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National Wolfwatcher Coalition
In This Issue
Paseo del Lobo: Land and Boundaries
True Wolf Update from Emilia Tercjak
Are you a Wolfwatcher, too?
News from the Southwest in Lobo Country
M728 at Sevilleta, USFWS
Paseo del Lobo - Land and Boundaries
by: Daniel Sayre,
Wolfwatcher's SW Regional Director

Land and wildlife, intertwined and inseparable. A discussion of Mexican gray recovery cannot be complete without the understanding that the preservation of habitat is the key to the recovery of the species. How we manage land and its resources, how we manage species, and how we manage competing interests will ultimately decide the fate of wolves.


The relationship of land and wildlife is complex and only now are we beginning to fully appreciate the cascade of effects that changes the very nature of the landscape when key elements are altered or removed. Aldo Leopold wrote in A Sand County Almanac: "I have watched the face of many a newly wolfless mountain, and seen the south-facing slopes wrinkle with a maze of new deer trails. I have seen every edible bush and seedling browsed, first to anaemic desuetude, and then to death. I have seen every edible tree defoliated to the height of a saddle-horn ... In the end the starved bones of the hoped-for deer herd, dead of its own too-much, bleach with the bones of the dead sage, or molder under the high-lined junipers ... So also with cows."


Elk in Velvet, USFWS, 
Blue Range Primitive Area 
While this form of trophic cascade is supported by more recent scientific evidence, what Aldo Leopold knew in the first half of the 20th century is apparently still controversial to certain proponents of industries and activities which, by their very nature, denude or otherwise alter the landscape. It is with unequivocal certainty that humans have an impact on ecosystems through a variety of activities, one of which is the removal of keystone species such as apex predators.


Ultimately, if we now more fully understand the complex relationships affecting landscapes, we can use that knowledge to reinforce the importance of key species such as Mexican gray wolves. Cottonwood and willow riparian areas are often noted for high bird species diversity, and when rooted along stream banks provide cover and food for fish. I specifically make note of this relationship because such riparian habitat may be especially sensitive to over browsing. The key point to be made is that wolves not only predate upon ungulates but they cause them to move, therefore relieving pressure upon seedling trees. Such has been witnessed in Yellowstone to a very dramatic degree.
Courtesy: USFWS  

The Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area (BRWRA) within south-central Arizona and New Mexico is  considered ideal wolf recovery habitat which includes abundant water, elk, and deer, and spans an area twice the size of Yellowstone National Park. The region also includes the worlds first designated wilderness area, created in 1924. The recovery area itself is divided into specific zones designated as the primary recovery zone, secondary recovery zone, both contained within the BRWRA, and the so called experimental population area boundary (10j). To further expound upon the specifics of the zones, any new release must occur within the primary zone while wolves that are re-released may be released into the secondary zone. Any wolves populating the 10j area may be subject to removal from the wild or relocated to within the primary or secondary zones.


Confused yet? If this seems all too complicated, it is. Wildlife knows no artificial boundaries, and ultimately will not be contained within such boundaries. Driven by an innate instinct to survive and propagate, a wolf will never know it crossed such a threshold. Ideally the primary and secondary recovery zones should be managed in a way as to not prevent formation of new packs or cause undue injuries or deaths in relocation efforts.


In support of our Lobos, Wolfwatcher encourages you to support the Rural Economic Vitalization Act (REVA) which allows federal grazing permittees to voluntarily relinquish grazing permits, support the preservation of wilderness designated areas by sending a note of support to your representatives, and perhaps most importantly have a complete appreciation for the profound interconnectedness of the elements within ecosystems, or as Aldo phrased it, "Think like a mountain."  ~Daniel Sayre

Aspen Pack Translocation, USFWS 
TRUE WOLF Premieres in NYC
A message from Emilia: 

Wolfwatcher's University Outreach Adviser, Emilia Tercjak, spent some time howling for wolves among the NYC college crowd to promote True Wolf's premiere in NYC on Aug. 17th at the Cinema Village.   


"My love for wolves came about when I was ten years old. I had always loved animals before, but the wolf was something different. I was bullied a lot and, most of the time, I was a solitary child. So, the wolf was an animal to which I could relate. Wolves are creatures on this earth that are misunderstood, like I had been. I had written my first report that year in school on the red wolf and presented it in class. Ever since then, most of my school reports were focused on wolves and their importance in the ecosystem. I searched to find a niche that would lead me closer to working with wolves. So at the age of fifteen, I obtained a job as a veterinary assistant, and I have been working as a veterinary technician ever since. But veterinary medicine was not for me, as I soon found out; I decided to not pursue veterinary science as a career.  


When I got to college, I started writing about wolves. At the time, I was not pursuing a degree related to animals. Psychology was my major for two years. It was a subject my father urged me to pursue since it would provide me with a stable job and income. At the time, I had no idea that that there were other jobs related to wolf conservation, so I started to give up on my dream to work with them.  



After some research and questioning in my second year of college, though, I discovered there were careers in environmental science, and better yet, careers that specifically address endangered species, like the Mexican gray wolf. I was beyond ecstatic, and thereafter I decided to change my major to biology with no hesitation.  


Emilia on a wolf-pup date with Zephyr at the Wolf Conservation Center 


So here I am, a third year college student going into her fourth year studying biology. The switch has not been easy; I was required to take extra classes to catch up with a biology major's curriculum. But I am determined to pursue a career in conservation biology so that I will be able to work with other biologists to protect wolves and to participate in the process of their conservation at the governmental level.  I want is to be a voice for these creatures and have a positive impact on their survival. I also want to pursue an advanced degree in conservation biology so I can teach university-level classes that focus on wolf ecology and preservation. My goal is to educate people about these animals - to diminish any myth or negative feeling that people have about wolves is most important to me. I also want to share my experiences with high school students, too. In New York City, there is never any mention of the rewards that come to those who work hard to pursue a career in biology. I hope I can help motivated high school students fulfill their dreams to work in a science field. All in all, I want to make a difference. Once an animal is gone from this earth, there is no way of bringing it back. Extinction is forever."  ~Emila


If you are presently in high school or college, Emilia would love to hear from you with questions or concerns about a potential career path in wildlife biology or if you would like to join the ranks of Wolfwatcher's University Outreach Program.  




True Wolf Director Rob Whitehair and Producer Pam Voth will be joining Wolfwatcher's Dave Hornoff, Maggie Howell, Diane Bentivegna, and Emilia Tercjak for the premiere on Aug. 17th.  As a special treat, Atka, the regal ambassador wolf from the Wolf Conservation Center will be walking the red carpet for this special event! We hope to see you, too!

Atka from the Wolf Conservation Center




Are You A "Wolfwatcher," too?
Courtesy of Suzanne Rush
Recently, we asked supporters to send us their thoughts about why wolves and their conservation are so important... 

From Sue Rush:
"When I was a child I had seen bears, deer, big horn sheep, coyotes and many animals in the wild - but never a wolf. Then in 1973,  I made a trip to northern British Columbia, Canada and one evening, out in the bush,    I heard  wolves howl. It was the most awesome sound I had ever heard! And then  I was lucky enough to see one. Over the years I have been fortunate to see them occasionally, in the wild, just trying to live their lives like any wild creature should be able to do. They are so important to our natural balance on this earth, and I feel we truly owe it to them and mother earth to protect them."   ~ Suzanne Rush


Many thanks to Sue and so many others who shared their thoughts we us!  We hope to hear from more wolfwatchers, too!  Why do you want to "understand, educate and protect" wild wolves?   Send Wolfwatcher your one or two sentence response along with a recent photo and you may be featured in our next e-newsletter! We look forward to hearing from you! 


Special Bulletin:   
National Wolfwatcher Coalition is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, all volunteer organization on behalf of wolf education, conservation and advocacy.

We are deeply disturbed about Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks wolf hunting and trapping plan for the upcoming 2012-13 season. We will continue to demand that decision-makers use science to guide their policies and to urge restraint when enacting these policies as they relate to wolves throughout the Northern Rockies region.


For the past 5 years, the wolf population in the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem has stabilized at around 130. Trapping to kill 60% of wolves in the upcoming 2012-13 hunting and trapping season could threaten the greater Yellowstone population and possibly replicate the 2009 elimination of the Cottonwood Pack in 2010. We want a hunt and trap-free buffer zone enacted now to surround Yellowstone National Park to protect this modest population of wolves who are at serious risk.


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