Tag Archives: Livestock

Press Release: Wolf Livestock Depredation in WA and Profanity Peak Pack

Dr. Robert Wielgus Director, Large Carnivore Conservation Lab 3/27/17

This Press release was written by Dr. Wielgus as a private citizen and does not express the positions of Washington State University.                                                                                    

Four years ago the Washington State Legislature tasked and funded me to determine 1.) the extent of wolf livestock depredations in WA, 2.)  possible contributing factors, and 3.) possible mitigating factors – to reduce livestock depredations in WA.

Here are the verifiable facts concerning wolf livestock depredations obtained from my WSU radio-telemetry data of wolves and livestock, date and time stamped video records of wolves and livestock, and public records from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife*.

  1.  Using intensive radio-telemetry of livestock overlapping wolf home ranges: among 11 different cooperating herds studied over 2 years – zero of 764 radio-tagged livestock were killed by wolves. Among this sample of cooperating ranchers, fewer than 1% of estimated livestock losses were due to wolf depredations. 
  2.  Using extensive radio-monitoring of 5 wolf packs monitored over 3 years (15 wolf pack years) and examination of 444 wolf kill sites: 9 of 15 packs had zero wolf livestock kills at 444 kill sites and 3 of 15 packs had < 5% livestock kills. For the remaining 3 packs with more than 5% kills, one had 16% and another had 23% – and sheep comprised most of these kills. The Profanity Peak pack had 67% livestock kills. Among this sample of wolf packs, including the Profanity Peak outlier, fewer than 7% of wolf kills were livestock.
  3.  Re: the numerous livestock depredations by the profanity Peak Pack. Using radio-telemetry and date and time stamped video surveillance, livestock were documented to be concentrated in the immediate vicinity of the Profanity pack den and rendezvous site. Salt blocks were also observed within 200 meters of the den. Several days after livestock arrived at the den-site, wolves began depredating the livestock, and numerous livestock were eventually killed by wolves.  After failure of subsequent non-lethal interventions to deter livestock depredations the wolf pack was lethally controlled. 
  4. Re; Preventative measures taken in the Profanity Peak Pack. The rancher involved did not sign and abide by the terms of a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Cooperative Damage Prevention Agreement* prior to lethal control of wolves.  (See Profanity Peak Post Action report, Appendix 1, Wolf-Livestock Conflict Prevention/Reduction Activities and Associated Expectations, “Avoiding Den and Rendezvous Sites”  See paragraph 4, page 14 here. Using radio-telemetry and date and time stamped  video surveillance, cattle remained in high use wolf core areas (den and rendezvous site) during the depredations and salt blocks remained in these areas until after lethal control of wolves began.  Cattle remained in high use wolf core areas before, during and after wolf lethal control actions.  

In summary, wolf livestock depredations were not widespread and chronic in wolf-occupied areas of Washington. Instead, wolf livestock depredations appear to be rare and acute, with multiple depredations occurring in particular situations, such as described for Profanity Peak.    

These results were reviewed by WSU graduate committees, independent outside members of the committees, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Director of the School of Environment at WSU. Raw data and observations were shared with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. These results will be submitted for publication in peer-reviewed scientific journals in summer 2017. 

I recommend to WDFW, the WAG, and ranchers in WA to sign, and/or abide by the terms of the WDFW Cooperative Damage Prevention Agreements to reduce wolf livestock depredations. Failing that, I recommend that WDFW consider that future lethal control of wolves on public lands, for livestock depredations on public lands, be conducted only on behalf of ranchers that sign and/or abide by the terms of a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Cooperative Damage Prevention Agreement – in order to provide further incentives for non-lethal preventative measures.  These recommendations could prevent similar events as happened in fall 2016 and in previous years. 

I wish to thank all the cooperating and non-cooperating ranchers in Washington, the Washington State Legislature, and my research partners at WDFW, USFS, USFWS, and Colville Confederated Tribes that made this research possible.

*Signatories to Damage Prevention agreements have access to den site location and are expected to avoid such areas if possible. 
Agreements are tailored to individual producer situations, including availability of alternative grazing sites to avoid core wolf activity centers (pup-rearing den and rendezvous sites) and WDFW-radio-collared wolf monitoring information. 

Landowners agree to share information regarding wolf activity, livestock behavior, and preventive actions taken, and to allow WDFW staff access to lands owned or controlled for livestock production. 

Livestock producers interested in Damage Prevention Cooperative Agreements can contact their local WDFW Wildlife Conflict Specialist, Regional Office, or the wildlife conflict program manager Stephanie Simek atStephanie.Simek@dfw.wa.gov or at: 360-902-2476

Producers will meet with WDFW wildlife conflict specialists currently deployed to cover their area.  

Contact Info: Wielgus@wsu.edu

Fewer than 1% of estimated livestock losses were due to wolf depredations. 

Tweetstorm for the Profanity Peak Pack Wolves 

As this is a continuation of my previous post, I will spare you the introduction. If you are not familiar with the situation with this family of wolves in Washington State please visit my previous blog post here.

Our emergency and last minute Tweetstorm begins at noon PDT September 1st; tweets may be sent off as often as you like thereafter. Feel free to use any of the graphics from our Facebook page @intheshadowofthewolf.

As always, a warm welcome and thank you for participating. As usual, all tweets can be automatically sent by tapping “Tweet4Wolves” at the end of each tweet. For ease of tweeting, open this link on your browser and close your twitter window.

#Washington State’s move 2 extirpate the #ProfanityPeakPack #wolves 4 the infraction of killing cattle grazing public lands is reprehensible Tweet4Wolves

Killing any wolves 2 benefit the profit margin of private businesses utilizing public resources is an outrage. #ProfanityPeakPack Tweet4Wolves
 

Tragic that this slaughter of wild predators repeats itself over & over throughout the West. #ProfanityPeakPack pic.twitter.com/Fza1BwMdEh   Tweet4Wolves

The killing of the #ProfanityPeakPack is emblematic of what is wrong with our wildlife policies, especially with regards to #publiclands Tweet4Wolves
 

What about preserving the ecological role of large predators on our public lands. @GovInslee @WDFW @forestservice 
#ProfanityPeakPack Tweet4Wolves

The killing of the #ProfanityPeakPack is an obvious harm 2 the public’s right to have healthy wildlife populations on our #publiclands Tweet4Wolves

The mere presence of #livestock socially displaces the prey of predators, replacing the #ProfanityPeakPack #wolves main food source @WDFW Tweet4Wolves
 

Aerial gunning #wolves by helicopters, running them to exhaustion B4 blasting w/shotgun is #AnimalCruelty @GovInslee #ProfanityPeakPack Tweet4Wolves

“The way @WDFW  are slaughtering #wolves is an outrage” https://t.co/TsuzxhdYut
#ProfanityPeakPack pic.twitter.com/Kz79fDZ8PN   Tweet4Wolves  

Displacing or slaughtering public #wildlife 2 facilitate private use of our #publiclands is ethically wrong! @WDFW #ProfanityPeakPack Tweet4Wolves

WRONG! The @WDFW killing the entire #WedgePack & #ProfanityPeakPack just so that you can eat meat. https://t.co/yeVmbzJ4C8 Tweet4Wolves 

The loss of the #ProfanityPeakPack #Wolves is a travesty & should not B allowed 2 occur ever again! https://t.co/IDoGmzBM9f Tweet4Wolves 

The loss of the #ProfanityPeakPack #Wolves is a travesty & should not B allowed2 occur again
pic.twitter.com/FxY81uTsUO Tweet4Wolves 

Call @GovInslee  360-902-4111 Voice your opposition 2 the slaughter of the #ProfanityPeakPack on our #publiclandspic.twitter.com/HWgu0Awkcz  Tweet4Wolves

We want #Wolves #Wildlife on our #PublicLands not livestock @WDFW @forestservice  @GovInslee 
#ProfanityPeakPack pic.twitter.com/AXCqcjfohQ   Tweet4Wolves

Our tax $ pay 4 ranchers 2 destroy our land & wildlife’s habitat. #Livestock causes enormous environmental damage! #ProfanityPeakPack Tweet4Wolves

#Livestock removes forage & ground cover other animals need 2 survive. Cattle trample & denude riparian areas. #ProfanityPeakPack Tweet4Wolves

Cattle pollute streams with waste. Heated-up streams can no longer support dozens of species, including fish @GovInslee  #ProfanityPeakPack Tweet4Wolves

 Thousands of miles #Livestock fencing fragment habitat, causing deathly obstacles 4 #wildlife #ProfanityPeakPack pic.twitter.com/NpJc91IOZj   Tweet4Wolves

Tell @GovInslee 2 stop slaughter of #ProfanityPeakPack #Wolves 
@WDFW 
Pls Sign➡  https://t.co/izbBHpURHZ
pic.twitter.com/9tgIKPQ76A Tweet4Wolves

We, with our tax dollars, on our #publiclands pay 4 ranchers 2 destroy our land & wildlife’s habitat! @forestservice #ProfanityPeakPack  Tweet4Wolves

We, with our tax dollars, on our #publiclands pay 4 the slaughter of #wolves at the behest of ranchers! @WDFW #ProfanityPeakPack Tweet4Wolves

Many ranchers, knowing the gov will kill predators on the taxpayers’ dime, refrain from utilizing non-lethal deterrents! #ProfanityPeakPack Tweet4Wolves

Aerial gunning of #wolves is an outrage!
#AnimalCruelty #ProfanityPeakPack @WDFW @forestservice @GovInslee
pic.twitter.com/AXCqcjfohQ Tweet4Wolves

#ProfanityPeakPack 
Permit retirement a solution to killing #wolves @WDFW  https://t.co/nC2oKjsJiH  pic.twitter.com/yr2e4zjutG Tweet4Wolves

#ProfanityPeakPack 
Permit retirement a solution to killing #wolves @GovInslee  https://t.co/nC2oKjsJiH  pic.twitter.com/yr2e4zjutG Tweet4Wolves

#Washington with 6,971,406 people, 1,100,000 cattle, & 50,000 sheep, can not allow room for 90 #wolves Outrageous! #ProfanityPeakPack Tweet4Wolves

Ranchers grazing #livestock near known wolf habitat should gracefully accept their losses and/or terminate their lease.
#ProfanityPeakPack Tweet4Wolves 

Ranchers getting subsidized forage on our #publiclands have NO right demanding the slaughter of #wolves #ProfanityPeakPack Tweet4Wolves 

Ranchers getting reimbursement 4 losses due 2 depredation on #publiclands have NO right demanding slaughter of #wolves #ProfanityPeakPack Tweet4Wolves 

Ranchers should take their cattle and go home. #ProfanityPeakPack 
#wolves R essential 
livestock is detrimental 
pic.twitter.com/UFarDTcWEu Tweet4Wolves

Our #publiclands and #ecosystems should not be sacrificed for the private profit of individuals.
#ProfanityPeakPack pic.twitter.com/Kz79fDZ8PN    Tweet4Wolves

Real Men Coexist With #Wolves @forestservice @WDFW @GovInslee @POTUS @SecretaryJewell
#ProfanityPeakPack  pic.twitter.com/UFarDTcWEu 
 Tweet4Wolves

Preserving the ecological role of large predators & a balanced ecosystem on our #publiclands is essential @WDFW 
#ProfanityPeakPack Tweet4Wolves


Preserving the ecological role of large predators & a balanced ecosystem on our #publiclands is essential @GovInslee   
#ProfanityPeakPack Tweet4Wolves  

Preserving the ecological role of large predators & a balanced ecosystem on #publiclands is essential #ProfanityPeakPack  @forestservice Tweet4Wolves

Grazing livestock depresses virtually all species of wildlife & has caused the demise of the #ProfanityPeakPack @forestservice @GovInslee Tweet4Wolves

The health of our planet & survival of our co-inhabitants should B of the utmost importance @forestservice @GovInslee
#ProfanityPeakPack Tweet4Wolves

#ProfanityPeakPack 
Our focus should B on eliminating that which degrades our forests & public lands & destroys our ecosystems: Livestock Tweet4Wolves

Support legislation 2 help remove livestock from our #publiclands More info: 
bit.ly/Get_Livestock_Off_Public_Lands
#ProfanityPeakPack Tweet4Wolves

