of wolves again.  Sadly it’s all coming true, thanks to that singular act by President Obama, in the Spring of 2009, when he and his rancher Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar, delisted gray wolves in the Northern Rockies.

 Top Photo: kewlwallpapers

Bottom photo: Wikimedia commons

Posted in:  Wolf Wars, Idaho wolves, Animal Cruelty

Tags: S1305, Jeff Siddoway,  live bait, animal cruelty, ultralight, aerial gunning of wolves,  wolf persecution

Innocent Lolo Wolves Sitting Ducks, Soon Death Will Rain Down On Them From The Skies….

  September 5, 2011. A stunning video of  a Wildlife Service’s Super Cub airplane, aerial gunning wolves on the Flat Top Ranch near Carey, Idaho. You can hear the gunfire in the video, it’s absolutely chilling. The is what awaits the Lolo wolves.

UPDATE: February 5, 2012

This is not the first time Idaho has targeted Lolo wolves.

It’s Pupping Season, Idaho Is Preparing To Aerial Gun Lolo Wolves….

May 4, 2011

http://howlingforjustice.wordpress.com/2011/05/04/its-pupping-season-idaho-is-preparing-to-aerial-gun-lolo-wolves/

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It’s coming,  just a matter of weather and opportunity before Wildlife Services revs up their aerial gunships and swoops down on the hapless Lolo wolves, chasing them with their planes, riddling their bodies with buckshot from twelve gauge shotguns. The wolves writhe in pain, it’s a brutal death, many experience prolonged suffering before finally succumbing. The gunners may run the wolves until they fall over from  exhaustion and then take the shot or land the plane and shoot them point-blank.

Death from the skies is real life horror. Lolo wolves are sitting ducks, unaware  death is coming for them.

Not too long ago it was reported federal Wildlife Service killers would decal their plane for each wolf they killed, a badge of honor? The practice has since been halted when outrage was expressed.

These are your tax dollars in action. You’re paying the salaries of federal agents whose job it is to kill not just wolves but any animal deemed inconvenient to agribusiness.  Anyone with an ounce of empathy could not do this  for a living.

And behind the curtain stands IDFG, ready to give Wildlife Services the order to destroy these wolves like they are nothing more than cockroaches. Just squash them because that’s what many of their hunting  customers want, NO DEMAND.  The wildlife watching public, who want to view wild wolves, be damned.

This is what happens when the majority of citizens of a state are locked out of wildlife decisions and a few special interests dictate wildlife “management”.  The system is broken and needs a serious overhaul!

Elk numbers in the Lolo  have been declining for years, long before wolves were reintroduced.  According to the RMEF there are approx 103,000 elk in Idaho. More than enough elk. In 23 of the 29 management zones, elk numbers meet target levels or exceed them.

Yet the slaughter will continue unless or until public outrage demands it be stopped. Idaho has taken off the gloves , 266 dead wolves in four months  prove that. Are we going to sit silently by while they trap, shoot, aerial gun and snare Idaho’s beleaguered wolves?   Or will you we make enough noise to be heard in Washington, DC?

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Federal use of aerial sharpshooters to kill wolves draws fire

December 14, 2011|By Kim Murphy, Los Angeles Times

A 2006 photo shows a U.S. agency plane covered with decals marking the number of wolves killed to protect other animals. With the practice set to resume soon, wildlife advocates cry foul.

http://articles.latimes.com/2011/dec/14/nation/la-na-idaho-wolf-20111

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It’s up to you. 

Flood Secretary Salazar and the IDFG commissioners  with calls and faxes. Let them know you DO NOT WANT YOUR TAX DOLLARS used to kill wolves. Demand they stop this  brutality. Let them know there are elections coming up in 2012 and you’ll remember the Obama administration rubber stamped the decimation of  wolves in the  Northern Rockies.  Don’t be rude but let them know you are outraged they would slaughter innocent Lolo wolves just to please special interests.  Idaho thinks they are immune and can do what they want but the world is watching. Who wants to visit a state that treats their wolves like vermin?

