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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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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Washington State's "public safety Clause" in the current Intitiative -655 that forbids hunters from using hounds when hunting Cougars is being exploited by the State Fish& Wildlife Dept.................A blatant and purposeful misinterpretation of the clause with the goal of killing up to 109 Cougars in areas of the State where there might be a PERCEPTION OF A COUGAR/HUMAN CONFLICT PROBLEM.............Hear this loud and clear,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,there does not have to be an actual problem, simply Fish & Wildlife concluding that there could be a problem....................Talk about a corrupt and larcenous group of elected officials and you are talking about this Washington State crew..............They make our inept and petty Federal Congressmen and Senators look like choir boys in comparison........... Washington State FWS showing a blatant disregard and abuse of the peoples will and vote in manipulating the clause to serve their narrow minded and error filled management policy for our majestic Cat

Hammering the Final Nail in Washington's I-655 Coffin
In 1996, Washington voters overwhelmingly passed Initiative-655 to ban the inhumane practice of hunting cougars with hounds. So as to not place the citizenry at undo risk, I-655 also included a "public safety" clause. This provision allowed the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) to utilize hounds to track and kill those individual cougars which posed a threat to the public's safety or preyed on domestic animals. Over the years, this crack in Washington's cougar protection wall has been exploited over and over again by parties who can't stand to have others tell them what they can or can not do. The most recent assault on I-655's hounding ban comes from WDFW itself with their current proposed rule changes to Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 232-12-243.

No longer even pretending that they are acting for the safety of the people, WDFW officials want to, in effect, provide recreational opportunities for hound-hunters by allowing them to kill up to (at this time) 109 cougars in those areas of the state where there might be a perception of a cougar problem. This is what WDFW wants to base their new cougar eradication program on--perceptions--not actual cougar problems or public safety threats, but baseless opinions and vague feelings; your basic "boogeyman in the closet" syndrome.

Just last month, cougar researchers from the University of Washington and Washington State University stated in a forum for WDFW officials and other policy makers that the current excessive killing of adult cougars in Washington is creating "sinks" where younger cougars, less skilled at avoiding humans, are moving into these newly vacated territories and getting into trouble. These eminent biologists also informed attendees that cougars are a self-regulating species, which if left alone would balance their population numbers according to the availability of suitable habitat and their primary prey species--deer.

Unfortunately, WDFW has decided to ignore advice based on the latest, and best, scientific data on cougars and instead push for the Fish and Wildlife Commission's approval of WAC 232-12-243. If approved, this rule change will actually increase the likelihood of human-cougar conflicts, put the public at greater risk, and negate any short-term benefits rural residents might experience from a properly implemented livestock and pet protection program.

If you are a Washington resident and want to help stop this betrayal of the public's trust, please consider attending the upcoming Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission hearing to voice your objections.

Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission Hearing
August 5th & 6th  --  Hearing starts at 8:30 a.m.

Natural Resources Building
Conference Room # 172
1111 Washington Street S.E.
Olympia, Washington 98504

Contact MLF's Washington Field Representative Bob McCoy at if you are planning on attending

Eastern Oklahoma Black Bears are on the comeback trail.......A two year study of the population is underway to understand their movement patterns and food sources .......10 bears will wear GPS collars and there will also be bait stations throughout the region that can capture hair samples to help in DNA studies of the bruins..............A growing population in Oklahoma and we applaud the Oklahoma Dept. Of Wildlife and Oklahoma State U. for following through on this study........They know that a healthy black bear population(a keystone species) is a strong indicator that Oklahoma's habitat is getting healthier for critters large and small including man

State Trapping Black Bears In Eastern Oklahoma

Oklahoma Department of Wildlife worker checking out the black bear cub.
Oklahoma Department of Wildlife worker checking out the black bear cub.

Researchers gather data from the sedated bears: things like measurements, weight and temperature
Researchers gather data from the sedated bears: things like measurements, weight and temperature

Researchers have trapped ten bears so far as part of the study. They've outfitted five of them with tracking collars.
Researchers have trapped ten bears so far as part of the study. They've outfitted five of them with tracking collars.
by: Craig Day

COOKSON, Oklahoma -- State Wildlife Department officials are trapping black bears in eastern Oklahoma. Deep in the woods of Cherokee County, researchers with the state wildlife department and OSU's cooperative fish and wildlife project are working on important research.This is the first part of a study of black bears in Northeastern Oklahoma."Having black bears is a great thing, but if you have black bears in your area, that means the habitat is good for many wildlife species," said Sara Lyda, OSU Researcher.

To keep better track of our growing bear population, researchers are trapping them, usually enticing bears with a donut. "Looks like it is in really good shape, it's got a nice coat on it, a little bit thin, but that's very typical of this time of year when food sources are limited," said Craig Endicott of the State Wildlife Department.

Researchers gather data from the sedated bears: things like measurements, weight and temperature. Hair and tissue samples are collected for DNA analysis.All of this that we put together will go to inform the wildlife department how to manage the black bear in this region," Lyda said.Some bears get tracking collars. Researchers hope to learn about their movement patterns, population size and other habits.

Researchers have trapped ten bears so far as part of the study. They've outfitted five of them with tracking collars."We've caught males in excess of 300 pounds and females around 200 pounds, that's more typical of what we'd expect of an adult bear," Endicott said.

The state wildlife department will keep checking traps throughout Northeastern Oklahoma over the next two and a half years, learning more about the bears, making a big comeback.

The researchers will also set up a couple of hundred bait stations in Eastern Oklahoma. They won't have traps, but will have hair snares, to get more hair for DNA samples. It will enable researchers to study more of the animals over a wider geographic area.

State Commissioners in Greater Yellowstone's Teton County, Wyoming are seeking stronger protection for Wolves then Govenor Matt Mead has approved for the State at large.................Let the Govenor know that you will take your tourist $$ elsewhere if his draconian Wolf kill plans are not revamped immediately

Support Teton County Commissioners - Tell Wyoming's Governor His Wolf Plan is Unacceptable!

In spite of protests from Teton County commissioners, Gov. Matt Mead of WYOMING is moving ahead with a wolf management plan with federal officials that would allow the unregulated killing of wolves in part of Teton County for several months a year. The commissioners said allowing the unregulated killing of wolves ignores the values of county residents and could put Teton County's image and reputation at risk. Mead, however, has not ceded any ground on the issue. Read more at

Let's help the Teton County Commissioners maintain protections for wolves in their region.
Visit Governor Mead's contact page with a cut/paste to your browser:
Then call, fax and/or email a message stating:
  • WY's proposed wolf-delisting agreement with the Dept. of Interior is an unacceptable plan because it recklessly removes protections for gray wolves in a manner that will potentially unravel the scientific recovery of wolves across the region.
  • "I will no longer spend my hard earned money as a wildlife watcher in Teton County and the rest of Wyoming as long as there is unregulated killing, via the predator status, imposed on the gray wolf which lets wolves be killed at any time by any means."

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Our friends Mark McCullough(Lead Eastern Cougar Biologist for USFW) and Wally Juakubas(Maine's Cougar Biologist) both were impressed and taken with the South Dakota Cougar that traversed the USA(1500 miles)............While they both still adhere to the position that a breeding population of Cougars does not exist in New England, they do feel that future "sightings" of Cougars by area residents should be taken seriously and a full investigation of the origen of the CAT must factor in the possiblity that it is a wild "prospector" and not a "pet-release" or exotic creature.............Need a bold female Cougar to make it to East...........the "boys" are showing up with regularity..............This lucky lady would have her "pick of the litter" and land a fine partner to set up housekeeping with..........Then what Mr Mark and Mr Wally? ...Lets hope that when this "union" does occur that it is in a State that will protect the emerging Cougar population

Biologists impressed by roving Connecticut cougar

When an adult male cougar was hit by a car and died in Connecticut in June, Mainers voiced a common refrain: We told you so.

The presence in Maine of wild cougars — also commonly called mountain lions — has been debated for decades. Many Mainers say they've seen them. Lacking hard evidence to the contrary, biologists have been understandably wary. And in March, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service effectively poured gas onto the smoldering debate by issuing a report that declared the eastern cougar extinct That may be true — there's still no evidence that wild eastern cougars roam the Maine woods.

But earlier this week, officials in Connecticut unveiled their findings after a necropsy and in-depth analysis of the cougar that died last month. The results stunned and excited biologists who have spent their careers studying the animals.

