Carelessness and two grizzly bears dead near Ronan, MT

Unprotected chicken coops becoming a source of  bears deaths on Flathead Reservation-

Two grizzlies were shot dead last weekend near the base of the bear-heavy Mission Mountains in NW Montana.

An elk antler gatherer stumbled into a griz on the Blackfoot-Clearwater Wildlife area and shot the bear. Not far away on the Flathead Indian Reservation a grizzly bear was shot near a chicken coop. Raising chickens in unprotected pens and sheds is a rapidly growing economic activity on the reservation.

These dead bears were number 3 and 4 for the year in general area.

Grizzlies killed on Flathead Reservation, at Blackfoot-Clearwater Wildlife Management Area. By Rob Chaney and Vince Devlin of the Missoulian

Yellowstone bears and wolves fight over carcasses

Their ancient struggle apparently has little effect on their populations-

That’s the conclusion of Dr. Doug Smith who heads the Park’s wolf program.

I think that might well be true overall, but Yellowstone Park is a small place when it comes to major predators.  With the wolf population in the Park as small as it now is, random fluctuations of predatory effects might, in my opinion, have an important effect on the wolves as far as the Park alone is concerned. . . RM

Bears butting in on Yellowstone wolf kills. Battle of carnivores ultimately has little effect on population. By Cory Hatch. Jackson Hole News and Guide.

Grizzly’s threatened status heard before Ninth Circuit

Grizzly’s threatened status appealed in 9th Circuit court. Washington Post

Update added on March 14: Audio of hearing before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

I listened to most of this. The government attorney seemed to perform weakly in response to questions, IMO. I didn’t think the National Wildlife Federation did well intervening on behalf of the government. They made a political rather than a legal or scientific argument.  RM

Northern Range Yellowstone elk count drops to record low in latest count

Latest  is 4,635 elk, count is down 24 percent from 6,070 last winter-
Wolf population was over 100, 5 years ago; now down to 37-*

Update. Leader of the Yellowstone wolf team, Dr. Doug Smith talks about the elk situation on Montana Public Radio News. Note that it is not the first story in the “evening news.”

News Release from the
Northern Yellowstone Cooperative Wildlife Working Group 

Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, & Parks – Contact:  Karen Loveless
406-224-1162
National Park Service – Contact:  Doug Smith 307-344-2242
U.S. Forest Service – Contact: Dan Tyers 406-848-7375
U.S. Geological Survey – Contact:  Paul Cross 406-994-6908

January 12, 2011

Winter Count Shows Decline In Northern Elk Herd Population
———————————————————-

Wildlife biologists say increased predation, ongoing drought, and hunting
pressure all contributed to a decline in the northern Yellowstone elk
population from 1995 to 2010.

The annual aerial survey of the herd conducted during December 2010
resulted in a count of 4,635 elk, down 24 percent from the 6,070 reported
the previous year. There has been about a 70 percent drop in the size of
the northern elk herd from the 16,791 elk counted in 1995 and the start of
wolf restoration to Yellowstone National Park.

Whitebark Pine Trees Face Long Odds for Survival

But several million dollars a year for starting seedlings in nurseries might restore it-

This is perhaps the first article I have read that offers a glimmer of hope for this rapidly disappearing tree, so vital to grizzly bears and Clark’s nutcrackers.

Whitebark Pine Trees Face Long Odds for Survival. By Laura Petersen, E&E reporter in WyoFile.

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Western governors focus on endangered species

The governors meeting in Las Vegas this week.

Okay, so now governors are arguing that the Endangered Species Act should be gutted because swarms of prairie dogs are digging into golf courses. Need I say more?

“The frustration level is reaching the breaking point in many levels because of this act,” said Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert. “It’s nonsensical.”

The Republican governor griped about swarms of endangered prairie dogs digging into golf courses. “They have become so domesticated, they are just a pain,” he said.

The slippery slope argument does apply in this case and changing the ESA would set an extremely bad precedent. It should be stopped. Call your congress people and senators, especially those who have a strong record on environmental issues, and tell them to shut this down.

Take Action for Wolves & the ESA Now:

Contact Your U.S. Senator

Contact Your Congressional Representative

Tell them to protect the Endangered Species Act

Contact the White House

Tell President Obama to protect the Endangered Species Act

Western governors focus on endangered species.
Bloomberg

Posted in endangered species act, politics, Wolves. Tags: , , , . Comments Off on Western governors focus on endangered species

Obama Administration wants to lift protections for wolf and grizzly

When will this Administration represent the people who put them in office?

How many votes do you think this will bring them? And who do they want to do this for? It is turning out that those who are yelling the loudest are poachers and welfare ranchers?  Will they ever vote for him?

U.S. wants to lift protections for wolf and grizzly.
By Laura Zuckerman – Reuters