CONTACT

Department of the Interior: Secretary Ken Salazar

1-202-208-3100 PHONE

1-202-208-6950 FAX

http://www.doi.gov/feedback.cfm

Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington DC 20240

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Idaho Fish and Game Commissioners

http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/about/commission/?getPage=183

Video: Courtesy Raventracking (YouTube)

Posted in: Wolf Wars

Tags: Lolo wolves, aerial gunning of wolves, Idaho, IDFG, Idaho Wildlife Services, trapping expanded, IDFG commissioners, Ken Salazar, Tim Woody

Nowhere To Hide…The Intrusive Collaring of Wolves

Pack after wolf pack has been tracked down by WS and killed in “lethal control actions” BECAUSE wolves were wearing radio collars, making them easy to find. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel.

As you can see from the photo, leg hold traps are also used to capture wolves for collaring. What effect does this traumatizing event have on a wolf? 

The USFWS wolf recovery coordinator, Ed Bangs, estimates two percent of wolves, trapped for collaring “die from the trauma”. Is that acceptable to you?

Wolves can and do suffer from PTSD,  just like people.

The famous Ninemile pack female wolf, Tenino, was afflicted with it.

“Tenino was an adult female wolf, born in the wild and placed into captivity at 1 year of age because of her participation in livestock depredation. Her method of capture, well documented, involved being darted twice by helicopter and translocated twice. This method of capture would have exposed her to the 2 factors that are important in the etiology of post traumatic stress disorder inhumans uncontrollability and unpredictability.

In a case study we conducted, Tenino displayed symptoms that were similar to those of humans with post traumatic stress disorder. These symptoms included hypervigilance, exaggerated startles, generalized fear, avoidance, and arousal. She also displayed looking up behaviors that occurred during the presence of perceived threats such as a neighboring rancher’s gunshots; the keeper truck; some keeper activity; and, occasionally, aircraft. When compared to 3 other wolves, including her enclosuremate, these behaviors were exclusive to Tenino”…Jay S. Mallonee, Wolf and Wildlife Studies

Wolves are sensitive, social animals. Being chased by helicopters or having their paw caught in a trap must be horribly frightening for them. How would you feel? Wolves experience the same emotions we do, including sorrow, loss, fear and pain.

Wolves are continually harassed by the collaring process itself.  Chased, darted with tranquilizers (Telazol), handled, having collars fitted, collars replaced.

Radio-Tracking Timber Wolves in Ontario

“Miniature collar-type transmitters originally designed by W. W. Cochran, Illinois, were adapted for use on timber wolves (Canis lupus sp.) in east-central Ontario. Wild timber wolves were captured in steel traps, restrained with a forked stick, fitted with radio-collars and released at point of capture. Receivers were adapted for use in trucks, airplanes, and for walking in rough bush country. Maximum ranges were 3.2 km with ground and 9.6 km with aircraft receivers.”

That’s why I believe the knowledge gained by studying collared wolves is far outweighed by the negatives.

Another adverse effect of collaring is the dreaded mange mite. It finds a warm home under their collars, which can torment wolves who are infested with the pest, causing itching and distress, leading to further deterioration of their condition.

Look at the size of that thing. Think of mange mites hiding under it and the wolf not being able to do anything about it.

To my knowledge Yellowstone biologists didn’t lift one finger to treat the Druids sarcoptic mange, which contributed to their demise. The last little Druid female was plagued with mange. Burdened by a radio collar, which I’m sure exacerbated her infestation, she eventually drifted out of Yellowstone, weak and hungry. She was shot and killed in Butte, Montana. The last little Druid, dying alone, without a family. What a tragic end for an iconic wolf pack!!

From the Missoulian:

Wolf No. 690 from Yellowstone National Park had seen her pack ravaged by disease and attacks by other wolf packs before she wandered south of Butte and started attacking cattle.Herself stricken with mange, the 2-year-old female was shot recently by a rancher when he spotted the black wolf attacking cattle.

State wildlife officials inspected the collared wolf and found she was from the former Druid Peak pack, which no longer exists after members caught mange and then dispersed into the hostile territory of other packs.

“We had the last location with her in March, then she disappeared,” said Erin Albers, a biologist with the Yellowstone wolf project. “We were searching for her and we were just assuming that she had left the park, but we didn’t expect her to go to Butte.”

