Yellowstone wolf report. Enormous change in pack compositions

Are the Sloughs gone? Plus five new wolf groups-

As wolf mortality has increased there has been a general redistribution of wolves in the Northern Range. All the packs are affected, even the Druids.

The Slough Creek Pack may no longer be intact. Two more dead members of the pack have been found and the only male in the pack, who wears the only functioning radio collar has been seen traveling alone.

As Kathie Lynch reported in her last wolf update, five members of the Druids (all males) left that pack. Since then they have found 5 females of other packs (perhaps all Agate). Leaders for the time being seem to be the famous old lover boy, Druid 302M and either a 2 year old Agate female or another Agate female nicknamed “halftail” because she lost half of her tail when run over by a van last year. This new group is being called the 302/642 group (named after the wolves with radio collars). They are one of 3 groups of wolves that are part of this year’s winter study.

The Agate Pack has no more functioning radio collars, so their status is not known.

Other new groups are 470s group [a.k.a., Mt. Everts Pack] after a collared female who was a Leopold and later and Owbow Pack wolf (both packs now disintegrated). 471s group of mangy wolves, currently on the west side of the Blacktail Plateau. This group is not expected to survive. 471F is a former Agate.

Then there is 527F’s group of 3, sometimes 4 (3 blacks and 1 gray). 527 is a well known former Slough Creek Pack wolf.

Finally there is 469Fs group. An older wolf, she too is a former Agate. This group is the second group selected for winter study, and the third group is the Druid Pack.

In summary then, new are

469s group
470s group
471s group
527s group
302/642 group

The Druids recently left the Park and were in Crandall Creek to the east for a while, but on Thanksgiving they were seen back on Jasper Bench.

The one really big pack left is the seldom seen Gibbon Pack of central Yellowstone. On his last flight, Dan Stahler visually counted 22 wolves, 15 blacks and 7 grays!

I finally got information on the SW corner Bechler Pack. They have just one radio collar. It is worn by 192M, the big, white, 10-11 year old alpha male who dispersed from the old Rose Creek Pack on the northern range to form the only pack in the Cascade Corner (SW corner of Yellowstone). It appears that the pack has 6-7 members including a couple pups.

Mollies Pack seems to still have a couple surviving pups, but they have at least a light case of mange.

The Canyon Pack of 4, including former Hayden 587F and probably 3 Mollies has lost its pups.

The Hayden Pack, which was driven out of the Canyon area about a year ago now, hangs onto the edge of Yellowstone and the Gallatin National Forest near Hebgen Lake and US 191. Doug Smith said he thought they were moving a bit north and might eventually occupy the niche once held by the old Chief Joseph Pack.

A final point is that year’s end wolf population in Yellowstone will show a huge decline.

43 Responses to “Yellowstone wolf report. Enormous change in pack compositions”

  1. Virginia Says:

    This is so tragic – I wonder if it will in any way affect the WY G&F and legislature’s attempt to go ahead with their ridiculous plan to make no substantial changes to WY’s wolf “management” plan.

  2. Ralph Maughan Says:

    Virginia,

    In a word “no.” It is a very inconvenient fact. They don’t acknowledge it.

    Idaho Fish and Game is getting even worse. They are now totally under control by the livestock industry and putting out opinion pieces how the wolves are killing all the elk (no figures or sources though). Actual figures from years past showed no discernible effect.

  3. ed Says:

    Ralph,

    Have you seen this one from the Kalispell paper regarding the Idaho Fish and Games claims of cow elk herd devstation by wolves.

    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/I/ID_WOLVES_BLAMED_MTOL-?SITE=MTKAL&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2008-11-28-11-08-49

  4. Layton Says:

    Ralph,

    Have you seen numbers from this year somewhere?? I didn’t know they were out.

  5. Ralph Maughan Says:

    ed,

    That is one story I’m thinking about. Thanks for the link. Idaho Fish and Game hasn’t done any new elk surveys in the Lolo Hunting Unit.

    Their old data that they submitted to the USFWS was not accepted (too small a sample, too short a time period) back before the the new 10j rule came out.

    I think that now folks have forgotten, if necessary they’ll push it forward again as proof.

  6. Ralph Maughan Says:

    Layton,

    They have been putting out preliminary wolf populations figures quite often this year. They are in the various state reports I post from time to time.

