The news articles listed below do not necessarily represent the BWW viewpoint. If an article you want to read has been removed then please check the newspaper's online archives.

By One Vote, Minnesota House Moves to Ban Wolf Hunting

posted May 12, 2019, 10:50 PM by chloe owens

4/30/2019, by Dave Orrick, Twin Cities Pioneer Press

By one vote, Minnesota House moves to ban wolf hunting

By a one-vote margin, the Minnesota House on Tuesday voted to ban hunting on wolves — a victory for wolf protectionists hoping to gird against the Trump administration’s plan to remove protections for the iconic animal. A ban on wolf hunting would be a reversal for Minnesota — the only state in the Lower 48 where the animals were never eradicated and the first to adopt a hunting season when it became legal again several years ago. Today, wolf hunting isn’t allowed — but only because the animal is on the federal endangered species list. Under current state law, if wolves were removed from the protections of the Endangered Species Act — as the Trump administration has announced it plans to seek — they could be hunted as soon as fall 2020, although some think a hunt this fall could be possible. From 2012 to 2014, hunting and trapping seasons were held on wolves, until a federal judge ruled that the plans of Upper Midwestern states — Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan — were inadequate. Biologists with the Department of Natural Resources have said the wolf population, which is most concentrated in the northeast portion of the state, is stable and able to withstand limited hunting and trapping. In September, the agency estimated the population around 2,655 wolves in 465 wolf packs.


Mountain Lion Captured Outside Downtown Santa Rosa Mall

posted May 12, 2019, 10:49 PM by chloe owens

4/29/2019, by Randi Rossmann and Alexandria Bordas, The Press Democrat

Mountain lion captured outside downtown Santa Rosa mall

A mountain lion captured outside Santa Rosa Plaza shopping mall Monday morning likely wandered into downtown from a nearby creek, wildlife officials said.  The animal was spotted before dawn walking along B Street near the mall entrance. Its urban adventure, which unfolded in front of dozens of downtown workers blocked from getting to their jobs, lasted more than five hours, before the mountain lion was hit with tranquilizer darts and loaded into a carrier to later be released in a rural area north of town...The mountain lion likely came from the nearby Santa Rosa Creek, officials said. Scared, it hunkered down for hours in bushes in a raised planter box near the eastside doors to Macy’s department store. “When I got the call early this morning that it was at the mall I was shocked because I know Santa Rosa and that was smack in the middle of everything,” said Greg Martinelli, state wildlife lands program manager.


Himalayan Wolf Needs Recognition as Distinct Species, Study Finds

posted May 12, 2019, 10:48 PM by chloe owens

4/29/2019, by Mayank Aggarwal, Ecowatch

Himalayan Wolf Needs Recognition as Distinct Species, Study Finds

The Himalayan wolf is a distinct species of wolf, which shows unique genetic adaptation to the difficult conditions in the Asian high-altitude ecosystems, a study found, reiterating that it needs to be identified as a species of special conservation concern. "Conservation action for the Himalayan wolf is required and of global conservation interest," noted the study…Explaining that the Himalayan wolf is a little-understood wolf lineage found in the Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau of Asia, the study noted that the species diverged from the Holarctic grey wolf 691,000 to 740,000 years ago. The Holarctic region includes all the non-tropical parts of Europe, Asia, Africa (north of the Sahara) and North America (till the Mexican desert region). According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the global population of grey wolf (Canis lupus) is estimated to be 200,000 to 250,000 individuals. "The Himalayan wolf presents an overlooked wolf lineage that is phylogenetically [evolutionarily] distinct from grey wolves. Current evidence indicates that this wolf has diverged as an own lineage before the radiation of modern grey wolves. Hence the Himalayan wolf presents an evolutionary significant wolf population that merits appropriate taxonomic recognition," Geraldine Werhahn, lead author of the study, told Mongabay-India…the Himalayan wolf is more "distinct than many of the currently recognized subspecies of the grey wolf, hence the debate around it potentially meriting full species recognition." "The Himalayan wolf is adapted to life in the extreme high-altitude habitats of the Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau and along with the snow leopard, is a top predator in this ecosystem. Predators enjoy a growing recognition for the important roles they fulfill, like maintaining ecosystem health and balance. Currently, this wolf is overlooked by science and conservation and local people are not aware that this wolf needs to be conserved and is of global relevance," added Werhahn, who is a conservation biologist at the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU) at the Zoology department of the University of Oxford. The study is a collaborative project between researchers from the U.K., Nepal, Spain, Kyrgyzstan and the U.S.