The Druid Peak pack was well-known and a favorite of wolf watchers in the park’s Lamar Valley. It was also the subject of several documentaries about Yellowstone’s wolves.But it began to fall apart last fall when the alpha female died, presumably at the hands of wolves, Albers said. The remaining members of the pack were also hit hard by mange.The pack had a litter of pups last summer that all died of the parasite, which causes wolves to lose their hair. The remaining members dispersed, but found a tough environment in the park with its dense wolf population, Albers said.The weakened wolves would wander into a carcass, only to be attacked and killed by other wolves that were protecting their food and territory. Three wolves from the former pack were found dead, their bodies left mutilated by other wolves, within a four-month period.”

Do Yellowstone park biologists believe it’s invasive to treat mange in resident wolf packs but completely miss how intrusive it is to continually collar wolves? If true, how ironic, because Canadian biologists successfully treated wild wolves for mange. If biologists can handle and interfere with wolves while collaring them, they can certainly treat their mange with Ivermectin.

Wolves tranquilized for collaring: Photo Kevin White (Wolf Song of Alaska)

After reading the USFWS wolf reports for the Northern Rockies, I was stunned by the continual intrusion into wolves lives. Two collared wolves were accidentally killed by Wildlife Services in Idaho, while carrying out a lethal control action on other wolves. Collaring has become a tool to track and kill wolves, instead of what it was originally developed for, scientific research.

Just last year IDFG asked the forest service for permission to land helicopters in the Frank Church Wilderness, the largest area of protected wilderness in the continental United States, comprising 2.3 million acres. Can you guess why they wanted to land there?  To dart and collar wolves of course. Even though the Wilderness Act of 1964 states:

“A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.”

That means, helicopters should stay out. Unfortunately, IDFG was eventually granted permission to collar wolves in the Frank Church, even though Western Watersheds Project mounted a court challenge. Hundreds of Americans sent comments to Regional Forester Harvey Forsgren, with a clear message:

NO HELICOPTERS IN THE FRANK CHURCH WILDERNESS!!

Sadly, Judge Winmill ruled IDFG could land helicopters in the Frank Church but with a caveat:

“Chief US District Judge B. Lynn Winmill denied injunctive relief sought by Western Watersheds Project to prevent IDFG from landing helicopters in the Frank Church Wilderness to collar wolves.  This is another blow for wolves and wilderness. It will only embolden IDGF to continue their war on wolves.  The judge did warn:

“The next helicopter proposal in the Frank Church Wilderness will face a daunting review because it will add to the disruption and intrusion of this collaring project. The Forest Service must proceed very cautiously here because the law is not on their side if they intend to proceed with further helicopter projects in the Frank Church Wilderness. The Court is free to examine the cumulative impacts of the projects, and the context of the use. Given that this project is allowed to proceed, the next project will be extraordinarily difficult to justify.”

The outline of  the proposal submitted to the Forest Service by IDFG, asked permission to land a helicopter in the Frank Church/River of No Return Wilderness, up to twenty times last winter to dart as many as twelve wolves.  The reason/excuse was to research and observe wolves. Their intentions aren’t so noble. I believe they wanted to collar wolves in the Frank Church so WS can track them easily, or boost wolf quota numbers for future hunts, if they can document more wolves in the FC. In the end IDFG had to land twelve times in the Frank Church to collar FOUR wolves. Pretty ridiculous. That’s an example of the current state of “wildlife management”.

If IDFG wanted to study wolves they could hike or ride into the Frank Church on horseback. The collaring of wolves in this vast wilderness is just another ploy in their continuing harassment of wolves. The Frank Church/River of No Return wilderness is a vast, refuge for wolves and other wildlife. Now they can’t escape humans even there. The collar program has become a means to an end.  And that end spells trouble for wolves.

Wolves have no place to hide, they’re being monitored as if they were common criminals.  Wearing a radio collar is like being under house arrest. The authorities know where you are at all times.

There is a less invasive way to track wolves with the use of Howl Boxes. I personally think wolves should be left alone, to live in peace but “HOWL BOXES” can be used in place of radio collars!!

Ed Bangs, of the US Fish & Wildlife service, …… estimates that approximately 2 percent of the wolves trapped for radio collaring die from the trauma. “The howlbox is efficient, inexpensive, and less intrusive,” says Bangs. “It uses the wolves’ own communication system to monitor populations.”

