Take Action For Mexican Gray Wolves….Friday Deadline

Mexican gray wolves need protection. Their numbers have dropped to just 42 wolves in Arizona and New Mexico. 

 From Lobos of The Southwest:

========

Take Action by Friday’s Deadlline!

Tell the Forest Service to Protect Mexican Wolves

In his recent “A 21st Century Strategy for America’s Great Outdoors” announcement, President Obama emphasized the urgency for the Federal government to “Use science-based management practices to restore and protect our lands and waters for future generations.”

To support this vision, Forest Planning Alternatives—especially in the wolf recovery area in the Apache-Sitgreaves Forests— must include restoration of resilient ecosystems that restore natural processes, including native species, predation, and wildlife connectivity.

Forests need top predators. The full-scale removal of wolves and fewer mountain lions have compromised the integrity of our wild lands. In Yellowstone National Park, reintroduced wolves keep elk moving and prevent excessive grazing in riparian areas and wetlands, allowing willows and cottonwoods to return to streambeds. This in turn, supports the return of beaver, fish, and birds. Wolves are critical to healthy ecosystems!!!!

Tell the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest that the current range of alternatives is simply not acceptable.

1. The alternatives are skewed toward the maximum mechanical treatment/resource extraction/ motorized alternative that includes illegal declassifying of Inventoried Roadless Areas. This skewing imperils our Mexican gray wolves and is NOT acceptable.

2. Wolves need wilderness and large roadless areas. Include all of the 36 possible wilderness areas and wilderness additions.

3. Wolves need more protection because of the critical role they play in healthy forests; the plan needs to directly address changes that will help with the recovery of this species:
• Developing and enforcing a closed pasture calving and season,
• Reducing the number of livestock in areas of conflict with wolves,
• seasonal grazing only,
• Requiring grazing permittees to dispose of, or render unpalatable, all livestock carcasses before wolves are able to begin scavenging on them.
• Supporting and encouraging voluntary retirement of allotments.

Website: www.fs.fed.us/r3/asnf/plan-revision
E-mail: asnf.planning@fs.fed.us
Phone: (928) 333-4301 TTY: (928) 333-6292

http://www.mexicanwolves.org/index.php/news/153/51/Take-Action-by-Friday-s-Deadlline

=======

April 27, 2010

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Posted in: Mexican gray wolf, wolf recovery

Tags: Action Alert Mexican Gray Wolves, Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, wolf recovery

Oral Arguments On Wolf Delisting Lawsuit Set For June 15

This is great news!!  Oral arguments are set to be heard by Judge Molloy on Tuesday, June 15 @ 9am, Federal Courthouse in Missoula, Montana. (Russell Smith Courthouse)

Finally some movement on this important litigation. Anti-wolf rhetoric has rachteted up 100% as we’ve sat through the worst year for wolves in the Northern Rockies since their reintroduction. Over 500 wolves have died due to the hunts and Wildlife Services killing them for agribusiness.

Judge Molloy denied the injuction to stop the wolf hunts in Idaho and Montana but stated the plaintiffs were likely to prevail on the overall lawsuit to return the wolves ESA protection.

========

Judge sets date to hear wolf-lawsuit arguments

By EVE BYRON Independent Record | Posted: Monday, April 26, 2010 1:49 pm

http://helenair.com/news/article_f07b2da8-516d-11df-bec0-001cc4c002e0.html

========

Posted in: wolf 2009 delisting, gray wolf/canis lupus

Tags: wolf delisting lawsuit, Judge Molloy, Earthjustice

Published in: on April 26, 2010 at 3:45 pm  Comments (10)  
Tags: , ,

Wolf Wars…Hate Mail

 
You won’t see this reported in the media. They’re just a small sampling of what I receive.
WARNING: GRAPHIC LANGUAGE

===

 2010/04/16 at 11:26 am 

Fuck all of you hippies

========

Wednesday, February 10, 2010 2:58 PM
I saw shoot every wolf out there

========

Wednesday, February 17, 2010 3:50 PM

I would like to see nebeki name and state where she is from so we can send her death threats

 ========
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 8:58 AM
I tried to post a comment but it looks like it got deleted. I put absolutely nothing negative in my originial post but since I am a hunter and have a different view the moderator here decided to delete it. That is completely fine, I only tried to educate some but like any anti-hunting group, it always falls on deaf ears. I am now agitated and I am making a promise to you all, I am going to go out this next winter and kill as many wolves as I can in this websites honor and everyone who posts here. In Alaska where I live, you can kill 10 wolves a day in most areas, and they are very abundant. I am going to go back and count every post negative to hunters and kill or trap a wolf for every one. I am going to kill double for you Nabeki. Sweet dreams!!
 
