Red wolves still in dire straits, and the Service isn’t helping: With fewer than 100 wild red wolves left in the wild, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently announced that it will complete an evaluation of the Red Wolf Recovery Program. However, it seems that the wolves’ best interests aren’t truly being considered. The evaluation does not meet legal requirements that govern completion of status reviews for endangered species, including adequate public notice and opportunity to comment. The Service is giving the public less than two-weeks’ notice about public meetings which have been scheduled in remote and hard to access places; and, it publicly stated that terminating the Red Wolf Recovery Program is an option! You can help by telling the Fish and Wildlife Service not to give up on these iconic and beautiful wolves of the east.
Conservationists will sue for lobo recovery: This week Defenders of Wildlife and five conservation partners asked the courts to help the struggling Mexican gray wolf population in America’s southwest. Because the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has failed for over three decades to produce and implement a complete recovery plan for lobos – which it is legally required to do – the groups now will use the law to hold the Service accountable, and hopefully get a recovery plan in place. With only 83 individuals in the wild in the U.S., even the Service has repeatedly acknowledged that the current program for Mexican gray wolves will not recover the lobos, and yet it has continued to stall on recovery efforts. “The Service is on a course that contradicts the best available science,” said Eva Sargent, Defenders of Wildlife Director of Southwest Programs. “Lobos need a recovery plan and they need it now; they don’t need to be barred from the best habitats and they don’t need more reasons to get shot at.”
More Money for wolf killing in Idaho: Idaho’s War on Wolves continues. As we feared, the newly instated Idaho wolf control board is funding more wolf killing. The board will give Wildlife Services $225,000 this year to kill wolves in the state. The wolf control board is allotted $400,000 a year, which is restricted funding to kill wolves. In Idaho, lethal control of wolves is resulting in a significant reduction of breeding pairs. In fact, under Idaho’s management, since 2011the number of breeding pairs has been cut in half! Only 17 pairs of wolves have been documented this year. Lethal control can also be more costly than non-lethal control. Less expensive and longer lasting non-lethal methods for dealing with wolves, including guard dogs, range riders, portable predator-deterrent fencing, starter pistols, flashlights and air horns, have proven more effective in other areas, most notably the Wood River Wolf Project in Blaine County, Idaho. Doesn’t Idaho have more important things to spend taxpayer dollars on? Just a thought but perhaps Idaho should allocate some of that funding to its school education system, which ranks last in funding in the nation.
The results are in! This past spring we told you about the exciting news of everyone’s favorite wandering West Coast wolf, known as “OR-7”: the traveling man had found a mate and they were raising a litter of pups. OR-7 and his mate spent the summer denning in Oregon’s southern Cascades, not far from the California border that the wolf has often crossed. Genetic testing of OR-7’s new lady love confirmed that she is indeed a wild gray wolf, the pups were sired by OR-7, and, most interestingly, the couple may have been raised not far from each other, several hundred miles from the territory they now occupy. OR-7’s mate is related to two packs from northeastern Oregon, the Minam and Snake River. Both of these packs are neighbors to OR-7’s birthpack, the Imnaha. It just goes to show that sometimes even when you leave home, it still follows you wherever you are. For more information about Oregon’s wolves, check out http://www.dfw.state.or.us/wolves/.