Tribal concerns may drive cattle off Colville allotment Capitol Press

overgrazing, ban grazing allotments
This is what the Colville USFS is allowing to happen on your Childrens Resources better known as “Overgrazing”

Protect The Wolves™ is not only assisting in getting the Kalispel Tribes Approved then denied Cultural Closure back into media Focus. We called the Tribe, Ray Ance Wildlife Director picked our call up and responded immediately. We are coming for McIrvins Allotments.

He is aware we are attempting to get the Tribes Request back into the News. This Approval then Denial may be actionable in the Courts and set the Precedent that Our Sacred Resources are more important than Ranchers Cattle!! With The Public’s help we need to keep livestock from eating the grasses the creators have Provided for them.  Join Our Movement Here: https://continutogive.com/protectthewolves

“The Kalispel Tribe of Indians told the Forest Service that the land was sacred and that cow manure discouraged tribal members from practicing traditional beliefs, curative arts and rites of passage.” those same cultural rights will apply to all Grazing Allotments we believe.

Fountain claims to have a Spiritual interest there? SERIOUSLY? what an outright BS STATEMENT! Guess what  Mr. Fountain, We are not done with you. Just look at the costs $673,000 necessary in the Capital Presses article to keep just this 1 Allotment Open!! It is a despicable burden on ALL Taxpayers, not just Washington States! Capital Presses article at this Link:

https://www.capitalpress.com/state/washington/tribal-concerns-may-drive-cattle-off-colville-allotment/article_b33b1fe0-bb1b-52b7-87ac-e20f1a4a9857.html

 

  https://protectthewolves.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/cows5-300×225.jpg #BanGrazingAllotments #EndangeredSpeciesList #GrayWolves #OpposeWelfareRanchingNotWolves #ProtectTheWolves

WDFW Director needs to Follow their own Mission Statement 

Togo pack update

WDFW Director Kelly Susewind
needs to read their own Mission Statement. “To preserve, protect and perpetuate fish, wildlife and ecosystems while providing sustainable fish and wildlife recreational and commercial opportunities.”
 It is past time that McIrvins Allotments are closed in the best interest of all our childrens Resources. The USFS can do this. We have submitted multiple Petitions in hopes they would actually do so. However they refuse to even discuss our petition requests at Wolf Advisory Group Meetings.
 Susewind is not fulfilling the mandates under their Mission Statement. He is only destroying The Publics resources to appease Ranchers. The Attorney General claimed in court that wdfw does not manage the land as well as claim that they can not close McIrvins Allotments. We agree with their statement, However The Director can call on the Forest Service to do just that.
  Neither WDFW or the USFS are managing Our Children’s Resources properly by using the best available Science. Dr. Robert Wielgus s Research has shown them that what they are doing is only leading to more Depredations.
Publish date

This is a weekly update for the Togo pack following the lethal removal authorization by WDFW Director Kelly Susewind on Aug 9.

No wolves have been removed by WDFW since the authorization. The Department’s lethal removal period is currently ongoing. There have been three additional depredations investigated and confirmed by the Togo pack in the last week.

On Aug 11, WDFW staff received a report of three possible wolf depredations to livestock within the Togo pack area in Ferry County. WDFW staff conducted investigations on one deceased calf and two injured calves.

  • Calf #1 was deceased and showed injuries consistent with a wolf attack. The calf had been deceased no longer than a few hours prior to discovery.
  • Calf #2 was injured with bite wounds to the hamstring, flank, hock and hindquarters. All of the injuries are consistent with a wolf attack. The injuries to the calf appeared to be no less than a week old. The calf was treated and held on private ground for a later release back onto the USFS grazing pasture.
  • Calf #3 was injured with bite wounds to the hindquarter and groin area. All of the injuries are consistent with a wolf attack. The injuries to the calf appeared to be 3 to4 days old. The calf is being kept in a private holding area for a later release back onto the USFS grazing pasture.

