Wolves targeted as Congress moves to de-fang Endangered Species Act


By Garret Ellison | gellison@mlive.com
Follow on Twitter
on January 18, 2017 at 6:30 AM, updated January 18, 2017 at 10:20 AM, DC —

click here for the artical Wolves targeted as Congress moves to de-fang Endangered Species Act

House Republicans in Congress are pursuing bipartisan legislation that would drop federal protections for gray wolves in the Great Lakes region and give population management control back to hunting-friendly states amid broader plans to overhaul the federal Endangered Species Act.

The bill to remove the gray wolf from the endangered list in Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Wyoming includes a jurisdictional stripping provision meant to bar the courts from hearing any legal challenges to the legislation, which, if made law, would stop wolf “management by litigation,” according to bill sponsors.

“Wyoming should be able to manage the gray wolf without outside interference,” said Wyoming Congressman Liz Cheney, a Republican who is co-sponsoring H.R. 424, introduced Jan. 10 by Democrat Colin Peterson of Minnesota.

The bill has 14 co-sponsors, 11 Republicans and three Democrats.



Conservation officer shoots wolf in Prince Rupert, expects sightings will decrease

The Provincial Government warns people not to leave their pets, and more importantly children, unsupervised if a wolf has been spotted in the area.

Healthy Wolf Shot….

Conservation officers from Terrace believe the number of wolf sightings in town may slow down after a wolf was put down in Prince Rupert on Dec. 18.

“We received many complaints [and we believe] a majority of those complaints came from one wolf. Hopefully that one is gone now,” Dale Kluivers, a conservation officer from the Terrace office, said.

Complaints from Rupertites included a wolf following both humans and pets, with those complaining describing a similar fur pattern on the animal bothering them.

“This particular wolf was acting bolder and bolder and losing its natural fear of humans. It was associating people with food… So that’s why it was following people,” Kluivers said.

Kluivers came to Prince Rupert on Tuesday and located a wolf in the Park Avenue area fitting the description and shot it due to safety concerns.

“If one bear, cougar or wolf gets habituated and acts unnaturally it will show up all over… Wolves move around pretty quick,” he said.

But Kluivers does acknowledge there are more wolves in the community, informing the Prince Rupert Northern View the Conservation Office has received 72 calls regarding wolves this year, with 70 of them coming in after Nov. 7.

Of these complaints, the majority are said to have come from the 2nd Avenue West and Park Ave. area, as well as the 6th, 7th and 11th Avenue East and Seal Cove areas.

“There’s a healthy wolf population on the island because there’s a healthy deer population. There’s also lots of stray cats [for wolves to prey on],” Kluivers said.

The RCMP have also been receiving numerous calls regarding wolves. Constable Matt Ericson, spokesman for the Prince Rupert RCMP, said there have been 11 calls received regarding wolf sightings since November, with the RCMP receiving eight of those calls in December. Ericson said a majority of the sightings came from the Moresby or Sherbrooke area, with Ericson speculating the wild animals are coming down from the mountain.

Jack Mussallem, mayor of Prince Rupert, points to the time of year for the number of wolf spottings.

“People notice wolves more at this time of year. I think that’s largely because the sources of food that are readily available, such as small animals, [are now obscured] because of the snow and some smaller animals wolves would normally eat are in hibernation,” he said.

Mussallem didn’t imply the City would be pushing for a Conservation Office to be opened in Prince Rupert in the near future, however he said down the line he would like to see a Ministry of Environment office opened in the community.

“As Prince Rupert gets busier I’m hoping to see the Provincial Government start to concentrate on our area more,” he said.

Information on the Provincial Government’s website states it isn’t common for wolves to attack or pursue humans and if problems between the two occur it may be attributed to wolves becoming comfortable with people as a result of direct or indirect feeding. The website also warns British Columbians it’s an offence to feed dangerous wildlife.

Additionally, Kluivers said wolves are naturally shy of humans, but can become habituated if humans do not act threatening around the wild animals.

The government says people should not allow a wolf to come within 100 metres of them. If individuals see a wolf they should try to make themselves look larger by raising their arms and waving them in the air. People are reminded not to turn their backs to a wolf, but to back away slowly.

Although for the most part wolves tend to stay away from humans, there have been reported incidents of wolves attacking, even killing, pets in Prince Rupert a number of years ago.

To avoid having your pet targeted by a wolf, Kluivers reminds pet owners to keep dogs on a leash while walking them. If a wolf can be seen keep the dog close and pick the dog up and slowly back away if the dog is small enough.

