West Yellowstone, Montana
An opportunity for the American people to unite and demand wildlife management reform and restore our national heritage.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Six conservation organizations are asking state and federal authorities to stop hunting and trapping seasons for Alexander Archipelago wolves, a southeast Alaska species that den in the root systems of large trees.
Greenpeace and the Center for Biological Diversity petitioned to list the wolves as endangered in August 2011.
The groups say large-scale logging fragments forests and reduces carrying capacity for Sitka black-tailed deer, the prey of the wolves.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in September agreed to decide by late 2015 whether the wolves warrant endangered species protection.
Rebecca Noblin of the Center for Biological Diversity says without hunting and trapping suspensions, wolves on Prince of Wales Island will be gone before the government can decide whether they need endangered species protection
Read more at http://www.wral.com/groups-want-hunting-season-suspended-for-rare-alaska-wolves/14791150/#xiWVTIADPi8vqbkV.99
Some members of Congress are catering to trophy hunters by proposing to remove Endangered Species Act protection for wolves. The federal government tried this in several states, the states immediately opened hunting seasons, and wolf numbers plummeted. The fate of these animals should be determined by science, not Congress.
The stories about wolves constantly gobbling up all livestock and children are myths. They only account for just 0.1 percent to 0.6 percent of all livestock deaths. There have been no documented attacks by wolves on people in the lower 48 states.
Let’s be clear: hunting wolves is completely counterintuitive. It actually increases the tendency of wolves to pray on livestock because it breaks up stable wolf packs and allows younger animals to start breeding and expanding into new territories.
Wolves are trying to survive after centuries of persecution. I would like to urge my Representative, Brenda Lawrence, to support keeping federal protections for wolves.
Please contact your Congressional representative and let them know you want our remaining wolves to stay protected under the Endangered Species Act.
What happens when the states try to manage wolves…
Gray wolves across most of the Lower 48 are classified as endangered, which is more protective than a threatened designation. Advocates hoped a change to threatened would pre-empt intervention from members of Congress who want to lift federal protections altogether.
By Associated Press April 25, 2015
The decision Friday by the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission came as the number of wolves and breeding pairs have increased in the state. By 2014, there were 77 wolves in 15 known packs.
The state’s conservation goal was to have four breeding pairs for three consecutive years, a goal that was reached earlier this year.
The commission will look at two options: delisting the wolves statewide and partially, in eastern Oregon only. The option of not delisting also remains.
State delisting would not impact a federal endangered listing that includes the state’s western two-thirds.
Commissioners will draft a proposal by June and vote on it in August.
YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) — Republican U.S. Rep. Dan Newhouse has introduced a bill to remove the gray wolf from Endangered Species Act protections in Washington, Oregon and Utah.
The freshman lawmaker says removing wolves from the list is “long overdue” and would allow state wildlife officials to manage wolves more effectively.
A spokesman for Conservation Northwest, which works on wolf recovery issues, calls the bill disappointing. Chase Gunnell says there are only a few wolves receiving federal protection in Washington and Oregon
Missoula, Mont. (April 14, 2015) – An unlikely alliance between the Bitterroot Houndsmen Association, Footloose Montana, and In Defense of Animals is calling on Montana’s Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks (FWP) for more accountability in the management of mountain lions in the Big Sky State after the gruesome and horrific discovery of a severed mountain lions limb in a foothold trap. The alliance is seeking a reduction in the overall quota of mountain lions in the Bitterroot Valley, by counting trap-related injuries and deaths toward the overall hunting quota, and by holding trappers accountable.
The severed mountain lion foot was discovered around March 24 by a resident in the Bitterroot Valley. He reported deep claw marks on a nearby tree, indicating that the estimated four-year-old male lion was desperately trying to seek shelter and escape the source of pain – a foothold trap set for wolves. Thanks to recreational and commercial trapping, this mountain lion is likely dead now, either succumbing to starvation, attack by other carnivores, shock, or a painful infection of the severed limb.
