May 31

Canada: Hunting ban official today

Hunting ban official today

CP ý

TORONTO — Natural Resources Minister David Ramsay will make his proposed ban on the hunting, chasing and trapping of wolves and coyotes in and around Algonquin Provincial Park official today. The ban, which was first announced in March, received “overwhelming public support” during the 30 days it was posted on the province’s Environmental Bill of Rights registry, a ministry source said last week.

It’s scheduled to take effect July 1, the source said.

“Wolves are an integral part of Algonquin’s biodiversity and the focus of the park’s popular education and interpretive programs,” Ramsay says in a statement to be issued today.

“By protecting wolves today, we’re making sure future generations of Ontarians will be able to hear wolves howl in Algonquin.”

A moratorium on wolf hunting, imposed in 2001 because of a dramatic fall in the wolf population in Algonquin and nearby townships, was scheduled to expire in June. The ministry estimated two years ago that the park’s wolf population had dipped below 200.

The permanent ban is part of an effort to protect the Eastern wolf, which the province wants to classify as a species at risk. Algonquin is the largest protected area for the Eastern wolf in North America.

In its written response to the proposal, the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters said the ban “smacks of political expediency” and blames the management of the park habitat itself for the wolf’s demise.

“The hypothesis that hunting and trapping outside the park is a threat to wolves inside the park should be rejected,” the federation argues.

“The bulk of evidence shows that habitat and prey availability, not hunting and trapping, limits park wolves.”

The ministry is also working on a provincial management program for wolves, which wildlife advocates have long complained is no more cared for in Ontario than the lowly raccoon.

The province’s wolf research and monitoring program will also continue in and around Algonquin to examine factors that impact on wolf populations.

Source

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May 31

OR: Wolf committee to meet this week

Wolf committee to meet this week

Members will discuss public outreach and research and budget sources.

Statesman Journal

Meetings of the Wolf Advisory Committee are set Thursday and Friday in Salem.

The June 3 meeting starts at 10 a.m. The June 4 meeting begins at 8 a.m.

Both will be held at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife headquarters, 3406 Cherry Ave. NE (the northeast corner of Cherry and Salem Parkway).

The agenda includes a review and discussion about draft chapters on public outreach and research, a presentation on plan implementation, budget sources and a discussion to plan the next meetings June 30 and July 1 in Pendleton.

Fifteen minutes has been set aside at the end of the meeting for public comments.

Comments can be submitted via e-mail to: ODFW.Comments@state.or.us

No wolves are confirmed to be in Oregon at this time.

However, numerous un-confirmed sightings have been documented.

Some biologists expect wolves to enter Oregon from the expanding population in Idaho and eventually establish a permanent population in this state.

The Fish and Wildlife Commission appointed the 14-member committee in 2003.

Its mission is to help study all the issues surrounding wolves in Oregon and to recommend actions that would be used once a permanent population is established.

Source

Posted in Uncategorized
May 30

Canada: Ontario to ban hunting of wolves in Algonquin area

Ontario to ban hunting of wolves in Algonquin area

FROM CANADIAN PRESS

Natural Resources Minister David Ramsay will make his proposed ban on the hunting, chasing and trapping of wolves and coyotes in and around Algonquin Provincial Park official on Monday, The Canadian Press has learned.

The ban, which was first announced in March, received “overwhelming public support” during the 30 days it was posted on the province’s Environmental Bill of Rights registry, a ministry source said last week.

It’s scheduled to take effect July 1, the source said. “Wolves are an integral part of Algonquin’s biodiversity, and the focus of the park’s popular education and interpretive programs,” Ramsay says in a statement to be issued Monday, a copy of which was obtained by CP.

“By protecting wolves today, we’re making sure future generations of Ontarians will be able to hear wolves howl in Algonquin.”

A moratorium on wolf hunting, imposed in 2001 because of a dramatic fall in the wolf population in Algonquin and nearby townships, was scheduled to expire in June. The ministry estimated two years ago that the park’s wolf population had dipped below 200.

The permanent ban is part of an effort to protect the Eastern wolf, which the province wants to classify as a species at risk. Algonquin is the largest protected area for the Eastern wolf in North America.

