June 30, 2015

Effects of Wolves and Other Predators on Farms in Wisconsin: Beyond Verified Losses

With the recolonization of gray wolves (Canis lupus) across the Western Great Lake States (Minnesota, Michigan, and Wisconsin) there has been a concomitant increase in livestock depredations caused by wolves (Mech 1998, Ruid et al. 2005, Treves et al. 2002, USDA 2006, Wydeven et al. 2006). Wolf populations in Wisconsin have grown from 25 in late winter 1980 to 465 in late winter 2006 with their range expanding both towards the east and south across the state. These wolf populations fluctuate during the year and perhaps double soon after pups are born in the spring, but decline to lower levels in fall and winter due to pup and adult mortalities. The official wolf count made at the end of winter thus represents the lowest number of wolves on the landscape in the annual cycle, and number of wolves that livestock could be exposed to would be higher during most of the year. With the growth of the wolf population there have been major increases in depredation on livestock, especially toward the later 1990s and into the 2000s (Treves et al 2002, Ruid et al. 2005, Wydeven et al. 2006). The majority of the livestock losses
have been calves with over a half a million dollars paid to livestock, hunters, and pet owners since 1985 (Jurewicz 2007 pers. comm.). It is also worth noting that research on risk perception suggest that people focus on maximal events, not average losses, and this helps explain why so many livestock producers are anxious and may consider costly measures despite low ‘average’ losses (Naughton-Treves 2003).

Traditionally assessments of the economic impact of livestock operations due to predators have focused on direct losses from predation. However, there have been concerns from livestock producers in this region about the economic impacts related to factors other than the direct losses of animals killed by wolves. The very threat of depredation by wolves on livestock can be stressful to farmers (Fritts et al. 2003). Shelton (2004) reported that livestock producers have increased costs associated with efforts to prevent predation which may include night confinement, improved fencing, early weaning, choice of grazing area, or increased feeding costs from a loss of grazing acreage.

Though there is not definitive research supporting the following, it is plausible that other impacts predators may have on livestock production include abortions from the stress of being harassed by predators, disease transmission, decreased weight gain from increased vigilance by livestock living near predators, potential reduction in meat quality from stress, and emotional stress placed on livestock producers concerned about

In the remainder of this report we explore the effects of wolf and other predators on farms. We examine the literature for these effects on livestock and other aspects of the farms. We also discuss relevant anecdotal information on the effects of wolf and predator presence on farms. Lastly, recommendations for future research to measure the effects of wolf presence on farms and how such data should be used in managing wolf populations and livestock are shared.<<<Read Entire Report>>>


NEOSPOROSIS: Recognizing and Preventing Neospora caninum Infections

Neospora caninum is a major cause of abortions in cattle. First recognized in 1988, and linked
to dogs in 1998, this parasite causes an infection called neosporosis. Studies have shown that
at least half the dairy and beef herds in the United States have one or more animals that have
been exposed. In an infected herd, up to 30 percent of the animals may test positive, and some
cows may abort several times. With good herd management, through, you can reduce this
drain on your profits.

…These oocysts
are shed in the feces of dogs, and probably of wild canines including coyotes, foxes and wolves.
These animals become infected by eating infected animals, placentas or fetuses.<<<Read Entire Report>>>

Feds Play With Their Wolves While Ranchers Suffer Losses

A livestock slaughtering wolf allowed to kill for 31 days while Feds play games.

Although the federal team had the frequency and had spotted the wolf, they needed to wait to see whether this particular wolf was traveling alone, Jimenez said.

A few years ago, when a wolf was spotted prowling in the Bighorn Mountains, she had a small pack with her that took out more than 100 head of livestock before her pack was killed, Jimenez said.

“Every time wolves have gotten into the Bighorns, it’s been a problem,” Jimenez said. “We do not want wolves in the Bighorns.”

So the delay this time increased the pressure on the ranching community, and stories of the wolf ran like wildfire, he said.

Still the recovery team waited.

Source: Kaycee lone wolf shot by feds

What Kind of Wild Cross-Bred Dog Am I?

*Editor’s Note* – This is an email sent to me from Jet Ferebee, from North Carolina. He is fighting against the wrongs of wolf introduction in that state. It was labeled as being Part I of a seven-part series. Anxious!

Director Ashe,

This email will be part one of a seven part series in which you and I discern exactly what this canine is and why it is on my farm. I will start out easy.


The above picture of a canine on my farm taken last week, speaks volumes about what the USFWS Red Wolf program has brought to and created in our State.

As Director of USFWS, can you tell me exactly what this canine is? Is it a coyote, a “red wolf”, a coywolf, or a non-native, invasive USFWS created and tax payer funded hybrid red wolf/coyote?

I and many other North Carolinians anxiously await your answer. Please just reply to all ASAP.

Jett Ferebee

Jury convicts man who shot wolf without required tags

COEUR d’ALENE — A North Idaho man who shot and killed a wolf will spend six months on unsupervised probation.

…the case came down to the fact that Mize didn’t have the required tag before he shot the wolf.

Source: Jury convicts man who shot wolf without required tags | The Spokesman-Review

Arizona files suit against federal officials over Mexican wolf recovery plan development

Press Release from the Arizona Game and Fish Department:

Arizona Game and Fish Department
Arizona Attorney General

For immediate release, June 8, 2015

PHOENIX — The Arizona Game and Fish Department and Office of the Arizona Attorney General today filed suit against the secretary of the Department of Interior and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) for failing their statutory duty to develop an updated recovery plan to guide Mexican wolf recovery. The action was taken in an effort to spur development of an updated recovery plan for Mexican wolves that utilizes the best available science as legally required by the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

This action was preceded in January with a Notice of Intent, which went unanswered by the Service.

“The Service is currently in litigation with special interest groups and settlement discussions could possibly occur without our knowledge or involvement, as has occurred in previous Mexican wolf lawsuits. As the state’s wildlife authority, we will not sit on the sidelines when it comes to decisions affecting Arizona’s wildlife,” said Robert Mansell, chair of the Arizona Game and Fish Commission.

The Game and Fish Department has repeatedly requested an updated recovery plan from the Service over the past several years. The current recovery plan for Mexican wolves was developed in 1982 and fails to provide several of the key legal requirements. One of the key failings of the current recovery plan required by ESA is the identification of criteria required to downlist and delist this subspecies of wolves from the ESA. Without these criteria, it is impossible to ever remove Mexican wolves from endangered status.

“The State of Arizona and Game and Fish have long been committed to Mexican wolf recovery. However, we have reached a point where without a current recovery plan to provide a framework by which to operate and objective science-based goals to target, the Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project we started in 1998 will be faced with unwarranted litigation with little regard for how biologically successful our efforts become,” said Arizona Game and Fish Department Director Larry Voyles. “The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is legally obligated to develop a thorough science-based plan that incorporates all of the elements needed for successful recovery, including the inclusion of Mexico and its core range, and criteria for down listing and delisting. Bi-national recovery plans for endangered species have been successfully established with Mexico for other species including Sonoran pronghorn, Kemp’s ridley sea turtles and, most recently, thick-billed parrots.”

The department asserts that to succeed, Mexican wolf recovery must include an integrated, bi-national approach that incorporates the recovery work already underway in Mexico. Mexico holds 90 percent of the Mexican wolf’s core historic range.

“The federal government has failed to do its part to provide an updated Mexican wolf recovery plan, one that provides real world guidelines for measuring success,” said Attorney General Mark Brnovich. “While long supporting a recovery for the Mexican wolf, we have a responsibility to insure Arizona has a seat at the negotiating table.”

The Service is currently in litigation with several parties that are pushing for reestablishment of Mexican wolves in areas that are not part of the subspecies’ historical range and requesting a resolution in an unreasonable timeframe. These groups are basing their litigation on a draft report developed by a Mexican Wolf Recovery Science and Planning Subgroup. The department completed extensive analysis of the subgroup’s recommendations and found the science used as a basis for the recommendations to be significantly flawed. This misguided approach could jeopardize genetic integrity of the subspecies if the Mexican wolf is permitted to reestablish in close proximity to Northern gray wolves.