========
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 7:11 AM
“I have an idea. Lets declare open season on wolf lovers. Wear your “I (Heart) Wolves” into a bar in rural Montana on Saturday night. You narrow minded bleeding hearts make me sick. You don’t have a friggin clue about anything except what is popular. I suppose you are all Obama supporters and believe in the Global warming myth. Screw all of you. May something bad happen to your family, and it gets announced on world news.”
 
========
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 7:04 AM
 wolves kill.  I kill. seems pretty simple to me. If they were smarter and had opposable thumbs, maybe they’d have guns. No? too bad. They die!
 
========
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 4:58 AM
I hope you guys get your way and the wolves kill every living thing there. Then when they get hungry enough maybe they will take care of all you people too. After that they can starve to death and nobody will have to worry about either of you!
 
========
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 4:22 AM
Shoot all these worthless wolves. You raise and feed  in your backyard.If you want them so bad.
 
I’ll gut shoot one and let it painfully die for days.

Gallatin Canyon has plenty for target practice this spring.
 
========
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 3:59 PM
Can’t wait to kill me some Woofy and publish the bloody kill and butcher photos on the World Wide Al Gore Internet :Big ‘ole Grin Here to all the Woofy Lovers :).
 
========
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 4:13 AM
KILL ALL THE WOLVES!!!!!!
 
========
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 4:21 AM
How do I get my name listed on this list of GREAT people. I would like to thank them for a job well done and my calfs thank them.
 
Take a child hunting today
 
=======
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 4:10 AM
Congrats to all the lucky hunters!  Well done.  Hopefully I’ll get the chance to knock a few over here soon.  The only good wolf is a dead one, and if I see one, he’ll be a good one.
 
========
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 3:50 AM
I love wolves and I cant wait til I have a full body mount in my living room! They are so Beautiful, And they will look GREAT on my wall or in front of my fireplace.     IF you want facts,  Fact #1   THe only good Wolf is a Dead WOlf!   Now, put that in your pipe and smoke it!
 
========
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 3:49 AM
Good for them… I hope they kill them all… They are NOT native wolves, they are Canadian wolves that should of NEVER been introduced here!!! They are MUCH bigger than the native wolves were, and they are throwing everything out of wack… I hope they kill them all ! ! !
 
========
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 3:49 AM
Congratulations to all who harvested a wolf. I’m looking forward to killing a few more next year. RMEF open your eye these bastards are coming after you.
 
========
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 3:28 AM
 you a moron…you need to get out a see the cycle of life…wolves eat each other….maybe you all can eat each other too.. 🙂
 
========
 Thursday, December 17, 2009 2:49 AM
I’m not sure what is going through your heads with all of this talk.  These animals will starve or die a slow painfull death due to mange.  This is where the animal rubs the fur off of their body and they slowly freeeze to death.  Maybe some of the animals that are shot are not killed right away but I’m sure it would be better than slowly freezing to death.  They will also become over populated then they will start to devour all of your beloved deer.  So before I sign off I hope you will think of the over populated coyotes that will be forced to eat dead, frozen, mangey relatives.
 
========
Wednesday, December 16, 2009 1:09 PM
 shoot the blasted things then maybe we will have some deer and elk again.

=======

Wednesday, February 17, 2010 4:03 PM

 Indeed. Karma. The wolves reap what they sew.

 ========
Monday, February 8, 2010 4:48 AM
HAHAHA FUCKING KILL EM ALLL
 
========
Wednesday, February 3, 2010 8:48 PM
It doesn’t matter what law is passed, in the remote areas of the west many people still go by shoot, shovel, and shut up.  Why punch your wolf tag if you don’t have to, that way you can get two for the price of one.
 
========
Tuesday, January 26, 2010 10:44 PM
You people are a bunch of crazies!
 
========
Wednesday, January 27, 2010 5:18 PM
I almost feel sorry for killing a wolf.  When I pulled the trigger I think I saw the wolf cry.  Then it’s guts where blown onto the hillside and it moaned.
 
========
Thursday, January 28, 2010 4:22 PM
Hey jerry b cry a little more ill make sure the next one shot is dedcated to you :).   KILL EM ALL ONE PACK AT A TIME
 
========
Thursday, January 28, 2010 4:11 PM
God damn u people are pathetic what’s cowardly about hunting the cowards are u pussys sittin at home bitchin wgile I’m 7 miles in the woods packin elk out on my back give me a break
 
========
Thursday, January 28, 2010 3:44 PM
To those folks listed above, congratulations on a successful hunt.  To you other whining, godd for nothing pieces of communistic crap, move to China, North Korea or some other communist regime…you DO NOT belong in my country.  You are not Americans and do not deserve to live here in the land of the free!
 
