WA Suspends Huckleberry Wolf Slaugher, but Only For the Weekend Grouse Hunt

Priorities. The state wolf trappers must have wanted the weekend off to hunt grouse… They can trap wolves anytime, but this weekend is opening day of grouse hunting!
August 29, 2014 at 12:03 PM

State suspends wolf hunt this weekend

SPOKANE  — The state Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) will suspend its hunt for three more members of the Huckleberry wolf pack until after the Labor Day weekend.

Hunters contracted by the state for the past week have been trying to kill a total of four members of the pack in order to protect a herd of 1,800 sheep the wolves have been preying upon. One wolf was shot and killed by a hunter in a helicopter on Aug. 22.

The state says at least 24 sheep have been killed in eight confirmed wolf attacks on the herd in southern Stevens County since Aug. 14.

Officials for DFW say they have suspended efforts to hunt or trap the wolves in order to avoid conflicts with Labor Day recreationists and grouse hunters.

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URGENT: Speak Out Against Proposed Bobcat Fur Farm!

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Action Alert here: http://www.peta.org/action/action-alerts/urgent-speak-proposed-bobcat-fur-farm/?utm_campaign=Montana+Fur+Farm&utm_source=PETA+E-Mail&utm_medium=Alert

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) is currently taking public comments on its Schultz Fur Farm Environmental Assessment, which recommends the permitting of a bobcat farm near Roy, Montana, where bobcats would be captive-bred and then sold to the cruel fur industry. Comments are due by August 29, so your voice is needed immediately!

In the wild, bobcats roam vast natural territories that can span 25 square miles, foraging for food, raising their young, and frolicking with family members. These animals are highly sensitive and elusive beings who avoid human contact at all cost. If Larry Schultz’s farm is permitted, bobcats would spend the majority of their short lives in small wire cages commonly seen in the unscrupulous fur industry. Intensive confinement prevents animals from being able to take more than a few steps in any direction or feel the earth beneath their feet. Many animals go insane under these conditions and will mutilate themselves and cannibalize their cagemates. Reportedly, bobcats have killed their young on Schultz’s fur farm in North Dakota.

Please urge the FWP to deny Schultz’s permit. Remind the agency that fur farms are cruel to animals and bad for the environment. And please forward this alert widely!
Action Alert here: http://www.peta.org/action/action-alerts/urgent-speak-proposed-bobcat-fur-farm/#ixzz3AUFFxSfO

Once-extinct on Olympic Peninsula, fisher population rebounds

538458_532697610088640_841278349_nBy LYNDA V. MAPES  The Seattle Times
August 11, 2014 – 1:04 pm EDT

SEATTLE — Once locally extinct, fishers are bounding all over the Olympic Peninsula.

First released into Olympic National Park in 2008 in an effort to repopulate the native carnivore, they now range from Neah Bay to Ocean Shores, from Port Townsend to Olympia, preliminary data from remote cameras and hair snags confirm.

It’s a spectacular turnaround for an animal believed to be locally extinct for at least 80 years. Over-trapping of fishers for their luxuriant, lush brown coats and loss of the big, old-growth trees in which fishers like to lounge and den caused populations to plummet. The state closed the trapping season for fishers in the 1930s.

The National Park Service with other partners began a relocation effort in 2008, in an effort to bring the animals back. From 2008 to 2010, 90 fishers were moved from central British Columbia to the Sol Duc and Elwha Valleys.

The population today isn’t known, and the question remains as to whether births are keeping pace with losses, building a population that is self-sustaining over the long term.

But the indications from a monitoring effort by federal, state and tribal biologists so far are promising. “I’m cautiously optimistic,” said Patti Happe, chief of the wildlife branch for Olympic National Park.

Tracking in such remote, wild country is tricky. The batteries in radio collars initially fitted to the animals are all dead by now, so biologists in 2013 began utilizing remote, motion-triggered cameras pointed at survey stations, including hair snags, baited with chicken drumsticks. The hair samples allow scientists to analyze fisher DNA to track the growing family tree of the initial, founder population.

Some of the new kits have ranged as far as 43 miles from their mothers’ home territory, and cameras have found fishers using habitat where the radio-collared animals were never tracked, documenting that the fishers continue to gain ground.

Sharp toothed and clawed, fishers are related to minks, polecats and martens. They hunt the small mammals that are abundant in the Olympics.

