Let’s Clean Up Our Language…Cigarettes come in packs, wolves come in families!

by Oliver Starr

Like all of you, I was overjoyed to hear the extraordinary news that a new wolf family has made California their home. For the first time in nearly 100 years the howls of WILD WOLF PUPPIES are gracing the slopes of Mt Shasta! How fitting that such a picturesque location would host such an important guest.

But my joy quickly turned to dismay when I saw that once again, as a community, we are making a mistake in our collective use of language and this mistake is harming wolves.

People that know wolves are well aware that groups of wolves are families — not “gangs of associated animals”. The term “pack” as defined by Webster’s provides many meanings for the word; most of them negative, none of them having anything in common with the reality of wolves: http://www.dict.org/bin/Dict…*

When we use the term “pack” to refer to wolf families, we “de-humanize” the species and we diminish what they are. The use of the term “pack” when applied to wolves is not only biologically inaccurate, it plays into the hands of those that hate them. It’s one thing for “Wildlife Services” to say, they’re eliminating the Wedge Pack, then if they told the truth and said they were going in to kill the Wedge Family of Wolves.

Even as I write this, I am watching tweets appear announcing the “Shasta Pack” in Northern California, I’ve received at least half a dozen emails from NGO’s and seen more news items than I can count announcing the same thing.

But imagine the even more positive nature of this news if the headlines read like this instead:

“California Welcomes Shasta Wolf Family as Species Gains Ground in West”

“CDFW Reports New Wolf Family Confirmed Via Camera Trap: Meet The “Shasta’s”

“Shasta Family: newest wolves to grace the Siskiyou…”

It’s a small change in language but one that gives a vastly different impression. It’s also a distinction that’s factually true. We can help the wolf by taking control of this language and consistently bringing this point home.

I know there are many others among you that share this conviction, one I owe to the late Gordon Haber. So for Gordon and for the wolves, let’s take back the dialog and welcome all wolf families, but most especially the Shasta Wolf Family, home.

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First Wolf Pack in Decades Spotted in Northern California

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/wolf-pack-decades-spotted-northern-california-33212137

California Wolf Pack

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California has its first wolf pack since the state’s gray wolf population went extinct in 1924.

State and federal authorities announced Thursday that a remote camera captured photos earlier this month of two adults and five pups in southeastern Siskiyou County.

They were named the Shasta pack for nearby Mount Shasta.

The pack was discovered four years after the famous Oregon wandering wolf OR-7 first reached Northern California.

Karen Kovacs of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife said it was an amazing accomplishment for gray wolves to establish themselves in Northern California just 21 years after wolves were reintroduced in the Northern Rockies.

Those wolves eventually migrated into Oregon and Washington before reaching California, where they are protected by federal and state endangered species acts.

Just where these wolves, all black in color, came from will have to wait for DNA testing on scat at an Idaho lab, but it is likely they are a continuation of the increasing numbers of wolves migrating from Oregon’s northeastern corner to the southern Cascade Range, Kovacs said.

Though the wolves have been spotted by local ranchers tending their herds, there have been no reports of wolf attacks on livestock, Kovacs said.

Kirk Wilbur, government affairs director for the California Stockmens Association, said ranchers remain worried about the potential for losing animals to wolves as their numbers increase.

Amaroq Weiss, of the conservation group with Center for Biological Diversity, said she was more worried the wolves could fall victim to hunters as hunting season gets underway.

Anticipating that wolves would migrate into the state, California declared them an endangered species last year, but the state Fish and Wildlife Department does not expect to have a management plan in force until the end of this year, Kovacs said.

The department has no goals for how many wolves might eventually live in California and no idea how many once lived in the state, she added. California’s last known native wolf was killed in 1924 in neighboring Lassen County.

There are at least 5,500 gray wolves in the contiguous 48 states, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

A win for Idaho wolves‏

From Defenders.org

The Idaho Fish and Game Department has announced that no wolves will be killed in the federally-protected Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness during the winter of 2015-16.

The announcement comes after a lawsuit brought by Defenders and other conservation groups to stop the killing of wolves to boost elk populations in federally-protected wilderness lands like Frank Church Wilderness.

