Lawsuit Launched to Push Trump Administration Toward National Wolf Recovery Plan by Center for Biological Diversity

https://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2018/wolf-09-19-2018.php

For Immediate Release, September 19, 2018

Contact: Collette Adkins, (651) 955-3821, cadkins@biologicaldiversity.org

The Center for Biological Diversity today filed a notice of intent to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for violating the Endangered Species Act by never providing a comprehensive recovery plan for gray wolves nationwide as the law requires.

Today’s notice calls for a national wolf recovery plan. According to the Endangered Species Act, wolves must remain protected until the Fish and Wildlife Service implements such a plan.

Instead, this summer the agency announced plans to strip federal protection from wolves in the lower 48 states. That would make them vulnerable to trophy hunting and trapping, halting their progress toward recovery. The Service expects to publish a proposal to remove wolf protection by the end of the calendar year.

“With federal protections gray wolves have made tremendous progress, but they’re not yet recovered nationwide,” said Collette Adkins, a Minneapolis-based Center biologist and attorney. “If successful, our lawsuit would require the federal government to foster wolf populations in suitable areas across the country rather than rush to prematurely remove safeguards.”

A recovery plan would enable wolves to establish viable populations in areas where small populations are still recovering, including California, Oregon and Washington.
It would also promote recovery in areas like the southern Rockies, Dakotas and Adirondacks, which have suitable wolf habitat but no wolf populations.

The notice explains that the Service previously denied the Center’s formal petition requesting development of a national wolf recovery plan.

“The Fish and Wildlife Service needs to chart a path toward truly recovering wolves,” said Adkins. “We’re doing all we can to make sure Trump officials fulfill their obligation to restore wolves in suitable habitats across the country.”

Beyond a national plan for recovery, the Endangered Species Act requires the agency to conduct a status review every five years. But six years have passed since the last national wolf status review.

 

WDR Presents: A Wolf Called Romeo

WolfDog Radio was proud to have on our show author and friend – Nick Jans.  This is the man who knew and loved Romeo.  I could go on and on..but here him read from his book “A Wolf Called Romeo” and here the story from his own mouth.

ROMEO

I would like share with you an excerpt from a letter Nick Jans wrote to us:
“”I’m currently up in Ambler, my Arctic Eskimo village home of many years, and still my heart. Saw a wild black wolf trotting up a riverbank ablaze with yellow willow, and watched him a long time. Of course it was him. Always is.”

 

 

Romeo is on exhibit now….here are some photos from the exhibit:

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Pictures of Romeo:

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AHS Releases New Canine Heartworm Guidelines

https://www.the-scientist.com/news-opinion/massive-animal-sequencing-effort-releases-first-set-of-genomes-64794?utm_campaign=TS_DAILY%20NEWSLETTER_2018&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=65926291&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-_zG3RAJpOjwR46WM1asOvg01nAEbO_dme-1hgmpDOdTtN0cemJkokIS8nmHrcTbnbun5cEl3HjbQfOXMwlwSt3fwx8BQ&_hsmi=65926291

September 14, 2018. American Veterinarian By Maureen McKinney

Today, the American Heartworm Society (AHS) released a revised version of its highly regarded canine heartworm guidelines—the first update since 2014. Reducing disease transmission, clarifying testing recommendations, and avoiding treatment shortcuts are priorities in the new guidelines. Based on the 2016 Triennial Symposium of the AHS, as well as new research and clinical experience, major changes to the guidelines include the following.

Heartworm Prevention: Use of Mosquito Repellents
According to Dr. Rehm, the incidence of heartworm disease in the United States and its territories rose by 21% between 2013 and 2016. Prevention is the cornerstone of any practice’s heartworm management program, yet compliance continues to be problematic and is believed to be 1 of the key roadblocks to reducing incidence rates.

“Right now, roughly two-thirds of pets are not on prevention,” Dr. Rehm said in a previous interview with American Veterinarian®. “Sometimes I think we take for granted that our clients know more about it or have some more parasite common sense, if you will, than they actually do. And we don’t probe enough to find out where our clients are on the learning curve about parasite prevention.”

