CALIFORNIA biologist believes GRAY WOLF now called “Journey” (formally designated OR-7) faces uphill struggle ~ CALIFORNIA introduces new state web page inspired by GRAY WOLF called “Journey” ~ RABIES reports from NEBRASKA, NORTH CAROLINA, & TEXAS ~ CANADA: Ottawa launches $100,000 study of HUMAN-COYOTE conflict in NOVA SCOTIA.

Not "Journey". Photo courtesy of US Fish and Wildlife Service.

California 01/06/12 redding.com: by Ryan Sabalow — A Department of Fish and Game biologist in charge of monitoring a wild gray wolf that’s made its way from Oregon to eastern Shasta County this week spoke bluntly and in stark terms Friday about the likelihood the wolf dubbed OR-7 by biologists will survive long enough to find the mate he’s already traveled more than 800 miles hoping to locate. “Most wolves don’t successfully establish a new pack or even join a new pack,” said Mark Stopher, a DFG senior policy adviser based in Redding. “They die along the way.” Stopher said while some wolves have been tracked traveling more than 6,000 miles as they seek a new pack or a mate, the vast majority don’t make it nearly that far. Instead, they’re met with the harsh realities of life in the wild, where wolves get sick, starve to death or are mortally wounded while trying to take down a large prey animal like a deer or an elk, Stopher said.

Then there are the deadly human obstacles wolves encounter along what were once their historic ranges, things like cities and train tracks and highways. Of course, hostile humans also pose a risk, even though the wolf is protected under the federal Endangered Species Act, Stopher said. The latter is the reason why so far Stopher’s agency has declined to reveal OR-7′s exact location to the public. If too many details are disclosed, there’s a risk someone might try to hurt the wolf, Stopher said. Indeed, not everyone is welcoming of OR-7.

In an interview last week with the Los Angeles Times, Siskiyou County Supervisor Marcia Armstrong said the wolf should be shot on sight because of the threat it poses to livestock and people. She later softened her remarks in an interview with the Sacramento Bee. “It’s unfair to ask people to live with this dangerous predator,” she told the Bee. “It’s romantic, maybe, for urban people. But this affects our quality of life. It affects when we go out to get mail from the mailbox: Do we have to carry a gun?” The last fatal wolf attack was in 2010 in a small southwestern Alaskan village, something experts say is incredibly unusual and unlikely to occur elsewhere. But OR-7′s Imnaha pack does have a history of killing ranchers’ animals, though there have been no reports OR-7 has killed any livestock during his journey to California, Stopher said.

Imnaha wolf pack.

The Imnaha pack, which now consists of four other wolves since OR-7 left, killed at least 20 cattle between the spring of 2010 and mid-December, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife reported. The agency had been lobbying to have two of the wolves shot but was blocked from doing so by the state’s courts. Russ Morgan, the wolf coordinator for Fish and Wildlife, said the recent kills represented a “significant” change in the pack’s behavior. Stopher said “there’s certainly a concern” OR-7 learned to kill cows. But he said since OR-7 was collared 10 months ago, biologists have never tracked his location to one of the cattle kills. OR-7 also left the pack after it started taking down fully grown cows, Stopher said. – For complete article see http://www.redding.com/news/2012/jan/06/wolf-faces-tough-travels/

California 01/09/12 LATimes.com: by Dean Kuipers — In response to the arrival of Journey, the Oregon wolf that is now roaming northern California’s Shasta County, the California Department of Fish and Game has put together a gray wolf Web page. The DFG put up the new page in response to a huge wave of public interest in the wolf, which is known as OR7 because of its origins in Oregon’s Imnaha wolf pack. – For complete article see http://www.latimes.com/news/local/environment/la-me-gs-california-wolf-inspires-new-state-webpage-20120109,0,3411579.story?track=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+latimes%2Fnews%2Fscience%2Fenvironment+%28L.A.+Times+-+Environment%29

Nebraska 01/06/12 Columbus, Platte County:  Columbus Animal Control officers are looking for a stray dog that bit a 17-year-old girl on 18th Street a week ago near the old hospital building. The dog, described as a medium-sized black dog with longer hair, was last seen heading west in the 3000 block on 18th Street. Officers said the dog must be found or the victim will need to receive rabies vaccinations. Anyone who knows the whereabouts of this animal should contact Animal Control at (402)-564-8839 or the police department at (402)-564-3201.

North Carolina 01/06/12 Alamance County: A skunk that was killed by two unvaccinated puppies earlier in the week at an address on Mine Creek Road has tested positive for rabies. See http://www.digtriad.com/news/health/article/207282/8/First-Rabies-Case-Of-2012-Reported-For-Alamance-County

Texas 01/06/12 Parker County:  As many as 18 people may have been exposed to a three month old male Husky mix puppy that has tested positive for him. See http://weatherforddemocrat.com/local/x205473363/Confirmed-rabies-case-in-county

Canada:

Nova Scotia 01/09/12 WinnipegFreePress.com: by Michael MacDonald — Parks Canada plans to pay an American biologist $100,000 to come up with a plan to reduce encounters between people and coyotes in Cape Breton Highlands National Park. The proposed contract announced Monday comes more than two years after a young Toronto woman was mauled to death by coyotes while hiking alone in the park. Taylor Mitchell’s death on Oct. 28, 2009, marked the first recorded fatal coyote attack in Nova Scotia, and only the second in North America. Ten months later, an unidentified 16-year-old Nova Scotia girl was bitten twice on the scalp as she slept outside at one of the park’s campgrounds. The girl needed stitches to close her wounds. The maulings were among several coyote attacks across Nova Scotia that prompted the province to offer a $20 bounty for coyote pelts. About 2,600 of the province’s 8,000 coyotes were trapped last season for the bounty. An official with Parks Canada said no one was immediately available for comment. The federal government’s two-year project in Cape Breton will include live-trapping coyotes in the park and tracking them with global positioning system collars. Parks Canada says the contract will be awarded to Stan Gehrt at the Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation in Dundee, Ill., unless a better bid comes forward in the next two weeks. – For complete article see http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/canada/breakingnews/ottawa-launches-100000-study-to-reduce-coyote-encounters-in-cape-breton-park-136949748.html

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