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Old 12-27-2011, 10:07 AM   #1
blackdog
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Default Oregon wolves - natural or introduced species?

I'll admit I don't follow this topic nearly as closely as some of you but I seem to remember some discussion regarding whether or not the subspecies of wolf that exists today in Oregon (and throughout the West for that matter) is in fact not the same subspecies that existed historically. Is this actually the case?

This came to my mind again today while reading the Oregonian article about OR-7's potential travels into California and how they never though they would see them again. Are we truly seeing the rebuilding of a once extinct population or simply the growth of another very distructive introduced non native species?

(either way, they are a colossal waste of money and a huge detriment to the sportsmen (and ranchers) who have been this nation's greatest conservationists)

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Old 12-27-2011, 05:34 PM   #2
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Default Re: Oregon wolves - natural or introduced species?

Irrelevant at this point.

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Old 12-27-2011, 05:48 PM   #3
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Default Re: Oregon wolves - natural or introduced species?

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Irrelevant at this point.

E
It is but interesting just the same. The last encounter with wolves I can find in the L&C Journals is probably somewhere in today's Idaho. And they did take copious notes.

Another example is the old B/W photos of indigenous PNW people. You find some wearing animal hides like beaver, seal and the like but I can't find anything that resembles a coyote much less a wolf. Not to say there weren't any wolves here but I don't think they were prevelant.

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Old 12-28-2011, 08:59 AM   #4
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Default Re: Oregon wolves - natural or introduced species?

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It is but interesting just the same. The last encounter with wolves I can find in the L&C Journals is probably somewhere in today's Idaho. And they did take copious notes.

Another example is the old B/W photos of indigenous PNW people. You find some wearing animal hides like beaver, seal and the like but I can't find anything that resembles a coyote much less a wolf. Not to say there weren't any wolves here but I don't think they were prevelant.
In the book How High the Bounty, Jessie Hatfield Wright writes about her life living near Illahee Flats near Dry Creek up the North Umpqua in the early-to-mid-1900s. She has photos of wolves they killed from that area.

Really good book.
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Old 12-28-2011, 09:12 AM   #5
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Default Re: Oregon wolves - natural or introduced species?

I read an article awhile back about the history of Brownsville. It said one of the hardships was the lack of game on the journey to Oregon city for supplies due to the number of wolves in the valley.

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Old 12-28-2011, 09:25 AM   #6
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Default Re: Oregon wolves - natural or introduced species?

In my opinion the argument was irrelevant from the outset, especially coming from sportsmen. There is a LONG list of wildlife populations that have been reestablished with subspecies from other regions. The precedent was set long before wolves became a hot topic. It is far more constructive for sportsmen to advocate for responsible wildlife management than for them to be drawn into a debate about "non-native species".
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Old 12-28-2011, 11:01 AM   #7
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Default Re: Oregon wolves - natural or introduced species?

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In my opinion the argument was irrelevant from the outset, especially coming from sportsmen. There is a LONG list of wildlife populations that have been reestablished with subspecies from other regions. The precedent was set long before wolves became a hot topic. It is far more constructive for sportsmen to advocate for responsible wildlife management than for them to be drawn into a debate about "non-native species".
I don't believe that is completely true. The fact that the re-introduction of wolves in this area is based on poor science I.E. the introduction of a wolf species that did not originate from the area they were introduced, leaves the science as a whole, suspect and ripe for question.
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Old 12-28-2011, 11:15 AM   #8
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Default Re: Oregon wolves - natural or introduced species?

unfortunatley i think they are hear to stay. not much anybody can do to change that fact. my problem,and alot of peoples problem,is that i dont believe you can trust the people behind the scenes. they say we will manage them after we have a certain number. ok..decent comprimise..but once its reached they WILL say its not enough. thats what happened at the start. there was a number..i think 300 or 350..once that was reached it was the same old thing..not enough for genitic diversity. the thing that gets me is...if we screw this up..and something happens and every wolf in the u.s.a. dies all we have to do is ask canada for some more and start over. i bet canada wouldnt even charge us. they are not an endangered species. we are treating them like these are the last ones on the face of the earth and we HAVE to save them. put a open season on them 365 days a year, that would make alot of hunters happy. if they go bye bye oops. "hello canada this is the united states..we screwed up again can we have a few more?" canada.."no problem how many do you want we have 1000's?"
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Old 12-28-2011, 12:17 PM   #9
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Default Re: Oregon wolves - natural or introduced species?

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I don't believe that is completely true. The fact that the re-introduction of wolves in this area is based on poor science I.E. the introduction of a wolf species that did not originate from the area they were introduced, leaves the science as a whole, suspect and ripe for question.
Wolves have not been re-introduced to this area, they are dispersing on their own. In any case, we can make a long list of wildlife populations that have been reestablished through introduction of a subspecies other than what was historically present. Many of those efforts involve game species and were backed by sportsmen, if not spearheaded by them, and are routinely used as shining examples of conservation. If your criteria for the restoration of a wildlife population includes that the sub-species must be identical to what was historically present then maybe the wolves should done away with, but so should MANY of our deer, elk, turkey, and other game animal populations.

The invasive species argument for wolves is the revolving type that locks us into a never ending debate that we can not win, and makes sportsmen look like the hypocrites they so often accuse others of being. My argument is that we are better off advocating for and supporting a solid management strategy for wolves in Oregon. Doing so gives us credibility in the debate and leg to stand on when discussing the real issue, that wolves are here to stay and we need to figure out the best way to deal with it.
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Old 12-28-2011, 12:35 PM   #10
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Default Re: Oregon wolves - natural or introduced species?

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Wolves have not been re-introduced to this area, they are dispersing on their own. In any case, we can make a long list of wildlife populations that have been reestablished through introduction of a subspecies other than what was historically present. Many of those efforts involve game species and were backed by sportsmen, if not spearheaded by them, and are routinely used as shining examples of conservation. If your criteria for the restoration of a wildlife population includes that the sub-species must be identical to what was historically present then maybe the wolves should done away with, but so should MANY of our deer, elk, turkey, and other game animal populations.

