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Coyotes-Wolves-Cougars.blogspot.com

Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

As all living things are connected creating the optimum vibrancy that we label as "nature", it should come as no surprise that Wolves not only are "trophic-down" influencers of positive energy(Elk, Deer, Bison, Caribou and Moose stay vigilant and on the move when Wolves are present and therefore do not denude the landscape of flora), but that Wolves trophic-up influences are equally as beneficial as it relates to them providing additional food to Grizzlies, Ravens, Coyotes and a host of other organisms---Watch a Grizzly steal an Elk kill from a Wolf pack below---If the Wolves do not kill this Elk, unlikely that the Bear would have this fine meal.................And then the left over scraps are sought after and consumed by other animals of the region to glean some needed survival calories

https://www.google.com/url?rct=j&sa=t&url=http://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm%3Fc_id%3D6%26objectid%3D11783633&ct=ga&cd=CAEYBCoTODMyNTgwMTQ3NzYzNjA1OTg4ODIaNTZkMWU3ZjE5ZThmOTk5MTpjb206ZW46VVM&usg=AFQjCNG-pF4ZLbmVNEcqiFMl_xOYLPLqgQ

Incredible images of wolves battling Grizzly bear: Who wins?

Incredible images by a British holidaymaker show the moment a 595-pound Grizzly bear took on a pack of wolves as they munched down on a deer carcass.

The spectacular action shots show the pack of wolves enjoying their prey until they are interrupted by a six-and-a-half-foot long bear. To protect their dinner, the brave wolves attempted to warn off the bear but one by one were swatted away by the bear's giant paws.

One close-up picture shows one wolf baring its teeth on the blood-stained snow as the bear continues to fight. Other photos show the lone bear enjoying a deer supper after scaring off its rivals.

A trio of wolves are captured eating a deer in the snow. Photo /  Media Drum World / australscope
A trio of wolves are captured eating a deer in the snow. Photo / Media
 Drum World / australscope













The amazing photographs were taken by Logistics Consultant, Tom Littlejohns, 75, from Guildford on a visit to the Crazy Mountains in the Rocky Mountains, Montana. To take the spectacular shots, Tom used a Canon EOS 1D Mark 4 camera. 

"In these particular images, I saw the change from relatively docile and almost large cuddly wolves become unbelievably ferocious both with each other and prepared to take on a fully grown Grizzly," said Tom.
"The environment was very hostile, hungry wolves and aggressive Grizzlies are to be treated with serious respect.

"There were five of us plus I recall three guides armed with a kind of cattle prod in case the Grizzly became too friendly.

"Interestingly enough the wildlife, as is often the case, took little interest in us humans although I'm quite sure the wolves were aware because most of the time they kept the carcass between them and us."

One wolf seems more determined than the others to fight for its meal. Photo /  Media Drum World / australscope
One wolf seems more determined than the others to fight for its meal. 
Photo / Media Drum World / australscope











It is estimated that there are around 1,800 Grizzly bears in North America with those that live in the Rocky Mountains spending most of their time in dens. 

"Shooting wildlife is a passion, I think you have to be a little light in the head to put up with all the inconveniences it brings," added Tom.

Eventually the bear scares off the wolves. Photo /  Media Drum World / australscope
Eventually the bear scares off the wolves. Photo / Media Drum World / 
australscope













"The results make it worthwhile and I predominantly shoot for what I want and what I see. 

"There is an amazing world out there and it will still be there in one-hundred-years and then another one-hundred-years, there is so much to see and experience and I have been so fortunate in being able to see and photograph so much wildlife in its environment.

After fighting off the wolves, the bear chows down on his meal. Photo /  Media Drum World / australscope
After fighting off the wolves, the bear chows down on his meal. Photo / 
Media Drum World / australscope

"When I'm photographing it's that species that I see and at that moment and it's my favourite.

"People are amazed sometimes at the photographs but I see it as the result of technical development by Canon and how lucky I have been to have the opportunities."

