Wolf statue given to school by graduating students for school mascot.

http://www.draperjournal.com/2017/11/03/159190/beloved-wolf-statue-given-to-school-by-graduating-students#.WgHTfJ9yc3I.facebook

This fall, several students pet Koda, their metal-cast statue of their wolf mascot. The statue was a gift from the eighth-grade graduating class last spring.

In the second year graduating classes have given gifts to the school, parent Jen Hymas helped students bring the statue to the school.

“An eighth-grade teacher saw the statue and mentioned it to the students when they were brainstorming ideas,” she said. “When it was decided, I picked it up and brought it to the school. Eventually, it will be cemented and placed in front of the school.”

Channing Hall graduating student Ethan Mouser presented the statue to the school at the commencement exercises. The previous year, the eighth-grade class gave a buddy bench to the school in memory of their classmate Tomas Hollenbach, who died of brain stem glioma, a form of brain cancer.

Channing Hall selected the wolf as its mascot early in the school’s 11-year history, said Heather Shepherd, head of the school.

“Channing is an old French and Anglo-Saxon name that means ‘wisdom,’ ‘wise one’ and ‘young wolf,’” Shepherd said. “Native American mythology regard the wolf as the tribe’s greatest teacher; the forerunner of new knowledge who leaves the tribe to learn and discover and returns to share insight and wisdom. As a natural extension of ‘Channing’ as our school name, the young wolf is our school mascot. The young wolf mascot stands as an enduring symbol of discovery, mastery, insight and wisdom as we foster individuals who are intellectually agile — responding and contributing to a changing world.”

It was during the school’s third year that students nominated names for their mascot. Koda won in a vote over the two other names, she said.

Shepherd said that graduating gifts to the school will become a tradition and credits the school’s parent organization, CHAPS, for making it happen.

“Our students come visit after they graduate but looking at the eighth-grade gifts makes sure they are remembered daily,” she said.

In Israel’s Ein Gedi, tourists’ trash lures wolves out of the shadows – and into trouble.

The Arabian wolf is usually just a shadowy presence in the rugged landscape of Israel’s Ein Gedi Nature Reserve. Recently, however, the area’s unique, desert-adapted hunters have been getting some more attention – for the wrong reasons.

A string of attacks on visitors by wolves living within the park has caused alarm among park rangers and the public alike. According to wildlife officials, the wolves appear to be associating tourists with food. This dangerous situation has been evolving for s

Between 100 and 150 Arabian wolves live in Israel, but the cautious canids tend to stay far out of sight. The animals typically hunt under the cover of night, when prey can be chased down without the threat of overheating under the blazing sun. For this reason, spotting an Arabian wolf in the wild is considered a rare and lucky sighting by many locals.

In recent months, however, the wolfish inhabitants of Ein Gedi have become much less elusive, with reports coming in of animals approaching tourists and raiding camp sites. Back in May, reserve staff were prompted to issue a warning after one visitor’s particularly harrowing encounter: during a family camping trip in the park, the woman’s one-year-old daughter was attacked by wolves at dusk. The child suffered only minor scratches and bite marks, but the close call alarmed both visitors and staff.

At the time, biologists with the Israel Nature and Parks Authority (INPA) suspected that the wolves’ growing interest in humans could be traced to an unsurprising source: visitors’ garbage and improperly contained food. Several tourists had even been observed attempting to feed the predators. Such irresponsible behaviour, the INPA team feared, would only make the situation worse – and it seems those fears were well founded.

“It is rare that foxes, jackals or wolves attack humans,” park officials noted in a recent statement [translated from Hebrew]. ” …[T]hese wild animals are [usually] afraid of humans, and there’s rarely any danger of aggressive contact.”

Like their kin in other parts of the world, Arabian wolves are decidedly unfussy eaters. While they typically feed on rodents and other mammals, birds, reptiles and even berries are also on the menu when food is scarce. Extreme temperatures in Israel’s arid desert can sometimes prevent local wolves from hunting for several days, so opportunistic foraging gives the canids a leg-up in the survival department. That dietary flexibility, though, also means human trash is an appealing dining option.