The cameras mounted to detect fishers also documented a menagerie of teaming wildlife in the Olympics: Some 43 species of animals in 2013 were captured on camera in more than 37,000 images, from spotted skunks to coyotes, cougars, bobcats, raccoons, black-tailed deer, elk, flying squirrels, mountain beavers, snowshoe hares, mice and wood rats. Black bear were the single most frequently spotted animal.

Fishers do face perils in their new home. Cougars, bobcats and coyotes take their toll. Several fishers were apparent road kill, including one carcass recovered along Highway 101 on the outskirts of Port Angeles.

Two fishers were released from live traps by a licensed trapper seeking bobcats.

But with an abundant source of food in the forests, fishers are expected to do well. Wolves are now the only mammal still missing from the original suite of life in the Olympics, after being shot and trapped to local extinction in the early 1900s. Wolves are slowly recolonizing Washington wild lands but are not yet known to have reached the Olympic Peninsula.

Fishers once occupied coniferous forests at low to middle elevations throughout much of the Western U.S. The goal of the relocation program is to restore fishers to the Olympic National Park within 10 years.

Radio-tracking initiated in the first phase of the project documented the fishers’ far-ranging travels, including one female released in the Elwha Valley at Altair campground in January 2008. She was the first animal set loose in a public event, where school children cheered as she sprang to freedom from her carrying box.

Biologists followed her “on the air” thanks to her radio collar for 2½ years, from the Elwha Valley to the northeastern portion of the Olympic Peninsula. She settled down in the upper Dosewallips in the summer of 2008, making it home until March 2009.

After a two-month walkabout in the southeastern Olympics, she cruised back down to the lower Elwha, back where she first sprang from her box. There she stayed through June 2010.

She went off the air in 2014, when the batteries on her collar died. But she is perhaps still out there, rewilding her bit of the Olympics.


Information from: The Seattle Times, http://www.seattletimes.com

War on wolves has reached new a low


 

By LYNNE STONE

Since early July, Idaho’s war on wolves has another chapter—once again in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area (SNRA). This time, it involves the Casino Pack in the Sawtooth Valley near Fisher Creek.
It works like this: A rancher has a hurt or dead calf or sheep, calls the misnamed federal agency Wildlife Services, who will say it’s a wolf kill. Wildlife Services calls the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, and Fish and Game rubber-stamps whatever Wildlife Services wants—usually to “kill all offending wolves.” In the summer months, there are thousands of sheep and cattle on the SNRA. Some are going to be sick or hurt every day. If wolves come around, they are blamed.
The Casino Pack alpha male was B450. I had first seen him as a yearling in 2009 with his three younger sisters and brothers in the Stanley Basin. His family, the Basin Butte wolves, were killed on Thanksgiving week 2009 because cattle ranchers would not adapt to living with wolves.
B450 survived five more years and had his own family before he was trapped on July 9 near Fisher Creek. Although Fish and Game had told Wildlife Services to release any collared wolves, B450 was so mortally injured from being in the leg-hold trap in hot weather that he was shot. The same with his yearling son, B647—caught in a trap on July 1, and in such bad shape when the Wildlife Services agent finally checked the trap, the wolf would not live if released. This is not the first time wolves have suffered in the SNRA due to trapping. A collared yearling died in a trap on Decker Flat last May.
Another Casino Pack wolf, a subadult female, has also been killed by Wildlife Services, leaving only the pack’s mother, pups and one other sibling. The kill order is out for them, too. All because one rancher lost one calf, maybe to wolves.


The town of Stanley struggles in winter to survive. Wildlife viewing, especially for wolves, could change that.


Fish and Game in Salmon told me this week that they were sorry that the collared wolves were killed. Fish and Game seems to have no control over the actions of Wildlife Services, nor do they seem to care in a state where our cowboy governor Butch Otter has made it clear he doesn’t want wolves here.
On the SNRA since 2000, the Stanley Pack, Whitehawk Pack, Galena Pack and Basin Butte Pack have been eradicated because of a handful of cattle and sheepmen. When people claim that the SNRA protects wildlife, it’s simply not true when it comes to wolves and other animals that ranchers don’t like. They call the shots, literally.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Ranchers could be proactive and learn about nonlethal methods of deterrence. A few are doing this in the Wood River Valley. Landowners who lease pasture to cattlemen could stop—that would help wolves. The SNRA could be a place like Yellowstone Park’s Lamar Valley—where people come from all over the world to see wolves and nearby communities benefit—receiving millions of dollars from tourists. The town of Stanley struggles in winter to survive. Wildlife viewing, especially for wolves could change that.

