Wolf, © Richard Seeley / National Geographic Stock

Wolf Weekly Wrap-up

Reprieve for red wolves – It was a happy Thanksgiving for red wolves after a North Carolina court put a halt to spotlight hunting of coyotes at night. Defenders and other conservation groups took immediate legal action to stop the practice, which had resulted in the death of at least four endangered red wolves. While those animals were presumably not the target, red wolves are nearly indistinguishable from large coyotes to the untrained eye, especially at night (see photo here for comparison). About 100 red wolves exist in North Carolina, home of the world’s only remaining wild population.


Guard dogs and people must work together to protect sheep.

Shepherds of Peace – More good news for the Wood River Project in central Idaho. A reporter and photographer with The Spokesman Review spent several days traipsing over the Sawtooth Mountiains with our field crew this summer. Their story came out last weekend, featuring a beautiful picture story and audio slideshow, detailing what life is like for sheep herders and technicians working to protect both wolves and sheep. Don’t miss field manager Patrick Graham in action, tracking and howling for wolves!

More Woes for Wildlife Services – Turns out conservation groups aren’t the only ones that wish Wildlife Services would clean up its act. A pair of stories (here and here) from Sacramento Bee investigative reporter Tom Knudson show that many in the private sector are also unhappy with the federal government’s handling of so-called “nuisance” wildlife. Several businesses that provide independent wildlife control services say the federal agency’s lack of transparency and subsidized rates make it difficult for their companies to compete. They also agree that Wildlife Services often kills animals unnecessarily when nonlethal methods would work better. Congressmen John Campbell (R-Calif.) and Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon) have called for a federal investigation to scrutinize the agency’s activities. Hopefully, with more people from diverse sectors of the economy calling for reform, it might actually happen.


3 Responses to “Wolf Weekly Wrap-up”

  1. Martin

    Are the Defender’s against hunting and trapping of the wolves? Or just the poaching/illegal killing of wolves?

    • John Motsinger

      We’re certainly opposed to the illegal killing of wolves, but we don’t have a blanket policy against wolf hunting or trapping. We accept that states may opt to use those management tools as part of a broader plan to maintain the species at sustainable levels. They do the same for elk, deer, black bears and mountain lions. However, the aggressive hunting and trapping of wolves in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming is completely unnecessary and is rewinding the clock and preventing wolf recovery in surrounding areas with suitable habitat (like CO and UT).

You May also be interested in