Wolves are coming; Regional meeting held in Quincy to alert ranchers

Crying Wolf Too Much

http://www.all-creatures.org/articles/ar-crying-wolf.html
An Animal Rights Article from All-Creatures.org

FROM

Dr. Michael W. Fox
November 2016

Regardless of the concerted public education and conservation efforts over the past several decades in which I participated, the wolf continues to be subjected to continued persecution and even betrayal by state and federal authorities who voice empty rhetoric of conservation but practice wolf management as a form of exploitation and when called for, extermination by any and all means. The morality of exploiting such a highly intelligent, sociable and empathic species as a valuable recreational hunter’s trophy and commercial trapper’s prized fur has no sound justification or ethical validity.

wolf family
The wolf pack is a family-based society: cubs at den greet mother (foreground) and yearlings. Fox archives.

“Every creature is better alive than dead, men and moose and pine trees, and he who understands it aright will rather preserve its life than destroy it”. —Henry David Thoreau

After coming from Washington DC in 2004 with my wife Deanna Krantz to care for her parents in Minnesota, I did not expect to come to live in a State where I would once again confront some of the same advocates of ‘managed” wolf hunting and trapping whom I, along with others had successfully convinced, (over their objections and “science”-based rationalizations) our Federal Government to protect the wolf under the Endangered Species Act back in the 1970s.. This and other acts to protect the wild heritage of North America, which indigenous and other peoples call sacred, as well as the right of all citizens to a healthy environment which is dependent upon and managed by wolves and other species, plant and animal, whose protected communities and enhanced biodiversity helps us secure purer water, cleaner air, reduce climate change and prevent the emergence of Lyme and other diseases. Having studied wolves and the pack-hunting Dhole or Asiatic wild dog in-field in India, and I have experienced the kind of love that can be shared with a socialized and trusting wild canid, be he/she a wolf or any other non-domesticated canid species (including those whom I have known, from Artic and Kit, Red, Grey and Swift foxes to Asiatic Jackals, Kansas coyotes, dingoes, wolf-dog and coyote-dog hybrids. It is the kind of love that I have been gifted by wolves that inspires, informs and creates a bond of mutual respect and trust. It also empowers millions of people who have had less intimacy with wolves than I, to decry their continued persecution, suffering and exploitation.

Love is indeed a four-letter word, used by those who love the great outdoors to go hunt and trap as well as those who care. But love does not make right or can claim any right until it speaks for another, and the rights of that Other. Philosopher Martin Buber identified such love as the I-Thou relationship which he say as our salvation from ourselves!

Regardless of the concerted public education and conservation efforts over the past several decades in which I participated, the wolf continues to be subjected to continued persecution and even betrayal by state and federal authorities who voice empty rhetoric of conservation but practice wolf management as a form of exploitation and when called for, extermination by any and all means. The morality of exploiting such a highly intelligent, sociable and empathic species as a valuable recreational hunter’s trophy and commercial trapper’s prized fur has no sound justification or ethical validity.

The harmful consequences of such killing include great suffering for wolves caught in traps and snares and for those shot and injured but not immediately killed, and harm to their family-packs from social disruption, reduced hunting success and yes, the grieving of surviving mates. Harmful ecological consequences are highly probable, notably deer herd health, which wolves help maintain, and coyote insurgence leading to loss of red fox and other smaller predators that help control rodent reservoirs of tick-born Lyme disease and Babesiosis which are becoming a serious public health concern. Commercial trappers add to the problem killing thousands of red fox, bobcat and other small “fur-bearer” predators.

Those many other people who are not incapable of putting themselves in the wolf’s place, along with those wolf biologists and other scientists who value the wolf primarily as a species playing a vital role in maintaining healthy ecosystems and restoring biodiversity, succeeded in putting an end to this extermination by having the federal government put the Gray wolf on the endangered species list in 1974. But eventually the federal government (Dept. of Interior’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) caved-in to pressure from various states, vested interest groups such as cattle ranchers and deer hunters, and was swayed by state and federal number-crunching Minnesota-based federal (Dept. of the Interior U.S. Geological Survey) wolf management biologist and trapper David Mech, PhD, who speaks the distancing and sentience- denying language of “harvesting sustainably managed wolf populations”.

