Saturday, May 31, 2014

SPB's mountaintop HQ menaced by WOLVES??

It's with one eye on the distant sierra and a shotgun close to hand that I report today that attempts to expel wolves from the Spanish province of Ávila have failed.

Despite vociferous and emotive exhortations, mostly from farmers, the Junta de Castilla y León has rejected a call to declare the province a "wolf-free zone", contrary to EU Directive 92/43/EEC (here, PDF), which classifies the animal as a "priority species", whose protection "requires the designation of special areas of conservation."

Over the past few years, the wolf has benefited from this protection, gradually spreading south from northern Spain, to the alarm and indignation of cattle owners. El Diario de Ávila reported back in February that attacks on livestock had doubled in a year - 236 in 2013, up from 111 in 2012.

However, Nicolás González, head of Espacios Naturales y Especies Protegidas (Natural Spaces and Protected Species), put this into perspective by explaining that those affected in 2013 were "107 of the approximately 2,500 significant livestock operations in the province of Ávila". He added: "Only 8 per cent have suffered seriously (between 6 and 10 attacks), and 2 per cent very seriously (more than a dozen attacks)."

Those farmers worse affected were offered support to eliminate the threat, but not one wolf was bagged "because it's not simple," González explained. Instead, farmers were advised on how best to protect their animals, including acquiring mastiff canine bodyguards and erecting proper enclosures.
Unsurprisingly, farmers would prefer to eject the wolf altogether, although thanks to campaigns such as this one at, which attracted over 192,000 signatures, the extermination plan looks to be dead in the water.

The issue isn't just one of loss of livestock, though. One commenter to El Diario de Ávila article fulminated: "Perhaps the wolf problem will be resolved when they attack people (weekend ecologists) who go walking in the mountains. The wolf is RUINING THE COUNTRYSIDE IN AVILA AND IN CASTILLA Y LEON, that is the shocking truth, and ecologists shouldn't come to defend what can't be defended."

The big bad wolf?

This reflects my own experience of locals' reaction to the wolf: fear and loathing. In every village hereabouts, old timers tell a version of the absolutely true story of how one young girl, having spent some quality time with her boyf, unwisely decided to walk home by moonlight. By the time her beau responded to the blood-curdling screams, all that the wolves had left were her handkerchief/shoes/scarf (select according to preference).

Such prejudice is a boon to local farmers, but while the loss of livestock is regrettable, and they should of course be compensated swiftly and adequately, I reckon it's time they got with the programme.

While talking to our local shepherd, who with around 50 animals was predicting bloody lupine carnage, I suggested he follow the suggestions of the powers-that-be about proper enclosures and the like. This was completely unacceptable to his mind, following a lifetime of allowing his sheep to wander with impunity over (mostly) other people's land, including mine.

Sadly, while railing against the EU and its meddling ways and animal rights nonsense, he at no point acknowledged the European grants which have in large part allowed him and his fellow livestock owners to continue, in the face of local agricultural collapse.

In an area now largely supported by tourism, it's likely that the presence of the wolf will prove vastly more beneficial than protecting the dwindling number of cows and sheep, assuming weekend visitors don't let their wives/girlfriends venture out alone at night.


2 new Oregon wolves fitted with tracking collars

May 30


Associated Press
— State biologists are busy trapping the growing wolf population in northeastern Oregon and fitting them with tracking collars.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife says that so far in May, two males have been fitted with GPS collars to give daily satellite position reports like the ones that chronicled OR-7's incredible journey from northeastern Oregon into Northern California in search of a mate. The position reports also alert ranchers when wolves are near livestock.

Oregon's wolf population has grown to at least 65 since the species was reintroduced into the Northern Rockies in the 1990s. Most are in the northeastern corner of the state, but at least two — OR-7 and an un-collared female — have been photographed in the southern Cascade Range on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest east of Medford.

Biologists using padded leg-hold traps captured a yearling male wolf from the Imnaha pack outside Josephine on May 20 and fitted it with a GPS tracking collar, department spokeswoman Michelle Dennehy said. It was dubbed OR-25, as the 25th Oregon wolf to be fitted with a tracking collar since wolves reintroduced in Idaho began swimming the Snake River to Oregon in the 1990s.

A 100-pound male was captured May 25 in Umatilla County, she added. It was dubbed OR-26. It was not yet clear if that wolf was a member of a pack. Biologists were trying to fit more with tracking collars.

Most young dispersing wolves have gone east to Idaho, where they have the best chance of finding other wolves for mates, Dennehy said.

Those wolves also face a danger of being shot by hunters, because gray wolves are no longer protected by the federal Endangered Species Act in Idaho

But some go west. Besides OR-7 and the female with him, a wolf track was confirmed last winter on the flanks of Mount Hood.

Wolves are federally protected in western Oregon and by the Oregon Endangered Species Act in the rest of the state.


Wolf of the Day

Friday, May 30, 2014

Wolves by Tambako the Jaguar (most excellent photographer!)

The young female wolf looking upwards

Young wolf posing in the sun

Another pic of the young female wolf

Wolf Weekly Wrap-Up

Mexican Gray Wolf, © Scott S. Warren / National Geographic Stock

You Did It! Public Outcry Prompts Animal Planet to Remove “Man-Eating Super Wolves” Show: Animal Planet removed it’s outrageous and damaging “Man-Eating Super Wolves” episode from the network’s Monster Week late-week line up after more than 80,000 Defenders of Wildlife members and other activists contacted the network in outrage over the episode. The episode was aired once on Wednesday, May 21, and was then taken down from the station’s programming. Animal Planet claims the show was only scheduled to air once, but various TV schedules showed “Man-Eating Super Wolves” had subsequent air times for Sunday, May 25; Tuesday, May 27; and Wednesday, May 28. Thankfully, these air times were removed from further programming.

