Archive for November 2014

Steller: Lone wolf deserves chance to meet others   3 comments

From:  tucson.com – Arizona Daily Star

Grand Canyon wolf

Arizona Game and Fish Deprtment

November 27, 2014 6:00 pm  • 

She must be lonely, spending Thanksgiving weekend wandering the Grand Canyon’s North Rim all on her own.

She’s a fertile, female wolf, and finding a mate is likely the force that drove her southward from her home in the northern Rocky Mountains.

This is how Ed Bangs, a former federal wolf expert in that region, explained her likely motivation: “It’s looking for love,” he told The Associated Press. “It leaves the core population and doesn’t know the love of its life is going to be right over the next hill, so it just keeps traveling.”

If only there were some wolves nearby …

Of course, there are 83 of them — about 200 miles southeast in the White Mountains and adjacent areas of eastern Arizona and western New Mexico. All that stands between her and them is the Grand Canyon and our wildlife bureaucracy.

This week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released documents that spell out some of the details of how they propose to manage the reintroduced Mexican gray wolves of the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area. That’s where efforts to reintroduce endangered Mexican gray wolves began in 1998 and foundered for more than a decade before the population began to grow again over the last few years.

The documents show that the service plans to expand the areas in which the wolves are allowed to wander — a welcome change from the strict boundaries and behavioral rules that Arizona Game and Fish enforced during the first decade-plus of the effort. The newly opened areas would include about half of Arizona, including all of the southeastern quadrant, as well as about a third of New Mexico, mostly in the southwestern part of that state.

But the service sets a strict northern boundary for the Mexican gray wolves at Interstate 40. So even if the expanded range were already in effect now, wildlife managers would still prevent wolves from roaming northwest toward the Grand Canyon, cutting the distance between them and this potential new pack member and mate. Wolves north of that line could be picked up and returned or even killed if necessary.

That’s a shame, because this female wolf is from a different subspecies of gray wolves. Her genes, introduced to the semi-inbred population in the Blue Range, would increase their genetic diversity and vitality considerably. It’s also a shame because it puts our abstract rules and boundaries on what could be a natural flow.

“Wolf geneticists over the last decade have been documenting that there was genetically a gradient from the Mexican gray wolf to the northern Rockies wolves,” conservation biologistCarlos Carroll told me.

In other words, there wasn’t a clear genetic distinction between Mexican gray wolves in the south and northern gray wolves, but rather a transition zone between, say, Arizona and Wyoming, where the wolves were less and less Mexican the farther north they were found.

“That old paradigm of drawing hard lines on a map to divide subspecies — that was typical of naturalists 100 years ago,” said Carroll, of the Klamath Center for Conservation Research.

He was a member of the group of scientists contributing to the Mexican gray wolf recovery team up until last year and was lead author of a paper on wolf genetics in the journal Conservation Biology published last year. Among its conclusions: “long-term prospects for recovery of gray wolves in the western U.S. may hinge on wolves being able to successfully disperse between widely separated populations.”

The paper also points to the Grand Canyon area, all of which is north of Interstate 40, as one of the most suitable areas for additional Mexican gray wolf populations.

Arizona Game and Fish, which helped mold this latest Fish and Wildlife Service proposal, argues there is reason to have a northern boundary.

In short, the idea is that “we want Mexican wolves where Mexican wolves were,” explained Jim DeVos, the assistant director of Arizona Game and Fish overseeing wildlife.

The scientific research describes the wolves as largely having been a creature of Southeastern Arizona, as well as adjacent New Mexico and Mexico, he said. But it would be difficult to draw a line at, say, Mount Ord in the White Mountains and say no wolves should go north of there.

I-40 “is north of the historic range and a logical demarcation for Mexican wolves,” DeVos said. “Why go north when the suitable habitat goes south?”

My question is: Why demarcate the territory at all? Having reintroduced these animals, why not let them do what they obviously do naturally — roam, run into each other, mate and create their own packs and populations?

Related document:  http://tucson.com/study-of-wolf-habitat-genetics/pdf_94d895ca-f733-5bde-904f-c756dfefef40.html#.VHsVdsYNFJk.email

 

 

Bear attack survivor recounts the terrifying fight for his life   Leave a comment

BringMeTheNews.com

A hunter who survived a savage attack from a wounded bear has spoken for the first time about the terrifying fight for his life.

Brandon Johnson, 44, fought off the 525lb black bear he was tracking with a hunting knife after he was attacked in woods near Duxbury, Minnesota, on September 27.

He has spoken with KSTP about how the bear bit his face, arms, chest and leg while he stabbed it repeatedly in the head with his knife. The bear pretended to leave on two occasions only to resume its attack.

“At the very beginning I didn’t know where I was, I was looking up at the sky and this bear was biting my face. I didn’t know what happened, I didn’t see the bear coming,” he told KSTP.

“I felt its tooth going underneath my jaw. Just at that instance I said this isn’t a dream. I still…

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Posted 29 November, 2014 by Wolf is my Soul in News/Nyheter

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South Africa Turns To New Breed Of Anti-Poaching Crime Fighters   Leave a comment

Emilio Cogliani

RUSTENBURG, South Africa (AP) — Venom and Killer. These are members of a furry breed of anti-poaching operatives, dogs that can detect a whiff of hidden rhino horn in a suspect’s vehicle or follow the spoor of armed poachers in South Africa’s besieged wildlife parks.

Dogs are a small part of an increasingly desperate struggle to curb poaching in Africa, where tens of thousands of elephants have been slaughtered in recent years to meet a surging appetite for ivory in Asia, primarily China. In South Africa, poachers have killed more than 1,000 rhinos this year, surpassing the 2013 record. Countries and conservationists are trying more robust patrols and surveillance, community programs and other tactics against criminal gangs that sometimes benefit from official corruption.

As the conflict rages, elite dogs and handlers are drilling at an anti-poaching academy northwest of Johannesburg. The course prepares canine units to find firearms or contraband…

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Posted 29 November, 2014 by Wolf is my Soul in News/Nyheter

Fishermen continue illegal poaching of shad   Leave a comment

Police warn fishermen who are illegally poaching shad during the closed season.

From:  Northglen News

by Shiraz Habbib | 26 November 2014 13:22

A picture of shad confiscated by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife officers. According to the organisation, officers confiscate between 30 to 80 shad per patrol.

THE illegal overfishing of shad along the Durban North and uMhlanga shoreline is continuing despite the season being closed. Hundreds of fishermen have ignored the law and have been fined and arrested along various beaches said Lt Raymond Deokaran, spokesman for the Durban North police station.

The most popular spots are the Shipwreck Beach (La Lucia), Glenashley Beach and Peace Cottage (uMhlanga). The shad season closed on the 1 October and ends on 30 November.

“Fishermen are still taking the chance and are illegally fishing for the shad. We have fined a number of them, but it still hasn’t deterred them. If you are caught with 10 or more shad, there is no bail, you are arrested and will appear in front of a magistrate and you will be left with a criminal record,” he said.

Approximately 60 per cent of all fish caught by shore anglers on the KZN coast are shad.

In an interview with Northglen News in October, Basil Pather, conservation manager at the Beachwood Nature Reserve, highlighted the plight of the sought after fish, saying the overfishing during the closed season was ‘killing’ the species.

“At the moment we have a situation where there’s a dwindling number of shad catches during the open season and anglers are illegally catching more shad during the closed season, which in turn affects the population. As a result we are compromising the breeding stock,” Pather said.

“Fishermen are unaware that their actions are directly impacting the declining shad population.”

 

Wandering moose spotted in Sleepy Eye dies   Leave a comment

BringMeTheNews.com

The wandering moose spotted chomping on apples at a farm in Sleepy Eye last week was found dead, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said Thursday.

The yearling bull, who likely traveled down from Canada, was found dead in someone’s yard, MPR News reports. No further details are available, but the DNR plans to perform an autopsy.

The moose got a lot of attention last week because he wandered so far from home. DNR officials told the Mankato Free Press it’s odd for a moose to end up in southern Minnesota, but it’s not unusual for a young male moose to leave his place of birth.

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Posted 27 November, 2014 by Wolf is my Soul in News/Nyheter

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Deer harvest in Minnesota falls 31,000 as restrictions bite   Leave a comment

BringMeTheNews.com

The total number of deer killed at the end of this year’s firearms season is down 31,000 compared to 2013, state figures show.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has revealed that hunters had registered 111,000 deer by the end of the third and final weekend of firearms hunting season.

Overall, 127,000 deer have been registered this year, which includes special hunts and archery season, and earlier antlerless and firearms seasons, down from 160,000 in 2013, according to the Duluth News Tribune.

This year’s harvest was expected to be lower, the News Tribune reports, because the DNR had put in place tighter restrictions on the number of deers allowed to be killed in a bid to boost the population across the state.

Numbers were depleted after a big harvest last year and an extreme winter.

Although the season is over for much of the state, the DNR says the late…

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Posted 27 November, 2014 by Wolf is my Soul in News/Nyheter

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What are the chances? Rare albino deer spotted in Minnesota state park   Leave a comment

BringMeTheNews.com

They’re considered as rare as a “gold nugget in a stream”, but earlier this month an albino deer was captured on camera in a Minnesota park.

The deer was spotted by an amateur photographer walking with a herd in Father Hennepin State Park on the southeast corner of Mille Lacs Lake, the Mail Online reports.

Realizing how unlikely a sighting it was, he quickly took video footage he uploaded to viral video website Jukin Media.

According to Buckmasters, as few as 1 in 100,000 deer is born with the genetic defect that turns them albino, with the website saying anyone who sees on is “very lucky.”

Although they have plenty to camouflage them in the winter, AOL.com reports that the deer rarely live to adulthood because they can be spotted so easily by predators, and also have very poor eyesight.

Another albino deer was spotted in Michigan…

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Posted 27 November, 2014 by Wolf is my Soul in News/Nyheter

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