Wildlife needs half of the planet to avoid ‘biological holocaust’

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson


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Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 By

A Pulitzer Prize winner and Harvard scientist has said that half of the Earth should be human-free and dedicated solely to the world’s wildlife In order to avoid mass extinction of species.

Prominent biologist and two times Pulitzer winner E.O. Wilson has suggested that half of our planet should be dedicated to the world’s animals, as the only way to avoid critical mass extinction.

85-year old Wilson is considered the father of sociobiology and is a leading expert in biodiversity. His work largely focuses on the extinction crisis and the role human societies played in mass extinctions of the 20th century.

Speaking to the Smithsonian Magazine, Wilson explained his ‘Half Earth theory’ to try stop what he calls a ‘biological holocaust’, the sixth mass extinction event caused by humans, which is wiping out species at an incredible pace.

Wilson said in the interview, “It’s been in my mind for years, that people haven’t been thinking big enough –even conservationists. Half Earth is the goal, but it’s how we get there, and whether we can come up with a system of wild landscapes we can hang onto.

“I see a chain of uninterrupted corridors forming, with twists and turns, some of them opening up to become wide enough to accommodate national biodiversity parks, a new kind of park that won’t let species vanish.”

As an example of effective wildlife protected corridor, Wilson named the Yellowstone-to-Yukon 2,000 miles conservation region, which covers an area from Wyoming in the US to the Yukon territories in Canada.

A study from earlier this year revealed that humans are causing species to disappear at 1,000 times the natural rate, mainly because of the destruction of habitats and hunting, in addition to the effects of manmade climate change.

Black bear released into wild after PAWS rehab

http://www.komonews.com/news/local/Hungry-Bear-Gets-Taste-Of-The-Wild-273117731.html

MONROE, Wash. – An underweight black bear that was rehabilitated after living off a Redmond family’s bird feeder was released into the wild Thursday afternoon.

The Albertson’s in Monroe served as the meeting spot for a caravan into the Cascades where the bear was released. She let out a growl, which wildlife agents say is a good sound as it shows the bear is still afraid of people even after 3 months in captivity.

In June, officers used a doughnut to lure the 1-year-old bear when they realized she was underweight, and brought her to PAWS for rehabilitation.

“She came in somewhere around 45 pounds when she should have been way up close to 100 pounds,” PAWS Director Jennifer Convy said.

Naturalists reintroduced the bear to her native diet of skunk cabbage and berries, and discovered she doesn’t like radishes or watermelon.

Fish and Wildlife officers drove 60 miles from the PAWS office in Lynnwood into a remote mountainous area along the Cascades.

Officers fired a non-lethal bean bag shot at the animal and shouted, “Get out of here bear!” They say it’s their tough love way of teaching her to stay away from people.

Less than eight seconds after the trap opened the bear had vanished into the wild.

It cost PAWS roughly $3,000 to feed and care for the bear. The organization is holding its annual Big Paws Walk Fundraiser September 6, 2014 at Marymoor Park, which helps raise money for the rehabilitation of wild animals.

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

WDFW Scrap Helicoter for Traps

This is the latest from the Washington state Department of Fish and Wildlife: 

 

Helicopter flights occurred on Saturday, August 23 through Tuesday morning, August 26.  As we noted in Monday’s news release, one female wolf has been removed.  Helicopter activity provided hazing which may have kept wolves from the flock, and we have had only one sheep injured by a wolf attack, found on Sunday morning (and was later found dead this week, and it is being investigated).  As indicated before, on the Saturday morning flight (and the subsequent ground investigation), five sheep were found dead and three were injured.

We did not fly on Tuesday evening and do not plan to fly today.  We have established a trapline and have provided instructions to euthanize up to three more wolves caught.  We also have ongoing authorization for our staff and the rancher to kill up to two wolves observed in the vicinity of the flock.  We will continue to assess these efforts each day, and the directive is to remove up to four wolves from the Huckleberry pack. 

Nonlethal measures continue to be in place, with the rancher, a range rider, and up to four department staff, and four guard dogs providing an on-going presence.

We continue to work with the producer to try to find an alternative grazing location.  We’re hoping that will occur soon, and the producer understands our desire that for this particular situation, we’re hoping to eliminate the killing of his sheep by wolves by moving the sheep to their winter range.  He received a communication yesterday saying that he should be able to move the sheep soon. 

We’ve received a lot of inquiries about why moving sheep hasn’t happened sooner.  A couple items I hope you’ll keep in mind.  First, with the Carlton Complex Fire in Okanogan County and other fires across the state, there has been a tremendous demand for alternate pasture for displaced livestock operations.  We’re offering whatever assistance we can to help the operator with the various logistics. 

Second, I think it is important to remember that neither the Wolf Conservation and Management Plan nor our preventative measures checklist suggest that moving livestock off of an allotment is a requirement to address wolf-livestock conflicts.  With the operator moving his sheep to winter range anyway, we’re hoping to work with him to expedite that move.  But in the long run, and in other conflict situations that we will face, it is not likely to be feasible for a rancher to move livestock out of the vicinity of problem wolves.  Maintaining working lands and the livestock industry is important both from the perspective of social tolerance of wolf recovery, and the overall maintenance of viable local economies and support for working lands (and the wildlife conservation benefits of those lands continuing in that status). 