“The wolf will just see a little dog as prey, like a cat,” he said.

wolves to be hunted to near extinction again in the US

Howling Across America to Save Wolves
wolves on the brink again in the US

In April 2011, the U.S. Congress slipped a wolf de-listing rider into the federal budget bill, yanking wolves from the Endangered Species List in the Northern Rockies—where it’s estimated that just over 1500 wolves remain.

Said Priscilla Feral, president of Friends of Animals: “Removing federal protection and subjecting wolves to more hunting is unconstitutional and unconscionable.”

The Rally for Wolves in Washington, DC today to denounce this underhanded de-listing is the first of many rallies in North America.

Members and supporters of Friends of Animals now call for a travel and economic boycott of the states that advocate killing wolves: Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.

“We need to put the economic screws to state governments that persecute wolves at the behest of haters,” said Feral.

Tags are already on sale in Montana for the shooting of 225 wolves; more than 1000 tags have been sold in the first few days. In Idaho, the bloodbath is slated to begin this month – on the 30th of August.

Friends of Animals’ legal experts are now drafting an amicus brief to buttress an appeal before federal Judge Donald Molloy by Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Friends of the Clearwater and WildEarth Guardians “to preserve both wolves and the rule of law in the Northern Rockies.”

Time is of the essence. Support our efforts today. If you can do a Howl-In for your city (international support is welcome), email Dustin Rhodes. Everyone can contact the governors and announce your intent to boycott travel in each state for as long as they continue persecuting wolves:

Governor Butch Otter of Idaho
Office of the Governor
State Capitol
P.O. Box 83720
Boise, ID 83720

Phone: 208.3342100
Fax: 208.334.3454

Governor Brian D. Schweitzer
Office of the Governor
Montana State Capitol Bldg.
P.O. Box 200801
Helena, MT 59620-0801

Phone: 406.444.3111
Fax: 406.444.5529

Governor Matt Mead of Wyoming
State Capitol, 200 West 24th St.
Cheyenne, WY 82002-0010

Phone: 307.777.7434
Fax: 307.632.3909




Don’t feed them and keep your distance, say council and local wolf-watchers
By Christian Webber
The Daily News
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Pages one and two

With several wolf sightings being reported from around the community, people are being asked to educate themselves about how to live with the surrounding wildlife.

The city has received numerous calls lately, and councilors asked people this week not to feed the wolves or the deer that attract them.

“I think this is really about educating people, said Coun. Kathy Bedard.

Most wolves are not dangerous to humans and there is a greater chance of being killed by lightning than being injured by a wolf, added David Watson and Stacey Lavigne, who have been studying and photographing wolves for nearly two years.

Even though they are not known for killing humans, in today’s world people are making wolves more comfortable by feeding them, and making them more brave by destroying their dens, forcing them to roam the streets.

Watson and Lavigne are hoping everyone stays safe along with their dogs, too.

“They are on the move now, there is no way to tell where they are staying, the pups are just about ready to leave their den site,” said Watson.

Once that happens in August, they take the pups and they go and show the area to the younger ones. That was witnessed last year by Watson, as he watched them cross the golf course for the first time during daylight.

Lavigne said that their main goal is to bring awareness to people about how wolves are not dangerous, as long as people obey the same rules.

She said when people are out walking dogs, they should be wary because we’re surrounded by many thousand miles of forest.

Sometimes wolves will think dogs are another kind of wolf, even, if it is on a leash. Lavigne warns people to make sure not to step between a wolf and any prey, even if that prey is your dog.

“If you want to walk your dog, walk it at the waterfront , that’s where it will be safe,” said Watson.

He said wolves are presently hanging around near Mount Hays and the golf course. The ones here are about 60-70 pounds. He said there is no such thing as a big wolf anymore. Also, the ones here are genetically different from timber wolves and gray wolves.

The wolves here can have coats of many colors, from gray to reddish, and in the sun they can look blond or golden brown.

Watson thinks recent ‘cougar’ sightings are actually wolves because of the colour described. He said he has also not seen scat or paw prints from a big cat and believes are climate is not right for them.

Gray wolves eat mostly deer, moose, caribou. Also medium sized mammals such as beaver can be an important secondary food source.

In Canada, their territories can range from 300 to 1,000 square miles. He said they have always been in Prince Rupert.

Lavigne pointed out that while pregnant, she went out taking photos of wolves and came within 20 feet and had no fear of them.

But they said people should definitely not feed them.

