Gray Wolf One True Wolf In North America…

Glacier National Park Gray wolf NPS 2                               Gray Wolf, Glacier National Park, NPS

The USFWS  thought it was being clever.  Several years ago they decided they wanted to delist gray wolves across the lower forty-eight but they had a problem.  Before wolves can be delisted they have to be recovered through most of their former habitat. Since gray wolves are basically confined to the Northern Rockies, Southwest, Great Lakes Region and Pacific Northwest, they couldn’t make that claim. So they used a 2012 study that stated there was another species of wolf, the Eastern wolf.

 “A few years ago, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) put forth a controversial proposal to remove gray wolves from the endangered species list. Technical distinctions about wolf species were at the heart of the plan. The FWS argued that gray wolves had been restored in enough of their original habitat. The agency relied on a 2012 study to designate a new species, the eastern wolf, as a separate species from the gray wolf; if that were true, it would mean gray wolves had never lived in the eastern United States, and thus the FWS claimed it wasn’t responsible for restoring gray wolves in that area.”

Their theory was just dealt a severe blow. It turns out the Eastern wolf is really a hybrid, a gray wolf with coyote DNA. There is no other species of wolf in North America but the gray wolf, which means this thwarts the USFWS plan to delist gray wolves across the Continental US. Gray wolves have not been recovered in most of their former habitat.  And almost every time they try to disperse to states like Kansas or Kentucky, they’re shot by a hunter using the mistaken identify excuse or “I thought it was a coyote”. And of course they almost always get away with it. What’s the point of having ESA protection for wolves if there are no consequences when they’re shot illegally? I’d love to hear the answer from USFWS!

The Eastern wolf has been proven to be a hybrid. I’m sure the USFWS is working overtime, using their “pretzel logic” to find a way around this conundrum. DNA is a wonderful thing!

Win one for the wolves!

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North America Has Only 1 True Species of Wolf, DNA Shows

gray wolves Credit Dan Stahler, courtesy of UCLA                             Credit: Dan Stahler, courtesy of UCLA

By Megan Gannon, Live Science Contributor | July 29, 2016 07:04am ET

Research by UCLA biologists published today in the journal Science Advances presents strong evidence that the scientific reason advanced by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to remove the gray wolf from protection under the Endangered Species Act is incorrect.

A key justification for protection of the gray wolf under the act was that its geographic range included the Great Lakes region and 29 Eastern states, as well as much of North America. The Fish and Wildlife Service published a document in 2014 which asserted that a newly recognized species called the eastern wolf occupied the Great Lakes region and eastern states, not the gray wolf. Therefore, the original listing under the act was invalid, and the service recommended that the species (except for the Mexican gray wolf, which is the most endangered gray wolf in North America) should be removed from protection under the act.

A decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to remove the gray wolf from protection under the Endangered Species Act may be made as early as this fall.

In the new study, biologists analyzed the complete genomes of North American wolves — including the gray wolf, eastern wolf and red wolf — and coyotes. The researchers found that both the red wolf and eastern wolf are not distinct species, but instead are mixes of gray wolf and coyote.

“The recently defined eastern wolf is just a gray wolf and coyote mix, with about 75 percent of its genome assigned to the gray wolf,” said senior author Robert Wayne, a UCLA professor of ecology and evolutionary biology. “We found no evidence for an eastern wolf that has a separate evolutionary legacy. The gray wolf should keep its endangered species status and be preserved because the reason for removing it is incorrect. The gray wolf did live in the Great Lakes area and in the 29 eastern states.”

Once common throughout North America and among the world’s most widespread mammals, the gray wolf is now extinct in much of the United States, Mexico and Western Europe, and lives mostly in wilderness and remote areas. Gray wolves still lives in the Great lakes area, but not in the eastern states.

Apparently, the two species first mixed hundreds of years ago in the American South, resulting in a population that has become more coyote-like as gray wolves were slaughtered, Wayne said. The same process occurred more recently in the Great Lakes area, as wolves became rare and coyotes entered the region in the 1920s.

The researchers analyzed the genomes of 12 pure gray wolves (from areas where there are no coyotes), three coyotes (from areas where there are no gray wolves), six eastern wolves (which the researchers call Great Lakes wolves) and three red wolves.

There has been a substantial controversy over whether red wolves and eastern wolves are genetically distinct species. In their study, the researchers did not find a unique ancestry in either that could not be explained by inter-breeding between gray wolves and coyotes.

“If you did this same experiment with humans — human genomes from Eurasia — you would find that one to four percent of the human genome has what looks like strange genomic elements from another species: Neanderthals,” Wayne said. “In red wolves and eastern wolves, we thought it might be at least 10 to 20 percent of the genome that could not be explained by ancestry from gray wolves and coyotes. However, we found just three to four percent, on average — similar to that found in individuals from the same species when compared to our small reference set.”

Pure eastern wolves were thought to reside in Ontario’s Algonquin Provincial Park. The researchers studied two samples from Algonquin Provincial Park and found they were about 50 percent gray wolf, 50 percent coyote.

Biologists mistakenly classified the offspring of gray wolves and coyotes as red wolves or eastern wolves, but the new genomic data suggest they are hybrids. “These gray wolf-coyote hybrids look distinct and were mistaken as a distinct species,” Wayne said.

