Wolf harvest down slightly from last year

http://www.greatfallstribune.com/story/outdoors/hunting/2015/03/17/wolf-harvest-slightly-last-year/24928657/

Montana hunters and trappers killed 207 wolves during the 2014-15 season, which came to a close Sunday.

That was 23 fewer wolves than the 230 killed in the 2013-14 season.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks wasn’t surprised by those numbers. That’s well within normal season-to-season hunting fluctuations, said John Vore, game management bureau chief with FWP.

A number of factors could contribute to that decrease.

copyrighted wolf in riverWe suspect the wolf population is down a little bit,” Vore said.

The weather was also very different between the two seasons, said Ron Aasheim, FWP spokesman.

Wolf hunters also may not have been as motivated after a few seasons of wolf hunting, he said. Hunters who were really interested and committed to getting a wolf when wolf hunting first became legal may have already harvested a wolf last year or the year before and may not have worked as hard this year.

FWP issued 20,383 wolf licenses this season, compared to 24,479 last season.

Along the Rocky Mountain Front, hunters took 11 wolves and trappers took eight. Last year, 12 wolves were taken in Region 4.

No wolves were killed this year in the Highwoods or Little Belts, said Ty Smucker, wolf management specialist in Region 4.

FWP is preparing is wolf population report. That should be out in the next couple weeks, Aasheim said.

A history of wolf hunts in Montana

2009: During Montana’s first regulated wolf hunt, hunters harvested 72 wolves during the fall hunting season. As hunters approached the overall harvest quota of 75 wolves, FWP closed the hunt about two weeks before the season was scheduled to end.

2010: The hunting season was blocked by a federal court ruling in August 2010 that returned wolves to the federal endangered species list. In April 2011, the U.S. Congress enacted a new federal law delisting wolves in Montana and Idaho, and in portions of Washington, Oregon and Utah.

2011-12: The wolf hunting season ended with a total harvest of 166 wolves, 75 percent of the overall quota of 220 wolves. The season was initially set to end Dec. 31, but was extended to Feb. 15.

2012-13: This was the first time wolf trapping was allowed in the state. There was no statewide quota. Hunters took 128 wolves and trappers took 97 wolves for a total of 225.

2013-14: Montana’s wolf hunting season was extended and the bag limit was increased to five wolves. Hunters killed 143 wolves and trappers took 87 wolves, for a total of 230 wolves.

2014-15: Hunters killed a 130 wolves and trappers killed another 77 for a total of 207 animals.

What’s next and when will it end? Idaho officials kill 19 wolves to boost elk herds

[Yesterday it was reported that Alaska killed 18 wolves to boost moose (for humans, of course), today, Idaho officials announced that they killed 19 wolves to boost elk herds (also for the benefit of humans). What’s next and when will it end?]

copyrighted Hayden wolf walking

LEWISTON, Idaho (AP) – Idaho officials say 19 wolves have been killed in northern Idaho in an effort to reduce wolf numbers and increase the elk population.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game on Monday announced the killings carried out last month by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services in the Lolo Hunting Zone.

Jerome Hansen of Fish and Game tells the Lewiston Tribune in Lewiston that elk numbers in the region have dropped dramatically over the past 26 years.

Fish and Game says the area had an estimated 16,000 elk in 1989 but that the agency now believes the population could be as low as 1,000.

More: http://www.ktvb.com/story/news/local/regional/2015/03/10/elk-wolves-killed/24697063/

Could Fewer Wolf Kills Mean Fewer Wolves?

Trappers in Montana have killed 77 gray wolves and hunters have shot 127 so far this winter — a total of 204 animals — as the season for the animals nears its end.copyrighted wolf in river

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks spokesman Ron Aasheim said the final tally for this winter’s wolf harvest is expected to fall short of the 230 wolves killed in the 2013-2014 season.

The trapping season closed Feb. 28, and Montana’s rifle hunting season for gray wolves ends March 15.

Six of the predators have been killed by landowners, under a new state law that allows wolves to be killed if they are considered a potential threat to livestock or human safety.

