Sep 30

MO: One of the best-kept secrets in Missouri

One of the best-kept secrets in Missouri

Becky Beckwith

Although Darwin’s theory of Natural Selection states that the fittest of all species survive the test of time, today even the strongest of them all cannot always escape screeching tires, gunshots, traps and land clearing.

The Wild Canid Center is working to reverse the trend to extinction for multiple species of canids through captive breeding, research and education. And this captivating mission is going on right under our nose. Open since 1971, the Wild Canid Center is a silent destination. With little funding, this facility seems to fly under the radar, although it is the premier breeding canid facility in the country.

A trip to the Wild Canid Center is an eye-opening, beautiful experience and the perfect place to take the family or any animal lover.

Commonly known as “the wolf sanctuary,” the Wild Canid Center doesn’t have the bells and whistles of the zoo, and you can’t cuddle with the little pups. But this facility touches visitors in a real way, connecting humans with nature and their canine earthmates.

On Oct. 2, visitors have the opportunity to watch the wolves in action from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the facility’s annual open house, “Rendezvous with the Wolves.” The open house is one of three major yearly fund-raisers for the non-profit organization and the only time throughout the year that visitors may tour the facility without prior reservations.

Located near Eureka, Mo., the Wild Canid Center is on 65 acres of land within Washington University’s Tyson Research Center.

Here, the organization works to carry out their mission of repopulating multiple dying species of wolves. Mexican Gray Wolves, Red Wolves, Maned Wolves and African Wild Dogs can be seen from viewing platforms or from the walkways between fenced enclosures. The Center consists of 12 to 15 enclosures that range from one to three acres, each equipped with the landscape and topography native to the wolf.

The Mexican Gray Wolf and the Red Wolf seem to be the center’s current primary focus of attention. These species hinge on the reintroduction of multi-generational packs into the wild, and the Wild Canid Center leads the country in getting this done.

When Assistant Director Kim Scott started working at the Wild Canid Center in 1994, there were only 62 Mexican Gray Wolves in existence. Now there are 250 to 300 due to the efforts of the center’s work along with other similar organizations within the Fish and Wildlife Service.

During a traditional tour, visitors will view the wolves’ behavior while a docent tells them about the species, their origin and interesting behaviors. Visitors can compare these wolves to their descendants, man’s best domesticated friend.

However, unlike the common household pet, these dogs do not receive loving human interaction. Wolves naturally fear humans, and it is necessary for them to have this fear when reintroduced into the wild, according to Scott.

Some of the wolves at the center came from zoos, and therefore must be broken of their human tolerant behavior. Employees and volunteers at the Canid Center work hard to have as little contact with the wolves as possible to promote their future success in the wild.

She said it can be most difficult to avoid a “cutesy” relationship with the wolves, but it is necessary for their well-being.

One of the hardest times, Scott said is when the staff must bottle feed a pup, yet not get emotionally close.

“It’s hard when you’re bottle feeding them to keep from saying, ‘Oh, you’re so cute’ and snuggle up to them,” Scott said. “You have to show restraint.”

But all of this work pays off.

It is fair to say that the Wild Canid Center has single-handedly saved the Mexican Gray Wolf population from extinction, and that is just one step in their efforts to put an end to canid extinction.

“I would love someday to close this place because we wouldn’t need it anymore. They’re such majestic, beautiful creatures,” Scott said.

Before that day comes, the Wild Canid Center would like to purchase their own land and build a more suitable facility to breed and observe the canids. The new enclosures they build will include rounded corners to avoid wolf injuries, visual barriers between the different species to avoid “fence fighting” (verbal scuffles between wolf neighbors) and the facility expects to be open to the public daily.

But this will only happen after the Center raises a few million dollars to facilitate the move. This weekend’s open house is one of few fund-raisers to help the Wild Canid Center meet its goal.

At the open house visitors will not only have the opportunity to view and photograph the wolves, but will also enjoy Native American dancing of the Kahok Dancers and demonstrations by St. Louis Metropolitan Police Canine Division, Gateway Sled Dog Club, Gateway Search Dogs and Missouri Disc Dogs. Children’s activities, games and face painting are also on the agenda for the day’s festivities.

