Gray wolf, © Tracy Brooks/USFWS

Wolf Weekly Wrap-Up

Canine Shot in Missouri Confirmed to be a Wolf: Although the state of Missouri is not often mentioned with regard to wolves, we thought you’d like to hear about an interesting new development. Earlier in December, a hunter killed an animal in Missouri’s woods that might have been a wolf, leading scientists with the Missouri Department of Conservation to conduct DNA tests to determine the animal’s correct species. This week, those tests determined that the animal killed was indeed a wolf.

Gray wolf, © Didier J. Lindsey

In the past, wolves have been sighted in Missouri but have not established territories within the state. And while this wolf’s death is unfortunate, its presence in the state is an encouraging sign that wolves from northern packs are dispersing further south into their historic range. This incident also reminds us of why it is so critically important to maintain federal protection of wolves throughout most of the lower 48. In these circumstances, federal protection could make all the difference as we all work to ensure recovery of wolves in unoccupied yet suitable habitat.

Open Forum on Wednesday for Idahoans: The Idaho Department of Fish and Game Commission hosted a public meeting on Wednesday in Boise for Idahoans to comment on any wildlife issues on their minds. Defenders sent action alerts to local residents asking them to attend the hearing and speak out on the Commission’s series of increasingly brutal and aggressive tactics against wolves. About 150 people attended, 50 of whom spoke. Opposition to the Department’s recent efforts to exterminate two wolf packs in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness was the primary issue mentioned by the public. One was Lynette McDermott, who said, “I stepped into this conversation about 10 years ago with an open mind, and based on scientific facts, I decided to defend the wolves with my voice.”

Status of Frank Church Lawsuit: Last week we told you that Defenders and four other environmental organizations filed suit against the U.S. Forest Service and Idaho Fish and Game for hiring and aiding a trapper to exterminate two wolf packs in the remote Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness in Idaho. Defenders has not yet received a verdict back from the judge on the complaint or our request for a temporary restraining order – and every day counts. As of January 15th, the trapper had already killed nine wolves. We’ll keep you updated….

75 percent of world’s carnivores are in decline: A study published in Science last week finds 75 percent of the world’s large carnivore species are in decline; 17 percent of these animals now occupy less than half of their former range – staggering statistics, indeed. Authors attribute the precipitous decline to three primary factors: habitat loss, human persecution, and loss of prey. The study also shows that when apex predators are removed from their environments, this removal causes a cascade effect throughout the entire ecosystem. But it’s not all bad news: the study also cited the restoration of the gray wolf to Yellowstone National Park as a positive example of the value that predators provide to the landscape. Lead author William Ripple cited gray wolves’ reintroduction to Yellowstone as contributing to “renewed growth of woody plants, improving river shorelines and attracting songbirds and beavers, which have constructed dams that improved habitat for fish and amphibians.”



Categories: Gray Wolf, Idaho, wolf weekly

19 Responses to “Wolf Weekly Wrap-Up”

  1. Ron Marshall

    I have been giving money for a while and attacks on the wolf never get stopped. It looking to me like Defenders just is not aggressive enough to get the job done. Some one needs to be in Idaho raising hell.

  2. Carlos Hernández

    The only person who is responsible for the extermination of the wolves going on in the United States is President Obama who has sold his soul and reputation to Big Energy interests and has betrayed wildlife, environment and nature (WEN). I haven’t seen any of the institutions that supposedly are protecting WEN addressing the Issues directly with the President’s Office. I have not seen famous people like movie stars, actors or actresses, or public figures and others raising their voices so that the President (who should be ashamed of his actions) can hear them. What a pity for WEN that Mr. Obama has betrayed them.

  3. Marcia Coco

    It seems that it is getting worse for the wolves. After so many years of progress the anti wolf factions are winning.

  4. Melissa Taylor

    My family is boycotting Missouri, Idaho, and all other wolf hating states. Do not look for us to ever vacation there, do business there, or purchase anything made or sold from these states. As far as we are concerned, your states are extinct!

  5. Andrea Blomquist

    Very upset this judge is dragging his feet. Makes me suspicious whether he is truly unbiased. Thank you filing the suit regardless

  6. Andrea Blomquist

    I would like to respectfully respond to Ron Marchalls above comment because it reflects a lack of understanding of what pro wolf activists are up against in idaho.
    I live in Boise, and I can tell you that locally I feel defenders is the most prominent voice for wolves here.
    Unfortunately we are up against a formidable force. We are up against countless ranchers and hunters who politically call the shots. We are up against a wolf hating governor that is reelected by a landslide each election. We are up against senators who sneak riders onto budget bills to delist wolves. We are up against and fish and game department supported by the governor and hunters, who I suspect quickly force out anyone who has the guts to speak out for wolves. We are even up against a state congress who prohibited any education about wolves in our schools!!! To make matters worse, we have a president in office who, for reasons beyond me, continues to choose conservative secretaries of the interior who do nothing to defend the ESA or wolves. Our only hope is continued public education, with the idea that eventually public pressure will be enough to change the politics. We are sadly far from that right now. I thank defenders for the work they do. Thank goodness there is a presence with common sense.

  7. ceanne Alvine

    Other environmental groups have joined the effort in Idaho. I agree more public outrage is needed at the national level. Why spend tax payers money to restore and protect endangered species only to allow states the right to destroy them? Makes no sense.

  8. Atli

    I agree with Ron, I’ve been giving money for years and want to see improvement for wolves, not things getting worse. Please step up your game, Defenders. Especially with that maniac Butch Otter actually taking millions of dollars from the state for a wolf extermination program. Step it up, Defenders!

  9. P Troia

    Today, 1/18/14, made a call to Gov Butch Otter’s office and left message expressing my outrage regrading the wolf extermination program. I think a national call in to Gove Otter is necessary.

  10. audrey skrzyniarz

    I agree that nothing seems to deter the decision made by US Fish and Wildlife to eliminate wolf packs no matter what good they do to in being part of the ecosystem. Is it about scare tactics from literature putting wolves in bad light? Or is it that we can eliminate them because we have guns and traps? To know they are being elimininated by the thousands in Western US without caring whether they are young or pregnant females, makes me sick. It is happening other areas of the US not just in WA state!!!


    Yes, Ron Marshall I agree! We need to have WOLF ADVOCATES in all WOLF STATES! ADVOCATING for WOLVES!

  12. catherine jobling

    Ron, I agree with you 100%. FYI–The court in Idaho ruled against the wolves–the hunt against the 2 wolf packs is allowed 🙁

  13. Christy Cirino

    I agree with comments being listed. I have been giving money to save wolves for years and it appears it is not working. Why isn’t Defenders putting money into a full court blitz against the killing instead of just sending pleas for more money every 2 days to my email? Wolf education, public relations and buying real air time to show the average American what is going on has been greatly reduced from 20 years ago. Why isn’t more actions being taken instead of just begging for more money?

  14. Anne Lewis-Strobell

    why has Sally Jewell been silent about what’s happening to the wolves?

  15. dhalia

    i agree.why do they do this to them they have nothing to do with are problems .so lets do are part and help.

  16. Donna Gilbert, Coronado CA

    Should I ask my local newspapers to do pro-wolf stories and educate my community about the anti-wolf movement in the Western U.S.?

  17. Denise

    Yes, Donna! IMO Defenders are doing all they can, but are increasingly up against big business (livestock owners and hunting/licensing) and politics as usual. When I can’t donate I still keep up the pressure through letter writing, attending a public hearing, phone calls, signing online petitions and just overall spreading awareness of the wolf massacre. Having the support of and knowing organizations such as Defenders exist inspires me to keep going.

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