Wolves back in California after almost a century

This video from the USA says about itself:

20 August 2015

Wildlife officials in California say they have photographic evidence of the first gray wolf pack in the state in nearly a century. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife captured images of two black-furred gray wolf adults and five pups in northern California. Other than a lone wolf spotted in 2011, official say the so-called Shasta Pack are the first confirmed wolves in the state since 1924. Trail cameras recorded individual images of the two adults, as well as one photo of the pups, which appear to be a few months old. Wolves used to be seen regularly in California, but they are now considered endangered by both the state and federal government.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

First wolf pack found in California in nearly a century

Fears hunters may kill newly discovered canine group

Siobhan Fenton

Friday 21 August 2015

A wolf pack has been spotted in California for the first time in nearly a century.

Two adults and five pups have been confirmed in southeastern Siskiyou County. Local ranchers tending to their herds told authorities they had spotted the animals.

State and federal authorities subsequently confirmed the sightings after a remote camera captured photos of the pack.

Read more:

Stuffed Arctic wolf worth £32,000 stolen in London
Litter of wolf pups ‘first’ of its kind to be born in UK

The state’s grey wolf population became extinct in 1924. They were named the Shasta pack, after the nearby Mount Shasta.

Karen Kovacs, from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, said she was stunned by the news of the wolves’ return. She believes they have most likely migrated from Oregon’s north-eastern corner.

It is hoped DNA tests might be able to give a more accurate understanding of the animals’ backgrounds.

The canines are protected by federal and state endangered species legislation but Amaroq Weiss, from the Centre for Biological Diversity, said local conservationists are concerned the wolves could still fall victim to hunters as hunting season gets underway in the area.

See also here.

New golden jackal species discovery in Africa

This video says about itself:

DNA analysis: The African golden jackal is a WOLF

1 August 2015

Golden jackals of Africa and Eurasia are two distantly related species.

This is according to new DNA analysis carried on both of the lineages.

Lineage of new species split from that of gray wolves 1.3 million years ago.

The Eurasian golden jackal lineage split about 600,000 years earlier.

From Wildlife Extra:

New Golden Jackal species discovered

For the first time in 150 years a new canid species has been discovered in Africa, by scientists from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

The Golden Jackal of Africa (Canis aureus) has long been considered the same species as the Golden Jackals distributed throughout Eurasia, with the nearest source populations in the Middle East.

However, recent research indicates that they are actually two different species and that some African Golden Jackals aligned more closely to Gray Wolves (Canis lupus).

This is surprising given the absence of Gray Wolves in Africa and the phenotypic divergence between the two species.

The DNA results of the study provide consistent and robust evidence that populations of Golden Jackals from Africa and Eurasia should be recognised as two separate and distinct species, and it has been suggested that the Eurasian species should be named Eurasian Golden Jackal.

Genome-wide Evidence Reveals that African and Eurasian Golden Jackals Are Distinct Species: here.

‘Dutch’ wolf killed by truck in Germany

This video says about itself:

Wolf spotted in Netherlands for first time in over 100 years

13 March 2015

A wolf has been seen in the Netherlands for the first time in over a century, with footage showing the predator trotting around near a railway track in Noord-Sleen.

Translated from the Dutch ARK conservationists:

Thursday, July 23, 2015

The wolf which this spring briefly visited the Netherlands was killed. On April 15, a dead wolf was found on the A7 motorway at Berkhof in Germany. DNA research has shown that this was the same animal which visited the Netherlands and Lower Saxony, say Landesjägerschaft Lower Saxony and Lower Saxony Wolfsbüro.

Research shows that the animal was killed by a truck.

Bring wolves back to Britain

This video is called Wolf pups (Canis lupus) – Wolf behavior.

By Peter Frost in Britain:

No need to cry wolf over its reintroduction to Britain

Friday 19th June 2015

By 1760, the wolf was hunted to extinction in Britain. However, there is today a compelling environmental argument for it to be brought back, says PETER FROST

When Theresa May accused the police of crying wolf she conveniently forgot that in the legend there really was a wolf.

The wolf is a majestic animal that once roamed throughout almost every corner of the globe.

As human settlements and hunters expanded into previously unpopulated areas, wolf populations were persecuted or even driven to extinction.

The English wolf — a subspecies of Canis lupus — once roamed and hunted throughout the British Isles. But it was hunted itself with the last animal being killed around 1590 and the last Scottish survivor some 200 years later.

By 1760, the wolf was completely extinct in Britain.

It first arrived in these Isles 10,000 to 12,000 years ago at the end of the Ice Age. Packs of wolves followed the migrating herds of deer, boar and grazing animals as they moved north when the ice receded.

A 6th-century Pictish carving of a wolf found in the Scottish highlands is the first real evidence of the animal in our islands. Skeletal remains prove that wolves lived throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.

A male wolf can average 43–45kg (95–99lb) and females 36–38.5kg (79–85lb). Where winters are hard fur is long and bushy, and predominantly a mottled grey in colour but some can be pure white, red, or brown to black.

Accounts from a thousand years ago mention wolf hunting as a way to pay tribute to kings and nobles. Mary, Queen of Scots was just one royal among many who organised and participated in wolf hunts.

The wolf crops up in all sorts of legends. Romulus and Remus the twin sons of Mars, the god of War who founded Rome, were raised by a she wolf. Gelert in Wales was the heroic dog who defended a baby prince from a wolf and was killed in a cruel misunderstanding.

The Little Red Riding Hood story perhaps did most to give the wolf a bad name and, alongside a dozen more wolf legends, testifies to the long love and hate relationship between the wolf and human societies.

Canada’s best known environmental writer and life-long socialist Farley Mowat saw the wolf differently. His 1963 book Never Cry Wolf was an account of his positive experiences with wolves, the film of the same name was released in 1983.

Over the last half a century some bold ecologists and wildlife enthusiasts have suggested reintroducing the wolf to Britain. Our food chain lacks larger carnivores so animals like deer and wild boar have no natural predators.

Deer populations, both native and imported species, have rocketed and now the huge numbers are a real threat both to arable farmers and to ancient forests and traditional woodlands.

Deer have just one predator and that is the human shooter out for venison or simply to cull deer herd numbers.

Our English wolf was a closely related subspecies of the grey wolf, which is the most common species of wolf worldwide.

Now the pure bred English wolf is no more, reintroduction programmes would bring closely related wolves from mainland Europe, where the wolf is already making a comeback.

Scientists have established that re-introducing the wolf into the Scottish highlands could help control deer herds, and preserve the forest ecosystem from destruction as a result of deer overpopulation.

They also believe that small controlled wild wolf populations would cause very little disruption to farmed stock although a farmer compensation scheme would probably be needed.

Will they attack people? The wolf is one of the world’s best known and well researched animals. Although the fear of wolves is common the majority of recorded attacks on people have been attributed to animals suffering from rabies, so human attacks are most unlikely and easily controlled.

They are certainly not a convincing argument not to bring back the wolf.

The benefits for wildlife tourism would be enormous. Who wouldn’t travel to a remote Scottish mountain national park for the chance to see and even photograph these magnificent creatures?

Sadly our new Tory government is more likely to take the side of farmers and shooting syndicates as they have over the destruction of birds of prey.

Wolves would need careful management, but careful management is something we desperately need in many fields if we are to protect and enhance our landscape, flora and fauna.

Judging from her previous actions in the last government we are not likely to see anything like careful management from Liz Truss as Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and her increasingly subservient team at Natural England and Defra.

Truss and her team have proved they are more likely to listen to grouse moor owners, pheasant shooting estates and even fox hunts than to any really concerned environmental organisation or individuals.

Sadly this time, I am not crying wolf.

International Wolf Center in Minnesota, USA

This video from Minnesota, USA says about itself:

International Wolf Center – Working for Wolves Accomplishments – 21 May 2015

The International Wolf Center advances the survival of wolf populations by teaching about wolves, their relationship to wildlands and the human role in their future. We would like to thank the Working for Wolves crew for all of their efforts this past weekend. We had great weather, an amazing crew of people and extremely tolerant wolves. It was a great weekend and we couldn’t accomplish our goals without the dedicated participants of this program.

Norwegian wolf poachers on trial

This video says about itself:

Wolf pups (Canis lupus) – Wolf behavior

30 May 2012

There were four adorable woulf pups, just one week old. The entire pack works together to care for those young pups.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Norwegian court to rule on six men accused of illegal wolf hunt

Landmark case pits survival of one of Europe’s smallest wolf populations against Norwegians’ cherished hunting rights

Elisabeth Ulven and Tone Sutterud in Oslo

Sunday 19 April 2015 15.33 BST

Six men charged over hunting some of Norway’s last wolves will learn their fate this week when a court rules on a landmark case that has gripped the country.

Illegal hunting of wolves is thought to be extensive in Norway, driving down population numbers to perilously low levels.

Now, for the first time, the authorities have prosecuted an alleged hunting team, charging the six men with environmental offences and organised crime, which carries a maximum prison sentence of 11 years.

“It’s such a serious offence that we were given almost unlimited investigative powers by the state attorney,” says Tarjei Istad, a prosecutor in the case.

The indictment includes attempted illegal hunting, firearms offences and organised crime. The prosecutor has asked for a five-year ban from hunting, which is something most Norwegians see as a birthright. The defendants are pleading not guilty.

All European countries except the UK and Ireland are believed to have a population of wolves, ranging from the largest in Spain, with an estimated 2,000 animals, to Norway, which has one of the smallest populations, with perhaps as few as 30. The grey wolf is listed by Cites as endangered regionally, though not globally.

“This is a question of attitude in certain hunting teams and communities,” said Istad, referring to audio surveillance of the suspects that revealed a lot of boasting about their hunts. He believes this court case is important to get the message across that Norway will not take illegal hunting lightly.

Petter Wabakken, an internationally acclaimed expert on wolves, agrees.

“Our research shows that half of all wolves felled in Norway were killed by poachers,” he said. “This is disturbing, especially considering that we have the smallest wolf population in Europe. Government policy has been to allow three breeding female wolves within an allocated area. This is not enough to sustain a healthy population.”

Norwegians are deeply divided over the management of wolves. Urban communities are generally positive about having large predators in their vicinity, while people in the countryside see them as much more of a threat.

Wolves tend to be targeted because of conflicts with human interests, such as competition for game, human safety and depredation of livestock.

“We can only conclude that poachers take the law into their own hands. It’s not licensed but illegal hunting that regulates the Norwegian wolf tribe,” Wabakken said.

Wolf in the Netherlands was wild German wolf

This Dutch video is about Wolven in Nederland. This organisation prepares for when wolves will come back to the Netherlands, trying to prevent human-wolf conflicts.

Translated from the Wolven in Nederland site:

The wolf which wandered in early March through Drenthe and Groningen provinces comes from a pack of wild wolves in Germany. It is a young animal from the “Munster” pack in the region of Hamburg-Bremen. This is shown by DNA analysis.

Early this month, the Netherlands was fascinated by a wolf of unknown origin, which for a few days ran through Drenthe and Groningen. The animal appeared regularly and behaved not exactly in a shy way. Research shows that it nevertheless was a wild wolf.