Admission for the open house is $15 per carload.

In addition to the open house, the Wild Canid Center offers two fall evening programs on Fridays and Saturdays from September through December. The Wolf Programs begin with the “Discovery Box” which allows visitors to touch wolf pelts and other unique wolf related items, view a slide show about wolf communication and join the wolves in a howl.

The Camp Fire Program is conducted around a campfire where guests will listen to “good” wolf stories and later take a walk to howl along with the wolves.

Program fees are $10 a person, regardless of age. Children under 5 are asked not to attend. Campfire programs for Halloween may have special pricing.

For more information, a list of activities and directions to the Wild Canid Center visit www.wolfsanctuary.com. Reservations are required for regular tours and may be made by calling 636-938-5900.

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Sep 30

MI: Tribe gets $250K for wolf management plan

Tribe gets $250K for wolf management plan

Watchdog group pans grant as pork barrel

By KEITH MATHENY
Record-Eagle staff writer

PETOSKEY – A local Indian tribe received a $250,000 federal grant to create a gray wolf management plan – though whether any wolves exist in the tribe’s territories is questionable.

The president of a national taxpayer watchdog group criticized the grant, made to the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians.

“How many people does it take to manage a wolf population that doesn’t exist?” said Tom Schatz, president of Citizens Against Government Waste.

The grant is part of $8.1 million the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service granted to 45 federally recognized tribes nationwide, to conserve and protect fish and wildlife resources in 18 states, according to the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Tribal natural resources director Doug Craven said the grant will help establish “protocols and methodologies” for determining the presence of wolves in the tribe’s territories in Emmet and Charlevoix counties.

The plan also will evaluate whether sufficient natural resources exist in the area to sustain wolf populations, and will determine non-lethal management methods to reduce the threat wolves may pose to livestock, he said.

“It’s probably only a matter of time for the wolves to migrate across the Straits (of Mackinac) and into our tribal territories,” he said. “We’re looking to try to get ahead of the game a little bit, and have a plan to manage wolves should they reestablish themselves in this region.”

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is home to at least 360 wolves, according to state Department of Natural Resources officials. A trapper killed a wolf he said he mistook for a coyote in Presque Isle County in October 2004, marking the first officially recorded wolf in the Lower Peninsula since 1910. A radio-tracking collar the wolf wore indicated it migrated across the Straits of Mackinac, after last being detected in Mackinac County in February 2004.

DNR officials conducted a wolf survey in the northern Lower Peninsula in late February and early March of this year, DNR Wildlife biologist Brian Mastenbrook said.

“We weren’t able to confirm any wolves in that survey period,” he said.

DNR officials since received evidence of a wolf near Atlanta, in Montmorency County, east of the Little Traverse Bay Bands’ territories, where no wolves or evidence of wolves has been discovered, Mastenbrook said.

Tribal chairman Frank Ettawageshik said the tribe has had “numerous wolf sightings in northwestern Lower Michigan” – including one by himself, in Emmet County, about three years ago.

“The wolf, as one of our clan animals, is very important to our whole culture,” he said. “When the wolf population is healthier our whole world becomes stronger and a better place to live.”

Mastenbrook said he supports the tribe’s efforts.

“Having a management plan for their area and developing additional surveys is not a bad thing, because sooner are later there are going to be wolves in that area, most likely,” he said.

But Schatz said the federal government can’t afford to take such an approach, as members of Congress are scrambling to find offsets to pay for relief efforts from hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

“If you find more than one wolf, and wolves are a threat, then let’s talk about it,” he said.

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Sep 30

MT: Bears kill more elk calves than do wolves

Bears kill more elk calves than do wolves

By MIKE STARK
Billings Gazette

BILLINGS, Mont. — When young elk die on Yellowstone National Park’s northern range, more often than not the killers are bears, not wolves, according to results of a three-year study.

The survey of elk calf mortality indicates that bears were responsible for 53 percent of the kills, while wolves were responsible for 12.8 percent and coyotes 11.1 percent, according to preliminary results.

The outcome came as no surprise for biologists who study predator-prey relationships around the country. In areas where bears and ungulates share a piece of land, bears tend to seize opportunities to eat young calves.

“The results are exactly what you’d predict,” said Ed Bangs, wolf recovery coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The Yellowstone study was launched in 2003 after a decline in the number of elk counted during annual surveys on the northern range. Between 1994 and 2004, the elk count dropped from 19,035 to 8,335.

The number of calves per cow — a ratio used to determine the herd’s reproductive rate — has also dropped to the lowest levels in decades.

Biologists said several factors have contributed to the decline, including predation, hunting and drought, but they wanted to know more about what killed elk calves on the northern range.

Between May 2003 and August 2005, 151 calves were captured and fitted with ear transmitters. Of those, 100 died within the first year of life. Those working on the study then tracked down the young elk and determined how they died.

Over the three summers from 2003 to 2005, bears killed 58 young calves and wolves killed 14. Coyotes ranked third, with 12 kills.

Bears tend to hunt in gridlike patterns in the spring and summer, searching for young calves that might be hiding. Wolves are more likely to kill in the fall and winter when elk gather in larger groups.

Leaders of the study cautioned against extrapolating the results to other elk herds in Yellowstone.

After wolves were reintroduced to the Yellowstone ecosystem, there was heated debate over what impact they would have on the elk population, including those on the northern range.

While wolves certainly play a role in controlling the elk population, the picture is more complicated, biologists say. Wolves, bears, weather, hunter harvest and other factors contribute to elk declines year-round.

The latest information about what kills calves, though, isn’t likely to change many people’s minds about wolves and elk, Bangs said. Those who think wolves are decimating the population will continue to think so, and those who think that wolves have little or no impact will continue to believe so, he said.

The study was conducted by Yellowstone, the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Minnesota.

Researchers will continue to track tagged elk calves through the winter of 2006.

The $107,000 study will be the subject of a Ph.D. dissertation and will likely go through peer-review this year or next.

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Sep 29

WY: Possible canine link ignored in brucellosis battle

Possible canine link ignored in brucellosis battle

By Gil Brady

While many ranchers and state wildlife management officials agree that concentrating and feeding bison and elk at state-run parks and winter range refuges increases the chances of passing brucellosis between wildlife and cattle, the internationally documented canine link the role coyotes, wolves, foxes and farm dogs may play in the spread of the disease in livestock has been missing from the public debate in Wyoming.

Brucellosis, a contagious disease caused by the bacterium Brucella abortus, can cause spontaneous abortions in ungulates. In humans, brucellosis is known as “undulant fever”

and most commonly occurs after ingesting the unpasteurized dairy products of infected cattle or exposure to aborted fetuses, fetal fluids and other infected tissues. In addition to fever and other flu-like symptoms, “Pregnancy and compromised immunity are special risk factors for brucellosis in humans,” a 2005 Wyoming governor’s report states.

Dr. Debra Lawrence, an Idaho Agricultural Department veterinarian, said she was aware of a study on wolves dragging placentas and aborted fetus from place to place thereby possibly spreading the disease, but she was unaware of canine excretions serving as potential “vectors” of brucellosis infection to livestock. Since the late 1800s, when brucellosis was first identified in Wyoming cattle, the disease has plagued ranchers with financial losses due to the sudden outbreak of aborted calves and, more recently, brucellosis testing fees for herds. Excluding its trading partners in Idaho and Montana, Wyoming’s livestock industry was valued at approximately $778 million in 2004. Over a seven-year period, Wyoming cattle producers are projected to spend between $3.5 and $26 million in testing fees for brucellosis, of which the State Legislature has appropriated $1.6 million to defray their expenses. “Lost marketing opportunities are not included in those estimates,” the same governor’s report states. In February 2004, Wyoming lost its 19-year “brucellosis- free” status after cattle out of Sublette County tested positive for the disease at slaughter. The entire herd was put down to prevent contamination of neighboring cattle, resulting in major financial losses for at least one local rancher.

In response, Gov. Freudenthal quickly formed the 19-member blue-ribbon Wyoming Brucellosis Coordination Team (WBCT), which in a January 2005 report blamed the outbreak on elk from the nearby Muddy Creak feedground.

