Wolves featured, © Montana FWP

Wolf Weekly Wrap-Up

Fish and Wildlife Service Reinstates Protections for Wolves in Wyoming and Great Lakes: While Congress pushes bills to delist gray wolves in both Wyoming and the Great Lakes, this week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said it would comply with recent rulings from two federal court cases — which overturned delisting rules in both Wyoming and the Great Lakes states – and reinstate Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves in both areas. Gray wolves are now officially relisted as endangered in Wisconsin, Michigan, parts of North and South Dakota, Iowa, Illinois and Indiana. In Minnesota, wolves will be relisted as threated. And in Wyoming, wolves regain their nonessential experimental population status. While these wolves have protection today, all of this could be undermined if Congress succeeds in passing its proposed legislation that would, once again, take protections away from wolves in all these areas, a very likely possibility. As we’ve been saying all along, congressional delisting of wolves in Wyoming and the Great Lakes sets a terrible precedent for congressional meddling with the Endangered Species Act — letting politics trump science in the species listing process. You can help us continue to fight for wolves by sending your own message to Congress today asking them to let science, not politics, determine wolves’ future.

Mexican gray wolf, © ADFG

On The Air: Our Very Own Eva Sargent Airs on Colorado’s “Animal House” Show Tomorrow: If you are in Southern Colorado, tune in tomorrow, February 28, at 8:00 am to hear Defenders’ Eva Sargent featured on AM1300’s “Animal House.” Eva will talk about the state of Mexican gray wolf recovery – not only does Colorado need wolves, but lobos in particular need a home in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado. Eva will also discuss how Defenders is engaging elsewhere in the Southwest and Southern Rockies to protect imperiled wildlife. If you are not local, you can listen to the interview later online.

Oregon’s Wolf Population Increases by Thirteen: Oregon’s gray wolf population shows strong signs of recovery according to Oregon’s official wolf population count for 2014 which was released this week. Oregon now has 77 wolves in the state, an increase of 13 animals from the 2013 year end count. The state has also documented nine wolf packs and at least eight breeding pairs. Oregon’s wolf population is determined annually based on verified sightings of wolves, so these numbers represent the minimum wolf population in Oregon. We’re thrilled to see this wolf population continue to grow and expand westward throughout the state. (Recall that Oregon is home to famous OR-7 and his new family “The Rogue Pack” who made headlines this year for moving farther west in the state than any others.) Oregon’s healthy wolf population is no doubt a result of the state’s continued commitment to implementing balanced management policies for the species — unlike state officials in adjacent Idaho who continue to wage a war on wolves.

But, while the population is increasing, this does not automatically mean that wolves in Oregon should be removed from the state Endangered Species Act — a topic currently under review by the state. Because Oregon has maintained at least four breeding pairs for three consecutive years, Oregon has initiated a status review to determine whether wolves should remain listed, and what level of protection they require. Defenders applauds Oregon’s approach to wolf management and we will continue to encourage Oregon’s state officials to conduct a neutral and unbiased status review to assess wolves’ overall population health.

Anti-Wolf Bills Advance in Washington’s Legislature: The Washington state legislature is moving several anti-wolf bills, which if passed will significantly impede recovery of wolves in the state. The first bill would modify the 2011 Washington Wolf Conservation and Management Plan, unnecessarily disrupting wolf restoration efforts. This bill ignores science: if passed, any future changes or amendments made to the state’s wolf management plan could be approved without first undergoing a peer review process or a standard environmental review.

Gray Wolf, © Gary Schultz

The Committee also passed a second bill which calls for regional delisting of wolves under the state Endangered Species Act. This bill enables local politics to have a greater influence on wolf management decisions in Washington than science. Wolves in Washington are just beginning to gain a foothold in the state, and by no means is the species “recovered” based on the best available science. We still have several opportunities to submit amendments or defeat these bills before they are enacted, and keep them from undermining wolf recovery in Washington. We’ll keep you updated on our progress.

Calling All Photographers! Do You Have Good Pics Of Wolves…Or Other Wildlife?! We’ve opened our sixth annual photo contest and are asking you to submit your wildlife photos to us before Monday, March 16, 2015. Submit your best photos of imperiled wildlife (images of captive animals are not eligible) and wild landscapes, and you could win a week-long guided nature photography trip with renowned nature photographer Jess Lee or other prizes. You will also have a chance to see your photos on Defenders web pages, in Defenders, our quarterly publication and in our calendar, annual report and other publications. Check out the rules, regs and FAQs online … and thank you in advance for your photo contribution!

