July 2, 2020

Commentary: Wolves Eating Dogs in Whitehorse Town

by Clay Dethlefsen (In response to new article, “Wolves Preying on Dogs in Whitehorse Area.”

This is a very interesting report. I was in Whitehorse in 2003 on a Dall Sheep hunt and spent some time in the precise area where this report is citing wolf activities.

What is interesting is that in August 2003 no one had any concerns about wolves this close to Whitehorse’s residential area.  There was however a massive concern on the impact of wolf packs in the hunting concessions around but outside this specific Whitehorse area, especially those areas bordering Alaska.

My outfitter, Dave Dickinson, back then and I discussed the impact of wolves on Mountain Caribou and other big game animals, as well as his trapping them. The Mountain Caribou had been decimated in many concession areas to the extent that they could no longer be hunted.

While moving our drop camp we had a single caribou approach us while we were on horseback.  It seemed to think we were a small group of caribou.  He approach within several yards of us to a point where we perceived he was not sure what we were.  He was obviously looking for security in numbers.

After he determined we were not caribou and that we didn’t present any danger to him he stayed walking along with us for a mile or so, until we moved over a ridge and headed in a different direction then he proceeded on his way.

This article cites what appears to be a pair of wolves killing dogs not a whole pack as yet.  If this be the case the residents look to be experiencing a movement of wolves from the more sylvatic area around Whitehorse to the pastoral area, i.e. urban and residential areas.

The implications of this are several.  But the most telling of these implications maybe the lack of pack free domains for new pairs to set up their own domains, abd/or the lack of normal food i.e. ungulates in the outer areas surrounding Whitehorse.

Looking at the picture in this article seems to confirm that these killers of the dogs are pure wolves.  But their behavior seems to indicate that they have complete lost their survival instinct (often referred to as “fear of humans” that would keep them away from areas of constant human habitation.  Hence, it does appear that these wolves have become thoroughly habituated and will continue to remain where they are and set up housekeeping.

I suspect that if these wolves were studied we would find within a year that they have established a pack and its associated marked territory (domain) right around Whitehorse.

I wonder if other domestic animals have gone missing from a broader surrounding pastoral area?

It would also appears to be a valid need to determine if these wolves are a mix of male and female or whether they maybe a bachelor group.  Finding where they came from also would tell a great deal as to what maybe or in the future might happen in other residential areas in the Whitehorse vicinity.

In all the research I have done over the last 8 plus years one thing always shines out; that is nothing happens in the Canius lupus lupus world without a very influential and dominating reason.

Another few thoughts, with all the deliberate natural or human hybridization going on using wolves as one half of a breeding pair, do we have any information regarding hybrid wolf-dogs in any area around Whitehorse?   Too, looking into the E.g. and E.m. disease happenings in this area seems a priority and it is made easy given the close in location of these wolves.

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Echinococcosis: An Economic Evaluation of a Veterinary Public Health Intervention in Rural Canada

Abstract

Echinococcosis is a rare but endemic condition in people in Canada, caused by a zoonotic cestode for which the source of human infection is ingestion of parasite eggs shed by canids. The objectives of this study were to identify risk factors associated with infection and to measure the cost-utility of introducing an echinococcosis prevention program in a rural area. We analyzed human case reports submitted to the Canadian Institutes for Health Information between 2002 and 2011. Over this 10 year period, there were 48 cases associated with E. granulosus/E. canadensis, 16 with E. multilocularis, and 251 cases of echinococcosis for which species was not identified (total 315 cases). Nationally, annual incidence of echinococcosis was 0.14 cases per 100 000 people, which is likely an underestimate due to under-diagnosis and under-reporting. Risk factors for echinococcosis included female gender, age (>65 years), and residing in one of the northern territories (Nunavut, Yukon, or Northwest Territories). The average cost of treating a case of cystic echinococcosis in Canada was $8,842 CAD. Cost-utility analysis revealed that dosing dogs with praziquantel (a cestocide) at six week intervals to control cystic echinococcosis is not currently cost-effective at a threshold of $20,000-100,000 per Quality Adjusted Life Year (QALY) gained, even in a health region with the highest incidence rate in Canada ($666,978 -755,051 per QALY gained). However, threshold analysis demonstrated that the program may become cost-saving at an echinococcosis incidence of 13-85 cases per 100,000 people and therefore, even one additional CE case in a community of 9000 people could result in the monetary benefits of the program outweighing costs.<<<Read Entire Report>>>

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Dog Infects Humans With Plague for First Time in US

A dog became sickened with the plague last year.

