Tuesday, February 14, 2017

New Bill Aiming to Hijack Lobo Recovery Planning

Senator Flake (R-AZ) today reintroduced the deceptively named "Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery Plan Act," a bill that would give unchecked power in Mexican gray wolf recovery planning to special interests and Arizona and New Mexico - states that have repeatedly obstructed efforts to recover the critically endangered species.

Hunting, trapping, and poisoning caused the extinction of Mexican gray wolves in the wild, with only a handful remaining in captivity. Now the species is facing extinction a second time, but at the hands of politicians.

Happy Valentine's Day

Sunday, February 12, 2017

A Snowy Wolf is a Happy Wolf

Wolves are designed by the pressures of nature to be well adapted to survive on the cold and snowy landscape. Ambassador wolf Zephyr, like his wild counterparts, has two layers of fur: the long guard hairs that form the visible outer layer of of the coat and the soft dense undercoat. The coarse guard hairs determine a wolf's appearance/color and works like a raincoat, protecting a wolf from rain, snow, and sleet. The insulating undercoat is usually gray in color and keeps the animal comfortable in cold temperatures. The paws of a wolf are large, almost the size of an adult human hand, and thus able to perform like snowshoes carrying wolves effortlessly atop the crusty layer of deep snow. Zephyr's fluffy tail can also keep his nose warm and cozy. Thanks to these special features, wolves can thrive in temperatures well below freezing!

Friday, February 10, 2017

New Data Supporting Paradigm Shift in Carnivore Conservation From Control to Coexistence

“…this is why the caribou and the wolf are one; for the caribou feeds the wolf, but it is the wolf who keeps the caribou strong.” 
~ Eskimo legend as told to Farley Mowat (Mowat 1973:85)

For 90 years, the American Society of Mammalogists (ASM) has made science-based challenges to widespread lethal control of native mammals, particularly by the U.S. federal government targeting carnivores in the western states.

A consensus is emerging among ecologists that extirpated, depleted, and destabilized populations of large predators, like wolves, are negatively affecting the overall biodiversity and resilience of ecosystems.

An interdisciplinary group of wildlife biologists and social scientists has just published a series of papers presenting new evidence of the greater efficacy and social acceptability of nonlethal deterrents to livestock depredation by large carnivores, as well as the lack of justification and possible harm to populations and ecosystems resulting from lethal control of these predators. A Special Feature on Predator Control in the February 2017 issue of the Journal of Mammalogy compiles evidence of these effects on wolves in Idaho, Wisconsin, and Michigan, and dingoes in Australia, and also provides new evidence of the growing intolerance for lethal control in the attitudes of the American public.


Thursday, February 9, 2017

Protect the Endangered Species Act

Hunting, trapping, and poisoning caused the extinction of Mexican gray wolves in the wild, with only a handful remaining in captivity. The Endangered Species Act gave these Mexican wolf pups a second chance.

It appears evident that some politicians have forgotten the bipartisan values that Congress embraced four decades ago when it first passed the Endangered Species Act. This federal law has given thousands of at-risk species a second chance and has worked successfully to prevent the extinction of 99% of the species placed under its protection. A 2015 national poll found that 90% of American voters support the ESA.

Despite its success and public support, the strongest and most important federal law protecting imperiled wildlife and plants is under attack - deemed by its opponents as a burdensome regulation.

Science has concluded that we have entered an unprecedented period of climate change and human-caused Sixth Mass extinction. As conservationists in the 21st century, we are faced with the growing challenge of helping imperiled species heal and flourish and supporting biodiversity for future generations, not dismantling the cornerstone of our nation’s conservation law.

When you dismantle the ESA, you are killing more than a law. And no species should have to face extinction at the hands of humanity, much less twice.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Howling Mad Protest For Mexican Gray Wolves

Mexican gray wolf supporters, including our own Executive Director, Maggie Howell, and Youth Education Director, Regan Downey, gathered today in Santa Fe, New Mexico to protest roadblocks to saving endangered Mexican gray wolves enacted by Govornor Susana Martinez.

Under Gov. Martinez, the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in May and obtained an injunction barring the federal agency from releasing wolves into the wild in the state. The federal government and conservation organizations have appealed that injunction, but while the appeal is being decided the Mexican wolf’s genetic plight is worsening.

Please join us in howling across the miles to support these voices for wolves as they raise awareness for lobos that remain at the brink of extinction.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Wisconsin DNR underreports gray wolf poaching says new study

For years, wolves have been shot illegally, struck by cars and trucks or legally killed by authorities acting on reports that wolves were killing and threatening livestock and pets.

But in a study published Monday in the Journal of Mammalogy, UW researcher Adrian Treves and a group of scientists found higher levels of illegal killing of wolves in Wisconsin than reported by the Department of Natural Resources.
In the paper, the researchers say that failing to accurately account for wolf deaths, especially in future hunting and trapping seasons, is “risky.” Also, if officials continue to underreport poaching, it “will risk unsustainable mortality and raise the probability of a population crash,” they write.

“My argument is that scientifically you have to put your best foot forward,” said Treves, founder of the Carnivore Coexistence Lab at UW-Madison. “And when the DNR didn’t, they were doing it with an illegal activity (poaching).”

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