Skip to comments.Wolves act to help bighorn sheep near Yellowstone National Park
Posted on 05/02/2013 3:44:40 PM PDT by SJackson
I recently visited Yellowstone National Park and, while there, my father and I used a friends place as a base camp in Gardiner, Montana. From there we would drive about 10 miles to the Park where we watched wildlife, took photographs, and just enjoyed some of the solitude that Yellowstone provides during this part of the year when it receives few visitors.
One morning, as were driving to the Park we had to stop on the highway because of a group of about 15 bighorn sheep ewes and lambs. After the sheep got off the road we proceeded toward Gardiner but then I noticed a group of about 30 domestic sheep in a pasture on private land between the highway and the Yellowstone River. These domestic sheep were just ~750 meters from the boundary of Yellowstone National Park across the river and just across the highway from where I have seen bighorn sheep in the past.
Obviously their location was of concern to me because of the very real possibility that bighorn sheep would interact with them and contract deadly pneumonia that could result in a massive die-off. This concern prompted me to contact officials, and other people who might share this concern, to make them aware of the presence of these sheep.
Well, it turns out that nature has taken its own course and most of the sheep were killed by wolves on Tuesday/Wednesday night. The Bozeman Daily Chronicle is reporting that 13 of William Hoppes sheep were killed and 7 are missing. The Chronicle reports that the remaining 3 sheep will be moved to Jardine which is still within bighorn sheep habitat. Hopefully these remaining sheep will be properly secured away from wolves, grizzlies, and bighorn sheep. Additionally, I hope that the 7 that are missing dont interact with bighorn sheep if they are still alive. Maybe the wolves will do us a service and kill them too.
While visiting the Park I saw more than 100 bighorn sheep near Gardiner alone. This population of bighorn are one of the many draws that bring tourists from all over the world. They are important.
Is it time to talk about state ordinances that require landowners in bighorn sheep areas to ensure that their domestic sheep cannot come into contact with bighorn sheep? Those who live in urban areas, like Boise where I live, have all kinds of ordinances to contend with. For example, it is illegal for me to keep a rooster on my property or to allow my dog to roam the neighborhood. Why is it okay for a land owner who lives in the most important winter habitat for the worlds oldest national park to have domestic sheep that could transmit deadly pneumonia to a large herd of bighorn sheep that millions of people enjoy?
Unselfish wolves. Whodda thunk it?
The real predator here is this ken Cole nut.
LOL, what an idiot.
If an asteroid wipes us out, Kenny will say it did it to help out all the poor single-cell critters out there who are suffering under our brutal antibacterialocracy.
...so let's bring urban Boise to Yellowstone! Happy, happy, joy, joy.
Wolves are decimating populations of sheep, deer, moose, and elk and this guy’s big concern is pneumonia?
Well, maybe the wolves will do us an even greater service, and chomp down on some greenie weenies like the author.
Maybe Ken Cole could give the wolves the addresses of his cousins and they could help him accordingly.
Someone do him and us a favor and take away his laptop.
Ken Cole.....why, I remember Ken Cole. He was with that Chinese guy and they were sticking live eels up their ass. It didn’t work with Ken because his head was in the way.
I swear, I had a spiritual experience on night camping on the Gardiner River.
The big horn’s on Pikes Peak are domesticated...
I scratched one behind the ears in the parking lot.
Like rats they are.
For those who have missed this lecture.
The reintroduction of wolves has nothing to do with regulating the ungulates (deer, elk, moose) or because, gosh, people just wanted to see wolves happily skipping and frolicking around wildflower studded meadows. Wolves were reintroduced by the liberals to destroy the ungulates. It is extremely hard for liberals to argue against hunting. Starving elk and blue-tongue deer are not good for anybody. Hunting acts to keep the ungulate population healthy. So, the only way to get rid of the hunting rifles is to get rid of the ungulates. We think gun control is checkers, and the liberals are playing chess.
I’m pretty sure domestic sheep have a better chance of picking up diseases and parasites from wild sheep than the other way around.
In a word, Bullcrap.
And here, I thought it was the Bison who had Brucelosis.
Not to make too fine a point of it, but this thread began with BS (That Wildlife News is a blog that ain’t much but a collection of environazis stroking egos, with the author of this bit of fluff at the center of the circle jerk) and seems to have attracted enough misinformation to qualify as More Crap Than I Get On My Boots Going Through A Feed Lot.
Just one damn time, I’d like to hear information about my home (I live a hundred miles north of Yellowstone) from somebody actually knows WTH goes on either at the park or the ranches that are around the place and are still trying to stay in operation with that flock of fools screwing up everything they touch.
...and then we get some flatlander who couldn’t find Yellowstone on a map unless you tacked it to his forehead and probably couldn’t decide which end of a cow to go to for milk (if he didn’t stumble over that little detail about gender) happily quoting some pap about the elk population.
I’m going for a walk before I break this damn keyboard..
As a point of order, this is not a reintroduction. It is the introduction and protection of an invasive species.
The wolves introduced here have never been a part of the natural system - The Great Plains Gray Wolf was not present in the Rockies, and the Mackenzie River (or Alaskan Gray/Timber) Wolf did not get this far south. The real tragedy of the situation, outside of the decimation of the elk herds is that the invasive species will most certainly displace the Timber Wolf that IS native here, and that has always been here.
The Northern Rocky Mountain Wolf Recovery Plan was first approved in 1980, though it was then revised later on in 1987. The plan required a certain population of Northern Rocky Mountains wolves to reside in the area inside and around Yellowstone, which included at least ten breeding pairs, and for the population to remain stable for at least three consecutive years. However, the Northern Rocky Mountains wolf was not, at the time of the initial drafting, recognized as a legitimate subspecies, so the wolves involved in the plan were instead the Great Plains wolf and the Mackenzie Valley wolf. The overall reason for this was because the stated two subspecies of wolf roamed in the same general area as the Northern Rocky Mountains wolf and because the plan covered the reintroduction of wolves into the area in general. For this reason, the more plentiful subspecies' were chosen to be trans-located, so as to not upset the balance in the areas they would be taken from.
It is quite like trying to 'help' the grizzly bear population by 'introducing' an Alaskan Brown Bear population.
Our Timber Wolf, while a subspecies of the Gray, is longer in the leg, lighter weight, and tends toward tawny tones. They are solitary, or tend to small family packs BECAUSE that is what can be supported by the land. The invader tends to be bigger, tends toward large packs, and has a more a rapacious nature.
The Timber Wolf has been here all along, and didn't need governmental assistance.