Gray Wolf Pups Are Spotted in Colorado for the First Time in 80 Years

The litter was born amid a contentious plan to reintroduce the species to the state.

#colorado, #wolves

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Wolves create a “landscape of fear,” slowing deer-car collisions

Image of two wolves.

Enlarge (credit: KENZO TRIBOUILLARD / Getty images)

Deer don’t seem to understand that large, fast-moving vehicles can lead to their untimely demise. According to the Insurance Information Institute, there were 1.9 million animal (not just deer) collision claims in the US between July 2019 and the end of June 2020.

The ungulates seem to be capable of recognizing other threats, though. Deer understand that they should steer clear of wolves. And new research suggests that regions with wolves tend to have a markedly lower rate of deer-automobile collisions, as the predators scare their prey away from roadways. According to the study’s researchers, this indirect benefit of managing wolves in a region can save humans a lot of money.

The research, which focuses on counties in the Great Lakes region, began in 2013. Grey wolves were delisted from the Endangered Species Act in the Great Lakes region in 2012 as their population grew, but this reprieve was short-lived, as hunting caused the species to be re-listed in the area only around a year later.

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#car-crashes, #collisions, #deer, #highway, #reintroduction, #science, #wolves

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Idaho Senate Approves Bill to Kill 90 Percent of State’s Wolves

The bill would allow the state to hire contractors to kill the wolves, which supporters say are threatening the livelihoods of Idaho’s ranchers.

#idaho, #law-and-legislation, #politics-and-government, #state-legislatures, #wolves

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In Montana, Bears and Wolves Become Part of the Culture Wars

The politics of predators seem poised to enter a new chapter in the state, which now seems intent on reviving some of the practices of a century ago that virtually exterminated wolves from Montana.

#bears, #daines-steve, #endangered-and-extinct-species, #gianforte-greg-1961, #hunting-and-trapping, #montana, #republican-party, #wolves

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Montana Governor Gets Written Warning After Killing a Wolf

Greg Gianforte did not complete a trapping certification course before trapping and killing a black wolf last month, a state wildlife official said.

#gianforte-greg-1961, #hunting-and-trapping, #montana, #parks-and-other-recreation-areas, #wolves, #yellowstone-national-park

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The Making of a ‘European Yellowstone’

A major conservation effort is underway in Romania. The goal is a new national park that will rival its American counterparts.

#bears, #forests-and-forestry, #hunting-and-trapping, #parks-and-other-recreation-areas, #travel-and-vacations, #wildlife-trade-and-poaching, #wolves

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Wisconsin Hunters Kill Over 200 Wolves in Less Than 3 Days

The gray wolf lost Endangered Species Act protections last year, prompting a recent hunt that killed at least 216 wolves — far exceeding a quota set by state wildlife officials.

#endangered-and-extinct-species, #humane-society-of-the-united-states, #wisconsin, #wolves

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Dogs May Have Come From an Ice Age Meetup of Carnivores in Siberia

Researchers propose that some remote ancestors of Native Americans may have been the first humans to forge the bond with wolves that led to domestication.

#archaeology-and-anthropology, #dogs, #durham-university, #larson-greger, #native-americans, #north-america, #oxford-university, #proceedings-of-the-national-academy-of-sciences, #siberia, #southern-methodist-university, #wolves, #your-feed-science

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Dire wolves aren’t wolves at all—they form a distinct lineage with jackals

Two canid skeletons facing each other.

Enlarge (credit: Wikimedia commons)

Dire wolves had a burst of newfound fame with their appearance in Game of Thrones, where they were portrayed as a far larger version of more mundane wolves. Here in the real world, only the largest populations of present-day wolves get as large as the dire wolf, which weighed nearly 70 kilograms. These animals once shared North America—and likely prey—with predators like the smilodon, a saber-toothed cat. Prior to the arrival of humans, dire wolves were far more common than regular wolves, as indicated by the remains found in the La Brea tar seeps, where they outnumber gray wolves by a factor of about 100.

Like the smilodon and many other large North American mammals, the dire wolf vanished during a period of climate change and the arrival of humans to the continent, even as gray wolves and coyotes survived. And with their departure, they left behind a bit of a mystery: what were they?

A new study uses ancient DNA from dire wolf skeletons to determine that they weren’t actually wolves and had been genetically isolated from them for millions of years.

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#dire-wolves, #dogs, #evolution, #genetics, #genomics, #paleontology, #science, #wolves

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The Real Dire Wolf Ran Into an Evolutionary Dead End

The species’ remarkable genetic isolation from other wolves may have contributed to its demise.

