Over $24,000 Reward For Alpha Wolf Shooter

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Yellowstone National Park
The twelve-year old alpha female of the Canyone Pack was found severely injured and had to be euthanized in april

Over $24,00 Reward For The Shooter of The Alpha Female Of the Canyon Pack

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Yellowstone National Park and several conservation groups are offering a substantial reward for information on the shooting of a rare white wolf inside the park last month.

The Canyon Pack alpha female wolf was found severely injured by hikers April 11 inside Yellowstone National Park near Gardiner, Montana. The animal’s wounds were so severed that she was euthanized.

The dead wolf was sent to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Forensics Laboratory in Ashland, Oregon for a necropsy. In a press release, the park said that preliminary results showed that she suffered from a gunshot wound.

National Park Service law enforcement believes the wolf was shot on the north side of the park, near Gardiner, or near the Old Yellowstone Trail which is located in the park on the northern boundary. The incident likely occurred sometime between April 10 at 1 a.m. and April 11 at 2 p.m.

“Due to the serious nature of this incident, a reward of up to $5,000 is offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individual(s) responsible for this criminal act,” said Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Dan Wenk.

The Associated Press reports that the reward for information leading to whoever shot a rare wolf found rose by $5,000 after the Montana group Wolves of the Rockies followed up with its own reward.

The group’s president Marc Cook told the AP that he believed the wolf’s killer was someone angry about the reintroduction of wolves to the park more than two decades ago.

“People take matters into their own hands and feel they are above the law and they kind of flaunt that fact that they can do what they want to do and there’s no repercussions,” Cook said.

The Center for Biological Diversity sent a release from its Victor office announcing it is offering its own $5,000 reward for information as well.

“We sure hope they catch the despicable killer of this wolf,” said Andrea Santarsiere, a senior attorney at the center. “Shooting this wolf in Yellowstone National Park, an area that should be a safe haven for wildlife, is not only illegal but repulsive.”

The center’s reward, along rewards from groups like Heart of the Wild Yellowstone and a Go Fund Me account, has pushed the total reward to over $24,000 and climbing.

It is currently legal to kill wolves in much of Wyoming, as it is in Montana and Idaho. However, it remains illegal to kill wolves in Yellowstone, Grand Teton or other national parks.

The park wrote that the wolf was one of three known white wolves in the park. She lived to 12 years, twice the age of an average wolf in the park, and had a broad range that extended from Hayden Valley to the Firehole River area to the northern portion of the park. As the alpha female for over nine years with the same alpha male, she had at least 20 pups, 14 of which lived to be yearlings. She was one of the most recognizable wolves and sought after by visitors to view and photograph.

“Sadly, this poaching incident reflects what a growing body of research is making more and more clear — allowing extensive hunting of wolves has not increased social tolerance for them, as states have predicted,” said Santarsiere. “Instead we’re seeing evidence that state-supported hunts of big carnivores actually devalue them among a certain segment of the population, and in fact likely trigger an increase in illegal killings.”

The Park Service is encouraging anyone with information about this incident to contact the National Park Service Investigative Services Branch (ISB). Information on those providing tips will be kept confidential.

Call the ISB Tip Line 888-653-0009

Text to 202-379-4761

Online www.nps.gov/isb and click “Submit a Tip”

Email nps_isb@nps.gov

Message via Facebook @InvestigativeServicesNPS or Twitter @SpecialAgentNPS.

Oregon Wolf Recovery

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Is The Recovery Going Slow?

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) recently completed its 2016 wolf count with surprising results. Last year, wildlife biologists confirmed 110 wolves within the state; this year’s tally only found 112. With just two more confirmed wolves, ODFW described 2016’s growth rate as “weak” with a “sharp drop from the 27% to 36% growth rates the previous three years,” The Portland Tribune reports.

While this stalled growth may be troubling, ODFW doesn’t believe recovery is faltering…at least, not yet. What it does suggest is that wildlife population counts may not always show the full picture. Russ Morgan, ODFW’s wolf program manager, told The Portland Tribune that the low numbers are likely a “byproduct of our counting methodology.” Morgan says that wolves cannot be included in the count without a confirmed sighting – something that can be difficult since wolves can be stealthy. In fact, Morgan adds, this method of counting is actually, “very conservative.”

“You get what you get,” says Morgan. “It’s not the actual population, but the actual minimum. You know there can’t be fewer.”

ODFW is considering other methods of counting wolves rather than relying primarily on breeding pair counts; for example, estimating populations based upon known birth rates, according to The Portland Tribune. Some groups, like Oregon Wild, believe that the wolf pack populations have continually decreased and believe that ODFW’s push to pursue wolf hunting and trapping despite low numbers is part of the problem. The state, however, has yet to legalize this type of sport hunting. In fact, ODFW says that there are other factors that may have contributed to the drop in wolf populations, including exposure to parvovirus, which can impact pup survival rates, and human-wolf or livestock-wolf interactions that have to be dealt with lethally.

To view the 2016 ODFW wolf report, click here.

 

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Alpha Female Of Canyon Pack Dies

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The 12-year-old alpha female wolf of Yellowstone’s Canyon pack, photographed here in January, was found severely injured and was subsequently euthanized near Gardiner, Mont., on Tuesday. Park officials are investigating the events leading up to her death.

12 Year Old Alpha Female From The Canyon Pack Found Severely Injured

The well-recognized white alpha female wolf that led Yellowstone’s Canyon pack for nearly a decade was found severely injured and was euthanized by park officials earlier this week.

Although the 12-year-old wolf was discovered and put down Tuesday, her demise wasn’t well known until Friday, when Yellowstone National Park officially put out word.

Longtime Yellowstone wolf-watcher Laurie Lyman said that, leading up to her final days, the alpha female was acting unusual, almost as if she had a canine version of dementia.

“She was doing sort of these erratic things, and she was by herself a lot,” Lyman said. “It was almost like she didn’t know what she was doing or where she was going.”

Yellowstone officials have shared few details about the circumstances of the wolf’s death, but have said she was “in shock” and “dying from the injuries.”

Hikers near the town of Gardiner, Montana, discovered the ailing animal, and park staff who investigated believed the famous wolf could not be saved and ended her suffering.

Yellowstone officials are seeking tips about the incident, which can be phoned into 307-344-2132 or emailed to Yell_LEO@nps.gov.

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