Wolf, © David Bolin

Wolf Weekly Wrap-Up

“Inside Idaho’s Irrational War on Wolves”: We’re putting pressure on Idaho’s elected officials to stop their war on wolves every way we can: in the courts, on the ground, and in the media. This week, we’d like to share an article with you which aptly questions the roots of Governor Otter’s fanatical zeal for wolf killing. As author Richard Conniff describes: “Idaho’s political leadership, caught up in fairy-tale notions about wolves and a fanatic determination to oppose anything, even a native species, with the taint of the federal government on it, seems determined instead to drive this magnificent state down in a self-destructive cycle of hatred and killing.” Wolf, © Richard SeeleyWe could not agree more.  Idaho’s elected officials are creating a culture of wolf hatred based on myth and on hype, and as a result, their aggressive wolf killing programs – like Gov. Otter’s $400,000 tax payer funded wolf extermination fund – remain largely uncontested. Defenders is the only national organization with staff on the ground in Idaho who not only worked to help restore wolves, but are actively working at the statehouse, in the wilderness, national forests and grazing lands, and at the state wildlife commission, speaking out on behalf of wolves against actions threatening wolves. Click here to support our work and now through May 9th, every gift will be matched dollar-for dollar!

New Science Shows Yellowstone Wolves Naturally Regulate Their Population Numbers: After 13 years of research, scientists announced the results of a new study this week which shows that wolves in Yellowstone actually regulate their population levels through naturally occurring mortality.

Wenaha wolf pups, © ODFW

Pups from Oregon’s Wenaha Pack.

In other words, when the population increased, the instances of mortality in the wolf pack also increased. Wolf packs are highly territorial by nature. When populations increase and wolvescompete for territory, the game “survival of the fittest” begins. But what effect does hunting and trapping play in this dynamic? Does hunting replace this natural phenomenon, or is the impact of hunting additive (does hunting result in even more deaths because pack structures become disrupted)? It is a question scientists are still exploring. One clear conclusion is that while natural mortality occurred only in older wolves, hunting and trapping kills older and younger wolf pups indiscriminately.

17 Responses to “Wolf Weekly Wrap-Up”

  1. Mark Jamba

    When will those states fortunate enough to have wild wolves learn to treat them as celebrities instead of game? People from all over the world come to Wyoming to observe the Yellowstone packs. Don’t state leaders want to encourage potentially lucrative ecotourism in their respective states?



  3. Hellen

    Humans are fearful and don’t consider themselves part of the natural world so they kill what scares them ! But hey , I live in England and our scariest things are badgers !! Even so I still live with them and don’t wish them dead x

  4. ch

    “If all the beasts were gone,
    men would die
    from a great loneliness of spirit,
    for whatever happens to the beasts
    also happens to the man.
    All things are connected.
    Whatever befalls the Earth
    befalls the sons of the Earth.”
    ― Chief Seattle

  5. Anthony roehr jr.

    It is very sad and what really ticks meoff is that Ted Nugent istelling people on his facebook account that a population of 630 wolves are over population and that hunting them down to small numbers is a great idea

  6. Art Pallan

    Why kill the wolves who are just trying to survive. Politicians ought to out with these wolves trying to survive. Governor should be ashamed of himself

  7. Dolores Devlin

    I might feel differently if I hadnt recently watched ” The Grey” starring Liam Neeson.

  8. Jeff Holstein

    Earth Justice recently reported the killing of Grey Wolves in a federal wilderness in Idaho to inflate elk populations has been suspended due to their lawsuit. Let’s keep pressure on Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, and New Mexico, to stop the slaughter of this magnificent animal while protecting the Environment from Elk-caused deforestation of native trees which support other animal life (birds, beavers, bears, small mammals, bees, etc. – all environmentally friendly) which promote our well-being.

  9. Tom

    Dear comrade Mark Jamba: Your claim about YNP visitors is true, but not significant: According to yellowstonepark.com, a 2005 gate survey taken by the WY Sierra Club revealed that only 3.5% would not come if there was no opportunity to see wolves. The prime reason visitors give is to view the scenery, and the number two reason was to view elk, bear, moose and deer. Wolves are too elusive for a planned viewing as described in the brochures of guides specializing in wolves.

    Compare the 3.5% gain in wolf gazers to the 2013 decline of 90% in elk tag sales in MT, WY and ID hunting districts surrounding the park vs 2003. Businesses also report seasonal closing months earlier than ten years ago because hunting opportunities are no longer there. We can quibble over cause and effect between wolves and elk numbers, but they are eating something other than granola and pine nuts. The USFWS 2013 elk survey reports about 4000 elk in and around the park vs somewhere between 20,000 and 10,000 before wolf introduction (accurate numbers are elusive).

    One could argue that hunters pay their way while wolf gazers do not http://www.fws.gov/hunting/whatdo.html And wolves are now eating what hunters paid to manage. Add that USFWS illegally used about $70M of game management funds to reintroduce wolves and you might understand why hunters feel insulted.

  10. Ken Bugler

    I live in Idaho. People that support wolf killing think the wolves are the reason Elk populations are low. Two reports are out and one says 5% of Elk deaths are from wolves and 30% are from big cats. The other report claims poaching is the real reason for a lower Elk population. There is a lot of poaching here , which makes regulating the harvest of Elk difficult for the states fish and game job.

  11. shimaganish

    @ Dolores DevlinMay 3rd, 2014
    “I might feel differently if I hadnt recently watched ” The Grey” starring Liam Neeson. ”
    Dolores, that movie is the worst peice of crap you can possibly find on wolves. It is twisted, and far form depicting the true nature of wolves. I suggest you listen to this instead: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-y9uHiJG2k0‎

  12. Packprincess

    I love wolves more than people. Wolves are loyal, they made sure that everyone is fed in the pack, very intelligent, they have very strong emotions, and bonding with the their pack. A healthy wolf would not attack a human, unless it is self defence, but humans have to problem killing hundreds of wolves. Save the wolves.

  13. Ar

    I know right we should help but we stand at the side lines I’m a black smith I see these things when I’m in the woods at Puerto Rico we treasure animals .and at outer national park we don’t allow HUNTERS ever I’m in charge of the park so I know

  14. Ar

    And wolves deserve to be treated as people !but a wolf in Europe killed my da

  15. carla vanderstelt

    I’m from a small place called Wolf Lake…..please leave the wolves alone.

  16. ginbil

    i can’t grasp this wolf slaughter except for greedy shortsighted greedy money hungry fools who ‘think’ the wolves are the cause of ‘less elk/deer’ for hunters(read: lobbying in Washington DC for gun-toters), ‘killing livestock'(read: agribusiness lobbying in DC) or other scientifically DIS-proven killings in numbers…as one above said, elks are high % poached. not killed by the native predators…
    is it that humans are good at only one thing? slaughter?
    can our pennies to Defenders really make a difference? i sign every petition…i write letters, i donate what small amounts i can afford….
    i am in a wrath of anger over our wildlife slaughter

  17. Barth

    You are too young to carry to start with. Beyond that, whenever you have a qusteion that the answer can make you spend some time in prison, don’t go to yahoo answers to get it. Call the colorado game and fish or whatever it’s called down there and ask someone who actually knows.Some states prohibit having a firearm while archery hunting, but most do allow it since the prohibition infringes upon constitutional rights. WY for example, now allows you to carry during archery season.

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