Reality Stars, Trophy Hunters, and Gun Boosters: Meet the Trump Administration’s Wildlife Conservation Council – Mother Jones

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Cecil the lion gained fame after he was killed by Safari Club International member Walter Palmer during a hunt in Zimbabwe. Paula French/ZUMA

The Trump administration has launched a commission at the Interior Department to promote big-game trophy hunting and the “economic benefits that result from US citizens traveling to foreign nations to engage in hunting.” The council, which will cost taxpayers $250,000 a year, is charged with making recommendations to Secretary Ryan Zinke about removing barriers to importing trophy hunting animals—such as the recently overturned ban on elephant and lion trophies from some countries—and relaxing legal restrictions on hunting and importing endangered species.

The members of the International Wildlife Conservation Council, which is holding its first meeting Friday, include a reality-TV safari hunting guide, a former beauty queen, gun industry representatives, members and affiliates of a controversial trophy hunting group, and a veterinarian associated with an exotic animal breeding facility in Florida that sells endangered animals to roadside zoos.

“It’s really embarrassing,” says Masha Kalinina, the international trade policy specialist for the wildlife department at the Humane Society International. “I just question the qualifications of each and every one of these people. Notably missing from this trophy hunting council are legitimate representatives of the conservation community with proper scientific credentials and a record of successful conservation programs, along with wildlife law enforcement experts and biologists who have no financial stake in promoting trophy hunting.”

The council’s charter calls hunting “an enhancement to foreign wildlife conservation and survival.” Along with pushing to relax imports of trophy animals, it will also review the way the US complies with an international treaty designed to protect endangered plants and animals that guides regulation of the exotic animal trade. But the membership of the council seems heavily weighted toward people who think the best way to conserve wildlife is to kill it.

Indeed, the country’s largest trophy-hunting lobby seems to have an outsized role on the council. Of the 16 IWCC members, at least 10 have an affiliation with Safari Club International, which represents wealthy big-game hunters who often tangle with the Fish and Wildlife Service over permits to import of game trophies from overseas, particularly for endangered species. The advocacy group, with 50,000 members, frequently lobbies Congress and federal agencies to fight environmental regulations. It sued to overturn the Obama-era ban on importing elephant and lion trophies from Zimbabwe and Zambia. The Trump administration ended the ban earlier this month, despite the president’s earlier objections and comments that elephant hunting is a “horror show.”

Perhaps SCI’s most famous member is Walter Palmer, the Minnesota dentist who got into hot water in 2015 for killing a lion named Cecil who lived in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park and was being studied by scientists at Oxford University. Palmer was never charged with any crimes, but the killing helped drive public opinion even further against trophy hunting. A Marist poll that year showed that nearly 90 percent of Americans are opposed to big-game hunting, and more than 60 percent believed it should be banned.
The membership of the council seems heavily weighted toward people who think the best way to conserve wildlife is to kill it.

SCI’s political action committee supported President Donald Trump’s election and Zinke’s US House campaigns in Montana. The principal deputy director of the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Greg Sheehan, who is effectively running the agency in the absence of a congressionally confirmed director, oversees the IWCC. He is an SCI member and attended the group’s convention in Las Vegas last month when it awarded its “professional hunter of the year” honors to a South African man who has been fined for leading hunts of endangered black rhinos.

SCI’s president, Paul Babaz, is now a member of the IWCC. Another SCI-affiliated member, Mike Ingram, was a co-founder of a short-lived nonprofit set up in 2016 by Trump’s sons Eric and Don Jr. that was accused of selling access to the president. The Trump brothers themselves are well-known trophy hunters who caused a stir when photos surfaced of them in Zimbabwe with the carcasses of dead trophy animals, including a leopard and an elephant.

Don Jr. appears to be keeping tabs on the new wildlife council. When Cameron Hanes, a professional bow hunter, announced his appointment to the IWCC on Instagram in January, Don Jr. congratulated him, writing, “well done and well deserved. As I’ve spoken about numerous times @realdonaldtrump has always given opportunities to those who deserve it not just those whose turn it is.”

Other members of the council are affiliated with the gun industry, including Peter Horn, a vice president of Beretta and former president of SCI, and Erica Rhoad, the director of hunting at the National Rifle Association.

Befitting the Trump administration, the Interior Department has appointed a number of reality TV stars to the wildlife council. Among them is Ivan Carter, a safari hunting guide and regular speaker at SCI events who’s frequently identified in press accounts as having been born in “Southern Rhodesia,” the former British colony that became Zimbabwe. Carter, who bears a faint resemblance to Crocodile Dundee, has hosted the Dallas Safari Club’s Tracks Across Africa TV show on the Outdoor Channel and his own Outdoor Channel show, Carter’s W.A.R.

Another member, Denise Welker, killed an elephant in Botswana on one of Carter’s safari hunts. She received an award last year from SCI underwritten by the NRA, and her husband is the co-chair of SCI’s Africa record-keeping committee. Then there’s Olivia Nalos Opre, a former Mrs. Nebraska who judges the televised Extreme Huntress competition for female trophy hunters, hosts other hunting shows, and does trainings for the Dallas SCI. Keith Mark, also on the council, co-hosted a hunting show with former professional wrestler Shawn Michaels.

One of the only members of the council who appears to have any scientific expertise is Jenifer Chatfield, a veterinarian who specializes in zoo medicine. But she, too, is not without a business interest in the animal trade. Chatfield is the staff veterinarian and vice president of the 4J Conservation Center in Florida. The private, for-profit center is run by Chatfield’s father, John Chatfield, an exotic animal breeder whose outfit previously sold animals to Texas hunting parks known as “canned ranches,” where people pay large sums to kill endangered animals within the fenced confines of the ranch.

John Chatfield is a co-founder of the Zoological Association of America, a group that offers accreditation to roadside and other private zoos that can’t meet the animal welfare standards of the more rigorous Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Animal welfare advocates have criticized the ZAA for protecting shady exotic animal breeders. The 4J Conservation Center holds a permit from the Fish and Wildlife Service that allows it to trade in captive-born endangered species within the United States. The Department of Agriculture has cited 4J for unsafe and unsanitary conditions that violate the Animal Welfare Act.

“It’s like a puppy mill for lemurs,” says Delcianna Winders, a vice president at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

In 2013, a red kangaroo escaped from the 4J center and had to be chased down by state wildlife officials, who shot it with tranquilizer darts. The kangaroo died two hours later. Later, an inventory showed that Chatfield had more than 60 kangaroos in pens on the compound.

The 4J center has loaned lemurs to a Tampa zoo, where Jenifer Chatfield experimented on them. In 2006, she published the results of a study in the Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine in which the lemurs were anesthetized and given as many as 50 shock treatments to force them to “electroejaculate” for artificial insemination collections. The procedure causes the animals to suffer from a “urethral plug” that can be fatal; these plugs were removed with forceps. Chatfield was testing a technique to prevent the blocks. Two years after the study, the zoo lost its accreditation for, among other things, trading animals with unaccredited facilities.

Reached by phone, Jenifer Chatfield referred questions about her appointment to the council to the Interior Department, which did not respond to a request for comment. John Chatfield could not be reached for comment.

Wildlife conservation and animal welfare groups and more than 60 scientists and economists have written to the Fish and Wildlife Service to protest the council and its membership. They argue that the way it was created violates federal law because of the lack of a balance of perspectives, its potential for capture by special interests, and the absence of public benefits. PETA’s Winders says the council’s creation is “openly defiant of the Federal Advisory Act, which requires a host of things, one of which is balanced representation, and this reads like a who’s who of hunting interests. I think we will see some legal challenges to this committee before long.” Indeed, on Wednesday, the wildlife conservation group Born Free sued the Fish and Wildlife Service for refusing to release documents related to the council’s creation.

Correction: An earlier version of the photo caption in this story stated that Cecil the lion was killed in an illegal hunt. In fact, the hunt has not been found to have broken any laws.

https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2018/03/reality-stars-trophy-hunters-and-gun-boosters-meet-the-trump-administrations-wildlife-conservation-council/

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Save National Park Wildlife From Railway Construction

Black rhinos, giraffes, over 400 bird species, and other wildlife are threatened by plans to build a Chinese-backed railway bridge through Nairobi National Park. Sign the petition below to urge Kenya’s Ministry of Environment to step in and halt construction.

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Urgent: Bobcats’ Lives Are on the Line in Ohio!

Exposing the Big Game

Although bobcats are native to Ohio, hunting and habitat destruction in the late 1800s and early 1900s nearly caused these majestic animals to disappear from the state. In 1974, their numbers were still so low that the species was added to Ohio’s first endangered species list. Bobcats are a keystone species, meaning that their absence significantly affects the stability of the ecosystem in which they live. Despite this, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is considering a rule change that would allow bobcats to be trapped and hunted. These animals desperately need your help!

The DNR is accepting public comments on this proposed rule change until Monday, March 5. Please visit the comment submission page, scroll down to reach the form, and follow these instructions:

·         Next to “Do you have a comment on a specific rule?” click “Yes.”

·         Next to “Select the proposed rule change you are commenting…

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Deer from Lancaster County farm found in Wisconsin tests positive for Chronic Wasting Disease | WPMT FOX43

Deer from Lancaster County farm found in Wisconsin tests positive for Chronic Wasting Disease
Posted 11:29 AM, February 15, 2018, by Keith Schweigert, Updated at 11:32AM, February 15, 2018

ChronicWaste

HARRISBURG — A deer that originated from a Lancaster County breeding farm now under quarantine tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease after being harvested in a Wisconsin hunting preserve, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

DNA testing conducted Tuesday confirmed that the deer was born and raised at a West Cocalico Township breeding farm. Another deer from the same farm tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease earlier this month, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture says. Neither deer showed signs of the disease prior to its death, the department says.

The farm has been quarantined since Dec. 15, 2017, when Wisconsin’s stae veterinarian notified the PA Dept. of Agriculture of a potential traceback. The deer’s identity was confirmed via DNA testing due to the absence of official identification tags for the deer.

The department, along with the United States Department of Agriculture, is currently evaluating the farm in cooperation with the herd owner to establish a Herd Management Plan to mitigate the threat of this disease spreading.

The plan, which all three parties sign, may include indemnification of the herd by the USDA or a continuous quarantine with mandatory testing. A quarantine would be extended five years every time a positive is detected.

CWD attacks the brain of infected deer, elk and moose, producing small lesions that eventually result in death. Animals can get the disease through direct contact with saliva, feces and urine from an infected animal or contaminated environment.

Clinical signs include weight loss, excessive salivation, increased drinking and urination, and abnormal behavior like stumbling, trembling, and depression. Infected deer and elk may also allow unusually close approach by humans or natural predators. The disease is fatal and there is no known treatment or vaccine.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report no strong evidence that humans or livestock can contract CWD.

Deer from Lancaster County farm found in Wisconsin tests positive for Chronic Wasting Disease

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The Winds of Change Bring Peril for Bats – Defenders of Wildlife Blog


Defenders of Wildlife Blog
14 September 2017
The Winds of Change Bring Peril for Bats
Posted by: Pasha Feinberg

Wind power is on the rise and with it is an uptick in bat deaths.

Developing renewable energy is critical to minimizing greenhouse gas emissions and reducing climate change. Wind energy is an important source of American renewable energy and the success of this industry is crucial to our green energy future. However, like all energy types, wind energy is not without its challenges. In the early 2000s, researchers realized that wind turbines were killing bats at record rates.
A Fatal Attraction

Findings from the last decade reveal that wind turbines kill more than half a million bats each year in the United States. The overwhelming majority of the bats killed are migratory bats that are not affected by white-nose syndrome, the pathogenic fungus causing precipitous declines in hibernating bat species.

