Wolves ARE The True Lords Of Nature!

It’s important to remember why we need wolves!

This was one of my early posts in the fall of 2009. Wolves were being hunted in Idaho and Montana for the first time since their near extermination in the lower 48.

October 29, 2009 

Wolves effect their surroundings and bring life to the lands they inhabit. For sixty years elk browsed the meadows of the North Fork of the Flathead, in Montana. Their adversary, Canis Lupus, who had chased them through time, was gone, hunted to extinction in the West.

Then the wolf came home to it’s native habitat and dispersed the elk. This brought back the aspen and willow, young shoots no longer trampled under the complacent elk’s hooves. With the aspen came the songbirds and other wildlife.

Once more the circle was complete with the return of the great canine, the wolf.

 “Aspen ecosystems are considered some of the finest and richest songbird habitat on the continent, second only to river-bottom riparian zones. Remove the wolf, and you remove the songbirds. Remove the songbirds, and the bugs move in. Everything changes, top to bottom, right down to the dirt”…..Cristina Eisenberg,  Oregon State University researcher

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Wolves Increase Biodiversity And Greatly Benefit The Ecosystems They Inhabit

Matt Skoglund Wildlife Advocate, Livingston, Montana

Posted October 26, 2009 in Saving Wildlife and Wild Places

Wolves matter.

They lead to more songbirds.  Better trout habitat.  More game birds.  Less insects.  Better soil.  Fewer coyotes.  Wilder elk.  More aspen trees.

Wolves, in essence, are key to a healthy landscape.

So says biologist Christina Eisenberg in a fascinating Missoulian article on the effect of wolves — and their absence — on an ecosystem.

Eisenberg has been studying the top-to-bottom effect of wolves — called a “trophic cascade” — in Glacier National Park for years.  She’s also been researching ecosystems near St. Mary’s, Montana, and in Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta, Canada.

“Each study site is about the same size, and each has a similarly large elk population, native to an aspen-based winter range, and each has the same general density of cougars and bears.”  The difference between the sites is the number of resident wolves:  St. Mary’s has none, Waterton some, and Glacier many.

Her findings on the much heated debate over wolves and elk mirror what others have found:  there are plenty of elk in the Northern Rockies, but the return of wolves has made the elk behave again like wild elk:

The North Fork, Eisenberg said, is “full of wolves,” and has been for 20 years now.  It’s also full of elk – as many as 14 elk per square kilometer in this meadow, where the wolf den site is located.  Elk scat litters the ground not 20 yards from the den.

Clearly, the wolves aren’t eating all the elk.  But aside from the tracks and the scat and the bones and the antlers, there are no elk to be seen.

“They’ve totally changed their behavior,” Eisenberg said.  “For 60 years we’ve become used to complacent elk.  These elk aren’t complacent.  They’re on high alert.”

From a browse standpoint, that means elk eat a bit and move on, eat a bit and move on, never standing in one place long enough to eat a tree down to its roots.  And from a human standpoint, it means hunters see far fewer elk even as state wildlife officials insist Montana has more deer and elk than it’s had for years.

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Hunters, of course, prefer elk that aren’t quite so wily, but trophic cascades work both ways in wildlife management.  Remove the wolves, and elk are easier to find.  But then coyote populations explode, eating their way through the local game-bird population.  Enhance one hunting opportunity, and you affect another.

And from a bigger viewpoint than just elk, Eisenberg has found that wolves increase biodiversity and greatly benefit the overall health of the areas they inhabit:

Remove the wolves, she said, and you lose the birds.

Remove the wolves, she said, and the coyotes fill the niche.  The coyotes eat the ground squirrels, and so the meadows don’t get “plowed,” and soil productivity declines.

Remove the wolves, she said, and the deer eat the river-bottom willows, and the bull trout lose both their shade and their food, as insects no longer fall from overhanging brush.

Remove the wolves, she said, “and everything changes.”

Why is this so noteworthy?

Because the places with greatest biodiversity are the places most resilient, most able to adapt to, say, changing climate.

And Eisenberg wisely thinks her — and others’ — findings should guide wolf management.

Wolf populations aren’t recovered with 12 breeding pairs, or 15, or 20, Eisenberg said.  They’re recovered when there are enough wolves and other top-end predators to maximize biodiversity.  

Her findings are important, and they’re timely, as wolves are being gunned down all over Idaho and Montana right now.

