July 25, 2014

Predicting Human/Wolf Conflicts

Note: I’m still laughing!

Abstract

Due to legislative protection, many species, including large carnivores, are currently recolonizing Europe. To address the impending human-wildlife conflicts in advance, predictive habitat models can be used to determine potentially suitable habitat and areas likely to be recolonized. As field data are often limited, quantitative rule based models or the extrapolation of results from other studies are often the techniques of choice. Using the wolf (Canis lupus) in Germany as a model for habitat generalists, we developed a habitat model based on the location and extent of twelve existing wolf home ranges in Eastern Germany, current knowledge on wolf biology, different habitat modeling techniques and various input data to analyze ten different input parameter sets and address the following questions: (1) How do a priori assumptions and different input data or habitat modeling techniques affect the abundance and distribution of potentially suitable wolf habitat and the number of wolf packs in Germany? (2) In a synthesis across input parameter sets, what areas are predicted to be most suitable? (3) Are existing wolf pack home ranges in Eastern Germany consistent with current knowledge on wolf biology and habitat relationships? Our results indicate that depending on which assumptions on habitat relationships are applied in the model and which modeling techniques are chosen, the amount of potentially suitable habitat estimated varies greatly. Depending on a priori assumptions, Germany could accommodate between 154 and 1769 wolf packs. The locations of the existing wolf pack home ranges in Eastern Germany indicate that wolves are able to adapt to areas densely populated by humans, but are limited to areas with low road densities. Our analysis suggests that predictive habitat maps in general, should be interpreted with caution and illustrates the risk for habitat modelers to concentrate on only one selection of habitat factors or modeling technique.<<<Read More>>>

Wolves Are Just So Misunderstood

Nasty rotten events involving wolves that wolf lovers refuse to accept as reality, lead us to this news story. A man, who 56 years ago was attacked by a wolf, begins corrective surgery to fix a disfigured face.<<<Read More>>>

“Vampires That Have Taken the Form of Dogs”

Wolves or vampires? Something is killing goats on a remote island in the Philippines and one mayor has ordered to “shoot those dogs.”

From the Manilla Standard Today:

“SIBALE ISLAND, Romblon—Gov. Eduardo Firmalo has ordered the police “to shoot on sight” an unknown animal that kills goats to suck its blood and eat its heart and liver after a new attack was reported on Saturday, a town official said.

Mayor Lemuel Cipriano said the governor reacted in anger when a resident reported that her pregnant goat and its kid was found dead with its intestines taken out and blood splattered in a coconut grove in Barangay Poblacion.
Firmalo

“Shoot those dogs,” the governor said, referring to the suspected werewolves that killed 211 goats since 2012 in this isolated island in the central Philippines, which can be reached after a six-hour boat ride from the provincial capital of Romblon.

As news of attack spread of the attack on goats spread in across the island, Vincent Fajutagana, a farmer from Barangay Dalajican, reported to the mayor that the predator was about to attack his tethered goat when he arrived and came face to face “with a big, black dog with bloodshot eyes.” The dog fled.”<<<Read More>>>

Impacts of Wolf Hunting/Trapping on Tolerance of the Gray Wolf

ABSTRACT:

The Public Trust Doctrine placed wildlife in trust, via state control and regulation, for the benefit of the people. Managing agencies that lose sight of the importance of public acceptance of predator policies and management actions may find themselves legislatively or judicially subverted. This study examines how the Montana public wolf hunting and trapping seasons have affected tolerance and acceptance of gray wolves (Canis lupus) among rural resident ranchers, hunters, and trappers. Twenty residents from the Blackfoot, Bitterroot, and Ninemile Valleys were qualitatively interviewed over the summer and fall of 2013. Potential participants were initially identified using purposive sampling, with subsequent interviewees located through snowball sampling. The presence or absence of the public wolf hunting and trapping seasons is not the sole determining factor of tolerance or intolerance of wolves in this sample population. The pattern of determinant factors instead more closely represents a web of influence than a direct line of cause and effect. Eight main nodes, or themes, were identified in interview transcription data identified based on frequency of occurrence in interview data and how essential they seemed in shaping attitudes of interviewees: 1) the consequences of political maneuvering (frustration, perceived inequity, and mistrust); 2) the need for management and control of the wolf population; 3) wolf-related impacts to interviewees’ livelihood and way of life; 4) personal beliefs, affects, and attitudes; 5) previous interactions with predators; 6) cultural influences; 7) the place and impact of wolves in the ecosystem; and 8) noted changes in opinion. Most themes were further divided into subthemes, and the connections between all themes and subthemes were examined from there. While the impacts of the seasons have not yet been great or entirely consistent across the sample population, statements made by interviewees suggest that removal of public wolf hunting and trapping liberties would greatly reduce tolerance and acceptance in these interest groups and increase an overall polarization of public opinions. Interview data reveal complex relationships between stakeholders, interest groups, and impacts from wolf re-establishment, as well as complex attitudes towards wolves that often incorporate some level of awe and admiration. Individual’s trust in managing agencies may be critical in moving forward. Data also shows that there will likely be more changes to come in this sample population’s acceptance and tolerance of wolves. Wolf tolerance and acceptance levels should be further monitored in Montana rural resident ranchers, trappers, and big game hunters, the stakeholder groups that are the most directly impacted by and most necessary for continued wolf management and recovery.<<<Download PDF Document>>>

Wolf/Coyote Hybirds Menacing D.C. Suburb Park

“We’ve known for a while that most Eastern coyotes are hybrids to some degree, and now we’re finding a greater degree of hybridization than anyone expected,”<<<Read More>>>

As Wolves Return to Switzerland, Life is Being Destroyed

“The shepherd points out tufts of black wool on the mountain path, evidence of the recent carnage. The wolf has been and gone. The rise in wolf numbers, boosted by a breeding pack, has raised the question whether man and predator can co-exist in Switzerland.”<<<Read More>>>

Wolves Kill 36 Sheep

“Wolves killed 36 sheep in the village of Akhuryan in Armenia’s Shirak province last night, the Ministry of Emergency Situation reported on Wednesday.”<<<Read More>>>

Wolf Slaughters 20 Sheep

“A blood-thirsty wolf in central Sweden went on a killing spree leaving seven animals dead, while a further 13 had to put down as a result of injuries sustained in the attack.”<<<Read More>>>

Wolves Have Destroyed Yellowstone

This is one man’s observations:

“I’ve made three trips since the late 1990s and each time have viewed fewer of these animals. About four years ago the only elk (about 50 head) we saw were in the town of Mammoth Hot Springs. During our trip this summer we saw some bison, no bears or antelope, and only two bull elk. Since the introduction of wolves in the 1990s, it is vividly clear that they have taken a toll, especially on the once magnificence herds of elk which were estimated at around 18,000 head before wolf reintroduction.”<<<Read More>>>

Wolf Pack Breeders: Could, Would, Should, Might, Maybe

Another report surfaces in how when the “breeding” members of a wolf pack are killed it MIGHT affect the continuation of that pack.

“”Given the park’s current low wolf densities and small average pack sizes, we are concerned about harvest of wolves from packs that reside primarily within the park,” said Don Striker, Superintendent of Denali National Park and Preserve. “The death of a breeding wolf could harm the packs that provide the greatest opportunities for park visitors to see a wolf in the wild, either through a lack of reproduction or the loss of the entire pack.”<<<Read More>>>

And once again we see a case where biologists are “managing” wolf populations in accordance with the demands of people wanting to “view wolves in the wild” and not necessarily for the health of the animals.