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1/3 of Wolves in Yellowstone killed
Surprised I haven't heard much chatter about this on here.
I think as a result, Montana closed their wolf season in the vicinity of the park. Perhaps somebody has better information.
MB is correct. The ARAs have a full court press on Deb Haaland and Interior to relist because of this "slaughter of the century". Montana threw them (Interior) a bone by shutting it down in the GYE zone.
It is not shut down yet. Five more wolves to go, then they will shut it down in region 3.
I think "outside the park" they are no longer "yellowstone wolves". No more than when MT elk jump the fence into ID they are "MT elk"..... or vice versa. 'Course if you drag em over that's a different matter.... or so I'm told.....
No need for the pro wolfers to worry. Wolves are pretty good at making more wolves.
Montana curbs wolf hunting after 23 from Yellowstone are shot, killed By MATTHEW BROWN The Associated Press BILLINGS, Mont. — Montana wildlife commissioners last week moved to shut down gray wolf hunting in a portion of the state around Yellowstone National Park, amid mounting criticism over a record number of the animals shot or trapped after roaming across the park boundary this winter. But commissioners rejected calls to revive quotas that would limit the number of wolves killed along Yellowstone’s northern border to just a few annually. Those longstanding quotas were lifted last year after Republican lawmakers passed laws intended to drive down the wolf population by making it easier to kill the animals. Yellowstone officials had pressed the state beginning in mid-December to suspend hunting in some areas along the park’s border. They said the deaths marked a significant setback for the long-term viability of Yellowstone’s renowned wolf packs. Under a unanimous commission vote, hunting and trapping for wolves in southwestern Montana will be barred once the number killed in the region hits 82 animals. So far, 76 have been reported killed in that area. Twenty-three wolves from park packs have been killed so far this winter — 18 in Montana, three in Wyoming and two in Idaho, according to Yellowstone officials. That’s the most in a season since the predators were restored to the U.S. northern Rocky Mountains more than 25 years ago after being widely decimated last century. The park is now down to 91 wolves, spokesperson Morgan Warthin said. Urged by ranchers and hunters who want fewer wolves, Republican lawmakers in Montana and Idaho last year loosened hunting and trapping laws to allow night hunting, higher harvest limits, the use of snares and even aerial hunting in Idaho. Montana also eliminated the longstanding quotas. Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte told Yellowstone Superintendent Cam Sholly in a recent letter that once a wolf exits the park and enters Montana it may be killed under state rules. Gianforte trapped and killed a radio-collared wolf from Yellowstone last year on private land near the park. He was later given a warning for violating state hunting rules by killing the wolf without first taking a mandatory trapper education course. Sholly told wildlife commissioners in a letter that park wolves spend only 5% of their time outside the park. In the last three years, Sholly wrote, there’s been only one attack on livestock by wolves in Park County, Montana, just north of the Yellowstone. Such attacks are frequently cited by ranchers See WOLF, page 4A ? WOLF: One pack is now considered ‘eliminated’ . Continued from page 1A who want to reduce wolf numbers. The 184 wolves killed statewide so far this season has been in line with recent years, Montana officials said. There are more than 1,000 wolves in the state. “We have a statutory obligation to reduce the wolf population,” said Patrick Tabor, vice chair of Montana’s Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission, prior to the vote. But the killings just outside Yellowstone have infuriated wildlife advocates and brought condemnation from some businesses that depend on park tourism. One pack — the Phantom Lake Pack — is now considered “eliminated” after most or all of its members were killed over a two-month span beginning in October, according to the park. Nature guide Cara Mc-Gary, who leads tourists on wildlife watching trips into the park from Gardiner, Montana, said the hunting along the park’s border targeted wolves where their greatest economic value was in being alive so tourists can see them. “These are the most viewable wolves in the lower 48, if not the world,” McGary said. “The same packs that my clients pay me to see on every wildlife watching tour all year round ... What’s the justification for this damage?” The wolf season for the rest of Montana is scheduled to run through March 15. State regulations allow Montana’s fish and wildlife commission to review hunting seasons for different regions of the state when their individual harvest thresholds are met, or statewide when the total number killed reaches 450 wolves. The increasingly aggressive attitude toward the predators among state lawmakers has raised concerns within the federal government that overhunting could scuttle the costly effort to restore wolves in wild areas of the West. In September, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said it would examine if federal endangered species protections should be reimposed for more than 2,000 wolves in six northern U.S. Rockies states including Montana, Idaho and Wyoming. Those protections were lifted a decade ago, based in part on assurances the states would maintain viable wolf populations.
That first line of the article is misleading Paul. They agreed to shut it down once the quota for region 3 was met, which was probably always in the cards. And they might not reach that 82 wolves quota as most of the dumb ones have already been harvested! The commission did not let them.
Also,1/3 of Yellowstone's wolves aren't gone, not sure where that came from. 23 have been harvested, they still have at least 90, so more like 20% have been harvested.
Not sad...... not sad at all.
So how they determine a viable wolf population? It seems that maintaining a viable game animal populations is of no concern to them. Look at upper Michigan. The deer population has been going down due to more than just wolves. But we still don't have a viable wolf population. A pack moves in and there goes your local deer herd. One, two,... or six states can't be expected to maintain a viable number of wolves for the lower 48 states. Each state should be able to manage their own viable wolf numbers..
Blackbear, that's exactly what Deb Haaland is doing, and why the ARAs are frothing and farting.
The original agreement allowed western states to manage them once they reached recovery goals - like at least 12 years ago... Haaland is allowing that to happen. I misjudged her when she was appointed, and will admit it. She is under intense pressure from the ARAs who believed she would protect wolves.
If the states don’t truly “manage” the wolves properly they will end up back on the ESA list. I’m for sound management of wolves (hunting seasons) but I don’t want to see them go extinct either.
No way are the States going to let wolves drop below minimums. They have their own minimums higher than the Feds as a safety measure. They know that it would likely be another round of lawsuits and delays to get management back.
Glunt- where are you getting the information on state minimums vs the feds?
It seems to me that they ate all their food in the park, so naturally they're leaving to decimate another area. If they want wolves in the park for tourists to view, like a zoo, they need to find a way to feed them there.
Those damn republican lawmakers!! Why are they just called "law makers"? The media is racist against republicans obviously. They reps ruin everything! I doubt there is a single democrat hunter in existence. All those republicans are out killin everything!
General Suggestions for Montana’s Wolf Program, from Montana wolf plan. as follows. It will be important to manage the wolf population in a manner to account for uncertainty. We suggest that MFWP set threshold population sizes that would trigger additional monitoring effort and management responses. In response to federal delisting criteria, the Montana Wolf Conservation Strategy (MFWP 2002) requires a minimum of 15 breeding pairs and 150 wolves to have a regulated public harvest season. Protections will be renewed under the Endangered Species Act if numbers drop too low.
A population of 150 wolves thus provides a definitive minimum population threshold that will trigger cessation of public harvest. Selection of additional thresholds and resulting responses will necessitate careful consideration of tolerance within MFWP for the risk of dropping below minimum population targets. Presence of ?15 breeding pairs is a safe assumption for a large and relatively stable population; however, population thresholds could also be selected to trigger investment in the effort necessary to update the recruitment model as a means for estimating recruitment. Importantly, selected thresholds should be sufficiently high to allow time for both data collection and resulting changes in management to take effect. Estimated rates of population change from iPOM could possibly help forecast whether and when thresholds might be crossed (including by the bounds of uncertainty from iPOM). Monitoring effort should be increased before a threshold is projected to be reached. If the presumed cause of the decline is harvest, changes to harvest regulations represent a lever relatively within MFWP control. In contrast, disease outbreaks in wild populations are likely to remain beyond human control. A greater buffer of time and population size may thus be required to prevent a population at risk of disease from falling below minimum thresholds.
The same is true for large-scale declines in prey resources. In these and other scenarios relatively beyond human control, harvest regulations are still likely to remain an important lever for helping a population remain above selected thresholds. If necessary, uncertainty in iPOM estimates could be reduced through various means, perhaps most obviously by increasing monitoring effort to verify >150 wolves on the landscape (e.g., through trail cameras, drones, or collar deployment paired with added surveys at current wolf locations). Other methods could also or alternatively be employed to provide estimates alongside iPOM, such as camera trap estimation (e.g., Loonam et al. 2020) or genetic analyses (e.g., Bischof et al. 2020).
From memory. I would have to dig a bit but it was info I saw when reading about the WY issue when they were having a hard time getting the Feds to sign off on their management plan.
94 wolves left in Yellowstone? They smokin crack?
I did a quick search and it looks like part of the agreement with the States during delisting was that State minimums would be set 50% higher than the Federal minimum as a safeguard. Wyoming is 100 wolves/10 breeding pairs so their minimum is 150/15. It can change depending on park and reservation populations that make up part of the overall total. State population is 300+ with park and reservation wolves.
What would be major factors for them to "leave the park"? Two big ones, running out of food and packs are pushing other packs out in competition/dominance.
Both cases would seem to indicate there were too many wolves, not a lack of wolves in the park. Also exposing the "balance" these people claim they want so much is either a fantasy or a scam. The only time of "balance" is a one small point on the graph when they pass each other, one ascending and the other falling..... then it reverses. Some of these wolfy folks have little common sense as to the realities of managing wildlife on an "island". Only so many will exist without conflict either in the park or outside it. And it's not near what they fantasize it should be.
Kinda seems like the system may even be working. As populations increase to capacity.... they get managed to acceptable levels. They're just not being honest with what their acceptable levels should be. They simply want more of them, regardless of agreed upon levels.
Good point TD. What's "acceptable level"? Answer "Just 2 more pairs"...
1/3 killed? That's a good start.
Are the people who count these wolves the same ones that counted the votes in the last presidential election ?
Too bad the real "wolves" can't be eradicated.
Can we get 2/3? Do I hear 3/4? 99% going once. 99% going twice…
This is a great, mostly unbiased article about the history of the wolf introduction into Yellowstone, and where we are today. From the National Park Service.
No surprise. It will likely be a s#$% show for many years to come. So glad my fellow Coloradoans stepped up and said " Hey! Give us a big helping of that s#$% show too!"