Eventually, after the extinction of gray wolves in the American south, the red wolves could mate only with one another and coyotes, and became increasingly coyote-like.

Red wolves turn out to be about 25 percent gray wolf and 75 percent coyote, while the eastern wolf’s ancestry is approximately 75 percent gray wolf and 25 percent coyote, Wayne said. (Wayne’s research team published findings in the journal Nature in 1991 suggesting red wolves were a mixture of gray wolves and coyotes.)

Although the red wolf, listed as an endangered species in 1973, is not a distinct species, Wayne believes it is worth conserving; it is the only repository of the gray wolf genes that existed in the American South, he said.

The researchers analyzed SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms) — tiny variations in a genetic sequence, and used sophisticated statistical approaches. In the more than two dozen genomes, they found 5.4 million differences in SNPs, a very large number.

Wayne said the Endangered Species Act has been extremely effective. He adds, however, that when it was formulated in the 1970s, biologists thought species tended not to inter-breed with other species, and that if there were hybrids, they were not as fit. The scientific view has changed substantially since then. Inter-breeding in the wild is common and may even be beneficial, he said. The researchers believe the Endangered Species Act should be applied with more flexibility to allow protection of hybrids in some cases (it currently does not), and scientists have made several suggestions about how this might be done without a change in the law, Wayne said.

Story Source:
The above post is reprinted from materials provided by University of California – Los Angeles. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Journal Reference:
Bridgett M. Vonholdt, James A. Cahill, Zhenxin Fan, Ilan Gronau, Jacqueline Robinson, John P. Pollinger, Beth Shapiro, Jeff Wall and Robert K. Wayne. Whole-genome sequence analysis shows that two endemic species of North American wolf are admixtures of the coyote and gray wolf. Science Advances, 2016 DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1501714

Cite This Page:
University of California – Los Angeles. “Should the gray wolf keep its endangered species protection? New genomic research provides the scientific answer.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 July 2016. .

http://www.livescience.com/55586-wolves-only-one-species.html

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The Gray Wolf Is The Only True King in The North

By Carli Velocci

http://gizmodo.com/the-gray-wolf-is-the-only-true-wolf-in-north-america-1784426738

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It turns out the United States has just one true species of wolf

OR7 yearling pups ODFW                                     OR7 yearling pup – Courtesy ODFW

Rachel Feltman

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2016/07/29/it-turns-out-the-united-states-has-just-one-true-species-of-wolf/

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Gray Wolf The Only Species Distinct To North America, Study Says

Alpha female with her pup NPS AlaskaAlpha female with her pup NPS Alaska

By Mary Pascaline On 07/28/16 AT 7:33 AM

http://www.ibtimes.com/gray-wolf-only-species-distinct-north-america-study-says-2395516

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Gray wolf is the only pure wolf species in North America

Echo NPS                                                    Echo – Courtesy NPS

Submitted by Diana Bretting on Fri, 07/29/2016 – 21:52

http://perfscience.com/content/2144509-gray-wolf-only-pure-wolf-species-north-america

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RED WOLVES

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Posted in: gray wolf, biodiversity

All photos in this post are credited

You Tube: wwwAAASorg

Tags: gray wolf, eastern wolf a hybrid, ESA, DNA study gray wolf, red wolf, USFWS, Echo, OR7

 

After Harambe’s Senseless Death It’s Time To Phase Out Zoos….

Baby Harambe imgur

Baby Harambe (imgur)

The time for zoo’s has come and gone. They are prisons where animal captives live out sad lives. Zoo’s always use the excuse they are protecting endangered species but Harambe is the perfect example of the truth to that lie. Why are they breeding gorillas who will never be free or live in the wild?  If  we want to help the critically endangered lowland gorillas survive why not invest in protecting their habitat from human encroachment, from the bushmeat trade and from poachers, using armed rangers as many national preserves in Africa do.

 It”s not going to happen overnight but eventually zoo’s can be phased out and as Marc Bekoff says, turned into sanctuaries for the remaining captive animals.

 Zoo’s are relic’s of the past and I for one would not mind to see them gone.

For Harambe,

Nabeki

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Why Was Harambe the Gorilla in a Zoo in the First Place?

Amid the debate over who was at fault in the death of a beloved animal, we need to step back and ask a different question

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/why-was-harambe-the-gorilla-in-a-zoo-in-the-first-place/?version=meter+at+null&module=meter-Links&pgtype=Blogs&contentId=&mediaId=&referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2F&priority=true&action=click&contentCollection=meter-links-click

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Posted in: Endangered Species, Biodiversity, Animals Rights

Photo: Courtesy imgur

Video: Courtesy YouTube

Tags: Harambe, senseless death, zoo’s should be phased out, Baby Harambe,  endangered species, lowland gorilla critically endangered,  mother of boy responsible, Marc Bekoff

Jeff Corwin Speaks Out on Harambe’s Death – “Zoo’s Aren’t Your Babysitters”

Here’s beautiful Harambe when he first entered his enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo, which turned out to be fatal for him😦   R.I.P

May 30, 2016

It’s the responsibility of parents to be vigilant when caring for their small children. Harambe, the critically endangered lowland gorilla, didn’t have to die!!