Teresa Loya’s invention broadcasts a recorded howl into the wilderness and records any responses from wolves in the following two minutes. From that response, Loya hopes wildlife biologists will be able to get an accurate count of the number of wolves in any particular area, reducing the need for the expensive, invasive and time-consuming process of outfitting wolves with radio collars.

It’s time to stop collaring wolves. It’s intrusive, traumatizing and gives Wildlife Services “a leg up” to track and kill wolves for agribusiness. It harasses wolves in Yellowstone and steals their “wildness”. According to a knowledgable reader of this blog, 759 wolves have been collared during the Yellowstone Wolf Study. Further, he states wolves are chased with helicopters to exhaustion, darted and handled by “gloveless self-serving researchers”. What is this doing to Yellowstone’s wolves?

Collaring is also a potential weapon to be used against wolves by poachers, who may have acquired access to their collar telemetry. Think of the four highly endangered Mexican gray wolves who were found dead this year. How many of the dead wolves or members of their packs were collared?  Since wolves stick together, you can track the entire pack that way. Did poachers use wolves’ collars to track and kill them?

Collaring wolves is out of control. Wolves have enough problems, they don’t need to be hounded by biologists or Wildlife Services to further some nebulous agenda.

What right do we have to chase wild wolves around for collaring? Wolves don’t belong to us. Let them live in peace for godsakes!!

 

A USDA Wildlife Services employee radio-collars a wolf in the Madison Valley after darting it from a helicopter.

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Photos: Collared wolf: Courtesy Howard Golden, Tranquilized wolves: Courtesy Kevin White (Wolf Song of Alaska), Tranquilized wolf: Courtesy USDA

Posted In: Let Wolves Live In Peace

Tags: Druid Peak pack, intrusive collaring of wolves, aerial gunning of wolves, Wildlife Services, sarcoptic mange, Frank Church/River of No Return Wilderness, Yellowstone National Park, HOWL boxes, PTSD, Telazol, Ivermectin

*This post has been re-written. I posted a version of it in December 2009 but have since changed my opinion about even collaring wolves for research in National Parks.

Apathy, Cowardice, and Ignorance are the Deadliest Weapons of All (Wolf Song Of Alaska)

This one of the best articles I’ve read on wolf persecution and it’s root causes. The author, Edwin Wollert/Wolf Song of Alaska/Education Coordinator, puts it all in perspective. 

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Apathy, Cowardice, and Ignorance are the Deadliest Weapons of All

by Edwin Wollert/Wolf Song of Alaska/Education Coordinator.

“Previous versions of this article have appeared on the Wolf Song of Alaska web site, and also been submitted to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

I tell my philosophy students on the first day of each semester in every course I teach that my job consists of helping them to become better thinkers. And in my studies of philosophy, I am often returning to the ancient Greeks, the creators of the first systematic rational philosophies as well as of the world’s earliest known democratic society, and there are some basic considerations in that part of history which are really the topic of this latest summary about wolf and wildlife education.

Democracy does not merely thrive and benefit from participation. It actually requires participation. And it must be active and ongoing. Apathy is precisely what kills a democratic organization, far more effectively than a hostile competitor or differing ideology could ever hope for. And this applies to all aspects of a democratic group: politics, policies, beliefs, and economics.

On the topic of economic interests, consider this: eleven years ago I went on a wildlife safari to the equatorial African nation of Kenya. Now I will not compare that ecosystem to Alaska’s, nor its wildlife to Alaska’s: vastly different climates, topographies, and species occupy each region. But what really stuck out, as we eagerly took to the field twice a day to look for the larger creatures, was the fact that during that trip I learned about a policy of the KWS, the Kenyan Wildlife Service, which is that country’s national agency for protecting and managing wildlife.

Field agents of the KWS are allowed to shoot poachers: on sight, without offering any warning. And when they shoot, it is not to scare or intimidate, but to kill. It is actually humans hunting other humans, legally. Poachers and rangers alike have been slain since Kenya first put its wildlife under such protection. The KWS would prefer to arrest and prosecute poachers, and frequently does, though more extreme measures have been deemed justifiable on some occasions.

How could a policy like this possibly be justified? you might wonder. This strong policy is based on Kenyans reaching a simple realization, in two parts: first, that Kenyan elephants, zebras, giraffes, lions, leopards, cheetahs, crocodiles, wildebeests, warthogs, rhinoceri, buffalo, hippopotami, various species of antelopes, and other “game” species are literally worth more, financially, alive than dead, and second, that the reason they are worth more is because people from other countries are willing to pay to visit Kenya for the specific purpose of seeing these creatures in their own habitats, bringing much needed wealth into the country by doing so.

Thus, there is no more legal trade in that nation in animal pelts, or horns, or, in the case of the elephants, in ivory. When the poaching policy was first instituted, the KWS invited CNN, the BBC, and the other major international news media to broadcast a live burning of millions of dollars worth of elephant tusks, to show that the organization was serious. That ivory could have been sold through illicit markets. It could have been turned into a hard currency, like dollars or euros or yen, which might have gone quite a long way in a country which is considered part of the “third world.”

So why would I share such a story with those of you who have already indicated at least a passing interest in Alaska’s wolves? I am not actually recommending that Alaska adopt a similar no-holds-barred approach to poaching intervention (although one might imagine that poaching would dry up rather quickly if we did, and yes, poaching does occur in Alaska). The reason for such an extreme measure is that a nation like Kenya is rather financially poor, and it needs the hard currencies brought in by visitors who are able to spare their disposable income on wildlife interests, while Alaska is instead part of the world’s wealthiest nation.

Rather, I relate the background of the KWS to point out one key detail: in Alaska, “our” wildlife is likewise worth more alive than dead. And this means all of it, not just the bears, or the moose, or the caribou, or the marine mammals, or the eagles and fish, but the wolves as well. With that in mind, there is an essential principle at work here which must be reiterated, since it keeps being ignored or glossed over by politics and the taking of sides, and which is non-economic even though it has economic considerations. The principle is this: an ecosystem must have predators.”

To read the rest of this excellent article: click here

 
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Photos: wolf wallpaper

Posted in: gray wolf/canis lupus, Alaska wolves, Howling For Justice, Wolf Wars, wolf intolerance

Tags: aerial gunning of wolves, wolf persecution, wolves in the crossfire, Alaska wolves, Wolf Song Of Alaska

Action Alert From WildEarth Guardians

 

Unlimited License to Kill

Photo Alpha Fe Wolf Basin Butte Pack and Lynne Stone

Wolf Activist Lynne Stone with Alpha Fe, a wolf gunned down by Wildlife Services November 2009.

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Last month Montana’s Fish, Wildlife and Parks Director proclaimed that the State’s wildlife agency would cede its authority over wolf-livestock conflicts to an agency within the U.S. Department of Agriculture, euphemistically named Wildlife Services. 

This agency uses a hammer approach with wildlife management (read our “War on Wildlife” Report for more details), killing literally hundreds of thousands of native carnivores every year.

This State’s proclamation saw no public process and was not made by the body that governs Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

Join WildEarth Guardians and tell Governor Brian Schweitzer that you don’t support this back-room deal.  Montana’s wildlife belongs to the public and the wildlife-making decisions must stem from a public-decision making process, not some imperial decree.

Under the March edict, this federal agency can kill any wolf, any time, any day, and anywhere without first getting the State of Montana’s authorization.  In other words, Wildlife Services was handed an unlimited license to kill – and that will mean entire packs of wolves will be butchered.

This will make a dire situation for wolves in the Northern Rockies even worse.

Rather than requiring livestock growers to take responsible, non-lethal measures, including removing carcasses of livestock that might have died from weather, disease, birthing problems or other causes, agribusiness can simply call upon the USDA’s agency to kill wolves because the State’s wildlife agency is no longer watching.

While you can count on WildEarth Guardians to continue our work to protect wolves and halt anti-wildlife policies, we and the wolves are counting on you to contact Governor Schweitzer today.

Together we can ensure wolves have a brighter future.


