Archive for September 2016

Washington wolf activities go beyond Profanity Peak pack   3 comments

September 26, 2016 ~ Source

Washington wildlife managers say they are continuing to search for the surviving members of the Profanity Peak pack in the Colville National Forest, a hunt now on its eighth week.

Meanwhile, wolves in another northeastern Washington pack last week killed a calf, and a wolf was legally harvested on the Spokane Tribe of Indians reservation, according to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.

WDFW’s plan to lethally remove the Profanity Peak pack has outraged some environmental and animal-rights groups, overshadowing other wolf activities in Washington this summer.

WDFW began hunting for the Profanity Peak pack on Aug. 4. The department has reported shooting five adults and one pup, though none since Aug. 22.

Two adults and up to four pups remain, according to WDFW. The department says it intends to eliminate the rest of the pack, but the pack is in rugged timberlands and finding the surviving wolves will be challenging.

WDFW has confirmed that the pack has killed or injured eight cattle and probably is responsible for five more attacks on livestock this summer.

WDFW’s policy calls for the state to use lethal control after four confirmed depredations, provided ranchers had taken steps to prevent conflicts between wolves and livestock.

WDFW investigators confirmed Sept. 21 that wolves in the Smackout pack, whose territory straddles Stevens and Pend Oreille counties, killed a calf, the department’s wolf policy coordinator, Donny Martorello, said in an email.

The depredation was the first confirmed attack by the pack this year. The pack fatally injured a calf in October 2015, according to WDFW records.

Also Sept. 21, the Spokane Tribe of Indians reported a wolf had been harvested on the reservation. The tribe also reported in July that a wolf had been harvested.

The tribe allows enrolled members to hunt wolves within the 159,000-acre reservation, with an annual limit of six wolves.

The Spokane tribe reported in 2015 harvesting three wolves in the Huckleberry pack, the only legal shooting of wolves in the state last year, according to WDFW.

Hunting wolves is not allowed in Washington except on tribal lands.

WDFW enlisted the USDA’s Wildlife Services to shoot one wolf from the Huckleberry pack in 2014. The pack was preying on sheep.

Since then, a federal judge has barred Wildlife Services from assisting WDFW with lethal removal, unless the federal agency conducts a more thorough review of the environmental impacts of removing wolves.

Wolves are not federally protected in the eastern one-third of Washington, where attacks on livestock are occurring, but are on the state’s protected species list.

 

Contact The Infamous 81 Senators Who Voted To Delist Wolves In The Northern Rockies   2 comments

Howling For Justice

April 15, 2011

Please make sure you  contact the 81 Senators who sacrificed the Northern Rockies gray wolves, especially the Democrats who betrayed their party and wolves for Jon Tester’s Senate seat. Only three Democrats voted no.

Let them know not only did they throw wolves under the bus but they gutted the Endangered Species Act and opened the door for any species to be delisted that gets in the way of  someone’s political agenda. Further tell them  you’ll be changing your party affiliation to Independent. They’ve done irreparable damage to the Democrat party and Endangered Species Act. We’ll  keep them updated on the coming wolf hunts and slaughter. Too bad they didn’t do their homework and only listened to one  side of the story before they made their fateful decision.

This delisting included Montana and Idaho (with no judicial review), parts of Washington, Oregon and Utah. Wyoming was not…

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Posted 28 September, 2016 by Wolf is my Soul in News/Nyheter

Norway’s wolf cull pits sheep farmers against conservationists   12 comments

September 23, 2016  Source

Norway’s recent decision to destroy 70% of its tiny endangered population of wolves shocked conservationists worldwide and saw 35,000 sign a local petition. But in a region dominated by sheep farming support for the cull runs deep.

 

Norway has a population of just 68 wolves and conservationists say most off the injuries to sheep are caused by roaming wolves from Swedish packs. Photograph: Roger Strandli Berghagen

Conservation groups worldwide were astonished to hear of the recent,unprecedented decision to destroy 70% of the Norway’s tiny and endangered population of 68 wolves, the biggest cull for almost a century.

But not everyone in Norway is behind the plan. The wildlife protection group Predator Alliance Norway, for example, has campaign posters that talk of wolves as essential for nature, and a tourist attraction for Norway.

Nothing unusual about that, given it’s a wildlife group, except that the group is based in Trysil, the heartland of the territory where most of the wolf culling announced by Norwegian authorities last week will take place.

Predator Alliance Norway is an anomaly in this area, a land inhabited by the most fervent advocates of culling – many of them farmers and hunters. Here, you pass cars with large stickers pronouncing “Real Men Shoot Wolves” to show support for six local poachers who were imprisoned for illegal hunting last year.

Lars-Erik Lie, a 46-year-old mental health worker who founded the group in 2010, told the Guardian: “I got so upset and saddened by the locals’ thirst for wolf blood, and wanted to show that not all villagers are in favour of wiping out this beautiful animal.

“Many locals think there should be room for both predators and livestock, but they have kept their mouths shut out of fear for repercussions.” Lie has himself been the target of threats.

Culling could undermine the viability of the entire Norwegian wolf population, say conservationists. Photograph: Roger Strandli Berghagen

At the heart of the matter is the conflict between sheep farmers and conservationists. Norway is a large sheep farming nation, unique in letting most of its 2 million sheep roam free all summer without herding, fencing and with little supervision.

As a result, 120,000 sheep are lost each year, and 20,000 of these deaths are attributed to predators, judging by state compensation payouts, which are based on documentation and assessment by the authorities. Beyond that, 900 cadavers found annually are confirmed to have been killed by predators. The wolf accounts for 8% of kills.

Wolves, bears, lynx, wolverines and golden eagles are Norway’s native top predators.

In 1846, the authorities issued bounties to hunt them down, resulting in all species being virtually extinct by the mid-20th century, The wolf was given protected status in 1973, a watershed in wildlife management for the acknowledgement of its part in Norwegian fauna and in need of protection. The first wolf returned in 1980, though the first breeding entirely on Norwegian soil did not take place until 1997.

In the meantime, a new breed of sheep had invaded the land. “The breed of sheep vastly favoured by Norwegian farmers is unsuited to roam around the rugged terrain of the country,” said Silje Ask Lundberg, from Friends of the Earth Norway.

The sheep is favoured for its size and large proportion of meat, but is a bad climber and has poor herding and flight instincts, unlike the old short-tail land race, considered the original Norwegian sheep race, prevalent on the west coast, where ironically there are no wolves.

Just across the mountain from Lie’s house in Trysil, is the territory of the Slettåsen pack, which has been marked out for a complete cull even though the wolves live within a designated wolf zone.

The framework for predator management has been set by parliament, with local predator management boards setting hunting and culling quotas when population targets have been achieved.

“The lack of a scientific and professional approach is obvious,” said Lie. In January his organisation filed a complaint that the board votes in representatives with vested interests, such as farmers, whereas green party members have been excluded.

Lars-Erik Lie of Predator Alliance Norway. Photograph: Arve Herman Tangen

At his office in Oslo, Sverre Lundemo of WWF Norway is also puzzled. “It seems strange that we should punish the wolf for following its natural instincts, particularly within specially designated zones where the wolf supposedly has priority over livestock,” he says.

“The Slettåsen pack is very stable and of genetic importance. Scandinavian wolves are subject to inbreeding and poaching, and this makes the small population more vulnerable to random events. Culling these individuals can undermine the viability of the entire Norwegian wolf population.”

According to Lundemo, the decision for culling appears to be based on politics as much as on science. The WWF have examined the case document that formed the base of the decision. “This a questionable decision on many levels. The case documents don’t substantiate why these three particular territories were singled out for culling,” said Lundemo.

Despite the population within the wolf zone having almost doubled since last year, attacks on livestock have almost halved. “Most of the injuries are inflicted by roaming young wolves from Swedish packs,” said Lundemo.

Sweden has stricter regulations for sheep farmers, refusing to compensate farmers who don’t protect livestock properly. As a member of the EU, Sweden had a planned licenced cull of 10 % of their wolf population of 400 in 2014 reduced following pressure.

Friends of the Earth advocate more suitable breeds of sheep, or cattle, and better fences and herding. WWF is exploring the option to challenge the decision legally before the wolf hunt sets in on 1 January 2017.

Back in Trysil, the Predator Alliance is gaining momentum. The group has submitted a 35,000-signature petition for protecting the wolf to the prime minister, Erna Solberg. “We humans have become greedy, behaving like nature is there for our taking,” said Lie. “When you have a population as small as the one we have in Norway now, you have to draw the line.”

 

 

 

Norway Plans To Kill Most Of Its Wolves   18 comments

September 21, 2016 Source

There aren’t many wolves left in the Norwegian wilderness Just 68, in fact.

But Norway’s government has decided even that’s too many. Authorities announced plans this month to kill 47 wolves, or about two-thirds of the remaining population.

FLICKR/BJARNE LOHMANN MADSEN

The move has sparked both intense criticism and praise. Farmers welcome the cull, claiming wolves threaten their livestock, and therefore their livelihood. Conservationists, on the other hand, condemn the move as an attack on a species that’s already on unsteady ground.

“The wolf population is already very small and critically endangered,” Silje Lundberg, a prominent Norwegian environmentalist, told the U.K.’s Express. “To eradicate 70 percent of such a vulnerable species is shocking.”

FLICKR/~RANVEIG MARIE~

In Europe today, there are an estimated 12,000 wolves — a population that has surged in recent years. But only in Norway is the species listed as “critically endangered” due to frequent culling.

Most of Norway’s wolves are already clinging to to just one designated habitat in the southeastern part of the country. And reports suggest their threat to sheep farmers has been greatly exaggerated.

Most recent reports suggest wolves kill , at most, 1,500 of the country’s 2 million grazing sheep annually. Another 100,000 have died from poisonous plants, drowning, traffic accidents and various diseases.

Wolves, however, have long suffered for their age-old reputation as killers — even as modern reality paints a different picture.

FLICKR/OEYSTEIN

According to the Norwegian Environment Agency, “relentless hunting” wiped out the wolf population in the 1960s. Today’s Norwegian wolves are actually the descendants of stragglers that likely wandered into Norway from Sweden.

In 1973, wolves found protection in Scandinavia, with laws making it illegal to kill the animals without a license.

FLICKR/MARTIN PHILIPS

But many Norwegians have embraced the annual culls, which run from October through March.

When the government announced plans to hunt 11 wolves last year, no less than11,571 people signed up to kill them. Or about 700 hunters for every wolf.

Scientists, however, contend that taking wolves out of the ecological picture will have a profound effect on all wildlife. As a keystone species, wolves play “a unique and crucial role in the way an ecosystem functions,” National Geographic notes. “Without keystone species, the ecosystem would be dramatically different or cease to exist altogether.”

FLICKR/STIG SARRE

Conservation groups put it more bluntly.

“This is pure mass slaughter,” Nina Jensen, of the Norwegian branch of the World Wide Fund for Nature, told the Guardian. “We haven’t seen anything like this in almost 100 years, when the policy at the time was to exterminate all the big predators.”

Indeed, if recent history is an indication, all of Norway’s wolves seem to be on a slippery slope. So far, more than 11,000 people have signed a petition calling the country’s lawmakers to cancel the cull.

You can join the fight here.

Ontario makes controversial decision to allow rare wolf kill   5 comments

September 19, 2016 by Source

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Majority of 17,301 public comments opposed to hunting and trapping threatened Algonquin wolves


MONTREAL– Last week, as the hunting and trapping seasons opened, the Ontario government announced its decision to strip at-risk Algonquin wolves of protection from hunters and trappers across the majority of their range. Ongoing hunting and trapping, the primary threats to the species, caused the wolves’ at-risk status to deteriorate to Threatened on June 15th 2016. A mere 154 adult wolves are left in Ontario. Conservation and animal rights groups from across North America are condemning the decision.

Ontario claims their decision is justified due to the inability of hunters and trappers to differentiate between coyotes and Algonquin wolves. Without genetically testing each animal killed, the government cannot track how many Algonquin wolves are killed. There is no limit on the number of wolves that can be trapped and hunting bag limits are absent in some parts of the wolf’s habitat.

Hunting and trapping were banned in the townships surrounding Algonquin Provincial Park in 2001 due to overwhelming public concern for the park wolves. This year, public concern has been ignored – the majority of the 17,301 comments submitted in response to the proposals opposed the regulation changes.

“The Ontario government is peddling their decision as improved protection for the wolves because they have closed hunting and trapping in three additional areas bordering provincial parks,” said Hannah Barron, director of wildlife conservation, Earthroots. “However, these new closures are too small to protect Algonquin wolf packs, let alone individual animals capable of traveling hundreds of kilometres in their lifetime. Any wolf outside of these closures can be killed.”

“Allowing these rare wolves to be killed is not only inhumane and shameful, it can have unintended consequences for farmers and the animals in their care. A growing body of research shows that hunting and trapping can increase future livestock depredation by causing social chaos amongst wolf and coyote populations,” noted Gabriel Wildgen, campaign manager for Humane Society International/Canada.

“If the government was actually serious about protecting farmers’ livelihoods, they would subsidize non-lethal strategies to prevent depredation in the first place. This decision not only endangers a threatened wolf species, it also fails the farming community.” remarked Lesley Sampson, executive director of Coy ote Watch Canada.

“By allowing hunters and trappers to kill Algonquin wolves across the majority of their extent of occurrence, Ontario’s message to the American people and their own constituents is that species-at-risk recovery is not a priority,” stated Maggie Howell, director of the Wolf Conservation Center in New York. “This decision is in direct contravention to its ministry’s mandate.”

 

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