Archive for August 2015

Review of Wolves in Ireland by Kieran Hickey, TLS, April 2012.   2 comments

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August 30, 2015 by Seamus Sweeney

Going through my writings, I realise how little deals with something of great personal importance to me; nature and the natural world. Of course, semantic quibbling teaches us that “nature” and “natural” are weasel words. Talk about “the sounds of nature”, say, and you leave yourself open to all sorts of critiques and special pleadings. But talk about “the sounds of nature”, and special pleading aside, people know what you mean.

Other pieces about “nature” are no doubt in my oeuvre, but this is the one that springs to mind – a 2013 review of Kieran Hickey’s book on Wolves in Ireland. This is an academic text, and this review is something academic in bent. It was also my first piece to appear on the TLS website . This is the published text.

A burthensome beast

SÉAMUS SWEENEY

Kieran Hickey
WOLVES IN IRELAND
A natural and cultural history
155pp. Four Courts. ¤26.95.
978 1 84682 306 0

Published: 23 April 2012

At the Westminster Parliament in 1657, Major Morgan, representing Wicklow, enumerated the “three beasts to destroy that lay burthensome upon us. The first is the wolf, on whom we lay five pounds a head if a dog, and ten pounds if a bitch; the second beast is a priest, on whose head we lay ten pounds, and if he is eminent more. The third beast is the Tory, and on his head, if he be a public Tory, we lay ten pounds, and if he is a private Tory, we pay 40 shillings”.

Wolves and “wood kernes” (rebels living in forests) were often lumped together in English discourse on Ireland during the early seventeenth century, and Kieran Hickey provides much evidence that the authorities held an exterminationist approach to both creatures. The wolf is commonly supposed to have been eliminated in England and Wales during the reign of Charles II; in Ireland it persisted until the eighteenth century. Before the Cromwellian Wars the local population generally tolerated wolves; thereafter a combination of deforestation, a bounty system, a rising population, and a determination to tame “Wolf Land” all combined to doom the Irish wolf. The most commonly given date and place for the death of the last wild Irish wolf is 1786 in County Carlow.

The tallest breed of dog ever

Hickey, a lecturer in Geography at National University of Ireland, Galway, has written a history with abundant material on the zoology, folklore, history and cultural legacy of the wolf in Ireland. The Irish wolf-hound, the tallest breed of dog ever, and extinct in its original form (today’s wolf-hounds are reconstituted) is also discussed. There is, for a self-styled “cultural history”, little on literature. No mention of The Citizen’s wolfhound, Garryowen in Ulysses, and while we are told twice that W. B. Yeats was photographed posing in a wolfskin, we do not read of the wolves of “The Madness of King Goll” or “Three Marching Songs”.

Hickey is clearly more comfortable on the natural historical and the geographical (particularly wolf-related place names) than the cultural and historical elements. There are some striking solecisms. How different the history of these islands would have been if the Earl of Tyrone had indeed met “Queen Elizabeth’s grandson, John Harington” in 1599. And Hickey refers to the parliament which Major Morgan addressed as “the first united parliament of the three kingdoms”, which would have been a surprise to Oliver Cromwell.

Often the chapters on history and folklore read as an accumulation of somewhat random observations, a not atypical section reading: “The Greeks referred to the volcanic gases that came out of the ground as wolves, and the temple of Apollo in Athens was called the Lyceum, which means wolfskin. The wolf also features in Chinese mythology associated with astrology. Wolves feature heavily in the mythology of the indigenous tribes of North America”. Yet these cavils seems churlish, since Hickey himself cheerfully admits that the range of topics covered brings him outside his academic comfort zone. Indeed, he rather charmingly invites the reader to join in his research on the wolf in Ireland, estimating that many lifetimes would be required to fully work through the material he has gathered.

Hickey uses data such as the records of wolfskin exports from ports in the South-east to Bristol and historical references to wolves in various literary sources to try to extrapolate a population estimate. Of course, both of these methods have limitations that he openly acknowledges (it is very surprising that there are no references to wolves at all for County Donegal, the closest county to wilderness even now), but the natural historical detective work is impressive.

An area of about half the size of Ireland would be needed to support a viable breeding populationHickey also posits an intriguing counterfactual – that if wolves had managed to survive in Ireland up until the Famine, they possibly would have experienced a revival with the massive rural depopulation opening up much potential territory. A reintroduction is not feasible; using pack ranges from the United States (although European wolves tend to roam less), an area of about half the size of Ireland would be needed to support a viable breeding population.