Wolf, © John Eastcott and Yva Momatiuk / National Geographic Stock
In response, Defenders of Wildlife President and CEO Jamie Rappaport Clark said: There are real-world consequences to airing a fictitious portrayal of wolves based on sensationalism instead of on science. Demonizing wolves does serious harm to these imperiled animals and erodes public support for their continued recovery. We’re glad to see that Animal Planet dropped this episode from its schedule and are proud that our members spoke out so forcefully on this important topic.” A big thank you to all of our members for speaking up for these too-often misunderstood and demonized animals!!
 Defenders Wolf Expert Suzanne Stone Shares Her Story: Suzanne Stone is Defenders’ senior representative for the Rockies and Plains and has worked as a wolf and livestock conflict prevention
expert for over 25 years. She was also one of the original recovery team members to actually restore wolves to Yellowstone and Idaho. Take a look at her latest blog in High Country News for her perspective on Idaho’s war on wolves. In her own words: “…What is truly destructive is that [Idaho’s] state officials seem bent on perpetuating a culture of fear and loathing toward wolves. They repeat gruesome tales from mythology and fail to tell the true, full story about successful ranching in the presence of wolves, or the many reasons why the elk population has declined. And counter to the media hype over wolf attacks, livestock losses to wolves have always ranked among the lowest causes of livestock loss in the West.” 
Wenaha wolf pups, © ODFW
Pups from Oregon’s Wenaha Pack.

Alaska Firefighters Rescue Wolf Pups Threatened by Fire:  News broke this week that Alaska firefighters helped rescue a young litter of wolf pups stranded close to an encroaching fire in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. A firefighter reported hearing the cries of a wolf pup on Tuesday, and wildlife biologists came to rescue the abandon pups shortly after. Right now the pups are being cared for at the Alaska Zoo. Check out some adorable photos and video from NBC News.

Rescued wolf dogs howling for a new home

Posted: May 28, 2014
 Six wolf dogs are having a hard time finding a home after their owner died nine months ago.
Beauty doesn't even begin to explain an animal as exotic as these guys. But shelters aren't allowed to take in exotic pets, and their size is making it hard for them to find a home. "They've been trying to place these animals for nine months," said Deanna Deppen. WBBH News for Fort Myers, Cape Coral

The pack -- three girls and three boys -- had an owner, but the Belle Glade man passed away. The family has been trying to find them a home since last August. "The family immediately reached out to rescue and to the breeders to try and get the breeders to take the animals back," said Deppen. "We had catch pulls, we had vets, we had sedation equipment," explained Deppen.

So, the Shy Wolf Sanctuary in Naples stepped in. "We're going to get them on the road to being healthy," said Deppen. She says the dogs' infections and blood work will take some time and attention. "Believe me when I tell you they'll get attention here. Lots of it," said Nancy J. Smith, one of the santuary's founders. 

Those will be two big factors future owners will need to provide. "It just takes time, and people don't want to take the time generally speaking," said Smith.

Despite what you might have heard… "You know the big bad wolf is going to get you," laughs Deppen. The more than 100-pound wolves are nothing more than docile dogs. If you think you have what it takes to adopt these guys, call the sanctuary at 239-455-1698.


Five Orphaned Baby Wolves Rescued from Kenai Wildfire

One of five rescued wolf pups.

One of five rescued wolf pups.
© ADF&G, Cyndi Gardner
Alaska Department of Fish & Game and the Alaska Zoo Team to Provide Safe Haven for Wolf Pups Plucked from Kenai Wildfire

(SOLDOTNA) – Responding to a report of an animal den with living occupants found in the smoldering debris of the Funny River Horse Trail Wildfire on Tuesday, May 27, Alaska Department of Fish and Game Wildlife Biologist Jeff Selinger didn’t know what to expect.

Firefighters who happened upon the scene had detected movement within, but the den was dark and the animal – or animals – inside could not be identified. Once he arrived at the fire-line site some seven miles up Funny River Road, the 6-foot-tall Selinger was unable to squeeze into the narrow, root-rimmed den. A much smaller firefighter was recruited to crawl in and five live wolf pups – four males and a female, all black in color – were handed up from the shadows, their eyes squinting in the afternoon light. A sixth pup was found deceased.

Selinger determined that ongoing firefighting activity made the return of adult wolves unlikely, so with the pups’ immediate health and long-term future in mind, he contacted department staffers in Anchorage who regularly handle the care and placement of orphaned wildlife. By the time the pups arrived in Anchorage, a temporary home and veterinary care were waiting at the Alaska Zoo.

The pups are currently in quarantine and their health is being monitored. Initial examination indicated the pups are about five weeks old and have sustained injuries from porcupine quills. Meanwhile, arrangements for permanent placement in authorized zoo or wildlife facilities are being made; ideally, the pups would stay together.

Animal Planet posts Pro-Wolf stance after Anti-Wolf TV debacle

28 May 2014

Ten Reasons to Love Wolves

Recently, the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission voted 5-0 to made advances in creating a stamp to honor wolf conservation. Find out more details here. In celebration of the fact that the topic of wolf conservation will soon be brought to a larger stage, here are ten reasons to love wolves - and why knowledge of their conservation is important.

1. Humans are not on their menu. Wolves have a natural fear of people and don’t typically pose a threat to us. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, only two human fatalities have been attributed to wolves in North America in the past 100-plus years. (In contrast, dogs kill an estimated 20-30 people each year.)

Wolf trotting.crop.2414
2. Wolves are a lot like us. They live and hunt in extended family units where they develop strong social bonds. Mothers and fathers raise pups with the help of subordinate offspring from previous years. Aunts and uncles can often be found baby-sitting while the parents are out hunting dinner.

3. They strengthen the gene pool of their prey. Wolves typically hunt large hoofed mammals like elk, moose and deer. They kill weak, old, injured, sick or young animals leaving the strongest to survive.

4. Wolves are a classic American icon. Hundreds of thousands of them used to roam across North America. Today less than 5,500 wolves exist in the lower 48 states. For comparison, there are about 5,100 black rhinos left and they're considered critically endangered. Yet, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing taking the wolf off the Endangered Species List.

Wolf splash.crop.2449
5. We owe them. By the mid-1930s humans had hunted the wolf to near extinction. When the Endangered Species Act was created in 1973, wolves were finally protected, but today they still occupy only about 8 percent of their historic range.

6. Wolves are a keystone species. As the most important animal in their ecosystem, they maintain a healthy natural balance that all other plants and animals depend on. Just ask the rabbits, foxes, otters, badgers, trout, amphibians, insects, songbirds, hawks, bears and other creatures who benefit from this trophic cascade.

7. Wolves helped save America’s most famous national park. When they were reintroduced to Yellowstone in 1995, the effect they had on the damaged ecosystem was nothing short of miraculous. Check out this beautiful short video to see how wolves literally change the behavior of rivers.

