December 18, 2014

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.

Post-Normal Science Concludes Wolf Control Increases Livestock Depredation

PostNormalScienceBelow is the Abstract from a “quasi-experimental” study done in which outcome-based, paid-for conclusions determined, through modeling, that wolf control caused increases in livestock depredation in the year following disruptions to packs near livestock regions.

If an honest scientist were to accept the “quasi-experimental” research for what it is, I would assume that it would be consider mostly worthless nonsense. Overlooked in most of these studies are the words used to describe the quasi-results of modeling, i.e. “estimate, the odds, possible reasons, may be, may sometimes.”

It appears that for the actions they took, they used models and achieved some numbers. But do they really mean anything? First consider that this group of researchers got some of their information from, “wolf population estimates, number of breeding pairs, and the number of wolves killed,” from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services Interagency Wolf Reports. There should be little disagreement to the fact that these estimates are barely estimates, are deliberately low-balled and arguably inaccurate as hell. In short, they are political.

Missing from the study, from what I can tell, is factoring in to the modeling of what was transpiring with the natural prey base for the wolves. Certainly no real conclusions can be made unless all aspects of the natural prey base for wolves are accurately calculated and placed into the modeling equation.

Modeling is mostly nonsense and should be used, if at all, for purposes of discussion only as history, as short as it is with this kind of modeling, reveals it is extremely inaccurate and easily manipulated to achieve desired outcomes.

From my perspective, what gave away the biased intent of the study, is revealed in the Abstract where it states, “but we recommend that non-lethal alternatives also be considered.”(emphasis added) I wasn’t really aware that the purpose of “scientific” research was to make recommendations on how wildlife should be managed….unless of course the study was funded by someone looking for such a recommendation. If so, and it certainly appears that way, this is a classic example of “post-normal” or “new-science” outcome-based manipulations of reality. Also referred to as “romance biology.” It should have no place in any real scientific community and yet the push has been on for many years, from the Environmental Movement, to “find new understanding” and shifting the paradigm as to how wildlife management is discussed.

However, indications from the study might not be too far off in some of the things that were discovered, or revealed, whether intended or not. There was some discussion about how “disruptions” to packs “may be” a contributing factor to increased depredations on livestock by wolves. More and more studies, even from the real scientific community, are beginning to uncover troubling information that due to hybridization of wolves, normal and natural behaviors are causing reductions in the existence of the progeny of the breeding female within a pack. This results in multiple litters within a pack. The changed behavior infused by hybridization, combined with multiple litters, i.e. larger than normal packs, “may be” contributing to coincidental, small increases in livestock depredations in what appears to be the year following a culling of wolves by something in the order of less than 25%. Where is this information made available in this study?

Few, myself included, will argue with the point that little change will result in livestock depredations without, at least, a reduction in wolf numbers that exceed 25%. That’s the entire point of wolf control and better management.

Please read the complete study, linked-to below, but at least approach it with a better and more honest understanding of what it is and isn’t telling us. The bottom line is the data being used are estimates, therefore the modeling outcome is also only an estimate. It is not accurate in any way. There is nothing conclusive to this study.

Abstract

Predator control and sport hunting are often used to reduce predator populations and livestock depredations, – but the efficacy of lethal control has rarely been tested. We assessed the effects of wolf mortality on reducing livestock depredations in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming from 1987–2012 using a 25 year time series. The number of livestock depredated, livestock populations, wolf population estimates, number of breeding pairs, and wolves killed were calculated for the wolf-occupied area of each state for each year. The data were then analyzed using a negative binomial generalized linear model to test for the expected negative relationship between the number of livestock depredated in the current year and the number of wolves controlled the previous year. We found that the number of livestock depredated was positively associated with the number of livestock and the number of breeding pairs. However, we also found that the number of livestock depredated the following year was positively, not negatively, associated with the number of wolves killed the previous year. The odds of livestock depredations increased 4% for sheep and 5–6% for cattle with increased wolf control – up until wolf mortality exceeded the mean intrinsic growth rate of wolves at 25%. Possible reasons for the increased livestock depredations at #25% mortality may be compensatory increased breeding pairs and numbers of wolves following increased mortality. After mortality exceeded 25%, the total number of breeding pairs, wolves, and livestock depredations declined. However, mortality rates exceeding 25% are unsustainable over the long term. Lethal control of individual depredating wolves may sometimes necessary to stop depredations in the near-term, but we recommend that non-lethal alternatives also be considered.

<<<Link to Complete Study>>>

First records of Dirofilaria repens in wild canids from the region of Central Balkan

Abstract

Dirofilaria repens causes an emerging zoonotic disease in Europe, particularly in its southern part, the Mediterranean region. Many reports on human dirofilariosis have been published recently, but little is known about the wildlife hosts and reservoirs of this parasite in nature. This paper presents the first records of adult D. repens specimens from free-ranging carnivores in Central Balkan countries (Serbia and Macedonia). During the period 2009–2013, a total of 145 regularly shot canids were examined for the presence of D. repens adults. In order to investigate their role as hosts and potential wild reservoirs of this zoonosis, 71 wolves (Canis lupus), 48 foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and 26 jackals (Canis aureus) were examined. Under the skin of two wolves (one from Serbia and one from Macedonia) and of a red fox from Serbia D. repens adults were found. In all three cases only one parasite was present. Further research on wild canids is needed, particularly on species widening their range (such as jackals) and those living near human settlements (foxes and jackals), which facilitates the transmission of the parasites to dogs and humans.<<<Read More>>>

