Sep 30

Larger wolf packs are less successful in the hunt

Larger wolf packs are less successful in the hunt

By Brian Maffly
The Salt Lake Tribune

A few weeks ago Yellowstone National Park officials discovered the carcass of one of the park’s deadliest wolves, an aging male that scientists knew to be an aggressive bison hunter.

Wolf No. 495 died naturally, but his body bore bruises consistent with injuries inflicted in an encounter with large game, according to Dan MacNulty, an assistant professor of wildlife ecology at Utah State University.

The wounds found on No. 495 help explain MacNulty’s latest findings that wolves’ hunting success bears little correlation to the size of the hunting party. Wolves hunt in groups because taking down large hoofed animals is not only challenging but dangerous.

But if the attack party exceeds four animals, the chance of success can actually diminish, according to research MacNulty and colleagues published this week in the journal Behavioral Ecology.

“Wolves aren’t as effective hunters as we think they are. That perception is premised on the notion that each individual contributes to the hunt, so there is an additive effect when the group is bigger. That is just not the case,” said MacNulty, an assistant professor of wildland resources. “Individuals are responding to the threat of injury and death that large prey poses, so they are pulling back, making decisions to avoid the cost of injury.”

The new research is based on eight years of observations in Yellowstone’s Northern Range involving 94 wolves from five packs, including the late No. 495 from Mollie’s pack.

Once eradicated from the Northern Rockies, wolves were reintroduced at Yellowstone in 1995. These animals and their descendants are among the most closely studied populations in the world. The observations track behavior of individual animals over the course of their lives, creating a powerful data set for understanding this controversial social predator.

The findings suggest group hunting is not the main reason wolves live in packs, according to co-author David Mech of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center. “Looking to lions and other social predators, it provides further insight into the evolution of living in groups,” he said.

Hunting is a four-stage process for wolves that grows increasingly dangerous. First the group approaches a prey herd, then chases it and singles out an individual before taking it down.

MacNulty’s data tracked how many wolves were involved at each stage of particular hunts and their outcomes. But his team also knew a lot about each wolf involved, which gave the team insights into wolf behavior.

“We knew the gender, the age, whether they were breeding,” said MacNulty. “Parents generally take the lead because they have offspring to provide for. … Given a choice, wolves will stay out of harm’s way until it’s safe to enjoy the spoils of the hunt. They’re opportunists. And this challenges the popular belief that wolves are highly cooperative hunters.”

MacNulty has been involved with the Yellowstone Wolf Project from its inception. Co-author Doug Smith, of the National Park Service, leads the program and conducted some observations aerially, although most were done on the ground by volunteers.

According to its 2010 annual report, the project recorded 268 wolf-related kills in the park that year. Elk comprised 79 percent and bison nine percent. Of the elk, only 18 percent were bulls.

Researchers hope the livestock industry can use their findings to reduce wolf depredation.

Real wolves bear almost no resemblance to their fairy-tale caricatures. In previous research, MacNulty demonstrated that wolves’ hunting prowess peaks at age two or three, then declines rapidly. These archetypal killers aren’t well-built for killing big prey anyway.

Cougars’ claws and powerful forelimbs are not only effective tools on large prey, but also enable the predator to kill without being killed. By contrast, wolves’ tools are teeth and jaws, but to put them to use, they must expose themselves to serious harm.

“Wolves are risk averse. They are cautious hunters,” MacNulty said. “Hunting success also peaks in small groups with other social predators. But our study is the first to rigorously test this pattern and demonstrate that it’s likely due to individuals switching from cooperation to ‘free riding’ as group size increases.”

Co-authors include John Vucetich of Michigan Technical University and Craig Packer of the University of Minnesota. Funders include the National Science Foundation, National Geographic and the Yellowstone Park Foundation and USGS.


Posted in Uncategorized
Sep 30

MN: Federal wolf-trapping program reaches final day

Federal wolf-trapping program reaches final day

Program targeted problem wolves to help farmers, pet owners


A popular federal wolf-trapping program that for 33 years has quietly trapped and killed thousands of wolves in northern Minnesota will become extinct after Friday.

The wolves were targeted near where livestock and pets had been killed. And almost everyone who knew about the program — farmers, conservation leaders, wolf lovers, state natural resource officials, Republican and Democratic politicians — liked it.