Four days later, the dog’s owner entered the hospital with a fever and a bloody cough that became worse over the next few hours, but an initial blood culture was misidentified, according to the CDC report.

As the patient’s symptoms grew worse, the test was redone and he was found to have been infected with pnumonic plague, according to the CDC report. The remains of the dog were also tested and were found to be positive for the plague bacteria.

Source: Dog Infects Humans With Plague for First Time in US – ABC News

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It Continues: Eating Wolf Scat and Howling at the Moon

WolfScatIn 2010 it was considered by most as absolutely atrocious that wildlife officials would tell citizens that in order to contract Echinococcus granulosis, you had to eat wolf excrement. As ridiculous as that sounds, the same utter nonsense continues to be perpetuated.

“But veterinarians point out that other critters are host to the parasite, too. It’s been around for a long time. A human would essentially have to eat the poop of an infected animal to contract the parasite.”

“If you’re worried about wolf diseases, wear latex gloves while cleaning game, wash your hands – and don’t eat poop.”<<<Read More>>>

One has to wonder that had it been stated that Ebola was transmitted to humans via the wolf, if so many would be as eager to protect the wolf over the human?

It seems that in any discussion about wolves, too much emphasis is placed on either or of both extremes. A reader here at this website pointed out last evening that issues of Echinococcus granulosis isn’t about scare tactics and fear mongering. It’s about gaining the accurate knowledge in order that any person can properly use the best tactics, for their own circumstances, to reduce the risk of contracting the disease. Why is that so difficult to do and met with such resistance?

I think there are many things at play here that drives human actions, non of which are for the benefit of the human being; only the wolf.

For those of us who have spent a considerable amount of time studying this issue, what has changed doesn’t seem to be taken into consideration. It’s easy to fall back on making a statement that E.g. has been around for a long time. And it has, but what has changed is, the United States Lower 48 states now have wolves numbering in the thousands. The human population has grown. There are more domestic canine pets than ever at any time in history and testing and studies are now confirming the existence of the more virulent strains of E.g., previously only found in remote northern climates. How that strain got here is mostly immaterial, except to discover whether or not it did happen through wolf introduction using wolves from Canada, to insure it wouldn’t happen again in a similar instance. Learning of the dangers and how to avoid them is responsible.

It isn’t about scaring people. It’s about discovering truth, not denying or covering it up.

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E. Multilocularis Spreading Rapidly – Humans Threatened With Alveolar Echinococcosis

“Animal health researchers are watching what appears to be mounting evidence of the spread of a potentially dangerous parasite in coyotes, foxes and other animals in Canada.

That’s a concern, they suggest, because the parasite, a tapeworm, can on occasion spill over from its wild animal hosts to infect dogs and humans.

And while people aren’t the tapeworm’s preferred hosts, a growing number of human cases are being seen in Europe and parts of the world where the parasite is more established.”<<<Read More>>>

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Minnesota Authorities Warn of Wolf Attacks

Seeing this reminds me of what is written in the 1994 Final Environmental Impact Statement(FEIS) that wolves in the Lower 48 states would not pose any significant threat to human health and safety. Of course I am sure that the authors of the FEIS didn’t think a few human lives was any big deal to lose when it comes to the protection and recovery of a species; one they claim they are required by the law of the Endangered Species Act to follow.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service personnel said the same things about diseases, parasites, worms and infections carried and spread by wolves. We also know that it can take 10-15 years, or more, before Hydatid cysts can show up in humans, if detected at all, so how long before we will be hearing about more Americans inflicted with Hydatidosis?

