Wolfdog Radio is pleased to present an “Introduction to the Saarloos” Wolfdog!
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“Leendert Saarloos (1884-1969) born and raised in Dordrecht (the Netherlands) was a lover of the German Shepherd Dog. In the 1930’s, he linked a German Sheppard to a she wolf to regain the natural characteristics in this breed. These wolf-dog crossings were called European Wolf dogs. At the end of the 1950s some of these dogs were trained as guidance for blind people. “
We are honored to be interviewing Gerrie Pols and Julie Miyax Bradshaw, both involved with Saarloos wolfdogs:
Gerrie Pols is chairperson of the AVLS Dutch Breed Club of Saarloos Wolfdogs.
“It’s like Saarloos can put a spell on you, that makes you fall in love with them”
Julie Miyax Bradshaw, founder and chair of the SWDC (Saarloos Wolfdog Club UK). “At that time, I was a breeder of Lupine Dogs exclusively…a type of companion wolfdog which encompasses all ethically bred wolflike and wolfdogs. I fell in love with the Saarloos breed!” http://www.miyax.co.uk/author/julie/
Both women continue down a path with an animal that is fiercely disputed, controversial and more rewarding when a bond is forged. Both women have allowed our Wolfdog Radio audience to join them briefly on their journey.
and of course….the Saarloos…
Join us Tuesday January 16, 2018 at 9:00 P.M. (EST).
She is charismatic and intelligent. Fierce but merciful, she’s both a fighter and a loving mother. The focus of Nate Blakeslee’s latest nonfiction book, she isn’t the typical protagonist though—she’s a wolf.
O-Six is an alpha female named after her birth year. She was called “the most famous wolf in the world” by The New York Times after she began attracting wolf-watchers to her home in Yellowstone National Park’s Lamar Valley. Wolves were reintroduced to the park in 1995, which sparked controversy among hunters, ranchers, and environmentalists alike. A journalist who typically writes about politics, Blakeslee was drawn to the debate, and in 2012, when a hunter legally shot and killed the beloved O-Six, he’d found his story. He would write about this political hotbed through the life of the wolf itself.
In American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West, award-winning journalist Blakeslee, MA ’96, cinematically chronicles O-Six’s life, and gives voice to the hunters and conservationists on opposite sides of the debate. Leonardo DiCaprio’s production company Appian Way has already snatched up the film rights.
Can you explain the controversy surrounding wolves?
It’s been going on forever. The reason they were hunted out to begin with in the late 19th century is partly for their fur, but also because they were a threat to the ranching business, and the ranching business was so powerful there. It continues to be to this day. The descendants of those ranchers that hunted out the wolves in the 19th century are all still there. Also, elk hunting is big business in the northern Rockies, and wolves eat a lot of elk. People that make a living from guiding hunts or running motels that rely on hunters were very much against reintroduction.
But this has been going on so long in the West now that where you stand on wolves as a politician in the West has become kind of a litmus test. The rhetoric around the issue has gotten so divorced from the actual impact of wolves. You bash wolves and by extension you bash the federal government, which reintroduced wolves. That’s very popular in politics in the West now, to be against overreaching federal bureaucrats.
When did you learn about O-Six’s story?
About 10 years ago I took a wolf watching class in Yellowstone. When I was up there, I didn’t see O-Six, but I met some of the people who would become characters in the book, like Rick McIntyre, who works for the park service. He’s like Yellowstone’s wolf guru, and I talked to him about maybe doing a magazine profile, but I could never really figure out the right way to tell the whole story about the reintroduction of wolves and what an amazing success it was, but at the same time, how politically controversial it was. By then, the fight was over whether or not wolves should be hunted in the northern Rockies. Then in The New York Times, I read the story of O-Six, the most famous wolf in Yellowstone and what had happened to her, and that seemed like the best way to tell the story: through the lens of one famous wolf’s life.
When did you realize the story would work best as a book?
It’s just such a rich story. I really wanted it to read like a true-life Jack London story in which the characters were animals. That was possible because O-Six was seen by probably more than a million people watching on the roadside in Yellowstone. But more importantly she was watched on a daily basis by this much smaller group of die-hard wolf aficionados. I met one of them. Her name is Laurie Lyman. She’s a retired school teacher from San Diego, and she gave me this treasure trove: 2,400 pages of notes she had taken on O-Six and her family. It was like the diary of a wolf pack, and it provided all the raw material you would need to reconstruct their life with the kind of detail and the kind of intimacy you would expect in a novel.
