Visitor Counter

hitwebcounter web counter
Visitors Since Blog Created in March 2010

Click Below to:

Add Blog to Favorites

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

Subscribe via email to get updates

Enter your email address:

Receive New Posting Alerts

(A Maximum of One Alert Per Day)

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Occasionally, common sense weighs heavy against special interests with "the needs of the many, outweighing the needs of the few" -----We saw this actually occur in North Carolina on Thursday with Federal District Judge Terrence Boyle reversing the decision by the USFW Service that would have removed virtually all of the remaining 50 Red Wolves from the wild, putting them in zoos..............."Boyle’s decision comes several weeks after federal officials announced plans to reduce the wolves’ territory starting in 2017 to a federal wildlife refuge and adjacent land in Dare County, rather than the wolves’ current five-county territory"..........From my perch, the next step should be introducing a large enough Red Wolf population into that 5 county region so that the wolves will have enough of their own kind to mate with rather than "shacking up" with coyotes...................And simultaneously, find two or three additional locations up and down the Appalachian Spine where there would be further Red Wolf rewilding instituted during the next 12 months..............Lets stop talking and and actually go to work reviving this trophic carnivore as the Endangered Species Act calls for.

Federal judge sides with

 conservationists in red wolf fight

Says U.S. government has failed

 to protect

 the world's only wild population

A judge said that federal wildlife officials have failed to protect the world’s only wild population of red wolves in a preliminary ruling that restricts the government’s ability to remove the animals from private property.

U.S. District Judge Terrence Boyle’s preliminary injunction released today stops wildlife officials from removing the wolves from private property unless they can show that the wolves are threatening humans, pets or livestock.
Boyle also said conservation groups are likely to succeed at trial in showing that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has violated the Endangered Species Act in its handling of the dwindling red wolf population.
Boyle wrote that plaintiffs have demonstrated that the wildlife service’s actions “fail to adequately provide for the protection of red wolves and may in fact jeopardize the population’s survival in the wild.”
A federal judge's injunction stops wildlife officials from removing red wolves from private property unless they can show that the wolves are threatening humans, pets or livestock.
Conservationists have argued that the federal government twice gave landowners permission to kill wolves on private property without meeting the strict legal requirements since 2014. One wolf was shot as a result.
Lawyers representing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service say conservationists are misinterpreting regulations that give federal officials wide leeway to remove animals humanely or authorize lethal means. They say that any removals are done after thorough reviews of each case. It’s generally illegal to kill the wolves without permission.
Conservation groups hailed Boyle’s decision as an important step to preserve a recovery program that has been maligned by landowners and state government officials. Some property owners complain the red wolves cause problems when they roam onto private land.
“We believe this ruling will give red wolves a fighting chance and force the Fish and Wildlife Service to conserve the species,” said Sierra Weaver, a lawyer who has led the litigation for the Southern Environmental Law Center.
The wildlife service issued a statement that it’s reviewing the judge’s order with its lawyers and declined further comment.
Once common around the Southeast, the red wolf had been considered extinct in the wild as of 1980. Releases of captive-bred wolves started in 1987.
The only wild population, in North Carolina, grew to about 130 wolves in 2006 before experiencing sharp declines. The wild population is now about 45 wolves.

The federal government has also argued that the 200 or so red wolves living in captivity justify the wild wolves’ classification as a “nonessential” population.
Boyle’s decision comes several weeks after federal officials announced plans to reduce the wolves’ territory starting in 2017 to a federal wildlife refuge and adjacent land in Dare County, rather than the wolves’ current five-county territory. Wildlife officials have said that wolves straying beyond that shrunken territory would be captured and removed. The new plan is contingent on modifying current program rules after a public comment period.

But as long as Boyle’s injunction is in place, conservationists say that federal officials can’t execute their plan.
“Under this ruling they will not be able to remove non-problem wolves from the wild,” said Jason Rylander, senior attorney for Defenders of Wildlife, one of the groups that sued the federal government.
Boyle previously gave environmentalists a win in a separate case when he temporarily halted coyote hunting in the wolves’ territory, and he later approved a permanent agreement in 2014 banning nighttime coyote hunting in the five-county area. Conservationists say red wolves can easily be mistaken for coyotes by hunters.
A Little Background on Red Wolves
Thousands of magnificent red wolves once roamed across the southeastern United States north to Pennsylvania, helping to keep this part of the natural world in balance.  Smaller than gray wolves, red wolves weigh 50-85 pounds—about twice the size of a coyote. These social animals live in packs of five to eight animals consisting of a breeding adult pair and their offspring. Red wolves prey on a variety of wild mammals. Most active at dusk and dawn, red wolves are elusive and generally avoid people.
Why Red Wolves are Essential
  • Red wolves are good for landscapes: These small wolves likely play a critical role in maintaining the ecological balance in the Southeast.  As a top predator, they feed upon white-tailed deer, raccoons, rabbits, nutrias and other rodents (some of which are believed to be the carriers of Lyme disease.

  • Red wolves are part of America's natural heritage: Red wolves are only found in the US; they are our native wolves. Protecting them ensures a future for our kids in which our Nation's rich and diverse natural heritage thrives.
Why Red Wolves Need a Recovery Program
The red wolf is America's rarest wild canid. By the 1970s predator control programs and habitat loss had decimated their numbers to only remnant populations in Louisiana and Texas. After declaring the red wolf an engangered species in 1973, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) initiated a recovery program in an attempt to save the red wolf from extinction

 After capturing those that remained in the wild, only 14 were found to be pure red wolves. Subsequently, these animals became the founders of a successful captive breeding program. In 1987 the first red wolves were released into North Carolina’s Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. This program has become one of the most successful reintroductions of a large mammal in the world—their highest numbers reach approximately 130 red wolves living in the wild in 2009.
Today the only free-ranging population of red wolves lives in northeastern North Carolina on 1.7 million acres of public, private and state land. This area contains three national wildlife refuges (Alligator River NWR, Pocosin Lakes NWR and Mattamuskeet NWR) that provide important protection to the wolves. Another 200 red wolves remain in US-based zoological facilities as part of their red wolf breeding program.
Photo Credit: USFWS/A. Beyer
Red Wolves need us now!
Since 2009 when the red wolf populaton was at its peak, approximately 10% of the population has been lost annually, largely due to gunshot and trapping. In 2015, at least six wolves were lost to gunshot, trapping and suspected illegal take. And in a crippling blow to the program, the FWS has cut its funding.
Critical pieces to a successful red wolf recovery plan!
  • More reintroduction sites
  • More breeding of red wolves for reintroduction

No comments: