Lone male wolf may settle in Drenthe, search on for female – DutchNews.nl

A male wolf may be settling in the north of the province of Drenthe but no mate has been located so far, local broadcaster RTV Drenthe reports.

The suspicion that the wolf may be settling in the province is based on figures from BIJ12, an organisation which monitors damage done by wild, protected animals.

The wolf’s presence had been noticed in November since when there was a rise in the number of sheep being killed. Tracks and DNA testing of the carcasses and droppings found at the scene have put some 17 attacks at the door of the lone, male wolf which is thought to have come from Brandenburg in Germany.

So far, the wolf is still considered a visitor but if its stay extends six months it will have chosen the area to settle in.

It is unusual for a single male to settle in an area, animal protection organisation Zoogdierenvereniging said, and the search for a perhaps as yet unidentified female is on.

‘We want the whole story so we are going to intensify the our search of the area to look for more tracks and install cameras,’ spokesman Glenn Lelieveld of Animal protection organisation Zoogdierenvereniging told the broadcaster.

With two areas in the Veluwe nature reserve, Drenthe is now the third place that wolves have made their home after a 150 year absence.

Their arrival has been controversial for environmental reasons but mostly because itinerant wolves are opportunistic sheep killers. Sheep farmers are compensated for lost sheep, however, and once settled wolves will live of nearby wildlife, experts say.

via Lone male wolf may settle in Drenthe, search on for female – DutchNews.nl

Flemish government extends protective measures for wolves

THE BRUSSELS TIMES

The Flemish minister for nature, Zuhal Demir (N-VA) is to amend the provisions of the government’s nature decree to allow more protection for the region’s wolves.

Last summer she-wolf Naya gave birth to cubs sired by wolf August, but then she disappeared along with her cubs, and the region’s nature inspectors concluded they had been deliberately killed.

The presence of wolves in Flanders – especially breeding wolves – aroused fear and anger among livestock farmers, and it seems like that was behind the killings.

Now Demir has said she will promote wolves to the highest degree of protection offered by the Flemish nature agencies. The decision was taken to prevent a similar fate befalling the remaining wolves, August and Noëlla.

The most immediate measure is a ban on hunting until June in the military domain of Beverlo, the firing range of Helchteren-Meeuwen and the Pijnven nature reserve.

The next step is to amend the nature decree to include wolves in Annex III of the decree, which lists the animal species that may not be captured or killed, and whose territory is protected from being disturbed during breeding season.

That list currently includes various types of bat, rodents and amphibians, as well as the otter and the European beaver.

The effect, Demir said, would be to offer more of a disincentive to harm the wolves.

“If anything should happen to the wolves, then higher fines can be imposed, as well as a prison term of up to five years, which is twice as much as now,” she said.

On the farmers’ side, sheep farmers have been advised to protect their flocks well. Subsidies for the installation of wolf-proof fencing are made easier to obtain, and the government has money to subsidise the work of volunteers from Natuurpunt and the WWF who help put up the fences.

The hunting community, meanwhile, says it fears the existing hunting ban will allow the numbers of wild boar to grow out of proportion. However Demir responded to point out that the hunters do not have the boar problem under control in any case.

“We need to try to solve that with our own team from the government,” she said.

via Flemish government extends protective measures for wolves

Mexican Wolf Population Goes Up in U.S. With at Least 163 Now in Arizona and New Mexico

Mexican wolves (Canis lupus baileyi) saw a boost in 2019, with numbers increasing 24 percent. This brings the total up to 163 wild animals or more, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) reported.

Wildlife officials identified 76 wolves in Arizona and 87 in New Mexico, up from the 131 wolves counted at the end of 2018. According to the FWS, there are at least 42 packs of two or more individuals, and a further 10 lone wolves. Of the 28 packs that have been monitored since last spring, a minimum of 21 contained pups.

Meanwhile, mortality rates appear to be down. Fourteen deaths were recorded last year, a 33 percent drop from the 21 recorded in 2018.

“The count shows we have more wolves, more breeding pairs and more pups born in the wild than ever before,” Amy Lueders, Regional Director for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Albuquerque, New Mexico, said in a statement.
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“This is the second year we have seen a significant increase in the wild population of Mexican wolves, a success that is directly tied to the science-based, on-the-ground management efforts of the Interagency Field Team.”
Mexican gray wolf at Living Desert State Park

“Wolves are naturally prolific animals,” Michael Robinson, Senior Conservation Advocate at the Center for Biological Diversity, told Newsweek. “Annual population increases at this rate and even higher have been recorded in other wolf populations where initial wolf numbers are low and available habitat and prey are high.”