The invasive species argument for wolves is the revolving type that locks us into a never ending debate that we can not win, and makes sportsmen look like the hypocrites they so often accuse others of being. My argument is that we are better off advocating for and supporting a solid management strategy for wolves in Oregon. Doing so gives us credibility in the debate and leg to stand on when discussing the real issue, that wolves are here to stay and we need to figure out the best way to deal with it.
Solid points. There really is no point in the arguement of "if" they should be here or not because they are here and we likely will not ever rid the area of them nor do I even think we should. I do agree that a sustainable management plan that considers game animal survival along with predator survival would be the strongest stance sportsman could make and it would look responsible as well.
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Old 12-28-2011, 12:56 PM   #11
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Default Re: Oregon wolves - natural or introduced species?

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Wolves have not been re-introduced to this area, they are dispersing on their own. In any case, we can make a long list of wildlife populations that have been reestablished through introduction of a subspecies other than what was historically present. <snip>
My argument is that we are better off advocating for and supporting a solid management strategy for wolves in Oregon. Doing so gives us credibility in the debate and leg to stand on when discussing the real issue, that wolves are here to stay and we need to figure out the best way to deal with it.
Okay, let's assume for a minute that we can overlook the sub-species/invasive species angle of the discussion, and that the wolves that have spread across Idaho and into Oregon and Washington are closely enough related to the originals.

That leaves us with their "endangered species" designation.
Sorry SRF, but they don't qualify under the original intent of the ESA.
If they are NOT a unique species, (even though we know they are) why are they to be protected?
We know there are thousands of their genetically identical breed in many places in Canada, where they are so prevalent that they are considered a hazard/nuisance species. They are "shot on sight" in many areas.

We know that there are enough of them to warrant a hunting season in Idaho, Montana, and possibly Wyoming.
That alone means they are not qualified to carry the threatened/endangered status.

Then there is the issue of the great lakes wolf that was recently de-listed and deemed recovered.
How genetically similar are they?

You, and any other wolf advocate can't have it both ways. Either they are unique enough to qualify for the ESA, in which case it's easily proven that they are NOT the same species as was indigenous to Oregon, and therefore invasive.
OR
They are not unique and therefore deserve no protection, or fail to qualify under the terms of the ESA.

Either way, the only case that can be made for ODFW to continue this farce, is that it is politically expedient.
And the longer we allow this fact to hide from the light of day, the further we will continue down this road that has proven itself to be very damaging to game as well as livestock, as was/is proven in the states I mentioned above.
Given the state of ungulate herds in Oregon, and the financial strife wolf packs generate with ranchers, I don't believe we can afford it.
YMMV
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Old 12-28-2011, 01:20 PM   #12
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Default Re: Oregon wolves - natural or introduced species?

I am not sure that anyone really believes that anything aside from political expediency is the core issue. It would be hard to get someone to say so with a straight face.

Maybe they will migrate due south and find wild horses to be easier pickings than antelope...
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Old 12-28-2011, 01:26 PM   #13
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Default Re: Oregon wolves - natural or introduced species?

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And the longer we allow this fact to hide from the light of day, the further we will continue down this road that has proven itself to be very damaging to game as well as livestock, as was/is proven in the states I mentioned above.
Given the state of ungulate herds in Oregon, and the financial strife wolf packs generate with ranchers, I don't believe we can afford it.
YMMV
The financial impact could become very significant as more and more wolves appear in Oregon. The deer and elk numbers will fall significantly in a state where it's already hard enough to get a tag with a decent chance to harvest an animal due to low resources. Hunting license and tag sales will drop as hunting continues to slide.
More state beaurocracy will be needed to manage them, which is never a good thing financially. More wolf hazers and riders will be hired as more conflicts with wildlife occurs. More taxpayer money will be doled out to reemburse ranchers.
What I find most offensive is the people that push so hard for their protection and expansion in range, aren't the ones that face the hardship of having them around on a day to day basis. It's the same as the cougar issue, but will become a bigger problem to deal with.
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Old 12-28-2011, 06:16 PM   #14
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Default Re: Oregon wolves - natural or introduced species?

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Originally Posted by SandyRiverFisher View Post
Wolves have not been re-introduced to this area, they are dispersing on their own. In any case, we can make a long list of wildlife populations that have been reestablished through introduction of a subspecies other than what was historically present. Many of those efforts involve game species and were backed by sportsmen, if not spearheaded by them, and are routinely used as shining examples of conservation. If your criteria for the restoration of a wildlife population includes that the sub-species must be identical to what was historically present then maybe the wolves should done away with, but so should MANY of our deer, elk, turkey, and other game animal populations.

The invasive species argument for wolves is the revolving type that locks us into a never ending debate that we can not win, and makes sportsmen look like the hypocrites they so often accuse others of being. My argument is that we are better off advocating for and supporting a solid management strategy for wolves in Oregon. Doing so gives us credibility in the debate and leg to stand on when discussing the real issue, that wolves are here to stay and we need to figure out the best way to deal with it.
So why all the stir about Barred owls versus Spotted owls???

I agree with Lingslayer, seems certain groups want it both ways!
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Old 12-28-2011, 07:00 PM   #15
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Default Re: Oregon wolves - natural or introduced species?

What other animal that was introduced into the USA is covered by Endangered Species Act protections? The Canadian Gray Wolf is the only one I have ever heard of. There are some invasives that are allowed to exist due to the fact they are beneficial or at least not detrimental and hugely expensive but that is a lot different than what is being discussed here!
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Old 12-28-2011, 08:08 PM   #16
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Default Re: Oregon wolves - natural or introduced species?