In neighboring, Idaho hunters have shot 113 of the animals so far this winter and trappers have killed 92.

The state’s total harvest of 205 wolves is well short of the prior year’s total of 302 animals killed.

Idaho’s wolf season ends March 31 for most of the state but continues year-round in some areas.

Wyoming did not have a wolf hunting season this winter. After losing their federal protections across the Northern Rockies in 2011 and 2012, wolves were put back on the endangered species list in Wyoming in September under a court order.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson sided with wildlife advocates who said Wyoming’s declaration of wolves as unprotected predators that could be shot on sight in most of the state afforded insufficient protection.

Legislation pending before Congress would nullify the judge’s decision.

There were 1,691 wolves in the Northern Rockies at the end of 2013, the most recent data available.

http://trib.com/news/state-and-regional/winter-wolf-harvests-trailing-in-northern-rockies-most-hunting-trapping/article_d585057d-f9b6-50f1-b661-e5e4f6be8006.html

Alberta Wolf Kill and “Collateral Damage”‏

Besides the 1000 wolves at least 163 cougars have been killed, along with 38 wolverine, etc. It also demonstrates what happpens when you allow habitat degradation to occur.

http://www.raincoast.org/2015/01/alberta-wolf-slaughter/

Alberta slaughters more than 1,000 wolves and hundreds of other animals

WARNING:  THIS A DISTURBING ACCOUNT OF ANIMAL SUFFERING AND SLAUGHTER

Killing wolves for

Published on 2015 · 01 · 10 by Raincoast
Raincoast scientists Dr. Paul Paquet and Dr. Chris Darimont, along with colleagues at the University of Saskatchewan, have published the paper “Maintaining Ethical Standards during Conservation Crises” in the journal Canadian Wildlife Biology and Management.  It  addresses the ethics and science of the  Alberta wolf cull as published in Canadian Journal of Zoology, November 2014.
Download this paper: Brook et al 2015 CWBM
Download the press release
The wolf kill
For the last few years, Raincoast has been sounding the alarm about the slaughter of wolves at the hands of the Alberta government.  This slaughter is a consequence of Alberta oil and gas development, and other industrial activities, that have endangered caribou.  The Alberta government and its resource industries have transformed the caribou’s boreal habitat into a landscape that can no longer provide the food, cover and security that these animals need to survive.  Rather than address this problem, Alberta has chosen to scapegoat wolves that are using a huge network of new roads and corridors to reach dwindling numbers of caribou.
For a decade now, the Alberta government has hired hitmen and biologists to kill wolves, more than 1,000 of them, through aerial gunning from helicopters, poisoning with strychnine, and allowing them to be strangled with neck snares.  They also trap and collar wolves that become “Judas wolves,” leading the gunners to the pack.  After shooting all but the collared wolf, the collared wolf then leads the gunners to more wolves and then watches as they too are slaughtered.
Not just wolves
In addition to aerial gunning, strychnine is set out to poison wolves.  Many other species that incidentally eat the poison also die. We do not have a death toll for the additional animals that died from poisoning. Neck snares, another form of torture and suffering, are also permitted.  Internal Alberta government documents show that up until 2012, neck snares were the primary cause of death for 676 animals, in addition to the wolves, around the Little Smokey region in Alberta. Note caribou, the reason for the wolf cull in the first place, are dying as incidental deaths in neck snares.
Number of animals/species that have died incidentally in Alberta’s wolf kill (up to 2012) near the Little Smokey region, primarily in neck snares.  Numbers obtained from internal Alberta government documents.
Black bear 12
Caribou 2
Cougar 163
Deer 62
Eagle (bald and golden) 40
Fisher 173
Fox 3
Grizzly bear 3
Goshawk 1
Lynx 70
Moose 12
Otter 73
Owls 12
Small mammals (marten, mink, skunk, squirrel, weasel) 12
Wolverine 38
TOTAL 676
Calling it science
In 2014, 5 authors (3 from Alberta government, 1 from University of Montana, 1 from University of Alberta) published a paper in the Canadian Journal of Zoology (CJZ) called Managing wolves to recover threatened caribou in Alberta.  This paper describes, condones, and implements the use of aerial gunning and strychnine poisoning as acceptable methods to undertake their study on caribou survival. Neck snares are not included in the journal study methods, despite their known use for killing wolves in the Little Smokey Region.
A response to this paper was published in the journal of Canadian Wildlife Biology and Management in February 2015  by Raincoast scientists and colleagues called “Maintaining Ethical Standards during Conservation Crises“.
The above response addresses the issue of ethics and animal welfare in science. Research on animals in Canadian universities and papers published in the CJZ must meet ethical standards from an animal care committee (nationally, the Canadian Council on Animal Care). Poisoning and aerial gunning (using Judas wolves)  do not meet these criteria.  Below is the call for proposal from the beginning of the study with the statement that the lethal methods being employed were approved according to protocols 008 and 009.  Also below are protocols 008 and 009 that show such activities are not permitted.  The objective of these protocols (specifically 9) is to enforce the humane treatment of animals and ensure minimal stress. In the event that a wolf is injured during a study it describes how euthanasia must occur.  A gun shot is explicit to extreme cases in close range where a single shot to the head causes instant death.  To imply such permits allow a wildlife slaughter is dishonest, at best.
Huffington Post Articles
Additional files for download

Hunting: The Sport of Psychopaths

From In Defense of Animals USA:

Hunting is a violent and cowardly form of outdoor “entertainment” that kills hundreds of millions of animals every year, many of whom are wounded and die a slow and painful death.

Hunters cause injuries, pain and suffering to defenseless animals, destroy their families and habitat, and leave terrified and dependent baby animals behind to starve to death. Because state wildlife agencies are primarily funded by hunting, trapping and fishing licenses, today’s wildlife management actively promotes the killing of wild animals, and joined by a powerful hunting lobby even sells wildlife trophy hunts to those who enjoy killing them.

Quick kills are rare, and many animals suffer prolonged, painful deaths when hunters severely injure but fail to kill them. Bow hunting exacerbates the problem, evidenced by dozens of scientific studies that have shown that bow hunting yields more than a 50 percent wounding and crippling rate. Some hunting groups promote shooting animals in the face or in the gut, which is a horrifically painful way to die.

Several states (AZ, ID, MT, OR, UT, WY) allow a spring bear hunt during the months when bears emerge from hibernation. These bears are not only still lethargic, which makes them easy targets for hunters, but many of the females are either pregnant or lactating. Mother bears are often shot while out and about foraging, while hiding their cubs in trees or leaving them in their dens. When mother bears are killed, their nursing cubs have little to no chance of survival as they will either starve or be killed by predators.

The stress that hunting inflicts on animals —the noise, the fear, and the constant chase—severely restricts their ability to eat adequately and store the fat and energy they need to survive the winter. Hunting also disrupts migration and hibernation, and the campfires, recreational vehicles and trash adversely affect both wildlife and the environment. For animals like wolves, who mate for life and have close-knit family units, hunting can destroy entire communities.

Hunting is not Sport

Hunting is often called a “sport,” to disguise a cruel, needless killing spree as a socially acceptable activity. However, the concept of sport involves competition between two consenting parties, adherence to rules and fairness ensured by an intervening referee, and achieving highest scores but not death as the goal of the sporting events. In hunting, the animal is forced to “participate” in a live-or-die situation that always leads to the death of the animal, whereas the hunter leaves, his/her life never remotely at stake.

Please read more:
http://www.idausa.org/campaigns/wild-free2/habitats-campaign/anti-hunting/

ஜ▬▬▬▬▬▬ஜ۩۞۩ஜ▬▬▬▬▬▬ஜ
They like living just like you. They feel horror just like you! They understand the meaning of cruelty! Give a voice to those who can’t speak for themselves. Help us! Join us! Share us! We animal lovers have the power – BE THE VOICE for these animals! If you agree that animals feel, suffer, love and the truth about their abuse should be exposed, please “like” our page. Thank you! https://www.facebook.com/pages/Animal-Cruelty-Exposed/363725540304160

HOW AND WHERE TO REPORT ANIMAL CRUELTY: https://www.facebook.com/390065024448379/photos/a.392092904245591.1073741848.390065024448379/392106330910915/?type=3&theater
ஜ▬▬▬▬▬▬ஜ۩۞۩ஜ▬▬▬▬▬▬ஜ See More

Photo: BLOODY SPORT</p>
<p>Hunting may have played an important role, next to plant gathering and scavenging, for human survival in prehistoric times, but the modern “sportsman” stalks and kills animals for “recreation.” Hunting is a violent and cowardly form of outdoor “entertainment” that kills hundreds of millions of animals every year, many of whom are wounded and die a slow and painful death.</p>
<p>Hunters cause injuries, pain and suffering to defenseless animals, destroy their families and habitat, and leave terrified and dependent baby animals behind to starve to death. Because state wildlife agencies are primarily funded by hunting, trapping and fishing licenses, today’s wildlife management actively promotes the killing of wild animals, and joined by a powerful hunting lobby even sells wildlife trophy hunts to those who enjoy killing them. </p>
<p>Quick kills are rare, and many animals suffer prolonged, painful deaths when hunters severely injure but fail to kill them. Bow hunting exacerbates the problem, evidenced by dozens of scientific studies that have shown that bow hunting yields more than a 50 percent wounding and crippling rate. Some hunting groups promote shooting animals in the face or in the gut, which is a horrifically painful way to die.</p>
<p>Several states (AZ, ID, MT, OR, UT, WY) allow a spring bear hunt during the months when bears emerge from hibernation. These bears are not only still lethargic, which makes them easy targets for hunters, but many of the females are either pregnant or lactating. Mother bears are often shot while out and about foraging, while hiding their cubs in trees or leaving them in their dens. When mother bears are killed, their nursing cubs have little to no chance of survival as they will either starve or be killed by predators.</p>
<p>The stress that hunting inflicts on animals —the noise, the fear, and the constant chase—severely restricts their ability to eat adequately and store the fat and energy they need to survive the winter. Hunting also disrupts migration and hibernation, and the campfires, recreational vehicles and trash adversely affect both wildlife and the environment. For animals like wolves, who mate for life and have close-knit family units, hunting can destroy entire communities.</p>
<p>Hunting is not Sport</p>
<p>Hunting is often called a “sport,” to disguise a cruel, needless killing spree as a socially acceptable activity. However, the concept of sport involves competition between two consenting parties, adherence to rules and fairness ensured by an intervening referee, and achieving highest scores but not death as the goal of the sporting events. In hunting, the animal is forced to “participate” in a live-or-die situation that always leads to the death of the animal, whereas the hunter leaves, his/her life never remotely at stake.</p>
<p>Please read more:<br />
<a href=http://www.idausa.org/campaigns/wild-free2/habitats-campaign/anti-hunting/

ஜ▬▬▬▬▬▬ஜ۩۞۩ஜ▬▬▬▬▬▬ஜ
They like living just like you. They feel horror just like you! They understand the meaning of cruelty! Give a voice to those who can't speak for themselves. Help us! Join us! Share us! We animal lovers have the power - BE THE VOICE for these animals! If you agree that animals feel, suffer, love and the truth about their abuse should be exposed, please “like” our page. Thank you! https://www.facebook.com/pages/Animal-Cruelty-Exposed/363725540304160

HOW AND WHERE TO REPORT ANIMAL CRUELTY: https://www.facebook.com/390065024448379/photos/a.392092904245591.1073741848.390065024448379/392106330910915/?type=3&theater
ஜ▬▬▬▬▬▬ஜ۩۞۩ஜ▬▬▬▬▬▬ஜ" width="504" height="346" />

Killing Canadian Wolves Violated Accepted Welfare Guidelines

Wed 2/11/15 6:15 PM

Killing Canadian Wolves Violated Accepted Welfare Guidelines

Killing Canadian Wolves Violated Accepted Welfare Guidelines

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on February 11, 2015 in Animal Emotions
A team of scientists has published an essay, just released today, that clearly shows that the killing spree by the Canadian government that resulted in the slaughter of 890 wolves should never have been conducted nor published because it violated clearly stated welfare guidelines. This new essay is a much-needed response to the horrific slaughter of the wolves.

Taxpayers Fund Mass Killing of Wolves in British Columbia

http://panampost.com/rebeca-morla/2015/02/04/taxpayers-fund-mass-killing-of-wolves-in-british-columbia/

As many as 184 wolves must be shot in British Columbia, Canada, in order to save the caribou, according to a statement from the provincial government. The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations announced plans on January 15 to address what they consider the threat of wolf predation in the areas of the South Selkirk Mountains and the South Peace, along the border of US states Washington and Idaho.

The caribou, one of Canada’s most recognized national symbols, “is at high risk of local extinction,” according to the ministry’s statement.

The government claims the South Selkirk caribou population declined from 46 in 2009 to just 18 as of March 2014, adding that “evidence points to wolves being the leading cause of mortality.”

The ministry further cites a joint-research project between officials from British Colombia, Washington and Idaho states, First Nations, the US Forest Service, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service, which found wolves killed two of the remaining caribou in the past 10 months.

Authorities also claim that in the area of South Pearce, inhabited by four caribou herds, at least 37 percent of all “adult [caribou] mortalities have been documented as wolf predation.”

In order to “remove” the wolves from these areas, the government will deploy “trained sharpshooters” to shoot the animals from a helicopter. The operation will cost overcopyrighted wolf in water US$500,000.

This latest wolf cull follows the killing of more than 1,000 wolves in the forests of Alberta, between 2005 and 2012, in an attempt to protect 100 caribou living there.

However, while the wolf hunt in Alberta stabilized caribou numbers in the region, it did not result in a population increase, according to a study published in November 2014 in the Canadian Journal of Zoology

The War on Wolves

Ian McAllister, conservation director for Pacific Wild, believes the government’s focus on wolves ignores the real issue concerning the caribou’s habitat.

“While the government is not moving forward to protect adequate amounts of habitat to save the caribou, they’re instead using wolves as a scapegoat and planning just a horrific level of aerial killing in the coming months,” McAllister said. “This is truly a war on wolves in British Columbia.”

McAllister, who started an online petition against the cull, told local newspaper the Province that the fundamental threat to caribou is human encroachment and the destruction of their natural environment.

“Killing every single wolf in this province will not save those caribou. But they’re killing wolves anyway. The wolves are being used as scapegoats.”

Moreover, McAllister argues that the government’s wolf cull violates the guidelines set forth by the Canadian Council on Animal Care regarding wild animal euthanasia.

According to the guidelines, the only “acceptable methods” for animal euthanasia produce “death with minimal pain and distress when used on conscious or sedated animals.”

“There’s no way they can kill that many wolves without missing shots and injuring animals,” McAllister told the Province. “You will have wounded wolves returning to ripped-apart family units … their suffering will be extreme.”

“Foolish and Inhumane”

David Shellenberger, a self-described advocate of international liberty and animal welfare, told the PanAm Post that the mass killing of wolves in British Columbia is typical of the government’s treatment of wolves and other predators.

“States almost always serve themselves and their cronies,” said Shellenberger. “When it comes to wolves, this means doing the bidding of the hunting and livestock industries. Governments also fear monger regarding wolves, exploiting ignorance and prejudice.”

Shellenberger further explained that wolves benefit prey species, including caribou, and argued that they are “essential to the general ecological health of habitats.”

“The decline of caribou,” he states, “is the result of government’s mismanagement of land; it is not the fault of wolves. Killing wolves is foolish and inhumane. Wolves are not only ecologically essential, but also intrinsically and economically valuable.”

There are more efficient ways to preserve caribou herds, says Shellenberger, without sacrificing other species. “The long-range answer for the health of the caribou population is better stewardship of land, ideally through the government giving ownership to conservation organizations or creating a trust structure.”

“An immediate possible answer,” he added, “is the farming of caribou.”

Edited by Guillermo Jimenez.

ID Wolf shooter turns down deal

http://www.cdapress.com/news/local_news/article_820326b1-aa8f-53ca-b1d6-692f105debc1.html

January 28, 2015 12:00 am | Updated: 12:31 am, Wed Jan 28, 2015.

COEUR d’ALENE – The man who shot a wolf on Rathdrum Mountain turned down a plea deal offered by Kootenai County prosecutors that would have had him pay a $200copyrighted wolf in river fine in exchange for a guilty plea.

He has opted instead for a jury trial.

“I said, ‘Nope,'” Forrest Mize said shortly after his arraignment Tuesday morning. Prosecutor Barry McHugh confirmed the offer was made.

Mize is representing himself on the misdemeanor charge of possessing a wolf without a tag. He doesn’t plan to hire an attorney at this stage.

“It’s going to be really hard to find a jury in North Idaho that finds me guilty for shooting a wolf to save my stinking dogs,” he said.

Mize, 53, shot the wolf Dec. 30 while he was out hiking in some fresh snow with his three dogs, all Labs, named Maggie, Jenny and Katie.

He was carrying a gun – a Kimber .22-caliber Hornet – with him for protection when he spotted the wolf, which he said looked like it was about to pounce on his pets. The dogs were 100 yards in front of him.

When he shot the wolf in the side through its heart, his three dogs were all close enough to be visible within the picture of his gun’s scope, he said.

He bought a wolf hunting tag later that day for $11.50 at a Rathdrum pharmacy. He is not a trophy hunter, he said, but wanted to keep the pelt.

According to Mize, two Idaho Department of Fish and Game officers showed up at his house a week after the shooting.

The officers, he said, were suspicious that he had purchased a wolf tag for 2014 on the next to the last day of the year, leaving him only one day to get a wolf.

At that point, he said, he admitted to having shot the wolf before buying the tag.

“I did the right thing, I just did it in the wrong order,” he said. “I’m not going to buy a tag (in advance), because I don’t hunt for wolves.”

He didn’t know there was a wolf near his home on the mountain.

Additionally, he said, he figured the officers would have some “understanding” for his perceived need to shoot the wolf in defense of his dogs.

Fish and Game declined a records request from The Press for any incident report that might have been created detailing the agency’s investigation findings.

Fish and Game confiscated the wolf’s pelt, which was already at a taxidermist, after finding Mize had killed the animal prior to purchasing a tag.

Wolf Murder Canadian Style Continues as if it’s Conservation

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/animal-emotions/201501/wolf-murder-canadian-style-continues-if-its-conservation

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on January 28, 2015 in Animal Emotions
The Canadian government plans to kill wolves once again to save caribou. An earlier murder escapade in Alberta didn’t work and there’s no reason to assume this one will. They even use collared “Judas” wolves to lead shooters to more wolves. The real problem is loss of habitat due to oil and gas development and logging. Some people just like to kill other animals for fun.

Groups Petition to Reclassify Gray Wolves to Threatened Status under Endangered Species Act

I haven’t had a chance to look into this yet, but this line, from an article entitled, “Finding Balance in the Wolf Wars” in the Huffington Post caught my eye: “Our plan respects the purpose and intent of the Endangered Species Act but gives a nod to the folks who want more active control options for wolves, especially ranchers,”

The wolf is in no way “recovered” in the lower 48; they should never have been downgraded from endangered. In 1885 5,500 wolves were killed in Montana alone. Now there’s less than 5,000 in the entire country…

copyrighted Hayden wolf in lodgepoles

Does anyone have any insights on this they want to share?

 

http://www.humanesociety.org/news/press_releases/2015/01/esa-threatened-gray-wolves-012715.html

 

January 27, 2015

 

Proposal presents a reasonable alternative to congressional delisting and a path to national recovery

Animal protection and conservation organizations petitioned  the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to reclassify gray wolves under the Endangered Species Act as threatened throughout the contiguous United States, with the exception of the Mexican gray wolf which remains listed as endangered. If adopted, the proposal would continue federal oversight and funding of wolf recovery efforts and encourage development of a national recovery plan for the species, but would also give the Fish and Wildlife Service regulatory flexibility to permit state and local wildlife managers to address specific wolf conflicts.

Gray wolves are currently protected as endangered throughout their range in the lower 48 states, except in Minnesota where they are listed as threatened and in Montana, Idaho and eastern Oregon and Washington where they have no Endangered Species Act protections. Some members of Congress are advocating for legislation to remove all protections for wolves under federal law by delisting the animal under the Endangered Species Act. The petition proposes an alternative path to finalizing wolf recovery based on the best available science, rather than politics and fear, and would help to find a balanced middle ground on a controversial issue that has been battled out in the courts and in states with diverse views among stakeholders on wolf conservation.

Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, said: “Several states have badly failed in their management of wolves, and their brand of reckless trapping, trophy hunting, and even hound hunting just has not been supported by the courts or by the American people. We do, however, understand the fears that some ranchers have about wolves, and we believe that maintaining federal protections while allowing more active management of human-wolf conflicts achieves the right balance for all key stakeholders and is consistent with the law.”

Wolf populations are still recovering from decades of persecution—government sponsored bounty programs resulted in mass extermination of wolves at the beginning of the last century, and the species was nearly eliminated from the landscape of the lower 48 states. Wolf number have increased substantially where the Endangered Species Act has been implemented, but recovery is still not complete, as the species only occupies as little as 5 percent of its historic range, and human-caused mortality continues to constitute the majority of documented wolf deaths.

Kierán Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity, said: “A Congressional end run around science and the Endangered Species Act will create more controversy and put wolves and the law itself in jeopardy. The better path is to downlist wolves to threatened, replace the failed piecemeal efforts of the past with a new science-based national recovery strategy,and bring communities together to determine how wolves will be returned to and managed in places where they once lived, like the Adirondacks, southern Rocky Mountains, Cascades and Sierra Nevada.”

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s piecemeal efforts to delist gray wolves in the northern Rockies and western Great Lakes have been roundly criticized by scientists and repeatedly rejected by multiple federal courts. In addition to denouncing the Service’s fragmented approach to wolf recovery, courts have recognized that several states have recklessly attempted to quickly and dramatically reduce wolf numbers through unnecessary and cruel hunting and trapping programs. The public does not support recreational and commercial killing of wolves, as evidenced by the recent decision by Michigan voters in the November 2014 election to reject sport hunting of wolves. Wolves are inedible, and only killed for their heads or fur.

Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA, said: “Complex conservation problems require sophisticated solutions. The history of wolf protection in America is riddled with vitriolic conflict and shortsightedness and it is time for a coordinated, forward-thinking approach that removes the most barbaric treatment of this iconic species and focuses on the long-term viability of wolf populations throughout the country.”

The threatened listing proposed by the petition would promote continued recovery of the species at a national level so that it is not left perpetually at the doorstep of extinction. A threatened listing would also permit the Fish and Wildlife Service some regulatory flexibility to work with state and local wildlife managers to appropriately address wolf conflicts, including depredation of livestock.

Groups filing the petition include national organizations and those based in wolf range states:

Born Free USA

Center for Biological Diversity

Detroit Audubon

Detroit Zoological Society

The Fund for Animals

Friends of Animals and Their Environment

Friends of the Wisconsin Wolf

Help Our Wolves Live

Howling for Wolves

The Humane Society of the United States

Justice for Wolves

Midwest Environmental Advocates

Minnesota Humane Society

Minnesota Voters for Animal Protection

National Wolfwatcher Coalition

Northwoods Alliance

Predator Defense

Sault Sainte Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians

Wildlife Public Trust and Coexistence

Wildwoods (Minnesota)

Wisconsin Federated Humane Societies

Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin

 

Also on: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/wayne-pacelle/finding-balance-in-the-wo_b_6558340.html