May 30

NH: John Harrigan: Wolves, snakes, reading

John Harrigan: Wolves, snakes, reading

Woods, Water and Wildlife

Anyone who would get a thrill out of howling like a wolf — and maybe getting an answer — might want to sign-up for a survey planned for various locations in northwestern Maine.

Hunters, wardens and wildlife biologists believe there’s a pretty good chance that wolves are trying to re-establish themselves in the ancestral range to the northwest of the Rangeley Lakes. Conservationists and U.S. Fish and Wildlife biologists are looking for a few dozen people to sign-up for “howling surveys” to see if any wolves howl back. A training and information meeting was held yesterday at the Fields Pond Audubon Center in Holden, but there’s probably still time to call and sign up.


Posted in Uncategorized
May 29

SE: The wolf population must not grow

The wolf population must not grow

Roughly translated by TWIN Observer

The Swedish wolf population must not become larger than today. The national government now proposes a ceiling of 210 wolves.

This is the first time in over 40 years where the wolf population’s growth is stopped consciously.

The predatory animal proposition implies that a licensed hunt for wolves will be implemented – perhaps already in the coming winter.

At the same time predatory animal management is regionalized. The county governments get the main responsibility and three large management zones are established, one each for northern, middle and southern Sweden

“But the Natural Resources Agency gets a continued national responsibility. There is no risk that the the county governments go too far concerning hunting permission”, Environmental Minister Andreas Carlgren(C) said.

The proposition means taht the national government fulfills some of the promises given to the hunters during the elections and the Swedish Hunter’s League is pleased with the main content(of the proposal).

“Finally we can get long viewed lasting predatory animal management”, said Torsten Mörner, the League’s chairman.

Within the natural resources protective organizations the criticism is otherwise strong. Tom Arnbom of the World Nature Fund considers nature care aspects are totally abandoned.

“A population of 200 wolves is a very small population. The wolf’s ecological role has been abandoned, unfortunately. In order for the species to have the chance to play the role demands many more wolves in the country,” he says.

Vargstammen får inte växa längre

Den svenska vargstammen får inte bli större än i dag. Regeringen föreslår nu ett tak på 210 vargar.

Det är första gången på över 40 år som vargstammens tillväxt stoppas medvetet.

Rovdjurspropositionen innebär att licensjakt på varg införs – kanske redan den kommande vintern.

Samtidigt regionaliseras rovdjursförvaltningen. Länsstyrelserna får huvudansvaret och tre stora förvaltningsområden inrättas, ett vardera för norra, mellersta och södra Sverige.

- Men Naturvårdsverket får ett fortsatt nationellt ansvar. Det finns ingen risk för att länsstyrelserna går för långt vad gäller jakttillstånd, säger miljöminister Andreas Carlgren (C).

Propositionen betyder att regeringen uppfyller några av de löften man gav till jägarna under valrörelsen och Svenska jägareförbundet är nöjt med huvudinnehållet.

- Äntligen kan vi få en långsiktigt hållbar rovdjursförvaltning, säger Torsten Mörner, förbundets ordförande.

Inom naturskyddsorganisationerna är däremot kritiken hård. Tom Arnbom på Världsnaturfonden anser att naturvårdsaspekterna helt kommit bort.

- En stam på 200 vargar är en mycket liten stam. Vargens ekologiska roll har tyvärr kommit bort. För att arten ska få chansen att spela den rollen krävs det långt fler vargar i landet, säger han.



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May 29

MN: Wolf on Washington looking for easy picking

Wolf on Washington looking for easy picking

By Scott Stowell

A wolf has caught the attention of an Ely east-side neighborhood and human garbage seems to be the culprit.

The wolf has been looking for free meals in the garbage of the apartment complex on the north side of Washington St. between 9th and 10th avenues.

Information Services Director Jess Edberg from the International Wolf Center said that prior to the animal being identified as a wolf, residents reported an animal had been ripping open garbage bags during the very early-morning hours.

On May 9, an apartment complex resident came to the Wolf Center requesting assistance for a wolf she had seen come within 10-20 feet of her back door.

Edberg contacted Ely police and local DNR officials to discuss options. The police said the center could investigate and try negative conditioning to discourage the wolf from returning.

Wolf Center staff determined that the animal had become conditioned to food in the apartment area due to insufficient trash storage outside the back doors of the buildings. Some units had trash cans with lids. However, for those that didn’t, the wolf dragged the exposed garbage bags to the wooded area nearby.

From what she observed and gathered from talking to residents, Edberg said the wolf appears to be wary. It has retreated when people yelled at it or threw objects toward it. When neighbor dogs barked it tucked its tail.

This anxious body language indicates the wolf is not comfortable, which is a good sign. It offers a greater chance that it can be conditioned to avoid people.

The Wolf Center staff managed to get a photo of the wolf on a wildlife camera. On May 18, a resident got a second picture. Both were during daylight.

Edberg said the wolf is also wearing a radio collar. However, the photos have not been able to capture a clear picture of its ear tag ID to get an idea of the wolf’s territory.

The Wolf Center contacted the Ely Housing Authority which operates the apartment complex. They arranged to have a temporary dumpster located at the complex for residents to dispose of their garbage. The cost of the dumpster is being paid for by the EHA and donations to the Wolf Center.

Edberg said she recognizes the limitations the residents have in dealing with their garbage. But the only way to get the wolf to stay away is to keep the garbage in a secure location. They must also be part of the wolf’s negative conditioning. That means yelling at it, banging pots and pans, and throwing non-food items at it to scare it away without hurting it.

“The sad part is that if people don’t work with the negative conditioning and follow suggestions to store garbage, a likely scenario will end up with the wolf being euthanized because it is a threat to human safety,” she said.

She also stressed that if a person perceives any kind of immediate threat to human safety from a wolf, they should call 9-1-1. However, if they have concerns about a wolf in residential areas, they can call the Wolf Center which will work with proper authorities to mitigate potential problems.

Anyone wishing to make a donation to offset the cost of the dumpster, should contact the International Wolf Center at 218-365-4695 or visit their website at

Edburg said this is one way the organization is trying to make a difference for the peaceful co-existence of wolves and humans.


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May 29

WA: Feds: Wolves can’t be blamed for cow-kill

Feds: Wolves can’t be blamed for cow-kill

By K.C. Mehaffey
World staff writer

TWISP — Federal investigators found no obvious signs wolves killed a cow southwest of Twisp, and because of the age of the carcass, the cause will remain undetermined.

“We have actually no reason to believe that wolves were involved in this at all,” said Doug Zimmer, spokesman for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “The only reason we did an investigation is that the down cow is in the neighborhood of where the wolves live,” he added.

Investigators said many animals had scavenged the dead cow. Tracks from dogs, coyotes, ravens and possibly wolves were found.

Zimmer said an agent from U.S. Department of Agriculture’s wildlife services responded to the report of the dead cow on May 22. Investigators believe the remains were at least one week old, and reduced to just skin and bones.


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May 29

WY: Symposium looks at wolves, public lands

Symposium looks at wolves, public lands

Star-Tribune staff writer

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service made its recent decision about Wyoming’s plan for wolf management for reasons beyond the requirements of the Endangered Species Act, according to a Cheyenne lawyer.

“[Wyoming's plan] is more than adequate,” Harriet Hageman said.

But the federal government wanted to please radical environmentalists, Hageman said. “It’s all political.”

She and Wyoming Attorney General Bruce Salzburg will discuss the Endangered Species Act during a symposium at 11 a.m. today sponsored by the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation.

“By highlighting four different topics, the symposium goal is to provide one place where producers can go for information,” said Wyoming Farm Bureau executive vice president Ken Hamilton.

At 9 a.m., the symposium will begin with a discussion about counties and public lands management. Panelists are U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis, Fremont County Commissioner Doug Thompson, Jim Allen of the Natural Resource Planning Committee, and Hot Springs County Planner Lee Campbell.

At 10 a.m., Wyoming State Veterinarian Dr. Walt Cook will present “current disease management — assessing potential threats.”

In the afternoon, Mace Thornton of the American Farm Bureau Federation will show producers how to tell their story. “Agriculturalists face increasing threats from legislation that fails to utilize the expertise of veterinarians, animal scientists and experienced farmers, and could result in higher food costs and lowered food safety,” according to the Farm Bureau Federation’s Web site.

The symposium is open to the public.

