Wolf wars: Coloradans debate reintroduction of keystone species – CSMonitor.com

It’s the latest iteration of a war that’s been playing out for several decades around the wolf and that touches on much deeper questions about how active a role humans should play in nature. Where some feel an obligation to help restore a keystone species that was previously hunted to near extinction in the lower 48 states, others say that humans have meddled enough and should let nature take its own course.In Colorado, many ranchers and sportsmen are already gearing up to oppose the measure, which they see as both harmful and unnecessary: Wolves, they say, are likely to come back to Colorado on their own. Advocates, meanwhile, see it as the most direct route to restoring a species they say is key to a healthy and balanced ecosystem, in a location that serves a critical role.

Source: Wolf wars: Coloradans debate reintroduction of keystone species – CSMonitor.com

Illegal killings and political opposition hobble recovery of two wolf species in U.S. | The Japan Times

RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA – Illegal killings and longstanding political resistance have undercut the return of two species of endangered wolves to the wild, frustrating government efforts that already cost more than $80 million but have failed to meet recovery targets.The number of red wolves roaming the forests of North Carolina has plunged to fewer than three dozen in recent years — the most precarious position of any U.S. wolf species.In the Southwest, a record number of Mexican gray wolves turned up dead in 2018, tempering an increase in the overall population to 131 animals.With such small numbers in the wild, biologists say poaching has a big effect. Over the last two decades, more than half of Mexican wolf deaths and about one in four red wolf deaths resulted from gunshots or were otherwise deemed illegal, The Associated Press found.

Source: Illegal killings and political opposition hobble recovery of two wolf species in U.S. | The Japan Times

Himalayan Wolf Needs Recognition as Distinct Species, Study Finds – EcoWatch

By Mayank AggarwalThe Himalayan wolf is a distinct species of wolf, which shows unique genetic adaptation to the difficult conditions in the Asian high altitude ecosystems, a study found, reiterating that it needs to be identified as a species of special conservation concern. “Conservation action for the Himalayan wolf is required and of global conservation interest,” noted the study.For the study, the researchers used over 280 samples of scat and hair from the Himalayan region of Nepal, which included Humla and Dolpa districts in the north-western Nepalese Himalayas and the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area (KCA) in the north-eastern Nepalese Himalayas, during the spring and summer periods of 2014 to 2016.

Source: Himalayan Wolf Needs Recognition as Distinct Species, Study Finds – EcoWatch

Brown defies feds on gray wolf;

Slapping down a stance taken by the director of Oregon’s wildlife department, Gov. Kate Brown declared May 15 that the state and its agencies oppose the federal government’s proposal to take the gray wolf off the endangered species list.Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Director Curtis Melcher had written May 9 to a federal agency in support of the proposal, saying that in the Lower 48 states and Mexico, the gray wolf no longer meets the definition of an endangered or threatened species under the federal Endangered Species Act.

Source: Brown defies feds on gray wolf;

Germany relaxes laws on wolf culling amid attacks on livestock

Germany slightly relaxed its tough laws on the culling of wolves on Wednesday, amid concern growing numbers pose a threat to livestock.Under new rules introduced by Angela Merkel’s government, licensed hunters will be called in to shoot wolves where there have been clear attacks on livestock.As it is often impossible to tell which animal carried out an attack, the reform raises the possibility that entire packs will be shot.Previously it was only permitted to cull wolves that could be shown to pose a threat to human safety.

Source: Germany relaxes laws on wolf culling amid attacks on livestock

Wolves of Ukraine

Written by Edward Moriarty (Slovyansk, Ukraine) for The Wolf Intelligencer

“A wolf is not an animal that lives in hatred, nor is it a talisman for worship, it is neither dangerous nor cute. It’s just one of the many kinds of animals that are being persecuted by man and that needs a place to live. ”

David Mech

In the territory of Ukraine, the Gray Wolf (Canis Lupus) lives almost everywhere. In Polesia, these are Volyn, Rovno, Zhytomyr regions, as well as the north of Kiev and Chernihiv regions, in the Carpathians and the adjacent areas – Transcarpathian, Chernivtsi, Lviv and Ivano-Frankivsk. Also a few populations in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions. A separate, difficultly regulated group for statistics in the Chernobyl zone.

The wolf in Ukraine outside the law. In violation of the Berne Convention, it is destroyed in all possible ways, at any time of the year. The mass extermination of wolves grossly violates the EU Settlement Directive protecting this animal. Ukraine is the only country in Europe where the wolf is declared a “harmful” animal (Article 33 of the Law “On Hunting Economy and Hunting”). In neighboring Poland, the wolf is listed in the Red Book.

According to official data, currently in Ukraine there are 2500-2700 wolves. And out of this number, about 1200-1300 individuals become trophies. If you have to pay for a license to shoot an elk or a boar, then the so-called permission for a sanitary shooting of a wolf is issued in Ukraine for free. Although attempts to obtain the status of “hunting species” for wolves, with the possibility of hunting only in season and in limited quantities, are still being conducted. However, so far to no avail. Because uncontrolled hunting is a great business. At a time when hunting is limited or completely prohibited in Europe or even Belarus, fans of shooting go to Ukraine and pay good money for it. Special companies offer these types of hunting in Donetsk, Luhansk, Kharkiv and other areas. Of course, if licensed hunting will continue for up to five months a year, such farms will suffer losses. Of course, not adopting the necessary laws is lobbied by the legislators, especially since there are also a lot of fans of such hunting in their ranks.

Of the 73 species of mammals that live in the Chernobyl zone, the wolf occupies a special position. It is a large, intelligent predator with a good social organization and ability to adapt. In various documents is called the number of individuals in the territory of the exclusion zone in 300-400 individuals. However, environmentalists argue that this number is greatly overestimated in order to create the appearance of a threat and the need to shoot. In fact, the wolf is a normal and necessary element of the ecosystem of the Zone. There is no particular uniqueness or adaptive differences in the Chernobyl wolves. If you do not take into account the fact that due to the unpopularity of the territories there is a daily shift in activity. As for conflicts or direct attacks on a person, such cases are close to zero.

In conclusion, must say that through the efforts of environmentalists and the constant pressure of activists of the Kiev Ecological and Cultural Center, an agreement was established with the Ministry of Natural Resources of Ukraine on the illegality of the destruction of pregnant wolves and little wolves in Ukraine. Work is underway with the requirement that the wolf be added to the Red Book.

The return of the wolves

The current return of wolves to human-dominated landscapes poses a major challenge for the protection of this species, says conservation biologist and private lecturer (PD) Dr. Marco Heurich from the University of Freiburg. He emphasizes that conflicts arise around the conservation of wolves in these landscapes due to farm animal slaughter, competition with hunters and human protection. The question of how humans can coexist with predators triggers a strong emotional debate. Based on these observations, a team of scientists led by Dr. Dries Kuijper from the Mammal Research Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences analyzed the existing knowledge on how to deal with large carnivores living in the wild in Europe and other parts of the world. The aim was to enable an objective, scientifically sound discussion of various scenarios of wolf management. The researchers have presented their results in the current issue of the scientific journal Biological Conservation.

Source: The return of the wolves