Agency denies request to protect 165 species

Agency denies request to protect 165 species
The Associated Press

WildEarth Guardians petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to list 165 species under the Endangered Species Act.  They denied the request but said that some may warrant protection.

Here’s the link to WildEarth Guardians’ web site.  Currently there is no press release in response to this decision.

Posted in conservation, endangered species act, politics, public lands, public lands management, Wildlife Habitat. Comments Off on Agency denies request to protect 165 species

Legislator takes aim at feds and ‘eco-terrorists’

Yet another example of legislators vs. the public they claim to represent-

Legislator takes aim at feds and ‘eco-terrorists’
By Bob Bernick Jr.
Deseret News

Idaho Fish and Game Director alleges big game drop due to wolf pack increase

Without providing a shred of evidence Cal Groen says wolves are decreasing big game numbers-

Here is the brief story, rife with contradictions and no evidence except his own say so. It would be great if some reporters asked him where he got his figures, disentangled the confusion outlined below, and were actually given a study or some sort.

Big game drop attributed to wolf pack increase.  The Associated Press

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“He says big game populations are decreasing by as much as 15 percent a year.”

This is new news, and notice he uses the plural — populations — meaning other populations did not decrease by 15%. Some, or even most might have increased. If you give one end of a range in statistics, you need to give the other end. It would be nice if he defined “population,” and perhaps the species.

He said, “Without the wolves, Idaho’s deer and elk herds would be increasing 7 percent a year.”

Both deer and elk, 7%?  How was this determined?

“Groen says the wolf packs have become overcrowded and wolves have begun to kill each other.”

This hasn’t shown up in the Idaho wolf reports, but if they have, then the wolf population has reached a natural limit and the problem, if there is one, is probably solved.

“Idaho Fish and Game officials say the state’s wolf population is moving south and getting into trouble.”

Ken Cole’s analysis of new population figures say no, the wolf population growth is in Idaho’s Panhandle. That’s way up north.

– – – – –

One conservationist said, “. . . since Idaho’s elk population in 2007 was reported to be 20% above objectives, it would appear that wolves have now helped lower that to only 5% above carrying capacity. Old Cal out to be thanking them for helping his department avoid damage to the habitat!”

Vilsack Says USDA is for “Eaters” Too.

New USDA Secretary gives some indication he won’t be agribusiness as usual-

Here is the story from New West. Vilsack Says USDA is for “Eaters” Too and He Gets a To-Do List. By Courtney Lowery, 2-06-09

Posted in politics. Tags: , . Comments Off on Vilsack Says USDA is for “Eaters” Too.

2008 Mexican wolf count official — 52 wolves

2008 was a year of no growth. It ended with 2 breeding pairs of wolves-

Update (2/6/09) Feds: Killings hamper Mexican wolf populationAP

Update (2/6/09) CBD Press Release – Mexican Wolf Breeding Pairs Drop to Two in 2008: Federal Trapping and Shooting Brings Reintroduced Population of Endangered Species to Brink of Collapse

~ be

Here is the news release from USFWS

– – – – –

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Southwest Region (Arizona ● New Mexico ● Oklahoma ●Texas)

Public Affairs Office; PO Box 1306

Albuquerque, NM 87103


505/248-6915 (Fax)

News Release

For Release: February 6, 2009

Contacts: Jeff Humphrey, 505-248-6909 or 602-680-0853


A total of 52 Mexican wolves were counted in the wild in Arizona and New Mexico at the end of 2008, according to the annual survey conducted by the Interagency Field Team for wolf reintroduction. There were also 52 Mexican wolves recorded in the 2007 survey. Surveys are conducted in January of each year. Pups born in the summer must survive to December 31 to be counted as part of the Mexican wolf population. Fixed-wing aircraft and functional radio-telemetry were used to confirm five wolf packs on New Mexico’s Gila National Forest, five packs on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest and Fort Apache Indian Reservation in Arizona, and six lone wolves – two in Arizona and four in New Mexico. The survey indicated that there were only two pairs that met the federal definition of breeding pairs at year’s end.

Of the 52 wolves, 45 were born in the wild. One captive born female wolf (F836) was released to the wild in 2008. In 2008, one wolf was temporarily captured twice after dispersing outside of the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area, but the animal was translocated back into the recovery area on both occasions. In previous years, wolves were removed because of livestock depredation, for dispersing outside of the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area or repeated nuisance behavior. No such wolves were removed in 2008. Illegal shooting was the leading cause of documented loss of wolves in 2008. Read the rest of this entry »

New Yellowstone Country group created to inspire Greater Yellowstone residents

People want to be proud to live in such great country, but they need to be inspired-

It’s a sad day when a small economic activity can such as running cattle on the range can trump wild buffalo, elk, trout, grizzly bears, and can continue to dominate and desecrate the Yellowstone country’s great mountains, rivers, and valleys, and people who love the call of the outdoors usually can’t seem to get together to defend what they cherish.

There is a reason for it — the Hollywood myth that made cowpersons into some kind of icon, when their real goal is to make the West, and Yellowstone as well just as tame as a pasture in the middle of Indiana.

As a Yellowstone Park naturalist and later bear education ranger, young Michael Leach saw how visitors, including local people, would come alive when he helped them open their eyes, ears, hands and hearts to the absolutely unique country they were in.

Seeing the change that usually came over local people when they were given just a little information, Leach left the park service in October of 07 and founded the Yellowstone Country Guardians.

Read the rest of this entry »

Lawmakers shoot down new bison plan

Opposition to bill brings out the real issue — cattle industry’s control over the rest of us-

The cattle industry won’t even support property rights (except their own), much less wildlife. As this country runs into hard times how much abuse on the part of a small segment of population will the average Montanan put up with?

Lawmakers shoot down new bison plan. By Daniel Person. Bozeman Chronicle Staff Writer

Black wolves are the result of mating with black dog maybe 15,000 years ago

Introduction of domestic dog genes into wild wolves long ago gave us black wolves-

Traits from domestic animals are usually thought to be harmful to their wild cousins, but in the case of the black dog or dogs mating with wolves long ago, a beneficial trait was passed on and conserved. “Apparently, natural selection has increased the frequency of black coat color dramatically in wolf populations across North America,” Co-author Robert K. Wayne said. “It must have adaptive value that we don’t yet understand. It could be camouflage, or strengthening the immune system to combat pathogens, or it could reflect a preference to mate with individuals of a different coat color.”

The pedigrees of the Yellowstone wolves were instrumental in discovering the inheritance pattern of this genotype.

There were many stories about the finding in the news today.

New World Wolves and Coyotes Owe Debt to Dogs. New York Times. By Mark Derr.

Black Wolves the Result of Interbreeding With Dogs. By Michael Wall. Wired.

Biologists solve mystery of black wolves. UCLA newsroom.

Wolf In Dog’s Clothing? Black Wolves May Be First ‘Genetically Modified’ Predators. Science Daily

I received a copy of the full scientific article from one of the authors.The title is: “Molecular and Evolutionary History of Melanism in North American Gray Wolves.” By Tovi M. Anderson,1 Bridgett M. vonHoldt,2 Sophie I. Candille,1 Marco Musiani,3 Claudia Greco,4 Daniel R. Stahler,2,5 Douglas W. Smith,5 Badri Padhukasahasram,6 Ettore Randi,4 Jennifer A. Leonard,7 Carlos D. Bustamante,6 Elaine A. Ostrander,8 Hua Tang,1 Robert K. Wayne,2 Gregory S. Barsh1. Science Express.