#dna-deoxyribonucleic-acid, #endangered-and-extinct-species, #game-of-thrones-tv-program, #genetics-and-heredity, #nature-journal, #north-america, #paleontology, #research, #wolves, #your-feed-science

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The Leftovers Route to Dog Domestication

If ancient hunters ate the juicy fat parts of their prey and gave wolves the lean meat, it could have been the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

#archaeology-and-anthropology, #arctic-regions, #dogs, #finland, #ice-age, #research, #university-of-exeter, #wolves, #your-feed-science

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Barry Lopez, Lyrical Writer Who Was Likened to Thoreau, Dies at 75

Mr. Lopez spent five years in the Arctic, and his books, essays and short stories explored the kinship of nature and human culture.

#books-and-literature, #deaths-obituaries, #lopez-barry-1945, #oregon, #states-us, #wolves

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Yukon gold miner unearths a mummified Ice Age wolf pup

Color photo of wolf mummy puppy laying on a pillow

Enlarge / The puppy’s remains are dried out but mostly intact thanks to being buried in permafrost. (credit: Government of Yukon)

This Ice Age wolf puppy doesn’t look much like a fearsome predator, what with her tiny puppy teeth and soft little ears. According to her DNA, however, the mummified puppy, named Zhùr, came from a population that’s among the ancestors of all modern wolves. Canada’s permafrost freeze-dried her remains shortly after her death around 57,000 years ago.

“She’s the most complete wolf mummy that’s ever been found. She’s basically 100 percent intact—all that’s missing are her eyes,” said Des Moines University paleontologist Julie Meachen.

Puppy surprise

In July 2016, miner Neil Loveless of Favron Enterprises was searching for gold in Alaska’s famed Klondike gold fields. He was water-blasting the frozen mud along the banks of Last Chance Creek. It’s a process called “hydraulic thawing,” meant to thaw and soften the frozen permafrost so miners can search for gold in the streambed deposits, an approach called placer mining. But Loveless found something far stranger and even more interesting than Klondike gold: a frozen, mummified wolf puppy.

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#ancient-dna, #gold-mining, #klondike, #mummies, #paleontology, #permafrost, #pleistocene, #science, #wolves, #yukon

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A Wolf Pup Mummy From the Ancient Arctic

Melting permafrost yields secrets of how a 6-week-old wolf puppy lived and died.

#arctic-regions, #current-biology-journal, #global-warming, #ice-age, #mummies-and-mummification, #paleontology, #wolves, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science, #yukon-beringia-interpretive-center, #yukon-territory

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Monster Wolf Robot Aims to Scare Bears in Japan

After bears kept venturing into the city in search of food, officials installed mechanical wolves with bared teeth, glowing red eyes and a fearsome screech to keep the animals away.

#bears, #japan, #robots-and-robotics, #wolves

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To Scare Off Wild Bears, Japanese City Calls In the ‘Monster Wolf’

After bears kept venturing into the city in search of food, officials installed mechanical wolves with bared teeth, glowing red eyes and a fearsome screech to keep the animals away.

#bears, #japan, #robots-and-robotics, #wolves

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Using Wolves as First Responders Against a Deadly Brain Disease

Some scientists say that the predators are essential to curbing the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease because they pick off weak deer.

#chronic-wasting-disease, #deer, #elk, #environment, #hunting-and-trapping, #research, #wolves, #yellowstone-national-park, #your-feed-science

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Wolves to Drop From Endangered Species List in U.S.

Populations have rebounded in recent decades, but some scientists on the panel that evaluated the proposal said it was deeply flawed.

#endangered-and-extinct-species, #fish-and-wildlife-service, #wolves

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Ancient Dog DNA Shows Early Spread Around the Globe

Research on fossil canine genomes is expanding and producing some surprises about the lives of dogs and humans in prehistoric times.

#anatolia, #dogs, #europe, #genetics-and-heredity, #paleontology, #pigs, #research, #science-journal, #wolves, #your-feed-science

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Canadian Military’s Wolf Exercise Alarms Nova Scotians

They also mounted speakers that broadcast growling in the woods of Nova Scotia. It was all part of a psychological training exercise.

#bay-of-fundy-canada, #canada, #defense-and-military-forces, #exercise, #letters, #nova-scotia-canada, #ottawa-citizen-the, #rumors-and-misinformation, #wolves

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Dog Breeding in the Neolithic Age

Fossils and modern DNA show the ancient roots of Arctic sled dogs.

#alaska, #arctic-regions, #dna-deoxyribonucleic-acid, #dog-sledding, #dogs, #europe, #genetics-and-heredity, #greenland, #national-institutes-of-health, #siberia, #university-of-california-santa-cruz, #university-of-copenhagen, #wolves, #your-feed-science

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A Soft-Handed Predator Masquerading in Manliness

How we treat animals tells us something about how we treat one another.

#alaska, #animal-abuse-rights-and-welfare, #bears, #hunting-and-trapping, #trump-donald-j, #trump-donald-j-jr, #wolves

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