What made O-Six so special?
She was the wolf that was most visible in the park during a time when wolf watching had become very popular. She happened to come into her own at the time Facebook was really exploding, so her image and her story were informally passed around everywhere. She went viral.
Rick McIntyre is another figure in the book. Why did you choose him?
He is one of the most genuinely eccentric people I’ve ever met. He’s absolutely obsessed with wolves. He’s in his mid-60s. He’s unmarried. He basically lives in the park. He spent 15 years without missing a day of watching wolves. He essentially considers wolves to be his family. Any wolf that you spot at the roadside with Rick, he can tell you that wolf’s lineage. He can tell you its personality. He’s an interpretive ranger, so his job is to sort of help visitors understand what they’re seeing. He, more than anyone else, is the reason that there is this phenomenon of wolf watching in the park. He was the person who first helped visitors find wolves. More than just telling people what to eat or how old they are, he really loves to tell stories about them because that was what matters to him. It made it just a much more rich experience, watching wolves in the park, if Rick was there.
How is this book different from your last book, which discusses the police corruption scandal in the Texas Panhandle?
It’s still a book about the intersection of politics and policy. That’s what’s interesting to me. We think about wildlife management as a science, and in some ways it is, but it’s also very political. Wolves are extremely controversial. The rise of humans parallels the decline of wolves. They were once the most widely distributed land mammal on the planet, and now we are. Every gain that humans have made has come at the expense of wolves. I was really fascinated by that idea, that this was a lens through which you could look at the history of the northern hemisphere over the last 500 years or so, this battle between the two most dominant species.
You were able to talk with the hunter who killed O-Six. What was that like?
I wanted to have a wolf-hunter’s perspective because you want to know how both sides of this issue see the world. And they do see the world very differently. And so finding him was a real breakthrough. He’s kept his name out of the papers for obvious reasons. He wanted to avoid that backlash. It’s actually against the law in the state of Wyoming for a public official to identify someone who shot a wolf because they know that it could turn into a Cecil the Lion situation. But he agreed to participate. He wanted his side of the story to be in there. All he really wanted was for his story to be told properly and respectfully.
What do you hope your book contributes to the debate surrounding wolves?
I hope that it helps unpack the difference between the rhetoric and the reality. It takes a clear-eyed look at what the impact of wolves has been on the northern Rockies and tries to separate out this issue of people trying to score points politically on the issue versus people actually trying to find solutions to the problems that do arise with respect to wolves. Secondly, the reason I wanted the book to tell a story of a wolf’s life, is because a wolf’s life is this amazing story of overcoming hardship and these amazing moments of empathy at the den. If we really knew what every wolf’s life was like, would we be so cavalier about shooting any one wolf?
Posted December 31, 2017 at 09:00 AM | Updated December 31, 2017 at 11:45 AM
The first of two full “supermoons” of January 2018 will soon be shining in the sky. Here’s a look at a supermoon that appeared over West Orange, N.J. in 2016. (Robert Sciarrino | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com)
If there’s such a thing as a Super Bowl for amateur astronomers, it’s happening in January 2018. The new year is ringing in with two rare “supermoons” — including one that will be a “blue moon” — along with a lunar eclipse. All during the same month.
The first of the two supermoons will appear in the sky on New Year’s Day, and the second one will be glowing on Jan. 31. That one will be a “blue moon,” because it’s the second full moon during the same calendar month.
Such an occurrence happens only once in a blue moon — well, technically, once every two to three years, according to astronomy experts from Space.com.
The first supermoon of 2018 will be officially at its fullest phase at 9:24 p.m. Eastern time (New York City time) on Monday, Jan. 1, and will be the biggest full moon of the year. The best time to see it is in the hours just after sunset, when the moon will be rising in the eastern sky.
You can also see the full moon as it sets on Tuesday morning, in the hours before sunrise. (Monday’s sunset takes place in New York at 4:39 p.m., and Tuesday’s sunrise takes place at 7:20 a.m.)
The second supermoon of 2018 — the so-called “blue moon” — will be officially at its fullest phase at 8:26 a.m. Eastern time (New York City time) on Wednesday, Jan. 31.
So, the ideal time to see it is on the night of Jan. 30 or the night of Jan. 31.
A lunar eclipse will be occurring on the morning of Jan. 31. Although it is considered a full lunar eclipse, experts say people in most parts of the eastern United States will not be able to enjoy the full effect because the moon will be so low in the sky during the full phase of the eclipse.
A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes through the earth’s shadow, blocking the light that the sun normally reflects off the moon’s surface — the light that makes the moon appear to glow.
The earth’s shadow will start touching the moon’s face at about 5:50 a.m. Eastern time, and a partial eclipse will start at 6:48 a.m., with the moon appearing to be red. Experts say the moon will be close to the horizon, so if you’re planning to see the eclipse find a location that has a clear view of the west-northwest.
At about 7 a.m., the maximum phase of the lunar eclipse will take place, with the moon close under the horizon, according to timeanddate.com.
“The best time to view the eclipse in New York would be around this time,” the website says. “Since the moon is near the horizon at this time, we recommend going to a high point or finding an unobstructed area with free sight to west-northwest for the best view of the eclipse.”
What is a wolf moon?
The wolf moon is an old nickname for the January full moon, dating back to the days when native American tribes gave nicknames to each month’s full moon to help keep track of the seasons.
According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, the full moon of January “appeared when wolves howled in hunger outside the villages.” That’s how the nickname was derived, and it continued to be used during colonial times.
Since there are two full moons in January 2018, the first one will be known as the wolf moon and the second one will be called the blue moon.
What is a supermoon?
The average distance between the Earth and the moon is 238,000 miles. When the moon tracks less than 223,000 miles from the Earth during its full phase, it’s considered a “supermoon” because it appears to be larger and brighter in the sky, particularly when it begins to rise over the horizon.
Some experts say that despite all the social media buzz over supermoons, they are only slightly larger than a normal full moon and casual observers probably won’t notice the difference between the two. Regardless, if the atmospheric conditions are good, this weekend’s full moon should appear to be brighter than usual.
How often do supermoons occur?
Supermoons usually occur a few times each year, but 2017 was a dud, with only one full supermoon in the sky. That was in early December, with the full “cold moon.“
Earlier in the year, a supermoon occurred on three different occasions during the moon’s new phase, when the moon was dark at night. Although there was nothing to see, those moons met the technical definition of a supermoon because of their close proximity to our planet.
This over 10 year study in Canada should open a few eyes around the world that the culling of wolves is NOT the answer to increasing Moose, Elk and Deer populations. One needs to look at the environmental root caused before condemning Wolves to be slaughtered as the cause of herd reduction.
Scientists spent a decade monitoring wolf, moose and endangered mountain caribou populations in the remote rain forests of southern British Columbia. In a study published Tuesday in the journal PeerJ, they found that if you let people hunt more moose, you get fewer wolves and more caribou. While this approach may only be part of the solution for preserving the caribou, it illustrates the complexity of conservation in natural environments.
“The band-aid solution is killing wolves, but that’s been treating the symptom,” said Robert Serrouya, a biologist at The University of Alberta who led the study. “We’re trying to deal with the cause.”
That cause is part of a counterintuitive narrative that goes like this: when a nonnative species wanders into a new place, its predators follow. The nonnative species knows how to fight or avoid its predators, and is good at reproducing. But for native species that evolved without worrying about the new predators, and are less fecund, it’s a big problem.
That’s what happened in the Channel Islands off California when pigs brought by humans attracted eagles that started preying on native foxes. The Canadian caribou tale is more indirect: Climate change, extensive wolf control in other areas and logging in British Columbian rain forests — which left decades worth of shrubby moose food in place of ancient trees — encouraged the moose to expand its territory. They traveled from their flat boreal forests homes to the rugged rain forests in southern British Columbia and Idaho where mountain caribou live. Wolves followed and started preying on the native caribou.
First Nations people in Canada who are native to the mountains where this study took place don’t even have a word for moose, said Dr. Serrouya. The animals may have never lived there. But today moose outnumber white-tailed deer (which are also invading) around 16 to one — and both outnumber mountain caribou.
To reduce moose numbers, the government of British Columbia increased hunting permits in 2003 by tenfold in a 2,500-square-mile area in the Columbia mountain range. The researchers compared what happened there with a nearby area to the west separated by mountains. It had a similar climate and ecology but no increased hunting. The scientists asked: Could sport hunting alone reduce the moose population to its historical level of few to none? Would that reduce wolves as well, relieving pressure on the mountain caribou? And would that help restore the caribou populations from near extinction to something sustainable?
Over ten years of monitoring the movements, survival and reproduction of the animals, the scientists found that extra moose hunting, even in this remote area, was enough to reduce the moose from around 1700 to just 300 or 400. It also reduced the wolves, which dispersed from the area and had fewer babies. The survival rate of the largest caribou subpopulation increased enough to stabilize in the hunting area, but continued to plummet in the area where hunting was not allowed to increase.