In its written response to the proposal, the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters said the ban “smacks of political expediency” and blames the management of the park habitat itself for the wolf’s demise.

“The hypothesis that hunting and trapping outside the park is a threat to wolves inside the park should be rejected,” the federation argues.

“The bulk of evidence shows that habitat and prey availability, not hunting and trapping, limits park wolves.”

The ministry is also working on a provincial management program for wolves, which wildlife advocates have long complained is no more cared for in Ontario than the lowly raccoon.

The province’s wolf research and monitoring program will also continue in and around Algonquin to examine factors that may have an impact on wolf populations, such as habitat and availability of prey, the release said.

Source

Posted in Uncategorized
May 30

NC: Record spring boosts N.C. red wolf numbers

Record spring boosts N.C. red wolf numbers

WILDLIFE

Red wolf biologists have something to howl about. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service reports a record 55 red wolf pups in 11 litters were born in northeastern North Carolina this spring. Two wild red wolf mothers adopted two female pups placed in their dens. The sister pups were selected for their rare genes as part of the program to recover the federally protected endangered species. The pups were recently transferred from a captive facility on Bulls Island at Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge north of Charleston.More than 100 red wolves roam 1.5 million acres in Dare, Beaufort, Hyde, Tyrrell and Washington counties, the only wild population of the species.

Source

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May 30

IL: Chicago zoo presents new Mexican gray wolves exhibition

Chicago zoo presents new Mexican gray wolves exhibition

Compiled by Tom Wharton

Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo will open its new Mexican gray wolves exhibition, “Regenstein Wolf Woods” on June 18.

ýýý The exhibit offers visitors the chance to see Mexican gray wolves, the most endangered subspecies of gray wolves in North America, in a realistic environment. It includes an array of engaging experiences, including hands-on interactives to foster a better understanding of wolves, their behavior and why an ecosystem with wolves is much healthier than one without them.

ýýý The $2.46 million exhibit also includes 2.1 acres of wooded lands, a cascading stream, natural wetlands, three pools, boulders and deadfall trees, two man-made beaver dams, two underground wolf dens and five cameras.

ýýý For viewing information or other information on the zoo, log on to http://BrookfieldZoo.org.

Source

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May 28

Wolf pups make it to IWC in good health

Wolf pups make it to IWC in good health

By Steve Foss

The International Wolf Center has three new additions.

Really new.

Wolf pups ý a male and female about 10 days old and another female only about a week old ý made the trip to their new home in Ely last weekend.

The three pups will eventually bolster the centerýs ýambassador packý of two adult male Arctic gray wolves, Malik and Shadow.

The older two pups were born May 12, the younger female on May 17 at a private breeding facility in Sandstone, Minn. The animals made the trip in good health and were exhibited to the Ely area public for the first time Monday at a press conference and publicity event.

Staffers have given the animals nicknames, which will suffice until a naming contest is finished. They call the male Griz, the older female Groan and the younger female Newby.

The wolf pups will stay in relative seclusion for awhile to acclimate themselves to the site. Eventually, as more than 100 ýwolf nanniesý from 23 states and 3 countries are well into the socialization process, the pups will be introduced to visitors during programs. If things go as planned, theyýll be added to the main enclosure at three months old.

According to Lori Schmidt, the centerýs wolf curator, a four-member wolf care team will work 24 hours a day for the first few weeks to bottle feed the animals every three to four hours. Later, the nannies will rotate two 8-hour shifts daily to socialize the wolves, which helps them feel more relaxed in the enclosure and when theyýre examined for injuries or medication. They also need to get used to noises from garbage trucks, chainsaws and weedeaters, as well as the presence of large crowds, visiting dogs and the occasional wild wolf that passed the enclosure.

Schmidt said that, while the two adult wolves provide excellent educational value to visitors, adding male and female pups will form a pack that likely will show more varied behavior. Part of the centerýs goal is to educate people about wolves.