After Gorilla Death, Animal Expert Jeff Corwin Says Zoos ‘Aren’t Your Babysitter’

By , Epoch Times

‘Take a break from the cell phone, the selfie stick and the texting’

Jeff Corwin, an animal and nature conservationist, who is the host and executive producer of TV programs “The Jeff Corwin Experience” and “Corwin’s Quest,” has spoken out after a gorilla was shot and killed at the Cincinnati Zoo.

A 4-year-old boy fell into the gorilla’s enclosure. Zoo officials said the gorilla, a 17-year-old named Harambe, was dragging the boy around. They opted to shoot and kill the great ape.

Corwin spoke with FOX25 in Boston, mainly focusing his questions on how the boy got into the enclosure in the first place.

“That’s the million dollar question,” he said. “How did this little boy slip in this enclosure?”

He said the main lesson following the incident is that parents need to treat zoos and animals with respect.

“Zoos aren’t your babysitter,” he told FOX25.

“Take a break from the cell phone, the selfie stick and the texting. Connect with your children. Be responsible for your children. I don’t think this happened in seconds or minutes. I think this took time for this kid, this little boy to find himself in that situation. Ultimately it’s the gorilla that’s paid this price.”

http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/2079480-after-gorilla-death-animal-expert-jeff-corwin-says-zoos-arent-your-babysitter/

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‘Shooting an endangered animal is worse than murder’: Grief over gorilla’s death turns to outrage

 

The Washington Post
Peter Holley 
May 30 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/05/30/shooting-an-endangered-animal-is-worse-than-murder-grief-over-gorillas-death-turns-to-outrage/

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Posted in: Endangered Species, Animal Rights, Biodiversity

Top Video: YouTube AP

Bottom Video: YouTube Official Trending News

Tabs: Harambe, critically endangered lowland gorilla, gorilla murdered, children need supervision, endangered species, Jeff Corwin, Cincinnati Zoo, be respectful to animals, parents responsible?, Washington Post, Epoch Times, AP, Daily Mirror Tweet

Victory! Wolf Delisting Rider Fails To Make It Into Massive Budget Bill!

Black wolf pack running

December 17, 2015

Wolves in Wyoming and the Great Lakes are safe for now. The sneaky procedure of slipping wolf delisting riders into budget bills didn’t work this time for the congressional wolf haters and their ranching and hunting backers. The behemoth budget bill was supposed to be a vehicle to go around the courts and delist wolves in the Great Lakes and Wyoming via delisting rider. Supposedly it was not included due to a warning from the White House the bill would be vetoed if there were any changes to the Endangered Species Act. This is shocking since it was the Obama administration who delisted wolves in Montana and Idaho in 2009. He also supported the wolf delisting rider in 2011, that was slipped into an appropriations bill, which delisted wolves in Montana, Idaho and parts of Oregon, Utah and Washington state, without judicial review. Obama is  also challenging Judge Berman’s December 2014 relisting of wolves in the Great Lakes and Wyoming.  So it was big surprise the wolf rider was not included in the budget bill but it was certainly a welcome change.

This battle is far from over but at least this year there will be no wolf hunts in Wyoming or the Great Lakes. I wish I could say the same about the beleaguered wolves of Montana and Idaho.

Here’s the evil wolf delisting rider that was stripped out of the funding bill.

“Requiring the Secretary of the Interior to reissue final rules to delist wolves in Wyoming and the Great Lakes region that were overturned by a federal court and exempting those reissued rules from judicial review.”

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Wyoming wolf provision left out of massive congressional budget bill

Associated Press

Updated 19 hrs ago

 U.S. Reps. Collin Peterson, D-Minnesota, Reid Ribble, R-Wisconsin, and some other lawmakers had hoped to attach a rider to return management of wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Wyoming to the states, which could have opened the door to a resumption of wolf hunting in those places. The provision would have undone federal court decisions that restored the animals’ protected status in the four states despite repeated efforts by the federal government to remove them from the list.

Peterson said budget negotiators dropped the provision from the final bill, which was unveiled late Tuesday, because the White House had threatened a veto if the bill contained any changes to the Endangered Species Act.

“Obviously I’m disappointed,” Peterson said. “We thought it wasn’t going to be a problem because the Fish and Wildlife Service was supporting it.”

Peterson, the ranking Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee, said supporters will have to regroup and decide on their next step. He said a stand-alone bill probably could pass the House but he’s not sure about the Senate. It’s also possible an appeals court could overturn the lower court decisions, he added.

While livestock interests supported removing federal protections for wolves, wildlife groups lobbied against it.

“It certainly was a pleasant surprise,” said Brett Hartl, endangered species policy director with the Center for Biological Diversity.

Backers of the rider were trying to use a tactic that succeeded in 2011 when Congress removed wolves in Idaho, Montana and sections of Utah, Washington and Oregon from the list.

 “Cooler heads prevailed in Congress,” said Wayne Pacelle, CEO of the Humane Society of the United States. He said a letter written by Sens. Cory Booker, D-New Jersey, and Barbara Boxer, D-California, and signed by 23 other senators including Gary Peters, D-Michigan, helped make the difference.

The combined wolf population in the western Great Lakes region is estimated at 3,700, including about 2,200 in Minnesota, while Wyoming has around 333.

