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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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Thursday, May 7, 2015

"The wolf today is a scapegoat, wrongfully convicted as a ruthless killer by a jury that refuses to accept evidence that this predator is not guilty of crimes committed against the endangered woodland caribou in northwestern Alberta"............ "In fact, studies show that habitat destruction at the hands of man is to blame"........."This unscientific and unethical wolf cull is a consequence of oil and gas development, and industrial logging"........To carry out this genocide(Killing more than 1,000 wolves in the last 10 years in the Little Smoky region of Alberta), Helicopters operating as gunships hover over the packs and the sharpshooters open fire"......... "There’s bait on the ground laced with strychnine"........... "There are snares in the woods"............ "And the most infamous is using what’s called the “Judas wolves"........... "They are live-trapped and fitted with a VHF radio collar that leads shooters who are monitoring the radio signals to the packs"......... "When the Judas wolf completes its duties, it too is shot".........And even with all of these Wolves destroyed, the Caribou decline continues due to human land altering,,,,,,,,,,,,,,"The killing of wolves continues, as if wiping out a second species some how validates the loss of caribou",----------Rick Zemanek; Red Deer Advocate...............If there was an interstellar Court looking in at the atrocities that we humans are committing against our fellow Earth living creatures, I believe that we would all be rounded up and imprisoned.............And we have the audacity to go to our respective Houses of Worship each weekend and smugly call ourselves civilized???????----I THINK NOT!!!----Blogger Rick

Red Deer Advocate - Wolves have become scapegoats*

Wolves have become scapegoats

Frantically struggling to stay alive, a wolf tries to break 
free from the unforgiving stranglehold applied by a 
wire snare around its neck. The more it struggles,
 the more the deadly noose tightens, eventually cutting
 through major arteries atthe upper portion of its
 spinal cord.A painful, agonizing death finally brings
 it comfort in blood-spattered snow where the corpse
 lies. This is notoverstating death by strangulation in
 the West Country today, where such snares are
 routinely set.

The wolf today is a scapegoat, wrongfully convicted as 
a ruthless killer by a jury that refuses to accept evidence 
that this predator is not guilty of crimes committed
 against the endangered woodland caribou in 
northwestern Alberta.
In fact, studies show that habitat destruction at the
 hands of man is to blame.
Never mind that bounties of up to $500 per wolf
 offered by interest groups can now make this activity
quite profitable.

Local and international groups protest that the devices
 are illegal and inhumane under standards established
 by the Canadian Council on Animal Care.
Dr. Jose Diaz, professor of veterinary medicine at the
 University of Calgary, says death to snared animals
“can take hours through an extremely painful and
slow process.” He notes he cannot comprehend the
 government’s decision “to elicit this kind of suffering
 and pain” to a living creature.

Wolf Murder Canadian Style Continues As If It’s
 Conservation reads a recent headline in Psychology
Today. In the article, Chris Genovali, executive
director of B.C.’s Raincoast Conservation Foundation,
 shoots holes in the contention that the massive wolf
 kills will save the caribou. “This unscientific and
 unethical wolf cull is a consequence of oil and gas
development, and industrial logging,” said Genovali,
whose group has launched a petition urging the
Alberta government to stop the wolf cull.

“The Alberta government and resource industries
 have transformed the caribou’s boreal habitat into
a landscape that can no longer provide the food,
 cover, and security these animals need to survive,”
 said Genovali. “Rather than address the real
problem, Alberta has chosen to scapegoat the
wolves.” Backing up that claim, a government 
study posted on the Internet in November states
 that habitat degradation at the hands of industry is 
key to the decline of caribou.

In the recreational areas west of Rocky Mountain
 House, snares are also being set. But the snares, some
 spring-loaded, don’t choose what or who triggers them.
They’re strong enough to hold a grizzly bear or moose
 until the animals die. Family dogs accompanying
 hikers have been known to fall victim to these deadly

Wire snares are also used in the rural areas around
 Red Deer to trap coyotes. Those setting these devices
 are not required to post warning signs that wire snares
 are in the woods they’re enjoying. The same concern
 is expressed in the West Country, where warning signs
 are also not required.

Among the groups lobbying the government to ban
 wire snares is Wolf Matters, a local group established
 a couple of years ago. It’s founding members are area
 biologist Myrna Pearman; Dwight Rodtka, a former
 fieldman for Alberta Agriculture, living in the Rocky
 area; and internationally acclaimed artist and author
Anna-Marie Ferguson, now living in Red Deer. They
 established a website ( Since
 then, many experts and conservationists have joined
 the group.

Rodtka says that under “ideal” laboratory conditions,
 it takes at least eight minutes to strangle a wolf,
coyote or dog. The Canadian Council on Animal
Care says a snare must kill the intended target
within five minutes to be deemed humane.
But in the wilds, the snares are set in an uncontrolled
 environment that could impair their mechanical
operation and increase suffering much longer than
 eight minutes.

“Wolves tend to suffer more than other animals in
 snares because they have extremely well-muscled
necks and reinforced trachea,” said Rodtka. “Snared
wolves that are very lucky may only live for hours;
the unlucky ones take days to die.”
People setting snares are not obligated by the
 provincial government to check their sets within a
 certain time. It could be several months.

Rodtka is also critical of what’s called “saturation
 snaring.” That means hauling a road-killed ungulate
 to an area in the bush for bait, then setting upwards
of 50 to 100 snares to catch an entire wolf pack.

Another major concern for Wolf Matters is unintended
targets caught in the snares, called “bycatch“ or
“non-target.” Rodtka said that recently a rancher
 in the Rocky area set 12 to 15 snares meant for
wolves. In one week, the snares “caused the death
 of a wolf pup, one or two white-tailed deer, one
 black bear and one grizzly bear.” He said if this
 sampling represented the potential of the
“thousands of snares blanketing the West Country,
the magnitude of bycatch could be staggering.”

The Raincoast Conservation Foundation agrees. It
 obtained internal government documents that
 show that up until 2012, neck snares were the
 primary cause of death for 676 non-target animals
 in the Little Smoky wolf cull. Ironically, among
the dead were two endangered caribou. Also
dying in the snares were 40 bald and golden
eagles, 163 cougars, 62 deer, 70 lynx, three
grizzly bears, 173 fisher, 12 moose ... and the list goes

Killing more than 1,000 wolves in the last 10 years in
 the Little Smoky region calls for high-tech strategic
planning. Helicopters are used as gunships as they
 hover over the packs and passengers open fire. There’s
 bait on the ground laced with strychnine. There are
snares in the woods. And the most infamous is using
what’s called the “Judas wolves.” They are live-trapped
 and fitted with a VHF radio collar that leads shooters
 who are monitoring the radio signals to the packs.
When the Judas wolf completes its duties, it too is shot.

Methods of wolf management in Alberta’s Little Smoky
region caught the eye of the Raincoast Conservation
 Group. Its petition to stop the cull states “Only with
immense international pressure can we convince Alberta
 to put an immediate stop to the killing and commit to
 effective caribou recovery by limiting habitat destruction.

A study by Alberta Environment says a wolf cull is
merely “buying time” for the caribou, while habitat
 disruption carries the lion’s share of the problem.
“The short-term efficacy of predator reduction, when
 combined with long-term habitat conservation,
 restoration and management, may be the only path
 forward for recovering many woodland caribou
 populations,” the study concludes.
In a layperson’s terms, things don’t look good for
the future of the endangered caribou — snares, or
no snares. The damage has been done and recovery
 is a long shot.

But the killing of wolves continues, as if wiping
out a second species some how validates the loss
 of caribou.

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