Nov 29

Wolf pack moves in just outside Livingston

Wolf pack moves in just outside Livingston

Associated Press

LIVINGSTON, Mont. (AP) – A trapper trying to capture coyotes caught two wolf
pups, confirming a wolf pack is living just southeast of here on Wineglass

Federal wolf specialist Ed Bangs said the pups were caught Nov. 19.

They were fitted with radio collars and released, and Bangs said the trapper
“really helped us out.”

The pups weighed 70-80 pounds and were not harmed by the leg-hold traps, he
said. “Their feet looked fine.”

Bangs, wolf recovery team leader for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said
radio signals show the wolves are still in the area.

“I’m certain” a pack has set up a territory nearby, with probably four or five
animals in it.

The Wineglass area is a mix of 20-acre subdivisions, traditional family ranches
and some large recreational ranches, about 55 miles north of Yellowstone
National Park.

There have been no reports of attacks on domestic animals, but area residents
have reported seeing wolves, occasionally close to houses or livestock.

Wayne Brozek, who manages the Starwinds Ranch just west of Wineglass Mountain,
said he saw a wolf on that ranch about two months ago and that neighbors and
visitors had reported seeing as many as eight wolves together.

He said he saw wolf tracks as recently as Monday and is seeing significantly
fewer elk than normal this year.

Wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone in 1995 and 1996 and have been
spreading since then.

Bangs estimated there are at least 250 wolves in the Yellowstone area by now.


Posted in Uncategorized
Nov 29

Wolf may have been illegally shot

Wolf may have been illegally shot

A gray wolf may have been shot illegally near Salmon, according to U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service agents.

The carcass of a radio-collared gray wolf was discovered earlier this week, and
it appeared to have been shot within the past three weeks. The carcass was
found near the Bear Track Mine, a short distance from Forest Road 242 on
national forest land west of Salmon.

The service and Defenders of Wildlife are offering up to a $5,000 reward for
information leading to a conviction.

The 2- to 3-year-old female wolf was a member of the Jureano pack, which lives
in the Salmon-Challis National Forest. This pack is one of about 17 in Idaho.
Wolves in Idaho are considered threatened under the Endangered Species Act. A
conviction for harming or killing a protected species carries the possibility
of a year in jail and up to a $100,000 fine.

Edition Date: 11-29-2002


Posted in Uncategorized
Nov 27

Canada, BC: Minister says cull of wildlife unlikely

Minister says cull of wildlife unlikely

Judith Lavoie
Times Colonist

Wednesday, November 27, 2002

Killing wolves and cougars on Vancouver Island is unlikely to be the
province’s solution to a slumping blacktail deer population.

Joyce Murray, minister of water, land and air protection, said Tuesday
that staff hasn’t briefed her yet on possible solutions to the declining
deer population.

“But, I can tell you I don’t favour a predator kill,” she said in an

“I need to get the report from the ministry and sit down and figure out
options, but my bias is against a predator kill.”

NDP Leader Joy MacPhail and Alberni-Qualicum MLA Gillian Trumper presented
petitions in the legislature Tuesday calling on the government to reject
wolf or cougar culls or predator contraception on Vancouver Island.

The petitions, spearheaded by the Sierra Club of B.C. and Raincoast
Conservation Society, contain 700 written and 3,300 on-line signatures.

“All over the world, wolves are being reintroduced into their historic
range, while, here in B.C., we’re trying to exterminate them,” said Sierra
Club volunteer Nitya Harris.

Government biologists estimate that in the last 20 years the blacktail
deer population on Vancouver Island has fallen to about 55,000 from

Doug Janz, head of the ministry’s Vancouver Island wildlife section, said
this summer that excessive predation may be to blame. One solution would
be to kill up to 30 per cent of the Island’s wolves and cougars, he said.

Jill Thompson, Sierra Club Vancouver Island co-ordinator, said
mismanagement of habitat, not wolves and cougars, is to blame for the deer

“When you wipe out 75 per cent of the ancient forest, as we have done on
the Island, it’s obvious wildlife is going to suffer.”

