Advocating for Wolves in Idaho – CounterPunch.org

 

I recently testified before the Idaho Fish and Game Commission opposing proposals to increase wolf-killing and allow glorified wolf baiting in Idaho. I pointed out that since the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) does not have a wolf population estimate based on radio collar data and aerial surveys, increasing wolf killing does not reflect science-based management.

And, I reminded the Commission that it rejected a similar proposal to allow wolf baiting after overwhelming public opposition in 2017. I also spoke in favor of restricting body-gripping Conibear traps, which can be lethal to pets.

When I returned to my seat, a self-identified trapper told me I’d better hurry to my car at the end of the evening.

Advocating for wolves in Idaho means addressing a hostile audience and being exposed to threats from bullies emboldened by having the Commission’s ear. As I left the meeting, I wondered what exactly that man was threatening me with, or for—but his remark served its purpose of warning me that expressing a pro-wolf position before the Commission is unpopular, if not downright dangerous.

The Commission is composed of men, not one of whom could accurately identify himself as a conservationist or wolf advocate. Until the Commission’s composition accurately reflects the diversity of wildlife interests in Idaho, it is stifling voices of thousands of Idahoans who support conservation of wolves and other wildlife species. It’s time for wildlife conservation interests have an equal voice in Idaho’s wildlife management policy—or at least a safe seat at the table.

Talasi Brooks is a Staff Attorney, based in Western Watersheds Project’s Boise, Idaho office.

via Advocating for Wolves in Idaho – CounterPunch.org

Eyewitness Account Plus Scavenged Elk Carcass Indicates Likely Presence Of Multiple Wolves In Northwest Colorado | Estes Park News | estesparknews.com

Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials say an eyewitness report of six large canids traveling together in the far northwest corner of the state last October, in conjunction with last week’s discovery of a thoroughly scavenged elk carcass near Irish Canyon – a few miles from the location of the sighting – strongly suggests a pack of gray wolves may now be residing in Colorado.

According to the eyewitness, he and his hunting party observed the wolves near the Wyoming and Utah borders. One of the party caught two of the six animals on video.

“The sighting marks the first time in recent history CPW has received a report of multiple wolves traveling together,” said CPW Northwest Regional Manager JT Romatzke. “In addition, in the days prior, the eyewitness says he heard distinct howls coming from different animals. In my opinion, this is a very credible report.”

via Eyewitness Account Plus Scavenged Elk Carcass Indicates Likely Presence Of Multiple Wolves In Northwest Colorado | Estes Park News | estesparknews.com

Game camera photographs gray wolf in new territory inside Jackson County | Mail Tribune

SAMS VALLEY — A Jacksonville man has captured the image of the first confirmed gray wolf west of Highway 62 in Jackson County.

One of Eric Anderson’s game cameras picked up a Jan. 3 image of a gray wolf on federal Bureau of Land Management land about 300 yards from a road in the Sams Valley area northwest of Lower Table Rock.

He discovered that and several other images of the wolf Monday when he hiked in to the area to check the cameras.

“I was very surprised,” Anderson said. “I got about a dozen pictures of it.

“You see something like that and you think, ‘That should make the paper,’ ” Anderson said.

Sam Dodenhoff, the wolf biologist in the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s office in White City, viewed some of Anderson’s photos Monday and confirmed the identity.

via Game camera photographs gray wolf in new territory inside Jackson County | Mail Tribune

Montana leaders hear recommendations from national CWD experts

HELENA — Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), an always fatal prion disease that affects the nervous system of deer, elk and moose, was first confirmed in Montana in 2017.

The Montana Environmental Quality Council heard testimony earlier this week from CWD experts from Wyoming, Colorado and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), who shared their advice on managing the prion disease, and its potential risks.

Dr. Mike Miller with Colorado Division of Wildlife, who has been studying CWD for the past 35 years, is encouraging Montana to continue to have an active approach towards management.

“There was about a 10-plus year period when [Colorado] really deemphasized our attention on CWD,” said Miller. “We looked away and that was probably one of the more serious mistakes that we made, because it turns out the disease doesn’t go away. It doesn’t stop what it’s doing and you ignoring it doesn’t make it better.”

via Montana leaders hear recommendations from national CWD experts

Wolf Puppies Willing To Play ‘Fetch’ Stun Researchers : NPR

 

Some wolf puppies are unexpectedly willing to play fetch, according to scientists who saw young wolves retrieve a ball thrown by a stranger and bring it back at that person’s urging.

This behavior wouldn’t be surprising in a dog. But wolves are thought to be less responsive to human cues because they haven’t gone through thousands of years of domestication.

Exactly how dogs emerged from a now-extinct population of ancient wolves is a mystery. Wolves are large, dangerous carnivores, and yet they were the first animals that humans tamed. More than 15,000 years ago, when humans were still hunter-gatherers, this large predator somehow began cozying up to people, eventually becoming their “best friend.”

To try to get clues about how that happened, scientists such as Christina Hansen Wheat of Stockholm University in Sweden have been studying the differences between dogs and modern wolves. As part of her work, she raised litters of wolf puppies, feeding them and acclimating them to her presence but not playing with them or training them.

via Wolf Puppies Willing To Play ‘Fetch’ Stun Researchers : NPR

Livestock losses due to grey wolves? Wyoming considers new compensation program – Casper, WY Oil City News

CASPER, Wyo. — The Wyoming Legislature is considering a bill that would create a new program to compensate ranchers if they experience livestock losses due to grey wolves.

The proposed legislation would dedicate $90,000 for administration costs of the program and to make damage payments over a two year period. That amount would be appropriated for the period between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2022.

“The department of agriculture shall administer a program to compensate landowners, lessees or their agents whose livestock…is damaged by a gray wolf in an area of the state where gray wolves are classified as a predatory animal,” the proposed legislation states.

via Livestock losses due to grey wolves? Wyoming considers new compensation program – Casper, WY Oil City News

Wolves on the ballot | News | telluridenews.com

 

wolvesWolves have been much in the news recently. Advocates for the predator’s reintroduction in this state have now collected more than enough signatures to have the question put to Colorado residents in November, and recently announced that Initiative 107 (as it is known) will be on the ballot this fall.

And a week ago, Colorado Parks and Wildlife announced “the likely presence of multiple wolves in northwest Colorado,” based on an eyewitness report last October of “large canids” near Irish Canyon, and CPW’s own ongoing investigation of a scavenged elk carcass and tracks consistent with wolf tracks in the same region.

Those are the facts: Initiative 107 will be on the ballot, and as CPW’s news release put it, “a pack of gray wolves may now be residing in Colorado.”

via Wolves on the ballot | News | telluridenews.com