Sunday, April 26, 2009

Save the Wolves! From the Media?



"WOLVES AT LARGE: - CASPER AREA" That was the Lead story on April 22, 2009 during the 5pm, 6pm, and 10pm news @ K2TV, Casper, Wyoming-


video


From KTWO on April 22, 2009 (Earth Day)-

WOLVES AT LARGE: - CASPER AREA

AFTER TWO WOLVES KILLED A YOUNG CALF ON PRIVATE PROPERTY LAST WEEK IN THE LARAMIE REGION, THE DEBATE OF WOLVES IN WYOMING HEATS UP AND HITS CLOSER TO HOME. THIS IS THE FIRST TIME WOLVES HAVE EVER BEEN SPOTTED KILLING LIVESTOCK IN CENTRAL WYOMING. US FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE RESPONDED TO THE SCENE OF THE DEAD COW TO INVESTIGATE, AND DETERMINED THE CALF WAS INDEED HUNTED AND KILLED BY TWO WOLVES. THE RANCHER, WHO'S NAME HAS NOT BEEN RELEASED, DID NOT ACTUALLY SEE THE WOLVES...BUT OTHER RANCHERS HAVE SPOTTED WOLVES IN THIS AREA SOUTHWEST OF CASPER. A SPOKESPERSON WITH THE FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE SAYS RANCHERS NEED TO USE CAUTION IF THEY SEE A WOLF ON THEIR PROPERTY. IF YOU SPOT A WOLF ANYWHERE NEAR YOUR PROPERTY, CALL THE U-S FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE AT 261-6365.

First of all, in Wyoming, wolves are a big, no make that a huge and passionate issue, because they live here, and some of us have plans for them to stay for a very long time. The facts are unimportant in this story, just emotions, and hearsay. As the rancher said, "I got friends that live up in the Jackson area, in that area, and they've seen what it's done to the elk, and the population up there, and we don't want to see that." Not mentioned were the non-lethal ways of predator control, or the fact that domestic dogs kill more cattle then wolves. Nor were the specifics this rancher was talking about, just inflaming generalizations. I did e-mail this reporter, Briana Bermensolo with facts related to wolves, both the pro and the con. But no, they have to hop on the fearmongering bandwagon, and produce a bias, and partial story. This is what they call journalism these days. How sad, both for the students who don't learn how to be impartial, but also include there own, or playing to their audience's bias! Facts no longer matter. And Briana says at the end, "If you see wolves on your property, call the Fish and Wildlife Service." WHY? Are they escaped prisoners from Gitmo, or the state prison in Rawlins? Why not get your camera, and take a picture of these beautiful animals?



Wyoming's Wolf Recovery Plan:

Wyoming Plan Summary-

Wyoming’s wolf management plan is a significant departure for wildlife management in the state because it was created by elected officials in the legislature rather than wildlife biologists at the state’s Game and Fish Department. The current plan divides Wyoming into two different zones. In 88 percent of the state, known as the "predator zone," wolves are considered varmints and can be killed by anyone, at any time, by nearly any means. In the remaining 12 percent of the state—the northwestern corner—wolves are considered to be trophy game animals and are subject to management by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.

In addition, the state law grants private citizens broad latitude to kill wolves in "defense of private property," which could jeopardize wolf population numbers. What Could Be Improved The Wyoming plan is based on politics, not science, and needs to be reworked by the state’s game officials. We would like to see Wyoming adopt a similar approach to Montana’s—managing wolves like other native game species, rather than varmints to be shot on site.

Federal courts agree. A recent judicial ruling reinstating endangered species status criticized these elements of Wyoming’s plan. The federal government has since retracted its delisting rule and Wyoming is starting over with a new plan.

-From the Western Wolf Coalition- @

http://www.westernwolves.org/index.php/read-the-plans-wyoming

One of the greatest threats to wolves are human's fears and misunderstandings about the species. There are many fairy tales and myths that tend to misrepresent wolves as villainous, dangerous creatures. Wolves are responsible for less than 1% of ALL livestock kills, but that doesn't stop the media, i.e.- K2TV (KTWO) out of Casper, Wyoming from airing a story about wolves, and the great "wolf scare" going on here in support of Wyoming ranchers, conservative politics, hunters, outfitters, uninformed reporters, etc.

