When farmers don’t bury dead cows, it affects where and what wolves eat | Michigan Radio

protect michigan wolves, protect the wolves, less depredations

 

When farmers don’t bury dead cows It seems to affect where and what wolves eat!

 

Michigan has held one wolf hunt. That was in 2013, when 22 wolves were killed in the Upper Peninsula.

The next year, a federal judge put wolves back on the endangered species list.

Since then, lawmakers from Michigan, as well as Minnesota and Wisconsin, have tried to tack on riders to various bills in Congress that would “de-list” the wolves. These moves are backed by farmers who say wolves are preying on their livestock.

But now, a new study indicates those farmers may be contributing to that predation problem. How? By not burying their dead cows.

Tyler Petroelje led the study and joined Stateside today. He’s from the west side of Michigan and is a doctoral candidate in wildlife biology at Mississippi State University.

Listen to the full interview above, or read highlights below.

On the 1982 Bodies of Dead Animals Act

“In Michigan, it is illegal to have an open pit carcass dump. The carcasses have to be buried underground and if it’s near any wellhead, there’s specific regulations for the lining that has to be within those areas. But one of the problems is that a lot of these livestock owners and operators either don’t know about this or it’s just a generational [thing] where they’re continually using these carcass dumps over and over again.”

On how piles of cow carcasses impact the wolves

“Wolves in areas with cattle carcasses in these livestock carcass dumps tend to reduce their range size as compared to wolves feeding on mostly natural forage.

“…when you have this readily available livestock carcass dump, it’s a much easier prey source and it brings wolves to these areas and they’re spending more time around there. And we see that almost a quarter of their diet was being made up from these livestock carcass dumps when they’re available.”

Do carcass dumps lead to the complaint farmers have – that wolves are preying on livestock?

“This is an issue that we have to look more closely into, because in some areas, such as Oregon, they have recently found that when they remove these livestock carcass dumps, they were able to decrease wolf depredation [attacks] in that area.

“Now, in our study area, we did not actually have any livestock depredation that occurred by our collared wolves while they were feeding on these livestock carcass dumps.

“So this is an important issue we need to take a little bit closer look at. When these carcass dumps are available, are wolves happy with that and then they don’t depredate on the livestock? But if these carcass dumps are depleted, and they’re used to feeding on cattle, does that cause more human-wildlife conflict?

“And that’s an important issue, so we have to realize that if we have these food resources out on the landscape, they can modify wolf behavior, so they’re going to start coming in closer to human establishments and they’re going to start potentially causing human-wildlife conflict.”

According to the DNR, wolf attacks on livestock are down this year. Farmers reported only six attacks on livestock and two on dogs in 2017. That’s compared to 26 total attacks last year and the all-time high, 49 attacks in 2010.

Click here to see a map of wolves’ home ranges in areas with carcass dumps as compared to areas without. Map courtesy of Tyler Petroelje.

Source: When farmers don’t bury dead cows, it affects where and what wolves eat | Michigan Radio http://protectthewolves.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/carcassdump-713×750-1.png #CutOffUSDAWildlifeServicesFunding #EndangeredSpeciesList #GrayWolves #OpposeWelfareRanchingNotWolves #ProtectTheWolves

Wyoming Hunters have Slaughtered 44 possible Park Wolves 76 altogether to Date

protect yellowstone wolves, protect Teton wolves, protect the wolves, sacred resource protection zone

 

POSSIBLE YELLOWSTONE WOLVES ARE BEING SLAUGHTERED!!!

AS OF 12/30/2017 at 3pm

Please Consider Joining Our Voice to establish a “Sacred Resource Protection Zone” Surrounding National Parks in the Blood thirsty state of Wyoming a total of it appears 76 wolves altogether 44 from the Trophy Zone, 32 from the general Slaughter Zone in this Bloodthirsty State!

Wyoming is over Quota in 3 Zones surrounding Yellowstone National Park already, and has proven once again that they are incapable of managing the Publics Federal Resources as well as our Sacred Species properly. They chose to ignore the public comment regarding Regulation Changes and establishing our Sacred Resource Protection Zone Voluntarily. THEY NEED TO BE TAKEN TO COURT!!
Please consider becoming a Paid Member so We are able to call these blood thirsty states out in COURT. We have the Research, the tools, the Attorneys, only missing Ingredient is 57,000 plus followers.