8. Wolves are good for the economy. Tourists, wildlife paparazzi and scientists flock to Yellowstone with cameras, binoculars and spotting scopes just to catch a glimpse of these charismatic carnivores. It’s estimated that wolf-watching brings in $30 million annually to the towns around the park.

Wolf.tight crop_2445
9. Without wolves we wouldn’t have Fido and Rover. The common ancestor of our beloved dogs and today’s wolves was a large, wolf-like animal that lived between 9,000 and 34,000 years ago.

10. Wolves connect us to our primal selves. It’s hard to describe the feeling you get from seeing wolves in the wild. The sight of apex predators roaming free unlocks some sort of visceral emotion in us. Maybe just knowing they’re out there makes it easier to believe there’s still room in our crowded world for the magic of the wild.

Photo Credits: Beth Stewart

Beth Stewart is an Associate Creative Director for Animal Planet. She spends most of her spare time volunteering with animals, photographing animals, advocating for animals and generally being wrapped around her two cats’ little paws.


Domestication of dogs may explain mammoth kill sites and success of early modern humans

May 29, 2014


Penn State


A new analysis of European archaeological sites containing large numbers of dead mammoths and dwellings built with mammoth bones has led to a new interpretation of these sites -- that their abrupt appearance may have been due to early modern humans working with the earliest domesticated dogs to kill the now-extinct mammoth.

A fragment of a large bone, probably from a mammoth, Pat Shipman reports, was placed in this dog's mouth shortly after death. This finding suggests the animal was according special mortuary treatment, perhaps acknowledging its role in mammoth hunting. The fossil comes from the site of Predmosti, in the Czech republic, and is about 27,000 years B.P. old. This object is one of three canid skulls from Predmosti that were identified as dogs based on analysis of their morphology.
Credit: Anthropos Museum, Brno, the Czech Republic, courtesy of Mietje Germonpre

A new analysis of European archaeological sites containing large numbers of dead mammoths and dwellings built with mammoth bones has led Penn State Professor Emerita Pat Shipman to formulate a new interpretation of how these sites were formed. She suggests that their abrupt appearance may have been due to early modern humans working with the earliest domestic dogs to kill the now-extinct mammoth -- a now-extinct animal distantly related to the modern-day elephant. Shipman's analysis also provides a way to test the predictions of her new hypothesis. Advance publication of her article "How do you kill 86 mammoths?" is available online through Quaternary International.

Spectacular archaeological sites yielding stone tools and extraordinary numbers of dead mammoths -- some containing the remains of hundreds of individuals -- suddenly became common in central and eastern Eurasia between about 45,000 and 15,000 years ago, although mammoths previously had been hunted by humans and their extinct relatives and ancestors for at least a million years. Some of these mysterious sites have huts built of mammoth bones in complex, geometric patterns as well as piles of butchered mammoth bones.

"One of the greatest puzzles about these sites is how such large numbers of mammoths could have been killed with the weapons available during that time," Shipman said. Many earlier studies of the age distribution of the mammoths at these sites found similarities with modern elephants killed by hunting or natural disasters, but Shipman's new analysis of the earlier studies found that they lacked the statistical evaluations necessary for concluding with any certainty how these animals were killed.

Surprisingly, Shipman said, she found that "few of the mortality patterns from these mammoth deaths matched either those from natural deaths among modern elephants killed by droughts or by culling operations with modern weapons that kill entire family herds of modern elephants at once." This discovery suggested to Shipman that a successful new technique for killing such large animals had been developed and its repeated use over time could explain the mysterious, massive collections of mammoth bones in Europe.

The key to Shipman's new hypothesis is recent work by a team led by Mietje Germonpré of the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, which has uncovered evidence that some of the large carnivores at these sites were early domesticated dogs, not wolves as generally had been assumed. Then, with this evidence as a clue, Shipman used information about how humans hunt with dogs to formulate a series of testable predictions about these mammoth sites.

"Dogs help hunters find prey faster and more often, and dogs also can surround a large animal and hold it in place by growling and charging while hunters move in. Both of these effects would increase hunting success," Shipman said. "Furthermore, large dogs like those identified by Germonpré either can help carry the prey home or, by guarding the carcass from other carnivores, can make it possible for the hunters to camp at the kill sites." Shipman said that these predictions already have been confirmed by other analyses. In addition, she said, "if hunters working with dogs catch more prey, have a higher intake of protein and fat, and have a lower expenditure of energy, their reproductive rate is likely to rise."

Another unusual feature of these large mammoth kill sites is the presence of extraordinary numbers of other predators, particularly wolves and foxes. "Both dogs and wolves are very alert to the presence of other related carnivores -- the canids -- and they defend their territories and food fiercely," Shipman explained. "If humans were working and living with domesticated dogs or even semi-domesticated wolves at these archaeological sites, we would expect to find the new focus on killing the wild wolves that we see there."

Two other types of studies have yielded data that support Shipman's hypothesis. Hervé Bocherens and Dorothée Drucker of the University of Tubingen in Germany, carried out an isotopic analysis of the ones of wolves and purported dogs from the Czech site of Predmostí. They found that the individuals identified as dogs had different diets from those identified as wolves, possibly indicating feeding by humans. Also, analysis of mitochondrial DNA by Olaf Thalmann of the University of Turku in Finland, and others, showed that the individuals identified as dogs have a distinctive genetic signature that is not known from any other canid. "Since mitochondrial DNA is carried only by females, this finding may indicate that these odd canids did not give rise to modern domesticated dogs and were simply a peculiar, extinct group of wolves," Shipman said. "Alternatively, it may indicate that early humans did domesticate wolves into dogs or a doglike group, but the female canids interbred with wild wolf males and so the distinctive female mitochondrial DNA lineage was lost."

As more information is gathered on fossil canids dated to between 45,000 and 15,000 years ago, Shipman's hunting-dog hypothesis will be supported "if more of these distinctive doglike canids are found at large, long-term sites with unusually high numbers of dead mammoths and wolves; if the canids are consistently large, strong individuals; and if their diets differ from those of wolves," Shipman said. "Dogs may indeed be man's best friend."