Walter Medwid, the centerýs executive director, said the ambassador wolves ýhelp the center forge a connection between people and the animal.ý

Sound off

During the event on Monday, about 25 press, staff and guests gathered in the auditorium, and as soon as the pups were introduced and started whining, Malik heard the noise through the glass and approached fora better look, hanging around the vicinity during the event.

After explaining the ins and outs of wolf pup husbandry to the gathering, Schmidt turned on a microphone to the retirement enclosure where older wolves MacKenzie, Lucas and Lakota live. She opened a side door to the outside and howled. In short order, the adults all howled back.

Getting them ready

After the excitement of the event, the pups spent the afternoon sleeping and eating under the care of the wolf management team.

Raising wolf pups is a business complicated by the risk of disease and an emphasis on proper nutrition.

Only about half the pups born in the wild survive to be a year old, said Nancy Jo Tubbs, the centerýs board president and member of the care team.

Visitors to the pup building must wash their hands and dip their shoes in bleach water to avoid accidental introduction of disease.

Schmidt said the pupsý presence has added excitement to the staff, and said they have forged a deeper connection between the centerýs Twin Cities and Ely staffs.

ýThe pups remind people why weýre here,ý she said.

The pups are expected to debut in education programs at the center this weekend, but that is based on veterinarian Chip Hansonýs judgement. Programs will include ýPup 101ý and ýMorning With The Pups,ý and as a fund-raiser, people can pay to have their photos taken with the pups.

The pupsý transition to the main enclosure will be done slowly and in stages, with a tentative date of July 4 set for putting the pups in a small enclosure that borders the main one, which will allow limited contact between the adults and pups in the main compound.

For more information on the pups, upcoming programs, or to enter the naming contest, log onto the centerýs Web site at www.wolf.org or call (800) 359-9653, ext. 25.

Source

Posted in Uncategorized
May 28

MT: Woman punished five years after killing wolf

Woman punished five years after killing wolf

By Jason Lehmann, Enterprise Staff Writer

When dairy farmer Laura Mitchell saw a canine chasing her sheep nearly
five years ago on her Paradise Valley ranch, it hadnýt crossed her mind
the animal was a wolf. In her eyes it simply was a predator.

What she also could not have anticipated was the hassle that was about to
take place over the next several years with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
officials and legal authorities, which ended Monday, May 24, when she
completed terms of a settlement agreement with USFWS.

Mitchell and her family have operated the 374-acre Mitchellýs Milehigh
Ranch in Paradise Valley for 60 years, so occasional livestock losses to
predators are accepted as ýpart of our business,ý she said.

On June 1, 1999, Mitchell ýsaw this critter chasing my sheepý into the
animalýs pen, she said during a recent interview.

Mitchell then saw the animal she thought was a coyote sitting just 10 feet
from the animals near their pen.

ýI live here and this wolf was right there,ý she said pointing to a spot
in an aerial photograph of her property.

She grabbed her .22 rifle, followed the wolf and shot it three times
before it died just southwest of a dairy barn on the property.

ýIt lay there dying and had this real eerie look in its eyes,ý Mitchell
said. ýI thought, ýThis is a real bad deal.ýý

Mitchell then suspected the animal was a wolf. Rather than bury or
otherwise dispose of the animal, she called USFWS authorities.

She said officials, including a former Park County Fish, Wildlife and
Parks game warden and USFWS law enforcement agent, could not identify the
animal. It was confiscated and sent to Oregon for DNA analysis, she said.

In the days following the investigation, Mitchell found a dead sheep. She
said she never found three lambs which had gone missing sometime during
the two weeks prior to the wolf sighting.

Mitchell said she was told by investigators they would recommend no legal
action be taken, and then heard nothing ýfor about two years,ý after the
investigation.

Despite repeated calls to USFWS, Mitchell said no one told her details of
how the investigation was proceeding.

In March 2002, Mitchell said she learned the case went to a federal
solicitor general in Colorado, who would decide whether the case was worth
pursuing.

This past January, ýI received notification civil charges were proceeding
against me,ý Mitchell said. ýSince I had no way to prove depredation, by
our laws, a crime had been committed.ý

USFWS Wolf Recovery Coordinator Ed Bangs said Tuesday, May 25 genetic
testing of the wolfýs DNA confirmed it was related to the original pack
that was reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park in 1994.

