Wolf News Roundup 11/23/2019
by Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!
November 23, 2019
No Wolf-On-Wolf Deaths
Brett French of the Billings Gazette reports that with the decline of the Yellowstone National Wolf population to a minimum of about 80 wolves, wolf biologists did not find evidence of wolves killing each other – a first in the 24 years of monitoring the reintroduced wolf population.
Wyoming Wolf Hunt
With the Sept. 1 opening of the wolf hunting season in many of western Wyoming’s trophy wolf hunt areas, quotas have been reached in six hunt areas, so those areas are now closed.
This includes: the quota of four wolves has been reached in the Clarks Fork Hunt Area 1; Hunt Area 2’s six-wolf quota has been reached’ the quota of two wolves has been reached in Area 3, the South Fork; the Wind River Hunt Area 5 quota of one wolf has been reached; the three-wolf quota in Hunt Area 6 & 7 Pacific Creek/Targhee; and the two-wolf quota at The Rim (Hunt Area 10); have also been reached.
Of the total quota of 35 wolves available for legal harvest in the state’s wolf trophy zone, 25 wolves have been killed by hunters as of Nov. 21. An additional 22 wolves have been killed so far this year in the remainder of Wyoming, where wolves are classified as predators.
Red Wolf Legacy
The red wolf reintroduction to Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the early 1990s didn’t make world-wide news as much as the Yellowstone wolf program. It was a failed program that was quickly ended once the endangered red wolves failed to raise pups. Although the reintroduced wolves reproduced, all of the estimated 40 pups died of parvo. Other problems include hybridization with coyotes, and the failure of the wolves to remain in the national park. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service recaptured all by one of the released wolves. Efforts to save the species now rely on the captive breeding population of about 190 wolves, and a reintroduced population of about 100 wolves in eastern North Carolina.
But new hope for red wolves resides in another part of the United States. Recent genetic testing has revealed that wolf-like canids in southwest Louisiana and southeast Texas’s Galveston Island carry red wolf DNA, with rates varying from 10 to 100 percent. The new research reinforces local reports that some red wolves had indeed survived in the wild – some 40 years after red wolves were declared functionally extinct in the wild.
With two groups of animals carrying red wolf DNA found in wild, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is now taking action by soliciting research proposals on these wild canids, and a decision on its research focus is expected to be released in 2020.
Oregon wolf fence
An Oregon cattle rancher is erecting a five-foot high, 8-strand electric fence around his 275-acre pasture to keep wolves from killing his cattle. According to Oregon Public Broadcasting, wolves have killed eight of his cows and two livestock guarding dogs. The $40,000 fence is being paid for by federal grants, state wolf compensation funds, and contributions from environmental groups. Wolves in this area of Oregon remain under federal protection.
Wildlife officials in Norway killed two wolves in response to depredations on livestock and reindeer, and relocated a third wolf into a protection zone. A wolf hunting season is set to open in the area within the next few weeks, according to Norway media.
Check out the links below for details on these stories.