Nov 30

OR: Wolves on tonight’s agenda

Wolves on tonight’s agenda

The last meeting of the Wolf Advisory Committee formed by the Oregon Fish
and Wildlife Commission will be held Wednesday, Dec. 1, and Thursday, Dec.
2, at the Wittenberg Inn in Keizer.

The agenda includes a review and discussion on public comments received to
date on the draft Oregon Wolf Conservation and Management Plan. The
committee will decide whether to recommend to the Oregon Fish and Wildlife
Commission any changes to the draft plan.

The meeting will begin at noon, with discussions expected to break at 5
p.m. The meeting will re-start at 8 a.m., Thursday, and conclude at noon.
The Wittenberg Inn is located at 5188 Wittenberg Lane N, just off River
Road in Keizer.

Members of the public may watch the proceedings of the Wolf Advisory
Committee. Fifteen minutes will available at the end of second day for
oral public comment. Members of the public also may submit written
comments. Forms will be provided at the meeting for this purpose or they
may be sent via e-mail 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 advisory
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.

Reasonable accommodations will be provided as needed for individuals
requesting assistive hearing devices, sign language interpreters or
large-print materials. Individuals needing these types of accommodations
may call the Information and Education Division at 800-720-6339 or
503-947-6002 at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting.

Source

Posted in Uncategorized
Nov 30

Scotland: Public opinion is seen as key to any plans to reintroduce animals like the wolf to Scotla

Public opinion is seen as key to any plans to reintroduce animals like the wolf to Scotland.

JIM GILCHRIST

IT IS more than 250 years since the lonely howl of the wolf has echoed in
the farthest reaches of the Highlands, but if Paul Lister gets his way,
that will soon change.

The millionaire businessman wants to transform his estate in Sutherland
and Easter Ross into a home for not only the European grey wolf, but also
the bear, lynx, boar and European bison which were once native to this
land.

Listerýs vision is a conservationistýs dream and, in his own words, one of
the “most sensational, inbound eco-tourism opportunities the Highlands
have ever seen.”

Others, less sympathetic, might dismiss it as a furry-animal Jurassic
Park.

But whatever the objections Lister will face in bringing this cast of
characters to a fenced wilderness on his Alladale estate, nobody could
accuse his project of smacking of the fly-by-night.

“Iýve been thinking about it for 15 years and looking for somewhere like
Alladale for seven years,” says Lister, who purchased the 153-square-mile
estate last year.

As he sits in the lodge at Alladale, 12 miles west of Bonar Bridge, and
within sight of some of the most northerly Caledonian pinewoods in the
country, you sense Lister has waited long enough. “Iýd like to think we
could achieve something within the next five years,” he says. “The habitat
is perfect for these animals and we could do most of the reintroduction
within a 12-month period, from the minute the perimeter fence went up.”

Whether Lister will be allowed to forge ahead at this pace is in doubt -
and he knows it. Scottish Natural Heritageýs attempts of the past eight
years to introduce the relatively “cuddly” European beaver to Scotland has
been fraught with minority, but vocal, opposition from forestry and
farming interests.

What the wider community will make of his plans to reintroduce Scotlandýs
“big five” is not yet fully clear – but some commentators believe he faces
a Herculean task in convincing all those with a legitimate interest that
his dream is a good idea.

Aware of this, at the weekend, Lister held a conference at Alladale with
those who might be affected by his plans. This included neighbouring
landowners, deer management groups, local small famers, estate workers
other interested agencies – people he will need to convince if his dream
is to be realised.

Speaking to The Scotsman ahead of the event, he was resolutely upbeat,
though realistic.

“The community seems to be adopting the idea, and thatýs even before Iýve
had the chance explain it fully,” he said. “Obviously, it would be silly
of me to go ahead prematurely.

“So far thereýs been nothing negative, but I donýt suppose itýll be too
long before someone has something to say.”

Lister is the son of Noel Lister, the co-founder of the MFI furniture
empire, but at the age of 45, he has put the retail trade behind him.
Although he maintains a family business based in Beaconsfield,
Buckinghamshire, he now spends at least a week every month at Alladale.

Much of the remainder of his time is spent visiting conservation areas and
game parks across the world, particularly, Transylvania, where the
pristine forested landscape of the Romanian Carpathian mountains boasts
the highest concentration of sizeable carnivores anywhere in Europe.

It is here that much of his conservation credentials have been honed – and
those which could bring a tourism boost to Alladale, should his plans
succeed. For the past few years he has been active in the Carpathian Large
Carnivore Project, helping it to develop a viable “eco-tourism” business.

He has also forged links with the Mantis Collection, a South African
organisation which combines running two game reserves, Shamwari and
Sanbona, with quality tourism.

Lister has also looked to South Africa for expert advice on the kind of
secure fence that will encircle much of his estate: “There theyýve been
used to controlling the ýbig fiveý. If they can do that in Africa, I would
have thought we could contain slightly-lesser creatures.”

He laughs. “In this day and age, when they can put someone on the moon,
they can surely build a fence to keep a bear in.”

Lister hopes that this fence, his “halfway-house” approach will be key to
convincing the wider Scottish community to welcome the wolves and other
beasts back to Scotland.

“Iým not advocating a general reintroduction, but a controlled one, and
thatýs whatýs important,” he says.

But his plans for Alladale are about much more than putting some of our
native animals back onto the hills.

His vision is based on what he calls the “four Es – “environmental
restoration, educational enhancement, economic viability and employment
opportunities,” and he adds a fifth, “to enhance cultural heritage.”

Lister sees Alladale marrying conservation with “green tourism” in
Scotland. Instead of travelling all the way to Africa to spot the
much-vaunted “Big Five” of elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo and rhino,
visitors will be able to watch a Scottish “Big Five” of wolf, bear, boar,
lynx and bison.

He believes his animal park could create at least 30 local jobs, and he
points to the economic spin-off associated with Americaýs Yellowstone, or
the “wolf howlers” who escort enthusiasts in Alaska.

He is due to travel to New Jersey to visit the Willow Schools, based on
holistic education, which he extols for their inclusion on the curriculum
of topics such as environmental issues and ethics. Within six months, he
says he hopes to have an educational unit, informed by these values,
established on the estate.

In the meantime, he maintains rather more traditional deer-stalking at
Alladale, although himself is no longer a shooter. “I shot many deer in my
twenties, but Iýve grown out of that and I want to see a bigger picture. I
believe there is something bigger out there weýre all missing.”

Lister is not the first to advocated the reintroduction of wolves in the
Highlands or islands – among them the late David Stephen, for many years a
widely-respected nature writer for The Scotsman, who kept a pair of wolves
in an enclosure on his pioneering, Palacerigg Countryside Park, near
Cumbernauld. Others, however, believe that to bring the wolf or other
vanished species back to a landscape which has been vastly transformed,
and settled, in the ensuing centuries, is simply inappropriate.

George Anderson, a spokesman for Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) believes
that among many hurdles, Listerýs greatest could be public opinion.

“Weýve had people in the past suggesting this kind of thing, but theyýve
never done anything. This is the first such idea Iýve come across in my
time at SNH where the guy seems to be serious and has some credentials.
So, weýre taking it seriously and there will be discussions.”

Anderson points to SNHýs own proposals for the reintroduction of the
European beaver to Scotland by way of a warning about the power of public
opinion in such issues. “Scaling that up to the large carnivores he has in
mind, I would hope that his thinking is quite long-term, indeed.”

Also looking on with interest is Jeremy Usher Smith, manager of the
Highland Wildlife Park, near Kingussie, which keeps a pack of 11 wolves in
a purpose-built three-hectare enclosure. Wearing his hat as a zoo
inspector for the Scottish Executive, he also sees many practicalities to
be overcome.

“You need to meet Health and Safety regulations and all the rest of it,
and some sort of management of these animals so they donýt roam. It would
certainly have to be looked at by the local authority, which would be the
licensing authority and it would seek advice from the Scottish Executive.”

Despite this, he believes that, effectively, Listerýs vision could be
feasible. “I donýt know the estate or what the habitat is like, but it
would be great to bring these animals back, and it would probably help
take the fright out of them for some people.”

Another problem for Lister may be the recently-legalised “right to roam.”
If, as of necessity, Alladale becomes securely fenced off, might there be
objections from walkers? “We canýt keep everyone happy all of the time,”
Lister says. “If we want to have the benefits of what weýre talking about,
there will have to be some compromises. But I believe the majority of
people wouldnýt mind a small area of the Highlands given over to this kind
of use.”

Bearing in mind the sort of money it could bring the area, compromise
might not be too hard to find in some quarters.

Guests who come to see the dreamed-of Alladale “Big Five” could pay as
much as ý20,000 for a week at the lodge, and daytrippers will also be
welcome. “Everyone will be welcome. If they want a walking tour, thatýs
possible, but there would be a charge of some sort.” Lister headed off to
New York immediately after his conference at Alladale, but a spokesman for
the estate described the event as “very productive, agreeable and
generally positive.” Perhaps rather tellingly, there were more questions
raised about the impact of traffic on access roads, and tick control, than
about “the more emotive issues you might expect”, he added.

