22 Jan 2010, 12:00pm
Wildlife Agencies Wolves
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Wyoming Coalition Blasts USFWS for Politicized Wolf Reintroductions

Last April a coalition of Wyoming groups opposed to the introduction of non-native wolves filed notice of intent to sue the US Fish and Wildlife Service for failing to delist wolves in that state [here].

We have discussed this issue before [here, here, among many other posts]. In short, the USFWS issued yet another “Final Rule” last April removing the “Distinct Population Segment” (DPS) of Northern Rocky Mountain (NRM) wolves from the Endangered Species list (again), with the exception of Wyoming wolves.

The Wolf Coalition, which includes the Wyoming Wool Growers Association, Wyoming Stock Growers Association, Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation, Wyoming Association of Conservation Districts, Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, Wyoming Association of County Predatory Animal Boards, Niobrara County Predatory Animal Board, Wyoming Outfitters and Guides Association, Cody Country Outfitters and Guides Association, and Sportsmen for Fish & Wildlife Wyoming, took the matter to court. The USFWS responded, and now the Wolf Coalition has filed a stunning Reply brief.

The WOLF COALITION’S REPLY BRIEF FOR DECLARATORY JUDGMENT AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF – RELATED TO RESPONDENTS’ REFUSAL TO DELIST THE GRAY WOLF IN WYOMING [here], authored by Harriet M. Hageman and Kara Brighton, pulls no punches. Some excerpts:

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On Predator-Prey Relations

We have recently posted two engaging “popular” articles by Dr. Charles E. Kay concerning predator-prey relations (or relationships or interactions).

Dr. Kay (of Utah State University) is one of our premier wildlife ecologists and is the author/editor of Wilderness and Political Ecology: Aboriginal Influences and the Original State of Nature [here], author of Are Lightning Fires Unnatural? A Comparison of Aboriginal and Lightning Ignition Rates in the United States [here], co-author of Native American influences on the development of forest ecosystems [here], and numerous other scientific papers.

In Wolf Predation: More Bad News [here], Dr Kay discusses apparent or predator meditated competition, using wolves, moose, caribou, and deer as examples.

Predator meditated competition is a tricky concept. Most people are aware that predators can reduce a prey population, and that the predator population can then fall due to a lack of prey. As the predators decline, the prey population rebounds. Then the predator population rebounds, and the cycle begins anew.

But this model of predator-prey relations is overly simplified. In the real world, predators often have alternative choices besides one type of prey. If the alternative prey is sufficiently numerous, the predator populations do not always decline so much. The primary prey is thus still subject to predation, and it can be driven to extinction.

In effect, the various prey populations are in competition with each other, not for food but for predator avoidance.

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18 Jan 2010, 10:59pm
Homo sapiens Wolves
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Wolf Tapeworms Are a Serious Threat to Wildlife, Pets, and People

by Dr. Valerius Geist, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus of Environmental Science, University of Calgary
Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Dear Friends,

When the news broke that hydatid disease had established itself in the NW of the United States, I quickly responded, stating some of the precautions hunters should take in the field. As a Canadian field biologist I was well instructed about hydatid disease in my training, which reinforced what I knew since childhood, because a relative of mine died of hydatid disease. Friendships during my career with medical people experienced with that disease reinforced what I knew. It’s nothing to fool around with!

I am consequently a bit concerned about recent statements that take a rather cavalier attitude towards the disease. The pro- and contra- machinations pertaining to wolves are of little concern here. What is important is that people living or recreating in areas with hydatid disease take precautions, and steps have to be undertaken to eradicate the disease.

To those supporting wolf conservation, let me make it clear: if wolves are going to survive in the NW, it will be wolves that are not infected with dog tapeworms. On this point, ludicrous as it may seem today to some, all parties can and should unite.

The more each party does its homework, the more likely this happy event will come to pass!

To reiterate briefly: because infected wolves, coyotes, dogs, and foxes (and also felines small and big, like house cats and mountain lions, and even raccoons) may carry dog tapeworm, or fox tapeworm or a number of related species of tapeworms, all of which are bad business, it is important that feces from carnivores is treated with great care –- as well as the handling of carcasses and skins of carnivores in affected areas.

Because the tiny eggs, liberated by the millions in carnivore feces, are dispersed even by tiny air currents, it is important for reasons of personal health not to poke or kick such feces. They will usually be dry. Disturbance can liberate clouds of tapeworm eggs, and these clouds of eggs will settle on your clothing, your exposed skin, in your sinuses and wind pipe, on your lips, and if you inhale through the mouth, in your oral cavity. If you lick your lips, the eggs will get into your oral cavity. When sinuses and windpipe clear themselves of inhaled particles with your sputum, the eggs will get into your mouth and be swallowed. If you touch the feces or even poke at them, chances are the cloud of tine eggs will also settle on your hands and may contaminate the food you handle or eat.

People with dogs are at risk because their dogs may feed (unbeknown to the owners) on carcasses or gut piles of big game infected with that disease, infecting themselves with dog tapeworm. These dogs will defecate in kennel and yards, spreading these tiny eggs. They will also lick their anus and fur, spreading the eggs into their fur. The eggs will cling to boots and and be carried indoors, where they float about until they settle down as dust. Now everybody is at risk of infection, especially toddlers crawling around on the floor. House cats can also be involved.

Hunters and ranching folks who keep or hunt with dogs in areas infected with hydatid disease are thus much more at risk than urban populations. The disease is silent, difficult to detect until very late, innocuous when the infection is light, provided the cysts that form are not interfering with vital functions, but lethal if they do, especially if cysts develop in the brain. Fox tapeworm infections are worse. Some new drugs can help contain the disease, but in many cases surgery is required. Unfortunately, the surgery can be very tricky.

To control the disease, we may have to undertake controlled burning of big game winter ranges to burn off the eggs. We should also consider targeting known wolf packs with medicated bait to purge them of tapeworms.

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15 Jan 2010, 5:00pm
Wildlife Agencies Wolves
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Human-Habituated Wolves in Idaho

We have reported on the dangers of human-habituated wolves in numerous posts. A sampling:

* Predicting Predator Attacks on Humans by Dr. Valerius Geist [here]

* Yellowstone Staff Remove Human-Habituated Gray Wolf [here]

* The Hailey Wolf Rally [here]

* Report the Truth About Wolves for a Change by Laura Schneberger [here]

* Undue Burden: The real cost of living with wolves [here]

* Wolves Are Targeting Humans As Prey by Dr. Valerius Geist [here]

* Three Wolf Stories [here]

Human-habituated wolves are those which have lost their fear of humans. It is a common phenomenon, in this country and in Europe and Asia. As reported in Wolves in Russia: Anxiety Through the Ages by Will N. Graves [here], wolf behavior follows a general habituation-exploration model. The progressive circumstances are:

(a) Severe depletion of natural prey.

(b) Followed by wolves searching for alternative food sources among human habitations.

(c) The brazen behavior of wolves increases due to the wolves being undeterred by and habituated to inefficiently armed humans (or ineffectual use of weapons or outright protection of wolves).

(d) Wolves shift to preying on pets and livestock, especially on dogs.

(e) Wolves stalk and kill livestock.

(f) Wolves commence deliberate, drawn-out exploration of humans on foot or on horseback.

(g) Followed by wolves confronting humans.

(h) Wolves attack humans.

Now human-habituated wolves have been observed in Stage (f) near Kamiah, Idaho. The following story is behind a paywall, so we cannot provide a link, but the introduction is:

Wolves reported near Kamiah bus stop

By Eric Barker, Lewiston Tribune, January 15th, 2010

A man who lives near Kamiah reported seeing three wolves near his children’s bus stop recently.

Mike Popp, a hunting outfitter who lives on Glenwood Road east of Kamiah, said he is worried the wolves are becoming too habituated to people and running out of a natural prey base. Seeing a wolf is not unusual for him or his family. Popp guides hunters and frequently runs across the animals. He has also had them on or near his property on a regular basis and has long worried about the effects on elk and moose. But seeing them near the bus stop was different.

“We see wolves. Wolves kill our dogs, they chase our horses,” Popp said. “It’s just a given in the last five years but I think gosh darn it when they walk up to the bus stop like that … the kids is what worries me.”

Popp took his children to their bus stop Monday morning and sat in his jeep while his 6- and 8-year-olds had a snowball fight. The bus pulled up, stopped and flashed its lights. The kids got on and the bus driver pulled into a driveway to turn around. When the driver backed up, the bus emitted warning beeps. After it pulled away, three wolves came out of the woods and walked down the road toward Popp.

He started his jeep and drove toward the animals. They left the road and Popp followed their tracks to see where they had come from. He said it was clear they were sitting in the woods about 30 feet away from the road prior to the arrival of the bus.

“While we were there at the bus stop and those kids were snowball-fighting I know they could hear, and they just sat there,” he said. “They are really becoming habituated to all the sights and sounds that are out there.” …

Major tragedies are brewing in Idaho, in addition to the decimation of elk herds and the increasing loss of livestock to wolves. Now they are stalking children.

The outcome is predictable if nothing is done to eliminate the human-habituated packs.

Idaho officials, including those who manage the Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game, need to undertake full predator control measures now, before tragedy strikes. There is no excuse for any delay. If there is any procrastination, and a child is attacked by known human-habituated wolves, the entire IDFG should be swept clean of all current employees and reconstituted with people who are cognizant of the dangers. Should it come to that, civil suits and criminal prosecutions of the dilatory officials will be as swift and brutal as a wolf attack.

Are Mainstream Environmentalists Racist?

Racism is the belief that people of different races have different qualities and abilities, and that some races are inherently superior or inferior. It is generally accompanied by animosity toward other races fueled by prejudice.

But what shall we call the type of “scientific” racism that a) denies the historical existence of non-white peoples, and/or b) denies the humanity of other races. Super racism?

One common belief (discrimination, prejudice, bigotry, intolerance, xenophobia, bias) held by super racists is that throughout history brown-skinned people have been little more than nomadic savages, packs of wildmen with no more impact on the environment than butterflies that flit from bush to bush.

That’s a common belief of “ecologists” at any rate, especially BINGO ecologists.

For those of you new to the terminology, BINGO’s are big, international, non-governmental organizations, such as the Humane Society (HS), the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and the Nature Conservancy (TNC), among others.

BINGO ecologists hold to the notion that despite 150,000 years of human occupation of Africa, that continent today is mostly wilderness: pristine, untrammeled, wild, untouched by the hand of man. Whomever lived there, they were inept and stupid. They could not alter their environment due to their extreme primitiveness — so backward as to be sub or even sub-sub human. Homo erectus had fire, and used it, but Homo sapiens forgot how — at least, the Homo sapiens in Africa (and the Americas) somehow lost the ability to make and use fire.

It must have been their skin color that made brown humans so stupid, right?

Further, BINGO’s routinely interfere with governments in Africa to promote the ethnic cleansing of brown-skinned people in order to dehumanize large “parks” in Africa [here] to “save the animals”.

Those darn brownies finally picked up on white ways and are endangering the elephants, rhinos, and elephinos that were doing fine, unaffected by the brownies for 150,000 years, until superior white people taught the primitives how to kill and eat wild game.

Sound familiar? There’s no need to go as far away as Africa to see the actions and effects of super racism — we have plenty of it here.

Super racism leads to poverty, deprivation, and death of the indigenous residents. Super racist “science” is turned into super racist actions that inflict genocide. And it is paid for by white people in the First World.

Have you ever donated money to the WWF, TNC, IFAW, etc.? Are you aware that that your government does so, to the tune of hundreds of $millions per year? Do you know how that money is spent?

Maybe you were simply unaware (a kind word for “ignorant”) of the malevolent activities of BINGO’s and their “scientists”. Or maybe you are a super racist, too. It’s been a popular bent for hundreds of years, and there seems to be no let up.

All the above is an introduction, an invitation if you will, to examine the latest addition to the W.I.S.E. Colloquium: Wildlife Sciences [here]:

Charles E. Kay. 2009. Two Views of the Serengeti: One True, One Myth. Conservation and Society 7(2): 145-147, 2009

Dr. Kay’s essay is a book review of two books, one a compendium of super racist “science” and the other a condemnation of such.

Read and learn.

