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

Why It’s Bad To Be A Wolf in Northeastern Washington

howlingwolfkewlwallpaersdotcom-1

 by Anonymous for Wolves
October 26, 2014
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For a time, I lived in an old log cabin on 146 acres in Northwest Montana, a stone’s throw from a collared wolf pack, and I listened to their haunting howls during the morning’s wee hours.

Following Montana, I lived in the Methow Valley (on the east slopes of Washington’s North Cascade mountains), fifteen crow miles from the Lookout wolf pack, the pack that the White family all but destroyed. The White’s had lost no livestock to wolves while they attempted to ship bloody wolf pelts to Canada, emailing boasts and images of the dead wolves to friends.

 I spoke up for the Wedge Pack in Olympia (WA’s capitol), after seven members of the pack were shot from a helicopter by Wildlife Services in 2012, all to protect irresponsibly ranged cows grazing on terrain unsuitable to livestock. Lethal removal of the Wedge, said WDFW director Phil Anderson, would hit a re-set button with ranchers so that the action would not need to be repeated. I was at the meeting when he spoke these words and they were indeed in this context.

I now live a handful of miles from the Canadian border, on the west slopes of the North Cascades and I will tell you there are wolves here, dispersers and with packs on the horizon. I saw my first wolf fourteen years ago in this greater Kulshan area, and my second wolf nine years ago in a canyon above the Methow Valley.

On Tuesday, October seventh, I attended the WDFW wolf meeting in Colville, Stevens County, in northeastern Washington. I sat quietly and observed during the meeting, taking notes and quotes, as well as images with my camera. The crowd in attendance was filled mainly with ranchers and with those opposing wolf recovery. It was a lynch mob scene! WDFW allowed the crowd to call out mean-spirited comments to those few who spoke in support of wolves (this was ranching country, after all). WDFW allowed those speaking against wolves to talk well in excess of their allotted three minutes, permitting speakers to talk back to the WDFW panel and refuse to sit down and shut up when asked. Rancher Len McIrvine refused to stop talking well after using his and other’s time allotments, and the crowd cheered. The department allowed this behavior.

WDFW allowed the crowd to stand and cheer loudly when there was talk of wolves having been killed: the Ruby creek female hit by a car and the Huckleberry female flushed out of dense forest (forest unsuitable for grazing) and shot from a helicopter by Wildlife Services.

I acquired the necropsy report for the Huckleberry female and interviewed the department’s veterinarian who had performed the necropsy and had written the report. It is notable that the Huckleberry pack female’s stomach was empty when she was shot dead. She had not eaten for close to two days. She certainly hadn’t been eating the rancher Dashiell’s sheep, and so the non-lethal tactics and helicopter hazing had worked. And yet a wolf needed to die.

 The Colville crowd called for three more Huckleberry wolves to die, and better yet the whole pack! They demanded a total of at least four dead wolves, although the department had said they would shoot “up to four wolves” never guaranteeing they would shoot four wolves total. The WDFW panel just sat and listened to the calls for more dead wolves, nodding their heads and looking sympathetic, never making this correction to the ranchers’ demands for more wolf blood to be spilled.

The department’s initial statement regarding the aerial assault on the Huckleberry pack is that they would only shoot if there were multiple animals under the helicopter as a means of size comparison so that they would only take out pups and two year-old wolves. They would not target black, adult wolves as the collared male is black (they use the collars for tracking purposes, of course). Later the department’s directive was amended (changed and twisted) and it was stated they would remove any wolf (or wolves) but for the collared male.

When the Huckleberry female was shot, she was the sole animal under the under helicopter and weighed close to 70 pounds while alive (reports of 65 and 66 lbs were post-mortem, although WDFW never made this clear). Said the department’s carnivore specialist Donny Moratello, “We were certainly disappointed in this outcome but, there was no way to sort from the air in this circumstance.” When I asked him why take the risk of shooting the wrong wolf if there is no means of comparison, he replied, “You know going into it you get what you get. We did not have the opportunity to sort in this case.” As well as saying, “To not shoot (a wolf) they would have not been complying with the directive at that point, they would not be following orders.”

So, you get what you get. The helicopter had been up on multiple occasions over a number of days, unable to spot animals due to the visibility limits of the dense terrain, terrain unsuitable for healthy and responsible ranching and in which the sheep were being grazed. Simply, the lethal endeavor was becoming too expensive, so they flushed out a single black, adult sized wolf and shot. Blam! They shot the breeding female whose pups at the time were only a little over 4 months old and unable to hunt on their own. The department’s reports to this day say the pups were almost full grown but, this is grossly inaccurate as per their own veterinarian.

It is also important to note from WDFW’s own reports and slide presentation, that most of the wolf activity and depredations fell outside of Dashiell’s grazing allotment. Dashiell had not had a working range rider for close to thirty days; during the onset and well into the confirmed depredation activity. He had merely two working guard dogs which, is insufficient for the size of the herd (1800) and sprawling, densely forested terrain. Two more guard dogs and additional human presence were added around the period of the Huckleberry kill order, but it was too little too late. Wolves needed to die.

Additionally, rancher Dashiell had not been removing sheep carcasses including well before the confirmed depredations, as evidenced by the carcass’ level of decomposition and thus, the inability to determine cause of death.

Northeastern Washington commissioners spoke in support of the ranchers and the call for dead wolves, speaking to taking matters of wolf control in their own hands. There was talk of shooting, trapping and most of all, poisoning the wolves. In a Seattle Times article Rancher Len McIrvine is quoted as saying, “Our ancestors knew what had to happen — you get poison and you kill the wolves.”

The quad-county commissioners grandstanded and played to the lynch mob. Jim DeTro, Okanogan County commissioner opened his speech with, “Welcome to Okanogan County where you can now drink a Bud’, smoke a bud and marry your bud.” He said this with obvious disdain and the crowd laughed loudly. He said, “People in my county have decided to not shoot, shovel and shut up, but to be totally silent.” He said this as a wink and nod to poisoning wolves while the department panel sat there silently, nodding their heads up and down and looking sympathetic.

I tell you, when a wolf is killed illegally and poisoned, WDFW is guilty of complicity y by not speaking out against these illegal acts and by nodding their heads up and down in agreement.

DeTro continued on that people in his county don’t want the agency to know when they’ve seen a wolf or experienced (alleged) wolf depredation. They want, he said, to take matters in their own hands. DeTro then said smiling proudly, “Olympia, you have a problem.”

Mike Blankenship, Ferry County commissioner, stood there and encouraged people to take matters in their own hands, as well. All the while, WDFW just sat there nodding their heads, looking sympathetic and remaining silent. More complicity!

A local sheriff said, “Wolves are messy eaters, scattering a cow from hell to breakfast,” and making other inflammatory statements about wolves to the again cheering crowd. He said he was “pissed” that only one Huckleberry pack member had been killed.

One rancher cried out angrily, “Wolves kill to eat!” I was curious then, as to what he had done to his livestock before they ended up in the grocer’s meat section, if his livestock were not also killed to be eaten.

At the end of the meeting, WDFW director Phil Anderson acted very cozy and familiar with the ranchers, in spite of them having raked him mercilessly over the coals for not killing more wolves.

He looked sympathetic and referred to them by name, and recalled riding around in their trucks with them. Anderson said he would plan a closed meeting with the area ranchers to discuss wolf issues and management. I demand that NO meeting in relation to Washington wolves be closed.

Two final points:

-In the case of the Huckleberry pack, the department did not adequately implement the state’s wolf management plan, nor did they adhere to their own published procedures, before lethal removal took place. This negligence WILL NOT be repeated.

-We demand full documentation of every wolf mortality, and that given the threats to use poisons, we expect that toxicology reports be made public as part of any necropsy, where cause of death has not otherwise been determined. If wolves are poisoned, WDFW will be held guilty of complicity due to their behavior in Colville; supporting poisoning by remaining silent and nodding their heads up and down.

While I sat silently during the Colville meeting, a rancher two rows back passed me a piece of paper on which he had scrawled, “Wolf Lover!” When I looked back at him he scowled at me severely. I wrote in reply on the note, “So?” along with a happy face, and passed it back to him. I’ll take his accusation as a compliment.

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Photo: Courtesy kewlwallpapersdotcom

Posted in: Washington wolves, Wolf Wars, gray wolf

Tags: anonymous for wolves, Huckleberry pack, WDFW, killing wolves, Northeastern Washington, ranchers, Huckleberry Pack alpha female

Kalispell Hearing Today on Wolf Trapping Proposal and Other Bad Stuff….

