5 Dec 2009, 6:56pm
Endangered Specious Wolves
by admin

Wolf Recovery and the Corruption of Government Science

by George Dovel

From The Outdoorsman, No. 35, July-Nov 2009 [here]

In November 2007 when Evolutionary Biologists Jennifer Leonard and Robert Wayne announced that most of the several thousand “wolves” being protected in the Great Lakes region were actually wolf-coyote crosses, Utah Wildlife Ecologist Dr. Charles Kay commented, “What a mess!” During their two-year study of the genetic make-up of Great Lakes wolves that were delisted, the study did not find any purebred Eastern Timber Wolves, and only 31% of the wolves tested had any Eastern timber wolf “genes” in their genetic make-up.

When confronted with this information by the news media in November 2007, Eastern Gray Wolf Recovery Team Leader Rolph Peterson admitted they had known all along that the wolves were crossbreeding with coyotes. …

The wolfote or coywolf hybrid reportedly found in western New York, Pennsylvania and elsewhere. Image courtesy The Outdoorsman

Molecular genetics analysts concluded that the “red wolf” being bred and raised in captivity and then released into rural areas of the Southeastern US by the US Fish and Wildlife Service is in actuality a wolf-coyote hybrid. Image courtesy The Outdoorsman

When one of the evolutionary biologists suggested the wolves should be re-listed, FWS Wolf guru David Mech responded, “It is not clear what would be gained by keeping the Midwestern wolf population on the endangered species list.” Mech continued, “Whatever their genetic identity, there are over 4,000 wolves in the population, they are increasing rapidly, and are legally protected by the states.”

Mech, Peters, and Wayne participated in a two-year study published in 1991 which concluded that more than 50% of wolves in Minnesota, Ontario and Quebec were hybrids crossed with coyotes. This was only one of numerous studies conducted during the past 20+ years concluding that wolves in the lower 48 States, and many in Canada and other parts of the world, are crossbred with dogs, coyotes or different subspecies of wolves that may also be crossbred. …

On August 12, 1994, five months before a different subspecies of wolf than historically existed in Idaho was released in the state, FWS Rocky Mountain Wolf Project Leader Ed Bangs sent a letter (directive) to Boise FWS Ecological Services Chief Charles Lobdell. The five-page letter directed Lobdell and his team of research biologists to halt their documentation of the wolves that already existed in Idaho. …

During the late 1980s, … the native wolf subspecies that inhabited the Northern Rocky Mountains at that time (Canis lupus irremotus) was reportedly a smaller* wolf than the subspecies in northern Canada. (*Kaminski/Hansen 1984) …

Bangs’ [also] letter insisted, without offering any proof, that no wolf-dog hybrid or wolf raised in captivity can survive in the wild and said that once wolves were released, every wolf in the area would become part of the (protected) experimental population. Two of the four wolf recovery programs in the lower 48 states depend on wolf-coyote or reportedly even wolf-dog hybrids that are raised in captivity and then released in the wild. …

[D]enying the fact that native wolves also produced pups in central Idaho, Bangs paved the way for destroying, rather than preserving, the native subspecies if it still existed. Introduction of two different subspecies of wolves combined with protection of every wolf-like creature in the vast “Nonessential Experimental Areas” –- regardless of genetic make-up –- assured creation of a new mix of assorted hybrid wolves.

The fact that the existing resident wolves coexisted with abundant big game populations and with negligible impact on livestock and human activity was already a matter of record. Bangs admitted, both in the letter and in the Wolf EIS, that the Natural Recovery Option (doing nothing except monitor and protect existing wolves) would result in achieving recovery slower but with substantially less impact than transplanting wolves from Canada.

But from the beginning, FWS, the state game agencies and most wolf activist groups displayed no intention of pursuing any option except the Nonessential Experimental Population by importing Canadian wolves. …

During the 1980s multiple government agencies documented the existence of wolves in central Idaho. On September 28, 1987, officials of the Payette and Boise National Forests decided to close the South Fork of the Salmon River Road to all human traffic during the winter, except on Tuesdays and Thursdays, to protect the wolves.

That plowed road provided the only access to the town of Yellow Pine during the winter except for ski-equipped aircraft when weather conditions were favorable. This forced local residents to endure unwarranted hardships and emergency evacuations and they asked the court for relief.

When Judge Harold Ryan heard the attorneys’ arguments late in February of 1988, the U.S. attorney said the Forest Service feared that someone using the road might shoot a gray wolf killing elk and deer on their winter range. The Judge responded that other wolves were killing elk and deer on the South Fork of the Payette River Road between Banks and Lowman yet local residents weren’t killing them and the Forest Service did not close that road.