The Frank Church Wilderness is the largest national forest wilderness area in the Lower 48 States and a core habitat for gray wolves in the western United States. I know you share my view that wilderness should be managed as wilderness, not as a game farm for favored hunters and commercial outfitters.

The state has previously planned to kill up to 60 percent of the wolves living in Frank Church, in large part to artificially inflate elk numbers for hunters. Those wolves can breathe easier for another winter after this latest decision.

Still, it’s important to remember that this reprieve is only temporary and that we must remain vigilant in our efforts to defend wolves in Idaho.

But thanks to you and your support, Defenders will continue to work tirelessly to protect wolves throughout the Lower 48.

Thank you for your compassion and your continued partnership!

copyrighted wolf in river

Oregon’s Famous Wolf Welcomes More Pups

by

  • July 13, 2015

Oregon’s Famous Wolf Welcomes More Pups

Around this time last year, wolf advocates celebrated news that after traveling thousands of miles alone looking for love and a new home, Oregon’s famous lone wolf OR-7 had found a mate and welcomed a litter of pups into the world.

Now wolf advocates are celebrating confirmation that not only are the three known pups who were born last year thriving, but the family, now formally known as the Rogue Pack, has welcomed yet another litter this spring.

Remote cameras caught last year’s pups playing in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest in late June and officials collecting the cameras found pup scat in the area, which led to the recent confirmation of

Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/oregons-famous-wolf-welcomes-more-pups.html#ixzz3gvsOokze

Wildlife Services kills 5 wolves

Wolf

Wolf

A gray wolf patrols its territory in the mountains of Idaho.

 http://www.mtexpress.com/news/environment/wildlife-services-kills-wolves/article_2e2ac646-2507-11e5-b966-c32dd2a28611.html

Wednesday, July 8, 2015 4:00 am

Idaho Wildlife Services has killed five wolves due to two incidents of sheep depredation that occurred on BLM land at the head of Croy Canyon and two incidents of cattle depredation that occurred on private land about 10 miles northeast of Fairfield.

Wildlife Services director Todd Grimm said the Idaho Department of Fish and Game confirmed that wolves had killed a ewe and a lamb on May 26 and a second ewe on June 3. He said the department confirmed a wolf kill of a calf on June 24 and a probable wolf kill of a cow on July 3.

Grimm said three wolves were shot on May 28 and two were shot on June 4.

He said the sheep were attended by herders and guard dogs, but said he did not know whether any scare devices were employed. He said the agency does not release the names of livestock producers whose animals are involved in depredation incidents.

Local wolf advocate Lynne Stone, director of the Boulder White Clouds Council, said the wolves were part of the Red Warrior pack, which had been viewed by people this winter on the hillside opposite the Warm Springs base area. She said that at that time, the pack consisted of nine wolves, though the alpha female died before the depredation incidents occurred.

“These wolves were in a great place with lots of wild country,” she said. “Then in came the sheep and we lose the wolves.”

Stone contended that Wildlife Services was “jumping the gun” by using lethal means before giving other methods a chance to scare off the wolves.

“When one ewe and one lamb get killed, they go in with their airplanes and shoot the whole pack,” she said. “We’re not going to have wolves in Blaine County if this is what the sheep industry and Wildlife Services are going to continue to do.”

Grimm said that elsewhere in the state this season, Wildlife Services killed three wolves due to depredation incidents in the Pahsimeroi Valley and three near Cascade. In February, the federal agency killed 19 wolves in the Lolo zone in northern Idaho at the request of the Department of Fish and Game to boost a declining elk population there.

What if there were no Mexican gray wolves in Arizona?

http://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/op-ed/2015/07/04/mexican-gray-wolves-arizona/29643765/

What If: Paul Gosar, Defender of Wildlife debate the impact of the Mexican grey wolf in Arizona.

What would happen if there were no Mexican grey wolves in Arizona? We asked two experts to weigh in on federal programs to reintroduce the species

—————————–

IT WOULDN’T MAKE MUCH DIFFERENCE

Arizona would be identical to Texas in that respect and the Mexican wolf population would more closely resemble its historic range (90 percent of the Mexican wolf’s original habitat is in Mexico).