The illegally set trap had no identification tag attached to it, and was placed outside the official wolf trapping season, which ended on February 28.
According to Anja Heister with In Defense of Animals, “At least 15 mountain lions have been reported to FWP as caught in traps specifically set for wolves in addition to other species over the course of two trapping seasons, between 2012 and 2014. Yet, these tragic trapping-related injuries and mortalities do not count toward the overall quota for mountain lions. They are also considered merely “incidental” and go unpunished.”
The FWP Commission meets this Wednesday, April 15 to deliberate the quota for the 2015 mountain lion hunting season and we strongly encourage them to adopt the inclusion of incidental mortalities. “There is no question that the mortality of mountain lions exceeds what the Commission allows,” said Cal Ruark, former president of the Bitterroot Houndsmen Association. “It is time to reconcile the two numbers and reduce the quota, as well as acknowledging so-called “non-target incidents” as what they are – deaths of animals, which, at a very minimum, need to be recognized and counted.”
The Commission must be empowered and do the right thing as a result of this recent disturbing discovery. The maiming and likely subsequent death of this mountain lion is not an isolated incident and the time has come to make bold changes and offer dynamic solutions in order to prevent further animals from suffering the same horrific fate.
“Since 2009 more than 1,300 wolves have been hunted or trapped in Idaho, and another nearly 500 have been lethally removed from Idaho’s landscape,” Andrea Santarsiere, an attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity, said in a statement. “In the face of these astounding numbers, it’s no wonder that Idaho may have experienced a nearly 50 percent drop in breeding pairs.”
The Idaho Department of Fish and Game in a 70-page report released April 3 said there were at least 770 wolves in the state, with a minimum of 26 breeding pairs, as of Dec. 31, 2014. The Center notes that’s a steep drop from the 49 breeding pairs in 2009, when wolves in Idaho reached their peak.
The Center also questions the state agency’s estimate of 6.5 wolves per pack, a key number as it’s part of an equation — when multiplied by the number of packs in the state— to tally the overall population.
Jim Hayden, a biologist with Fish and Game, defended the state report’s estimate of the minimum number of wolves in Idaho. Hayden is listed as an editor of the report.
“The 770 is a number we’re very confident with,” he said. “We know the actual truth is higher than that, we just don’t know how far higher.”
He said the agency stopped counting breeding pairs of wolves after surveying 43 packs because it’s expensive and the number had cleared the minimum as required by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The federal agency could retake management control of the Idaho wolf population if numbers fall below certain criteria.
If the state fails to maintain 15 breeding pairs and 150 wolves over any three-year period, or if the population falls below 10 breeding pairs and 100 wolves in any year, the federal agency could take over.
Mike Jimenez, Northern Rocky Mountain wolf coordinator for Fish and Wildlife, said the federal agency reviewed Idaho’s methodology and is confident in the numbers.
“From our perspective, they are far above recovery goals,” he said. “How to manage wolves and hunt wolves — that’s a state issue.”
The wolf population has grown so much, Jimenez said, that biologists can no longer rely on using radio collars when doing counts.
“We’re way past that,” he said. “We have a very large wolf population in the Northern Rockies. We’re trying to reduce the need for radio collars.”
Fish and Wildlife estimates that a minimum of 1,783 wolves in more than 300 packs roamed the six-state region at the end of last year.
Hayden said that radio collars on 32 packs in Idaho were used by Fish and Game to come up with 6.5 wolves per pack, which is an increase from 5.4 wolves per pack the previous year.
But he said the agency is relying more on remote cameras and, this spring, will be collecting scat at wolf rendezvous sites to get DNA samples. The DNA can help determine pack size and the number of pups. He noted the wolf population is expected to jump 40 percent with the addition of pups this spring.
The DNA can also be used to help determine harvest levels by hunters.
Some groups, including the Center for Biological Diversity, would rather there be no harvest.
“We don’t think wolves should be hunted at all,” Santarsiere said. “But with such aggressive killing of a species so recently considered endangered, there at least needs to be careful monitoring.”