Spain’s wolf population is estimated at 2,000 and growing. Wolves are considered a game species, though they are protected in the southern regions of the country. Compensation is paid for livestock damage, though this varies according to regional laws.
Report on the conservation status and threats for wolf (Canis lupus) in Europe
The wolf is the most controversial predator in Europe, as it occupies conflicting places in people’s imaginations, being simultaneously loved and hated. On one hand it is held up as symbol of wilderness and the return of nature, while for others wolves symbolise waste, destruction and negative changes. As a result wolf conservation is almost always controversial.
Historically wolves have been heavily persecuted in Europe for millennia, and were exterminated from most of northern and western Europe in the last two centuries, probably reaching their minimum in the 1940’s to 1960’s. Since then, many populations have begun to recover and expand their range, for example in Spain and Italy. Furthermore, in the last twenty years, the species has been recovering naturally and reappearing in areas from which they had become extinct, for example in France, northern Italy, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Germany and Switzerland. In 2005 a wolf was even sighted in Austria (Styria region).
However, the present distribution of wolves in Europe is extremely uneven and densities vary greatly from country to country. This recovery has revealed their extreme ecological adaptability, enabling them to survive in extremely diverse environments…
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is putting the finishing touches on a proposal to strip wolves of their protection under the Endangered Species Act across most of the lower 48 states. Consider a donation so NRDC’s wildlife experts will be fully prepared to respond swiftly and effectively the moment this proposal is issued.
Russian Refuge: Wrangel Island is a haven for wildlife, frozen in space and time
by Hampton Sides
The Zodiac raft motors through the freezing drizzle, skirting large ice cakes, taking on wave after invigorating wave of Chukchi Sea as we grope our way toward a shore obscured by fog. Although our Russian guide insists that a large island lies just ahead, I’m doubtful. But then the mists dissipate, and suddenly it looms with a starkness enhanced by the refractions of the Arctic atmosphere: a formidable piece of real estate, 91 miles long, its golden mountains speckled with the bright blooms of tundra flowers.
John Muir, the first visitor to describe Wrangel Island to the world, waxed rhapsodic when he saw this vista in 1881. “This grand wilderness in its untouched freshness,” Muir called it, this “severely solitary” land in the “topmost, frost-killed end of creation.”..
But I recently learned that “wolf denning” refers to the killing of wolf pups in or near their dens.
In many parts of the U.S., wolves are still protected by the federal endangered species act, but in certain area,s where reintroduction efforts in the mid-1990s have been successful, the animals are fair game.
According to Defenders of Wildlife’s John Motsinger, since October 2012 Wyoming has allowed wolves to be killed year-round, without a license and by almost any means, across 85 percent of the state—the so-called “predator zone.”
Fortunately, most wolves live in the protected areas of the state. Unfortunately, wolf denning is practiced illegally in places where it’s prohibited…
(read more: TakePart.org) (photo: Stephen J. Krasemann/Getty)
In Tibet, Change Comes to the Once-Pristine Roof of the World
Renowned biologist George Schaller has been traveling to the remote Tibetan Plateau for nearly three decades, studying its unique wildlife. But with climate change and overgrazing taking a toll on the landscape, he reports, scientists and the Chinese government are working to preserve one of the planet’s wildest places…
An amazing scene played out yesterday, just before dusk at Wyoming’s National Elk Refuge. In a spectacular standoff that lasted for more than an hour, five coyotes corned two juvenile mountain lions, who took up refuge high on a buck and rail fence.
Herein, we examine the hypothesis that relatively low densities of snowshoe hares (Lepus americanus) and the imperiled status of lynx (Lynx canadensis) may be partially due to an ecological cascade caused by the extirpation of gray wolves (Canis lupus) inmost of the conterminous United States decades ago.
This hypothesis focuses on 2 plausible mechanisms, one involving ‘‘mesopredator release’’ of the coyote (C. latrans), which expanded its distribution and abundance continentally following the ecological extinction of wolves over the temperate portion of their geographic range. In the absence of wolves, coyotes may have affected lynx via increased predation on snowshoe hares, on which the lynx specializes, and/or by direct killing of lynx. The second mechanism involves increased browsing pressure by native and domestic ungulates following the declines in wolves.
A recovery of long-absent wolf populations could potentially set off a chain of events triggering a long-term decrease in coyotes and ungulates, improved plant communities, and eventually an increase in hares and lynx. This prediction, and others that we make, are testable. Ecological implications for the lynx may be dependent upon whether wolves are allowed to achieve ecologically effective populations where they recolonize or are reintroduced in lynx habitat. We emphasize the importance of littleconsidered trophic and competitive interactions when attempting to recover an endangered carnivore such as the lynx.
Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) with lunch of Common Voles (Microtus arvalis)
‘I took this photo of a male fox after he had collected two voles and carried them off. I managed to capture this shot of him just after he picked them up. This shot amazed the mammal expert at BBC Wildlife magazine, who said he had never seen a male fox carry off voles as it’s normally the vixen who would pick up voles and them to the cubs’
(Photograph: David Gibbon /Mammal Society Photographer of the Year 2013 - Honorable Mention)
The mystery surrounding the origin of a wolflike predator that once lived near Antarctica — a puzzle that stumped even Charles Darwin — has now been solved, researchers say.
The extinct carnivore apparently made its way to islands hundreds of miles from the nearest continent by crossing the frozen sea thousands of years ago, scientists explained.
The reddish coyote-sized Falkland Islands wolf was the only mammal native to the Falkland Islands far off the east coast of Argentina. The foxlike predator lived on seals, penguins and sea birds until hunters exterminated it in 1876.
The existence of the Falklands wolf perplexed Darwin when he first encountered it in 1834. “How did this great big carnivore arrive to a set of islands 460 kilometers (285 miles) from the nearest mainland when no other terrestrial mammal did?” asked researcher Alan Cooper, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Adelaide in Australia. “If it came by a land bridge, then the islands should’ve been covered with rodents as well, since South America is rodent central.”…
RARE WILDLIFE CAUGHT ON CAMERA - The Short Eared Dog
This video shows a very rare encounter. The short eared dog (Atelocynus microtis), aka short-eard fox (though it isnt a fox), is one of the least understood mammals on Earth. How many of them are there? Where do they live and how? These are questions that still remain largely unanswered. In a ten year study, researchers from Duke university visited an incredibly remote region of jungle to study the short eared fox (or dog) and only were able to trap five individuals in ten years. Handheld footage of wild individuals is virtually non-existent.