ACTION ALERT: “House Republicans Unveil Another Anti-wolf, Anti-endangered Species Appropriations Bill”

OR7 pup5

Center For Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, May 24, 2016

Contact: Jamie Pang, (858) 699-4153, Jpang@biologicaldiversity.org

Release, May 24, 2016

House Republicans Unveil Another Anti-wolf, Anti-endangered Species Appropriations Bill

114th Congress Has Now Launched Nearly 20 Legislative Attacks on Wolves

WASHINGTON— Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives today introduced a bill to fund the U.S. Department of the Interior that includes a poison-pill rider to end federal protections for wolves in Wyoming and the western Great Lakes and to undermine other endangered species protections. The legislative rider would undo two court decisions affirming that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wrongly removed Endangered Species Act protections for the wolf.

The bill is the 18th attack by the current Congress on gray wolves nationwide and the 12th attack targeting wolves in the Great Lakes and Wyoming populations.

“This is the most extreme, anti-wolf Congress our country has ever seen,” said Jamie Pang, an endangered species campaigner at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Rather than allowing for wolf recovery to follow a course prescribed by science, a small group of politicians has repeatedly tried to undermine species protections through unrelated policy riders tacked onto must-pass federal spending bills.”

The Fish and Wildlife Service removed protections for gray wolves in the Great Lakes region (Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota) in 2011, and in Wyoming in 2012. In both instances federal judges overturned agency decisions for prematurely removing protections, failing to follow the requirements of the Act and failing to follow the best available science. Republican lawmakers have responded by repeatedly attempting to remove protections from wolves and open the animals up to state-regulated hunting and trapping. Since the passage of the 2011 wolf rider that removed protections from wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains, there have been almost 30 legislative attacks on wolves in Congress. Already in 2016 there have been 10 legislative attacks, surpassing the number of anti-wolf bills for all of 2015.

In addition to this rider, the appropriations bill also contains language preventing the greater sage grouse from being protected under the Act, and would weaken protections for salmon and the Delta smelt in California’s Bay-Delta region.

“This shameful meddling is harmful to science, harmful to the rule of law, and harmful to our democratic processes,” said Pang. “Congressional lawmakers know that 90 percent of American voters support the Endangered Species Act, which precisely is why they have to resort to such back-door attempts at weakening the law.”

Despite overwhelming public support for the Endangered Species Act and the species it protects, there has been a greater than 600 percent increase in Republican-led legislative attacks on endangered species since the landmark ruling in Citizens United.

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2016/wolf-05-24-2016.html

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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Posted in: gray wolf, Wolf Wars

Photo: Courtesy ODFW

Tags: Center for Biological Diversity, Anti wolf, House Republicans war on wolves, poison-pill rider, Congress attack on the ESA, Wyoming wolves, Great Lakes wolves, Endangered Species Act, Take Action

Study Shows “Government-Sanctioned (Wolf) Culling Actually Results in More Illegal Killings”

Gray Wolf PHOTOGRAPH TIM FITZHARRIS_ MINDEN PICTURES NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC
 A new study finds that gray wolf culls may lead to more poaching.

 When the Government Kills Wolves, the Public May Follow Suit

A new study looking at two states in the U.S. could weaken the theory that culling some large carnivores can help conserve them.

In 2005 Wisconsin wanted a permit to kill 43 endangered gray wolves. So the federal government granted it. The way it saw things, controlling wolves—which had earned a bad name by preying on livestock and pets—would increase human tolerance for the predators. By letting the state cull them, it would prevent even more wolves from getting shot by frustrated ranchers.

 Wildlife activists disagreed. In a federal lawsuit, they argued that killing the animals ran counter to the Endangered Species Act, a law meant to help conserve endangered and threatened species. The judge agreed, and the federal government was forced to revoke the permit.

Nonetheless, this argument—that legal killing helps stop illegal killing—continues to be made around the world. The United States still asserts it when it comes to grizzly bears. Both Sweden and Finland use it as a justification for controlled wolf hunting. “The philosophy that underpins wolf management is that hunting them makes them more socially acceptable to people,” says Doug Smith, senior wildlife biologist at Yellowstone National Park.