RELATED:

Year-round use of macrocyclic lactone (ML) preventives and environmental control of mosquito populations continue to be the basis of prevention, but AHS now recommends the use of Environmental Protection Agency–approved mosquito repellents/ectoparasiticides to control the mosquito vector and reduce heartworm transmission in high-risk areas.

“The use of repellents is not a blanket recommendation, nor should repellents ever be used in place of ML preventives,” Dr. Rehm said. “In regions with relatively low heartworm incidence numbers and few mosquitoes, use of heartworm preventives alone can be sufficient to safeguard patients.”

Heartworm Testing: Putting Heat Treatment in Perspective
heartwormAHS continues to recommend annual heartworm screening for all dogs over 7 months of age with both an antigen and a microfilaria test. Because of the high sensitivity of these tests, however, the guidelines recommend against routine heat treatment of blood samples for heartworm screening because “it is contrary to the label instructions for commonly used in-house tests and may interfere with the accuracy of results of not only heartworm testing but also the results of combination tests that include antibody detection of other infectious agents.”

Instead, the guidelines recommend that veterinarians consider heat treating serum when circulating microfilariae are detected or when active clinical disease is suspected but an antigen test has returned a negative result.

Heartworm Treatment: Use of Non-Arsenical Protocols
While no changes were made regarding the best treatments for canine heartworm, AHS is using the updated guidelines to double-down on its stance that the society’s current protocol remains the best method for successfully and safely treating infected dogs.

“We get questions from veterinarians about the AHS protocol itself, which includes pretreatment with an ML and doxycycline, followed by a month-long waiting period, then 3 doses of melarsomine on days 60, 90 and 91,” Dr. Rehm explained. “Heartworm disease is a complex disease, and there are no shortcuts to appropriate treatment. Skipping any 1 of these steps can affect both the safety and efficacy of heartworm treatment.”

For dogs that are not candidates for melarsomine treatment, Dr. Rehm noted, alternatives such as the non-arsenical combination of moxidectin and doxycycline may be appropriate.  “However, it’s also important for veterinarians to understand that these non-arsenical protocols have serious disadvantages, the most important of which is the length of time required to kill adult worms, during which time heartworm pathology and damage can progress,” he said. “This also greatly increases the length of time the pet needs strict exercise restriction, which is problematic.”

To view the updated guidelines, as well as the AHS feline heartworm guidelines, visit heartwormsociety.org.

In the Sacred Circle…

Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin

“The Circle has healing power. In the Circle, we are all equal. When in the Circle, no one is in front of you. No one is behind you. No one is above you. No one is below you. The Sacred Circle is designed to create unity. The Hoop of Life is also a circle. On this hoop there is a place for every species, every race, every tree and every plant. It is this completeness of Life that must be respected in order to bring about health on this planet.” ~Dave Chief, Oglala Lakota~

The Remarkable Canis Lupus (Gray Wolf)…

…Designed by Mother Nature herself. From Wolves of Douglas county Wisconsin-Rachel Tilseth

A wolf walks over to a vacated white-tailed deer bed and gently blows on it. This causes all the particles to flow up into his/hers highly tuned olfactory system (the nose). “Ah ha, says the wolf,” the deer tick’s blood is full of pus from a tooth infection. The deer tick had feasted on the white-tailed deer’s blood the night before. The deer tick’s blood now reveals a sick (unhealthy) animal. This shows how the gray wolf keeps the white-tailed deer herds healthy. This is nature’s design, original, and most certainly not man made. There’s-no-big-bad-wolf-here…only politicians with agendas…

Politicians are working to delist wolves in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan listen to WXRP by Ken Krall and Rachel Tilseth on the House Bill.

Photo of wolf belongs to owner. Graphic design by WODCW

Let’s save the Gray wolf because he/she saves us (human-kind) in the end. In the past, less than a hundred years ago, vast herds roamed throughout the planet. The vast herds were wiped out by trophy hunting & human encroachment, and now live in small pockets of wilderness surrounded by human settlements. In these small pockets animals are forced to share habitats, and just think about the consequences of different kinds of ticks eating & spreading disease all on the same animals; Animals that are isolated in pockets of wilderness surrounded by human settlements.

