Wolf News Roundup 5/4/2017
by Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!
May 4, 2017
Two students from Portland, Oregon traveled to Wallowa County (eastern Oregon) as part of the 4-H Urban Rural Youth Exchange in time to watch a state wildlife biologist perform a necropsy on a cow and calf a few hundred yards from a ranch house. The calf had been killed by wolves, and tests on the cow are underway. It was a rare experience for students who live in the western portion of the state to travel and learn about wolves in an area where the majority of the stateís wolf population resides. For details, read the Capital Press article linked below.
Mexican Wolf AI
Scientists have successfully produced a Mexican wolf pup using frozen sperm and artificial insemination at a wolf center in Missouri. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "Conservationists say the birth means artificial insemination can be used more with the endangered species not only to increase their numbers but also for genetic diversity, which is key in developing healthier and more viable pups." The article is linked below.
WSU Wielgus Complaint
Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, representing Dr. Robert Wielgus of Washington State Universityís Large Carnivore Conservation Laboratory, has filed a Complaint of Academic Freedom Violations with WSU Faculty Status Committee, alleging WSA has engaged in conduct that has restricted Wielgusís academic freedom and freedom of speech.
Itís the latest in the controversy involving Wielgus and his comments on wolf-livestock interactions.
Wielgus was the primary author of a published research paper claiming that killing wolves actually increases depredations on livestock Ė a paper that received widespread publicity. But another group of WSU researchers then reviewed the same data and reached the opposite conclusion. Wielgus responded to the new paper with scathing criticism, suggesting that the other researchers were perhaps trying to "slay a well-known carnivore population specialist."
The Arizona Game and Fish Department is assessing potential impacts to Arizonaís endangered and threatened wildlife recovery program, following a 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that lifts a preliminary injunction on releasing Mexican wolves in New Mexico.
The court decision issued Tuesday (May 2, 2017) held that the State of New Mexico had not met the legal standard for a preliminary injunction because it did not demonstrate that releasing Mexican wolves without state permits will cause irreparable injury to the state. The ruling reverses a U.S. District Court decision last summer that prohibited the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from importing or releasing any Mexican wolves in New Mexico without first obtaining permits from the New Mexico Game and Fish Department.
"The Arizona Game and Fish Commission and Department are evaluating the potential ramifications of the Appellate Courtís decision for Arizonaís wolf recovery program," said Jim deVos, AZGFD assistant director for Wildlife Management. "Our agency remains committed to working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and our other partners to ensure Arizona has a voice in providing direction for the program, based on sound science and boots-on-the-ground research."
The case now returns to U.S. District Court for a decision on whether New Mexico can require the USFWS to obtain state permits before releasing wolves.
There were a minimum of 113 wolves in the wild in Arizona and New Mexico in 2016, according to a recent survey by the Mexican Wolf Interagency Field Team. The survey found that there were 63 wolves in Arizona and 50 in New Mexico.
In 2015, there were an estimated 97 wolves were counted in the wild between both states.