Wolf News Roundup
by Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!
July 15, 2015
Most recent American news items for wolves have little to do with the animals themselves, and instead focus on disputes over managing the predators. For details on these stories, click on the links below.
Feds decline listing wolves as threatened
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has determined that a petition to reclassify all gray wolves in the conterminous United States, except for the Mexican wolf in the Southwest, as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) does not present substantial information indicating that reclassification may be warranted. As a result, the Service will take no further action on the petition, which was submitted by the Humane Society of the United States and 22 other petitioners in January.
Red Wolf reintroduction halted
The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service will not release any more red wolves into the wild in South Carolina while it determines the fate of the red wolf recovery program. The program has been under review for months, with a decision expected any day.
Five Idaho Wolves Killed
Federal wildlife officials recently killed five wolves in Idaho in response to continued depredations on domestic sheep and cattle. The area where the depredations occurred is near Fairfield, located in the center of the state (about an hour south of Challis and Sun Valley).
A coalition of local, regional and national conservation watchdog groups filed a lawsuit against the U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service, seeking increased federal protection for Mexican wolves. The groups oppose the federal designation of the Mexican wolf population as "nonessential" – the same status granted to gray wolves as part of the reintroduction program in the Yellowstone and Central Idaho regions. The groups also seek to double the federal population goal for wolf populations, expand from one wolf population to three populations, and to increase Mexican wolf presence northern Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah.
Wolves suffering from mange have a better chance of survival if they are members of a larger pack, according to a recent paper published in the journal Ecology Letters. According to the paper’s abstract: "Infected individuals experience increased mortality hazards with increasing proportions of infected pack-mates, but healthy individuals remain unaffected. The social support of group hunting and territory defense are two possible mechanisms mediating infection costs."