ACTION ALERT: The Imperiled American Wolf by Predator Defense

Black female wolf 831f Yellowstone National Park_2012 NPS

November 21, 2015

Things have gotten even worse for wolves in Montana and Idaho, since this important video was filmed. Ranchers in Montana can kill up to 100 wolves on their land and wolf kill quotas have all but been eliminated in Montana and Idaho,  during the long wolf hunting seasons. In fact Idaho’s wolf hunt seems to be open somewhere in the state the entire year, which means wolves are harassed and killed right through mating, denning and pup rearing. It’s a national outrage but the public has forgotten Montana and Idaho wolves and have accepted the wolf hunts with very little push back. Howling for Justice, Wolf Warriors and many, many other groups, including Predator Defense fought the wolf hunts tooth and nail, only to have Congress override the courts and permanently delist wolves in Montana and Idaho.

Great Lakes and Wyoming wolves were placed back on the Endangered Species List in December 2014 by US District Court Judge Berman but there is a move underway by the usual suspects,  Sen. Barrasso (Wyoming) and Sen. Ron Johnson (Wisconsin) to make an end run around the court’s ruling. They’ve introduced legislation to delist Wyoming and Great Lakes wolves. Sound familiar? This is the same tactic used in 2011 to permanently delist wolves in Montana and Idaho, by placing a wolf delisting rider/with no judicial review, into a must pass budget bill. Now wolves in Montana and Idaho are subjected to brutal annual hunting and trapping. The ability of wolf advocates to seek redress in the courts has been blocked by the wolf delisting rider. It’s outrageous and this is the same evil trick Barrasso and Johnson are trying to pull with the Great Lakes and Wyoming wolves.

Wolf haters will stop at nothing to see wolves eliminated from the lower 48 once again, that is their ultimate goal.

Please take action and call your US Senators  and say no to any legislation that would remove endangered species protection from wolves in the Great Lakes and Wyoming!!

Call the Capital Switchboard number and ask to speak to your Senators.

 1-866-220-0044

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Senate bill would drop protections for wolves in 4 states

Nov 12, 2015

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Two U.S. senators announced a renewed push Thursday to strip federal protection from gray wolves in the western Great Lakes region and Wyoming — and to prohibit courts from intervening in those states on the embattled predator’s behalf.

Legislation introduced this week would order the Department of the Interior to reissue orders from 2011 and 2012 that dropped wolves in Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Wyoming from the endangered species list.

“After over 30 years of needed protection and professional pack population management, the wolf has made its comeback,” said Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, who sponsored the measure with fellow Republican John Barrasso of Wyoming. Similar legislation was introduced earlier this year in the House.

Wolves are well-established in the western Great Lakes and Northern Rockies after being shot, poisoned and trapped into near-extermination in the lower 48 states in the last century. Only a remnant pocket in northern Minnesota remained when the species was added to the federal endangered list in 1974.

Altogether, their estimated population now exceeds 5,000.

But animal protection advocates contend the wolves’ situation remains uncertain and have sued repeatedly over more than a decade over federal efforts to remove the shield provided by the Endangered Species Act, which prohibits killing them except in defense of human life.

 Wolves occupy less than 10 percent of their historic range in the lower 48 states, meaning they are far from recovered, said Noah Greenwald, endangered species director for the Center for Biological Diversity.

“Even in the areas where there are wolves, they still face extensive persecution,” Greenwald said.

A federal district judge in September 2014 restored endangered status to wolves in Wyoming. A different judge did likewise for Great Lakes wolves in December, saying the states were not providing adequate safeguards.

The Senate bill would ban courts from overruling the Department of Interior again on the matter. Congress imposed a similar requirement in 2011 to prevent judges from restoring protected status to wolves in Idaho and Montana, the first time lawmakers had directly removed a species from the endangered list.

READ MORE:

http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/wyoming/senate-bill-would-drop-protections-for-wolves-in-states/article_13d35508-1dad-56ab-bfac-4f02ebb121bc.html

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Video: Courtesy Predator Defense

Photo: Courtesy NPS

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Biodiversity

Tags: Predator Defense, biodiversity, wolf hunting, trophy hunting, wolf persecution, USFWS, Senator Barrasso (Wyoming), Sen. Ron Johnson (Wisconsin), endangered species, wolves need protection, The Imperiled American Wolf. please take action for wolves

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Wisconsin Sinks To New Low..

Desportes_wolf

We all know Wisconsin is allowing trophy hunters to chase down wolves with dogs. It was challenged in the courts by humane organizations who recognize this for what it is, cruelty, pure and simple.  An appeals court recently ruled  the state can go forward with this disgusting, ugly practice, essentially sanctioning  dog fighting.

Wisconsin is gaining the reputation as Idaho east, except even Idaho, as brutal as their policies are toward wolves, don’t allow this. Just wondering how these so-called Wisconsin “hunters” would like to be chased down by dogs?  They wouldn’t be so “brave” then, now would they?

BOYCOTT WISCONSIN!!

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LETTER: Wisconsin has poor version of ethical hunting

July 23, 2014 3:03 pm  • 

Black bears should no longer feel solely terrorized and persecuted by hound hunters in training activities; the gray wolf has now joined their ranks.

Here’s how hound training on both bears and wolves works: Bear baiting begins April 15, 111 days longer than the six other states still allowing pre-season bear baiting. Gallons of sweet treats are dumped in our woods to habituate bears and newborn cubs into showing up at dumping sites daily. After three months of getting fat on sweet treats, July 1 the rules and their world changes. Now packs of hounds are released into the woods from baiting stations or on a bear track crossing the road and the chase is on.

These chases can last for hours and cover up to 10-plus miles while hunters stay on the roads and drive from one block of woods to the next while following hounds on GPS, who are running their quarry to exhaustion. If cubs are lucky they make it to a tree before the hounds; some are not so lucky.

Now add wolves and wolf pups who, unlike bears, are now being run down by an unlimited number of hounds for 24 hours a day, 365 days a year with no license required. Contrary to what the DNR and hound hunters state, walking up to a dog and wolf fight to put a leash on dogs while skipping home unscathed is far from the truth. Poaching of wolves will be rampant.

Bear hounds are bred to be tough and fight, but history tells us they are no match for a wolf as $500,000-plus in depredation payments have gone to hound hunters. This is canine against canine. In less than one minute a wolf can either break the neck or back of a bear hound or disembowel and rip it’s hide off. In the 20 minutes to an hour that it takes the hunters to make it from their trucks to the fight in the woods, how many hounds, wolves and wolf pups at rendezvous sites will already be dead? Since there is no limit on number of hounds on wolves, maybe 12 to 18 hounds on one wolf will get the upper hand?

Make no mistake, this will be brutal. Thank you, Wisconsin legislators, for Act 169.

Click here for link

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 Wis. Court: Hunters Can Train Dogs On Wolves

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A state appeals court ruled Thursday that hunters can train dogs to chase down wolves, rejecting arguments from a group of humane societies that wildlife officials are allowing deadly wolf-dog clashes and cementing one of the most contentious elements of Wisconsin wolf hunting.
Click here to read more:
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Is Trophy Hunting a Form of Serial Killing? By Gareth Patterson

Lion expert and conservationist Gareth Patterson takes aim

“For me – and the many people who contact me to offer their support – killing innocent animals for self-gratification is no different from killing innocent people for self-gratification. By extension, then, trophy hunting – the repeated killing of wild animals – should surely be viewed as serial killing. And in the same moral light humanity’s thinking is, I feel, beginning to approach such a level of morality.

What are the comparisons between trophy hunting and serial killing?

To attempt to answer this question, I did some research into the gruesome subject of serial killing. I learnt firstly that serial murder is a grotesque habit which analysts regard as addictive. Serial murder, I learnt, is about power and control – both linked to the killers’ longing to “be important”.

It appears when the serial killer commits the first act of murder, he experiences feelings such as revulsion and remorse, but the killing – like a dose of highly addictive drug – leads to more and more murders until the person is stopped. Researchers have discovered that serial murderers experience a cooling-off period after a killing, but as with a drug craving, the compulsion – the need to kill – keeps building up until the killer heads out again in search of another victim.

Trophy hunters are mostly “repeat” killers. This is further fueled by elite trophy hunting competitions. It has been calculated that in order for a hunter to win these competitions in all categories at the highest level, he would have to kill at least 322 animals.

Pornography is perceived by analysts as a factor that contributes toward serial killers’ violent fantasies – particularly “bondage-type” pornography portraying domination and control over a victim.

Hunting magazines contain page after page of (a) pictures of hunters, weapon in hand, posing in dominating positions over their lifeless victims, (b) advertisements offering a huge range of trophy hunts, and (c) stories of hunters’ “exciting” experience of “near misses” and danger.

These pages no doubt titillate the hunter, fueling his own fantasies and encouraging him to plan more and more trophy hunts.

Trophy hunters often hire a camera person to film their entire hunt in the bush, including the actual moments when animals are shot and when they die. These films are made to be viewed later, presumably for self-gratification and to show to other people – again the need to feel “important”?

This could also be seen as a form of trophy which mirrors in some respect pornographic “snuff” videos known to be made by some serial killers. Other serial killers have tape-recorded the screams of their victims, which were kept for later self-gratification.

There is a strong urge to achieve perceived “heroism” in serial murderers. This is linked to the individual’s craving for “self-esteem”. Student Robert Smith, for example, who in November 1996 walked into a beauty parlour in Mesa, Arizona, and shot five women and two children in the back of the heads, said of his motivation to kill: “I wanted to become known, to get myself a name”.

Multiple killer Cari Panzram (among whose victims were six Africans he shot in the back “for fun” while working for an oil company in Africa) once stated of his actions: “I reform people”. When asked how, he replied: “By killing them”. Panzram also liked to describe himself as “the man who goes around doing good”.

The “Stockwell Strangler” of South London in the mid-1980s who told police he wanted to be famous is another example of how the serial killer clearly confuses notoriety for fame.

Are the trophy hunter’s killings linked to the serial killer’s addiction to murder, to achieve what is perceived to be heroism, to deep-rooted low self-esteem, to wanting to be famous – the “name in the trophy book”?

Certainly one could state that, like the serial killer, the trophy hunter plans his killing with considerable care and deliberation. Like the serial killer he decides well in advance the “type” of victim – i.e. which species he intends to target. Also, like the serial killer, the trophy hunter plans with great care where and how the killing will take place – in what area, with what weapon.

What the serial killer and trophy hunter also share is a compulsion to collect “trophies” or “souvenirs” of their killings. The serial killer retains certain body parts or other “trophies … for much the same reason as the big game hunter mounts the head and antlers taken from his prey … as trophies of the chase,” according to Colin Wilson and Donald Seaman in The Serial Killers, a book on the psychology of violence.

In The Serial Killers, the authors wrote about Robert Hansen, an Alaska businessman and big-game enthusiast who hunted naked prostitutes through the snow as though they were wild animals, then shot them dead. Hansen would point a gun at his victim, order her to take off all her clothes, and then order her to run. He would give his victims a “start” before stalking them. The actual act of killing his victims, Hansen once said, was an “anti-climax” and that “the excitement was in the stalking”.

How many times have I heard trophy hunters describing their actions in similar terms? “No, hunting isn’t just about killing,” they say. “It’s also about the stalk, the build-up to the kill”.

Hansen was a trophy hunter, who, according to Wilson and Seaman, had achieved “celebrity by killing a Dall sheep with a crossbow”. He also trophy hunted women but, as a married man with a family, he couldn’t put his human trophies next to those elk antlers and bear skins in his den.

As an alternative, Hansen, it was revealed, took items of jewelry from his victims as “trophies” and hid these in his loft so that, as with his animal trophies, he, the hunter, could relive his fantasy-inspired killings whenever he wished to.

According to Wilson and Seaman, Jack the Ripper cut off one victim’s nose and breasts and “as if they were trophies, displayed them on a bedside table, together with strips of flesh carved from her thighs”.

Jewellery, body parts, clothing such as underwear and so on, are all known “trophies” of the serial killer. One serial killer flayed his victim and made a waistcoat from the skin as a “souvenir” or “trophy”.

What could the non-hunting wives, girlfriends, brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers and children reveal of the nature and behavior of a hunter in the family? Could they reveal that the hunter had a very disturbed childhood?

Almost half the serial killers analyzed during behavioral research were found to have been sexually abused in childhood. Environmental problems early in life manifest in many cases in violence such as cruelty to animals. Maybe they have a frustrated craving for “self-esteem”, a deep desire to be recognized, a resentment against society? All these factors are some of the known links to the profile of the serial killer.

Lastly, serial killing has been described as a “20th-Century phenomenon”. The same could be said of Western trophy hunting in Africa.”

http://www.bushdrums.com/index.php/forum/topic/574-is-trophy-hunting-a-form-of-serial-killing-by-g-patterson

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 Photo: Wikimedia Commons

 Posted in: Wolf Wars, Animal Cruelty
Tags: Gareth Patterson, trophy hunting/serial killing link?, Wisconsin, bear hunters, wolf hunters, animal cruelty

Who Needs “Old Highly Endangered Black Rhinos” Anyway?

Black Rinos in Ngorongoro Crater Wiki

Black rhinos in Ngorongoro crater

The fury continues over the  endangered black rhino that Corey Knowlton paid $350,000 to slaughter in Namibia, because after all the endangered black rhino is an old guy and who needs old endangered black rhinos anyway?

Bob Barker, host of the Price is Right and passionate animal rights activist, wrote an open letter to the Dallas Safari Club, who held the auction that allowed Knowlton to purchase a permit, issued by Namibia, to murder one of less than 5000 black rhino’s left in the world. Oh but don’t forget, that rhino’s life means nothing because he’s old!

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Bob Barker Urges Safari Club Not to Auction Off License to Kill Older Male Rhino

 For Immediate Release

January 10, 2014

Contact:
Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Dallas, Texas – As the Dallas Safari Club prepares to auction off a license to kill an endangered black rhinoceros in Namibia—a much-criticized move that the club has defended by explaining that it will preselect an animal who is “old and unable to reproduce”—TV icon Bob Barker has fired off a letter urging the club to call off the auction, writing, “As an older male myself, I must say that this seems like rather a harsh way of dealing with senior citizens.” Barker goes on to point out that killing an endangered animal for money is no way to fight poaching (that is, killing endangered animals for money).

Bob Barker’s letter to the Dallas Safari Club is available below.

Ben Carter, Executive Director
The Dallas Safari Club
13709 Gamma Rd.
Dallas, TX 75244

 Dear Mr. Carter:

I am writing to ask you to call off your planned auction of a chance to kill an endangered black rhino in Namibia. The rhino that your organization reportedly has in its crosshairs is an older “non-breeding” male who has apparently been deemed expendable. As an older male myself, I must say that this seems like a rather harsh way of dealing with senior citizens.

I can certainly sympathize with this animal’s plight (and I would think that many of your older members could as well). How many seniors have been written off simply because they have a certain number of birthdays under their belts? But just because you’re “retired” doesn’t mean you don’t have anything more to offer. In fact, I personally feel that I’ve accomplished a great deal since I quit my day job. Surely, it is presumptuous to assume that this rhino’s life is no longer of any value. What of the wisdom that he has acquired over the course of a long life? What’s the world coming to when a lifetime’s experience is considered a liability instead of an asset?

There are only about 5,000 black rhinos still alive in Africa. What kind of message does it send when we put a $1 million bounty on one of their heads? These animals are endangered for that very reason: money. What makes you any better than the poachers who kill rhinos to feed their families? At least, they are honest about their less noble motives. You try to dress up greed under the guise of “conservation.”

True conservationists are those who pay money to keep rhinos alive—in the form of highly lucrative eco-tourism—as opposed to those who pay money for the cheap thrill of taking this magnificent animal’s life and putting his head on a wall.

If you want someone’s head to go on a wall, pick mine. I will happily send you an autographed photo to auction off instead. My mug may not fetch as much money as that of a dead rhino, but at least we’ll all live to enjoy another sunrise in our sunset years.

Sincerely,

Bob Barker

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

Read more: http://www.peta.org/media/news-releases/bob-barker-urges-safari-club-auction-license-kill-older-male-rhino/#ixzz2qye3ugeT
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Black Rhino chewing on plants Wiki

Black Rhino chewing on plants – I’m sure the critically endangered black rhino, targeted for death, would rather be doing this!

Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society, has stated if Knowlton does in fact kill the rhino, HSUS will try to block Knowlton from bringing the rhino “trophy” back to the US. That would be some justice but I think the rhino would prefer to live out the rest of his life in peace instead of being hunted and murdered.

“The Humane Society opposed the Dallas Safari Club Auction and says it plans to fight Knowlton’s efforts to bring the black rhino trophy into the United States.

If Knowlton does hunt and kill the black rhino, he’ll need a special permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to import the animal into the country under the Endangered Species Act.

Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society, wrote in an online blog post that killing one endangered animal to save the species is an “Orwellian idea” and worries that it will inspire hunters to pay millions of dollars for the chance to kill orangutans, elephants or tigers.

“Where will it end?” wrote Pacelle. “The first rule of protecting the rarest animals in the world is to protect each living member of that species.”

http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/16/us/black-rhino-hunting-permit/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

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Meanwhile, American wolves continue to be trapped, tortured and slain in the US and their deaths haven’t garnered one/thousandth the outrage  the black rhino’s plight has. Still I’m glad to see people waking up and realizing the brutality and senselessness of trophy hunting.  It’s all about respect you know. Corey Knowlton says he respects the Rhino. Yes, he respects the Rhino alright, right to his grave.

Black Rhino Skull Wiki

Corey Knowlton says he’s getting death threats and has hired a security firm for protection.  The “old endangered black rhino” should hire bodyguards too for protection, since his life is in mortal danger. It’s not fun being a hunted animal. Pot meet kettle!

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Posted in: Trophy hunting, Slob Hunters, Animal Cruelty

Photos: Courtesy Wikipedia

Tags: Endangered Black Rhino, Trophy Hunting, Namibia, Corey Knowlton, $350,000 for a life, Dallas Safari Club, Bob Barker, PETA, Wayne Pacelli, Humane Society of the United States, animal cruelty

No Words For This…

WARNING GRAPHIC VIDEO

UPDATE: The video is back up, shared under the Fair Use Doctrine. Thank you WE VOW!

UPDATE: November 19, 2012

Well that didn’t take long, the user took down not just this video but  other wolf trapping videos. Does that mean trappers want to hide what they do, so we don’t see the cruelty? I think we all know the answer to that.

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This is what state management of wolves has brought to this iconic species.

This is not exclusive to Wisconsin, wolves are being trapped in Minnesota, Wyoming and Idaho. Montana wolf trapping follows on December 15.

A beautiful wolf was trapped and killed for nothing. Trapping is banned in 89 countries yet we’ve allowed fish and game agencies to hijack our wildlife and legalize this torture for the benefit of a few.

If the video upsets you, if it bothers you to see an animal imprisoned in a leg hold trap, pacing in fear, unable to defend itself, then shot while laughter rings out as the wolf is dying…please don’t just lament the wolf’s death, get active to see that wolves regain their Endangered Species Protections!!

Share this post with everyone you know. Spread the word. Don’t let this wolf die in vain.

Contact the Wisconsin DNR  1-800-847-9367

HOWL ACROSS AMERICA!!

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Born Free USA Releases Details of Trapping Investigation

Unprecedented Video and Photographs Show Brutality and Illegal Practices by U.S. Trappers, Including Images of Trapped Animals in New Mexico

http://www.bornfreeusa.org/press.php?p=2765&more=1

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Ban Cruel Traps

http://www.bancrueltraps.com/
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Footloose Montana

http://www.footloosemontana.org/
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Protect America’s Wolves!

By Robert Goldman

To be delivered to: The United States House of Representatives, The United States Senate, and President Barack Obama

Petition Statement
President Obama and his Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar, a Colorado rancher, have adopted unjust and heartless “tea party” policies towards America’s wolves. And the U.S. Congress is equally guilty in this ecological and ethical injustice. Wolves are highly intelligent, native, and vital natural predators that belong on the land. Too many brutish ranchers and misguided hunters have unfairly demonized and maligned wolves for centuries. An American majority wants an end to demonization and massacre of America’s wolves and other native wildlife.

Click HERE to sign petition

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RELIST WOLVES

By Louise Kane

To be delivered to: The United States House of Representatives, The United States Senate, and President Barack Obama

Petition Statement
We, the people of the United States of America, supported the Endangered Species Act (ESA) which protected animals through a legitimate scientific process. That process was upheld and protected via the courts. The rider that stripped wolves from the ESA is unpatriotic, was not supported by most Americans, caves in to special lobbying anti wolf extremists, and is unscientific. It is outrageous that the rider that stripped wolves of their ESA protections went against public support, the courts, and the intent of Congress in implementing the ESA. It is extremely disturbing that the rider also prevents any review by the courts of the so-called “wolf management plans” that are calling for killing up to 60% of our wolves in the first year. It is disgusting that these animals will be trapped, poisoned and shot on sight, even in our national wild lands. I call on our Congress to rescind the ESA rider and to restore wolves to their rightful place on the Endangered Species List.
Click HERE to sign

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Video: YouTube Published on Nov 15, 2012

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Animal Cruelty

Tags: Wisconsin wolf killed, wolf trapping, evil leg-hold traps, trophy hunting, killing for fun

“It’s Survival of the Weak and Scrawny”….


“Elephants are highly prized among trophy hunters who can pay £10,000 (approx.$16,500) or more for a kill.”

It turns out hunting animals may be more harmful than we thought,  especially trophy hunting.  It could be causing a kind of backward evolution, because the largest and most impressive animals, “prized” by hunters, are diminishing in some species, leading to a reduction in  size and other disturbing changes in the remaining animals.  In other words, the more robust members of certain species are disappearing, not by the process of “natural selection” but by hunting pressure. It’s as if hunters are selectively breeding animals in the wild by killing off the “trophy” animals, leaving the smaller and weaker individuals to breed.

Big horned sheep rams in Alberta, Canada have experienced a 25% decrease in horn size over the last thirty years. Being larger, with huge horns makes them a target for trophy hunters. It then follows the smaller sheep with less impressive horns, have more mating chances.

“Hunters frequently compare their role in the ecosystem to that of natural predators, some of which are disappearing throughout the world. The problem with that analogy is that, unlike hunters, natural predators target the small, the weak, and the sick. Hunters, on the other hand, tend to target the largest, strongest individuals with the largest hides, horns, tusks or antlers.”

It’s not just Big Horned sheep, elephants are also changing.

“Tusks used to make elephants fitter, as a weapon or a tool in foraging—until ivory became a precious commodity and having tusks got you killed. Then tuskless elephants, products of a genetic fluke, became the more consistent breeders and grew from around 2 percent among African elephants to more than 38 percent in one Zambian population, and 98 percent in a South African one. In Asia, where female elephants don’t have tusks to begin with, the proportion of tuskless elephants has more than doubled, to more than 90 percent in Sri Lanka. But there’s a cost to not having tusks. Tusked elephants, like the old dominant males on Ram Mountain, were “genetically ‘better’ individuals,” says Festa-Bianchet. “When you take them systematically out of the population for several years, you end up leaving essentially a bunch of losers doing the breeding.”

The effects that are taking place are difficult to link solely to hunting pressure @ this early stage because evolutionary changes happen so slowly but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist or hundreds of years of evolution to observe what’s happening.  Trophy hunters target the “biggest and the best”, therefore there are fewer of these alpha animals to pass on their genetics.

 The solution is to err on the side of caution and ban trophy hunting entirely. It’s a cruel and heartless enterprise, there would be no down side to freeing animals from this torture.  It doesn’t belong in a civilized society and should  be eliminated for purely ethical reasons BUT if it’s actually upsetting the natural process and weakening animal species, then all the more reason to rid the world of it.

A 2009 Newsweek article explains it all. Hunters not only don’t play the same positive  role as apex predators, like the wolf and grizzly bear but may be the cause of a deadly reverse evolution.

It’s Survival of the Weak and Scrawny

Jan 2, 2009 7:00 PM EST

Researchers see ‘evolution in reverse’ as hunters kill off prized animals with the biggest antlers and pelts.

Some of the most iconic photographs of Teddy Roosevelt, one of the first conservationists in American politics, show the president posing companionably with the prizes of his trophy hunts. An elephant felled in Africa in 1909 points its tusks skyward; a Cape buffalo, crowned with horns in the shape of a handlebar mustache, slumps in a Kenyan swamp. In North America, he stalked deer, pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep and elk, which he called “lordly game” for their majestic antlers. What’s remarkable about these photographs is not that they depict a hunter who was also naturalist John Muir’s staunchest political ally. It’s that just 100 years after his expeditions, many of the kind of magnificent trophies he routinely captured are becoming rare.

Elk still range across parts of North America, but every hunting season brings a greater challenge to find the sought-after bull with a towering spread of antlers. Africa and Asia still have elephants, but Roosevelt would have regarded most of them as freaks, because they don’t have tusks. Researchers describe what’s happening as none other than the selection process that Darwin made famous: the fittest of a species survive to reproduce and pass along their traits to succeeding generations, while the traits of the unfit gradually disappear. Selective hunting—picking out individuals with the best horns or antlers, or the largest piece of hide—works in reverse: the evolutionary loser is not the small and defenseless, but the biggest and best-equipped to win mates or fend off attackers.

When hunting is severe enough to outstrip other threats to survival, the unsought, middling individuals make out better than the alpha animals, and the species changes. “Survival of the fittest” is still the rule, but the “fit” begin to look unlike what you might expect. And looks aren’t the only things changing: behavior adapts too, from how hunted animals act to how they reproduce. There’s nothing wrong with a species getting molded over time by new kinds of risk. But some experts believe problems arise when these changes make no evolutionary sense.

Ram Mountain in Alberta, Canada, is home to a population of bighorn sheep, whose most vulnerable individuals are males with thick, curving horns that give them a regal, Princess Leia look. In the course of 30 years of study, biologist Marco Festa-Bianchet of the University of Sherbrooke in Quebec found a roughly 25 percent decline in the size of these horns, and both male and female sheep getting smaller. There’s no mystery on Ram Mountain: male sheep with big horns tend to be larger and produce larger offspring. During the fall rut, or breeding season, these alpha rams mate more than any other males, by winning fights or thwarting other males’ access to their ewes. Their success, however, is contingent upon their surviving the two-month hunting season just before the rut, and in a strange way, they’re competing against their horns. Around the age of 4, their horn size makes them legal game—several years before their reproductive peak. That means smaller-horned males get far more opportunity to mate.

Other species are shrinking, too. Australia’s red kangaroo has become noticeably smaller as poachers target the largest animals for leather. The phenomenon has been most apparent in harvested fish: since fishing nets began capturing only fish of sufficient size in the 1980s, the Atlantic cod and salmon, several flounders and the northern pike have all propagated in miniature.

So what if fish or kangaroos are smaller? If being smaller is safer, this might be a successful adaptation for a hunted species. After all, ” ‘fitness’ is relative and transitory,” says Columbia University biologist Don Melnick, meaning that Darwinian natural selection has nothing to do with what’s good or bad, or the way things should be.

Read more: http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2009/01/02/it-s-survival-of-the-weak-and-scrawny.html

“In the Shadows of the Congo Basin Forest, Elephants Fall to the Illegal Ivory Trade”

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Top Photo: Christophe Morio/Africahunting
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Bottom Photo: Wikimedia Commons
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Posted in: Trophy Hunting
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Tags: Hunting pressure, species evolution in reverse, small is better, hunted animals, damage done by trophy hunting

“It’s Survival of the Weak and Scrawny”….


“Elephants are highly prized among trophy hunters who can pay £10,000 (approx.$16,500) or more for a kill.”

It turns out hunting animals may be more harmful than we thought,  especially trophy hunting.  It could be causing a kind of backward evolution, because the largest and most impressive animals, “prized” by hunters, are diminishing in some species, leading to a reduction in  size and other disturbing changes in the remaining animals.  In other words, the more robust members of certain species are disappearing, not by the process of “natural selection” but by hunting pressure. It’s as if hunters are selectively breeding animals in the wild by killing off the “trophy” animals, leaving the smaller and weaker individuals to breed.

Big horned sheep rams in Alberta, Canada have experienced a 25% decrease in horn size over the last thirty years. Being larger, with huge horns makes them a target for trophy hunters. It then follows the smaller sheep with less impressive horns, have more mating chances.

“Hunters frequently compare their role in the ecosystem to that of natural predators, some of which are disappearing throughout the world. The problem with that analogy is that, unlike hunters, natural predators target the small, the weak, and the sick. Hunters, on the other hand, tend to target the largest, strongest individuals with the largest hides, horns, tusks or antlers.”

It’s not just Big Horned sheep, elephants are also changing.

“Tusks used to make elephants fitter, as a weapon or a tool in foraging—until ivory became a precious commodity and having tusks got you killed. Then tuskless elephants, products of a genetic fluke, became the more consistent breeders and grew from around 2 percent among African elephants to more than 38 percent in one Zambian population, and 98 percent in a South African one. In Asia, where female elephants don’t have tusks to begin with, the proportion of tuskless elephants has more than doubled, to more than 90 percent in Sri Lanka. But there’s a cost to not having tusks. Tusked elephants, like the old dominant males on Ram Mountain, were “genetically ‘better’ individuals,” says Festa-Bianchet. “When you take them systematically out of the population for several years, you end up leaving essentially a bunch of losers doing the breeding.”

The effects that are taking place are difficult to link solely to hunting pressure @ this early stage because evolutionary changes happen so slowly but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist or hundreds of years of evolution to observe what’s happening.  Trophy hunters target the “biggest and the best”, therefore there are fewer of these alpha animals to pass on their genetics.

 The solution is to err on the side of caution and ban trophy hunting entirely. It’s a cruel and heartless enterprise, there would be no down side to freeing animals from this torture.  It doesn’t belong in a civilized society and should  be eliminated for purely ethical reasons BUT if it’s actually upsetting the natural process and weakening animal species, then all the more reason to rid the world of it.

A 2009 Newsweek article explains it all. Hunters not only don’t play the same positive  role as apex predators, like the wolf and grizzly bear but may be the cause of a deadly reverse evolution.

It’s Survival of the Weak and Scrawny

Jan 2, 2009 7:00 PM EST

Researchers see ‘evolution in reverse’ as hunters kill off prized animals with the biggest antlers and pelts.

Some of the most iconic photographs of Teddy Roosevelt, one of the first conservationists in American politics, show the president posing companionably with the prizes of his trophy hunts. An elephant felled in Africa in 1909 points its tusks skyward; a Cape buffalo, crowned with horns in the shape of a handlebar mustache, slumps in a Kenyan swamp. In North America, he stalked deer, pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep and elk, which he called “lordly game” for their majestic antlers. What’s remarkable about these photographs is not that they depict a hunter who was also naturalist John Muir’s staunchest political ally. It’s that just 100 years after his expeditions, many of the kind of magnificent trophies he routinely captured are becoming rare.

Elk still range across parts of North America, but every hunting season brings a greater challenge to find the sought-after bull with a towering spread of antlers. Africa and Asia still have elephants, but Roosevelt would have regarded most of them as freaks, because they don’t have tusks. Researchers describe what’s happening as none other than the selection process that Darwin made famous: the fittest of a species survive to reproduce and pass along their traits to succeeding generations, while the traits of the unfit gradually disappear. Selective hunting—picking out individuals with the best horns or antlers, or the largest piece of hide—works in reverse: the evolutionary loser is not the small and defenseless, but the biggest and best-equipped to win mates or fend off attackers.

When hunting is severe enough to outstrip other threats to survival, the unsought, middling individuals make out better than the alpha animals, and the species changes. “Survival of the fittest” is still the rule, but the “fit” begin to look unlike what you might expect. And looks aren’t the only things changing: behavior adapts too, from how hunted animals act to how they reproduce. There’s nothing wrong with a species getting molded over time by new kinds of risk. But some experts believe problems arise when these changes make no evolutionary sense.

Ram Mountain in Alberta, Canada, is home to a population of bighorn sheep, whose most vulnerable individuals are males with thick, curving horns that give them a regal, Princess Leia look. In the course of 30 years of study, biologist Marco Festa-Bianchet of the University of Sherbrooke in Quebec found a roughly 25 percent decline in the size of these horns, and both male and female sheep getting smaller. There’s no mystery on Ram Mountain: male sheep with big horns tend to be larger and produce larger offspring. During the fall rut, or breeding season, these alpha rams mate more than any other males, by winning fights or thwarting other males’ access to their ewes. Their success, however, is contingent upon their surviving the two-month hunting season just before the rut, and in a strange way, they’re competing against their horns. Around the age of 4, their horn size makes them legal game—several years before their reproductive peak. That means smaller-horned males get far more opportunity to mate.

Other species are shrinking, too. Australia’s red kangaroo has become noticeably smaller as poachers target the largest animals for leather. The phenomenon has been most apparent in harvested fish: since fishing nets began capturing only fish of sufficient size in the 1980s, the Atlantic cod and salmon, several flounders and the northern pike have all propagated in miniature.

So what if fish or kangaroos are smaller? If being smaller is safer, this might be a successful adaptation for a hunted species. After all, ” ‘fitness’ is relative and transitory,” says Columbia University biologist Don Melnick, meaning that Darwinian natural selection has nothing to do with what’s good or bad, or the way things should be.

Read more: http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2009/01/02/it-s-survival-of-the-weak-and-scrawny.html

“In the Shadows of the Congo Basin Forest, Elephants Fall to the Illegal Ivory Trade”

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Top Photo: Christophe Morio/africahunting
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Bottom Photo: Wikimedia Commons
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Posted in: Trophy Hunting
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Tags: Hunting pressure, species evolution in reverse, small is better, hunted animals, damage done by trophy hunting

186 Wolves Slated To Die In 2010 Montana Hunt

Well Montana FWP took off the gloves and increased the wolf hunt quota for 2010 to 186. That is more then double the number from the 75  quota of  the 20o9 hunt.  These are the folks in charge of wolves lives. They are treating them like vermin. 

A wolf archery season was created with the new quota. So now wolves will be dodging arrows and bullets if this misguided, brutal hunt goes forward.

Even though wolves are a newly delisted species the state couldn’t wait to start killing them, mere months after gray wolves lost their ESA protections in 2009, Montana and Idaho initiated wolf hunts. Wolf advocates predicted this would happen. Fish and game agencies should NOT be managing predators. There’s a conflict of interest because the very prey species hunters pay licensing fees to hunt are the same prey that wolves hunt. Who’s side do you think the state game agencies are going to come down on?  Certainly not the wolves. 

Wolves are just numbers to them. Shoot a couple hundred, what the heck. We don’t need science. We don’t need to worry about disrupting the pack structure of one of the most social animals on the planet.  Apparently Montana FWP believes they can take out half the wolf population and wolves will just make more wolves. What they forgot to mention is Wildlife Services killed 145 wolves in 2009 for agribusiness.

So lets do the math. There WERE  approx. 520 wolves in Montana at the end of 2009 but since WS has been slaughtering  entire packs in 2010, that number  has decreased. Assuming WS will kill as many if not more wolves this year then last, we”ll use the 145 number and add that to the 186 wolves they want to kill in the hunt. Subtract the number of wolves present at the end of 2009 and that leaves just 186 animals and it will be lower then that, probably closer to 150 wolves, left in the state at the end of 2009.  That means over 60% of wolves in Montana will lose their lives, under the double whammy of two hunts, the so-called legal hunt and the WS shadow hunt.

Why then is Montana FWP stating there will be over 400 wolves left after all this killing?  It’s simple, they’ll be counting the puppies born in 2010  to raise the wolf numbers. You see they count wolves at the end of every year. It’s all a numbers game.  The wolf pups born this Spring will be added to the decimated wolf population at the end of  year, which will increase the numbers. To raise the wolf populaton back up to 400 from 150 will take at least 250 pups that were born and survived this spring. Or wolves that may have dispersed from Idaho, Wyoming or Canada. 

If this is allowed to continue wolves will be “managed” down to bare minimum numbers, just enough to keep them from being relisted but not enough to be more then mere shadows on the landscape.

Why are they doing this?  Well at a Montana FWP meeting on wolves, a month or so ago, someone asked them that question.  Their answer: BECAUSE WE CAN!!  They went on further to state there’s a big interest in trophy hunting wolves in Montana and apparently the state wants to accomodate these hunters. Nice huh?

Killing and disrupting packs, shooting alphas, playing Russian roulette with wolves lives is going to dial down the age of wolves.  The wolf population will be younger with fewer more experienced wolves around to show them the ropes.  Young wolves are more likely to get into trouble. This policy of killing over 50%-60% of the wolf population is sick and disgusting. Where is the science? Where are the studies on the effect the 2009 wolf hunt had on the population? There shouldn’t be any wolf hunts in Montana in the first place. Wolves are not even close to being recovered.

Wake up people, Montana has declared war on wolves. I hope Judge Molloy’s decision puts a cramp in their plans. But wait,  Montana FWP has a plan for that too. If Judge Molloy relists wolves, Montana FWP stated they will try to find a way to let sport  hunters kill wolves for agribusiness, along  with federal agents. These people want to kill wolves, that’s it. It has nothing to do with elk or cows.  

I wish wolves were never reintroduced to the Northern Rockies. They don’t deserve a repeat of the persecution they suffered under the first Western extermination. They brought them back to kill them for sport!! 

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FWP sets wolf quota at 186

Posted: Thursday, 08 July 2010 12:34PM
AP News

http://www.keci.com/pages/7645292.php?contentType=4&contentId=6429257

Posted in: Montana wolves, Wolf Wars

Tags: 186 wolf hunt quota, wolf persecution, trophy hunting, Montana FWP

Killing Wolves To Save Wolves? What?

May 13, 2010

I was reading the sermon, I mean article, in High Country News, on why wolf hunters are doing wolves a favor by killing them. It’s called  “One Way to Save the Wolf? Hunt It. Montana wildlife managers deem the first wolf season a success, for both hunters and hunted”

I can tell you without hesitation that the wolves slaughtered in Montana’s hunts would much rather be alive then dead. I’m positive that being blasted in the guts, dying an agonizing death is not preferable to running through the woods, alive and breathing with your pack mates. Seriously, was this written for anyone but trophy hunters, who derive pleasure from killing beauty?

The article suggests that somehow the hunts have shifted people’s perceptions of wolf hunting and the only way to build a  constituency for wolves is to hunt them. Oh the hypocrisy!  Here’s our wolf manager in chief, Carolyn Sime, warning that if we don’t kill wolves to save wolves we’re playing a dangerous game.

Sime believes that those who oppose the wolf season are playing a dangerous game. “You can have wolves as game animals, and hunters who pay to hunt them, or you go with Wildlife Services, and have the taxpayers pay for the control,” she says. Wildlife Services is the federal agency tasked with killing “nuisance” animals, including everything from feral dogs that attack people, to coyotes that threaten livestock, to birds that hang out around airports. Federal shooters killed about 145 wolves in Montana last year, out of an estimated population of 524.

So Wildlife Services is going to stop killing wolves if the state allows continued wolf hunts? Yeah right, that will happen. The truth is wolves now have to dodge bullets from wolf hunters AND Wildlife Services, who act as the ranchers private wolf extermination service.

Between the “wonderful, helpful wolf hunts” and Wildlife Services slaughtering them for agribusiness, 220 wolves lost their lives in Montana in 2009 and that’s not including poaching or SSS.  Now the state wants to almost triple the hunt quota from 75 to  216 wolves for the 2010 hunt. That means if  Wildlife Services kills as many or more wolves in 2010 and the hunts take 216 wolves, plus poaching and general wolf mortality, that could reduce the wolf population to between 100-150 wolves from the current population of 524 by the end of this year. Isn’t that great? Wolf Extermination Part Two but I digress.

Just to set the record straight, I’m outraged about what is happening to wolves and I know I speak for other wolf advocates. We haven’t given up or thrown in the towel. We’re waiting to see if Judge Molloy relists wolves and puts a stop to the hunts. I do not and will never condone killing wolves for sport. I think it’s disgusting, brutal, unnecessary blood lust. Anyone that kills animals for sport has my utter contempt.  The only thing in the entire “Love a wolf/Kill a wolf” article I agree with is the second paragraph.

From the High Country News:

“Montana’s first-ever wolf season was viewed with horror by many environmental groups, and by many people who have celebrated the charismatic predator’s return to the Northern Rockies. The hunt was simply too much, too soon, they said; it would kill off the alpha males and females that are the primary breeders and break the slowly building matrix of genetic diversity that is key to the long-term health of the returning populations. They predicted that leaderless wolf packs would go after even more livestock, leading to more wolf-killing by the federal Wildlife Services. The wolves’ positive effects on the ecosystem — keeping coyote numbers in check, scattering elk that were overgrazing their winter ranges — could be reversed.”

Hunting a species mere months off the endangered species list?  That’s responsible “management”?  The state of Montana rushed to sell wolf tags and make a buck off wolves lives, they sold 15,603 tags which generated $325,916 for state coffers. All this to kill 75 wolves.

Now Montana is proposing to increase the wolf hunt quotas after only recently giving Wildlife Services full discretion  to kill wolves for agribusiness.

Is there any doubt wolves need ESA protection in this hostile environment?  This is why states should NOT be “managing” wolves. It’s an obvious conflict of  interest because the state game agencies, that are in charge of wolves, receive money from hunter’s licensing fees. Get it?

Oh but wait, I forgot, we’re killing wolves to save wolves. Yeah right. Tell that to the wolves.

The most disturbing part of this piece was the Montana FWP wolf manager and wildlife biologist, Mike Ross’s account of killing a six year old male wolf.  That couldn’t be construed as exploiting  his position as a wolf manager? I mean he doesn’t study Montana’s wolves for a living and know where every single wolf pack resides in the state or anything.  He’s just a hunter having a hell of a good time killing a wolf.  Nobody should be outraged by this? Right?  Uh-huh.

Here’s the breathless account of  shooting a wolf to death:

“I’m 48 years old, and I’ve been hunting since I was 9, and I’ve never had a more exciting day of hunting in my life,” Ross says. Ross had a coveted permit, one of only five issued, drawn by lottery to hunt bull elk in what may be the world’s best elk country. “My girlfriend, Colleen, and I saw some pretty good bulls, but I was looking for at least a 340 (Boone and Crockett). We heard wolves howling in the morning, and after lunch … 10 wolves came out on an open ridge, flopped down in the sun, kind of belly-up. Colleen said, ‘Let’s go after them.’ “

The two hunters crossed the river and climbed up to where they could see across to the ridge. “But they were gone,” Ross says. The wolf pack was hidden in a patch of timber above them when Ross “howled them up.” “The woods just opened up,” Ross says, “howls everywhere, coming down on us, just wild, and I thought for a second, ‘How many bullets do we have?’ Then there were wolves below us, too.” Ross howled again, and a big male wolf stepped from the timber above them. “He moved around us, and when he came out in the open, I shot him.” The 6-year-old male wolf was black and weighed 117 pounds. Ross remains awed by the experience. “If you went out there a hundred times and tried to do something like this, you couldn’t do it. It was hunting, you know, where everything comes together all of a sudden. I think those wolves were in a competitive situation with another pack, and they came in like coming into a gang fight. I’ll never forget it.” Ross says that he “got quite a bit of flak for shooting a wolf, people saying I exploited my job. I don’t want anybody to think that. I was out hunting, I had a wolf tag, and we got into them. That’s all.”

Wow that was thrilling. I was on the edge of my seat reading that. That wolf should be so grateful that Ross killed him and had such a great and awesome time doing  it.

Excuse me but should one of Montana’s wolf mangers be bragging  about his special moment killing a wolf? Does anyone else find this concerning?  After all isn’t his job “managing”, studying and tracking wolves, supposedly looking out for them? Yet he describes killing a wolf as if he’d just had an out-of-body experience. Is this who we want managing wolves in Montana? I feel so much better knowing one of Montana’s wolf managers enjoys killing wolves.  That’s just swell.

“If you went out there a hundred times and tried to do something like this, you couldn’t do it. It was hunting, you know, where everything comes together all of a sudden. I think those wolves were in a competitive situation with another pack, and they came in like coming into a gang fight. I’ll never forget it.” Ross says.”

Epic Fail…

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Photo: wolf wallpaper

Posted in: Montana wolves,  Howling for Justice, Wolf Wars

Tags: cavemen, chest thumping, trophy hunting, wolves in the cross fire, wolf persecution, Montana wolf hunts

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