Certainly the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has learned very little since 1994 as their recent Draft Environmental Impact Statement, in order that the Feds can change the rules of the game in mid-stream, shows their willingness to acknowledge that diseases such as cystic echinococcosis exists but are unwilling to even recognize that as wolves continue to be overprotected and forced into human-settled landscapes, the odds that humans will not be infected shrink. If they did acknowledge this fact, due to human safety they would not be seeking to spread more wolf filth on the land.

GRAND MARAIS, Minn. — Northeastern Minnesota authorities are warning residents about wolves attacking dogs and approaching people in Cook County.<<<Read More>>>

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S.F. Don’t Know How to Stop Woman Who Breeds, Releases Wolves Rats

SAN FRANCISCO — Authorities in San Francisco say their hands are tied when it comes to stopping a woman who has been breeding hundreds of rats in her home and then releasing them into public parks.<<<Read More>>>

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Is Socialized Wildlife Management Killing Maine’s Moose?

MooseTickMap*Editor’s Note*: Below I have republished an article I wrote in February of 2012 called, “Are Winter Ticks Killing Maine’s Moose Population?” I have edited this report to update bad links and to remove some information that is not exactly that relevant to current events.

The point of republishing the article is in response to the recent announcement that the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) is going to reduce available moose permits this late summer and fall by nearly 30% due to a significant die-off of moose during the most recent winter event. The responses to this announcement are mostly based on bad information, especially coming from those who believe the increased number of ticks killing moose is attributed to “global warming”; conveniently that term has been changed to “climate change” in order to fool more people. Persisting in the mantra of climate change is dishonest at best and shows ignorance to an understanding of the life cycle of the winter moose tick and what environmental and biological conditions effect the tick.

Burying our heads in the sand and blindly following climate change as the excuse du jour is partly a product of socialized wildlife management. Socialized wildlife management began when our wildlife managers abandoned sound and scientific animal biology and replaced it with social tolerances and desires of the public in what they wanted for wildlife in their neighborhoods. This, of course, is utter nonsense and is often referred to as “Romance Biology” – that is a form of fantasy or idealistic coexistence with animals based on some mythological notion that nature will balance itself if man would just shrivel up and go away.

In addressing Maine’s moose herd, we know that over the past several years, people have clamored and whined to the state that they wanted more and more moose to “watch”; some even claiming huge money to be made with moose watching tours. But is this social demand for more moose biologically sound?

It is my theory, and I’m not alone in these thoughts, that following the attack of the spruce budworm that resulted in the clear-cutting of hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of acres of infested forests, the resulting landscape, as the forests regenerated, made for prime moose habitat, as well as habit for the snowshoe hare which helps explain the resurgence of Canada lynx.

Maine’s moose population grew rapidly and without definite tools at the disposal of moose managers, it was only educated guesstimates used to determine what might have been a reasonable number of moose. We should have known things were growing too fast when the state had to offer moose hunting permits in some southern Wildlife Management Districts. With recent aerial counts we now have a better idea.

In the link that will appear below of work done by William Samuel about moose ticks, Samuel provides a map that shows where moose ticks appear. The map also shows the range of the moose and as most of us know the moose in Maine are at the southern end of the range. For that reason alone shouldn’t we be concerned that a moose population that has grown to an official count of 75,000, with some estimations up near 90,000, that this is not normal?

If MDIFW is going to continue to guide their wildlife management by social demands, the future and health of wildlife populations can probably expect more of disease, parasite, worms and other infestations.

As is pointed out in the republished article below, maybe instead of reducing the moose harvest to keep number artificially high, we should considering an overall reduction in population. William Samuel does say that more moose mean more ticks. After all, ticks thrive when there are a lot of hosts to suck blood from.

Are Winter Ticks Killing Maine’s Moose Population?

There seems to be a bit more information about winter ticks that I haven’t found in any Maine publications that deals more in depth with what happens in the fall when the winter tick larvae are gathering on vegetation waiting for a free ride with a host. In addition to that, while these winter ticks effect all wild ungulates, why pick on the moose so much. And, it is said that the winter ticks don’t actually kill the moose, but rarely, are we looking at an honest assessment of all factors that kill a moose weakened by tens of thousands of blood sucking ticks?