National Parks Study Wolf Deaths As Agency Plans Delisting Endangered Species

posted May 12, 2019, 10:47 PM by chloe owens

4/29/2019, by Rachel Cramer, Montana Public Radio

National Parks Study Wolf Deaths As Agency Plans Delisting Endangered Species

Federal wildlife managers are gearing up to remove gray wolves from the Endangered Species List. But some environmentalists say the species isn’t ready and that the government is basing its decision on outdated science. A group of biologists in four western national parks are looking at the impacts of wolf deaths on their packs and how this could affect the greater population. Congress has taken a piecemeal approach to delisting gray wolves, removing federal protections one population area at a time. Gray wolves in Montana, Idaho, eastern Washington and Oregon, and northern Utah were deemed “recovered” in 2011. Wolves in Wyoming lost protection in 2017. This March the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced it was time to remove federal protection for gray wolves throughout the country. It would primarily affect the Upper Great Lakes Region, where about two-thirds of the country’s wolves live. It’s not the first time delisting in this area was proposed. Wolves in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin were delisted in 2011 and relisted again in 2014…Doug Smith is Yellowstone National Park’s wolf project leader. He’s working with a team of biologists from Grand Tetons and Denali National Parks and the Yukon–Charley Rivers National Preserve to figure out how individual wolf deaths affect the social structures of packs and their ability to survive…He says unsuitable wolf habitat and a high chance of human-caused mortality are the big barriers. “But what’s important to emphasize is both the Northern Rockies population and the Lake States population is connected to Canada, which in many ways in the motherload of wolves in North America.” 



Colorado Voters Could Get Final Say in the War Over Wolves

posted May 12, 2019, 10:46 PM by chloe owens

4/27/2019, by Jason Blevins, Vail Daily

Colorado voters could get final say in the war over wolves

After 40 years of battling to restore wolf populations in the Southwest, Northern Rockies, and Great Lakes states, the legal, political and biological war for wolves is coming to Colorado. But this time it could be voters — not federal and state wildlife managers — pushing the only state in the Rocky Mountains without wolves to welcome the roaming predators. With the federal government ready to remove the gray wolf from endangered species protection, a ballot proposal submitted to the Secretary of State last week hopes to enlist Colorado residents in finalizing the long effort to restore wolf populations in North America. “A wolf population in Western Colorado would serve as the archstone, the final piece that would connect wolves from the high Arctic all the way to the Mexican border,” said Montana state Sen. Mike Phillips, a longtime wolf advocate and wildlife biologist who is advising Rocky Mountain Wolf Project and Rocky Mountain Wolf Action Fund, the two partner groups behind the push for wolf reintroduction in Colorado. “Colorado is maybe the last piece of the puzzle and it is a critically important piece.”


Are Isle Royale's New Wolves Pairing Up? GPS Trackers Could Spell l-o-v-e

posted May 12, 2019, 10:45 PM by chloe owens

4/23/2019, MLive

Are Isle Royale’s new wolves pairing up? GPS trackers could spell l-o-v-e

…With the first batch of new wolves now sniffing around their Michigan home, scientists have their eyes on another big piece of the effort: How soon will Isle Royale see its first wolf pups?... The tracking collars show at least two cases of new male wolves that were captured on Canada’s Ontario mainland and Michipicoten Island spending time with new female wolves brought over from Minnesota. Just consider it a little friendly, international relations.


For Moose, Hunger is Fiercer than Wolves

posted May 12, 2019, 10:43 PM by chloe owens

4/22/2019, by Andrew Moore and David Frey, The Wildlife Society

For moose, hunger is fiercer than wolves

As winter sets in and the need for food grows, Wyoming moose (Alces americanus) are more likely to hold their ground when wolves (Canis lupus) approach. In a study published in Ecology, researchers from the University of Wyoming found the relationships between wolves and big-game species like moose can be complex, making it difficult to reach conclusions about how fear of wolves impacts the ecosystem. “These moose were seeking food wherever they could find it, even if that meant foraging in areas where traveling wolves would expect to find moose,” said lead author Brenden Oates, a TWS member now with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, who conducted the research as a UW graduate student…In early winter, they found, moose movements increased following encounters with wolves, but only when the wolves were within about 550 yards. Even then, the moose didn’t avoid the streams and marshy areas they prefer. Late in the winter, when the moose were presumed to be hungrier, they showed no change in movement around wolves. “These results tell us that moose prioritized foraging to avoid starvation in lieu of avoiding encounters with wolves,” Oates said. The findings support the “starvation-predation hypothesis,” researchers concluded, which predicts that when food is scarce, prey will forage in risky places, even when the risk of predation is high. Yet the moose seem to respond differently than elk (Cervus canadensis). While moose, which are larger and more likely to hold their ground, previous research found that elk — wolves’ primary prey in the region — will increase their movement rates and alter habitat use during winter when wolves come within 1,000 meters. “The bottom line is that researchers are finding more exceptions than rules for how risk effects operate at an ecosystem scale,” Oates said.





Someone is Poisoning Dogs, Wildlife Near U.P. Border, Authorities Warn

posted May 12, 2019, 10:42 PM by chloe owens

4/22/2019, by Tanda Gmiter, MLive

Someone is poisoning dogs, wildlife near U.P. border, authorities warn

Family pets and several types of wildlife have died after ingesting fast-acting poison in recent weeks near the Upper Peninsula’s border with Wisconsin. Authorities have issued a warning, saying it seems someone is intentionally mixing an insecticide with meat and leaving it for animals to find. Government agencies and local authorities are asking for the public’s help in solving a string of fatal poisonings that have occurred since December in three Wisconsin counties along or near the U.P.'s western border…“In addition to the unfortunate poisoning of these family pets, investigators also found dead coyotes, weasels, raccoons and one wolf that they suspect also were poisoned. Lab tests are underway to confirm the cause of death in these wildlife cases.”


By Design, Wolf Counts Shrink

posted May 12, 2019, 10:41 PM by chloe owens

4/17/2019, by Mike Koshmri Jackson Hole News and Guide

By design, wolf counts shrink

A dearth of wolves in places like the Gros Ventre River valley this winter was not an anomaly, as wildlife managers are reporting reduced numbers throughout wolf range in the state. The overall Wyoming wolf population, estimated at 286 as the calendar turned to 2019, was down 61 animals from a year ago. That’s the fewest animals counted since the Wyoming Game and Fish Department took over management and initiated hunting seven years ago…Although having fewer wolves concerns wildlife watchers and activists, the outcome is what Wyoming managers have been seeking. The Wyoming Legislature went over Game and Fish’s head more than a decade ago to mandate an expansive “predator zone” in 85 percent of the state, where wolves are classified as varmints that can be killed without limits or rules…Game and Fish has a long-held population goal of 160 wolves in that region, a count that, models say, is as low as the state can go while still ensuring that 10 federally required breeding pairs remains on the landscape. This year the count came out at 152, a 23% dip below 2018’s count of 198 wolves…Some 172 wolves within Wyoming’s boundaries were known to have died last year, a count that Game and Fish estimates is 47 percent of those that were alive, not counting pups.


Proposed Plan Outlines When Oregon Can Kill a Wolf

posted May 12, 2019, 10:40 PM by chloe owens

4/16/2019, by April Ehrlich, JPR

Proposed Plan Outlines When Oregon Can Kill a Wolf

…Under current regulations, a wolf that commits two depredations — livestock attacks — within any period of time is a "chronic depredator." That’s when state officials could consider killing it. This draft proposal limits the definition of "chronic" to two attacks within nine months. Sristi Kamal from Defenders of Wildlife says those guidelines are still too strict. “Two in nine months of anything cannot be defined as chronic,” Kamal said. “You could take an example from any other sector and you would not define two instances of anything as being chronic, so why is it applicable here?”… Roger Huffman with the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association says the current proposal isn’t strict enough. He disagreed with the state putting a nine-month cap on when a wolf is considered a chronic depredator.


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