For the wild,

signature_wendy-keefover-ring_99.jpg

photo_cougar_330x311.jpg 

Wendy Keefover-Ring
Wildlife Program Director
WildEarth Guardians

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Action Alert: Please Protest New Policy On Wolf Killing!!

http://howlingforjustice.wordpress.com/2010/03/07/action-alert-please-write-to-wildlife-services-deputy-director-and-protest-new-policy-on-wolf-killing/

Posted in: Action Alerts, Wildlife Services War on Wildlife, Wolf Wars

Tags: TAKE ACTION FOR WOLVES, aerial gunning of wolves, Wildlife Services, wolf intolerance

Earthjustice: Wolves in Danger: Timeline Milestones

Click here to visit the EARTHJUSTICEWolf Timeline.  The timeline follows wolves extermination in the West to their protection under ESA to their slow recovery and finally to their tragic delisting by the Obama Adminstration and the litigation to reverse it.

Over five hundred wolves died in the Northern Rockies in 2009/2010. The hunts claimed 263 wolves in Idaho and Montana. Wildlife Services, the extermination arm of the USDA, killed 272 wolves for agribusiness. Twenty five entire wolf packs were gone at the end of 2009, approx. 64% of them wiped out by WS.  Our tax dollars at work. 

The feds spent $3,763,000 on Northern Rockies “wolf management” in 2009 and their projected budget for 2010 is $4,206,000.  Lots more wolf killing coming up. 

When has a species been targeted in this way? Oh wait, I can think of one. WOLVES. Remember, that’s why they were listed  in the first place because ranching and the government teamed up to wipe them off the face of the Western map? They were exterminated in the West!!

Within months of wolves losing their ESA protection, the states of Montana and Idaho  initiated wolf hunts. This is almost unprecedented, that an animal coming off the Endangered Species List would be hunted immediately.  Minnesota, with a population of  3000 wolves,  has stated they would wait FIVE YEARS, if wolves were delisted, to consider if or when they would have a wolf hunt, with plenty of public input. 

“Under state law, no public hunting or trapping seasons on wolves is allowed for at least five years after delisting. Federal law also requires USFWS to monitor wolves in Minnesota for five years after delisting to ensure recovery continues.”

It certainly puts the Montana and Idaho rush to hunt in perspective. What was the hurry? Where is the reasoned management we were promised?  It’s unbelievable behavior and shame on  US Fish & Wildlife Services for pushing for wolf delisting. They had to know this would happen. All the years of work and money spent on recovering wolves and it’s come full circle back to killing them again?

Once totaling more than 350,000 in the US West, wolves “were hunted and killed with more passion and zeal than any other animal in US history,” according to the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

As their numbers dwindled toward extinction in the contiguous 48 states, the gray wolf became protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 1974.

The states couldn’t wait to start the wolf hunts. These are the people that are responsible for a newly delisted species? And we’re supposed to trust them with the welfare of wolves? Five hundred wolves died and that’s a success story?  

Oh but wait, they counted wolves again at the end of 2009 and TA-DA their numbers had grown 4% (still the lowest growth since wolves reintroduction.) 

Supposedly there are now 1706 wolves in the tri-state area, after all the killing. So how can this be you say, if there were approx 1500 wolves at the beginning of 2009 (that number fluctuates depending on who you talk to from a low of 1450 to a high of 1650). How did the population grow when five hundred gray wolves were slaughtered?

Their 2009 count was actually done at the end of 2008, before the pups were born in the Spring of 2009, the year they were delisted. So those pups weren’t included in the count. Here is what we are being asked to believe.  There were approx. 1500 wolves in the Northern Rockies at the beginning of 2009, pups of that year had not been counted yet. Over five hundred wolves were killed in 2009/2010 between the hunts and Wildlife Services.  That would bring their numbers down to 1000 wolves in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming.  That’s 1/4 of the total wolf population. But somehow when they counted wolves at the end of  2009 they came up with 1700 wolves. So that means more then 700 puppies were born in the Spring of 2009 and they all survived.  Since wolf pups have a high mortality rate, it would have to be way higher then 700 pups to account for their high death rate. Wolf pups die from disease, predation and unfortunately starvation because Wildlife Services and now the hunts are making orphans out of  many of them.  Now pups have another danger, they can be shot.  31% of wolves killed in Montana’s hunt were under a year of age (juveniles) and another 31% were yearlings. 62% of wolves killed  in Montana’s wolf hunt in 2009 were a year old or under a year of age, in other words, PUPPIES!  My malamute puppy weighs a little over sixty pounds and he’s six months old.  That was the average weight of the puppies (juveniles) who were shot and killed. Shocked? Did you know the wolf  hunt included  killing  puppies? Only 38% of wolves killed in Montana’s hunt were adults. 