    Lynne Stone is the director of the Boulder-White Clouds Council, an environmental group. She has been a longtime advocate for wolves in central Idaho.

http://www.mtexpress.com/index2.php?ID=2007152960#.U8_dOGdOVy0

First Known Litter Of Mexican Gray Wolves Born in The Wild

http://www.myfoxphilly.com/story/26065039/mexican-grey-wolves

Jul 20, 2014t;em class=”wnDate”>Sunday, July 20, 2014 9:33 PM EDT</em>

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Mexico- Officials in Mexico have released video of the first known litter of Mexican gray wolves to be born in the wild.

The births are part of a three-year program to reintroduce the subspecies to a habitat from which they disappeared three decades ago.

The country’s National Commission of Natural Protected Areas says the wolf pups were spotted last month by a team of researchers in the Western Sierra Madre Mountains in northern Mexico.

The above footage shows the wolf cubs playing.

Mexico began reintroducing the wolves three years ago. The parents of this litter were released in December with hopes they would breed.

Authorities seldom reveal the exact location of breeding pairs in recovery programs in order to protect endangered species.

The Mexican gray wolf was almost wiped out in the southwestern United States by the same factors that eliminated the animal in Mexico, such as hunting, trapping and poisoning.

The Mexican gray wolf is still an endangered species in the United States and Mexico.

Dog Deaths Prompt Idaho to Consider Changing Trapping Rules

http://www.care2.com/causes/dog-deaths-prompt-idaho-to-consider-changing-trapping-rules.html

Dog Deaths Prompt Idaho to Consider Changing Trapping Rules

Trapping for wolves and a number of other furbearers is allowed throughout the state, but these traps aren’t just a cruel way to torture and kill the animals for which they’re intended–they are posing a serious threat to non-target animals and our pets.

According to the Department of Fish and Game, in 2012, 30 dogs and 24 house cats were among more than 800 non-target animals who were caught. Trapper reports also show the number of dogs who have become victims of traps has increased from two in 2002 to 32 in 2013.

To illustrate the seriousness of the problem, in two widely reported cases last year tragedy struck when dogs were killed in baited body-crushing traps.

According to the Spokesman-Review, the first incident occurred the day after Christmas when a family watched their two-year-old dog die in less than a minute. The second incident happened in January when a woman took her four-year-old black lab for a run, whereby it was caught in a trap that was legally placed on public endowment land. Her and her husband had to call for help because the trap closed so tightly they couldn’t get it open.

In response to the growing number of dogs being trapped and increasing concerns being voiced by pet owners, the Department of Fish and Game released an instructional video in March of this year, and it’s really helpful: you just need to bring a bucket full of supplies with you, channel MacGuyver, or be kind of person who can function calmly while you’re watching your beloved dog suffer, as you try to remember how to open one of the medieval-looking torture devices without doing even more damage. No problem, right?

As infuriating as it is to think you would have to deal with that just because you want to take your dog hiking, and as easy as it would be to say the obvious solution here is to ban traps, that won’t happen. Voters already enshrined trapping as a hunting right in the state’s constitution in 2012. At least now officials are considering restrictions that could help prevent more accidents.

Last week the Fish and Game Commission voted unanimously to start making new rules for certain types of traps, and is considering other steps that were recommended by a working group, including requiring a trapper education program, posting signs, restricting the use of body-crushing traps on public land, and increasing set-backs for traps placed near trails. Once approved by the commission, these proposals go to the legislature for approval.

That’s Where You Come In

You can send a message to the Fish and Game Commission asking it to implement every possible measure to protect the public and non-target animals from the dangers traps pose.

You can also sign and share our Care2 petition asking state officials to do something to prevent the trapping of endangered Canada Lynx.

Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/dog-deaths-prompt-idaho-to-consider-changing-trapping-rules.html#ixzz37xk0flgd

Humboldt County Board of Supervisors Puts Contract Renewal With Wildlife Services on Hold

EUREKA, Calif.— One day after a broad coalition of national animal and conservation groups urged the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors to terminate its contract with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services, the board assented to a citizen request to delay consideration of contract renewal for at least a month in order to reevaluate the issues.

At its meeting on Tuesday, the board had scheduled a vote on the county’s annual renewal of its contract with Wildlife Services, a federal program that kills tens of thousands of native wild animals in California every year. But on a citizens’ request submitted by local wildlife rehabilitator Monte Merrick, the board decided to remove the renewal item from its consent calendar, delaying it at least another month as the county considers the issues raised by Merrick and the coalition.

