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

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

By one vote, Minnesota House moves to ban wolf hunting – Twin Cities

By a one-vote margin, the Minnesota House on Tuesday voted to ban hunting on wolves — a victory for wolf protectionists hoping to gird against the Trump administration’s plan to remove protections for the iconic animal.A ban on wolf hunting would be a reversal for Minnesota — the only state in the Lower 48 where the animals were never eradicated and the first to adopt a hunting season when it became legal again several years ago.

Source: By one vote, Minnesota House moves to ban wolf hunting – Twin Cities

Predicting Cattle Depredation “Hotspots” By Gray Wolves On Public Lands | Science Trends

Livestock depredation (predation on domestic animals) by carnivores is one of the primary causes of human-carnivore conflict worldwide. Many carnivores have large home ranges and specialize in ungulate predation; consequently, some carnivores kill domestic ungulates when the opportunity arises. Human encroachment into wild areas, with activities such as livestock grazing, increases the occurrence of human-carnivore conflicts and retaliatory killing of carnivores. Considering many carnivore populations are in global decline (Ripple et al. 2014), minimizing conflict is important to preserving biodiversity and healthy ecosystems.

Source: Predicting Cattle Depredation “Hotspots” By Gray Wolves On Public Lands | Science Trends

Yellowstone Elk Don’t Budge For Wolves – Eurasia Review

Elk roam the winter range that straddles the northern boundary of Yellowstone National Park with little regard for wolves, according to a new study illustrating how elk can tolerate living in close proximity to the large predator.The study offers new insight into how wolves can have negligible impacts on elk movements, and how elk may simply ignore the risk of wolf predation while navigating the landscape in search of forage. It also adds to a growing body of evidence that changes in elk distribution and vegetation conditions in northern Yellowstone since wolf reintroduction in the mid-1990s are not caused by wolves altering elk movement behavior.

Source: Yellowstone Elk Don’t Budge For Wolves – Eurasia Review