U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell ruled last December that the western Great Lakes states didn’t have suitable plans to safeguard wolves, and that the animals haven’t come close to repopulating their former range. Her decision prevented Minnesota and Wisconsin from holding sport wolf hunting and trapping seasons this fall. Michigan hasn’t held a hunt since 2013. Another federal judge issued a similar decision in September 2014 in a Wyoming case.

The Obama administration, Michigan, Wisconsin and Wyoming are appealing the two decisions. Minnesota is not formally a party to the Midwest case, but the state attorney general’s office filed an amicus brief Tuesday supporting a reversal.

The brief says Minnesota’s wolf management plan will ensure the animals continue to thrive in the state. It says Minnesota’s wolf population and range have expanded to the point of saturating the habitat in the state since the animals went on the endangered list in 1973, creating “human-wolf conflict that is unique in its cost and prevalence.”

A similar appeal is pending in the Wyoming case. Pacelle said his group, which filed the lawsuit in the Midwest case, will keep up the fight.

“This is not the end of the process, but it’s a good outcome because Congress is showing restraint and not trying to cherry-pick a species and remove it from the list of endangered animals,” Pacelle said.

http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/wyoming/wyoming-wolf-provision-left-out-of-massive-congressional-budget-bill/article_77ac09ef-d3a9-5bee-8e43-30cc471ac854.html

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Photo: Courtesy wolf wallpaper

Posted in: gray wolf, Endangered Species Act, biodiversity

Tags: No delisting rider, wolves safe in Wyoming and Great Lakes for now, ESA, budget bill, gray wolf, Great Lakes, Wyoming

Obama Administration Pushes To Delist Yellowstone Grizzly Bear

Mother grizzly_and cub Wiki

December 8, 2015

ACTION ALERT – TIME SENSITIVE

No animal is safe from the Obama administration’s USFWS. Dan Ashe wants the grizzly bear delisted and why do you think that is? SO THEY CAN BE HUNTED!!

I know all the trophy hunters are just licking their lips waiting for the Great Bear to become another notch in their belts. Montana and Idaho wolves are suffering under horrible persecution because of this awful agency and now USFWS is after the Yellowstone grizzly.

Grizzly bears have one of the lowest reproductive rates of all large mammals. Cubs stay with their mothers for up to three years, which means they’re not breeding during that time. Grizzly bear populations could crash very quickly if  they are subjected to hunts. But of course the trophy hunting crowd the USFWS represents doesn’t care about that. They just want the chance to shoot a grizzly bear.

Another serious problem is Yellowstone grizzly bears are an isolated population, which makes it very difficult to connect with other bears.

Yellowstone-area bears are an isolated population. Having fewer bears would decrease the chance of naturally connecting Yellowstone grizzlies with other populations…”

The “bear experts” are having their “little 2 day meeting” today and Wednesday in Missoula, Montana, to scheme and plot to make hunting the grizzly a reality. Of course it will be all about how they just want to protect the great bear, just like they are protecting the wolves of Montana and Idaho, uh-huh.

If you live in Missoula or are able to travel, please attend these meetings and COMMENT!!! Stand up for the Great Bear!

“Public comment is taken at the end of work sessions each day of the meeting. The public comment time is tentatively scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday.” That’s tomorrow and Wednesday, December 8th and 9th.

Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee Winter Meeting, December 8-9, 2015 Holiday Inn Missoula Downtown

http://www.igbconline.org/images/pdf/151208_Exec_Agenda.pdf

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States, Feds agree to at least 600 Yellowstone-area grizzlies

by | DECEMBER 7, 2015

Update: 7:15 p.m. December 7, 2015

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department would recommend no hunting of mother grizzly bears with cubs-of-the-year at their side if and when it proposes a hunting season, an agency spokesman said Monday.

The state anticipates adopting regulations that follow “standard wildlife practices,” such as the prohibition against hunting mothers with cubs, Game and Fish spokesman Renny MacKay said. Wyoming could manage Yellowstone-area grizzly bears if and when federal protections are lifted as federal wildlife officials anticipate.

“It is something we would be willing to bring forward to the commission,” MacKay said of the prohibition. “We do that with mountain lions, we do that with black bears.”

Wyoming also is committed to a grizzly population that includes well-distributed females of reproductive age. That’s one of the federal benchmarks for determining whether the Yellowstone ecosystem grizzly still needs protection under the Endangered Species Act.

“That’s something Wyoming is absolutely committed to maintain,” MacKay said.

Several aspects of the delisting process still have to play out, including release by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service of a conservation plan, a proposed rule and population-monitoring documents. Wyoming, Idaho and Montana also would have to adopt state regulations if they want to have hunting seasons.

Wyoming’s Game and Fish Commission, a body appointed by the governor, is charged with setting such regulations and seasons in Wyoming.

“Ultimately, if Wyoming takes over management of grizzly bears again, we have to ensure a recovered population,” MacKay said. “That’s at the heart of all of this. We want the flexibility to be able to adjust to changing conditions, changing populations and changing science.”

Sierra Club doesn’t like the idea of a 600-bear trigger before “discretionary mortality” ceases, said Bonnie Rice, senior representative for the organization’s Greater Yellowstone/Northern Rockies campaign.

“We disagree with driving down the population,” she said Monday. “Six hundred bears is well below the current estimate, so that is of great concern to us in terms of [potentially] reducing the population by over 100 bears.”