Take Back the Power that You as the public hold! Help us to put The Indian and Public Trusts to work Today, before they wipe out the rest of Your wolves, grizzlies, wild horses. https://continuetogive.com/protectthewolves

We asked for your support back in May to Help Yellowstone Wolves with our Sacred Resource Protection Zone…  Wolves are dying, crying out for us to help them. http://protectthewolves.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/1230slaughter-750×718.png #OpposeWelfareRanchingNotWolves #ProtectTheWolves #WolvesInYellowstone

Banff wolves may soon have meal they haven’t tasted in 140 years: wild bison 

protect yellowstone bison, protect yellowstone wolves, protect the wolves, sacred resource protection zone

 

 

Yellowstone Officials: Protect The Wolves™ says Send them the Bison you claim you need to Slaughter!”

It’s a potential meal that wolves in Banff National Park haven’t tasted in more than 140 years: wild bison.

Banff’s reintroduced bison herd is getting ready to go it alone next summer as their paddock fences come down, and that means facing predators that have been watching the new arrivals closely.

Ten new bison calves were born earlier this year in the Panther Valley, on the east side of Banff National Park, where 16 animals were relocated in April as part of a conservation project to reintroduce wild bison to the area after more than a century of absence in the mountain park.

“We’re interested in what effect bison will have on the ecosystem and at the same time how wolves will affect bison movements,” said Parks Canada wildlife ecologist Jesse Whittington.

Source: Banff wolves may soon have meal they haven’t tasted in 140 years: wild bison – Calgary – CBC News http://protectthewolves.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/bison-relocation-to-banff.jpg #EndangeredSpeciesList #OpposeWelfareRanchingNotWolves #ProtectTheWolves

WSU blows off Promised Settlement Date with Dr. Robert Wielgus

protect washington wolves, protect the wolves, Dr. Robert Wielgus

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

 

WSU blows off Promised Settlement Date with Dr. Robert Wielgus

 

For Immediate Release: December 28, 2017

Questions can be directed to:

Dr. Robert Wielgus:  Contact Info can be obtained from Protect The Wolves™

Protect The Wolves™ (530) 377-3031   [email protected]

Patricia Herman President Protect The Wolves™

Roger Dobson Director Protect The Wolves™

To Begin with WSU ‘s Dean of Agriculture, Ron Mittelhamer conspired and colluded with wdfw’s wolf policy lead Donny Marorello and Republican Representative Joel Kretz to mislead and lie to the public , the WAG, and the Washington legislature by defaming and discrediting internationally renowned predator ecologist professor Robert Wielgus of Wsu.
Wielgus reported that his legislatively funded research on wolf livestock depredations could be easily avoided in Wa by keeping livestock away from known wolf dens.
Those results were not what Dean Mittlehamer, wdfw Donny Martorello, or Representative Kretz wanted to be reported. So they destroyed the career and laboratory of WSU Professor Wielgus by charging Wielgus with 4 phony charges ( fiscal misappropriation, illegal use of state resources, illegal political lobbying, and scientific misconduct) and denouncing him as a liar and fraud.
 
  WSU has defamed Wielgus, Wielgus was subsequently exonerated of All 4 charges. Needless to say  WSU has continued targeting Wielgus . Since then his reputation and research laboratory were destroyed and his research salary was withheld and withdrawn by WSU.

All of this comes at the tail end of a 4 month wait, costing Dr. Wielgus even more undue stress and possibly losing his home. Peer initially gave them a 60-day window to review our complaint and decide how they’d like to proceed! Adam Carlesco was told that WSU would like to avoid litigation, and therefore would get back to them ASAP with an idea of a settlement agreement. Guess what People WSU’s  60-day window has passed. WSU asked for a few more days since the attorney handling the case passed away, so Peer out of compassion for their loss gave them some additional time.  Sadly WSU does not appear to care about the undue Stress, heartache, financial loss, and  all of the other drains on Dr. Wielguses health.

WSU’s new attorney got up to speed and claimed he’d get them a counter offer, but then they received nothing by the 22nd as promised which coming from an AG influenced organization isn’t a total surprise. From what Adam understands, the Assistant AG now on the case is a straight-shooter, our local counsel has worked with him and say he’s an honest and good guy – so that implies the issue is WSU and state administrators.