Story Source:
The above story is based on materials provided by Penn State. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Journal Reference:
  1. Pat Shipman. How do you kill 86 mammoths? Taphonomic investigations of mammoth megasites. Quaternary International, 2014; DOI: 10.1016/j.quaint.2014.04.048

Penn State. "Domestication of dogs may explain mammoth kill sites and success of early modern humans." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 May 2014. <>.

‘Man-Eating Super Wolves’ Episode Prompts Public Outcry Against Animal Planet

| May 29, 2014       

Wolves have been facing a barrage of undue negative publicity lately, from being stripped of federal protection to being prized in glorified wolf-hunting derbies to being victims of state bills that fund their widespread killing under the guise of “management.”
In the latest affront to these creatures, Animal Planet featured a segment called “Man-Eating Super Wolves” during their Monster Week line up, prompting sharp public criticism. Defenders of Wildlife and other concerned citizens called on the television station to immediately remove the program from the air.


“There are real-world consequences to airing a fictitious portrayal of wolves based on sensationalism instead of on science,” said Defenders of Wildlife President and CEO Jamie Rappaport Clark in a statement. “Demonizing wolves does serious harm to these imperiled animals and erodes public support for their continued recovery.”

Animal Planet claims that the show was always intended to air only once, and miraculously, all subsequently scheduled air times have been removed from their schedule. But this ratings-grab was attempted at the expense of an important keystone species. Yesterday, an article appeared on their website, Ten Reasons to Love the Wolves, which seemed a transparent attempt to restore a tarnished image. It did not fool many readers, as evident in the comments section of the article. Commenter Elizabeth Huntley wrote:

The very bad damage to wolves has been done, Animal Planet, by your airing of that horrible, distorted and irresponsible program you aired called “Monster Super Wolves.” Where is the PUBLIC APOLOGY AND RETRACTION of that trash you aired?

The shameful and distorted anti-wolf episode took great liberties with the two officially recorded fatal wolf attacks on humans in North America, Mark Derr points out in his article for Psychology Today. Derr writes:

Terrible as they were, these two deaths do not constitute a trend that would suggest wolves are becoming more threatening toward humans. In an attempt to bolster their argument, Michael Hoff, the producer, and his team include several cases in which wolf hybrids apparently killed their caretakers, but in each case the circumstances are murky. In fact, given the way a growing number of wolves have begun to live among people without attacking them, the opposite point could be argued. Humans kill far more wolves than are killed by them—for no reason other than fear.

Animal Planet knowingly presented as fact, anti-wolf myths and inaccuracies that wiped out gray wolves nearly a century ago, despite irrefutable scientific evidence to the contrary, says Defenders of Wildlife. For a network that prides itself on educational content and conservation-minded subject matter, the irresponsible misrepresentation of a still-recovering species could not be more inappropriate.

“We’re glad to see that Animal Planet dropped this show from its schedule and are proud that our members spoke out so forcefully on this important topic,” said Rappaport Clark.

Below is the sensationalized trailer for the now removed “Man-Eating Super Wolves:”

 Contrary to the demonized imagery perpetuated by some, the video below from Sustainable Man shows the beneficial influence wolves had on Yellowstone National Park when they were re-introduced in 1995 after a 70-year absence. The trophic cascade—an ecological process which starts at the top of the food chain and trickles down to the bottom—caused by the reintroduction of the wolves, brought new life to the park and changed geography.


Wolf of the Day

Portrait Of A Wolf

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

North Carolina red #wolf struggles for conservation love, survival

16 hours ago  • 

DURHAM, N.C. – What may be America’s original wolf species faces a far different battle for survival on the far side of the nation than the predator debates of the Rocky Mountains. “Gray wolves are charismatic megafauna, but red wolves have never gotten that kind of conservation love,” said DeLene Beeland, author of the recently published book, “The Secret World of Red Wolves: The Fight to Save North America’s Other Wolf.”

“The difference with red wolves is they’ve been absent from the landscape for a much longer period of time than gray wolves,” Beeland said. “As soon as Europeans started coming to the Eastern Seaboard in the 1700s, they were hunting them. They were pretty much wiped out by the 1850s, although small pockets of them survived.”

Now a federally endangered species lurking in a remote corner of what used to be the Great Dismal Swamp of North Carolina, red wolves exist in a controversial world of hunting regulations and lawsuits. But just as red wolves are maybe half the size of their gray wolf brethren, the arguments in the East have a much different scale and flavor. Plus, gray wolves never had to wear sedative-loaded radio collars like the red wolves once did.

The red wolf (Canis rufus) and gray wolf (Canis lupus) share a common ancestor that probably originated around the southwest United States 1 million to 2 million years ago. At some point, some of those wolves followed the prehistoric horse species over to Eurasia, where they evolved into the modern gray wolf. Those wolves naturally repopulated North America about 300,000 years ago, while modern horses had to catch a ride with conquistadors from Spain in the 1500s.

The red and Eastern wolf species remained behind and evolved into a smaller predator common along the Appalachian Mountains. Some biologists argue the American coyote further evolved from these stay-behind wolves between 150,000 and 300,000 years ago.

In 1987, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service used a population of zoo-raised red wolves to re-establish the animal in the 153,000-acre Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in North Carolina. Most of the original 100 federally endangered red wolves were bred at the Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma, Wash., from wild red wolves captured in Texas and Louisiana.

But what Beeland called a “crude DNA study” in the early 1990s reported that red wolves were actually hybrids of coyotes. The research nearly blew up the reintroduction effort. “This was a huge black eye to the red wolf program,” Beeland said. “They were one of the crown jewels of the Endangered Species program. Then this paper said it’s just a wild mutt, and you spent all this money. That stigma never left.”

U.S. District Court Judge Terrence Boyle on May 13 ordered an end to coyote hunting in five North Carolina counties where the red wolf has been reintroduced. The ruling stays in place for six months while a lawsuit over permanently ending coyote hunting in the area progresses.

The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission last July had allowed unlimited coyote hunting on private land and 24-hour hunting on public land for those with permits in the five-county area. The Southern Environmental Law Center and three other conservation groups sued, claiming the liberal rules increased the likelihood of red wolves getting killed by mistake.

Red wolves outweigh coyotes by an average of 20 pounds. But they share similar coloration and shape, with both standing about 2 feet high at the shoulder and 4 feet long from nose to tail. A gray wolf weighs between 80 and 120 pounds and stretches about 6 feet long.