Once the wolf was de-listed and put under state management, there was no guarantee of sustainable harvesting. On the contrary, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MN DNR) reported that in the 2012-2013 season 413 wolves were killed by 6,000 permit holders, with a further 298 being killed by state and federal trappers, and a reported additional 16 killed by farmers and property owners—a total of 712 individuals. This is close to one quarter of the state’s estimated population of 3,000 wolves. Wolf biologists estimate that a 35% or more population reduction could seriously impair wolf population sustainability and that 75% of the population would have to be exterminated through sport hunting and trapping to reduce the incidence of wolves killing livestock. Trophy hunting and commercial trapping will not reduce livestock depredations unless kill quotas are so high as to jeopardize wolf pack recovery. It is a form of wildlife farming, rather than seeking to maximize species diversity for optimal ecosystem integrity and health. Wildlife agencies contend that the best way to protect the wolf is to manage it as a trophy species and valuable fur-bearer with strictly enforced annual kill quotas. But there is no scientifically valid reason for not continuing to prohibit all such killing for the good of the ecosystems where wolves once flourished across much of the country and are now in dire need of CPR—conservation, protection and restoration with wolves fulfilling their biological purpose. From this latter perspective, the Western and Eastern Gray wolf populations in North America have certainly not recovered, a far greater number being needed to help maximize species diversity and the restoration and recovery of ecosystem integrity and health.

With the MN DNR having identified 590 plant and animal species that may be endangered and on the way to extinction (Star Tribune, Aug 20th 2013) it is significant that DNR’s endangered species coordinator Richard Baker is quoted: “We’ve got to learn how to manage at a larger scale”.

Reporter Dennis Anderson’s Outdoors article “The Time Was Right” ( Star Tribune Dec 2, 2012)— to start the Minnesota wolf hunting and trapping season, lambastes those who buy into the “fatuous fact dalliance” of opponents. Ethical questions aside, the facts that he and others offer, such as increased wolf numbers and high livestock losses from wolf predation, fail to support any biological justification for wolf “control” through DNR-managed “harvesting” by lottery-winning recreational hunters and commercial trappers. There are those who say that since wolf numbers are up we can start killing them again without harming the population are surely guilty of the kind of “fatuous fact dalliance” by which they seek to discredit their opponents. One basic fact is that deer numbers as well as wolf numbers have both increased over the past decade in Minnesota when the wolves were under federal protection. Science supports the in-field evidence that thanks to the wolves, the ecosystem is healthier with more rather than fewer wolves. Their role in helping control the spread of chronic wasting disease in deer, elk and moose, and possibly Lyme disease, cannot be dismissed. Trophy hunting and commercial trapping will not reduce livestock depredations unless kill quotas are so high as to jeopardize wolf pack recovery.

Outdoors reporter Doug Smith (“It’s open season on rules for wolf hunt” Star Tribune May 22,2012), quotes David Mech that the MN DNR’s wolf hunting and trapping plan is “well-designed, won’t hurt the wolf population and should benefit both wolves and residents.” Thinking of animals as individuals rather than as populations is evidently beyond the scope of the kind of wildlife management science Dr. Mech, with whom I have flown and hiked in the northern woods to spot these elusive animals, is advocating. Otherwise who could conclude that killing a wolf ‘quota’ of an agreed-upon 400 wolves from a possibly over-estimated population of 3,000 in the state of Minnesota should “ultimately benefit wolves and residents”? Livestock owners were already being compensated for losses due to wolf predation, also being allowed to shoot wolves on their property or the wolves were trapped and killed by Mech and other licensed federal predator control agents.

Minnesota’s “Big Picture Environmentalist” Greg Breining points to the revenues from legal wolf hunting in Idaho and Montana, writing that the “sale of tags for first ever sporting seasons on wolves in 2009 generated $326,000 for Montana’s game agency and $423,000 in Idaho. —Unfortunately the exercise was short-lived, as yet another lawsuit put the western wolf back on the endangered species list.” (Star Tribune, “The wolf survives (IN NUMBERS STRONG ENOUGH TO BE HUNTED)” Jan 2, 2011, Opinion Exchange.)

MN DNR wolf monitors estimate that wolves take 10-13% of the 450,000 White -tailed deer, 45-57,000 annually, compared to the 180,000 or so killed by humans who do not take the very young, old, sick, injured, or nutritionally compromised deer, which the wolves do. Wolves contribute to the “extraordinary population performance of white-tailed deer in most of northern Minnesota,” according to the MN DNR wolf website. Clearly it would be detrimental to the health of the deer to have the wolf population seasonally decimated by hunters and trappers. But the MN Deer Hunters Association called for a doubling of the wolf hunting quota set by the DNR for the 2012-3 season. In 2012 the DNR depopulated whitetail deer excessively in some areas. This certainly meant some wolves starved to death, many reported being ravaged by mange, or turned to killing livestock.