In her research and in this article, Eisenberg simply and unequivocally points out a critical fact that’s been lost in the recent debate over the wolf hunts:

Wolves matter.

http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/mskoglund/wolves_increase_biodiversity_a.html

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Tracking science: Biologist’s findings show forest diversity, health influenced by wolves

Wolf%20pack

http://www.missoulian.com/lifestyles/territory/article_3ec9fc54-c01f-11de-bf16-001cc4c002e0.html

Photo: first people

Photo: wolf wallpaper

Categories posted in: biodiversity, wolf recovery, gray wolf,  Glacier National Park

Tags: wolf recovery, gray wolf,  biodiversity

Young Wildlife Author Offers Free Kindle Downloads of Her Wolf Books, Saturday Through Monday

Carylanne Joubert is a special 15 year old, she’s the author of several books about wolves. Carylanne is offering free Kindle downloads on Amazon.com this weekend for Cry of the Wolf  (Saturday-Sunday) and Mingan (Sunday-Monday).

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From  Carylanne Joubert via Wolf Warriors:

“In light of the opening of “The Grey” and the delistment of Canis Lupis from the Endangered Species Act tomorrow, my books, Cry of the Wolf and Mingan, will be available for FREE for any Kindle users. I wrote Cry of the Wolf to teach the truth and dispel the unfounded fears about wolves by telling their story through the eyes of Mingan, a wolf pup who not only learns about wolf life but also witnesses firsthand the effects of Man’s encroachment. Mingan (ages 3 and up) teaches lessons about wolves for younger audiences to destroy the image of the Big Bad Wolf. I’m only 15 years old and I am trying to make a difference for the wolves before it is too late, but I really need help. Please help me spread the word that Cry of the Wolf (Friday-Saturday) and Mingan (Friday-Sunday) will be available for FREE for all Kindle users. Long live the wolf!”

Cry of the Wolf

Click Here  To Download

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Mingan

Click Here To Download

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From Amazon.com

About the Author

“Born in Rhode Island in 1996, Carylanne Joubert has been focused on working to help wildlife since the age of four. Her first influences, Steve Irwin and Jack Hanna, instilled in her a love of animals and a desire to learn more about each one and what can be done to help them in the wild. Her father having served in the US Army, Carylanne has lived in many states before settling in Central Florida. Home-schooled her entire school career, she is now completing her high-school education through Florida Virtual School. Carylanne being a gifted student has excelled in her studies and is 2 grades ahead of her peers. She decided to use her talents in writing to tell the story of the Yellowstone Wolves through the eyes of Mingan, a wolf pup. After completing a project for the science fair about the wolves and their struggle Carylanne became passionate to do more to help. She is dedicated to working to help all animals and intends to continue to write her tales to tell the stories of many of our wildlife who are in endangered or otherwise need protection. She intends to pursue a degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology with a minor in Foreign Languages. A portion of all her proceeds will go to organizations such as Wolf Mountain Sanctuary.”

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Thank you Carylanne, we’re proud to help spread the word about your work.

Please take advantage of Carylanne’s generous offer and see the world though Mingan’s eyes.

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Drawings:  Courtesy Carylanne Joubert

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Posted in: Wolf Education, biodiversity

Tags: Carylanne Joubert, Cry of  the Wolf, Mingan, Amazon.com, biodiversity, wolf education

The Wolf That Could, OR7 Crosses Into California and Walks Into History..

The Imnaha Pack, OR7′s Parents  (Alpha Female”Sophie” far left, Alpha Male OR4, black wolf , head  lowered) (ODFW)

OR7, the young, dispersing Oregon wolf, who has captured the world’s attention with his epic journey, crossed into California from Oregon Wednesday night, making him the first wolf to officially set a paw in California since 1924. It was in his  genes, In 2008, OR7′s  mother, wolf  B-300, nicknamed “Sophie”,  dispersed from Idaho into Oregon by swimming the Snake River to her new home in the “Beaver State”.

Here she is caught on camera scampering along in the snow after her 08 arrival, quite the traveler,  just like her famous son.