North Carolina hunters killed about 25,000 coyotes last year. Only about 100 red wolves live in 18 to 22 packs in and around the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge at the eastern edge of North Carolina. That population remains strictly controlled, Beeland said. Every breeding season, wildlife officials radio-collar most of the adults and fly the area to locate dens. After the pups are born, biologists take blood samples of each litter. “If any shows up as hybrid, they go back and destroy those animals,” Beeland said. “It’s a very heavy-handed technique.” FWS biologists have also tried using sterilized coyotes in the area. The idea is those sterile animals will keep other coyotes out of the wolf territory and lower the risk of hybridization.

In the early days of the reintroduction effort, public safety was a big concern. So big, Beeland said, that noted wolf researcher David Mech helped the USFWS develop a remotely triggered collar that could shoot sedatives into a wolf’s neck in an emergency. “The idea was, if a wolf was breaking into somebody’s house and getting somebody’s baby, they could trigger it from two to five miles away and sedate the wolf,” Beeland said. “But there were problems with saltwater corroding the mechanism and it only worked over a mile or so. Basically it was a publicity stunt. They only deployed it once and it didn’t work, and they ended up shooting the wolf with a regular dart gun. They went to all this length to reduce public anxiety, and then it just went away.”

A 2010 Duke University study ( of the North Carolina red wolf reintroduction found public safety trailed behind issues like use of tax dollars in the public comment review of wolf conservation efforts. Just as many commenters were upset about red wolves’ potential impact on deer hunting or general mistrust of government as the wolves’ danger to people, and more than twice as many opposed the use of tax dollars on the program.

Meanwhile, gray wolves in the Rocky Mountains have grown from an original reintroduction population of 66 wolves in 1995-96 to 1,691, according to the FWS 2013 annual report (

That reintroduction program, as well as similar ones for Mexican gray wolves and black-footed ferrets, was patterned after the North Carolina red wolf project. Beeland said she stumbled across it while working on predator ecology in college, researching the Mexican wolf. “I grew up in in the Southeast, in Florida, and I’d never heard of this animal,” Beeland said. “When I moved to North Carolina, I thought I might write a magazine article and discovered nobody had written a book. There was this big hole in the literature.”


To Film ‘Wolf Totem,’ French Director Raised Chinese Wolves

May 27, 2014
China Film Group
Jean Jacques Annaud had a chance to direct “Life of Pi,” a 2012 film that went on to win four Academy Awards.

But the French director of “Seven Years in Tibet,” “The Name of the Rose” and “Enemy at the Gates” says he declined the offer from Hollywood and instead decided to helm “Wolf Totem,” based on the bestselling and influential Chinese novel.

The novel, published in China in 2004, tells a story of a young student sent from Beijing during the Cultural Revolution to work as a shepherd in the countryside of Inner Mongolia, where he encountered wolves in the wild. Mr. Annaud said that when he read a French translation five years ago, he saw himself in the book. “The same year the novelist was sent to Mongolia, I was sent to Africa in the same way,” said the 70-year-old filmmaker, who was sent to Cameroon for military services. “I found the people there and their life together with nature were so fascinating and the experience changed my life.”  The 3-D film is scheduled to be released in China in December, with most dialogue in Chinese and some in Mongolian.

Yangtze River Art and Literature Publishing House says it has sold about five million copies of “Wolf Totem” in Chinese and estimates that another 16 million pirated copies have been sold. It has been translated into 39 languages for 110 countries so far, and won the Man Asian Literary Prize in 2007.
The novel had a heavy ecological focus, as protagonist Chen Zhen mourns the development that erodes the Mongolian nomadic culture he embraces. Some also see it as a call for Chinese to shake off centuries of agrarian culture and become more wolf-like and aggressive.

It has detractors: Critic Wolfgang Kubin has called its entreaties for China to discover its inner wolf “fascist.” The New York Times said it was “full of set-piece didacticism.” Mr. Annaud said the criticism didn’t bother him. “You cannot please everyone,” he said. “I just go with what I feel.”
Some read this state-backed project as an implication that China wants to change its national image from being sheepish to wolfish. Mr. Annaud said he didn’t agree. “I was excited that his book became a great success in China, which is very refreshing for me,” said Mr. Annaud, who says he visits China frequently. “China has an image of a polluted country, so it is very exciting to see that there are people who are conscious about this problem.”

Chinese officials’ decision to allow him to direct this film was a surprise to some. A previous film — 1997’s “Seven Years in Tibet,” starring Brad Pitt — was banned in China for its negative portrayal of China’s military forces.

Co-productions with Chinese production houses, as this one is, can be difficult for Western filmmakers. Director Oliver Stone, for example, has previously voiced his concern over the strict control by China’s film regulators on co-production projects.

But Mr. Annaud said he felt no such challenges. “I did not feel any pressure so far and it was even a surprise to me,” he said. “So far I have the most incredible level of freedom.”

Making a film that puts a group of real wolves among human beings was deemed too difficult by many when the film project was launched 10 years ago, said Zhang Qiang, vice president of state-run China Film Group, which is in charge of the film’s production and distribution in China. “I talked to almost all the prominent Chinese directors, but I got the same reply—that they loved the novel but could not make it a movie,” he said.

To make it happen, after rejecting the idea of heavily relying on computer-generated imagery, the crew raised a dozen newborn baby wolves from a local zoo in China’s northern city of Harbin that were then trained for the movie for more than four years.

The film was shot in Inner Mongolia for over a year, where the crew endured mosquito attacks and capricious weather. “Now the 13 Mongolian wolves are all happily living in Canada, because their trainers were Canadians so they can only understand English now,” said Mr. Zhang.


Group favoring wolf hunt submits signatures

Tuesday, May 27, 2014
  • Volunteers deliver boxes carrying thousands of signed petitions in support of the Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservations Act outside the offices of the Michigan Secretary of State on Tuesday, May 27, 2014 in Lansing.  Supporters delivered over 350,00 signatures in the boxes for the Citizens for Professional Wildlife Management citizen initiative that is designed to stave off a ban on hunting wolves. Photo: Dale G. Young, AP / The Detroit News
    Volunteers deliver boxes carrying thousands of signed petitions in support of the Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservations Act outside the offices of the Michigan Secretary of State on Tuesday, May 27, 2014 in Lansing. Supporters delivered over 350,00 signatures in the boxes for the Citizens for Professional Wildlife Management citizen initiative that is designed to stave off a ban on hunting wolves. Photo: Dale G. Young, AP
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A pro-hunting coalition on Tuesday turned in 374,000 petition signatures to protect Michigan's ability to have more gray wolf hunts, proposing a law to override two November ballot issues intended to stop wolf hunting.