But with the current moratorium on earmarks in Washington, there’s no money assigned to the program after fiscal 2011 ends Friday, when wolf trappers will cease operations. In past years, Minnesota and Wisconsin Congress members routinely used earmarks to rescue the program, which is run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services division.

“This will be an absolute catastrophe. We’ve got too many wolves causing too many problems now,” said Dale Lueck, an Aitkin area cattle farmer, treasurer of the Minnesota Cattleman’s Association and a strong supporter of killing more wolves in Minnesota. “But if you take this program away, it will be a disaster. Starting Oct. 1 you’re going to make law-abiding Minnesotans guilty of a federal felony offense when they go out to protect their own livelihood.”

Last year alone, the trapping program investigated 272 complaints and killed 192 wolves. In 2009, they killed 199 wolves. So far this year they are up to 189.

Supporters say the wolf-trapping program acted as not only pinpoint response but also as a safety valve to relieve social and political pressure among people who don’t like wolves and might otherwise take matters into their own hands, killing wolves indiscriminately with poison or guns.

“We’re losing one of the best wolf conservation tools we’ve had. It was so effective at solving the problem without randomly harming wolves,” said Nancy Gibson, a board member of the Minnesota-based International Wolf Center. “And there was such an educational element. The trappers had so much expertise, I think they really helped the farmers avoid problems.”

Minnesota is one of 17 states where federal animal control will end Friday because of the moratorium on earmarks — from starling and beaver control to coyotes, wolves, geese and cormorants — said Carol Bannerman, a spokeswoman for the USDA. In Grand Rapids, where the program is based, four career employees may be offered jobs in other areas of the USDA and six seasonal workers will be laid off.

Killing wolves was allowed, even though wolves are a federally protected species, because Minnesota wolves were classified as threatened, a step removed from endangered. In Wisconsin and Michigan, trapped wolves are relocated away from farms.

By specifically targeting wolves in areas where verified attacks occurred, federal trappers usually got the guilty culprits. The farmer got immediate relief. And wolves miles away minding their own business didn’t have to pay the price. Trappers were required to stay within a half-mile of where the problem occurred.

Peak demand typically occurs starting in April when calves and lambs are born and continues through summer. But trappers get calls every month of the year.

“We are by no means experts on verifying whether an animal was killed by a wolf or not, but these guys are. If there’s a wolf around that farm, they usually get it,” said Kipp Duncan, a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources conservation officer in the Duluth area who often gets the first call from farmers when livestock are killed. “They are good at what they do. … It’s going to be a bummer without them around. We just don’t have any way to do what they do.”

There are an estimated 3,200 wolves in Minnesota and about 700 each in Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, many more than federal officials expected when the animal first received federal protection in 1974.

In Wisconsin, where federal trappers must relocated wolves rather than kill them because of their endangered status there, state officials have found state money to keep the relocation program going through December.

“After that, I don’t know what will happen. This is a program, that, one way or the other, we need to keep going even after delisting,” said Adrian Wydeven, wolf biologist for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. “Even when you allow public taking (of wolves) it’s not going to necessarily solve specific geographic problems.”

There has been talk in Washington of trying to include the wolf program in the USDA’s core budget for 2012, but it’s unclear if and when that might happen. Congress continues to budget by passing “continuing resolutions” that don’t allow budget changes. And there’s no guess on when new agency appropriations bills might pass.

If delisting becomes formal and the state regains control of wolf management, Minnesota officials say they have funding to conduct some sort of targeted trapping program, said Dan Stark, large canine biologist for the Minnesota DNR.

“It seems a little bit irresponsible for the federal money to go away when we still are under federal wolf management. In the short term, that may mean some real issues,” Stark said. “But we do have methods, in the state wolf management plan, to deal with wolf depredation. … The issue becomes, how do we pay for it and how well will it work? We may not be able to offer the kind of full-service response that farmers have now.”

Federal wolf trapping in Minnesota (2011)*

Total complaints: 174; 101 verified

Pet attacks: 13 received; 8 verified

Livestock attacks: 142 complaints; 89 verified

Human safety concern: 19 received; 4 verified

Wolves trapped and killed: 189

*Through Sept. 25

Minnesota delegation responds

U.S. Sen. Al Franken, D- Minn.