Wind turbine blades disproportionately strike these migratory bats as they pass through wind farms to forage or migrate. It’s unclear why there are so many collisions, but bats are well-known to be curious creatures and have been documented to change course to check out turbines. Although there’s no scientific consensus on why bats are attracted to turbines—theories range from mistaking turbines as trees for roosting, to seeking out insect prey that congregate near turbines—this behavior puts them at increased risk for collision with the spinning blades.
Bat Numbers Give Us Cause for Pause

As more information becomes available about the interaction of bats and wind energy production, scientists are growing increasingly concerned. Bats are long-lived mammals (many bats live more than a decade, and at least one Brandt’s bat lived for 41 years!) that reproduce slowly, meaning that bat populations are very sensitive to losses of breeding-age adults.

A recent study led by UC Santa Cruz professor Winnifred Frick, whose findings were published in Biological Conservation earlier this year, set out to identify whether mortality from wind turbines could cause bat populations to decline. Professor Frick and her colleagues focused on the bat species most commonly killed by wind turbines: the hoary bat.

Hoary-Bat-Jens-Rydell

The  hoary bat, named for its silver-tipped fur that resembles hoar frost, is a wide-ranging, migratory bat found throughout the United States, into Mexico and Canada. Hoary bats are solitary animals, spending their days roosting in trees until sunset. As it gets dark, these charismatic critters emerge to feed, foraging over great distances as they search for moths and other insects.

Unfortunately, hoary bats seem particularly susceptible to wind turbines, representing over a third (38 percent) of all bats killed at wind energy facilities. Professor Frick and her colleagues sought to determine whether the high mortality rate for hoary bats at wind facilities was sustainable.

Their results were alarming. According to the best available estimates for population size and growth rate, they projected hoary bat populations would decline by 90 percent in the next 50 years due to mortality at wind turbines. If wind energy development continues at expected rates and nothing is done to decrease bat mortality, the fate of the hoary bat will only become more dire.

Unfortunately, the hoary bat is not alone in facing such a bleak future – other migratory bat species may also be at risk. While hoary bats are the hardest hit bat species, other species of migratory bats are also frequently killed by wind turbines. Hoary bats, eastern red bats, and silver-haired bats collectively account for almost 80 percent of all bats killed at turbines. Future research is needed to determine whether there are population-level impacts to eastern red bats and silver-haired bats from wind energy.
What Can Be Done?

Fortunately, there are techniques that the wind industry can adopt so that we do not have to choose between wind energy and these important bat species. Wind industry leaders have stepped up and are proactively working with researchers and government agency staff to create technological solutions to overcome these bats’ fatal attraction to turbines. Technologies to deter bats from approaching turbines, such as playing high frequency noises, lighting the blades with ultraviolet light, using textured turbine coatings, are in development and being tested at pilot sites. We are optimistic that these technologies will be commercially available within the next five years or so, but continued funding and research are needed.

Until these technologies are available, operational changes, such as “feathering” turbine blades so that they don’t spin at low wind speeds (when bats are most active) during important migration periods, can drastically reduce bat deaths. These operational changes can be adopted immediately, but they come with a catch: they reduce the amount energy being produced from each turbine.

It’s not that wind facility operators don’t want to do the right thing–most are aware of the problem and want to minimize bat kills. However, until there is industry-wide adoption, any wind facility that does implement operational curtailment (by strategically feathering turbine blades) is at a competitive disadvantage because it would be producing less energy than a comparably-sized facility that’s not endeavoring to protect bats. In addition, some facilities are contractually obligated to produce a certain amount of energy that leaves little room for seasonal curtailment to protect bats.

If wind facilities trying to protect bats go out of business, that’s a losing scenario for both wildlife and the climate. Thus, saving these bats can’t solely rest on industry – energy consumers need to value wind operators who take measures to protect bats.

It’s a rare opportunity to be able to protect a species before it’s on the verge of extinction, but in order to do any good, we must act swiftly. Allowing hoary bat numbers to continue to decline at a precipitous rate isn’t just bad for bats, it’s bad for industry, too. Protecting bats through preventative solutions available to us now will help keep these species off the Endangered Species List, at which point options may be limited to more expensive conservation measures.
Unlike Vampires, Bats Don’t Live Forever (Plus Vampires are Fake)

Time is of the essence and we cannot afford to delay action. The wind industry, conservation organizations, academia, government, and energy users need to work together to find solutions. Defenders of Wildlife is fully committed to a strong wind energy future while conserving bats. We are working to educate corporate buyers about the importance of purchasing wind energy from responsible operators, while simultaneously advocating for federal, state, and private investment to advance and commercialize technical solutions to reduce the industry’s impacts on wildlife. Tackling this issue now is critical to securing a strong future for the wind energy industry and bats.

Follow us on social media to stay up-to-date on the latest developments concerning wildlife from Capitol Hill and other news important our work. Don’t forget to sign up for our emails where you will get all the latest news and action alerts to support wildlife.
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Pasha Feinberg, Renewable Energy & Wildlife Research Associate
Pasha Feinberg is a research associate for the Renewable Energy and Wildlife team, providing scientific research in support of the team’s efforts to ensure that renewable energy development does not occur at the expense of wildlife. Prior to joining Defenders, Pasha earned her B.S. and M.S. in environmental science from Stanford University and conducted ecology research in Mexico, Australia, Tanzania, Kenya, and the United States to better understand the relationships between biodiversity, human health, and other ecosystem functions and services.
Categories: Bats, bats, hoary bats, Living with Wildlife, Renewable Energy, renewable energy, wind power, wind turbines

http://www.defendersblog.org/2017/09/winds-change-bring-peril-bats/

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Petition · Robert Niblock : HOME DEPOT AND LOWE’S STOP SELLING TORTUROUS GLUE TRAPS! · Change.org


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El Jefe the Jaguar Is Also Not a “Bad Hombre” | NRDC

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El Jefe the Jaguar Is Also Not a “Bad Hombre”

Another reason to oppose President Trump’s proposed border wall with Mexico: It would be devastating for wildlife.
February 15, 2017 Clara Chaisson
Just about a year ago, a YouTube sensation emerged from an unlikely place: the rugged wilderness of Arizona’s Santa Rita mountains. He made just one video, but those 41 seconds of footage—compiled from remote motion-sensor cameras—were enough to solidify his claim to fame as the only known wild jaguar living in the United States. A group of Tucson schoolkids won a nationwide naming contest, christening the big cat El Jefe, Spanish for “The Boss,” a nod to his apex predator status and Mexican heritage.

El Jefe, however, has recently become headline worthy for another reason. On January 25, our newly elected president signed an executive order calling for “the immediate construction of a physical wall on the southern border.” Now our beloved boss cat represents the threat that barrier would pose to wildlife.

President Trump’s clamorous demand to build a wall along the nearly 2,000 miles we share with Mexico has, of course, sparked a litany of objections—it’s offensive, for one, and it would be costly, ineffective, and infeasible, to name just a few more. Individuals and organizations ranging from the mayor of the border town of Laredo, Texas, to the American Civil Liberties Union to the pope have spoken out against the order. Clearly, the wall’s negative impact on wildlife is only one of many legitimate concerns, but it’s significant nonetheless.