A similar approach was used in California to save those Channel Island foxes: killing feral pigs had an effect on the golden eagles that were hunting the foxes.
But moose control may not by itself be enough to save caribou in some circumstances. In one small group of caribou with fewer than 50 animals, the population did not stabilize. This suggested to Dr. Serrouya that without the social benefits of big group living (like extra eyes to watch for predators), the mountain caribou were vulnerable to additional pressures like random catastrophes, inadequate food or predation by cougars and bears. He thinks to truly restore mountain caribou populations, a more nuanced, multifaceted approach is necessary.
“It’s not up to me to decide what goes extinct or not,” said Dr. Serrouya. “But personally, if we can prevent extinction, and if we caused or are contributing to that, then sure — it’s a good thing to do.”
I hear hunters say that we should kill more wolves because wolves take so many elk that hunters come up empty handed. Instead of killing wolves, I think that hunters can learn from them. Here’s how. (photo NPS) Rick Lamplugh writes to protect wildlife and preserve wildlands. His new book, Deep into Yellowstone: A Year’s Immersion in Grandeur and Controversy, is available signed from Rick at bit.ly/2tIEt62, or unsigned on Amazon: amzn.to/2tgPU3E. His best seller, In the Temple of Wolves, is available signed at bit.ly/1gYghB4, or unsigned on Amazon at amzn.to/Jpea9Q.
Phillips Brewing has announced the two winning organizations – one in British Columbia and one in Alberta – that will receive the proceeds from the brewery’s Benefit Brew 2018 project.
Based on an online vote, this year’s supported charities will be BC SPCA Wild ARC, “a wildlife rehabilitation centre providing care for more than 3,000 injured, orphaned and sick animals each year”; and Alberta’s Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary, “a non-profit organization that promotes responsible wolfdog ownership and provides safe sanctuary for wolfdogs that have been neglected, abandoned, or otherwise displaced.”
Phillips will be brewing BC SPCA Wild ARC Honey IPA and Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary West Coast ESB soon, and will release them in early February exclusively in their respective provinces.
Each organization will receive full proceeds from the sales of the beers – roughly $10,000 each – and Phillips will also be donating $500 to all of the other finalists that were on the shortlist of Benefit Brew 2018 nominees. CONGRATULATIONS, Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctury!!!!!!!!!!!!
Gray wolves were eradicated from Colorado by the 1940s to protect domestic livestock, but groups like the Sierra Club are working to change public perception of wolves in hopes of reintroducing the animals to their former habitat. United States Fish and Wildlife Service has restored wolf populations to Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico and Arizona. Colorado is the last holdout. A few wolves have migrated into Colorado’s North and Middle Park, but the animals haven’t been officially reintroduced, largely due to continued opposition from livestock producers and hunting organizations.
At last spring’s Rio Blanco County Woolgrowers meeting, Justin Ewing, a trapper for the United States Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services office said, “It’s just a matter of time before we have an established wolf population here. The days of ‘no-wolves’ tunnel vision are over. They’re going to come, one way or another.”
If wolves are intentionally introduced, as they have been in other states, they can be managed if they cause trouble for livestock or humans, but if wolves migrate into Colorado, they are considered an endangered species and come under federal protection laws. Killing a wolf or any endangered species can result in criminal charges, a year in prison and fines up to $100,000 per offense, depending on circumstances and the discretion of federal authorities.
Reintroducing wolves in areas where ranching is prevalent doesn’t always end well for the wolves. The Wyoming Wolf Recovery 2016 annual report listed 243 confirmed wolf-kills of livestock, including 154 cattle, 88 sheep and one horse. In addition, 24 cattle, two sheep and one horse were injured by wolves but survived. As a result, wildlife managers killed 113 wolves that were confirmed to be attacking livestock. The state of Wyoming paid cattle and sheep producers $315,062 in compensation for livestock losses.
Pro-wolf activists believe western Colorado is the ideal habitat for wolves, due to the large populations of deer and elk. In Ewing’s opinion, the activists are interested in “natural control” of deer and elk rather than allowing human hunters to manage herd numbers, and said human safety when it comes to wolves “isn’t on the radar.”
In 2016, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission formally opposed the release of wolves in the state 7-4.
