Protect Imperiled Elephants and Wolves

From HSUS.org…

On June 16, the House Appropriations Committee will vote on a harmful federal bill that would protect ivory traffickers and open up trophy hunting and commercial trapping of wolves. Some members of Congress slipped language into an annual spending bill that would block the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from cracking down on the illegal ivory trade. Approximately one African elephant is poached every fifteen minutes, putting the species on a path toward extinction in our lifetime.

This language would also force the removal of gray wolves from the Endangered Species Act, resuming the mass killing of wolves in the Great Lakes. The best available science shows that gray wolves, which only occupy a tiny portion of their historic range, need to maintain their federal protections.

TAKE ACTION
Please make a brief, polite phone call to your U.S. Representative today You can say: “I’m a constituent and I would like you to protect wolves and elephants. Please oppose any Interior Appropriations riders that allow the illegal ivory trade in the U.S. to continue unchecked and that remove federal protections for endangered gray wolves.”

copyrighted Hayden wolf in lodgepoles

Study finds locals less tolerant of wolves

When the wolves returned, they revived the same old anxieties that inspired the state-sponsored hunts and zealous poachers to originally drive the wolf out. Some locals in the wolf range, anxious about unchecked wolf populations preying on livestock and affecting deer herds, continue to grow less tolerant toward returning wolves.

Four decades ago, wolves were added to the Endangered Species Act, and the once expulsed gray wolf trickled back into the Wisconsin wilderness. Protected by federal law, wolves were allowed to grow and spread out among the wooded north, resulting in a resurgence of a species once considered extirpated from the state.

When the wolves returned, they revived the same old anxieties that inspired the state-sponsored hunts and zealous poachers to originally drive the wolf out. Some locals in the wolf range, anxious about unchecked wolf populations preying on livestock and affecting deer herds, continue to grow less tolerant toward returning wolves. It is a trend that even a state-sponsored wolf hunt could not break, according to a recent study conducted by researchers at UW-Madison.

Led by Jamie Hogberg, a researcher at the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, the survey looked at public opinion about wolves from before and after the 2012 inaugural wolf hunt. According to a statement made by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the hunt was supposed to improve social intolerance toward the maligned wolf. Yet, according to Hogberg’s study, the harvest may have had the opposite effect, at least among hunters in the wolf range.

“One of the stated goals of the harvest was to maintain social tolerance,” said Hogberg. “But in just that first year of the hunt, we didn’t see that among a key stakeholder group.”

The survey focused primarily on male hunters in the wolf range, outspoken community members who were surveyed in previous studies to see if their attitudes changed. Researchers also surveyed people who reported conflict with wolves and people who lived outside of wolf range, though the majority of respondents were self-identifying hunters living within wolf range.

Hunters fear that wolves, who primarily hunt a deer herd’s weakest members, could be impacting deer herds and reducing hunting opportunities. However, the wolves’ stake in Wisconsin’s deer herd is dwarfed by the 340,000 taken annually by hunters, according to the Wisconsin DNR.

Wolves have been delisted and relisted seven times since 2001, and are once again protected under the Endangered Species Act.   …[for now…]

Read more: http://host.madison.com/daily-cardinal/study-finds-locals-less-tolerant-of-wolves/article_d0db7198-0fdf-11e5-9d69-af762949aa54.html#ixzz3csLEdG23

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Wolves may be off endangered species list – again

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http://blogs.mprnews.org/capitol-view/2015/06/wolves-may-be-off-endangered-species-list-again/

Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives are pushing to take Minnesota’s gray wolves off the endangered species list.

Buried in the fiscal 2016 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill is language that would effectively require the secretary of the interior to reissue a federal rule that took gray wolves in the western Great Lakes, which includes Minnesota, off the list.

The bill also stipulates that the action would not be subject to judicial review.

Last year, a federal court decided that Minnesota’s gray wolves should be put back on the endangered species list.

U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn., said the provision amounts to “tremendous overreach” because the appropriations bill is meant to fund the Interior Department’s activities, not direct policy decisions.

“The judicial branch exists to provide oversight and review of our nation’s laws, and the idea that this Republican appropriations bill would try to circumvent that constitutionally critical process is wrong,” McCollum said.

McCollum, a Democrat, is on the House Appropriations Committee, and serves as the top Democrat on a subcommittee in charge of the interior and environment funding bill. Work on the legislation starts this week.

Control Cruel Special Interest Groups, Not the Wild Animals.

Letter from Rosemary Lowe to the Albuquerque Journal:
NM Game Dept. Killing Machine
“Mexican Wolves belong on New Mexico lands, but there are special interests within the hunting & livestock industries which have a long history of prejudice about this (& other) wonderful native species. It is time to bring back the Lobo, and give it the priority & protection it needs. These cruel special interest groups need controlling, not the wild291789_400428663360054_2105335387_n animals.
The livestock industry grazes on public lands, at taxpayer expense, denuding & damaging water resources, native grasses, while demanding that the government slaughter native wild animals including wolves, bears, coyotes, mountain lions, & other innocent wildlife: a mindless hatred of so-called “predators.” Many of these species are in decline, despite the “pseudo-science” misinformation from the Game Dept.& other anti-wildlife interests.
Native wild animals are facing further declines as Climate Change worsens, affecting the health of remaining ecosystems, but the Game Dept. continues its antiquated “management” schemes to appease their special interest buddies.
Based upon the anti-wildlife mentality of the Game Dept. it does not belong in the 21st century. It must be abolished, if wildlife is to survive at all.

Arizona sues feds over regulations on Mexican gray wolves

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Madeleine Winer, The Republic

The Arizona Game and Fish Department and the Attorney General’s Office have filed a lawsuit against the federal government, alleging it has failed to update its Mexican-wolf recovery plan.

The state is asking the secretary of the Department of the Interior and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for a modern plan that would improve Arizona’s involvement in recovery efforts and establish a target number of Mexican wolves for the area.

“If you think about wildlife management, part of what you want is for a target number of animals for there to be a balance in the rest of the biotic community,” said Jim deVos, Arizona Game and Fish Department assistant director for wildlife management. “You don’t want to have too many of the one thing. We want a healthy population of wolves in balance with social, economic and wildlife needs in the state of Arizona.”

The current Mexican-wolf recovery plan, established in 1982, allowed the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to maintain a captive breeding program and re-establish the population with 100 Mexican wolves released into the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area in Arizona and New Mexico in 1998. Currently, deVos said, 109 wolves inhabit Arizona.

The Game and Fish Department claims the 1982 plan fails to identify how many animals would constitute recovery of the population and allow the wolves to be removed from the list of endangered species in the future. For decades, there have been conflicts between ranchers and the wolves.

More: http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona/2015/06/08/arizona-sues-feds-regulations-mexican-gray-wolves/28721223/

Speak for Wolves: August 7-9, 2015

August 7-9, 2015
West Yellowstone, Montana

An opportunity for the American people to unite and demand wildlife management reform and restore our national heritage.
 film by Predator Defense – a national nonprofit helping people & wildlife coexist since 1990.
Approximately 3500 gray wolves have been slaughtered in the northern Rockies and Great Lakes region in the United States over the last few years. Under state management, wolves have been hounded, baited, trapped, snared and/or killed by hunters in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota. Wolves have been aerial gunned in Washington and, most recently, shot in Utah.Speak for Wolves: Yellowstone 2015 is about taking an important step towards stopping the wolf slaughter that is currently taking place across the United States. Learn more

Fortunately for Cougars and Wolves, there’s Only One Washington

From the Capital Press article:

One Washington, two sides

by Don Jenkins    March 26, 2015

OLYMPIA — Residents of Eastern Washington are frustrated with the more populous Westside of the state. And nowhere was that frustration more prominent than one day last month in the Capitol. On the docket were cougars and wolves, two hot-buttoncopyrighted Hayden wolf in lodgepoles issues that split the state right down the center of the Cascade Range.

In one hearing, Eastside ranchers were asking senators to loosen the state’s law against using hounds to chase cougars and keep the predators away from livestock.

In another hearing, an Eastside county commissioner told legislators that his constituents were fed up with wolves.                                                                              …

In the weeks since, lawmakers have agreed to take a close look at the wolf problem. The hounds, however, will remain on the leash. …

More: http://www.capitalpress.com/Washington/20150326/one-washington-two-sides#.VRRp-qw3hjc.facebook

Discovery Channel filmmaker: Wildlife documentaries are often fabricated sensationalism

Wildlife documentaries are eye-opening and inspirational, but according to a confessional new book from Oscar-nominated filmmaker Chris Palmer, the methods they use to evoke those responses in viewers go well beyondcopyrighted Hayden wolf in lodgepoles artistic license.

How many of our favorite shows and networks have rented animals from game parks and zoos and passed them off as wild, used actors as fake scientists giving interviews, and mistreated animals in order to get ratings? RedOrbit spoke to the author to find out.

Full Story: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2015/03/discovery-channel-filmmaker-wildlife-documentaries-are-often-fabricated-sensationalism/

Experimental wolf cull in Alberta ignites scientific criticism over inhumane research

“The caribou are endangered because extensive and unabated industrial development of [obscenely omnipotent] oil, [goddamn] gas and [fucking] forestry operations has destroyed and degraded the habitat that provides life sustaining food, shelter, and security.” [NOT because of the wolf!!]

http://www.raincoast.org/2015/02/wolf-cull-ignites-critisim/

Experimental wolf cull in Alberta ignites scientific criticism over inhumane research

Scientists highlight the failure to abide by ethical standards of animal research and welfare.

3 running wolves-PCP

In a scathing commentary published today in the peer-reviewed journal, Canadian Wildlife Biology and Management, scientists from the Raincoast Conservation Foundation and the Universities of Saskatchewan and Victoria denounce the failure of researchers, government agencies, research institutions, and the scientific publishing process to abide by recognized ethical standards of animal research and welfare.

Download  the journal paper Maintaining ethical standards during conservation crises

In the November issue of the Canadian Journal of Zoology, a team of researchers described a gruesome wolf culling experiment and last-minute bid to halt the decline of the Little Smoky caribou herd in Alberta. The caribou are endangered because extensive and unabated industrial development of oil, gas and forestry operations has destroyed and degraded the habitat that provides life sustaining food, shelter, and security.

The researchers oversaw a study in which at least 733 wolves and hundreds of other animals suffered and died by methods considered inhumane by the Canadian Council of Animal Care (CCAC). The CCAC provides ethical guidelines that scientists in Canada normally comply with to ensure that animals used in research are treated humanely. Bypassing CCAC standards, managers from Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development administered the killing. Cooperative university investigators assessed the outcome of the cull. Most wolves died violent deaths via aerial gunning from helicopters. Others succumbed to poisoning after ingesting baits laced with strychnine. These methods of killing do not conform to CCAC’s recognized and acceptable standards of euthanasia, owing to the extended pain and suffering they often cause.

“Expedient but inadequate emergency ‘fixes’ have been experimentally implemented to arrest the impending loss of caribou”, said co-author Dr. Ryan Brook of the University of Saskatchewan, “but no context can justify methods that impose such suffering”.

Co-author Dr. Gilbert Proulx, Director of Science at Alpha Wildlife Research & Management Ltd, agreed. “There is a need to improve checks and balances that would normally prevent the approval, execution, and publication of unethical animal research”, he said. Despite questionably modest improvements to caribou declines, the researchers advocated for the continued killing of wolves. “Such short-sighted recommendations add fuel to the fire regarding the growing controversy and scrutiny of the unethical and unscientific Alberta wolf cull”, stated Chris Genovali, Executive Director of the Raincoast Conservation Foundation.

The study also troubled co-author Dr. Chris Darimont, Hakai-Raincoast Professor at the University of Victoria and science director for the Raincoast Conservation Foundation. “Proponents of resource extraction can now announce that a ‘solution’ to the caribou crisis is in hand, enabling additional habitat destruction that harms caribou and wolves. So despite intentions otherwise, wolf control creates greater long-term harm than good to animals and ecosystems, failing a simple test of ethics.”

“In this case, the intended but very uncertain ends cannot justify the means”, said co-author Dr. Paul Paquet, senior scientist at the Raincoast Conservation Foundation and Adjunct Professor at the University of Victoria and. “Experiments that involve the intentional inhumane killing of animals violate the fundamental principles of ethical science and rightfully endanger the reputation of science and scientists, as well as the journals willing to publish them”.

Citation: Brook, Ryan, Marc. Cattet, Chris T. Darimont, Paul C. Paquet, & Gilbert Proulx. 2015. Maintaining ethical standards during conservation crises. Canadian Wildlife Biology and Management Issue 4, pages 72-79.

Available in Open Access format here or download the pdf

Bills to end Endangered Species Act protections for wolves introduced in Congress

 

Two bills have been introduced in the U.S. House this week to strip federal Endangered Species Act protections from wolves in several states. Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., introduced HF 843 that would prohibit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from listing wolves under the Endangered Species Act in Minnesota,… Duluth, 55802Duluth Minnesota 424 W. First St. 55802

2015-02-12 15:56:22

Two bills have been introduced in the U.S. House this week to strip federal Endangered Species Act protections from wolves in several states.

Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., introduced HF 843 that would prohibit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from listing wolves under the Endangered Species Act in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan.

Meanwhile, Rep. Reid Ribble, R-Wis., introduced HF 884, broader legislation that would restore wolves to their earlier unprotected status under a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rule from 2012 in not just the Great Lakes states but also Wyoming.

Reps. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., and Sean Duffy, R-Wis., are among several co-sponsors on both bills.

Kline, who manages a fifth-generation family farm in southeastern Minnesota, where few if any wolves exist, said individual states should be able to manage the big predators without federal interference.

A summary of Kline’s bill says that “the overpopulation of gray wolves in the Western Great Lakes region contributes to the decline of livestock, pets and other animals in the wild.”

“Wolf attacks are a concern for farmers and livestock producers in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan, where the overpopulation of gray wolves is directly linked to the decline of livestock and other animals,’’ Kline said in a statement Thursday. “This bipartisan legislation will remove the gray wolf from the federal endangered species list and return management to the states, providing greater flexibility and giving states exclusive jurisdiction over the wolves within their own borders.”

The proposed legislation is in response to a federal judge’s ruling in December that wolves in the Great Lakes states be immediately placed back under full protection of the Endangered Species Act, under the government’s original 1978 ruling to protect the animals which had been hunted, trapped and harassed to near-extinction at the time.

The judge ruled the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2012 rule delisting wolves in the Great Lakes region, handing wolf management back to states and tribes, was improper. The federal agency has not yet decided whether to appeal the judge’s order. But thecopyrighted Hayden wolf in lodgepoles legislation introduced this week, if passed and signed into law by the president, would take precedent over the judge’s ruling.

The legislation is supported by groups such as the Minnesota Farm Bureau and Minnesota Farmers Union.

Wolf supporters, however, say wolves are in integral part of thriving ecosystems and that the legislation is an overreaction by politicians and wolf opponents who continue to wrongly cast the animals as storybook demons.

“This legislation is an end-around a series of federal court rulings that have determined that state and federal agencies have acted improperly” in managing wolves in recent years, said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, in a statement Thursday. “This bill is just the latest act of political bomb-throwing and gamesmanship, and lawmakers who want balance on the wolf issue should reject it.”

In January the Humane Society and 21 animal protection and conservation organizations petitioned the Fish and Wildlife Service to list grey wolves as officially “threatened’’ across most of the U.S. That would continue federal oversight but enable some wolves to be trapped and killed by federally-approved trappers if the animals cause problems near pets or livestock.