Registration begins at 8 a.m. at the Casper Ramada Inn, and the fee is $25.


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May 28

CO: Group backs return of wolves to Southern Rockies

Group backs return of wolves to Southern Rockies

Colorado poll shows majority in favor of returning animals to state

Associated Press Writer

DENVER – Tired of waiting for federal action, a group that advocates restoring wolves to the Southern Rockies is trying to build interest among elected officials and others in the region.

WildEarth Guardians is releasing a report promoting Rocky Mountain National Park and the western part of Colorado and north-central New Mexico as the next best places to restore wolves.

Wolves from Canada were released in Yellowstone National Park and Central Idaho in the mid-1990s to rebuild the population. Earlier this month, wolves were removed from the federal endangered species list in the Great Lakes region and parts of the Northern Rockies.

Rob Edward, author of the WildEarth Guardians’ new report, said Friday, May 22, that the Southern Rockies have the space, prey base and public support to expand the wolf’s territory. “We have vast wild areas in western Colorado,” Edward said.

Scientific studies have shown the Southern Rockies could support more than 1,000 wolves, Edward added.

The region has plenty of prey for gray wolves, Edward said. Colorado has the largest elk herd in North America. Rocky Mountain National Park northwest of Denver has so many elk that the Park Service is using sharpshooters to help thin the herd, which has overgrazed parts of the park.

“We’re not pushing this because we think wolves, as genetic entities, need these lands. We are arguing that, in fact, this landscape needs wolves,” Edward said.

Wolves were wiped out in Colorado by the 1930s after ranchers, government agents and others shot, trapped and poisoned them. At least two wolves from the Yellowstone area have wandered into Colorado.

One radio-collared wolf from Yellowstone was hit and killed by a vehicle on Interstate 70 west of Denver in 2004. A second radio-collared wolf first monitored in Colorado this winter was found dead in March in northwest Colorado. Federal officials are investigating the wolf’s death.

Despite a few forays by wolves into Colorado, where the animals would have full federal protection, no one expects them to repopulate the state on their own. The Colorado Wildlife Commission opposes releasing wolves to restore them to the state. Federal officials have no plan to release wolves in Colorado.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is busy closing out the recovery program in the Northern Rockies and is trying to restore the Mexican gray wolf to the Southwest, said Ed Bangs, leader of the agency’s wolf recovery efforts.

“There are 4,000 wolves in the Great Lakes (region) and over 1,600 in the Northern Rockies,” said Bangs, who is based in Helena, Mont.

Wolves aren’t necessary in Colorado to ensure genetic diversity, Bangs said. The Endangered Species Act is supposed to prevent extinctions, not require that species are restored to all their historic turf, he added.

“Pre-Columbus, wolves were found from Mexico City to the Arctic Ocean and from coast to coast,” Bangs said.

Today, much of the wolf’s original habitat has dramatically changed. Bangs said much of the land suitable for wolves in Colorado is fragmented, and high-elevation wilderness areas would be too harsh much of the year. Bangs said wolves could be successfully returned to Rocky Mountain National Park. The problems would start when the animals leave the park, he said.

“An average wolf pack requires 200 to 500 square miles,” Bangs said. “A lone wolf requires 1,500 square miles.”

Park officials’ preliminary plan for thinning Rocky Mountain National Park’s elk herd said wolves would best meet environmental objectives and do the least damage, but didn’t recommend that option. The National Park Service said the support and cooperation it would need from other public agencies to release wolves didn’t exist.

Edward of WildEarth Guardians said he believes the public would support wolves roaming Colorado. He thinks the Fish and Wildlife Service goes too far to accommodate ranchers, some of whom oppose restoring wolves because of attacks on their animals.

“The population of Colorado is clearly in favor of wolf restoration,” Edward said.

A 1994 poll for the Fish and Wildlife Service showed that 71 percent of Coloradans surveyed supported returning wolves to the state.

Edward hopes to win support from Colorado’s congressional delegation and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who oversees the Fish and Wildlife Service. He said he was disappointed when Salazar, a former Colorado senator, upheld a proposal by the Bush administration to take the wolves in Montana and Idaho and the Great Lakes area off the endangered species list.

“As disappointed as we are in his decision,” Edward said, “we hold hope that he will agree with us that there is much more to do with wolves and the landscapes.”


Posted in Uncategorized
May 27

SE: Wolf shooter acquitted again by the appeals court

Wolf shooter acquitted again by the appeals court

Roughly translated by TWIN Observer

A hunter who was indicted for serious hunting violation when he had shot a wolf to death in connection with moose hunting was acquitted again by the appeals court.

The court considers that he had rights to shoot the wolf which was after his dog.

It was during the moose hunt in September of 2007 which the man’s hunting dog stumbled onto a wolf in the area of Storberget and Kalvbäcken outside of Solberg in Örnsköldsvik’s community.

The hunter has said that he heard a devilish howl in a bush by the side of the forest car road. After a bit the dog came running straight toward him and hot on the dog’s heels was a large wolf.

The prosecutor pointed out in the trial that the wolf was protected and that the hunter did not fire a warning shot before he shot the wolf to death.

The hunter maintained that everything went so quickly that he did not have time to shoot a warning shot, but that he shouted before he shot toward the wolf.

The hunter maintained that he shot in order to save his dog together with protecting himself against the wolf which came rushing straight toward him.

The appeals court for lower Norrland stated in their decision that the hunter took the measures which were demanded in order to frighten the wolf and that there was no doubt that the wolf intended to attack and kill the hunting dog. The court therefor considers that the dogowner had the right to shoot the wolf and overrules the indictment.

The appeals court confirmed the acquittal which Ångermanland’s county court made earlier.

(NOTE: Under Swedish law, a verdict in a lower court may be appealed by either a prosecutor or defendant to the next higher court.)

Vargskytt frias även av hovrätten

En jägare som åtalats för grovt jaktbrott sedan han skjutit ihjäl en varg i samband med älgjakt frias även i hovrätten.

Rätten anser att han hade rätt att skjuta vargen som var efter hans hund.

Det var under älgjakten i september 2007 som mannens jakthund stötte på en varg i trakterna av Storberget och Kalvbäcken utanför Solberg i Örnsköldsviks kommun.

Jägaren har berättat att han hörde ett djävulskt vrål inne i buskaget vid sidan av skogsbilvägen. Efter en stund kom hunden rusande rakt emot honom och i bakhasorna på den stormade en stor varg fram.

Åklagaren poängterade i rättegången att vargen är fridlyst och att jägaren inte skjutit något skrämselskott innan han sköt ihjäl vargen.

Jägaren hävdade att allt gick så snabbt att han inte hann skjuta ett varningsskott, men att han ropat till innan han sköt mot vargen.

Jägaren hävdade att han sköt för att rädda sin hund samt för att freda sig själv mot vargen som kom rusande rakt mot honom.

Hovrätten för nedre Norrland konstaterar i sin dom att jägaren vidtagit de åtgärder som krävdes för att skrämma vargen och att det inte fanns något tvivel om att vargen hade för avsikt att angripa och döda jakthunden. Rätten anser därför att ägaren hade rätt att skjuta vargen och ogillar åtalet.

Hovrätten fastställde den friande dom som Ångermanlands tingsrätt tidigare avkunnat.



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May 27

OR: Man says he fired shot at wolf in E. Oregon

Man says he fired shot at wolf in E. Oregon

by The Associated Press

BAKER CITY — Dennis Whalon says he saw many wolves while working as a bush pilot in Alaska, and he’s certain that’s the type of animal he spotted last week on his son’s property near Black Mountain in Eastern Oregon.

Whalon, 58, of Hillsboro says he fired one shot from his .357 revolver, but doesn’t know if he hit the target.

“It was just a reaction,” Whalon told the Baker City Herald. “The only reason I shot is it started to come at us. I had no choice. I didn’t know if it was coming after me or my dog.”

Wolves in northeastern Oregon are protected under Oregon’s endangered species law. It is legal for a person to shoot and kill a wolf to protect a human. It’s not legal to shoot a wolf to protect a dog.

Wolves were hunted out of existence in Oregon in the early 20th century, but have been moving back into the state from Idaho, where packs were re-established in the 1990s as part of a federal program.

Last month, a motion-detector camera photographed two wolves killing 24 lambs on a ranch near Baker City — the first documented wolf attack on livestock since their return. The attack revived the contentious debate over whether ranchers should be allowed to shoot wolves on sight.