The Connecticut cougar wasn't a captive animal that had escaped, as many thought it was. And it wasn't an eastern cougar. Instead, it was a record-setting cat that ran, walked and jogged all the way from South Dakota (while being tracked on trail cameras and through DNA matching of scat samples — in Minnesota and Wisconsin).

"As a biologist who has looked pretty carefully at the cougar issue, I was really astounded, as I think most biologists who deal with cougars were at this information," said Mark McCullough, who serves as the lead eastern cougar biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and works out of the service's Orono office. "It does, apparently, set a record as far as dispersal distance for any land mammal in North America that we're aware of, and is significantly beyond the previous record of dispersal of a cougar as far as straight-line distance."

Dispersal, McCullough explained, is a natural movement of nearly all birds and mammals. McCullough describes it as nature's way of avoiding in-breeding. When they disperse, young animals move into their own territory and set up house. Female cougars generally disperse about 20-50 miles, he said. Males move farther afield, but generally stop within 100 miles of where they were born. Not this cat. The Connecticut cougar started in the Black Hills of South Dakota and traveled some 1,500 miles before meeting his demise. The previous record for cougar dispersal, according to McCullough, was about 640 miles.

Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife biologist Wally Jakubas handles cougar issues on the state level. He receives several reports of cougar sightings each year, and knows some have been frustrated when their claims can't be verified. "We are taking their reports seriously," Jakubas said. "But in order for us to do our jobs, we need some kind of physical evidence … it would be irresponsible for us just to say, 'OK, that was a cougar.'" The DIF&W has investigated plenty of sighting reports, as has the Fish and Wildlife Service. Most of the time, the reports turn out to be cases of mistaken identities. McCullough said black bears, fishers, dogs, cats, bobcats and Canada lynx have all be mistaken for cougars over the years.

Neither of the biologists doubted that cougars were present, mind you. "I'm sure there are people who have seen cougars," Jakubas said. "And we're not saying that there are no cougars out there. But if somebody actually sees a cougar, the most likely place that cougar came from was that it was a captive cougar or was released."

That was a hypothesis when the Connecticut cougar was found as well. Forensic evidence indicated, however, that it was a wild cougar — it hadn't been neutered, had not been declawed as a captive cat likely would have been and had porcupine quills in its subcutaneous tissue, indicating that it had been in the wild for quite a while.

But the part of the story that really caught the attention of biologists was the fact that the Connecticut cat was a bit of an marathoner. If this one 140-pound cougar made it 1,500 miles, did that mean that other wild, wandering cats could be elsewhere?

McCullough said the cat likely was an anomaly, and its dispersal was far beyond what had been expected or documented. But he admitted that the cougar's movements have illuminated a new reality that can't be ignored. "I think that you'd have to say it makes us pause and maybe think more seriously. I can't deny that," McCullough said. "It just simply amazes me that this animal makes this movement."

Jakubas said the Connecticut findings have created a new template that he and other biologists must pay close attention to."For me, personally, I'm going to take it a little bit more seriously when somebody calls [to report a cougar sighting]. I think that's the natural reaction of anybody," Jakubas said. "I'm no longer going to operate under the assumption that for the known cougar populations that we have in the United States, Maine is too far away for an animal to naturally disperse." So, wild cougars may actually be here in Maine. They may have walked here from Minnesota … or Wisconsin … or South Dakota.

Jakubas and McCullough agree on the question that must be asked next, even if that is true.
"Have others, or will others make similar movements?" McCullough asked.Jakubas said that's an essential part of future study of cougars.

"Even if a single animal disperses into Maine, it still needs to find a mate and it still needs to have kittens to have a population," Jakubas said. "Unless it breeds you're not going to have a population of cougars and it won't persist."

With the USFW Service stating that two distinct Wolf species exist in the Great Lakes Region(Gray wolf C.lupus and Eastern Wolf C.lycaon), delisting will potentially become challenging if the Feds declare that Gray wolves are recovered and merit delisting and Eastern Wolves are recovering and should not be delisted...............How do Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan distinguish between the two species when in this region, they are nearly physically identical to the naked eye?...............I vote to delist intelligently (not the kill baby kill plans that Idaho and Montana have instituted) with current levels of wolves to be allowed to roam the region ............Additionally, immediate reintroduction plans should be put into effect for Eastern Wolves to be released into the Adirondacks, New England and the Southern Appalachians(beyond the Carolina barrier islands where a small population of Eastern(red) wolves exist)

Federal recognition of 2 wolf species will hinder DNR's management efforts

Wisconsin Natural Resources Secretary Cathy Stepp said her agency wants federal protections removed for the gray wolf, but said Thursday that a proposal by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that recognizes two wolf species would hamstring Wisconsin's efforts to manage the animal's burgeoning population.

The Fish and Wildlife Service is expected to issue new regulations this fall that would attempt, for the third time, to remove gray wolves from the list of species protected by the federal Endangered Species Act.

Removing the protections would affect Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan.
The federal government's past efforts have been met with legal challenges by groups who say the wolves need protection, especially in areas where wolves have not yet experienced a resurgence.
These groups also say advocates for controls place too much emphasis on lethal means, and less on nonlethal controls such as the use of livestock guard dogs.

Wolves have been an emotional issue - especially as the population has risen - and Stepp appeared in Minocqua to underscore the DNR's resolve that it wants to control wolf numbers. Many residents of northern Wisconsin have been vocal about the need to control the state's wolf population.
Stepp appeared with wolf biologist Adrian Wydeven, staff attorney Tim Andryk, and Bill Horn, legislative director of the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance.

Wisconsin officials have pushed to remove the wolf from its endangered status and replace the status with a state plan that would provide the state more authority to control the wolf population.
Wisconsin's wolf population is conservatively estimated at 782 to 824, figures from a winter survey show. The population zooms to nearly double that figure in the summer as pups are born. But with a low survival rate and the death of about 25% of adults, the population drops again by winter.
Wisconsin's management goal for wolves is 350, and as numbers have grown, conflicts have arisen.
Officials report a growing number of cases of wolves killing livestock and pets. Wydeven said the agency has paid more than $1 million in reimbursements to those who have had livestock and pets killed by wolves since 1985. Eight dogs have been killed by wolves this year. Most were hunting dogs.

In Minocqua, Stepp said the DNR is opposed to aspects of the proposed rule that recognizes the presence of two distinct species of wolves in the Midwest: the gray wolf, or Canis lupus, the wolf species currently listed under the protection act, and the eastern wolf, or Canis lycaon, which has a historical range that includes portions of eastern Canada and the northeastern United States.

DNR officials said the agency would have great difficulty managing wolf populations if the gray wolf was delisted and the eastern wolf was protected because genetic testing has shown Wisconsin's wolves are a mix of both species.

Andryk said the DNR has managed wolves as a single population since 1978. "They are physically indistinguishable," he said.

Horn said the federal agency's conclusion that a new species exists in the Midwest is a "low hanging curve ball" that opponents will use in a new lawsuit to challenge the law.

Groups that want to ensure the protection of wolves have said wolves are still largely absent from their historical range, and the Fish and Wildlife Service should use its authority to protect the newly discovered species.

Republican Congressmen are flooding every bill that goes to the floor with ANTI-ENVIRONMENTAL RIDERS of every stripe......Now New Mexico Congressman Pearce wants to stop funding for the Mexican Wolf reintroduction program.......His claim that reducing the "few pennies" spent to achieve a minimum 100 Mexican Wolf population is going to reduce our budget deficit..............This is akin to saying that if you do not purchase a $1.00 lotto ticket, you will absolutely be assured of having enough money to pay your monthly bills..............Insanity abounds in D.C. and I think a 3rd political party should come to the fore(google NY Times Columist Thomas Friedman for more on this subject) quickly before the zealot Republicans and Democrats now in charge sink our Country's fortunes!

Urgent! Action Needed on Rider to Strip Funding For Mexican Wolf Recovery

Vote Expected Soon - Appropriations Bill Rider Threatens Disaster for Lobos (posted 7/30/11)


Anti-wolf Representative Pearce (NM) has filed a rider on the Appropriations Bill that would take away all funding for Mexican wolf recovery. We need to flood our representatives with calls and emails to stop this rider that would push Mexican wolves closer to extinction!

If the bill passes with this rider in it, there will be no money to protect, monitor, or release Mexican wolves. The new Recovery Planning process will end. Work with ranchers and the public on the ground to help the wolves will stop.