On Aug 9, WDFW Director Kelly Susewind reauthorized the lethal removal of the two remaining wolves from the Togo pack in response to repeated depredation of cattle on grazing lands in the Kettle River range of Ferry County under the guidance of the state’s Wolf Conservation and Management Plan and the lethal removal provisions of the department’s wolf-livestock interaction protocol. This is the third time (Aug 20, 2018Nov 7, 2018, and Aug 9, 2019) Director Susewind has authorized lethal removal in the Togo pack since the pattern of depredations started on November 2, 2017. The Department removed one wolf on Sept 2, 2018 under a previous authorization.

Livestock producer 1 referenced in the Aug 9 public notice is the owner of the three calves investigated on Aug 11.  Livestock producer 1 removes or secures livestock carcasses to avoid attracting wolves to the rest of the herd, calves away from areas occupied by wolves, avoids known wolf high activity areas, and monitors the herd with a range rider. A WDFW-contracted range rider has been working with this producer since May.

The Department has documented six wolf depredations by the Togo pack in the last 30 days, seven in the last 10 months, and 14 since Nov 2017.  During one of those depredations, a livestock producer shot a wolf during a caught-in-the-act scenario where the producer responded to a wolf depredating his livestock.  Depredation activity and agency wolf removals are summarized in each monthly wolf update.

WDFW will keep the public informed about this activity through weekly updates.  The next update will be on Aug. 23.

Previous updates
2019 Togo pack updates

  • July 31, 2019
  • Aug 9, 2019

WDFW will provide a final report on this and any other lethal removal operations during 2019 in the Washington Gray Wolf Conservation and Management 2019 Annual Report, which will be published during spring 2020.  For a summary of removal operations in the Togo pack during 2018, please see page 28 of the Washington Gray Wolf Conservation and Management 2018 Annual Report.

Packs
Togo

Source: Togo pack update | Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife https://protectthewolves.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/patrick-hendry-723641-unsplash-300×200.jpg #EndangeredSpeciesList #GrayWolves #OpposeWelfareRanchingNotWolves #ProtectTheWolves

WDFW Kills 2 pups and an Adult from OPT Pack

protect the wolves, Profanity peak pack, OPT pack

OPT pack SLAUGHTER update

Bad Memories are surfacing, more OPT pack wolves dead for the man pictured at right, shot most likely out of a Helicopter.
  We need the Public to Join Us as one Voice now to get a different path and Research into the Courts while we still have Wolves left. https://continuetogive.com/protectthewolves
Publish date

On July 31, WDFW Director Kelly Susewind reauthorized the lethal removal of wolves from the OPT pack in response to repeated depredation of cattle on federal grazing lands in the Kettle River range of Ferry County under the guidance of the state’s Wolf Conservation and Management Plan and the lethal removal provisions of the department’s wolf-livestock interaction protocol. This is the fourth time Director Susewind has authorized lethal removal in the OPT pack since Sept. 12, 2018; three wolves were removed under the prior authorizations.

The OPT pack has been involved in 14 livestock depredations (both livestock injuries and deaths) in the last 10 months, with 9 of those in the last 30 days, and a total of 29 since Sept. 5, 2018. Depredation activity and agency wolf removals are summarized in each monthly wolf update. Since the last weekly update on Aug. 6, the Department has removed three wolves, 2 juveniles and 1 adult.  The Department’s lethal removal period is currently ongoing.

WDFW will keep the public informed about this activity through weekly updates.  The next update will be on Aug. 20.

WDFW will provide a final report on this and any other lethal removal operation during 2019 in the Washington Gray Wolf Conservation and Management 2019 Annual Report, which will be published during spring 2020.  For a summary of removal operations in the OPT pack during 2018, please see page 37 of the Washington Gray Wolf Conservation and Management 2018 Annual Report.

Previous updates

2019 OPT pack updates

Packs
OPT

Source: OPT pack update | Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife https://protectthewolves.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Len1-300×217-300×217-300×217.jpg #EndangeredSpeciesList #GrayWolves #OpposeWelfareRanchingNotWolves #ProtectTheWolves #WolvesInWashington

Study: More Elk Killed by Cougars than by Wolves in Idaho IDFG lied all this time

Ranchers have already asked Idaho... to kill elk also
Ranchers have already asked Idaho… to kill elk 

Study: More Elk Killed by Cougars than by Wolves in Idaho

IDFG making excuses for why they blamed wolves not cats it appears…. States that study most likely applies to surrounding states as well.