========
Thursday, January 28, 2010 3:47 PM
FUCK U PPL

========

Saturday, December 19, 2009 4:54 AM

Nabeki, Wolfs are predators and predators shall be managed, if they are not managed they will run rampid and start killing all living animals.  It is all you liberal son of a bitches plan to have wolfs desimate the elk and deer population so there will no longer be hunting, well fuck that, kill everyone of those damn wolfs and I hope the fucking wolfs eat your ass and your pets as well……….HUNT ON!!!!

========

Sunday, December 20, 2009 4:28 PM

you guys are just plain fools
save the poor animals introduce wolves
some wolves should eat you while you are screaming in pain and still alive.
wolves should be completely removed your experiment is a failure it should have never happened in the first place.
you guys need “fools” tattooed on your foreheads
the liberals of this nation need to be required to where pink so when we have had our fill of you idiots we can know who you are and deport you and that’s my second choice of things to do with you

========
Wednesday, December 16, 2009 1:42 PM
you people need to shut the hell up.
 
==========
Wednesday, December 16, 2009 2:53 AM
The only good wolf is a dead wolf! You people are so ignorant! Live your sheltered uneducated lives, and leave us normal hardworking people to manage the wildlife we live and deal with everyday!
 
========
You are a joke. You all just need to remember one thing you do nothing to benefit wildlife. All you do is fund groups that sue, cause wildlife agencies to spend money on lawyers, and legal defenses instead of wildlife. If you want to help wildlife buy a hunting liesence as this is how all truley helping wildlife is funded. Please get a life and go do something productive.
 
========
One more reason to buy Leupold…..
 
========
what is wrong with a predator derby?
 
========
FUCKING DUMBSHITS!!!
 
=========
wait till coyotes come and attack your pets or worse your children you bunny huggers will have a new outlook on coyotes when you bury a loved one because of them.
 
========
You people are so fricken ignorant!
 
========
The only good wolf is a dead wolf! You people are so ignorant! Live your sheltered uneducated lives, and leave us normal hardworking people to manage the wildlife we live and deal with everyday!
 
========
yeah save all the wolves and coyotes cuz i hate to look at deer and elk! you people are nuts!!!
 
========
YOUR A MORON. YOUR GRANDFATHER AND GREAT GRANDFATHER MORE THAN LIKLY HUNTED THESE SAME PREDATORS YOU SPEAK OF, STOP WORRING ABOUT OTHER PEOPLES BUSINESS AND GET A JOB YOU WORTHLESS BUM
 
========
Shoot all the grey wolves. They are not native to the MT, ID or WY area. You do gooders really have no business in those states, why don’t they re introduce the wolves in central park in NY, see how see how that goes over. Go mind your own b usiness and live your lives and don’t tell us how to live ours!
 
========
you guys seriously need a new hobby check out the number of predators in the united states. there is an estimated 50,000 coyotes within the city limits of L.A. predator hunters like myself are an important part of a healthy wildlife management system, maybe we should stop hunting coyotes, allowing them to over-run your neighborhood stealing a couple of your lap dogs out of your back yard and then maybe, you would understand, or maybe you would like a mountain lion to come down and drag one of your kids down the street while swinging on your swingset……the choice is yours but i think you guys should review on who is “degenerate mental patients”\
 
========
Wolves are cold-blooded killers. Their numbers should be tightly controlled, if not eliminated, by any means necessary!  The wolf lovers are a small minority of most rational thinking citizens of this nation.  (apparently wolf lovers are the most rational people in the nation!!)

========

Submitted on 2009/12/11 at 6:22pm 

Nabeki, it’s the weekend and that means wolf hunting, when folks find out you know how to call them in, your dance card is always full. I can’t tell you how much your comments have motivated me to fine tune my craft, thanks. weather has been cold, pelts ought to be awesome. Hopefully with my help we can fill the 220 quote and get that darn season closed. Just trying to do my part to help relieve some of the stress. Wish me luck.

 
=======
Submitted on 2009/12/10 at 12:46am
Nabeki, As I mentioned hacking into your site though easy enough kind of gives me the creeps, we’re thinking about starting our own site. Calling it/ Justice for All. Also have you thought any more about our wager. After the latest 2009 reports out on elk, I have a person who would like to double our bet giving you 2 for 1 odds. All we ask is that we can right them off as donations.. Come on Nabeki go out to the porch get some sun light and at least consider it.. I could actually send a fresh killed wolf hide and skull to your town, so you could actually say you’ve seen and touched one. Call me old fashioned but I have wolf meat you can try., color and texture similar to bear, but not as good. If your not interested it will end up as coyote bait, how ironic
 
========
Kill one. Maybe You’ll understand…= ^)
Its fun!