The remaining 50 Mexican wolves in the wild will backslide toward extinction.
Please take a few minutes right now and email and call your representatives in Congress-you don't need to be especially articulate or lengthy. Just tell the staffer that answers the phone that the Pearce Appropriations bill rider to defund Mexican gray wolf recovery is unacceptable and you expect your member of Congress to vote against it and anything that reduces protections for wolves.

You can say the same thing in your email.

If you want to say more, you can use these talking points:

* The Mexican wolf is the most endangered wolf in the world with only one population – of 50 animals – in the entire world. This is not the time to kick it off the Ark.

* In a 2008 poll (Research and Polling, Inc. in Albuquerque), 69% of New Mexicans and 77% of Arizonans supported the reintroduction of Mexican wolves in their state.

* These wolves need federal protection. Their numbers declined for years when the states had a large role in their management and the program is now getting back on track.

* Over the past year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has taken steps to put the Mexican wolf back on the road to recovery. A new recovery team, which includes ranchers, counties and conservationists as well as scientists, has begun work drawing up a new recovery plan.

* The USFWS, along with the states and tribes, is helping ranchers to coexist with wolves – using extra cowboys, special fencing, fladry (cloth flags hung on fences that wolves avoid), supplemental feed to move cattle away from dens, and other techniques. Without funding (the state and tribal programs also use federal funding), this work with ranchers and communities will end.

* In the Yellowstone region wolf tourism brings in at least $35 million annually to local communities. In Arizona and New Mexico, wolf-centered tourism is beginning as a few outfitters, Fish and Game Department programs and specialty tours take folks out to search for Mexican wolves. One promising new tour developed by the White Mountain Apache tribe combines wolf howling, camera "trapping" for wolves, and cultural activities. Tourism options and revenue will increase as wolf numbers do – bringing a new source of revenue to communities.

* Science tells us that top predators like wolves maintain the balance of nature. This is evident in Yellowstone where the return of wolves caused elk to be more wary and avoid standing in the open near streams – willows and aspen came back, and with them birds and beaver. With the beaver came ponds and more fish. In the Southwest, scientists expect similar benefits – to wildlife, sportsmen and everyone who enjoys the outdoors – once wolf numbers increase.

Contact information for your representatives in Congress is easy to access here. Just type in your zip code.

Thank you!!

Friday, July 29, 2011

"Open 'em year round. Hunt 'em, trap 'em, run 'em over," said Mike Popp, with a group called the Committee for a Safe and Wolf-Free Idaho. "Don't make a collared wolf illegal to shoot. Shoot 'em!".............It is truly sad that the "Mr. Popp's" of the World are at this moment in time bringing us back 150 years in attitude toward wolves, bears, cougars and the rest of the meat eaters that God put on the planet............How do the "Popp's" of the World reconcile their "kill baby kill" beliefs with their church going ways? It is tragic that in 2010 that a swath of our residents North, South, East and West are completely igonorant and narcisstic in their view of all life, save their own............Work harder we must not to let the lunatic fringe rule the day across the spectrum of issues that we face as a Nation



The Idaho Fish and Game Commission adopted a 10-month-long wolf hunting season in the upper Clearwater River basin Thursday and also increased the trapping season beyond what was recommended by Idaho Department of Fish and Game managers.

The commission, meeting in Salmon, lengthened the wolf season in the Lolo and Selway zones three months beyond what was proposed by wildlife biologists. Commissioner Fred Trevey of Lewiston recommended stretching the seasons in the two backcountry zones where biologists have documented wolves are the primary cause of elk mortality.

"We always have the option to truncate that if we need to," he said.

A wolf hunting proposal from the department recommended the statewide season open Aug. 30 and run through March 31. Commissioners approved those dates in most of the state. But in the two zones in the upper Clearwater basin, the season will run through June 30 so it stays open during the spring black bear hunt.

The department recommended a season without a harvest quota in most of the state, but it did propose them in the Beaverhead and Island Park zones along the Idaho-Montana state line near Yellowstone National Park. The quotas were recommended to promote genetic diversity by ensuring some wolves can migrate between Idaho and the park to mate.

At the request of new commissioner Kenny Anderson of Rigby, who represents the Upper Snake Region, the quota was increased to 10 in the Beaverhead Zone and to 30 in the Island Park Zone.

"I want more for my area; a better hunt and to take out more wolves," Anderson said.

The trapping season was lengthened by setting the opening date at Nov. 15, instead of Dec. 1, as recommended by the department. Commissioners also reduced the price of nonresident wolf hunting and trapping tags from $186 to $31.75, the same rate nonresidents are charged for mountain lion and black bear tags.

Hunters will be allowed to kill two wolves per year and trappers can take as many as five. Department Director Virgil Moore has said the state will manage the hunt to ensure the wolf population stays well above 150 - the number that could trigger relisting the animals under the Endangered Species Act. There are believed to be about 1,000 wolves in Idaho

Idaho Fish And Game Meeting Draws Crowd Of Wolf Foes
Jessica Robinson
SALMON, Idaho - The Idaho Fish and Game Commission will voted, yesterdaya(Thursday) on a plan to allow wolf hunting this fall without a cap on the number of wolves being killed in the state. And for the first time in the lower 48, trapping of the gray wolf would also be allowed. Correspondent Jessica Robinson was at a public meeting the Idaho Fish and Game held Wednesday on the proposal.

When the parking lot outside the Fish and Game office in Salmon, Idaho filled up, people started parking on the grass. Inside, members of the public hurled some harsh words against Fish and Game commissioners. Most speakers felt the panel isn't going far enough to rein in Idaho's wolf population."Open 'em year round. Hunt 'em, trap 'em, run 'em over," said Mike Popp, with a group called the Committee for a Safe and Wolf-Free Idaho. "Don't make a collared wolf illegal to shoot. Shoot 'em!"

Fish and Game estimates Idaho's wolf population now tops 1,000(many say 600 to 1000 depending on pup totals taken into accout--blogger Rick). And state wildlife managers don't expect hunters to make much of a dent in the population this year. Despite the ire the animal raises, the department isn't selling as many wolf tags as anticipated.

Meanwhile, conservation groups are contesting the way Congress de-listed the wolf this spring. Earlier this week, they made their case before a federal judge in Montana.

Senator John Tester......another "bought and sold" Politician at the beck and call of the Ranching and Hunting lobby.....One step forward and 25 steps backward for the circle of life in Montana...........We really should not be hearing from the Senator on "Right to Life" and any so-called family values issues based on his perspectives on wolves and other living beings

Tester statement on State of Montana's wolf hunt quota  

Thursday, July 14, 2011  


Tester statement on State of Montana's wolf hunt quota
(U.S. SENATE) – Senator Jon Tester released the following statement in response to the State of Montana's decision to set a quota of 220 wolves for a hunt this fall.  Tester, chairman of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus, successfully removed Montana's wolves from the Endangered Species List earlier this year, returning their management to the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission.

"A science-based wolf hunt is part of our responsible plan that's best for Montana's sportsmen, ranchers--and for Montana's wolf population in the long run.  I returned wolf management back to the State of Montana because Montana had a plan that worked, and I'm pleased to see that plan moving forward once again."

The COYOTE YIPPS blogsite had these great pics of our TRICKSTER "DIVING FOR DOLLARS(DINNER).......I think the coyotes would record perfect "10"s in the Olympics!

Ups and Downs 

Hunting has its ups and downs. This coyote
slowly and carefully approached its target,
gingerly extending an arm in the gopher's
direction. Ahhhh, the timing looked right.
 So up she jumped in a beautifully executed
 n-curved dive, which landed exactly on target:
 nose into the ground and feet flying high! But
I can't tell if the coyote hurt its nose or if the
gopher bit her -- notice her expression after
the dive in the center photo. She then attempted
 to reach for the gopher, but then suddenly
trotted off a short distance where she stood
 just looking at the gopher hole. She did not
leave with a gopher, and she did not approach
this gopher hole again. Hmmm.






Thursday, July 28, 2011

Can the Congressional Wolf delisting that just took place be overturned in Court?......Judge Molloy again asked to rule on the rider to the budget amendment that took wolves off the Endangered Species List....Was this amendment a violation of of the SEPARATION OF POWERS DOCTERINE as the ALLIANCE FOR THE WILD ROCKIES conteneds?...............Did Congress "direct the court", ordering de-listing even as appeals were(and are) still pending of Judge Molloy's August 2010 decision which put the wolves back under ESA?