MacPhail said in an interview that the government should be concentrating
on improving habitat rather than killing wildlife. “A cull — which is a
kind word for a kill — is exactly the wrong way to go,” she said.


Posted in Uncategorized
Nov 27

Once the terror of Becker County, a kinder, fluffier, wolf now at local museum

Once the terror of Becker County, a kinder, fluffier, wolf now at local museum

By: ERIC HAHN, Staff Writer November 27, 2002

Is it local legend or just a bad reputation?

To some, Becker County’s celebrity wolf, Old Three Legs, was an
20th Century satanic menace who, for eight years, gobbled farm animals,
outwitted trappers and terrorized the upstanding folk in the five
surrounding counties.

As a Nov. 1935 Field and Stream article on the national wonder puts
it: “… (Old Three Legs was) a merciless killer – a monster wolf that
left a red trail of death and destruction in his wake. The phantom slayer
destroyed thousands of dollars worth of livestock, caused the death of at
least two humans …”

But, assistant director for Becker County Historical Society Erin
McMillan offers a more humane account of Old Three Legs.

She argues, that three legs was slower than the other wolves after
chewing his own foot off to get out of a trap. For subsistence, he had to
chomp slow moving farm critters, much to the ire of area farmers.

People later blamed Old Three Legs for everything from evil-eyed
window peeping to causing frustrated trappers to die alone in the woods
while suffering Captain Ahab monomania.

“Basically, he was a crippled wolf living all alone by himself,”
McMillan, who has researched the Old Three Legs fiasco. “So, he lived on

As for the supernatural image, American Indian trackers deemed Old
Three Legs a spirit wolf after failing to catch him, McMillan says.

She also casts doubt on his aggression toward humans by noting there
hasn’t been a single documented case of a healthy wild wolf attacking a
human in North America.

So, regardless what one believes about Old Three Legs’ intent, he
a real wolf (his stuffed body is on display in the Becker County Museum),
who really irked locals into witch (wolf?) hunt.

The legend and lore surrounding Old Three Legs are just as important
culturally as the true story.

“Three Legs should be revered for having the strength and the
to last that many years,” says Historical Society assistant director Joann

To honor the memory of the lame lobo, the museum is selling some Old
Three Legs themed items in its gift shop.

One is a Becker County commemorative plate. The decorative porcelain
souvenir with an etching of the wolf sells for $15.

The newest item, custom made for the museum’s annual Christmas Tea
social, is a plush toy version of Old Three Legs, with missing paw and

The Christmas Tea is Sunday, Dec. 8, but the wolves can be bought at
the gift shop before then.

The teddy wolves, which sell for $11.95, are a way of raising money
for the organization, and to show a kinder, gentler side to Old Three

“It started as a joke,” McMillan says, “Because we wanted to appeal
kids more in the gift shop.”

The idea came when the museum staff was perusing a catalogue for
to sell in the gift shop. And, as fate had it, wolf dolls were for sale.

The joke of the Old Three Legs Dolls became reality.

“We saw the little wolf in there, and said, ‘You know, we’ve talked
about it long enough,’” Splonskowski says.

With a little at-home amputation and baseball stitching,
customized the four-legged wolf dolls to look like cripple canine.

“I’m the butcher,” she jokes.

With plush dolls and a more sympathetic explanation of Old Three
one might think the teeth-gnashing legend was going soft. But, McMillan
says she wants a more accurate depiction of Old Three Legs, and least
separate some of the fact from fiction.

“We can tell the tall tale as long as everyone knows it’s a tall
tale,” she says.

McMillan made the museum’s description of the Old Three Legs saga a
bit fairer to the villain.

“I took it upon myself to rework some of the pamphlet, because there
was so much nightmarish stuff for preschoolers,” she says. Small children
on a tours of the museum are sometimes confused and saddened when she gets
to the part in the story where three legs meets his demise via a hunter’s

“It’s a newer, happier Three Legs,” she says on the mauler’s
makeover. Three Legs’ reputation is not the only thing that needs to
be saved.
The museum is kept dry to save paper documents. But, the arid environment
is hard on the museum’s mounted animals.