Federal epidemiologists also have identified 11 other tick-borne diseases that you and your family can catch:

Anaplasmosis, caused by bacteria, can be fatal in about 1% of cases, even in previously healthy people.

Babesiosis is caused by microscopic parasites that infect red blood cells and is treatable. The tick that transmits it is about the size of a poppy seed.

Colorado tick fever is a viral infection transmitted from the bite of an infected Rocky Mountain wood tick, which lives in the western United States and Canada in areas 4,000 to 10,000 feet above sea level. This disease has no treatment.

Ehrlichiosis, caused by bacteria, appears with flu-like symptoms. It is treatable has been fatal in about 2% of cases.

Powassan disease, which comes from a virus, has no specific treatment for the virus. Although only 75 cases have been reported in the past decade, it can develop into encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain, or meningitis, an inflammation of the membranes around the brain and spinal cord.

Q fever comes from a bacteria that naturally infects some animals such as goats, sheep and cattle, so ticks that feed on an infected animal can transmit the disease. Only about half the people who get Q fever will have symptoms, but those people can develop pneumonia or hepatitis.

Rocky Mountain spotted fever, caused by bacteria, can be transmitted via at least two types of dog ticks and Rocky Mountain wood ticks. The disease can be severe or even fatal if not treated within the first few days of symptoms that include headache, fever and often but not always a pink, non-itchy rash that starts on wrists, arms and ankles.

Southern tick-associated rash illness has an unknown cause, but researchers know that lone star ticks transmit this disease that can act like Lyme disease but isn’t caused by Lyme’s bacteria. An antibiotic can treat the symptoms.

Tick-borne relapsing fever, a bacterial infection, also can be transmitted via lice. The rare infection is usually linked to sleeping in rustic rodent-infested cabins in mountainous areas, but if not treated victims can face several cycles of three days of 103-degree fevers, headaches and muscle aches and a week without.

Tick paralysis, thought to be caused by a toxin in tick saliva, is rare but can paralyze a victim and is often confused with Guillain-Barre syndrome or botulism. Luckily, within 24 hours of removing the tick, the paralysis typically subsides.

Tularemia first infects rabbits and rodents, and the ticks that bite them infect humans. One telltale sign of infection is often, but not always, an ulcer on the skin where the bacteria entered the body; lymph nodes also become infected. USA Today 2017

The planet needs Canis lupus (Gray wolf) and other large carnivores. Large carnivores can detect diseased and weak animals.

U.S. House Passes Bill To De-List Wolves From Endangered Species

Click here to listen to full story from WXRP by Ken Krall and Rachel Tilseth

The U.S. House earlier this month passed an appropriations bill that has language in it changing the status of the gray wolf from federally protected to delisted in the lower 48 states.

This movement has been asked for by people who want to control the wolf population in the Great Lakes states, but has alarmed an advocate who wants to keep federal protection of wolves.

Rachel Tilseth has the blog Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin. She has an update on the bill that passed the U.S. House… http://www.wolvesofdouglascountywisconsin.com

“…so this bill contains language to delist the gray wolf in the lower 48 states. So what they are going to do is delist them and make sure they stay delisted in Wyoming and Montana and a couple other states out there. They also want no review of those decisions through a federal judge. They want to make sure that doesn’t happen. That would also take care of delisting the great lakes as well….”

Congressman Sean Duffy and both Wisconsin U.S. Senators, Ron Johnson and Tammy Baldwin, have called for delisting. Last summer, a federal appeals court retained federal protection for gray wolves in the western Great Lakes region, ruling the government made crucial errors when it dropped them from the endangered species list five years ago.

Tilseth says if the de-listing happens, then a wolf hunt will likely happen again in Wisconsin which concerns her…

“…In the last three hunts, from 2012-2014. So they will start that whole process over again and start hunting, that is, unless we can go in and get greater transparency with the public, then perhaps we can change things….”

Some hunters and farmers have called for the delisting to control the wolf population and to remove wolves taking livestock. Wolf de-listing advocates say the population has grown too large and should be controlled.

Recent reports find the number of wolves in Wisconsin leveling off. This year’s wolf count shows there are between 905 and 944 wolves in the state. That’s about a 2 percent drop from last year.