Finally, we have approached the rancher about compensation for sheep injured and killed by wolves and will likely continue that dialogue with him at a later date, once some of the immediate issues are resolved.

copyrighted wolf argument settled

“Defenders” of Wildlife Supports Wolf Hunting!

Yet another sell-out group, sleeping with the enemy. Is this what they’re doing with all the donations they keep begging for? Unbelievable!

http://www.kued.org/suzanne-stone

Interviewer
Should wolves be hunted?

Suzanne Stone
Defenders of Wildlife is not opposed to hunting of wolves. We represent hunters as well as other conservationists and animal rights people. We have a very wide spectrum of people that are our members, but we’ve never been opposed to hunting. As long as it’s hunting done in a manner that other species are hunted, so that it’s not to exterminate the species, but actually to only take surplus from that population. And right now the wolf population in the Northern Rockies is still pretty small. For example, in Idaho we have somewhere around five or six hundred adult wolves, and if you compare that with things like mountain lions, we have over 3,000 mountain lions. We have 20,000 black bears, and more than 100,000 elk. And so if you’re putting a lot of pressure on a wolf population when they’re at such a low number, you’re managing them very differently than you’re managing these other species, which are managed to be in greater populations and more abundant.

copyrighted wolf in river

Action Alert: Contact Washington Governor to End the Slaugter of the Huckleberry Pack Wolves

copyrighted wolf in water

 

From another list:

Having killed one Huckleberry pup, WDFW continues aerial gunning: http://wdfw.wa.gov/news/aug2514a/

Below is an example of a letter to WA Governor Inslee. You can contact him at governor@gov.wa.gov and/or 360-902-4111. The points elucidated in the letter make it clear that WDFW is repeating the dishonest and secretive behavior that led to the slaughter of 7 Wedge Pack wolves in 2012.

The bulleted points in the letter were provide by Amaroq Weiss at the Center for Biological Diversity.

Let’s see if we can make enough noise to stop this killing…

Thanks, W

Dear Governor Inslee -

Please intervene and prevent further slaughter of Huckleberry pack wolves. The WDFW has been dishonest and misleading in its handling of this issue and it is by no means apparent, due to WDFW’s secretive behavior, that nonlethal deterrents and techniques were properly employed or even if they were used in good conscience and with serious intent. Below are points which make it very clear that lethal removal at this juncture is unjustified and unwarranted.

  • This wolf pack has denned 3-4 miles from this location – on reservation land, but still that close – for the last 3 years and WDFW knew it.

     

  • The terrain the sheep were being grazed in should not have been used for sheep grazing; it’s rugged terrain, there are 1800 sheep spread out all over the place; the sheep owner had his shepherd quit a month ago so the sheep had only 4 guard dogs out there with them and no human presence and even then, 1 shepherd for 1800 sheep is not enough; there should be more shepherds out there.

     

  • The Dept said a week ago the sheep were being moved right then to a new location; but the sheep still haven’t been moved.

     

  • The Dept said a  range rider would be on site on Aug 15 – he did not get out there until late the night of Aug 20 and so was not out monitoring until Aug 21, 6 days later.

     

  • The dept said they had staff on site – but staff went home 1-2 nights in the midst of all this.

     

  • The dept did not accept an offer from a conservation group early on of special lights that help deter predators.

     

  • The dept did not accept an offer from WA State Univ researchers early on to come help with nonlethal measures and help sheep carcasses out that would be drawing in wolves.

     

  • The Dept showcased only their limited nonlethal efforts on the tv news, not giving any hint to the public they would carry out a secret kill operation on a weekend morning while the public slept unaware.

     

  • They have betrayed the public trust in their lack of transparency and misleading assertions of having used all nonlethal possible before resorting to lethal control.

     

  • The sheep rancher himself had signed up this spring to participate in WSU’s nonlethal research project which would have given him assistance on the front end but then he pulled out.

     

  • The sheep rancher cannot expect the public to think he can reasonably monitor 1800 sheep with no shepherds present; in fact when he first discovered sheep losses the bodies were too decomposed to determine how they died, which demonstrates it had been awhile since anyone checked on them.

     

These sheep need to be moved. Now.

Respectfully,

The Washington Wolf Dilemna

Originally posted on Wolves and Writing:

Huckleberry pups, June 2012

Huckleberry pups, June 2012. Photo from WDFW website.

It’s a disconcerting deja vu. Two years ago we fought hard to prevent the killing of the Wedge pack for their supposed role in livestock depredations. But the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Department (WDFW) ignored public opinion as they spent over $76,000 in a full scale war against the Wedge pack wolves, killing seven of its members.

An OPD article dated November 14, 2012 quotes WDFW spokesperson Madonna Luers as saying, “Our director (Phil Anderson) has said that he never wants to do this again… The social acceptance is just not there.”

