Archive for September 2015

Poaching ‘considered’ as factor Wallowa County wolves’ ‘unnatural’ deaths   1 comment

Source September 16, 2015

Oregon's gray wolves

Two gray wolves were found dead of ‘unnatural’ causes in Wallowa County, where wolves are highly controversial. (The Associated Press)

Oregon State Police are investigating to find out who killed two wolves in Wallowa County last month.

The agency on Wednesday announced two adult wolves, one of them wearing a state tracking collar, were found dead on August 24. 

Wolves are an endangered species in Oregon, and killing them is illegal except under special circumstances outlined in the Oregon Wolf Plan.

The state police announcement listed the cause of death as unknown, but state police spokesman Bill Fugate told The Oregonian/Oregonlive the wolves’ manner of death “does not appear to be natural.”

Asked whether the wolves were poached, Fugate said, “It’s definitely being considered.”

In Wallowa County, where wolves are protected under the state endangered species act but not the federal act, poaching a wolf can bring a year in jail and a fine of up to $6,250.

The wolves, a mating male and female known as the Sled Springs pair, had been raising pups born this spring. Wolf biologist Roblyn Brown of the state fish and wildlife department said it is unknown whether the pups are still alive.

Fugate declined to elaborate on the circumstances of the wolves’ death, but noted their bodies were found on public land north of Enterprise. It’s likely there were witnesses to the crime, he said.

“The evidence points toward humans being in the area at the time of the wolves’ death,” he said.

State officials discovered the wolves’ bodies after the female’s tracking collar emitted a signal indicating she was dead. State police and wildlife officials followed the signal to find two bodies lying 50 yards apart.

Police are asking anyone with information about the wolves’ deaths to contact Senior Trooper Kreg Coggins at 541-426-3049, or to call the poaching tipster hotline at 1-800-452-788. Tipsters can also email TIP@state.or.us.

The deaths underscore mounting tensions as the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission considers removing wolves from the state’s endangered species list. The losses bring Oregon’s wolf population down to 79 known individuals, a number that has steadily increased since the first lone wanderer crossed the Idaho border into Oregon in 1999.

Conservationists called for legal action if poachers are deemed responsible.

Amaroq Weiss, a wolf organizer the Center for Biological Diversity, said she was saddened by the “highly suspicious” deaths.

“We hope that if this is indeed the act of a misguided individual or individuals, they are quickly caught and brought to justice,” Weiss said.

The Sled Springs pair was one of six established pairs or packs in Wallowa County, a rural ranching community where wolves remain controversial. Bumper stickers bearing the slogan “shoot, shovel and shut up” along with an illustration of a wolf in a hunting scope’s crosshairs are commonplace.

Many ranchers see the predators as a threat to their livestock, and have pushed the state to remove endangered species protections that outlaw killing wolves except in special circumstances. Ranchers argue they need more freedom to take lethal action to prevent wolves from killing their livestock.

Last week, the state wildlife agency announced the Mount Emily pack near La Grandrecently killed two sheep. The sheep kills are the pack’s fifth attack on livestock or domestic animals this year, and could result in lethal action from the state.

Since wolves established themselves in Oregon, state officials have killed four in response to chronic attacks on livestock. Several wolves have been killed by poachers, but police have made no arrests.

In Washington, where wolves are also endangered, a man this week was fined $100 for chasing a wolf with his car, then shooting and killing the animal. Wildlife advocates argued the sentence was too lenient.

The Oregon wildlife commission is expected to consider next month whether wolves should remain listed as endangered in Oregon.

The Oregon Wolf Plan still would govern who can kill wolves, and under what circumstances.

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Back into the wild: Is it time for wolf packs to roam the Highlands again?   Leave a comment

Source September 18, 2015

Scotland’s rugged mountains and ancient woodlands look like the perfect place to reintroduce predators like the wolf

To the untrained eye the rugged mountains and ancient woodlands of the Coigach and Assynt wilderness in the far northwest of Scotland look like the perfect place to reintroduce extinct predators like the lynx and wolf.

The possible reintroduction of the once native predators to Scotland has again caused controversy after warnings this week that lynx would endanger the future of sheep farming.