Wolves have roamed Ireland in the last decade; but as escapees from captivity. There is no restriction on keeping wolves as pets, and Hickey cites recent escapes in Counties Fermanagh, Tyrone and Wexford as evidence of somewhat reckless atttitudes. The Welsh philosopher Mark Rowlands, when lecturing at University College Cork, ran daily by the Lee with his wolf Brenin, to the apparent indifference of farmers and passers-by. Perhaps modern Irish attitudes to wolves have returned to their pre-Morgan state.

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Last call to be part of saving the sanctuary!   2 comments

2015-08-16

Together we’ve been watching the challenges faced by local wolf and wolfdog sanctuary, In Harmony With Nature, as they faced the potential for losing their property over the past year following an illness of a benefactor and other difficulties.  You helped us share the story, raise funds, and work to make a paw-sitive difference for these amazing animals and local educational resource.  THANK YOU for your support!!

Gavin, Volunteer with the Artist Heroes project

This refuge has been in a veritable Schrodinger’s Box for quite a while – and we will soon get to peek inside.  Your continued support over the next couple of weeks could mean the difference between a bright future for these animals – or an uncertain and potentially devastating one.

The property was lost at action to the bank – they outbid the individual who entered the auction to save the property.  Now, the property is with a company that will be selling it – and the sanctuary has the option to work with them.  There are many potential positive outcomes, but in a likely scenario In Harmony will need to have the cash to purchase the property.

If you haven’t pledged yet, or would consider making an additional pledge, please log in today.  Your contribution could make all the difference.

handpaw2

How does this benefit you and our greater community?  Come join our Picnic With Wolves on December 5th for a tour, or simply think about the potential for local youth to have a wolf and wolfdog tour or service project to learn about a unique aspect of responsible pet ownership and breeding; a group tour or service event for your social group, work group, or team; and most importantly the service to these animals that is unique, specialized, and in great demand.   There are scores of wolfdogs on waiting lists for rescues – and only a few specialized agencies able to care for them.  Let’s not lose this one, that is located in our local community and has the potential not only to impact the animals, but to provide a wonderful engagement opportunity for us all.

You can learn more about the refuge at IHWN.org.

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Park service won’t meet Peters’ deadline for wolf plan   1 comment

GRAY WOLF

(Photo: Dawn Villella / AP)

The National Park Service has told U.S. Sen. Gary Peters it will not meet the one-year deadline he sought for a plan to save wolves and moose on Isle Royale.

The island’s wolves are nearly extinct, too inbred and weak. Without predators, the moose population is exploding; they are overbrowsing. Checks and balances are no longer working, experts say.

The latest research showed just three wolves remain on the island, and one was not expected to survive. There are an estimated 1,250 moose, up from about 500 in 2009.

In a public letter to the park service’s chief, Peters, D-Mich., asked to speed up the process, completing it by July 1, 2016. The park service told Peters it would take two years to come up with a plan.

Cam Sholly, the park service’s Midwest director, met with Peters in Washington, D.C., and Peters visited the island two weeks ago, a parks official said. Wayne Pacelle, president and chief executive of the Humane Society of the United States, was also present.

“Senator Peters is glad that NPS is developing a plan, but he remains concerned that NPS will not have a plan in place before next spring, when researchers predict it is possible there will no longer be any wolves on the island,” said Allison Green, Peters’ press secretary.

Isle Royale Superintendent Phyllis Green said the park service is already “moving along in a streamlined fashion.”

“It is a pretty fast timeline for an issue that has some complexity,” Green added.

In a May 29 letter, Peters said, “Replenishing the current Isle Royale wolf pack should be strongly considered, especially as an emergency measure if the process takes longer than 12 months.” The letter was also signed by U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich.

A public comment period on how to handle the problem ends Saturday.

One proposal from the the park service calls for the “genetic rescue” of existing wolves by bringing new wolves on the island to create a stronger species by breeding.

A leading island researcher said it is already too late. He also called one park service option of culling moose to keep their numbers in check logistically “silly.”

“Those wolves have been doing so poorly that genetic rescue is not even a possibility,” said John Vucetich, of Michigan Technological University. “Culling? I really — how do I say it politely — it is really the most silly, ridiculous idea you can even consider.”