Perhaps There’s ONE Good Thing About a Cell Phone

I hate cell phones and consider them to be the number object that is destroying humanity today. Aside from that, like there’s always some good things to do with a dead cat, a sheep farmer in Armenia found a good use for his cell phone. Observing 4 wolves about to have evening lunch on his flock of sheep, he took out his cell phone and began playing recorded noises of dogs barking. That and his own effort at making noises, thwarted the attack and saved his sheep. <<<Source>>>

Electric Fences to Keep Wolves Out, They No Work So Good

ElectricFences

Sakha Republic of Russia To Cull 3,000 Wolves

Due to an overwhelming slaughter of over 16,000 reindeer, officials in the Russian Sakha Republic are paying handsome bounties, as much as $33,000 to the top hunters, to remove 3,000 wolves, reducing the estimated population to around 500 animals.

More information on this, with a link to a source article, can be found at the Wolf Education International website.

Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) Variation of Wolves ( Canis lupus ) in Southeast Alaska and Comparison with Wolves, Dogs, and Coyotes in North America

Abstract

There is considerable interest in the genetics of wolves (Canis lupus) because of their close relationship to domestic dogs(C. familiaris) and the need for informed conservation and management. This includes wolf populations in Southeast Alaska for which we determined genotypes of 305 wolves at 173 662 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) loci. After removal of invariant and linked SNP, 123 801 SNP were used to quantify genetic differentiation of wolves in Southeast Alaska and wolves, coyotes (C. latrans), and dogs from other areas in North America. There is differentiation of SNP allele frequencies between the species (wolves, coyotes, and dogs), although differentiation is relatively low between some wolf and coyote populations. There are varying levels of differentiation among populations of wolves, including low differentiation of wolves in interior Alaska, British Columbia, and the northern US Rocky Mountains. There is considerable differentiation of SNP allele frequencies of wolves in Southeast Alaska from wolves in other areas. However, wolves in Southeast Alaska are not a genetically homogeneous group and there are comparable levels of genetic differentiation among areas within Southeast Alaska and between Southeast Alaska and other geographic areas. SNP variation and other genetic data are discussed regarding taxonomy and management.

<<<Read More>>>

In Protest of Protecting Hybrid Wild Dogs, Sheep Flock to Eiffel Tower

““It’s a bit like asking what is the point of an eagle, or a piece of music, or a painting. The wolf is part of life,” Patrick Boffy, the head of Ferus, told the BBC. “It returned naturally to France – the only southern European country where it had disappeared.”

“In France, we need to learn, little by little, how to live alongside wild animals again,” he added.”<<<Read More>>>

Female Coyotes Birth Wolf Hybrids in Captivity

“During the 2012 and 2013 study, the scientists attempted to inseminate nine captive western coyotes with sperm from eight different gray wolves at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services National Wildlife Research Center Predator Research Facility in Logan, Utah. Three coyotes became pregnant, and one successfully birthed and nursed six live, healthy pups, currently housed at the Wildlife Science Center in Forest Lake, Minn., north of the Twin Cities.”<<<Read More>>>

*Editor Comment* – Common sense (absent today) would tell a once 8th grade science class that if two animals can successfully breed, they are of the same species. These clowns, however, are suggesting it’s reason to create another subspecies of wolf and then protect it as in endangered species.

Europe Proposes Protecting Feral Dogs Believing They Are Protecting Wolves

On display in Europe is either the epitome of ignorance, a perverted love affair with wild dogs or plain corruption targeting the destruction of public health and safety, property and the agricultural economy. Because these clowns don’t understand that hybridization threatens even the existence of their precious wolves and they don’t know how to deal with an event in which they have created by forcing, through over protection, wolves to coexist in human-settled landscapes, they are deciding whether or not to just protect all wild dogs.

From the Standing Committee of the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats, in part, their proposal:

“Aware of the challenges posed to the conservation of wolves (Canis lupus) by hybridisation between wild wolves and domestic dogs (Canis lupus familiaris);

Noting the need to address these challenges through effective preventive and mitigation measures, including the detection of free-ranging wolf-dog hybrids and their government-controlled removal from wild wolf populations;

Noting, at the same time, that it is in the interest of effective wolf conservation to accord free-ranging wolf-dog hybrids a similar level of protection from the general public as wolves – given inter alia the difficulty of distinguishing between wolves and wolf-dog hybrids – and to ensure that the removal of any detected wolf-dog hybrids is conducted exclusively in a government-controlled manner;

Noting that the national legislation of several Contracting Parties already accords free-ranging wolf-dog hybrids a similar level of protection as wolves;

Mindful of the approach to hybrids taken under the Convention on Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), in particular CITES Resolution Conf. 10.17 (Rev. CoP14) on Animal Hybrids;

Defining, for the purposes of the implementation of this recommendation, the term ‘wolf-dog hybrid’ as meaning a wild living animal with both wolf and dog ancestry which can be confirmed by the current taxonomic techniques (using both morphological and genetic features);”

Read the entire analysis and proposal.