“Unfortunately, the federal wolf-trapping program may temporarily lose funding because of the budget squeeze in Washington. Until now, the program has been funded through the congressional earmark process, and there’s currently a ban on earmark spending,” Franken said in a statement to the News Tribune. “I’ve reached out to the USDA to request an alternate source of funding, but so far they’ve been unable to find the money. optional trim from here For the past 20 years, the wolf-trapping program has protected the safety of Minnesotans, their livestock and their pets, and I promise to continue to fight for it as Congress makes budget decisions this fall.”

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.

“Sen. Klobuchar’s major focus has been on expediting the delisting process for gray wolves in Minnesota. She has repeatedly urged the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the Agriculture Department and the Interior Department to find a solution to this funding issue to allow continued wolf management until this delisting occurs,” Linden Zakula, Klobuchar’s communications director, told the News Tribune.

U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack, R-North Branch

“I support legislation to delist the wolf from protected status in Minnesota, which would empower the state to preside over this matter accordingly. This would permit the state DNR to actually control problem wolves. The DNR, not federal officials, is ideally suited for this endeavor, as it directly impacts so many of Minnesota’s residents.” optional trim from here House legislation for Department of the Interior appropriations currently under consideration contains language to continue funding the current program. Once the bill is passed, it will be up to the Senate to continue funding until the wolf is delisted and the state DNR is capable of sustained management. If the Senate cannot agree, Congress is able to provide funding if the president includes the program in his FY12 budget.”


Posted in Uncategorized
Sep 29

MN: From 2007: A glimpse into the life of a trapper

From 2007: A glimpse into the life of a trapper

For more than 30 years as a federal wolf trapper, Bill Paul worked to balance killing a problem while protecting a species.

Bill Paul walked down a rutted logging road on a farm north of town, pointing out signs of wolves.

Tracks crossed the soft sand. Scat laced with deer hair was obvious. Yet the half-dozen wolf traps Paul had set the past few days remained unsprung.

Score Round 1 for the wolf. But cut a little slack for Paul, who is retiring Friday after more than 30 years as a federal wolf trapper.

For more than 30 years as a federal wolf trapper, Bill Paul has worked to balance killing a problem while protecting a species.

“This is a waiting game. It’s the mind of the trapper against the mind of the wolf. You have to think and act like a wolf,” Paul said with a smile. “It’s not as easy as people think [Wolves] have a home range of about 30 square miles, and we’re trying to get them to step into a trap of about 8 square inches.”

Paul pointed out the bleeding haunches on a year-old steer grazing in a field. Bite marks showed where a wolf had taken a chunk of beef from each hind leg.

Paul was called here by farmer Tom Horsmann, who says wolves are common in the heavily wooded, rolling farm country in northwestern Pine County. Horsmann said he took a rifle shot at a wolf stalking near his 18 beef cows in June. And his steer was attacked last week.

“This is the first time they actually got hold of one. But we see them all the time,” Horsmann said.

Going to work

Paul first verified that this really was a wolf problem – not dogs or coyotes or other critters as often is the case – and then set about trying to kill the culprits.

Paul hides his traps along wolf travel routes, burying them under a light cover of dirt. He sets a putrid concoction of scented bait near the trap – rotted beaver or moose livers work well, as does wolf urine. Sometimes trappers will leave the dead cow or sheep in the field and set traps nearby.

Paul and his fellow federal trappers cover the northern half of the state and get 250 calls for help each year. It often takes days to trap one wolf on a single farm. One night, he trapped seven on a farm. Sometimes he never gets the cow killer.

Wolves get in the most trouble during spring when calves are born. It heats up again this time of year as wolves move their pups from remote dens to rendezvous sites closer to food sources. Pups are getting big now, 25 or 30 pounds, and are always hungry. The pack needs more meat every day.

The problem is made worse if farmers leave any dead animals that perished from other causes, giving wolves their first taste of domestic meat.

“Wolves would rather eat deer. But especially around these farms [near thick woods] that attract a lot of deer, they’re opportunists. They’ll take livestock if they can,’ Paul said.

Odd job

Over four decades, even as wolves have been protected by federal law, Paul and his co-workers have been trapping and killing hundreds of the big canines.