.@POTUS @GovInslee @BLMNational @forestservice Real cost of livestock grazing on #publiclands: bit.ly/2c7ovYL
#ProfanityPeakPack Tweet4Wolves

The ongoing slaughter of our wildlife at the behest of private businesses must stop! @POTUS #ProfanityPeakPack pic.twitter.com/yr2e4zjutG   Tweet4Wolves


#Wolves #Tweet4Wolves #BeMyVoice #StandForWolves #SaveWolves #ProfanityPeakPack Pls Tweet this link:
bit.ly/2bLkeIb RT Tweet4Wolves

Domestic livestock R appropriating & limiting the natural food/native prey that sustains #wolves @WDFW @forestservice
#ProfanityPeakPack Tweet4Wolves

.@forestservice @WDFW How can the #ProfanityPeakPack survive without preying on livestock with so many allotments? 
pic.twitter.com/RtO4V0FodK Tweet4Wolves

Stop the Slaughter of the #ProfanityPeakPack #Wolves: Please sign and share…https://t.co/Ogq6XNpZ8o 
pic.twitter.com/kYgMsgvIzb Tweet4Wolves

The livestock operator elected 2 put cattle directly on top of the #ProfanityPeakPack #wolves den site! 
@forestservice  bit.ly/2bN9QBp Tweet4Wolves

The livestock operator elected2 put cattle directly on top of #ProfanityPeakPack #wolves den site! 
@GovInslee  bit.ly/2bN9QBp Tweet4Wolves

#StandForWolves #SaveWolves Stop the Slaughter of the #ProfanityPeakPack @GovInslee @POTUS pic.twitter.com/Fza1BwMdEh   Tweet4Wolves

.@WDFW @POTUS Enough! This must end. #KeepItPublic #Wolves #StandForWolves #ProfanityPeakPack  pic.twitter.com/MVJ0DtNPIB Tweet4Wolves 

Thankyou to all who participated, your voice makes a difference!

 

Copyright © 2016 [COPYRIGHT Intheshadowofthewolf, name and webpage]. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the publisher.



Be a Voice for the Profanity Peak Pack 

Be a voice for the #ProfanityPeakPack. 

Send an email on behalf of the wolves of Washington state:

Dear Director Unsworth and Mr. Martorello,

Lethal removal of the entire Profanity Peak pack to stop depredations on livestock grazing on public lands in known wolf territory is not acceptable and frankly an abomination.
The state’s policy calls for wolves to be widely distributed throughout Washington, and the slow progress toward meeting statewide recovery goals  can easily be attributed to lethal measures utilized to protect livestock.

The fact that Washington, home to 6,971,406 people, 1,100,000 cattle, and approximately 50,000 sheep, can not allow room for approximately 90 wolves is just plain outrageous.
Ranchers getting subsidized forage on our public lands, reimbursement for losses due to depredation, as well as  grazing livestock near known wolf habitat should gracefully accept their losses and/or terminate their lease.
Our public lands and ecosystems should  not be sacrificed for the private profit of individuals. Study after study has demonstrated that grazing of livestock depresses virtually all species of wildlife, and on western rangelands has probably had a greater adverse impact on wildlife populations than any other single factor. We all have a responsibility to the Earth, our environment, and our wildlife, including wolves. It is far past time for the health of our planet and the survival of our co-inhabitants to be of the utmost importance; our focus should be on eliminating that which degrades our forests and other public lands and destroys our ecosystems.

It was disheartening to hear that State wildlife officials shot two pack members of the Profanity Peak pack on August 5th, one being the breeding female with freshly weaned pups. Then, on August 21st, Department staff lethally removed one adult male. The next day, staff removed three wolves, including one female pup, an adult male, and a second adult. The Department asserts that the second adult wolf was “humanely” killed, though this is highly unlikely as Department staff have not yet retrieved this animal (“Staff verified that the wolf was humanely killed from a helicopter, but was not found during in subsequent attempts to locate it.”) We are now left with 4 surviving pups, 1 adult, and possibly 1 gravely injured wolf.