Traditionally, the last Scottish wolf is said to have been killed – and
decapitated, just to make sure – by a Highland hunter called MacQueen in
1743. The bear has been extinct here since the 10th century. Some
supporters of reintroduction, such as nature writer Jim Crumley, prefer to
believe “that the last wolf in Scotland hasnýt been born yet.”

Paul Lister would like to think so, too. “Iým completely driven and Iýve
got lots of energy,” he says. With the red tape he faces, he may need it.

Source

Posted in Uncategorized
Nov 29

Turkey: Starving wolf kills kid

Starving wolf kills kid

Ankara – A wolf driven by hunger killed a Turkish boy in a small town in
central Turkey, the Anatolia news agency reported Monday, quoting local
officials.

Ten-year-old Onur Bahar was found dead by his father in a field near their
house in the outskirts of Talas on Sunday afternoon; the wolf had gone for
the boy’s throat and torn his left arm off, the agency said.

Provincial governor Ekrem Calik told Anatolia that the prints at the site
showed the boy had been attacked by a wolf which descended on the town,
probably because of hunger.

The beast might have been drawn to the neighbourhood by the smell of bones
dumped outside a nearby supermarket, he said.

Source

Posted in Uncategorized
Nov 29

CH: Swiss have wolf in their sights

Swiss have wolf in their sights


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Switzerland wants to water down the protection given to wolves in Europe, which would allow the animal to be culled.

Bern plans to present its proposal to fellow signatories to the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats who are meeting in Strasbourg this week.

The Swiss authorities want the wolf to be reclassified. The predator currently appears on the list of ýStrictly Protected Fauna Speciesý; Switzerland would like to see it downgraded to a ýProtected Fauna Speciesý.

If the proposal were accepted, the wolf would have the same status in Switzerland as the lynx, allowing it to be shot under strict conditions.

An estimated three to six wolves are thought to be present in the country.

Under legislation introduced in Switzerland in July this year, cantons can issue a licence to kill if 35 farm animals fall prey to a wolf in the course of four months, or 25 animals in one month.

Since 1995, 14 wolves have wandered into Swiss territory from France and Italy, according to Pro Natura, Switzerlandýs largest conservation organisation. It said seven had been killed under licence. Extinction fears Pro Natura has criticised the Swiss proposal, fearing it could lead to the extinction of the wolf in Europe.

The group has already launched a campaign with the slogan, ýDonýt let Switzerland kill your wolves!ý

Switzerland could find support for its proposal among other parties to the convention, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. Around 12 countries are said to be unsure as to whether the wolf merits complete protection.

The convention aims to protect wild species of flora and fauna in their natural habitats, in particular endangered and vulnerable migratory species.

Related Sites

Swiss environment agency: http://www.umwelt-schweiz.ch/buwal/eng/index.html

Pro Natura: http://www.pronatura.ch/content/english/EN/page1.html

Council of Europe: http://www.coe.int

Source

Posted in Uncategorized
Nov 28

AZ: Reintroduced gray wolves fighting tooth and nail

Reintroduced gray wolves fighting tooth and nail

Despite shootings, they’re coming back

By Mitch Tobin
ARIZONA DAILY STAR

BLUE RANGE PRIMITIVE AREA – Mexican gray wolves would be doing a lot
better if people would stop shooting them.

Illegal shooting has claimed at least 20 wolves since reintroduction began
in the Southwest in 1998, and bullets remain the No. 1 killer of wolves
along the Arizona-New Mexico border.

Federal officials also have sanctioned the shooting of two more wolves
that wouldn’t stop eating cows. Even wolves that steer clear of livestock
face a stressful relocation if they leave a 9,290-square-mile recovery
area whose outline is based more on politics than biology.

But despite the unsolved shootings, a management style officials admit is
heavy-handed and the age-old contempt for wolves that persists among many
residents here, the wolves are starting to come back.

At least 50 wolves are now in the wild – halfway to the goal of getting
100 to roam the rugged Blue Range by 2008. Wolves are taking down
full-grown elk and pumping out enough pups that releases of captive-bred
animals have been scaled back.

“It’s functioning as a population now,” said Colleen Buchanan, assistant
recovery coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “We don’t
have to be so concerned about individual animals as we used to be. You
have to put the losses in that perspective.”