At the end of 2008 the US Fish & Wildlife Services reported there were 95 breeding pairs in the Northern Rockies. Wolf litter size varies from 4 to 7 pups, so using 5 as an average number of pups per litter and multiplying 95 breeding pairs by 5, it comes to 475 pups. Even being generous and using 6 pups as the average litter size you would still get only get 570 pups. And of course many of these pups died or were killed as I stated previously. 

The only other scenario that would increase the wolf population is dispersing wolves from Canada. Those are the only two possibilites.  In light of this information, are we buying these wolf counts?

Also if anyone thinks killing 500 wolves had no effect on pack structure, think again.  Of course in the world of  “wolf management”, a wolf is a wolf is a wolf.  They’re  interchangeable, didn’t you know?  Wolves just make more wolves and everything is peachy.  This is science? 

Wolf researcher, Dr. Daniel MacNulty states wolf hunts drive the age of wolves downward. resulting in younger and younger wolves.

 “It’s been shown in other hunted populations of wolves that hunting skews the population toward younger age classes,” he explains. And, as his research shows, that could spell more deaths, not fewer, for the elk.

The reason hunting pushes a population’s age structure downward is because being hunted is like playing Russian roulette. If, starting early in life, every member of a society had to play Russian roulette regularly, not too many would live to a ripe old age, he says.

Elk are doing just fine in Montana and Idaho according to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation 2009 press release but I wanted to point out just one of the effects wolf hunting has on pack dynamics. 

When Idaho Fish and Game started selling wolf tags, 3500 were sold in three hours. Eventually Idaho would sell  26,428 wolf tags at $11.50 a pop, hauling in $423,280 to kill 220 wolves. Montana sold 15,603 wolf tags, which filled state coffers to the tune of $325, 916, for a chance to kill 75 wolves. And they call wolves blood thirsty?

Mourn the 500 dead. Don’t believe the propaganda about livestock or elk. Wolves are in danger, make no mistake. Sadly, they are being persecuted once again in the West. What a surprise. Did anyone think anything different would happen once they were delisted?  They were on the Endangered Species List for a reason and now without ESA protection they are in danger of history repeating itself.  

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Idaho and Montana Wolf Hunts End

States plan to kill even more wolves next season

April 1, 2010

http://www.earthjustice.org/news/press/2010/idaho-and-montana-wolf-hunts-end.html

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02 April 2010, 12:07 PM Terry Winckler

Wolf Hunts End But Not The Fight

http://unearthed.earthjustice.org/blog/2010-april/wolf-hunts-end-not-fight

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Delisisting A Recipe For Conflict

Open Season On Wolves

BY GEORGE WUERNTHER

http://www.counterpunch.org/wuerthner04022008.html

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Posted in:  gray wolf/canis lupus, Idaho wolf hunt, Montana wolf hunt,  Wolf Wars, Howling For Justice, wolf 2009 delisting

Tags: wolves in the crossfire, Wildlife Services, ESA lawsuit wolves, aerial gunning of wolves

Alaska Fish and Game Wipes Out Collared Wolf Pack From National Preserve

March 19, 2010

Alaska won’t stop killing wolves.

Alaska Fish and Game wiped out all four members of the collared Webber Creek wolf pack that ranged in Alaska’s Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve. They were part of a sixteen year ongoing research project by the National Park Service.

Alaska is killing wolves to boost numbers of moose and Fortymile caribou. This is a waste of wolves’ lives and outdated wildlife management. Are they living in the 1950′s up there?

The Alaska Fish and Game wolf executioners agreed they wouldn’t kill wolves collared by the National Park Service biologists. So much for giving their word.

Wolves that use the preserve are dropping like flies. The autumn 2009 count was 42 wolves, by February that number had dropped to 26, the largest single decline in 17 years. There should be an immediate halt to the wolf killing anywhere near the preserve.