Mr. Anderson must have forgotten making this statement because now the Huckleberry pack is being targeted under his authorization. One member, reportedly a pup, has been shot already and three more are in the scopes.

I spoke today with Bob Ferris, Executive Director of Cascadia Wildlands about the issue. Bob…

View original 515 more words

Aerial Hunter Killing Washington Wolves

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Hunter Hired by Washington State Kills 1 Wolf

One wolf has been killed by a hunter hired by Washington, a state where the animals have been regaining a foothold in recent years after being hunted to extinction in the early 1900s.

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife said hunters were back out Monday, targeting three more wolves in the Huckleberry Pack to protect sheep in rural southern Stevens County.

Wolves from the Huckleberry Pack this month have killed 22 sheep and injured three more, despite preventive measures, the agency said.

Environmental groups oppose the hunt.

Wolves began moving back into the state in the early 2000s from Idaho and Canada, and they are protected under state and federal law. The state exterminated an entire pack of wolves to protect a herd of cattle in mountainous Stevens County in 2012.

The most recent hunt is designed to protect a herd of 1,800 sheep owned by Dave Dashiell of the town of Hunters, located about 50 miles northwest of Spokane.

“Unfortunately, lethal action is clearly warranted in this case,” said Nate Pamplin, the agency’s wildlife program director, on Monday. “Before we considered reducing the size of the pack, our staff and Mr. Dashiell used a wide range of preventive measures to keep the wolves from preying on the pack.”

Non-lethal activities are continuing, he said.

Amaroq Weiss of the Center for Biological Diversity said the hunt proves the state prefers to kill the wolves.

“The department has never been interested in making sure sufficient non-lethal conflict measures are in place,” Weiss said. “They have wanted to gun for these wolves from the start.”

The state could have used rubber bullets or paintball rounds to harass the wolves, but instead resorted immediately to airborne snipers, she said.

On Saturday, crews found five dead and three injured sheep that were attacked Friday night or early Saturday morning, the agency said. Investigators confirmed that wolves were responsible for all of the attacks.

On Saturday evening, a marksman contracted by the Department of Fish and Wildlife killed one member of the pack from a helicopter. The agency has authorized killing three more wolves from the pack, which contains about a dozen wolves.

Wolves were driven to extinction in Washington in the early 1900s by a government-sponsored eradication program on behalf of the livestock industry. Their population has grown to at least 52 wolves today.

Some ranchers and hunters vehemently oppose the return of the wolves, saying the animals prey on livestock and deer populations.

[Deer populations? Excuse me, but yes, wolves do prey on deer--always have--long before humans started claiming them all as a "game" species. Hunters claim to be keeping the deer from overpopulating and starving, but at the same time they get upset if a natural predator returns to its historic place and does part of the job for them.]

The current situation in Stevens County meets all of the agency’s conditions for lethal removal, Pamplin said. That includes repeated wolf kills; the failure of non-lethal methods to stop the predation; the attacks are likely to continue; and the livestock owner has not done anything to attract the wolves.

[It seems to me, 1,800 sheep in one place should be considered doing something to attract wolves (not to mention cougars and coyotes). The obvious non-lethal answer: phase out the sheep.]

more: http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/hunter-hired-washington-state-kills-wolf-25118910

Feds to Consider Translocating Bears to North Cascades National Park

biologicaldivesity.org

August 21, 2014

Contact: Noah Greenwald,

One Month After Center Files Petition to Expand Grizzly Bear Recovery Feds Take Action

WASHINGTON— The National Park Service this week took an important step toward recovering grizzly bears in the North Cascades in Washington state. The agency says it is beginning a three-year process to analyze options for boosting grizzly bear populations in the area, including the possibility of translocating bears and developing a viable population.

“We’re happy to see the Park Service begin the long-overdue conversation about bringing grizzly bears back to the North Cascades,” said Noah Greenwald, endangered species director with the Center for Biological Diversity. “Grizzlies have lost more than 95 percent of their historic habitat in the lower 48 states so we welcome any step that brings them closer to returning to some of their ancestral homes.”

In June, the Center petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to begin returning grizzly bears to vast swaths of the American West. The petition identified more than 110,000 square miles of potential grizzly bear habitat, including parts of Washington, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado.

Today, there are roughly 1,500-1,800 grizzly bears in the continental United States, most of them in and around Yellowstone and Glacier national parks. The grizzly populations remain separated from each other, which impedes genetic exchange and limits their ability to expand into new areas.

The Northern Cascades ecosystem includes about 9,800 square miles in the United States and 3,800 square miles in Canada. A grizzly bear has not been spotted on the U.S. side since 2010.

“The Northern Cascades has the potential to host a viable grizzly bear population,” Greenwald said. “The same could be said for many spots scattered throughout the West. If grizzly bears are ultimately going to have a thriving, healthy population no longer threatened by extinction, they’ve got to be given a chance to return to some of the places they were driven out of years ago.”

The Park Service says it will develop its “environmental impact statement” for grizzly bears in the North Cascades in conjunction with the Fish and Wildlife Service.

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson