24 December 2010 Wolf Weekly Wrap-up Posted by: John Motsinger | 1 comment | Share: Squishy predation numbers: Recent reports have claimed that the number of livestock lost to all predators is up considerably this year in Montana over 2006 totals. But as this story in the Flathead Beacon points out, the numbers aren’t that clear cut. Stories thus far have focused on total losses, including those that are confirmed predator kills as well as those that are “probable,” “possible” and some that are just “reported.” With tensions high over livestock conflicts, there’s a big difference between a loss to a predator that’s been confirmed by a trained expert and an unverified report from a rancher that a cow is dead. Gray wolf. Even with those squishy numbers, the totals in the story account for fewer than 2,000 calves lost to coyotes, wolves and bears out of 3 million cows put out on the range each year in Montana. To keep things in perspective, that’s still only 1 in every 1,500—less than 0.07 percent—of cows potentially lost to those predators this year. State of play: Wolf delisting may be off the table for now, but the battle is far from over. As the Idaho Mountain Express reports, wolves have an uphill battle against wolf haters intent on shooting and poisoning the animals. (Witness the comments following the story to see what arguments lay ahead). Debunking in Oregon: Oregon’s top wolf biologist help set the record straight for the Oregon Hunters Association, telling them wolves pose very little risk to humans. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Russ Morgan also discussed how to identify a wolf kill and how to tell the difference between wolf and coyote tracks. He coordinates the state’s efforts to monitor wolves in Oregon, where there are at least 22 wolves in two packs. Elk stands its ground: Wolves are repeatedly (and wrongly) blamed for “decimating” elk herds. But it’s important to remember that elk aren’t the weak, defenseless creatures they’re made out to be. In this account from the Flathead Valley in Montana, a cow elk fends off an attack from a pair of wolves. Wolves may have sharp fangs and a killer instinct, but they’re often no match for a massive elk willing to stand its ground. Wolves typically test their prey before moving in, and a herd of 50 elk is a force to be reckoned with. One Response to “Wolf Weekly Wrap-up” Post Your Comment Click here to cancel reply. Name (required) Mail (required) (will not be published) You May also be interested in Wolf Weekly Wrap-Up Recap of Pinetop Hearing; Celebrating Sucesses: 700,000 comments from wolf supports in to USFWS regarding wolf delisting proposal; this week USDA annouces they plan to audit Wildlife Services Predator Program. Also- another call to action for our supporters: Tell your Congressman to sign Grijalva and Fitzpatrick’s letter endorsing continued protection of gray wolves! Audit of Wildlife Services to be Conducted in 2014 United States Department of Agriculture’s Inspector General has confirmed that they will be undertaking an audit of Wildlife Services’ Predator Control program in 2014. A rare sighting at Skilak In a remote part of Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, our Alaska representative catches a rare glimpse of a majestic but elusive animal.