Jul 31

CA ON: Camp with common sense, says MNR

Camp with common sense, says MNR

By Jeff Labine, tbnewswatch

MNR conservation officer say common sense should prevail when camping with pets.

Ross Johnston, conservation officer for the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, said the best camp safety tips is to use common sense.

“Keep your pets under close watch,” said Johnston. “You wouldn’t let them run around. If you are in an organized camp area you would want to know where you’re pet it. When you are camping realize there is wildlife out there.”

Johnston said keeping all food, including pet food, properly stored away would decrease the chances of wildlife coming to the campsite.

It was reported that a wolf killed a small dog at Northern Lights Lake area on July 11. The owner was camping in the area and when she let the dogs out to go to the bathroom a wolf snatched one of the seven-pound dachshunds.

Johnston said wolves are opportunistic and mentioned that the area is in wolf territory. Wolves are cautious around humans and there is a healthy population of wolves in the area, he said.

“We do have reports of dogs in rural settings that are reported to have been taken by wolves. That doesn’t happen very often.”

Johnston said the wolf taking the dog was an isolated incident and he hadn’t heard of it happening in Thunder Bay before other than dogs being lost in rural homes.


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Jul 31

SE: Big wolf attack in Väls

Big wolf attack in Väls

Roughly translated by TWIN Observer

At least eight sheep and two lamb were destroyed late Wednesday night in Väls, outside Torsby in a wolf attack. Eight lamb are still missing.

It could have been several wolves involved since so many animals have been destroyed.

Such a large attack is unusual, according to the county government, reports the county newspapers.

Stort vargangrepp i Väls

Minst åtta får och två lamm revs natten till torsdagen i Väls, utanför Torsby i ett vargangrepp. Och åtta lamm saknas fortfarande.

Det kan ha varit flera vargar inblandade eftersom så många djur har rivits.

Så här stora angrepp är ovanliga, enligt länsstyrelsen, rapporterar länstidningarna.


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Jul 31

NO: Translocated wolf creates a debate

Translocated wolf creates a debate

Roughly translated by TWIN Observer

In Norway a debate is raging now about moving a wolf. The Norwegian natural resources management has decided to move a wolf from a region in Hedmark where some 50 sheep have been killed lately.

The thought is to move the wolf to a region in Kongsvinger commune which is sheep free.

Höyres Norwegian Parliament representative Gunnar Gundersen says now that the wolf ought to be moved to the Oslo region in Nordmark and Östfold instead.

Gunnar Gundersen considers there are already enough predators in Finnskogen by the Värmland border.

This is reported by the paper Glåmdalen.

Tvångsflyttad varg skapar debatt

I Norge rasar just nu en debatt om flytten av en varg. Den norska naturvårdsförvaltningen har beslutat att flytta en varg från ett område i Hedmark där ett 50-tal får har dödats den senaste tiden.

Tanken är att flytta vargen till ett område i Kongsvinger kommun som är fårfritt.

Höyres stortingsrepresentant Gunnar Gundersen säger nu att vargen istället bör flyttas till Oslo-området i Nordmark och Östfold.

Gunnar Gundersen anser att det redan finns tillräckligt med rovdjur i Finnskogen vid Värmlandsgränsen.

Det rapporterar tidningen Glåmdalen.


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Jul 31

MN: Animal Tales: Checking in with the wolves in Ely

Animal Tales: Checking in with the wolves in Ely

By Beth Jett & photojournalist Jeff Ernewein, FOX 21 News

They have the quintessential ‘call of the wild’ and have recovered in the Northland to the point of being removed from the endangered species list.

But many people believe grey wolves are not safe from human persecution, which decimated their population.

At the International Wolf Center in ely, six grey wolves — five males and a female — live quietly and, for the most part, peacefully, fascinating thousands of visitors.

“I’ve never seen wolves before like this and it’s awesome to watch them interact,” said Abby Lukensmeyer of Iowa.

Grey wolves, also known as timber wolves, are making a comeback in Minnesota, from less than 1,000 in 1974 when they were placed on the endangered species list, to about 3,000 now.

“They are at sustainable population levels, they have adequate habitat, adequate food available,” said Jess Edberg of the International Wolf Center.

In May, they were taken off the list, which left wolf advocates howling.

“They weren’t happy with the process or the timing, so many organizations filed a lawsuit against the Fish and Wildlife Service and attempted to get it reversed,” Edberg said.

Edberg said advocates were concerned it would send the wrong message.

