04 April 2014 Wolf Weekly Wrap-Up Posted by: Melanie Gade | 6 comments | Share: A member of the first pack of wolves released into the Apache National Forest. (© ADFG) Update 4/7/ 2014: Irresponsible Wolf Management in Idaho Prompts Defenders of Wildlife to Request Official Federal Status Review: On Friday, Defenders of Wildlife officially requested the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (the Service) initiate an immediate status review of gray wolves in the Northern Rockies as a first step to determine whether the species should be relisted under the Endangered Species Act in the region. Gray wolves were federally delisted in Idaho and Montana in 2011 and Wyoming in 2012, when states committed to manage wolves sustainably and responsibly. Recent management actions in Idaho have prompted Defenders to request a formal review based on the state’s extremely hostile and aggressive management of the species. In response, Defenders of Wildlife President Jamie Rappaport Clark commented: “Idaho said it would manage wolves like other species, but they are blowing it. It’s clear that Idaho has no intention of continuing to help wolves recover in the West. They are trying to rid the state of wolves through any means necessary as quickly as possible.” Stay tuned here for updates in the weeks to come. More Mexican Gray Wolves Released in the Wild! On Wednesday, the Fish and Wildlife Service released a breeding pair of Mexican gray wolves into the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area in Arizona, and announced that it will release another pair into the recovery area in the Apache National Forest next week! Both of the females are pregnant, and their mates have been in the wild previously, so they know the ropes. These two females will bring new genes into the population. This is great news and brings hope to the lobo recovery effort. If the pairs are successful, their offspring will bring more wolves to Arizona’s wilds, and will add much-needed genetic variety to the struggling population. What Does the Science Say: Do Wolves and Cougars Reduce Disease in their Prey? Take a look at a recent article by Todd Wilkinson on the positive effect wolves and cougars have on the overall health of their prey populations. Several scientific studies show that wolves tend to hunt and cull elderly, diseased and injured members of prey populations, thereby contributing to the wildlife population’s overall health. Along with other factors, like climate and landscape condition history, wolves also have an impact on other parts of their environment. For example, wolves have helped reduce elk’s grazing on berry producing shrubs in Yellowstone which has provided additional food for grizzly bears. The bottom line? Wolves are a beneficial part of nature and deserve to be protected. OR-7’s Radio Collar Losing Signal: For the past several years, Americans have watched with anticipation as OR-7 has migrated back and forth across the Oregon/California border. In 2011, when he first crossed into California, he became the first confirmed wolf in state since 1924. His movements into California have prompted discussions by scientists and residents about the future of wolves in California since there is extensive wolf habitat in Northern California and the Sierra Nevada. Scientists have been tracking OR-7’s movements for the past four years via a GPS collar, which has long outlived its lifespan. Unfortunately, this week, we learned that the collar could lose signal at any time. Collaring a wolf is time consuming and costly and wildlife biologist prefer to collar wolves that are part of breeding pairs. Since OR-7 is a single male, he will likely not be re-collared at this time. However, if the wandering male finds a mate, wolf biologists could make efforts to re-collar him. Nearly 500,000 More Americans Speak Out Against Federal Plan to Strip Wolves of Protections: Last week, we told you that 47,500 Defenders members submitted comments strongly opposing gray wolf delisting after a panel of independent expert scientists unanimously concluded that the US Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) used bad science to justify their proposal. This week, we joined our numbers with others from the environmental coalition to report a whopping 460,000 Americans filed official comments with the Service! These new comments were submitted in addition to the nearly one million comments submitted to the Service in December, 2013 requesting continued protection for gray wolves. These comments represent the highest number of submissions ever to the Service on an endangered species, showing America’s overwhelming support for wolves. In response, Defenders of Wildlife President Jamie Rappaport Clark commented: “Science should be the lynchpin of every species listing decision and science should be the most significant factor guiding decisions on what ‘recovery’ looks like for our nation’s imperiled plants and animals. The Fish and Wildlife Service should withdraw the delisting proposal for wolves and instead put science first to chart a sustainable recovery path for wolves throughout the U.S.” 6 Responses to “Wolf Weekly Wrap-Up” Shelli April 4th, 2014 Great news about the breeding pairs of Mexican grey wolves being released into the wild. I just hope that they don’t soon find themselves being subjected to misguided “wildlife management” policies. Reply Tim Cammers April 4th, 2014 This is a happy day to hear about Mexican Gray Wolf. I hope everyone will leave them alone and this Government hunters and all others will leave them alone. If someone hurts them they should be put on trail for there murder! Reply Debi Singer April 4th, 2014 The Gray Wolf is a beautiful animal and everything possible to keep it Safe should be done. Poachers are terrible people and should be caught & fined & Jailed!! Killing animals is a cowardly act…. The government needs to guard these wonderful animals, when I see a picture of the Wolf, I think AMERICA!! (to me it’s like the Eagle is) Reply Don Lipmanson April 8th, 2014 CA Defenders might want to testify at the state Fish and Game Commission’s meeting April 16 in Ventura at the Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach Hotel, 450 E. Harbor Blvd, starting at 8:30 a.m.. The commission will take public testimony and decide whether to protect gray wolves under the state ESA. Staff report recommends lesser protection, so if the commission decision is adverse a ballot initiative – of the sort that now protects mountain lions in CA – might be in order. Reply Jen April 8th, 2014 Why don’t they bring Or-7 a mate? Poor lil guy been searching all his life, then we can track him again, plus Oregon can use a few more wolves anyways…..Save the wolves America!!!!!!! Reply Vanessa Herbert April 10th, 2014 “We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. Remote from universal nature and living by complicated artifice, man in civilization surveys the creature through the glass of his knowledge and sees thereby a feather magnified and the whole image in distortion. We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate for having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein do we err. For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours, they move finished and complete, gifted with the extension of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings: they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth.” ”The Outermost House” Henry Beston (1888-1968) Reply 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 Fish and Wildlife Service Holds Public Meetings to Determine Fate of Mexican Gray Wolves; Six Mexican Gray Wolves Released in New Mexico; How Do People Form Their Opinions About Wolves? A Field Day with Gopher Tortoises Our Florida staff members spent a field day at Boyd Hill Nature Preserve to learn more about the reproductive and burrowing habits of gopher tortoises. Wolves are even more socially complex than we thought… In order to survive, wolves form cooperative groups known as packs, and these pack members hunt together, rear pups together, and compete against other wolf packs for food and territory.