10 Jan 2010, 2:19pm
Homo sapiens Wildlife Agencies Wolves
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Two-Thirds of Idaho Wolf Carcasses Examined Have Thousands of Hydatid Disease Tapeworms

By George Dovel, The Outdoorsman, No. 36, Dec. 2009 [full text here]

NOTE: see also [here]

Hydatid cysts infect lungs, liver, and other internal organs of big game animals. Michigan DNR Wildlife Disease Lab photo

Hydatid cysts infecting moose or caribou lungs. Photo courtesy of NW Territories Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

My first Outdoorsman article on hydatid disease caused by the tiny Echinococcosis granulosus tapeworm was published nearly 40 years ago. Back then we had many readers in Alaska and northern Canada where the cysts were present in moose and caribou and my article included statistics on the number of reported human deaths from these cysts over a 50-year period, and the decline in deaths once outdoorsmen learned what precautions were necessary to prevent humans from being infected.

In Alaska alone, over 300 cases of hydatid disease in humans had been reported since 1950 as a result of canids (dog family), primarily wolves, contaminating the landscape with billions of E. granulosus eggs in their feces (called “scat” by biologists). These invisible eggs are ingested by grazing animals, both wild and domestic, and occasionally by humans who release clouds of the eggs into the air by kicking the scat or picking it up to see what the wolf had been eating.

As with many other parasites, the eggs are very hardy and reportedly exist in extremes of weather for long periods, virtually blanketing patches of habitat where some are swallowed or inhaled. As Dr. Valerius Geist explained in his Feb-Mar 2006 Outdoorsman article entitled Information for Outdoorsmen in Areas Where Wolves Have Become Common, “(once they are ingested by animals or humans) the larvae move into major capillary beds – liver, lung, brain – where they develop into large cysts full of tiny tapeworm heads.”

He continued, “These cysts can kill infected persons unless they are diagnosed and removed surgically. It consequently behooves us (a) to insure that this disease does not become widespread, and (b) that hunters and other outdoorsmen know that wolf scats and coyote scats should never be touched or kicked.”

[NOTE: moisture around waterholes reportedly preserves the eggs in high temperatures that might otherwise destroy them. Ingestion of E. granulosus eggs by drinking the water is also possible. - ED]

Dr. Geist’s article also warned, “If we generate dense wolf populations it is inevitable that such lethal diseases as Hydatid disease become established.” Because wolves and other canines perpetuate the disease by eating the organs of animals containing the cysts, and the tapeworms live and lay millions of eggs in their lower intestines, the logical way to insure the disease did not develop was not to import Canadian wolves that were already infected with the parasites.

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1 Jan 2010, 10:58pm
Salmon and other fish
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Carbon Dioxide, Acidification of the Oceans, and Tropical Marine Fish

Some folks contend that additional atmospheric CO2 will lead to “acidification” of the world’s oceans.

The word “acidification” has to taken with a grain of salt. The worlds oceans have a pH of ~8.2. That’s alkali, not acid. Neutral is pH 7.0. If the pH went down to 8.0, that would be still be alkali, but less so. That’s what the word “acidification” means in this context.

At any rate, some folks contend that it would be a grave thing to lessen the alkalinity of the oceans because all the fish would die, not to mention coral reefs and whales.

However, all those animals evolved in and do better in oceans that are less alkali than today, perhaps as low as pH 7.4 in Carboniferous times.

Most animals, in fact, are much less alkali than sea water of today, inside their bodies. Human blood has a pH of ~7.4, for example. So has dolphin blood. So has fish blood. Look it up.

Aquarium and pond owners know about testing and buffering the water pH for their fish. From The FishDoc [here]

Each species of fish has its own very narrow range of pH preference and levels outside of this range will cause health problems. For example, koi prefer a range between 7 and 8.5, while some tropical fish prefer water that is slightly acidic. There are several ways that pH can affect fish health.

But carbon paranoia being what it is these days, scientists decided to do the litmus test, scientifically, as part of the tens of $billions spent on “climate change” research every year. We could spend that money on something else, or not spend it at all, but… And to be fair to researchers, they can’t get any funding if their proposals don’t have a global warming hook.

So anyway, some scientists altered the pH in some fish tanks to see how tropical marine fish reacted to “acidification” — some tanks at pH 8.2 like the oceans, and some tanks at pH levels lower than that.

Basically, they replicated the experiment aquarium owners have been performing ever since Robert Boyle invented litmus paper (or perfected the idea) around 1650. But the scientists did it scientifically.

And what did they find?

The punchline is coming…

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10 Dec 2009, 11:58am
Birds Wildlife Agencies
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Barred Owl Blasting Is Back

Yup, shotgun blasting of barred owls is back on the menu. The US Fish and Wildlife Service wants to blow the little birds to smithereens:

Fish and Wildlife Service Seeks Public Comments on Possible Experimental Removal of Barred Owls

USFWS News Release, Dec 9, 2009 [here]

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced it is preparing an environmental analysis of possible experimental removal of barred owls from three areas in Oregon and Washington, to determine if the removal benefits northern spotted owls. The agency is seeking public comments on the scope of the analysis that should be carried out; that is, what are the biological, social, economic and environmental effects that should be studied before the agency decides whether to conduct the experiments. The announcement will be published in the Federal Register on December 10, 2009.

“We will decide whether to conduct experimental removal of barred owls only after this open, transparent review of the effects those experiments might have,” said Paul Henson, the Fish and Wildlife Service supervisor in Oregon. “Removing individuals of a common species to benefit a species in peril is something the Fish and Wildlife Service does when necessary, but we will not proceed with this experimental removal until we better understand – and document – the environmental effects of doing it.” …

We first reported this amazing story over two years ago [here]

Shoot to Kill: The Curse of the Spotted Owl, Part 3

SOS Forests, May 8th, 2007

The latest “solution” proposed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service to the Spotted Owl Crisis is to arm Federal “biologists” with shotguns, send them onto public and private property, and have them blast away at owls.

That’s right, sports fans. The defective brain trust at USFWS plans to give loaded weapons to wackos, form owl death squads, and send them out here to shoot to kill owls.

In the name of the Environment!!!!

Get this: after 15 years of intense expert study (ha ha, that’s a laugh), after 15 years of an economic straightjacket strapped on millions of citizens, after 15 years of a half-trillion dollar forest set-aside program, the architects of “owl biology” are punting.

They don’t have a clue about spotted owls, or the hope of a clue, and so have devolved their “owl biology” into a nightmare of pointless violence and owl murder. …

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New The Outdoorsman Is Excellent

The previous two posts were extracted (with generous permission) from articles appearing in the new issue of The Outdoorsman, No. 35, July-Nov 2009 [here]. The Outdoorsman is written and edited by Mr. George Dovel [here].

The new issue is excellent, as usual. Looking back, we have posted excerpts from six? previous issues [here, here, here, here, here, here] at least. We highly value and appreciate Mr. Dovel’s work and voice.

Another article (beside the two we posted) printed in the new The Outdoorsman is “When Biologists Stocked Alaska with Wolves” by Ned Rozell of the Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Rozell discusses the “predator pit” that resulted from the 1960 release of a mating pair of wolves onto Coronation Island, a remote 45-square-mile island exposed to the open Pacific. Prior to the release, Coronation Island had a high density of blacktailed deer and no wolves. By 1965 at least 13 wolves lived on the island and three litters of young had been born since the first wolves had arrived. Few deer remained. By 1966 only signs were found of 3 deer and one wolf. By 1983 researchers found no evidence of wolves, and the deer were once again plentiful.

Another article is “Let’s Get Real” by Dr. Valerius Geist, about the myth of the “harmless wolf”. Dr. Geist is the undisputed authority on North American big game species, and many of his essays have also been posted at Wildlife and People [here].

Another article is “The Rest of the Story” by George Dovel in which he discusses predator-prey relationships and the myth of the “balance of nature”.

… In his article “Vancouver Island Wolves,” (see April-May 2006 Outdoorsman) Dr. Geist described how, when wolves entered Vancouver Island during the 1970s, the annual deer kill by hunters plummeted from about 25,000 to less than 4,000. Are we to believe that Vancouver Island’s 12,076 square-mile area is, like Alaska’s Coronation Island, also supposedly “too small for both deer and wolves?”

In both cases, with an abundance of deer to kill and eat, the wolves multiplied much faster than the deer and soon depleted their numbers. When the wolves on Coronation Island killed off most of the black-tailed deer and exhausted the supply of other prey they starved and the deer eventually recovered.

But, as Dr. Geist explained in “Vancouver Island Wolves,” after the wolves killed off most of the black-tailed deer and smaller prey, they survived on alternate prey, including elk, livestock and domestic animals and pets. These wolves also continue to kill pockets of deer thereby preventing recovery of the deer population. …

In geographically “closed” ecosystems such as Coronation Island and Isle Royale, a single large carnivore species decimates its single wild ungulate prey and ultimately destroys itself, allowing the prey to repopulate over time. But in the vast majority of ecosystems such as Vancouver Island and Interior Alaska, where alternate prey species allow predators to survive after the primary prey is decimated, the primary prey may not recover without a dramatic reduction in predator numbers. …

That is the situation throughout much of Alaska today and it resulted from pandering to propagandists who were allowed to promote the myth that predators and their prey will seek and maintain a “natural” balance. …

In the lower 48 States, pretending to manage ecosystems rather than actively manage wildlife populations can only result in decades of starvation, disease and scarcity in between the occasional rare “balance” that may appear to exist briefly. At a time when our federal government is promoting sustainable communities and the use of renewable natural resources, promoting the wanton destruction of our renewable timber and wildlife resources is inexcusable.

Please read the (free online) newest issue of The Outdoorsman [here]. You may also wish to send George Dovel a donation for his important and valuable efforts (see the last page of The Outdoorsman).

5 Dec 2009, 6:56pm
Endangered Specious Wolves
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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

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The Truth about Idaho’s and Montana’s 2009 Wolf Harvest Quotas

By George Dovel

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

On March 6, 2008, in an effort to pacify Defenders of Wildlife and other wolf extremist groups, the Idaho F&G Commission ignored the 15 breeding pairs (150 wolves) goal established by the Legislature and approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Interior Secretary. Instead, the Commission adopted a bastard plan that has never been submitted to the full Legislature for approval or rejection as required by Idaho law.

The 2008-2012 IDFG Plan agreed to manage for a minimum population of 518-732 wolves for five years …

In his testimony to the Court, Mech explained: “Every year, most wolf populations almost double in the spring through the birth of pups” [Mech 1970]. For example in May 2008, there will not be 1,500 wolves [in the Northern Rocky Mountains], but 3,000! …

Without any science to support their claim, Idaho F&G Commissioners said they were going to cut the minimum estimated end-of-year wolf population from 732 in 2007 to ~520 in 2008 using only a fall hunting season which also prohibited two methods used to harvest Idaho bears and mountain lions!

In other words, they ignored biology and science and pretended they could do what no other state or Canadian province with wolves has ever been able to do. …

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3 Dec 2009, 12:04pm
Homo sapiens Wildlife Agencies
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What is Conservation? Who are conservationists?

By Hunter’s Alert [here]

There are many words that have double meanings, like “gay”, “coke” and “conservation”. Most people would argue that conservation only has one meaning. Through language deception perfected by government agencies and environmentalists (which has been so skillfully brought to our attention by Julie Smithson of Property Rights Research) words are of monumental importance in our perception of the way we view things and make decisions.

Government agents (bureaucrats) and news media (journalists) like to refer to anti-hunting groups such as Nature Conservancy, Defenders of Wildlife, Sierra Club and many others as “conservationists”. These anti organizations (environmentalists) spend much of their time and their money on lawsuits, suing the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (the government) thus establishing their agendas and imposing their will on the American people.

Hunters were the first conservationists practicing sound conservation in America and they are still the best, spending their money for all forms of wildlife.

These two words today, “conservation” and “conservationists”, have been usurped by anti organizations, agencies, and journalists, ignoring the true conservationist — none other than the HUNTER — and by so doing making the hunter appear to be the problem while they are the saviors.

Now think it through — who gave us all the abundant wildlife we have known up to this day that we rapidly see disappearing all around us? Hunters did it with their dedication to wildlife and their money without having to sue the very government agencies that these hunters pay to represent them in ALL wildlife management. Then the late entrance of these environmentalist organizations, paying virtually nothing, infiltrating our government agencies, and you can see who and where the problem is.