Paul works for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services division, at least until Friday. The agency responds to animal problems across the country, from geese at the Twin Cities airport to coyotes in Los Angeles.

In northern Minnesota, based out of Grand Rapids, the agency’s primary target is timber wolves – a seemingly incongruous job in a region where wolves have been carefully nurtured from just a few hundred animals in the 1970s to about 3,200 today.

Paul has been part of a thin line between wolf recovery and wolf eradication in a state with conflicted feelings toward the big predator. Some farmers and hunters want the animal eradicated, while conservation and animal advocates want them left alone to flourish.

By giving farmers and others an avenue to reduce wolf attacks on livestock and pets and by killing wolves near where problems occur, biologist and sociologists say the federal trapping program has reduced tension that could have spurred broader illegal and indiscriminate wolf killing.

“I’ve tried to be fair to the farmers and understand their complaints and their issues. But I’ve also tried to be fair to the wolf,” Paul said. “The easiest thing to do would be to call every dead animal on a farm a verified wolf kill and start trapping wolves there. But that wouldn’t be fair to the wolf.

“It was sort of a career goal of mine to see the wolf recovered and off the endangered species list. … I never thought it would happen, but it has.

“I don’t particularly like killing wolves,’ he added. “But I like to think I helped the wolf recover in Minnesota.’

Others agree. Officials from 10 foreign countries, several western states, Wisconsin and Michigan have come to learn how wolf-human conflicts are handled in northern Minnesota.

“Bill has played a key role in the recovery of wolves in Minnesota. He’s got a low-key personality that helps diffuse a lot of tension And he’s very professional in his work,’ said Mike Don Carlos, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources wildlife research director.

Don Carlos said the DNR probably will continue to use the federal agency to trap problem wolves, because it is so good at it, even though the state regained control of wolf management in March after the animal was taken off the endangered species list.

“Bill earned the trust of the livestock community, and even some of those in the protectionist community who may not have liked seeing any wolves trapped,’ Don Carlos said. “He is very good at what he does.’

Northland native

Paul, 55, grew up hunting and trapping in Itasca County. His career path was blazed when he landed a college internship on the Ely-based research team headed by Dave Mech – cutting-edge work studying the last remnant wolf population in the contiguous U.S.

When Paul earned his degree in wildlife biology from Moorhead State College in 1975, the federal government began a program to trap wolves near where Minnesota livestock had been attacked.

“They wanted someone who knew how to trap wolves and collar them, so it turned out well for me. I didn’t think I’d be doing it for more than 30 years,’ Paul said.

At first, the government tried to tranquilize and relocate problem wolves. But many of those ended up killed by wolf packs where they were released. In 1978, the federal government authorized Paul’s team to kill the wolves they trapped. Quietly, mostly outside the media and public limelight, they have killed 150 to 175 wolves each year since.

Karlyn Atkinson-Berg of Bovey, founder of Help Our Wolves Live and among the most vehement wolf supporters in Minnesota, said Paul’s experience will be missed. Paul played a critical role as the federal trapping program developed and matured, she said.

“I think Bill has done a terrific job. He’s developed that program to reduce conflict without declaring war on wolves,’ Atkinson-Berg said. “He responds to wolf problems with diligence, but he’s never gone overboard in killing wolves. He’s never been a fan of killing for the sake of killing.’

Surprises of the job

Paul said he has never had a really close call on the job. Trapped wolves are killed with a .22 shot to the head. Hides, if in good shape, are donated to American Indian tribes, schools or museums. His biggest scares have come trying to release accidentally trapped bears.

His biggest surprise over more than 30 years has been how little livestock wolves actually kill in Minnesota. Of the 8,000 or so farms in northern and central Minnesota where wolves roam, fewer than 150 have verified wolf attacks in an average year – about 2 percent.

“When I started there was a lot of hysteria among livestock producers that wolves would kill all their animals, that wolves and [farmers] couldn’t co-exist in the same area. But we know now that’s not true,’ Paul said.

Paul said he has been equally amazed at how wolves have thrived well outside the far north woods.

“They are very adaptable. There was thought back in the ’70s that wolves needed wilderness to survive; that you couldn’t build roads or you’d cut wolves off. But wolves kept crossing roads and freeways,’ Paul said, adding they can live wherever there’s deer to eat and a modicum of forest to hide from people.