Old Three Legs was shot by Detroit Lakes mink farmer Fred Darkow in
1926. The notorious animal was stuffed and put on display at the McCarthy
hotel for years.

The mounted menace was later stored in barns and attics before
its way to the Becker County Museum. The glues and hide are drying out
over the years.

Some taxidermists are doubtful if Old Three Legs’ carcass could
being restuffed, Splonskowski says.

For the time being, Old Three Legs is still on display in the
continuing to be one of the most popular exhibits there.

The historical society figures it might as well have some fun with
it. “Our plan is to make light of a Becker County legend,”


Posted in Uncategorized
Nov 26

Rewards Offered For UP Wolf Killings

Rewards Offered For UP Wolf Killings

Briefs from the Upper Peninsula

The Associated Press

Published Nov. 26, 2002

IRONWOOD, Mich. – State officials are offering rewards for information in
the recent shooting deaths of two protected gray wolves in the Upper

A female wolf was found dead Nov. 6 about eight miles north of Ironwood,
according to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Another dead
female wolf was found near the Black River, north of Powder Horn Mountain.

Both animals were shot to death and their bodies located in Gogebic
County, the DNR said.

Rewards of $1,500 are offered in both cases. Wolves are listed as an
endangered species under federal law. Anyone with information may contact
the Report-all-Poaching hot line at 800-292-7800.

The recent deaths bring to at least six the number of wolves killed in the
Upper Peninsula this year, DNR officials said.


Posted in Uncategorized
Nov 26

Wyoming plan puts stray wolves in the cross hairs

Wyoming plan puts stray wolves in the cross hairs

By MIKE STARK Billings Gazette

‘Predator’ classification would remove protection outside park boundaries

Depending on where they roam, more than 50 gray wolves that are scattered
among eight packs in northwestern Wyoming could be killed any time and by
any means under the state’s draft proposal to manage wolves in the future.

In an effort to keep wolves from spreading throughout Wyoming, the Game
and Fish Commission wants wolves to be classified as predators – and
subject to unlimited killing – if they wander outside Yellowstone and
Grand Teton national parks or pockets of designated wilderness areas in
the Shoshone or Bridger-Teton national forests.

A draft plan reflecting that policy is being circulated for public comment
and is expected to be made final early next year.

Although the plan, if enacted, would trim the number of wolves in Wyoming,
federal officials have said they won’t approve it because they need a
guarantee that wolves managed by the state won’t decline to endangered or
threatened numbers.

Ed Bangs, wolf recovery coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
in Helena, said that all the wolf packs in Wyoming outside Yellowstone
likely would be subject to predator classification because they don’t live
fully in the wilderness areas.

The wilderness areas, which tend to be at high elevation, aren’t exactly
ideal wolf habitat, he said. Wolves, which can have a home range of 350
square miles, usually roam to lower-elevation valleys to find their prey.
It’s unlikely the wilderness areas would provide consistent food sources,
he said.

“Right now, none of them live solely in those islands of wilderness,”
Bangs said. “Part of the reason they survive is that they travel over such
a large area.”

Some of the wolves in Yellowstone, particularly those in the southern
portion of the park, also tend to wander. When they cross the park
boundary and are not in a wilderness area, they could also be trapped,
shot or otherwise hunted.

But all the wolf packs outside Yellowstone in Wyoming, to varying degrees,
may fall into the predator classification at one time or another.

Two wolf packs near Pinedale and another near Meeteetse would have the
highest potential of being wiped out because they’re so far away from the
parks and wilderness areas, said Reg Rothwell, director of biological
services for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.

“They would definitely be in jeopardy, I guess you’d call it,” Rothwell

That would be good news for some ranchers and others who oppose the spread
of wolves in Wyoming because of threats to livestock and large game

But Rothwell said it’s unclear to Game and Fish how the other Wyoming
packs outside Yellowstone might fare.

“We’ve never been involved in wolf management,” he said. “We don’t know
what’s going to happen.”

Department officials, though, are boning up and trying to gather
information on the home ranges for wolf packs in the state. Rothwell said
he thinks some of the packs spend at least part of their time in the
wilderness areas.

Wyoming’s management plan is intended to keep the number of wolf packs in
the state, including Yellowstone, in the low teens, Rothwell said.

