Who WIll Speak for the Animals?

“Trump Administration’s New Rules Promote Senseless Slaughter Of Alaska’s Most Iconic Wildlife”

By Anthony McLennan / Truth Theory

Black bears, wolves and coyotes are among the animals facing increasingly cruel deaths by hunters as the Trump administration finalizes a reversal of the 2015 Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act.

The cancellation of this act would allow trophy hunters to use all kinds of treacherous methods to lure out and kill their prey, including:

– Attracting and killing grizzly bears with bait, including junk food. Even if this means disturbing their hibernation.

– Using dogs to hunt bears.

– The use of artificial light to enter the dens of bears, wolves and coyotes. And the right to kill mothers, cubs and pups.

– Slaughtering swimming caribou and other animals from boats and planes.

The changes to the 2015 regulations were first drafted in 2018.

The new ruling is expected to be published in the Federal Register this week, and will be effective in a month’s time.

It will leave animals across Alaska’s 20 million acres of federal land and 10 natural preserves facing an uncertain future.

Senseless slaughter, amazingly cruel policy

Those in favor of the regulation change are arguing that it is necessary to cull the top predatory animals. Supposedly in order to allow the populations of caribou, moose and other game – which are also hunted – to flourish.

The alignment of state and federal regulations in Alaska is another of their arguments.

Conservationists however are concerned about the cruelty as well as the ecosystem damage.

Said Collette Adkins, carnivore conservation director at the Center for Biological Diversity:

“The Trump administration’s new rules promote the senseless slaughter of some of Alaska’s most iconic wildlife on the very preserves and refuges meant to protect biological diversity.

“It’s outrageous to bait and shoot brown bears and litter pristine public lands with cruel and indiscriminate traps.”

Jesse Prentice-Dunn, senior representative for the Sierra Club’s Responsible Trade Program, added: “This amazingly cruel policy is just the latest in a string of efforts to reduce protections for America’s wildlife at the behest of oil companies and trophy hunters.”

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Featured Image credit: PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

Image 1 Credit: Sylvie Bouchard

Image 2 Credit: designpics

from:    https://truththeory.com/2020/06/11/trump-administrations-new-rules-promote-senseless-slaughter-of-alaskas-most-iconic-wildlife/

Wolf or Dog?

18,000-year-old frozen puppy leaves scientists baffled

Is it a wolf or a dog?

(CNN) – The 18,000-year-old body of a near perfectly preserved puppy has left scientists puzzled.

Russian scientists discovered the body of the canine near Yakutsk, in eastern Siberia. Preserved by permafrost, the specimen’s nose, fur and teeth are remarkably intact.

Using carbon dating on the creature’s rib bone, experts from Sweden’s Centre for Palaeogenetics were able to confirm that the specimen had been frozen for around 18,000 years, but extensive DNA tests have so far been unable to show whether the animal was a dog or a wolf.

“It’s normally relatively easy to tell the difference between the two,” David Stanton, a researcher at the Centre for Palaeogenetics, told CNN.

“We have a lot of data from it already, and with that amount of data, you’d expect to tell if it was one or the other. The fact that we can’t might suggest that it’s from a population that was ancestral to both — to dogs and wolves,” he explained.

Stanton told CNN that the period the puppy is from is “a very interesting time in terms of wolf and dog evolution.”

“We don’t know exactly when dogs were domesticated, but it may have been from about that time. We are interested in whether it is in fact a dog or a wolf, or perhaps it’s something halfway between the two,” he said.

Further tests might provide more insight into exactly when dogs were domesticated, Stanton said.

Modern dogs are thought to have been domesticated from wolves, but exactly when is unclear — in 2017, a study published in the journal Nature Communications found that modern dogs were domesticated from a single population of wolves 20,000 to 40,000 years ago.

In contrast, a 2016 University of Oxford study, published in the journal Science, suggested that dogs were independently domesticated twice from gray wolves during the Paleolithic era, once in Asia and once in Europe.

Scientists from the Center for Palaeogenetics said on Twitter that genome analysis had revealed that the puppy was male. They said that, after conferring with their Russian colleagues, they would call the puppy Dogor — meaning “friend” in Yakutian.

The scientists plan to run more genome data tests on the creature to find out more about its origins.

from:    https://www.news8000.com/lifestyle/18000yearold-frozen-puppy-leaves-scientists-baffled/1146175495

Howling in Dogs

Why Do Dogs Howl?

Elizabeth Palermo, Life’s Little Mysteries Contributor
Date: 22 May 2013 Time: 05:46 PM ET
A wolf howls in front of the moon.
 Dogs share their knack for howling with their distant relatives, the wolves.
CREDIT: sonsam, Shutterstock

Understanding your dog’s behavior can be a daunting task. For example, why do dogs howl?