Irony pervades a program that’s already spent $10 million to undo past
policies. Fish and Wildlife’s precursor – the U.S. Biological Survey – led
the 20th century extermination of the Mexican subspecies. Canis lupus
baileyi is named for biologist Vernon Bailey, the founder of the control
program who proudly reported in 1908 that hunters had killed 127 wolves in
Arizona and 232 in New Mexico.

In 2005, Fish and Wildlife may revise its rules so wolves can leave the
recovery area. Environmentalists also want to return wolves to other parts
of their historic range, including “sky island” mountains near Tucson and
the Kaibab Plateau north of the Grand Canyon.

But even as activists talk of expansion, foes are fighting the existing
program.

Fear along the Blue River

This fall, ground zero for human-wolf conflict has been along the Blue
River, home to about 60 ranchers and others who live on private parcels
tucked within the nation’s last remaining primitive area.

The Forest Service describes the area as “a sort anachronism, with
wilderness designation more or less permanently ‘pending.’ ” The Census
Bureau still classifies surrounding Greenlee County as “frontier” because
it’s so sparsely settled.

No one is accusing residents along the Blue of shooting wolves, but the
nuisance created by a newly released pack has stiffened local opposition.
The idea of wolves howling may give urban residents a warm and fuzzy
feeling. Along the Blue, it leaves some in a cold sweat and asking why
wolves aren’t put in Phoenix and Tucson if people there love them so much.

“When the wolves come down, I don’t sleep the rest of the night,” said
Jean Hutchison, a native Tucsonan who moved to the area in 1987.

Hutchison said the wolves have increased her labor and costs because she
must keep her livestock indoors at night and buy feed because it’s too
risky to let them graze in the open.

“They impact our economy, our lifestyle and our very basic right to feel
safe and secure,” she said. “Isn’t man supposed to be the top dog?”

At an April 23 meeting down in Morenci, residents pleaded with officials
not to release wolves nearby and predicted they’d come down to the Blue.
But on July 27, two adults and three pups were set free, in part to make
up for the illegal shooting of six alpha wolves in 2003. By September, the
Aspen pack was at the post office in Blue.

The wolves have scuffled with two dogs but haven’t killed any livestock,
and officials say they still aren’t enough of a problem to warrant
recapture. Still, biologists are now stationed along the Blue virtually
24/7, ready to scare off the wolves with firecrackers and shouting.

The government has given some residents boxes with bullhorns that blare
the sound of gunfire, sirens and helicopters when activated by wolves’
radio collars. The captive-bred wolves may still associate people with
food, and the aversive conditioning is meant to reverse that.

The wolves are still naive, but largely avoiding people, said Shawn Farry,
an Arizona Game and Fish biologist who has been stationed overnight on the
Blue.

“When push comes to shove, the animals will lose, so it’s in their
interest to learn to give people a wide berth,” he said.

Sharon Gould, who runs an outfitting business with her husband, said she
appreciates the government efforts, “but it’s closing the barn door after
the horse is out.” The Goulds are going to move because they fear wolves
will attack the 15 expensive hound dogs they contract out for lion
hunting.

Rancher Barbara Marks, whose husband’s family settled here in 1891, said
she can deal with other predators, but grizzlies and wolves had to go.

“They’re kind of like criminals in society,” she said. “You remove them
because they don’t play well with others.”

Ancient conflict

Animosity toward wolves probably stretches back to prehistoric hunters who
competed with the animals for big game.

“Men and wolves have been at odds ever since,” writes Arizona State
University biologist David E. Brown in “The Wolf in the Southwest: The
Making of an Endangered Species.”

Wolves once roamed almost anywhere there was forest in Arizona. By the
early 20th century their range may have expanded because settlers imported
a new food source: livestock.

Ranchers demonized wolves, viewing them as a bigger threat than other
predators. The way wolves kill didn’t help their cause: Solitary lions
pounce and kill quickly, but wolf packs run down their prey and
practically eat cows alive.

So began a six-decade, federally sponsored crusade that was “almost as
great as that devoted to neutralizing the Apaches,” Brown writes.

Wolves were shot on sight by ranchers, who could then claim a bounty up to
$50 as late as 1960, plus some cash for the pelt. Livestock carcasses were
laced with strychnine, cyanide, other poisons. In spring, when pups were
born, hunters would engage in “denning,” digging out litters and
dispatching them with bullets or “numbing clubs.”

Even ecologist Aldo Leopold, idol of many modern environmentalists, took
part in the slaughter as a young ranger, though he would later regret it.