“[It's] the fear of what happens after delisting,” she said. “States might institute hunting or trapping seasons.”

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service backed down and agreed to hold public hearings throughout Minnesota before starting the delisting process again.

Meanwhile, wolf pups Denali and Aiden – acquired from the Wildlife Science Center in Forest Lake a year ago – are now more than a year old.

“They’re dominant and just very poised,” Edberg said.

“They still seem a little intimidating,” said visitor Ann Bobst of Iowa. “They’re pretty big and I’m glad there’s glass between us.”

Staff members say the center won’t get new wolf puppies until 2012, when they expect a couple of the current wolves will be ready to retire. As the wolves at the center age, they live out their lives in a retirement enclosure. In the wild, they would live about eight years.

As serene as they appear here, staff members teach visitors that wolves are not friendly and can be deadly to pets.

“Anytime somebody allows their dog to wander off out from their supervision, leaves it outside for long periods of time without supervision, it can make that animal a target for wolves,” Edberg said. “They deserve respect. They need to be treated like a predator, but it doesn’t mean people need to be afraid of them.”

The wolves eat once a week — whitetail deer and beaver.

Starting Aug. 15, you can watch that every Saturday at 6:30 p.m. For more information about the International Wolf Center, go to their Web site at www.wolf.org [1].


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Jul 31

WA: Second wolf pack is confirmed in Washington

Second wolf pack is confirmed in Washington

Statesman Journal

A second gray wolf pack has been confirmed in Washington, and an adult wolf has been equipped with a satellite-telemetry tracking collar by state biologists in Pend Oreille County in the northeastern corner of the state.

Friday morning, biologists with Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife led by a wolf expert from the Idaho Department of Fish and Game captured a 105-pound wolf that is believed to be the alpha-male pack leader.

They fitted it with the tracking collar.

Two wolf pups also were captured, fitted with ear tags and released.

The collared wolf’s movements will be monitored with periodic relocation data transmitted by satellite and downloaded on a computer.

The Global Positioning System equipment allows monitoring without the aerial or ground tracking required in standard radio collars.

Biologists earlier found evidence of the wolf pack that they have named the Diamond Pack through howling responses from multiple wolves of various ages.

They also recorded photos of up to four young wolves using a remote, motion-triggered camera.

A wolf pack is defined as two or more wolves traveling together.

Washington Fish and Wildlife biologists, along with others from the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) have been monitoring the area in recent weeks, after a DNR remote camera recorded images in May of what appeared to be an adult male and female gray wolf.

The female wolf was lactating, indicating she was nursing pups.

Subsequent genetic testing of a hair sample collected from a camera station indicated the hair came from a male gray wolf from the northwestern Montana/southwestern Alberta wolf population.

More recently biologists conducted howling surveys, and responding howls were heard from multiple wolves, both juvenile and adult.

A year ago, Washington’s first breeding pair of wolves since the 1930s was radio-collared in western Okanogan County in north-central Washington.

Gray wolves were removed from Washington by the 1930s as a result of trapping, shooting and poisoning, and later listed as both a federal and state endangered species.

Gray wolf populations in nearby Idaho, Montana and Wyoming have rebounded in recent years as a result of federal recovery efforts in the northern Rocky Mountains.

Gray wolves recently were removed from the federal Endangered Species List in those areas and the eastern third of Washington, including Pend Oreille County.

They remain federally listed as endangered in the western two-thirds of Washington and state endangered throughout Washington.

Washington Fish and Wildlife biologists and wildlife managers are in the process of drafting a gray wolf conservation and management plan, which will be circulated for public comment later this year, and will be considered for adoption by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission in 2010.

The draft plan was developed with a 17-member citizen working group composed of wolf-conservation representatives, ranchers and hunters.

Anyone wanting to report a possible wolf sighting or activity in Washington should call a toll-free wolf reporting hotline at (888) 584-9038.


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Jul 30

NO: Wolf moved to Kongsvinger

Wolf moved to Kongsvinger

Roughly translated by TWIN Observer

A wolf that migrated from Sweden to Norwegian Hedmark has been moved. In the region where the wolf wandered many sheep have been damaged.

A female wolf born last year in the Swedish wolf territory Galven northwest of Bollnäs migrated in May to Hedmark in Norway.

The Norwegian natural resources managers decided that she shall be moved to a region that is sheep free. In the region where the wolf was moved from in Hedmark around 50 sheep been damaged but a protective hunt of the wolf has been refused.