SPOKANE — More elk are being killed by cougars than by wolves in Idaho, a study by the state Department of Fish and Game has found.

The study found that wolves accounted for 32% of adult female elk deaths and 28% of elk calf deaths, while cougars accounted for 35% of adult female elk deaths and 45% of elk calf deaths.

The study also found that food availability and the severity of winter was the most important factor for elk calf survival.

“Things are usually more complicated than one thing, but it’s sometimes really hard to show that,” said Jon Horne, lead author of the paper and a senior wildlife research biologist at the Idaho Department of Fish and Game

He told The Spokesman-Review that the findings are also likely applicable for Washington, Montana and Canada.

The study published earlier this year in the Journal of Wildlife Management examined 15 years of data.

“The one variable that mattered the most for calf survival was how big it was,” Horne said.

While researchers were able to consider the size of wolf packs on elk mortality, they couldn’t do that for mountain lions, which can be difficult to count.

“We didn’t have a variable like the wolf variable where we knew what the lion population size was in an area,” Horne said.

In a different study published in 2018 that examined wolves, Horne found that the average pack size didn’t change much in Idaho between 2005 and 2015 despite the beginning of wolf hunting seasons.

“On one side of the ledger you have a portion of the public that thinks that harvest is just going to send the wolves to extinction and that has not been the case,” Horne said. “And then . there is a side that thinks wolves are taking over and they will grow without limits.”

Source: Study: More Elk Killed by Cougars than by Wolves in Idaho – Flathead Beacon https://protectthewolves.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/WolvesandRanchers-300×200.jpg #EndangeredSpeciesList #GrayWolves #OpposeWelfareRanchingNotWolves #ProtectTheWolves #WolvesInIdaho

WDFW Director Susewind reauthorizes lethal action in Togo wolf pack 

WDFW Director reauthorizes lethal action in Togo wolf pack

People,Wolves are crying out for Our Research, Join Us while we still have Wolves left https://continuetogive.com/protectthewolves
Publish date

WDFW Director Kelly Susewind today (August 9, 2019) reauthorized Department staff to lethally remove the two remaining wolves from the Togo pack in response to repeated depredations of cattle on grazing lands in the Kettle River range of Ferry County.

The Department has documented three wolf depredations in the last 30 days and four in the last 10 months.  During one of those depredations, a livestock producer shot a wolf during a caught-in-the-act scenario where the producer responded to a wolf depredating his livestock.

The proactive non-lethal deterrents used by the two producers (described below) in the area have not curtailed repeated depredations. Director Susewind’s decision is consistent with the guidance of the state’s Wolf Conservation and Management Plan and the lethal removal provisions of the Department’s wolf-livestock interaction protocol.

WDFW’s approach to incremental lethal removal consists of a period of active operations followed by an evaluation period to determine if those actions changed the pack’s behavior.

Last August 20 (2018) Director Susewind authorized lethal removal in the Togo pack in response to repeated wolf depredations, and Department staff removed one wolf on September 2, 2018.  After documenting subsequent livestock depredations by the pack, the Director reauthorized the lethal removal of the remaining three wolves in the Togo pack on November 7, 2018; however no wolves were removed during that effort.

The goal of lethal removal, as described in the Wolf Conservation and Management Plan, is to manage wolf-livestock conflicts to minimize livestock losses without undermining the recovery of a sustainable wolf population. The purpose of the lethal action (and non-lethal tools) in the Togo pack is to change pack behavior to reduce the potential for continued depredations on livestock while continuing to promote wolf recovery. In this situation, the non-lethal tools did not change pack behavior.

Consistent with the guidance of the plan and protocol, the rationale for reauthorizing lethal removal of Togo wolves is as follows:

  • WDFW has documented ongoing depredation on livestock by the pack since Nov. 3, 2017 (11 total, 4 within the last 10 months and three in the last 30 days). The depredations were shared with the public in a timely manner, as described in the protocol.