    Wolf numbers are down, not just in Yellowstone, but in Montana and probably Idaho. Yellowstone is the big drop, however. Idaho F and G and Montana FWP never bothered to acknowledge the fact that wolf numbers stopped growing after 12 years crowing about it (or reacting in alarm).

  7. Salle Says:

    What a crock of BS.

    These clowns have been “taking” wolves all this past year in record numbers and find that when they “cry wolf” to cover up their own mismanagement tactics, it works because of public ignorance.

    First of all, wolves are usually not to blame for these so called low pop numbers basically because the F&G fail to recognize the natural behavior of elk and wolves that don’t fall into their preplanned revenue gathering tactics. Elk are not supposed to hang around in concentrated herds in one or a given place. So, because they can’t find them in THAT place, they must be dead and that wolves, the latest scapegoat, must have eaten them.

    Fact is, these very complaints were lodged against cougars before the wolves were put back where they belong.

    I don’t trust their calculations by any stretch of the imagination because they regularly “cook the books” and, lest we forget, they were mostly hired under Kempthorne’s reign as governor.

    And, since the delisting of last year, even following the preliminary injunction, they have been on a silent campaign to eliminate as many wolves as possible through “control actions” via WS to significantly reduce their numbers. Now they want to let hunting ensue anyways, regardless of the LAW (ESA).

    I’d like to see the day when crying wolf gets you intense public scrutiny rather than some self proclaimed justification based on some rationale emerging from the “Judge Roy Bean school of thought”.

    I suspect that Craig/ Kempthorne cronies are behind this set of claims as a last ditch attempt to satisfy their “lost in the 19th century” supporters because they don’t like the rule of law.

  8. Layton Says:

    Ralph,

    Sorry, guess I had to much turkey for Thanksgiving, didn’t make myself clear.

    You were talking about elk numbers in the post I was referring to:

    “Idaho Fish and Game is getting even worse. They are now totally under control by the livestock industry and putting out opinion pieces how the wolves are killing all the elk (no figures or sources though). Actual figures from years past showed no discernible effect.”

    I thought maybe you had seen some recent elk numbers that would point to F&G being wrong about wolf depredations.
    – – – –
    Thanks for the clarification. RM

  9. Layton Says:

    Salle,

    “These clowns have been “taking” wolves all this past year in record numbers and find that when they “cry wolf” to cover up their own mismanagement tactics, it works because of public ignorance.”

    Any proof?? Or just the normal, “WE’RE right and THEY’RE wrong rhetoric??

    “I don’t trust their calculations by any stretch of the imagination because they regularly “cook the books”

    Same question would apply here.

    “And, since the delisting of last year, even following the preliminary injunction, they have been on a silent campaign to eliminate as many wolves as possible through “control actions” via WS to significantly reduce their numbers.”

    And the same question once again.

    ” Now they want to let hunting ensue anyways, regardless of the LAW (ESA).”

    Have you been privy to some sort of inside information that would indicate this? Seems that if you aren’t you are just another person with a theory — and maybe a grudge??

    I follow the wolf stuff pretty closely and I haven’t seen ANYTHING that would indicate anyone not following the federal edicts.

    “I’d like to see the day when crying wolf gets you intense public scrutiny rather than some self proclaimed justification based on some rationale emerging from the “Judge Roy Bean school of thought”.

    There are a lot of us on the OTHER side of the argument that would like to see the same thing.

    Funny deal — if it comes from ANY govt. or “not necessarily radically for wolves” source, it’s wrong, or at the very least suspect as hell. OTOH if it comes from the “wolves are mystical and magical” side it’s like it came down from the mountain on stone tablets!!

    Like you also said, “what a crock of BS”.

  10. John d. Says:

    Radically taking wolves: Let’s look over the past few wolf depredation claims and the wolf kills made by Wyoming in the past few months. Ever wondered how grey wolves were exterminated in the first place? It was primarily due to the complaints of the livestock producers , surprise surprise its the same deal this century.

    Idaho Fish and Game is already organising a wolf hunt come Autumn 2009 before the matter of delisting even steps up to plate. They seem to act stupid when it comes to understanding wolf behaviour and breeding patterns – which by the way are naturally self-regulated.

    I’ve heard a lot of folks cry wolf actually: killing dogs in backyards, chasing children (who have dogs with them but let’s say its chasing the kids because that makes the wolf an evil spawn of Satan). WolfCrossing is a fine example of the opposite side of the argument and I’ve checked around the sport hunting places – their main gripe is that they can’t kill wolves because environmentalists and anti-hunters stopped them.

  11. John d. Says:

    Okay my reply is over,

    I hear a lot of this ‘shrinking elk population’ – hasn’t any one cottoned on that this is what was supposed to happen?

  12. Virginia Says:

    My husband has an elk license in an area where they issued 600 permits! I would say that they must think there are enough or more than enough elk in that area and evidently (contrary to popular opinion around here) the wolves haven’t killed all of them. Also, I was under the impression that this blog was a combination of facts, information and OPINION.

  13. Rick Hammel Says:

    Back to wolves and the loss of animals: Has anyone come up with a difinitive cause of the losses, other than inter-pack warfare? I know that disease has played a large role, but what disease?

    Rick

  14. Ralph Maughan Says:

    The suspicion is still canine distemper, but clearly mange plays a role and so might poor nutrition with the elk population down.

    I’m told that won’t be able to confirm distemper until they get a number of blood samples this winter during the radio collaring.

  15. BW Says:

    “The suspicion is still canine distemper, but clearly mange plays a role and so might poor nutrition with the elk population down.”

    Did I read that right? Did Dr. Ralph Maughan just admit that wolf pups might being dieing because of poor nutrition atributed to a declining elk population?
    Somebody pinch me!

  16. Barb Rupers Says:

    I recently read at the Black Bear Blog that even though the elk season had been extended in some units in the SW part of Montana the game was not faring so well in the NW part of the state. “If the reports coming out of the northwest part of the state where wolves are running rampant and thriving are at all accurate, then we can see that wolves may be destroying our populations of deer and elk in those regions.”‘You’ll notice there is no extended elk hunt in that region (1) and controversy swirls as to how healthy the elk population is in this general area.”

    So I checked up on some harvest data from Montana Wildlife & Parks. They had a chart for harvests in region 1 (NW Montana). For the years1996-2001 “harvest was 8,094 WT deer and 458 elk. 2002-2007 harvest was 11,058 WT deer and 1037 elk. More wolves and more game taken!

  17. Ralph Maughan Says:

    BW,

    I guess you didn’t see my comments the other day how the Yellowstone is unraveling because of disease after disease and infestations from whirling disease to white pine blister rust and Dalmation toadflax that have invaded it.

    Species after species — plant and animal — are under stress.

  18. Save bears Says:

    Kill orders have been instituted for the rest of the Hog Heaven Pack, they had the article in the Interlake today.

    http://dailyinterlake.com/articles/2008/11/29/news/local_montana/news02.txt

  19. Ralph Maughan Says:

    Save Bears,

    That’s just a third of it — kill orders for the Monitor Pack on the Rocky Mountain Front, and the Flathead Pack.

    No state kills wolves for livestock depredations like Montana does.

    I think they realize a new regime is coming and they are going to shed as blood as possible now. Their latest delisting proposal is going nowhere. You ought to read the comments by Defenders and also those by Earth Justice. The delisting proposal is full of even more holes than I thought.

  20. Salle Says:

    Layton,

    To respond to your concerns over my post;

    The F&G/WS weekly or bi-weekly wolf reports are anything but clear. It’s obvious that they are not reporting actual numbers when for three months in a row they report that 10 wolves were “taken” in depredation control actions.

    I suspect an overage of depredation numbers and that determinations of such are exaggerated.

    Prior to the injunction, I had to actually try to count these numbers as they weren’t clearly stated, (and the tables with calculations are compiled and displayed with unclear start and end dates with regularly overlapping timelines), were roughly 72 “legal control actions” with 17 illegal kills and at least as many “unknown” causes of mortality.

    Following the re-listing injunction, there were an (estimated by reading the unclear reports and trying to tally the numbers) They claim that there were only 36 legal takes.

    What’s interesting is that the tables to enumerate the calculations of legal control and depredation events are all lumped together with a start date of some time in 2003 to whatever date the report was published. Not really very clear and somehow suspect considering that these reporting agents are educated-to some degree (one would hope).

    Having been an Idaho resident for over 14 years, I am highly suspicious that their intent in publishing these numbers in such a truly sloppy fashion is to confuse those of us who are concerned with their actual validity. It takes time to try and get these facts but the agency is intent in trying a very messy smoke and mirrors game that will only be to their chagrin in the end.