“A female gray wolf from Idaho’s Timberline Pack has been positively located in Oregon”  “The wolf, a two to three-year-old female identified as B-300″. “Experts have long predicted that wolves from the expanding Idaho population would continue to cross the Snake River and enter Oregon. “

Once in Oregon “Sophie” found a mate, OR4 and became the alpha female of the Imnaha Pack, the first wolf pack to inhabit Oregon in over sixty years.  It’s been a rough go for the Imnaha’s,  beleaguered for the last several years, under constant death threats  because of a handful of livestock depredations blamed on the pack (19 in two years).  Oregon ranchers lost 51,200 cows  (NASS) to non-predation in 2010 but the focus is always on negligible  losses to wolves. The livestock industry gets lots of mileage grandstanding about wolves. I guess they figure if they repeat something often enough people will believe it. Nobody is going out of business over 19 cows.

“Rob Klavins of Oregon Wild said that the number of livestock killed by gray wolves is miniscule compared with the numbers that die being born, in severe weather or from disease. Ranchers also lose cows to thieves. 

“Wolves are not a threat to the livestock industry,” Klavins said, emphasizing the need for the state to balance the needs of ranchers with conservation.” 

Even with the shadow hanging over his parent’s heads nothing can diminish OR7′s accomplishment, he is his mother’s son, following in her illustrious footsteps.

Wolves are consummate wanderers, they can travel 25 miles a day without breaking a sweat. They have runner’s bodies with their long legs, deep chests, slim bodies and snowshoe feet. Wolves are the marathoners of the animal kingdom and OR-7 has not disappointed.

His travels:

“Tracking OR7′s Journey From His Natal Pack, Before He Crossed Into California Wednesday night”(ODFW)

Just two years old,  he’s doing what wolves have done for thousands of years, search for a mate to establish his own pack and claim territory. To add to his mystery, no recent pictures of him exist.

Wearing a GPS collar, OR7′s wanderings have been closely tracked by biologists. He migrated 730 miles across Oregon over two months beginning last September. Over the past month, he’s been in the Siskiyou National Forest, northeast of Medford. This week, he wandered south of the Oregon town of Keno, just 10 miles from the California border.

“He’s doing what young males typically do — they outgrow their pack and go out to find their own mate, to try to make a pack,” said fish and game spokeswoman Jordan Traverso.

He’s not likely to find a mate  in California, unless he’s aware of something we aren’t. There could be uncollared wolves in California we know nothing about.  Or he might be traveling with a female companion.  He’s remained elusive as only wolves can, so no one is quite sure what he’s up to. More then likely he’ll wander around for awhile and return to Oregon or travel into Nevada,  or he could head further south, it’s anyone’s guess.

I worry for his safety, so many eyes are on him and not just friendly ones. OR7 is FEDERALLY PROTECTED by the Endangered Species Act, it’s a crime to harm him.

Ranchers are already beating the drums about his presence.  But wolves really have little impact on livestock.

Steve Pedery, Oregon Wild’s conservation director, sees the wolf divide as a culture clash.

“Folks are really fighting wolf recovery … because they perceive it as the big bad federal government or the terrible people in the Willamette Valley in Oregon bringing back an animal that their grandparents wiped out for good cause,” he said. “It’s really more of a debate over values than it is about wolves and what they actually do.”

On a lighter note. OR7 was to have a new name.

“…The conservation group Oregon Wild, deciding that OR7 needed a more endearing name, launched a contest that drew several hundred suggestions from children as far away as Nigeria and Taiwan. The winner will be announced after New Year’s Day from the five finalists: Arthur, Max, Journey, Lupin and Takota.

Since he’s now a California wolf has Oregon lost the right to name him? We’ll see. He may be taking a holiday stroll in the Golden State and be back in Oregon before the New Year.

Stay safe OR7, the eyes of the world are upon you.

Britain’s Daily Mail recently said OR-7 “captured the heart of the American public” with his incredible zigzag journey through the state that began Sept. 10 in Wallowa County. A Google search shows he’s on more than 300 websites, and his story has been picked up in Finland, Austria, Taiwan, Sweden, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom and Argentina. 

I hope this will bring the much-needed publicity wolves are due.  His wolf kin in Idaho and Montana and being slaughtered in brutal wolf hunts, 316 are dead as of 12/29/2011. The Idaho hunt stretches all the way into June 2012, in the Lolo and Selway zones. Ten long months!!

This young wolves’ journey has boosted the  spirits of weary advocates, grateful  for any good wolf news. With his light shining so bright, it’s hard not to see the greatness of wolves!