I Hope the phantoms are smoked. Way to much lynne drama in ketchum.
 

========

Wednesday, February 17, 2010 1:52 PM

I’m not sure what is in the Kool Aid that you all are drinking but you should really take a break!  Hundreds more elk and moose will make it through this year without being slaughtered by these indiscriminate killers.  Sure I have shot a few elk and eaten them all.  Please set that double cheeseburger down before you lay into me for that one.  If you love these wolves so much why don’t you invite them to to live in YOUR back yard with your house pets and see how misunderstood these poor animals really are?

 ========
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 2:41 PM
what a bunch of out of touch whackjobs.

========

Wednesday, February 17, 2010 2:58 PM

I say shoot every wolf out there.

========

Wednesday, February 17, 2010 3:41 PM

Congrats to the wolf hunters! Keep up the good work and get some more
 
========
Thursday, November 26, 2009 8:06 PM
Have any more phantoms been killed?
Hoping to make wildlife services job easier to wipe out the rest of the “problem” black wolves!!!
going out to smoke one next weekend….
and maybe enter the sfw contest!!!!
Wish me luck
 
========

Posted in : Wolf Wars

Tags: hate mail, irrational wolf hatred, wolf myths

Published in: on April 25, 2010 at 3:12 am  Comments (63)  
Tags: , ,

In Honor Of Earth Day….Baby Moose In Sprinkler!

April 22, 2010

This is one of the most precious videos I’ve ever seen.  Thank you Nancy for sending me the link.  I hope all my out of country readers will be able to view it. Enjoy!!

Posted in: Biodiversity

Tags: baby moose in sprinkler, cow moose, fun video, Earth Day

Published in: on April 22, 2010 at 10:43 pm  Comments (3)  
Tags: , , ,

The Wolf In Your Living Room

ALASKAN MALAMUTE

Martin Clunes two part special called “A Man and His Dogs” is a must see. Clunes is a dog lover, English actor and comedian.

“Martin Clunes sets off on a world wide adventure to discover how close the domestic dog is to its ancestor the wild wolf in a fascinating two-part documentary.
 
The Doc Martin star takes a wry and witty look at why we are prepared to share our homes with dogs who are genetically still 99.8 per cent like wolves.”
 
He explores the close connection between dogs and wolves traveling to Yellowstone National Park to catch a glimpse of a wolf pack. He visits Australia to view Dingoes in the wild.
It’s a fun two hours and shows how close dogs and wolves really are. After watching this special it makes it even harder to understand how people can hate wolves, when in reality our beloved dogs are domesticated wolves.

Showtimes: Smithsonian Channel HD (267) Direct TV

Origins:(Part One) Monday 4/26, 8am Mountain Time

Best Friends: (Part Two) 4/26, 9 am Mountain Time

=======

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Posted in: Dogs, canis lupus/gray wolf

Tags: dog origins, wolves in our living room, domesticated wolves, designer wolves

Running With Wolves

Gudrun Pflueger, an Austrian wolf biologist, made the documentary “A Woman Among Wolves” over three years ago.  It follows her journey on the British Columbia coast, tracking a pack of coastal wolves. Click this link to watch the full episode.

I was so moved by her interaction with the wolves. Then, soon after making the  film, Gudrun was struck down by a malignant brain tumor and spent the next three years trying to beat it. 

She states she was inspired by her experience with the coastal wolves, tapping into their “legendary stamina”, to battle the disease. 

Now she has beaten cancer and made another documentary about Canada’s wolves called “Running With Wolves”.  It’s good to see Gudrun alive and well.  If you haven’t seen this amazing film you still have a chance.  I posted the Direct TV schedule below.  HOWLS!!

Scientist beats cancer, finds inspiration among ‘Wolves’

By Gary Strauss, USA TODAY

http://www.usatoday.com/life/television/news/2010-03-05-wolves05_ST_N.htm

========

Showtimes for “Running With Wolves” on Direct TV,  Smithsonian Channel 267, Mountain Time.

Thursday 4/22 @12pm   

Tuesday 2/27 @ 12:00pm          

Tuesday 2/27 @ 11:00pm              

Gudrun is dedicating her life to wolf conservation.

 

Posted in: gray wolf/canis lupus, Biodiversity

Tags: Gudrun Pflueger, wolves in peril, wolves in Canada, wolf habitat destruction

Coastal Wolves of The Great Bear Rainforest

The Great Bear Rainforest 

“On the mainland coast of British Colombia, the Great Bear Rainforest stretches for more than 250 miles. Born of a complex interaction between ocean, mountains, forest and rain, this is a land of mist-shrouded valleys and glacier-cut fjords, old-growth forests and rich salmon streams. At 21 million acres, it is part of the largest remaining coastal temperate rainforest on Earth.”….The Nature Conservancy

The Great Bear Rainforest  is home to the salmon eating Coastal Gray Wolves. 

