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Browsing the blog archives for December, 2011.

California Dept. of Fish and Game announces press release on wolves

Dept. Fish & Game, Wolves

Wolf OR7 Enters California

Dec. 29, 2011

Mark Stopher, DFG Executive Office, (530) 225-2275
Jordan Traverso, DFG Communications, (916) 654-9937

a gray wolf lies in dry grassland

A gray wolf (not OR7). Photo by John and Karen Hollingsworth-USFWS

The gray wolf that was wandering in southern Oregon has crossed the California border. According to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) this animal is a 2 ½ year old male formerly from a pack in northeast Oregon. Since the animal has been collared with a Global Positioning System (GPS) device that periodically transmits its location, biologists have been able to document its travels since it was collared in February 2011. Based on the GPS data, he is now more than 300 miles from where his journey began.

His journey, in total, has been more than twice that far with many changes in direction. Several times he has reversed direction and returned to previous locations. Today, the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) learned that this wolf, designated OR7, crossed the state line into northern Siskiyou County yesterday. Tracking data puts his most recent location as a few miles south of the Oregon border. It is not possible to predict his next movements which could include a return to Oregon.

DFG continues to collaborate with ODFW and expects to receive daily location data. This information is transmitted daily when atmospheric conditions permit. DFG will be sharing only general location information as this wolf, while in California, is protected as endangered under the Federal Endangered Species Act.

“Whether one is for it or against it, the entry of this lone wolf into California is an historic event and result of much work by the wildlife agencies in the West,” said DFG Director Charlton H. Bonham. “If the gray wolf does establish a population in California, there will be much more work to do here.”

Any wild gray wolf that returns to California is protected as endangered under the Federal Endangered Species Act, administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).

DFG has been following the recovery and migration of gray wolves in western states with the expectation that at some point they will likely reach California. The last confirmed wild gray wolf in California was killed in Lassen County in 1924. The available historic information on wolves in California suggests that while they were widely distributed, they were not abundant. DFG has been compiling historic records, life history information, reviewing studies on wolf populations in other western states, enhancing communication with other agencies and training biologists on field techniques specific to wolves. This effort is to ensure that DFG has all necessary information available when needed, it is not a wolf management plan and DFG does not intend to reintroduce wolves into California.

There are more than 1,600 wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains following a federal reintroduction effort which occurred in the mid-1990s. In 1999 a single wolf crossed into Oregon from Idaho, after nearly a 60-year absence in that state. There are now at least 24 wolves in Oregon in four reproducing packs. It has taken an additional 12 years for the first wolf to now reach the California border. This particular animal is exhibiting normal dispersal behavior for a young male and there is no way to predict whether he will stay in California, return to Oregon, or travel east into Nevada. Eventually, DFG expects that other wolves will reach California. Whether this will lead to the establishment of packs or simply transient individual animals is unknown.

Gray wolf recovery in other western states has been controversial, particularly regarding impacts on prey populations, livestock depredation and human safety. There have been instances where gray wolf predation has contributed to declines in deer and elk populations, however, in most cases, predation has had little effect. Some gray wolves have killed livestock – mostly cattle and sheep – while others rely entirely on wild prey. In other western states the impact of depredation on livestock has been small, less than predation by coyotes and mountain lions, although the effect on an individual livestock producer can be important, particularly when sheep are killed.

Concerns about human safety are largely based on folklore and are unsubstantiated in North America. In recent years there was one human mortality in Canada caused either by wolves or bears and one confirmed human mortality in Alaska by wolves. Based on experience from states where substantial wolf populations now exist, wolves pose little risk to humans. However, DFG recommends that people never approach a wolf, or otherwise tamper with or feed a wolf. More about how to avoid human-wildlife interactions can be found on DFG’s website at www.dfg.ca.gov/keepmewild/.

In the near future DFG expects to add information to its website (www.dfg.ca.gov) to provide extensive information on wolves to the public.

http://cdfgnews.wordpress.com/2011/12/29/wolf-or7-enters-california/

PNP comment: Of course, we disagree with Mark Stopher’s above statement. I believe that wolves do pose more than a “little” risk to humans. Wolves also eat livestock.

I asked DFG officials 10 years ago, about what looked like the introduction of wolves into California. I was told Dept. of Fish and Game was not actively pursuing wolves in California, because California had significant numbers of predators: Namely mountain lions, bears and coyotes. But, they admitted to allowing wolves to migrate into the state.

This will become a BIG problem.