ýAll the wolvesý DNA in the Greater Yellowstone Area can be traced back,ý
Bangs said.

Bangs said it was ýhard to believeý FWP and USFWS officials could not tell
whether the animal Mitchell killed was a wolf.

ýI could see where a (untrained) person might confuse a coyote with young
wolf, but I find it hard to believe any biologist would say, ýOh, I donýt
know if thatýs a wolf,ýý he said.

Bangs said wolf-dog hybrids roam around Park County and can be mistaken
for the real thing, but added, ýThe fact is, a wolf is four or five times
bigger than a coyote.ý

He said people who cannot distinguish between wolves and coyotes can go
online to a number of sites that show differences between the two animals.

ýJust like (a hunter who mistakes) a cow elk and a doe mule deer, the
state can prosecute you on mistaken identity,ý he said, adding USFWS ýmade
clearý in 1994 cases of mistaken identity between wolves and coyotes could
be prosecuted.

Bangs said in his experience, civil cases involving animals can be delayed
while felony cases like murders are pursued.

ýA lot of times these (animal) cases arenýt a real high priority,ý he
said.

As part of her settlement, Mitchell avoided a fine by buying an
advertisement in the May 24 Enterprise, the text of which fulfilled her
requirement to educate ýthe local populace about the regulations
surrounding the experimental population of wolves in our area,ý according
to terms of the agreement.

Mitchell said she does not agree with the wolf reintroduction and feels
she was made an example of.

ýThis program totally ties our hands to deal with canine depredation
because if we shoot it and it turns out to be a wolf, weýve got a
problem,ý she said.

She also chided the federal government for not compensating stock growers
when their animals are killed by wolves.

ýWeýve got a program supposedly being managed by the federal government
but there are no provisions for government compensation.

ýWe didnýt ask for this problem and now we have to deal with it without
federal compensation and without a legal method of controlling it,ý she
said.

Mitchell said that, as ranchers, ýWe all think the best thing to do is
shoot (wolves),ý but ýitýs real easy to say that until youýre the one who
shot it.ý

Calls to other FWP and USFWS officials went unreturned before press time.

Source

Posted in Uncategorized
May 27

Three Gray Wolf Puppies Join the International Wolf Center!

Three Gray Wolf Puppies Join the International Wolf Center!

The Center’s newest ambassador wolves, a male and female, were born on May
5, followed by a second female on May 12. The Center’s Wolf Care Team, led
by Curator Lori Schmidt, began caring for the first two pups on May 17.

Ranging from 1.5 to 2.8 pounds, the older two grizzled color pups have
each added two pounds in the first five days under the care and feeding of
dedicated wolf handlers. The youngest black female is growing quickly and
will soon be a match for her two young packmates.

Wolf pups must mature quickly for survival, and these pups’ handlers have
noted normal growth in their new charges:

  • Howling for companionship: 8 days old
  • Eyes opened:10 days old
  • Dominating littermate: 13 days of age
  • Canine teeth and incisors irrupting: 13 days
  • Ears beginning to stand up and pups hear sounds: 14 days old
  • Fear response to noise (startled and tucked tail reaction):17 days old

    In addition to physical growth, the pups’ social behavior develops as they
    mature. Initially, they will establish a relationship through the fence
    with their future packmates, four-year-old arctic wolves, Shadow and
    Malik, and then join them in the Exhibit Pack by early August. Wolf pup
    nannies from 23 states and three countries will provide around-the-clock
    feeding, burping, and observation. Careful planning and constant attention
    are essential for the hand-raising of vulnerable wolf pups.

    These young canids and their mature packmates have been chosen for a
    serious role, to serve as ambassadors in the International Wolf Center’s
    work to teach the world about wolves. Watch the pups as they grow on the
    puppy cam or help us name them at www.wolf.org.

    Source

  • Posted in Uncategorized
    May 27

    WY: Park County to intervene in wolf lawsuit

    Park County to intervene in wolf lawsuit

    Associated Press

    CODY, Wyo. (AP) – Park County has filed as an intervener in Wyoming’s
    legal attempt to get the federal government to allow wolves to be shot on
    sight in most of the state.

    County Commissioner Tim French said filing separately rather than throw in
    with an already formed coalition seeking the same thing is a bold
    statement. “After all, we’re on the front lines of this thing.”

    Tuesday’s decision authorizes County Attorney Bryan Skoric and his staff
    to gather data from ranchers and other information and get to work on
    filing the intervention. Skoric is to report back to the commission with
    draft documents on June 15.

    Attorney General Pat Crank filed suit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
    Service on April 22. At issue is the agency’s rejection of Wyoming’s plan
    to manage wolves after their removal from Endangered Species Act
    protection.

    The service is requiring Montana, Idaho and Wyoming to submit acceptable
    wolf-management plans before it will turn over responsibility of the
    species to the three states. It has accepted Montana’s and Idaho’s plans
    but doesn’t like Wyoming’s proposal to classify wolves outside northwest
    Wyoming as “predators” – animals that can be killed at will – and not as
    trophy animals subject to regulated hunting.

    French said one part of the lawsuit he likes is a statistical report on
    how wolf predation on big-game animals could hurt hunting.

    “If there was some way to quantify Park County’s economic loss and lost
    revenue from lost hunting opportunities, I think that would really help,”
    he said.

    Skoric agreed. “The three-week time frame ý would allow us to get ahold of
    the economist the state used to quantify those numbers and look for other
    statistics and numbers,” he said.

    “Certainly, the numbers we would argue would be documented. If producers
    want to contact us with information, it would certainly be helpful.”

    Commission Chairman Tim Morrison said written and verbal reports from Park
    County residents would be helpful.

    “Let’s ask the people of Park County, those residents who think they have
    lost animals, livestock or pets to wolves,” he said. “Even though it may
    be anecdotal and not scientific, it’s worth something.”

    The county is meanwhile supporting a challenge of the wolf decision by the
    Wyoming County Commissioners Association.

    Source

    Posted in Uncategorized
    May 27

    OR: Wolf Advisory Committee to meet June 3-4

    Wolf Advisory Committee to meet June 3-4

    Thursday, May 27, 2004 SALEM — The seventh meeting of the Wolf Advisory
    Committee formed by the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission will be held
    Thursday, June 3, and Friday, June 4, at the Oregon Department of Fish and
    Wildlife headquarters in Salem.

    The agenda includes a review and discussion on draft chapters on public
    outreach and research, a presentation on plan implementation, budget and
    funding sources, and a discussion to plan the next meeting scheduled for
    June 30 – July 1 in Pendleton.

    The official meeting will begin at 10 a.m., Thursday, June 3.

    Thursday’s discussions are expected to conclude at 5:30 p.m. The meeting
    will re-start at 8 a.m., Friday, June 4, and will conclude at 3 p.m. The
    ODFW headquarters is located at 3406 Cherry Ave. N.E. in Salem.

    Members of the public may watch the proceedings of the Wolf Advisory
    Committee. Fifteen minutes will available at the end of the meeting for
    oral public comment. Members of the public may submit written comments.

    Forms will be provided at the meeting. Written comments also may be
    submitted to ODFW.Comments@state.or.us.

    No wolves are confirmed to be in Oregon at this time. However, numerous
    unconfirmed sightings have been documented. Biologists expect wolves to
    enter Oregon from the expanding population in Idaho and eventually
    establish a permanent population in this state. Anyone who thinks they
    have seen a wolf should contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in
    Bend at (541) 312-6429.

    The Fish and Wildlife Commission appointed the 14-member committee in 2003
    to help study all the issues surrounding wolves in Oregon and to recommend
    management actions that will be used once a permanent population
    establishes itself. The Commission decided to proactively develop a wolf
    management plan so the state is prepared for wolves. This decision came
    after hearing from many wolf experts and the results of 15 town hall
    meetings held in late 2002 and early 2003.

    The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission is the policy-making body for fish
    and wildlife issues in the state. The Oregon Department of Fish and
    Wildlife carries out the policies of the Commission.

    Source

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