But now a new study examining wolf population growth rates in Michigan and Wisconsin shows that the opposite is true. Government-sanctioned culling actually results in more illegal killings, scientists report this week in the journal Proceedings Royal Society B.

They created this animated video to help break down the results:

 This animation was created by scientists who concluded in a new study that wolf culls result in more illegal killings of wolves.

“The idea that we need to kill to conserve large carnivores—in light of our study, it does not make sense,” says author Guillaume Chapron, an ecologist at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, who teamed up with Adrian Treves, a conservation biologist at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, to research the topic.

Adding Fire to a Heated Debate

The research will likely inflame the hotly contested debate that has long pitted conservationists and biologists against agricultural and hunting interests. “I suspect there’s going to be a lot of folks weighing in on this from both sides,” says Jason Fisher, a wildlife scientist with Alberta Innovates, a research agency for the government of Alberta, Canada.

Gray wolves were viewed as so destructive to livestock that by the early 20th century they’d nearly been wiped out in most of the U.S. In 1978 the U.S. listed them as endangered in all states but Minnesota. Reintroduced to the American West in the mid-1990s, they’ve been the object of fierce controversy ever since.

In 2003 the U.S. declared that some populations had recovered to the point that wolves could be considered threatened rather than endangered. This meant states would be permitted to trap and shoot wolves when they threatened humans or livestock.

But with disagreements continuing about their recovery status, the issue has bounced in and out of court. Today the species is considered endangered in most states, but in Montana and Idaho wolves can be culled and hunted. And other states can cull them in certain cases.

Does Culling Conserve a Species?

Between 1995 and 2012, wolves in Michigan and Wisconsin experienced six periods of legal culls and six stages of protection, making these states ripe for testing whether cullings help conserve large carnivores.

To test the theory, researchers Chapron and Treves used a complex algorithm to measure population growth over time, taking into account the number of wolves culled. They found that during years when culling was allowed, there was an overwhelming probability that the wolf growth rate would drop.

The researchers concluded that poaching was the only plausible explanation for the decline. They ruled out other potential factors such as wolves migrating out of state and a slowdown in reproductive rates.

So why would people get poaching fever during years that the government OKs wolf culling? It could be that people didn’t think wolves had much value or they felt the government wouldn’t enforce the law during years culling was allowed, the researchers say. Their findings corroborate a 2013 study showing that legal culls don’t reduce the inclination to poach.

Chapron and Treves hope their study will show wildlife management agencies that they need to produce evidence before justifying “leniency in environmental protections,” as they put it. Fisher agrees. “The paper showed very clearly that wolf populations are experiencing added deaths” he says. “Governments all over need a lot more and a lot better information than they currently have about wildlife populations.”

Yellowstone’s Smith says the results are disappointing in that they throw into question long-held beliefs about wolf management. “But I’m not convinced,” he says.

Smith doesn’t think the results should apply to all wolf territories, as attitudes toward wolves might be different in areas where people have always lived alongside the animals, such as Alaska and Canada. Nor is he fully persuaded that poaching accounted for the population growth decline, though he doesn’t question the researchers’ data. Indeed, another study found that less government involvement resulted in decreased poaching.

But the current study could provide more grist for pro-wolf groups who have criticized wildlife management agencies for basing decisions on politics rather than science. Wildlife Services, a program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture that specializes in killing predators that put livestock at risk, in particular has faced criticism that its lethal control programs are not based on sound science.

And research from 2014 found that killing wolves to protect sheep and cattle actually caused the predators to kill even more livestock, contrary to a common justification for culling some large carnivores.

Chapron and Treves think their research should help guide management decisions for many large carnivores, such as grizzly bears, which could soon lose protections under U.S. law. In the meantime, the debate swirling around wolves will likely continue. “The study is going to be hugely controversial,” Fisher says.