    The four depredations in the last 10 months were classified as confirmed depredations, two of which were deaths to the livestock.

  • At least two proactive deterrence measures and responsive deterrence measures (if applicable) were implemented and did not meet the goal of influencing/changing pack behavior to reduce the potential for recurrent wolf depredations on livestock. During the 2019 grazing season, the following non-lethal deterrents were implemented:
    • Livestock producer 1 removes or secures livestock carcasses to avoid attracting wolves to the rest of the herd, calves away from areas occupied by wolves, avoids known wolf high activity areas, and monitors the herd with a range rider. A WDFW-contracted range rider has been working with this producer since May.
    • Livestock producer 2 removes or secures livestock carcasses to avoid attracting wolves to the rest of the herd (when discovered), removes sick and injured livestock (when discovered) from the grazing area until they are healed, calves away from areas occupied by wolves, avoids known wolf high activity areas, delays turnout of livestock onto grazing allotments until June 10 when calving is finished (and deer fawns, elk calves, and moose calves become available as prey), and monitors the herd with a range rider.

The department documented these deterrents in the agency’s “wolf-livestock mitigation measures” checklist, with date entries for deterrent tools and coordination with the producer and range rider.

  • WDFW expects depredations to continue based on the history of this pack. The most recent depredation by the Togo pack is the third event in 30 days, forth event in 10 months. This series of repeated depredations shows a pattern in pack behavior as defined in the wolf-livestock interaction protocol. WDFW staff believe depredations are likely to continue in the near future even with the non-lethal tools being utilized.
  • The lethal removal of wolves in the Togo pack is not expected to harm the wolf population’s ability to reach the statewide recovery objective.

    WDFW has documented ten known wolf mortalities in the state since Jan 1, 2019. In previous years with fewer wolves, WDFW has documented between 12 to 14 mortalities annually and the population has continued to expand its range and grow each year, both in numbers of individuals and numbers of breeding packs.

    Comparing the actual level of wolf mortality to that modeled in the Wolf Conservation and Management Plan (appendices G and H), actual average wolf mortality per year is about 8.5 animals or approximately 10 percent of the estimated population from 2011-2018. This level is below the 28 percent baseline annual mortality assumed in the wolf plan model (before any simulated wolf removals); which incorporates a 30 percent lethal removal mortality in addition to the baseline mortality. The modeling assumed the regional wolf population met the regional component of the statewide recovery objective. The wolf population in the eastern recovery region is three times the regional component of the statewide objective.

    T he department is providing one business day (eight court hours) advance public notice before initiating lethal removal activity. WDFW will use humane lethal removal methods consistent with state and federal laws. The objective is to use the best methods available while considering human safety, humaneness to wolves, swift completion of the removal, weather, efficacy, and cost.

WDFW will keep the public informed about this activity through weekly updates. The next update will be provided on Aug. 16.

Previous updates
2019 Togo pack updates

  • July 31, 2019

For a summary of removal operations in the Togo pack during 2018, please see page 28 of the Washington Gray Wolf Conservation and Management 2018 Annual Report. WDFW will provide a final report on any lethal removal operations during 2019 in the Washington Gray Wolf Conservation and Management 2019 Annual Report.

A summary of all documented depredation activity within the past ten months is included in every monthly wolf update.

Packs
Togo

Source: WDFW Director reauthorizes lethal action in Togo wolf pack | Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife https://protectthewolves.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Profanity-peak-google-images-750×501.jpg #EndangeredSpeciesList #GrayWolves #OpposeWelfareRanchingNotWolves #WolvesInWashington

U.S. Forest Service Attempting to Silence American Public! Comment TODAY

protect the wolves

Do Not allow the Current Administration to strip any more of your rights. Comment NOW! https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FS-2019-0010-0001

Use the Access Fund’s letter writing tool to tell the US Forest Service that you do not agree with their proposed changes which would limit your voice and diminish the integrity of America’s public lands.

he US Forest Service (USFS) just released a proposal that would eliminate or drastically reduce public participation in approximately 93% of land management projects. This move is intended to fast-track logging, mining, drilling, and other development of our public lands—all of which deserve a robust public process and environmental analysis.

