Wisconsin wolf population shows unexpected growth

Folks thought it was reaching a natural carrying capacity-

Wisconsin wolf population surges. By Lee Bergquist and Paul A. Smith of the Journal Sentinel

I thought it was leveling off, but then population growth or decline of relatively small populations of any animal are subject to random events like favorable weather.

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Wolves were delisted today, May 4

Wolves in Northern Rockies and Great Lakes officially delisted May 4, 2009-

Will delisting be better the second time around?

Today for the second time in the Northern Rockies, wolves were delisted with all management decisions handed over to the states of Idaho and Montana, but not Wyoming where delisting  will not take place under Wyoming makes changes in its proposed wolf management.

Wolves were also delisted in Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin.

Lawsuits, in the form of 60-day notices (of intent to sue) were filed 30 days ago. As a result an injunction on the delisting could be in order 30 days from now. This happened before, somewhat over a year ago, when Montana’s federal district judge quickly enjoined the delisting. This prompted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to withdraw their entire delisting rule, but to issue a new one about 2 months after Obama took office. The primary difference between the Bush (Kempthorne) delisting and the Obama (Salazar) delisting is that Wyoming was taken out of delisting for failure to produce an acceptable state wolf conservation plan. Critics of the new delisting say the special status for Wyoming is a fatal defect in the delisting and they will argue so in court.

A number of additional groups, including the State of Wyoming, will file against the delisting rule this time around.

In the next 30 days, some wolf supporters fear a state operated wolf bloodbath, especially in Idaho. Others believe Idaho and Montana will want to show they won’t try to wipe the wolves out, and so they will not manage* — kill — very many in the immediate future.

Story in the Associated Press by Matthew Brown.Wolves off list, but legal battles loom.

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* When used in the context of wolves by state game agencies, the word “manage” always means to kill.

Salazar’s Wolf Decision Upsets Administration Allies

Salazar’s failure to consult POTUS gives new Administration a headache (as it should)-

Salazar’s Wolf Decision Upsets Administration Allies
By Juliet Eilperin
Washington Post

It appears that Salazar wasn’t interested in consulting anyone but the Bush Administration personnel and some other agency folks for the “good science” they have already “produced”.
He only consulted governors with less than favorable attitudes on predators, wolves in particular. He had no intention of hearing anything other than what he wanted to hear to make this decision.

Fortunately, not everyone in our halls of governing agree with him. Perhaps due to the fact that they are not ranchers.  He didn’t seem to think that his boss needed to be consulted either, even directly following commitments by Obama himself to uphold the ESA and scientific integrity in speeches within 48 hours of announcing this “Friday night” ruling.

Perhaps the same comments on commitment to scientific integrity made by Obama on stem cell research should be applied to the ESA and wolves.

Great Lakes Wolves Win in Federal Court ! Keep ESA protection !

Good news for wolves keeps rolling out.

The Great Lakes wolves have won reprieve in federal court, preventing the Bush’s Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS) attempt to delist:

Court rules against U.S. in Great Lakes wolf case – AP
Read the rest of this entry »

Study: Midwest Wolves Avoid Humans

A Wisconsin study demonstrates a model showing that wolves are least abundant where there are roads or agriculture.  Road density and ag land good predictor of wolf presence (or absence, as is the case).

[Wisconsin] Wolves are lying low JSOnline

Wisconsin wolf population stops growing

537 to 564 wolves at the end of 2007 versus 540 and 577 wolves at the end of 2006. Story in the Chicago Tribune.DNR: Wis. wolf population could be leveling off.” By The Associated Press.

It’s what everyone should expect. Every animal population reaches a peak. Idaho’s wolf population growth slowed greatly in 2007, but the state and the US Fish and Wildlife Service haven’t bothered to mention this critical data. It slowed from 20% to 8.5%.  Wyoming’s wolf population growth slowed similarly, but all the news was about the 34% increase in wolves counted in Montana.

Instead Idaho Fish and Game Commission has started to play number games. You may have read yesterday that there are 1000 wolves in Idaho. They are counting estimated pups just born. This has never been done before and every biologist knows the valid wolf population is that at the end of the year because many pups do not survive. Pup survival rate in Yellowstone has been as low as 30%.

Idaho Fish and Game’s wolf hunt rules issued yesterday are based on a continued 21% growth rate in the wolf population. Here, once again, they are in violation of the delisting rules — wolf population counts at the wrong time of the year.

Only one wolf illegally shot in the recent Wisconsin deer hunt

Department of Natural Resources says only one wolf shot during deer hunt. By Robert Imrie. Associated Press writer in the Appleton Post-Crescent.

It wasn’t even a wolf; it was a hybrid.

It is true the wolves are much better accepted in the Great Lakes States than in Idaho, Montana or Wyoming.