Wolf Monitor, Current News, Sightings, Legal Action, Wolf Pack Maps, Photos     By News Reporter Cat Urbigkit • Pinedale Online!

 Wolf News

Welcome to Wolf Watch!        |     Books by Cat Urbigkit
Wyoming news reporter Cat Urbigkit lives in the heart of wolf country, near Big Piney, Wyoming, a few hundred miles south of Yellowstone National Park. As a news reporter, rancher, researcher and Wyoming resident, she has followed the wolf issue for many years and written many articles on the topic, as well as an upcoming book on the history of wolves in Wyoming.
   The goal of this website is to present up-to-date, accurate information about what is happening with wolves, focusing on wolves in the Rocky Mountains, but referring to wolf happenings outside our region when there is some local relevance. Rather than an agenda-driven advocacy site, this is the place to be for the facts about wolves, with a strong focus on what’s happening on the ground.
   We invite those living in areas inhabited by wolves to contact Cat with news tips, photographs, or other information. We also invite those who want to support this endeavor to sign on as sponsors, and for our readers to support those sponsors.

2016 Wolf Watch Story Archive
2015 Wolf Watch Story Archive

2014 Wolf Watch Story Archive
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2012 Wolf Watch Story Archive
2011 Wolf Watch Story Archive
2010 Wolf Watch Story Archive
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2008 Wolf Watch Story Archive

2007/2006 Watch Wolf Story Archive

6/12/18: Wolf News Roundup 6/12/2018
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) The National Park Service has issued a decision to reintroduce wolves to Isle Royale. Over a three to five year period, the NPS will introduce between 20-30 wolves on the island. Hunters in Sweden will not be able to hunt wolves this year, since the wolf population has fallen to just over 300 animals. A Swedish court ruling requires that the country maintain a population of at least 300 wolves before wolf hunting can be authorized. Wisconsin’s wolf population has decreased slightly, but still has at least 238 wolf packs, with a minimum population of more than 900 animals, according to state wildlife officials. This leveling off has been anticipated and may suggest that wolves are beginning to occupy less-suitable habitat as their range has expanded in the state..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

5/29/18: Wolf News Roundup 5/29/2018
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) The Great Falls Tribune has posted photos and an article about a wolf-like animal shot and killed in northcentral Montana recently. Photos of the animal have gone viral, along with wild speculation about what the animal actually is. A man was sentenced to a one-year term of probation and was ordered to pay $2,300 in restitution to the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program for intentionally killing a Mexican Gray Wolf. .Alaska and federal officials continue to struggle with setting the proper deer and wolf harvest levels on Prince of Wales Island..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

5/21/18: Wolf News Roundup 5/21/2018
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) Researchers from Michigan Technological University have released the annual Winter Study report detailing updates on the ecology of Isle Royale National Park. For the third year in a row, the Isle Royale wolf population remains a mere two, while the moose population continues to stay above the historic average. Without the pressure of predation, the expanding moose population will have a greater impact on the island's forest ecology. ..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

4/22/18: WG&F proposes wolf harvest of 58
(By Wyoming Game & Fish) The population of gray wolves in Wyoming continues to be healthy and exceed all criteria established to show that the species is recovered. As part of the management of wolves Wyoming uses hunting as it does with many other species. The draft regulation for the 2018 wolf hunting regulation is now available for public comment. Public meetings are being held around the state during the month of May, 2018..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

4/20/18: Wolf hunt didn't decrease population much
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) In 2017, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department instituted a wolf hunting season with the biological objective to reduce the wolf population by approximately 24% within the trophy wolf hunt area, from 210 wolves to 160 wolves. According to the agency’s annual wolf report for 2017, "Evaluation of the 2017 wolf hunting season data demonstrated the hunting strategy in 2017 did not reduce the wolf population as intended from ≥210 wolves to approximately 160 wolves (6% decline vs. 24% predicted decline)."..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

4/19/18: Wolf News Roundup 4/19/2018
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) In northern Minnesota, cattle ranchers indicate that 118 cattle went missing from 40 cattle ranchers surveyed. Wolf numbers have increased in the state of Minnesota due to an increasing deer population, as much as 25% from the previous year. Oregon is also dealing with increasing wolf depredations. Oregon’s wolf population increased last year, with state officials estimating the state has a minimum population of 124 wolves...... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

3/19/18: WA: Addressing Wolf Conflicts
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) A new nonprofit organization has been awarded more than $185,000 to provide non-lethal wolf deterrence for livestock producers in northeastern Washington. The Northeast Washington Wolf-Cattle Collaborative intends to provide a collection of deterrence devices (flashing lights, electric fences and chargers, air horns) for use by livestock producers, as well as training and hiring range riders at an estimated cost of $20,000 for each rider for the June-October grazing season...... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

3/19/18: Washington wolf population increases
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) Washington's wolf population continued to grow in 2017 for the ninth straight year, according to the results of an annual survey conducted by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. The state was home to at least 122 wolves, 22 packs, and 14 successful breeding pairs, based on field surveys conducted over the winter by state, tribal, and federal wildlife managers. Survey findings reflect information from aerial surveys, remote cameras, wolf tracks, and signals from radio-collared wolves. As the state's wolf population has continued to grow, WDFW has expanded its efforts to collaborate with livestock producers, conservation groups, and local residents to prevent conflict between wolves and domestic animals..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

3/19/18: Adding wolves to Isle Royale
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) The National Park Service has proposed to introduce 20-30 wolves to Isle Royale National Park. Over the past five years the wolf population has declined steeply and at this time, natural recovery of the population is unlikely.  There appears to be two severely inbred wolves remaining on the island, and the proposal to augment the population has generated substantial controversy regarding human intervention in a wilderness environment. According to the National Park Service, wolves have not always been part of the Isle Royale ecosystem. They have been present for more than 65 years, and have played a role in the ecosystem affecting the moose population and other species during that time. After a waiting period of at least 30 days, the NPS will issue a Record of Decision that documents the final decision and sets out a course of action for the project.... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

2/26/18: Wolf news roundup - 2/26/18
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) In the Gros Ventre of Wyoming, wolves are killing each other in response to lack of elk. In Colorado, a former Yellowstone wolf biologist is telling the the state how they need wolves and 300-400 would pose no problem. Minnesota’s moose rise and decline is closely tied to wolf population numbers with the idea that decreasing the wolf population through hunting would allow the moose population to rebound. Idaho gets a reprieve from having to destroy wolf monitoring data. The French government approved a plan to allow the wolf population to expand 40 percent in the next five years to an estimated 500 animals.... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

1/28/18: Wolf news roundup - 1/28/18
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) About 2,500 hunting licenses were sold for Wyoming’s 2017 wolf hunting season, according to the Associated Press, and with 44 wolves taken in the trophy hunting region of the state, less than two percent of license-holders were successful in taking a wolf. The Idaho Wolf Depredation Control Board spent more than $460,000 on controlling problem wolves in the state in 2017, according to a report in The Spokesman-Review. Although the state allows both regulated hunting and trapping of wolves, the state is experiencing an increase in reports of wolf depredations on livestock.
Oregon livestock producers were compensated $395,000 for livestock losses due to wolves last year, while the state’s wolf population remains at an estimated 112 animals. According to a report in the Capital Press, producers are now spending an average of $10,000 per wolf on tools to protect their livestock..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

1/17/18: Wolf news roundup - 1/17/18
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) Wyoming Game & Fish Department reports that the total agency goal of 44 wolves was met for 2017. Although some hunt areas were under quota, and some were over. In addition, there were 32 wolves killed in the state’s predator zone in 2017. In Oregon, members of the Rogue wolf pack in southwestern Oregon have repeatedly killed cattle on a ranch since the start of the year. Tracking collars place members of the pack near the scene. For the first time in 100 years, a wolf has been detected in Belgium. The radio-collared wolf originated in Germany, but has also roamed in the Netherlands. The wolf has reportedly traveled 300 miles in 10 days.... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

12/22/17: Wolf news roundup - 12/22/17
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) Highlights of recent wolf news: As Wyoming's wolf hunting season in the trophy zone nears closure, four hunt areas remain open. It cost Washington $15,000 to kill a wolf, after $147,000 was spent trying to prevent depredations. A wolf from Washington state is roaming in central Wyoming. The sheriff in Kittson County, Minnesota provides excellent information on wolf problems in that county.... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

12/13/17: Wolf ruling impacts grizzly delisting
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (Service) is seeking public comment on a federal appeals court ruling that may impact the agency’s final rule delisting grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. The deadline for comments is January 8, 2018. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (Service) is seeking public comment on a federal appeals court ruling that may impact the agency’s final rule delisting grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. The deadline for comments is January 8, 2018. The only obligation at issue here is for the Service to contend with the implications of massive range loss for the species’ endangered or threatened status within its current environment...... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

12/13/17: Colorado wolf reintroduction
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) The Rocky Mountain Wolf Project is trying to build public support for reintroducing wolves to western Colorado. Environmental groups supporting the project include Defenders of Wildlife, Western Watersheds Project, Natural Resources Defense Council, Wild Earth Guardians, National Wolfwatchers Coalition, Colorado Sierra Club, and the Center for Biological Diversity..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

12/10/17: Wolf News Roundup - Dec. 10, 2017
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) Wolf news from Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, and the Great Lakes, and on an environmental group lawsuit related to the Mexican wolf recovery plan, and report on Ontario caribou threatened by wolves. The wolf population on Isle Royale has declined to just one wolf, the last of a severely inbred population. The National Park Service is moving forward with plans to reintroduce wolves back onto the island..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

11/14/17: Wolf News Roundup - Nov. 14, 2017
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) Half of Wyoming’s wolf trophy game hunt areas remain open, as quotas have not yet been reached. According to the Wyoming Game & Fish Department, 34 wolves have been taken during the fall hunting season in the trophy game areas, while another 27 wolves have been killed in the state’s predator zone so far this year. In Oregon, environmental groups have asked Oregon Governor Kate Brown to reopen an investigation into the self-defense killing of a wolf. The groups took issue with the Oregon State Police determination that an elk hunter who killed a wolf while it was running directly at him was in self-defense. The National Park Service has indicated that its preference is to reintroduce wolves to Isle Royale, which has only two wolves remaining, and moose are abundant. In Washington, a livestock producer shot and killed a wolf caught in the act of attacking their livestock on private grazing lands....... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

11/2/17: Oregon hunter kills wolf in self-defense
(By Oregon State Police) A hunter from Clackamas had an encounter with three wolves while out elk hunting in the Starkey Wildlife Management Unit in Union County. The hunter initially assumed the animals that were moving around him were coyotes. One of the animals began to run directly at him while another moved around him. The hunter stated he focused on the one running directly at him. He began to scream at it, and fearing for his life shot it one time. He said what he still believed to be a coyote died from the single shot. He stated that after the shot the other two disappeared out of sight. They later came to the conclusion the animals were wolves and reported the incident to the Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. The case will not be prosecuted as this is believed to be an incidence of self-defense...... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

10/31/17: California Cattle Depredation
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) Three months after California confirmed the presence of its first wolf pack, state officials have now confirmed the pack’s first livestock depredation on cattle. While officials were investigating the depredation on cattle, a wolf remained nearby. Although wolves are an endangered species in California (pursuant to both federal and state laws) state agencies have no program in place to compensate for livestock losses to wolves. The cattle owner has now moved his cattle out of the area....... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

10/26/17: Wolf news roundup 10/27/2017
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) By Thursday afternoon, Oct. 26, there have been 32 wolves taken in Wyoming’s wolf hunting season (in the trophy zone), and six hunt areas are now closed, while six hunt areas remain open until the quota is reached or the season ends Dec. 31. In addition to the wolves taken by hunters in the trophy zone, 23 wolves have been killed in the state’s predator zone – a number that includes wolves killed in agency control actions as well as hunter harvest. More wolf news from Minnesota, Washington, Oregon and Germany...... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

10/4/17: Mexican wolf range: 90% in Mexico
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) A recent peer-reviewed scientific paper reaffirmed the historical range of the endangered Mexican wolf as being southeastern Arizona, southwestern New Mexico and the Sierra Madre Mountains in Mexico. The paper was the featured article published in the July issue of <em>The Journal of Wildlife Management</em>. In the peer-reviewed paper, the authors use ecological, physiographic and morphological data to clarify the Mexican wolf’s historical range.  The authors say extending the historical range boundary too far northward would place Mexican wolves north of historical transitions and run the risk of "genetic swamping" by the larger Northern Rockies wolves. . The survey found that there were 63 wolves in Arizona and 50 in New Mexico. This represents a more than doubling of the population since 2009...... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

10/4/17: WSU predation study flawed
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) The Washington Policy Center took a look at the Washington State University paper authored by Robert Wielgus that claimed that killing wolves increases the number of sheep and cattle that wolves depredate the following year. The Washington Policy Center researchers found ghe WSU study’s conclusions are based on erroneous statistical arguments, and are not supported by rigorous analysis of the study’s own data. 
Contrary to Wielgus’ conclusions, ther re-analysis of his study’s data finds that the strongest explanation of an increase in loss of cattle and sheep was simply an increase in the wolf population. Data in Wielgus’ study actually support the current Washington state strategy of removing wolves where there is conflict with a rancher, consistent with the common-sense conclusion that removing wolves reduces livestock deaths...... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

10/3/17: Wolf Hunt Area 11 Closes
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) Wolf hunt area 11 (the area from Boulder Creek north to the Upper Green) has now closed after the harvest quota was reached on opening day, Sunday, October 1. Although the quota was set at 3 wolves, four were taken, as the Wyoming Game & Fish Department reported in its trophy game harvest summary...... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

9/28/17: Wolf News Roundup
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) In Wyoming, federal funding for wolf control in the predator zone of Wyoming ends September 30, and after that date, responsibility falls on local predator control boards. In Washington, the Center for Biological Diversity and Cascadia Wildlands have teamed up to sue the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife over the state’s protocol for lethal removal of wolves involved in repeated livestock depredations. In Alaska, the wolf population on Alaska’s Prince of Wales Island has grown to more than 240 animals, so state officials have authorized a wolf hunt quota of 46 animals, according to media reports. The Minnesota wolf population is booming, with 500 packs and more than 2,800 wolves in the northern portion of the state – more than twice the numbers required in federal recovery plans..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

8/30/17: Wolf News Roundup
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) The Wyoming Game & Fish Department reports that as of August 30, there have been 65 confirmed wolf deaths in Wyoming so far in 2017, with 36 of the animals killed in response to livestock depredations; 17 wolves legally taken in Wyoming’s predator zone; and 12 others that died of natural or unknown causes. Additional reports on Oregon, Washington an Idaho.... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

8/5/17: Wolf News Roundup
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) Last week the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court ruling that vacated a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rule to remove Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves in the western Great Lakes region, which includes Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. The ruling maintains federal protections for wolves and blocks the states from asserting control and opening up sport hunting and commercial trapping seasons targeting the animals. In Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife managers intend to remove some of the adult wolves in northeast Oregon’s Harl Butte pack to limit further livestock losses as non-lethal measures and hazing have not been successful in limiting wolf depredations. .... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

7/23/17: Washington wolf conflicts
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) Lynda Mapes of the Seattle Times takes a look at the conflict involving wolves and public lands livestock grazing in northeastern Washington state, putting forth the views of ranchers and wolf activists that have centered on the Profanity Peak wolf pack. Mapes also reports that after the Smackout pack preyed on livestock four times since September, Washington wildlife officials will now begin killing some wolves in the pack, hoping to change the pack’s livestock-killing behavior..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

7/7/17: Idaho considers allowing baiting of wolves
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) The Idaho Department of Fish & Game is considering a proposal to allow the use of bait for hunting wolves in that state. Currently gray wolf may be taken incidentally to permitted black bear baits, where hunting seasons are open for both black bear and wolf, but big game rules do not allow use of bait specific to hunting wolf. There may be management circumstances for which the Commission may want to allow use of bait for hunting wolf at times and places where bait use is not allowed or seasons are not open for black bear. The agency is accepting public comment on the proposal through July 26, 2017...... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

7/6/17: Wyoming wolf report
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has released its annual wolf recovery report for Wyoming, reporting that the state is home to a minimum of 377 wolves in 52 packs. These numbers reflect that while the minimum number of wolves decreased 4.9% from 2015, the number of known packs increased slightly (7.3%). At the end of 2016, 108 wolves in 11 packs inhabited Yellowstone National Park. After exceeding recovery goals since 2002, wolves were removed from federal protection on April 26, 2017. FWS reports that in 2016, 56% of known wolf packs were involved in at least one confirmed livestock depredation in Wyoming, and that 24 of the known depredating packs were involved in more than two livestock depredations. Seven depredating packs were involved in more than 10 livestock depredations..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

7/6/17: California's second wolf pack
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) biologists have captured and fitted a tracking collar to a female gray wolf in Lassen County, and confirmed that the wolf and her mate have produced at least three pups this year...... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

7/2/17: Wolf News Roundup 7/3/2017
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) Wolves from a Washington wolf pack have succeeded in killing cattle on a BLM grazing allotment despite the use of five range riders provided in a deal with state wildlife officials in attempt to decrease potential conflict. A pair of wolves has been hanging out in the town of Alpine, Arizona, apparently in pursuit of elk that are calving within the town, prompting federal wildlife officials to engage in a program to haze the wolves away from humans. In other Mexican wolf news, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has issued its draft revised recovery plan. Environmentalists are unhappy that Utah and Colorado were excluded from the species’ range, but state wildlife officials in Arizona and New Mexico will be pleased that the plan gives states the authority to decide where and when Mexican wolves can be released..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

6/15/17: Wielgus to sue WSU
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) Washington State University researcher Rob Wielgus reportedly plans to sue WSU over violations of his free speech regarding the Profanity Peak wolf pack’s repeated livestock depredations. Wielgus told K5 news that he plans to sue for six years of salary and then leave his WSU teaching position...... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

\6/15/17: Montana wolf population strong
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) Wolf numbers in Montana remained healthy in 2016 and more than three times the federally-mandated minimums. During the 2016/2017 wolf hunting and trapping season, 246 wolves were harvested – 163 by hunters and 83 by trappers. This is the highest harvest to date, but only 16 wolves higher than the 2013/2014 season. 2016 also saw 57 confirmed wolf livestock depredations – 52 cattle, five sheep. This is down from 64 in 2016. The recovery of the wolf in the northern Rockies remains one of the fastest endangered species comebacks on record and a real success story. Montana’s wolf population remains healthy, well distributed and genetically connected. The delisting of wolves in 2011 allows Montana to manage wolves as it does any other game species, which is guided by state management plans, administrative rules and laws...... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

6/12/17: Wolf News Roundup 6/12/2017
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) As of Friday, June 9, there have been 11 wolves legally killed in Wyoming’s predator zone since wolves were removed from federal protection on April 25. as defined in state law and therefore can be harvested. Montana wildlife officials are making plans to change the way wolves are counted, easing away from trying to count every wolf in the state to using hunter sightings to help map out areas occWolves outside the Trophy Game Management Area are considered predatory animalsupied by wolf packs. Wolves are moving into the western portion of Washington state, 100 miles from the closest known wolf packs. Wisconsin’s wolf population has grown six percent in the last year, and now totals about 950 animals, according to the most recent population county by state wildlife officials. Along with the population increase has been a rise in hunting dog deaths caused by wolves, with state officials paying out nearly $100,000 in compensation..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

6/4/17: Wolf News Roundup 6/4/2017
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) Yellowstone National Park is now offering a reward of up to $25,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individual(s) responsible for shooting a wolf on the north side of the park, near Gardiner, Montana in early April. Parks Canada officials have killed a wolf in Pacific Rim National Park after the wolf demonstrated a lack of fear of humans and attacked two dogs, including a leashed dog over the weekend. Washington state wildlife officials have approved new rules that allows for lethal take of wolves if there are three attacks on livestock within 30 days, or four depredations in ten months. Cattle grazing is currently targeted by anti-ranching interests which have filed a complaint with the Forest Service, asking for cattle grazing permits to be cancelled because of conflicts between wolves and cattle..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

5/17/17: Wolf News Roundup 5/17/2017
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) A white wolf from the Canyon Pack in Yellowstone National Park was discovered by hikers to have been shot in April. The injuries were so severe the animal had to be euthanized. Authorities are seeking information about the incident. In New Mexico, two captive-born Mexican wolf pups were swapped out with two native-wolf pups in a den in the hopes of increasing genetic diversity in the population while not increase total wolf numbers. Great Lakes states are still waiting for action on wolf delisting. In Oregon, 10 counties are receiving funds to deal with wolf livestock depredations..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

5/17/17: Wolves killed in Predator Zone
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) For those wanting to know how many wolves have been legally killed in Wyoming’s predator zone since wolves were removed from federal protection on April 25, the Wyoming Game & Fish Department is keeping a tally on its website. (See the link below, and click on 2017 Gray Wolf Harvest.) As of May 11, 2017, four wolves were killed, both through livestock depredation control actions and legal hunter harvest in the predator zone..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

5/4/17: Wolf News Roundup 5/4/2017
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) In Oregon, two students from Portland 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. Scientists have successfully produced a Mexican wolf pup using frozen sperm and artificial insemination at a wolf center in Missouri. Washington State University continues to deal with issues related to a professor who is vocal about his wolf advocacy and controversial science work. The Arizona Game and Fish Department is assessing potential impacts to Arizona’s 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...... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

5/4/17: Wolf Hunting Season Proposed
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) The Wyoming Game & Fish Department has released its draft wolf hunting season regulations for public review and comment. The proposal calls for a season date from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31 in most areas where wolves are classified as trophy game, with a total quota of 44 wolves..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

4/25/17: Wyoming wolves now under State management
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) The Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington DC entered its final order upholding Wyoming’s wolf management plan which confirms Wyoming’s management of wolves. Now that wolves are delisted, there is no wolf hunting in the Trophy Game Management Area until WY Game & Fish develops a hunting season, which will require a full public comment process. Future wolf conservation decisions will look at population estimates, predation, human-caused mortalities, and other factors....... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

4/3/17: Wolf News 4/3/2017
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) In Montana, the Flathead Beacon takes a look at Montana’s new wolf management specialist, Diane Boyd. Boyd has had a long career in the study of wolves in Montana, starting back in the late 1970s as wolves began recolonizing the northern portion of the state from Canada. Washington State University researcher Robert Wielgus is under scrutiny for issuing a press release insinuating that the rancher experiencing damages due to the Profanity Peak wolf pack hadn’t done enough to keep his cattle protected. A captive-raised Mexican wolf that was released in Mexico last October was captured on private ranch land in southeastern Arizona, some 90 miles north of the international border...... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

3/27/17: Wolf News Roundup 3/27/2017
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) Wolf news from Arizona, Nevada, Vancouver Island and Switzerland. A new study for Arizona reports that the success of the Mexican wolf recovery across Arizona and New Mexico hinges more immediately on maintaining social tolerance than on genetic diversity. California officials have lost track of the Shasta wolf pack, but Nevada officials have confirmed that the state has confirmed wolf presence for the first time in nearly 100 years, and might be from the lost California pack. After a wolf was seen in an area of Nevada some 20 miles from the California border, scat was collected on site. Lab work determined that the lone male wolf was genetically linked to the adult pair of wolves that whelped near California’s Mount Shasta in 2015. British Columbia media report that a popular Vancouver Island beach has been closed after a wolf repeatedly behaved in an aggressive manner around humans. The beach was closed after a wolf attacked a leashed dog, the second attack this week. Although wolves are a protected species in Switzerland, government officials have granted approval for hunters to kill a specific wolf, M75, after genetic testing linked the wolf to the death of more than 40 sheep in the southern part of the country. According to media reports, local authorities can authorize the killing of wolves that kill more than 25 livestock....... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

3/20/17: Wolf News Roundup 3/20/2017
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) Washington’s wolf population grew by 28 percent last year, with a minimum population of 115 wolves in 20 packs, with 10 breeding pairs. Animal damage control officials in Oregon are pulling M-44 sodium cyanide devices designed to kill coyotes after a wolf was unintentionally killed in the northeastern portion of the state. The Pacific Legal Foundation, representing the California Cattleman’s Association and California Farm Bureau, has filed a lawsuit contesting the state of California’s listing of the gray wolf as an endangered species in the state. The Arizona Livestock Loss Board has instituted a four-step process for obtaining reimbursement for wolf depredation of commercial cattle...... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

3/12/17: Wolf News Roundup 3/13/2017
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) Wildlife officials have confirmed that an animal shot last month in northeastern North Dakota was a gray wolf, and charges are pending against the shooter. With eight breeding pairs of wolves, Eastern Oregon wolf managers can now move into a new phase of wolf management, allowing more lethal take of wolves involved in livestock depredations or impacting big game populations. State wildlife officials are searching northern California for a missing wolf pack. Norway officials are moving to allow the country’s wolf packs to be reduced from nine packs down to four to six packs...... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

3/7/17: Waiting on wolf delisting
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has issued a press release about wolf delisting:....On March 3, 2017 a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia recognized Wyoming’s wolf management plan should be upheld. This comes after, the US Fish and Wildlife Service removed Wyoming’s wolves from the protection of the Endangered Species Act through a delisting rule in 2012. In 2014, a federal District Court judge reinstated federal protections for wolves and vacated the 2012 rule because the judge believed that population commitments Wyoming made in its wolf management plan needed to be in regulation or statute. As a result, the judge ruled that the US Fish and Wildlife Service acted arbitrarily in delisting Wyoming’s wolves. Wyoming and the federal government appealed that decision. "In the 3-0 opinion that came out on March 3rd, the Court concluded that US Fish and Wildlife Service did not act arbitrarily when it determined Wyoming’s Wolf Management Plan was sufficient to maintain a recovered wolf population upon delisting…. Wyoming will not take over management immediately because of the legal process involved….So, until that process plays out Game and Fish reminds people that wolves are still considered protected under the Endangered Species Act and under federal management. This also means the take of wolves in Wyoming remains suspended…. Assuming that no petition for rehearing is filed with the court, the earliest wolf delisting could take effect would be April 17th..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

3/6/17: Wolves still protected, for now
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) Although a federal appeals court has affirmed the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service decision to remove federal protections from wolves in Wyoming, that ruling is not anticipated to change wolf management in the state until April 17th at the earliest. Friday’s decision provides for murky legal waters as to the next step in turning the federal wolf program over to state officials. The court decision affirmed the FWS 2012 rule delisting wolves in Wyoming, but federal appeals court rules provide for a 45-day window to allow a "petition for a panel rehearing" which would then be acted upon by the court. Seeming to err on the side of caution, federal wildlife officials appear to be using that time frame to work with state officials in preparing to hand over wolf management to the state..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

3/3/17: Wyoming wolf delisting affirmed
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) The United States Court of Appeals issued a ruling this morning that a lower court was wrong in vacating the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2012 decision to delist wolves in Wyoming, and also found that the lower court’s determination that Wyoming’s wolf plan did not contain "adequate regulatory mechanisms" was also wrong. The U.S. Secretary of the Interior and the State of Wyoming had appealed the lower court ruling to the appellant court, winning the ruling Friday. Although the appeals court has affirmed the FWS 2012 delisting rule, the next steps are not yet clear. FWS reports that their solicitors are reviewing the decision and will release guidance on how wolf delisting in Wyoming, and state management of wolves, will proceed..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

2/28/17: Wolf News Roundup 2/28/2017
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) Wolf news from around the world: Efforts to fast-track a vote on removing wolves in the Great Lakes region and Wyoming from the Endangered Species list; wolves in Finland; efforts to prohibit wolf trapping and hunting near Denali National Park.. .... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

2/22/17: Wolf News Roundup 2/22/2017
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) The Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife and University of Washington are teaming up to study how eight years of wolf population growth in the northeastern part of the state is affecting deer and elk, as well as mountain lions. The study will take place in a multiple-use area where hunting, logging and livestock grazing also occur. In Oregon, a proposal to allow public hunters to kill "problem wolves" – instead of having state agency employees do the task –is drawing controversy. Also more wolf news. .... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

2/9/17: Wolf News Roundup 2/8/2017
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) Wolf managers and livestock producers in the state of Washington have been photographed, stalked, and even received death threats after state officials began lethal removal of problem wolves that repeatedly preyed on livestock last year. The situation became so unnerving that a wolf biologist in charge of the state’s wolf policy he put his family up in a hotel as a safety precaution..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

2/9/17: Grizzly/wolf food competition examined
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) A Wisconsin researcher and his colleagues have released a new paper alleging that the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has vastly underestimated the number of wolves that die from illegal poaching. The paper, Gray Wolf Mortality Patterns in Wisconsin from 1979 to 2012, was published in the Journal of Mammalogy, with Adrian Treves as the primary author..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

2/9/17: Underreporting Wolf Poaching
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) A Wisconsin researcher and his colleagues have released a new paper alleging that the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has vastly underestimated the number of wolves that die from illegal poaching. The paper, Gray Wolf Mortality Patterns in Wisconsin from 1979 to 2012, was published in the Journal of Mammalogy, with Adrian Treves as the primary author..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

2/1/17: California wolf legal challenge
(By Pacific Legal Foundation) The California Fish and Game Commission has unjustifiably adding the gray wolf to the state’s list of "endangered" species, argues a lawsuit filed by Pacific Legal Foundation on behalf of the California Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) and the California Farm Bureau Federation. The lawsuit challenges the commission’s listing of the gray wolf under the California Endangered Species Act. The listing took effect on January 1, 2017, a little over a year after a divided commission approved it on a controversial 3-1 vote.... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

2/1/17: Great Lakes wolf delisting
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) Minnesota Public Radio reporter Dan Kraker takes a look at the possibility that wolves in the Great Lakes states and Wyoming will be removed from federal protection due to an act of Congress. While some view wolf recovery as an endangered species success story, others claim that state wildlife agencies can’t be trusted with wolf management. The wolf population in the region is already triple the size called for in wolf recovery plans..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

1/23/17: Wyoming wolf update
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) has been busy placing radio collars on wolves throughout western Wyoming. With 36 new collars in place, more than 80 wolves in the state are now wearing the collars. The collars are a tool for monitoring the wolf population, and can be key resource for quickly locating wolf packs that are involved in livestock depredations..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

1/23/17: Celebrity wolves
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) Emma Marris’s essay "Why OR7 is a celebrity" in the current edition of High Country News uses the tale of an individual wolf to explain the novelty factor when wolves expand their range and move into a new area. Marris’s piece notes the fund-raising factor is upped when people connect emotionally to individual animals, but appeals focused on larger groups are not as effective. Marris noted that while OR7 is famous in Oregon, the novelty is wearing off as the wolf population increases.... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

1/21/17: Judge orders information destroyed
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) U.S. District Court Judge Lynn Winmill of Idaho has ordered the destruction of information gained as the result of placing radio collars on wolves and elk in an Idaho wilderness area. The destruction of data was requested by Wilderness Watch, Friends of the Clearwater, and Western Watersheds Project. "the injury to the plaintiffs’ interest in the wilderness character of the Wilderness Area is real and cannot be compensated for by a monetary award.” “The only remedy that will directly address the ongoing harm is an order requiring destruction of the data – no monetary award or other such sanction will alleviate the ongoing harm. Thus, the Court will issue a mandatory injunction ordering the Director to destroy the data received on the elk and wolves collared in this project." ... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

1/18/17: Wolf News Roundup 1/18/2017
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) U.S. Congressional members from the Great Lakes states and Wyoming have teamed up in a bipartisan effort to remove wolves from federal protection in those states, and to prohibit legal challenges to this action. In New Mexico, the federal Interior Department is asking the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn a federal judge’s decision barring the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service from releasing captive-bred Mexican wolves into New Mexico without approval from the state wildlife agency ... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

1/11/17: Cheney pushes wolf delisting
(By U.S. Representative Liz Cheney press release) U.S. Representative Liz Cheney introduced a bipartisan bill on Tuesday with fellow co-sponsors Congressman Collin C. Peterson (MN-07) and Congressman Sean Duffy (WI-07), to remove the gray wolf from the list of threatened and endangered species under the Endangered Species Act. The bill will also prohibit judicial review of this delisting determination. ... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

1/6/17: Wolf News Roundup
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) A Swedish court has allowed the hunting of 24 wolves to begin in early 2017, despite appeals from environmental groups. A red wolf has been illegally shot and killed inside a national wildlife refuge in North Carolina, and federal wildlife officials are offering a $2,500 reward for information about the incident, while pledges from environmental groups have upped the reward to $16,500. Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed legislation making wolves in the state a game animal, making an end-run around ballot initiatives that would keep the animals from being hunted. .... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

 

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