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.

Yellowstone Grizzly Bear Hunt Proposal. PLEASE JOIN the effort to stop this hunt!!

Photo of Grizzly by USFWS

Help Protect Yellowstone’s Grizzly Bears
by Rick Lamplugh, author and wildlife advocate

Wyoming is planning a grizzly bear hunt. Up to 24 grizzlies–including two females–outside Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks could be killed this fall. The Endangered Species Coalition—an organization I respect—is clear about this hunt: “Wyoming’s proposed hunting season and quota is neither cautious nor conservative. Instead, it is reckless and aggressive, and is designed to drive down the population of grizzly bears in Wyoming and prevent them from expanding their range…Wyoming is rushing into an unsustainable grizzly bear hunting season.”

I think that Wyoming should follow Montana’s lead and not hunt grizzlies this year. Montana’s decision makes sense for several reasons. After more than forty years protected by the Endangered Species Act, Yellowstone-area grizzlies were removed less than a year ago. The population is completely isolated from any other grizzly bear population and too small to ensure long-term genetic health. Rather than killing these bears, we should help them recover further. Finally, conservation organizations and tribal groups have challenged the delisting. If they prevail in court, grizzlies will again be protected but that won’t bring back to life any grizzlies killed in Wyoming’s reckless hunt.

Wyoming Game & Fish Department is accepting public comments—from anywhere in the U.S.—until Monday, April 30.

Please join me and The Endangered Species Coalition in urging Wyoming to drop this irresponsible hunting proposal.

Here’s the link: http://bit.ly/2HSw2fh

Thanks for taking action for Yellowstone’s grizzly bears!

Rick Lamplugh writes to protect wildlife and preserve wildlands. His award-winning new book, Deep into Yellowstone: A Year’s Immersion in Grandeur and Controversy, is available signed from Rick at http://bit.ly/2tIEt62, or unsigned on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2tgPU3E. His best seller, In the Temple of Wolves, is available signed at http://bit.ly/1gYghB4, or unsigned on Amazon at http://amzn.to/Jpea9Q. A signed set of both books is available with free shipping at http://bit.ly/2uYTtsU.

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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Anti – Wolf Rider DROPPED from Omnibus Bill!!!!!!

BREAKING GOOD NEWS!
Anti-Wolf Rider Dropped From Omnibus Bill!

YOU DID IT!
Congress heard your howls! Thanks to you, the 2018 spending bill is moving forward devoid of the “War on Wolves” rider seeking to eliminate Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves in 4 states!

Every voice raised in support of wildlife and wild places can make a difference. And when we all work together we can make big things happen! None of this would have been possible without your calls, emails and the leaders in Congress who #standforwolves.

Details to come.

Keeping Wolves Alive in Montana – Part 4 by Rick Lamplugh

Keeping Wolves Alive in Montana, Part 4

Here’s a nonlethal deterrence program in Idaho–of all places–that’s a model for protecting livestock while keeping wolves alive, even if a few wolves attack livestock. This is the fourth and final part in a series that looks in depth at how wolves fare in nonlethal deterrence programs.

LISTEN NOW!