In his 1949 “Sand County Almanac,” Leopold recalls how his party spotted a
wolf and her pups near Eastern Arizona’s Escudilla Mountain, shot them at
once and reached the mother in time “to watch a fierce green fire dying in
her eyes.”

“I was young then, and full of trigger-itch,” he wrote. “I thought that
because fewer wolves meant more deer, that no wolves would mean hunters’
paradise. But after seeing the green fire die, I sensed that neither the
wolf nor the mountain agreed with such a view.”

By 1925, after more than 900 wolves were killed in a decade Brown likens
to the Nazi “final solution,” the wolf was mostly a memory in the American
Southwest. But it held on in Mexico’s Sierra Madre, and for the next
quarter century predator-control agents would act like the Border Patrol
and prevent lobos from coming north.

A decade after the wolf was listed as endangered in 1967, Fish and
Wildlife sent a hunter to Durango and Chihuahua to find wolves for captive
breeding. Five wolves were caught and sent to the Arizona-Sonora Desert
Museum. There are now 260 wolves in 45 facilities in North America.

At the Desert Museum earlier this month, curator Pilar Rinky tossed balls
of horse meat to two aging, cowering wolves.

“The wolves are actually quite shy. People think they’re aggressive, but
they’d rather not be near people,” she said.

“What’s its predator?” asked some second-graders visiting from Lineweaver
Elementary School.

“Man,” Rinky replied.

Stereotype persists

Children are still taught that wolves are deceitful and murderous in the
tales of Little Red Riding Hood and The Three Little Pigs. But people’s
image of wolves went through an extreme makeover in the 20th century, and
the creatures were lionized in Kevin Costner’s 1990 film “Dances With
Wolves.”

Still, when President Bush’s campaign needed to pick a symbol of
terrorists for a commercial, it chose wolves in a dark forest. Phoenix
activist Bobbie Holaday said she wanted to beat Andrea Mitchell on the
head when the NBC correspondent described the ad as effective.

“It just encourages those yahoos up there to go get their guns and kill
‘terrorists,’ ” said Holaday, who recounts her 11-year struggle to start
the reintroduction in “The Return of the Mexican Gray Wolf.”

Authorities continue to investigate the shootings, but won’t describe
suspects or what evidence they’ve found.

When wolves are found shot to death, authorities turn the area into a
crime scene, collect evidence and ship the remains to Oregon for forensic
analysis.

“Wildlife poaching, in general, are very hard crimes to solve,” said Doug
McKenna, a Fish and Wildlife agent in Mesa.

“You’re dealing with a gunshot, maybe vehicle tracks and not much beyond
that,” said Jon Cooley, head of Game and Fish’s Pinetop office.

Fish and Wildlife and environmentalists have put up a $45,000 reward for
turning in a wolf killer. There’s also an emphasis on educating hunters
since shootings tend to increase in hunting season and some of the dead
wolves are thought to have been mistaken for coyotes.

Shooting in self-defense is OK

It’s legal for someone to shoot a wolf in self-defense, and it’s always OK
to scare them off.

There have been no fatal attacks by wild wolves in North America in the
past half-century.

It’s illegal to harm a wolf attacking a pet, and ranchers can kill wolves
preying on livestock only on private and tribal property – not federal
land.

Gauging how often wolves kill livestock is tough because remains may never
be found and wolves sometimes scavenge. Since 1998, the wolf program has
documented 47 confirmed instances of predation and 22 possible and
probable cases. That’s more than triple the rate in the Northern Rockies -
where grazing isn’t year-round – but in line with government projections.

Elk make up 74 percent of wolves’ diet and livestock account for 4
percent, according to analysis of wolf droppings.

Ranchers who lose livestock to wolves are eligible for compensation from
Defenders of Wildlife. Since 1998, the group has paid $34,023 to ranchers
in the Southwest. But they complain it’s difficult to get paid.

More room to roam?

Environmentalists – and even some ranchers – think the conflict could be
eased if wolves weren’t so concentrated.

Federal officials raised concerns about their boundary rule as early as
1999, and independent scientists’ three-year review of the program also
said recaptures were inhibiting recovery.

Capture-related stress is blamed for only one of the 45 wolf deaths
documented by Fish and Wildlife. But Michael Robinson of the Center for
Biological Diversity believes trapping and relocation has actually killed
around 10 animals.

Highly social wolves struggle to survive if their packs are broken up, he
said. And public records released to Robinson show that when three pups
died of a virus after being captured in 1999, a veterinarian blamed their
deaths on “stress from the whole trapping affair.”