Featured photograph By John E Marriott

Urgent Action Needed to Protect the Gray Wolf from Latest Delisting Threat…

Anti-wolf Politicians in Congress are working to delist wolves in the 48 contiguous States of the United States even going as far as preventing any judicial review of this process. These politicians are undermining the Endangered Species Act itself!

Read Rachel’s blog at http://www.wolvesofdouglascountywisconsin.com

On June 6, 2018 The U. S. House of Representatives passed a Bill: Making appropriations for the Department of the Interior, environment, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2019, and for other purposes.

The bill contains language for delisting of Gray wolves in the lower 48 states:

…the Secretary of the Interior shall issue a rule to remove the gray wolf (Canis lupus) in each of the 48 contiguous States of the United States and the District of Columbia from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife…

The Bill calls for delisting Gray Wolves throughput the 48 contiguous States…

Reissuence of final Rules

SEC. 116. (a) The final rule published on September 10, 2012 (77 Fed. Reg. 55530) that was reinstated on March 3, 2017, by the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (No. 14-5300) and fur-

(b) Such issuance (including this section)—

(1) shall not be subject to judicial review; and 63 ther republished on May 1, 2017 (82 Fed. Reg. 20284) that reinstates the removal of Federal protections for the gray wolf in Wyoming under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), and this subsection, shall not be subject to judicial review. (b) Before the end of the 60-day period beginning on the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of the Interior shall reissue the final rule published on December 9 28, 2011 (76 Fed. Reg. 81666), without regard to any other provision of statute or regulation that applies to issuance of such rule. Such reissuance (including this sub-section) shall not be subject to judicial review.

Gray Wolves Range–Wide

SEC. 117. (a) Not later than the end of fiscal year 2019, and except as provided in subsection (b), the Secretary of the Interior shall issue a rule to remove the gray wolf (Canis lupus) in each of the 48 contiguous States of the United States and the District of Columbia from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife in section 17.11 of title 50, Code of Federal Regulations, without regard to any other provision of statute or regulation that applies to issuance of such rule. 2) shall not affect the inclusion of the subspecies classified as the Mexican gray wolf (Canis lupus baileyi) of the species gray wolf (Canis lupus) in such list.

Here’s what you can do to keep Gray wolves protected under the Endangered Species Act

Contact your members of Congress and make it known that you want Gray wolves in the United States to remain protected under the Endangered Species Act.

Members of the U.S. Congress

U.S. Senators—Get contact information for your Senators in the U.S. Senate.

U.S. Representatives—Find the website and contact information for your Representative in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Take action today to save Gray wolves!

Featured image: Offspring of Mollie’s pack in Yellowstone Park show respect to their mother and father. DAN STAHLER/Yellowstone National Park

Featured image of wolf by Ian Mcallister

Wisconsin’s Elusive Gray Wolf Deserves Our Protection…

In the late 1970s wolf Recovery in Wisconsin began. The Gray wolf made a comeback after being eradicated through hunting and trapping in Wisconsin. It wasn’t long before hunting special interests groups began their bid to get Wisconsin’s Gray wolf delisted. Sadly after 40 years of recovery these special interests (Fringe hunters) hunting groups got their way. In the state of Wisconsin the Gray wolf is hunted (2012-2014) for a fireplace rug & mounted as trophy when he’s not listed on the Endangered Species List. He was delisted in 2012 and his domestic relative, the dog, was used to track and trail him until a federal judged ordered the Gray wolf back on the ESL in December 2014. Today Wisconsin’s Gray wolf is facing multiple delisting threats in congress backed by special interests; wanting the Gray Wolf’s habitat for oil & gas, lumbering, and the Gray wolf himself for trophy hunting.

Visit Rachel’s blog at http://www.wolvesofdouglascountywisconsin.com

U.S. House Passes Bill To De-List Wolves From Endangered Species.

We must make it right…get it right…before we lose everything…the wolf is a social animal just like we are…they depend on family for survival…so do we as human-beings…

The idea that only man is equipped for conserving our planet’s natural resources is a dying concept; dying right along with the untold numbers of wild sentient beings killed in the name of conservation. Such problems drive home a critical flaw in the paradigm of conserving wildlife.