The hope is that the wolf population can be contained to a few isolated
spots in the northwestern corner of the state and still satisfy federal
requirements to maintain a total of 30 breeding pairs in Wyoming, Montana
and Idaho, Rothwell said.

The Fish and Wildlife Service, which has managed the wolves since they
were reintroduced to the northern Rocky Mountains in 1995, said the wolf
population has increased enough to remove them from the Endangered Species
List and pass management to the stat es.

But the director of the Fish and Wildlife Service has already said wolves
in the northern Rockies won’t be delisted in the three states if Wyoming
decides to classify some wolves as predators and others as trophy game.

Despite that warning, the Game and Fish Commission in late October told
its staff to pursue a plan with dual classifications intended to keep the
wolves near Yellowstone and the nearby national forests.

“The question the Service will have to answer to be assured they aren’ t
litigated against and lose that litigation is … is that piece of country
big enough and contiguous enough to support enough wolves for our portion
of the breeding pairs,” Rothwell said. “We have no way to judge that.”

Federal officials say allowing wolves to be killed without regulation
outside the park and wilderness areas will impede Wyoming’ s ability to
hold up its end of the bargain. The biology of wolves indicates that they
need be able to travel large swaths of landscape to survive.

“They could be on top of a mountain today and tomorrow in a valley
bottom,” Bangs said.

But that traveling is a key reason the Game and Fish Commission wants to
allow the wolves to be classified as predators. Supporters say it will
help ensure that the animals don’ t impede on agricultural operations and
will give landowners the ability to take care of any problem animals on
their own.

The Game and Fish Department recently completed a series of open house
meetings around the state to explain its draft wolf plan. The Game and
Fish Department is scheduled to vote on a final version in February.

Written public comments will be accepted until Dec. 12.


Posted in Uncategorized
Nov 25

Wyoming may put wolves under ag department

Wyoming may put wolves under ag department

Associated Press

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) – State officials are discussing a plan in which
agriculture officials, not wildlife biologists, would manage wolves, and
the proposal is drawing firing from environmentalists.

The state has been working on a wolf-management plan that seeks to pass
muster not only with the federal government but Wyoming ranchers,
legislators and other interests as well.

A lawmaking committee recently declined to recommend a bill outlining the
plan until officials work out details such as whether wolves should be
designated as predators in parts of the state, which would allow them to
be killed with only a few restrictions.

Under the latest plan, the Wyoming Department of Agriculture would manage
wolves rather than the state’s wildlife agency, the Game and Fish

“They’re not wildlife. They’re predators,” State Agriculture Department
Director Ron Micheli said.

But conservationists question the wisdom of turning wolf management over
to agriculture interests.

“The Wyoming Game and Fish Department will be managing wolves for wolves,”
said Carl Schneebeck of the Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance. “The
Wyoming Agriculture Department will be managing wolves for cows and

Micheli said any plan likely would set a limit on the number of wolves
that could be killed if the population falls below a certain threshold.

“There’s going to be opposition, but if we can give assurances that
whatever we do will not jeopardize the wolf population then I think there
should be some comfort level for people,” he said.

The agriculture industry is backing the proposal, said Bryce Reece,
executive director of the Wyoming Wool Growers Association.

Livestock producers are more comfortable working with the Agriculture
Department and do not want to go through Game and Fish to obtain
permission to kill wolves, he said.

“We want them to have the ability to take a wolf when their livestock is
threatened,” he said.

Game and Fish staff had initially proposed reclassifying wolves as trophy
game animals, which would give the department authority to manage wolves
throughout the state.

But the Game and Fish Commission, an appointed panel that oversees the
Game and Fish Department, rejected the proposal and opted for dual

Wolves would only be classified as trophy game animals in national forests
and wilderness areas and be designated as predators elsewhere.

The predator provision has raised eyebrows from U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service officials who are concerned that there might not be enough

Two years ago the federal agency agreed to remove the animal from the
Endangered Species List and hand over management to the states but only if
plans are developed by the states that keep the animal from becoming
endangered again.