The boundary rule was a concession to wolf opponents, but next year, when
a new recovery plan is drafted, Fish and Wildlife may change the policy.

Wolves naturally disperse to open habitat and have already made it to near
Flagstaff, but it’s unclear if they could reach the area around Tucson or
north of the Grand Canyon without some help. Any expansion of the
Southwest program is also tied to ongoing litigation over Fish and
Wildlife’s desire to loosen Endangered Species Act protection for other
subspecies of wolf.

In the meantime, wolf supporters hope to get ranchers to change husbandry
practices and remove livestock carcasses that attract wolves. As a model,
they point to Will and Jan Holder’s operation on Eagle Creek, northwest of
Clifton.

Will’s grandfather used to kill wolves along the Mogollon Rim, and he grew
up with plenty of horror stories about them.

“It was bogeyman kind of stuff,” he said. “You never saw it as a little
kid, but you were fearful.”

He and Jan met while working in advertising for America West in Phoenix,
and when they moved back to Will’s family ranch they decided to produce
“predator-friendly beef.”

“We used to ranch like pretty much everyone else and just throw our cattle
out there,” he said.

Now the Holders keep a close eye on their cows and make them herd so
they’re a more formidable opponent for predators.

While their product is double the price of other beef, finding customers
hasn’t been a problem. But persuading other ranchers to follow their lead
or accept their pro-wolf stance has been nearly impossible.

“It’s been abject hatred,” Holder said. “We’ve been real fearful of people
doing harm to us or burning down our house.”

Source

Posted in Uncategorized
Nov 28

AK: State’s wolf-control program continues

State’s wolf-control program continues

Game managers say remaining wolves may be smarter, harder to shoot

The Associated Press

FAIRBANKS, Alaska – Aerial hunters have claimed the first wolf kills of
the season as Alaska officials renew predator-control efforts to boost
moose and caribou populations.

Two wolves were killed in the past week near McGrath and two in the
Nelchina Basin when pilot-gunner teams took to the skies with permits
supplied by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game earlier this month.

Those are two of the five regions the state Board of Game has designated
for aerial wolf control this winter. Three other areas – west of
Anchorage, on the central Kuskokwim River and near Tok – were added to the
list earlier this year.

The state wants more than 500 wolves in the five areas killed this winter.

Almost three dozen permits have been issued for the area west of
Anchorage. Those hunters can take to the air beginning Wednesday,
according to Fish and Game spokesman Bruce Bartley.

After being chased around by hunters in airplanes last winter, the McGrath
and Nelchina wolves will probably be harder to track down, state game
managers said.

“The wolves we’ve got left are a lot smarter,” Bartley said.

The state’s aggressive stance against predators has drawn protests from
wildlife advocacy groups such as Darien, Conn.-based Friends of Animals
and Washington, D.C.-based Defenders of Wildlife.

Friends of Animals is once again organizing a tourism boycott of Alaska by
organizing “howl-in” demonstrations in a more than a two dozen cities in
the Lower 48.

Source

Posted in Uncategorized
Nov 27

AK: Aerial wolf-control program resumes

Aerial wolf-control program resumes

By TIM MOWRY , Staff Writer

Aerial wolf hunters claimed their first kills of the season this week near McGrath and in the Nelchina Basin as officials renewed wolf-control efforts in certain parts of the state to boost moose and caribou populations for hunters.

Four wolves were killed this week–two in Game Management Unit 19D East near McGrath and two in Game Management Unit 13–as pilot-gunner teams took to the skies with permits supplied by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game last week.

Those are two of the five regions the state Board of Game has designated for aerial wolf control this winter. Three more areas–Unit 16B west of Anchorage, Unit 19A on the central Kuskokwim River and Units 12 and 20E near Tok–were added to the list earlier this year.

The state wants more than 500 wolves in the five areas killed this winter.

In addition to Unit 13 and 19D East, almost three dozen permits have been issued for Unit 16 west of Anchorage. Those hunters can take to the air beginning Wednesday, according to information officer Bruce Bartley with Fish and Game in Anchorage.

It will probably be at least another week or two before permits will be issued in Unit 19A because biologists are still finishing up moose surveys in the area, according to Cathie Harms, ADF&G information officer in Fairbanks. She wasn’t sure how many permits would be issued for Unit 19A.

The harvest objective in Unit 16 is 100 wolves, while hunters in Unit 19A can take up to 150. The harvest objectives in Units 13 and 19D East are the same as they were last year at 140 and 40, respectively.

Hunters will be allowed to land and shoot or shoot from airplanes in Unit 19D East and Unit 19A near Aniak, while hunters in Unit 13 in the Nelchina Basin and Unit 16B will be allowed only to land and shoot.

The state is also planning to issue permits for portions of Units 12 and 20E sometime in late December or early January, Harms said. The harvest objective for that area has yet to be determined but will likely be at least 100 wolves.

After being chased around by hunters in airplanes last winter, state game managers expect wolves in Units 13 and 19D East to be harder for hunters to track down this winter. Last year, hunters killed 127 wolves in Unit 13 and 17 in 19D East.

“The wolves we’ve got left are a lot smarter,” Bartley said. “It’s going to be a lot harder to take wolves this year than last year.”

As a result, the Department of Fish and Game reduced by almost one-third the number of permits it issued to pilot-gunner teams to hunt wolves in Unit 13 south of Fairbanks. The state is only issuing 20 permits this year as opposed to 33 last year when hunters claimed 127 wolves in the Nelchina Basin.

“The biggest complaint we had from permittees last year was there were too many airplanes out there,” Bartley said. “We ratcheted it back to guys who had the most success last year.”

The state received more than 80 applications from pilot-gunner teams to hunt wolves in the four regions. Permits are issued based on a pilot’s familiarity and flying time in an area, as well as previous experience hunting wolves.

Similar to last year, the state’s aggressive stance against predators has drawn protests from Lower 48 wildlife advocacy groups such as Friends of Animals and Defenders of Wildlife.

Friends of Animals is once again organizing a tourism boycott of Alaska by organizing “howl-in” demonstrations in a more than a two dozen cities in the Lower 48. The group organized a similar campaign last year with more than 150 howl-ins but the protests failed to put a dent in Alaska’s $2 billion-a-year tourism industry. The number of visitors in Alaska last summer was 1.4 million, up 100,000 to 150,000 from the previous summer, according to the Alaska Travel Industry Association.

Defenders of Wildlife, meanwhile, has once again petitioned Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton to halt the aerial hunting of wolves in Alaska under the Federal Airborne Hunting Act. The group is also collecting signatures on a petition to send to President Bush. As of Friday, more than 5,600 people had signed the petition.

“”They have no idea how many wolves are in these areas, yet they’re going in with these numbers made up on purely anecdotal information and doing some serious damage to the predator population,” said Karen Deatherage, the Alaska representative for Defenders.

But state wildlife biologists say there are plenty of wolves to go around. Alaska’s wolf population is estimated at anywhere from 8,000 to 11,000 and hunters and trappers on average kill 1,500 a year.

Source

Posted in Uncategorized
Nov 27

Canada: OFAH applauds wolf plan

OFAH applauds wolf plan

By Bryan Meadows – The Chronicle-Journal

The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters says the provinceýs Enhanced
Wolf Management Plan sets out a balanced approach to conservation.

The proposal ýis a reasonable balance to enhance wolf conservation,
maintain hunting opportunities and protect farmersý property rights,ý OFAH
spokesman Terry Quinney said Friday.

On Thursday, Natural Resources Minister David Ramsay announced a
comprehensive wolf strategy which proposes new hunting seasons and
mandatory wolf-harvest reporting in central and Northern Ontario.

ýThis is the first time provincewide regulations have been proposed to
limit wolf hunting in Ontario,ý Ramsay said, adding that ýwith these
changes, we are building on the steps already taken to protect the eastern
wolf in the Algonquin Provincial Park area.ý

Quinney said in a news release that the Ontario government ýactually
listenedý to OFAH advice, and has saved wolf hunting traditions and given
wildlife managers the improved ability to collect data and manage harvest.

The proposed wolf strategy includes:

ý Developing and implementing a research and monitoring program to
determine the status of wolf populations in Ontario.

ý Requiring wolf and coyote hunters in selected wildlife management units
(WMUs) in central and Northern Ontario to purchase up to two special game
seals, in addition to their small game licence.

ý Requiring mandatory reporting by hunters about wolf and coyote hunting
and harvest in WMUs in central and Northern Ontario.

ý Implementing a closed season for wolf and coyote hunting and trapping
from April 1 to September 14 in WMUs in central and Northern Ontario.

Earlier this year the province banned the hunting, trapping and chasing of
wolves and coyotes in and around Algonquin Provincial Park ý the largest
protected area for the eastern wolf in North America.

The province has also designated the eastern wolf as a ýspecial concerný
on the Species at Risk list.

