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.
Federal wildlife managers are gearing up to remove gray wolves from the Endangered Species List. But some environmentalists say the species isn’t ready and that the government is basing its decision on outdated science. A group of biologists in four western national parks are looking at the impacts of wolf deaths on their packs and how this could affect the greater population.
HOUGHTON, MICH- Immediately following the end of the government shutdown, National Park Service (NPS) personnel went to Isle Royale to prepare for a potential translocation of wolves from Canada and the 61st annual wolf/moose population monitoring. The extreme cold and weather conditions prevented any successful translocation of wolves from Ontario last week.
A pair of bills to encourage more people to kill wolves drew spirited debate at the Legislature’s Fish, Wildlife and Parks Committee on Thursday.Committee Chairman Rep. Bob Brown, R-Thompson Falls, said the measures would restore balance to struggling elk and deer populations in his region. Opponents called the changes unnecessary and unethical.Brown’s HB 279 would allow reimbursements for costs related to trapping wolves. His HB 280 would add a discounted wolf license to the resident sportsman combination license package.“The outfitters and guides and people who hunt this entire area for many years — many went home with tags in their pockets this year,” Brown told the committee. “The elk are just not there. That’s what drives this bill. This season, I didn’t see one fresh elk track, but I saw eight fresh wolf tracks.”
The transfer of up to six wolves from a northern Ontario island where they were starving to the U.S. is getting underway following a weeks-long delay caused by the federal government shutdown south of the border.The small pack, including the alpha male and female, will be moved from Michipicoten Island to Isle Royale National Park, on the U.S. side of Lake Superior, where American officials hope the wolves will help keep the moose population in check.
Six wolves from Ontario’s Michipicoten Island in Lake Superior will be moved to Isle Royale in coming days thanks to a grant intended to “shutdown proof” the National Park Service effort from future federal budget woes.The $50,000 grant from the National Parks of Lake Superior Foundation allowed wildlife agencies from both sides of the border to make plans in recent weeks for the wolf relocation which could happen as soon as there are four straight days of stable, calm weather forecast.The wolves will join three Minnesota wolves brought to the island last fall, all aimed at replenishing the island’s beleaguered native wolf population that had dwindled to just two animals, a male and female unable to successfully mate due to inbreeding and genetic deformities.
Last April, conservationists were alarmed to discover that the South Selkirk caribou herd, the only surviving population that ranges into the contiguous United States, had been reduced to just three individuals. In the following months, one of the caribou was killed by a cougar, and another disappeared from researchers’ radar due to a tracking collar malfunction. So, in a final-hour effort to keep the herd alive, conservationists have moved the last known South Selkirk caribou into a captive breeding pen, as David Moskovitz reports for Science.