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.

 

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.”

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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.

ENDANGERED SPECIES DAY – MAY 18TH.

While many of us celebrate Endangered Species Day on May 18, others attack the Endangered Species Act. PLEASE listen to Rick Lamplugh as he discusses whether states should have more or less say in protecting endangered and threatened wildlife by clicking the sound track below.   

 

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.

One of Romes rare Italian wolf cubs killed by hit-and-run driver

One of the first wild wolf cubs to be born in Rome in 100 years was run over and killed last week in an incident that a wildlife charity suspects could have been deliberate.

The cub was found lifeless in the Castel di Guido wildlife sanctuary on April 10th, according to the charity that runs it, Lipu, and a post-mortem confirmed that it was killed by blunt force trauma, likely caused by a vehicle.

“Great sorrow for the animal’s death was followed by anger for the evidently non-natural causes of its demise,” Lipu wrote in a statement on Facebook.

The cub, born around a year ago, had a condition that meant it could not use its hind legs. The park’s concealed wildlife cameras filmed it lagging behind the rest of the pack, which never abandoned it despite its disability, Lipu said.

The charity, which has informed the authorities, suspects that a driver may have hit the wolf deliberately.

“It’s hard to believe this was an unintended accident,” its statement said. “It doesn’t seem credible that on a dirt road, where the uneven surface forces you to reduce your speed and yet straight enough that you can see a long way ahead, it wouldn’t be possible to avoid an animal that, due to its physical disability, was moving very slowly.”

Staff didn’t find any skid marks in the mud that would indicate the driver had attempted to swerve, Lipu said.

While the 180-hectare reserve is supposed to be off-limits to all except authorized vehicles, Lipu says that it frequently finds – and reports to the authorities – gates and barriers left open, often when poachers are found to have intruded.

“We cannot exclude the possibility that this time one of these criminals used their car as a hunting weapon instead of a gun, taking out among other things the weakest member of the pack that couldn’t even use escape as its defence.

“It leaves us with great bitterness to see that an incredible effort by the pack, that above all expectations successfully took care of a disabled member of its family, met with on one hand the terrible cruelty of some members of the human species, and on the other the indifference of those responsible for managing such a precious place entrusted to their custody.”

The Castel di Guido had its first wild wolf births in more than a century last year, keeping the litter a secret for months until they were sure of the cubs’ survival.

Wolves are thought to have made their way to the reserve, located to the west of the ring road that surrounds Rome, from the area around Lake Bracciano to the north, which has long had a wolf population.

While the animals are rare in the capital, in recent years they have thrived in more rural parts of Italy, notably the mountainous regions of the Apennines and the Alps.

Their growing numbers have brought them into conflict with farmers, who complain that attacks on livestock have risen sharply. Calls for a cull have so far been met with fierce opposition from environmentalists, who last year blocked a proposal to reduce Italy’s wolf population by five percent.

The European Union will hold a summit on the issue on May 15th, where representatives from South Tyrol and other northern Italian regions will push for greater freedom to manage local wolf populations.

W.O.L.F. Announces New Features, Chapter, International website and General Membership. PLEASE READ!!!

April 2 at 12:50pm · From the W.O.L.F. website.

The World of Lupines Foundation (W.O.L.F.) is excited to announce the advent of several new features: the official launch of our North American chapter; the new international website; additional resources and benefits for our membership; and, for the first time in history of the foundation, W.O.L.F. is offering a general membership option for wolfdog owners and enthusiasts.

W.O.L.F.’s goals are to provide an educational and support network for wolfdog owners, supporters and breeders around the world and to run a global registration service for ethically produced Lupine Dogs. In order to best meet these goals and adhere to the needs of our ever expanding international membership, W.O.L.F. has added localised support services under our ‘zone’ pages on our new website. The website serves as a core information provider about our worldwide organisation, Lupine Dog registration, and provides access to local resources for our North American zone division and our first German language resource page for Continental Europe.

We are please to introduce our new ‘Lupine Classification’ system. This detailed system enables prospective owners to find the Lupine Dog that best matches their lifestyle and environment, whilst also providing our Lupine Dog breeders the opportunity to follow their breeding goals yet remain united under W.O.L.F.’s ethical and responsible breeding practices. You can find more information about the Lupine Classification system and breeder registration on our website.

W.O.L.F. is pleased to announce that we have aligned ourselves with companies such as Embark and other canine retailers around the world to provide our members special discounts on products and services. We have also included a ‘members area’ on our website that is available exclusively to our membership. The ‘members area’ contains our growing database of Lupine Dog information, resources, educational material, and details of member only special offers and events.

W.O.L.F. is looking forward to the summer season and will be kicking off with a series of Education Team appearances at the ‘All About Dogs’ show in the UK this month. Additionally, W.O.L.F. will hold our very first North American show and educational seminar over Labor Day weekend at the Full Moon Farm ‘Pawty’. We hope you will come along and support us in actively promoting a responsible attitude towards Lupine Dog ownership.

To become a member of W.O.L.F., follow the link to their website and click on the ‘membership’ tab at the top. W.O.L.F. wishes you all a fantastic summer season and looks forward to meeting you at their scheduled events. You can find details of W.O.L.F. appearances under ‘News & Events’.

Best wishes
The W.O.L.F. Committee
‘The Lupine Dog: the dog, as nature intended.”

https://www.paypal.me/WorldOfLupines

 

Majority of European Wolves Have Dog DNA, says new research Study.

Photo Credit: Capri23auto via Pixabay.  Mar 22, 2018 | Original Story from the University of Lincoln.

https://www.technologynetworks.com/genomics/news/majority-of-european-wolves-contain-dog-dna-298870#.WrQP4EcIEWA.facebook

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