Ontarioýs wolf population has been pegged at between 8,000 and 10,000.

The ministry has posted the new wolf management plan on the Environmental
Bill of Rights Registry website for 40 days.

People can view the proposals at
www.ene.gov.on.ca/samples/search/Ebrquery_REG.htm, by entering Registry
No. PB04E6020.

Source

Posted in Uncategorized
Nov 27

OR: Wolf plan closer to approval

Wolf plan closer to approval

The committee’s final meetings will be next week

Statesman Journal

KEIZER — The Wolf Advisory Committee will consider a final wax and buff of its Wolf Conservation and Management Plan.

The final meetings of the committee will be Wednesday and Thursday in Keizer.

The agenda includes a review and discussion about a flood of public comments that have been received about the draft plan.

During the two-day sessions, members of the committee will decide whether to recommend to the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission any changes or modifications to the draft plan.

The draft is available online at www.dfw.state.or.us/wolves/main.html

The meetings will begin at noon Wednesday and 8 a.m. Thursday.

Sessions will be at the Wittenberg Inn, 5188 Wittenberg Lane N (just off River Road N in Keizer).

While the meetings are open to the public, the only public-comment period is scheduled at the end of Thursday’s session, when 15 minutes has been set aside.

You also can send comments in writing.

Forms will be provided at the meeting, or suggestions can be sent via e-mail to ODFW.Comments@state.or.us

No wolves are confirmed to be in Oregon, but 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 he or she has seen a wolf should contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service office in Bend at (541) 312-6429.

The Fish and Wildlife Commission appointed the 14-member advisory committee in 2003 to help study all the issues surrounding wolves in Oregon and to recommend management actions that will be used after a permanent population is established in the state.

Commission members opted to develop the wolf management plan so the state is prepared when the animals arrive.

The decision came after hearing from many wolf experts and the results of 15 town hall meetings 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.

Because of an official request for more public input, commissioners voted to delay a final discussion and vote on adopting the plan until their February meeting.

The vote had been scheduled at the January commission meeting.

Between now and the vote, three opportunities are being provided at public meetings for oral comments or to submit comments in writing.

The first of those will be Dec. 10 during the December commission meeting at Fish and Wildlife headquarters in Salem.

If you plan on attending either or both sessions of the task force meetings next week and need assistive hearing devices, sign language interpreters or large-print materials, call ahead to ensure those are provided.

The numbers to call are the Information and Education Division at (800) 720-6339 or (503) 947-6002 (Salem headquarters) at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting.

Source

Posted in Uncategorized
Nov 25

Canada: Ontario Proposes Province-Wide Protection For Wolves

Ontario Proposes Province-Wide Protection For Wolves

Invites Public Input On Proposed Strategy

TORONTO, Nov. 25 /CNW/ – The McGuinty government is proposing to enhance
the conservation of Ontario wolves through the first province-wide wolf
strategy and through regulations to limit wolf hunting, Natural Resources
Minister David Ramsay announced today.

“Our aim is to conserve, monitor and protect wolf populations across the
province and ensure that the wolf continues to play a key role in Ontario
ecosystems,” said Ramsay. “This is the first time province-wide regulations
have been proposed to limit wolf hunting in Ontario. With these changes, we
are building on the steps already taken to protect the eastern wolf in the
Algonquin Provincial Park area.” The proposed wolf strategy includes:

– Developing and implementing a research and monitoring program to
determine the status of wolf populations in Ontario

– Requiring wolf and coyote hunters in selected wildlife management
units (WMUs) in central and Northern Ontario, to purchase a special
game seal, in addition to a small game licence and limiting the number
of game seals to two per hunter per year

– Requiring mandatory reporting by hunters about wolf and coyote hunting
and harvest in WMUs in central and Northern Ontario

– Implementing a closed season for wolf and coyote hunting and trapping
from April 1 to September 14 in WMUs in central and Northern Ontario.

Earlier this year the province banned the hunting, trapping and chasing
of wolves and coyotes in and around Algonquin Provincial Park – the largest
protected area for the eastern wolf in North America. The province has also
recently designated the eastern wolf as ‘special concern’ on the Species at
Risk list.

The ministry is posting the strategy and the proposed regulation changes
to the Environmental Bill of Rights Registry for 40 days in two postings. The
proposals can be viewed on the registry at the following website
www.ene.gov.on.ca/samples/search/Ebrquery_REG.htm, by entering Registry Number
PB04E6020.

Source

Posted in Uncategorized