Arizona Game and Fish’s involvement in Mexican wolf conservation began in the mid-1980s. Since that time, the department has spent more than $7 million on wolf recovery in the state and has been the predominant on-the-ground presence working to manage Mexican wolves.

For more information on Mexican wolves, visit www.azgfd.gov/wolf.

Having Received Their Money, Wolf Prostitutes Want Fame and Recognition for Wolf Delisting

FriendlyWolfToo little too late in my opinion. I am disgusted by it actually. Where were these “professionals” back when the fake recovery goals, established in the Environmental Impact Statement and Wolf Recovery Plan, were laid out and met? It is pretty damned easy, some 20-plus years after the fact, when wolves have done and are doing their destruction, and numbers are as much as ten times greater than Ed Bangs had determined would be considered a recovered number of wolves, to sign your name to a document stating the support to “delist” the gray wolf.

Now that their monies are running out and they have their wolves everywhere they want them, it’s much easier to be brave and courageous and step up to the plate stating wolves no longer need to be listed.

Or maybe this is a case where they see the dangers coming about for which they should be held responsible. They pushed for and got, and then remained silent about recovered wolf species while the rest of us worked our collective posteriors off to counter their corrupt efforts of forcing wolves into human-settled landscapes and everything bad that can come of it.

They were still supportive of, gutless, and still in need of more money, when it took an act of Congress to get wolves delisted in Idaho and Montana. Evidently they didn’t think, at that time, that something more permanent should be done about wolf recovery. No, their personal agendas were not yet filled.

Now that they see Congress pushing for a similar bill as before, to get wolves delisted in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Wyoming, AND to make sure the Courts have, no more authority over wolf delisting, these cowards are running scared, and fearing their next pet project might not be so much fun at taxpayer’s expense.

Oh, yes, the letter states how they fear that continued protection for wolves MIGHT cast negative feelings about wolves and the ESA. Again, why was this not a concern many years ago to these clowns? They lied to us and then remained silent. Now they want something done and to take credit for it; a tactic often employed by progressive totalitarians employing the useful idiots to promote agendas.

Perhaps the basis of this letter is a reflection of their fear that their power might be taken away from them by the creation of federal laws that effectively bypass the ESA and ban the courts from having a say.

I find it all disgusting. In my opinion it would be wrong to support this letter, even though it might be helpful in accomplishing the delisting of wolves. It still does NOTHING toward the ultimate cure and continues to support corruption.

Yes, I am bitter and I feel that I am justified in those feelings. I am not a part of, nor would I ever want to be, this post-normal scientific community climbing on board by signing this letter.

I cannot and probably will not, get beyond my anger for what has been done. To acknowledge these people’s effort at signing a piece of paper, when everything is safe and secure for them AND THEY HAVE ALL GOTTEN WHAT THEY NEED FROM WOLF RECOVERY, would be a travesty.

I have spent many years fighting against the corruption of wolf introduction and I will not quietly allow these people to now step up and claim themselves to be the saviors of wolf management.

In reality, they should be ashamed to sign their name to this, nor allowed to do so.

An open letter from wolf experts and other wildlife management professionals supporting delisting gray wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan

The undersigned wildlife management professionals and scientists agree with Dr. Dave Mech, Dr. Steven Fritts, Adrian Wydeven, Dr. Tom Heberlein, Ed Bangs, Dr. Lu Carbyn, Dr. Jim Peek, Dr. Paul Krausman, Dr. Mark Boyce, and Dr. Bob Ream that gray wolves (Canis lupus) should not now be listed by the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan (western Great Lakes states). This is consistent with the position of The Wildlife Society1. For at least a decade, wolf populations have recovered in these states to the point where continued listing under the ESA is no longer necessary or beneficial to future wolf conservation2.

The ESA is the world’s most effective legislation to halt the slide of threatened and endangered species into extinction. In broad terms, there are 3 main components to the ESA:
1. Identifying species at risk of extinction and providing federal protections for these species (“listing”);
2. Creating and implementing plans to reverse declines and identifying targets for when ESA protections can be removed and species returned to management by the states (“recovery”); and
3. Removing listed species once identified recovery targets have been achieved (“delisting”).

