Bill to kill up to 90% of Idaho wolves heads to governor

apnews.com

By KEITH RIDLER

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The Idaho House on Tuesday approved legislation allowing the state to hire private contractors and expand methods to kill wolves roaming Idaho — a measure that could cut the wolf population by 90%.

Lawmakers voted 58-11 to send the agriculture industry-backed bill to Republican Gov. Brad Little. The fast-tracked bill that allows the use of night-vision equipment to kill wolves as well as hunting from snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles, among other measures, passed the Senate last week.

Backers said changes to Idaho law could help reduce the wolf population from about 1,500 to 150, alleviating wolf attacks on cattle, sheep and wildlife.

“We have areas of the state where the wolves are having a real detrimental impact on our wildlife,” said House Majority Leader Mike Moyle, one of the bill’s sponsors. “They are hurting the herds, elk and deer. This allows the Wolf (Depredation) Control Board and others to control them, also, which we have not done in the past.”

Cattle and sheep ranchers say wolves have cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars by killing animals or harassing them, causing them to lose weight, making them less valuable when they are sold.

Opponents said the legislation threatens a 2002 wolf management plan involving the federal government that could ultimately lead to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service taking back control of managing the state’s wolves.

Environmental groups blasted the House’s approval of the measure and called on Republican Gov. Brad Little to veto the legislation.

“The bill will waste millions of dollars of public funds on killing wolves, and threatens to ultimately return the species to the endangered species list and federal management,” the Western Watersheds Project and about a dozen other environmental groups said in a statement.

A primary change in the new law is the hiring of private contractors to kill wolves. The legislation includes increasing the amount of money the Idaho Department of Fish and Game sends to the Idaho Wolf Depredation Control board from $110,000 to $300,000. The board, created in 2014, is an agency within the governor’s office that manages state money it receives to kill wolves.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game reported in February that the wolf population has been holding at about 1,500 the past two years. The numbers were derived by using remote cameras and other methods.

About 500 wolves have been killed in the state in each of the last two years by hunters, trappers and wolf-control measures carried out by state and federal authorities.

Idaho’s 2002 wolf conservation and management plan calls for at least 150 wolves and 15 packs in Idaho. Backers have said the state is allowed to increase the killing of wolves to reach that level. If the wolf population falls below 150, the killing of wolves would have to be reduced.

Also according to the plan, if Idaho’s wolf population fell to 100, there’s a possibility the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service could resume management of its wolf population. The 2002 document says wolf management could revert to what was in place when wolves were listed under the federal Endangered Species Act.

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission, which manages the state’s wildlife, opposed the measure. The commission, while noting it also wanted to reduce the wolf population, cited concerns that the proposed law would override certain commission decisions.

Opponents said that Idaho residents want the Fish and Game Commission to decide wildlife policy, not lawmakers.

https://apnews.com/article/bills-idaho-wolves-environment-and-nature-lifestyle-7e18d06ccff0705ca4282e2b097040a9

Mountain lion’s ‘unusual’ appearance in Texas national park sparks a mystery

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The State

Mountain lion’s ‘unusual’ appearance in Texas national park sparks a mystery

Chacour KoopFri, April 30, 2021, 1:06 PM·1 min read

A mountain lion’s “unusual” appearance in a Texas national park has sparked a mystery: Where did it come from?

A mountain lion in and of itself isn’t rare in Guadalupe Mountains National Park. They’ll go just about anywhere mule deer — among the most common animals in the Far West Texas park — can be found.

But this particular mountain lion recently spotted on a trail camera was wearing a collar.

Why is that strange? The park says it hasn’t collared cats since the 1980s.

“This collared mountain lion must have drifted into the park from somewhere else,” the park posted on Facebook. “It’s unusual, but exciting to see this collared individual because it reflects the vast roving and range behaviors of mountain lions.”

A mountain lion, also known as a cougar or puma, requires a huge swath of habitat to survive, according to the National Wildlife Federation. Cubs remain with their mothers up to 26 months but usually separate earlier to find their own territory, the wildlife groups says.- ADVERTISEMENT -https://s.yimg.com/rq/darla/4-6-0/html/r-sf-flx.html

Guadalupe Mountains National Park shared a photo of the mountain lion in hopes of finding out who collared the cat.

“Since this is not our cat, we wanted to share the image to help whoever is doing research, find and monitor their kitty,” the park posted. “We’ve reached out to local researchers to identify … the cat and its collar, with no luck.”

Watch daring rescue of bobcat stuck atop electric pole for two days in New Mexicohttps://s.yimg.com/rq/darla/4-6-0/html/r-sf.html

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Breaking! Queen Elizabeth Signs New Law Increasing Animal Cruelty Sentences In England & Wales From 6 Months To 5 Years In Prison – World Animal News

worldanimalnews.com

Lauren Lewis

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – MAY 17 2012: Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II visits Liverpool Albert Dock during her Diamond Jubilee tour of Great Britain, Liverpool, England. May 17 2012

The Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Act 2021 was signed into law yesterday by  Queen Elizabeth, increasing the maximum penalty for animal cruelty in England and Wales from six months to up to five years in prison. The amended legislation also aims to deter would-be animal abusers from committing acts of cruelty.

As previously reported by WAN in June of 2019, when the Bill was brought forward by Member of Parliament Chris Loder, more than 70% of people supported tougher prison sentences for animal abusers.

Loder shared in a statement on his website that he was inspired to create change by introducing the Bill after finding a Springer Spaniel cruelly abandoned at the roadside before bringing her home to his family farm in West Dorest.

In a message posted on his Twitter account on Wednesday, Loder noted that the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Act had just completed all Parliamentary stages in both Houses. It was subsequently taken to Her Majesty the Queen for Royal Assent.

“Just ONE DAY away from this important change in law for animals! #AnimalsDeserveJustice,” Loder tweeted yesterday, referring to the Bill which is now law and is expected to come into force in June of this year.

The RSPCA, one of the supporters of the Bill, secured 4,103 convictions in the courts in England and Wales over the last three years, and 156 individuals received immediate prison sentences.

“Since the Bill was introduced, animals have been starved, shot, stabbed, beaten to death and drowned,” stated RSPCA Chief Executive, Chris Sherwood. “At least now, in those cases that leave us heartbroken, our courts will be able to hand out sentences that truly reflect the severity of the crimes.”

Loder emphasized that there is more work to be done to help protect and save not only companion animals such as dogs, cats, and horses, but all animals.

“I will continue to work hard for animals, and I will continue campaigning on non-stun slaughter and live animal exports,” stated Loder, who also serves as a Patron for The Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation, which campaigns to help end the suffering of billions of animals reared on intensive slaughter farms. The organization also helped to support the Bill.

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

https://worldanimalnews.com/breaking-queen-elizabeth-signs-new-law-increasing-animal-cruelty-sentences-in-england-wales-from-6-months-to-5-years-in-prison/amp/?__twitter_impression=true

$40,000 Reward Offered For Information On The Illegal Shooting Of A Mother Grizzly Bear In Idaho; Young Cub Died Shortly After

Karen Lapizco 14 hours ago

World Animal News

Five conservation organizations are offering rewards for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the illegal shooting of a female grizzly bear in Fremont County, Idaho. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game confirmed Monday that a 6-to-8-week-old cub also died in its den as a result of its mother’s death.

The reward totals $30,000 from five conservation organizations, including Greater Yellowstone Coalition, Humane Society of the United States, Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife and an anonymous organization. Citizens Against Poaching and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are also offering rewards of $5,000 each, for a total reward of $40,000 to find the criminal or criminals responsible.

“There have been decades of collaborative conservation work in Idaho since grizzly bears were listed as threatened,” said Kathy Rinaldi, Idaho Conservation Coordinator for the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, in a statement. “This bear was not only a productive female, but incredibly important to research. Poaching incidents like this only exacerbate our challenges for long-term grizzly bear conservation.”

Grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem are currently listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. It is illegal to shoot a grizzly bear in Idaho unless in the case of self-defense.

The bear’s carcass was found partially submerged in the Little Warm River near Island Park, Idaho. The incident took place between March 15th and March 23rd, according to Fish and Game.

This is the third grizzly bear shooting in the same general area over the past seven months. In September, an adult male grizzly was shot and killed in Coyote Meadows. In November, a young male bear was killed near Cold Springs Road. All three cases remain under investigation.

“The third illegal killing of a grizzly bear near Island Park in less than seven months is appalling,” said Andrea Zaccardi, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. “The killing of even one grizzly is a setback to bear recovery, but this poaching led to two dead bears, including a young cub that likely starved to death in its den. The cowardly act of killing this mother grizzly bear must be punished.”

“Poaching is a serious crime and a threat to grizzly bears and other wildlife,” said Erin Edge, senior Rockies and Plains representative at Defenders of Wildlife. “We urge anyone with information about this heinous crime to come forward.”

If you have information about these crimes please call the department’s Upper Snake Regional Office at (208) 525-7290 or the Citizens Against Poaching hotline at (800) 632-2999. Callers may remain anonymous.

A report can also be made online HERE.

Categories: Breaking News, News

World Animal News

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