For comparison, the western Upper Peninsula has 323 moose on 3,864 square miles, the state Department of Natural Resources says. The island is about 210 square miles.

Jack Parker guides hikers on the island. “In 15 years, I have only not seen a moose once,” said Carter, 62, of Kalkaska.

Activists are already gearing up. They say hundreds of comments submitted before the public-input window opened in late July are being ignored.

“The people who wrote care deeply and support the wilderness qualities of Isle Royale, yet their comments will be totally disregarded,” said Nancy Warren, a leading wolf preservationist from Ewen in Ontonagon County.

Warren said she obtained nearly 1,100 such comments through the Freedom of Information Act. Seventy-five percent called for “genetic rescue,” she said.

Source

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ISLE ROYALE WOLF POPULATION DOWN TO JUST THREE REMAINING   3 comments

From Wildlife Untamed August 28, 2015 by Mikaela Elise

Gray Wolf

For the second year in a row, Lake Superior froze around Isle Royale National Park in Houghton, Michigan. This allowed wolves and other land animals to leave the island. But it could also have caused deaths within the dwindling wolf population.

After this winter, the Isle Royale wolf numbers were down to just three, as shown by the results of the 57th annual winter survey by Michigan Technological University, the longest-running predator-prey study in the world.

Six of the nine remaining wolves disappeared, but whether it was because they walked across the iced-over lake or simply died is still in question. Researchers know that one radio-collared wolf died, but the other missing five were not tagged and thus there is no way of knowing exactly what happened.

Wolves In The Snow

Image credit: Eric Kilby / CC BY-SA 2.0

The identity of the three remaining wolves can’t be verified until genetic testing is completed this year, but are suspected to be a male and female of 4 to 5 years old – close to the end of the average wolf life span in the wild – and a pup around 9 months old that is showing signs of genetic defects. Scientists believe that these last three wolves may not make it to next winter and that the deformed wolf may already be dead.

The deformities of the pup are a result of inbreeding, and a clear indication that the wolves are in desperate need of a “genetic rescue.” The wolves numbers have dropped since 2009 by 88%, from 24 to these three, which was probably due to such inbreeding.

Even if this pup were healthy, however, it would not necessarily be promising. With just three wolves, it is unlikely there would be a natural recovery within the population. A “genetic rescue” would entail transporting new wolves onto the island for breeding, which could naturally correct genetic problems like spine deformities and others issues.

But Michigan Technological University ecologists and co-leaders of the study John Vucetich and Rolf Peterson – who has worked on the study for more than 40 years – say it’s too late. Over the past six years, they have made a case for human intervention to no avail and now there’s little to no hope. Down to just three, the wolf numbers are too low and the older pair would not be very interested in mating with newly introduced wolves.

The only real chance for these wolves’ survival is if new members of the species come over to Isle Royale. Isle Royale initially got its wolves in 1949, when Lake Superior froze over and a pair came into the park. Through those two original wolves, the population increased, averaging 23 over the years with as many as 50 in the 1980s and 30 in 1995.

When the lake froze in 2013-2014, there was hope that some wolves might wander over from Canada, Michigan or Minnesota but instead one wolf left and was later killed. This winter, a new pair did enter the island but left again shortly and, unfortunately, did not intermingle with the resident wolves.

Bull Moose Lunchbreak

Image credit: Ray Dumas / CC BY-SA 2.0

In the meantime, the moose population is growing at 22% a year, causing another worry for the area. The last four years has seen such light wolf predation that moose now have 1,250 of its species. Within five or so years, they will grow faster than their habitat can sustain and their numbers will then drop drastically.

But once there is available food again, the moose population may not bounce back as expected, due to the species stripping the land of its ability to produce food. This is why Isle Royale needs wolves to naturally hunt them and keep the habitat-to-population ratios in balance. Vucetich and Peterson write in the annual report:

“Concerns remain that the upcoming increase in moose abundance will result in long-term damage to the health of Isle Royale’s vegetative community.”

So far, there are no intentions for humans to introduce new wolves to the national park. Isle Royale is making a new management plan, which could recommend such introduction, but it will be years before the plan is adopted.