Paul said he is optimistic about the wolf’s future in Minnesota. With deer populations at an all-time high, wolves don’t need to eat much livestock. Short of a bounty and legalization of poison to kill wolves, he thinks wolf numbers should remain stable.


Posted in Uncategorized
Sep 29

OR: Population of wolves drops, but packs are expanding

Population of wolves drops, but packs are expanding

By ANNA WILLARD East Oregonian

A decision by state wildlife officials to kill two wolves of the Imnaha pack in Wallowa County leaves ranchers pleased and environmental groups disappointed.

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife last week decided to eliminate the pack’s alpha male and male yearling after determining the pair is responsible for killing a calf near Joseph Sept. 22.

Records from the alpha male’s radio collar put the wolf at the scene. A close look at the dead calf showed another wolf took part in the kill, said Russ Morgan, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife wolf coordinator.

That means it’s time for the alpha male to go, said Rod Childers, chairman of the Oregon Cattleman’s Association wolf task force. But taking out the wolves spells doom for the Imnaha pack, said Sean Stevens, Oregon Wild communications director.

“If the state continues with heavy-handed management, the wolf population will remain in stasis and they will keep their token wolf population around,” Stevens said.

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists will be responsible for shooting the animals, Morgan said.

He said the wolf count in Oregon is currently 14, but will drop to 12 after two Imnaha wolves are killed.

Even though their numbers have slipped from 21 last year, wolves are moving to different parts of Eastern Oregon.

State fish and wildlife said it discovered at least two pups in trail-camera footage taken Sept. 5 in Umatilla County. The new additions belong to the Walla Walla pack. If at least two of the pups live through the year, the Walla Walla pack would be considered a successful breeding pair.

“Generally, pup survival is pretty good in new areas,” Morgan said.

Factors that commonly limit pup survival are diseases, accidental or illegal shootings and other wolves outside the pack or within the pack.

In addition to the new arrivals in Umatilla County, a wolf formerly of the Imnaha pack has taken up residence near Fossil in Wheeler County, Morgan said.

“Just as we’ve documented, the new activity and new reproduction, that’s a good indicator, even though it will be slowed by the action we’re taking right now,” he said.

In Wallowa County, the radio collar attached to the alpha male placed him at or near other confirmed livestock kills, Childers said.

“We confirmed the depredation and very shortly after that to kill the wolves because we are in a chronic depredation situation,”?Morgan said. “It’s frustrating for producers in the area and frustrating for those that want to see more wolves and it is frustrating for us.”

Last year the Imnaha pack committed seven confirmed livestock kills. The most recent kill near Joseph marks the seventh confirmed this year, also by the Imnaha pack, Morgan said.

“The plan says they’ll kill them when they’re causing a problem and we agree with that,” Childers said. “We recognize they’re going to be here and all we’re asking is they give us the chance to protect our private property.”


Posted in Uncategorized
Sep 29

UT: USU professor publishes study on hunting behaviors

USU professor publishes study on hunting behaviors

By Nancy Van Valkenburg
Standard-Examiner staff

LOGAN — A few hardworking individuals take on the most troublesome tasks while the rest of the group waits around to enjoy the benefits.

Yes, we could be talking about your family or your office co-workers.

But, no, we are talking about wolf packs attacking large prey in the wild.

Dan MacNulty, a Utah State University professor in the Department of Wildland Resources who has been involved with the Yellowstone Wolf Project since 1995, has observed which wolves risk their lives in the hunt and which hang back a safe distance until dinner is served.

“I liken it to a family dinner where individuals show up to eat, but they do little else,” MacNulty said with a laugh.

“What we discovered is that hunting success increased with groups up to four wolves, then leveled off,” he said. “With groups of more than four, we observed that individual hunting effort decreased.”

The most aggressive hunters fall into two categories: breeders who have offspring to provide for, and young adults age 1 to 2, MacNulty said.

Typically, a wolf pack includes only one breeding pair and both males and females join the hunt.

So after the hunt has its four primary hunters, more may join the hunt but are less likely to risk their lives to take down a large elk or bison, or even a deer.

“If there’s an opportunity for an individual to step up without risking injury, he will do so, without a doubt,” MacNulty said. “Wolves are risk-averse. The problem for wolves from a hunting standpoint is to kill without being killed.”