“Alpha Female, B-300 Imnaha Pack (OR7′s mother) and a Two Year Old Male” (ODFW)

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Lone wolf crosses into California from Oregon

The young animal is the first wolf known to be at large in California since 1924. Wildlife authorities in both states have been monitoring the wolf since it set out from the Crater Lake area in September.

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-wolf-california-20111230,0,6653668.story?track=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+latimes%2Fnews%2Flocal+%28L.A.+Times+-+California+%7C+Local+News%29

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Wolf’s journey marks strides for its species

By Lisa M. Krieger

lkrieger@mercurynews.com

 Posted: 12/29/2011 09:23:35 PM PST

http://www.mercurynews.com/rss/ci_19643820?source=rss

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OR-7 ,Oregon’s wandering wolf ,captures imagination of worldwide audience

Published: Sunday, December 11, 2011, 10:20 PM     Updated: Monday, December 12, 2011, 12:06 AM
 By Richard Cockle, The Oregonian 

http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2011/12/or-7_–_oregons_wandering_wolf.html

“OR-11, A Male Pup (born Spring 2011) from Oregon’s Walla Walla Pack” (ODFW)

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Photos: Courtesy ODFW

Posted in:  Oregon wolves, California wolves,  gray wolf

Tags: OR7, dispersing wolf, Oregon, California, rock star wolf, wolves elusive, Imnaha Pack, ODFW, biodiversity

What Good Are Wolves by Norm Bishop

An  excellent article, by Norm Bishop.

Now, more than ever, it’s imperative we continue to shout down the ignorant , the uniformed and the hateful who seek to  demonize one of natures perfect predators, the wolf.  It’s our job to defend and  fight for them.

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What Good Are Wolves?

A growing body of scientific research shows wolves are key to the ecosystems of the Northern Rockies. Here’s a condensed version compiled by a long-time wolf advocate.

By Norman A. Bishop, Guest Writer, 1-04-11

In 1869, General Phil Sheridan said, “The only good Indians I ever saw were dead.” Others said, “The only good wolf is a dead wolf.”

Barry Lopez wrote of an American Pogrom, not only of Native Americans and wolves, but of the bison on which both depended. Between 1850 and 1890, 75 million bison were killed, mostly for their hides; perhaps 1 million or 2 million wolves.

“Before about 1878, cattlemen were more worried about Indians killing their cattle than they were about wolves. As the land filled up with other ranchers, as water rights became an issue, and as the Indians were removed to reservations, however, the wolf became, as related in Barry Lopez’s book, “Of Wolves and Men,” ‘an object of pathological hatred.’” Lopez continues: “The motive for wiping out wolves (as opposed to controlling them) proceeded from misunderstanding, from illusions of what constituted sport, from strident attachment to private property, from ignorance and irrational hatred.

In 1884, Montana set a bounty on wolves; in the next three years, 10,261 wolves were bountied. “In 1887, the bounty was repealed by a legislature dominated by mining interests. … By 1893 … desperate stockmen were reporting losses that were mathematical impossibilities. The effect of this exaggeration was contagious. The Montana sheep industry, which up to this time had lost more animals to bears and mountain lions than to wolves, began to blame its every downward economic trend on the wolf. … Men in a speculative business like cattle ranching singled out one scapegoat for their financial losses.”

Not until wolves were functionally extinct from much of the West did anyone begin to ask “What good are wolves?” to study wolves, and to report their beneficial effects on their prey species and on the ecosystems where they lived.

Adolph Murie realized that wolves selected weaker Dall sheep, “which may be of great importance to the sheep as a species.” His brother, Olaus J. Murie, thought predators may have an important influence during severe winters in reducing elk herds too large for their winter range. Douglas H. Pimlott pointed out that wolves control their own densities.

Yellowstone National Park wolf project leader Douglas W. Smith says that restoration of wolves there has added exponentially to our knowledge of how natural ecosystems work. It has also reminded us that predation is one of the dominant forces in all of nature, present in ecosystems worldwide over millions of years.

Bob Crabtree and Jennifer Sheldon note that predation by wolves is important to the integrity of the Yellowstone ecosystem, but we should realize that, before their return to Yellowstone’s northern range, 17 mountain lions there killed 611 elk per year, 60 grizzly bears killed 750 elk calves annually, and 400 coyotes killed between 1,100 and 1,400 elk per year.

