Wolves may be pushing mountain lions into more marginal habitat NE of Jackson Hole.

This article is in the Jackson Hole News and Guide today. Although it isn’t firmly established, changes in cougar territory in the area near the Teton Wilderness may be due to pressure from wolves.

Jim and Holly Akenson have already found this to be the case in central Idaho (in Big Creek, deep in the Frank Church Wilderness). They found that wolves occupied the best habitat and cougars moved to the more rocky country. Read “Winter Predation and Interactions of Wolves and Cougars in the Central Idaho Wilderness” One caveat, the Idaho Fish and Game Commission, was compounding the difficulty cougar were having by encouraging a very high human “harvest” of cougar.

Anti-wolf folks don’t take into account the competition between carnivores and assume that all more wolves means is more elk or deer killed as prey in almost direct proportion. This is just plain wrong, especially when other predators are present.

Wolves said to disrupt winter elk feeding in Wyoming

“Wolves are causing a variety of problems on state elk feedgrounds, from spooking the elk and causing them to move from one area to another to killing work animals,” the Wyoming Game and Fish Department said. From Billings Gazette News Services. Read Article.

The entire premise of the article is wrong. There should not be elk winter feedlots! If the wolves disrupt the operations and chase the elk, so much the better, especially in the Gros Ventre River drainage (disruption may be a problem further south near Pinedale, Wyoming where the elk feedlots are near ranches and roads).

The article mentions that the wolves killed a feeder’s dog as though that was unexpected and terrible. Several weeks ago Ed Bangs sent out a much longer description of the event.

Bangs wrote: On the 23rd [Feb], Jimenez [WY FWS] examined and confirmed that a 8-month old male Catahula hound was killed by wolves on one of the Gros Ventre elk winter feedgrounds near Jackson, WY. The feeders stay at the feedground and had 5 pet hounds sleeping outside the cabin. The dog was killed about 200yds from the cabin. The other dogs are fine. The feeders had been previously advised that a wolf pack was visiting that feedground and their dogs might be at risk. No control is planned.

Did the feeders care about the dogs ? They were left sleeping outside next to an elk feedlot frequented by wolves, coyotes, and no doubt cougar as well. This is way back in the mountains, east of Jackson Hole, untamed country.

Wyoming Game and Fish is just plain irresponsible, and these “problems” are to be expected.

The wolves seem to be the only ones in Wyoming actually doing something to reduce the prevalence of brucellosis (by scaring elk off of the diseased feedlots).

Alaska wants helicopters to rescue wolf-kill program

State wants helicopters to rescue wolf-kill program. BEHIND SCHEDULE: Fuel costs, bad weather leave [“biologists”] far short of goal to kill 382 wolves. By Alex deMarban.
Anchorage Daily News.

With the state’s wolf-kill program severely behind schedule — costly fuel and uncooperative weather have grounded many volunteer pilots and gunners — game managers want state helicopters to come to the rescue.

What sorry news.  😉    May the weather remain bad and fuel costs rise higher.

Report on the Spokane wolf hearing

Wolf delisting draws a large crowd at public hearing. By N. K. Geranios. Magic Valley Times News

” ‘Many in the crowd wore buttons saying “More Wolves Less Politics,’ provided by Defenders of Wildlife.”

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More on the hearing. . .  Bristling kept under control at wolf talks. About 200 attend meeting about taking animals off endangered list. James Hagengruber. Spokesman Review