However, so far, no stakeholder in the debate between ranchers, hunters, animal advocacy groups, biologists, politicians, and state wildlife conservationists is raising the specter of a possible relationship between canines, brucellosis and cattle, though solid evidence exists to raise the question. Three readily available veterinarian periodicals Blacks Veterinary Dictionary 18th Edition, Dog Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook and The Merck Veterinary Manual 9th Edition describe how canines in other countries can contract and spread brucellosis.

“In the UK, B. abortus was isolated from the urine of a dog which had shown symptoms of stiffness and orchitis.” Reports Black’s Veterinary Dictionary (p.71). “At autopsy, cystitis and an abscess of the prostate were found. Such a dog would be a public health risk, and a danger to cattle.

“Brucellosis in dogs,” the dictionary continues, “is probably more common than generally realized … In Chile a survey showed that 40 percent of dogs, on farms where the dairy herds were infected with B. abortus, were infected.” Page 1159 of the Merck Manual describes how dogs become infected with brucellosis, but only in the context of domestic dogs closely associated with infected livestock. The Dog Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook, however, describes common modes of transmission by contact with infected female dogs following spontaneous abortion and “by contact with the urine of infected dogs. The disease can spread rapidly throughout a kennel in this manner.”

After being hunted to near extinction in the Greater Yellowstone Area, wolves were listed under the Endangered Species Act in 1975 and have made a dramatic comeback thanks to a four-decade-long reintroduction and recovery program. Recovery has been ranchingnews by Gil Brady Possible canine link ignored in brucellosis battle so successful, according to the Intermountain Farm & Ranch newspaper, that Idaho Governor Dirk Kempthorne is floating a proposal with the U.S. Interior Department to remove the more than 800 gray wolves in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming from federal protection status. Wyoming’s wolves, says Intermountain Farm & Ranch, would continue to be managed by federal officials.

At a recent presentation at the Teton County Library, Mike Jimenez of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, accused the media of hyping reports of wolves killing cattle and underreporting the fact that many more cattle die from other causes, including disease and other predators, such as bears and cougars. As of press time, Jimenez was unavailable for comment on whether wild or domestic canines could transmit brucellosis to cattle.

But other wildlife conservationists offer clues into what informs and governs the debate on how livestock catch brucellosis from other animals. According to experts like Jimenez, Wyoming sheep producers report a yearly average loss of 30 percent due to predators other than wolves. “I’m not sure predation is even first” on the list of sheep loss causes David Gaillard, Interim Executive Director of Predator Conservation Alliance in Bozeman, Mont., said. “Unfortunately, sheep die pretty easily. We’ve kind of bred them that way. They can get hit by lightening or get spooked into jumping off ledges and things.”

On the relationship between brucellosis and wolves, Gaillard said, “I’ve never heard of brucellosis being associated with wolves myself.”

Bison and especially elk, Gaillard explained, were significant vectors for brucellosis. But regarding wolves, Gaillard said, “It’s new to me.” Predator Alliance spokesman Jon Schwedler, however, did mention hearsay of wolves transmitting other infectious diseases between species. Schwedler says he’s heard of people worried about wolves biting sheep, cattle or deer, then going to bite another animal and passing brucellosis and Chronic Wasting Disease. But taking with Montana Fish and Wildlife earlier this week, he said, he was told there’s been no research suggesting that wolves and other predators are transmitters of CWD. In fact, he said, the Montana agency said wolves may even help weed out the population of CWD-infected grazers. “But that’s CWD, not brucellosis,” he said. “I haven’t heard about the urine transmission” of brucellosis by canine. Ranchers’ animal rights groups, environmentalist, biologists, hunters, politicians, the federal government, and the media are poised to square off this winter when a new program aimed at containing the spread of brucellosis between wildlife and cattle ­goes into effect. In January or February 2006, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department is scheduled to begin its “test and slaughter” program at the Muddy Creek Feedground near Pinedale. According to an Aug. 25 article in the Pinedale Roundup, Fish & Wildlife’s plan calls for trapping and removing infected elk cows and shipping them to a slaughterhouse in Idaho for processing.

“All meat from the animals,” the Roundup reports, “will be returned to Wyoming to be distributed by the Game and Fish with information explaining that the meat is from brucellosis infected elk.”