Trump’s wall could affect anything from bighorn sheep to wolves to javelinas, but El Jefe’s story is a powerful case study. A hundred years ago, a jaguar’s stealthy presence in Arizona would have been unremarkable. In the United States, the species’ historic range included a swath from California to Texas—possibly stretching as far east as Louisiana. But by the mid-1900s, federal predator-control programs had pretty much eliminated jaguars from the country. A hunter in 1913 could collect a $5 bounty per jaguar, equivalent to about $123 today. Mexico is still home to some 4,000 individuals, including 50 to 100 in the northern state of Sonora, from where El Jefe likely hails.

Walking for just a few days, a male Sonoran jaguar can easily wander into Arizona. Conservationists haven’t given up hope that the cats might come back and restore their ranks north of the border. “The landscape really is not whole without jaguars,” says Randy Serraglio, a southwest conservation advocate for the Center for Biological Diversity. “They belong here.” After several sightings of the spotted cat, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) added it to the Endangered Species List in 1997. Hunters first spotted El Jefe in November 2011.

Female jaguars, however, don’t typically have the same level of wanderlust. El Jefe hasn’t been seen in recent months, and it’s possible that he has returned to Sonora to find a Señora El Jefe (or La Jefa?) to mate with. Because males alone can’t reestablish a breeding population—the future is female, if you will—biologists treat the possibility of a jaguar comeback on U.S. soil with varying degrees of optimism. “If there’s going to be a population recolonized in the States, then we really have to expand the population that’s south of the border,” says Howard Quigley, executive director of the jaguar program at Panthera, a big cat conservation group.

One thing is certain, however: As slim as the chance for jaguars to reestablish themselves here may be, a wall would prevent it entirely. “If somehow Trump is able to realize his fantasy of walling off the U.S.-Mexico border, it would be the end of jaguars in the United States,” Serraglio says. “They would never have a chance to recover here.”

A border wall could also be devastating to the survival of northern Mexico’s fragile jaguar population. Habitat fragmentation, development, and hunting threaten the long-term survival of the species both in Sonora and throughout its range, which extends south to northern Argentina. Throughout the Americas, an estimated 30,000 remaining wild jaguars occupy just 46 percent of their historic range.

In fact, those threats in northern Mexico were part of the reasoning behind the FWS’s decision to designate 764,207 acres of critical jaguar habitat in Arizona and New Mexico. Its 2014 rule reads, “Critical habitat in the United States contributes to the jaguar’s persistence and recovery across the species’ entire range. . .therefore, maintaining connectivity to Mexico is essential to the conservation of the jaguar.”

Trump’s great divider would hurt many other endangered species that straddle the border, too. The recovery plan for the ocelot, which has been under federal protection since 1982, includes connecting the populations in Texas and Mexico. And after rebounding from the brink of extinction, an estimated 160 Sonoran pronghorns remain in the States, with 240 or so more living in Mexico. They need to get together to make more pronghorns, the speediest land animals in North America. Our two countries have also been working together for years to recover the Mexican gray wolf, the most endangered subspecies of wolf in the world.

Many wildlife populations depend on the ability to roam, whether to find a love connection, to migrate, or to mix genes between isolated populations. Serraglio cited one particular herd of bison that crosses the border nearly every day to go between a preferred pasture on one side and a favorite watering hole on the other. “There are all kinds of reasons why animals need to move around on the landscape in order to be biologically healthy,” Serraglio says. “And all that would be disrupted by the border wall.”

Crosses adorn the Mexican side of the wall dividing Nogales, Arizona, and Nogales, Mexico

Federal projects usually require an extensive environmental impact statement before they can get the green light, but there’s reason to think that the Trump administration might skip that step. Before signing the Secure Fence Act of 2006, which allowed the United States to build 700 miles’ worth of barriers along the Mexican border, then-President George W. Bush enacted the REAL ID Act. Section 102 of that legislation allows the secretary of homeland security to waive all local, state, and federal laws deemed an impediment to construction along U.S. borders. The former secretary, Michael Chertoff, subsequently used it to override the Endangered Species Act and other environmental protections.
As a result of these waivers, the existing walls have impinged on communities that don’t want them and triggered environmental problems experts could have foreseen—if they had been consulted. The San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area, one of the most biologically diverse areas in the country, is now home to two miles of border fencing in addition to hundreds of species of birds, mammals, fish, amphibians, and reptiles. According to the Sierra Club, in addition to blocking wildlife, construction there desecrated 69 Native American burial sites and accelerated erosion and sedimentation in the riverbed.