There are over 10,000 climbing areas located on USFS lands, and Access Fund relies on public involvement guaranteed by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to ensure our climbing areas are protected and managed appropriately. NEPA, a law passed in 1970, mandates that you and other members of the public have a fair opportunity to comment before the federal government decides the fate of our public lands—ensuring they make informed decisions regarding environmental impacts and impacts to values like recreation. This bedrock environmental law guarantees that you have a voice in how our public lands are managed and protected.

The USFS is proposing sweeping changes to the way it implements NEPA, by attempting to add more “categorical exclusions”, which would allow development projects to sail through without proper public comment or evaluation of environmental impacts. This move would essentially cut you—the American public—out of the decision-making process, allowing land managers to make unilateral decisions about our public lands without adequate public notice and community engagement.

This proposed change in policy undermines government transparency and accountability. Over the last 30 years, we have learned time and time again that more robust public involvement results in better land management decisions. The American public deserves the right to have a say in how our public lands are managed, and our voices are critical to ensuring the long-term conservation and sustainability of these irreplaceable landscapes.

 

Source: U.S. Forest Service Attempting to Silence American Public – Rock and Ice https://protectthewolves.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/howlingforhelp-300×161.jpg #CutOffUSDAWildlifeServicesFunding #EndangeredSpeciesList #GrayWolves #OpposeWelfareRanchingNotWolves #ProtectTheWolves

Protect The Wolves has Invited Presidential Candidate Jay Inslee To Join Them

Protect The Wolves has Invited

Presidential Candidate Jay Inslee To Join Them

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Patricia Herman President Protect The Wolves™

Dr Robert Wielgus, protect the wolves, opt profanity peak pack,
Wed. May 31, 2017. Rob Wielgus, director of the large carnivore lab at WSU howls on a Colville National Forest road near the last location of the Profanity Peak wolf pack before they were hunted down in 2016. 

Roger Dobson Director of Tribal Relations

310-494-6314 pressreleaseinfo at protectthewolves.com

Seattle Wa- August 8th 8:30 AM

Protect The Wolves™ has invited Presidential Candidate Governor Jay Inslee to Join them at the King County Courthouse .

  • When August 16th
  • Where  King County Courthouse 516 3rd Ave Seattle Wa
  • Time: 8AM

Protect The Wolves™ is CoFounded by a Washington State Tribal Member that Requests your Attendance at The OPT Pack hearing on August 16th at 8AM prior to the hearing. This will give the Governor the Opportunity to show the masses that he actually disagrees with Nationwide Wolf Delisting and not just using Wolves to Get Votes.

Protect The Wolves™ along with your constituents that can actually Vote for you in the Presidential Race will be present. Protect The Wolves Urges your attendance, to actually put your money where your mouth is showing ALL Voters in the USA that you are about what you claim!

  https://protectthewolves.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/wolfman_01_lede-750×471.jpg #EndangeredSpeciesList #GrayWolves #OpposeWelfareRanchingNotWolves #ProtectWolvesInWashington #WolvesInTheNews #WolvesInWashington

Idaho Fish and Game Commission to Meet, Public Invited

protect the wolves, protect idaho wolves

Join Protect The Wolves™ on this Conference Call with IDFG to hear their snare reasoning.

Seriously… What kind of fruitloops are they selling in Idaho?

This is the most ridiculous Statement from an Official charged with Protecting our Natural Resources We have ever heard. Snares that will only target 1 species…

Background Of the Moronic IDFGS thought pattern…. How is it they can possibly lead themselves to believe that snares will only target 1 species in a Humane Way.

Commission direction, the Department initiated negotiated rulemaking to consider the combination of gear requirements (diverters, break-away devices, and loop stops) for wolf trapping to balance effective capture of the target species while minimizing nontarget animal capture. Staff briefed the Commission in July on the status of this rulemaking effort and on the fact that the Department received one request to conduct negotiated rulemaking. The results of the online public comment period are presented again below. Additionally, results from the negotiated rulemaking meeting held on

The public is invited to meet with the Idaho Fish and Game Commission next week.

Commission Meeting, Legislative Conference Call, August 12, 2019

Idaho Fish and Game Commission
Conference Call

Idaho Department of Fish and Game
600 South Walnut
Boise, Idaho

August 12, 2019

9:00 a.m. MDT
Time Order Description
9:00 am 1. Gear Requirements on Snares for Gray Wolf

–Toby Boudreau/Cory Mosby

Download Gold Sheet

9:05 am 2. 2020 Agency-Sponsored Legislation, Idea #1, Upland Game Bird Permit authority

– Paul Kline 

Download Gold Sheet

9:10 am 3. 2020 Agency-Sponsored Legislation, Idea #2, Nonresident Fee Schedule

– Paul Kline

Download Gold Sheet

Meetings of the Commission during field trips and catered meals are open to public attendance, but additional arrangements may be involved for those who wish to attend. For more information on such arrangements, please contact Mary Boyer at (208) 287-2764. During field trips and catered meals, the Commission may engage in brainstorming activities and informal discussions of regional and general interest, but the Commission will not take up any item for action.
Parent Sites and Pages:
Fish and Game Commission

Source: Idaho Fish and Game Commission to Meet, Public Invited

[pdf-embedder url=”https://protectthewolves.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/agenda_item_1_gold_sheet._wolf_snare_requirements.pdf”]

https://protectthewolves.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Idaho_Wolves-750×504-1-300×202.jpg #BanAnimalTrapping #EndangeredSpeciesList #GrayWolves #OpposeWelfareRanchingNotWolves

WDFW Director Susewind invites public to a virtual open house May 13 7pm

Protect The Wolves™ invites you to Join Us this evening in asking WDFW some tough Questions! We will attempt to record it as well.

WDFW Director Susewind invites public to a virtual open house

Date
Contact

Contact: Nate Pamplin, 360-584-7033

Public Affairs: Carrie McCausland, 360-890-0996

OLYMPIA – Kelly Susewind, director of Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), will host a virtual open house on Monday, May 13 to give the public a chance to ask about the department’s policies and direction. 

“I want to share some updates on the agency, but the main purpose is to have a two-way conversations with those who aren’t always able to attend our in-person events,” said Susewind. “People care deeply about the work we do and we want to make it easier for them to tell us what’s on their mind and what’s important to them in their everyday lives.” 
Introductory topics will include an overview of the department’s work, a summary of legislative session actions that affect WDFW, and how the department is working to address long-term challenges affecting fish and wildlife in Washington.
Director Susewind will also be joined by a number of his staff who share wildlife, fish, law enforcement, and habitat expertise.
The online webinar starts at 7 p.m. The public can go to https://player.invintus.com/?clientID=2836755451&eventID=2019051001 during the event to watch and submit questions. After the event the open house video will remain available from the agency’s website, wdfw.wa.gov.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is the state age

https://protectthewolves.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/denaliwolfeye-2-300×200-2-300×200-1-300×200-300×200-2-300×200-1-300×200-2-300×200-2-1.jpg #EndangeredSpeciesList #GrayWolves #OpposeWelfareRanchingNotWolves #ProtectTheWolves

Anatomy of a wolf count

Wolf Count

GILA NATIONAL FOREST — It took only a millisecond after wildlife officials opened the door of his crate for M1296, a male Mexican gray wolf, to dart out onto a smooth sheet of sun-crusted snow.

He started at a sprint but after 30 yards or so, 1296 slowed down to a walk and began weaving and stumbling, looking perplexed. It was as if he had just landed on another planet.

A few minutes later, though, the handsome, tan and cinnamon-colored wolf found his bearings and was off, loping through the ponderosa pines of New Mexico’s Gila National Forest.

The behavior of 1296 wasn’t surprising to federal biologists watching him. It had been quite the day for the nearly 4-year-old canid.