The old growth forests of the Great Bear Rainforest are intricately linked to the Coastal Gray Wolves survival.

The Spirit Bear

SPIRIT BEAR IN PERIL AS TROPHY HUNT BEGINS

http://74.54.116.9/

 ========

Photo Spirit Bear: Wikimedia Commons

Posted in:  Coastal Gray Wolves, gray wolf/canis lupus

Tags, Great Bear Rainforest, coastal wolves, Spirit Bear

Busting Wolf Myths One More Time

I’ve been addressing wolf myths one by one. You know, wolves have tapeworms, wolves are eating all the elk, wolves are non-native Canadians.  The anti wolfers think if they repeat these stories often enough they’ll become truth.  We have to continue to knock the fiction down with those pesky little details called facts.

Here’s more help on dispelling wolf  fairy tales by Jeff  Welsch of  The Greater Yellowstone Coalition. 

============== 

From New West:

With Wolves, It’s Time to Separate Fact From Fiction

By Jeff Welsch,

Greater Yellowstone Coalition, Guest Writer, 4-13-10

 
 

Never let facts get in the way of some good hysteria.

That seems to be the mantra of the fringe anti-wolf crowd as it once again seizes on the iconic animal’s imagined evils in yet another attempt to revisit the futile notion of a second extermination.

Pick up a newspaper in any part of Montana, Idaho or Wyoming these days and there’s a fair chance you’ll read a screed about the latest reasons why the big, bad wolf should be banished:

& They’re eating all the elk.

 & They’ve got tapeworms.

 & They’re Canadian.

It’s obvious that this is an orchestrated backlash. It’s just as obvious that these are recycled arguments grasping at the same old straws.

Let’s start the myth-busting from the top:

They’re eating all the elk: Yes, it’s true, wolves eat elk. It’s just as true that elk are doing just fine in Greater Yellowstone and beyond. 

Hunter success rates are high. For instance, in Wyoming’s prized Jackson herd, in the heart of prime wolf and grizzly country, an average of 36 percent of hunters have harvested an elk over the past 10 years. Compare that to a 20 percent success rate in neighboring Colorado, where there are essentially no wolves and the elk population is triple the size.

Populations are still above wildlife-agency objectives in some places, leveling off in others, and lower elsewhere. Where elk numbers are lower, wolf predation is just one of many factors. In most cases, suppression of wildfire and corresponding reduction of elk habitat is a prime culprit.

Hunter complaints about not seeing as many elk are more about wolves changing ungulate behavior than population declines. Elk simply aren’t lingering where they once did.

Moreover, keeping elk wary has had an extraordinary impact on habitat, especially in Yellowstone National Park. Willows, cottonwoods and aspen are regenerating after seven decades of elk over-browsing, re-opening areas to other wildlife.

This “trophic cascade” phenomenon moved one northwest Colorado rancher to shift his thinking on wolves after they moved into his lands. At first wary of the wolf’s impacts on cattle and elk herds, he now welcomes their presence after seeing how they apparently helped restore his dying aspen stands.

They’ve got tapeworms. Yes, but Echinococcus — like many common parasites — is also shared by coyotes, foxes, deer, moose, elk and our best friend Fido. 

The Montana Department of Health says that while transmission of the tapeworm to humans is “theoretically possible, it is highly unlikely.” Renowned wolf scientist Dr. David Mech dismisses the Echinococcus argument as “a tempest in a teapot” and notes that the humans at greatest risk — wolf biologists — have never contracted the parasite despite “having handled thousands of wolves, coyotes and scats.”

They’re Canadian. It’s déjà vu all over again on this one — Greater Yellowstone wolves are an exotic species because they were imported from Alberta and British Columbia, where they’re reputedly bigger, badder and more voracious.

Truth is, wolves trapped in Canada were selected because of similarities in habitat and prey. They are the same species that has traditionally crossed the Montana border. Science and common sense tell us this is one species: Canis lupus.

Bigger? An Idaho Department of Fish & Game wolf expert says the average weight of the 188 wolves shot by hunters in Idaho averaged less than 100 pounds. 

There’s no denying wolves have had an impact on game and livestock. People whose livings are tied to ranching or outfitting are understandably anxious.

But hysteria and hyperbole in pursuit of an unattainable goal isn’t an answer. Just as it’s unreasonable to insist that not a single hair on the hide of a wolf ever be harmed, it’s just as unreasonable to expect that wolves will again be exterminated or banished to parks.