It’s going to take a major shift in thinking that will require opening up lines of communication between the general public; specifically with interests in conserving our natural resources for future generations to come. It’s not about numbers. It’s about sentient beings sharing our planet, and how we can coexist for the benefit of all living upon Mother Earth.

Changing the paradigm from killing to compassionate conservation is a major shift in thinking…

Through my mind’s eye memories flow through the years spent within the Gray Wolf’s range in Wisconsin’s northern forests in Douglas county starting in the year 2000. There you’ll find vast wilderness of forests and barrens where the Gray wolf resides.

Do you think there’s room for the Gray wolf? The following video was shot 2 summers ago in 2015. This landscape is found on a 15 mile long remote gravel road in northern Wisconsin. Do you think there’s room for the wolf?

Last summer, 2018, I visited this same area (in the video) with friend Elke Duerr and who’s filming in the photograph.

When I began helping to monitor Wisconsin’s Gray wolf in the year 2000 there were only 66 Gray wolf packs in the state. Today’s wolf over winter wolf population counts is around 945 individuals.

In northern Wisconsin beauty can be found where the Gray wolf resides. I’ve walked these trails for over two decades in search of Wisconsin’s wild & elusive gray wolf.

The Gray wolf in Wisconsin trots freely down the wild and remote gravel roads in Douglas county.

Rains of summer create a lush paradise in wolf range.

The Gray wolf in northern Wisconsin. Photograph screen shot from Red Cliff reservation trail cam.

In summer of July 2018 I met a Raven on a remote gravel road in Douglas county. Douglas county is home for Wisconsin’s wild Gray wolf.

The Gray wolf in Wisconsin deserves our protection…

Contact your members of Congress today.

Erika Burns Andres

I wanted to repost this from Erika.  She was the best of the community.  I could go on and on about her…but her words are so much more profound.

I have added a recording with Erika from the NLA rendezvous. Again… her words are more profound than any I could write.

Erika Burns Andres – My words:

Experience.

Experience is who we are. It is what makes us, forever teaching and molding us and ruling our view points, and emotions, and our knowledge, and communication skills.

Experience, when learned from, and applied; helps us to become better people in this world if we apply the lessons from the experience, and comprehend the experience.

In my personal journey with wolfdogs and wolfdog community, I have learned that it is a journey of continued learning. This journey occurs online and offline.

I have found it best to stay humble, and try to keep in mind that we are all students. I was a breeder before Facebook times. This made online a peak of the desired education of  the things I wanted to learn further. 

I figured out quick it was going to be an experience to learn from, but  I would have to learn by tuning out the distractions that come with it.

The first Facebook wolfdog I ever saw was (Loki), that belonged to Cindy Matthews. I recall going wow that is one of the best wolfdogs I have ever seen. 

He looked so much like the very first one I saw in my childhood at age 6. The one I saw at age 6 was my first inspiration. However Loki was my first online inspiration. 

Later I recall seeing pictures of (Shango) that belongs to Sharon Green it was love at first site again. My goal was to always breed down in content, then back up.

However, the very first two wolfdogs I saw on Facebook became inspirations for me to try and mold and mimic far as looks. It never happen, but lead me to the very looks so many see today from us. 

I recalled learning why wolf hybrids were now called wolfdogs. We always called them hybrids in the 90’s, the online wdc educated and explained why wolves and dogs do not produce hybrids. 

This took some adjusting to far as using the correct terms. But eventually I settled to be politically correct. I recall thinking to myself , I need to mold my animals like this one or that one. But found I kept getting distracted in education with arguments and unwanted drama being new to Facebook.

So my next focus was, (who do I want to be like and get more of a productive experience) ? And this is not to offend anyone. But I wanted to be like Sharon Green.  She educated , but was never biased, never really took part in drama, or attacks on people. And would ask questions in further learning. This gave me a guide as to what personality is the best way to learn, and still be able to coexist with as many in the wolf dog community as possible. 

Aside from the obvious education, a few things I learned were as follows.

Never assume just because people say something is fact. 

Get to know people on a more personal level.

In most cases, never give up hope that people can change.

Approach is essential to education.

Remain humble, and never be afraid to ask questions.

Educational experience goes better when we educate with genuine concern.

