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SUPPORT PROTECT THE WOLVES   In 2011, the owner of Protect the Wolves began advocating online for the safety of not only wolves, but of all animals. She wishes to expand so that she can provide sanctuary for many wolves, wolf dogs, wolf-hybrids, and other rescued animals.

2014 was a terrible year for the wolves. In Idaho and Montana alone hundreds of gray wolves were slaughtered and maimed in cruel traps during hunting season. Hunters and trappers have killed over 2500 gray wolves in the lower 48 states since they were removed from the endangered species list in 2011. For over 40 years, the Gray Wolf was a protected species under the Endangered Species Act; but, this protection was removed by legislative rider in 2011.

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Protect Idaho Wolves

Its pretty sad when they do a poll… they think its ok to kill wolves, and remove millions from their state budget that could have gone towards education. Especially when Idaho has done such blatantly illegal things like collaring wolves when they were supposed to be collaring Elk.

BOISE — As hunting is resulting in a slow but steady decline of Idaho’s wolf population, a Boise State University poll taken earlier this year showed strong statewide support for the hunting of wolves.

Idaho’s minimum, documented wolf population has been on a steady decline since the state began allowing hunters to kill the animals.

It peaked at 856 in 2009, the first year Idaho allowed hunters to take wolves, before a lawsuit that resulted in the animals being put back on the endangered species list halted that hunting season.

Since wolves were permanently delisted and hunting resumed in 2011, the population has slowly declined and was 786 at the end of 2015.

“The overall wolf population has stabilized since state management [and hunting] began in 2011,” said Idaho Department of Fish and Game spokesman Mike Keckler. “That’s when that 30-40 percent population increase we were seeing annually stopped.”

A poll taken in January shows support for the hunts.

“Our … survey showed it’s not popular to be a wolf in Idaho,” said Corey Cook, dean of BSU’s School of Public Service, which conducted the poll. “People didn’t express a lot of support for wolves.”

The phone survey of 1,000 Idahoans was conducted in all regions of the state and the results — strong support for wolf hunting — were the same.

The poll results showed that 72 percent of people surveyed supported wolf hunting while 22 percent opposed it.

Fifty-one percent of respondents strongly supported wolf hunting compared with 13 percent who strongly opposed it.

Even in Boise, Idaho’s main urban area, 64 percent of respondents favored allowing hunters to take wolves while 28 percent opposed that.

The poll results show that Idahoans understand hunting is an important wolf management tool, said Idaho Farm Bureau Federation spokesman John Thompson.

“It certainly is a good thing to hear,” he said. “You certainly wouldn’t expect to find that (support) in some of the other states that wolves are moving into.”

After wolves were re-introduced into Idaho in 1994 and 1995, the animal’s population grew rapidly, expanding at a rate of 30-40 percent annually.

Hunting has stopped that growth.

“We’re getting over the honeymoon period (and) people see hunting as a good tool in the management toolbox,” Thompson said.

While wolf hunting has been successful in controlling the animal’s population in Idaho, IDFG numbers show that wolves are getting smarter when it comes to avoiding hunters.

During the 2010-2011 hunting season, Idaho’s first full year of wolf hunting, 181 wolves were killed by hunters. That number rose to 376 the next year but has declined each year since then, to 319 and then 303 and 249 last year.

So far this season, 154 wolves have been killed by hunters in Idaho.

When it came to state efforts to reduce the wolf population, support was solid but a little less favorable than for hunting.

When told that Idaho lawmakers approved spending $400,000 annually to reduce the state’s wolf population, 56 percent of people surveyed supported state efforts while 38 percent opposed them.

Source: Capital Press

Despite ongoing criticism, the Alberta government is continuing with its wolf cull for another three years in an ongoing effort to save endangered caribou.

The province has just closed a request for proposal for a helicopter to continue a program to track, capture and fit caribou and wolves with radio collars through the use of net-gunning between October and March each year.

It also includes shooting wolves from the helicopter.

“In the absence of effective measures to reduce the mortality and eliminate the negative population spiral, there’s not going to be any caribou left,” said Dave Hervieux, caribou specialist with Alberta Environment and Parks. “The wolves are at an all-time high.

“There’s no conservation issue there,” he said.

Under federal law, Alberta is required to complete plans to protect caribou habitat by October 2017.

Hervieux said the wolf cull fits in with the plans, noting they will kill between 100 and 200 wolves each year in the west central area of the province alone.

Concerns have been raised that the cull might be expanded into provincial parks, but Hervieux said that’s not part of the plan.

“It can stray into some wildland parks but not in provincial parks,” he said. “We haven’t needed to do that.”

Either way, the program has already been controversial due to concerns it’s inhumane.

“It’s unfortunate that they are continuing it,” said Paul Paquet, an adjunct professor at the University of Calgary and carnivore specialist with the Raincoast Conservation Foundation.

He said there are moral and ethical questions, but the “science continues to be very, very poor as to the justifications of wolf control.”

Paquet said all of the ways being used to kill wolves — aerial gunning and poison — are inhumane and fail to meet the Canadian Council on Animal Care guidelines, which the province supports.

Both methods don’t quickly and humanely kill wolves, he suggested.

“It’s hard to target an animal that’s moving quickly when you’re in a helicopter,” said Paquet, noting poisons such as strychnine are worse. “It’s a horrible poison … you actually die from oxygen deprivation.”

Secondly, there’s a question about whether the wolf cull is even helping to save caribou.

Hervieux said there’s simply no other option to save the endangered species, noting 80 per cent of the cull is done through aerial gunning and the rest is poisoning the animals with strychnine.

“What are the options? There aren’t any,” he suggested.

Paquet said there’s still no proof it’s actually saving caribou.

“I don’t think, thus far, that the evidence (on) killing wolves and reducing their populations is really achieving very much,” he said. “The areas where they didn’t kill wolves, the herds of caribou there are responding in exactly the same way as where they were killing them.”

Most experts agree the real problem for caribou has been the reduction of their habitat due to industrial use.

The province has started addressing the restoration of habitat by halting the sale of mineral rights in all caribou ranges until “stringent operating practices” have been defined.

They’ve also accepted a report to protect an additional 1.8 million hectares of woodland caribou range in northern Alberta and work to increase populations in central Alberta.

Source: Controversial Alberta wolf cull continues to save endangered caribou | Calgary |

Madrid’s regional government is to double its compensation fund for farmers who lose animals to wolves after a steep increase in fatal attacks in the last year.

Wolves, hunted to the brink of extinction over the past seven decades, have begun to reappear in the region in recent years.

Their return has been most keenly noticed by farmers, whose sheep, goats, cows and horses are increasingly falling prey to the 20 or so wolves thought to roam the autonomous community of Madrid. The region covers 3,000 sq miles at the centre of Spain, contains mountains, valleys, hills, forests, pastures and farmland, as well as the capital city.

Wolf attacks have risen from under 20 in 2012 and 2013 to 91 in 2015 and 209 in 2016. There were also four attacks in 2016 attributed to vultures.

The regional government has announced it will raise its compensation budget from €60,000 (£51,000) this year to €120,000 in 2017. Claims for the past 12 months already total almost €90,000. Compensation payments are up to €500 per sheep or goat and €1,000 per cow or horse.

According to the government’s environment department, there are estimated to be three wolf packs in the region, whose numbers are growing year by year.

“The community of Madrid has to reconcile two things: it needs to protect wolves – which cannot be hunted or captured in the region – but it also needs to protect farmers’ interests,” said a government spokesman.

“We’re paying farmers for the loss or injury of their animals but we’re also talking to farmers and ecologists about things like electric fences, using mastiffs to protect livestock and restoring pens to make animals less vulnerable to attack.”

Another problem, the spokesman said, was that wolves in surrounding areas did not respect manmade boundaries and frequently staged sorties into the Madrid region.

“The number of attacks has risen considerably because there are wolves in neighbouring communities such as Castilla y León and Castilla-La Mancha and they don’t understand borders – they come in, hunt and leave,” he said.

Also among the options is using GPS technology to track the animals and get a better idea of their habits and movements.

There are thought to be more than 2,000 wolves in Spain, the largest population in western Europe.

Source: Madrid to double farmers’ compensation fund for wolf attacks | World news | The Guardian

Michigan wolves stay protected 

Michigan Wolves stay protected

Michigan’s wolf hunting law was ruled unconstitutional by the Michigan Court of Appeals last week. This ruling means that the 2014 law that previously permitted wolf hunting within the state (should the animals ever be officially delisted from Michigan’s Endangered Species List) is no longer valid.

Gray wolves have managed to maintain a sustainable number within the state despite the first and only wolf hunt held in late 2013 where 23 wolves were killed; there are approximately 3,700 wolves in the Western Great Lakes population and 630 of them reside in Michigan, according to MLive.com. Last week’s decision was met with great approval by the group Keep Michigan Wolves Protected (KMWP) that had argued that the hunting law was misleading and the language stressed to those asked to sign in support promoted free licenses for veterans and protection against invasive species. KMWP say that signers did not know that wolf hunting was part of the package.

Because of the way the law was promoted, the judges on the panel agreed with KMWP, writing that “we cannot presume that the Legislature would have passed PA 281 without the provision allowing free hunting, trapping, and fishing licenses for active members of the military.” Misleading language in a law is good cause for termination of the entire law and the rationale behind labeling the act as unconstitutional.

“We are delighted the court has rejected the legislature’s outrageous attempt to subvert the will of the people of Michigan, and declared unconstitutional the legislature’s attempt to force a wolf hunt,” KMWP director Jill Fritz told MLive.com. “This ruling restores the people’s decision, in two statewide votes, overwhelmingly rejecting the trophy hunting and commercial trapping of the state’s small population of wolves.”

KMWP supports the downsizing of wolves, which would allow for lethal removal of problem animals without an open hunting season. Current protections only allow for killing a wolf if it attacks a human.

Source: Michigan wolves stay protected | goHUNT

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