Now — who are the real conservationists?

2 Dec 2009, 10:36pm
Wolves
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The Wolf Crisis

- While sportsmen in the Rocky Mountain states are getting totally fed up with an ever-increasing wolf population that has devastated the moose, elk and deer populations in some areas, the 2009 hunting season may be a pivotal point in this heated controversy when prudent wildlife management finally wins the day -

By Jeff Lampe, North American Whitetail, Oct 2009 [here]

Tim Craig began his career as a hunting outfitter in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness of central Idaho. For 32 years Tim has faithfully returned to the remote wilderness. The main draw has always been elk hunting and the wildness of this 1.3-million-acre roadless expanse of trees and rocky peaks.

“That’s where I cut my teeth; that’s where my heart is,” says Craig, who operates Boulder Creek Outfitters out of Peck, Idaho.

But Craig is fortunate to have several other areas to hunt because, by necessity, he’s on the verge of giving up on the Selway-Bitterroot.

“I never used to ride on a horse for eight hours and only cut only one or two elk tracks,” Craig said. “But that’s what happens now, and you can’t take clients into that kind of situation. I’ve pretty well come to the conclusion that it’s time for me to move on. And I know of eight or nine other outfitters getting out of there as well. I’d be surprised if anybody is still there within five years. It’s that bad.”

While biologists point to invasive plants and hard winters as key factors in big-game declines, Craig and others who spend months camped in the woods single out another, toothier problem — wolves. The Selway-Bitterroot was an original-release location for wolves in 1995 and 1996. In the years since, Tim says, the wilderness area has been hard hit by the resurgence of these predators.

“Wolves come in and run the herd out,” Tim said. “I’ve been here for 32 years in the same areas, and we’ve got some spots where there are totally no elk or deer. “In the backcountry areas, the deer were the first thing that went once the wolves went in. Now they’re just hammering the elk. It’s pathetic.”

Since being reintroduced to the northern Rocky Mountains, wolves have steadily spread into haunts they had not roamed since the 1930s. At the end of 2008, some 1,645 wolves were documented in the Northern Rockies. This includes parts of Montana, Idaho and Wyoming, the eastern third of Washington and Oregon, and part of north-central Utah.

Federal surveys show that Idaho has the densest concentration of wolves, with at least 846. Next high are Montana (496) and Wyoming (302).

In recognition of those numbers, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service delisted wolves in early 2009 for the second time in as many years. Though the latest delisting met with predictable lawsuits from anti-hunting groups, indications are that the Obama administration supports the plan. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar needed less than two months to affirm the USFWS decision in early March.

In response, Idaho and Montana plan to have wolf hunts this fall. The states hope hunting wolves will help offset potential losses in hunting income that recent surveys estimated could be as high as $15 to $24 million. Others hope hunting will make the presence of wolves more palatable to hunters who have witnessed the big-game losses.

“It’s way past time to do this,” says Ed Bangs, the USFWS biologist who has overseen the reintroduction of wolves to the west. “(Wolves) should be managed and that management should include hunting. The wolf population can’t keep growing. All the suitable habitat is filled now. So instead of having me in a helicopter shooting wolves after they eat a guy’s cow, you can have hunters pay for the same privilege. By having hunting as part of the equation, you can have a more effective program that’s cheaper.” … [more]

28 Nov 2009, 8:33pm
Wolves
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Of wolves and worms

by DeLene, Wild Muse, 11/27/2009 [here]

If a Northern Rocky Mountain gray wolf has a daily to-do list, it may look like this:1.) Avoid hunters, 2.) Maintain territory, 3.) Find prey, 4.) Get de-wormed.

Yes, de-wormed.

According to a new study out in the October issue of the Journal of Wildlife Diseases, three-millimeter-long tapeworms known as Echinococcus granulosus, are documented for the first time in gray wolves in Idaho and Montana. And the authors didn’t just find a few tapeworms here and there… turns out that of 123 wolf intestines sampled, 62 percent of the Idaho gray wolves and 63 percent of the Montana gray wolves were positive. (Ew!) The researchers wrote: “The detection of thousands of tapeworms per wolf was a common finding.” (Again… Ew!!) This leads to the interpretation that the E. granulosus parasite rate is fairly widespread and established in the Northern Rocky Mountain wolves.