For managing wolves in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, Idaho has
approved a plan and Montana expects to sign off on a plan soon.

“Somehow the state of Wyoming has to be able to control the mortality of
wolves, and that’s the bottom line,” said John Blankenship, deputy
regional director for Fish and Wildlife Service.

Jim Magagna, president of the Wyoming Stock Growers Association,
downplayed the importance of the predator classification.

“It’s not so important what the label is as what the management is,” he

Tom Thorne, acting director of the Game and Fish Department, said his
agency needs to finish collecting public comments on a draft management
plan being circulated around the state before moving ahead with the
predator proposal.

The deadline for comment is Dec. 12.


Wyo. Wolf management plan


Posted in Uncategorized
Nov 25

Biologists talk to public about wolves in Oregon

Biologists talk to public about wolves in Oregon

The Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife will host town hall meetings in
Coos Bay and other cities throughout the state in November and December to
hear the thoughts, concerns and comments of Oregonians about wolves
entering the state.

The comments recorded at the meetings will be provided to the Oregon Fish
and Wildlife Commission for consideration. The commission is the
rule-making body for ODFW. The seven-member commission has heard from
experts in the past several months about the potential for wolves to
become established in Oregon. The commission now wants to hear from local
residents to ensure that all opinions have been gathered.

Currently, no wolves are confirmed to live in Oregon. However, three
wolves were found in Oregon in 1999 and 2000. One radio-collared wolf was
returned to Idaho, one was hit by a vehicle and died in May 2000 and one
was shot in October 2000. Biologists expect all three were dispersing from
established packs in Boise.

Biologists also have told the commission that more wolves are likely to
arrive in Oregon. Oregon has no plans to actively reintroduce wolves into
the state.

Wolves that enter the state from Idaho’s packs are protected under both
the state and federal endangered species laws. The Oregon Legislature is
the only entity with authority to change the Oregon Endangered Species
Act. The commission, however, has the authority to add or remove species
from the state list of threatened and endangered species.

Each wolf town hall meeting will open with a short introductory
presentation about the history of wolves in Oregon, their current
biological and legal status, and the issues surrounding their migration
into Oregon. Meeting participants then will have the opportunity to voice
their comments and concerns about wolves in Oregon to any of several
facilitators who will be available to record all comments. Participants
also may choose to submit written comments on forms that will be available
at each meeting.

Some educational materials about wolves will be available at the meetings.

All meetings will begin at 7 p.m. The doors will open at 6:30 p.m.

In Coos Bay, the meeting will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 18, at
Southwestern Oregon Community College, Eden Hall, 2988 Newmark Ave.


Posted in Uncategorized
Nov 23

Snowfall stalls wolf trapping

Snowfall stalls wolf trapping

Associated Press

JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) – Heavy snowfall has prompted wildlife officials to
abandon efforts, for now, to trap and kill up to four wolves that have
been menacing livestock in Grand Teton National Park.

The pack, which dens near a livestock grazing allotment, has been linked
to four attacks on cattle in the park and on nearby private land.

“We’re kind of on hold,” said Mike Jiminez, coordinator of wolf recovery
in Wyoming for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Federal agents set traps for the wolves after six to eight animals from
the 23-member Teton Pack killed a cow two weeks ago on the Pinto Ranch, a
private ranch partially inside park boundaries.

The trapping effort was unsuccessful.

It was the fourth incident this fall for the pack, which also attacked
three cattle on a grazing allotment inside the park, Jiminez said.

The wolves killed a calf and injured a yearling and a calf in three
separate attacks.

“This is the first time on private land,” Jiminez said of the latest
incident. “We’re trying to avoid it from becoming a chronic problem, and
these wolves are dispersing and spreading that problem.”

Ranch manager Alan Rosenbaum said understanding the situation may be
difficult for people who do not see the aftermath of the attacks

“It was difficult to see an animal that I’ve taken care of and raised from
a baby lying there dead on private property,” he said.

The Teton Pack has had double litters for the past two years and comprises
three adults, nine yearlings and 11 pups, Jiminez said.

“It’s a precarious situation when wolves grow up next to livestock,” he

While some wolves leave cattle alone, others develop a habit of feeding on
livestock, he said.