She and other conservationists still see threats to grizzlies, including that Yellowstone-area bears are an isolated population. Having fewer bears would decrease the chance of naturally connecting Yellowstone grizzlies with other populations, she said.

“One of the biggest things for us is linkage zones,” Rice said.

She’s also worried how states will balance and coordinate on the number of bears killed and how any multi-state limits might be enforced. “We don’t have that framework yet,” she said.

Other groups also reacted. “Once again we see Director Ashe cutting deals for political expediency instead of following the science,” Bethany Cotton, wildlife program director for WildEarth Guardians, said in a statement. “The Endangered Species Act is incredibly effective at recovering imperiled species, and will do so for grizzlies across their range, but only if they retain protections until the science clearly demonstrates recovery.”

Genetic isolation from other populations worries Western Watersheds Project, a spokesman for that group said in a statement. “Recovery isn’t a math equation, it’s a geography question,” said Josh Osher, Montana director for the group. “The states’ tentative agreement with the Service fails to ensure connectivity throughout the species’ range and fails to address the livestock operations that are the root cause of lethal conflict for the grizzly bear.”

http://www.wyofile.com/states-feds-agree-least-600-yellowstone-area-grizzlies/

grizzly cub and mom

 

Letter from Washington provoked discussion

The country’s top wildlife official wrote state game chiefs in September agreeing the Yellowstone-area grizzly bear population could decline to 600 — 114 fewer than today’s count of 714 — once federal protections are lifted.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe’s Sept. 24 letter to Wyoming, Idaho and Montana officials was confirming the minimum number of bears and other measures the four agencies had agreed to at that point. Until the 600-bear trigger is reached, “discretionary mortality” of grizzly bears — which could include hunting — could continue.

Ashe and state officials are negotiating a complex agreement that would see the bear removed from protections of the Endangered Species Act and put under state management. Such a move would open the door to grizzly bear hunting in the three states but not in Yellowstone and most of Grand Teton national parks.

Details of the talks have been closely guarded, and state and federal officials have not confirmed details of the September letter obtained by WyoFile over the weekend.

Ashe and the three state wildlife directors met twice in September, Ashe wrote, at which time they hammered out the details. “Based on these two meetings, I believe we have a mutually understood process that will allow the Service to proceed with a proposed delisting proposal…” to remove the Yellowstone grizzly from ESA protection, Ash’s letter said.

The bottom-line number is one of several trigger points set in the letter. When bears number between 600 and 673, annual female bear losses — including through expected hunting seasons — would be limited to 7.6 percent, and to 15 percent of the male population. More liberal losses — 10 percent female and 22 percent male — would be allowed when there are more than 747 bears, the letter states.

But federal and state agencies did not wrap up all aspects of post-delisting grizzly bear management in September, and Ashe’s letter acknowledges that. One point of discussion appears to be whether matters usually left to states — like prohibiting the shooting of a mother bear with cubs by its side — could be required by the federal government before turning over authority.

“States have agreed to consider additional regulatory mechanisms that will be part of individual state management plans/regulations…” Ashe said in the letter. Those state regulations would be referenced in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service delisting rule, bringing them under federal jurisdiction, the letter says.

Agencies still working on final plans

“We’re looking at regulatory mechanisms that would be included in a new conservation strategy,” Wyoming Game and Fish Chief Game Warden Brian Nesvik said in a Nov. 12 interview with WyoFile. “That’s where the discussions have occurred. What needs to be identified in a delisting rule? What is under the purview of the three states?”

Wyoming wouldn’t manage grizzlies down to a minimum number, whatever that turns out to be, Nesvik said in November. In that interview, he said no final number had been agreed to.  “We have not discussed that to this point,” he said.

Wyoming’s wolf plan hews closely to the minimum population requirements set by the federal government. But wolves, as a species, reproduce faster than grizzly bears.

“I do not believe the Fish and Wildlife Service is interested in that same type of set of circumstances,” Nesvik said. “That has been part of the discussion. They’re interested in a different approach with bears.” Wyoming would “manage for a viable grizzly bear population well above the recovery criteria.”

Wyoming knows how to set big game and trophy hunting seasons, he said. “I think we would rely pretty heavily on our track record,” Nesvik said. For example, with black bears and mountain lions, “there’s certainly more [hunting] opportunity than there’s ever been,” he said.

“We would look to be able to manage grizzly bears in a manner consistent with the values we’ve held with those other species,” he said. “The public still needs to weigh in. The Game and Fish Commission has been very considerate of the fact the way we do business in this state is we include the public.”

Three critical pieces are necessary for delisting: a conservation strategy outlining long-term sideboards to ensure grizzly survival, an official proposed rule that sets administrative and legal parameters, and a document on population monitoring. After those are ushered through federal rulemaking and possible litigation, states would take over.

Federal and state officials are meeting in Missoula, Montana, for three days starting Tuesday when Wyoming Game and Fish Director Scott Talbott is scheduled to give a delisting presentation and update.

— This story has been updated to reflect that Wyoming Game and Fish Department Director Scott Talbott is on the agenda for an update on grizzly delisting, not Brian Nesvik. Talbott is on the IGBC agenda with  Matt Hogan, deputy regional director of the USFWS — Ed.

http://www.wyofile.com/states-feds-agree-least-600-yellowstone-area-grizzlies/

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Letter of concern sent to Dan Ashe, Director USFWS in December 2013 about the pending delisting of the grizzly bear from Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club, and Natural Resources Defense Council 

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/species/mammals/grizzly_bear/pdfs/Grizzly_bear_data_request_letter_12-19-2013.pdf

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Photo: Wikipedia Commons

Posted in: grizzly bear, biodiversity

Tags: Dan Ashe, USFWS pushing delisting, Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee, Dec 8-9, Yellowstone grizzly bears in danger, low birth rate, Missoula, Montana meeting, trophy hunters,

 

ACTION ALERT: The Imperiled American Wolf by Predator Defense

Black female wolf 831f Yellowstone National Park_2012 NPS

November 21, 2015

Things have gotten even worse for wolves in Montana and Idaho, since this important video was filmed. Ranchers in Montana can kill up to 100 wolves on their land and wolf kill quotas have all but been eliminated in Montana and Idaho,  during the long wolf hunting seasons. In fact Idaho’s wolf hunt seems to be open somewhere in the state the entire year, which means wolves are harassed and killed right through mating, denning and pup rearing. It’s a national outrage but the public has forgotten Montana and Idaho wolves and have accepted the wolf hunts with very little push back. Howling for Justice, Wolf Warriors and many, many other groups, including Predator Defense fought the wolf hunts tooth and nail, only to have Congress override the courts and permanently delist wolves in Montana and Idaho.

Great Lakes and Wyoming wolves were placed back on the Endangered Species List in December 2014 by US District Court Judge Berman but there is a move underway by the usual suspects,  Sen. Barrasso (Wyoming) and Sen. Ron Johnson (Wisconsin) to make an end run around the court’s ruling. They’ve introduced legislation to delist Wyoming and Great Lakes wolves. Sound familiar? This is the same tactic used in 2011 to permanently delist wolves in Montana and Idaho, by placing a wolf delisting rider/with no judicial review, into a must pass budget bill. Now wolves in Montana and Idaho are subjected to brutal annual hunting and trapping. The ability of wolf advocates to seek redress in the courts has been blocked by the wolf delisting rider. It’s outrageous and this is the same evil trick Barrasso and Johnson are trying to pull with the Great Lakes and Wyoming wolves.

Wolf haters will stop at nothing to see wolves eliminated from the lower 48 once again, that is their ultimate goal.

Please take action and call your US Senators  and say no to any legislation that would remove endangered species protection from wolves in the Great Lakes and Wyoming!!

Call the Capital Switchboard number and ask to speak to your Senators.

 1-866-220-0044

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Senate bill would drop protections for wolves in 4 states

Nov 12, 2015

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Two U.S. senators announced a renewed push Thursday to strip federal protection from gray wolves in the western Great Lakes region and Wyoming — and to prohibit courts from intervening in those states on the embattled predator’s behalf.

Legislation introduced this week would order the Department of the Interior to reissue orders from 2011 and 2012 that dropped wolves in Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Wyoming from the endangered species list.

“After over 30 years of needed protection and professional pack population management, the wolf has made its comeback,” said Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, who sponsored the measure with fellow Republican John Barrasso of Wyoming. Similar legislation was introduced earlier this year in the House.

Wolves are well-established in the western Great Lakes and Northern Rockies after being shot, poisoned and trapped into near-extermination in the lower 48 states in the last century. Only a remnant pocket in northern Minnesota remained when the species was added to the federal endangered list in 1974.

Altogether, their estimated population now exceeds 5,000.

But animal protection advocates contend the wolves’ situation remains uncertain and have sued repeatedly over more than a decade over federal efforts to remove the shield provided by the Endangered Species Act, which prohibits killing them except in defense of human life.

 Wolves occupy less than 10 percent of their historic range in the lower 48 states, meaning they are far from recovered, said Noah Greenwald, endangered species director for the Center for Biological Diversity.

“Even in the areas where there are wolves, they still face extensive persecution,” Greenwald said.

A federal district judge in September 2014 restored endangered status to wolves in Wyoming. A different judge did likewise for Great Lakes wolves in December, saying the states were not providing adequate safeguards.

The Senate bill would ban courts from overruling the Department of Interior again on the matter. Congress imposed a similar requirement in 2011 to prevent judges from restoring protected status to wolves in Idaho and Montana, the first time lawmakers had directly removed a species from the endangered list.

READ MORE:

http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/wyoming/senate-bill-would-drop-protections-for-wolves-in-states/article_13d35508-1dad-56ab-bfac-4f02ebb121bc.html

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Video: Courtesy Predator Defense

Photo: Courtesy NPS

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Biodiversity

Tags: Predator Defense, biodiversity, wolf hunting, trophy hunting, wolf persecution, USFWS, Senator Barrasso (Wyoming), Sen. Ron Johnson (Wisconsin), endangered species, wolves need protection, The Imperiled American Wolf. please take action for wolves

Wolves Flourish Where Humans Fear To Tread…

Chernobyl wolf Sergey Gashchak_Chornobyl Center

“A European gray wolf on the Ukrainian side of the Chernobyl exclusion zone.” Sergey Gashchak/Chornobyl Center

Chernobyl, one of the greatest disasters of the modern age, has turned into a haven for wildlife in just thirty years. How ironic, that a place uninhabited for decades, due to a catastrophic radiation spill at a Ukrainian power plant (which was then part of the USSR), is now a flourishing wildlife refuge, particularly for wolves. The explanation: NO HUMANS!