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

So let us see if the will of the people via public commentary reinforce the USFW proposal to augment the nearly extinct Grizzly Bear population in the North Cascades National Park............With perhaps only 20 of the bruins left in the Cascades, there are three proposals to transplant a number of the bears from British Columbia and Montana to ultimately restore some 200 of them to this historic Griz region..........."The North Cascades ecosystem offers some of the best habitat to recover the animals, and a federal 1997 plan designated the area as one of five grizzly bear recovery zones":.............. "The others are in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho"..................And if the dream of an interconnected Yellowstone to Yukon wildlands does eventually become a reality, these hoped for 5 Griz recovery zones will melt into one vibrant North American success story of Griz restoration

https://www.google.com/url?rct=j&sa=t&url=http://www.denverpost.com/2017/01/13/washington-grizzly-bear-restoration/&ct=ga&cd=CAEYACoUMTgxMDk4Mzc3NTgyNjQ4Mzg0MzgyGjU2ZDFlN2YxOWU4Zjk5OTE6Y29tOmVuOlVT&usg=AFQjCNHXgyF8k7sYEnxrnHDgt93mpRoeQg


January 13, 2017 
By Phoung Le, The Associated Press

Plan offers 4 options 

for restoring

 grizzlies to Washington

SEATTLE — Grizzly bears once roamed the rugged landscape of the North Cascades in Washington state but few have been sighted in recent decades.
Federal officials want to restore the population and on Thursday released a draft plan with four options, ranging from taking no action to varying efforts to capture bears from other locations and transplant them to 9,800 square miles of mostly public land in and around North Cascades National Park.
This July 6, 2011, file photo shows a grizzly bear roaming near Beaver Lake in Yellowstone National Park, Wyo. Grizzly bears once roamed the rugged landscape of the North Cascades in Washington state but few have been sighted in recent decades. Federal officials want to restore the population, and on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017, released a draft plan with four options, ranging from taking no action to varying efforts to capture bears from other locations and transplant them to 9,800 square miles of mostly public land surrounding North Cascades National Park.
This July 6, 2011, file photo shows a grizzly bear roaming near Beaver Lake in Yellowstone National Park, Wyo. Grizzly bears once roamed the rugged landscape of the North Cascades in Washington state but few have been sighted in recent decades. Federal officials want to restore the population, and on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017, released a draft plan with four options, ranging from taking no action to varying efforts to capture bears from other locations and transplant them to 9,800 square miles of mostly public land surrounding North Cascades National Park.

Three of the alternatives seek to restore a 

population of about 200 bears, by 

relocating animals and letting them breed. The

 options differ in the number of

 bruins initially released and the time expected to

 get to that goal, ranging from

 25 years for the expedited option to 60 to 100 years

 for the other two alternatives.


The National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service did not pick a preferred alternative. Instead they’re seeking input over the next several weeks on what steps they should take to restore grizzly bears to their natural range.
The draft plan comes as the federal government is deciding whether to lift protections for more than 700 grizzly bears in and around Yellowstone National Park. Officials had planned to finalize by the end of 2016 a proposal to turn management of grizzlies over to Idaho, Montana and Wyoming officials and allow limited hunting, but a deluge of opposition is tying up a decision
In Washington state, the grizzly plan has stoked intense debate as federal officials sought input in 2015 as it developed the draft environmental impact statement released Thursday.
Supporters say the shy, massive creatures — a symbol of true wilderness — should be brought back. They say the population won’t recover without help and their return would increase the biodiversity of the ecosystem.
“Returning this magnificent animal to the North Cascades is a rare opportunity to restore our natural heritage,” said Joe Scott of the nonprofit Conservation Northwest, one of several groups that cheered the plan’s release. He noted that groups need to work together so that the plan works for everyone.
Others say the animals should recover naturally, while some worry about potential increased dangers to recreationists and livestock and opposed the move over potential impacts to communities, ranchers, farmers and others.
Some state lawmakers have opposed moving grizzly bears into Washington, telling the federal agencies in 2015 that the idea contradicts state law stating the bears “shall not be transplanted or introduced into the state.”
Federal officials note that grizzly bears tend to avoid areas of human activity, and the animals would be relocated in remote areas, away from grazing allotments. They’ll be radio-collared and monitored. Grizzly bears would likely come from areas in northwestern Montana or south-central British Columbia, and most likely would be younger bears that have not yet reproduced or have shown no history of human conflict.
The bears are at risk of local extinction, and recovering them would enhance the population’s survival, restore the animal as part of the area’s cultural heritage and provide people the chance to experience the animals in their native habitat, federal officials say.
Without intervention, the animals could disappear; individual bears are increasingly isolated and have limited opportunity to breed, the agencies said.
An estimated 50,000 Grizzlies once roamed much of North America. Most were killed off by hunters in the 19th and early 20th centuries and they now occupy only about 2 percent of their original range across the Lower 48 states.
They were listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 1975. In the North Cascades, the population is estimated to be fewer than 20 animals, according to Fish and Wildlife Service.
The most recent confirmed sighting of a bear was in 1996 in the U.S. portion of the North Cascades ecosystem. A bear was confirmed in British Columbia within 20 miles of the U.S. within the last five years.
The North Cascades ecosystem offers some of the best habitat to recover the animals, and a federal 1997 plan designated the area as one of five grizzly bear recovery zones. The others are in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho.
The 1997 plan called for an environmental review to evaluate a range of alternatives for recovering the North Cascades grizzly population but no funds were allocated until 2014. The environmental impact statement is expected to be finalized this fall.
Eight public meetings are scheduled in February. People can weigh in through March 14.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Is the Game Comission in Alberta, Canada so without clout that they cannot get the "rigged politicians" of their Province to come to their senses about the inane "fencing plan" that they are offering up as a way to prop up Caribou numbers there..................Cordoning off acreage that wolves cannot get to within the Little Smokey Caribou range is at best a short term Caribou growth elixr............Once the fence is removed, if habitat enhancement has not taken place, then Caribou will continue their "going, going gone" trajectory there


Scientists are raising questions about the effectiveness of Alberta's wolf cull.

https://www.google.com/url?rct=j&sa=t&url=http://calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/wildlife-experts-denounce-albertas-wolf-cull-and-protected-caribou-zone&ct=ga&cd=CAEYACoSNTc3NzUwOTU4MzQ0OTkwODc1MhplYzQ0NDQ0NjRjOGI2YWExOmNvbTplbjpVUw&usg=AFQjCNFLATPvfTxNLf50m3I_Ic3A6fCGOg


Wildlife experts denounce Alberta's wolf cull and protected caribou zone

Wildlife experts are criticizing the province’s plan to cull wolves and create a predator- and competitor-free caribou area, calling it an “ineffective conservation option.”
Gilbert Proulx, director of science for Alberta-based Alpha Wildlife Research Management Ltd., and Ryan Brook, of the University of Saskatchewan, have published an assessment of Alberta’s caribou recovery program in the scientific journal ANIMALS. They argue a proposal to create a 100-square-kilometre, fenced enclosure on a portion of the Little Smoky caribou range will not increase numbers, will create weaker calves and does nothing to curb habitat loss — which they contend is the real cause of the declining population.





“(It) will likely fail to safeguard the long-term future of this caribou population because it is only aimed at short-term, ineffective strategies that have political appeal and are relatively cheap, but have no basis in science-based ecosystem management,” said Proulx.
“The proposed plan does not include a long-term comprehensive habitat conservation program that will protect and interconnect muskegs that are used by caribou, and restore muskegs that are no longer used by caribou.”
The scientific paper follows the recent publication of an Open Letter to Premier Notley by 19 wildlife professionals, including Proulx, which recommended abandoning the caribou recovery program and wolf cull.
But the province’s woodland caribou specialist says the scientists are selective in characterizing Alberta’s policies and plans, and do not accurately or fairly represent the situation.
Dave Hervieux, who has worked on caribou recovery for 27 years, says there’s no simple answer. But he maintains that the acknowledged critical work of protecting habitat without addressing the “excessive and unnaturally high level of predation” won’t save endangered caribou.
“If we do not protect caribou populations, by the time we address habitat there won’t be any caribou left.”
“We argue that their plan — which seemed like a business plan, something that could be read as a proposal to award work — would not in itself do an adequate job.
“If we do not protect caribou populations, by the time we address habitat there won’t be any caribou left.”
The government’s June 2, 2016, draft plan for the Little Smoky and A La Peche Caribou Range in west-central Alberta proposes a caribou rearing facility, as well as the culling of wolves and other predators and the removal of competitive species. Alberta is required by the federal government to manage 65 per cent of critical caribou habitat by October 2017.
Scientists are raising questions about the effectiveness of Alberta's wolf cull.
Scientists are raising questions about the effectiveness of Alberta’s wolf cull. NATHAN DENETTE / THE CANADIAN PRESS
Hervieux says ongoing wolf culls have stopped the decline of the Little Smoky herd. The population is now stable, albeit at low to moderate levels.
“The Little Smoky population is on the most disturbed boreal range in Canada. It was headed to be extirpated. By now, it would have ceased to exist,” said Hervieux. “We’re successful in that (the) population still exists.”
The 19 scientists from across Canada, the U.S., Denmark and Australia contend habitat restoration is less costly and more effective. “A project to save caribou doesn’t need to have fencing or kill predators. It can be based on restoration and conservation of habitat used by caribou.”
Proulx said his studies show only 20 per cent of the Little Smoky range is suitable for caribou as the rest is too fragmented — by roads, forestry and oil and gas operations. 
The government’s draft plan does include reducing forest harvesting and restoring seismic lines, which wolves use as routes to track caribou, but Proulx says more needs to be done.
“The Alberta government project suggests they will continue logging in these zones, oil and gas will continue. And if they minimize it, it will be on a volunteer basis from the companies. 
“That’s like putting the survival of the chicken within the mouth of the red fox.”
But the government said the challenge is balancing habitat restoration with preserving industry that is a prime contributor to Alberta’s economy.
“We are committed to not losing anymore woodland caribou populations,” said Hervieux. “And we can get there, but it’s going to have to be give all the way around.
“These are hard things. If it was easy, we would have solved it by now.”