Very good points, Also, the wolves in north central Washington have already been shown through DNA analysis to be of Canadian origin and aren't recently related to the Yellowstone wolves. Those came here on their own and now have moved south to the Ellensburg area. With cougars and wolves ranging 100-200 miles to find new territories, how could one make the case that those that were extirpated were somehow significantly different? There just once again expanding from Canada There is a lot of history of wolves all over the state of Washington including trapping records.

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Wolves have not been re-introduced to this area, they are dispersing on their own. In any case, we can make a long list of wildlife populations th.at have been reestablished through introduction of a subspecies other than what was historically present. Many of those efforts involve game species and were backed by sportsmen, if not spearheaded by them, and are routinely used as shining examples of conservation. If your criteria for the restoration of a wildlife population includes that the sub-species must be identical to what was historically present then maybe the wolves should done away with, but so should MANY of our deer, elk, turkey, and other game animal populations.

The invasive species argument for wolves is the revolving type that locks us into a never ending debate that we can not win, and makes sportsmen look like the hypocrites they so often accuse others of being. My argument is that we are better off advocating for and supporting a solid management strategy for wolves in Oregon. Doing so gives us credibility in the debate and leg to stand on when discussing the real issue, that wolves are here to stay and we need to figure out the best way to deal with it.
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Old 12-28-2011, 08:10 PM   #17
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Default Re: Oregon wolves - natural or introduced species?

Steelhead, chinook, sockeye, coho, chum, and pink salmon for starters.

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What other animal that was introduced into the USA is covered by Endangered Species Act protections? The Canadian Gray Wolf is the only one I have ever heard of. There are some invasives that are allowed to exist due to the fact they are beneficial or at least not detrimental and hugely expensive but that is a lot different than what is being discussed here!
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Old 12-28-2011, 08:58 PM   #18
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Steelhead, chinook, sockeye, coho, chum, and pink salmon for starters.
There have always been populations of all fish stocks you mentioned in existence in the lower 48. Not one of those was ever extinct and replaced by a similar subspecies. Nice try but not close to what we are talking about here....
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Old 12-28-2011, 09:23 PM   #19
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Default Re: Oregon wolves - natural or introduced species?

Whether one likes wolves or not, genetically, there is no significant difference between gray wolves in Oregon today and the pelts from wolves killed here 100 years ago. A little silly to argue that the original wolves in the state were somehow genetically isolated from wolves in Canada or elsewhere. State lines, national boundaries, etc... are human inventions, and not something animals pay much attention to.

I'd second the observation that hunters should be careful with this line of reasoning. Over-hunting and extermination efforts by ranchers nearly wiped out rocky mountain elk in Northeast Oregon by 1900. In 1912, a number of elk were shipped into the state (ironically, from Yellowstone) to rebuild populations (over the objections of the livestock industry). Hunting for elk was illegal in NE Oregon until 1933, while populations rebuilt. See page 8 of:

http://www.icbemp.gov/science/clarkpatrick.pdf

If one argues that the wolves in the state today are non-native due to the original re-introduced population in Yellowstone originating in Canada, it would seem the same would apply to the elk in state as well. Be careful what you wish for, many of the same livestock interests in NE Oregon complaining about wolves today are the same folks who complain about "over-populating elk" that are destroying their grazing.

http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-no..._them_off.html
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Old 12-29-2011, 01:30 AM   #20
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Okay, let's assume for a minute that we can overlook the sub-species/invasive species angle of the discussion, and that the wolves that have spread across Idaho and into Oregon and Washington are closely enough related to the originals.

That leaves us with their "endangered species" designation.
Sorry SRF, but they don't qualify under the original intent of the ESA.
If they are NOT a unique species, (even though we know they are) why are they to be protected?
We know there are thousands of their genetically identical breed in many places in Canada, where they are so prevalent that they are considered a hazard/nuisance species. They are "shot on sight" in many areas.

We know that there are enough of them to warrant a hunting season in Idaho, Montana, and possibly Wyoming.
That alone means they are not qualified to carry the threatened/endangered status.

Then there is the issue of the great lakes wolf that was recently de-listed and deemed recovered.
How genetically similar are they?

You, and any other wolf advocate can't have it both ways. Either they are unique enough to qualify for the ESA, in which case it's easily proven that they are NOT the same species as was indigenous to Oregon, and therefore invasive.
OR
They are not unique and therefore deserve no protection, or fail to qualify under the terms of the ESA.

Either way, the only case that can be made for ODFW to continue this farce, is that it is politically expedient.
And the longer we allow this fact to hide from the light of day, the further we will continue down this road that has proven itself to be very damaging to game as well as livestock, as was/is proven in the states I mentioned above.
Given the state of ungulate herds in Oregon, and the financial strife wolf packs generate with ranchers, I don't believe we can afford it.
YMMV
That makes a lot more sense Ling. Thanks.
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Old 12-29-2011, 07:27 AM   #21
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Whether one likes wolves or not, genetically, there is no significant difference between gray wolves in Oregon today and the pelts from wolves killed here 100 years ago. A little silly to argue that the original wolves in the state were somehow genetically isolated from wolves in Canada or elsewhere. State lines, national boundaries, etc... are human inventions, and not something animals pay much attention to.

I'd second the observation that hunters should be careful with this line of reasoning. Over-hunting and extermination efforts by ranchers nearly wiped out rocky mountain elk in Northeast Oregon by 1900. In 1912, a number of elk were shipped into the state (ironically, from Yellowstone) to rebuild populations (over the objections of the livestock industry). Hunting for elk was illegal in NE Oregon until 1933, while populations rebuilt. See page 8 of:

http://www.icbemp.gov/science/clarkpatrick.pdf

If one argues that the wolves in the state today are non-native due to the original re-introduced population in Yellowstone originating in Canada, it would seem the same would apply to the elk in state as well. Be careful what you wish for, many of the same livestock interests in NE Oregon complaining about wolves today are the same folks who complain about "over-populating elk" that are destroying their grazing.

http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-no..._them_off.html
So did the elk that you say were transplanted in Oregon from Yellowstone originate from Canada? Are you saying that Rocky Mtn. Elk from Wyoming are of different DNA than the Rocky Mtn. elk from Oregon?
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Old 12-29-2011, 07:28 AM   #22
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Default Re: Oregon wolves - natural or introduced species?