Wolves and all wildlife need to be protected, and all this misinformation and myths need to be addressed. And the media needs to be a little more impartial, specifically here in Wyoming, because playing to one audience does not make for sound and good journalism!

Ms. Stone from Defenders of Wildlife said, ""Today for example there are probably hundreds of sheep and cattle that have died from dogs, coyotes and a number of other species, but only the wolves are going to make the news,"

And from "My Yellowstone Wolves Blog"- "As the WY story states that wolves (not seen but assumed) killed on "private" property, perhaps we homeowners should begin reporting when their cattle wander onto our private property and do damage. Is there reciprocity? If they can shoot wolves, can we shoot their cattle? They (their wandering cows) are, after all, damaging our property and causing us a bunch of money." - susangeez

For more info, check out this link: http://www.defenders.org/wildlife_and_habitat/wildlife/wolf,_gray.php

Also From Defenders of Wildlife-

Wolf Predation Plays Small Role in Livestock Losses in 2005-

1. In the continental U.S., health issues such as respiratory problems, digestive problems, calving complications and disease were overwhelmingly the most significant causes of cattle death in 2005.

2. Only 0.11% of all cattle losses were due to wolf predation in 2005.

3. Coyotes killed more than 22 times more cattle than wolves killed that year.

4. Domestic dogs killed almost 5 times as many cattle, and vultures killed almost twice as many cattle as wolves did in 2005.

5. Theft was responsible for almost 5 times as many cattle losses as were lost by wolf predation.

6. Predation by coyotes was the largest cause of sheep loss in 2005, accounting for 23% of all losses, followed by health problems & weather-related issues.

7. In states with wolf populations, an average of less than 2.5% of sheep loss was due to predation by wolves in 2005.

We all need to work this out, as it is not totally a black and white issue, rather it has tons of gray area, and it all needs to be addressed. And it is not only for the wolves sake, but in the end, for the sake of humanity!



1 comment:

beardog321 said...

Little Red Riding Hood Lied: Myths About Wolves

Myth: Wolves are dangerous to humans.

Fact: You stand a better chance of getting hit by a meteorite than killed by a wolf. Although wolves are large, powerful animals that could kill humans, they do not. According to a 2002 study about wolf conflicts with humans, there is no documented case of a healthy, wild wolf killing a human in the United States. By comparison, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate between 10 to 20 people are killed and 4.7 million attacked each year by man's best friend, the domestic dog.

Myth: Wolves will eliminate or substantially reduce prey species.

Fact: Wolves and large grazing animals lived side-by-side for tens of thousands of years before the first settlers arrived. Recent studies on Yellowstone elk and wolves have found that weather and hunter harvest affect elk declines more than wolf predation. In fact, wolves often enhance prey populations by culling weak and sick animals from the gene pool, leaving only the strongest animals to reproduce. Food availability and weather regulate wolf populations. When their prey is scarce, wolves suffer too. They breed less frequently, have fewer litters, and may even starve to death.

Myth: Local economies in the northern Rockies are based on livestock production, and jobs will be lost if wolves are restored.

Fact: Ranching is a minor part of the economic base of the northern Rockies . For instance, in the counties around Yellowstone National Park , livestock production accounts for less than 4 percent of personal income, while tourism-related industries account for more than 50 percent. Moreover effects on livestock are negligible, so effects on ranching jobs will be virtually nonexistent.

Myth: The Endangered Species Act prevents the control of wolves that prey on livestock.

Fact: In portions of the northern Rockies and Southwest, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) designated wolves as "experimental, nonessential" populations. This special designation gave landowners a limited right to kill wolves caught in the act of preying on livestock on private property and increased the ability of FWS to remove or destroy problem wolves. Since 1978, wolves, listed as threatened in Minnesota, have been managed under a special regulation that controls individuals that kill livestock and pets.

Myth: Wolf recovery on public lands will preclude other land uses, such as logging and mining.

Fact: According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, very few land use restrictions have proven necessary to facilitate wolf recovery in Montana and Minnesota . The service reports that land use restrictions are necessary only if illegal mortality of wolves occurs at high levels.

Myth: Most people in the U.S. oppose wolf restoration.

Fact: Numerous polls taken throughout the United States consistently demonstrate that more people support wolf recovery than oppose it. In fact, a 2002 quantitative summary of human attitudes towards wolves found that 61 percent of the general population samples had positive attitudes towards wolves.

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