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!


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. .


The Gray Wolf Is The Only True King in The North

By Carli Velocci


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

OR7 yearling pups ODFW                                     OR7 yearling pup – Courtesy ODFW

Rachel Feltman


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


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




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


Think of The Wolves On Earth Day…

Earth day diregiovani

Published in: on April 22, 2016 at 1:28 pm  Comments (17)  
Tags: ,

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


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: , , ,

Beauty In Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park Gray wolf NPS 1

Glacier National Park – Gray Wolf – NPS 

Published in: on January 3, 2016 at 11:39 pm  Comments (17)  
Tags: , ,

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.”


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.


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

Sorry For My Absence…

OR7 yearling pups ODFW

Update: September 7, 2015

Thanks so much everyone for the get well wishes! Your kind words boosted my spirits❤

I would have liked to answer each one of you individually but since I’m one-finger-typing it’s easier to give a singular shout out to y’all🙂

Many howls,



By now I’m sure you’re wondering why I haven’t been posting. It’s not because I’ve given up on wolf advocacy but I broke my dominant hand and can only type with one finger, VERY SLOWLY.  Already this post has taken me awhile to type. So forgive me but I will be back as soon as my hand heals. For now I’ll have to keep my posts short or reblog posts from some of the excellent sites like Exposing the Big Game.

For the wolves, For the wild ones,



Photo: Courtesy ODFW


Published in: on September 5, 2015 at 2:07 pm  Comments (29)  

Speak For Wolves – August 7-9 – Come Howl With Us!

Speak for Wolves 2nd annual 2015

This year marks the 2nd Annual Speak for Wolves near Yellowstone National Park. On August 7-9, 2015 people will gather in the Union Pacific Dining Lodge in West Yellowstone, Montana to hear about the need to reform wildlife management in America. The 3-day family friendly event will feature speakers, panelists, live music, children’s activities and wildlife documentaries. The Friday night screening of OR7-The Journey cost $10 and the rest of the event is free.
Filmmaker Clemens Schenk will be in attendance on Friday August 7 for the screening of the award-winning documentary, OR7-The Journey: The Epic Journey of a lone wolf from Oregon To California. Amaroq Weiss with the Center for Biological Diversity will be accompanying Clemens to answer questions at the end of the film. Doors open at 6pm with music by Neil Haverstick. Film begins at 7:00 pm. Tickets can be purchased on-line at
The Saturday August 8 afternoon program will run from 12:00 – 4:00 pm. Kim Wheeler of the Red Wolf Coalition will be delivering a program about the plight of the red wolf and the need to continue the US Fish & Wildlife Service Red Wolf Recovery program Wolf activist Oliver Starr will be delivering a program about the decline of gray wolves in Denali National Park and the need to re-establish a park boundary buffer zone to better protect wolves from hunting and trapping. Brian Ertz of Wildlands Defense will speak about the need to reform the controversial McKittrick Policy and equip the Department of Justice with tools to prosecute killers of threatened/endangered species. Live music by Neil Haverstick and Matt Stone. Children’s activities offered by Marilyn McGee and Gail McDiarmid of the children’s book, Running for Home.
The Saturday evening program will feature an exciting panel discussion led by Camilla Fox of Project Coyote. Joining her will be Amaroq Weiss of the Center for Biological Diversity, Kevin Bixby of the Southwest Environmental Center and author George Wuerthner. The group will discuss wildlife killing contests targeting wolves, coyotes, bobcats, and other species for prizes and inducements and efforts to ban them on public and private lands in the U.S. Doors open at 6:00 pm with music by Matt Stone. Panel discussion begins at 7:00 pm.
On Sunday August 9 Mary Lee Sanders will wake us up at 10:00 am with an interpretive dance of the wild wolf. Music and song by Goodshield Aguilar will follow. Mike Mease and other members of the Buffalo Field Campaign will end the program by giving a presentation about the hazing and senseless killing of bison in and outside of Yellowstone National Park in order to appease the livestock industry. The group will offer a vision for a new management plan of America’s last and only genetically pure wild bison herd and speak about the efforts to list buffalo under the Endangered Species Act.

