ISLE ROYALE, MI – Just months after the National Park Service started a relocation program to trap and transport new wolves to Michigan’s remote Isle Royale in hopes of boosting the dwindling pack, a winter survey that will give researchers their first peek at how the new wolves are fitting into their new home might be called off because of the ongoing federal government shutdown.Staff from the research project posted a message Sunday night on the Wolves and Moose of Isle Royale Facebook page, alerting their followers that the winter survey, typically done by plane, might be grounded this year.
Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy is shaking up the Department of Fish and Game.His acting commissioner, Doug Vincent-Lang, has made a pair of unconventional, high-level appointments. Rick Green — the right-wing talk show host known as Rick Rydell — is Vincent-Lang’s new special assistant.And Eddie Grasser, who earlier this year worked as a lobbyist for a hunters’ advocacy group, Safari Club International, will lead the department’s wildlife conservation division.The administration of Dunleavy, a Republican, has not released its proposed budget for the department, and it also hasn’t announced any major policy changes.
Wolf biologist Doug Smith wants to smarten up Yellowstone’s wolves.As Yellowstone National Park’s senior wildlife biologist, Smith has witnessed naive, habituated wolves being hunted down easily outside of the park, where people can legally point rifles instead of cameras. Since wolf hunting seasons outside the 2.2-million-acre park’s borders in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming aren’t going to come to an end, Smith wants to start teaching wolves a life-saving lesson: People aren’t safe.“Right now, if they’re crossing the road we may leave them alone,” Smith told the News&Guide this week. “Now we’re thinking of pounding them. If you get close to people, you’re going to get hit.”
It was a chance encounter between Marc Cooke and 926F.The wolf looked as though it could be a dog. It paced about 50 yards off the road where Cooke’s wife spotted the female, closer than most wolves got to human admirers at Yellowstone National Park. The trip was her first time out with her husband to search for the predators.Cooke snapped a picture of the wolf that some enthusiasts call Spitfire.That was in August 2012, a few months before a hunter legally killed Spitfire’s mother outside the park.The pack leader was affectionately known as “06” to her followers, for the year she was born, and Cooke watched her from afar for years, he told The Washington Post on Sunday.
A cherished Lamar Valley wolf known as 926F was shot dead after a legal hunt just five miles outside the sanctuary of Yellowstone National Park, prompting calls from advocacy groups for greater protection of the region’s wolves.Tragically, the 7-year-old female was the daughter of Wolf 06—”the most famous wolf in the world”—who was killed the same way back in December 2012.”We are heartbroken to share the news that the wolf killed outside the park was 926F of the Lamar Canyon Pack,” Wolves of the Rockies wrote Wednesday on Facebook.The canine was frequently photographed and highly recognizable for a notch in the right ear and a graying face, according to Yellowstone Wolf: Project Citizen Science.Montana wildlife officials confirmed to the Jackson Hole Daily that the kill on Saturday was state-sanctioned, as it was outside Yellowstone’s boundaries.
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK — On a recent fall afternoon in the Lamar Valley, visitors watched a wolf pack lope along a thinly forested riverbank, ten or so black and gray figures shadowy against the snow. A little farther along the road, a herd of bison swung their great heads as they rooted for food in the sagebrush steppe, their deep rumbles clear in the quiet, cold air.
UPPER PENINSULA – DNR conservation officers and wildlife biologists have responded to recent reports of three wolves accidentally caught in foothold traps. Of those three wolves, two were freed and one was found dead, shot in the head before officers could release it.An investigation into that wolf’s death is ongoing.Details of the trapped wolves were contained in Michigan Department of Natural Resources reports filed by conservation officers in the last month.