From the News Tribune:

“A possible collar malfunction or other problems prevented staff from identifying the collared wolves,” the department said in a statement Thursday.

Collar malfunction?  I was born in the dark but it wasn’t last night.

The Webber Creek mother and father were recently collared. Apparently the shooter did see the collars but shot anyway, according to reports.

“Causes of the tracking problem are being investigated, according to the statement.

Dudgeon said he’d spoken to James on Wednesday night.

“My understanding from the phone call last night was that the shooter, whoever that person was, did see the collars,” Dudgeon said. “They were aware of the collars.”

The Fish and Game statement began by saying the department was “concluding a successful three-day field operation in the ongoing Upper Yukon Tanana wolf control program.” The operation began Tuesday and the statement said that nine wolves were killed during the first two days.

The program will resume with the next adequate snowfall in the area, according to the statement. The wolves are tracked in the snow using fixed-wing aircraft, and Fish and Game employees then come in and shoot the wolves from helicopters.

There are five areas of Alaska where the state has authorized predator control from the air by private pilots and gunners in order to boost key populations of game. The Fortymile area is the only of the five where Fish and Game also uses helicopters with its own employees to fly in and shoot the wolves.

Fish and Game said it “continues to coordinate” with National Park Service staff to minimize the impact of the effort on the wolf study in the Yukon Charley preserve. The study has been ongoing for 16 years, and the “alpha male and female” killed had been recently fitted with collars.

Dudgeon said he would be asking the department exactly where the wolves were killed and why. He said he’d asked Fish and Game not to kill any collared wolves, as well as any other wolves in the same packs.

Dudgeon said he made the request because of population numbers for wolves using the preserve. He said 42 wolves were counted in the fall and 26 in February. Wolves always die over the winter, but it was the biggest drop since the preserve started monitoring in 1993, he said.

He said Fish and Game agreed not to kill collared wolves and take no more than seven from the biggest packs that move in and out of the Yukon Charley preserve.

The National Parks Conservation Association, an advocacy group, called Thursday for an immediate suspension of the wolf killing around the Yukon Charley preserve. The group said it shouldn’t resume until the Park Service is satisfied a healthy wolf population is assured.

Wolf advocate Rick Steiner called the killing of collared wolves “disgusting and shameful” and said the program should be halted. The Board of Game authorized predator control after hearing from local residents and hunting advocates.

This is the second year in a row the department has used helicopters to kill wolves in the area of the Fortymile caribou herd. Fish and Game reported killing 84 wolves in the aerial program last year.”

Alaska has a reputation for treating it’s predators like vermin. It’s clear when it comes to predators, Alaska caters to hunters and trappers, the rest of the wildlife viewing public be damned.

The Webber Creek wolves resided in the Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve. Alaska Fish and Game agreed they would leave the collared wolves alone, yet the wolves are dead.

Please contact Governor Parnell to express your outrage.

Friends of Animals has called for a boycott of Alaska due to the terrible decision by Alaska’s Board of Game to extend trapping into buffer zones around Denali National Park. 

This is just another reason to avoid Alaska. Is there no end to their sanctioned wolf slaughter?

Contact Governor Parnell…..CLICK HERE

Alaska Governor Sean Parnell
State Capitol
P.O. Box 110001
Juneau, AK 99811
Fax:(907)465-3532
Tel:(907)465-3500
email: governor@gov.state.ak.us
web: http://www.gov.state.ak.us

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ALASKA DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND GAME
Boards Support Section
P.O. Box 115526
Juneau, AK 99811-5526
(907) 465-4110
(907) 465-6094 FAX

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Collared wolves killed during predator control

 By SEAN COCKERHAMPublished: 03/19/1012:38 am | Updated: 03/19/1012:38 am

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Wolves with radio collars for research killed during Alaska predator control culling

The Anchorage Daily News
By Sean Cockerham |

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/03/19/90686/wolves-with-radio-collars-for.html
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Posted in: Alaska’s wolves, aerial gunning of wolves, gray wolf/canis lupus

Tags: collared wolves, aerial gunning of wolves, Yukon-Charley National Preserve,  wolves in the crossfire, Alaska Department of Fish and Game

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