A complaint has been filed with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service alleging Wisconsin bear hunters are “criminally harassing gray wolves” and that the state Department of Natural Resources is subsidizing the crimes.Public Employees For Environmental Responsibility (PEER) — based in Washington, D.C. — is urging criminal investigations into 22 Wisconsin bear hunters who received payments from the DNR for dogs killed by wolves last year. The group claims the payments, known in Wisconsin as wolf depredation payments, are evidence hunters harassed wolves.”Wisconsin encourages hunting practices that seem calculated to cause fatal conflicts with wolves,” said PEER staff attorney Adam Carlesco. “Endangered species are legally protected from human activity which adversely affects the animals, not just physical injury but harm to habitat or breeding. Loosing packs of dogs on them absolutely constitutes an adverse impact.”Depredation payments have been made since 1985 whenever wolves have killed livestock, pets and hunting dogs in Wisconsin. In 2016, a record 41 hunting dogs were killed and $99,400 in payments went to hunters.
I write to thank the Tribune’s editors for striking a persuasive note of respecting the federal judiciary while also presenting evidence as a basis for policy in its editorial “A reprieve — perhaps temporary — for Great Lakes wolves.”I’ve studied the challenges of wolf preservation for almost 20 years and wish to add an additional note to the editors’ wise words: Over 175 years of U.S. Supreme Court decisions and almost every state constitution have upheld wildlife as a public trust asset. That means the government’s duty is to preserve nature for future generations and account transparently for its use by current adults. Efforts to delist the wolf are driven by the opposite tendencies: to deplete nature for a small minority of hunters and intolerant livestock producers, and to account with poor science and opaque record-keeping so no one will notice the poaching and mismanagement. But we notice.
Vocal divergence within species often corresponds to morphological, environmental, and genetic differences between populations. Wolf howls are long-range signals that encode individual, group, and subspecies differences, yet the factors that may drive this variation are poorly understood.
Until recently, very few people had ever seen a wolf in the wild. But thanks to the success of the recovery program in Yellowstone National Park, more and more people are getting the chance to appreciate this iconic animal. But for many ranchers, wolves—like coyotes—are regarded as varmint to be eradicated. For hunters and trappers, they are exciting quarry.In Wolf Nation: The Life, Death, and Return of Wild American Wolves, Brenda Peterson takes us inside the world of these top predators—and the cultural war being waged over them. Speaking from her home in Seattle, she explains why the battle over wolves is like the abortion debate, how removing protections in six Western states has led to the deaths of more than 3,000 wolves, and why so many wolf advocates are women.
House Bill 105 (HB105) would prohibit wolf hunting and trapping in two areas adjacent to the northeastern border of Denali National Park and Preserve. The bill passed by a vote of 22-18, thanks to the House Majority Coalition of mostly Democrats. The vote came on the last day of the session, so time ran out before it could be assigned to Senate committees. Unfortunately, the Senate is firmly controlled by anti-wildlife Republicans, and the bill’s future in that chamber is not promising.
Conservation officers in B.C.’s East Kootenay are investigating after the discovery of two wolves they believe were intentionally poisoned.Conservation officer Greg Kruger said poison was first discovered in early March in the Dutch Creek region, west of Canal Flats — an area known for its active wolf population.”Where all these … poison containers have been found are all areas that we know are wolf travel corridors,” Kruger said. “So our investigation is looking at someone specifically targeting the wolf population.”
Court Lifts Injunction Blocking Mexican Gray Wolf Releases
DENVER (April 25, 2017) – The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today to lift a preliminary injunction blocking further releases of highly endangered Mexican gray wolves into the wild within New Mexico. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) can now resume wolf releases within the state.Bryan Bird, Southwest program director for Defenders of Wildlife, issued the following statement:“Today’s ruling is a victory for the Endangered Species Act, the Mexican gray wolf and everyone who cares about endangered species recovery. Now that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service can again release Mexican gray wolves into the wild in New Mexico, we hope that their numbers will continue to climb and that their genetic diversity in the wild will improve. Defenders will continue to work with local communities by providing them proactive strategies and tools to peacefully share the landscape with Mexican gray wolves. We can coexist with these icons of the Southwest.”