The Trappers Lake Sierra Club group, which serves Jackson, Moffat, Rio Blanco and Routt counties, is hosting an informational meeting about the benefits of reintroducing wolves to Colorado on Dec. 7 at 6 p.m. in the Bud Werner Memorial Library in Steamboat Springs, Colo. The meeting will include two short films, “Meet the Real Wolf” and “Canis Lupus Colorado,” followed by a discussion titled “Wolves in Colorado: Restoring the Balance,” led by Delia Malone, Sierra Club wildlife chair.
The films were produced by the Rocky Mountain Wolf Project, which states its mission as “to improve public understanding of gray wolf behavior, ecology and options for re-establishing the species in Colorado. The benchmark of our success: Wolves again roaming the snow-capped peaks, rim rock canyons and primeval forests of western Colorado.”
Wolf hunting in areas outside of the animal’s designated protected zones has been suspended after the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) sued the state at Oslo District Court.
The WWF’s suit against the Norwegian state asked the court to examine Norwegian laws on control of wolf populations, and to suspend hunting in the counties of Østfold, Oslo, Akershus and Hedmark, while investigations take place, reports news agency NTB.
Oslo District Court announced its decision on Tuesday.
The decision will be put into effect immediately, Christian Hillmann, advisor for the Rovviltnemnda (Wolf Advisory Board) in the relevant region, told NTB.
WWF environmental policy department leader Ingrid Lomelde told the agency that the organization was now looking forward to further examination of the issue by the court.
“Oslo District Court has taken an important decision by stopping the ongoing wolf hunt. We are now looking forward to the case going to court, where judges will decide whether Norwegian wolf administration is in breach of Norwegian law and international obligations,” Lomelde said.
The court itself stressed that suspension of hunting remains temporary for the time being.
Five animals have been shot since the beginning of the season in the four counties in areas outside of zones in which wolves are protected by law (ulvesonen in Norwegian), NTB reports.
WWF’s case is based on its argument that the animal is completely protected and on Norway’s own list of ‘critically endangered’ species, the agency reported as the trial began last week.
The Norwegian state is supported in the trial by the Norwegian Agrarian Association (Norges Bondelag), which has argued that halting wolf hunting would have adverse effects on food production.
The Norwegian Forest Owners Association (Skogeierforbundet) and Association of Hunters and Fishers (Norges Jeger- og Fiskerforbund) also supports the state in the case.
MANTEO, N.C.— Tucked away in the Senate report accompanying yesterday’s funding bill for the Department of the Interior is a directive to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to “end the Red Wolf recovery program and declare the Red Wolf extinct.”
“Senate Republicans are trying to hammer a final nail in the coffin of the struggling red wolf recovery program,” said Perrin de Jong, staff attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. “It is morally reprehensible for Senator Murkowski and her committee to push for the extinction of North Carolina’s most treasured wild predator. Instead of giving up on the red wolf, Congress should fund recovery efforts, something lawmakers have cynically blocked time and time again.”
The science demonstrates that red wolves are still recoverable. A 2014 report by the nonpartisan Wildlife Management Institute concluded that recovery would require augmenting eastern North Carolina’s existing wild population of fewer than 45 red wolves with two additional wild populations and investing additional resources to build local support for red wolf recovery.
The Fish and Wildlife Service is currently developing a revised rule under the Endangered Species Act to redesign protections for the red wolf, and nearly all the public comments submitted to the agency this past summer support recovering the wild population in the southeastern United States.
“The red wolf is an iconic, local species that is part of North Carolina history,” said de Jong. “It’s not too late to save these wolves from extinction.”
The red wolf is the world’s most endangered canid and currently can only be found in five counties of North Carolina. Thanks to recovery efforts, red wolf populations peaked at 130 individuals in the mid-2000s. In recent years, due to illegal shootings and the failure of the Fish and Wildlife Service to properly address these illegal killings, the red wolf population has fallen to less than 45 red wolves existing in the wild. Captive-breeding facilities hold nearly 200 red wolves. Red wolves enjoy overwhelming public support from North Carolinians, including in the five eastern counties where they live.
The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.5 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species.
As hunting and poaching reduce wolf populations, this wildlife advocate tries to stay optimistic by considering a national plan to INCREASE the number of wolves. Indie author Rick Lamplugh writes to protect wildlife and preserve wildlands. His new book, Deep into Yellowstone: A Year’s Immersion in Grandeur and Controversy, is available signed from Rick at bit.ly/2tIEt62, or unsigned on Amazon: amzn.to/2tgPU3E. His best seller, In the Temple of Wolves, is available signed at bit.ly/1gYghB4, or unsigned on Amazon at amzn.to/Jpea9Q.