Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Putting Politics Before Science Won’t Save the Lobo

With winter upon us and the days getting noticeably shorter, so too is the time left to speak out on behalf
Mexican Gray Wolf
Mexican gray wolves. Among the country’s most imperiled species, there are only about 75 lobos left in the wild. The ultimate fate of these iconic animals could be decided in the next year and, troublingly, it appears that the wolves’ best interests may not be the only factors at play.
Scientists agree that there are three things vital to successful wolf recovery – a comprehensive, science-based recovery plan; the release of more wolves into the wild; and at least two new core populations in the most suitable habitat areas in the Grand Canyon region and southern Utah/southern Colorado. But these recommendations are seemingly falling on deaf ears as the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) makes decisions about the lobos’ future management that ignore these basic findings. Worse still, the FWS may be engaging in some backroom dealing with states

Read more from Defenders of Wildlife

Becoming King: Why So Few Male Lions Survive to Adulthood

The first sight of wild lions is stirring, for a number of reasons. The cubs themselves are adorable, but the adults — each of which easily outweighs an offensive linemen and sports paws the size of small dinner plates — elicit a sort of tense wonder consisting of awe, respect for these powerful beasts, and something resembling fear but more like an awareness of one's mortality. They could easily kill us. But there are no words in the moment besides exclamations of disbelief.
But none of that matters to the lions, who live on this land and don't seem to pay any attention to visitors, driven about in a couple of Toyota Land Cruisers that are completely open to the air, no windows for separation.
The lion cubs seem happy and carefree, but their lives are not easy. Only about 1 in 8 male lions survive to adulthood, Dereck said.

Tough childhood
All lions face high mortality as cubs, for a variety of reasons, including injuries, lack of food, illness and being killed by adult lions — more on that later. But when male lions begin to reach sexual maturity around age 2, the older males within the pride kick them out, Dereck said. The female lions, which are usually all related to some degree, typically stay behind.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Living With Lobo: The Mexican Gray Wolf

The Mexican wolf once roamed throughout vast portions of Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Mexico. But, as human settlement intensified across the Southwest in the early 1900s, wolves increasingly came into conflict with livestock operations and other human activities. Private, state, and federal extermination campaigns were raged against the wolf until, by the 1970’s, the Mexican wolf had been all ...but eliminated from the United States and Mexico.

In 1976, however, a new era dawned for the Mexican wolf. The Mexican wolf, a subspecies of gray wolf, was listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, a recognition that the subspecies was in danger of extinction. The wolf was already functionally extinct in the Southwest, and only occasional reports of wolves in Mexico confirmed its continued existence in the wild. It was now incumbent upon the Service, one of two federal agencies responsible for administration of the Endangered Species Act, to lead an effort to bring the Mexican wolf back from the brink of extinction in the United States.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Wolf Hunter Kills Man's Pet Malamute

A Missoula man's malamute was fatally shot by a wolf hunter on Sunday. Layne Spence was skiing with his three dogs near Lee Creek, Montana, when Little Dave, a two-year old brown and white malamute, was shot in the leg.

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Sunday, November 17, 2013

Book Review - Romeo: The Story of an Alaskan Wolf

  • Title: Romeo: The Story of an Alaskan Wolf
  • Author: John Hyde
  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Bunker Hill Publishing Inc
  • Review by: RJ Hayden

From the "Disneyesque" opening chapter to the fateful ending, Romeo: The Story of an Alaskan Wolf is one that will warm your heart while at the same time, dispel the myriad of myths and unbridled misinformation that is so prevelant these days regarding the North American gray wolf. 

Author John Hyde's work chronicles the fascinating true life story of a lone Alaskan wolf affectionately named Romeo by the localsCoupled along with his own personal encounters with Romeo, this book will leave you with an amazingly different perspective of canis lupus.

While the title's main focus is a solitary animal, Hyde also does a very credible job in providing an extremely readable description of the inner workings of a wolf pack; highly social creatures whose members all have a specific role in the pack's survival. From the alpha male and female to the lowest ranking wolf, it provides just the right amount of particulars to educate and inform the reader without getting overly involved with a lot of scientific detail or animal psychology. 

The heart of the story however revolves around Romeo's behavior and the relationship he develops with the townsfolk and their dogs . . . a behavior which might be classified as atypical if you were one who held on to the misguided belief that wolves are nothing more than vicious, methodical thrill killing predators. If so, you will be astonished and pleasantly surprised by what this remarkable story describes. Hyde carefully recounts how the citizens of Juneau transitioned from their initial fears of a wild animal playfully interacting with his canine cousins to an almost complete acceptance of this wolf which would eventually became a national celebrity. 

Romeo: The Story of an Alaskan Wolf, brimming with brilliant photographs, is certainly a must read for any wolf or wildlife champion. I also can't help but to think that it would offer great insight to those who mistakenly support the delisting of wolves from the endangered species list. 

Bravo zulu John Hyde - and thank you!

RJ Hayden  

Footnote: Romeo was believed to be an Alexander Archipelago wolf; a sub-species of the gray wolf and exceedingly rare, with fewer than 1000 wolves left in Southeast Alaska. (Ref:

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Wolf slaughters raise urgency for reform of state agencies

“There is perhaps no issue we view as more important than reforming game and fish departments across our country.” — Bold Visions Conservation 
Driving back from the International Wolf Symposium, I glimpsed a large billboard featuring the American flag, a large gun display, and an ominous message, summarized as “keep control of your guns and you can control everything else.”
Everything includes you, me, the majority of citizens, legislators, wilderness, wildlife and wolves.

Read more: 
Patricia Randolph's Madravenspeak: Wolf slaughters raise urgency for reform of state agencies : Ct:

Montana’s wolf management challenge

That year, 2004, a Montana advisory council had its work, the state’s first Gray Wolf Conservation and Management Plan, approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. FWS made no bones about the plan’s quality

.Montana’s wolf management challenge - Hungry Horse News: Columns:

Wolf watchers want IDs of dead animals near Yellowstone

Wolf watchers want IDs of dead animals near park - Jackson Hole News&Guide: Environmental: "Wolf watchers in the Lamar Valley — perhaps the most famous place on Earth to spot a Canis lupus in the wild — fear the worst: that the animals killed were members of the Lamar Canyon Pack"