These are Maine “coyotes”.
Provided here are links to information and access to two studies completed recently that both show that for cows that have previously experienced an attack, by wolves, on a herd they were a part of, their reactions, including increased stress levels, led to weight loss in calves and reduction of pregnancies.
From a study of Oregon State University: (Links provided in this release)
“When wolves kill or injure livestock, ranchers can document the financial loss,” said Reinaldo Cooke, an animal scientist in OSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences. “But wolf attacks also create bad memories in the herd and cause a stress response known to result in decreased pregnancy rates, lighter calves and a greater likelihood of getting sick. It’s much like post-traumatic stress disorder – PTSD – for cows.”<<<Read More of this Press Release>>>
The photograph below, one from the OSU study, shows the reactions by cows that had previously been subjected to wolf attacks, during a simulated exposure to wolves. They bunched into a corner and former a circle. The report stated that cows who had never seen a wolf were “curious” and mostly not phased by the experiment.
Photo by Reinaldo Cooke
From a study conducted by Joseph P. Ramler, Mark Hebblewhite, Derek Kellenberg, and Carolyn Sime – Crying Wolf? A Spatial Analysis of Wolf Location and Depredations on Calf Weight.
Combining a novel panel dataset of 18 Montana ranches with spatial data on known wolf pack locations and satellite-generated climatological data from 1995-2010, we estimate the spatial impact of changing wolf pack locations and confirmed wolf depredations on the weight of beef calves. We find no evidence that wolf packs with home ranges that overlap ranches have any detrimental effects on calf weights. Other non-wolf factors, notably climate and individual ranchspecific husbandry practices, explained the majority of the variation in the weight of calves. However, ranches that experienced a confirmed cattle depredation by wolves had a negative and statistically significant impact of approximately 22 pounds on the average calf weight across their herd, possibly due to inefficient foraging behavior or stress to mother cows. For ranches experiencing confirmed depredation, the costs of these indirect weight losses are shown to potentially be greater than the costs of direct depredation losses that have, in the past, been the only form of compensation for ranchers who have suffered wolf depredations. These results demonstrate a potentially important and understudied aspect of economic conflict arising from the protection and funding of endangered species recovery programs.
Couple of thoughts here. One, the “wolf” looks like some kind of wolf hybrid to me, but that doesn’t lesson the damage or the need to rid the landscape of these things. Two, the “native” interviewed in the video didn’t seem to be all that much bothered by the event and one could argue that he thought it quite amusing.
This is about a 12-minute radio interview with Ted Lyon, co-author of the book, The Real Wolf: The Science, Politics and Economics of Co-Existing With Wolves in Modern Times.
See all thirty of them at the Outdoor Life Website.
This is classic isn’t it? Researchers, including the famous Dr. David Mech, modeler of the mythical “balance of nature,” say they have successfully crossed a wolf with a coyote – in captivity of course. Profound? Not really in that researchers announce a few years ago that wolves and coyotes and coy-dogs and domestic dogs and feral dogs were all interbreeding and blanketing much of the Eastern U.S.
According to the Field and Stream article, Mech says:
Our findings leave the eastern wolf debate open by adding further merit to the hybrid theory rather than disproving it.
There was some debate recently on this website with readers about Dr. Mech and his seemingly impeccable timing when it came to certain milestones in wolf research and major events affecting the animal. As an example was his “balance of nature” theory just about the time discussions were ongoing about whether wolves should be (re)introduced into Yellowstone and Central Idaho. Once wolves were dumped there, the balance of nature theory was found, by Mech, to be invalid. Convenient?
And now, he is announcing that the “theory” of hybridization of wild canines has been bolstered because a lab wolf and a lab coyote have been artificially bred to produce a hybrid. And all this happening at a time when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wants to delist the gray wolf in all of the Lower 48 but are considering creating a new subspecies of wolf they can list to protect under the ESA.
So the question for all of us should be, “What is Mech up to, why and for whom?”
Please see my Featured Article of yesterday about the topic of hybridization of wolves and other species and how this plays into the administration of the Endangered Species Act.
The issue of wolves, the Endangered Species Act and “intercrosses”, i.e. cross breeding or hybridization, seems to have moved to the forefront in discussions about wolves. Before even getting to any discussion about what constitutes a hybridized wolf and how this is dealt with in the administering of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), consider some of the fallout and collateral damage protecting “intercrosses” can result in.
First, and probably foremost is the issue of actually protecting the purity of a species. As much as some have little or no use for the wolf, in parts of the world I believe a “pure” wolf and certain “pure” subspecies of wolves can be found (although I, personally, place little value in the notion of subspecies as it pertains to wild dogs). Is it therefore of importance to protect that species? Surely, although I recognize some might disagree. And also, to what degree and worthy effort is this protection to be carried out before it blows back in our faces as promoting further destruction of a species?
The question then becomes how do we protect a “pure” wolf species? Short of creating as much isolation from all other canines, wild and domestic, I’m not so inclined to think it honestly can be completely protected, at least not in some geographical locals, and that’s part of the problem that exists today. Attempting to force wild, and “pure,” wolves into heavily populated regions aren’t we begging for hybridization between wolves and feral and domestic dogs?
Secondly, we have learned that canines carry and transmit as many as 50 or more different kinds of diseases. In understanding the habits of wolves, we know that wolves travel great distances, sometimes extraordinary distances. With wolf populations being allowed to flourish, does this not force more wolves to disperse? Is not this flourishing also creating a situation in which wolves will find need to eat livestock, pets and basically hang out in people’s back yards? Isn’t this dispersal creating a better chance of perpetuating no fewer than two conditions: spreading of diseases into greater geographical regions and increasing the chances of “intercrosses?
Third, what then is becoming of the very institution of wildlife science and scholarship where it is known that protected species are interbreeding with other non protected species, and willingly this institution watches as the very species they claim to want to protect is being destroyed?
Fourth, of what value then, can be placed on the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (with amendments)? It’s no secret what the purposes and plans of the ESA are:
(b) PURPOSES.—The purposes of this Act are to provide a means whereby the ecosystems upon which endangered species and threatened species depend may be conserved, to provide a program for the conservation of such endangered species and threatened species, and to take such steps as may be appropriate to achieve the purposes of the treaties and conventions set forth in subsection (a) of this section.
Is there mention here of protecting hybridized species? As a matter of fact there is no discussion or regulations in the ESA having anything to do with “intercrosses” of wolves. So, how do we stop this, or do we?
In email conversations over the past several days, I read comments from others far more expertise in these affairs than I am, repeating that the ESA does not protect mongrel species. I wanted to know where in the ESA it says that or by which Section of the Act one can interpret that is what it means?
Thanks to the help of Ted B. Lyon of Ted B. Lyon & Associates, P.C., and co-author of the brand new book, “The Real Wolf: The Science, Politics, and Economics of Co-Existing with Wolves in Modern Times“, I got some help. With the help of a law student at Indiana University Maurer School of Law, I was directed to some cases in law where it gives us perhaps a bit better understanding of how the courts, in conjunction with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, define and interpret “pure” species compared with “intercrosses” and how it is being dealt with.
As was given to me, here is a statement found in The Endangered Species Act: Static Law Meets Dynamic World by Holly Doremus
“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“FWS”) and National Marine Fisheries Service (“NMFS,” also known as NOAA Fisheries) (together “the Services”), do not currently have a formal policy on hybrids. The Interior Solicitor’s office waffled in the early days of the ESA, first concluding that any progeny of a protected entity was itself protected, then quickly reversing course to say that the progeny of interbreeding between species or even between subspecies were flatly ineligible for federal protection . That stance was withdrawn as too “rigid” in 1990 . A new policy was proposed in 1996 , but it was never finalized. FWS now evaluates the legal consequences of hybridization on a case-by-case basis .”
The short of all of this appears to be that the Endangered Species Act was not drafted with the intent to protect hybridized (intercrossed) species, BUT the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service “evaluates the legal consequences of hybridization on a case-by-case basis” because they granted themselves that authority to do so. And, we are squarely back to ground zero; the courts show deference to the Secretary and Congress gives the Secretary authoritative flexibility.
What does that then mean? That’s a good question. To me it means that if the USFWS has an agenda, aside from it’s written mission (Gasp!), and for political reasons, it can, on a case-by-case basis do whatever they want while running the risk of lawsuits from friends, what then is the rule of law worth? Realistically, the only lawsuits USFWS usually face come from animal rights and environmental groups. All too often, all of these groups work in unison with the same political (and financial) agendas.
In The Real Wolf book, an entire chapter covers the hybridization of captive wolves before and after Mexican wolves were introduced into the Southwest. This must be one of those case-by-case examples the USFWS says they will make determinations about. The information and facts presented are a clear and well-defined example of the United States Government spending millions of taxpayer dollars to protect a Heinz-57 mutt in the desert Southwest.
From my vantage point I see at least two seriously flawed examples here of what is wrong with the Endangered Species Act. One, that the Secretary has the authority, and that authority flexes its muscle knowing the Courts grant deference (and environmentalists, et. al., can cherry-pick the courts they want for the judges they will get). Secondly, the Secretary can bastardize the actual purpose of the ESA by playing games with intercrosses on a “case-by-case basis,” i.e. politics and agendas.
But the flaws date back to the very beginning of the ESA. With little or no definitions, establishment of actual authority and provisions to easily craft changes to the act based on the rapidly changing environments we live in, we can only expect the ESA to fail in protecting species and become a political tool of benefit for those who can see financial gains and abuse to promote causes. Can you say OUTDATED? I know you can.
Wolves were and never have been threatened “throughout a significant portion of its range.” Wolves and human populations cannot coexist. This has been proven over and over again. In addition to the threats these animals cause to humans, intercrosses are inevitable and are a threat to the protection of the pure wolf species. Why is that not being considered here? Or is it really NOT about the wolf?
“Now I’m wondering if I shouldn’t have been more scared of black bears than the better-known grizzly. That is because black bears seem to be attacking humans more and more often these days. In an article in “Sports Afield” several years ago, the writer reported seeing black bears — even sows with cubs numerous times — and noted they almost invariably just wanted to get away or be left alone. So, the chances of being attacked by a black bear are small indeed.
“But while grizzlies get most of the attention and bad press, there actually have been many more negative encounters with black bears. And a significantly high proportion are fatal. Grizzlies do charge and maul and even eat someone on occasion, but much more frequently they make false charges, pop their teeth and growl — then decide to go no further. When black bears decide to get violent, they are much more likely to rush in with deadly, even predatory intent. They also try hard to finish the job.”<<<Read More>>>
The March 2014 edition of Outdoor Life (the print publication) has an article about the increase over the decades of black bear attacks on humans.
The article teased and linked to below provides some excellent points about the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) game playing of wolf taxonomy in order to achieve some kind of political end game. The USFWS wants to “delist” the gray wolf in all the Lower 48 states. Their reasoning, or at least that which they are making public, is their fabricated claim of another breed of wolf, Canis lycaon, that once roamed the majority of the Eastern United States; a claim not too many others can agree with.
The USFWS has repeatedly played this subspecies game with wolves and it has repeatedly kept them in the dog house.
However, in this same article, comments expressed seem to show that despite reason about wolf taxonomy, some people just cannot get beyond their own ideological nonsense about wolves, the history of their abundance and where these varmints once ranged. The point being that for these wolf promoters, including their idiocy that wolves create some magical nirvana of our forests and fields, there will never be enough wolves. They choose to manipulate the Endangered Specie Act to fit their narratives and agendas and mislead the public about what is really going on presently and the long term history of this much undesirable animal.
This excerpt tells the story. You can read the entire article by following this link.
“I think probably over the decades at least a few of us were lulled into this sense of acceptance, that everything was getting better and that people now understood the importance of predators like wolves,” Barry said. But the debate over the delisting proposals has been a reminder of the residual anger towards wolves in the rural West, where influential ranchers have long fought wolves for depredating livestock. “Merge that in with the whole tea party fervor against government, and what you end up with in the state legislatures is this race to the bottom to see who can be more anti-wolf,” Barry said. “The biology of the thing gets thrown right out the window.”
Long Range Tactical hunters join State and Federal officials in hunt for killer wolf in Sun Valley, Idaho
Idaho For Wildlife has been assisting with the coordination efforts to locate a few highly trained, long-range tactical hunters in hopes they can hunt down and destroy a colt killing wolf in Sun Valley, Idaho. This wolf killed a valuable colt of Kevin and Jennifer Swigert on 2-13-2014. Then ten days later on Sunday 2-23-2014 at 1:45 PM, this same aggressive wolf attacked two of the Swigert dogs in broad daylight within 300 yards of the Swigert’s while they were feeding their dogs.
Due to the extremely aggressive behavior of this particular wolf, concerned citizens both locally and nationally have come forward wanting to help the Swigerts any way they can. Some have pledged undisclosed amounts of donations to help incentivize hunters in hopes of eliminating this dangerous wolf before it attacks and kills again. One local lady left a $100.00 bill on the windshield of a hunter who has been vigilantly hunting every day. Some want to help with Vet bills.
The Swigert’s have dealt with hundreds of wolves in the past 15 years but have never seen a wolf more brazen and unafraid of man. The Swigert’s have witnessed the wolves drastically reduce the number of elk and deer near their home since wolf re-introduction. They believe that with the wolves eliminating much of the prey base this is contributing to the desperate and aggressive behaviour of the wolves.
USDA Wildlife Services if attempting to locate and destroy the wolf from a plane. The challenge in this country is that the wolves have become educated to what these planes represent. They are able to hear these planes from a great distance and they take cover making them very difficult to hunt from the air.<<<Read More>>>