Featured image: Gary Kramer, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources / CC BY-ND 2.0

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The Big Bad Wolf Gets A Rebranding; A new way to look at the wolf in arts and literature.   Leave a comment

From Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin August 27, 2015 by Rachel Tilseth

The wolf has been given a bad rap through-out western culture. The visual arts and literature has played an active role in perpetuating this fear and hate of wolves. We are all familiar with  ‘The big Bad Wolf’ and ‘The three Little Pigs’ as examples of children’s books written about wild wolves for the purpose of instilling fear. I am a retired art teacher that believes art has an influence on culture. Therefore, was delighted to come across this article on that very subject, and decided to immediately post this on my blog.

Story Source: The Big Bad Wolf Gets A Rebranding By Adele Peters is a staff writer at Co.Exist who focuses on sustainable design. Previously, she worked with GOOD, BioLite, and the Sustainable Products and Solutions program at UC Berkeley. You can reach her at apeters at fastcompany dot com. Continued

The Big Bad Wolf Gets A Rebranding

An endangered species is worthy of our care, not fear.

[All Images: courtesy Creative Action Network]

[All Images: courtesy Creative Action Network]

Ever since the publication of Little Red Riding Hood—and even long before—wolves have gotten a bad rap in pop culture (with the possible exception ofwolf-themed indie band names). A new art campaign seeks to rebrand the Big Bad Wolf as a misunderstood hero, in an attempt to help build support for an endangered species that doesn’t get a lot of love.

“Art plays a role in how we as a society understand certain issues and ideas, and wolves are one case where art and culture have kind of done a misservice,” says Max Slavkin, CEO of the Creative Action Network, which partnered with the nonprofit Earthjustice on the new campaign. The #JoinThePack campaign will crowdsource new gray wolf art from a community of artists and designers, which will be turned into T-shirts and posters.

“The stories that we all kind of know, where wolves are the bad guy, seem innocuous enough, but have a real impact on how we view wolves in real life, where we want them to be, and how we treat them when we encounter them,” Slavkin says. “So much of that seems to have stemmed from stories and art over the last however-many hundred years. It feel like it’s our responsibility as a community of artists to try to set it right, especially now that wolves are maybe more threatened than they’ve ever been before.”

[All Images: courtesy Creative Action Network]

[All Images: courtesy Creative Action Network]

Twenty years ago, wolves were reintroduced to places like Yellowstone and parts of Idaho—both to help reset local ecosystems that had been thrown out of balance when wolves first disappeared and as actions taken to restore wolf populations under the Endangered Species Act. But though the population has grown, wolves have faced opposition ever since. When wolves accidentally crossed the border from Yellowstone into other parts of Wyoming, until last fall, they could be shot.

There’s also the ongoing possibility that the wolf could be taken off the endangered species list for politically motivated reasons. It’s been delisted in some areas, put back in others, and could easily be delisted elsewhere. This year, Congress slipped a rider into a government spending bill that would eliminate protections for wolves in several states, opening them up to hunters.

“When we started on this campaign, I was surprised to learn just how much is going on today in Congress and state legislatures that’s really bad for wolves,” Slavkin says.

Twenty years ago, wolves were reintroduced to places like Yellowstone and parts of Idaho—both to help reset local ecosystems that had been thrown out of balance when wolves first disappeared and as actions taken to restore wolf populations under the Endangered Species Act. But though the population has grown, wolves have faced opposition ever since. When wolves accidentally crossed the border from Yellowstone into other parts of Wyoming, until last fall, they could be shot.

There’s also the ongoing possibility that the wolf could be taken off the endangered species list for politically motivated reasons. It’s been delisted in some areas, put back in others, and could easily be delisted elsewhere. This year, Congress slipped a rider into a government spending bill that would eliminate protections for wolves in several states, opening them up to hunters.

“When we started on this campaign, I was surprised to learn just how much is going on today in Congress and state legislatures that’s really bad for wolves,” Slavkin says.

[All Images: courtesy Creative Action Network]

[All Images: courtesy Creative Action Network]

He’s hoping the campaign can help start a bigger conversation, and do it in a fun way—one of the requirements of the designs is that they display some degree of kitsch. “We didn’t want it to be ‘wolves are awesome, end of story,’” Slavkin says. “We thought something fun and kitschy would make people smile, and make people interested in a way that other images couldn’t.”

Source

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Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: 4,750 Wisconsin bears to be killed by trophy hunters next month   Leave a comment

From Wisconsin Wildlife Ethic-Vote Our Wildlife August 17, 2015

bear cubs

PHOTO COURTESY OF BING IMAGES

“Bears are really 200-pound ground squirrels.” ~ Jeff Traska, Wisconsin Black Bear Education Center

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! What lovely species they were — if only we had known them.

Here is the story and video of two little black bear orphan cubs rescued along the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina this spring.

Jeff Traska of the Wisconsin Black Bear Education Center created the first open-top enclosure for captive rescued black bears in Wisconsin. By his own description, he is a “reformed sport hunter” — a reformed bear hunter. He says, “I was curious about bears and found I did not learn anything when they were dead in the back of my truck.” He now takes care of four rescued bears on seven wooded acres with a pond. His website says, “He soon learned that bears are not the highly dangerous animals portrayed in so many sensational news stories, but instead are intelligent, gentle animals who play a critical role in the functioning ecosystems they inhabit.” One of the stated goals of the center is “Dispelling the myths and misconceptions that have led to the widespread, unnecessary persecution of bears.”

Like Cecil, the lion killed for his trophy head, our bears, deer and wolves are too often valued mainly as decapitation prospects for sociopathic “glory.” Though fast-moving mass extinction threatens animal and ultimately human life, we are still allowing the cruel few to kill our wild brethren for heads on walls. To modify Elizabeth Warren’s outrage over GOP proposals to defund Planned Parenthood: “Did you fall down, hit your head and think you woke up in the 1850s?” It is 2015. We are in a crisis of wildlife extinction. We are regressing rapidly.

The general public could stop this trauma to fragile ecosystems and natural, innocent beings.

The bear hounders have lobbied successfully for statewide year-round running dogs on coyotes, so they are terrorizing all the wildlife on 7 million acres of our public lands.

Bear hounding officially started July 1 in the heat of summer, after baiting the bears since they emerged from hibernation. Bears do not have sweat glands. Their dark fur holds heat. When they are run for miles by dogs that are traded out when they tire, the bears have seizures and die when they stop running.

A friend experienced this. She ran her sheepdog on a half-mile bike ride in 90-degree heat in New Orleans. When she returned, the dog — a young dog — crawled under the house and died. The heat build-up of running cannot be dispelled fast enough to survive.

I have written about Rick Hanestad, a former coyote trapper who was enlightened by adopting a coyote pup. Rick was raised in a trapping/hounding environment. He told me that in the spring the trappers catch as many raccoon babies as they can, and the hounders loose them in farmers’ fields with no trees and let the dogs “train” to bloodlust by killing them.

black bear cubs

PHOTO COURTESY OF WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

When I tell people that 4,750 bears are the killing goal the Department of Natural Resources set for this fall, the usual response is: “In the entire country?” Over 26,500 bears have been killed the past six years in Wisconsin. The Wisconsin DNR website states, “The state remains a leader with more bears harvested each year than any other state in the country.”

A leader in destruction of bears — a degrading distinction attracting worldwide condemnation.

10,690 hunters are licensed to kill bears this year and run dogs on them all but the last week of the 35-day “hunt,” Sept. 9 through Oct. 13. The license to kill a bear costs $49, but a child 10-11 years old only pays $7 for the fun. Most of the bears killed are less than 2 years old.

Children killing cubs — the DNR’s “connect with nature” program.

New this year, limitless bear hounders can, at no charge, run packs of dogs on bears, while the 10,690 are killing them using dogs and bait. Hounders do not have to wear back-tags. Since the dogs run miles ahead with radio collars, trespass is common. If private landowners do not want to confront packs of dogs or armed men and women, they have no recourse for the identification of trespassers.

Only 1 percent of New Jersey citizens are hunters. David Stewart of their strong bear protection group wrote an opinion piece about the proposed New Jersey bear hunt, forwarded to the Madravenspeak mailbox, titled “Injustice”:

“With 10,142 residents responding to the required 60-day comment period regarding the proposed amendments of the state game code by the Fish and Game Council, 94% were opposed to the (bear kill) proposals in their entirety. As officially recorded, 390 were in support while 6,635 were opposed. Of those responding 87% opposed extending the hunt and/or adding an additional hunt, and 79% were in opposition to permitting archery weaponry.”

He continues:

 “As was entirely anticipated, at its August 11th meeting, the 8 member hunter-dominated council unanimously approved its proposals and amendments to the Comprehensive Black Bear Management Policy. … Why have a public comment period? … The Public Trust Document clearly states, a state’s wildlife has no ownership, we are all stakeholders, yet we, the public, have no voice in wildlife management policies. When a council, aligned to the hunting community, can usurp public opinion and implement its own policies and having full control, does that not imply ownership?

“It’s time the state’s constitution be amended to address this injustice and composition of this highly biased council.”

The same hunter corruption and tyranny dominates Wisconsin. Save our bears!

Actions:

Wisconsin citizens can remedy this injustice by acting to democratize the funding structure of the DNR. Call your state legislators. Contact DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp at DNRSecretary@Wisconsin.gov or 608-266-2121. Contact information for the DNR regional director for your county here.

Citizens can sign and network the Wildlife Ethic petition to stop killing our bears.

Sign against promotion of bear-killing equipment on facebook here.

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Patricia Randolph of Portage is a longtime activist for wildlife. madravenspeak@gmail.com or www.wiwildlifeethic.org

Share your opinion on this topic by sending a letter to the editor to tctvoice@madison.com. Include your full name, hometown and phone number. Your name and town will be published. The phone number is for verification purposes only. Please keep your letter to 250 words or less.

Posted 25 August, 2015 by Wolf is my Soul in News/Nyheter

Wildlife: Possible Black Hills wolf sighting spurs calls for increased hunter education to avoid accidental shooting   2 comments

From Summit County Citizens Voice August 19, 2015

South Dakota a hot spot for wolf deaths

FRISCO — Since the Dakotas are sandwiched between Montana and Minnesota, it’s probably not completely surprising that wolves turn up there from time to time.

But the latest sighting of what certainly looks like a wolf has spurred a call for more education and public outreach to prevent the animal from being shot, either by accident or purposefully by over-eager hunters.

Other wolves have been shot been shot and killed in South Dakota in recent years, as reported by newspapers there, and the Center for Biological Diversityhas also tracked the fate or wolves that wandered out of the northern Rockies.

“Most hunters, just like other folks, try to do the right thing,” said Michael Robinson of the Center for Biological Diversity. “They appreciate wolves’ important role in natural ecosystems. We hope this wolf will continue to enchant viewers and contribute to recovery of his species,” Robinson said, reacting to the most recent sighting in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

Wolves are larger and appear bulkier than coyotes, with longer legs and more rounded ears. In two recent wolf killings in Colorado and Utah, hunters said the mistook wolves for coyotes — one of the reasons that wolves are having a hard time re-establishing populations in new areas.

Wolves are protected under the Endangered Species Act throughout the United States except in Alaska, Idaho, Montana and portions of Utah, Oregon and Washington.

The Center for Biological Diversity has urged the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to help educate the public about the difference between wolves and coyotes — and about the fact that wolves are protected under federal law — in order to enhance protections for the animal seen in the recent video. So far the Service has declined to take action.

Moreover, despite the steady push by gray wolves to expand into areas they historically inhabited, instead of expanding public education and wolf-management programs the federal agency has proposed stripping their Endangered Species Act protections across most of the country.

“Removing wolves from the endangered species list would increase the number that are killed, confine wolves to artificial islands of habitat where they risk becoming inbred, and cut off the benefits these beautiful animals provide to ecosystems, wild places and other animals in the food web,” said Robinson. “The antidote is twofold: More room in people’s hearts for wolves, and keeping them protected under the law.”

While the wolf restoration effort in the northern Rockies has been successful, the predators haven’t been able to recolonize much territory outside that area even though they once roamed widely across most of North America.

Scientists say it’s critical to maintain linkages between wild wolf populations for the long-term genetic health of the species. The Black Hils region is not mapped as potential wolf habitat, primarily because of the road density in the area, according to Robinson.

The Center for Biological Diversity has documented the fates of 56 wolves known to have dispersed from established recovery areas since 1981. Forty-eight of those were found dead, including 36 by gunshot, including five in South Dakota between 1981 and 1991.

The other 12 wolves among the 48 that died included four in South Dakota: two with the causes of mortality not disclosed, one hit by a vehicle and another thought to have been hit — in 2001, 2006 and two in 2012. Genetic tests on the 2012 animals determined that one was from the northern Rockies and the other from the upper Midwest.

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