“It’s very likely that wildlife numbers at Chernobyl are much higher than they were before the accident,” a researcher says in a release. “This doesn’t mean radiation is good for wildlife, just that the effects of human habitation, including hunting, farming, and forestry, are a lot worse.”

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In the eerie emptiness of Chernobyl’s abandoned towns, wildlife is flourishing

The sound was like nothing Tom Hinton had ever heard before: a chorus of baleful wolf howls, long and loud and coming from seemingly every direction in the darkness. The predators yipped and chirped and crooned to one another for what seemed like forever, sending a shiver of awe and intuitive fear down Hinton’s spine.

“It was a primordial experience,” he said, something most of humanity hasn’t felt for tens of thousands of years. “That dates back to when humans were prey.”

It was only possible because of where Hinton was standing, a remote area along the Belarus-Ukraine border that’s been uninhabited by humans for decades.

They all left in the wake of a very different sound nearly 30 years earlier: the massive explosion of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in 1986, which left dozens dead and drove more than 100,000 people from their homes across a 1,600-square-mile swath of Ukraine and Belarus. These days, abandoned apartment complexes are nothing more than crumbled concrete wrecks. Vines crawl up the decaying walls of old farmhouses and break unintended skylights into their roofs. No one lives in the post-apocalyptic setting.

No one human, that is. Wildlife populations there – shaggy-haired wild boar, long-legged elk, the howling choruses of wolves that so captivated Hinton last August – are flourishing.

“It shows I think that how much damage we do,” said fellow co-author Jim Smith, an environmental science professor at the University of Portsmouth. “It’s kind of obvious but our everyday activities associated with being in a place are what damages the environment.”

“Not that radiation isn’t bad,” he added, “but what people do when they’re there is so much worse.”

The study is the first real census of wild animals in the exclusion zone. It relies on a decades worth of helicopter observations in the years right after the disaster, and three winters of scientists carefully counting animal tracks on foot between 2008 and 2010 in the Belarusian section of the zone.

Though animal numbers were low when scientists first started counting them in 1987 (because no data was taken before the disaster, they can’t tell to what degree the populations were hurt by the explosion), they rapidly rose once humans left the region. Brown bears and rare European lynx – predatory cats the size of a Great Dane with tufted ears and glimmering gold eyes – quickly appeared in the forests, even though they hadn’t been seen for decades before the accident. Wild boar took up residence in abandoned buildings. Forests replaced humans in the villages’ empty streets.

Within 10 years, every animal population in the exclusion zone had at least doubled. At the same time, the kinds of species that were flourishing in the exclusion zone were vanishing from other parts of the former Soviet Union, likely due to increased hunting, poorer wildlife management and other economic changes.

By 2010, the last year of the on-foot census, the populations for most species were as large as in any of Belarus’ four national parks. For one species, the wolves, the population was seven times bigger.

This indicates to researchers that chronic exposure to radiation from the explosion has had no impact on overall mammal populations. Whatever fallout may have come from the initial explosion was completely offset by the benefits of life without humans.

This doesn’t mean that the zone isn’t dangerous, Hinton stressed. He and his colleagues didn’t study the individual- and molecular-level damage caused by lingering contamination. While whole populations aren’t dying out, individual animals might be getting sick. And surveys have shown that the soil in areas close to the reactor site still exude radiation.

But, “the environment is very resilient,” Hinton said.

The presence of wolves is particularly telling. As apex predators, they are a sign of the health of the entire ecosystem – if they’re flourishing, that means that every other level of species, from elk and deer on down to insects and plants, must also be healthy.

Another team of researchers is currently using camera traps to count wildlife on the Ukrainian side of the exclusion zone. Nick Beresford, a radioecologist at the National Environment Research Council in the UK, said that their work won’t be done until the end of the year, but he expects to reach the same conclusions as those working in Belarus.

Beresford praised the Current Biology study and its findings: “People have said before that wildlife in the zone is flourishing, but those accounts were rightly criticized as anecdotal,” he said. “This is the first study to really back it up with science.”

Walking around the exclusion zone is like being in “a national park without the people,” Hinton said. The forests are nearly pristine, the animals abundant. What relics of human presence do remain have been almost entirely reclaimed by nature.

Even the Soviet city of Pripyat in Ukraine, which once housed tens of thousands of workers at the Chernobyl plant, has been subsumed by trees.

“When I was there 15 years ago, it looked like a city with some trees growing in it,” recalled Smith. “Now it looks like a forest with some buildings in it.”

For Hinton, who is currently studying the effects of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, the impact is both astounding and sobering.