I understand that “removing” the entire Profanity Peak pack “may prove challenging, given the rugged, timbered landscape in the area”, and I am assuming that once again officials will be gunning the remaining members down via helicopter. I also assume that little thought has been given any to the remaining pups who are too young to be hunting with the pack and therefore will be the unlucky survivors of this aerial slaughter. They will have the fortune of waiting, at the den site, for the return of their family and will have the ‘opportunity’ to starve to death.

I also understand that LARC is offering a win-win scenario for all stakeholders by kindly offering to rescue and relocate the wolves to their sanctuary. This non-lethal removal/rescue is the ethical, moral way forward that meets the needs of all parties.

The ongoing slaughter of our wildlife at the behest of private businesses needs to come to a full stop. Please rescind the kill order for the remainder of the Profanity Peak pack. Removing the wolves alive is certainly more humane than lethal control. Thank you for your time, I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely,

Your name.

Mail to: director Jim Unsworth here: jim.unsworth@dfw.wa.gov   Also email a copy to: wildthing@dfw.wa.gov.

Cc to: Donny.Martorello@dfw.wa.gov

Please also send a copy of your letter to Governor Inslee here. Or here: (contact formOr here: GovernorBoardsandCommissions@gov.wa.gov. 

Please support new legislation which will help remove livestock from our public lands.  More information can be found here.

Sign a petition here.

Related content:

Entire wolf pack to be killed.

Killing wolves on public lands is no longer acceptable.  

Copyright © 2016 [COPYRIGHT Intheshadowofthewolf, name and webpage]. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

The Silencing of Nature: Sixth Extinction

Complex animal life evolved sometime over 500 million years ago. Since that time, life has continually evolved into different groupings of strange and diverse forms. Today, however, is a unique and unprecedented instant during this extraordinarily long history of life. Never before has there been a creature such as us—a being with the ability to rapidly and radically change the world. Only those who are blind to Nature can look around and not see catastrophe as growing thousands of species are pushed into the dawnless night of extinction.
“In the half a billion years of complex life, geology reveals five mass extinctions. All were caused by the smash of big extraterrestrial bodies into Earth or by stupendous geological forces. Biologists and conservationists call today’s extinction the Sixth Great Extinction in light of its magnitude. This extinction stands apart, though, because cosmic or geological forces do not cause it.
It has a biological cause.
One species.
Us.
Homo sapiens.
Due to its cause, and heeding our moral compass and sense of justice, perhaps we should not call today’s ecological crisis the “Sixth Mass Extinction.” Rather, we perhaps should call it the First Mass Murder of Life.

Never before has a single species escaped out of the confines of its ecosystems to become a global, geological force and then to spread across Earth to almost every ecosystem, and then remake and in many cases waste those ecosystems. Never before has a single species consumed so much of the rest of life into itself.
Never before has the population of a single species exploded instantaneously across the globe.
We have erupted like the burning cinders and poisonous gases of a giant volcano and now cover Earth” ~ From the Rewilding Institute .

The Silencing of Nature: Sixth Extinction:

 

 To get involved with helping endangered species, deepen your knowledge of environmental atrocities, and find ways in which you can help protect our planet and co-inhabitants, please see this list of helpful links:

Earthjustice

National Resources Defense Council

Greenpeace

Climate Network

Rainforest Action Network

IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature

wp-1465484632762.jpg
Sumatran Elephant, critically endangered. Over two-thirds of Sumatra’s natural lowland forest has been razed, cutting this elephant’s habitat by 70%. Only approximately 2,400 remain.

 The production of meat and other animal products places a heavy burden on the environment – from crops and water required to feed the animals, to the transport and other processes involved from farm to fork. The vast amount of grain feed required for meat production is a significant contributor to deforestation, habitat loss and species extinction.

Take extinction off your plate . By eating less meat and more fruit and vegetables, the world could prevent several million deaths per year by 2050, cut planet-warming emissions substantially, save billions of dollars annually in healthcare costs and climate damage, and spare countless animals from unnecessary suffering.

Consider a  vegan lifestyle.

Connect with Anthropocene: The Sixth Extinction on YoutubeFacebook, and Twitter.

Climate change/Wildfire map

 Copyright © 2016 [COPYRIGHT Intheshadowofthewolf, name and webpage]. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the publisher.