So, in a nutshell this puts Wielgus/ Peer in a tough spot. They have a mediation date set for early Feb, but given that they have not even received a counter offer by the promised date, they are not sure it’s going to be productive anyway. Rob is upset, as is Peer, as are We. So Peer will be filing this suit next week when local counsel gets back into the office.

Nothing should hamper or prevent negotiations while this case sits in federal court, unless WSU continues playing games with Human Lives. Peer conceivably could do both mediation and settlement, however with filing in Federal Court Next week  WSU will know that they are not playing games and hopefully they’ll straighten up since Peer knows they do not want the court precedent or continuing bad press that this case would bring. Protect The Wolves will continue to post on them and their underhanded treatment of Dr. Wielgus until he is vindicated as WSU should have done straight up from the very beginning.

Additionally, since they missed Peer’s deadline, with no remorse it would appear to a prudent individual. Peer will be working with the American Assn. of University Professors (AAUP) to draft up a resolution calling for a vote of “no-confidence” for the administrators running WSU and its Ag influenced school. Given the support the AAUP has had in its previous resolutions against the administration they believe that this could make a big difference while at the same time gather the attention of a number of higher education press outlets – the kind of media that WSU wants to avoid. Combined with the reporter from NY Times Magazine snooping around on this story, it seems that WSU is in for another, bigger black eye and Protect The Wolves™ will stick with this story to help end the Influence on a so called publicly funded Institution.

Our Children as well as their Children need to know when they choose a publicly funded school that they in fact will receive fair treatment. After all, day in and day out We all try to teach our children to be honest upstanding citizens.  It is high time that WSU’s Administrators as well as Washington States Elected Officials are held accountable.  At this point in time, with the influence placed on WSU by Kretz to Throw Wielgus under the bus, It will take  a whole lot of back peddling to get this Black eye off their Faces! Considering Joel Kretz appears to have Violated Washington State LAW. By violating this particular RCW he appears to be guilty of criminal harassment under WA law. RCW 9A.46.020.  by issuing indirect death threats against Dr. Robert Wielgus.

 

  http://protectthewolves.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/wielgus-750×422.jpg #OpposeWelfareRanchingNotWolves #ProtectTheWolves

Keep the Endangered Species Act in Tact and NO to delisting Wolves

On this day December 28th 1973, the Endangered Species Act was signed into law. It was created to protect animals and plants that were in danger of becoming extinct. “Nothing is more priceless and more worthy of preservation than the rich array of animal life with which our country has been blessed,” said President Richard Nixon while signing the act on December 28, 1973.

The Endangered Species Act (ESA) was not the first act of its kind. It replaced the Endangered Species Conservation Act of 1969. But even before that, the U.S. government was steadily making the world a safer place for animals. It started when President Theodore Roosevelt created the first National Wildlife Refuge at Pelican Island, Florida, in 1903.

Later, in 1916, the United States and Great Britain, on the behalf of Canada, created a system of protection for certain birds that migrate between the United States and Canada. Then, on July 3, 1918, the United States passed the Migratory Bird Treaty Act to put the system into action, according to the USFWS.

Almost 50 years later, the Endangered Species Preservation Act of 1966 authorized land acquisition that would be used to conserve selected species of native fish and wildlife. The Endangered Species Conservation Act of 1969 expanded on the 1966 act. It authorized a list of threatened animals that faced worldwide extinction and prohibited importation of threatened animals without a permit. Besides mammals, fish, birds and amphibians, sea creatures such as crustaceans and mollusks were added as protected creatures.

In 1973, the world came together in Washington, D.C., to take the protection of animals even further. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) gathered 80 nations to sign a treaty to regulate or prohibit international trade of endangered species except by permit.

Beginning in the early years of the 20th century, the near-extinction of the U.S. bison population and the disappearance of the Passenger Pigeon, or Wild Pigeon, initially drove the call for wildlife conservation. At the time, “naturalists” killed birds and other wildlife to add to their personal collections or to install in museums. Habitat losses grew as communities and farmland expanded. Widespread use of pesticides and the introduction of non-native species also endangered wildlife.

The American bald eagle — designated the national symbol by the Second Continental Congress in 1782 — became one the first species to be placed on the endangered list when there were only 487 nesting pairs. The protective umbrella proved successful: By 2007, the eagle population had recovered sufficiently to be removed from the list. The ESA works!

While the CITES treaty worked to protect species worldwide, the United States created the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to cover domestic issues. It increased protection for all plant and animal species listed as threatened or endangered, as well as their critical habitats. A critical habitat was defined as one that is vital to the survival of endangered or threatened species.

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the act:

  • Defined “endangered” and “threatened”;
  • Made plants and all invertebrates eligible for protection;
  • Expanded on prohibitions for all endangered animal species;
  • Allowed the prohibitions to apply to threatened animal species by special regulation;
  • Required federal agencies to use their authorities to conserve listed species;
  • Prohibited federal agencies from authorizing, funding or carrying out any action that would jeopardize a species, destroy its critical habitat or modify its critical habitat;
  • Made matching funds available to states with cooperative agreements;
  • Provided funding authority for land acquisition for foreign species;
  • Implemented CITES protection in the United States.

The act hasn’t been accepted completely by some, though. “The Endangered Species Act is one of the most comprehensive pieces of legislation focusing on wildlife protection; however, it was and remains very controversial,” said Brian Ogle, an anthrozoology instructor at Beacon College in Leesburg, Florida

Some think that the act hinders economic development and provides federal agencies with more control than state agencies. Often, when an endangered animal is found on public land, use of the land is strictly regulated, which can inhibit farming, logging and other commercial use of the land. Some have called for further, in-depth research on the economic effects of the ESA.

Opponents also argue the recovery period for species listed often takes too long and is not as effective as some say it is. “One of the most noticeable changes that came about because of the ESA centers on the land-use provisions and the penalties that can be assigned to public and private landowners for not following the provisions,” said Ogle.

This can be a concern because landowners are central to the protection of many species. Some think that the act does not necessarily help to promote conservation actions or support innovative approaches, but rather it centers on punishing those causing harm to endangered species unfairly.

Since the 115th Congress was sworn in on January 3, 2017,  it has already seen the introduction of at least 63 legislative attacks seeking to strip federal protections from specific species or undercutting the ESA.  The Endangered Species Act has been in the crosshairs since 2011, when the Republicans gained majority in the U.S. House of Representatives. Since then, nearly 300 attacks have been launched against the Act and individual species. Republicans have repeatedly sought to undermine the Act’s science-based decision-making requirements by prematurely removing protections for wolves through overturning court decisions that found wolves still need protection in places like the western Great Lakes. The two most recent wolf delisting bills are HR424 and S.164 are bipartisan and would remove protections under the ESA for wolves in Wyoming and the western Great Lakes (all of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota, as well as portions of North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio). In addition, this bill prohibits judicial review of the reissued rules. We cannot let this happen!!

House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop said he “would love to invalidate” the law and would need other lawmakers cooperation. The House Resources Committee has recently approved five bills that its members say will modernize the act. The Republican-written bills would strip away the right of citizens and environmental groups to sue to enforce the law; would require the federal government to weigh the economic impacts of listing a species; and would defer listing decisions to state-collected scientific data. One of the bills would delist wolves in the Midwest.

At last count, there were 173 riders attached to the H.R 3354 budget bill , 100 plus are some form of anti-regulations , public lands , wildlife ( wolves ), habitat, ESA and National Parks , Wilderness Areas, and pro grazing riders that take away a lot more of our National Forests.

WE NEED TO ASK OUR SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES TO REJECT ANY AND ALL BILL AND RIDERS THAT SEEK TO DISMANTLE THE ESA AND DELIST WOLVES!

The two most powerful decision makers to call first:

Chuck Schumer:
Phone: (202) 224-6542

Dick Durbin:
Phone: (202) 224-2152

THEN, call your own members of Congress!

Find your U.S. Representatives here: http://bit.ly/2jE77BE
Find your U.S. Senators here: http://bit.ly/1kyGkev    

Remind them that you are a VOTER, and you WILL REMEMBER their decision making on these matters when the time for RE-ELECTION comes!

~ L.G 

Sources:

Politico~ Nixon signs Endangered Species Act, Dec. 28, 1973

LIVE SCIENCE ~ Facts About the Endangered Species Act of 1973

 

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Counting wolves in the Upper Michigan Peninsula  

protect michigan wolves, protect the wolves

Breaking NEWS from Michigan DNR’s Kevin Swanson says Deer Population is way up. 😉

“We have a lot more deer on the landscape now,” says Swanson.

