Gray Wolf, © Joan Poor

Wolf Weekly Wrap-Up

Wandering Wolf OR-7 and his Family Named “Rogue Pack” in Oregon: Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife announced that OR-7 – the famous wolf that made headlines for being the first wolf to travel into California in six decades — and his family will now officially be named Oregon’s “Rogue Pack.”  OR-7 and his family are unique in Oregon because they’ve traveled much farther west in the state than any other wolves; the eight other wolf packs in the state live in eastern Oregon. Wildlife biologists hope that the Rogue Pack’s presence in west Oregon means more wolves will “go West” in the coming years.

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Rogue Pack Pups, ©Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

Two of the newly named “Rogue Pack” pups, June 2, 2014.

Next Monday is the 20th Anniversary of Wolf Reintroduction in Yellowstone: Twenty years ago this coming Monday, January 12, eight wolves were relocated to Yellowstone National Park by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service personnel. Another six wolves arrived in Yellowstone a few days later. The goal was to restore balance to a landscape where wolves had been absent for more than 70 years. Since then, wolf reintroduction in the Northern Rockies has become one of this country’s great wildlife conservation success stories. These original 14 wolves – along with naturally returning packs and wolves subsequently released in 1995 and 1996 – were the first generations of today’s wolf population in the Northern Rockies. Today we’re seeing wolves start to come back to new areas of the country where they’ve been absent for decades — something that would not have been possible without this original reintroduction effort.

Yellowstone Wolves,©National Park Service

January 12, 1995 – first eight reintroduced wolves to arrive in Yellowstone National Park.

Defenders was the first wildlife organization to call for the return of gray wolves to Yellowstone National Park. We were there to help with the release of wild gray wolves in Yellowstone and central Idaho in the mid-1990s, and our field staff has been working ever since to secure the restoration of wolves in the Rockies and now Pacific Northwest. At a time when wolves are continually under fire, this anniversary is a milestone that we’re making sure to celebrate!

If you find yourself in the Yellowstone area are welcome to join us this coming Monday for an early morning of wolf watching in the Park followed by a commemorative gathering with some of the original recovery team members including Dr. Doug Smith (Yellowstone Wolf Project Leader), Carter Niemeyer (USFWS Idaho State Wolf Coordinator, retired) Suzanne Stone, (USA/Canadian Wolf Reintroduction team member and Defenders’ wolf conservation expert) and many others. For details, please email For those who cannot attend, we’ll have reports from the field to share with you regarding this important milestone in wolf restoration.

Not So Fast: Canceled Wolf Coyote Organized Hunt in Montana Is Back On: Last week we informed you that the “1st Annual Great Montana Coyote and Wolf Hunt” had been canceled. But this week, Idaho for Wildlife, Montana Trappers Association and Montana Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife, decided to sponsor the organized hunt and will be hosting it on private land in Sanders County, Montana. Awarding prizes for the killing, capturing or taking of wildlife is against the law in Montana so these groups have gotten around the law by awarding prizes randomly. Many states do not have such laws; we strongly believe that state wildlife agencies should work to ban these types of commercialized killing contests and we’ll continue to work with state agencies towards this goal. These events promote the attitude that predators are vermin and promulgate anti-predator myths. These tactics are similar to the misinformed thinking that led to wolves’ and other predators’ near extinction once before.

No Wolves Killed In Idaho Predator Derby: Even though our public opposition and threat of legal challenge stopped “Idaho for Wildlife’s” predatory derby from occurring on BLM-managed lands around Salmon, Idaho, no one was able to stop the derby completely. Last week the derby took place on U.S. Forest Service land and on private ranches. If there is a silver lining in this egregious event, it is that no wolves were killed during the three-day competition. Further, the number of registered participants in the derby decreased from last year, drawing fewer than 100 hunters this year.yellowstone wolf, © Barrett Hedges/NGS

Great Lakes Wolf Recovery Causes Changes to Ecosystem: Since wolf reintroduction began, researching the effects of wolves on the environment has been a hot area of scientific inquiry. In several regions, research has demonstrated that wolves, in conjunction with other factors like climate and landscape conditions, have a distinct positive impact on the local environment. For example, in Yellowstone wolves helped reduce the intensity of elk grazing on berry producing shrubs, which provided additional food for grizzly bears. This week, the first study to examine the impact of wolf recovery in the Great Lakes showed that the forest ecosystem in northern Wisconsin has indeed changed because of wolves’ presence. The study shows that wolf reintroduction decreased local white tail deer populations, which led to an increased diversity of plant and shrub species in areas where wolves were present. This study contributes to the growing body of literature that documents the ways in which wolves contribute to the environmental health of the areas they inhabit.

