Beautiful Boy! UPDATE: It’s Confirmed, He’s Been Shot Dead!

UPDATE: October 6, 2010

It’s true!! A disgusting poacher killed a federally protected Oregon male wolf. They need to find this person or persons and throw them in the slammer. Aren’t you sick and tired of reading about dead wolves? Enough!!

Wolf Wars is in full swing. While Mt. Rep. Rehberg, Mt. Senators Baucus and Tester, Idaho Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch, Utah’s Reps. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, and Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah and Utah Senator Orin Hatch-R are backing legislation to strip gray wolves of their ESA protections, this little wolf is proving why wolves are not even safe while protected by the ESA, let alone without it!!

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Protected wolf in tracked pack killed in Ore.

The Associated Press
POSTED: Tuesday, Oct. 05, 2010

GRANTS PASS, Ore. State authorities confirmed Tuesday that a federally protected wolf has been killed in northeastern Oregon.

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife wolf coordinator Russ Morgan said the killed wolf was a 2-year-old Wenaha pack male recently fitted with a radio tracking collar. The silver male was captured and fitted in August, Morgan said.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which has jurisdiction since wolves were restored to the endangered species list in August, is investigating, he said.

Fish and Wildlife spokeswoman Joan Jewett said it had no comment.

The wolf was a subdominant male and the only member of the pack carrying a radio collar, allowing biologists to track the pack’s whereabouts. The pack has four adults and at least two pups.

Wiped out in Oregon by bounty hunters more than 60 years ago, wolves first returned to the state in 1998 from Idaho, where they were introduced in a federal effort to get them off the endangered species list.

Two other wolves have been illegally shot since then. Two from the Imnaha pack were killed by government hunters for attacking livestock.

Ranchers angry over the state management plan’s limitations on killing wolves to protect livestock spoke out last week at an Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting.

“The more and more these depredations occur, ranchers are going to – I think these guys are going to defend themselves,” Oregon Cattlemen’s Association President Bill Hoyt said in an interview.

Steve Pedery, conservation director for Oregon Wild, a conservation group, said the Wenaha pack has not been tied to any livestock attacks.

“This wasn’t something easily brushed aside, like somebody mistaking it for a coyote,” said Pedery. “This was a silver wolf wearing a big honking radio collar that is hard to miss. Somebody was out to shoot a wolf. It is very important that the agencies get on top of this so it is a deterrent to other yahoos who want to follow suit. That’s what makes us nervous about them being completely silent now.”

http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2010/10/05/1654050/protected-wolf-killed-in-ne-oregon.html#ixzz11YWx1Oyx

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UPDATE: October 5, 2010

There’s an unconfirmed but reliable report, posted in Oregon’s La Grande Observer, that this sweet guy has been shot and killed. Apparently he was found by wildlife officials during a routine telemetry check. Just another sad chapter in Wolf Wars that’s raging across the West, fueled by the blind hatred that caused the first Western extermination. It’s 1910 all over again.

Ironically there are meetings being held today in Hamilton and Dillon, by Montana Rep. Rehberg, to discuss his anti-wolf bill, that would strip gray wolves of their ESA protections. The meeting panels are stacked with the anti-wolf crowd but did we really expect the “listening sessions” to be fair and balanced? Absolutely not!!

The killing of this beautiful wolf is the reason wolves cannot survive in this country without the protection of the ESA. It’s very disturbing this Wenaha pack male had recently been collared. Coincidence that he is now dead? Did someone gain access to his telemetry? I’ll report more on this sad case when the information becomes available.

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August 9, 2010

Isn’t he a beauty?  He’s a two-year old male from Oregon’s Wenaha pack. The pack consists of four adults although he looks so much like a puppy. There are unconfirmed reports the pack has puppies. This picture was taken during the collaring process.

I don’t like collaring, someday this collar could get this guy in trouble. Traditionally collaring was used for research but now if wolves are suspected of livestock depredation it’s a way Wildlife (Dis)Services can track down the pack and kill the wolves. They’ve killed entire packs this way in the Northern Rockies.

Oregon has two confirmed wolf packs, the Imnaha and Wenaha packs. The Imnaha pack has been in the news because Wildlife Services was hunting two  uncollared  gray wolves from the pack. They say the wolves were involved in livestock depredations back in late Spring 2010. Several conservation groups filed a lawsuit to stop the hunts.

From NaturalOregon.org

Four groups, the Hells Canyon Preservation Council, Oregon Wild, Cascadia Wildlands and the Center for Biological Diversity sued to stop federal agents from killing two members of the Imnaha wolf pack in Wallowa County. The agency carrying out the hunt is USDA’s Wildlife Service.

The lawsuit claims that Wildlife Services should have first conducted an environmental analysis to assess how much damage would be done by the hunt. There are two known packs in the state, with 14 wolves. There’s also a few more lone wolves roaming Oregon, so the total could be closer to 20. Killing two of them means reducing their numbers by ten percent – or more. If that kind of damage is considered “significant”, then the feds may be required to take the additional step of writing an Environmental Impact Statement.

Wildlife (Dis)Services called off the hunt until they conduct an environmental review, so basically the hunts are over. I can do the review for them. Oregon has approx. twenty wolves, tops, two confirmed wolf packs and a few lone wolves. If they kill two of them for a few calves, that could seriously impact the wolves survival.

What you won’t hear about are the thousands upon thousands of cows  ranchers lose every year to weather, disease, reproductive issues and theft.  All predator losses are a tiny percentage of the totals. Wolves killed fewer cows than vultures nationally  (NASS 2006).

Happily the Imnaha’s are safe for now.

UPDATE: Remote cameras captured images of four Imnaha pups and six adult wolves, including B-300, the alpha female, nick-named Sophie. The alpha male was finally spotted on camera as well after he seemed to disappear for several months. His collar was not functioning and he hadn’t been sighted since May 31. Thankfully he’s alive.

Here are pics of the Imnaha pack with pups taken by the trail cameras.

Imnaha pups frolicking

Imnaha adult

Four Imnaha adult wolves

I’ll continue to follow the progress of  Oregon’s Wenaha and Imnaha wolf packs. These wolves are now protected by the ESA, since Judge Molloy relisted wolves on August 5th, 2010.

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Male wolf from Wenaha pack radio-collared and released in northeast Oregon

August 6, 2010

http://www.dfw.state.or.us/news/2010/august/080610.asp

Photos: Courtesy ODFW

Posted in: Oregon wolves

Tags: Wenaha pack, Imnaha pack, Oregon wolves, collared wolf, Wildlife Services

Published in: on August 9, 2010 at 12:50 am  Comments (23)  
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