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Whether one likes wolves or not, genetically, there is no significant difference between gray wolves in Oregon today and the pelts from wolves killed here 100 years ago. A little silly to argue that the original wolves in the state were somehow genetically isolated from wolves in Canada or elsewhere. State lines, national boundaries, etc... are human inventions, and not something animals pay much attention to.
The once native wolves of Oregon have been proven to have smaller skull size than Canadian Gray Wolves. This is from actual skull measurements nothing else. It is expected that the native variety was smaller in stature as well and tended not to hunt in large packs as the Canadian variety does.

Just a guess here but I would think it could well be that these differences were a factor of years of living in this environment or it could be they were an entirely different critter that is gone for good. It has NOT been proven genetically either way as far as I have seen. The only certain fact is that the skull sizes of native wolves was smaller. Generally with predators skull size determines prey size so right there we can conclude that the present day variety will have a different impact than native wolves did.

Obviously native wolves were none too popular though! That is why they were intentionally removed from Oregon by the people who established our state and had to work hard for everything they had.

As had been mentioned it is really irrelevant at this point as it appears they are here to stay in some capacity. I think it would be good for everyone to understand there are some definite differences but it is just for the sake of conversation unless the courts rule otherwise.
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Old 12-29-2011, 09:12 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by lingslayer View Post
Okay, let's assume for a minute that we can overlook the sub-species/invasive species angle of the discussion, and that the wolves that have spread across Idaho and into Oregon and Washington are closely enough related to the originals.

That leaves us with their "endangered species" designation.
Sorry SRF, but they don't qualify under the original intent of the ESA.
If they are NOT a unique species, (even though we know they are) why are they to be protected?
We know there are thousands of their genetically identical breed in many places in Canada, where they are so prevalent that they are considered a hazard/nuisance species. They are "shot on sight" in many areas.

We know that there are enough of them to warrant a hunting season in Idaho, Montana, and possibly Wyoming.
That alone means they are not qualified to carry the threatened/endangered status.

Then there is the issue of the great lakes wolf that was recently de-listed and deemed recovered.
How genetically similar are they?

You, and any other wolf advocate can't have it both ways. Either they are unique enough to qualify for the ESA, in which case it's easily proven that they are NOT the same species as was indigenous to Oregon, and therefore invasive.
OR
They are not unique and therefore deserve no protection, or fail to qualify under the terms of the ESA.

Either way, the only case that can be made for ODFW to continue this farce, is that it is politically expedient.
And the longer we allow this fact to hide from the light of day, the further we will continue down this road that has proven itself to be very damaging to game as well as livestock, as was/is proven in the states I mentioned above.
Given the state of ungulate herds in Oregon, and the financial strife wolf packs generate with ranchers, I don't believe we can afford it.
YMMV

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Old 12-29-2011, 10:28 AM   #24
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Default Re: Oregon wolves - natural or introduced species?

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The once native wolves of Oregon have been proven to have smaller skull size than Canadian Gray Wolves. This is from actual skull measurements nothing else. It is expected that the native variety was smaller in stature as well and tended not to hunt in large packs as the Canadian variety does.

Just a guess here but I would think it could well be that these differences were a factor of years of living in this environment or it could be they were an entirely different critter that is gone for good. It has NOT been proven genetically either way as far as I have seen. The only certain fact is that the skull sizes of native wolves was smaller. Generally with predators skull size determines prey size so right there we can conclude that the present day variety will have a different impact than native wolves did.

Obviously native wolves were none too popular though! That is why they were intentionally removed from Oregon by the people who established our state and had to work hard for everything they had.

As had been mentioned it is really irrelevant at this point as it appears they are here to stay in some capacity. I think it would be good for everyone to understand there are some definite differences but it is just for the sake of conversation unless the courts rule otherwise.
I'm sure the size issue is Bergmann's principle in action.
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Old 12-29-2011, 01:54 PM   #25
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So did the elk that you say were transplanted in Oregon from Yellowstone originate from Canada? Are you saying that Rocky Mtn. Elk from Wyoming are of different DNA than the Rocky Mtn. elk from Oregon?
I am not saying that the DNA is substantially different between elk in Wyoming and Oregon. I am saying the opposite of that. They are in fact the same species (as are Rocky Mountain Elk in Oregon and the elk who live north of the Canadian border).

What I am saying is that if one wants to argue that since the wolves in Oregon are descended from animals that were re-introduced, rather than native wolves, and are therefore not worth keeping around, be prepared to explain why elk that are descended from a similar re-introduction deserve a special status.

Bottom line is most folks in Oregon, and the country, want the animals back in the state. At the end of the day, we have to figure out some reasonable balance. Trying to invent theories about Canadian subspecies, or other reasons why they should be eliminated once again is silly and not constructive, just as it is to argue that no wolf should ever be shot for any reason isn't constructive either.
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Old 12-29-2011, 02:28 PM   #26
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Default Re: Oregon wolves - natural or introduced species?

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Bottom line is most folks in Oregon, and the country, want the animals back in the state.
Says who??? Could be many people in Portland want them back but that would be about it. I am certain if you polled all rural Oregonians (the ones that will be dealing with problems associated with wolves) you would NOT say most folks want them back! Especially when the anti-hunting community defaulted on the original plan as soon as the goal was reached. I'm going to say most folks in Oregon know when they are being worked by the anti's which is exactly what is happening today! Right now the best experts in the field feel at least two Oregon wolves need to be killed but the anti's have it tied up in court like they often do.