Wolves are here to stay, and the sooner those of us between the fringe elements talk constructively about maintaining viable populations, the sooner we’ll move past the polarization — and realize that most of us have the same values about protecting open spaces, wildlife and our unique quality of life.

Jeff Welsch is communications director for the Greater Yellowstone Coalition in Bozeman, Mont

http://www.newwest.net/topic/article/with_wolves_its_time_to_separate_fact_from_fiction/C559/L559/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+newwest%2Fmain+New+West+Network+Front+Page&utm_content=Yahoo%21+Mail

===========

Posted:  wolf myths, wolf education, gray wolf/canis lupus

Tags: wolves in the crossfire, wolf intolerance 

 

Published in: on April 14, 2010 at 11:30 am  Comments (9)  
Tags:

More Singing Huskies..Kody & Mya

You know I can’t get enough of  singing/talking Huskies. Here are Kody & Mya singing their hearts out to Gwen Stefani’s Sweet Escape. HOWLS!!

1.696,095 hits as of right now. Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeet!!

Posted in: Dogs

Tags: dogs, huskies, huskies remind me of wolves, singing huskies

Wolves Singing Along With Kody and Mya  ♥

Published in: on April 14, 2010 at 12:16 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

Dispelling The Canadian Wolf Myth

Today, in honor of National Wolf Awareness Week, I’m reposting an article I wrote back in April of this year. It busts the oft-repeated myth that wolves reintroduced to the US in 95 from Canada, are a larger more aggressive wolf then previously roamed the Northern Rockies. It’s a common mantra spread by the anti-wolf crowd and is not grounded in fact. But hey why bother with pesky facts? They just get in the way of demonizing wolves.

=======

April 12, 2010

If I had a dollar every time I heard the derogatory term “Non-Native Canadian wolf”, I’d be rich.

The myth goes something like this. Wolves reintroduced to Yellowstone and Central Idaho in 1995 were a larger, non-native, more aggressive wolf then the wolves who roamed the Northern Rockies before the Western extermination. This kind of thinking and rhetoric is what fuels wolf hatred in the first place. When nasty rumors and stories get started they develop legs. Pretty soon people are repeating it as if it’s fact. My advice would be to do a little research on the history of wolves and their morphology, instead of repeating rumors and innuendo. But this myth has nothing to do with the search for truth, it’s all about demonizing wolves. Please make it your business to shed light on these fairy tales. The wolves will thank you.

I wonder how many people who make these claims have ever seen a wild wolf? I’ve been lucky to view wild wolves. One of my Malamutes, who passed away several years ago, was bigger and weighed more than any wolf I’ve ever encountered. He was 180 lbs full-grown. He was so tall he could actually eat food right off the kitchen counter. But unlike the wolf his body was stockier. Wolves have long legs, big feet and large heads, their bodies are also longer than dogs. This gives them the appearance of being bigger then they actually are. Wolves in the Northern Rockies weigh on average between 80-110 lbs. Wolves also weigh more when their bellies are full. That’s because after a kill wolves gorge on a meal because they may not eat again for several days. It’s feast or famine for the wolf. Remember, only one in ten wolf hunts is successful. They expend a great deal of energy during the hunt and very often have nothing to show for it.

Did you know 31% of the wolves killed in Montana’s hunt were under a year of age (juveniles) and weighed an average of 62 lbs.  31% were yearlings and weighed about 80 lbs. 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! Shocked? Only 38% of wolves killed in Montana’s hunt were adults, weighing an average 97 lbs. The largest wolf weighed 117 lbs. Again way smaller than my Malamute. The average weight of wolves killed in the Idaho hunt was under a 100 lbs.

There is strong evidence the two subspecies of wolves that roamed the Rocky Mountains north and south of the Canadian border, for tens of thousands of years,  Canis Lupus Occidentalis (The Mackenzie Valley wolf) and Canis Lupus Irremotus (Northern Rocky Mountain wolf) bred with each other and mixed their genes. Some believe the Mackenzie Valley wolves bred the Northern Rocky Mountain wolf out of existence, instead of the government eliminating them.

It’s a specious argument, not grounded in science, to state Canis Lupus Occidentalis is a non-native wolf from Canada that was foisted upon the Northern Rockies region. In fact wolves know no boundaries and regularly cross back and forth between Canada and the US. There is no doubt sub-species exchanged DNA, making it almost impossible to tell how much of one subspecies is contained in another.

The whole idea of numbers of wolf subspecies is debated in the scientific world, ranging from 24 to just 5. The one thing we do know is wolves from different subspecies mate and share their DNA. The truth is, wolves are wolves, with slight variations in height, weight or fur color.