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Minnesota once harbored more Lynx than any other state in the midwest..........The ongoing USFW Service Lynx study in the state did reveal that in 2015 some 50 Lynx roamed the north country, some of them Lynx/bobcat hybrids..........As temperatures have warmed, more bobcats are drifting north into what was once exclusively Lynx habitat..................A changing world we find ourselves in with Grizzlies interbreeding with Polar Bears and now Lynx with Bobcats


https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=10&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjL9Kb62MXRAhWH0iYKHdphD_8QFghWMAk&url=http%3A%2F%2Fnorthernwilds.com%2Fpoints-north-biologists-find-lots-of-lynx%2F&usg=AFQjCNH0--dKBPccS_VfsN4-d8xX1G1VLg&sig2=g22cL9Z1qW5_1qw04vwh6w



Points North: Biologists Find Lots of Lynx


By Shawn Perich
Northern Minnesota appears to have more Canada lynx than it usually does this year. Lynx sightings have been reported throughout the winter in Lake, Cook and St. Louis counties. One lynx has been seen numerous times around Ely, including at the Dorothy Molter Museum and outside the U.S. Forest Service office. Federal wildlife biologists who monitor the lynx population in the Superior National Forest are finding more animals, too.
“We’re seeing a lot of lynx this year,” says Dan Ryan, USFS wildlife biologist for the Laurentian Ranger District.

Canadian Lynx in Minnesota







Every winter, biologists follow lynx tracks in the snow until they find hair or scat, which is collected and sent to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Rocky Mountain Research Center in Montana for DNA analysis. This provides them with an individual identification of the animal and its sex, which is added to a database for the forest. Canada lynx in Minnesota are listed as Threatened on the federal Endangered Species list.




Ryan says the database contains about 180 lynx and 12 unique lynx-bobcat hybrids. First discovered in Minnesota through DNA analysis, hybrids have since been discovered in Maine. The Minnesota hybrids have all been the offspring of a male bobcat and female lynx. Ryan says this may indicate that bobcats, which have become more abundant in northeastern Minnesota in recent years, are more aggressive than lynx.
During the 1990s, the Minnesota DNR claimed that lynx did not consistently reproduce in Minnesota and that lynx seen in the state were mostly migrants from Canada. However, biologists tracking lynx have since documented reproduction every year since 2001. They’ve found 13 kittens this winter, the most ever recorded. Ryan says they may have collected samples from as many as 50 individual lynx.

Lynx/Bobcat hybrid?





Why are there more lynx this year? The most likely reason is an uptick in the numbers of snowshoe hares, their primary food source. Ryan says this year lynx have shown up in locations where they haven’t been documented before. Invariably, they show up in places where the hares are.
While a past study followed radio-collared lynx, present monitoring is done exclusively by looking for tracks in the snow, either in areas where lynx are known to exist or in places where sightings are reported. Ryan said a core area for lynx, where they are consistently found, is in the vicinity of Isabella in Lake County. Their home ranges may vary in size. If there is good hare habitat, lynx will stay in a relatively small area. If hares are scarce, they go looking for them.
The DNA analysis often shows lynx from which DNA was collected previously, either as adults or kittens. Biologists have been able to identify and follow family groups over the years. Sometimes, kittens remain with their mother for more than a year.
Ryan believes Minnesota has a viable lynx population, even though there isn’t enough data to estimate the size of the population or its extent in the northern portion of the state. When tracking cats, biologists are limited to somewhat accessible areas—a challenge when the north is blanketed with deep snow. Most of the tracking occurs in Lake County, with less in Cook and St. Louis counties—both of which have suitable lynx habitat. Also, researchers haven’t looked for lynx in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, even though the cats certainly exist there.