Just a few hours before, the Mexican gray wolf had been spotted by federal wildlife officials scouting the forest in a helicopter. After a 16-minute pursuit, 1296 was darted, anesthetized and scooped up to be checked, measured and collared as part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s annual count of the endangered species.

It’s a labor-intensive, multi-step process that the federal wildlife agency, along with tribal and state partners, conducts every year to monitor the progress of the wolves’ recovery in the Southwest.

Nearly completely exterminated by humans in the early and mid-1900s, the Mexican gray wolf population was down to seven wolves from three lineages by the 1970s. Since then, the number of wolves that roam through about 7,000 square miles near the New Mexico-Arizona border has grown to at least 110, according to last year’s count. The results of this count, which runs through Feb. 3 will give the most up-to-date status of the population.

In addition to counting the wolves, the interagency field team also temporarily captures a certain number of the wolves to examine them, give them vaccines, draw blood, measure their bodies and fit them with tracking collars. Doing so provides scientists and wildlife managers important information about where the wolves are roaming, which informs their decisions on areas for future reintroductions. The information also alerts scientists to signs of inbreeding in the wolf population and helps them monitor predation of large game and livestock.

Anatomy of a wolf count

About 20 people from local, state, federal and tribal agencies are helping out on the Mexican gray wolf counts this year. The team is stationed in a cluster of trailers just outside the small town of Alpine in the White Mountains. The counts always happen in the winter because that is when the population is most stable — young wolves have dispersed from their home packs to find a mate and biologists can better determine how many pups born in the spring have survived their first year, said Jeff Humphrey, spokesman for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Snow also slows the animals down when they are being tracked by helicopter and the white ground cover makes them easier to spot.

Each day, the interagency field team focuses on counting a few packs, or extended family groups, and prioritizes certain wolves for capture. In the case of 1296, biologists wanted to fit him with a GPS collar, instead of one that uses radio waves, said Sherry Barrett, Mexican wolf recovery coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

A helicopter and a spotting plane tag team the count and capture effort. Once they spot the wolves, the helicopter flies just above the treetops as a designated biologist, hooked into a body harness, leans out of the open doorway to dart the wolf. It took two eight-minute pursuits with a five-minute rest in between before Ole Alcumbrac, project veterinarian, was able to nab 1296.

After the anesthesia from the dart kicked in, the wolf was muzzled, his front and back legs tied and then he was loaded into Alcumbrac’s arms to be flown back to the team’s Alpine base.

Inside the trailer, where a conference table doubled as the examination surface, the 74-pound wolf was laid down while biologists crowded around. They administered vaccines, took the animal’s temperature and pulse, drew blood and measured its paws, body and teeth.

While the veterinarians and biologists worked, Julia Smith, a biologist with the Arizona Game and Fish Department, tracked down 1296’s history. In 2013 when he was a year old, the wolf was trapped by a hunter in New Mexico. When U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials arrived, he looked terrible, with broken teeth and abrasions, Smith said. She doubted he would survive. But he did and has been roaming across western New Mexico ever since. His first mate died in 2014, but he found another lady friend just this year. Biologists hope they’ll mate this spring.

After about 40 minutes, the processing was done and the still groggy wolf was carefully loaded into a crate for the journey back home.

The long drive out to 1296’s territory wound through ponderosa pines and meadows dotted with scrubby brush. Cows grazing along the route were a reminder of the fragile balance between the wolves’ recovery and livestock grazing.

The wolf was released in an opening of scrubby grass and knee-high shrubs close to where he was found hours before. As the canid trotted off into the trees, biologists had a good feeling he wouldn’t be alone for long — as the truck carrying 1296 neared the point of release, another wolf was seen running through the trees. More than likely, it was his mate, anxiously awaiting her partner’s return, Barrett said.

Source: Anatomy of a wolf count https://protectthewolves.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/wolfcount.jpg #EndangeredSpeciesList #GrayWolves #OpposeWelfareRanchingNotWolves #ProtectTheWolves #RestoreWolvesToESL #WolvesInArizona #WolvesInColorado #WolvesInNewMexico