Judge Ryan reprimanded the FS and FWS for assuming that back country residents were lawbreakers and ordered them to immediately provide unlimited access to Yellow Pine residents or he would. Yellow Pine residents were promptly given keys to the locked gate and a Feb. 26, 1988 Idaho Statesman article reported that man’s Constitutional right to travel freely trumped an unconfirmed threat to endangered wolves…

In January 1995, six Canadian gray wolves were released into Yellowstone National Park and another 11 into central Idaho by employees of the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The wolves, trapped in Alberta, Canada, were transported to the United States. Today the Northern Rocky Mountain wolf population numbers more than 3,000. Image courtesy The Outdoorsman

When Ed Bangs [of the USFWS] chose the largest subspecies of wolves in North America (Canis lupus occidentalus and C.l columbianus) to introduce into the Northern Rocky Mountains, it created controversy among wolf researchers

While Brewster and Fritts claimed the original NRM wolf was already extinct, Nowak wrote, “The extirpated wolf population of the Yellowstone region is closely related to the living population of Minnesota, both regarded here as part of the subspecies Canis lupus nubilus.”

Wildlife scientists agree that wolf subspecies living in colder climates (e.g. C.l. occidentalus in northern Canada) generally have larger bodies* than the same subspecies in warmer climates and larger prey is available to them. Opponents of transplanting these oversize wolves into the U.S. argued that the habitat to support them did not exist outside of the mountains. (* “Bergman’s Rule”)

The average weight of male wolves introduced into the NRM from northern Canada was at least 30% heavier than average male wolf weights in the Great Lakes. Not only would that create a different “niche” (prey base and impact on the NRM ecosystems) by the larger wolves, but the lack of habitat caused by agricultural development and urban and rural sprawl would prohibit these wolves from existing outside of the national parks and wilderness areas. …

The fact that no employee in any of the state and federal natural resource management agencies in Idaho recorded sighting a wolf from 1979 until radio-collared wolves allowed electronic tracking in 1995 –- yet verified by abundant citizen wolf sightings [and the Yellow Pine road closure] -– illustrates the necessity for government biologists to rely on private citizens to locate uncollared wolves for them. That is just as true today as it was when the appeals court deferred to the agencies’ alleged expertise. …

Instead of being up front and honest with the public and Congress, federal and state wildlife managers have used misinformation and deception to sell their wolf preservation agenda. These include grossly exaggerating the number of prey species that existed to support wolves and concealing the impact wolves and other large predators have on prey species. …

One of several wildlife research scientists I admire and respect recently stated:

“We labor under an illusion that science progresses in a rational fashion, advanced by high and open-minded, disinterested individuals, where in reality it is in the hands of status groups that anxiously exclude all others and jealously hold power over publication and publicity. The status group game has reached truly frightening proportions in anthropology where the systematic exclusion of others by the chief status groups has prompted some authors to write books about it!”

Respected scientists in other fields indicate this activist-generated “science” is not subject to the same standards or scrutiny as legitimate research. It is presented to the media in press releases as a crisis -– and repeated often enough to convince an unsuspecting public it is true since they keep hearing about it. The excuse for protecting gray wolves -– that they were here first and humans are intruding on their habitat -– has become the politically correct lie. On February 6, 2009 when a team of researchers at Stanford University Medical Center announced that black wolves are the result of cross breeding with domestic dogs, they speculated this must have happened more than 10,000 years ago when the wolves first crossed over from Asia.

As part of the research team at Stanford, Marco Musiani suggested the interbreeding between domestic dogs and wolves occurred thousands of years ago due to the fact that nearly half of the wolves in Yellowstone are now black. But these comments appear to support Dr. Val Geist’s observation that wildlife biologists are notoriously poor historians.

A search of historical records at the Smithsonian and elsewhere … revealed ample evidence of Indians deliberately breeding their female dogs to wild wolves from the 1600s through the 1800s. An often reported procedure was to stake out a female dog at the first sign of estrous until she was bred by male wolves, which produced a litter of hardy fighting hybrids for use in hunting or working.

From early Canadian and U.S. explorers to hunter conservationist Theodore Roosevelt, published accounts cite examples of such cross breeding. Tom Remington has done an excellent job of researching and reporting the recent history of wolves, including an article back in August of 2009 in his Black Bear Blog entitled, “Is There Really Any Such Thing As ‘Pure Wolf’” [here]? …

There are many more examples of the corruption of government science by its own biologists and by the misguided practitioners of the pseudo science erroneously referred to as “conservation biology.” It does not conserve anything -– especially the abundant diversity of species that it professes to preserve.

Instead of restoring wildlife species that were endangered, state and federal bureaucrats have used corrupt science and the power of the ESA to saturate those areas with a Duke’s mixture of assorted uncontrolled hybrid wolves that are destroying our native species.



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