The USFS monitors lynx because the agency is required to take threatened or endangered species into account when it is planning activities on the national forest, such as timber harvests or even the construction of recreational trails. Biologists will survey the project area to determine if those species will be affected by the planned activity. Ryan said managing for lynx hasn’t had much effect on timber harvesting activities. In some instances, the growth of young conifers after a harvest provides snowshoe hare habitat, thus attracting lynx.
Some lynx are lost every year due to encounters with people The USFWS keeps track of the “incidental take” of lynx in the state. USFWS biologist Tamara Smith says the agency has 113 records of incidental take since record keeping began in 2001. Last fall and winter, two road-killed lynx were reported, five were reported by trappers—with four released alive and one died, another lynx was shot an one died of an undetermined cause.
Ryan, who has logged about 30 miles on snowshoes tracking lynx, has been lucky enough to see seven of them this winter, including some kittens. Like some other far northern creatures, such as the spruce grouse, lynx are not very wary around people. It isn’t unusual for lynx to linger beside a road or in someone’s backyard even when humans are nearby. Their behavior is very different than that of bobcats, which are shy and elusive.
Biologists monitoring lynx have been seeing more bobcat sign than they did previously and are collecting DNA from them as well. Ryan says northern Minnesota’s bobcats seem to be moving east, into the lynx range. While the two cats are somewhat similar in appearance, lynx have some distinguishing features, including prominently tufted ears, a black-tipped tail and enormous paws that allow them to walk across the top of deep, powdery snow. Last winter, those big feet may have helped lynx outcompete the bobcats invading their turf.
At present, Minnesota’s lynx appear to be holding their own. They have been protected from hunting and trapping in the state for decades. However, Ontario allows lynx trapping across the border. Trappers near Thunder Bay who I chatted with a sport show last February considered lynx common, though not abundant in their trapping areas. Past research found radio-collared lynx moved between Minnesota and Ontario
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https://www.google.com/url?rct=j&sa=t&url=http://www.startribune.com/it-s-a-dirty-job-tracking-minnesota-s-elusive-lynx/410730145/&ct=ga&cd=CAEYACoUMTE1NjAyOTMzODQ1MDYxNTgwNTEyGjFmYmFjNDZmYmZlMjdjMzg6Y29tOmVuOlVT&usg=AFQjCNFSn_xWwhzxxcbpgnoYuu6V8Fou3g

It's a dirty job: Tracking Minnesota's elusive lynx

Missing cat? Not while wildlife biologists are on the trail, carefully collecting the traces they leave behind. 

Deep in the Superior National Forest, researchers are studying the lives of Minnesota’s elusive lynx by carefully collecting the traces they leave behind.
itemprop
On clear days, when the wildcats’ tracks stand out in the deep forest snow, wildlife biologist Dan Ryan heads out on the trail. Minnesota once was home to the Midwest’s largest population of these solitary cats with the tufted ears and comically oversized feet. But by 2000, population decline had pushed them onto a federal list of threatened species. Biologists are collecting lynx DNA in an effort to keep tabs on the rare cat.
Anyone who’s walked a dog knows the job involves a certain amount of scooping. Collecting lynx DNA is a bit like that, if you substitute the dog for a secretive and threatened species and your neighborhood sidewalks for the vast snowy reaches of the Superior National Forest.








“It’s hard work,” said Ryan, who logged 30 miles last winter, just trailing lynx and looking for scat. “It’s really cold and the lynx … go through the thickest and nastiest woods we have out there. Sometimes you’re having to crawl through the balsam fir. On those cold days, it can be tough. Sometimes, you have to trail them for more than a mile, hoping to find some scat. Most of the time you don’t. But it’s given us some good information.”
Lynx are so shy that even Ryan, who studies them for a living and who works in the heart of their territory — the U.S. Forest Service’s Laurentian Ranger District — is lucky if he catches sight of one.
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