This story was produced by National Geographic’s Special Investigations Unit, which focuses on wildlife crime and is made possible by grants from the BAND Foundation, and the Woodtiger Fund. Read more stories from the SIU on Wildlife Watch. Send tips, feedback, and story ideas to ngwildlife@ngs.org.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/05/160511-gray-wolf-poaching-wisconsin-michigan-endangered-species-culling/

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Posted in: gray wolves,  Wolf Wars, Wolf Poaching

Photo: Courtesy Tim Fitzharris, Minden Pictures/National Geographic

Tags: evils of wolf hunting, killing wolves, poaching, culling  National Geographic, blood does not buy goodwill

Happy Mothers Week!

Alpha female mom and pup

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Mother’s day is every day for wolves!

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Posted in : gray wolf

Photo: Pinterest

Tags: Happy Mother’s Day, wolves love their babies, wolf puppy and mom

2009 – Obama Declares War on Wolves…

huntingwolves-why-i-did-it-blog

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Posted in: Wolf Wars, gray wolf

Photo: Why -I-Did-It-Blog

Tags: Obama Administration, Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior, Wolf Delisting 2009, Northern Rockies, First organized wolf hunt 2009, Northern Rockies wolves delisted 2009, Idaho, Montana

 

 

Think of The Wolves On Earth Day…

Earth day diregiovani

Published in: on April 22, 2016 at 1:28 pm  Comments (16)  
Tags: ,

A Legend, OR4, Was Shot To Death!

A Eulogy for OR-4

Mar 31, 2016 | Rob Klavins

We met three times, but I imagine that I barely registered in his life.

To him I was no more than an occasional scent on his trail or the source of a tortured imitation of a howl.

But to me, no nonhuman animal ever has been or likely ever will be as important or consequential in my life as OR4.

He escaped kill orders and poachers. He endured at least 4 collarings and he beat the odds. There aren’t many ten year old wolves out there. Today there is one less.

OR4 was shot and killed today. And it hurts. Anyone celebrating his death, the killing of his likely pregnant partner, and two of his pups, must have a hardened heart indeed.

He became a symbol for those who revere wolves as well as for those who hate them and hate the wild. Even some of the most cynical wolf haters paid him begrudging respect.

He was imperfect. He challenged us. He was loud. But he was tough and he was tenacious. He was resilient, and he was a good father.

OR4 and his partners OR2 and a wolf known as “Limpy” leave behind an unparalleled legacy. His offspring include OR7, the first pups in California in nearly a century, OR3, and wolves both known and unknown quietly living their lives and retaking their rightful place on the Oregon landscape.

He never set paw in Salem or DC, but for better and worse, he had more impact on policy and politics than any animal I know of other than Cecil the Lion.

He also leaves behind questions. Lots of questions. Questions about our future – the future of his offspring…and ours.

Above all, as I heard the helicopter take off near my home this morning, I wondered if our society will leave room for the wild on the landscape…and in our hearts.

Despite his collars and dayglo ear tags, OR4 was wild.

OR4 is dead, and we killed him.

But we’ll keep fighting for his legacy as imperfectly and tenaciously as he did.

The story of Oregon’s biggest and baddest wolf didn’t end in “happily ever after”. But the story for wolves and those of us who value the wild is still not fully written. It’s a new chapter. I’m no starry-eyed optimist. So I’ll stubbornly cling to hope and tenacity.

The alternative is surrender. OR4 was no quitter. And we shouldn’t be either.

He was loud.

And he was annoying to those who hate the wild. We should be too.

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This is a post I did in September 2011, when OR4 had a kill order out on him over a few supposed cattle deaths. The purpose of the post was to point out the absolute lunacy and hysterics that play out over wolves. Oregon ranchers lost tens of thousands of cows that year to non predation yet they were screaming to the high heavens about a few livestock losses to wolves. It’s absolute madness. Wolves aren’t even the main predator of cattle, coyotes and dogs are. But because they despise wolves and want to portray them in the worst possible light, OR4 was slated to die and now, 5 years later they slaughter a 10 year old wolf and his family in the most cowardly of fashions. I hope Oregon is happy with itself because we all know that “wolf management” in Oregon is all about keeping the ranchers happy .