However, I am not advocating for Mexican gray wolf eradication. I simply want the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to leave species conservation efforts to the states, to comply with federal law, and to stop implementing a flawed experimental program that poses a serious threat to Arizona ranchers, citizens and economies.

Mexican wolves have repeatedly stalked citizens, devastated big game herds and killed livestock. In Catron County, N.M., the wolf’s presence has resulted in a $5 million economic hit and “1,172 calves lost annually,” according to the Southwest Center for Resource Analysis.

In January, Fish and Wildlife implemented new regulations that dramatically expanded the area Mexican wolves can roam and designated the wolf as an endangered subspecies. The agency acknowledged its failure to secure appropriations prior to implementing the new regs, in violation of federal law.

The Mexican wolf has lingered on the Endangered Species list for nearly 40 years. During that time, Fish and Wildlife has failed to work with local stakeholders and has been using an illegal recovery program, as it is not based on the best available science and fails to establish a recovery goal. Arizona recently sued as a result.

The agency has acknowledged the recovery plan violates federal law and that the new regulations will not result in a de-listing. In the U.S., the Mexican wolf population now exceeds the primary goal of 100 wolves, and there are another 250 in captivity. The wolf is no longer in danger of extinction.

The bipartisan Mexican Wolf Transparency and Accountability Act rejects the new January mandates as Arizonans deserve a viable solution that adequately protects local communities.

U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar is a Republican representing Arizona.

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IT WOULD BE A TRAGEDY

If there were no Mexican gray wolves in Arizona, this rarest gray wolf would be on a direct path to extinction. Essentially eradicated from the southwestern United States by the 1930s, the Mexican gray wolf It is one of the most endangered mammals in North America. There are fewer than 120 wild Mexican gray wolves in the entire world: 109 in Arizona and New Mexico and a handful in Mexico.

Why does that matter? Lobos hold profound cultural significance in our region, and are important apex predators that contribute to the environmental health of the areas they inhabit. Sadly, despite the work that has been done to recover them, the Mexican gray wolf is still noticeably rare on our beautiful landscape in Arizona. The truth is, Without lobos, Arizona would not be safer or more productive, but it would be lacking an iconic part of our heritage.

No one has ever been killed by a Mexican gray wolf, and in Arizona, wolves account for less than 1 percent of total cattle and calf losses. On the other hand, 87 percent of voters polled in Arizona agree that wolves are a “vital part of America’s wilderness and natural heritage,” and 83 percent of Arizonans agree that “the US Fish and Wildlife Service should make every effort to help wolves recover and prevent extinction.”

To lose the lobo would be a tragedy of our lifetime.

Eva Sargent is Southwest program director for Defenders of Wildlife.

Wolves and Baboons in Ethiopia Form Unlikely Friendships

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https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/animal-emotions/201506/wolves-and-baboons-in-ethiopia-form-unlikely-friendships

Wolves show an increase in capturing rodents when within a gelada baboon herd
Post published by Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on Jun 19, 2015 in Animal Emotions

There are always surprises looming in the study of animal behavior. Just this week I learned that rare and critically endangered Ethiopian wolves living in the alpine grasslands form a pact with gelada baboons that helps the wolves catch rodents.

In an essay called “Monkeys’ cosy alliance with wolves looks like domestication (link is external)” by Bob Holmes in New Scientist we learn that “wolves succeeded in 67 per cent of attempts [to catch rodents] when within a gelada herd, but only 25 per cent of the time when on their own.” However, it’s not clear what makes the wolves more successful but it’s possible that hiding out in the herd is beneficial for these predators. (The title of Mr. Holmes’ essay in the print edition of New Scientist is titled “Wolves hang out with monkeys to hunt.”)

Mr. Holmes’ summary is based on a report by Dartmouth College’s Vivek Venkataraman and his colleagues titled “Solitary Ethiopian wolves increase predation success on rodents when among grazing gelada monkey herds (link is external)” published in the Journal of Mammalogy. The abstract of this study reads: “Mixed-species associations generally form to increase foraging success or to aid in the detection and deterrence of predators. While mixed-species associations are common among mammals, those involving carnivorous predators and potential prey species are seldom reported. On the Guassa Plateau, in the Ethiopian highlands, we observed solitary Ethiopian wolves (Canis simensis) foraging for rodents among grazing gelada monkey (Theropithecus gelada) herds. The tolerant and sometimes prolonged (> 1h) associations contrasted with the defensive behaviors exhibited by geladas toward other potential predators. Ethiopian wolves spent a higher proportion of time foraging and preyed more successfully on rodents when among geladas than when alone, providing evidence that gelada herds increase the vulnerability of subterranean rodents to predation. Ethiopian wolves appear to habituate gelada herds to their presence through nonthreatening behavior, thereby foregoing opportunistic foraging opportunities upon vulnerable juvenile geladas in order to feed more effectively on rodents. For Ethiopian wolves, establishing proximity to geladas as foraging commensals could be an adaptive strategy to elevate foraging success. The novel dynamics documented here shed light on the ecological circumstances that contribute to the stability of mixed groups of predators and potential prey.”

What’s very interesting is that the wolves don’t prey on the vulnerable baboons. To wit, “Only once has Venkataraman seen a wolf seize a young gelada, and other monkeys quickly attacked it and forced it to drop the infant, then drove the offending wolf away and prevented it from returning later.”

What I also found to be of interest is the speculation that the association between the wolves and the baboons resembled early moments in the domestication of dogs by humans. In a sidebar to the above essay called “Taming man’s best friend,” University of Oxford conservation biologist Claudio Sillero “doubts that the relationship could progress further down the road to domestication” because there is no reciprocal benefit for the baboons. Nonetheless, the association between the wolves and baboons is extremely interesting and “unlikely friendships (link is external)” such as these might be more common than we have previously imagined among wild animals. (For more on the domestication of dogs please see essays published by Psychology Today writer Mark Derr, an expert on this topic.)

Please stay tuned for more on the fascinating lives of the magnificent animals with whom we share our wondrous planet. There still is much to learn and there always are “surprises” looming on the horizon.

Marc Bekoff’s latest books are Jasper’s story: Saving moon bears (with Jill Robinson), Ignoring nature no more: The case for compassionate conservationWhy dogs hump and bees get depressed, and Rewilding our hearts: Building pathways of compassion and coexistence.

Who Really Are the Predators?

by Rosemary Lowe

A quote from this article:  https://exposingthebiggame.wordpress.com/2015/06/11/ranchers-mourn-wildlife-employees-killed-in-plane-crash/,  clearly indicates just how wide spread the massive slaughter of native carnivores is all over NM:
“Ranchers across New Mexico are mourning the two men, who were working for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services branch at the time of the crash. Ranchers say they would often turn to Hobbs and Tunnell for help in protecting their cattle and sheep from predators.”
As a dedicated wildlife activist, I will never back down from my belief (from years of witnessing  the decline of native wildlife due to ranching and hunting activities), that if we truly wish to save native wildlife, here is what we must work for:
1. Dedicate our efforts to Abolishing NM Game & Fish.  Sorry, reform or restructuring will not be sufficient, due to the intrinsic corruption in this agency.
2. Work tirelessly to End Livestock Grazing on Public Lands. If the Mexican Wolf “recovery program” is anything, it is a failed project.Why? Any wildlife reintroduction or protection plan that includes the infamous “Wildlife Services” as a lead player in such programs, is bound to failure, and the wolves will continue to die, under the this barbaric approach, which works for the livestock industry.
3. Wolves, and other so-called “predators” must be given priority for protection,, over any livestock grazing, with clear emphasis on Preservation of these species, along with their habitats. Ranchers will just have to get along with grazing on private lands.
I plan to be at the Saturday Taos, NM Game Meeting and Rally. But, I do not plan to appease these game biostitutes, ranchers or hunters.
Those who would like to get serious about this issue, let’s plan to get together. I have been before these agencies for many years. Things are only getting worse for the wildlife. Isn’t time we do something different?
For The Wild Ones,
Rosemary Lowe   www.foranimals.org

NYT Opinion: Tapping Your Inner Wolf

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/06/06/opinion/tapping-your-inner-wolf.html?smprod=nytcore-iphone&post_id=10152945300261188_10152945300256188#_=_

MEN often face pressure to measure up as alpha males, to “wolf up” as it were. Alpha male connotes the man who at every moment demonstrates that he’s in total control in the home, and who away from home can become snarling and aggressive.

This alpha male stereotype comes from a misunderstanding of the real thing. In fact, the male wolf is an exemplary male role model. By observing wolves in free-living packs in Yellowstone National Park, I’ve seen that the leadership of the ranking male is not forced, not domineering and not aggressive to those on his team.

“The main characteristic of an alpha male wolf,” the veteran wolf researcher Rick McIntyre told me as we were watching gray wolves, “is a quiet confidence, quiet self-assurance. You know what you need to do; you know what’s best for your pack. You lead by example. You’re very comfortable with that. You have a calming effect.”

The point is, alpha males are not aggressive. They don’t need to be. “Think of an emotionally secure man, or a great champion. Whatever he needed to prove is already proven,” he said.

[I lived next door to Rick McItyre, just outside Yellowstone. His description of alpha male wolves matches the Hayden Pack’s alpha male I wrote about in my book, Exposing the Big Game, Jim]

Niv Bavarsky

There is an evolutionary logic to it.

“Imagine two wolf packs, or two human tribes,” Mr. McIntyre said. “Which is more likely to survive and reproduce? The one whose members are more cooperative, more sharing, less violent with one another; or the group whose members are beating each other up and competing with one another?”

Mr. McIntyre has spent 20 years watching and studying wolves in Yellowstone for the National Park Service. He rises early, uses radio telemetry to pinpoint the location of a pack with a radio-collared member, then heads out with his spotting scope to observe them, keeping careful notes of their activities.

In all that time, he has rarely seen an alpha male act aggressively toward the pack’s other members. They are his family — his mate, offspring (both biological and adopted) and maybe a sibling.

This does not mean that alpha males are not tough when they need to be. One famous wolf in Yellowstone whose radio collar number, 21, became his name, was considered a “super wolf” by the people who closely observed the arc of his life. He was fierce in defense of family and apparently never lost a fight with a rival pack. Yet within his own pack, one of his favorite things was to wrestle with little pups.

“And what he really loved to do was to pretend to lose. He just got a huge kick out of it,” Mr. McIntyre said.

One year, a pup was a bit sickly. The other pups seemed to be afraid of him and wouldn’t play with him. Once, after delivering food for the small pups, 21 stood looking around for something. Soon he started wagging his tail. He’d been looking for the sickly little pup, and he just went over to hang out with him for a while.

Of all Mr. McIntyre’s stories about the super wolf, that’s his favorite. Strength impresses us. But kindness is what we remember best.

If you watch wolves, it’s hard to escape the conclusion that perhaps no two species are more alike behaviorally than wolves and humans. Living as we do in families, we can easily recognize the social structures and status quests in wolf packs. No wonder Native Americans recognized in wolves a sibling spirit.

The similarities between male wolves and male humans can be quite striking. Males of very few other species help procure food year-round for the entire family, assist in raising their young to full maturity and defend their packs year-round against others of their species who threaten their safety. Male wolves appear to stick more with that program than their human counterparts do.

Biologists used to consider the alpha male the undisputed boss. But now they recognize two hierarchies at work in wolf packs — one for the males, the other for the females.

Doug Smith, the biologist who is the project leader for the Yellowstone Gray Wolf Restoration Project, said the females “do most of the decision making” for the pack, including where to travel, when to rest and when to hunt. The matriarch’s personality can set the tone for the whole pack, Dr. Smith said.

Or, as Mr. McIntyre put it: “It’s the alpha female who really runs the show.”

Clearly, our alpha male stereotype could use a corrective makeover. Men can learn a thing or two from real wolves: less snarl, more quiet confidence, leading by example, faithful devotion in the care and defense of families, respect for females and a sharing of responsibilities. That’s really what wolfing up should mean.☐

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