P.J. White et al wrote that climate and human harvest account for most of the recent decline of the northern Yellowstone elk herd, coupled with the effects of five predators: wolves, grizzly bears, black bears, cougars, and coyotes. These are parts of a system unique in North America by its completeness.

Joel Berger et al demonstrated “a cascade of ecological events that were triggered by the local extinction of grizzly bears … and wolves from the southern greater Yellowstone ecosystem.” In about 75 years, moose in Grand Teton National Park erupted to five times the population outside the park, changed willow structure and density, and eliminated neotropical birds: gray catbirds and MacGillivray’s warblers.

Dan Tyers informs us that wolves haven’t eliminated moose from Yellowstone. Instead, burning of tens of thousands of acres of moose habitat in 1988 (mature forests with their subalpine fir) hit the moose population hard, and it won’t recover until the forests mature again.

Mark Hebblewhite and Doug Smith documented that wolves change species abundance, community composition, and physical structure of the vegetation, preventing overuse of woody plants like willow, and reducing severity of browsing on willows that provide nesting for songbirds. In Banff, songbird diversity and abundance were double in areas of high wolf densities, compared to that of areas with fewer wolves. Fewer browsers lead to more willows, providing habitat for beaver, a keystone species, which in turn create aquatic habitat for other plants and animals.

By reducing coyotes, which were consuming 85 percent of the production of mice in Yellowstone’s Lamar Valley, restored wolves divert more food to raptors, foxes, and weasels. By concentrating on killing vulnerable calf elk and very old female elk, wolves reduce competition for forage by post-breeding females, and enhance the nutrition of breeding-age females.

Wolves promote biological diversity, affecting 20 vertebrate species, and feeding many scavengers (ravens, magpies, pine martens, wolverines, bald eagles, gray jays, golden eagles, three weasel species, mink, lynx, cougar, grizzly bear, chickadees, Clark’s nutcracker, masked shrew and great grey owl). In Yellowstone, grizzly bears prevailed at 85 percent of encounters over carcasses, and they usurp nearly every kill made by wolves in Pelican Valley from March to October.

Some 445 species of beetle scavengers benefit from the largess of wolf-killed prey. In Banff and Yellowstone, no other predator feeds as many other species as do wolves. Wolf-killed elk carcasses enhance local levels of soil nutrients, adding 20 percent to 500 percent greater nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium.

Dan Stahler and his colleagues saw an average of four ravens on carcasses in Lamar Valley pre-wolf. Post-wolf, that increased to an average of 28, with as many as 135 seen on one carcass. Eagles seen on carcasses increased from an average of one per four carcasses to four per carcass.

P.J. White and Bob Garrott observed that, by lowering elk numbers, wolves may contribute to higher bison numbers; decreasing coyote populations result in higher pronghorn numbers. They also said wolves may ameliorate ungulate-caused landscape simplification.

Daniel Fortin and others saw that wolves may cause elk to shift habitat, using less aspen, and favoring songbirds that nest in the aspen.

Christopher Wilmers and all tell us that hunting by humans does not benefit scavengers the way wolf kills do. Carrion from wolf kills is more dispersed spatially and temporally than that from hunter kills, resulting in three times the species diversity on wolf kills versus hunter kills. Wolves subsidize many scavengers by only partly consuming their prey; they increase the time over which carrion is available, and change the variability in scavenge from a late winter pulse (winterkill) to all winter. They decrease the variability in year-to-year and month to-month carrion availability.

Chris Wilmers and Wayne Getz write that wolves buffer the effects of climate change. In mild winters, fewer ungulates die of winterkill, causing loss of carrion for scavengers. Wolves mitigate late-winter reduction in carrion by killing ungulates all year.

Mid-sized predators can be destructive in the absence of large keystone predators.  In the absence of wolves, pronghorn have been threatened with elimination by coyotes. Wolves have reduced coyotes and promoted survival of pronghorn fawns. Pronghorn does actually choose the vicinity of wolf dens to give birth, because coyotes avoid those areas, according to Douglas W. Smith.

Mark Hebblewhite reviewed the effects of wolves on population dynamics of large-ungulate prey, other effects on mountain ecosystems, sensitivity of wolf-prey systems to top-down and bottom-up management, and how this may be constrained in national park settings. Then he discussed the implications of his research on ecosystem management and long-term ranges of variation in ungulate abundance. He cites literature that suggests that the long-term stable state under wolf recovery will be low migrant elk density in Western montane ecosystems, noting that wolves may be a keystone species, without which ungulate densities increase, vegetation communities become overbrowsed, moose and beaver decline, and biodiversity is reduced. But as elk decline, aspen and willow regeneration are enhanced. In this context, wolf predation should be viewed as a critical component of an ecosystem management approach across jurisdictions.