OR4 was OR7’s father. They were both legends,

I say this sincerely to all wolf advocates. Please consider cutting beef out of your diet. The single biggest reason wolves are dying is because of the ranching industry. They use Wildlife Services as their personal wolf killing service. Wolves are harangued and harassed their entire lives, they have to wear horrible tracking collars, they’re constantly tracked and bothered all because of cows.

I don’t like to preach but ranching  and cows are getting wolves killed.

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51,200 Dead Oregon Cows Not Killed By Wolves! Where’s The Media?

Imnaha Pack Alpha Male OR4

September 28, 2011
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Ok, 51,200 cows died in Oregon in 2010 from non-predation causes. (NASS 2010) This should be front page news, right? When wolves are involved in miniscule livestock losses they make the front pages of local media. So what about those 51,200 cows that weren’t killed by wolves? Talk about making a mountain out of a mole-hill or big fish stories, this is the mother of all big fish stories. ODFW is planning on killing the alpha male (pictured above) and another wolf from the Imnaha Pack, for livestock losses so small, they barely register statistically. Yet incredibly large numbers of cows drop dead in Oregon every year and all we hear are “crickets”

READ MORE: 

https://howlingforjustice.wordpress.com/2011/09/28/51200-dead-oregon-cows-not-killed-by-wolves-wheres-the-media/

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Posted in: Oregon wolves, Wolf Wars

Photo: OdFW

Tags: OR4, wolf management/wolf slaughter, Oregon, a legend is killed, Rob Klavins, Oregon Wild

Wolves Tolerate Our Intolerance….

white wolves_whitewolfpackdotcom

May we 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

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Posted in: gray wolf, wolf wars

Photo: Courtesy whitewolfdotcom

Tags: gray wolf, intolerant humans, vital wolves, apex predator

Published in: on March 30, 2016 at 12:43 pm  Comments (10)  
Tags: , , ,

Happy Easter

freewallpapersdotcom golden-wolf

Remove hunters from conservation departments like USFWS

Wisconsin Wildlife Ethic-Vote Our Wildlife

https://exposingthebiggame.wordpress.com/2015/10/10/remove-hunters-from-conservation-departments-like-usfws/ (reblog)

Remove hunters from conservation departments like USFWS. More transparency in wildlife conservation through DOJ

Request the Department of Justice and Office of Inspector General to implement changes that bring transparency in wildlife conservation. Conservation organizations like USFWS are being used to further the interests of hunting groups.

This could be considered fraudulent use of taxpayer funds. Taxpayers assume that USFWS is protecting wildlife, not sustaining hunting.

Transparency measures are urgently required to purge hunters from conservation organizations funded by taxpayers.

https://exposingthebiggame.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/1383590_10202451372112407_1424997098_n.jpg

View original post

Published in: on March 25, 2016 at 10:58 pm  Comments (9)  

Wildlife Agencies In The Bag For Hunters – Time For A Change

Gray wolf pinterest 1

Time for Wildlife Agencies to Protect Animals, Not Kill Them

In January, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game sent a helicopter into the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness to radio-collar wolves. This incursion violated the rules of the federally protected wilderness area. It also broke the department’s own agreement with the federal government, dating from a prior violation in which Fish and Game sent a trapper into the protected area to exterminate wolves. By the time conservationists filed suit in that 2013 incident, nine wolves in two packs were already dead.

 Idaho Fish and Game is, let’s be frank, an outlaw agency. It regards killing wolves as part of its sacred duty to protect elk for hunters. The agency is apparently clueless about the abundant evidence that strong predators make strong habitats and strong prey.

But let’s not pick on Idaho. What happened there fit seamlessly with the entire long history of wildlife agencies manipulating the environment for the benefit of hunters. In truth, that kind of game management dates back at least to Charlemagne and Genghis Khan, and it persists today in the names and the mind-set of the many wildlife agencies that still call themselves fish and game departments.