Researchers admit that howling behavior in dogs is still largely a mystery. But if Fido goes wild at the sound of sirens or other dogs, it’s not because his ears hurt. It’s his ancestry that’s partly to blame.

Your pooch shares his penchant for howling with his distant relation, the wolf. Much like barking or growling, howling is a deeply ingrained behavior that helps wolves communicate with one another.

In the wild, a howl usually relays one of two messages: either to tell a rival pack that they’re encroaching on forbidden territory or to guide a wayward wolf back to his pack.

If your dog howls in response to another dog or a loud siren, he may be saying, “Get off my turf!” or just, “Where are you guys? I’m over here!”

And if your dog howls when you leave the house, it might be because he thinks that this ruckus will trigger some response from you, his pack leader. Your pet probably hopes that his howl will guide you home in time for dinner and a game of fetch.

from:    http://www.livescience.com/34616-why-dogs-howl-sirens.html

Wolves and Adaptation

Yellowstone Wolves Show How Animals Change With Nature

Jennifer Welsh, LiveScience Staff Writer
Date: 01 December 2011 Time: 02:00 PM ET
animals, Yellowstone wolves, wolf reintroduction, environmental changes and survival, evolution in action, Yellowstone population changes, population modeling, response to climate change, evolutionary changes, population characteristics,
Sibling members of Yellowstone National Park’s Druid Peak Pack engaged in play.
CREDIT: Daniel Stahler/NPS

Environmental changes have a profound effect not only on animal populations but on traits of the animals themselves, in ways that are difficult to understand and predict, new research suggests.

By studying the wolves of Yellowstone National Park, a group of researchers has developed a new model for understanding how both ecological and evolutionary traits of an animal population change as the environment does.

The researchers recorded and studied data from Yellowstone for more than 15 years, including the body size and coat color of wolves as well as their sharply fluctuating population, which last year stood at 97.

“The conclusions that we have been able to draw is that biologists should stop treating population size independently of population characteristics. As  changes, it invariably changes the ecology and evolution of species,” study researcher Tim Coulson, of Imperial College London, told LiveScience.

The study appears in the Dec. 2 issue of the journal Science.

Yellowstone wolves

An international group of wolf experts, geneticists and statisticians began collecting data from Yellowstone when, absent from the park for 70 years, wolves were reintroduced in 1995 and 1996. The reintroduced population of 40 grew to nearly 180 wolves within seven years. Then the population fluctuated before sharply declining starting in 2008.

Researchers put this data together with genetic information and other characteristics about the wolves.

“Biologists and people who study wild populations in animals have been noticing over the last decade or so [of studies] that when you change the environment around a species — climate change, introduction of new species, disease epidemics, etc. — you don’t just change the size of the population, the number of individuals living there, you often change the characteristics of the animals,” Coulson said.

“It’s a fairly general phenomenon, but they haven’t had an ability to understand how and why it’s occurred.”

The researchers used statistics to determine whether years were “good” and “bad” in terms of the wolves’ survival, growth and fertility rates. These were driven by environmental changes, including food availability, competition, disease and weather, Coulson said.

They used these survival rates to understand how these environmental conditions impact the various characteristics of the wolves. The researchers say they learned several big things, including that the population did worse when bad years came in series than when bad years were interspersed with good years.

“One bad year, yes, it has a short-term impact, but if you end up with a long string of harsh conditions, it’s worse for the population in the long run,” Coulson said. “We haven’t got enough data to work out exactly what it is that makes one good year or bad year,” he added, although availability of food and prominence of disease play roles.

The researchers also found that these changes can have varying, and even contradictory, effects on the life cycle of the wolves, or other animals being studied. “Survival, reproduction and individual growth are three key characteristics of a population, and they can all respond very differently to environmental change,” study researcher Daniel MacNulty, of Utah State University, told LiveScience. “Depending on how they respond to change, it will influence the dynamics of the population.”

Predicting future changes

The same model for how wolves react to changing environments can be used for other animals, and even insects and plants.

“Environmental change doesn’t affect simply the ecology or the evolution of the population, it affects both of them simultaneously,” MacNulty said. “Both ecological and evolutionary changes can happen rapidly and in a population that’s subject to environmental change.”

For example, researchers could model rodents and other pests over time to determine how they might react to replacing a city green space with a parking lot. “You can’t just assume that environmental change is going to lead a decrease in a population; they can increase as well,” MacNulty said. “They may respond to a particular environmental change by leading to an overabundance of a particular pestspecies.”

from:   http://www.livescience.com/17263-yellowstone-wolf-environment-change.html

On the Domestication of Dogs

The skull of a domesticated canine.

The skull of the fossil dog found in Siberia.

Photograph courtesy Yaroslav Kuzmin, PLoS ONE

Christine Dell’Amore   National Geographic News  Published August 19, 2011

It took 33,000 years, but one Russian dog is finally having its day.

The fossilized remains of a canine found in the 1970s in southern Siberia’s Altay Mountains (see map) is the earliest well-preserved pet dog, new research shows.

Dogs—the oldest domesticated animals—are common in the fossil record up to 14,000 years ago. But specimens from before about 26,500 years ago are very rare. This is likely due to the onset of the last glacial maximum, when the ice sheets are at their farthest extent during an ice age.

With such a sparse historical record, scientists have been mostly in the dark as to how and when wolves evolved into dogs, a process that could have happened in about 50 to a hundred years.

“That’s why our find is very important—we have a very lucky case,” said study co-author Yaroslav Kuzmin, a scientist at the Russian Academy of Sciences in Novosibirsk.

In the case of the Russian specimen, the animal was just on the cusp of becoming a fully domesticated dog when its breed died out.

(See dog-evolution pictures.)

Dogs Arose at Multiple Sites?

Kuzmin and colleagues recently used radiocarbon dating to examine the skull and jaw of the Russian dog in three independent laboratories. Each lab confirmed the fossil’s age at around 33,000 years old.

Burnt twigs also found at the site, known as Razboinichya Cave, suggest that hunter-gatherers used the space for something, and it’s likely the dog was their pet before its death from unknown causes, Kuzmin said.

Cold temperatures and nonacidic soil in the cave likely kept the dog’s remains from completely decaying, he added.

The team compared the Russian dog fossils with the bones of wild wolves, modern wolves, domesticated dogs, and early doglike canids that lived before 26,500 years ago.

The results showed that the dog—which probably looked like a modern-daySamoyed—most closely resembled fully domesticated dogs from Greenland in size and shape. That’s not to say the two dog types are related, though, since the new study didn’t run DNA analysis.

Because it wasn’t fully domesticated, the Russian dog retained some traits from its ancestors—namely wolf-like teeth. But the animal bore no other resemblance to ancient or modern wolves or to dog breeds from elsewhere in Russia, Kuzmin and colleagues found.

The discovery suggests that this dog began its association with humans independently from other breeds, which would mean that dog domestication didn’t have a single place of origin—contrary to some DNA evidence, the study said.

Curious Wolves Went to the Dogs

In general, dogs likely became domesticated when curious wolves began to hang around Stone Age people, who left butchered food remnants littering their camps, according to study co-author Susan Crockford, an anthropologist and zooarchaeologist at the University of Victoria in Canada.

This phenomenon occurred in Europe, the Middle East, and China, according to the study, published July 28 in the journal PLoS ONE.

Animals that were more comfortable around humans underwent changes in their growth rates—probably regulated by hormones—that eventually changed their reproductive patterns, sizes, and shapes, turning them into dogs, Crockford said by email.

For example, dogs became smaller, developed wider skulls, and gave birth to bigger litters than wolves, she said.

“The somewhat curious and less fearful ‘first founders’ became even more so as they interbred amongst themselves,” Crockford said.

 

to read more, go to:    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/08/110819-dogs-wolves-russia-domestication-animals-science-evolution/

Wyoming Targets Gray Wolves

Gray Wolves In Wyoming May Lose Federal Protections

Gray Wolves Wyoming

By BEN NEARY   08/ 3/11 09:40 PM ET   AP

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Wyoming ranchers and hunters fed up with wolves attacking livestock and other wildlife would be able to shoot the predators on sight in most of the state under a tentative agreement state and federal officials announced Wednesday.

Gov. Matt Mead and U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said they’ve come to terms over how to end federal protections for gray wolves in Wyoming – the last state in the Northern Rockies where the animals remain under federal management.

Hours later, a judge rejected a legal challenge to a federal budget bill rider that removed protections for the gray wolf in the other Northern Rockies states.

U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy of Missoula, Mont., said precedent by a federal appeals court required him to uphold the provision passed earlier this year that stripped wolves of their endangered status in Montana and Idaho, and in parts of Washington, Oregon and Utah.

It was not immediately clear Wednesday whether conservation groups planned to appeal.

While some neighboring states plan to let licensed hunters kill wolves at certain times of the year, Wyoming would be the only one to allow people to shoot wolves in most of the state year-round without a license.

Environmentalists swiftly blasted the agreement, saying it offers wolves too little protection and would fail judicial review unless Congress approves pending language to insulate it from legal challenges.

to read more, go to:    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/04/gray-wolves-wyoming-ranchers_n_917977.html

Gallery of Wolves

My, What Big Teeth: Wolves Gallery

1 of 12

A Common Ancestor

A Common AncestorCredit: John and Karen Hollingsworth | US Fish & Wildlife Service

The wolf, an ancestor of the domestic dog, is both a cherished and feared creature. There are many different subspecies of wolves, and in the U.S., the gray wolf, red wolf, Mexican wolf and Arctic wolf are all endangered

to see all 12 images in the gallery, go to:  http://www.livescience.com/15159-wolves-gallery.html .