This comes at a tense point for many in the conservation movement amid calls for the “rewilding” of parts of Britain, with conservationists calling for the species, hunted to extinction hundreds of years ago, to be returned to the Highlands.

The local conservationists at The Coigach and Assynt Living Landscape project are more worried about restoring ancient woodlands and blanket bogs, though. They are focusing their attention on mountain hares, endangered bats, golden eagles, sea eagles and the local crofting community, which they aim to bring onboard as part of a groundbreaking 40-year vision for the vast 61,500 hectare wilderness.

There have been warnings lynx could harm sheep farming (AFP)

There have been warnings lynx could harm sheep farming (AFP)

It is one of the largest “landscape restoration” projects in Europe and key to its success, says development officer Richard Williams, will be a commitment to protecting and expanding rare habitats and species for a generation and finding job opportunities for the local community. Next month the project, launched in 2011, will discover if it will get up to £4m in additional funding, including £2.9m from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

“The additional funding is crucial,” said Mr Williams, who is employed by the Scottish Wildlife Trust. “It will allow us to plant native trees across 250 hectares and implement 30 other conservation, history and cultural projects, including a tourist trail to the summit of Suilven.”

He added: “Bringing new jobs from eco-tourism and culture to the area is central to what we want to do.”

READ MORE: REINTRODUCTION OF SPECIES WILL BE ‘ENORMOUS’ CHALLENGE
LYNX COULD ‘KILL AND EAT SHEEP IF REINTRODUCED TO SCOTLAND’
CAMPAIGNERS WANT THE LYNX TO BE REINTRODUCED TO SCOTLAND
WOLVES, LYNX AND WILD BOAR ‘SHOULD BE REINTRODUCED TO BRITAIN’

Mr Williams was speaking in the shadow of Suilven, a vast mountain that rises almost vertically from a wild landscape of moorland, bogs and freshwater lochs. In the the September sunshine the scenery is astounding, as is the sense of isolation in an area with little mobile signal and few economic opportunities.

The inclusive approach of the project and the calculated decision not to describe the scheme as “rewilding”, is in contrast to other schemes in Scotland, including one at the Alladale estate in Sutherland where MFI heir Paul Lister bought a vast estate 10 years ago with the aim of releasing a pack of wolves.

Elsewhere other charities see the return of large carnivores as a way to control deer populations and see woodlands thrive again. Alan Watson Featherstone, executive director of the charity Trees for Life said: “Reintroduction of a top predator is crucial, and the Eurasian lynx is the most realistic candidate. It is part of our native fauna and represents no threat whatsoever to humans and little to sheep”.

UK’s invading species

Raccoon

Raccoon It is thought to be only a matter of time before raccoons bust out into the wild in the UK, to prey on birds’ eggs and amphibians, and to spread raccoon roundworm Getty/Sam Greenwood

Asian Hornet

Asian Hornet The Asian hornet’s danger stems from its diet of honey bees and other pollinators, at a time when these insects are already suffering from habitat loss and pesticides AFP/Getty/Jean-Pierre Muller

Pine Processionary Moth

Pine Processionary Moth The larvae of the Pine Processionary Moth feed on the needles of pine trees and some other conifer species. In large numbers they can severely defoliate trees, weakening them and making them more susceptible to attack by other pests or diseases Rex/Roger Tidman

African Sacred Ibis

African Sacred Ibis Due to its tendency to forage around rubbish dumps, the presence of the African Sacred Ibis could be detrimental to human health Getty/Stuart Franklin

Quagga Mussels

Quagga Mussels Quagga mussels are expected to arrive on British shores in the next few years in canoes, sailing dinghies or the ballast water of a ship Alamy/ZUMA Press, Inc

Red deer are found in abundance across the moorland of Coigach and Assynt, prompting a row this week over whether to cull the animals or fence off an area to protect new woodland. But other less common animals, from pine martens to sea eagles, are also thriving in the area. Just beyond the Living Landscape area, on an estate owned by the Daily Mail editor, Paul Dacre, two golden eagles are also reported to be nesting.

The Coigach and Assynt Living Landscape is a collaboration between the Scottish Wildlife Trust, five community run foundations or groups and eight private landowners. And the biggest chunk of funding will go to to tree planting and to support the work of a tree nursey, which is already producing 4,000 rowan, birch, oak, juniper and holly saplings a year to join uo fragmented woodlands, while to the north of the vast area another project is already excavating Clachtoll broch, an Iron Age settlement thought to occupied by a sophisticated pre-Roman maritime culture that stretched up to the Hebrides.

Red deer are found in abundance across Coigach (Mark Foxwell)

Red deer are found in abundance across Coigach (Mark Foxwell)

Nearby to that ancient site, at Culug Woods wildlife ranger Andy Summers was leading a “woodland classroom” of nine-years olds from the Lochinver primary school. “People talk about the lynx and wilderness,” said Mr Summers. “But these woods are home to endangered pipistrelle bats, pine martens and dozens of species of trees. This area is already wild. What we need is to learn how to translate that resource into new jobs and eco-tourism opportunities. We need to harness the wildness because at the end of the day we need young people to come and make their home here.”

Anna MacKay, chair of the trust that manages the Culag Woods and a supporter of the Living Landscape, agreed:  “It would be wonderful to know there are wolves or lynx out there roaming the hills, but that’s a debate for a long time in the future. There is trepidation about conservation still here. That’s why the approach of the Living Landscape is so important. People in the Highlands have faced clearances and the introduction sheep driving them off the land, and unless we get conservation right, that will be the next thing that makes us feel like we are losing the land.”

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Posted 19 September, 2015 by Wolf is my Soul in News/Nyheter, Wildlife / Vilda djur, Wolves / Vargar

Tagged with ,

Walking With Wolves and Other Wild Things   1 comment

September 14, 2015 Source

A walk along a trail in the early morning  woods on a fine fall like day deep in the Tennessee Mountains. With some amazing companions.

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Snoozing in the sunshine seemed to be the rule of the day. For both the wolves and the bobcat by an old fence line.

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Scenes from along the trail.

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MEDICINE OF THE WOLF and Following Your Heart   1 comment

Source September 14, 2015

MOTWwall

My #GoodNewsSharing is a story about wolves. I’ve had a love of wolves for as long as I can remember. They are majestic and beautiful and their pack loyalty is something we could all aspire to. Wolves and their place in our world is a very intricate and necessary part of our planet’s ecosystem (if you have not already seen this footage, look up How Wolves Changed Rivers on YouTube and see how wolves do just that). The “lone wolf” story is a myth as is the “Big Bad Wolf”. Wolves are not one bit as scary as the fairytales would have us believe. I often wonder if those myths did not exist if we would be so afraid of them? In fact, wolves are more frightened of us humans than threatening to us.

Follow Your Heart – The Path Is Mapped For You…
In my 20s, I worked at Natural Wonders, a nature store that sold all kinds of things like telescopes, gemstones, geodes and fossil replicas, camping supplies, nature  photography coffee table books and documentaries, etc. We carried an amazing book: “Brother Wolf” and poster prints by world renown National Geographic photographer Jim Brandenburg. I fell in love with Jim’s work with wolves as did I with Jim and Jamie Dutcher’s “Living With Wolves”. My dream was to work with wolves, I even thought for a bit about pursuing it as a career. When I moved to Los Angeles over sixteen years ago I started volunteering at the Wildlife Waystation in hopes to someday be able to volunteer my way up and work with their rescue wolves. Unfortunately it didn’t happen, but I did not give up hope. Several years ago, a friend of mine told me about Teo Alfero who runs Wolf Connection; an organization that rescues wolf-dogs and uses them in their educational, outreach programs and work with at risk youth. At the time I was working on a personal documentary and my friend threw out the suggestion that I do a documentary on Wolf Connection. I loved the idea of a documentary on them, but I did not plan on making it myself. I did know I wanted to learn more about their organization and meet their wolf-dog rescues. It took a few years to get there, but as fortune would have it, a friend told me about an Animal Communication workshop fundraiser that was taking place at Wolf Connection and I signed up immediately. While there I learned about Wolf Connections amazing programs and that Wolf Connection also has monthly hikes with the wolf dogs.
When The Timing Is Right…
Following the workshop I brought some friends for one of Wolf Connection’s monthly hikes and potluck dinners. That day it just so happened that Teo introduced a woman, Julia Huffman, who was there filming for a documentary about wolves. Julia stood up and talked about her documentary Medicine of the Wolf and mentioned that James Taylor gave her music to use in her film. My ears perked up because she was talking about two things I love: Wolves and Music!
What Do You Want To Do With Your Life?….
When you’re trying to figure out ‘what to do with your life’ I think you should ask yourself: What could I see myself doing even if I wasn’t paid for it? i.e. What do you love to do?
I could answer that question with ease. Music and Animals. I wasn’t a musician, but I loved being around music – somehow I always found myself drawn to musicians and music as a form of expression. I wasn’t determined to follow the educational path to be able to work with animals in some field of science, but I felt that if I could do one or the other (even if it was unpaid) I would be happy. So I thought why not find a job in music and volunteer with animals?
Remember The Path Is Mapped For You…
I moved to Los Angeles with the intention of finding a job in the music industry. I moved here thinking I’d get into A&R and ended up working in the sofware industry for almost 2 years until I was laid off. After I lost my job I realized it was time to start looking for work in music and after a temp job, and some word of mouth networking, I fell into music for film & television through music supervision and music clearance. Almost fourteen years later, I have been fortunate to work on many interesting films and television programs. But the one thing I love the most is using my skills in service to animal advocacy documentaries. When I heard that Julia was working on her documentary film about wolves I knew I must speak to her and see if I could be of service. So that day at Wolf Connection, after our hike, I found Julia and introduced myself. I asked her if she needed any help with music clearance for her film. She threw her head back laughing and said that was exactly what she needed! I was able to help her get music from James Taylor, Moby, A.A. Bondy, Piano Magic and Louise Du Toit!
Your Desires May Show Up In A Package You Didn’t Expect…
Putting the pieces of the puzzle together from my job at Natural Wonders, to love of wolves and my introduction to the photography and documentary work of Jim Brandenburg, to Wolf Connection, to music supervision and my intrduction to the director Julia Huffman and her documentary Medicine of the Wolf all ultimately leads me to the joy and being of service.
g2 gallery green earth film festival
I’m humbled to have worked with the talented and passionate Julia Huffman and be a part of such a beautiful wolf advocacy film. If you’re in the Los Angeles area, please join us for the premiere ofMedicine of the Wolf at G2 Gallery’s 2015 Green Earth Film Festival in Venice, CA this October. Keep an eye on the calendar for more details on time and date!

TALES OF SEPTEMBER: D A Y  T H I R T E E N : #GoodNewsSharing via @dena.clayton.771 via@toris_tales #talesofseptember  Check out what #GoodNewsSharing is all about over on @dena.clayton.771s profile!

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Wolf Patrol Holds Their Own Against an Angry Mob of Bear Hound hunters in the North Woods of Wisconsin   2 comments

Posted 14 September, 2015 by Wolf is my Soul in News/Nyheter

Is Wisconsin Ready to Pay the High Price for Hound Hunting?   Leave a comment

Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin

When wolves were taken off the Endangered Species list in the Great Lakes area in 2012 Wisconsin rushed to legislatively mandate a wolf hunt. Not only did the state mandate a hunt on wolves, they became the only state to allow the hunting of wolves with the aide of dogs-wolf hounding. Wolves were hunted by this brutal method for two seasons of WI’s wolf hunt 2013-2014. Even allowing wolf hound hunters to run dogs on wolves for training without any permanent rules, Judge Rules That Dogs Can Chase Wolves As Training For Hunt

As of December 19, 2014 a federal judged ordered wolves in the Great Lakes back on the Endangered Species List (ESA). And every day since being returned to federal protection, wolves have been under attack by anti wolf legislation.If and when this happens remember that the state of Wisconsin isOut of all the states that hunt…

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Posted 14 September, 2015 by Wolf is my Soul in News/Nyheter

Comment to END Bear Hounding/Baiting in WI Northwoods…   Leave a comment

Posted 14 September, 2015 by Wolf is my Soul in News/Nyheter

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