Conservation groups ask judge to overturn Congressional action on wolves

by Dennis Bragg
MISSOULA- Attorneys for conservation groups are accusing Congress of taking a "politically expedient shortcut" to take Northern Rockies wolves off the Endangered Species List. And they want U.S. District Court Judge Donald Molloy to say that step was unconstitutional.

That was the essence of an extremely detailed legal argument in Molloy's Missoula courtroom Tuesday morning, where the judge must decide whether a Congressional rider last April is allowable.The rider, known as Section 1713, was an 11th hour attachment to a government spending bill, which made an exception for gray wolves in Idaho and Montana, once more knocking the wolves off the Endangered Species List.

However, Alliance for the Wild Rockies and other groups accuse the government of violating the Separation of Powers Doctrine, which dictates the relationship between Congress, the courts and the Executive Branch. They maintain Section 1713 is a case of Congress "directing the court", ordering de-listing even as appeals are still pending of Molloy's August 2010 decision which put the wolves back under ESA.

Alliance Attorney Jay Tutchton asked Molloy to "tell Congress to do it's proper function" by forcing lawmakers to go back and "write it down" by adding more details to the ESA changes instead of allowing a "wholesale amendment". He argued there should be a "predictable change in the underlying law".

But government attorney Andrea Gelatt defended Section 1713, saying Congress had followed the law by "carving a very narrow hole" to allow an amendment of the ESA so wolves in Idaho and Montana could be excluded.

Molloy, who has come under increasing fire by the region's residents after re-instating wolf protection last year, peppered the attorneys with questions. He asked the government how it could defend the use of his August 2010 ruling and yet still be appealing the case at the same time.

No decision was made today, but Molloy said he'd review the briefs and try to issue a decision "as quickly as possible."

"We really need to coexist with these magnificent animals(Cougars)",,,,so saids retired California Fish & Game biologist Allan Buckmann.........."They do not like people ....humans are not on their menu"

Wily mountain lions prefer deer to people

 To remain safe
• Do not approach a mountain lion.

• Do not run if you encounter a mountain lion. Instead, face the cat, make noise and try to look bigger by waving your arms. Also, throw rocks or other objects. Pick up small children.

• Avoid hiking or jogging alone and when mountain lions are most active — dawn, dusk and nighttime.
• If attacked, fight back.

• Bring pet food inside to avoid attracting wildlife.

Source: California Department of Fish and Game
How dangerous are mountain lions? How big are they? What attracts them the most? And when do they hunt?

These are among the questions a retired biologist addressed Saturday during a presentation on mountain lions at the Carolyn Parr Nature Center on Browns Valley Road below Westwood Hills Park. People are 10 times more likely to be killed by lightning than by a mountain lion, said Allan Buckmann, who has only seen mountain lions twice in his life — one in Point Reyes and one in Franz Valley near Calistoga.  "We really need to coexist with these magnificent animals," said Buckmann, a Calistoga resident who retired about four years ago after 38 years of service for the state Department of Fish and Game.

Mountain lions are astute about their habitats, hunt at night and avoid humans, he said during his 90-minute presentation in front of half a dozen volunteers and guests at the nature center. Mountain lions follow their favorite food — deer — though they also hunt for other wildlife, including foxes, gophers and rabbits, he said. Mountain lions, which number between 4,000 to 6,000 statewide, even swallow cats and small dogs whole, collars and all, Buckmann said. But humans are not on the menu.  "(Mountain) lions are solitary, stalking hunters," Buckmann said. "They don't like people."

"Basically, they're calm, they're quiet and they're elusive," Buckmann added. "They are really attentive, incredibly nimble and almost all muscle. They watch, they hear and they smell." Mountain lions, which see twice as well at night as humans, usually kill on average just before midnight, he said. During the day, they sleep and groom themselves, he said. 

Attacks on humans are rare. According to Fish and Game, mountain lions have killed six people statewide between 1890 and 2007. There were no Napa County fatalities. Eighty-two mountain lions were killed in Napa County between 1972 and 2009, according to Fish and Game.  Since 1990, mountain lions have been a protected species. They can only be killed if a depredation permit is issued after a mountain lion kills livestock, pets or bighorn sheep, or threatens public safety. They cannot be captured and removed to another habitat. 

A male mountain lion's habitat range is 1,600 square miles, Buckmann said. "There is not enough food for all of them." Buckmann said males can reach 8 feet, while females can be 7 feet from the tip of the tail to their nose. Some males in the Sierra have reached 225 pounds. Most males are 130 to 150 pounds and the females, 65 to 90 pounds, he said.

Buckmann expects the number of mountain lions to remain stable in Napa County. Joyce Nichols, board president at the Carolyn Parr Nature Center, said Saturday's program was organized because of public interest in mountain lions."We have a lot of people asking about mountain lions," she said. "People in the vineyards say they see them."

Wyoming U.S. Representative Cynthia Lummis is a midevil thinker regarding how she wants wolves delisted in her State-------Seemingly, she is joing Govenor Mead in seeking "predator status" on wolves in her State...........with talking points taken directly from the Cattlemen Associations and Hunting Groups that "own her lock stock and barrel",,,,,, "For more than eight years, wolves in Wyoming have met or exceeded the federal government's recovery goals, and without proper management, have thrived at the expense of Wyoming's ranchers, farmers and big game herds"--Rep. Cynthia Lummis

CHEYENNE, Wyo. - The state's lone U.S. representative wants any deal between Wyoming and the federal government over wolf management exempted from review in the courts.

 Rep. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., announced Wednesday she's inserted language in a pending appropriations bill to bar any such legal challenges. She also proposes to require the federal government to transfer wolf management to Wyoming as soon as the state and federal officials can reach a deal.

 Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead and U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar are set to meet today in Cheyenne to discuss the wolf issue. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe also is scheduled to attend.
 Mead and Salazar have held a series of meetings since late last year intended to allow Wyoming to follow the lead of other states in the Northern Rockies and take over management of wolves from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

 Federal biologists and environmental groups have opposed ending federal protections for wolves in Wyoming for years because the current state plan calls for them to be classified as predators that could be shot on sight in most areas. The standoff has spawned several federal lawsuits in Wyoming and elsewhere.
 The federal government earlier this year approved turning wolf management over to state governments in Idaho, Montana and other areas with a similar provision barring court challenges. Environmentalists are nonetheless trying to fight that move in court, saying it sets a precedent that undermines the Endangered Species Act while exceeding the power of Congress to limit judicial review.

 Lummis issued a statement Wednesday saying it's necessary to short-circuit years of legal wrangling on the wolf issue in Wyoming.

Language proposed in an appropriations bill would turn Wyoming wolves over to state control and prevent lawsuits in the event of a deal removing the predator from Endangered Species Act protection.

 "The best way to ensure the success of any negotiation is to back it up with the force of law," Lummis said in a statement. "This language does exactly that. This provision is a crucial puzzle piece to the long-awaited conclusion of the delisting of the fully-recovered gray wolf." She continued: "For more than eight years, wolves in Wyoming have met or exceeded the federal government's recovery goals, and without proper management, have thrived at the expense of Wyoming's ranchers, farmers and big game herds."

 The announcement from Lummis comes before a news conference with Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and the Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Dan Ashe scheduled for today. The conference is expected to involve delisting wolves in Wyoming.

Gov. Mead has previously said he will accept nothing less than predator status for much of the state.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Ban on Fur Trapping is being lifted in New Mexico despite the fact that Mexican Wolf re-introduction is still a work in progress........Environmental Groups feel that Republican Govenor Martinez made a pact with Business Groups and shut out any contrarian anti-trapping commentary by other stakeholders.............Of the 50 or so Wolves in the wild, at least 6 had been trapped last year and quiite rightly, trapping was(and is) seen as a serious impediment to wolf recovery..............Thumbs down on Govenor Martinez's decision!