The Norwegian natural resources managers decided that she shall be put to sleep and be moved to a region in Kongsvinger commune which is sheep free.

“We shall move the female wolf in order to limit future damages to sheep pasturing in the area, and in order to give the farmers in Hedmark the possibility to adapt themselves to the wolf”, says a section chief for the Norwegian natural resources managers.

Varg flyttas till Kongsvinger

En varg som utvandrat från Sverige till norska Hedmark flyttas. I området där vargen vandrat har ett många får rivits.

En varghona som föddes i fjol i det svenska vargreviret Galven nordväst om Bollnäs utvandrade i maj till Hedmark i Norge.

Nu har den norska naturvårdsförvaltningen beslutat att hon ska flyttas till ett område som är fårfritt. I området där vargen vandrat fram i Hedmark har ett 50-tal rivitis men skyddsjakt på vargen har avslagits.

Nu har den norska naturvårdsförvaltningen beslutat att hon ska sövas och flyttas till ett område i Kongsvinger kommun som är fårfritt.

- Vi ska flytta vargtiken för att begränsa framtida skador på fåren som betar i området, och för att ge bönderna i Hedmark möjlighet att förhålla sig till vargen, säger en avdelningschef för den norska naturvårdsförvaltningen.


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Jul 30

Bear Hunters Advised to be on the Lookout for Wolves

Bear Hunters Advised to be on the Lookout for Wolves

Park Falls – The Department of Natural Resources is warning people training their dogs to hunt bears to be on the look out for wolves.

This comes after 4 dogs were killed by wolves in the past two weeks.

Investigators from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services say the wolf attacks happened south of Port Wing in Bayfield County, south of Rhinelander in Oneida County, Northeast of Riverside in Burnett County, and west of Neillsville in Clark County.

Wolves may have pups in the area they are trying to protect leading them to attack, according to the D.N.R.

Bear hunters are asked to use caution and avoid training or hunting sites with concentrated wolf activity.


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Jul 28

MT: Hunt supporters back feds in wolf lawsuit

Hunt supporters back feds in wolf lawsuit

The Associated Press
Salt Lake Tribune

Billings, Mont. — Supporters of proposed public hunts of gray wolves in the Northern Rockies are intervening in a federal court case brought by environmentalists who want to stop the hunts.

The federal government in May removed more than 1,300 wolves in Montana and Idaho from the endangered species list, opening the door to the first hunts in decades. Environmentalists later sued to restore federal oversight.

The state of Idaho and several livestock and hunting groups have intervened in the lawsuit in support of the government. Montana is also seeking to intervene.

The case is before U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy in Missoula. Molloy stopped wolf hunts proposed in the region in 2008 and ordered the animal returned to federal protection.

About 300 wolves in Wyoming are still listed as endangered.


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Jul 28

MT: Yellowstone study collects, examines wolf scat for clues

Yellowstone study collects, examines wolf scat for clues

BRETT FRENCH Of The Gazette Staff

MAMMOTH – Joking that she felt like Santa Claus, Bonnie Trejo held the nearly full white trash bag aloft and uttered a subdued “woo hoo!”

Her trek into the wilds of Yellowstone National Park to collect wolf scat from the Druid pack’s den site on Friday had reaped plenty of samples, each in its own smaller bag within the trash bag.

“I’m not going to have a problem with sample size,” she said to her crew of four helpers.

Trejo, 34, is conducting a study for her doctoral thesis at Humboldt State University that examines the diet of the park’s wolves. One way to do that is by collecting and later examining wolf scat in the laboratory.

“Food habits are really important,” she said. “It’s directly tied to the health of wolves. It affects reproduction, community dynamics, how their diets overlap, seasonal fluctuations and prey composition.”

Summer mystery

Although a lot is known about what wolves eat in the winter, summer has been a more difficult puzzle for wolf researchers to solve.

“One of the hottest issues with wolves in the Northern Rockies is what are their impacts on the deer and elk populations,” said Doug Smith, Yellowstone’s wolf biologist. “They tend to eat the most in winter because elk are easier to catch.”

Wolves eat better in the winter because the elk are bunched up. Snow makes it harder for the elk to elude wolves when pursued. Animals become weaker with less forage, and colder weather drains the elk’s energy reserves.

For researchers, the packs and kill sites, which stand out against the snow, are easier to find. The packs are bunched up, wolves can be tracked in the snow and there is less vegetation for them to hide behind.

But, in the summer, elk travel to the high country, spread out and are in generally better health. That makes them a more difficult target for wolves. Consequently, wolves will often dine on smaller prey – deer, mice and beavers – and leave few remnants of the kill behind. As their prey spread out, so do the wolves. They’re more active at night, making it harder for researchers to locate them in order to document kill sites and food habits.

Smith said that, if there were a chart showing wolves’ food intake, the line would drop low from about July through December. From late December through May, as the effects of winter take hold, the wolves eat better. Weather plays a large role in when and how the line varies.

“We are close to an annual picture of what wolves eat,” Smith said.

He added that there’s a lot of variation, pack to pack, in what the wolves eat in the summer as they spread out in their range.

Scat collection

For decades, wolf researchers have collected scat to examine wolves’ diets. Then, in 2001, Yellowstone began using radio collars to track wolves in the summer. The collars are fitted with GPS devices to mark the wolf’s location every 30 minutes. By flying in a plane overhead every two weeks, Smith can download the data by radio signals.

Then, researchers can hike along the route and look for kill sites and scat to document the wolves’ diet.

“About 30 percent of the time there’s a kill,” Smith said. “We calculate what they kill and eat in summer and compare it to winter.”

The problem has been that the technology is new and failed frequently until the last three summers, when it worked “beautifully.” The other problem is that the GPS locator collars are expensive, as well as more costly to monitor. After this year, the GPS study will end.

Trejo’s research involving scat is a much cheaper means of determining a wolf’s diet, though it is less precise. Consequently, her study will be compared to the GPS work to see if the data are comparable and consistent. She’s also been collecting scat at the GPS locations to compare with the carcass remains at kill sites.

“One of the main tasks of my study is to take the age-old scat technology from the 1940s and compare it to the GPS cluster analysis,” Trejo said.

Lab work

Trejo said she’ll spend six months to a year analyzing the scat she collects this summer, as well as about 1,000 samples taken from Grand Teton National Park. Back in the lab, she’ll wash out the water-soluble portions of the scat and look at what’s left – bones, maybe teeth, small hooves and lots of hair.

From her analysis, she should be able to rank prey importance, prey composition, the prey’s age and compare it to the GPS analysis. Smaller scat, less than about 1.2 inches in diameter, that is not collected from den sites will additionally be tested for DNA to ensure that the scat came from a wolf and not another predator, like a coyote.

Because wolves are protective of their domain, scat collected from a den area is assumed to be from a wolf. Researchers wait a couple of weeks after they have confirmed that a den site has been abandoned before visiting.

Trejo will also compare diets between wolves in Yellowstone and Grand Teton and examine the seasonal differences in the wolves’ diet. Based on studies of captive wolves, Trejo said, there is also a calculation to determine what proportion of the park’s wolf scat researchers have collected.

“That will give us an idea if we have a representative sample,” she said.

The crew of four helping Trejo on Friday included sisters Kira and Brenna Cassidy, biology professor Dave Unger and technician Nate Bowersock. In an average week, they will hike 40 to 45 miles to collect samples for the study.

“This will eventually help us find out what is the impact of wolves on elk,” Smith said.


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Jul 28

MT: Canyon Wolfpack Settles Down in Hayden Valley

Canyon Wolfpack Settles Down in Hayden Valley

Written by Managing Editor

They caused quite the stir after setting up shop near Mammoth Hot Springs, but the four wolves who caused some consternation for National Park Service officials have turned into model citizens in the Hayden Valley area — after some “teaching” by Park officials.

Yellowstone National Park officials have kept tabs on the four wolves — three males and a female — since their high-profile residency south of Mammoth, a stint that included some high-profile elk killings and enough fans to cause Park officials to close off roadside access to their den. After a while, Park officials took the initiative and hazed the foursome with rubber bullets and cracker shells when they came too close to Mammoth.

The four took the hint and decamped to the Hayden Valley, where they’ve been model citizens.

What is a little disturbing, though, is what’s considered model wolf behavior. Consider this quote from Park biologist Doug Smith:

“They haven’t been on the road once this summer,” Smith said. “I think wolves are teachable. The hazing we’ve done seems to be working.”

Question: Do we want to be teaching wolves, especially when they’re not really interacting with human beings? Yes, we know a pack of wolves living next to a high-traffic area like Mammoth can be a pain for Park officials — as much for the gaggle of tourists as the wolves themselves. But it seems contrary to the spirit of Yellowstone National Park to be “teaching” animals for the convenience of humans.


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