Predator control tends to get the headlines. But these agencies also engage in large-scale alterations of the landscape—by clearing forests, conducting prescribed burns, building water catchments, removing shrubs from wetlands, and other means—to benefit game animals, with little or no regard for how this will affect all the other non-game species living in that habitat. And the habitat in question is huge. In Scotland, for instance, 58 percent of the total land area is managed for hunting, mostly upland birds. In Slovenia, it’s 94 percent of the total land area.

The widespread character of this land management caught the attention of Travis Gallo, a doctoral candidate in conservation biology at Colorado State University. He was also interested in how much money goes into game management, especially compared to what other nongame species get. Hunting licenses in the United States contributed $790 million to wildlife programs in 2013, and special duties and taxes on hunting gear, via the Wildlife Restoration Act, added another $550 million.

Gallo’s original idea was that, even if this funding results in a one-sided focus on game animals, there might be inadvertent benefits for nongame wildlife too. Like a lot of people in Colorado, he’s a hunter himself, for deer and elk, and “I really wanted to find some synergy,” he said. What he found instead, he reports in a new study in the journal Biological Conservation, is that hardly anybody even bothers to ask the question.

A broad search of the scientific literature revealed just 26 studies “that directly evaluated the effect of game management practices on non-targeted wildlife.” The effect was positive 40 percent of the time and negative 37 percent of the time, more or less what you would expect by chance.

On the positive side, for example, wildlife agencies removed shrubs from wetlands in the Great Lakes to create habitat for sharp-tailed grouse, a game bird. But that inadvertently also benefited birds like LeConte’s sparrow and the sage wren, which also require open wetland habitat. Water catchments in Arizona turned out to benefit native bats more than the mule deer and other game species for which they were intended. On the negative side, the United Kingdom manages habitat for fallow deer, roe deer, and the Reeves’s muntjac (a deer species native to China), and this inadvertently causes sharp declines in native British birds such as the common nightingale, the willow warbler, and the chiffchaff. Managing for overabundant elk at the National Elk Refuge in Wyoming nibbles down cover that would otherwise harbor migratory shorebirds and songbirds.

In the new study, Gallo and his coauthor, Liba Pejchar, note up front that they aren’t “advocating that hunting be reduced or prohibited on either public or private lands.” They rightly note that a lot of habitat and species now survive only because of hunters. In the United States, big game hunters launched the conservation movement in the late 19th century, just in time to save the bison from extinction. They drove through the passage of the Lacey Act, which remains our fundamental law against illegal wildlife and plant trafficking. They played a major role in creating some of our most important national parks.

But that doesn’t mean the hook-and-bullet mentality should be ruling our wildlife agencies today, if only as a matter of their own self-preservation. The number of people identifying themselves as hunters (and paying those license fees) is sharply declining, down to just 13.7 million in 2012. But in the same survey, 71.8 million Americans said they were wildlife watchers. One way to get wildlife agencies to broaden their focus to nongame animals would be for those wildlife watchers to begin to take over the funding. That is, you and I should be stepping up to pay a special wildlife tax on our binoculars and our birdfeeders, the way hunters do on their guns.  That was the gist of the Teaming With Wildlife Act of 2009, but it went nowhere in Congress.

The other important take-home message from the new study, said Gallo, is that wildlife agencies need to do real science on how game management impacts nongame species. In particular, they need to investigate the likely compounding effect when they combine outdated predator control programs with unscientific habitat manipulations.

That is, wildlife agencies need to grow up, stop distorting the landscape for the recreational interests of one narrow interest group, and start practicing holistic management for the benefit of entire ecosystems.

http://news.yahoo.com/time-wildlife-agencies-protect-animals-not-kill-them-165133283.html

elk-hunter

“Time for Wildlife Agencies to Protect Animals, Not Kill Them”

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Keep Wolves Protected, and Defend the Endangered Species Act

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Posted in: Gray wolf, Wolf Wars Animal Cruelty

Top Photo: Gray wolf Pinterest

Bottom Photo: Takepartdotcom

Tags: Wildlife agencies, killing not saving, hunters, wildlife watchers, wolves, IDFG, animal cruelty

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