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) could wipe out our elk and deer. Tom Hobbs writes that increasing mortality rates in diseased populations can retard disease transmission and reduce disease prevalence. Reduced lifespan, in turn, can compress the time interval when animals are infectious, thereby reducing the number of infections produced per infected individual. Results from simulations suggest that predation by wolves has the potential to eliminate CWD from an infected elk population.

Wildlife veterinarian Mark R. Johnson writes that wolves scavenge carrion, such as aborted bison or elk calves. By eating them, they may reduce the spread of Brucellosis to other bison or elk.

Scott Creel and John Winnie, Jr. report that wolves also cause elk to congregate in smaller groups, potentially slowing the spread of diseases that thrive among dense populations of ungulates.

John Duffield and others report that restoration of wolves has cost about $30 million, but has produced a $35.5 million annual net benefit to greater Yellowstone area counties, based on increased visitation by wolf watchers. Some 325,000 park visitors saw wolves in 2005. In Lamar Valley alone, 174,252 visitors observed wolves from 2000 to 2009, where wolves were seen daily in summers for nine of those ten years.

Wolves cause us to examine our values and attitudes. Paul Errington wrote, “Of all the native biological constituents of a northern wilderness scene, I should say that the wolves present the greatest test of human wisdom and good intentions.”

Aldo Leopold, father of game management in America, said, “Harmony with land is like harmony with a friend; you cannot cherish his right hand and chop off his left. That is to say, you cannot love game and hate predators. … The land is one organism.”

Leopold also pointed out that the first rule of intelligent tinkering with natural ecosystems was to keep all the pieces. Eliminating predators is counter to that advice. Wolves remind us to consider what is ethically and esthetically right in dealing with natural systems.

As Leopold wrote in his essay “The Land Ethic,” “A land ethic … does affirm (animals’) right to continued existence … in a natural state.” He concluded, “A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.”

Norman Bishop lives in Bozeman, Montana, and is a member of the advisory board of Living With Wolves, a group which raises awareness about wolves and their importance to healthy ecosystems. He worked for 36 years for the National Park Service, which included leading and supporting wolf restoration interpretation in Yellowstone National Park from 1985 to 1997. He was a reviewer of the 1990 and 1992 reports to Congress, “Wolves for Yellowstone?” and contributed to the 1994 Environmental Impact Statement, “The Reintroduction of Gray Wolves to Yellowstone National Park and Central Idaho.”

http://www.newwest.net/topic/article/what_good_are_wolves/C41/L41/

Large carnivores promote healthy ecosystems by keeping browsers on edge

http://oregonstate.edu/terra/2007/04/high-alert/

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Photo: Courtesy OSU Terra The Power of Research

Video: YouTube: ripple wolves aspen

Posted in: gray wolf, biodiversity

Tags: gray wolf, apex predator, biodiversity

Published in: on October 26, 2011 at 3:03 am  Comments (13)  
Tags: , ,

Tango With Wolves

Video: youtube MereRana

Posted in: gray wolf/canis lupus, biodiversity, wolf wars

Tags: beauty of wolves, meditation

Published in: on October 11, 2011 at 3:56 am  Comments (18)  
Tags: , ,

Paul Watson, Speaking Truth To Power….

Sea Shepherd’s Capt. Paul Watson On The Whale That Changed His Life

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This is Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

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Paul Watson interview made in September 2008 in the UK (part 2)

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The Whale Warrior Pirate for the Sea Paul Watson, Martin Sheen, Ron Colby

“I am a conservationist and that is my business, getting in trouble. I’m here to say things people do not want to hear and to do things people do not want to see. I’m here to piss people off. That is my job.”….Paul Watson

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What Paul is saying doesn’t just apply to the oceans, it translates to the war being waged on land against our apex predators, like the wolf and other wildlife.  Whale Wars is not any different from Wolf Wars or Grizzly Wars or Nature Wars.  It’s a culture clash between one group of people who value the importance of intact ecosystems and living in harmony with nature and those who feel they hold dominion over the earth and are free to do with it as they will, without thought or  consequence.