I  try to keep in mind that we don’t truly know others back ground, genetic influences, or life circumstances that influence their thinking or learning process.

I learned to be greatful for any progress fellow owners may venture to make, as humans have free will. They don’ have to do anything or any change. So when we see that change acknowledge it.

I have met so many that have influenced me in my journey of betterment. 

I have met some that are models as to what I do not want to be. And others that I have seen a love, a passion, a logic that serves as all id like to embody.

I have seen so many change for the better, and while I don’t know what changed their heart, aside from gaining a true love for wolfdogs and fellow owners. I can say that I feel education and the experience of the wolfdog community is indeed getting better for new comers to remain unbiased, focused on education, and in turn better in education than those before.

We now have even more to learn. Genetic testing such as Embark, is a new look into wolfdogs that gives insight far deeper than pheno ever could. So once again it is something to have to comprehend and learn more about and expound in education from there. For me it has been a learning experience from the time the wolfdog community began to embrace it. So now I have a mental check list to aide in my experience of the wolfdog community. 

1. Analyse for positive logic and learning.

2. Practice good human relation skills.

3. Find someone who conducts themselves in a way you coincide with to be a positive asset to the wolfdog community, and by example encourages you.

4. Never feel content. As it slows learning and evolving for betterment.

5. Ask questions, and fact check the answers.

6. Have genuine concern.

7. Recognize your gifts and stick to those as we all have various gifts. When we try to go beyond our gifts it can mess up education for others.

8. Learn about wolves and wolfdogs and all the core basic essentials. 

9. Learn from the mistakes of others as well as my own past.

10. Learn about Embark and what it means for wolfdogs, and what it means for previous education and future education. And what it means for a breeder and their breeding program. And learn how it can be a rescues dream come true. For even more informed placement. 

11. Try to keep in mind just as much as we love our animals , try to offer the same genuine love for your fellow humans. Lack of compassion for our own kind is not natural, but should never be limited. I’ve figured out many humans have that issue. But I can’t judge because I really had a pretty good upbringing that taught me to do these things. I do fall short at times for logical reasons.

12. Just because some articulate better than others, it is best to consider the message than the format. Example; If a person says, (wow the stratus clouds look divine). That is wonderful and educated indeed. However; if another member says, ( The thinner clouds are very pretty).  It is the same concept just written in two different formats that say the same thing. Education is not governed by articulation alone, but knowledge. Always consider the facts behind the knowledge, regardless of format.

13. Get to know members on a personal level,it will save a lot of heart break, and you might just make a great friend or two in the process.

I have tried to make all these things into a checklist to be a better member, better educator, better breeder. And a better friend. 

In the process of going by this guide, I have met rescues that were so nice and logical. That care so much about the animals. I have made some really awesome friends along the way as well. I have met many, but I swear I knew Samantha Tambor in a past life. It’s like I went to school with her or something. It’s honestly hard to explain. If anyone can get through to me and make since of things that don’t add up to me, it’s her. 

There are others that have a place in my heart as well. And have helped so much with my education and experience in the wolfdog community. Kim Miles, Jerry Mills, Kat Woldancer, Janice Mcguire, the late Donald Lewis, My customers/friends, Juan Cypress Creek. Bobby B and I use to talk years ago, I actually like him. Though his experience has made him become very reserved. 

Certain people’s drive has also inspired me. Back when there were forums Cindy was like an investigator I learned much from her research. Christa Ward was the first to try and understand my program with breeding lows. And actually made me feel she really was asking for the right reasons. She was the first ever I shared my goals with. 

I was always totally terrified of rescue views. Rescues that changed my mind that rescuers can be logical and have a heart based on logic love and compassion for the animals and people were as follows.

Natasha Handcock
Nancy Brown
Justine T
Sonia S
Connie Howard
John Deboard
Malinda S
Melissa Greene 
Stephanie A
Deborah S
John Smith

There are others as well, but those names come to mind first.

Passion for education is as follows

Greg Largent 
Deanna M
Samantha Tambor
Natasha Handcock
Kim Miles
Jody Haynes
Rose P
Kat Wolfdancer
Richard Vickers
George S
Laura Loft
Stephanie Alcorn

There are so many I can’t name them all. As I continue this journey the above guidelines of learned experience is what has made my journey of experience positive, educational, and perception changers. I hope to continue to learn more, and see us all change for the betterment of each other, the betterment of wolfdogs and the future of wolfdogs. I hope that my place in the community online and offline can be a positive one and others may learn from it. If I could say any meaningful advice, it would be to love equally. The rest will work itself out if that one key factor is truly followed. Forgive equally. The biggest challenge of the wolfdog community is the wolfdog community.  I look forward to the day all can truly see that. 

WOLF WEEK: Wolves to be reintroduced on Lake Superior’s Isle Royale

 

http://www.fox9.com/news/wolf-week-wolves-to-be-reintroduced-on-lake-superiors-isle-royale#

Isle Royale sits like a gem in a cold ring of Lake Superior water some 15 miles off the shore of Grand Portage, Minnesota.  Its isolation has been the island’s preservation. Today, as a national park, the 210-square mile island is not much different than when Norwegian fisherman built the first fish camps on its shores in the mid-1800’s.

A balance between life and death, predator and prey, has kept this island in check since the 1940’s. Ice bridges during the cold winter months enabled the first grey wolves to find the island 75 years ago. Those wolves stayed and, for the most part, flourished, living off the abundant moose population.

Over the decades, the predator and prey populations ebbed and flowed in a forest ecosystem that worked. Scientists studied it, but for the most part, they stayed out of it.

Then, the ice bridges stopped forming and the wolves – after their population peaked at 50 – started dying. Canine parvovirus took many; wolves killing other wolves took some. At times, the wolves were dying at an alarming rate, while the moose, with fewer canines to bring them down, grew in relatively unchecked numbers.

Today, upwards of 2,000 moose roam Isle Royale. With only two non-breeding wolves left to hunt them, the National Park service decided humans will step in and alter the course of nature before it’s too late.

The predator-prey balance on Isle Royale has already clearly changed. For Rolf Peterson, who has spent 50 years of his life out here studying that dynamic, and with the moose population trending up rapidly, doing nothing in this national park would be disastrous for its ecosystem.

Peterson was 22 years old, just a graduate student, when he first stepped foot on Isle Royale. There is not a trail, nor a bit of shoreline he does not know, Now, he is known around the world for his wolf and moose research conducted on the island annually.

No one knows more about the connection between a healthy wolf population, a healthy moose population and a healthy island than Peterson does.

“The main issue here is there’s a moose population that’s like a runaway freight train right now,” Peterson said. “And if we let it run away, it will be to the detriment of the entire national park.”

Had the park service chosen a hands-off approach to the island, Peterson and other biologists believe that runaway moose population would devastate the park’s dominate balsam fir forests. It is the favorite food of moose. Over-grazing means the forests would eventually be replaced with a barren spruce and grass environment, but adding more wolves back into the mix means fewer moose and balance on the island once again.

The decision to drop wolves back on the island did not come easy. It means interrupting the relative “do not touch” scientific philosophy of this particular national park.

Among those with concerns is Dr. David Mech, a premier expert on wolf behavior. Mech pioneered the wolf-moose study on Isle Royale 60 years ago.

“To be done right, it’s going to take quite a bit of thought and consideration,” Mech said.

Mech said he would like to see a committee of wolf and moose biologists thoughtfully and carefully plan the re-introduction.

“Is the primary objective going to be to bring the wolf population to the point where it real quickly stops the moose population from increasing?” Mech said. “Or, is it going to be just establish a basic wolf population out there? Or is it going to be an experiment? I’d like to see it be an experiment.”

Ironically, it was Peterson that Mech helped guide into the prey-predator study and onto Isle Royale in the early 1970’s. Now, almost 50 years later, Peterson has no doubts about reintroduction.

“[Isle Royale] has a future, basically, a future as a dynamic wolf-moose forest system, whereas without wolves here, it had no future,” Peterson said. “It would be just a runaway moose population that would basically trash the place as only a huge herbivore can do.”

With the debate now over, wolves, likely from Minnesota, will once again dominate the food chain on Isle Royale.

“Nature’s way” will start all over again on the island—a delicate balance under the watchful eye of humans, with a new precedent of stepping in when the balance tips one way or the other.