A charade is playing out today in Kalispell, Montana, where the last of the hearings on the 2012/2013 wolf killing proposals will be held by Montana FWP. They want to trap wolves, abolish quotas in the state and well, kill lots of wolves.

From the Ravalli Repubic

Trapping wolves, allowing the taking of up to three wolves, using electronic calls, lengthening the hunt and eliminating quotas are among the proposals to be introduced at Thursday’s Wednesday’s Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission meeting.

Read the gory details here.

These are the “objectives” for decimating the wolf population, taken from the Montana FWP website. My comments are in blue.

MEASURABLE OBJECTIVES:
 
1. Maintain a viable and connected wolf population in Montana.
Translation: Kill more wolves.
 
2. Gain and maintain authority for State of Montana to manage wolves.
Translation: We can’t allow those wolves to live wild and free, now can we? 
 
3. Maintain positive and effective working relationships with livestock producers, hunters, and
other stakeholders.
Translation: Cater to the hunters and ranchers, the non-consumptive user be damned.
 

4a. Reduce wolf impacts on livestock.

Fact: In 2011, 74,800 Montana  cows were lost to non-predation,  including  Digestive problems, Respiratory problems, Metabolic problems, Mastitis, Lameness/injury, Other diseases, Weather, Calving problems, Poisoning, Theft, Other non-predator, Unknown non-predator while just 74 to wolves, out of a population of over 2 million cows. 


4b. Reduce wolf impacts on big game populations.
Fact: Elk populations  have remained stable in the state at 150,000 elk since 2009. That is a 66% increase since 1984, according to the RMEF 25th anniversary press release in 2009. 
 
4c. Maintain sustainable hunter opportunity for wolves.

Translation: Now we are getting to the real truth.

 
 
4d. Maintain sustainable hunter opportunity for ungulates.
Translation: See 4c
 
5. Increase broad public acceptance of sustainable harvest and hunter opportunity as part of
wolf conservation.
Translation: Wolf hunters want to kill wolves. The license fees are an added bonus.
 
6. Enhance open and effective communication to better inform decisions
Translation: Uh-huh
 
7. Learn and improve as we go.
Translation: Kill more wolves.

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 Montana continues to claim they know how many wolves actually reside in the state when Jay Mallonee, a Montana wolf biologist with over twenty years experience studying canis lupus,  has repeatedly challenged them on this:

From Wolf and Wildlife Studies

“Management agencies have claimed that the recovery and public hunting of wolves is based in science. A review of their statistics demonstrated that data collection methods did not follow a scientific protocol which resulted in flawed and often incorrect data. Consequently, agencies do not know the total number of wolves in Montana, a major reference point used by wolf managers. Therefore, the quotas proposed for public wolf hunts are completely arbitrary, and management decisions in general have not been based on facts. This has produced a wolf management system that lacks scientific perspective and does not utilize what is known about the wolves’ role in sustaining healthy ecosystems. Instead, the absence of verifiable data suggests that management decisions are often based on opinion and politics rather than science.”

I’m sure the trapping and trophy hunting communities  will be well represented, chomping at the bit to make sure Montana allows them to kill, kill and kill more wolves, especially using the medieval torture device, the leg-hold trap.


I can pretty much guarantee that no matter what happens in Kalispell today wolves will be trapped and killed in the coming Montana 2012/2013 wolf witch hunt.

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 Wolf Meeting Planned For Flathead

FLATHEAD COUNTY

By Scott Zoltan

POSTED: 10:10 pm MDT June 10, 2012

KALISPELL, Mont. — On Wednesday it’s the Flathead’s turn to host a meeting on a proposed trapping season for wolves, and an extended general hunting season. There would also be no statewide quota under the proposed rules.

FWP is considering a general season that would run from September 1 to February 28 in 2013. There would be quotas set up in two areas near Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks.

Hunters would still have to report harvests within 24 hours, and the FWP would reserve the ability to shut down the season in certain areas to prevent overharvest.

FWP officials have already held meetings in Billings, Bozeman, Missoula and Great Falls, but they’re still hoping for a large turnout at Kalispell’s meeting.