    I base my claims on the validity of scientific process and findings, my experiences and observations that I make myself in the field, and having watched and dealing with the characters who produce this pile of slop and call it good data.

    And, FYI…

    I am NOT one of those folks who think of wolves as “mystical and magical”. I am concerned for their role in the ecological health of the environment they inhabit and are a natural part of. Cows and domestic sheep are NOT a part of a healthy environment in the Northern Rockies, wolves were removed for the sake of these ecologically damning elements. I strongly oppose livestock’s existence in the region due to the ecological damage upon the land and the wildlife habitat they constantly destroy, period. And the fact that livestock production in this region is a losing prospect and would not be profitable at all were it not for the subsidies and public land grazing they get in order to keep them going.

    I don’t eat beef either, so why am I~a taxpayer, paying for these losers?

  21. Chuck Says:

    The one thing that strikes me as funny, thou not really funny, I moved to Boise in 1997 from Oregon, if I remember there was roughly 90,000 people in Boise, now there is like 160,000 people. More and more houses are going up where the animals once use to graze, I mean wild animals, not cattle. More and more humans are encroaching on whats left of the wildlands. So pretty soon where are whats left of all these animals going to live?? Its pretty obvious to me that IDFG do not want to manage wolves the same way they manage other animals. If they cared for the wolves like they do the elk and deer then it would be a different story. Its also very clear they have groups of people in their back pocket that are telling them to kill kill the wolves and for gods sake don’t even mention re-introducing grizzly bears to Idaho. These next 4 years are going to be interesting to say the least. No one in my hunting party filled a tag this year and I am not blaming the wolves, yes there are wolves in the area I hunt. Sure would be nice to hold those accountable for their wrong doings.

  22. Ralph Maughan Says:

    Idaho Fish and Game begs to the Idaho Cattle Association.

    Jim Unsworth attended their recent Sun Valley convention and begged them to support a license fee increase, assuring them the money would come back to them as wolf depredation payments and more money for the Access Yes! program.

    If people want more elk, pronghorn, and bighorn sheep; they need to defeat the Cattle Association and the Woolgrowers.

  23. Salle Says:

    On the news just now:

    Hog Heaven wolf pack will be exterminated for depredations this week.

    And, several hunting units around Yellowstone Park will hold extended hunting until Dec 15, the rest of the state’s hunting season ends today.

    Also Chuck,
    Idaho F&G mission statement is:

    “All wildlife, including all wild animals, wild birds, and fish, within the state of Idaho, is hereby declared to be the property of the state of Idaho. It shall be preserved, protected, perpetuated, and managed. It shall be only captured or taken at such times or places, under such conditions, or by such means, or in such manner, as will preserve, protect, and perpetuate such wildlife, and provide for the citizens of this state and, as by law permitted to others, continued supplies of such wildlife for hunting, fishing and trapping.”

    AND The current and soon to be replaced Sec of Interior is the former governor of Idaho who was vehemently opposed to wlf reintroduction and has been instrumental in thwarting any efforts of helping Grizzly bears.

  24. Chuck Says:

    I was suprised by one of the field workers at a check station this year when I mentioned that some people might blame the lack of animals on the wolves, his reply was “the wolves are being made out to be the scapegoat”. I have been to the wolf meetings and have spoken with Michael Lucid, the tone I get from most I have talked to with IDFG is the wolves are nothing but a pain in their behinds and would rather not have to deal with it. I have heard other reports of a lack of investigation on WS part when a calf, sheep, lamb “aka livestock” is found dead they just declare it a wolf kill and put out the kill order on the closest pack.

  25. Salle Says:

    Chuck,

    That’s exactly what’s up. I know for a fact that the credible F&G agents aren’t into the scapegoat song and dance. But many are… those would be the ones playing the game for the sake of promotion and favoritism. They would be the ones who really don’t have much in the way of education and are likely placed there due to their opinions (and willingness to be “yes men”) and not for the validity of any qualifying aspects of their knowledge base. (Another level of “burrowing” I’d imagine.)

    It’s how Idaho works, being of a certain persuasion gets you far more mileage than actual intellect and education based on real science and appropriate procedural ability that requires exclusion of personal biases.

    Also,

    WS is a component of the Bush/Kempthorne league who are opposed to wolf reintroduction to the point that they are just a hit squad for the ranching community at taxpayer expense. They are absolutely not interested in non lethal methods of management regardless of the lip service they give to it.

    Only one WS agent in Idaho, that I am aware of has any credibility in nonlethal management and that would be Rick Williamson, WRF honored him with their Alpha Award last year. He has worked tirelessly for years developing most of the nonlethal control and management methods and has been pushed to the sidelines since Bush took over.

    As for the ag industry and the Dept. of Agriculture, I suggest that EVERYONE WATCH THIS VIDEO!!!!

    http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/11282008/watch.html

  26. Layton Says:

    Salle,

    I think that your last post goes a long way toward confirming what I was trying to point out with mine.

    You “suspect an overage of depredation numbers and that determinations of such are exaggerated.” You also are “highly suspicious that their intent in publishing these numbers in such a truly sloppy fashion is to confuse those of us who are concerned with their actual validity.” In other words, you are going on what you believe, not what is necessarily based in fact.

    Those things – to me at any rate – point to a prejudice against ANYTHING that puts the wolves in a bad light — even if they deserve it!!

    All I’m trying to point out here is that BOTH sides are suspicious of the other, and BOTH sides think they have ample reasons for that suspicion.

    I surely don’t believe the “for” side when they try to tell me that the wolves aren’t having a detrimental impact on wild game populations– when I SEE it for myself, practically every time I go to the woods. I don’t believe it when they tell me the wolf population numbers are artificially inflated, because I SEE them almost every time I go hunting.

    I don’t pretend to know what the solution is, but I do know a couple of things — first of all, this utopia where the wolves run around unmolested and everything is as it was 100 years ago is simply not attainable — those days are gone and won’t be back. To many things called people in the equation now.

    I also know that unlimited elk herds aren’t possible, same reason. And I THINK that I can see a day coming when, if the aforementioned “for” side isn’t willing to draw a line and say “we have enough wolves” there is going to be a revolt by joe six pack with a rifle in his truck that will, at least partially, control the numbers that the current “we love them” bunch is not willing to do. Believe it or not, I’d rather not see that happen.

    Then of course, there is the cows and sheep on public land argument — I’m not even going there. I see what happens every summer when I work for the Forest Service and I KNOW that some of the claims that are made here are ridiculous.

  27. Salle Says:

    Dear Layton,

    “In other words, you are going on what you believe, not what is necessarily based in fact.”

    I only offer my understanding as suspicious as I am reluctant to offer absolute fact due to several factors;

    a) I don’t know who you are and I have no incentive to provide any more information than I have concerning what I actually KNOW.

    b) “beliefs” are based on understanding and factual knowledge, however, anyone who wishes to argue as long and frivolously as you seem to be interested in can go on with continued shallow points to justify a rather weak argument that concludes with your contradicting your very complaints regarding my argument.

    c) I will refrain from offering anything too clearly, though I am basing my points on fact, because I don’t like to name names when it comes to some points- IN EITHER DIRECTION. These people are not present to defend themselves and I wouldn’t care to cause them any concern by naming them in a public forum on a personal level though I would like to appeal to their conscience~assuming they posses a conscience…

    “I surely don’t believe the “for” side when they try to tell me that the wolves aren’t having a detrimental impact on wild game populations– when I SEE it for myself, practically every time I go to the woods. I don’t believe it when they tell me the wolf population numbers are artificially inflated, because I SEE them almost every time I go hunting.”

    Really?

    And this is based on your outings in given, limited areas which are extremely small with regard to the actual range available for a healthy habitat?

    You also seem to miss the fact that wolves are factually a major contributor to ecological health in whatever location the inhabit. Cattle and sheep don’t contribute, ecologically, to the health of the lands upon with they are placed. The conflict comes when the cash cows/sheep, etc. meet with the fact that they are made of meat, which happens to be what wolves eat, and they are PLACED where wolves belong. In the grand scheme of life in the biosphere, cows belong in Europe and elsewhere, not on this continent. Wolves belong everywhere, that’s why god put them there in the first place. We humans are the ones (well some of us) who have a problem with that.

    I don’t have answers/solutions to offer in a forum like this, only suggestions as food for thought, and items of interest when I find them useful to the conversation of those present and to offer info that they request when warranted. I’ll save my professional comments/opinions for interested parties who function at the same level, regardless of which “side” they’re on.