Once the measure backed by Citizens for Professional Wildlife Management is certified — the group needs 258,000 valid signatures — the Republican-led Legislature will have 40 days while in session to vote.

If lawmakers approve it, the November ballot issues would become moot. If legislators do not vote, voters will see three wolf-hunting related proposals in November. Michigan held a wolf hunt last year, the first since the animal was placed on the endangered species list nearly 40 years ago.

Two Republican lawmakers from northern Michigan, Sen. Tom Casperson of Escanaba and Rep. Jon Bumstead of Newago, joined hunting groups to celebrate their signature-gathering effort. They plan to push their fellow legislators to approve it, likely in late summer.

Casperson said he fears opponents of wolf hunting, who helped collect signatures to repeal two 2013 laws that cleared the way for the first hunt, will successfully use "30-second sound bites" in political ads to persuade downstate voters. "I think what's happened is we've kind of awoken a sleeping giant ... to keep our heritage and keep our way of life," he said of various hunting groups joining together to

 MUCC's Drew Youngedyke crams a few more signatures into a box carrying thousands of signed petitions in support of the Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservations Act outside the offices of the Michigan Secretary of State on Tuesday in Lansing. Supporters delivered over 350,00 signatures in the boxes for the Citizens for Professional Wildlife Management citizen initiative that is designed to stave off a ban on hunting wolves. Photo: Dale G. Young, AP / The Detroit News
MUCC's Drew Youngedyke crams a few more signatures into a box carrying thousands of signed petitions in support of the Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservations Act outside the offices of the Michigan Secretary of State on Tuesday in Lansing. Supporters delivered over 350,00 signatures in the boxes for the Citizens for Professional Wildlife Management citizen initiative that is designed to stave off a ban on hunting wolves. Photo: Dale G. Young, AP

The newest measure would reaffirm a 1996 voter-approved law letting the state Natural Resources Commission regulate hunting. It would allocate $1 million for "rapid response" activities against aquatic invasive species such as Asian carp. Under state law, tacking on the appropriation would make the legislation immune from being overturned in a referendum.

Keep Michigan Wolves Protected Director Jill Fritz said the newest legislation feels like deja vu.
"This is now the third ballot measure on wolves and wildlife protection, and the people should be allowed to vote on them," she said. "In an election year, we call on Michigan legislators to stop playing games with voters and stop trying to circumvent a fair election on this issue. It's time to stop this abuse of power."

The Natural Resources Commission scheduled a hunt under authority granted by the Legislature last summer, following approval of a bill designating wolves as a game species.
Opponents gathered enough voter signatures to require a statewide referendum on the game species law. Legislators then passed a second law giving the commission the authority to decide which animals should be designated as game species that can be hunted, prompting opponents to collect enough signatures for a second referendum.


Wolf of the Day

Friday, May 23, 2014

Reunion between Anita and the wolves (Video)

Anita had not been in Polar Zoo in about 2 months. When she returned i had the chance to film her first meeting in a long time with the wolves she spent a long time socializing from 16th of May 2008. The video is recorded in Polar Zoo and any questions related to socializing process should be taken with them. For more information about the socialized wolf pack go to

Montana advances 100-wolf quota for landowners

Updated Thursday, May 22, 2014

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Montana landowners could kill a combined 100 gray wolves annually if the predators are perceived to pose a threat to humans or domestic animals, according to a rule that received initial backing from state wildlife commissioners Thursday.

The proposal significantly expands the circumstances under which wolves can be killed without a hunting license.

The Montana Legislature passed a measure last year requiring the change. The legislation didn't define what qualifies as a "potential threat" so the Fish and Wildlife Commission didn't detail it either, spokesman Ron Aasheim said.

Previously, landowners were largely limited to shooting wolves that had attacked or were attacking livestock. Under the new rule, shooting wolves would be permitted whenever they pose a potential threat to human safety, livestock or domestic dogs.

Critics say the proposal is excessive and equates to a year-round wolf-hunting season. A final vote is scheduled for July.

Between 2005 and 2013, landowners killed 69 wolves in response to livestock attacks. Over that same time period, hundreds of the animals were shot by government wildlife agents.

Separately, commissioners on Thursday tentatively approved hunting regulations for the 2014-15 wolf season.

The annual wolf quota would be reduced from four animals to three in an area near Yellowstone National Park, and trapping for wolves would be allowed for the first time in several wildlife management areas.

Gray wolves were exterminated across most of the Lower 48 states last century before being reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park and central Idaho in the mid-1990s.

The population has since grown exponentially, and there were 627 wolves counted in Montana at the end of 2013.

The animals were removed from the endangered species list in 2011.

During the past year, hunters took 144 wolves in Montana during a season that started in September and ended in March. Trappers took 86 wolves.


Wolf Weekly Wrap- Up

Wenaha wolf pups, © ODFW

Pups from Oregon’s Wenaha Pack.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service jumps in to save Mexican gray wolf pups, but are they going about it the right way?
For the first time in the history of Mexican gray wolf recovery, this week the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (the Service) intervened in the rearing of a new litter of Mexican wolf pups, using a new management strategy to increase the likelihood that newly born litter will survive through their first weeks in the wild.

The Service moved two young pups from a single mother into a new litter of the same age with an experienced mother. In the world of wildlife biology, this strategy is called “cross fostering,” but in simple terms, what this means is that the newly born wolf pups were placed in a foster family. Wolf biologists fear that the young pups wouldn’t have survived had they not moved them—the pups’ original mother had no mate to assist her in hunting or parenting — which doesn’t fare well for the pups.
Wolf Nursing Pups, © NPS
A female wolf nurses her pups in Yellowstone. Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

If the plan is successful, this strategy will bring more wolves to New Mexico’s wilds and will add much-needed genetic variety to the struggling population. We wish these fostered pups well, and will be monitoring their progress. Successful cross fostering would open the door to further improving genetic diversity in the wild population by placing pups born in captivity into wild dens. This complex strategy, however, cannot make up for what the Service must do now: release more wolves, complete a science-based recovery plan, and begin to establish the two new core populations that are necessary if lobos are to survive and thrive. Tell the Service to take decisive action to rescue the Mexican gray wolf!

(courtesy MFWP)
Montana Announces Stamp to Fund Wolf Conservation
Captive Mexican wolf, © Don Burkett
This week the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) Commission passed a proposal to create a “Wolf Conservation Stamp” to raise money for wolf conservation efforts throughout the state. FWP Commission will now conduct rulemaking which will involve an opportunity for the public to review and comment on the final proposed rule for this stamp. Under the current plan, the stamp will be available for public purchase later this year, and proceeds will fund Montana’s FWP’s wolf conservation efforts. We will keep you posted on the comment period. In the interim, a big thank you to the FWP Commission is in order for providing an opportunity for wildlife enthusiasts from across the country to help support and contribute to wolf conservation in Montana!

Northern Rockies Gray WolvesAnimal Planet’s Segment on “Man-Eating” Wolves is Outrageous and Damaging!

Animal Planet has sadly joined the legions of wolf-haters waging war on our struggling wolves. As part of their “Monster Week” ratings grab, Animal Planet is airing a lurid, factually absurd, and shameful show called “Man-Eating Super Wolves. This show is based on nothing other than myth and hype, and while the station may only be thinking about getting views or clicks to their website, in reality, they are contributing to a disturbing trend of increasingly aggressive and fanatical portrayals of wolves by the media. It’s no surprise that when media paints wolves and fearsome vermin, the public’s aggression and disdain for wolves increases. The number of graphic photos and hateful dialogue about wolves is escalating quickly online.One simply cannot keep up with the number of social media sites promoting brutal wolf killing, for example: Idaho against the Gray Wolves ; Kill the Wolves ; Kill all the wolves (every last worthless vermin wolf!); Wolves Are Profane Vermin Not Scared Animals ; The Only Good Wolf is A Dead Wolf. TV channels like Animal Planet must accept responsibility for the real-world consequences of airing shoddy tabloid pseudo-documentaries.

Click here to demand that they take the show off the air and remove it from their website immediately.


Petition challenges legality of Michigan's #wolf hunt

by Aaron Boehm
Posted: 05.22.2014

LANSING -- Keep Michigan Wolves Protected submitted a petition Thursday, demanding the removal of wolves from Michigan's list of game species, which lead to Michigan's first wolf hunt in decades.

The group has submitted the legal petition to Michigan's Natural Resources Commission. The petition states the NRC's wolf hunt decisions were based "on false, deceptive and exaggerated claims--not on principals of sound scientific management as required by law."

Due to a recent case involving farmer John Koski, the petition asks the NRC to remove his farm's depredation numbers from their analysis. Director of Keep Michigan Wolves Protected Jill Fritz stated that "Evidence demonstrates that the NRC unlawfully declared the wolf a game species based on Koski's skewed statistics and other misinformation."

The DNR has responded by saying that removing Koski's records from the data would not have changed their recommendation that wolves be declared a game species in Michigan.

Wolves were designated as a game species on July 11, 2013 by the NRC, claiming a hunt would address wolf conflicts with livestock and complaints about proximity to people.


Wolf of the Day

Wolf by fremlin

Cooke presents study linking exposure to wolf attacks with chronic stress symptoms in cows

Posted on May 21st in News
Samantha White
Burns Times-Herald

The Eastern Oregon Agricultural Research Center (EOARC) hosted a Beef Cattle Field Day Thursday, May 15 at the Harney County Fairgrounds. Reinaldo Cooke attended to provide a presentation regarding the impacts of wolf predation on cattle behavior and stress responses.
Cooke grew up in a mid-sized town in the state of São Paulo, Brazil and received a bachelor of science degree in animal sciences from São Paulo State University in 2003. He moved to the United States to attend graduate school in the fall of 2004 and earned both master of science (May 2006) and doctorate (December 2008) degrees in animal sciences from the University of Florida. In January 2009, he joined Oregon State University (OSU) as an assistant professor, and he is currently stationed at the EOARC in Burns.

Before moving to Oregon, Cooke contacted the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) to inquire about the challenges facing beef producers in the state. And, because the animals are not present in Florida and Brazil, Cooke said he was surprised when the OCA president expressed concern about wolves. Upon moving westward, Cooke began researching wolves and talking to producers about the impact that these predators were having on cattle.

Since their reintroduction into Yellowstone National Park, gray wolves have migrated to western states (including agricultural lands in Idaho and Oregon) and hunted in livestock grazing areas.
Producers reported losing animals to wolf-related injury and death. And, on top of that, they said cows that witnessed wolf attacks exhibited nervous, aggressive and excitable behavior toward humans and dogs. Producers said these cows also had lower pregnancy rates, were more sickly, and their calves weighed less.

Cooke hypothesized that these reported responses can be associated with the stress that cows experienced when they graze lands where wolves are present. He added that merely sensing (seeing, smelling or hearing) a predator can elicit these stress responses. And multiple studies by Cooke and other researchers had already established a link between cow stress and decreases in their productivity and welfare.

Cooke said this “seems like common sense,” but a scientifically-sound study was needed to document what producers were observing. Thus, with funding from the Oregon Beef Council, he began working with other researchers to develop a controlled environment in which results could be replicated and recorded.

Cooke simulated a wolf encounter using 100 cows. Fifty were selected from the EOARC in Burns, and they were unfamiliar with wolves. The other 50 were randomly selected from a commercial operation in Council, Idaho that had experienced multiple, confirmed wolf predation episodes. However, none of the Idaho cows were directly predated or injured by wolves.

The Idaho cows were relocated to the EOARC and given about two months to acclimate to the new environment and co-mingle with the Burns cows before the study took place. At the beginning of the study, all of the cows were processed to determine their baseline stress values. They were assigned a chute score (based on their temperament and how fast they exited the squeeze chute); blood samples were taken to measure their cortisol (stress hormone) levels; and thermometers were planted to take their temperatures.

Cooke said pre-simulation scores showed that the Idaho cows were already more aggressive than the Burns cows, and they had higher levels of cortisol. The cows were then sorted by previous wolf exposure and placed in two adjacent dry lot pens separated by a fence line. Next, they were exposed to a 20-minute simulated wolf encounter.

Three sensory cues were used to simulate the presence of wolves. The scent cue was created by attaching cotton plugs saturated with wolf urine to the fence line. The auditory cue was created by playing previously-recorded wolf howls on a stereo that was placed out of the cows’ site. And, for the visual cue, three trained dogs with physical characteristics resembling wolves were walked on leashes outside the perimeter of the fence. “What we found was that, as soon as we started the wolf howls, the Idaho cows formed a protective formation,” Cooke said, explaining that they bunched up in the corner of the pen. “To use slang, they basically freaked out.”

On the contrary, the Burns cows didn’t show any signs of stress and even seemed curious about the dogs. The cows were processed again to determine their stress values after the simulated encounter. After the simulation, the Idaho cows acted more aggressive in the chute, had a 30 percent increase in cortisol levels, and a greater increase in body temperate (compared to the Burns cows).
Cooke explained that body temperature increases with stress, adding that it’s “not a very good thing for health and production.”

Chute scores for Burns cows remained the same before and after the simulation, as did their cortisol levels. They had a mild increase in temperature, but researchers believe it could be attributed to  handling and physical activity. “That basically documents and supports what producers have been telling us over the last few years,” Cooke said, explaining that the simulated encounter increased excitability and fear-related physiological stress responses in cows that were previously exposed to wolves, but not in cows that were unfamiliar with them.

Cooke added that the study simulated a single wolf encounter, and he asked the audience to imagine the impact of multiple encounters over time. He asserted that cows can develop a chronic stress response that is similar to post-traumatic stress disorder. “It’s a huge extrapolation, but it makes sense on the stress subject,” Cooke said.

He explained that, like the soldiers who are fighting for their lives in Afghanistan, cows that are consistently exposed to wolves have a constant fear of dying. Both can develop a memory of that fear, and a stress response can occur if that memory is triggered. “Once they [the cows] develop this memory and they understand that wolves are predators, every time they see, hear or smell wolves, they are going to get a stress response,” Cooke explained. He added that this stress can have “pretty deep implications on productivity.”

And Cooke said this loss of productivity can translate into economic losses for producers. “We believe that loss in productivity because of the stress that cows go through is putting a ding on profitability,” Cooke said.

John Williams, an OSU extension agent in Wallowa County, estimated that wolves in Northeastern Oregon could cost producers around $261 per head of cattle, including $55 for weight loss and $67 for lower pregnancy rates.

Cooke said he doesn’t know of any established wolf packs in the Burns area. However, he said wolves “reproduce pretty fast,” and as the wolf population grows in the state, “new packs could be established that could move west and south and more into our area.”

After the presentation, a member of the audience asked whether the research could be put forward to policy makers to help inform management decisions. Cooke said the study was a “good start,” but suggested that more research be conducted to better understand the impacts of wolves on beef cattle productivity and welfare, as well as determine ways that wolves and livestock might coexist. “This is the first step on a long ladder that we have to climb,” Cooke said. “We are just beginning to understand how wolves can impact beef cattle.”

He added, “I think all species have the right to thrive. We need to keep doing research to understand how wolves impact cattle production, which is the main agricultural commodity in the state. Also, we need to see how beef production impacts wolf population dynamics.”


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Wolf of the Day

'No ecological reason' against reintroducing wolves

European grey wolf Wolf ecotourism is growing in other parts of Europe, the John Muir Trust said
A landscape conservation charity has said there was "no ecological reason" why wolves could not be reintroduced to Scotland. In the latest edition of its journal, the John Muir Trust (JMT) said the animal had been demonised in the UK. It has raised the issue of bringing back the wolf as part of a wider discussion on "rewilding" the UK.

JMT said that over the next few months it hoped to stimulate debate on returning areas to more natural states. In the John Muir Trust Journal, chief executive Stuart Brooks said the charity wanted to help develop a practical vision on rewilding. Rewilding includes controlling grazing by domestic and wild animals so native trees and plants can flourish. Mr Brooks also said: "We want to establish a more cohesive context for species reintroductions based on what is possible as well as desirable."  His comments accompany an article by the charity's communications chief Susan Wright and head of land and science Mike Daniels.

In the article, they said wolf ecotourism was growing in other parts of Europe, but also noted a cull of wolves in Sweden. They said: "There is no ecological reason why wolves couldn't come back - we have the climate, the habitat and the food. "Many are afraid of the 'big bad wolf' even though they are far more likely to be harmed by their pet dogs, or indeed their horses, than by a wolf, if it were present."

No howling sign at Highland Wildlife Park In Scotland, wolves can only be seen in captivity

The wolf was hunted to extinction in Scotland in the 1700s with some of the last killed in Sutherland and Moray. Today, European wolves can now only be seen in captivity, such as at the Highland Wildlife Park at Kincraig, near Aviemore. However, wolves have continued to feature on a list of Scottish wildlife that people have concerns about in terms of conservation.

A small number of respondents to the latest Scottish Nature Omnibus Survey mentioned the mammal when asked what wildlife they were most worried about. Deer, red squirrel and Scottish wildcat topped the list.

Commissioned by Scottish Natural Heritage, the survey is held on a regular basis to gauge public awareness of Scotland's natural world, and the efforts to protect and manage it. Wolves have featured in the survey since 2011. Just 1% of respondents mentioned the predator in the latest survey. However, people did rate it ahead of creatures that do inhabit Scotland and have conservation issues, such as puffins, voles, red kites and ptarmigan.

Wolf trap
Wolves were driven to extinction by persecution and hunting. Chieftains and royalty led some of the hunting parties. One attended by Queen Mary in 1563 employed 2,000 Highlanders and ended in the deaths of five wolves and 360 deer. Huge swathes of forest in Perthshire, Lochaber and Argyll were systematically destroyed to deprive wolves of their habitat.

The remains of a wolf trap have also been found at Moy, near Inverness, dating from between the 16th and 18th centuries. Wolves were lured by bait onto a carefully weighted plank above a deep pit covered with brush wood.

Animals killed near Brora, in Sutherland, in 1700 and another at Findhorn, in Moray, in 1743 were among Scotland's last. More recently there has been debate on the release wolves in Scotland, including into a large enclosed area at the Alladale Estate in Sutherland.