Fluke of a Sperm Whale

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Videos: Courtesy of YouTube

Photo: Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Posted in: Biodiversity

Tags: Captain Paul Watson, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, war on wildlife, biodiversity, activism

“Wolf In Dog’s Clothing? Black Wolves May Be First ‘Genetically Modified’ Predators”

ScienceDaily (Feb. 6, 2009) — Slipping through trees or across snow, the wolf has glided into legend on paws of white, gray or — in North America — even black. This last group owes an unexpected debt to the cousins of the domestic dog, say Stanford researchers. In an unconventional evolutionary twist, dogs that bred with wolves thousands of years ago ceded a genetic mutation encoding dark coat color to their former ancestors. As a result, the Gray Wolf, or Canis lupus, is no longer just gray.

The effect was more than just cosmetic: the resulting black wolves, which are found nearly exclusively in North America, seem to have a selective advantage over lighter-colored wolves in forested areas. It’s a rare instance of domestic animals — in this case, probably the dogs of the earliest Native Americans — contributing to the genetic variability of their wild counterparts in a way that affects both the recipients’ appearance and survival.

READ MORE: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090205142137.htm

Wolves are such amazing animals. We have so much to learn from and about them. Yet in nine days and counting the guns will start firing, the traps will be laid and hell will reign down on an unsuspecting, innocent wolf population. All who’ve had a part in this upcoming slaughter, SHAME, SHAME!!!!

Don’t forget to visit Howl Across America and join a protest or organize your own.  Stand for wolves! Make a difference.

Remember economic and travel boycotts in effect for the wolf states until they stop slaughtering wolves.

Bottom photo: Courtesy kewlwallpapers.com

Posted in: Biodiversity, Wolf Wars

Tags: black wolves, dogs contribute black gene, biodiversity, apex predator

Published in: on August 21, 2011 at 4:12 am  Comments (3)  
Tags: , , ,

The Coastal Wolves of the Great Bear Rainforest…

Can you see why wolves should never be hunted? Wolves are not game animals. They were not put on this earth to be tortured with traps, snares, rifles and arrows.  Hunting destroys wolf families and causes immense suffering.  It separates mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers. Wolves live for their families, it is everything to them. Wolves are highly intelligent, social animals and should be treated as such.

Heavy hunting of wolves also destroys genetic diversity, discussed in part three.  The narrator explains that these coastal wolves have more diversity in their genes than any other wolf population. She further states that “genetic diversity gives a species the ability to adapt to changing environments, including new climatic conditions and diseases.  Genetic diversity is lost when a population is reduced to low numbers.” Another reason wolves should not be hunted.

There is so much we can learn from wolves if only the persecution and scapegoating would stop.

The coastal wolves of the Great Bear Rainforest are a true treasure, even more so because they’ve escaped many of the tortures other wolf populations have had to endure.

As the narrator so eloquently states:

“While most gray wolf populations were hunted to near extinction, here in the remote reaches of the Great Bear Rainforest the wolves escaped heavy persecution and maintain an ancient, unbroken link to their past.”

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British Columbia’s Wild West-coast Wolves

Posted by: Dr Reese Halter | June 3, 2011

http://drreese.wordpress.com/2011/06/03/british-columbias-wild-west-coast-wolves/

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From the LA Times:

Great Bear Rainforest protected from heavy logging

March 31, 2009

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/greenspace/2009/03/great-bear-rainforest-protected-from-heavy-logging.html

Video: Courtesy PacificWildLive

Photo: Courtesy LA Times

Posted in: Coastal Gray Wolves, biodiversity

Tags: Great Bear Rainforest, wolves, salmon, biodiversity, old growth rainforest, threatened habitat

What Good Are Wolves? by Norm Bishop

This excellent article, by Norm Bishop, appeared in New West last January.

What Good Are Wolves?

A growing body of scientific research shows wolves are key to the ecosystems of the Northern Rockies. Here’s a condensed version compiled by a long-time wolf advocate.

By Norman A. Bishop, Guest Writer, 1-04-11

In 1869, General Phil Sheridan said, “The only good Indians I ever saw were dead.” Others said, “The only good wolf is a dead wolf.”

Barry Lopez wrote of an American Pogrom, not only of Native Americans and wolves, but of the bison on which both depended. Between 1850 and 1890, 75 million bison were killed, mostly for their hides; perhaps 1 million or 2 million wolves.

“Before about 1878, cattlemen were more worried about Indians killing their cattle than they were about wolves. As the land filled up with other ranchers, as water rights became an issue, and as the Indians were removed to reservations, however, the wolf became, as related in Barry Lopez’s book, “Of Wolves and Men,” ‘an object of pathological hatred.’” Lopez continues: “The motive for wiping out wolves (as opposed to controlling them) proceeded from misunderstanding, from illusions of what constituted sport, from strident attachment to private property, from ignorance and irrational hatred.”

Read more: http://www.newwest.net/topic/article/what_good_are_wolves/C41/L41/

Photo: Courtesy All About Wolves

Posted in: gray wolf, biodiversity

Tags: gray wolf, apex predator, biodiversity

Published in: on June 25, 2011 at 1:08 pm  Comments (15)  
Tags: , ,

Endangered Wolf Center Has New Pups! They Need Our Help!

Here is amazing video of their newborn Mexican gray wolf pups and the whole family, keeping vigil.  Dad is being particularly attentive. Just wonderful.

Please visit their website and give generously. The Mexican gray wolf is critically endangered. Every one of these wolves and pups are vital to the continued existence of the Mexican gray wolf!

Endangered wolf pups in St. Louis are live-streamed online

Saturday, June 4, 2011 | 4:31 p.m. CDT
BY JIM SALTER/The Associated Press

ST. LOUIS — The Endangered Wolf Center in suburban St. Louis is facing a financial crunch, and officials are hoping a set of newborn pups can help.

Six Mexican gray wolf pups were born May 1. The Mexican gray is an endangered species. The center is broadcasting streaming video of the pups on its website and on its Facebook page.

Ralph Pfremmer, board chairman of the Endangered Wolf Center, said officials hope the pups capture the public’s attention like recent live video of bald eagle chicks and even common dogs. Pfremmer said the center needs significant donations to raise the pups and many other wolves at the center, with the goal of returning the animals to the wild.

Pfremmer said the video will provide a rare glimpse into the lives of wolves — how the pups interact with each other and with their parents.

“This will give everyone an opportunity to see these remarkable keystone predators inside the wolves’ lair,” Pfremmer said.

The pups are the second litter born to parents Perkins and Abby. Their first litter was born in 2010. The new pups consist of five females and one male. Only four litters of Mexican gray wolves have been born in 2011.

The Mexican gray, known as “El Lobo,” is considered critically endangered, with only 50 living outside captivity in New Mexico and Arizona. The Endangered Wolf Center said 170 Mexican grays have been born at the center, and at least one alpha member of each existing wild pack can trace its ancestry directly to the center in west St. Louis County.

The center was founded in 1971 by the well-known zoologist Marlin Perkins, a St. Louis native best-known nationally as host of the TV show “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom” that aired in the 1960s and 1970s. Perkins died in 1986.

Click Here To Read More:

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Here are links to their website and Facebook page.

The Endangered Wolf Center

Alternative to Extinction

http://www.endangeredwolfcenter.org/

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Endangered Wolf Center-Make a Difference (FB Page)

Give generously and help them help endangered wolves!!

https://www.facebook.com/EndangeredWolfCenter?sk=app_2318966938

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Lives of wolf pups to be streamed online to raise money for Endangered Wolf Center

by JIM SALTER

Associated Press

Posted on June 4, 2011 at 1:21 PM

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Endangered Wolf Center in suburban St. Louis is facing a financial crunch, and officials are hoping a set of cute newborn pups can help.

Six Mexican gray wolf pups were born May 1. The Mexican gray is an endangered species. The center is broadcasting streaming video of the pups on its website, www.endangeredwolfcenter.org, and on its Facebook page.

Ralph Pfremmer, board chairman of the Endangered Wolf Center, says officials hope the pups capture the public’s attention like recent live video of bald eagle chicks and even common dogs. Pfremmer says the center needs significant donations to raise the pups and many other wolves at the center, with the goal of returning the animals to the wild.

Pfremmer said the video will provide a rare glimpse into the lives of wolves — how the pups interact with each other and with their parents.

http://www.kmov.com/news/local/Lives-of-wolf-pups-to-be-streamed-online-123160778.html

Video: Courtesy Endangered Wolf Center

Posted in: Mexican gray wolf

Tags: Biodiversity, endangered species, Endangered Species Center, Marlin Perkins, Mexican gray wolf puppies

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