Wednesday, February 11, 2015

DNA Test Confirms Female Gray Wolf Killed in Utah is the Same Spotted at the Grand Canyon's North Rim

Posted By on Wed, Feb 11, 2015 at 6:15 PM

COURTESY OF FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE
  • Courtesy of Fish and Wildlife Service

Remember the female gray wolf that was sighted in the North Rim of the Grand Canyon last October? That was, according to environmental officials, a huge step forward for the species because a gray wolf hadn't been seen in that area for at least seven decades. 

Groups like the Center for Biological Diversity celebrated the wolf's arrival, and saw it as glimpse of hope that a gray wolf population could resurface in the area.

Well, after DNA testing, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials today confirmed that the gray wolf shot and killed in southwestern Utah (after a hunter mistook it for a coyote) two months ago was the same wolf seen wandering the North Rim.

She was referred to as "Echo," a name adopted through a contest involving hundreds of school children.

“Echo came to a heartbreaking end, but her odyssey through forest and desert shows that excellent habitat still remains for wolves in the American West,” said Michael Robinson of the Center for Biological Diversity in a statement. “Her death also demonstrates that public education, law enforcement and solid science are needed now more than ever to recover endangered wolves, and that the last thing they need is to have their federal protections yanked.”

The 3-year-old wolf was first captured and radio-collared in Wyoming about a year ago. She then traveled hundreds of miles trying to find a mate, and ended up reaching the Gran Canyon. This was huge. Gray wolves hadn't been seen there since the 1940s. Gray wolves disappeared from northern Arizona in the '90s.

From the Center for Biological Diversity press release:
In May 2011, the same month Echo was born, Congress ended a budget standoff by approving must-pass legislation that included a rider removing Endangered Species Act protections for wolves in Montana and Idaho, along with those in portions of Washington, Oregon and Utah. Removal of federal protections has thus far cost thousands of wolves their lives through state-authorized hunting, trapping and strangulation-snaring by members of the public, and through federal trapping, strangulation and aerial gunning.

The 2011 budget act forbade judicial review of the decision to remove protections. In contrast, federal courts have reversed as unlawful administrative delisting decisions extending to wolves in Wyoming and the Great Lakes states. Consequently wolves remain on the endangered species list everywhere in the contiguous 48 states except Montana and Idaho, eastern Washington and Oregon, and northeastern Utah. However, prosecutions of people who kill wolves are exceedingly rare.

Congress now threatens to extend the precedent of the 2011 delisting through another rider that would preclude protection of wandering wolves such as Echo, and prevent the recovery of wolves to suitable habitats where they could benefit the ecosystems.
“Echo’s killing illustrates the perils that wolves face and the imperative to maintain federal protections as called for under the science-based standards of the Endangered Species Act,” Robinson said in his statement. “Keeping wolves on the endangered list is the basis for the public education we need, to enable more wolves to live and thrive and minimize conflict.”

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

More by María Inés Taracena

Today | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu
Meditation and Buddhist study

Meditation and Buddhist study @ Sky Island Zen

Tuesdays, Saturdays

All of today's events | Staff Picks

Staff Pick

Free Mozart and Beethoven Concert

Members of True Concord are joined by pianist Stephen Carlson for quintets by Mozart and Beethoven in… More

@ Dove of Peace Lutheran Church Sun., April 22, 2-3:30 p.m. 665 W. Roller Coaster Road.

» More Picks

Submit an Event Listing

Popular Content

  1. Antigone Books To Be Sold to Three Employees (If They Can Raise Some More Cash) (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  2. Record Store Day Becomes Record Store Week at Zia (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  3. Know Yourself! Know Your Rights! Teens to Gather at Joel D. Valdez Main Library to Connect with Activism, Art, Each Other (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  4. The Weekly List: 17 Things To Do In Tucson This Week (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  5. The Weekly List: 24 Things To Do In Tucson This Week (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)

© 2018 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation