The story of Isabelle, a lone wolf who lived most of her life on Isle Royale in Lake Superior, is not a happy tale. In fact, there isn’t much happiness at all among the little band of wolves on Isle Royale.
Wolves first came to the island over the wintery ice back in the 1930′s and 40′s when it was common for the lake to freeze solid. But as temperatures have slowly climbed, it has become rare for the great lake to freeze, and the wolves of Isle Royale became landlocked and isolated. As a result, they have had no choice but to inbreed.
At their peak there were as many as fifty healthy wolves on the island, but over the years that number slowly dwindled down to ten. Then Isabelle left. And now there are nine.
The wolf hating governor of Idaho signed a bill into law which is designed to kill wolves until they have been pushed back to the minimum number allowed before being relisted under the Endangered Species Act.
Estimates now put the wolf population in Idaho at around 500 – 600 wolves. This bill, now law, hopes to kill all but 150, the minimum allowed by federal law. The law creates a ‘Wolf Control Board’ with members including employees of the state Fish and Game departments, hunters, cattle ranchers, and others appointed by the governor. This board will plan and implement a number of lethal control methods to kill wolves.
Other than Colorado (which has zero wolves), Idaho contains more undeveloped forested land than any other state in the lower 48. This vast wilderness area is home to an estimated 3,000 mountain lions, 20,000 black bears and 45,000 coyotes.
At the end of federal protection, the wolf population in Idaho peaked at around 1,000, a low number compared to the other top predators. After wolves were delisted in 2011 and wolf hunting and trapping became legal, the population plummeted to it’s current number of 500 – 600.
Read More at The Wild Life News
“Brother Wolf, a Forgotten Promise“, is the undisputed king of wolf photography and narrative books. National Geographic photographer Jim Brandenburg takes us on a tour of the deep, lonely woods around his Minnesota home, Ravenwood, tucked up against the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness near the Canadian border.
Of all the lower 48 states, Minnesota is the only one from which wolves were never fully wiped out. And this book shows us why. The unforgiving, bony, forgotten lakes and forests of Northern Minnesota have been home to wolves for as long as wolves have existed. And Brandenburg reminds us of an ancient promise man made with these wolves long ago.
The photos of wolves, deer, ravens, eagles, bears and other wildlife in Brother Wolf are enough to win the hearts of everyone who loves wild things and wild places. Add to that the narrative and stories told by Brandenburg, and this book is a virtual treasure.
If it’s not already part of your library, consider securing your copy from Amazon.com today. You’ll be glad you did.
Watch this breathtaking slide show of an endangered Mexican Red Wolf defending his kill from a flock of angry, ravenous vultures.
Watch this powerfully moving life and death struggle between bison and wolf…
Watch a pack of wolves try and kill a mama grizzly and her baby cub…
Experience this dramatic video of a gray wolf pack hunting buffalo, and making a kill…
So begins The Last Wild Wolves: Ghosts of the Rain Forest, an exhilarating journey to one of the planet’s most spectacular regions–Canada’s North Pacific coast, our largest intact temperate Rain Forest and one of the last places where wolves live wild and undisturbed.
Award-winning writer and wildlife photographer Ian McAllister draws from his intimate observations of more than forty wolf packs along this rugged coastline over a seventeen-year period in this first-ever documentation of their fascinating, complex way of life.
In a compelling narrative and more than 100 stunning photographs, McAllister captures these majestic animals fishing for salmon, stalking seals hauled out on rocks, playing on the beach,and raising their families.
Enough can not be said about how splendid and wild this book is! The photography alone is stunning, but the stories told by the author of encounters with wolves and grizzly bears along the Pacific coast of British Columbia will make your spine tingle. It’s a book every wolf enthusiast should own.
Watch the preview at the Medicine of the Wolf website.
In Smithsonian’s online magazine, experience the frustrations and thrills of wolves in the Rockies.
Learn more at the Smithsonian’s online magazine.