But, he adds, the recovery of the Mexican wolf has been helped by government efforts to “artificially feed” some wild wolves to prevent attacks on livestock. He also notes that the government used to actively trap and shoot wolves in the name of protecting livestock—a practice that has declined over the last ten years or so.

via Mexican Wolf Population Goes Up in U.S. With at Least 163 Now in Arizona and New Mexico

Stories of Coexistence: Emerging Europeans share their experiences of living with large carnivores – Emerging Europe | News, Intelligence, Community

The EU-funded LIFE EuroLargeCarnivores Project has launched a Europe-wide video campaign that features testimonials from people sharing the landscape with large carnivores. The videos demonstrate how people from all over the continent have found ways to coexist with bears, wolves, lynxes and wolverines.

According to official estimates, there are currently around 17,000 wolves, 17,000 bears, 9,000 lynx and 1,250 wolverines living in Europe (not including Russia).

Where people and large carnivores share the same landscapes, conflicts may arise.

“Coexistence between people and large carnivores is possible if people are open to learning from each other and try to adapt to the situation. The video testimonials demonstrate how people from all over the continent have found ways to coexist,” says Gavril Marius Berchi, Large Carnivore Conservation Project Manager, WWF-Romania.

People sharing their experiences in the videos range from farmers and sheep herders that have found ways to protect their livestock, to ecotourism operators and ordinary people from rural communities that accept and appreciate the presence of large carnivores.

“The situations and reactions of local communities living with large carnivores are very divergent across Europe. That’s why the videos do not preach one-size-fits-all answers. We hope that the videos can inspire people in different countries and regions to try to find the solutions that best fit their situations,” adds László Patkó, Large Carnivore Conservation Project Manager at WWF-Hungary.

The videos were filmed in Finland, Norway, Germany, France, Slovakia, Romania, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Poland, Austria and Hungary. All videos have been published on the LIFE EuroLargeCarnivores project’s YouTube channel. The videos will be shared widely on WWF Central and Eastern Europe social media channels.

WWF-Romania offers stories of two locals living in areas where wolves, bears and lynx never disappeared; Relu Nica a former ranger and Ioan Purcel a former hunter from the Apuseni Mountains. For both, large carnivores are an indispensable presence in the forest and a treasure that must be protected. In their opinion, there are solutions to reduce the risk of unwanted meetings, which some people have successfully applied and can share with others.

via Stories of Coexistence: Emerging Europeans share their experiences of living with large carnivores – Emerging Europe | News, Intelligence, Community

Wolfing down watermelons by Janaki Lenin – THE HINDU

When hungry, the village wolf usually steals through settlements for its prey. Photo: Wiki Commons

Indian wolves are the same species that roam across North America and Europe, but they are entirely different animals. Not only do they look dissimilar, being smaller, lankier, and less furry, but they act differently. While the Western wolves symbolise fierce wilderness, many populations of the Indian wolves hang out near humans, a risky strategy for a carnivore. To survive, they rely on camouflage, stealth, and an awareness of humans, says Iravatee Majgaonkar.

In Koppal district, northern Karnataka, wolves lurk around villages and fields set in the black Deccan soil of the valleys ringed by picturesque rocky hillocks. Despite the large canids’ proximity to civilisation, “they have this ability to be invisible especially in peninsular India,” says Majgaonkar. In a landscape with few wild areas where they can thrive free of human disturbance, they often den adjacent to fields.

Beige and blending

Pups appear to be born shy, scooting into their hideouts long before any dog, wolf, or human approaches. Their skill at disappearing is partly due to their beige coats with black highlights that blend with the arid landscape. Majgaonkar witnessed this uncanny trait when she struggled to spot her first wolf even as it trotted across an open fallow field in full sight. “When I finally saw it for about three minutes, it hit me that I was one of the lucky few to see this fascinating creature,” she says. Despite spending two years in the region studying people-carnivore relations and the wolves’ entirely rural lives, she’s seen them on fewer than 10 occasions.

Even residents of the area go about their business unaware of the animals’ presence. Majgaonkar and her team spotted a pair of wolves standing behind bushes, panting in the heat of the day. Not one pedestrian realised the wild animals were less than 100 metres away.

While the wolves of grasslands hunt in packs, spreading out and chasing blackbuck towards an ambush, village wolves usually steal through settlements under the cover of darkness. They don’t have to plan their strategy to get at their livestock prey huddled asleep in enclosures. Occasionally, one blows its cover, going into a killing frenzy inside an animal shed. A shepherd told Majgaonkar two wolves killed 19 sheep in one night. In the old days, this would have been enough to destroy the cornered predators. That remains the official policy for livestock-killing wolves in many western countries. But the aggrieved man let the animals go and claimed ex gratia compensation from the Forest Department.

Watch dogs

To avoid such senseless slaughter, owners use dogs to alert them to wolves. Unlike Western wolves, the Indian ones usually don’t kill domestic canines. They often cross paths with free-ranging dogs as they scavenge from the same sites and drink from the same puddles, although they don’t seem to crossbreed, at least in this area.

Protecting their livestock isn’t the only headache for farmers. They blame wolves for devouring juicy watermelons on cold winter nights. Seeing the remains of fruits strewn in the fields, Majgaonkar thought it was a case of mistaken identity. Perhaps the villagers confused omnivorous jackals with carnivorous wolves. But she realised they were right when she came upon bright red wolf droppings studded with black seeds. Elsewhere, the predators are said to eat grapes, maize, and wild berries.

Despite these aggravations and even though villagers often know the location of dens, they generally leave them alone. “This is not to say that wolves are not under any threat here,” says Majgaonkar. “Their numbers have plummeted and few are left. Nonetheless, they are adaptable creatures, and if given good habitat and relatively low human densities, they will survive.”

All of this highlights that it’s not only Indian wolves that behave differently from their Western counterparts. Indians may be the same species as those inhabiting North America and Europe, but they are entirely different people.

The writer is not a conservationista but many creatures share her home for reasons she is yet to discover.

via THE HINDU

Colorado throws wolves to the vote (Throwing wolves to the vote ) — High Country News – Know the West

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The last wolf resident in Colorado in the 20th century died in 1945 at the edge of the San Juan Mountains, where a high green country falls into dark timber near the headwaters of the Rio Grande. It was caught by its leg in the ragged jaws of a steel trap, set by federal authorities following reports that it had killed 10 sheep.

If the wolf was mourned, it wasn’t mourned by many. Contemporary newspaper articles reflected widespread support for ridding the West of wolves. “Wolves are like people in that they must have their choice morsel of meat,” wrote Colorado’s The Steamboat Pilot in an April 1935 story on the retirement of William Caywood, a government contract hunter with over 2,000 wolf skulls to his credit. “(Some would eat) nothing but the choice parts of an animal unless they were very hungry. Wolves are killers from the time they are a year old.”

Seventy-five years later, public perception has changed, and otherwise clear-eyed Westerners regularly wax poetic over Canis lupus. “Colorado will not truly be wild until we can hear the call of the wolf,” opined one writer in a recent editorial for Colorado Politics. “That mournful sound rekindles primordial memories of our ancestors, and to most of us, brings a state of calmness that nothing else can approach.”

Wolves, it turns out, may be a part of the world we want to live in after all.

This about-face is more than conjecture. According to a recent poll of 900 demographically representative likely voters, two-thirds supported “restoring wolves in Colorado,” echoing similar polls over the past 25 years. Yet state wildlife officials have been reluctant to comply, wary of the toxic politics surrounding reintroduction in the Northern Rockies.

In response, activists seized an unprecedented strategy. A coalition of nonprofit groups in Colorado, led by the recently formed Rocky Mountain Wolf Project, spent 2019 tirelessly gathering support to pose the question to voters directly through a 2020 ballot initiative. They succeeded, delivering more than 200,000 signatures to the Colorado secretary of State. Initiative 107 was officially ratified in January and will be voted on this November. (Meanwhile, neither politicians nor wolves have stayed still. In January, a state senator introduced a controversial bill to regain legislative control of the issue; in the same week, Colorado Parks and Wildlife confirmed that a pack of at least six wolves was now resident in northwest Colorado, though it’s far from clear they represent the start of a comeback. For the moment, the future of wolves here still likely rests on the initiative.)

via Colorado throws wolves to the vote (Throwing wolves to the vote ) — High Country News – Know the West

Graban a un lobo corriendo junto al polígono de Bárzana | Diario digital del Camín Real de la Mesa

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Un lobo adulto fue sorprendido por un excursionista cuando iba en su coche por la carretera AS-229 muy cerca de Bárzana y en dirección Santa Marina, en las proximidades del polígono industrial. Fue las 14,16 horas de hoy. El testigo regresaba de hacer la ruta de las Ubiñas y quedó perplejo al ver desde su coche que el lobo se dirigía hacia él por la carretera. Cuando se percató de su presencia el lobo viró hacia la izquierda y subió corriendo por la carretera en dirección Vallín, Muriellos y Rano, para perderse en la lejanía. El testigo pudo grabar un pequeño vídeo y relatar en sus redes sociales:  «Pasaba con el coche y allá a lo lejos vi un puntín alargado. Me dije «eso es un lobo» entre las casas. Cualquiera hubiera tirado de largo pensando que era un pastor alemán, pero yo como estoy mucho de verlos lo distinguí. ¡La madre que me parió que si era un lobo… estuve un rato observándolo. Este es el resultado del control lobero y de las cacerías que enganchan una manada y la liquidan con algún superviviente, luego éstos tienen que bajar a los pueblos a por ovejas porque solos ya no pueden cazar jabalíes ni ciervos», explicaba el autor del vídeo.

via Graban a un lobo corriendo junto al polígono de Bárzana | Diario digital del Camín Real de la Mesa