We already have enough problems with other species listed to the Endangered Specie Act. Man and livestock are at the bottom of the ESA totem pole and will be devoured by the wolves or the government agencies, who are acting like predators. It is NOT OK for our livestock to be attacked and eaten by wolves. — Editor Liz Bowen

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Gray Wolf enters California, first time in 80 years

Wolves

By Gar Swaffar

Dec 30, 2011 – yesterday in Environment

From: Digital Journal.com

Environmentalists and ranchers are unlikely to ever see eye to eye regarding the Gray Wolf which just sauntered into California, for the first time in at least 80 years

OR7 isn’t a really catchy name for a Gray Wolf, but at least so far, that’s what the young, sub-adult wolf is stuck with. He is a two and a half year old male and his mother hails from a wolf pack in Wallowa County, Oregon as noted from an article at SF Gate.The young wolf had been wandering around near the border of Oregon and California for a few weeks and ranchers and conservationists both have a vastly different take on the benefits of a population of the predator running wild in California.

The wolf, which began its tracked wanderings in February after being tranquilized and having a GPS collar placed on him, is really only doing what young sub-adult male wolves like to do. OR7 has gone for a walk-about to find another pack and maybe a mate. But with no other known wolves living in the wild, OR7 may just keep on going until he gets to Nevada or he may turn around and go home.

The wolf pack from which OR7 originated is part of a cluster of wolf packs that have sprung up in Oregon from the initial Idaho and Yellowstone National Park wolf reintroduction in 1995. Since the first introduction of 66 Canadian Wolves to Idaho, the first pack in Oregon was recorded in 1999, since that time there are now four packs. With the first wolf in California comes the concerns of cattle ranchers who would much prefer to see the wolves remain outside the state.

“We do not welcome the wolf back in California,” said Jack Hanson, a Lassen County California cattle rancher

Mike Fris, who works for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the Southwest division suggest though that a lone wolf is more likely to subsist on dead animals.

“A single wolf is more likely to be feeding on carcasses than livestock,” he said. “He’s the only wolf we know of in the state of California at the moment.”

Gray wolves which establish residency in California will be under federal protection, despite the state having no management plan in place and those in charge of the process in the State Fish and Game Department have no plans for a formal reintroduction of the gray wolf to the state.

Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/316931#ixzz1i921a6Um

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The wolf controversy begins on Pie N Politics.com — Our statement: Wolves are a predator and must be highly managed!

Wolves

Wolves Kill Prized Quarter Horse in Darby, Montana

From Black Bear blog on Skinny Moose.com

What began nearly 20 years ago as denial of the many bad things that would happen in the Greater Yellowstone area if gray wolves were brought in from Canada, continues to this day. It was predicted that the wolves would kill off their prey base and that is happening. Information was presented to Ed Bangs, USFWS head of wolf reintroduction that wolves carry more than 30 different infectious diseases, some harmful and/or deadly to humans, and that was ignored. Disease is now becoming a common occurrence across the Northern Rockies where wolves are prolific. The same deaf, dumb and blind authorities were warned that wolves, once they had consumed their prey base, would focus in on livestock, and that too was passed off as insignificant.

It has been stated that gray wolves will attack and kill large prey, such as elk, moose, mountain lions and bears, yet wolf protectors deny that wolves could bring down a grizzly, take on a wild cat and the like. Yet, it is happening on a daily basis now.

It was predicted, wolves would resort to livestock killing, first taking on the easiest of kills – sheep, and family pets. That has happened. The same predictions said as the wild canines got hungrier from the destruction of their own food source, would move into residential areas looking for food. That too has happened and is becoming more frequent.

It has been argued whether or not wolves would attack and take down a horse. Wolf protectionists have denied such an event has ever happened and would never happen. Robert Fanning, founder of Friends of the Northern Yellowstone Elk Herd, reminded us all yesterday that in Will Graves’ book, “Wolves in Russia: Anxiety Through the Ages“, the author pointed out that wolf attacks on horses were a common thing in Russia and other Asian and European countries.

And now, we have a confirmed attack and kill by wolves on a family’s prized quarter horse in Darby, Montana.

While the family grieves for the loss of a special horse and other resident’s concerns for the protection of their livestock and personal safety, idiots still deny and/or blame this event on the owners. The lack of any mental capacity of people who see things this way is beyond rational comprehension.

While the video above shows only the horse alive, below are a sampling of photos taken of the horse after the attack. Although they are graphic, there is little need to try to hide behind denial of the truth and the reality that faces citizens who are being subjected to asinine animal favoritism.

Read more: http://www.skinnymoose.com/bbb/2011/05/30/wolves-kill-prized-quarter-horse-in-darby-montana/#ixzz1i8w2bnVj