Think how silly the notion is when you consider humans created the boundaries between Canada and the US. To wolves it’s all the same landscape. They do what wolves do, breed, form packs and when they’re old enough strike out on their own, looking for new territory and a mate. It’s really that simple. Wolf thy name is wanderlust.

Wolves have large territories and travel great distances to establish a place for themselves. Does anyone truly believe wolves didn’t freely cross borders before they were exterminated in the West? Invisible lines created by humans have no meaning for wolves. They go as they please, truly free yet horribly persecuted, never knowing why.

Wolves are great wanderers and can travel an average of 25 miles per day while hunting. One Scandinavian wolf, pursued by hunters, traveled 125 miles in 24 hours. Wolves have runners bodies, lean and sleek. David Mech, the wolf biologist once stated “Wolves are fed by their feet.” Covering ground, exploring, seeking new territory, is bound to the wolves’ soul.  One only has to read the tale of wolf 314f, just a year and a half old, who traveled from her home in Montana to a lonely hillside called No Name Ridge in Colorado, where she was found dead under suspicious circumstances. She logged a thousand miles on her GPS collar during her amazing journey. Wolves are great adventurers and travelers.

Do wolf haters think there is some imaginary line at the border between Canada and the US that wolves didn’t dare cross? How ridiculous is that?

Long before the reintroduction, wolves made their way back to the US in the 1970’s and 80’s, dispersing from Canada to Glacier National Park,  They formed the Camas, Wigwam and Magic packs and these packs were not small, some numbering from twenty to thirty wolves. Does this sound like an animal who’s afraid to cross an invisible line they’ve been navigating for thousands of years, long before Canada and the United States were even a thought?

It follows that sub-species of wolves will mix their genes and basically become a combination of both. The myth that wolves reintroduced from Canada are somehow enormous super wolves who never set foot on American soil before reintroduction, is ludicrous. If you don’t believe me listen to experts on the subject, who have worked with wolves for years and understand their morphology.

Carter Niermeyer Interview (Outdoor Idaho) Spring 2009 (Carter Niermeyer was the Idaho Wolf Recovery Coordinator for USFWS from 2000 to 2006)

Q.There are those who say we brought the wrong wolves into Idaho in 1995 and 1996, that they’re bigger wolves than the ones that were here.

CN: I have to support the science again, and specialists in morphology and genetics on wolves indicate that the wolf that was brought down from Canada is the same wolf that lived here previously. And I did some research into books on early wolves that were captured in the Northern Rockies, even as far south as Colorado during the days that wolves were being hunted down in the 1930s; and the body weights were very much the same.

So I feel that this wolf that was brought from Canada is the same species and genetics as the wolves that lived here once upon a time. I think people have to remember that the northern Rockies — we call it the northern Rockies in Idaho and Montana, but actually we’re a southern extension of the northern Rockies out of Canada — and all of those wolves in Canada have the potential and the ability to disperse. I believe what happened over the last 50-60 years is that individual wolves have come from Canada following the Rocky Mountain chain and ended up periodically in places like Montana and Idaho.

Or Mike Jimenez (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist and Wyoming wolf recovery coordinator)

Jimenez disputed claims that the wolves reintroduced from Canada in the mid-1990s are a larger, more aggressive breed than had historically lived in Wyoming.

While scientists once divided wolves into 24 subspecies, he said more recent DNA evidence shows five subspecies in North America. Further, given the fact that wolves tend to disburse hundreds of miles, he said wolves from Canada likely interbred with Wyoming wolves and vice versa before they were exterminated from the region.

“The idea that those Canadian wolves are different … the argument gets weak,” he said. “Where they transition from one subspecies to the next is totally up for grabs.”

People cling to anti-wolf myths because wolves have become scapegoats for anti-government feelings. Many anti-wolfers believe reintroducing wolves was forced on them even though bringing wolves home to the Northern Rockies was not a rogue scheme dreamed up by a few government biologists. It was supported by many Americans. In fact a poll taken in 1990 found two-thirds of Montanans supported bringing wolves back to the state. Even so, it was a huge battle that waged for decades because the same, small, vocal minority that opposes wolves today were against them then, IE: ranchers, hunters and outfitters.

The feds finally compromised and classified wolves as a non-essential experimental population, which meant they could be shot and killed for agribusiness.

The little known fact is Wildlife Services has been killing wolves for years, along with the wolf hunts in 2009/2010. Still without ESA protection wolves would NEVER have been able to make any kind of comeback. It’s been their saving grace and now sadly they are at the mercy of their enemies once again.

What’s behind the giant Canadian wolf myth that’s passed off as truth? I believe it’s fear of competition. Many hunters don’t want to share the woods or compete with wolves. They liked it when wolves were gone and elk were complacent, standing around all day, munching down aspen trees, never allowing them to get any taller than a few feet. Apparently hunters like lazy, slow elk, ones that are easier to kill.  Since the return of the wolf, elk are no longer complacent, their old nemesis is back and they know it.  I think Carter Niermeyer hit the nail on the head when he said:

“Hunters look at the wolf from many angles and perspectives, too, and I have to emphasize that I’m a hunter. Certainly wolves compete, but I don’t think they’re any excuse for not being a successful hunter. There’s tremendous numbers of game animals available to sportsman and with a little effort and sleuth, you still have great potential to collect a wild animal from hunting. I don’t know what the excuse was before wolves, but it has become the main excuse now for unsuccessful hunters. I mean, there are just so many other issues involved in why hunters are not successful, but the wolf is a lame excuse.”

It’s necessary to spread untruths about wolves to further the agenda of getting rid of them or make excuses for why a particular hunter wasn’t able to “get his elk” during hunting season. I’ve reported over and over that the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation trumpeted in the their Spring 2009 press release that elk numbers were up 44% nationally since 1984, when the organization was founded. They stated the elk herds in Montana, Colorado and Utah  increased between 50-70 percent.  The Montana’s elk population stood at 150,000 and Idaho at 105,000.  I guess that wasn’t good news to everyone, since it doesn’t fit in with the “wolf is decimating all the elk” argument. Hunters whine that elk numbers may be up in the state but down in some areas. Ummmmmm that’s how nature works. And I hate to break it to the elk hunters but it’s not all about them. Wolf advocates opinions are being ignored. We’ve had to watch in horror as wolves were removed from the Endangered Species List and hunted almost immediately.

This was unforgiveable behavior by the states and certainly didn’t earn any points with wolf supporters about their intent to “manage” wolves fairly.  It’s not a secret there’s a conflict of interest when it comes to state game agencies “managing/killing” predators.  They want to please their customers, the hunters, who demand more game. The saddest part of this story is wolves were brought back only to be used for target practice fifteen years later.

Carter  Niermeyer states:

It’s a little late now, but I wish that when the states assume management of wolves that there could have been some kind of a moratorium where the states took the responsibility and didn’t jump right into a wolf harvest, or a wolf culling, or whatever you want to call it. It would’ve been nice, I think, to establish some credibility with wolf advocates and conservationists, environmentalists and people who appreciate wolves for other values. And just sort of get a handle on things and get a feel for managing the wolf. Because there’s this perception that suddenly we’re going from a listed animal to a hunted animal and I think a lot of the public is having a struggle with coming along with that.

The other thing I wish could happen, too, is there’d be more dialogue between the broad term wolf advocates and the Fish and Game Department and talk about these issues more openly, because the conservation groups have been a close ally in getting wolf recovery moving forward and actually being partners, and now there seems to be this falling out and a relationship that’s deteriorating.

Wolf advocates are rightly upset to see wolves hunted at all, especially freshly off the Endangered Species List.

I wonder how hunters would feel if over 40% of the elk herd was killed in one season. What would they think of a seven month-long elk hunt like the state of Idaho imposed on wolves?

Are Canadians laughing at us when they hear the Canadian super-wolf myth? Does this mean Canadians are superior hunters, who seem to have no trouble bagging game with their Canadian monster wolves roaming the countryside?

The truth is wolves living in the Northern Rockies today are the same wolves that were here before they were exterminated. It’s not about how tall wolves are or how much they weigh or the color of their fur. This myth is grounded in hatred of a species just as it was when they were exterminated the first time around.

Hunters by their very nature are in the business of killing and not all hunters can shoot straight or are ethical. There are people who hunt out of their rigs, while drinking.  Gut shot deer roam the forest during hunting season, leaving blood trails until they finally collapse and die. I’ve seen deer with arrows sticking out of them, barely able to stand.

If anyone has seen Predator Derby pictures of bloody dead coyotes, or dead wolves displayed by their killers with no respect, smiling like they just won the lottery, understand it’s not the wolf that’s the deadliest predator. Wolves kill to survive. The cruelest predator of all is man. No giant wolf myth can compete with that.

HOWL for speaking the truth about wolves.

Pass it on!

“May we all never be judged by anything so harshly or hold to as strict a life or unremitting of borders as the ones we try to place on and around wolves”…Rick Bass 1992

Photo Courtesy Bozeman Daily Chronicle

Posted in: Wolf myths, gray wolf/canis lupus, Wolf Wars

Tags: wolf subspecies, wolf myths, wolves in the crossfire, wolf intolerance, demonizing wolves

%d bloggers like this: