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REAL WORLD EVENT DISCUSSIONS
Hey "Journey" the "California wolf" is still around...
Sunday, February 19, 2012 7:44 AM
Gettin' old, but still a hippie at heart...
Quote:Up in Lassen County, a remote and rugged slice of northeastern California, there's a homecoming under way. In 1924 the Golden State's last known gray wolf was exterminated there as part of a purge of a beast long feared as the eater of sheep, cows and, according to legend, little girls. Now Lassen is where a lone wolf — the first known member of his species on California soil in nearly 90 years — has decided to settle in for the winter. The radio-collar-wearing wolf, known as OR7 to scientists, took a 300-mile (480 km), zigzagging trek away from his pack in northeastern Oregon, crossing the border into California on Dec. 28. His growing legion of fans call him Journey, and he has stayed put in a sagebrush-covered high-desert region known as the Modoc Plateau for more than a week.
"This is probably the most significant conservation story for this state and this species in decades," says Amaroq Weiss of the California Wolf Center, an education, research and breeding facility in San Diego County, who cited a decade-old study that determined that the state's northeastern corner could probably support about 450 wolves. "To have a wolf set foot in the state when the last one was killed in 1924 is spectacularly big news."
To make sure that angry ranchers or ambitious hunters don't take matters into their own hands, the state's department of fish and game this week sent out a reminder that shooting the wolf is illegal because it's protected by the Endangered Species Act. "We want people to recognize that you cannot kill the wolf," says the department's Jordan Traverso, who is also helping hunters differentiate wolves from coyotes, which are legal to shoot. "It is federally protected, and there are fines and penalties resulting from a wolf kill." And they're pretty serious — punishment could mean a fine of up to $100,000 and a year in jail.
But Carter Niemeyer, who began his work with wolves under the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the 1980s, recently penned a popular memoir called Wolfer and personally put a collar on OR7's mother about six years ago, says wolves have never been a major cause of death for sheep and cattle. "Anecdotal stories give the impression that wolves are a bigger problem affecting many more people than can actually be proven," says Niemeyer. "Documentation is important to keep in perspective what's really going on."
As to fear for human safety, Niemeyer is even blunter. The animals "are not the least bit concerned about people," says the wolf expert, who never packed a gun during his fieldwork. "In three decades of chasing wolves around, trying to get close to them, counting them, going into their dens and looking for pups, I've never had even a slightly close call. The wolves run away, always."
People, says Niemeyer, should probably be more worried about this lone wolf's survival. Though it's exhibiting natural "dispersal" behavior — whereby a young male leaves his pack in search of his own territory and a mate — Journey has wandered into a land where there hasn't been a confirmed wolf sighting since 1924, in the middle of what could be a harsh winter. "His principal occupation right now is staying alive," says Niemeyer, explaining that wolves prefer big game like deer and elk but can get by on ground squirrels and rabbits and by scavenging. "That's even more important than finding a mate and making a territory — keeping his belly full."
(The only known photo so far of Journey, taken by an unmanned trail camera)
If Journey stays put, manages to find a mate that no one knows is there and establishes his own pack, then California conservationists, cattlemen and wildlife-control agents will be left to hash out the details. "It's certainly possible that wolves will recolonize here. It's historically habitat for them, and we are preparing for that," says Traverso, whose department of fish and game has been actively collecting information from elsewhere for years. "It's not the first wolf in the world or even in the United States. We are learning a lot from the other states' experiences."
In the meantime, wolf lovers like Rob Klavins — whose organization Oregon Wild has been a big proponent of wolf expansion and was responsible for the name Journey — are celebrating wherever the wolf goes. "The purposeful extermination of wolves in the last century is one of our greatest environmental tragedies, and for most Americans, their recovery stands alongside that of bald eagles and gray whales as one of our greatest success stories," Klavins explains. "It's a testament to how far we've come as a society." http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2105380,00.html
Sunday, February 19, 2012 10:55 AM
Sunday, February 19, 2012 3:28 PM
Quote:Originally posted by Niki2:
I'm afraid I don't have high hopes.
Sunday, February 19, 2012 9:38 PM
Beir bua agus beannacht
Monday, February 20, 2012 4:01 AM
Monday, February 20, 2012 7:11 AM
Friday, March 16, 2012 5:43 PM
Saturday, March 17, 2012 4:50 AM
Saturday, March 17, 2012 10:35 AM
Sunday, March 18, 2012 9:53 AM
Quote:In 1995, the National Park Service took the historic step of re-introducing wolves into Yellowstone National Park. The results have been breathtaking. Wolves have rejuvenated Yellowstone, with willows and songbirds returning to riverbanks and coyote, deer, and elk numbers returning to normal. Every year, thousands of human visitors flock to the park in hopes of catching a glimpse of a wolf, seeing a track, or hearing a howl. A 2006 University of Montana study found they pump an additional $37 million into the local economy each year.
Quote:After a grand tour of Northern California, the world's most famous gray wolf is back in his home state of Oregon. http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2012/03/or-7_returns_to_oregon_apparen.html he'll find a mate and bring her back down here... Certainly his coming here is a sign that hopefully more will come in time. Oh, well...
Actually, after talking to Jim about it and thinking about it, I'm glad he went back to Oregon. He'd never have found a mate down here, and given his pack is near the border, maybe he'll find a girlfriend and bring her back down with him. Hey, I can dream!
Thanx for getting me thinking about him, I appreciate it. Gonna make a note to keep track...
Sunday, March 18, 2012 10:54 AM
Quote:California once again can say it's home to the wandering wolf known as OR-7 — he's back after less than a week.
He returned to Oregon's southern Cascades last week.
The California Department of Fish and Game reports OR-7's GPS tracking collar showed he was back in their jurisdiction Monday morning.
Quote:However, there will be an intentional delay in posting new map information to protect the current location of this wolf. This wolf's movement pattern, in terms of timing, direction and distance has so far been unpredictable. Therefore the maps will provide useful information on where he has been recently, but not where he is now.
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