The tapeworms themselves are not new. Gray wolves in Canada and Alaska are known to be infected with them. In fact, previous studies indicate that a 14 to 72 percent infection rate is normal. But the study authors report that this is the first time that a specific biotype of E. granulosus has been detected in not only wolves of Idaho and Montana, but also wild herbivores. The parasite needs both types of animals to complete its life cycle. … [more]

*****

Comments by Will Graves, the author of “Wolves in Russia” [here]

In the first paragraph in my letter to Mr. Bangs dated 3 October 1993 on the DEIS (Draft Environmental Impact Statement) which was titled “The Reintroduction of Gray Wolves to Yellowstone National Park and Central Idaho,” I warned about the damages and problems wolves would cause to Yellowstone and other areas by carrying and spreading parasites and diseases over larger areas. Some of these parasites are damaging not only to wild and domestic animals, but can also be dangerous to humans. One of these parasites is Echinococcous granulosus and Echinococcus m.

Since 1993 I have been working to tell people what I have learned from about 50 years of research on the characteristics, habits and behavior of Russian wolves. From that research I came to the conclusion that one of the most serious consequences of bring wolves into the US would be the wolves carrying and spreading around damaging/dangerous parasites and diseases. I did my best to explain this in my book titled, “Wolves in Russia – Anxiety Through the Ages” edited by Dr. Valerius Geist. Details about my book are at my web site: wolvesinrussia.com.

After several years effort, I finally recently obtained help from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Parasitic Research Center in Beltsville, MD. This research center will try to conduct research on the blood taken from wolves in our western states. One parasite they will be researching is Neospora Caninum. They hope to determine if wolves carry and spread the parasite around. It is established that coyotes and dogs carry this damaging parasite.

I remember that about two years ago there was a report about one wolf carrying Echinococcus granulosus in Montana.

Much more research is needed about the danger wolves bring to our environment. Some of the parasites carried by wolves are dangerous to humans.

25 Nov 2009, 10:05pm
Birds
by admin
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Grouse vs. Fences

by the Baker City Herald Editorial Board, November 11, 2009 [here]

The results of a scientific study released a couple weeks ago suggest that on the ornithological intelligence scale, sage grouse are closer to the dodo bird than to the parrot.

The sage grouse in Western Wyoming are, anyway.

This study would have really tickled us, except that it could inform a decision that would have a dramatic, and detrimental, effect on ranchers in Eastern Oregon and across much of the West.

The federal government, as it has been at various times over the past several years, is trying to decide whether the sage grouse, of which there are populations in several states, should be listed as a threatened or endangered species.

The feds’ decision is significant. If the chicken-size bird is given federal protection, then some ranchers could be forced to stop grazing cattle on public lands that biologists deem critical habitat for sage grouse.

Biologists from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other agencies have laid most of the blame for the decline in sage grouse populations on the conversion of sagebrush habitat to such things as housing and agriculture.

That’s a logical explanation — the bird, as its name implies, depends almost entirely on sagebrush: for food, nesting habitat and protection from predators.

Which brings us to the Wyoming study, which was conducted in 2007.

Researchers concluded that during a seven-month period, as many as 146 sage grouse might have died because they flew into a 4.7-mile section of barbed-wire fence near Farson, Wyo.

We have no reason to question those statistics.

What worries us, though, is the prospect of federal officials citing the Wyoming study as evidence that sage grouse need the powerful protection of the Endangered Species Act.

The source of our skepticism is this: Barbed-wire fences have been widespread in the West for close to a century, yet even experts from the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies wrote in an assessment that sage grouse populations have been relatively stable since dropping substantially from about 1960 through the mid-1980s.

The obvious question, then, is why, if barbed-wire fences are such deadly obstacles for sage grouse, the birds have managed to not only survive, but for periods thrive, in a region where tens of thousands of miles of such fence have been in place for many decades?

Perhaps the federal government’s bird experts can answer that question.

If they cite barbed-wire fences as justification for listing sage grouse, we hope that answer is backed with convincing evidence.

 
  
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