“It’s an amazing experience from a wildlife perspective, but it’s also a sad experience because you see homes that have been abandoned and you imagine the people’s lives that have been disturbed,” he said. “It’s sad to see the houses and the cars and the baseball bats and you envision the life that people had to drop and leave. But you also see wild boar running around and you don’t see that as soon as you leave the zone.”

http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/72915118/in-the-eerie-emptiness-of-chernobyls-abandoned-towns-wildlife-is-flourishing

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Wolves Have Taken Over Chernobyl

ELK, DEER, WILD BOAR ALSO ENJOYING LIFE FREE FROM HUMAN HABITATION

By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 6, 2015 7:32 AM CDT

Wolves Have Taken Over Chernobyl Valeriy Yurko/T.G. Deryabina

“Wolf populations are seven times greater near Chernobyl than in nearby uncontaminated nature reserves.   (Valeriy Yurko/T.G. Deryabina)”

http://www.newser.com/story/213986/wolves-have-taken-over-chernobyl.html

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Radioactive Wolves

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Top Photo: Courtesy  Sergey Gashchak/Chornobyl Center

Bottom Photo: Courtesy Valeriy Yurko/T.G. Deryabina

Video: Courtesy Youtube

Posted in: gray wolf, biodiversity

Tags: Chernobyl, wolves flourish in Chernobyl, radiation, Ukraine, biodiversity

“For the animal shall not be measured by man…Henry Beston

wolf-snow-gif.gif

“We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. Remote from universal nature and living by complicated artifice, man in civilization surveys the creature through the glass of his knowledge and sees thereby a feather magnified and the whole image in distortion. We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate for having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein do we err. For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours, they move finished and complete, gifted with the extension of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings: they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth.”

Henry Beston 1925

Wolf_All Life Matters pinterest

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Bottom Photo: Courtesy Pinterest

Posted in: Biodiversity

Tags: Animal lives matter, biodiversity, Henry Beston

Published in: on October 5, 2015 at 6:49 pm  Comments (20)  
Tags: , ,

Speak For Wolves 2015 – Come Join Us!

Speak for Wolves 2nd annual Aug 2015

We hope you can join us on August 7-9, 2015 at the historic Union Pacific Dining Lodge in West Yellowstone, Montana for Speak for Wolves!

www.speakforwolves.org
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Friday August 7

6:00pm doors open with music by Neil Haverstick.

7:00pm Screening of OR-7 the Journey with filmmaker Clemens Schenk. Amaroq Weiss of the Center for Biological Diversity will be part of the Q&A session following the film. Tickets cost $10 and can be bought online at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/1634194

They can also be purchased at the door-cash only.
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Saturday August 8

11:30am doors open.

12:00pm opening remarks.

12:30pm Kim Wheeler, Executive Director of the Red Wolf Coalition, will discuss the plight of red wolves and the USFWS Red Wolf Recovery Program.

2:00pm activist Oliver Starr will discuss the reasons for the sharp decline in gray wolf populations in Denali National Park in Alaska and offer remedies.

3:00pm Brian Ertz, founder and Board President of Wildlands Defense, will discuss the failure of the controversial McKittrick Policy and why it needs to be reformed.

BREAK

6:30pm doors open with live music by Matt Stone.

7:00pm Camilla Fox, founder and Executive Director of Project Coyote, will discuss current efforts to end wildlife killing contests on public and private lands.

A panel discussion will follow with Amaroq Weiss, West Coast Wolf Organizer of the Center for Biological Diversity, Kevin Bixby, founder and Executive Director of the Southwest Environmental Center, and author/ecologist George Wuerthner.

The entire program on Saturday is free.
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Sunday August 9

9:00am doors open with music by Goodshield Aguilar.

9:30am Mike Mease, co-founder and Board President of Buffalo Field Campaign, will discuss the continued hazing and slaughter of wild buffalo in/around Yellowstone National Park and efforts to list the species under the Endangered Species Act.

10:30am Louisa Willcox, wildlife advocate and long-time conservationist, will discuss the government’s ill-conceived push to remove federal protections for grizzly bears and examine the role that states play in wildlife management.

11:15am Interpretive dance by choreographer MaryLee Sanders.

11:30am Inspirational talk by Jimmy St. Goddard of Blackfeet Nation.

12:00pm closing remarks.

The entire program on Sunday is free.

To learn more visit www.speakforwolves.org

O6 Female CC BY 2.0 Flickr

Remembering Yellowstone’s O6 Female 

R.I.P Cecil

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RIP Cecil: 10 Photos of One of the Most Beautiful Lions who Ever Lived

Published by

Cecil and Cubs

Cecil With His Cubs by Ed Hetherington 

On the 1st of July, a beautiful 13 year old male lion was shot and killed in Zimbabwe. His name was Cecil.

This is not a post about the man who shot him… twice, or the guides who allegedly lured the beautiful creature out of the safety of Hwange National Park so he could be killed and then destroyed his GPS collar after skinning and beheading him.

Nor is this a post about the 40 hours Cecil survived after being shot with an arrow, fleeing his pursuers before they caught and finished him off with a rifle. You can read all about that a million places online and watch as your blood boils or try to keep the tears from welling up in your eyes.

This is a photographic tribute to one of the most beautiful animals in the world. This is anger, sadness, and respect… in pictures. Rest in Peace Cecil.

https://iso.500px.com/rip-cecil-10-photos-of-one-of-the-most-beautiful-lions-who-ever-lived/

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Photo: Courtesy Ed Hetherington 

Posted in: African Lions, Biodiversity, Animal Rights, Animal Cruelty

Tags: Cecil the Lion, tragic murder, ban trophy hunting, poachers, Zimbabwe, save our wildlife, Hwange National Park

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