Wildlife specialists will soon be in the woods in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, tracking wolves.

The Department of Natural Resources last conducted a wolf census in 2016, when it estimated more than 600 wolves prowled in the U.P.

The DNR’s Kevin Swanson says they don’t know what to expect. But he says conditions may be right for an increase in the wolf population.

“We have a lot more deer on the landscape now,” says Swanson.

But Swanson says there are other factors, like canine distemper, that could negatively affect the wolf population.

“It seems our coyote numbers are down significantly in the Upper Peninsula over the last couple years.” says Swanson.

The official estimate of Michigan’s wolf population is not due until sometime in the spring.

Source: Counting wolves in the Upper Peninsula | Michigan Radio http://protectthewolves.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/OR7-1-2.jpg #CutOffUSDAWildlifeServicesFunding #OpposeWelfareRanchingNotWolves #ProtectTheWolves

USDA issues report on cattle, Non-predator causes accounted for almost 98% of all deaths in adult cattle and almost 89% of all deaths in calves.

oppose welfare ranching

Surprised? We are not…. Ranchers need to get a reality check and stop Crying WOLF!! When you look at the below numbers and truly think about it. It really shows you how much natural death there are comapred to Predators minuscule amount.

Non-predator causes accounted for almost 98% of all deaths in adult cattle and almost 89% of all deaths in calves.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) has released “Death Loss in U.S. Cattle & Calves Due to Predator & Nonpredator Causes, 2015,” a comprehensive report on producer-reported causes of death in cattle and calves in all 50 states.

Since 1995, NAHMS has teamed with USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) and Wildlife Services to produce reports on cattle death loss in the U.S. every five years. This report provides analyses of cattle and calves losses in 2015. In addition, death losses by operation type (beef, dairy, mixed and other) are provided, and when possible, losses in 1995, 2000, 2005 and 2010 were included for comparison.

Losses for adult cattle and for calves are reported separately and are categorized as predator and non-predator related. In addition, producer-reported methods used to mitigate losses due to predators and the cost of those methods are reported.

NAHMS provided a few highlights from the 2015 report:

▪ The total U.S. inventory of adult cattle (heavier than 500 lb.) was 78 million head in 2015, and the total calf crop was 34 million head (NASS data).

▪ About one-third of cattle operations had deaths in adult cattle.

▪ About 40% of cattle operations had deaths in calves.

▪ The estimated cost of death loss in cattle and calves in 2015 was $3.87 billion.

▪ Non-predator causes accounted for almost 98% of all deaths in adult cattle and almost 89% of all deaths in calves.

▪ The percentage of calf deaths attributed to predators increased steadily from 3.5% in 1995 to 11.1% in 2015.

▪ Respiratory problems accounted for the highest percentage of deaths in cattle due to non-predator-related causes (23.9%), followed by unknown causes (14.0%) and old age (11.8%).

▪ Respiratory problems also accounted for the highest percentage of deaths in calves due to non-predator-related causes (26.9%).

▪ Coyotes accounted for the highest percentage of cattle deaths due to predators (40.5%) as well as the highest percentage of calf deaths due to predators (53.1%).

Source: USDA issues report on cattle, calf death loss in the U.S. http://protectthewolves.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/greater-sage-grouse-14012304248_321941736d_o-750×390-1.jpg #OpposeWelfareRanchingNotWolves #ProtectTheWolves

Gros Ventre Wolf Poached, Hunter caught even admitted in closed area

Another Possible YELLOWSTONE or TETON WOLF POACHED

This is a Prime example of why Wyoming has no business managing their wildlife! They gave a hunter who admitted he was going to wait to check the wolf in because he shot it in a closed area. Hunter was issued a  “bondable” ticket, which in Wyoming means he can pay the ticket and not even be required to appear in Court. Hunter still has his weapons, truck….

Gros Ventre Wolf Poached

North Jackson Game Warden Jon Stephens received a tip from a concerned sportsman regarding suspicious activity in the upper Gros Ventre drainage northeast of Jackson. The reporting party noticed an individual who appeared to be pursuing a
wolf in a closed area. Stephens successfully located the suspects vehicle several hours later and learned the individual had been varmint hunting in the area for a couple days. The suspect had two red foxes in the back of the truck, but Stephens
also noticed additional blood markings around the truck bed. When asked if they had taken anything else, they reported they had shot at but missed a coyote in theexact area the report suggested. Stephens then asked to look through several boxes in the back of the truck and while doing so discovered a recently killed wolf stuffed in the bottom of oneWhen asked what was in the bottom of the box, the individual responded

“You got me, I shot a wolf in the closed area.” The individual stated they had
planned to wait a day then try checking it in, saying it was taken in a different
area.

The wolf was seized and the individual received citations for taking a wolf in a closed area, failure to tag the animal and shooting from a public roadway.

http://protectthewolves.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/grosventrewolfpoached-1.png

In the 1980s and 1990s  the state of Montana conducted its elk reduction near Gardiner, Montana

The number of wapiti on Yellowstone’s northern range today is closer to 6,000 which move seamless in and out of the park, and there are actually far fewer wolves in the park now than a decade ago. a Decade ago Ranchers were complaining there were too many Elk so Montana Slaughtered them All not Wolves.
In the coming months, Yellowstone National Park, as part of the Interagency Bison Management Plan adopted with the state of Montana in 2000, intends to reduce the current size of the park’s bison herd from around 4,800 to between 3,900 and 4,200.
Last winter 1,200 bison were removed—the largest reduction in a decade—with more than half sent to slaughter and nearly 500 killed by hunters. Nine of every ten Yellowstone bison that died were killed beyond the park’s northern border in the Upper Yellowstone River Valley. The goal, park officials say, is to eventually reduce the number of bison to between 3,000 and 3,500.
Since the mid 1980s, more than 10,400 of the Yellowstone icons have been killed for wandering into Montana based on the now-debunked premise that they represent imminent threats of passing the disease brucellosis to domestic cattle. Critics say the “hunting” of park bison is anything but a sporting proposition; most animals are accustomed to people and do not flee.
The question is not only why more bison continue to be slaughtered or placed in quarantine, but also what are the consequences of removing animals that are merely acting upon ancient biological instincts to escape deep snow at higher elevations and move to lower-lying grasslands outside the park?
° ° °

 

To be clear, the following parallel drawn between bison and elk is not intended to be a blanket anti-hunting statement. However, it has been asserted by government wildlife officials I’ve spoken with that when hunters opened fire on elk migrating out of Yellowstone across its northern border into Montana this fall, and for those who formed a firing line shooting at elk sprinting for their lives across Grand Teton National Park, there was no sophisticated selection or discrimination going on related to which animals were being felled.

 

Quite the opposite.

 

During those years in the late 1980s and 1990s when the state of Montana conducted its elk reduction near Gardiner, Montana to dramatically reduce the number of wapiti on Yellowstone’s northern range, late season elk hunts were held in which pregnant cow elk were killed. Thousands of elk were eliminated and veteran sportsmen I knew called the scene the antithesis of ethical hunting.

 

People forget—especially those who hate wolves—that before wolves were restored in the mid 1990s, many of those same individuals lobbed a fusillade of criticisms at Yellowstone, claiming the park was mismanaged and the northern range grossly overgrazed by 19,000 elk.

 

Moreover, they either forget or deny that wolves, in reducing elk numbers, have produced a number of ecological dividends. Though there is widespread dispute over whether there has been a full-blown “trophic cascade effect”, having fewer elk has dramatically changed the way the landscape is being used.
The number of wapiti on Yellowstone’s northern range today is closer to 6,000 which move seamless in and out of the park, and there are actually far fewer wolves in the park now than a decade ago. In recent years, bison have become more numerous. Some now claim, including Yellowstone, that the park’s northern rangelands hold too many bison.

 

While wolves have received much of the blame for fewer elk, no intense analysis has ever been done on the ripple effects caused by humans, poised along the park border in Montana, killing so many female elk of prime reproductive age; no analysis has been done on what the removal of big elk bulls has meant to the gene pool or even what effect those factors had on leaving elk in a better position—or worse—in being able to fend off predation by wolves.
Bison herd with calves in Lamar Valley; NPS / Neal Herbert
Bison herd with calves in Lamar Valley; NPS / Neal Herbert

 

Similarly, it’s reasonable to ask, what effect has the indiscriminate, non-selective slaughter of more than 10,000 Yellowstone bison wandering into Montana, killed under the dubious premise that they represent an ominous risk of brucellosis transmission to private cattle herds, had on the health of the park’s bison herd? As many wonder aloud, how have the killing fields in Montana, along both the park’s northern and western boundaries, affected the social dynamics of Yellowstone’s bison?

