Wolf, © James Brandenburg / National Geographic Stock

Wolf Weekly Wrap-up

More wolves under fire in Washington – At the end of last year, there were only five confirmed wolf packs in Washington and an estimated total of 27 wolves. That didn’t stop state wildlife managers from killing the entire Wedge Pack in September and may not stop the Colville tribes from hunting wolves either. King 5 News in Seattle reports that the Confederated tribes of the Colville Reservation are ready to approve wolf hunting on 1.4 million acres in north-central Washington in order to save elk and deer for people to hunt. There are 10 known wolves on these tribal lands, and the tribes are planning to issue permits to kill nine of them. (More here from the Spokesman Review) Killing so many wolves is unjustified, and we hope to be able to work with the tribes to come up with alternatives. With such aggressive actions to kill wolves in Washington, it will be even more important that we have federal protections in place under the Endangered Species Act to ensure long-term wolf recovery across the state.

History of Montana conservation success – Despite ongoing concerns over the recovery of wolves and grizzlies, Montana has made tremendous strides in managing wildlife over the last 50 years. The Billings Gazette reports that populations of gray wolves, grizzly bears, elk, bighorn sheep and bald eagles are all doing much better than they were several decades ago (check out their excellent infographic). Landmark laws like the Endangered Species Act and the Wilderness Act deserve a lot of credit for making conservation a national priority and funneling federal resources into protecting land and wildlife. But the story also recognizes that a grassroots environmental movement that began in the ‘60s helped inspire an entire generation of Americans who fought to defend our natural resources.

Essential, or just iconic? – The debate continued this week over the value of Yellowstone’s wolves. Doug Smith, head of the Yellowstone wolf project, told National Parks Traveler that hunting is unlikely to affect the overall population, biologically speaking. But he reiterated that the loss of collared wolves does hamper research efforts. Further, a beautiful story from Outside Bozeman reminds us that the thrill of getting to see wolves in the wild is reason enough to protect these iconic animals.

Sadly, yet another one of these well-known wolves was killed this week by a hunter 16 miles east of the park. 832F was the alpha female of the Lamar Canyon pack. She was one of the most famous and highly visible wolves in Yellowstone and wore a GPS tracking collar that researchers used to monitor the pack’s behavior. She was also the subject of a short documentary by wildlife filmmaker Bob Landis.

8 Responses to “Wolf Weekly Wrap-up”

  1. Jo Dale

    Very sad to hear of yet another Yellowstone wolf death. I traveled 5000 or so miles to spend a week in Yellowstone, one of the key animals I hoped to see was the iconic wolf. I was lucky enough to see the Lamar Pack (is this different to the Lamar Canyon pack, the alpha was 06 when I was there last year?). Now two of those wolves that I saw have been killed. When will people learn to value the wolf for the tourist dollars they bring in, instead of vermin that needs to be exterminated, or a trophy for their dens??

  2. Kim

    This is the wolf known to most as ’06 that was shot. Lamar pack and Lamar Canyon Pack are the same. Her mate’s brother was also shot a few weeks ago in the same area these “hunters” shot ’06. This just makes me sick. We saw ’06 on a couple trips to the park and in one incredible one a couple years ago when her pack was first forming, she defended her den & pups against a grizzly attack. I will never forget watching this unfold and how incredible ’06 was. I was planning a trip this coming May to see her again…will probably cancel now. Yellowstone will not be the same.

  3. Caroline

    As a native Idahoan who volunteered for wolf recovery efforts as a young teenager 17 years ago, I am outraged at the waste and mismanagement of our state and federal government to advocate for species reintroduction and then turn an about-face when a species actually rebounds. I appreciate all Defenders of Wildlife does to advocate and educate.

  4. Mrmsf

    It makes me sick to see all the wolf killing going on, We must do all we can to stop the killing.

  5. Jennifer

    Please do not cancel your trip, Kim! I agree with all of your sentiments, and I am sick over the death of 06, but it would be denying yourself a wonderful experience to not visit Yellowstone because she will not be there. I feel it would also be a dishonor to her to deny yourself the experience of Yellowstone. Her spirit is still there, and will continue on in her pack.

  6. Jennifer

    What else can we do besides writing letters and calling where appropriate? I have written hand letters to Governors, Sec. of Interiors, Dept. of Tourism for varying states, and Game and Fish Depts, and I’ve also emailed wherever possible. Is there anything else we as individuals can do to help (aside from donating to Defenders of Wildlife, which I also believe in!)?

  7. Millie Sheen

    27 WOLVES and they continued to kill them that’s terrible!

    And now they are saying ‘look nothings going to save them because we got a permit and you don’t ha ha’ That’s horrid those poor wolves! I wish I could tell them to go and live somewhere else or they will die. Why do people not understand that it is NOT right to go ruthlessly killing wolves(or any other animal for that mater). It is their land just as it is ours, we should share it as nature intended on it being shared… in PEACE and HARMONY! Not murder left, right and center because that’s what it is roofless murder of innocent creatures. And I know most of you think wolves don’t think like us, but what if they do, what if they live in grief for the rest of their lives. And imagine how terrified they must feel, when they are surrounded by people all guns pointing at its face it has no place to go! Do they not understand when they look into it’s eyes that it has a family?! A pack it needs to tend to. Why cant more people be like you defenders? Doing an amazing job every day to protect the endangered species of this world.
    Thank you from me and the wolves!

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