Whalon, who was born in Baker City, said the incident happened Friday night, shortly after he left his pickup to take a walk on the 40-acre property. He described the wolf as “the most beautiful animal” he had ever seen.

“I couldn’t believe the massive size,” Whalon said.

He said the wolf was about 10 yards away when it started to advance. After firing the shot, Whalon said he followed the animal’s tracks for hundreds of feet before stopping. He didn’t see any blood.

Russ Morgan, wolf coordinator for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, said Tuesday he has not received any reports of wolf sightings in the Black Mountain area, and it would be “very unusual” for a wild wolf to not seem afraid of Whalon or his dog.

“A wild wolf doesn’t generally just walk into someone’s camp,” Morgan said, adding that tame, wolf-like dogs are more apt to do so. Morgan said cases of wolves attacking people are extremely rare, less common than with any other “large carnivore” in North America.

Morgan said the wolves that killed 24 lambs last month have moved into the Wallowa Mountains. He and another ODFW employee trapped one of the wolves, a 2-year-old male, in early May and attached a radio collar to the animal.

Since then they have seen that wolf five times while flying over the area. In each case the second wolf was within 20 yards of the other, Morgan said. He said biologists confirmed, from their aerial views, that the second wolf is a female.

During the past 10 days the wolves have stayed near the snow line in the Wallowas, well north of the ranch where the attack occurred. “That’s a desirable thing,” he said. “Although there’s no telling what they’ll do tomorrow.”


Posted in Uncategorized
May 26

State Wolf Numbers Rise By 26-Percent Since Last Year

State Wolf Numbers Rise By 26-Percent Since Last Year

Wisconsin Ag Connection – 05/26/2009

Wisconsin farmers and hunting advocates are both keeping a close eye on the state’s wolf population, which Department of Natural Resource officials say is up by 26-percent since last year. According to the latest numbers from the agency, the total number of gray wolves went from about 550 animals in the winter of 2007 to around 680 a year later. That’s said to be the largest increase since the 1970s, when wolves began migrating back into the state from Minnesota and Michigan.

The DNR’s Adrian Wydeven says the rise is mainly due to severe winter weather conditions that made it easier for wolves to kill deer.

Meanwhile, a solution on how to control the wolf population has been in the middle of a legal battle in recent years. Several states, including Wisconsin, approved special wolf hunts after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed them from the endangered species list. But a federal judge reinstated the protections last October. That ruling has since been overturned again and the protections were removed as of this month.

Minnesota and Michigan are also reporting larger wolf numbers this year.


Posted in Uncategorized
May 26

State wolf numbers explode

State wolf numbers explode

Predator’s growth spurs calls for hunt

By Keith Uhlig
Wausau Daily Herald

A harsh winter allowed Wisconsin’s wolf pack to feast on weakened deer, sending the population surging between 16 percent and 21 percent, according to the state Department of Natural Resources.

The growth — from about 550 wolves in the winter of 2007 to about 650 last winter — is prompting increased calls for a wolf-hunting season in Wisconsin.

Last winter’s population explosion was the largest since the 1970s, when wolves began naturally migrating back into the state from Minnesota and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Hunting advocates, including the Wisconsin Conservation Congress and the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, say a wolf season is needed to keep the population under control. The Humane Society of the United States and some conservation groups oppose a hunting season.

For sportsmen such as Dave Tylinski, 68, of Marathon, a wolf hunt is a no-brainer. He’s seen evidence of wolves in Lincoln County for years and says he knows of people who have had their pets attacked by wolves. He also believes the wolves are starting to affect the deer population.

“Wolves have their place, but like anything, if you don’t control them, they’ll become overpopulated,” Tylinski said.

Adrian Wydeven, the DNR’s wolf program leader, said the DNR will consider allowing hunters to kill wolves as a management tool, but it could take three to five years to implement a hunt. A wolf season would require a law to be passed by lawmakers and a set of regulations to be developed by the DNR.

A more immediate concern is reducing wolf conflicts, such as pet or cattle attacks, Wydeven said. With wolves removed from the federal endangered species list, the state has more flexibility in dealing with those problems, including giving landowners permits to shoot problem wolves and using government trappers.

– The Associated Press contributed to this story.


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