NM Game Commission votes to end trapping ban

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — State game commissioners on Thursday approved a recommendation from wildlife managers to end a trapping ban in southwestern New Mexico, where federal officials have been working to reintroduce the Mexican gray wolf.
The commission voted unanimously in favor of the state Game and Fish Department's proposal during a meeting in Clayton.
The vote disappointed conservationists, who had sent thousands of emails and letters to the commissioners in recent weeks to support keeping the ban in place.Regulated furbearer trapping on the Gila and Apache national forests was banned last summer by former Democratic Gov. Bill Richardson, a supporter of the wolf reintroduction effort.
The commission extended the ban last fall, giving researchers more time to study the risks of trapping and snaring to wolves. The researchers are done with their work but a report summarizing their findings has yet to be made public, and conservation groups have accused the Game and Fish Department of colluding with trapping and livestock groups to influence the commission's decision-making process.
Despite a public records request, the conservationists claim the agency has refused to provide information related to meetings the department allegedly held with industry groups on the trapping issue. The department, in a letter sent Thursday to the conservationists, denied claims that it hid documents.
Wendy Keefover, director of WildEarth Guardians' carnivore protection program, said she believes the commissioners had already made up their minds about the ban. Most of them were appointed by Republican Gov. Susana Martinez, who has expressed concerns about the wolf program's impacts on ranchers."It's a kangaroo court," Keefover said.
WildEarth Guardians and the Sierra Club claim documents they received as part of their records request indicate that agency officials met with the Sportsmen and Landowners' Coalition about the trapping rules on June 16. The agency provided no records of the meeting except emails that tangentially referenced it.
The groups claim the documents also show a department employee circulated a petition for the New Mexico Trappers Association in support of trapping.
Reconsideration of the trapping ban stemmed from a recommendation made by a small business task force appointed by Martinez after she took office in January.The furbearer rules were specifically mentioned in an April report prepared by the task force, which reviewed dozens of rules in an effort to identify ways the state could be more business-friendly and encourage economic development.
The panel suggested local economies could be "enhanced" by removing the trapping ban in wolf territory.

While it's unclear what the researchers found when studying the risks to wolves, an executive order signed by Richardson last summer noted that traps do not differentiate between wolves and the animals for which traps were set. He said at the time there were six confirmed and three probable Mexican gray wolves trapped in New Mexico's portion of the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area in the past eight years. Five wolves were injured by the traps, two severely enough to require leg amputations.
Conservationists had applauded Richardson's stance and the commission's decision last year to extend the ban, calling it a milestone for wolves in the Southwest.
A subspecies of the gray wolf, the Mexican gray wolf was added to the federal endangered species list in 1976 after it was all but wiped out due to hunting and government-sponsored extermination campaigns.
The federal government started its reintroduction effort along the New Mexico-Arizona border in 1998 with the release of 11 wolves. Biologists had hoped to have more than 100 wolves in the wild by 2006. The current count is closer to 50.
The reintroduction has been hampered by illegal shootings, court battles, complaints from ranchers who have lost livestock and pets to the wolves, and concerns by environmentalists over the way the program has been managed.
Another blow came just last month when the Game and Fish Department voted to pull out of the project. The state had provided a handful of employees to help with trapping, transplanting and collaring wolves. They also worked on projects aimed at reducing conflicts between wolves and livestock.

CANADIAN WOLF COALITION'S Sadie Parr seeking our donations to acquire additional acreage adjacent to the GREAT BEAR RAINFOREST in British Columbia, home to the White spirit Black Bears and Marine based wolves......a worthy cause indeed!

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: sadie parr <>
Date: Tue, Jul 26, 2011 at 8:31 PM
Subject: Buy wilderness protection!
To: sadie parr <>

In 2005 the Raincoast Conservation Foundation made astounding headway to protect the unique diversity of animals often hunted for "trophies" along the northwest coast of British Columbia.   By creating the Great Bear Rainforest, an area three times the size of Yellowstone National Park,  marine-based wolves are safe at home in the largest expanse of temperate rainforest left on the planet.   Land and sea intermingle here and often UNITE in amazing predator-prey relationships where commercial trophy hunting is not allowed.  
Now the Raincoast Conservation Foundation wants to protect MORE, but they can't do it without your help.  The new land is adjacent to the already protected area, but here wolves and other animals still fall victim to needless killing through guided trophy hunting tours. 
Help extend the PROTECTION to include more wolf families through your financial contribution to purchase the land and maintain it for wild coastal wolves to run free along the shorelines with pups as they fish.  These wolves are different from their land-based grey wolf cousins, genetically and behaviourally.  Learn more about them at and how you can help ensure their wild future today!
These wolves are irreplaceable. 
Another major threat to coastal wolves and the vast array of wildlife home in the area (salmon, sea lions, orcas, black-tailed deer, grizzly and black bears, to name a few…) is a destructive proposal called the Enbridge Pipeline and the ocean tankers that would accompany it.  The question is not if there would be a catastrophic oil spill in this pristine coastal setting, but when it would be!  This unnecessary risk is not worth taking.  Don't let BC be the link to set Alberta's Tar Sands Oil far and wide via the sea.  Learn more through Pacific Wild's Video Documentary
This group ( has also been working hard to document and protect the distinctive characteristics of coastal wolves, and create awareness about the need to preserve wolves along the Pacific Coast.  Speak to your MLA to oppose the Enbridge Pipeline. 
Reach out further to other contacts through the Pacific Wild action page:
Thank you for staying informed about conservation needs, goals and efforts!  WE can't do it without YOU.

Sadie Parr
Coordinator, Canadian Wolf Coalition

Humans have been manipulating the environment since time memorial.........Native Americans were not pure in their interaction with the environment,,,,,,,,,,As the article depicts, three different populations of River Turtles that were used as food by Mayans and othe "Ancients" were routinely moved from one river bed to another with the result that the turtles bred interchangeably across the geographic range of Mexico, Belize and Guatemala......Did this exchange of genes impact any other creatures in the rivers that the turtles occupied?

Endangered River Turtle's Genes Reveal Ancient Influence of Maya Indians

 A genetic study focusing on the Central American river turtle (Dermatemys mawii) recently turned up surprising results for a team of Smithsonian scientists involved in the conservation of this critically endangered species. Small tissue samples collected from 238 wild turtles at 15 different locations across their range in Southern Mexico, Belize and Guatemala revealed a "surprising lack" of genetic structure, the scientists write in a recent paper in the journal Conservation Genetics
The turtles, which are entirely aquatic, represent populations from three different river basins that are geographically isolated by significant distance and high mountain chains. "We were expecting to find a different genetic lineage in each drainage basin," explains the paper's main author Gracia González-Porter of the Center for Conservation and Evolutionary Genetics at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute. "Instead, we found the mixing of lineages. It was all over the place." Despite appearing isolated, the genetic data showed the different turtle populations had been in close contact for years.

"But how?" the researchers wondered. The best possible explanation, González-Porter and her colleagues say, is that for centuries humans have been bringing them together. The turtles have been used as food, in trade and in rituals for millennia, widely transported and customarily kept in holding ponds till they were needed.

"For centuries, this species has been part of the diet of the Mayans and other indigenous people who lived in its historic distribution range," the scientists point out in their paper. "D. mawii was a very important source of animal protein for the ancient Mayans of the Peten (Preclassic period 800-400 B.C.)…. And it is possible that these turtles were part of the diet of the Olmec culture more than 3,000 years ago."

One specimen of D. mawii was found in an ancient Teotihuacan burial site in Mexico, a spot located more than 186 miles from the known range of this turtle, the researchers say. An ancient sculpture of a Central American river turtle at the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City was found in the Basin of Mexico, more than 217 miles from the turtle's range.

"The Central American River turtle is tame and resilient," González-Porter explains, "which makes it easy to transport. Their shells give them lots of protection. People don't have refrigeration so they put the turtles in ponds in their back yards."

During the rainy season in the tropics, the water flows are huge, she says. Rivers and ponds flood, captive turtles escape and mix with the local turtles. This ancient practice still persists today. In Guatemala, Central American river turtles are kept in medium-sized ponds where they can be easily captured when needed. Similarly, in the State of Tabasco, Mexico, captured turtles are kept in rustic ponds and raised until they are either consumed or sold.

The genetic analysis of the Central American River turtle was initiated because these animals are critically endangered, González-Porter says.

They are the last surviving species of the giant river turtles of the family Dermatemydidae. D. mawii is currently the most endangered turtle species in Central America. A recent increase in the commercial demand for its meat has pushed it to the brink of extinction -- 2.2 pounds of their meat can fetch $100. Most local populations have disappeared and this turtle is now largely restricted to remote areas that are inaccessible to humans.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The best of the articles I have read today about the native and wild Cougar that was killed on a Connecticut Highway last Month..........An amazing traveler who was born in South Dakota.............first loped its way to Minnesota and Michigan..............and then said "Go East young cat",,,,,,,,,,,,,and did another 1000 mile jog to the Nutmeg State............Could there be a few more Cats in the Northeast............could somehow a female from Canada have made her way through Michigan and into New England?.....All they need is our blessing and a bit of a helping hand and we would begin to have some balance again with the Cougar atop the Eastern food chain...........Wolves anyone?

Connecticut Mountain Lion: Why and How It Got There

State officials are still piecing together information about what they're calling one cougar's "amazing" journey.


The assertion Tuesday by Connecticut officials that a young, male mountain lion traveled as far as 1,800 miles from South Dakota to the Nutmeg State begged as many questions as it answered.
Foremost among them:
  • How did the cougar did get so far, crossing rivers and other obstacles?
  • Why did it travel so far from home?
  • How— based on such scattered evidence as a carcass, reported sightings and paw prints—were scientists able to piece together evidence of what they're calling one of the longest-ever recorded journeys of a land mammal?
First spotted June 5 in Greenwich, Conn., officials with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection say that same animal likely—though not definitively, pending more tests—was the mountain lion killed June 11 on the Wilbur Cross Parkway in Milford, Conn.
Officials used DNA to genetically fingerprint the mountain lion as the same one spotted more than 18 months ago in Minnesota.

"The journey of this mountain lion is a testament to the wonders of nature and the tenacity and adaptability of this species," Connecticut DEEP Commissioner Dan Esty said during a press briefing. "This mountain lion traveled a distance of more than 1,500 miles from its original home in South Dakota – representing one of the longest movements ever recorded for a land mammal and nearly double the distance ever recorded for a dispersing mountain lion."

Even with so much DNA evidence and testing, what's known about the mountain lion—his journey's exact route and reasons for taking it—remain unclear.

We know this:
  • The cougar had porcupine quills lodged in its skin, discovered by lab technicians during a necropsy, or animal autopsy.
  • Its estimated age is two to five years old.
  • It was lean, and hadn't been declawed or neutered.
  • It was spotted three times—in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Connecticut—before a collision with a SUV on a highway ended its life.
"Although this is the story of one extraordinary animal who did end in a tragic death on a highway here, the first recorded example of a wild mountain lion in Connecticut in more than 100 years, I must add that we have no evidence of a native population," Esty said. "No evidence of a mountain lion beyond this single individual."
The cougar's body is now frozen, pending further studies. Its body may end up in a museum, state officials confirmed. Inquiries already have been made.
What follows is a look at what else Connecticut officials said Tuesday in their press briefing, in a statement and in a question-and-answer session with the media.
  • Paul Rego, a supervising wildlife biologist with the DEEP, during the press conference: "In mammals in general, the young disperse, especially young males. There is probably debate among ecologists what the fundamental reasons are. It may be looking for breeding opportunities, may be looking for open habitat where there's no competition with other animals and in the case of males, and food resources. It's a very common behavior of some adult male mammals, very common behavior for some adult cougars."
  • Esty: "I think there are potentially lots of reasons why this animal left South Dakota, but Paul is giving you the most likely ones, which are a foraging animal looking for easier food sources and this guy clearly had an adventurous spirit and chose to a little further from home than most. And it may well have been that there was a trail of opportunity that led to Connecticut."
  • Rego: "Most of these sightings (see blue and green map, as well as 'Wisconsin Cougar Observations,' attached) are believed to be this animal that eventually made it to Connecticut. The first observation was in Minnesota, December 2009. The animal moved east-southeasterly into Wisconsin in January 2010, was subsequently documented in more northerly Wisconsin in Feburary 2010 and there is strong belief that then it continued to move easterly and a trail-cam photo taken in May 2010 and a nearby trail-cam photo in Minnesota are believed to be the same animal.
  • Now, these are all verifications of mountain lions on this map. They are not all verifications of this particular mountain lion, but some are. At four of these sites, through snow tracking and collecting scats or droppings from the animal, collecting hair, collecting blood, they are actually able to genetically fingerprint it. So at four of these sites, the Minnesota site … these were genetically fingerprinted to be this animal in Connecticut. It's a very surprising result to us, to the folks in Wisconsin and the people doing the genetics work."
  • Rego, responding to a question on how mountain lions could cross rivers: "It's not certain how they cross. They must swim. There have been numerous documentations of them crossing large watercourses. An example of a female crossing the largest river in Utah recently was published; large canals in Florida are crossed by what they call 'Florida panthers.' The rivers do probably present a barrier but not an insurmountable barrier. There have been a number of documented mountain lions in Wisconsin and Illinois that had to have crossed the Mississippi River … During wintertime, small rivers if they have ice then that's not much of a barrier for crossing."
How Do They Know?
  • DEEP Deputy Commissioner Susan Frechette: "While the results we're presenting here today are very convincing, we are continuing with genetic and isotope testing in an effort to determine just how this animal got from Wisconsin to Connecticut … We also want to try and understand just what this animal subsisted on during its time in the wild and how we can better determine its lifespan during its time in the wild in Wisconsin and Connecticut."
  • Rego: "[There was] no evidence of captivity. We do admit that was our suspicion, just given extraordinary distances, so part of our exam was tissue for genetic testing to several labs across the United States—our necropsy, or animal autopsy. The Rocky Mountain Research Station wildlife genetics lab did come back with a result for us that this animal matched very well genetically with mountain lions fro m the South Dakota population. They have a number of tissues banked from different regions of North America and this was a very good match. Subsequently, they examined this specific animal's DNA and they compared it to certain outlying animals, outside of that South Dakota region to come up with a match and, amazingly, one was found. It matched an animal that was well documented, traveling through Wisconsin."
  • From the DEEP press release: "The genetic tests reveal information about the mountain lion's origin and travels were conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture's Forest Service Wildlife Genetics Laboratory in Missoula, Montana. DNA tests show that tissue from the Milford mountain lion matches the genetic structure of the mountain lion population in the Black Hills region of South Dakota. The Forest Service lab also compared the Milford mountain lion's DNA to DNA samples collected from individual animals occurring outside of the core South Dakota population. This led to a match with DNA collected from an animal whose movements were tracked in Minnesota and Wisconsin from late 2009 through early 2010.
DNA from the Connecticut specimen exactly matched DNA collected from an individual mountain lion at one site in Minnesota and three sites in Wisconsin. The Midwestern DNA samples were obtained by collecting scat (droppings), blood and hair found while snow tracking the mountain lion at locations where sightings of the animal were confirmed. In addition, at least a half dozen confirmed sightings of a mountain lion in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan are believed to be of the same animal. The distance between the first documentation in Minnesota and the spot where the animal was killed by a vehicle is nearly 1,000 miles and is nearly double the longest distance previously recorded for a dispersing mountain lion. Dispersal is a normal behavior of young male mountain lions searching for females but they seldom travel more than 100 miles. The path of the mountain lion led Wisconsin biologists to dub the male cat the 'St. Croix Mountain lion,' after the first county where a confirmed sighting of it occurred."

Grizzly Bear mother adopts an orphaned cub in the Grand Tetons.........While rarely observed by humans, Bear Mothers are known for adopting other Sows cubs if those cubs get displaced or lost to the birth mother through some type of conflict with a male bear or through some other type of other disturbance............Bears and People.............the maternal instinct weighs heavy for both intelligent creatures!

Grand Teton grizzlies make rare cub exchange

FILE - This May 2011 file photo shows Grizzly bear No. 610 walking through sagebrush in Grand Teton National Park, Wyo., while her two cubs look on. A grizzly bear in Grand Teton National Park has wowed scientists and tourists alike by adopting a cub from another sow grizzly. Park officials say they are fairly certain that No. 610 has adopted one of her younger siblings: No. 610 is the 5-year-old daughter of No. 399. Park officials say such behavior is not unprecedented but quite rare.
FILE - This June 2011 file photo shows Grizzly bear No. 399 crossing a road in Grand Teton National Park, Wyo., with her three cubs. A grizzly bear in Grand Teton National Park has wowed scientists and tourists alike by adopting a cub from another sow grizzly. Park officials say they're fairly certain that No. 610 has adopted one of her younger siblings: No. 610 is the 5-year-old daughter of No. 399. Park officials say such behavior is not unprecedented but quite rare.
AP Pho
FILE - This May 2011 file photo shows Grizzly bear No. 610 walking through sagebrush in Grand Teton National Park, Wyo., while her two cubs look on. A grizzly bear in Grand Teton National Park has wowed scientists and tourists alike by adopting a cub from another sow grizzly. Park officials say they are fairly certain that No. 610 has adopted one of her younger siblings: No. 610 is the 5-year-old daughter of No. 399. Park officials say such behavior is not unprecedented but quite rare.
A grizzly bear in Grand Teton National Park has wowed scientists and tourists alike by adopting a cub from another sow grizzly.Park officials say such behavior is rare but not unprecedented. The switch is especially fascinating for having occurred between two grizzlies that are well-known — famous, practically — in the region for having spent so much time this summer near roads and developed areas where they've been easy to observe with their cubs.

What's more, the bears are keeping it in the family: The adopting mother grizzly is the daughter of the grizzly that lost its cub.

"For the general public to find out that something like this could happen I think is a fascinating glimpse into bear behavior and what can happen among bears that are related," Grand Teton spokeswoman Jackie Skaggs said Monday.

The switch occurred between a 15-year-old grizzly that biologists identified years ago with the number 399 and her daughter, a 5-year-old grizzly identified by the number 610.

Grizzly No. 610 gave birth to two cubs last winter. She has been seen with a third cub since late last week. Grizzly No. 399 gave birth to three cubs last winter but in the past few days has been seen with just two cubs in tow.

Research has shown that grizzlies sometimes will adopt cubs that become separated from their mothers. Separation can occur after a disturbance of some kind.A brief separation apparently happened last month in the family of No. 610, when the mother grizzly was seen without her cubs and behaving in an agitated manner. She was spotted with her cubs again soon after, Skaggs said.

Some speculated a male grizzly might have disrupted the family. Each summer around June, male grizzlies are known to kill cubs to cause their mothers to go into estrus, when females are receptive to mating, Skaggs said.

Nobody knows how No. 399 might have become separated from her cub. But the switch occurred around the same time as reports of the sound of bears fighting in her territory last Thursday night, park biologist Steve Cain said.

Scientists haven't confirmed beyond a shadow of a doubt, such as through DNA testing, that the new cub following No. 610 is the one lost by No. 399.

"The possibility exists that 399 lost a cub by another means and 610 gained one by a different family group," Cain said. "But I would characterize that possibility as extremely low."

While previous research has documented grizzlies swapping cubs in Yellowstone National Park, Cain said he's never seen it in Grand Teton."It probably occurs in the wild more frequently than is ever documented because it's a difficult type of occurrence to document," he said.

The mother-daughter grizzlies have overlapping territories not far from Jackson Lake Dam toward the northeast side of Grand Teton. The grizzlies spend a fair amount of time within sight of park roads. One theory is males keep their distance when the females are closer to people.

The grizzlies have caused a number of traffic jams of tourists thrilled by the chance to watch and photograph the bear families.

Longtime wildlife watchers have been eager to see if No. 399 and No. 610 will ever cross paths and interact. Each grizzly seems to be aware that the other is roaming the same part of the park, Skaggs said, but the bears have yet to be spotted in the same place at the same time.

Coyotes are like people..........they love to eat a variety of foods keeping small mammals, rodents, rabbits and snakes in check..........My friend Jon Way in Massachusetts even has seen them dining on moths in heavy infestation years............doing their job of keeping the countryside clean of too many of the fast-breeding life, that if not checked, can make our lives uncomfortable.............

click here to see a great picture of a Washington State Coyote with a snake breakfast in hand!

West Seattle Blog… » West Seattle wildlife: Longfellow Creek coyote’s breakfast

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Idaho based BOULDER-WHITE CLOUDS COUNCIL is headed up by Lynne Stone............This tireless Organization is working overtime to "protect, enhance and defend Idaho's wild lands and wildlife.............Lynn reached out to members with her perspective and forecast of what is to come during the 7 month hunt/trap season that is about to commence beginning Aug 30, 2011 and running thru March 31, 2012--------As we have discussed from so many angles over the past weeks(Lynn reiterates this), a "lathered up kill-baby kill" call to arms by Idaho hunters and trappers is going to come down hard on the 600 to 1000 wolves that currently inhabit the State.............Idaho is taking a genocidal approach to wolf management that is just out-of-control wrong............wrong for wolves,,,,,,,,,,,,,,wrong for the land..........wrong for tourism and economic upside...............Stupidly wrong!!!

Dear Colleagues:

There's been a lot of media about Idaho's pending wolf hunt, but the real story is not being told. Here's the scoop on the Idaho Department of Fish and Game's proposed 7-month wolf season. Our IDFG Commissioners will finalize the details this week in Salmon, Idaho. IDFG has been misleading the public about the number of tags and even had a slanted survey on their website.

Idaho's wolf management plan calls for just 150 wolves. We currently have about 1000 wolves of which 300 are pups. IDFG has made it clear that getting down toward 150 wolves is their goal. The pressure is coming from our Governor Butch Otter, the Idaho legislature, big game outfitters, hunting groups, and some ranchers.

- Hunters can buy up to FOUR tags for the seven-month 2011-2012 hunt (two tags in 2011 and two tags in 2012). A resident wolf tag costs $11.75. The hunt goes from August 30 to March 31.

- Trappers can buy up to SIX trapping/snaring tags (three per calendar year) plus the FOUR regular tags for the 2011-2012 hunt = TEN Tags.

- NO QUOTA in much of the state including these areas: Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness/Middle Fork Salmon River, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, Lolo, Panhandle, McCall-Weiser, Dworshak-Elk City, Palouse-Hells Canyon and S. Idaho.

- BIG QUOTAS elsewhere (when compared to 2009-10 hunt): Sawtooth, Southern Mountains, Salmon, Beaverhead and Island Park areas.

- Electronic calls - that sound like a hurt animal or hurt wolf pup, and can be broadcast via a loudspeaker for miles - allowed.

- BAITING as done for fur bearer hunting/trapping - allowed.

- BEAR BAITING season opens August 30. Wolves are attracted to these sites - think stale donuts, dog food, fish, butcher scraps. Any wolf near a bear bait garbage dump can be shot with rifle or bow. Most of these bear hunters use trail cameras and they photograph a lot of wolves.

- TEN-WEEK WINTER TRAPPING/SNARING SEASON in Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness (Middle Fork zone) and Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, plus Lolo, Panhandle and other areas. I expect the trapping season and areas to be expanded by the Commissioners.

- Out-of-State hunter cost for wolf tag REDUCED TO $31.50 in Wilderness areas, so big game outfitters are assured their clients can get cheap wolf tags.
I've lived in Idaho for 30 years. The last 7-month wolf hunt in 2009-10 was a terrible time to be outdoors with wolf hunters crawling the backroads and trails, even accosting campers demanding whether they had seen or heard wolves. Then there was the usual exhibiting of dead wolves in various Idaho towns. When I reported to IDFG law enforcement that wolf hunters were using predator calls after dark, I was told they were probably hunting coyotes. I observed spotlighting and reported it - nothing was done. Wolves don't have many friends in IDFG.

This wolf hunt is going to hurt Idaho's recreation and tourism economy, not to mention putting a black eye overall on the state. Some people are already boycotting the state, Idaho products, and businesses like big game outfitters who run trail rides and fishing trips, but also guide wolf hunts. This doesn't seem to matter to IDFG - they only care about what hunters think. I have been urging businesses to speak up and will keep trying. Am also working with media and if you know reporters who are interested in Idaho's wolves, please have them contact me.

Wish I had better news. I will never give up on wolves, but this hunt is going to be hard to take.

Lynne K. Stone, Director
Boulder-White Clouds Council
Ketchum ID 83340

Mission Statement
Boulder-White Clouds Council (BWCC)

was formed in 1989 to protect, enhance and defend Idaho's wild lands and wildlife, and to pass onto succeeding generations a quality natural environment.
We have worked to bring permanent protection for the 500,000 acre Boulder-White Cloud Mountains by securing designation with the National Wilderness Preservation System. The Boulder-White Clouds are the largest, unprotected roadless area left on Forest Service lands outside of Alaska.