Posted in Uncategorized
Nov 21



The Swedish wolf population has been very scarce since at least the
1940´s. The last known litters before the “boom” in the 80´s were born in
1964 and 1978 in the far north of the country. Most of these wolves were
rapidly killed, some legally and some illegally. In the winter of 1979-80
there was only one officially known wolf left in Sweden. In the winter of
1980-81 reports started coming from Värmland and Dalarna in south-central
Sweden. In 1982 a male and a female wolf were tracked. They were not
together in the winter but obviously met later, because in the winter of
1983 they were seen together and later in the spring a litter of six pups
was born in northern Värmland. This may have been the first litter this
century south of the reindeer-management area. Thereafter a litter was
born every year, except 1985, in this area until the last one in 1992.

A lone female wolf was observed in southern Jämtland for a couple of years
until, in 1991, she met a male and had pups in 1991, 1992 and 1993. In the
winter of 1994 the alpha male disappeared.

In southern Dalarna and south-eastern Värmland a new pack was formed in
1992-93. They had pups for the first time in 1993. In 1994 there may have
been two litters (= two packs) in this area (We are not sure whether the
wolves observed was one and the same pack or two different packs).

In 1995 two litters were born. One in south-eastern Värmland and one in
Dalarna (a new pack). Their territories had a common border and this year
we are sure there were two packs. These two packs also had pups in 1996.

A third litter in 1996 was born to a pack in Härjedalen. This pack’s
territory lies within the winter grazing area of the reindeer herd of a
local Lapp community. This pack caused a great deal of excitement in the
Swedish media throughout the winter of 1996/97. The alpha male and one of
the pups were illegally killed and by the end of the winter only three
wolves (out of five or possibly six in the beginning of the winter)

The year 1997 constitutes a beak-through for the Scandinavian wolf
population. We had six litters to six different packs in Scandinavia.
Three of them in Värmland and Dalarna. One in southern Dalsland, northern
Bohuslän and adjacent parts of Norway. One east of Oslo and all the way to
the border with Sweden and a little bit east of it. One litter was born in
the northern part of Hedmark in Norway. In the winter of 1997/98 we
estimated the wolf population in Sweden and Norway to at least at 50
animals. There were six packs and three new pairs of wolves which might
possibly have produced offspring in 1998. So far it seems that only six
litters were born in 1998.

Many wolves have been killed since 1983. A few legally, some illegally,
some have just disappeared and since June 1991 about ten have been killed
by cars or trains in Sweden and Norway. One of them was run over
(accidentally) by a car in a suburb of Stockholm and another one in a
suburb of Göteborg.

The populations of prey animals, mainly moose and roe deer, are at present
at a high level. Damages to sheep, cattle etc. are on a very low level.
Luckily enough most of the wolves’ territories are outside areas where
reindeer-management is being conducted.

People’s attitudes towards wolves are rapidly becoming more favourable,
even if there are still a lot of myths and misunderstandings, which need
to be removed. Most of the opposition to wolves is to be found among old
people. A public opinion poll in 1997-98 showed that 46 % out of 2,000
persons questioned want to have more than 500 wolves in Sweden. 56 % were
positive to having wolves near their homes.

Most difficult to solve is the conflict with the reindeer-herding Lapps
who, for natural reasons, find it hard to accept wolves, at least without
adequate compensation. Reindeer are kept in a semi-wild condition and left
almost completely unattended most of the year. Therefore they are often
relatively easy prey for wolves.

Many hunters are relatively positive towards wolves but very concerned
about their dogs. Hunters have had a number of dogs killed and wounded by
wolves in the last ten years. This is rapidly becoming a problem.

In all Sweden hunting is very important to many people, mainly as a source
of recreation. In the northern half of the country it is so important that
a great deal of normal industrial and business activity comes to a
standstill during the moose season in the autumn.

The future for the Swedish wolf population looks bright, apart from the
risk of inbreeding depression. All Swedish wolves may be descendants of
the pair that appeared in Värmland in 1982. Immigration from Russia via
Finland is therefore absolutely necessary.

Posted in Uncategorized