Speak for Wolves is an opportunity for the American people to unite and demand wildlife management reform and take steps to restore our national heritage. The five principles to management reform can be found at

We hope you and your family can join us on August 7-9, 2015 in the historic Union Pacific Dining Lodge of West Yellowstone, Montana! Send questions to
speak for wolves logo
Photo: Courtesy Speak for Wolves

Posted in: gray wolf, Activism

Tags: Speak for Wolves,  2nd annual event,  West Yellowstone, gray wolf, Brett Haverstick

Ode To Magnificence by Louis du Toit

(Louise du Toit — 02-24-2012)

I am wolf

I am
the true spirit
of nature
a perfect creation
walking beside you
guiding your senses
to see
the invisible

I am
a predator
the delicate balance
of nature

a sentient being
no more evil or righteous
than any other creature

born with everything
I need to survive

I am
a true survivor
devoted to my family
loyal to my pack
the defender of my territory

has chosen me
as its enemy
lack of knowledge
brought fear
bred hatred
in a dark cloud
of demonic imagination

Like countless
other earthlings
I am shamelessly

My true destination
will only become visible

when humans
discard their
imaginary fear
false legends
phantasmal myths

to seek the truth

Wolves in lamar valley_ Earth Justice

Video: Courtesy Louise Du Toit

Photo: Courtesy Earthjustice

Posted in: Biodiversity, gray wolf

Tags: Ode To Magnificence, Animal Rights, gray wolf, Louise du Toit, biodiversity

Speak For Wolves: Reforming Wildlife Management in America – Part 2

Speak for Wolves is a project that aims to educate, inspire and organize citizens to work towards reforming wildlife management in America. Join fellow wildlife advocates on August 7-9 at the Union Pacific Dining Lodge in West Yellowstone, Montana for Speak for Wolves 2015.

The second of the five keys to reforming wildlife management in America.

2. Remove Grazing From All Federal Public Lands

 Grazing is the most ecologically damaging form of land use in the arid America West. Research has proven that non-native livestock is responsible for soil compaction, destruction of wetlands and riparian zones, a decrease in water retention and aquifer recharge, soil erosion, flooding, a net-loss of biodiversity and large amounts of methane gas. Livestock grazing contributes to the spread of harmful invasive plant species, which greatly affects the West’s historic fire regime. To make matters worse, the American taxpayer heavily subsidizes destructive grazing practices every year to the tune of tens, if not, hundreds of millions of dollars. At the very least, the federal grazing fee ($1.69 cow/calf pair) must be substantially raised to recoup administrative costs, voluntary grazing retirement (grazing permits are bought out by conservation groups) needs to be enabled on all federal public lands, and Congress must cease the use of legislative riders to handicap the ability of federal agencies, and the public, to use our public land laws to asses the cumulative impacts of harmful grazing.
 adult wolf from the Snake River pack odfw

Top photo: Courtesy Speak for Wolves

Bottom photo: Courtesy ODFW

Posted in: gray wolf, Biodiversity, Activism

Tags: Speak for Wolves, Reforming Wildlife Management, state fish and game agencies, gray wolf

Speak For Wolves: Reforming Wildlife Management in America – Part 1

Speak for Wolves is a project that aims to educate, inspire and organize citizens to work towards reforming wildlife management in America. Join fellow wildlife advocates on August 7-9 at the Union Pacific Dining Lodge in West Yellowstone, Montana for Speak for Wolves 2015.

The first of the five keys to reforming wildlife management in America.

 1. Restructure State Fish & Game Department Operations
Western governors currently appoint fish and game commissioners, who in-turn use their authority to influence agency policy, particularly predator management. This is cronyism at its worst. State fish and game departments are funded in large part by the sale of hunting, trapping, and fishing licenses. As a result, these agencies serve the primary interest of “sportsmen”, while sentiments of citizens that do not hunt, fish or trap are given considerably less consideration. Terminating the political appointment of agency commissioners, creating innovative funding mechanisms, applying the best available science, and incorporating genuine public involvement in decision-making is sorely needed within state fish and game departments. Since state legislatures determine state fish and game department operations, however, a more likely alternative would be for the federal government to assume the management of all wildlife on federal public lands.
 Gray wolves
Top Photo: Courtesy Speak For Wolves
Bottom Photo: Courtesy USFWS
Posted in: gray wolf, Biodiversity, Activism
Tags: Speak for Wolves, Reforming Wildlife Management, state fish and game agencies, gray wolf
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