“Popular hiking trails and overnight camps are now an abundant food source for the wolves,” says the team. “Intentionally, or accidentally, they are becoming garbage dumps filled with waste left by travelers.”

Though the wolves’ elusive nature makes their numbers hard to pin down, it’s thought that about 20 individuals currently den within the Ein Gedi reserve – and the caloric requirements of those packs reach a peak during summer, when the year’s pups begin to wean.

The demands of a growing family can be strenuous, and this possibly helps to explain the rare daytime hunting behaviour witnessed in the park in late June. Nature and Parks supervisor Matan Bogomolsky managed to film a predation on a Nubian ibex (a wild mountain goat) from one of the reserve’s rocky plateaus:

It probably indicates that the wolves at this time of the year have a new generation of offspring and therefore require a great deal of food,” park staff said at the time, while stressing once again that visitors should dispose of their waste responsibly, and never attempt to feed the predators.

Despite those precautions, ten attacks of varying severity have been documented in and around the park since Bogomolsky’s clip went viral online. Earlier this month, two children were bitten at the Ein Gedi field school and a third was injured by wolves at a nearby desert spring.

Ecologist Dr Haim Berger, who specializes in wolf behavior, has been reviewing these cases – and because many of them involve small children, he believes we’re seeing the next stage of a predictable progression.

“Imagine a wolf that can’t find food for a few days,” he told Haaretz. “Suddenly people arrive and do a barbecue, and the smell spreads. [The wolf] connects people with food, and slowly the suspicion [of humans] goes away. There is a process of adaptation. It is clear that 50 or 100 years ago no wolf would dare to go near the Bedouins who passed through the desert.”

As the predators become emboldened, they also become more inquisitive – and they may begin to see humans, particularly smaller children, as potential prey.

Back in July, Berger himself had a close encounter with Ein Gedi’s wolves when one of the animals entered his camp site. The wolf seemed undeterred by Berger’s presence, though the interaction ended without incident.

In the months since the first attack was reported, reserve staff have been criticized for failing to promote public awareness of the situation. In an interview with The GuardianBerger noted that visitors were now being cautioned about potentially risky wolf behaviour, though he himself was not given any warning when a ranger visited his camp site the day before his own wolf encounter.

This classic story of human-wildlife conflict is playing out in many other parts of the world, too. Decades of research have shown that predators of all shapes and sizes can easily become habituated to human presence and the food we leave behind – from polar bears in the snow-covered Arctic and sharks in tropical waters to the bin-raiding coyotes roaming the urban sprawl.

The string of attacks in Ein Gedi, meanwhile, has led to public outcry, with some locals calling for the park’s wolf population to be eradicated. Berger and other experts, however, emphasis that non-lethal measures can significantly improve the situation, if implemented well. Wildlife officials suspect the recent aggressive encounters have all involved just one or two wolves, so measures designed to reinstill a fear of humans in the rest of the wolf population could help to prevent future conflict.

So far, two wolves have been captured by the INPA for relocation, and rangers armed with paintball guns have been routinely patrolling the area. Park visitors who spot wolves, even from afar, are encouraged to shout loudly and wave their arms.

In the wake of these encounters, the INPA team has also been at pains to plead the wolves’ case. Human encroachment, they note, often forces wildlife to adapt to a rapidly changing habitat, and the biodiversity of the region’s remaining wild spaces must be protected. Arabian wolves remain a vital component of that wilderness, and play an important role in the Ein Gedi ecosystem by keeping grazers like ibex in check.

“In the realm of nature we are guests and wild animals are at home,” says the team. “It is important that we preserve their coexistence. There is a direct connection between humans feeding predators and the predators’ sometimes aggressive behavior towards humans. Our actions can change their behavior – and that change can harm them for generations.”