Regardless of origin or genetics they are being protected by our court system which sums up a lot of what is wrong with Oregon today and why things are going south so fast!
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Old 12-29-2011, 03:22 PM   #27
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Says who??? Could be many people in Portland want them back but that would be about it. I am certain if you polled all rural Oregonians (the ones that will be dealing with problems associated with wolves) you would NOT say most folks want them back! Especially when the anti-hunting community defaulted on the original plan as soon as the goal was reached. I'm going to say most folks in Oregon know when they are being worked by the anti's which is exactly what is happening today! Right now the best experts in the field feel at least two Oregon wolves need to be killed but the anti's have it tied up in court like they often do.

Regardless of origin or genetics they are being protected by our court system which sums up a lot of what is wrong with Oregon today and why things are going south so fast!
The problem is, if you polled all rural Oregonians (let's say those NOT living in the Portland metro area, Salem/Keizer, Eugene, Bend, Medford, or any town I'm missing whose population is higher than about 30,000-40,000), you would be polling less than half of the state's population. Geographically, I'm sure the 'no wolf' faction would be much, much larger than the 'wolf' faction.

Alas, population-wise, Portland > Prairie City, Eugene > Elgin, Salem > Seneca, Bend > Brothers, and Medford > Mitchell.
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Old 12-29-2011, 06:43 PM   #28
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Default Re: Oregon wolves - natural or introduced species?

Wolves were most certainly native, heck the first organization of our state government was the wolf commission to pay a bounty in the Willamette valley, so you could say that Oregon was founded because of wolves. ODFW has not reintroduced them so now that that is clear the other arguments come into play. Oregon was noted as having a different sub-species of wolf, called the Cascade red wolf. Probably with a difference like blacktails and mule deer. This begs the question, are the wolves from Canada genetically similar enough to be recapturing lost ground,or is this like a similar subspecies, better adapted taking over ceded ground? If the wolves here are not the same sub-species, should they be protected? canis Lupis familiaris - your basic house dog, is about as genetically similar as some sub species are from Canadian wolves. If that is the case can anyone argue they are actually endangered? If the Canadian wolves here are different enough, then they should not be covered under the Oregon endangered species act.
ODFW in co-ordination with USFWS is doing a genetic comparison between the cascade red wolf and the Canadian wolves here now. I am very interested to hear the results. If they are the same, I am for protecting them, if the are different, I want them 100% eliminated as a non-native invasive species.
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Old 12-29-2011, 09:14 PM   #29
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Default Re: Oregon wolves - natural or introduced species?

I agree with Brian M. From all the historical information I have read the wolves inhabiting Oregon were a smaller subspecie of the Canadian wolves that have been reintroduced. I don't think that is disputable. Many of the Canadian varieties whether they are Timber Wolves or Tundra Wolves or whatever are all considerably larger wolves. This is just fact. The subspecie originally here (Cascade Wolves) apparently didn't attain weights of 100 lbs. The larger Canadians can and do reach weights in the 175+lb range. I think a good comparison might be Coues Whitetails or Texas Hill Country Whitetails compared to their larger Northern cousins. They are all genetically Whitetails, but there are considerable differences and they are very apparent.

One thing that gets sorta lost in the shuffle is that there were around 6 functioning packs living in Montana in 1995 when the reintroduction began. There were also viable breeding pairs on the south side of YS. It seems reasonable that enacting strict protections on these populations would have allowed a natural dispersement. Instead, in their big hurry they highgraded Pittman-Robertson funds and plopped Canadian wolves down here and there and they have been prolific. Of course they are doing well. They had a smorgasbord of elk, deer, sheep, llamas, domestic dogs, and cattle. They are a hell of an apex predator. They are capable. I suspect the strains that they introduced are even more capable than at least what was in Oregon historically.

Personally I don't think it's gonna work in the long run. I think we will endure some painful experiments on our game populations that mimic what's happened elsewhere, but ultimately the tide will turn and the sexyness of the 'spirit of the wild' will run full circle. There was a reason why they were largely exterminated before. They are a hard fit with the development of the west, ranching, and tightly regulated game populations. I think the novelty will wear off and be replaced with realty.

It's too bad because they are a neat animal and deserve a place at the table but without really tight controls they will spell their own doom. It's their nature. Watch. Bet a lot of our angst will be for nothing. They could have repopulated previously. They will become their own worse enemy at some point. I think if we wait them out equilibrium will set in and they might find better pickins elsewhere eventually. They had plenty of time to come here before.
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Old 12-29-2011, 09:35 PM   #30
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Default Re: Oregon wolves - natural or introduced species?

The Rocky Mtn Gray Wolf was/is reintroduced as an “nonessential experimental population” under 10(j). Nonessential under ESA already asserts the population is not required for the continuation of the species (so arguments of they aren’t “endangered” are moot because that’s what 10j already means as nonessential). Experimental populations means under 10j that species needs only to meet the probable historic range (rather than proven beyond any doubt range) of a species. This threshold is also determined by Law at the sole discretion of the Secretary of the Interior under 10j. Also know subspecies of wolf very much overlapped, it would be a rare thing to say only one subspecies existed in the NW or Rocky Mtns regions so that argument would never hold up either of only “one” existed and therefore this "new" one is invasive. A positive side of 10j is it does not require a Section 7 to take (kill or relocate) individual animals if their removal likely would do no harm to the recovery. This is why a wolf can be taken within ESA designated habitats without breaking the normal Section 7 ESA Laws.

Not advocating the program (they need to be managed better) but there are so many posts claiming to know ESA but in truth they are not accurate at all to the actual Law.
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Old 12-30-2011, 05:29 AM   #31
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Default Re: Oregon wolves - natural or introduced species?

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Bottom line is most folks in Oregon, and the country, want the animals back in the state. .
Would you please link to your source for this information? Most people in Oregon don't know or care about wolves.
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Old 12-30-2011, 10:03 PM   #32
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Would you please link to your source for this information? Most people in Oregon don't know or care about wolves.