17 Responses to “Wolf Weekly Wrap-Up”

  1. Paul

    Am hearing that Echo the Grand Canyon wolf was not the wolf shot in Utah, biologist citing different Radio collars, and a distinct difference in size of the animals. Lets hope this info pans out and is the truth.

    • Timothy Moore

      Didn’t these creatures use to be listed as endangered and protected? I guess once the protected status is lifted the hunt is on. I know red wolves and the Mexican gray wolf are still endangered though. Ooh not good.

  2. Karen

    Science should rule absolutely in these issues.
    That is to say science that has not been corrupted, data that is reproducible and generated from sound methodology and experimental validity. Of course, science that is not designed to support a pre-existent premise or assumption.

  3. John Brutza

    I had the misforture to buy a small trailer outside of Clayton, Idaho where a this curt hurless works and his family owns the trailer park.Once I mention that I studied Enviorinental Science, the hurless brothers got violent with me.Those people are extremist with their hate for the wolves.Wall of shame is too nice for this curt. I got out of there last August, I thought that I was going to get shot in the back every time I took the trash out. The Salomon River ought be called the river of hate. Those people are qrackpots.

  4. Marcia Mueller

    I agree. The hatred of wolves, in particular, seems irrational to the point of psychosis. They also hate tree huggers and anyone who is not an extreme gun supporter. Their desire to kill wolves and their apparent desire make them suffer is terrifying and revolting.

  5. jannette

    we must protect our WILDLIFE. Make sure you sign all the petitions that involve our animals.

  6. Joseph Yannuzzi

    Re: Curt Hurless. I have been fighting illegal poachers in my area for years and the one thing I never let these morons do, is to try to intimidate me. I have had death threats, sugar in my gas tank, been seen on local television, but I fought these people tooth and nail and never backed down. In the end, I had a Bill passed that made it illegal to hunt or poach in a nearby park, thus costing the offenders their license, firearms, hunting equipment, and a $300 fine, plus 90 days in jail. The poaching stopped immediately.

    • Dan ferrari

      Thank God for people like yourself Curt , it takes guts to stand up for the Wolf and other predators that have been made-out to be evil creatures, I pray for your safety and wish I was there to watch your back ,Know that you are not alone in this fight.

    • John Brutza

      It’s not that I was “intimated”, but after one of the anti-enviormentalist hurless brothers tryied to burn my home down and the Custer County Sherrif Department wouldn’t do anything about it, it just wasn’t safe and someone was going to get hurt. I haven’t forgotten nor will I. Violence isn’t worth it, there are other ways. Sounds like you found one Mr. Yannuzzi.

  7. nancy lowe

    I would much rather live with the wolves than some humans. One difference is humans hide themselves as they truly are…wolves in sheep clothing. Life should stay as it was in earlier times….survival of the fittest…not who has a gun, knife or bow and arrow. That is the coward’s guide to survival.

  8. warriorhawkwolf

    So we have a pair of wolves and 2 babies and that is enough for ignorant humans to consider them a “Rogue Pack.” Absolutely disgusting.
    Over 7 billion humans on the planet and when are we going to consider them as they really are ?

  9. Dan ferrari

    I think we all know why the wolf was wiped-out 70 years ago, ignorance and prejudice are alive and well. It will be very hard to change these things, are best hope is with the children that can see that there is a place for all of the creatures on this planet and not just the ones man has deemed useful, all we can do is hope we can help them hold on and hope the hatred for them dies out.

  10. Jacqueline F. Ziemba

    Knowledge is power and in our children lies hope for the wolves and all other endangered species on our planet. But we (adults) must lead by example and most of us are doing a poor job of it. Spread the word everyone and try every day in any small way to make a difference for all creatures great and small. This earth needs us.

  11. Miller

    The Native American considers a wolf to be wise, loyal and loving. There are true stories of wolves coming to the aid of tribe members when a member of the tribe got lost, especially children were involved. Now this area of the country is being inundated with people who want to torment the west coast wolves and have even created propaganda that isn’t true out of their desire to incite hatred in others. Wolves have been in these areas long before man. The governor of Oregon and all the other wolf haters need to reevaluate their actions and leave the animals in peace.

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