In years past, reports the 2003 Greater Yellowstone Interagency Brucellosis Committee, Wyoming’s Game and Fish Department has vaccinated elk against brucellosis at three state winter feedgrounds with “mixed success.”

According to the 2005 WBCT report to Gov. Freudenthal, one factor hampering further study of brucellosis is its classification as a “select agent” by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Center for Disease Control.

The problem, says the report, is that the federal government has also recently listed Brucella abortus as a “potential bioterrorist agent, or select agent,” effectively halting research on brucellosis in large animals.

The report concludes that until the federal government subsidizes further research into what causes brucellosis, finding an effective way to “clean up Wyoming’s elk herd will likely be a waste of time and money unless the elk and wild bison under Federal jurisdiction are addressed.”

Further, the report’s authors suggest, without federal help local stakeholders will have to content themselves with brucellosis containment and eradication policies in livestock if Wyoming hopes to reclaim its coveted “brucellosis-free” status.

One section of the governor’s report sums up the situation as follows: “It is strongly suggested that other, perhaps ‘outside the box’ issues also be considered for research and pilot studies.”

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Sep 29

MT: Bears kill more elk calves than do wolves

Bears kill more elk calves than do wolves

BILLINGS, Mont. — When young elk die on Yellowstone National Park’s northern range, more often than not the killers are bears, not wolves, according to results of a three-year study.

The survey of elk calf mortality indicates that bears were responsible for 53 percent of the kills, while wolves were responsible for 12.8 percent and coyotes 11.1 percent, according to preliminary results.

The outcome came as no surprise for biologists who study predator-prey relationships around the country. In areas where bears and ungulates share a piece of land, bears tend to seize opportunities to eat young calves.

“The results are exactly what you’d predict,” said Ed Bangs, wolf recovery coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The Yellowstone study was launched in 2003 after a decline in the number of elk counted during annual surveys on the northern range. Between 1994 and 2004, the elk count dropped from 19,035 to 8,335.

The number of calves per cow — a ratio used to determine the herd’s reproductive rate — has also dropped to the lowest levels in decades.

Biologists said several factors have contributed to the decline, including predation, hunting and drought, but they wanted to know more about what killed elk calves on the northern range.

Source

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Sep 28

Japan: ONCE THERE WERE WOLVES

ONCE THERE WERE WOLVES

Shrines are no salve when it comes to extinctions

By ROWAN HOOPER

Natural selection these days can be more than a little unnatural, especially in Japan, which has a curious relationship with nature.

The country has maintained an enviable proportion of natural forest cover — by importing the wood it needs from tropical forests, largely in Southeast Asia.

But the money to be made from building contracts means it has concreted vast lengths of the rivers and streams running through its forests. Consequently, hundreds of plant and animal species are now rare and endangered because of such habitat destruction.

Yet in many ways, nature is revered in Japan (who mentioned whaling?). Folklore abounds with tales of beneficial animal spirits. Insects are not loathed as “creepy-crawlies” like in the West, but are, on the whole, cherished. Some, such as kabutomushi (horned beetles) have iconic status.

The wild popularity of cherry blossom viewing in spring and leaf-gazing in autumn is also closely tied in with the Japanese affinity for nature. But the love of nature sits uneasily with the economic appetite of one of the world’s richest nations.

In some cases, a change in the Japanese attitude to nature can be traced to a specific event. Perhaps the most important such event, and one of the most important events in Japanese history, was the fall of the Tokugawa Shogunate in 1867. Of the many knock-on effects, one was the extinction of the Japanese wolf.

There were two subspecies, the Hokkaido wolf, and the smaller Honshu wolf (like the two bear species still living in Japan today, the animals living in Hokkaido needed to be bigger because of the harsher climate). Both were distinct from wolves in Europe and North America; the Honshu wolf, only about 30 cm tall at the shoulder, was the smallest known variety of wolf.

In former times, wolves were revered and respected. They were seen by farmers as guardians of their crops. It was believed that wolves kept deer, hares and wild boars from causing damage to farmland. The Heian Period warlord ruler of northeastern Honshu, Fujiwara no Hidehira (1096-1187), was said to have been raised by wolves, like Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome.

In Yamanashi Prefecture, offerings of azuki bean rice were left for wolves when cubs were born. It was sometimes believed that the tradition, known as inu no ubumimai, would be reciprocated by the wolf when a human child was born.

However, with the growing influence of American culture after the Meiji Restoration, Japanese people’s benign view of the wolf began to change. The country was hell-bent on modernization, and that left no room for wolves.

In Hokkaido, a cowboy from Ohio, Edwin Dun, was recruited to start a ranching industry. Under Dun’s influence, the Hokkaido Development Board started poisoning wolves with strychnine. Hunting, for bounties, followed. In only 20 years, the Hokkaido wolf was extinct. By 1905 the Honshu wolf was also extinct (it appears that the death of the last Honshu wolf can’t be blamed on the Americans: it was killed in Nara and the specimen is now kept in the British Museum.)

In remote, mountainous parts of Japan, rumors persist that the wolf is alive and well. But these reports have never been confirmed.

The wolf was credited with having a great affinity with the spirit of the mountains. Other iconic Japanese animals, such as the fox and the tanuki (raccoon dog) are said to be able to escape detection by assuming human (often female) form. But the wolf’s skill at concealment was down to its oneness with the natural mountain environment.

Should the wolf be reintroduced to Japan? One problem is that the gray wolf of Europe is simply different to the variety of gray wolf that lived in Japan. Europeans killed off most of their wolves long ago, but they were reintroduced to Sweden and Norway in the mid-1990s. Some environmental groups want to see them reintroduced to Scotland, too.

But extinction is final. There is no reservoir of Hokkaido and Honshu wolves that can be protected and raised again. There are a few stuffed specimens and pelts, so there remains the theoretical possibility that if good-quality DNA was extracted, Japanese wolves could be cloned — although that is extremely unlikely to happen, let alone leading to the reestablishment of a thriving population.

The “regular” gray wolf could be introduced into Japan, but the political hurdles would be formidable, and however much I’d like it, I can’t see it happening.

Perhaps more realistic would be to invoke more widely the former respect for nature that was symbolized in the respect bestowed on the Japanese wolf.

Mitsumine Shrine in Saitama Prefecture still has a wolf god. On the Kii Peninsula, too, there are Shinto shrines dedicated to wolves.

What a change it would make if the prime minister visited one of those shrines, instead of Yasukuni. How inspiring it would be if a politician paid respect to nature instead of to war criminals enshrined among the nation’s fallen. But of course, that’s also a political hurdle too far.

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Sep 27

EU sues Finland over wolf hunting

EU sues Finland over wolf hunting

The EU Commission has brought legal action against Finland in the Court of Justice of the European Communities over wolf hunting. The Finnish government received the complaint Monday.

Environmental legislation of the EU requires for wolves to be protected, and killing it knowingly is not permitted, excluding some exceptions.

However, Finland allows the systematic hunting of wolves, according to the Commission. Hunting permits are granted based on quotas, and they are not restricted to harmful individual wolves.

Finland has a month to reply to the allegations. The court process may take years.

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Sep 27

CO: Wildlife group pledges funds for ranchers if wolves return to Colorado

Wildlife group pledges funds for ranchers if wolves return to Colorado

DENVER (AP) – An environmental group has offered to help pay ranchers for livestock killed by wolves if Rocky Mountain National Park decides to reintroduce the predators to reduce its overabundant elk population.

Washington-based Defenders of Wildlife has paid more than $500,000 to ranchers in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Arizona and New Mexico for confirmed losses to wolves and bears. The group also has spent $470,000 on projects to keep wolves away from livestock. It pledges similar support in Colorado.

“No matter how and when wolves come to Colorado, we will commit these funds,” said Jonathan Proctor, who heads the group’s Denver office.

“We hope to save wolves by preventing conflicts in the first place,” he said.

Rocky Mountain National Park Superintendent Vaughan Baker said the group’s offer would be taken into account when a decision is made.

The park is considering introducing wolves to help kill elk and drive them from areas where their browsing has damaged habitat for songbirds, butterflies and beavers. The elk, estimated at 3,000 to 4,000 head, are also blamed for property damage outside the park.