Minnesota State DNR wolf biologist Dan Stark attributes wolf predation on livestock as being due to the diseases and hard winters reducing the deer population, the wolves’ primary food source (Star Tribune, ‘Gray wolf protection ending’ Dec 22, 2011), no mention being made of how many deer are killed by humans. In this same news article David Mech states “It’s tough” to find, shoot or trap wolves, his crew catching 18 wolves during the past summer of a total averaging 200 wolves trapped annually for preying on domestic animals in Minnesota by federally contracted wildlife employees. Nick Wognum, writing in The Ely Echo, Dec 24, 2011, states: “Dave Mech, senior research scientist for the U.S. Geological Survey said the timing of the wolf hunting season, provisionally set for late November through early January, after the end of the firearms deer season, will not likely impact wolves and pups. “We conducted studies in the 1970s where we translocated wolf pups as young as four months old,” said Mech. “Those animals did not have the benefit of being raised by parents and they all did well, they survived”. Mech said a wolf’s ability to survive is innate and not taught by parents, similar to a domestic cat or dog killing a mouse or rabbit. Asked if he had concerns on the wolf population with a hunting season, Mech said, “No, none.”

As a wolf ethologist who has studied their development and social organization I find Mech’s comments misleading and disturbing, as well as his apparent disregard for the social and emotional bonds and dynamics of the wolf pack as an extended nuclear family. Four-month old wolves still have their milk teeth, they are physically immature with extremely limited hunting speed and skill, and could easily fall prey to larger predators. Furthermore, they are not so innately programmed when it comes to killing large prey like deer and moose, which takes much learning through observation and pack collaboration and highly evolved inter-communication.

New male and female wolves confirmed living in rural California

http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/article112147427.html

Wolf And Coyote Traps Are Killing Grizzly Bears

trrapped-wolf-facebook

Coauthored by: Dwight Rodtka ­ Predator Control Specialist, Alberta Agriculture (retired) and
Sadie Parr ­ Executive Director Wolf Awareness Inc.

In Alberta, the grizzly bear has been listed as a Threatened species under Alberta’s Wildlife Act since 2010, and the provincial government has implementedmanagement measures to increase its numbers.

Hunting of grizzly bears is no longer allowed, and education promoting conflict prevention and coexistence among humans has been put into action.

However, there remains one important source of bear mortality which the government recognizes but has done little to eliminate: baited killing snares set for the capture of wolves and coyotes. Grizzlies are extremely susceptible to being caught in wolf or coyote killing snares. Although there are designated areas and seasons to protect grizzlies from falling victim to snares, these are quite ineffective in protecting bears.

As per the current Alberta Guide to Trapping Regulations, trappers are allowed to set out bait piles, usually including hunter kill scraps and road-killed animals. Snares set around bait stations are neither selective nor humane, and they kill or cripple whatever may be attracted to the bait pile. Snares are also commonly set on game trails with disastrous results.

“Non-target” catches are common, and often referred to as “by-catch”. Last winter, inSundre, Alberta, a minimum of fifteen cougars, several deer, a horse, and two eagles were accidentally caught in snares set for wolves and coyotes.

In another incident investigated by Dwight Rodtka, a retired Predator Control Specialist of 38 years for Alberta Agriculture, 12-15 wolf snares set in the Rocky Mountain House area, Alberta, captured and killed, within one week: a wolf pup, a deer, an adult black bear, and an adult grizzly bear.

Current legislation does not even require the reporting of nontarget species. Unfortunately, when bears are seeking the highest amount of calories in fall to ensure survival through the winter, a stage called hyperphagia, finding a bait pile is like hitting the jackpot. When snares are set, however, finding a bait pile also means death.

Snaring wolves is considered a recreational pursuit (i.e., trophy hunting) for trappers today and a source of income. Since 2007, the Alberta Wild Sheep Foundation and other private groups have funded bounties of $300 $350 per dead wolf.

Hundreds upon hundreds of wolves are killed every year for this bounty that also causes the by-catch death of grizzly bears and countless other animals. In this new millennium, Canada has returned to the old adage of “shoot, shovel, and shut up.”

Not only is the province intentionally allowing the squander of wolves and coyotes, both of which have important roles in maintaining balance and diversity in nature, but it is also blatantly allowing harm and death to threatened grizzly bears.

Alberta’s trapping regulations have established “seasonal snaring restrictions” in an effort to “reduce the potential for accidental harvest [KILLING] of grizzly bears”.