“It’s really important that people do get their voices heard,” said FWP Spokesman John Fraley.

The open-house meeting will start at 7:00 pm on Wednesday at the Flathead Valley Community College Arts and Technology building.

http://www.nbcmontana.com/news/31178263/detail.html

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Photo: Courtesy WordPress blog 39,500 miles later

Photo: Courtesy Ann Sydow Wolf People Pup

Posted in: trapped wolves, Montana wolves, Wolf Wars

Tags: killing wolves, stop killing wolves, quit killing wolves, wolf killing

Wolf People Pup

Killing Wolves In The Bitteroot…

The Scapegoat

UPDATE: December 18, 2010. 

 I’m reposting this to remind you there is still time to comment on this shadow wolf hunts. Comments are being accepted until January 3, 2011.

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October 30, 2010

Well another day, another plan to kill wolves!

Bitterroot

Where Have All The Elk Gone?

by Alex Sakariassen

October 28, 2010

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) filed a proposal with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service earlier this month to remove 12 wolves from the Bitterroot’s West Fork population. The agency backed its request by citing a dramatic decline in elk numbers in its West Fork Elk Management Unit, stating that wolf kills are “needed to restore [calf] recruitment rates.”

Low calf recruitment was the same argument FWP made this July in support of a costly three-year study to determine why the elk population in the Bitterroot Valley has dropped 21 percent in four years. However, at the time FWP said it wasn’t sure how much—or even if—wolves had contributed to the decline.

The sudden blame placed on wolves in the agency’s most recent proposal contradicts much of what FWP has stated in the past. Kelly Proffitt, the biologist heading the elk study, told the Indy in July that the decline may be due to habitat and body condition issues. FWP Wildlife Biologist Craig Jourdonnais pointed to extensive wildfires and increased subdivisions on winter range as potential factors. Wolves are certainly part of the puzzle, he said, but he was “not convinced.”

“It’s not at all saying wolves are the problem,” Jourdonnais says of the proposed wolf kill. “It’s saying wolves are part of the predation issue that we feel is happening there, and we definitely want to get some management authority over wolves in the West Fork.”

Derek Goldman, an Endangered Species Coalition field representative in Missoula, is as dubious of the wolf question now as FWP seemed to be this summer. The elk population in the West Fork reached similar lows even before the reintroduction of wolves, he says, referencing data from FWP’s proposal. In light of the study—which has yet to even begin—Goldman believes FWP could be putting “the cart before the horse.”

“I don’t know that 12 wolves are eating 700 elk,” he says.

Even the U.S. Forest Service has noted FWP’s doubt over the impacts of wolf predation on elk, as shown in the August 2009 environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Bitterroot National Forest’s draft travel plan.

“FWP feels that the decline in elk numbers in the Bitterroot is likely primarily due to increased antlerless harvests achieving a planned management reduction,” the EIS states, “and that there is no evidence that wolves or combined predator numbers have much to do with the decline of elk counted through 2008.”

http://missoulanews.bigskypress.com/missoula/bitterroot/Content?oid=1321680

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Here are a few key points of the Montana FWP proposal:

“Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks (MFWP) proposes to obtain a permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) for wolf take under Section 10(j) of the Endangered Species Act. Wolf removal would occur in the West Fork of the Bitterroot (Elk Hunting District 250), beginning as soon as possible for a period of 5 years. (In a hurry are they? Are they worried Judge Molloy will  rule to strike the 2008 “prey decline” revision from the 10j, effectively ending their “wolf hunt”?)

Wolf numbers in Elk Hunting District (HD) 250 would be reduced from the minimum of 24 counted in December 2009 to a year-end minimum of 12 wolves represented by 2 – 3 packs from 2010 through 2015. The level of removal would be dependent on pre-treatment wolf abundance in an adaptive fashion based on annual wolf and elk population monitoring data. MFWP would be accountable to the USFWS for maintaining a minimum year-end count of 12 wolves through 2015 unless MFWP proposes and the USFWS accepts a new or amended proposal prior to 2015 in response to new information, or wolves are delisted.”

 

 

I believe the real reason behind this “plan” is to hold a “shadow wolf hunt”. Judge Molloy stopped the hunt this year and Montana FWP has been pulling their hair out trying to find a way to have one.

“For year 1, the removal action would begin on December 15, 2010 or as soon thereafter as approvals are obtained, and would conclude no later than February 28, 2011.

MFWP would randomly select 100 individuals from a list of applicants to each take one wolf in HD 250 until the quota of 12 is filled or the removal action ends. MFWP may designate additional individuals if needed to complete the prescribed removal. An Automated License System (ALS) number would be required for application. Nonresidents would not exceed 10% of the successful applicants. The take of a wolf must be reported to MFWP within 12 hours via a mandatory telephone reporting line and followed by a mandatory pelt and skull check by FWP staff within 48 hours for collection of biological data. Pelts and skulls will be retained by MFWP unless authorized individuals also purchase a valid wolf license prior to harvest. Pelts and skulls retained by MFWP may be dispersed for education purposes or destroyed at a later date. The removal action may be closed on 24 hours notice if the quota is reached or anticipated to be reached, or if the wolf management objective is otherwise achieved. Authorized take of wolves must take place from one half hour before sunrise to one half hour after sunset. Wolves may be taken with a firearm or bow and arrow. Wolves may not be taken by baiting, or with the aid of electronicrecording/amplification of calling or howling.”

To read the full disgusting proposal CLICK HERE

Montana FWP is taking public comments on this “shadow wolf hunt” until November 10th, 2010, 5pm. Tell them to leave these poor wolves alone and stop trumping up reasons to kill them. Especially egregious is the use of bow and arrows. The thought of  a sentient wolf, shot full of arrows, sends shivers up my spine. Montana FWP wanted to add a wolf archery season to their proposed wolf hunt for 2010 before it was shut down. Now they will be allowing archery to kill wolves in the Bitteroot. Coincidence? I think not!

PLEASE take the time to write and express your outrage over killing wolves for absolutely no reason other than the trumped-up excuse concerning elk declines in the West Fork. Think about this, they want to kill wolves for eating elk, their natural prey species. There is no definitive proof that wolves have significantly impacted elk in the Bitteroot and that was Montana FWP’s opinion in an August 2009 EIS (environmental impact statement).

“FWP feels that the decline in elk numbers in the Bitterroot is likely primarily due to increased antlerless harvests achieving a planned management reduction,” the EIS states, “and that there is no evidence that wolves or combined predator numbers have much to do with the decline of elk counted through 2008.”

CLICK HERE to comment on this egregious attempt to kill wolves.

The only bright light at the end of the tunnel is “the killing of wolves for prey declines” is being litigated. Judge Molloy is presiding over the case.

The lawsuit was brought in January 2008 by seven environmental groups: DOW, The Sierra Club, NRDC, HSUS, Center For Biological Diversity, Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance and Friends of the Clearwater. It was stayed when wolves were delisted in the Spring of 2009 but has now gone forward since wolves were relisted by Judge Molloy on August 5th, 201o.

To read the brief filed on August 10th, 2o1o CLICK HERE

The nexus for this lawsuit was the 2008 change in the  10j rule allowing greater flexibility to kill wolves for “prey declines”.

“The groups are challenging the 2008 10(j) rule change which lowered the bar to allow states to kill wolves for causing “unacceptable impacts” to ungulate populations if they can show “only that a wild ungulate population is failing to meet state or tribal management objectives – however defined by the states – and that wolves are one of the major causes for that failure.” The previous 10(j) rule defined “unacceptable impact” as a “decline in a wild ungulate population or herd, primarily caused by wolf predation, so that the population or herd is not meeting established State or Tribal management goals.” The USFWS felt that the states could not show that to be the case and, without proper review, changed the regulations to give the states more flexibility to kill wolves.”….Wildlife News

The lawsuit seeks to strike the 10j revision. This would mean Montana’s plan to kill wolves in the Bitteroot for “prey declines” would be stopped dead in its tracks if Judge Molloy rules in favor of the plaintiffs.

The war on wolves continues unabated.

The wolf and bears were just out in the woods minding their own business when this hunter decides it’s so great to take their lives. They died for nothing!!

Listen to the wolves’ pack mates howling in the background for their fallen loved one. How much sadder can it get?

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Photos: Wikimedia Commons

Posted in: Montana wolves, Wolf Wars

Tags: 10j rule litigation, killing wolves, wolf scapegoating, Montana FWP, archery is cruel

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