Feds offer $5,000 reward for killer of wolf on Fremont-Winema Forest in Oregon.

http://www.ktvz.com/news/feds-offer-5000-reward-for-killer-of-wolf-on-fremont-winema-forest/636215368

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of whoever was responsible for killing a federally protected gray wolf in south-central Oregon.

On April 23, 2017, a canid carcass was found about 20 miles northwest of Klamath Falls on the Fremont-Winema National Forest. The carcass was sent to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Forensics Labs in Ashland for a necropsy, which determined that it was a male gray wolf known as OR-33, and that it died from gunshot wounds. The Service does not have an estimated date of when the wolf was shot.

OR-33 dispersed from the Imnaha Pack in northeastern Oregon in November 2015, and was not known to be part of any pack. The approximately 4-year-old wolf had a collar, but it quit transmitting in August of 2016.

The Mail Tribune reports the wolf had been blamed for a three-day livestock killing spree east of Ashland in June 2016. OR-33 was blamed for killing two goats, one sheep and injuring a third sheep.

It is a violation of the Endangered Species Act to kill a gray wolf, which is listed as endangered in the western two-thirds of Oregon. It is also a violation of Oregon state game laws. The Oregon State Police and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are working together on the investigation.

Anyone with information about this case should call the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at (503) 682-6131, or Oregon State Police Tip Line at (800) 452-7888. Callers may remain anonymous.

Kindergartener’s efforts prompts School to adopt wolf conservation

PHOTO:  Owen Riese.  Courtesy Photo/Brian Riese.

Endangered wolves have a new ally in the form of Ashburn’s Trailside Middle School.

The school has symbolically adopted a Mexican Gray Wolf from the Wolf Conservation Center (WCC) in South Salem, New York, as part of an ongoing effort to repopulate the species, which was once extinct in the wild.

The idea came from 6-year-old Ashburn resident Owen Riese, who researched wolves over the summer with his father, Brian, and decided he wanted to do something to save one of his favorite animals. The two reached out to Trailside since the school’s mascot is a Timberwolf, Owen’s father Brian Riese said.

The elder Riese said he and Owen are interested in seeing if they can recruit more schools to join Trailside Middle in saving endangered species with their “Save My Mascot” idea, particularly schools with wolf mascots.

WCC Youth Education Coordinator Regan Downey spoke to Trailside students Oct. 5 on the importance of conservation work, and shared photos and videos of the wolf the school is sponsoring.

“We want more people to understand wolves and understand how important they are,” Downey said.

WCC has four ambassador wolves that members of the public can visit and watch on livestream, as well as Mexican Gray Wolves and Red Wolves, two critically endangered wolf species, which center staff breed and release into the wild to rebuild the population.

While some states prohibit the hunting of these endangered wolf species, hunters and ranchers do not face penalties if the wolves are killed while attacking livestock or if they mistake the wolves for coyotes. Forty-four states classify wolves as predators, allowing them to be shot on sight, Downey said.

“People shoot wolves, not for food, but because most of the time, they hate them. They think wolves are scary, they think wolves might eat their pets or eat their livestock, and we want to teach people that’s not necessarily the case,” Downey said. “Wolves are probably more afraid of you than you are of them … you guys are more likely to be killed by cows or deer than by wolves.”

Downey also said the U.S. House of Representatives Natural Resources Committee advanced five bills earlier this week that would undermine the Endangered Species Act (ESA). One bill, H.R. 424, seeks to strip ESA protections for wolves in four states. The bill would allow wolves to be shot and trapped for trophy purposes. The bill would also prohibit judicial review–thus preventing any future legal challenge.

The bills are set to go to a vote in the full House of Representatives and Downey encouraged students to contact their representative. When asked if he would write to Rep. Barbara Comstock, Owen Riese enthusiastically said yes.

Trailside students also learned how wolves are critical in preserving the environment. They help control the population of grazing animals, like elk and deer, which allows vegetation to flourish—this in turn feeds other animals, keeps animals moving to avoid being eaten—a step that keeps soil from eroding, which protects streams and rivers.