10 Responses to “Wolf Weekly Wrap-Up”

  1. Robin K Naylor

    Politics has no place at all in Wolf management. The anti wolf agenda is ruled by hatred and ignorance.I and the majority of Americans fully support protection for our iconic wolves.We have read the scientific data which clearly states the importance of wolves in our eco system and the absolute need to protect these wolves at all costs.

  2. Kerry French

    I’m so glad for the information….I depend on Defenders for accurate info. When I read posts from other groups I never know how much is fact, & how much is based on emotion, no matter how well deserved….unless of course, they have articles that can be read. Anyway, thank you & have a good weekend.

    • Defenders of Wildlife

      Thanks so much for the positive feedback. We’re happy to have supporters like you!

  3. Herb de Bray

    The small recovery of the two wolf packs mentioned is encouraging. What is distressing is the killing of the Grand Canyon wolf. It’s visceral for me.What was the purpose? There are no elk or cattle roaming around the edges of the Grand Canyon..such a senseless act is driven by some premeditated human fallacy. I believe the pack strengthening program between the US and Canada works and we see more wolf and coyote activity in the mid Great Lakes area. I think that includes the eastern grey wolf, which was making a desperate recovery and that seems to taking hold. The western Canada and plains wolf breeds will continue to be problematic because of the human blood lust mentality.It’s really easy to kill anything from a helicopter !
    Killing wolves and other creatures that help balance our natural state, is disguised as necessary. It is an overpowering emotion seen within “humans.” Killing something is not what we are supposed to be doing. Hunting a wolf from the air is not a big deal for the killers and the killing satisfies the blood lust obsession. Forget the cattle and elk and caribou for the moment.
    The shooters are safe and protected while never being shot at, nor being attacked by a wolf pack which the killers deserve.. return attacks may change the thinking.
    No more gun toting Americans is a solution, and that won’t happen with a powerful lobby keeping guns in the constitution. Things won’t change. The untimely death of any animal is inexorable, humans included.. Get on the governments who allow for these killings. There are no borders for wolves,.especially gun slinging lobby groups. I’m thinking there may be more people in North America killed than wolves.It’s scary!

  4. kim b

    Why would you IDIOTS in congress delist the wolves in any state ???? The KILLERS want to keep killing them. Like there MORON ancesters did. So we must PROTECT them always !!!

  5. Paula Marie Young

    Could you cover what’s going on in NC? I’ve heard the NC government is asking to end the red wolf project. I’m writing a law review article on the topic and would appreciate some help with the research. Thanks.

    • Defenders of Wildlife

      Hi Paula. Defenders and local partners have reached an agreement with the state of North Carolina to protect red wolves from death by gunshot and improve local collaboration so the species can continue to recover. You can read more about it here: http://dfnd.us/12pCv8s. We are looking forward to working with the state in the coming months and years on this and would hope the FWS would play a positive role in this effort as well.

  6. Jo Ellen Brandmeyer

    RE: red wolves, NC
    Based on the summary information on-line from the NC Wildlife Resources Commission, the banning of nighttime hunting of coyotes should be good for red wolves. But, according to the News & Observer the same Commission has petitioned the USFWS to not only abandon the red wolf recovery project, but to declare the species extinct!!!
    http://www.newsobserver.com/2015/02/28/4590033_nc-wildlife-officials-abandon.html?rh=1
    “In January, the commission passed a resolution asking the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to declare the red wolf extinct, end the reintroduction program and remove any red wolves living on private land in the recovery area.”

    Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2015/02/28/4590033_nc-wildlife-officials-abandon.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy

    What can we do to stop this? Thank you.

    • Defenders of Wildlife

      Hi Jo Ellen. The red wolf program has made significant progress, with a population that has grown from just eight animals at introduction in 1986 to over 100 wolves in the wild today. We still have a ways to go in the successful recovery of this species, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has not finished the job. We know the program can work if wolves are allowed to exist on the landscape. Defenders and local partners have reached an agreement with the state of North Carolina to protect red wolves from death by gunshot and improve local collaboration so the species can continue to recover. You can read more about it here: http://dfnd.us/12pCv8s. We are looking forward to working with the state in the coming months and years on this and would hope the FWS would play a positive role in this effort as well.

      We’ve also reached out directly to FWS to ask them to not give up on red wolf recovery. You can you’re your own message to them here: http://dfnd.us/1aZKI8j

  7. kim b

    There wont be any return attacks on people by wolves … They kill to survive only!!!! The same can’t be said for man, the most DANGEROUS animal on the planet …….. I think i’ll keep my gun

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