Some doubt managers could keep wolves in the 226,000-acre park once they are introduced.

The Colorado Cattlemen’s Association opposes any reintroduction of wolves in the state, said Terry Frankhauser, an association executive vice president.

Wolves were wiped out in Colorado by the 1930s after ranchers, government agents and others shot, trapped and poisoned the predator.

The state Division of Wildlife developed a wolf management plan in May after a lone wolf traced to Yellowstone National Park was found dead along Interstate 70 in the mountains west of Denver. The animal was wearing a radio collar.

The state’s management plan calls for leaving migrating wolves alone unless they attack livestock or harm other wildlife.

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Sep 26

Sweden/Norway: The number of wolves increase in the border areas.

Sweden/Norway: The number of wolves increase in the border areas.

Rough translation by TWIN Observer

There are more wolves than ever in the border areas between Norway and Sweden. Norwegian wolf researcher Petter Wabakken says this to the newspaper Glomdalen.

According to Wabbaken several new wolves have been added in the region but that it will be first during winter’s wolf tracking that the exact number can be fixed. New research shows among other things that more moose calves are killed by wolves in the Gräfjäll and the Bograng region. Peter Wabakken believes that the antagonisms between the government bodies and those who oppose wolves will increase in the future if the wolf packs are not diminished.

**************************

Antalet vargar ökar i gränstrakterna

Det finns mer varg än någonsin i gränstrakterna mellan Norge och Sverige. Det säger den norske vargforskaren Petter Wabakken till tidningen Glomdalen.

Enligt Wabakken har flera nya vargar tillkommit i området men att det blir först under vinterns vargspårning som det exakta antalet kan fastställas. Ny forskning visar bland annat att allt fler älgkalvar dödas av vargar i Gräfjället och Bograngenreviret. Peter Wabakken tror att motsättningarna mellan myndigheterna och vargmotståndarna kommer att öka i framtiden om inte vargstammen minskas.

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Sep 24

ID: Federal trappers kill wolf blamed for attack on cow

Federal trappers kill wolf blamed for attack on cow

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

LEWISTON, Idaho — Federal trappers killed one gray wolf Friday and are hunting another from the Chesimia Pack that roams an area of north Idaho between Dworshak Reservoir and Elk River. The pack killed a cow earlier this month, the third cow death blamed on the wolves this summer.

The pack is also blamed for killing several hunting dogs on its home range over the past year. Officials at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which is charged with protecting gray wolves, authorized the trappers to kill two adult members of the pack.

Wolves in most of Idaho are protected under the Endangered Species Act as a nonessential experimental population. The special designation allows wolves that prey on livestock to be lethally removed.

“Our intention was to kill two (wolves) so we are going to stick to it for the 45-day window we’ve got to do the control action,” said Todd Grimm, western district supervisor of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services Agency at Boise.

Federal trappers also killed a wolf earlier this summer after a cow was believed killed by the pack in July. Agents had planned to kill two wolves then, but the order was rescinded by Carter Niemeyer, of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at Boise. Niemeyer said pictures of the dead cow did not adequately demonstrate wolves were responsible.

“I require good, defensible documentation,” he said. “If I sense I’m not getting that, I will quickly deny control until I have the information.”

More documentation was included in the investigation of the cow killed this month.

“It was very clear evidence,” Niemeyer said. He issued a 45-day order allowing federal trappers to kill two wolves there.

In 1995, 35 wolves were reintroduced to the Frank Church and Selway Bitterroot wilderness areas. There are now believed to be more than 500 wolves in Idaho and federal biologists have said wolves in the Northern Rockies – Idaho, Montana and Wyoming – are biologically recovered.

But bureaucratic and legal hurdles still have to be cleared before wolf management can be handed back to the states.

The Fish and Wildlife Service requires the states to have approved wolf management plans in place before wolves come off the list. Idaho and Montana have such plans. Wyoming’s plan, which allows wolves to be shot in vast areas of the state, was rejected. State officials there are suing the wildlife service over the rejection of the state’s wolf plan.

Niemeyer said removing wolves from Endangered Species Act protection would allow Idaho to reduce wolf packs through hunting.

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