  28. Chuck Says:

    I spend alot of time up in the mountains of Southwest Idaho and venture up around Stanley and I have yet to see an Idaho wolf, seen lots of tracks. So if I want to watch wolves I still have to go over to yellowstone, I know exactly where to go to watch wolves there. I was hoping to be over there next weekend to celebrate my me and my wifes -2 year anniversary, but can’t afford to go over there. I have never experienced yellowstone in winter. So maybe we will head up towards Stanley to once again see if we can find those elusive Idaho wolves.

  29. Ralph Maughan Says:

    Layton,

    Folks are suspicious because wolf/cattle/sheep thing used to be transparent. People on different sides of the issue could call up the federal wolf manager for the state — Carter Niemeier. He’d tell you straight.

    Wildlife Services would send you data, photos — the particulars. Now it is a closed process, and all sides should be plenty suspicious (and they are).

    Just one more example how all sides have come to distrust the government since . . . (I won’t slap him again, just now)

  30. JB Says:

    Layton,

    You’re response to Salle’s comment’s highlights two important aspects of the wolf issue–as well as the broader issue of how wildlife should be managed in the West.

    The first is what happens when an agency is captured (i.e. controlled) by interest groups. In this case, the western agencies are so beholden to hunting and livestock interests that they have no credibility with environmental groups, who don’t trust agencies to make decisions that are fair or represent their views. This only makes sense; why trust people who have purposefully excluded you from management decisions? Unless agencies separate themselves from extractive interest groups they will continue to have credibility problems.

    The other aspect concerns so-called “facts.” You claimed, “I surely don’t believe the ‘for’ side when they try to tell me that the wolves aren’t having a detrimental impact on wild game populations– when I SEE it for myself…” How is Salle’s belief that agencies are cooking the books any less factual than your belief that wolves are more detrimental than environmentalists let on? You claim your belief is factual because it is based on your personal experience. Yet, your experience (scientifically speaking) is drawn from a relatively small and biased sample. Is it not possible that you are wrong; or that the area that you are most familiar with is exceptional? And how do you know that Salle’s beliefs are not based upon personal experience?

    Interestingly, you’ve chosen a very value-laden term to describe the effect of wolves on big game populations. If by “detrimental” you mean that wolves are reducing certain big game populations, then I think it is important to point out that reducing the elk population was one of the justifications for putting wolves in YNP in the first place. Thus, what you see as “detrimental” at least some people viewed as beneficial. Two people may look at the same set of “facts” and draw very different conclusions as to their value.

    just some things to keep in mind

  31. JB Says:

    yikes, guess I should have hit the refresh button

  32. Barb Rupers Says:

    This needs to be checked out:

    “A recent study of radio-collared cow elk indicates that for the most part, wolves are to blame, Fish and Game says.

    State wildlife managers unsuccessfully requested permission in 1996 to allow federal trappers to kill more than 40 wolves in the region and now they want to allow hunters to take care of the predators.”

    I have found this in several recent news reports and believe they are incorrect. Don’t journalists check into the background of stories on which they report? The “recent” report was printed in April 2006 by IDFG for elk herds in the Lolo area, which is much more specific than “North Idaho”.

    In addition, the article states that managers requested permission (from USFW) in 1996 to remove 40 wolves from the Lolo region. Since wolves were introduced into Idaho in the winters of 1995 and 1996 in the Frank Church Wilderness south of the Lolo area, it is highly unlikely that there were any, let alone many, wolves in the Lolo at that time. The total reintroduced adult population numbered about 25 wolves for the two years, 1995-1996.
    IFG requested the removal of wolves from the Lolo in 2006 not 1996. The proposal was rejected by the USFW because of the small sample size of 9 cow elk killed by wolves out of a sample of 25 collared,cow elk.
    This faulty study is being resurected to push for “controlling” the predators.

  33. JB Says:

    Good points, Barb. Now let’s elaborate a bit. Let’s say the population of elk we’re trying to make inferences about is relatively small; only 2,000 individuals. With a 95% confidence level, the margin of error for the sample size (n=34) of the study above (assuming the skewed response distribution) is ~15% points. Thus, if we extrapolate to the population, we could be 95% confident that wolves killed between 11 and 41% of elk in the area. This simply isn’t an estimate that any scientist worth a dime would be willing to live with.

  34. Buffaloed Says:

    That’s exactly why I argue that it’s not the biologists who are making the policy. It’s the politically appointed commissioners who are dictating the policy as was evidenced by their refusal to listen to their suggested wolf hunting numbers and raise them by 100.

  35. Salle Says:

    See…?

  36. Layton Says:

    JB,

    “How is Salle’s belief that agencies are cooking the books any less factual than your belief that wolves are more detrimental than environmentalists let on?”

    In a word — IT ISN’T — that’s what I’m trying to point out – evidently without a lot of success. I’m trying to say that Salle’s “beliefs” and “suspicions” should not have any more weight attached to them than the beliefs or suspicions of anyone else — yet here they seem to be taken as FACT.

    My arguments are “shallow” and my arguments “weak”, but other folks are really withholding FACTS based on some feeling that “These people are not present to defend themselves and I wouldn’t care to cause them any concern”.

    Right! And this is more gospel truth — not!! I might have been born yesterday, but it wasn’t really that late in the evening!!

  37. Salle Says:

    Once again, Layton,

    …anyone who wishes to argue as long and frivolously as you seem to be interested in can go on with continued shallow points to justify a rather weak argument that concludes with your contradicting your very complaints regarding the arguments of others.

    You also seem to miss the fact that wolves are actually a major contributor to ecological health in whatever location they inhabit. Cattle and sheep don’t contribute, ecologically, to the health of the lands upon with they are placed. The conflict comes when the cash cows/sheep, etc. meet with the fact that they are made of meat, which happens to be what wolves eat, and they are PLACED where wolves belong. In the grand scheme of life in the biosphere, cows belong in Europe and elsewhere, not on this continent. Wolves belong everywhere, that’s why god put them there in the first place. We humans are the ones (well some of us, like you for instance) who have a problem with that.

    Obviously you have some problem with understanding English. Not my problem, not worth the time restating the obvious for someone who has little capacity for rationalization beyond their own myopic views based on unproven claims and fearmongering.

  38. Layton Says:

    Salle,

    Your following the script — when all else fails go to plan B — personal attacks!!

    You want to mix cows and sheep on public land with the wolf thing — to even insinuate that livestock is placed deliberately where the wolves “belong” is beyond silly.

    Have at it, your view that somehow wolves BELONG at everything else’s peril is the winner for the day.

    As far as “myopic views based on unproven claims and fearmongering.”

    I would suggest that you look at your own posts above for sterling examples.

    see ya’

  39. caleb Says:

    Layton

    So you are saying that a natural predator to wildlands that has been there longer than livestock doesn’t BELONG as much a human introduced animals? Livestock IS being placed there deliberatley by people because it is a cheap way to raise them. That is a no brainer man. It is just plain silly.

  40. caleb Says:

    Ralph, have you heard any information on the Yellowstone Delta or Cougar Creek packs?

  41. Salle Says:

    Locals, around West Yellowstone, report that Cougar Creek pack has been frequenting Horse Butte and Madison Arm areas lately.

  42. Keri Davis Says:

    Obviously, this subject holds strong feelings and opinions for a great many people; and quite rightly so. I loved reading all the sentiment; my feelings for wolves run very deep……some I agreed with; some I did not; but I would have to say I stand in Salle and Chucks corner and way of thinking. You have made many succinct points that I can only hope others become aware of.

  43. Truth Says:

    Idaho F&G mission statement is:

    “All wildlife, including all wild animals, wild birds, and fish, within the state of Idaho, is hereby declared to be the property of the state of Idaho. It shall be preserved, protected, perpetuated, and managed. It shall be only captured or taken at such times or places, under such conditions, or by such means, or in such manner, as will preserve, protect, and perpetuate such wildlife, and provide for the citizens of this state and, as by law permitted to others, continued supplies of such wildlife for hunting, fishing and trapping.”
    “You also seem to miss the fact that wolves are actually a major contributor to ecological health in whatever location they inhabit. Cattle and sheep don’t contribute, ecologically, to the health of the lands upon with they are placed. The conflict comes when the cash cows/sheep, etc. meet with the fact that they are made of meat, which happens to be what wolves eat, and they are PLACED where wolves belong. In the grand scheme of life in the biosphere, cows belong in Europe and elsewhere, not on this continent. Wolves belong everywhere, that’s why god put them there in the first place. We humans are the ones (well some of us, like you for instance) who have a problem with that.”
    I have a suggestion to everyone. STOP TRYING TO MANAGE EVERYTHING. What do you think that because we are at the top of the food chain you can just go and slap your name on everything and call it yours? Who are you to say that “wolves belong” or “wolves don’t belong,” IF ANYTHING HUMANS DONT BELONG!


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