Photo Courtesy Center for Biological Diversity
Dog caught in trap (Click on image to enlarge) – Photo Courtesy Center for Biological Diversity

“I am elated that the board has agreed to consider whether to renew its contract with Wildlife Services,” said Merrick. “Wildlife Services is increasingly controversial and there are better options to address wildlife conflicts.”

The coalition groups sent a formal letter asking the county to undertake an environmental review and ensure proper protections — as required under California state law — prior to hiring Wildlife Services to kill any additional wildlife. Last year, in response to a similar letter from the Animal Legal Defense Fund, Sonoma County’s Board of Supervisors opted not to renew the county’s contract with Wildlife Services and is now conducting a review of its wildlife policies. Marin County cancelled its contract with Wildlife Services 14 years ago and implemented a nonlethal predator-control program. As a result the county has seen a 62 percent decrease in livestock predation at one-third of the former cost.

Since 2000 Wildlife Services has spent a billion taxpayer dollars to kill a million coyotes and other predators across the nation. The excessive killing continues unchecked despite extensive peer-reviewed science showing that reckless destruction of native predators leads to broad ecological devastation. The indiscriminate methods used by Wildlife Services have killed more than 50,000 “nontarget” animals in the past decade, including endangered condors and bald eagles. The program recently released data showing that it killed over 4 million animals during fiscal year 2013 using a variety of methods, including steel-jaw leghold and body-crushing traps and wire snares. These devices maim and trap animals, who then may take several days to die. In 1998 California voters banned several of these methods, including leghold traps.

Trap - Az Russell files, COurtesy Center for Biological Diversity
Trap (Click to enlarge) – Az Russell files, Courtesy Center for Biological Diversity

“Humboldt County has a chance to be a leader in California wildlife management by eliminating their contract with Wildlife Services,” said Stephen Wells, executive director of the Animal Legal Defense Fund. “Nonlethal predator control has proven to be more humane, more cost-efficient, and more effective — it’s simply the right thing to do for the county.”

“We are glad to see that Humboldt County is pushing the ‘pause’ button on its relationship with Wildlife Services,” said Tim Ream of the Center for Biological Diversity. “We hope that the county will do the wise thing and terminate its relationship with Wildlife Services altogether.”

“Humboldt County has an opportunity to do what’s right here by reviewing their contract with Wildlife Services and shifting towards a nonlethal program that is ecologically, economically and ethically justifiable,” said Camilla Fox, Project Coyote founder and executive director, who helped develop Marin’s nonlethal program. “We pledge our assistance to the county toward this end and urge the Board of Supervisors to emulate the successful Marin County Livestock and Wildlife Protection Program that provides non-lethal assistance to ranchers.”

“The last thing the county that is home to such special places as the Lost Coast and Redwood National Park should be doing is allowing Wildlife Services to trap and kill its native wildlife,” said Elly Pepper, an NRDC wildlife advocate. “Using nonlethal methods to balance its incomparable natural beauty with its critters is a much better use of county residents’ money.”

“It is time to put aside the unchecked assumption that wildlife conflicts can only be solved via Wildlife Services’ draconian, outdated killing methods,” said Tara Zuardo, wildlife attorney at the Animal Welfare Institute. “We salute Humboldt County for stepping back to reevaluate its options — a move that will hopefully lead to more humane, less costly and more effective methods of wildlife management.”

http://www.theecoreport.com/green-blogs/area/usa/california/humboldt-county-board-of-supervisors-puts-contract-renewal-with-wildlife-services-on-hold/

A Field Guide to the North American Hunter

People tend to paint all wildlife-killers with a single brush stroke, referring to them all simply as “hunters.” Yet close scientific observation reveals that there are at least five different categories, or sub-species, of the mutation of Homo sapiens known as the North American hunter (Homo hunter horribilis). Oddly, members of some sub-species don’t like to be associated with others. They can’t all be bad apples, can they? Read on…

1) Sport Hunter

This category can actually be applied to all the other sub-species, including theimagesD5ZT7PC1 universally maligned trophy hunter, as well as the so-called subsistence hunter, since nearly no one in this day and age really has to kill wild animals to survive anymore. Lately we’ve been hearing from a lot of hunter apologists quick to make a distinction between sport and subsistence hunters. Truth is there’s not all that much difference between the two. Sport hunters and subsistence hunters are often so closely related, they’re practically kissin’ cousins. Rare is the hunter who doesn’t justify his sport by boasting about “using the meat.” By the same token, you hardly ever find one who openly admits to being just a sport hunter.