 

Bison moving out of the park carry with them an age-old, deeply-engrained instinct—to migrate. What does it mean to continuously remove those animals which are only following their evolutionary drive to leave higher elevation areas inundated by heavy snows in winter, seeking instead better places to feed on grass at lower elevations? How has snuffing out this instinct, by slaughtering bison in mass, contributed to the current problem of so many bison now congregated on Yellowstone’s northern range and causing some perceived overgrazing problems?

 

° ° °

 

Yellowstone today finds itself boxed-in by the state of Montana. Yellowstone officials have said that in order to preserve the ecological and genetic integrity of park bison a minimum of between 3,000 and 3,500 needs to be maintained across decades. Yellowstone and its mountain setting, however, is actually not a place where bison would naturally choose of their own accord to congregate.
Many of Yellowstone’s bison are descended from just 26 wild survivors that found refuge in the park during the late 19th century when a species that once numbered between 30 million and 60 million was reduced to mere hundreds. Yellowstone became a safe harbor because of its geographic remoteness. Survivors of near extinction—the equivalent of a biological holocaust perpetuated on them—conservationists and indigenous people argue that Yellowstone’s bison herds deserve to therefore be treated with special, almost sacred, status.

 

Yellowstone northern range has been compared to a mini-American Serengeti for the diversity of large wild mammals that move across it. One partial antidote, a way to address to some of those bison grazing concerns instead of keeping the animals bottled up in the park, would be opening up more space outside Yellowstone. But the state of Montana has historically refused and only recently, owed to growing public pressure, has it been willing to consider offering bison greater flexibility to be bison.

 

Expecting any wild animal to remain contained behind an invisible human line drawn on a map that does not conform to the biological need of the species defies not only logic but the laws of nature. It may be what ranchers do with non-native livestock, by stringing barbed wire and pasturing animals bred to be docile, but wildlife biologists say it has no grounding in sound 21st-century ecology, ethical treatment or respect for a beloved national symbol that is on the seal of the U.S. Interior Department.

 

Notably, bison are the only species in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem that are not allowed to naturally migrate or roam. Elk and mule deer can, so too pronghorn and moose, trumpeter swans and fish. Montana’s intolerance of bison cannot, with any semblance of truth, be based upon the threat of brucellosis so what is the real reason?.

 

Brucellosis is a serious, highly-contagious zoonotic disease and in bovine animals involves a bacteria Brucella abortus. In the past, it was considered more a health threat to humans who drank unpasteurized milk. In wildlife and livestock, B. abortus does not cause animals to die nor is it population limiting. It is more of a trade issue with barriers put up against states that have brucellosis in their livestock herds. In female animals, be they bison, elk or cattle, it causes pregnant mothers to abort their first calves but generally does not affect reproduction afterwards. For 40 years, it was thought that bison represented the greatest threat of transmission.

 

“During my time in Yellowstone, I have watched with great interest — and some amazement — that bison are vilified as the primary threat or vector for brucellosis transition in the ecosystem,” Yellowstone Superintendent Dan Wenk wrote in the peer-reviewed book Yellowstone Bison: Conserving an American Icon in Modern Society. “There is an illusory belief that if brucellosis were eliminated in bison it would be eliminated from the ecosystem. The authors [in this book] clearly state that this scenario is unlikely and that bison make up a small portion of the overall risk for brucellosis transmission to cattle.”

Source: The Killing Fields Await Yellowstone Bison Once Again http://protectthewolves.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/ic_1513332776_780x_false.jpg #OpposeWelfareRanchingNotWolves #StopTheWolfCull #WolvesInYellowstone

Western Montana hunters enjoy good elk, whitetail season contrary to their fairytales

It gets old listening to hunters cry that there are no Elk or deer left because of Wolves. They are as bad as ranchers.

Wake Up  Government, it is the Hunters that are decimating the Wildlife not our Native Predators!

Despite uncooperative weather in the final days, the 2017 big game season closed with the highest tallies in four years in Fish, Wildlife & Parks Region 2.

Despite uncooperative weather in the final days, the 2017 big game season closed with the highest tallies in four years in Fish, Wildlife & Parks Region 2.

Montana’s five-week big game hunting season ended Sunday with unseasonably warm winds and patchy snow for tracking. Nevertheless, those who went out in west-central Montana did better than average.

Most of the elk came through the Darby station, where 159 elk amounted to a 14 percent increase over last year. The Bonner station recorded its best success since 2011 with 95 elk. That was also 64 percent better than the 2016 season. Anaconda hunters brought in 46 elk, 59 percent more than last year.

Rebecca Mowry, an FWP wildlife biologist in the Bitterroot Valley, said the numbers here were “pretty average.”

“We had such a strong opening weekend, and then it kind of backed off,” Mowry said. “We need a lot of snow and cold weather to keep the elk moving around, and that didn’t happen.”

Hunters told her they saw elk they couldn’t shoot on private property; a lot of people drove around but didn’t get out of their vehicles; and other hunters reported they shot and missed.

“But there are people who brought out elk they took on public lands,” Mowry said. “For the most part, the harder you hunt the more success you’ll have.”

Deer hunters brought 607 whitetails through check stations at Bonner, Darby and Anaconda. That was 3 percent higher than last year and the highest whitetail count since 2008, according to FWP spokeswoman Vivaca Crowser. All but 100 of those came through the Bonner station.

“We’ve seen a steady climb in whitetail harvest since 2014, which correlates with our sense of a growing population,” said Mike Thompson, FWP Region 2 wildlife manager. “This information is a good check on our thoughts of restoring some antlerless harvest opportunities for the 2018 hunting season.”

Mowry said new regulations in the Bitteroot that only allowed youth hunters to take whitetail does  probably led to fewer successes coming through the game check station in Darby. Only 68 were checked, a steady decrease from 110 taken in 2014.

Mule deer harvest in Region 2 came in 35 percent below last year, with just 77 muleys through all three stations. That’s also the lowest recorded in the past four years. FWP imposed special permit requirements in order to boost mule deer numbers throughout the region.

Overall hunter numbers were down about 8 percent compared to last year. Nevertheless, the 11,115 hunters interviewed during the five weekends of check-station operation tagged 999 animals, which was up 6 percent in 2017 and the best Region 2 success rate in the past four years. FWP game wardens also recorded nine black bears, one moose, three bighorn sheep and two wolves through the Region 2 stations.

None of the wolves passed through the Darby station.

Across the Rocky Mountains, FWP Region 4’s solo check station at Augusta saw normal elk numbers and variable deer success.

“The total elk harvest was 5 percent below the 10-year average,” said Brent Lonner, FWP wildlife biologist. “Similar to other years, the elk harvest this year peaked during the second and third week of the season when snow and cold arrived.”

But mule deer numbers were about 15 percent below the 10-year average. Whitetails were 14 percent above average. All told, the Augusta station recorded 315 elk, 253 mule deer and 341 whitetails.

In northwest Montana’s FWP Region 1, hunter success overall was up to 8.6 percent for 2017, compared to 10.1 percent last year. The six game check stations in the region logged 16,269 hunters.

“The percentage of hunters with white-tailed deer varied greatly depending on where you were hunting,” said Neil Anderson, FWP Region 1 Wildlife Manager. “Overall, hunters seemed to be enjoying themselves despite some challenging conditions. Most of the hunters I spoke to, including those who did not harvest an animal, stated they were having a good and enjoyable season.”

Overall, Region 1 hunters took 1,275 whitetails, 78 elk and 51 mule deer.

 That’s the lowest number of mule deer since records were first kept in 1985, Anderson said.

“We don’t know why the numbers were so low,” Anderson said. “Fortunately, we are initiating a mule deer study in the Fisher River and Whitefish Range in Region 1 this winter. We hope to get valuable information on habitat use, nutrition, and some data on mortality rates.”

Source: Western Montana hunters enjoy good elk, whitetail season | Local News | ravallirepublic.com http://protectthewolves.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Yellowstone_Wolves-750×509-750×509-1.jpg #EndangeredSpeciesList #OpposeWelfareRanchingNotWolves #RestoreWolvesToESL #WolvesInTheNews #WolvesInYellowstone