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

===

===

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

===

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

Advertisements

To Montana and Idaho Wolves, You’re NOT Forgotten….

Gray wolves fws.gov

What better Christmas gift than to see Great Lakes Wolves relisted? First Wyoming and now Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. BUT the relisting, as tremendous as it is, came after Minnesota and Wisconsin wolf hunting “seasons” ended with 426 dead wolves. Both states went over-limit.

For Montana and Idaho wolves there is no reprieve!  As of today 229 wolves have been killed in their state hunts and the suffering is far from over. Montana’s hunt stretches to March 31, right through wolf breeding, denning and pupping season. Idaho’s wolf hunt is seemingly endless, with wolf hunts taking place on public or private land most of the year.

So remember what we’ve lost, what we’ve gained and during this Christmas season, as we rejoice over the relisting of the Great Lakes wolf population, remember Idaho and Montana wolves are still dying.

===

    Montana Wolf Hell

http://fwp.mt.gov/hunting/planahunt/huntingGuides/wolf

Idaho Wolf Hell

http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/docs/rules/bgWolf.pdf

===

Montana is a backward wolf massacre state

Opinion
The Billings Gazette
December 17, 2013 12:00 am
===
Regarding allowing ranchers to kill perceived “threatening wolves” (Senate Bill 200): Montana policy wolf qualifies it, from wolf conservationists’ perspectives, as a backward wolf massacre state.

This attitude is evidenced by $19 tags for five wolves; not having a real quota; by having a trapping season beyond and through the hunting season; an attitude of “we need to drive down the population” without any science behind such thinking; an attitude of not holding the rancher responsible in any way for taking preventive, good husbandry, measures.

It is political management, not scientific management. Now it will be in evidence with a policy of allowing a rancher to kill a wolf “perceived” as a threat, which to a rancher and guests will likely mean any wolf seen, which will all equate to open season on wolves, with much of it on leased public land.

Wolves kill around 65 cattle annually in a state that has 5.5 million which is 0.001 percent. There are 3,776 leases on BLM land and 772 on national forest lands. Ranchers are reimbursed for losses. Oregon has a model for Montana, although Montana rule makers are too backward and obstinate to listen and learn. The Oregon wolf management model requires ranchers to have nonlethal deterrents in place and to have used them, and then only kill chronic offenders.

Wolves are not vermin. Wolves are apex predators that are good for wildlife ecology, having a positive cascading effect throughout the food chain versus ecological unhealthy man wildlife killing.

Roger Hewitt

Great Falls

http://billingsgazette.com/news/opinion/montana-is-a-backward-wolf-massacre-state/article_4125d0d7-2f81-53b8-be26-a95b9c59af7f.html

===

Idaho’s Wolf-Killing Atrocity Continues

Posted: 03/24/2014 2:25 pm EDT Updated: 05/24/2014 5:59 am EDT
 When it comes to killing wolves, Idaho has an appetite that just can’t be sated.

State lawmakers just approved a bill that sets aside $400,000 to exterminate 500 wolves. Adding insult to injury, the bill takes management away from the state wildlife agency and places it in the hands of a “wolf depredation control board” that will consist solely of members appointed and overseen by Governor Butch Otter, who said in 2007 that he wanted to be the first to kill an Idaho wolf after federal protections were taken away.

Just a few months ago, Idaho sent a bounty hunter into the woods to wipe out two wolf packs and more recently announced plans to kill 60 percent of the wolves in another part of the state.

The slaughter continues and Idaho’s political leaders seem to bask in the carnage they’re leaving behind.

It’s exactly the kind of ugly behavior that we feared when Congress in 2011 stripped Endangered Species Act protections from wolves in the northern Rockies, where some 1,600 wolves have been killed since protections were lifted. And it’s clear, more mass killing is on the way.

This isn’t supposed to be happening. The United States worked for 40 years to return wolves to the American landscape. Canis lupus had been driven to the brink of extinction in the lower 48 states as settlement moved west, ranching moved in and government sponsored programs trapped, poisoned and shot wolves into oblivion.

The Endangered Species Act allowed wolves to begin recovery, at least in a few places like the northern Rocky Mountains and Great Lakes states. After reintroductions in Yellowstone National Park and parts of Idaho, wolves came back. New packs formed. Families were built. Ecosystems, now with a keystone predator back in the mix, began to function like they had historically.

Politicians in Congress, though, pulled the plug and unceremoniously stripped federal protections. We were told that wolves could be responsibly managed by state wildlife agencies in places like Idaho.

Truth is, wolves are being persecuted in Idaho with the same kind of repulsive attitude that nearly drove them to extinction 100 years ago. Only now it’s happening under the official state flag.

And here’s where it gets worse: the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service now wants to take away federal protections for nearly all wolves in the lower 48 states. And, just like in 2011, we’re being told that wolves will be fine. They won’t be. Wolves today live in just five percent of their historic habitat.

Click HERE to read more

===

Photo: FWS

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Endangered Species Act

Tags: Great Lakes wolves, relisted, Montana, Idaho, wolf killing states, wolf trapping, wolf hunting, ESA, wolf persecution

 

 

Iconic 06 To Be Immortalized On Film….

O6 Female CC BY 2.0 Flickr

She was the alpha female of Yellowstone’s Lamar Canyon pack, the most famous wolf in the world, with many names. The O6 female, collared wolf 832f, Rockstar but she was most commonly called O6, after her birth year. She was the granddaughter of the beloved Druid Peak Pack alphas, 42F and 21M. She was a legend.

From Notes From The Field:

“She left her family as a young adult and lived a colorful and independent life for the next few years. She became a master elk hunter, one of the best in Yellowstone, and was famous for killing elk by herself. In addition, 06 had scores of suitors over the years. During one mating season she bred with five different males. She left each of those males, however, and
continued to live independently sometimes in temporary association with a few other wolves, sometimes as a lone wolf.

When she was nearly four years old, in early 2010, 06 finally settled down. She ran into two yearling brothers who had just dispersed from their pack. They were later collared and given the numbers 754 and 755. At the time that 06 met the two brothers, they had already started a partnership with seven sisters who controlled a high quality territory. Their father, the
pack’s alpha male, had recently left the group and the sisters needed new males. Despite the brothers being in such favorable circumstances, 06 managed to lure them away from the other females and they joined her in establishing a new pack. That event said a lot about 06. The brothers judged her to be more valuable than seven females.

Being only yearlings, the two brothers had not bred while 06 had more experience. Perhaps due to the significant difference in their ages and experience levels, the brothers, with 755 as  alpha male, were willing to let 06 be the undisputed leader of the new group they formed: the Lamar Canyon Pack. Both brothers bred with 06 a month later. She discovered an old wolf den near Slough Creek and prepared it for her pups. The site was centrally located in an area with enough prey to support her family. But it had one disadvantage: grizzlies were very common in the region. In mid-April, 06 had four gray pups in that den: two males and two females. Since the opening to the den was visible from the road, we often saw 06 nursing the pups and carrying them back into the den when they strayed too far away.

Fiercely protective of her pups, 06 frequently had to deal with grizzlies that approached her den. She would run at a bear, get behind it, bite the rear end, then run off in the opposite direction of her pups. The grizzly would chase her, but could not match her speed or agility. When the bear stopped, 06 would run back, bite it again on the hind quarters and draw it further away. In one case she spent twelve hours decoying a grizzly away from her pups before she felt it was lured a safe distance away and only then returned to the den. That fall, when the pups were old enough to travel, she led her pack a few miles to the east and resettled her family in Lamar Valley. That had been the territory of her ancestors, the Druid Peak Pack..”

Read more: 

http://www.as.wvu.edu/biology/bio21site/Rick’s%20Field%20Notes%204-2013.pdf

Lamar Canyon Pack Flickr_CC BY_ND 2.0

Sadly, on a cold December day in 2012, her life came to a sudden and ugly end. Brought down by a hunter’s bullet, as she ranged outside the safety of Yellowstone’s boundaries, something she rarely did,  the wolf who had come to mean so much to so many, was no more.

Now a book and film are memorializing her life. She is the ambassador for all  wolves who’ve suffered and died due to the unnecessary delisting of  gray wolves and speedy wolf hunts that followed in 5 states: Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Minnesota,  Wisconsin with Michigan not far behind. UPDATE: On September 23, 2014, District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson  reinstated  ESA protections for Wyoming wolves, it is now illegal to kill a wolf in Wyoming.

I hope the film, along with celebrating her life, will confront why wolves are being hunted at all. O6 and thousands of other wolves, who’ve been brought down by hunter’s bullets, would still be with us today if they hadn’t been betrayed by Congress and the Obama administration.  The infamous budget bill wolf delisting rider, passed in 2011, wiped out decades of wolf recovery and seriously weakened the Endangered Species Act.  Now wolves face a USFWS national delisting, which would remove all federal protections for wolves in the lower 48, including areas where they remain listed, including western Oregon and Washington.

The movie and book are called American Wolf. Thank you Leonardo for taking on this project to tell the O6 story. It’s well worth telling and in the process will elevate the discussion of the importance of wolves. This could be a game changer!

===

Leonardo DiCaprio Tackling Wild Animal Tale ‘American Wolf’ (Exclusive)

2:29 PM PST 09/26/2014 by Borys Kit

Wolf tells the story of O-Six, who in some circles was the world’s most famous wild animal. The female alpha wolf was collared and tracked by researchers at Yellowstone National Park, gaining a huge following from not only scientists but the public as well. She was shot by a hunter in 2012 just outside the park’s boundaries, an act that caused howls around the country (she even got an obituary inThe New York Times)

Read More: 

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/leonardo-dicaprio-tackling-wild-animal-735948

===

[youtube:http://youtu.be/ZLrjnrc0Nf4?list=UUUQ3OL5G7B-r9GSoXmM2BqA%5D

===

Photos: Courtesy Treehugger (CC BY 2.0 Flickr) (Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0)

Video: Courtesy YouTube/ SuperMontanamike

Posted in: Wolf Wars, gray wolf, Yellowstone Wolves, biodiversity, trophy hunting

Tags: American Wolf, O6 female, wolf 832f, Rockstar, Yellowstone’s Lamar Canyon alpha female, iconic Druid Peak Pack alphas, 21m and 42f, Yellowstone National Park, Leonardo DiCaprio, wolf hunting, wolf delisting via budget bill rider 2011, wolf persecution, stop the wolf hunts

Rescuing Wolf Pups/Killing Wolf Pups….

Wolf pups like this is in Idaho’ s Lolo and Selway Zones don’t stand a chance

June 2, 2012

Little wolf pups are emerging from their dens in Idaho’s  Lolo and Selway zones where the wolf hunt IS ONGOING, stretching into June. Lactating alpha mothers and their pups are sitting ducks  for “hunters”, lambs to the slaughter. So in this context I read the moving  story of the little wolf pup who was found by campers  last weekend in the Sawtooth National Forest. They assumed he was a lost puppy and called the cops who advised them to take him to a vet, where it was determined this was probably a little six-week old wolf pup. A DNA test was done, the results are pending.

There are many unanswered question surrounding this little guy, was his mother poached? Did the pack move to a rendezvous site, leaving him behind accidentally?  Of course we’ll never know. It seems unlikely a wolf mother would leave her little one behind, wolves adore their babies.

There’s a search on for his natal pack so he can be reunited with them, which becomes increasingly remote with each passing day.

“field technicians with the Wood River Wolf Project and Fish and Game have been scouring the area near where the pup was found since Sunday, searching for any signs of the pack the pup might have come from.”

Even IDFG “Regan Berkley, regional wildlife biologist” and “Randy Smith, big game manager for the Magic Valley Region” have commented on the pup.

It’s looking more and more like the little wolf will be spending the rest of his life in captivity, probably a wolf sanctuary and  personally I don’t think that’s such a bad thing, considering the wolf hating climate in Idaho.  Which brings me back to the point of this post.

It strikes me as hypocritical that IDFG managers are taking an active interest in this pup’s welfare when up North in the Lolo and Selway, pups just like him can be slaughtered along with their mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers.  Idaho is a brutal place to be a wolf.  Hunters snared, trapped, shot and arrowed wolves from August 30, 2011 to March 31, 2012.  The slaughter continues in the Lolo and Selway right through breeding, denning and pupping season. This is not a place where a little wolf pup wants to be.  Not only did Idaho hunters kill 378 wolves in the last seven months but Wildlife Services continues to kill wolves for agribusiness.  A wolf kill order recently went out for Flat Top Ranch, with the Little Wood Pack in trouble.  So more wolves will die.

Idaho is decimating it’s wolf population quicker then you can say lickety-split and earning a nasty reputation for itself.  It’s been just one year since  President Obama signed the budget bill/wolf delisting rider and sent the apex predators into the arms of their enemies and oh how they are delighting in slaughtering them.  Just take a visit to some of the wolf hating sites on Facebook or peruse hunting forums to see the carnage in full color. One thing about trophy hunters, they love to pose over the corpses of their prey, smiling like they’ve won the lottery. Of course they don’t just like to kill wolves, they take pleasure in torturing them.

While America sleeps, the wolves they paid millions of dollars to restore, after almost every last one of them was shot, poisoned and trapped by the 1930’s,  is on the road to extermination once again in the lower 48.

So excuse me if I think the little, lost wolf hit the jackpot by getting rescued and how sad is that? He has a better chance of surviving in captivity and having a life then ending up in a choking snare, or shot in the gut writhing in pain or sitting for days in a trap trying to chew off his own foot, thirsty and alone waiting for the trapper to come back so he can choke him to death from behind or stomp on his head and body until he kicks and crushes the life out of him. No this little boy is better off somewhere else then the hell hole that Idaho has become for wolves.

===

Friday, June 1, 2012

Lone wolf pup found near Ketchum

Campers thought animal was domestic dog

Photo: Courtesy Idaho Mountain Express, Photo Patrick Graham

     Out-of-town campers picked up a 5-week-old wolf pup last weekend thinking it was a lost dog, state officials reported.

Regan Berkley, regional wildlife biologist with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, said a couple picked up the pup on the afternoon of Friday, May 25, in the Sawtooth National Forest near Ketchum. After calling the Ketchum Police Department, the couple was advised to take the pup to a local veterinarian’s office.

READ MORE 

http://www.mtexpress.com/index2.php?ID=2005142281

====

Top photo Wolf Pup:  Fanpop

Posted in: Wolf Wars

Tags: wolf puppy, Sawtooth National Forest, Ketchum Idaho, IDFG, wolf persecution,  Wildlife Services, wolf hunt, Flat Top Ranch

Idaho Declares War On Its Wolves….

We knew it would happen. We watched in horror as the anti-wolf crowd devised an end round Judge Molloy’s ruling to relist wolves. Western politicians stepped up and helped gut the ESA and strip Northern Rockies gray wolves of their protections. Senate Democrats voted to delist wolves by budget rider, President Obama signed the bill into law and that was the beginning of the end of wolves in Idaho.

Now without the protection of the Endangered Species Act, as wolf advocates predicted,  Idaho is planning to kill most of its 1000 wolves, a third of whom are puppies. Trappers can kill up to 5 wolves, hunters 2, in a calendar year. Does that mean hunters and trappers can buy new sets of tags in 2012 as well? Which would allow them to kill even more wolves, since the season runs through March 31, 2012?

And didn’t IDFG Director, Virgil Moore state that if the hunters and trappers don’t get the job done that fish and game would bring in Wildlife Services with their helicopter gunships and traps?

From the Idaho Statesman:

“Idaho will also rely on federal wolf hunters and airborne gunners to kill wolves”

“Wolf control actions will take place in and out of the hunting season,”

So that’s the sad reality. Where’s the science in this slaughter? Where’s the empathy for the little pups that will die along with their parents, either by direct killing or starvation. These babies will only be four or five months old when the shooting starts. Who in the hell kills puppies?   Isn’t this animal cruelty plain and simple?

All the game playing that’s gone on, the demonization of wolves, when they’ve done NOTHING to deserve this. The elk are fine in Idaho and so are the millions of cows.  This is a political hunt aimed at pleasing hunters and ranchers, wildlife advocates be damned. We don’t count.

Idaho is garnering itself quite the reputation. They SHOULD care what wildlife watchers think, because they bring millions of dollars into the state. Are they going to endorse this killing spree? I think not!

It AMAZES me this all happened under Obama’s watch. We can no longer trust the Democrats to protect wildlife and the environment. Every single one of those Senate Dems voted to delist wolves, except for Wyden, Leahy and Levin. Think about that for a moment.

And now what we said would happen is happening. Idaho is not pretending to play nice anymore. They are setting out to do what they’ve wanted to do in the first place, take their wolf population from 1000 to 150 or lower?

And all the people who called for wolf hunts, is this what you envisioned? Wholesale slaughter? And what about a few of the conservationists that put their seal of approval on wolf hunts? Yes you know who you are. Do you like this plan?

I lay awake at night thinking about Idaho, Montana and Wyoming wolves. They have no idea what’s coming. They are raising their babies, teaching them how to be wolves. Little do they know,  if the state of Idaho has their way, they are “Dead Wolves Walking“, as Bill Gibson wrote.

Remember August is the month to Howl Across America to protest the wolf hunt horror!!

===

Idaho plans for extensive wolf hunts, trapping

Laura Zuckerman Reuters July 28, 2011, 8:04 p.m.

SALMON, Idaho, July 28 (Reuters) – Idaho will open its wolf
population, now estimated at about 1,000 animals, to extensive hunting and trapping to reduce their numbers to no fewer than 150 under a plan approved on Thursday by the state Fish and Game Commission.

The move came after a heated public hearing Wednesday night
in Salmon, where wolf foes declared war on the iconic predators
with rhetoric describing Idaho as locked in a “wolf crisis” and
as one of three “wolf-occupied states” in the Northern Rockies,
along with Montana and Wyoming.

CLICK HERE to read the rest of the article

===

Top Photo: Creative Commons

Puppy Photo: Courtesy Wolf People

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Idaho wolves

Tags: Idaho, IDFG, wolf trapping, wolf hunting, wolf archery, wolf wars, what about the puppies?

Speechless…..

December 16, 2010

I’m shocked and saddened by the article supporting wolf hunting, that appeared in the International Wolf Center (IWC) Winter  2o1o edition. 

Unbelievably, the author of the article was Dr. Mech, the renowned wildlife biologist, who founded the IWC and is vice-chair of their Board of Directors.

Not only does Dr. Mech support wolf hunts but he goes into shocking detail on how to carry them out. There is talk of harvesting wolves, killing  pregnant females, hunting wolves for their pelts, hunting pups later in the year so they don’t look like pups, leg-hold traps, baiting, calling and hiring bounty hunters. Seriously, if I didn’t know better I would have believed this article was written by a fish and game agency.

Last year, Doug Smith, the Yellowstone wolf biologist, stated wolves should be hunted later in winter when their pelts are thicker. This year we have the  pro-wolf hunting article by Dr. Mech.

Why would the IWC publish this when wolf advocates are fighting so hard to save wolves from another Western extermination? Why now when there is an all out attack on the ESA?  Why now when Mexican gray wolves are fighting for their very existence, being used for target practice in the Southwest, with six wolves killed this year alone?  Something is very wrong here. Read for yourself:

Considerations for Developing Wolf Harvesting Regulations in the Contiguous United States

L. David Mech

http://www.wolf.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/winter2010.pdf

 =======

Other equally upsetting articles that appeared in the same IWC issue:

Wolves Meet Their Match In Airborne Predators

(This article discusses hunting wolves with eagles!! WHAT???)

AND

Another Viewpoint: Why Hunting-Trapping Is Best Plan To Manage Gray Wolf Populations

(Trapping? I seem to remember the Feds using trappers to exterminate wolves in the West the first time around. What is the IWC thinking? This is outrageous)

http://www.wolf.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/winter2010.pdf

===

Response To David L. Mech’s “Considerations For “Harvesting” American Wolf Populations

December 9, 2010

The International Wolf Center’s mission to educate the public about wolves has taken an unlikely turn on the road to wolf conservation. Dr. L. David Mech, founder of the IWC, published an article in the Winter 2010 Magazine titled “Considerations for Developing Wolf Harvesting Regulations in the Contiguous United States.” In this article, Dr. Mech argues that the delisting of wolves from the Endangered Species Act is “inevitable.” Perhaps Dr. Mech knows something we don’t. But Dr. Mech’s article goes well beyond merely accepting the “inevitable.” He expresses a clear desire to educate the public concerning the most “efficient” methods of wolf harvesting. Let’s not pretty it up, “harvesting” means killing. Dr. Mech offers elaborate detail on the presumption hunters will not kill sufficient numbers of wolves once the “novelty” wears off. For instance, Dr. Mech suggests killing pregnant females, increasing the “monetary value” of wolf pelts by educating the public about proper ways to skin wolves and designating hunts during times when wolf fur is optimal, “fair chase” as well as “trapping and snaring,” and the use of “professional trappers” who are paid per wolf killed. To further maximize kills, Dr. Mech additionally advises “guided hunts” for persons seeking a “trophy” and seeking ways to “maximize the recreational value” of wolf hunting. To “minimize public animosity” towards wolf hunting, Dr. Mech advises promoting more extensive hunting in areas where wolves threaten livestock.

The idea that there is some need to reduce wolf populations is debatable. Wolves are highly adaptable but they prefer to remain in wilderness areas outside the boundaries of human territories. Wolf populations vary but they are subject to losses due to predation, injury, illness, and other natural circumstances. It is also suggested that wolves adapt their pack size to fit the resources and make other adjustments to accommodate pack numbers.

The notion that hunters will tire of killing wolves defies the urgency with which wolves have been massacred for over 100 years to the point of their near extinction. Killing pregnant females goes well beyond killing the she-wolf and her unborn pups. Wolves form close relations within the pack, and organize themselves by specific roles. Young members are essential and killing a pregnant female can disrupt the functioning of the whole pack.

The concern that wolves threaten livestock populations is more-and-more becoming a non-issue. For example, Montana reports loss of 97 out of a population of 2.6 million cattle to wolf depredation in 2009. These cattle roamed freely on both public and private lands with little or no protection. Non-lethal methods of protecting livestock ((i.e., flag fencing, guard dogs, range riders, noise makers, electric fencing, chemical fencing, repayment for lost livestock, range riders, and good animal supervision) have been tried and proven successful. Though he does not offer any figures, Dr. Mech suggests that harvesting wolves will save the cost of using non-lethal methods of protecting livestock. This ignores the obvious cost to organize and regulate hunts, particularly to monitor use of fair chase practices and seek out and deal with poachers.

Dr. Mech argues that paying professional trappers is not “bounty” hunting because they would be directed to kill specific numbers of wolves in specific locations, rather than permitted to seek out and kill wolves at random. This may be a technical argument but makes little practical difference. Trapping and snaring are less than “fair” and cause unnecessary suffering.

Dr. Mech recommends increases in wolf pelt value, to also improve numbers taken. This reduces the wolf to little more than a commodity, not unlike bludgeoning baby seals for making fur hats or fining live sharks to make soup. Dr. Mech additionally recommends killing wolves for “trophies” and encourages “recreational hunting” of wolves. This clearly places the killing of wolves in the arena of a sport, and not some public service related to necessary thinning wolf populations.

Wolves are of little threat to us, and they serve an invaluable purpose. Without wolves balance is disrupted in wilderness areas, which can ultimately lose the ability to sustain plant and animal species from the top down to the bottom of the food chain. Wolves are known to prey on the old, sick and weak animals, which serves to promote the health of elk, caribou, moose and other species. Wolves, even in the great numbers of their distant past, rarely caused harm to humans. It is believed that cavemen followed wolves to learn to hunt, and wolves continue to play an indispensable role in the environment we depend upon for survival. Dr. Mech’s advice sets us back at least 50 years, and is unconscionable at a time when we have come so close to finding enduring solutions to peaceful cohabitation with wolves.

D. J. Lentine, Ph.D.

Lewes, DE

=======

Please contact the IWC and tell them what you think of this egregious betrayal of wolves.

======= 

International Wolf Center
1396 Highway 169
Ely, MN 55731-8129
Phone: (218) 365-4695
Fax: (218) 365-3318
TTY Relay Service – (800) 855-2880

 

Top Photo: Courtesy First Nation (Daniel J. Cox)
Bottom  Photo: Courtesy First Nation

 Posted in: Wolf Wars, Minnesota gray wolves

 Tags: IWC, wolves in the crossfire, Dr. Mech, wolf hunting, ESA

© 2009-2012  Howling For Justice

Published in: on December 16, 2010 at 1:16 am  Comments (90)  
Tags: , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: