August 25, 2019

Cross-Fostering Wolves: When Bad Becomes Good

WolfPups2Below is a press release offered by the Arizona Game and Fish Department. It actually baffles this tiny mind of mine. The press release is designed for the general public that knows nothing about wolf breeding programs, wolf introduction, etc. All the public knows is that there are either wolves or there aren’t wolves, i.e. they love or hate the idea.

There’s tons missing from this presser. For instance, it basically tells anyone (rarely anyone), who gets this release, that efforts are underway to increase the number and viability of wolves in the desert Southwest. They kind of side-step the process and completely fail to inform anybody about the genetics of raising mongrel dog/wolves in captivity so somebody can rush the little puppies out into the woods, sticking them in another wolf den, crossing their fingers, and hoping for the best.

I’ll spare readers of any rants about perversion and real government efforts to destroy the rights of humans. Consider, however, the hypocrisy that exists when it comes to wildlife management, even at its simplest levels.

The majority of those who support wolf/cross-bred mutt introduction, believe that wolves are some kind of magical, god-like creature that is so important for their long, sought-after balance of nature – a myth. These seriously misled and perverted wolf adorers, while thinking nothing of stooping to the severity of destroying an actual wolf subspecies at the hands of dumbing down DNA requirements for a pure wolf, raising cross-bred dogs as “wolves” and whisking the puppies away in hopes some unsuspecting bitch will raise them as pseudo “wild dogs” is beyond comprehension.

The envelope is being pushed in just how far man should go in wildlife management, and these wolf lovers support this action, but refuse to support any less radical management efforts to protect other species.

Does anybody find it odd and disturbing that history, through fact and folklore, never paints the image of a wolf in any light other than that of death, destruction and evil, and this modern American society, not only promotes that nasty wolves be forced into our back yards, be are now seeing the wolf as god-like – their answer to all that troubles them?

The Bible tells us that in the Last Days, events like this would happen; that down becomes up, that wrong becomes right, that dark becomes light, and, evidently, wolves become a savior.

Press Release from the Arizona Game and Fish Department:

For immediate release, May 4, 2015

Mexican wolf biologists remain vigilant for cross-fostering opportunity
Technique promises to improve genetics of wild population

PHOENIX — The Mexican Wolf Interagency Field Team (IFT) is observing from a distance the potential denning behavior of Mexican wolf packs in the wild looking for a cross-fostering opportunity. Cross-fostering is a technique to move very young pups from one litter into a different, similar-age wild litter with the hope that the receiving pack will raise them as their own. Cross-fostering is undertaken to introduce genetically-desirable pups into the litter of an experienced female and wild-proven pack.

Last year, two pups were successfully cross-fostered from a wild, but inexperienced female, into the den of the proven Dark Canyon pack in New Mexico – a first for the Mexican wolf recovery program. A key to cross-fostering is timing. Donor pups and the litter of a receiving female must be whelped within days of each other.
This year, that requires close coordination between captive rearing facilities in the binational Species Survival Plan rearing facilities and packs in the wild.

The IFT will be looking for opportunities to cross-foster wolf pups in the Apache National Forest between now and May 30. In particular the IFT will be trying to cross-foster wolves into the Bluestem and Maverick packs due to the packs’ proven ability to successfully rear pups.

The 2014 Mexican wolf population survey results announced in February showed a minimum of 109 wolves in the wild, up from 83 the previous year.

The reintroduction is a collaborative effort of the Service, Arizona Game and Fish Department, White Mountain Apache Tribe, USDA Forest Service, USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service – Wildlife Services, and several participating counties in Arizona.

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109 Mexican Wolves – “Cross-Fostering” New Technique to Grow More Wolves

From the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Southwest Region:

The Mexican Wolf Interagency Field Team (IFT) has completed its annual year-end population survey, documenting a minimum of 109 Mexican wolves in the wild in Arizona and New Mexico at the end of 2014. At the end of 2013, 83 wild wolves were counted. This is the fourth consecutive year with at least a 10 percent increase in the known population – a 31 percent increase in 2014.

“In 1982, the Mexican wolf recovery team recommended a population of at least 100 animals in the wild as a hedge against extinction; until we initiated the first releases in 1998, there had been no Mexican wolves in the wild in the United States since the 1970s,” said Southwest Regional Director Benjamin Tuggle. “Although there is still much to be done, reaching this milestone is monumental!”

“This survey demonstrates a major accomplishment in Mexican wolf recovery. In 2010, there were 50 Mexican wolves in the wild; today there are 109, a more than doubling of the population in Arizona and New Mexico. With our Mexican wolf population consisting of wild-born wolves, we expect the growth rates observed this year to continue into the future. In spite of considerable naysaying, our 10(j) program has been a success because of on-the-ground partnerships. We have every reason to believe that our efforts at reintroduction will continue to be successful,” said Arizona Game and Fish Director Larry Voyles.

In spring of 2014, the Interagency Field Team (IFT) successfully implemented a field technique in which genetically valuable pups were transferred to a similarly aged litter of an established pack. During the count operation, the IFT captured one of the two pups that were placed in the established pack during 2014, which confirmed this “cross-fostering” technique as an additional method for the IFT to improve the genetics of the wild population. In addition, the IFT conducted 14 releases and translocations during 2014, some of which provide promise for improving the wild population’s genetic health in the future.

“Testing and implementing new management techniques, such as cross-fostering, can help us improve the genetics of the wild population,” said Tuggle. The experimental population is growing – now our strategy is to focus on establishing a genetically robust population on a working landscape.”

The results of the surveys reflect the end-of-year minimum population for 2014. Results come from population data collected on the ground by the IFT from November through December of 2014, as well as data collected from an aerial survey conducted in January and February 2015. This number is considered a minimum number of Mexican wolves known to exist in the wild in Arizona and New Mexico, as other Mexican wolves may be present but uncounted during surveys.

The aerial survey was conducted by a fixed-wing aircraft and helicopter. Biologists used radiotelemetry and actual sightings of wolves to help determine the count. The results from the aerial survey, coupled with the ground survey conducted by the IFT, confirmed that there are a total of 19 packs, with a minimum of 53 wolves in New Mexico and 56 wolves in Arizona. The current survey documented 14 packs that had at least one pup that survived through the end of the year, with two that had at least five surviving through the end of the year.

The 2014 minimum population count includes 38 wild-born pups that survived through the end of the year. This is also considered a minimum known number since it might not reflect pups surviving but not documented.

The Mexican wolf recovery program is a partnership between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Arizona Game and Fish Department, White Mountain Apache Tribe, USDA Forest Service and USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service – Wildlife Services, and several participating counties. For more information on the Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Program, visit http://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/mexicanwolf/ or www.azgfd.gov/wolf.

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