Boise’s mother found! – When a lone wolf pup turned up at a local vet’s office near Ketchum, Idaho, over Memorial Day weekend, Defenders was one of the first to find out. Our Wood River Wolf Project team quickly deployed trail cameras to help find the lost pup’s family, but for weeks no wolves turned up. Until now.
This week our team retrieved footage from a camera just four miles from where the wolf pup was found to discover several photos of an alpha female in broad daylight.
While it would require genetic testing to absolutely confirm that the wolf is the pup’s mother, it’s almost certain given that wolves are highly territorial and unlikely to abandon an area when their pups are still so young. It’s probably too late to bring Boise back now that he’s already been socialized with humans and other pups at Busch Gardens, but it’s encouraging to know that his family is still alive and well back in Idaho.
Unfortunately, Wildlife Services removed a different adult female wolf last week on the Flat Top ranch in response to several sheep losses. The rancher has repeatedly declined offers from Defenders to help better protect his flocks of sheep. Instead, he continues with ill-advised “range lambing” practices that leave sheep scattered and unguarded across the landscape, and ultimately wolves and other carnivores pay the price for his negligence. Read the full story from the Idaho Mountain Express.
Singing wolves to sleep – Got an old guitar? It may sound like a strange question, but a herder working with our Wood River Wolf Project is looking for a guitar to help deter wolves at night while he’s on watch over the flock. We’re not sure if late-night crooning has ever been tested as a nonlethal deterrent, but merely having someone awake and near the flock is likely to keep wolves away. Drop us an email if you’d be willing to donate a guitar for the project so our herder can stay up singing lullabies. Thanks!
Others weigh in on RMEF-Murie letter – It’s not just the Murie family and environmental groups that are concerned about the direction the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has taken. Even conservation-minded hunters are expressing their dissatisfaction with the organization’s anti-wolf stance. David Stalling, long-time editor of RMEF’s Bugle magazine, says on his blog that the organization has lost its way since 1999 when he helped create the Olaus J. Murie Award:
“Since then, the RMEF got rid of all the good leaders who not only helped create and shape the RMEF, but had solid, impressive backgrounds in wildlife biology, ecology and science-based wildlife management. The organization now ignores and defies science and panders to outfitters, politicians and hunters who have little understanding of wildlife and, in particular, interactions between wolves and elk. The group has abandoned principle for income and popularity.”
In a New West article, Montana writer Todd Wilkinson talked to a biologist and founder of RMEF’s Jackson Hole chapter who agrees the group has sacrificed good science for politics in recent years.
While RMEF and Defenders appear to hold very different views of wildlife conservation when it comes to wolves, we hope to be able to resolve some of those differences at an upcoming wildlife summit in Idaho next month. The Idaho Statesman reports:
Suzanne Stone, the Defenders’ representative in Boise, shares the Muries’ view that predators are necessary to help the ecosystem function. But she also is supportive of the summit and its goals.
“We hope the wildlife summit is an opportunity to bring all sides together to promote scientific management of all native species,” she said. “No species should be persecuted as wolves have been, based on false propaganda and misunderstanding of their important role in nature.”
Wolves not welcome in NorCal county – Though OR7 was in Tehama County, Calif., for a short while, the local board of supervisors is already trying to run him, and any successors, out of town. According to the Tehama Daily News, the board has formally opposed granting gray wolves protection under the California Endangered Species Act, citing fear of livestock losses. Wolves were found in the area up until the 1920s when they were intentionally eradicated, and not everyone is ready to welcome them back. It’s disappointing to see some residents of the Golden State raising their hackles and spreading wolf mythology with just one wolf in their midst.