Even winged animals could feel the effects of fragmentation. A 2009 study found that the ferruginous pygmy owl, which got off the FWS Endangered Species List only 11 years ago, rarely flies higher than 4.5 feet off the ground; the average height of the fencing now bisecting its habitat is 13 feet.

“One of the big issues in wildlife conservation is to prevent fragmentation,” Panthera’s Quigley says. “As soon as you start fragmenting populations—whether it’s with a road, or with a huge plantation of oil palm, or whatever it is—then you start seeing the demise of not only that species, but the system and its multiple interactions.”

A month after the election, the Arizona Game and Fish Department and FWS announced that a trail camera in the Huachuca Mountains had snapped a shot of what seems to be a second male jaguar on U.S. soil. With such uncanny timing, it’s almost as if this big cat showed up to remind the president-elect that he’s not the only new boss in town.

wp-1488651332450.jpegAt Fort Huachuca trail camera recently captured a photograph of a jaguar

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Petition: Free Packy the Elephant From 54 years of Captivity in The Oregon Zoo!


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Washington wolf activities go beyond Profanity Peak pack – – Capital Press


The West’s AG Weekly Since 1928 • September 28, 2016

Washington wildlife managers say they are continuing to search for the surviving members of the Profanity Peak pack in the Colville National Forest, a hunt now on its eighth week.
Meanwhile, wolves in another northeastern Washington pack last week killed a calf, and a wolf was legally harvested on the Spokane Tribe of Indians reservation, according to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.

WDFW’s plan to lethally remove the Profanity Peak pack has outraged some environmental and animal-rights groups, overshadowing other wolf activities in Washington this summer.

WDFW began hunting for the Profanity Peak pack on Aug. 4. The department has reported shooting five adults and one pup, though none since Aug. 22.

Two adults and up to four pups remain, according to WDFW. The department says it intends to eliminate the rest of the pack, but the pack is in rugged timberlands and finding the surviving wolves will be challenging.

WDFW has confirmed that the pack has killed or injured eight cattle and probably is responsible for five more attacks on livestock this summer.

WDFW’s policy calls for the state to use lethal control after four confirmed depredations, provided ranchers had taken steps to prevent conflicts between wolves and livestock.

WDFW investigators confirmed Sept. 21 that wolves in the Smackout pack, whose territory straddles Stevens and Pend Oreille counties, killed a calf, the department’s wolf policy coordinator, Donny Martorello, said in an email.

The depredation was the first confirmed attack by the pack this year. The pack fatally injured a calf in October 2015, according to WDFW records.

Also Sept. 21, the Spokane Tribe of Indians reported a wolf had been harvested on the reservation. The tribe also reported in July that a wolf had been harvested.

The tribe allows enrolled members to hunt wolves within the 159,000-acre reservation, with an annual limit of six wolves.

The Spokane tribe reported in 2015 harvesting three wolves in the Huckleberry pack, the only legal shooting of wolves in the state last year, according to WDFW.

Hunting wolves is not allowed in Washington except on tribal lands.

WDFW enlisted the USDA’s Wildlife Services to shoot one wolf from the Huckleberry pack in 2014. The pack was preying on sheep.

Since then, a federal judge has barred Wildlife Services from assisting WDFW with lethal removal, unless the federal agency conducts a more thorough review of the environmental impacts of removing wolves.

Wolves are not federally protected in the eastern one-third of Washington, where attacks on livestock are occurring, but are on the state’s protected species list.

Petition: Help Free Lasah The Elephant In Malaysia


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