“See them, observe them and enjoy it, but don’t feed them or bring your dog out,” said Lavigne.

She said if you come close to a wolf, or they come close to you, make lots of noise, throw things at it and scare it, make sure it knows it shouldn’t be near humans.

Watson believes the local pack will soon move on because of all the construction going on.

Either they will leave Kaien Island and go to Digby Island or back into Port Edward, he said. He estimates that they could seem to Digby Island in less than 45 minutes.

“They are here because we have an overabundance in deer,” he said.

“We don’t have a wolf problem we have a deer problem.

If you walk your dogs on known problem trails around town and you and your dog are followed, or attacked who is to blame? you are probably not going to see a wolf the chances are low but is it really worth that chance…I myself dont have a pet dog and if I did, there would be a few places I would not go with him/her around here, just for the above reasons.

Bowhunting proposed to curb wolf population in Prince Rupert

Nothing like a bunch of guy’s in the bush on a island with itchy fingers with bows hunting down a few wolves. I’m an avid hiker and spend allot of time hiking though Kaien Island,B.C. I’m also not the only one who enjoys hiking our island. I can see some stupid guy behind the bow making a mistake and shooting a human instead of a wolf.
Far more wolves will be shot with an arrow that will die a slow, frightening and painful death on account of poor marksmanship, than would be the case if shooting were allowed. It’s time for the city to step up to plate call in the CO a wolf biologist like Chris Darimont and come up with an action plan.
It’s not every pack member that are coming into town, its 2 or 3 younger individuals from the pack that have become conditioned to humans from direct feeding. It’s these individuals that should be dealt with.

And again I can’t stress enough about coyotes, who are in the city, they are much more dangerous to our pets then wolves are…

So stop leaving you cats and dogs out at night and stop feeding them outside…use some common sense people.

Bowhunting proposed to curb wolf population in Prince Rupert, B.C.
By Cheryl Chan
The Province
Saturday, February 09, 2008

Bowhunting within Prince Rupert city limits is being proposed as a solution to curb growing incursions of wild wolves into town.

A group of local hunters wants city hall to amend a bylaw banning the discharge of bows within municipal boundaries and open Kaien island, where Prince Rupert is located, to bowhunters.
“It’s a good option,” said Jeff Beckwith, who has been a licensed bowhunter for six years. “Until you deal with the attraction of deer in town, more wolves would be coming on the island.”

Under the proposed amendment, hunting would be limited to the city’s vast wooded areas only, and would obey provincial regulations that ban hunting in the vicinity of schools, churches and residential areas.

“The idea isn’t about eliminating a species from the island, but providing some control,” said Beckwith, who uses a traditional long bow and wooden arrows.

“It has proven to be a safe option,” he said. “I don’t want any firearms used on the island at all. This way, you won’t be hearing gunshots in the woods.”

Gord Eason, president of the United Bowhunters of British Columbia, said bowhunting is a safe way to control deer numbers in a semi-urban environment as most bowhunters shoot in close range, usually within 15 to 20 yards of their prey.

It’s also cost-effective, he said. “If you have to hunt them, it’s not a bad option because you have someone doing it for free. And I’d rather have somebody with a bow do it than with a gun.”
Several U.S. states use bowhunting as a method to control wildlife population in city parks, he adds.

The number of wolves in the province — estimated at about 9,000 — fluctuates based on the number of their prey, said Kate Thompson, spokesperson for the Ministry of Environment.
Because of the abundance of deer in Prince Rupert, wolves have been popping up too often for comfort in the northern B.C. community.

More than 130 sightings were recorded last year.

“We’re very concerned about the levels of incidents that we were hearing about even anecdotally,” said Mayor Herb Pond.

The increased number of wolves lurking in backyards has prompted city council to ask a conservation officer from Terrace to provide recommendations on what could be done to minimize wolf-human encounters.

Pond said some wolves have become used to feeding on improperly stowed garbage or pet food left outside houses and are becoming habituated to humans.

Attacks on pets are also a serious concern, with two pets killed and several more attacked last year.

Beckwith said his in-laws, who live in a residential area in Prince Rupert, had their leashed dog attacked by three wolves on the porch just before Christmas.

“They surprised and scared him,” he said. “They weren’t scrawny wolves into people’s garbage. These were big, massive, healthy-looking wolves.”

Beckwith plans to make a formal presentation to city council in the coming weeks.
Pond said council will look at the details of the proposal and ask for public feedback. “It’s an issue that has the potential to be controversial and we want to make sure we hear from everybody.”

Wolf sightings rise in isolated B.C. coastal town

Wolf sightings rise in isolated B.C. coastal town
CBC News
Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Residents of Prince Rupert, B.C., are getting nervous about the number of wolves turning up around town.

In less than a year, there have been 136 wolf sightings reported by the residents of the isolated coastal community.

The wolves have been spotted at the golf course, in backyards, even prowling around the civic centre, drawn to the city’s population of wild deer. There have also been reports they have been stalking small pets.

Mayor Herb Pond told CBC News that his own close encounter with a pair of wolves was unnerving. “When that second wolf sort of popped out from the woods behind me, I thought, oh, I’m glad I’m in my car.”

Pond respects the wolves’ place in the wild, but he said it is a different story when they start trotting through town.

Earlier this year, the province declared an open hunting season on wolves in some parts of the north to help protect endangered caribou herds. Pond, however, said there are no plans to cull the wolf pack around Prince Rupert.

Conservation Officer Chris Pryce agreed killing the wolves is not the solution because a new pack would soon take their place.

“Wolves are natural to this area. I think what we’d like to see is a reduction in that habituation, so the wolves stay outside of town,” Pryce told CBC News.

So far there have been no reports of the wolves attacking humans, but some of the wolves appear to have lost their fear of humans, creating what the mayor calls a challenging situation.
“When wolves come into our backyards, we need to make sure people feel safe,” Pond said.

Wolf Cull would only be short-term fix says CO

Alpha Wolf

By Leanne Ritchie the Daily News.
The city of Prince Rupert could take steps to kill the wolf pack living on Kaien Island and the outskirts of Port Edward, said a northwest conservation officer. But these would only be short term solutions and it would be much more effective to remove the attractants that bring wolves to the area in the first place.
At the city’s request, Chris Pryce of the conservation officer service spoke to city council about their options in dealing with the local wolf pack. “if the city decides it wants to embark on some course of action, or several courses of action in partnership with the ministry, we can explore those options,” said Pryce. “but chances are, without eliminating the attractants, within a few years, wolves would come in from the outlying areas and you would have a new pack established here.”
The options presented to the city included allowing hunting on certain areas of Kaien island to reduce the deer and wolf population, but there would be concerns for public safety with any decision to allow hunting near populated areas. The city could hire a licensed trapper to trap wolves during provincial trapping season or hire a contract trapper who would work on city property to deal with problem wolves, however this could result in problems with pets getting trapped. Or the city could have a sanctioned wolf cull on Kaien Island using traps, calling and baiting, but Pryce anticipates there would be strong opposition from the public to this idea. And theres a low chance it would be successful, he said. Without eliminating that attractants that brought the wolves here, more wolves would simply move here in the future.
“in order to be successful at long term conflict resolution, we need to think of some of those longer term options,” he said. “That would mean eliminating attractants that are here in the first place. Some of those are human attractants, some of those are natural attractants, but the wolves are here because theres a survival advantage for them to be in an urban setting. They are not here because they like people.” Between April 1, 2007 and January 14, 2008, there were 1,287 wildlife complaints made to the terrace area conservation officers service. This area, monitored by two field officers and a supervisor, includes Prince Rupert, Port Edward, Terrace, kitimat and the Mass and Kitwanga. Of those complaints, 140 were wolf complaints and 136 of those were from Prince Rupert. However, most were simply complaints of sightings of the pack living on the outskirts of the city and around Port Edward; two of the complaints from city residents were about aggressive wolves, two pets were reported killed and one pet injured.
Pryce explained that conflict occurs in Prince Rupert when wolves become habituated to living in and around urban environments. It is progressive, particularly because wolves lose their fear of humans if they receive food reward for being around people. This is turn, increases the risk of an attack or bite. Food sources include pets that are off-leash and outdoors, especially at night. Wolves also consume large amounts of deer, garbage and household waste. He noted one instance of a pet being attacked on the golf course. Wolves were in the area because someone had dumped a deer carcus nearby.
The worst problem is hand feeding, which results in conservation officers having to shoot wolves because the animals are habituated and cannot be re-located. He suggested the city look at education campaigns and bylaw measures to stop people from deliberately or inadvertently feeding the wildlife. “wolves are a natural component of the wildlife that are inherent to northwest British Columbia, nobody brought them here. This is their home.’ he said. “it is almost always the wolf that is on the losing end of being in close proximity to humans.”

%d bloggers like this: