The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is planning to amend state regulations and designations for protecting endangered and threatened species across the state. DEC’s proposal would remove 19 species from the state’s endangered and threatened species list.
The Eastern cougar is proposed for removal from the list, due to its extinction in New York State. The grey wolf would also be removed, and renamed simply wolf, signifying new understandings of that species based on recent DNA studies. » Continue Reading.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Environmental Conservation Officers (ECOs) enforce the 71 Chapters of NY Environmental Conservation Law, protecting fish and wildlife and preserving environmental quality across New York.
On September 18, ECO Keith Kelly received a complaint that a large black wolf mount was being offered for sale at the Adirondack Mountains Antiques Show in Indian Lake. Officer Kelly reported that he responded and observed the wolf on display without a price tag. After interviewing visitors at the show, Kelly says that he learned that the vendor was asking $2,500 for the mount. According to Kelly, the vendor could not produce any permits to possess the wolf and was issued a ticket for offering an endangered species for sale without a permit. The wolf was seized as evidence and will be forfeited if the vendor is found guilty of the charge. » Continue Reading.
“Rewilding the Adirondacks” is the theme for this year’s 8th Annual Adirondack Habitat Awareness Day, which will be held this Sunday, September 6th, from 10 am to 5 pm, at the Adirondack Wildlife Refuge and Rehab Center, at 977 Springfield Road in Wilmington.
In addition to discussions about the return of megafauna like wolves, elk, and cougars to the Adirondacks, visitors will be able to encounter wolves, eagles, coyote, fox, bobcat, porcupine, owls, hawks and falcons and learn about critter tracks and the sounds heard while camping or hiking. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Wildlife and Wildlands Network will host a Wolf Activist Workshop at the Adirondack Wildlife Refuge in Wilmington in Thursday, September 3rd. Kathy Henley of Wildlands Network, who will moderate the discussions, said the event will focus on direct action in support of wildlife.
Among the topics expected to be discussed are a general introduction to wolf ecology and behavior in the northeast, the uniqueness of why the eastern coyote/coywolf, successful campaigns that include meeting with elected officials, and using letter writing and social media for advocacy. » Continue Reading.
Unlike Little Red Riding Hood, most of us can tell the difference between a wolf and Grandmother. But beyond that: our wolf identification skills are probably not as good as we think.
Consider the names bandied about the popular media today: gray wolf, red wolf, coyote, coywolf, coydog. Which of these are species? What is the real deal with hybrids? What does it mean for conservation? » Continue Reading.
An Adirondack environmental group has asked the state Department of Environmental Conservation to consider reintroducing wolves and cougars in its State Wildlife Action Plan, which is currently in draft form and expected to be finished later this year.
“We cannot rely on natural recolonization for cougars from the west,” Peter Bauer, director of Protect the Adirondacks, wrote in a July 14 letter to the DEC. “Aggressive hunting seasons are starting to reduce the overall populations and it’s unrealistic to think that enough males and females will reach the Adirondacks to establish a viable population. New York leaders should take a hard look at reintroduction of cougars to the Adirondack Park. » Continue Reading.
An economic study published by the the Cougar Rewilding Foundation, an organization dedicated to the recovery of cougars to their former range, argues thatrestoring the Adirondack ecosystem with native wildlife would establish Adirondack Park as an international wildlife recreation destination.
The report estimates that restoring native woodland elk, bison, wolves and cougars to the Adirondack Park would add upwards of $583 million annually in wildlife watching and big game hunting tourism and create 3,540 new jobs. The study reports that restoration would create opportunities for wildlife tracking classes and vacations, darting, howling and photography safaris, and big game hunting. » Continue Reading.
Standing in a snowy meadow in Wilmington, a wolf lifts its head and howls, breaking the near silence on a cold winter day. Just a few feet away Steve Hall watches the scene, a leash in his hand.
The wolf on the other end of the leash is one of three owned by Hall and his wife, Wendy, a wildlife rehabilitator. The couple owns Adirondack Wildlife Refuge, and the animals are used for education, including popular “wolf walks.” During the walks, visitors hike with Hall and the wolves. Hall hopes the walks will give people a better understanding of animals that are commonly feared even though they rarely attack humans. » Continue Reading.
Tourism is a key business in the Adirondacks. About 12.4 % of local employment is tourism related, but only $2 out of every hundred spent on tourism in New York State ends up in the Adirondacks.
It’s often argued that Adirondack towns and villages, particularly those outside the High Peaks, Lake George and Old Forge areas, present a challenging environment in which to make a living.
Some folks say we should attract manufacturing, others see building more resorts or recreation facilities as the answer, but what about tapping into one of our most important natural resources: wildlife? » Continue Reading.
We’ve had several hiking dogs, but two of my favorites were Chino, a wolf-husky mix we brought back from Alaska in 1990, and Roscoe, a nondescript gene pool who looked like a million other mutts you’ve seen, and whose ancestry is anyone’s guess. Our oldest son, Dan, another animal lover, became a veterinarian and later a veterinary cardiologist, partly because of his experiences with Chino. He also does some pro-bono care, which led to our adopting Roscoe as a pup around 2005.
Both of these canids did a fair amount of High Peaks hiking with us. Chino hiked his last peak, Dix, in 2002, and died in 2004, a year before Roscoe came on the scene, and continued the hiking tradition. The other common thread between them? Porcupines! » Continue Reading.
The recent proposal to remove Endangered Species Act protections for the gray wolf (Canis lupus) is almost entirely about politics. The American alligator and the bald eagle, to use two examples, were not delisted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service until they had repopulated their former ranges, while wolves have repopulated only a fraction of their former ranges, and are already under heavy hunting pressure by the state governments of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.
How many Americans are aware of the fact that in 1915, the US Congress, acting, as usual, under pressure from special interests, in that case, the ranching and hunting lobbies, provided funds to the Interior Department, to eliminate wolves, mountain lions and other predators from the United States? The Interior Department set up their “Animal Damage Control Unit”, and spent millions of taxpayer dollars to shoot, trap and poison wolves over several decades, with the only survivors being in the Boundary Waters area of Northern Minnesota, one of the most inaccessible regions of the U.S., not to mention a paradise for kayakers, canoeists and fisherman. » Continue Reading.
The Northeast Wolf Coalition, a group of national, regional and local conservation organizations, has submitted a statement to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) in opposition to its 2013 proposal to remove Endangered Species Act protections for the gray wolf (Canis lupus) in the contiguous United States.
In a statement isued to the press the Coalition says it took action in response to FWS’ reopening of the comment period as a result of a peer review report by an independent panel of scientists produced by the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) at UC Santa Barbara. According to the report, FWS’ move to strip federal protection from nearly all gray wolves in the lower 48 states is based on insufficient science. » Continue Reading.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has proposed to remove the Gray Wolf (Canis lupus) from the list of threatened and endangered species.
The agency claims that the Gray Wolf’s population has been “restored” to its historic range and no longer needs federal protection despite their continued absence from the Northeast and the Adirondacks, along with parts of the Pacific Northwest and other areas of the Mountain West, which are parts of the wolf’s historic range. The Endangered Species Act says that the Gray Wolf must be protected throughout its historic range. » Continue Reading.
Researchers at the New York State Museum recently published a new study indicating that some wolves have migrated into New York state and other areas of the Northeast.
Museum curators Dr. Roland Kays and Dr. Robert Feranec used a new isotope test for the first time to determine whether eight wolves found in the Northeast over the last 27 years had been living in the wild or had escaped from captivity. This is an important question for species, such as wolves, that are not known to breed in New York state, but are occasionally discovered here. » Continue Reading.
Reuben Cary shot the last wolf in the Adirondacks in 1899 … or so he thought. Afterward, he posed next to the carcass for a photo. The stuffed wolf is now on exhibit in the Adirondack Museum.
Cary’s claim to fame is no longer valid. A new study by two scientists from the New York State Museum found that at least three wild wolves have been shot in the Northeast in recent decades, including one in the Adirondacks. » Continue Reading.
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