The last wolves in Yellowstone National Park were killed in the 1920s, Downey said. Because there were no predators, the elk got lazy and stopped moving as frequently. They overgrazed land which altered the entire ecosystem. Once wolves were reintroduced by scientists, the entire ecosystem changed for the better.

“It hadn’t been even 20 years before the environment shifted and changed,” Downey said. “This is what we want people to be aware of.”

In addition to the adoption of F1226, also known as Bella, Trailside teachers will come up with projects in other classes relating to extinction, ecosystems, legislation and persuasive writing, Principal Bridget Beichler said.

“Once you start getting something planted, it’s amazing what kids can do,” Beichler said

Working with wolves: Ranchers try new Non-Lethal approach that is working.

http://www.siskiyoudaily.com/news/20171003/working-with-wolves8200local-rancher-tries-new-approach

An ongoing effort to reduce risks to livestock in wolf ranges has produced a new strategy being promoted by one Siskiyou County rancher whose livestock roams in the range of the first recorded wolfpack in California in decades.

Butte Valley rancher Mark Coats has been involved in efforts to address wolf-livestock issues since OR-7 – the first wolf documented as having entered state in nearly a century – entered California in 2011.  That effort saw Coats pair up with environmental groups to develop a range rider program that has been shown to deter wolves by increasing human presence around livestock grazing areas.

While the partnership – referred to as Working Circle – is still active, Coats has parted ways with the group and continues to work on ways to protect livestock within the confines of the law, as the gray wolf is a protected species under the Endangered Species Act.

One result of that work has been the publishing of a website, www.rancherpredatorawareness.com, which provides a new way to think about herd management in an effort to reduce livestock losses while at the same time not creating more issues in the heated debate over ranching and wolf management.

Specifically, Coats, along with two other area ranchers, worked on a new stockmanship approach that aims to alter how cattle respond to the presence of predators, focusing on the cows rather than the wolf itself.

In a report available on the website, Coats indicates that the approach is driven by the theory that teaching cattle to calmly herd together at the first signs of danger is better than promoting behaviors that see them scatter – which pack predators rely on to cull old, young, or sick members of the herd. On the other end of the spectrum, Coats notes that more aggressive cows can also present a problem – separating themselves from the herd to chase down wolves can open them up to attack as well.

The report indicates that an underlying idea is that cattle herding together interrupts the process on which wolves rely to separate their prey. The end result, Coats says, is that the cattle end up herding together, facing in different directions, with a more defensive and defiant presence.

The report also provides an extensive tutorial on getting the herd to that point – from exercises to run as well as what type of dog would best assist in the process.

Referencing recent decisions in Washington to allow for the shooting of problem wolves – and the attendant political issues – Coats said that he hopes the stockmanship strategy can get better results for California.  “It makes a statement that we’re trying to be proactive – that we’re not just out here shooting and harassing wolves,” he said.

Let’s all Celebrate California Wolf Center’s FORTIETH Birthday!!!!

http://ramonajournal.com/california-wolf-center-celebrates-years-p8886-88.htm

By Angela McLaughlin – Ramona Home Journal•
Thu, Oct 05, 2017
In 1977, Paul and Judy Kenis opened the doors to the California Wolf Center in Julian. They started with just two wolves and a vision of educating people about wolves and their importance to the ecosystem.

Over the years, the organization has grown to include more wolves and volunteers, eventually becoming a nonprofit in 1984. Today, the center has a network of 93 volunteers and houses 29 wolves on the property. Focusing on wild wolf recovery and coexistence between wolves and humans, the center uses many
outlets to accomplish its goals — from community education to building relationships with ranching communities and more.
The center’s participation is vital to Mexican gray wolves in the Southwest and North American gray wolves in Northern California. Recent successes include a litter of six Mexican gray wolves born in May, participating in cross-fostering with a wild pack in Arizona, and developing positive relationships with ranchers across multiple communities.
Program coordinator John Murtaugh says, “The wolves are kind of a symbol, like pandas, that are this iconic symbol of conservation. They represent a species that was nearly brought to the point of extinction, but because of conservation efforts, we’ve been able to recover them to this point where they have a chance now.”
The center is celebrating its 40th anniversary on Oct. 14 at an annual fundraiser. The event will take place from 5 to 9 p.m. at Hilton San Diego Mission Valley, 901 Camino del Rio S. The catered dinner will feature a silent and live auction, speed painting with “Live Art with Heart,” and live music. Information about the fundraiser and the center may be found at https://www.californiawolfcenter.org/.
As the center is almost entirely volunteer-run, this is an important event for the organization.
“It is our most important and largest fundraiser,” says Kim Carey, director of volunteers. “We do make a difference in the wild, and we are the only group in California that is doing this.
“This is the next state — this is where they are coming back to. It’s a really important thing to have wolves on the landscape and to teach people about them.”

FLORIDA TREASURE: NAPLES NON-PROFIT TEAM RESCUES WOLVES, WOLFDOGS & EXOTIC CATS.

http://www.wtsp.com/mobile/article/news/florida-treasures-naples-non-profit-team-rescues-wolves-wolfdogs-exotic-cats/67-479034745.  Channel 10 – Bright Side News

Since 2001, a Naples not-for-profit team has worked to save hundreds of wolves and wolfdogs.

The Shy Wolf Sanctuary, just under 2.5 hours from St. Petersburg, has been rescuing animals for more than two decades. When they officially became a non-profit organization, Deanna Deppen came on board to help.

“Unfortunately, the human race actually creates a problem, and the sanctuaries fill a need,” Deppen said. “It seems like there’s a never-ending request for rescue needs.”  Some of Shy Wolf’s animals ended up at the sanctuary because their owners realized they aren’t suited for life as pets.

The sanctuary is currently home to 10-12 wolves or high content wolfdogs, meaning they have very little dog DNA; 20 wolfdogs or dogs that have been labeled wolfdogs; five coyotes; a fox; a cougar; a bobcat; 8-10 domestic cats; four tortoises; four prairie dogs and three raccoons. They’re all rescues.

The wolves and wolfdogs at Shy Wolf were all bred in captivity. Many were initially sold as pets. These animals need 10-foot tall fences with 3-foot lean-ins to prevent them from escaping, Deppen explained.

“You don’t know what ones are going to be good pets when they’re a little ball of fur,” she explained. “It’s been our experience that nature trumps nurture.”

“Be very careful and responsible about whatever pet you choose to get … Know what the breed is,” Deppen added.

Wolfdogs may bond with humans, but that doesn’t mean they will do well as pets. Domestic animals rely on humans for food, shelter and direction. That’s not the case for exotic animals.

“They’re going to be more independent thinkers,” Deppen said. “Wild animals go through the same stages we do, neonatal, transitional, socialization, adolescent and adult, and we’ve bred domestic dogs down to function in that adolescent stage of development where they depend on us.”

“Wolves, coyotes, tortoises, other exotic animals, function in their own adult stage. They find their own shelter. They find food sources,” she added. “They’re pack animals within their packs but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they consider the humans part of their pack.”

When wolfdogs end up in shelters, they’re often killed, Deppen said. That’s because shelters consider them a liability to adopt out, she said. “A lot of the times the shelters don’t even contact rescue. They automatically euthanize them,” Deppen added.

Shy Wolf runs entirely on donations, with a budget of around $200,000 per year. During Hurricane Irma the sanctuary sustained damage to fencing and enclosures. The shelter is seeking donations to help make repairs. In addition, the team would love to expand and build a new facility, as they say they are helping more animals than they first envisioned.

The sanctuary offers tours, although you must make a reservation. At just under 2.5 hours from St. Petersburg, it makes a great day trip or piece of an overnight vacation for families.

Please visit https://shywolfsanctuary.org/ for information on how you can help the animals.