Because a wolf’s median lifespan is only about five years, and the animals begin hunting so young, MacNulty believes much of the wolf’s hunting “knowledge” is inborn and likely a result of natural selection.

Wolves also know how to pick their prey for minimal danger to themselves.

“You always hear about wolves hunting vulnerable prey, and it’s true,” MacNulty said.

“They kill primarily the young, the old or sick, or animals stuck in terrain traps, like deep snow.”

Middle-aged, healthy prey is rarely targeted, except when it is trapped and unable to deliver a fatal blow to its pursuers, MacNulty said.

“I have seen bison kill wolves,” he said.

MacNulty, a California native recently arrived from his former teaching post at the University of Minnesota, said hunting groups of three can always be improved by a fourth, but beyond that, the size of the group seems to make little difference in hunting effectiveness.

“In small groups, there’s less temptation and opportunity to ‘free-ride,’ ” he said.

MacNulty conducted the study with colleagues Douglas Smith, of the Yellowstone Center for Resources; David Mech, of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center; John Vucetich, of Michigan Technological University; and Craig Packer, of the University of Minnesota.

They used modern statistical techniques and direct observations of individually known wolves hunting elk in Yellowstone National Park.

MacNulty said the study’s main benefit is to correct the misperception that large packs are more successful hunters.

“It rules out the roles of group hunting behavior as a factor driving the formation of large groups,” he said. “There may be other reasons wolves form large groups, but it has nothing to do with their hunting success.”

The study findings appear in the September-October 2011 issue of Behavioral Ecology.


Posted in Uncategorized
Sep 29

State Hunter Groups Join Pursuit to Delist Gray Wolves

State Hunter Groups Join Pursuit to Delist Gray Wolves

Wisconsin Ag Connection

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are starting to hear from another sector over the idea of delisting the gray wolf in Wisconsin and the Western Great Lakes region: hunters. This week, member groups of the Wisconsin Hunters Rights Coalition have submitted formal comments to the agency regarding the proposed rule to delist the wolf from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife. Their comments were submitted in partnership with the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation.

The coaltion–which is made up of the Safari Club International, Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association and Wisconsin Firearm Owners, Ranges, Clubs, and Educators Inc.–says every statistic indicates that the gray wolf population has recovered. FWS cited statistics from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, which estimates a population of between 690 and 733 wolves in Wisconsin. The overwinter count for 2011 pins the wolf population at 782-824 wolves. The state originally wanted to see at least 350 wolves when the delisting first took place in 1992.

Earlier this year, it appeared that the federal government was ready to delist the wolf. But animal rights groups fought the proposal saying there are now two different species of wolves that have to be considered. Carl Schoettel of the Wisconsin Bear Hunters doesn’t buy that.

“The argument that there are now two different species of wolves simply does not add up, and we applaud the Wisconsin DNR for explaining this in detail in their formal comments on the rule,” Schoettel said. “There may be genetic material from two wolf species in the Western Great Lakes region, but there are not 2 distinct species of wolves living separately in the area.”

Agricultural groups have been crying foul as 47 farms have now experienced attacks resulting in at least 75 livestock animals lost and six more injured.

Last week, State DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp sent a letter to the USFWS slamming efforts to delay the delisting process because of a new species of wolf that was discovered in the region. She says the western Great Lakes wolf population is of mixed genetics and should be treated as one population.


Posted in Uncategorized
Sep 28

SE: The wolf lowers hunting lease income

The wolf lowers hunting lease income

Roughly translated by TWIN Observer

Karlstad / TT

The wolf’s increased population has several major forest owners in Värmland lowering their income from their hunting leases because of the lack of wildlife and the risk to hunting dogs.

For Karlstad diocese it has meant fewer of the SEK 100 000 leases in cash each year, and Stora Enso and Sveaskog have changed their prices and thus revenue, writes Värmland Folkblad ..

“Soon, there must be a discussion of who should bear the costs. If society wants the wolf, then perhaps society should also join in and pay,” says Olle Thunberg at Stora Enso.


Posted in Uncategorized
Sep 27

Gray wolf no longer endangered

Gray wolf no longer endangered

By Mckenna Kohlenberg

Wisconsin federal legislators lobbied Monday to remove gray wolves from the federal endangered species list after their recent increase in population.

In a letter to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison, Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Wisconsin, Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisconsin, and the other Wisconsin congressmen said the Wisconsin gray wolf population has returned to an ecologically manageable size and therefore should be removed from the Endangered Species list.

The Wisconsin gray wolf population, which is estimated to be between 782 and 824, now exceeds the federal recovery goal of 100 and the Wisconsin Wolf Management Plan of 350. Legislators argue this population revival more than justifies the wolf’s removal from the list of endangered species.

The species has recovered so well that the wolves now struggle with a significant decrease in space.

Lawmakers highlighted the threat gray wolves have posed to local farmers. They said the wolves have impeded on farmers land and were responsible for the deaths of 75 livestock animals from 47 different farms.

Baldwin, the author of the letter, commended the bipartisan effort to “protect Wisconsin’s people and property in a vibrant ecosystem.”

“The resurgence of the gray wolf in Wisconsin and the Great Lakes region is a stunning success story for the Endangered Species Act and a lesson in exceptional wildlife management,” Baldwin said in a statement.

Legislators said through careful management, the state of Wisconsin can both protect Wisconsin residents and preserve a once nearly diminished specie.


Posted in Uncategorized
Sep 27

ID: Wolf Season Continues in Idaho

Wolf Season Continues in Idaho

Reported by: Logan McDougall

The Wolf hunting season in Idaho has been open for almost a month here but how have hunters been doing in their quest for the predator.

According to Idaho Fish and Game, 26 wolves have been killed over the last several weeks but none have been harvested in the Southern Idaho region.

Toby Boudreau, Wildlife Populations Manager with Fish and Game says that the two regions with the most kills are the Sawtooth near Boise and the Panhandle on Idaho’s Canadian border.

In the area’s closer to east Idaho, the Island Park region has seen four taken and the Southern Mountains region in the central portion of the state has seen three harvested.

For those still looking to fill their tags Boudreau says it is simply best just to go where the wolves are.

“Going to places where there are wolves is probably the best way to be successful,” said Boudreau. “You have to be where the game is to actually get in the game.”

Boudreau also says there are wolves in the Southern region but it is likely those are solitary or only in pairs and that there is no known established packs in the area.


Posted in Uncategorized
Sep 27

OR: Animal rights protesters block ODFW building

Animal rights protesters block ODFW building

They call attention to wolf kills, are arrested

About a dozen protesters tried to lock out employees and the public Tuesday at Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife headquarters, with most of the demonstrators arriving just as the building was opening at 8 a.m.

Using horseshoe-shaped bicycle locks around their necks and through the door handles, Stephanie Taylor, 28, and Justin Kay, 22, of the Portland Animal Defense League blocked the front entrances to the building on Cherry Avenue NE just off Salem Parkway.

Kay said the demonstration was called via Facebook, email and word of mouth to protest the authorization Friday of the killing of two wolves in the Imnaha pack in northeastern Oregon.

According to a press release from Fish and Wildlife, the decision was made after a confirmed calf killing, the 14th confirmed livestock loss this year by members of the pack.

As the officers used tools to remove the front door handles, the other protesters held up signs and chanted through bullhorns.

“Hey ODFW what do you say?” Peter Tucker of the PADL shouted.

“How many wolves did you kill today?” came the response from the other protesters holding signs.

Oregon State Police and Salem Police Department vehicles outnumbered the protesters, and members of the public and Fish and Wildlife employees arriving to enter were directed by police to use the guarded west entrance to the building.

When the door pulls were removed after 11:15 a.m., first Kay then Taylor were led away in handcuffs, still wearing the bicycle locks around their necks, before the handles were reinstalled and the doors reopened.

The remaining protesters were gone by about noon.

The two wolves marked for death include the pack’s alpha male, which was confirmed to be at the site of the most recent calf killing by its Global Positioning System-equipped collar, as well as another, uncollared wolf.

Their removal will leave two wolves in the Imnaha pack: the adult alpha female and a pup born this spring.

Three other members of the pack had moved to other areas earlier this year, Fish and Wildlife biologists said.

Taylor and Kay, both of Portland, were scheduled for court appearances at 3 p.m. today in Marion County Court on charges of disorderly conduct in the second degree and criminal trespass in the second degree.


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