But, being by far the largest sub-class, there are obviously plenty of adherents. For reasons known only to them, they like to refer to themselves as “sportsmen” (or “sportswomen”). When not out killing, they are often seen petitioning Congress to enshrine their perceived right to kill animals (meanwhile mocking the very notion that non-human animals have rights).

Tracks: On the rare occasion that these good ol’ boy traditional sport hunters get out of their vehicles (usually a pickup truck with a bench seat, so they can sit on their camo-clad asses three abreast), you’ll find their tell-tale boot tracks weaving along the roadway—a sure sign the Schmidt-swilling hunter has spotted a deer, or needs to take a pee.

Other spoor to watch for: spent shotgun shells and cigarette butts in parking lots, or 16 ounce beer cans and empty fried pork rind bags ejected out the truck window, along forest roadways.

 

2) Subsistence Hunters

10478663_666186560097028_1055574252307234730_nThis category includes the holier than hemp types who use words like “foodie,” and all those others who claim to hunt mainly for food. Subsistence types conveniently ignore the fact that there are 7 billion human meat-eaters on the planet today, and if they all followed their model for “living off the land,” there would be no wildlife left on Earth.

Like sport hunters, subsistence hunters do what they do because they want to; they enjoy the “outdoor lifestyle.” But not many self-proclaimed “subsistence” hunters are willing to give up modern conveniences—their warm house, their car, cable TV or the ever-present and attendant “reality” film crew—and live completely off the land like a Neanderthal…at least not indefinitely.

While everyone has a right to feed themselves and their family, what gives them the right to exploit the wildlife is unclear. Sure, all people need some form of protein, yet millions have found a satisfying and healthful way to eat that doesn’t involve preying on others. And they don’t seem to understand that dead is dead and it doesn’t matter to the victim whether their killer eats every part of them or just sticks their head on a wall.

Call: Often overheard uttering feeble catch-words like “management,” “sustainability,” “population control” or “invasive species.” Unfortunately, they never think to apply those same concepts to the species, Homo sapiens.

 

3) Trophy Hunters   

This group can be confused with other “sportsmen,” but though both types are clearly in1383480_10151726970777825_1974489269_n it for the fun, trophy hunters are obsessed with every aspect of the so-called sport. These are the kind of people who hold “contest hunts” on anything seen as competition, yet ironically are intent on recruiting more hunters, including women and young people, encouraging them to take up the “sport.” Although their professed enemies are predators like wolves and mountain lions, their most dreaded foe are the anti-hunters.

The trophy hunters’ fixation with horn curl or antler spread is in fact causing a reversal of evolution in the species whose heads they covet.

Breeding plumage: Camouflage from head to tail; flashy orange vest. Mates primarily with themselves.

 

4) Sadists  

1384140_564330240283396_857016214_nThis category includes bow-hunters, trappers and wolf hunters. Often seen on reality T.V.  shows or in homemade snuff-film videos on U-Tube. Hunters who consider themselves in one of the other categories would do well to self-police their kind, lest normal people (non-hunters) think all hunters are sadists who enjoy the act of killing and are turned on by watching animals suffer and struggle under their power.

Habitat: Disgusting personal websites or Facebook pages where they parade around in camo, showing off their evil deeds for anyone who’ll give them the time of day.

 

5) “Ethical” Hunters

This is the category that virtually all hunters want to be included in. Unfortunately, the phrase “ethical hunter” is an oxymoron, like “humane slaughter,” “virgin mother,” “fair chase,” “free-range poultry” or “friendly neighborhood serial killer.” As withSmalfut UFOs, Bigfoot and the Loch Ness monster, no one has ever been able to locate one of these mythical phantoms.

Spoor: This make-believe subspecies leaves no tracks or scat because, well, they’re fictitious. The only impression they make is in the minds of the easily influenced. There’s simply no way an animal-killer can be considered ethical, unless of course he gives up hunting.

Why Is Trapping Still Legal?

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From anti-fur society:

OVER 67,000 PEOPLE HAVE SEEN THIS POST & YET ONLY 500 +/- SIGNED THE PETITION. HOW CAN WE GET AHEAD THEN?

TRAPPING! It is another horrendous practice in the US that has been banned in more than 85 countries in the world. WHY IS IT STILL LEGAL HERE?

OUR PETITION: http://www.antifursocietyinternational.org/petitions/fur-trapping-in-usa/petition.php – US LEGISLATORS: http://antifursocietyinternational.org/find-legislators.php