October Wolf and Wildlife Update
Happy Wolf Awareness Week! Hopefully there are opportunities in your community to celebrate the role of wolves as a keystone, iconic species. If there aren’t any coordinated events, perhaps use this week as an opportunity to spend time in nature, exploring the wild landscapes that wolves positively impact.
It’s been another grueling month for wolves in Oregon. Unfortunately, it seems like the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) is on a mission to eliminate the entire Harl Butte pack with their recent announcement to issue kill orders to livestock managers. Since August, 5 wolves, including the breeding female from the Meacham pack, have been killed thus far in retaliation for incidents attributed to wolves. Our resident wolf expert, Rob Klavins, catalogued some of Oregon Wild’s frustration with our fish and wildlife agency in this blog about their mishandling of wolf management.
Adding insult to injury, U.S Fish and Wildlife Services announced last week that collared wolf, OR-33, was illegally killed near Klamath Falls and discovered in April of this year. Investigators are offering a $5,000 reward for information on the possible poacher.
For something more uplifting, check out Oregon Wild’s new interactive map of the Journey of Wolf OR-7. Enjoy exploring his trek through Oregon’s amazing wild places, crossing into California!
A recent investigation by the Oregonian found that federal funds intended to help pay for services like education and fire prevention were instead used by officials in Douglas County, Oregon to fund lobbying trips and propaganda videos. In addition, some funds intended for “education” went to the federal animal trapping agency Wildlife Services to pay for killing bears and porcupines on both public and private lands, as well as maintaining their vehicles. Congressman Earl Blumenauer has called for an investigation into the funds. Read more or Take action.
ODFW officially opened the public comment period for uplisting the Marbled Murrelet, an old growth nesting seabird, from “threatened” on the state endangered species list to “endangered”. A status review of the Murrelet found that habitat loss was increasing the risk of the birds going extinct in Oregon. The report supporting increased protections comes as a response to a petition that Oregon Wild and several other conservation organizations submitted to ODFW, asking for the seabird to be reclassified from threatened to endangered. If you’d like to submit a written comment in favor of uplisting the species to “endangered”, please email the Fish and Wildlife Commision at firstname.lastname@example.org by November 9th. You can also check out OregonWild.org later this week for an action form.
We need Governor Kate Brown to step in and make sure Oregon's revised wolf plan emphasizes conservation over killing! Please call Governor Brown at (503) 378-4582 and ask her to get the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife back on track.
For those in the Portland area, join our friends at Wolf Ways for a special educational presentation October 21st at the Oregon Zoo. Learn about the wolves' lives, the benefit of wolves in the ecosystem and conservation efforts through fun activities, crafts, and educational tables. Free with zoo admission. Learn more about the event here.