Oh the irony.
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Old 12-31-2011, 05:24 PM   #33
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What other animal that was introduced into the USA is covered by Endangered Species Act protections? The Canadian Gray Wolf is the only one I have ever heard of. There are some invasives that are allowed to exist due to the fact they are beneficial or at least not detrimental and hugely expensive but that is a lot different than what is being discussed here!
An argument could be made that the columbia river salmon, after several decades of hatchery influence. Is now an invasive species. Very simular to the wolf mutts now infesting the PNW
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Old 12-31-2011, 06:36 PM   #34
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An argument could be made that the columbia river salmon, after several decades of hatchery influence. Is now an invasive species. Very simular to the wolf mutts now infesting the PNW
Not really. It's been proven that hatchery salmon and wild salmon are genetically identical as in identical DNA. Besides Columbia river salmon were never eradicated to the point of having to be reintroduced. If they had been and they were reintroduced with Canadian Salmon we would be in trouble.

Clearly an argument could be made that bass and walleye are invasive species though yet they are protected by game laws. Go figure....
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Old 12-31-2011, 06:56 PM   #35
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Default Re: Oregon wolves - natural or introduced species?

Fish? Really? There is a fishing forum if you guys would like to discuss the merits of native salmon or not.

We thought you all wanted a forum to discuss wolves, so please stick to that. Thanks
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Old 12-31-2011, 07:44 PM   #36
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Fish? Really? There is a fishing forum if you guys would like to discuss the merits of native salmon or not.

We thought you all wanted a forum to discuss wolves, so please stick to that. Thanks
Really? You don't understand why a comparison of known genetic studies between different animals in the NW is relevant here? Seems really appropriate to me given the similarities and differences that are known.
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Old 12-31-2011, 10:11 PM   #37
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Default Re: Oregon wolves - natural or introduced species?

The analogy between salmon and wolf was to bring out the fact that human interferance in the breeding of a species, Changes the species into a non native. Calling them invasive was not the correct terminology. Human altered or geneticly corupted may be a more correct term. In effect humans have bred these wolf to be human dependant. They need dozens of lawyers, tens of thousands of wolf supporters and corupted laws like the ESA to survive in a completely human altered habitat. If the habitat is nothing like what the native wolf was geneticly raised in, And the wolf was also imported into this human altered habitat from a completely different wolf genetic pool. There is nothing Native about these wolves. The ESA should have no impact on how the state manages the wolf. They are very much like feral horses. Logic has nothing to do with the management of wolf or feral horses.
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Old 12-31-2011, 10:37 PM   #38
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Default Re: Oregon wolves - natural or introduced species?

This might help explain a little on why and how the wolf introduction has happened here in the lower 48. I’m sure you can find other great information on the USFWS website. Here are a few paragraphs from a great book on wolves.

Quote from book:

Mech, D.L. and Boitani, Luigi. 2003. Wolves. Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation.
(Pages 222-224)

“The biological species concept (BSC) maintains that the unifying characteristic of species is reproductive independence or isolation from other species (Mayr 1963; O’Brien and Mayr 1991). However, reproductive isolation is difficult to assess for populations living in different areas, and hybrid zones may form between populations thought to represent distinct species. These problems with the BSC have been the subject of a long discussion (reviewed by Hull 1997).

Operationally, species are often defined as morphologically and behaviorally distinct entities (e.g., Nowak 1979); however, the level of morphological distinction separating various taxonomic units (species, subspecies, populations) may be somewhat arbitrary and dependent on the measurements taken by the researcher. Moreover, morphologically distinct populations may interbreed (reviewed by Barton and Hewitt 1985, Harrison 1990, and Arnold 1997). Consequently, purportedly more objective definitions have been developed, such as the phylogenetic species concept, which defines species according to “diagnosable” characteristics reflecting a common ancestry (e.g., McKitrick and Zink 1988; Vogler et al. 1993).

Combining elements of the biological and phylogenetic species concepts, Avise and Ball (1990) suggested the subspecies be defined as populations that are generally allopatric (live in different areas) and have a series of concordantly divergent traits, but may interbreed if barriers to dispersal are removed. In contrast, species are defined by a similar suite of concordantly divergent traits, but do not widely interbreed if barriers to dispersal are removed.

Two problems are apparent when applying these definitions to wolflike canids. The first is that wolves disperse over great distances and across topographic barriers to find mates and territories (see Mech and Boitani, chap. 1 in this volume). As a result, rates of gene flow are high, so wolf populations are rarely isolated long enough to produce reciprocal monophyly in their mitochondrial sequences. Even rapidly evolving microsatellite loci may not show much differentiation between populations. Rather than populations being discrete, a limited pattern of genetic differentiation with distance may be apparent (Forbes and Boyd 1996; see below).

For this reason, the division of wolves into discrete subspecies and other genetic units may be somewhat arbitrary and overly typological (conforming to a specific ideal type). In reality, wolves are better viewed as a series of intergrading populations having subtle or undetectable patterns of clinal genetic change (Lehman et at. 1991; Roy, Geffen et al. 1994; Forbes and Boyd 1997). Importantly, populations may differ in attributes important to fitness in spite of being connected by high rates of gene flow (e.g., T.B. Smith et al. 1997). Therefore, units for conservation should be based on fitness-related characters or their surrogates, rather than on largely neutral changes in mitochondrial or microsatellite loci (Candall et at. 2000).

A second problem stemming from high rates of gene flow concerns the importance of hybridization. The width of a hybrid zone reflects dispersal distance and the degree of selection against hybrids (Barton and Hewitt 1985). Therefore, if selection against hybrids is weak and dispersal distances are large, interspecific hybridization can affect the genetic composition of a population over a wide geographic area. As discussed below, independent genetic studies suggest hybridization between coyotes and wolves and their hybrids over a wide area in southeastern Canada. As a consequence of hybridization, physically distinct populations may actually represent hybrids containing various proportions of genes from otherwise distinct species (see Figure 8.2 below on page 224). The presence of such introgressed populations greatly confounds taxonomic and conservation efforts (Jenks and Wayne 1992; Wayne and Brown 2001, 145-62).”

