Wolf News Roundup 5/17/2017
by Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!
May 17, 2017
Yellowstone wolf shot
The National Park Service reports:
Preliminary results from the necropsy of the Canyon Pack alpha female wolf showed that she suffered from a gunshot wound. Hikers discovered the mortally wounded wolf April 11, 2017, inside Yellowstone National Park near Gardiner, Montana. Park staff responded quickly to the situation and due to the severity of the wolf’s injuries, euthanized the animal. The deceased wolf was sent to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Forensics Laboratory in Ashland, Oregon for a necropsy. The lab has transferred the preliminary results to Yellowstone National Park. National Park Service law enforcement believes the wolf was shot on the north side of the park, near Gardiner, or near the Old Yellowstone Trail which is located in the park on the northern boundary. The incident likely occurred sometime between April 10 at 1 a.m. and April 11 at 2 p.m.
"Due to the serious nature of this incident, a reward of up to $5,000.00 is offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individual(s) responsible for this criminal act," said Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Dan Wenk.
If you have information about this incident that could help with this investigation, please contact the National Park Service Investigative Services Branch (ISB). Your tips will be confidential. You don't have to tell them who you are, but please tell them what you know:
• CALL the ISB Tip Line 888-653-0009
• TEXT to 202-379-4761
• ONLINE www.nps.gov/isb and click "Submit a Tip"
• EMAIL email@example.com
• MESSAGE via Facebook @InvestigativeServicesNPS or Twitter @SpecialAgentNPS
This wolf was one of three known white wolves in the park. She lived to 12 years, twice the age of an average wolf in the park, and had a broad range that extended from Hayden Valley to the Firehole River area to the northern portion of the park. As the alpha female for over nine years with the same alpha male, she had at least 20 pups, 14 of which lived to be yearlings. She was one of the most recognizable wolves and sought after by visitors to view and photograph.
New Mexico wolf pup switch
While the headlines celebrate that federal officials released two captive-born Mexican wolf pups into a wild den, the details of that action are more complex. In placing the captive-born pups into the den, federal officials also removed two wild-born pups – all as part of a deal with New Mexico officials to not increase the number of wolves in the wild. The cross-fostered pups are hoped to boost the genetic diversity of wolves in the wild.
Midwest waits on court
Residents of the Great Lakes states are waiting for action on wolf delisting – either a court decision or congressional delisting. Read the details in the link below.
The Oregon Department of Agriculture has approved $184,039 in funding distributed to 10 counties as part of the Oregon Wolf Depredation Compensation and Financial Assistance County Block Grant Program. Funds for 2017 have been distributed for actual livestock losses or injuries caused by wolves, for missing livestock above the normal historical levels in areas of known wolf activity, for proactive efforts to prevent wolf and livestock interactions, and for county administrative costs.
Of the total funding provided by the block grants this year, $129,950– or 70 percent– is going towards proactive, non-lethal efforts to reduce conflicts between wolves and livestock.
According to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), Oregon’s 2016 wolf population slightly increased from 110 the previous year to 112 wolves. This past year, Klamath joined Wallowa, Umatilla and Baker as counties experiencing the bulk of the state’s wolf activity. The four counties have received $152,097– approximately 82 percent of the money awarded for 2017.
Livestock owners worked with ODFW to document losses tied to confirmed or probable livestock deaths or injuries due to wolves. Payments are made on a reimbursement basis for depredations that occurred during the previous grant cycle.
Wallowa, Klamath, Umatilla, Lake, and Jackson counties filed claims with ODA after experiencing confirmed or probable livestock losses in the 2016 cycle. These counties are being awarded $15,227 to compensate affected ranchers for losses due to death and/or injury. Wallowa County received $9,390, Klamath County received $4,070, Umatilla County received $900, Lake County received $600, and Jackson County received $267 for compensation.
Baker, Umatilla, and Wallowa counties are being awarded $34,942 total to compensate ranchers for missing livestock due to wolves. Baker County received $16,125, Umatilla County received $11,212, and Wallowa County received $7,605 for compensation.
Historically, deterrent techniques utilized from block grant funding include one or more of the following activities:
• Reducing attractants– bone pile removal, carcass disposal sites
• Barriers– fencing, fladry, electrified fladry
• Human presence– range riders, herders
• Alarm or scare devices– Radio-Activated-Guard (RAG) device, other light and sound making devices
• Hazing or harassment of wolves– loud noises, spotlights, or other confrontation with wolves
• Livestock protection dogs and other guarding animals
• Livestock management/husbandry changes– changing pastures, night feeding, reduced calving period, birthing earlier, changing herd structure
• Experimental practices– bio-fencing, belling cattle
• Public outreach/education for ranchers
A total of $3,920 was awarded to seven counties to help with administrative costs. The following is a list of the total awards made by ODA to counties as part of the Oregon Wolf Depredation Compensation and Financial Assistance County Block Grant Program for the 2017 Grant Period:
• Umatilla, $67,363
• Wallowa, $47,445
• Baker, $23,219
• Klamath, $14,070
• Lake, $10,600
• Morrow, $8,675
• Jackson, $5,717
• Union, $5,000
• Wheeler, $1,500
• Malheur, $450
The fund process remains available for counties to address depredations that occur in the future. In that event, livestock operators should submit claims to their local county wolf advisory committee.