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.
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.
“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.
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
Scandinavia is earning quite the reputation, first in Denmark Marius the giraffe is killed and dissected at the Copenhagen zoo in front of school children, then Denmark’s Odense Zoo does the same thing with a nine month old male lion, dissecting and pulling out his organs in front of kids in a disgusting display, and now these idiots in Norway shoot zoo animals!
Originally posted on Exposing the Big Game:
“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.”
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.”
Wolves Have Taken Over Chernobyl
ELK, DEER, WILD BOAR ALSO ENJOYING LIFE FREE FROM HUMAN HABITATION
Posted Oct 6, 2015 7:32 AM CDT
“Wolf populations are seven times greater near Chernobyl than in nearby uncontaminated nature reserves. (Valeriy Yurko/T.G. Deryabina)”
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