Unfortunately for the grizzlies, Alberta’s Trapping Regulations do not seem to take in account nor know about grizzly bear behavior, as snaring is allowed in many Wildlife Management Units when bears are still active.

Many units along the Eastern Slopes, Rocky Mountain Foothills, National Parks, and farmland are open for snaring from October 1 March 31. However, grizzlies commonly den in December and are often out on the landscape again in March. In other words, snaring occurs when bears may be at risk of being captured.

Dwight Rodtka lives in Wildlife Management Unit 324 where grizzlies are common. Each year, Rodtka sees 2-7 different grizzlies on his property, usually from March 19 to December 9. Clearly, grizzlies are exposed to killing snares for no reason other than the government’s desire to kill as many wolves and coyotes as possible.

Snaring wolves and coyotes in these wildlife management units where grizzly bears are active results in the loss of animals and the further endangerment of the species.

State Stops Wolf Kill For Now as Grazing Season Ends

http://www.chronline.com/state-stops-wolf-kill-for-now-as-grazing-season-ends/article_a992da98-96e5-11e6-ba2e-cbfaf9dbc2be.html

Thursday, October 20, 2016 9:53 am

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife has stopped its hunt for the Profanity Peak wolf pack now that the grazing season on public lands in the Colville National Forest is over for the year.

Agency Director Jim Unsworth lifted his previous order to kill off the pack Wednesday. The department, though, will continue to monitor the four remaining wolves in the pack, an adult female and three young, and target them again if they harm livestock this year.

The pack once numbered 12 wolves. Since Aug. 5, state wildlife staff members have shot and killed seven members of the pack. Another wolf, a pup, is presumed to have died of natural causes.

In all, the department documented 15 dead or injured cows. Of those, 10 were confirmed to have been preyed upon by wolves. The other five probably were, according to the department.

The pack is one of 19 documented in the state so far. Most are in the eastern third of the state, where they are not protected by the federal Endangered Species Act.

Under state policy, the department can take lethal action against wolves if its field staff confirm four or more attacks on livestock in a calendar year, or six or more in two consecutive calendar years.

According to the department, ranchers in the area used by the Profanity Peak pack moved cattle onto public lands for grazing in early June. The wildlife department captured two adult members of the pack and fitted them with GPS radio collars, allowing the department to monitor the pack’s movements. By July 8, the department confirmed the first calf kill.

It was no surprise to some: Ranchers and local officials in Ferry County predicted problems with the pack, and in 2014 called for the pack’s elimination, according to the Stevens County Cattlemen’s Association.

The state is targeting the pack at public expense — as yet uncounted — to protect cattle grazing by ranchers on public lands and has raised a storm of controversy in Washington and beyond that has yet to subside.

The department promises a final report on its actions with regard to the pack next month.

Meanwhile, wolf recovery is expected to build in Washington.

Wolves were trapped, poisoned and hunted out of existence in Washington in the early 1900s, in part by ranchers to keep them away from sheep and cattle. Wolves began recolonizing the state in 2008, when the first packs were confirmed in Washington, from populations in Idaho and British Columbia.

There were about 90 wolves in the state as of early 2016, most of them documented in packs in Northeastern Washington.

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WDFW suspends lethal action against Profanity Peak wolf pack

 

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OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has suspended its pursuit of the remaining members of a wolf pack that preyed on cattle throughout the summer in northeast Washington.

 

WDFW Director Jim Unsworth today lifted his previous order authorizing staff to take lethal action to stop predation by the Profanity Peak wolf pack now that most livestock are being moved off federal grazing allotments in the Colville National Forest.

 

He noted, however, that the department will continue to monitor the four remaining wolves – an adult female and three juveniles – and will renew efforts to remove wolves if they resume preying on livestock this year.

 

“The goal of our action was to stop predations on livestock in the near future,” Unsworth said. “With the pack reduced in size from 12 members to four and most livestock off the grazing allotments, the likelihood of depredations in the near future is low.”

 

Since Aug. 5, state wildlife managers have shot and killed seven members of the pack after non-lethal deterrence measures failed to stop the pack from preying on cattle in the grazing area in Ferry County. Another wolf, a pup, is presumed to have died of natural causes.

 

As of Oct. 3, WDFW had documented 15 dead or injured cattle, including 10 confirmed and five probable wolf depredations.

 

The Profanity Peak pack is one of 19 wolf packs documented in Washington earlier this year. Sixteen of those packs – including four identified since the previous year – are located in the eastern third of the state, where wolves were delisted from the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 2009.

 

Unsworth said the department’s action against the Profanity Peak pack was consistent with both the state’s Wolf Conservation and Management Plan and a new protocol for the lethal removal of wolves developed this year by WDFW in conjunction with an 18-member advisory group composed of environmentalists, livestock producers and hunters.

 

Under that protocol, WDFW can take lethal action against wolves only if field staff confirms four or more attacks on livestock within a calendar year, or six or more attacks within two consecutive calendar years. The protocol also requires ranchers to employ specified non-lethal measures designed to deter wolves from preying on their livestock before WDFW will take lethal action against wolves.

 

Donny Martorello, WDFW wolf policy lead, said both of the ranchers who lost livestock to the Profanity Peak pack met that requirement by using range riders to help keep watch over their herds, and by removing or securing cattle carcasses to avoid attracting wolves. One rancher, he said, also turned his calves out to pasture at a higher weight to improve their chance of surviving an attack by predators.

 

Once the number of dead and injured cattle reached the threshold for lethal action, WDFW took incremental steps to remove wolves from the pack, as specified in the protocol.

 

Key events in the department’s involvement with the Profanity Peak pack include:

 

  • Early June: Ranchers arrived with their livestock on federal grazing allotments. WDFW field staff captured two adult members of the Profanity Peak pack and fitted them with GPS radio-collars, allowing the department to monitor the pack’s movements.

 

  • July 8: WDFW confirmed the first calf killed by wolves.

 

  • July 12: WDFW documented two probable wolf attacks, one of which was on a second rancher’s allotment.

 

  • Aug. 3: WDFW confirmed the fourth and fifth wolf attack on cattle and documented three probable wolf attacks. Per the protocol, the WDFW director authorized staff to remove some members of the pack to deter further depredation.

 

  • Aug. 5: WDFW removed two female wolves from the Profanity Peak pack.

 

  • Aug.18-19: The director ended his authorization for lethal removal after 14 days without a depredation. The next day, he authorized the removal of up to the full pack after field staff documented four more wolf attacks, two confirmed and two probable.

 

  • Aug. 21-Sept. 29: WDFW removed five more wolves from the Profanity Peak pack.

 

  • Oct 3: WDFW documented the last depredation on cattle by the Profanity Peak pack.

 

  • Oct 18: WDFW suspended lethal removal of wolves in the Profanity Peak pack.

 

Martorello said WDFW will continue to closely monitor the pack and will renew efforts to remove wolves if they return to preying on livestock this year.

 

Ferry County Sheriff Ray Maycumber said his staff will take a defensive position and monitor the movements of the adult female wolf for signs of conflict with people, pets, or livestock in lowland areas.

 

WDFW will issue a complete report of its management actions regarding the Profanity Peak pack next month.

 

The state’s Wolf Conservation and Management Plan is available on WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/gray_wolf/mgmt_plan.html.

 

WDFW’s protocol for removing wolves that prey on livestock is available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/gray_wolf/livestock/LethalRemovalProtocolGrayWolvesWashingtonDuringRecovery_05312016.pdf

Oregon Man Admits to Poisoning Wolf, Dog in Idaho Wilderness

by George Prentice

October 14, 2016

DOUG SMITH, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE

  • Doug Smith, National Park Service

An Oregon man has been ordered to 10 days behind bars; 200 hours of community service; $1,075 in fines, court costs and civil damages; and $10,000 in restitution after admitting to poisoning wolves in Idaho’s Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness.

Prosecutors said when the suspect placed poison on a deer carcass in the wilderness, it not only killed a wolf but a dog.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game said Tim Clemens pleaded guilty Oct. 4 in an Idaho Fourth District Courtroom to one count of poisoning animals and one count of unlawful take of big game.

Fish and Game officers said their criminal investigation, which began in January, included DNA samples from the deceased animals and multiple interviews in two states. In his guilty plea, Clemens admitted to placing poison on the deer carcass after removing the meat.

In addition to his jail time, community service and fines/restitution, Clemens was placed on four years’ probation, during which time he cannot hunt.

OR man poisons wolves

http://www.mtexpress.com/news/environment/man-pleads-guilty-to-wolf-poisoning/article_6a23a02a-9197-11e6-9c69-33ba6422ac80.html

Oct 14, 2016
    A central Oregon resident has pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges related to placing poison on a deer carcass in the Frank Church-River of No Return wilderness that caused the death of a wolf and a dog.
According to a news release from the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Tim Clemens entered a guilty plea Tuesday, Oct. 4, to one count of poisoning animals and one count of unlawful take of big game.
    Fourth District Magistrate Lamont Berecz sentenced Clemens to 10 days in jail, 200 hours of community service in lieu of an additional 20 days in jail, and four years of probation, during which time he cannot hunt. The court also ordered Clemens to pay $675 in fines, court costs and community service insurance, $400 in civil damages for the big game animal killed and $10,000 in restitution to Idaho Fish and Game for investigative costs.
    Fish and Game reported that the charges were the result of an investigation launched in January after conservation officers received a citizen report that two dogs had been poisoned in the Brush Creek drainage of the Middle Fork of the Salmon River during the previous fall hunting season. Brush Creek flows into the lower Middle Fork from the west at the Flying B Ranch.
    A veterinarian confirmed that one dog had died from poisoning and a second dog had survived after treatment for poison symptoms. Interviews of the dogs’ owner and others tied the incident to a field-dressed deer carcass.
    After winter snows receded, Fish and Game officers were able to access the remote area to gather evidence. Sample results from a wolf carcass that the officers found near the site confirmed that it had ingested poison, and sample results from the poisoned dog matched the deer carcass.
    Fish and Game spokesman Mike Keckler said in an interview that investigators were able to work with people who knew where animals had been killed by hunters in that area.
“[The investigators] were able to find the various kill sites and take samples,” Keckler said.
Valley County Prosecutor Carol Brockmann stated that the complex investigation involved multiple interviews in two states and close cooperation between the prosecution and Fish and Game.
    According to the news release, Clemens admitted to Fish and Game that he put a small amount of poison on the carcass of the deer he had killed after the meat was removed.
    “We don’t know what he was targeting,” Keckler said.
    Pursuant to a plea agreement, the court granted a withheld judgment. A withheld judgment means that after completing his sentence and probation, Clemens may ask the court to dismiss the charges against him, removing them from his criminal record.
copyrighted wolf in water

Surprise response from OFW on 3 wolf attacks on cattle

State officials have confirmed three recent wolf attacks against livestock in the Fort Klamath area resulting in two calves dead and one injured.

In a release published Monday, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) said they confirmed three attacks took place last week on private land in the Wood River Valley.

The first two attacks were reported Wednesday by a cattle producer who discovered the calves among his herd.

According to the release, the first attack occurred Oct. 2 against an 800-pound calf, who was found dead the next day by a ranchhand who said he saw three wolves feeding on the carcass.

The second attack was on Oct. 4 and resulted in the death of a 600-pound calf.

The third attack took place Wednesday night against a 300-pound calf, which the rancher said he heard making noises of distress that evening consistent with a nearby threat. The calf was found Thursday morning with injuries with bite marks and scratches to all four legs.

While it is believed the Rogue Pack was the most likely cause of the depredation, as they are known to be in the area during this time of year, authorities said wolves in the pack are not equipped with radio collars and they cannot say for sure.

“There’s a chance it’s not (the Rogue Pack), but we believe it was,” said John Stephenson, wolf coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Stephenson said his agency has been seeking opportunities to fit a member of the pack with a radio collar but has yet to do so. He said the opportunities still exists that an undocumented wolf or group of wolves in the area was responsible.

Stephenson said the plan at this time is to compose a conflict deterrence plan with non-lethal methods for avoiding conflicts with wolves. Despite the number of animals involved, Stephen said the attacks remain isolated incidents and there is no plan yet to reduce the number of wolves in the area.

“I think there’s a good chance to make it stop with nonlethal action,” said Stephenson.

Once completed, a copy of the plan will be available atwww.dfw.state.or.us/Wolves/wolf_livestock_updates.asp.

70 Wolves Killed in Idaho in 2016

http://www.nbcmontana.com/news/idaho-officials-wolf-depredation-drops-management-working/110688064

BOISE, Idaho – Idaho officials say livestock depredations by wolves appear to have reached a low point, showing that the program is on the right path.

Idaho Wildlife Services Director Todd Grimm says his office killed 70 wolves in Fiscal Year 2016, which ended Oct. 1, 50 of the wolves were tied to livestock depredations. The recent numbers were about the same as during FY 2015 and slightly down from 2013.

Grimm says he believes depredation cases have gotten about as low as they will be.

Idaho Governor’s Office of Species Conservation Administrator Dustin Miller says the state, which recently took over wolf management, has greater flexibility to manage the predators that the federal government did. He says he expects the trend of depredations to stay low.

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