I would highly recommend reading through chapter 9 “Wolf Evolution and Taxonomy”. Figure 9.2 has a great map of original geographic distribution of wolves in North America. Take a look at that map and put the few paragraphs with it from up above and that might help explain why and how the re-introduction of wolves has happened here in the lower 48.
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Old 12-31-2011, 10:39 PM   #39
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Great post rimrock! Not sure why people are ignoring your post and continue talking about the introduction.

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The Rocky Mtn Gray Wolf was/is reintroduced as an “nonessential experimental population” under 10(j). Nonessential under ESA already asserts the population is not required for the continuation of the species (so arguments of they aren’t “endangered” are moot because that’s what 10j already means as nonessential). Experimental populations means under 10j that species needs only to meet the probable historic range (rather than proven beyond any doubt range) of a species. This threshold is also determined by Law at the sole discretion of the Secretary of the Interior under 10j. Also know subspecies of wolf very much overlapped, it would be a rare thing to say only one subspecies existed in the NW or Rocky Mtns regions so that argument would never hold up either of only “one” existed and therefore this "new" one is invasive. A positive side of 10j is it does not require a Section 7 to take (kill or relocate) individual animals if their removal likely would do no harm to the recovery. This is why a wolf can be taken within ESA designated habitats without breaking the normal Section 7 ESA Laws.

Not advocating the program (they need to be managed better) but there are so many posts claiming to know ESA but in truth they are not accurate at all to the actual Law.
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Old 01-01-2012, 04:52 AM   #40
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Default Re: Oregon wolves - natural or introduced species?

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Fish? Really? There is a fishing forum if you guys would like to discuss the merits of native salmon or not.

We thought you all wanted a forum to discuss wolves, so please stick to that. Thanks
It all has to do with the management (or mismanagement) of our resources.
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Old 01-01-2012, 07:21 AM   #41
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Great post rimrock! Not sure why people are ignoring your post and continue talking about the introduction.
I'll point out why for you: the wolf supporters lawyers have used the ESA to block the states from managing the wolf population. ESA rules, pre agreed population numbers and experiment location, mean nothing when the population of wolves is allowed to explode and expand at the rate the prowolf lawyers succedded in getting. The ESA has become invalid through abuse of its intent. Rimrocks posted rule points out the failure of the wolf experiment
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Old 01-01-2012, 08:40 AM   #42
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The analogy between salmon and wolf was to bring out the fact that human interferance in the breeding of a species, Changes the species into a non native. Calling them invasive was not the correct terminology. Human altered or geneticly corupted may be a more correct term. In effect humans have bred these wolf to be human dependant. They need dozens of lawyers, tens of thousands of wolf supporters and corupted laws like the ESA to survive in a completely human altered habitat. If the habitat is nothing like what the native wolf was geneticly raised in, And the wolf was also imported into this human altered habitat from a completely different wolf genetic pool. There is nothing Native about these wolves. The ESA should have no impact on how the state manages the wolf. They are very much like feral horses. Logic has nothing to do with the management of wolf or feral horses.
Very well put Baltz! That is the thought that comes to mind when I hear someone saying that since wolves were once native they NEED to be reestablished. If we really want things to be "natural" we need to put Oregon back to the way it was when development first started. Remove all dams, return all winter range to wild game so they their populations can be at maximum levels to sustain "historic" levels of predators, leave all forests alone ect.....

Once again I wish Oregon was a place where wolves could fit in in a natural way without having to spend thousands of dollars to try and assist them in getting along. Time will show it was a pipe dream.
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Old 01-01-2012, 11:41 AM   #43
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I'll point out why for you: the wolf supporters lawyers have used the ESA to block the states from managing the wolf population. ESA rules, pre agreed population numbers and experiment location, mean nothing when the population of wolves is allowed to explode and expand at the rate the prowolf lawyers succedded in getting. The ESA has become invalid through abuse of its intent. Rimrocks posted rule points out the failure of the wolf experiment
So then it is not about DNA but about blocking the states from managing the wolf populations. I agree with the states should have been able to get control over management after they reach the agreed population goal. I just don't agree with the people the try and claim the wolves are a different species or non-native.
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Old 01-01-2012, 07:36 PM   #44
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I just don't agree with the people the try and claim the wolves are a different species or non-native.
What if it is proven that they are not the native variety? Will you still have a problem with people that claim that is the case? It is still up in the air at this point as far as I can gather. Just waiting to hear some factual evidence prior to buying in to that train of thought.
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Old 01-02-2012, 12:23 PM   #45
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You, and any other wolf advocate can't have it both ways. Either they are unique enough to qualify for the ESA, in which case it's easily proven that they are NOT the same species as was indigenous to Oregon, and therefore invasive.
OR
They are not unique and therefore deserve no protection, or fail to qualify under the terms of the ESA.
I'm not a wolf advocate, they are already on the ESA whether we like it or not, and in any case it's not a black and white issue where ESA designation is needed for legal protections. Even in states where they have been delisted a management plan is mandated. My only argument is that you are wasting your time and energy trying to argue that they are an invasive species and therefore should be eradicated completely. Wolves are here to stay and the sooner a sound management strategy is developed and embraced, the sooner they can come off the list and controlled at sustainable levels, whatever that may be, and we have to remember that wildlife management is a social process in which we are a minority interest.

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So why all the stir about Barred owls versus Spotted owls???

I agree with Lingslayer, seems certain groups want it both ways!
What about barred/spotted owls? I see no correlation with the wolf issue at all. Apples and oranges, and despite barred owls being loosely labeled as an "invasive species" and being experimentally removed to study the affect on spotted owl populations, they are still a protected raptor species under federal law. You are about as likely to see those protections removed from the barred owl as you are to see wolves stripped of all protections and open season declared on them as an "invasive species". It's just not going to happen and hunters are far better off voicing our concerns in a constructive manner as the process moves forward and advocating for a sensible management strategy that does not totally alienate us from the public at large and gives us some credibility.

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What other animal that was introduced into the USA is covered by Endangered Species Act protections? The Canadian Gray Wolf is the only one I have ever heard of. There are some invasives that are allowed to exist due to the fact they are beneficial or at least not detrimental and hugely expensive but that is a lot different than what is being discussed here!
Peregrine falcon reintroduction was conducted using breeding stock representing 7 subspecies from 5 different continents, and the recovery of the species is heralded as one of the few successful examples of of ESA legislated recovery. The precedent is there, wolves are here to stay, it is only a question of how we manage them and what role sportsmen will play in the process.
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Old 01-02-2012, 03:22 PM   #46
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So then it is not about DNA but about blocking the states from managing the wolf populations. I agree with the states should have been able to get control over management after they reach the agreed population goal. I just don't agree with the people the try and claim the wolves are a different species or non-native.
Another simple analogy is in order: Releasing the wolf into a completely human altered ecosystem, Which is what has been done. Is very simular to the pitbull debate in the urban setting. The wolf has been released into the hunters and ranchers neoghborhood. Exactly like bad urbanites have released the pitbull into neighbor hoods across the nation. There is no difference between the failed goverment wolf experiment and the bad urban pitbull owners. Both are hated in their neighbor hoods. Both are released into poorly suited habitat. Both are mutts
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Old 01-02-2012, 05:55 PM   #47
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Peregrine falcon reintroduction was conducted using breeding stock representing 7 subspecies from 5 different continents, and the recovery of the species is heralded as one of the few successful examples of of ESA legislated recovery. The precedent is there, wolves are here to stay, it is only a question of how we manage them and what role sportsmen will play in the process.
Peregrine falcons were never gone from the US. Populations were low (around 10% of historic) but natural populations existed. They may or may not have been supplemented (I can't see that info anywhere but will look around more) from other populations but then again they are International travelers by nature so it wouldn't be the same scenario but thanks for the info......good to learn something new!

I have little doubt this conversation is meaningless but then again it is just for the sake of conversation and nothing will ever be agreed on here that really matters.
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Old 01-02-2012, 07:12 PM   #48
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Default Re: Oregon wolves - natural or introduced species?

"Sportman's Guide to Game Animals" published by Outdoor life books in 1968

Chapter on Gray and Red Wolves

On page 101 there is a map of North America, with a large dot in the middle of Oregon representing the distribution of the Gray Wolf a.k.a Lobo Wolf, Timber Wolf, and Canis Lupus. Canis Lupus is the same name for the Eurasian Wolf because they are the same species.
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Old 01-03-2012, 04:01 AM   #49
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Default Re: Oregon wolves - natural or introduced species?

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"Sportman's Guide to Game Animals" published by Outdoor life books in 1968

Chapter on Gray and Red Wolves

On page 101 there is a map of North America, with a large dot in the middle of Oregon representing the distribution of the Gray Wolf a.k.a Lobo Wolf, Timber Wolf, and Canis Lupus. Canis Lupus is the same name for the Eurasian Wolf because they are the same species.
The family canis lupus also includes the yellow lab laying next to my computer desk. Last I checked, she is not a wolf, even if she sometimes thinks otherwise. The subspecies breakdown of canis lupus cannot be omitted because there is such great variation within the species.

The debate on this thread is centered over whether the Mackenzie Valley wolf (Canis lupus occidentalis) is greatly different from the now extinct Cascade Mountains wolf (Canis lupus fuscus).


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Old 01-03-2012, 06:31 AM   #50
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Default Re: Oregon wolves - natural or introduced species?

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Originally Posted by nehalemguy View Post
The family canis lupus also includes the yellow lab laying next to my computer desk. Last I checked, she is not a wolf, even if she sometimes thinks otherwise. The subspecies breakdown of canis lupus cannot be omitted because there is such great variation within the species.

The debate on this thread is centered over whether the Mackenzie Valley wolf (Canis lupus occidentalis) is greatly different from the now extinct Cascade Mountains wolf (Canis lupus fuscus).


E
Why do you think there were only two sub-species historically in the NW? Or why do you think there was only one might be the better question?
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Old 01-03-2012, 06:51 AM   #51
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Default Re: Oregon wolves - natural or introduced species?

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Originally Posted by someguy29187 View Post
"Sportman's Guide to Game Animals" published by Outdoor life books in 1968
I would not rely on this "guide" for accurate information on wolf taxonomy.
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Old 01-03-2012, 08:49 AM   #52
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Default Re: Oregon wolves - natural or introduced species?

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...have used the ESA to block the states from managing the wolf population....
In Oregon, this should be rephrased as "have used Oregon’s Endangered Species Act (“ESA”), ORS 498.026(1) to block ODFW from managing the wolf population".

That is the thrust of the lawsuit by Cascadia Wildlands, Center for Biological Diversity, and Oregon Wild vs. Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission and ODFW.

The experimental population is treated as "threatened" by federal law but the species is listed as "endangered" under state law. That inconsistency is problematic.
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Old 01-03-2012, 06:28 PM   #53
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Default Re: Oregon wolves - natural or introduced species?

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Originally Posted by rimrock View Post
Why do you think there were only two sub-species historically in the NW? Or why do you think there was only one might be the better question?
I have no idea as to the answer for either question.

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Old 01-04-2012, 07:48 PM   #54
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Default Re: Oregon wolves - natural or introduced species?

ESA species are managed based on ESU's....and wild salmon are genetically distinct from hatchery fish....and wild stocks have been extirpated and reintroduced to certain rivers. Listed Pygmy rabbits from other ESU's have been reintroduced in WA from other states as well.

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Not really. It's been proven that hatchery salmon and wild salmon are genetically identical as in identical DNA. Besides Columbia river salmon were never eradicated to the point of having to be reintroduced. If they had been and they were reintroduced with Canadian Salmon we would be in trouble.

Clearly an argument could be made that bass and walleye are invasive species though yet they are protected by game laws. Go figure....
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