The White Cloud Peaks and Boulder Mountains lie in the upper Salmon River country of central Idaho. The adjoining Pioneer Mountains, parts of the Sawtooth Mountains (including the Sawtooth Completion), Smoky Mountains, Salmon River Mountains, and areas on the Boise and Payette National Forests, together contain another one-million acres, which BWCC and other conservation and sportsmens' groups support for Wilderness.

Within these mountain ranges, and their streams, rivers and lakes, we focus on protecting and improving natural values, wildlife, and wildlife habitat, and quiet recreation opportunities. We organize hikes and field trips, media tours, and have a network of volunteers throughout central and southern Idaho who help monitor and respond to actions or threats to this wild country. We also work for peace and quiet on Idaho's lands and waters. We call this "Protecting the hush of the land" -- where humans can hear nature, rather than engines.

BWCC has also done extensive mining work on three immense open pit mines, and on smaller projects and explorations. We have monitored mining activity, publicized problems to the environment, and when necessary, litigated. BWCC works with local, regional and national groups to reform the 1872 Mining Law.

By choice, we are a lean, small, front line organization, supported by individuals, families and foundations. For every dollar BWCC receives, we triple that amount through volunteers and pro bono services.

By choice, we are not a membership group, but maintain contact with people who use and care for the wild White Clouds through our mailing list, web site, e-mail, newsletters, telephone, outings, events, and chance meetings in Idaho's back country and Idaho towns.

Our mission includes providing accurate information on many issues to our supporters, the public at large, media, elected officials, and other conservation organizations in Idaho, the northern Rockies, the Northwest, and nationally, including Washington, D.C.

Our on-the-ground knowledge and day-to-day presence is unsurpassed in the White Cloud and Sawtooth Mountain region. ("If a pine cone drops, we hear it" scenario.)

Please e-mail or write if you would like to receive our newsletter, outings schedule, ALERTS, or be added to our e-mail list. We make an effort to NOT deluge our supporters with requests for comments on issues, but when you hear from us -- it's IMPORTANT and we need your help.

"MUSICAL BEARS" is what Conservationist Robert Hopkins calls the current Wyoming Game & Fish policy of capturing and relocating so-called "problem Grizzlies............There is a need for designating more habitat for our Bears...........There is viable habitat throughout the Southern and Northern Rockies..........As is always the case, the political and social aspect of rewilding additional acreage for the bears is the hurdle,,,,,,,,,Bottom line is that "Picking em up and dropping them down in the current man-dilineated Greater Yellowstone Griz zone(a large finite island) is ultimately a losing proposition for the Bears

As Grizzly Habitat Shrinks in Greater Yellowstone, Wildlife Managers Forced to Play 'Musical Bears'
Leading conservationist: "It certainly is an extraordinary waste of manpower and funds to chauffeur bears all over the place."

By Brodie Farquhar
Yellowstone griz. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
Yellowstone griz. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
In the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, grizzly bear management faces a major constraint – all the best habitat for grizzly bears is already occupied, even over-occupied.

Or is it?

"I call it the 'too many fish in a bucket' scenario," said Mark Bruscino, the veteran bear manager for the Wyoming Game & Fish Department. Fish, meaning bears, keep jumping out of the best habitat, he said, landing in rural habitats where they can get in trouble with people. It doesn't always work to scoop up the fish and put it back in the bucket – not when the fish/bear becomes habituated to human food sources or gets pushed around by bigger, badder bears and keeps jumping out of the bucket, said Bruscino.

When a bear shows up well outside the politically - and socially - acceptable habitat zone of the Greater Yellowstone, the Tetons and surrounding forests – the bucket – Bruscino and his crew swing into action. A culvert trap/cage is wheeled into the area, baited and they settle down to wait for the always hungry bruin to enter the trap. Then the trapped bear is transported into remote back country, away from such temptations as livestock, orchards, chickens, gardens, barns, bird feeders, garbage cans and greasy barbecue grills.
The hope is that the transported bear will stay in the back country and out of trouble. Sometimes that's what happens. Other times, the bears find their way back to rural areas, and the cycle begins again.

"You have to consider the totality of the situation," Bruscino said. Is the bear just being a bear? Is it habituated to human food sources? Have game wardens dealt with this bear before? How does the bear behave around people? Age, health and especially sex are considered, he said. Females are critical to growing the grizzly bear population, he said, so more allowances are made for females than for males. Bear managers will work harder, try more alternatives and give females more chances than males.

Eventually, some bears run out of chances and they're put down as game wardens assess their behavior as getting more risky, more dangerous.

Another analogy comes from Crowheart conservationist Robert Hopkins. He calls grizzly bear management "musical bears" – a pun borrowing from the childhood game of musical chairs. Only in this game, bears cycle through various habitats seeking food, as the habitats shrink in number and/or quality. It isn't a fun game, because inevitably, all the bears lose. Hopkins is frustrated with the entire concept of moving problem bears back to the wild. "They don't always head for the high country when they're turned loose," Hopkins said in an email. "In truth, the policy simply shifts problems around and doesn't solve anything. It's all propaganda to act as if they're doing something. It certainly is an extraordinary waste of manpower and funds to chauffeur bears all over the place. The only true solution is more habitat--don't try to keep bears out of the Southern Winds, etc."

Bruscino agrees that more habitat is highly desirable. Any time a sheep-grazing operation moves out of the Greater Yellowstone area, he said, it opens up "new" habitat for bears, because sheep-occupied habitat is never suitable for bears.

Chuck Neal, author of "Grizzlies in the Mist," takes a broader view as an ecologist. He views the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem as an island – a large one, but an island nevertheless for the 600-some resident bears. Declaring the grizzly bear recovered under the Endangered Species Act is a political statement, he said, not a scientific assessment.

Earlier this summer, a grizzly showed up south of Meeteetsee, 25 miles outside the grizzly-bear zone defined by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. Bruscino and his crew trapped the bear and removed it from that environment, but Neal figures the bear was out there for a reason, foraging where bears have historically foraged before.

He's delighted with the news that a bear (grizzly or black is not confirmed) has been spotted in the southern Wind River Range, up Sink's Canyon, outside of Lander, Wyoming. Grizzlies are living just a little north in the Wind River Reservation, he said. They could easily expand into the Wyoming Range, down the Sweetwater Valley, down to the Sierra Madres and even do some seasonal foraging into the Jack Morrow Hills, which has a thriving elk herd. Central Idaho and western Montana also have open habitat.

"The problem is political," Neal said. "There is no lack of suitable habitat and the bears will tell us where habitat is suitable."

Ideally, and from an ecological perspective, Neal would like to see the grizzly bear expand in numbers and spread far outside the Greater Yellowstone, with linkage to the Canadian bear population, to keep up genetic diversity and vitality. "What we have is a recovering population, not a recovered population," he said.

The biggest problem is the near-hysteric fear and political propaganda that blocks an expanding bear population, he said. Opponents of grizzly bear expansion have emphasized fear bloody encounters between huge bears and people.

Yet Bruscino and Neal agree that it is possible for humans and bears to co-exist, based on education, respect and tolerance. Both agree that greater risks are found in driving to the store or walking down the street past Fido. "The vast majority of bears never interact with people," said Bruscino. Only a small number of bears get into conflicts, he said. Most conflicts are relatively minor, he added, hastening to add that he didn't want to be insensitive about the California man who was killed earlier this month by a grizzly sow in Yellowstone Park. That mother bear was not put down, because it was viewed as protecting her cubs in the incident.

Where the two men differ is that Bruscino believes the Meeteetsee-area rancher who found a grizzly bear on his back 40 shouldn't have to modify his behavior or expectations. For Neal, modifying the behavior of people is not that difficult.

"The more crucial question is this," said Neal. "As a society, we need to decide which has the highest priority – the public's wildlife or privately-owned livestock operating on public lands."

The Wapiti Bear Wise program, for the North and South Fork areas of the Shoshone River, demonstrate that people can and do learn how to live in bear country. An offshoot of Bruscino's bear management efforts, the program educates residents on how to remove bear temptations, use fences and secure garbage cans. Public cooperation is proving to be very high, to the benefit of people and bears alike. "Wherever you live," said Bruscino, "you have responsibilities to your neighbors. If you live in town, you keep your sidewalk cleared of snow, so the little old lady up the block can walk to the store," Similarly, if you live in bear country, then bears are your neighbors and you need to care for your neighbor—which means not attracting the bear onto your property, he added.

"Bears can't change their behavior," said Bruscino, "but we can. We make choices."