Steps 1 and 2 have worked well for many species but step 3 has become nearly impossible to achieve for wide-ranging or high profile species like gray wolves. Four efforts by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and its cooperators to delist or down-list gray wolves in the western Great Lakes states have been foiled or reversed by litigation typically based on legal technicalities rather than biology. For those of us who have worked on and supported wolf and wildlife conservation issues for many years, it is ironic and discouraging that wolf delisting has not occurred in the portions of the Midwest where biological success has been achieved as a consequence of four decades of dedicated science-based work by wildlife management professionals. This success has been well documented in “Recovery of Gray Wolves in the Great Lakes Region of the United States: An Endangered Species Success Story” (A. Wydeven, T. van Deelen, and E. Heske, eds. 2009, Springer) and in many other professional publications.

The efforts by Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan and their cooperators including the USFWS, other federal agencies, tribal governments, and some non-governmental conservation groups have succeeded in accomplishing wolf recovery that has greatly exceeded recovery criteria in recovery plans3. In 1974 when wolves were originally protected south of Canada, only about 750 wolves occurred in northeastern Minnesota. Today, wolves are found throughout northern portions of Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin with a midwinter (2014) count of >3,700. There are few, if any, areas in these or surrounding states where wolves could live on natural prey without exceeding socially tolerable levels of depredation on livestock and pets. We believe that failure to delist in the face of this kind of cooperative effort and biological success is detrimental to ecologically sound management and to continued progress in wolf recovery and management efforts in these states and elsewhere.

The USFWS has determined that adequate regulatory mechanisms for wolf management are in place in the western Great Lakes states. We believe it is highly unlikely that these states will allow their wolf populations to decline to the point where wolves are again threatened or endangered4. All 3 states have set minimum population goals that are much higher than the levels established for delisting in recovery plans and the USFWS has established post-delisting monitoring criteria for the states to follow. In the unlikely event that management efforts in these states prove to be inadequate, the proper and legally mandated course of action would be to relist the species. It is counterproductive to keep wolves as listed under the ESA because of speculation that the western Great Lakes states will not appropriately manage wolves and sustain their recovered status. There is no scientific evidence that wolf harvest systems established in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan have or would reduce wolves’ ecological benefits in the areas where wolves have recovered. Neither is there scientific evidence that regulatory systems in the western Great Lakes states have or would reduce the dispersal ability of wolves5 or that the harvests that occurred during the period between delisting and the 2014 court-ordered relisting were not sustainable and consistent with maintaining recovered status.

The undersigned strongly believe that it is in the best interests of gray wolf conservation and for the integrity of the ESA for wolves to be delisted in the western Great Lakes states where biological recovery has occurred and where adequate regulatory mechanisms are in place to manage the species. We believe that failure to delist wolves in these states is counterproductive to wolf conservation there and elsewhere where suitable habitat may exist. The integrity and effectiveness of the ESA is undercut if delisting does not happen once science-based recovery has been achieved. When this happens, it creates disincentives for the states to continue to be active participants in recovery efforts and creates public resentments toward the species and the ESA. It is important to the overall ESA goal of maintaining biodiversity to focus available funds on species that are truly threatened or endangered.

The signers and endorsers of this letter listed below include biologists with over 900 years of experience as wildlife academics, researchers, and managers; those of us who have worked directly on wolves have published over 31 books and monographs on wolves as well as hundreds of scientific articles on this species.


L. David Mech Ph.D., Hon. Dr. Ag.
University of Minnesota
Books: The Wolves of Isle Royale, National Parks Fauna Series No. 7 (1966); The Wolf: The Ecology and Behavior of an Endangered Species, Natural History Press (Doubleday Publishing Co. (1970); The Arctic Wolf: Living with the Pack, Voyageur Press (1988); The Way of the Wolf, Voyageur Press (1991), Wolves of the High Arctic, Voyageur Press (1992); The Arctic Wolf: Ten Years with the Pack, Voyageur Press (1997); The Wolves of Denali, University of Minnesota Press (1998 with L. Adams, T. Meier, J. Burch,and B. Dale); The Wolves of Minnesota: Howl in the Heartland. Voyageur Press (2000, editor); Wolves, Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation (2003, co-editor with L. Boitani); Wolf Hunting Behavior: The Behavior of Wolves Hunting Wild Prey, University of Chicago Press (2015 with D. Smith and D. MacNulty).
Monographs: Ecological studies of the timber wolf in northeastern Minnesota. USDA Forest Service Research Paper NC-52 (1971 coauthor with L. Frenzel); Deer social organization and wolf depredation in northeastern Minnesota, Wildlife Monographs (1981 coauthor with M. Nelson); Dynamics, movements, and feeding ecology of a newly protected wolf population in northwestern Minnesota, Wildlife Monographs No. 80 (1981 co-author with D. Fritts); Elk calf survival and mortality following wolf restoration to Yellowstone National Park, Wildlife Monographs (2008 coauthor with S. Barber-Meyer and P.J. White).

Adrian P. Wydeven MS
Cable, WI.
WI DNR wildlife biologist (ret.), state wolf manager 1990-2013
Co-editor (with T. van Deelen, and E. Heske) Recovery of Gray Wolves in the Great Lakes Region of the United States: An Endangered Species Success Story” (2009 Springer)
Certified Wildlife Biologist (TWS)

Steven H. Fritts Ph.D.
Wesley, Arkansas
US Fish and Wildlife Service Wildlife Research Biologist (ret.)
Wildlife Professor University of Montana and University of Idaho (affiliate, retired)
Books and Monographs: Dynamics, movements, and feeding ecology of a newly-protected wolf population in northwestern Minnesota, Wildl. Monogr. (1981 with D. Mech); Wolf depredation on livestock in Minnesota, U.S. Fish and Wildl. Serv. Res. Publ. 145, (1982); Wolves for Yellowstone? A Report to the United States Congress Volume II, Research and Analysis (1990, USFWS team member and co-author/editor); Trends and management of wolf-livestock conflicts in Minnesota, U.S. Fish and Wildl. Serv. Resour. Publ. 181 (1992 with W. Paul, D. Mech, and D. Scott); Ecology and conservation of wolves in a changing world, Canadian Circumpolar Inst., (1995 with L. Carbyn, S. Fritts, and D. Seip, eds).

Tom Heberlein Ph.D.
Madison, Wisconsin
Professor Emeritus, Dept. of Community and Environmental Sociology
Author: Navigating Environmental Attitudes (2012, Oxford)

Lu Carbyn Ph.D.
Edmonton, Alberta
Emeritus Professor University of Alberta, Dept. Renewable Resources, Endangered Species and Ecosystem Studies
Research scientist Federal Dept. Environment, Science and Technology Division, Ottawa
Books and Monographs: Wolves in Canada and Alaska: Their status biology and management, CWS report series #45 (1983); Traditional knowledge and Renewable Resource Management in Northern Regions, Boreal Inst. Occ. Pub. # 23 (1988 with M. Freeman); Ecology and Conservation of wolves in a changing world, Canadian Circumpolar Institute #35 (1995 with S. Fritts and D. Seip); Wolves, bison. and the dynamics related to the Peace-Athabasca Delta in Canada’s Wood Buffalo National Park (1993 with S. Oosenbrug and D. Anions); Wolves: an annotated bibliography, Northern Reference Series No. 6. Canadian Circumpolar Institute (1998 with E. McClaren and E. Maloney); The Buffalo Wolf – Predators, Prey and the Politics of Nature. Smithsonian Institution (2003).

Ed Bangs MS
Helena, Montana
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Western Wolf Recovery Coordinator (ret.)

Jim Peek Ph.D.
Moscow, ID
Professor Emeritus, University of Idaho
Department of Fish & Wildlife Science
University of Idaho
Panel Chair and first author: Management of Large Mammalian Carnivores in North America, The Wildlife Society Technical Review (2012).

Paul Krausman Ph.D.
Missoula, MT
Boone and Crockett Professor of Wildlife Conservation Wildlife Biology Program, University of Montana Professor Emeritus, University of Arizona
Past President of The Wildlife Society
Editor, TWS/JHUP Wildlife Book Series
Editor-in-Chief, The Journal of Wildlife Management starting July 2015.
Certified Wildlife Biologist, TWS
Monograph: Ecology of wolves in relations to a migratory caribou herd in Northwest Alaska. (1997, Wildlife Monographs with W. Ballard)

Mark S. Boyce, Ph.D.
Edmonton, Alberta
Professor of Ecology and Alberta Conservation Assoc. Chair in Fisheries and Wildlife
Univ. of Alberta, Edmonton
Formerly: Vallier Chair in Ecology, and Wisconsin Distinguished Professor at University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point
Certified Wildlife Biologist, TWS
Monographs (wolf-related): Cumulative effects of human developments on Arctic wildlife, Wildlife Monographs (2005 with J. Johnson, R. Chase, H. Cluff, R. Gau, A. Gunn, and R. Mulders).
Gary Roloff Ph.D.
Mason, Michigan
Assoc. Professor Michigan State Univ.

John G. Bruggink Ph.D.
Marquette, Michigan
Northern Michigan University, Professor Biology

Bob Ream Ph.D.
Helena, MT.
Professor Emeritus, Univ. of Montana, College of Forestry and Conservation
Former Chair, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission (2009-2013)
Director, Wolf Ecology Project, Univ. of Montana (1973-1993)

C. Charles Schwartz Ph.D.
Bozeman, Montana
Montana State University (Adjunct, ret.)
Yellowstone Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team Leader (ret.)
Alaska Dept. Fish and Game Research Biologist (ret.)
Certified Wildlife Biologist

Sterling D. Miller Ph.D
Lolo, Montana
Univ. of Montana and Univ. of Alaska Fairbanks (affiliate)
National Wildlife Federation Senior Wildlife Biologist (ret.)
Alaska Dept. Fish and Game Large Carnivore Research Biologist (ret.)
Certified Wildlife Biologist (TWS)

Hank Fischer MS
Missoula, Montana
Special Projects Coordinator, National Wildlife Federation
Book: Wolf Wars: The remarkable inside Story of the Restoration of Wolves to Yellowstone. (1995, 2003)

L. Jack Lyon Ph.D.
Missoula, Montana
Emeritus Prof. Wildlife, Univ. of Montana
Research Project Leader, Intermountain Research Station USFS (ret.)
Research Leader, Colorado Division Wildlife (ret.)

Gary L. Alt Ph.D.
Lagunitas, CA
Pennsylvania Game Commission, Leader Statewide Research and Management Program (deer and bear), (ret.)
Environmental Consultant, Principal Scientist (Normandeau Associates) (ret.)
Joseph Van Os Photo Safari Leader

Pat Brown Ph.D.
Professor, Northern Michigan Univ

Pat Valkenburg MS
Fairbanks, Alaska
Alaska Department Fish and Game, Division Wildlife Conservation, Research Biologist, Research Coordinator, Deputy Commissioner for Wildlife (ret.)
Wildlife Research and Management Consultant
Certified Wildlife Biologist

H. William Gabriel Ph.D.
Florence, Montana
USFS biologist (ret.)
UN-FAO biologist (ret.)
Univ. of Montana (affiliate, ret.)
US BLM (ret.)

French teen has ‘near miss’ with pack of wolves

A teenage boy in southern France has had the fright of his life after he was encircled by a pack of wolves, which residents say are no longer scared of humans.

Source: French teen has ‘near miss’ with pack of wolves – The Local

Wolves may be off endangered species list – again

A U.S. House appropriations bill quietly directs the Secretary of the Interior to take Minnesota’s gray wolves off the endangered species list. Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Mn., is calling the effort “tremendous overreach.”

Source: Wolves may be off endangered species list – again | Capitol View | Minnesota Public Radio News

Cougar vs. wolf: ‘Unreal’ battle caught on camera near Lake Cowichan