Lee Kantar says that the winter tick is a “huge contributor” to the death of some moose, he also points out that, “it’s not the sole cause”. Even on the MDIFW website [Note: the original link is no longer valid after MDIFW redesigned their website. In it’s place MDIFW links to an off-site location for information about winter ticks.], information provided about moose states that, “winter tick and lung worm infestations rarely kill moose”.

This information is supported in existing studies about moose and winter ticks. William M. Samuel and Dwight A. Welch, “Winter Ticks on Moose and Other Ungulates: Factors Influencing Their Population Size,”[Once again the original link I had on studies by William Samuel and Dwight Welch is no longer valid. The actual study now is behind a pay wall. I will provide here a link to a preview of a book with the title I’ve shown. It is in this preview where the map of where moose ticks prevail is available.] states that winter ticks (dermacentor albipictus) being the cause of death isn’t certain because, “unequivocal evidence is lacking”.

I think therefore it might be honest to conclude that the cause of death in the majority of dead moose being found in the Maine woods that are inundated with ticks, was not the tick alone. There had to have been other factors. We’ll address those in a moment.

First I think it important to better understand what takes place in the fall of the year. We have read statements from biologists and outdoor sportsmen that seem to indicate that Maine needs little snow and very cold temperatures to kill off the ticks. While that may be true it’s not the entire story in the life cycle of these ticks.

Samuel and Welch state that for there to be significant die-offs of winter ticks, you need 6 consecutive days in which the temperature does not exceed 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit. This is not the only way to kill the ticks and/or lessen the severity of ticks on moose.

During the fall months, in Maine’s climate around September and October, the winter tick larvae find their way onto vegetation. They clump together on the ends of small branches etc. These larvae can be found on vegetation just above the ground to quite high up in trees. The larvae wait until a passing, warm-bodied host, in this case a moose, passes by and then they attach themselves to the moose and the ride begins. You can read all the splendid details by reading the studies, etc.

It is during this time of year, September/October, that certain weather events can have a significant effect on how severe the tick season will become. Early cold temperatures, especially those below freezing, will greatly reduce the activity of the larvae, i.e. limiting their effectiveness of attaching themselves to the moose or even migrating up the stems of vegetation.

Early snows can bury the larvae and stiff fall winds will blow the larvae off the vegetation scattering it around and to the ground preventing the larvae from being able to find a host. The studies of Samuel and Welch, as well as others [original link can no longer be found], seem to agree that the weather events of the fall have a greater effect on tick production than hoping for enough snow and cold in winter to kill the ticks. Without a host, the larvae die.

There are other interesting things to be discovered about moose and winter ticks. For example, these winter ticks bother all wild ungulates, i.e. deer, moose, elk, etc., but most scientists will agree that it seems to be the moose that is the most effected. It is assumed that it all has to do with timing.

The aggregation of the larvae on vegetation seems to more closely fall in line with the timing of the moose mating season. During this time, moose are most active, covering greater amounts of territory than normal and male moose travel more than the females and thus explains the observation by some that it seems bull moose are more effected by the winter ticks than cows. I believe this conclusion about bull moose vs. cow moose is based on assumptive reasoning than anything concluded through scientific study.

In the Samuel/Welch study, experiments were conducted and it was determined that moose have an aversion to larvae/tick infested food. Imagine if they didn’t. If moose have an ability to smell or sense the larvae on the vegetation and in their food, it might also help to explain the claims of some and what is obvious on the ground that predators and scavengers won’t touch the dead carcass of a tick infested moose.

Studies have shown us that there can exist tens of thousands of ticks on any one moose and that this number of ticks can certainly put the moose into a weakened state. Moose are already in a weakened state just trying to survive the winters. Compound that with 50,000 ticks and the problems snowball. However, as we have learned, the ticks alone rarely kill a moose but certainly contribute to it.

When the blood sucking begins, the moose spends much of it’s time “grooming”. Studies tell us that moose that are troubled by the biting ticks do not bed down as often nor as long as non infected moose. This of course tires the animal even more.

While studies seem to be lacking on exactly what happens to the composition of the moose’s blood while all these ticks are feasting, it is honest to assume that the more female, blood sucking ticks there are on a moose, factoring also the moose’s body mass, the greater a weakened state is realized due to loss of blood.

All of these factors and more, make the moose more vulnerable to all the other elements that contribute to normal winter kill. In other words, it becomes more difficult to get enough nourishment; loss of blood and reduced winter hair makes the moose more susceptible to hypothermia; spending so much time “grooming” expends valuable energy needed for survival and with all these losses a moose certainly could not ward off attacks and harassment by predators.

This is perhaps where I’ll get ambushed but please consider the facts and possibilities. There is no denying that coyotes/wolves will harass and kill moose, deer and elk during their weakened winter states. Even though it is seen and believed to be accurate that predators and even scavengers will not touch a tick-infested moose carcass, at what point does a pack of hungry wolves/coyotes know their target is tick infested.

Some of us have been made aware through written and video accounts of how these predators take down and kill, often eating alive, their prey. We have also seen videos and photographs that document coyotes and wolves chasing down their prey. How long could a moose, weakened by normal winter strains and tick infestation, last in trying to run away from a predator attack? Not long I’m afraid. Would the moose have survived if the predator wasn’t there? There’s no way of knowing the answer to that question.

Which brings us once again back to the same point about predators. It seems that when all things within our forests are going well, little concern is given to predators and the effects they have on our game animals. When things get skewed, those populations of predators loom large over the forests and can raise some serious cane even to a point of prohibiting the rebuilding of a herd of deer or moose, in this case a herd that might be suffering some from these blasted ticks.

So, what do we do about the ticks? What can we do? In one report a gentleman suggested some kind of spraying program to kill the ticks but I’m not sure how feasible that is or if that’s something we want to pour onto our landscapes. We can’t control the weather but we can control the predators. But, is that the answer either to this exact equation?

In George Smith’s blog post yesterday, he explained that one Dr. Anthony who attended a recent information session on Maine’s moose, suggested that instead of trying to limit hunting permits for moose to protect them due to increased mortality from ticks, that killing more of the moose might be the better solution.

I’ll leave you with some questions. Feel free to chime in below in the comments section with some answers.

1. According to George Smith’s blog post I referenced above, in 2007 the estimated moose population of Maine was 45,000. Now Lee Kantar, Maine’s head deer and moose biologist claims there are 75,000 or more. Are there now too many moose in Maine which is exacerbating the tick problem?

2. If so, do we kill more moose during the moose hunt? Or do we protect more moose?

3. George Smith states that the new moose counts are, “more credible than any previous estimates”. He offers no substantive proof of his claim. Do you think the new counts are more “credible” or accurate than previous and why?

Who would have thought 35 years ago Maine would be asking if the state had too many moose?

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Wolf Hybrids Impersonating Wolves

The below video is an example of the hybrid wild canines being found all over Europe and being passed off as real wolves. These same hybrids are being protected, even to the point of serious criminal charges being levied against hunters who shot and killed one of these.

Note the coloring, pointed ears, convexly curved forehead, elongated and narrow snout, short legs, short body, and up-curved tail.

In addition, when an educated person considers the diseases these animals carry, specifically Echinococcus granulosus, note that aside from a few people wearing rubber gloves, very little care is taken to prevent the spread of potentially hazardous tapeworm eggs. I.E. the animal was examined in the mouth, on site, without gloves; lifting the animal and making contact with regular clothing; placing of the carcass into a plastic bag again taking little care; tossing into the back of a vehicle presumably used everyday by government officials; and even once to the laboratory, little care is taken.

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Wild Dogs in Australia Spread 35 Diseases Including Echinococcus Granulosus

In Australia, the wild dog is called the dingo, wild dog, dingo-dog hybrid or canis lupus familiaris. In short, they are a pest, destructive and carry disease, as can be discovered by visiting the Department of Environment and Primary Industries website.

In addition, it should be noted that there is an out of control amount of interbreeding/crossbreeding of canines going on here, which is presenting a serious problem.

“Wild dogs can have significant impacts on farming communities. They also have the potential to impact human health. All dogs can carry a parasite called the hydatid tapeworm (Echinococcus granulosus), which has the potential to cause fatality in humans.

Another potential risk of wild dog populations is rabies. Although rabies is not found in Australia, canids would be the most important vector of this disease if introduced to Australia.”

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