Noble Wolf, © Larry Gambon

Wolf Weekly Wrap- Up

California Wavering on Protection for Gray Wolves under State Law:  On Wednesday, the California Fish and Game Commission voted to delay a decision on establishing state protections for gray wolves under the California Endangered Species Act. If the commission votes against a state listing after this 90-day deferral, the decision could undermine recovery of imperiled wolves in California. While California does not currently have a permanent wolf population, wolves have historically thrived in the state.

Delta wolf pups, © Smith/NPS

Delta pups on June 22, 2011

In 2011, wandering wolf “OR-7” became the first known wolf in California since 1924. OR-7 has visited the state on multiple occasions over the past four years, and his movements through northern California have prompted discussions by scientists and stakeholders about the imminent return of gray wolves to the Golden State. In response, Pamela Flick, California representative for Defenders said: “Gray wolves are just beginning to make their way back to California, and these iconic, highly endangered animals deserve as much protection in our state as the law can provide. Right now is a critical time for California to be proactive in protecting wolves, especially with threats of a federal delisting looming.” The next 90 days will be a waiting game, but we’ll make sure to keep you updated here with any news. Check out a great blog post by Pamela Flick on this topic.

Don Barry

Defenders of Wildlife Featured on the HLN’s Jane Velez-Mitchell Show Tonight: Governor Otter’s persecution of wolves has gone too far, and we are not sitting quietly! Our very own Don Barry, Senior Vice President for Conservation Programs, will be featured on Jane Velez-Mitchell’s Friday night show at 7:00 p.m. EST, April 18th, to discuss Idaho’s war on wolves. Tune in to hear Don explain Defenders’ concerns with the state’s endless persecution of the species. In just three years, Idaho has managed to turn a healthy wolf population into a declining population, including a significant decline in breeding pairs. But state officials are still not satisfied. Idaho’s war on wolves is about to reach new heights as even more drastic killing programs are implemented to drive the population down to 150 animals statewide. We are putting national focus on Governor Otter. Click here to support our work.

A Close up Look at the Science: Wolf Breeding Pairs in Idaho: Wildlife biologists regularly look at the number of “breeding pairs” in a wildlife population to assess the overall health of the population. While overall population numbers are important, just looking at the population count doesn’t tell the whole story about the population’s reproductive health. The number of breeding pairs in a population sheds more light about how healthy the wolf population will be in the future.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service defines a breeding pair  as an adult male and an adult female wolf that produce at least two pups that survive until December 31 of the year of their birth. Since hunting began in 2009, the number of breeding pairs in Idaho has declined by 59 percent. Currently, there are only 20 breeding pairs in the state! There are now fewer wolf breeding pairs in Idaho than in either Montana or Wyoming, despite Idaho’s larger overall wolf population and greater amount of habitat compared to these other states.

Wolf, © David BolinIdaho is required to keep its wolf population above 150 wolves and 15 breeding pairs for three years to avoid a status review leading to possible relisting under the Endangered Species Act. If the state kills five more breeding pairs, they are on the road to relisting. With Governor Otter’s new wolf control board, tasked with killing all but 150 wolves, losing just five more breeding pairs is highly likely.

Arizona Senate Passes Laws Permitting Killing of Mexican Gray Wolves: We’ve been updating you over the last several weeks about several pieces of harmful legislation for Mexican gray wolves making their way through Arizona’s state legislature. Unfortunately, this Thursday, state lawmakers passed a bill that gives Arizonans permission to kill endangered Mexican wolves on public land. This law is likely unconstitutional, because state law cannot trump federal law.  Adding insult to injury, a second bill headed to the Governor’s desk calls Mexican gray wolves “varmints” and treats these native animals as if they do not belong in Arizona. This bill states that the legislature should consider ending state participation in Mexican gray wolf recovery and requires the removal of all Mexican gray wolves from Arizona if the federal government does not pay private interests for a wide, vague range of “losses” related to wolf recovery. Bills such as this reinforce that the misguided Arizona legislature would like to force the Mexican gray wolf, which once ranged widely in Arizona and New Mexico, completely out of the state. If you are an Arizona resident, you can help the lobos by submitting letters to the editor and writing and calling or emailing the Governor asking her to veto these bills.


15 Responses to “Wolf Weekly Wrap- Up”

  1. Packprincess

    Governor Otter thinks he is superior to the world, and the poor wolves have to suffer. 150 wolves is not even nearly enough to sustain a wolf population. Save the wolves!!

  2. Natalie Kruse

    Governor “butcher” is going to kill his way into re listing the wolves in Idaho.

  3. Gail Earls

    One sick man( otter) should not be allowed to decide the fate of wolves. This is a world wide problem all based on money and the lust to hunt and murder… Hope there deaths are worse then the way these beautiful animals ate being slaughtered

  4. Gail

    Governor Otter was asked to join the conversation on the show but wouldn’t even comment…The state of Idaho should be embarrassed by the backward policys and The War on Wolves. They have spent so much of tax payer dollars to carry out this terrible agenda!!! Otter and his cronies make the whole state of Idaho look bad.People haveto be educated on the plight of these beautiful creatures so valuable to the balance of nature.GET INVOLVED!!

  5. Ann Bicking

    C’mon California…be a leader/supporter of wolves and other wildlife! We’re counting onyou! Help save the wolves!

  6. eva boston

    One of the most beautiful creatures GOD CREATED is the Mexican Gray Wolf. They were on this earth long b4 humans and deserve respect, consideration for life, a long peaceful existence in THEIR TERRITORY in AZ and CA. Why can’t every single person who luvs all animals write in like I M doing and protest any slaying of these beautiful creatures!!!!

  7. Tim Cammers

    This is the #1 Reason why I hate politicians and Government. They think they are superior and think they are above mother earth and her laws. They think that there laws are like the godly and everyone should knee before them. This is not going to happen. Hell would freeze over before that happens. Human laws don’t mean jack in the real world. No not the working world they live in. I would like to see them go on a spirit journey and try to live with mother earth and Nature for a month and see just see what they real world really is. Maybe then they would have a different outlook of life and mother earth and the wolf’s they are so hurry to destroy and lives too.

  8. nicole jasmine bach ametz

    can not play well with nature is no god to tell you die you live wolves are needed for the eco system and the economy

  9. Eileen

    I hope there can be some PSA on TV, more news coverage ASAP. I wonder why there isn’t more. I think if people knew and had numbers to call, we’d have more numbers. 150 wolves seems ridiculously low anyway in Idaho.

  10. Donna Guarino

    Why would you want to stop the wolf from living his life in his home? God is
    Watching !!!!

  11. Susan Brown

    Year 2014 I am writing my comments from my cell phone. I live in Nome Alaska. Push of a button this message will get to where it’s going in seconds. I think woo that’s amazing!!!
    My class reunion is coming up from highschool I have been out of highschool for 3o years. Say what!!!!!!
    Yet here I am sitting here composing a message asking you ( that is reading this) to have compassion to let wolves be. ” that’s just wrong” you know it and I know it.
    We have not come along way baby if we can not or will not share what in all actuality is ours only to enjoy for a little while. We are all guests here. How are you going to say thank you to our host?

  12. R Matthew Simmons

    Given the reckless nature of Idaho’s legislature it wouldn’t surprise me if they’re looking forward to fighting the Federal Gov as soon as those five breeding pairs are killed and the required numbers for that state drops. The sheer waste of their own tax dollars is just mind numbing – simply because a few still hold some romanticized vision of a bygone age of cowboys roaming the countryside and the local sheriff administering frontier justice. Unfortunately for the wolves, they have become the scapegoat for this mentality.

You May also be interested in