Wolf News Roundup 2/17/2020
by Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!
February 17, 2020
Wyoming wolf compensation
Proposed legislation that would have provided a compensation program for wolf depredation on livestock in Wyoming’s predator zone for wolves has died. The bill failed to get the needed votes for introduction in this budget session of the Wyoming Legislature.
Colorado wolf genetics
Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) biologists have received notification back from a genetics lab confirming that four scat samples collected near a scavenged elk carcass in Moffat County in early January came from wolves. This is the first official documentation of a pack of wolves in the state since the 1940s.
Of the four samples, DNA results indicate three are female and one is male. The testing was also able to determine that all the wolves were related, likely as full siblings.
"The DNA doesn’t tell us the age," said CPW Species Conservation Program Manager Eric Odell. "We don’t know where or when they were born. We can’t say. But that there are closely related wolves is a pretty significant finding."
Odell also noted that "although previous reports had mentioned sightings of up to six wolves, this doesn’t do anything to alter that estimate. Just because we only collected four scat samples doesn’t mean there were only four animals."
CPW is still waiting to receive results back from scat samples collected at a potential wolf sighting in Moffat County on January 19.
CPW would like to remind the public that wolves are a federally endangered species and fall under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. According to the US Fish and Wildlife Service, killing a wolf can result in federal charges, including a $100,000 fine and a year in prison, per offense.
Oregon officials are struggling with the state’s wolf depredation compensation program, according to the Baker City Herald. The payments are not enough to cover the losses.
The News & Observer has an article about trying to track endangered red wolves at the Alligator National Wildlife Refuge in North Carolina. Even the wolves wearing radio collars for tracking are hard to find, and the wolves have learned how to evade foothold traps set out to capture them. There are an estimated 20 red wolves in the area.
Remote cameras in northern Minnesota’s Voyageur’s National Park have documented gray wolves eating blueberries. The researchers observed that a female wolf regurgitated blueberries to her five pups.
Plans call for up to 80 percent of the wolf population to be culled in an effort to ease pressure on two dwindling caribou herds in the Northwest Territories of Canada. The plan calls for killing up to 300 wolves on the winter ranges of the caribou herds.
Check out the links below for details on these stories.