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What extinction in Idaho looks like: Last caribou captured, ending conservation program

Sytes

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The caribou can be found in the snowy old-growth forests of Idaho and extreme northeast Washington, but spend about 90 percent of their time in southern Canada. The threat to the animals there is so serious that Canadian government sharpshooters began killing wolves from helicopters. In the Selkirk Mountains, they have killed just 19 so far.

Widespread wolf culls further north in Alberta are credited with saving the Little Smoky caribou herd in the Peace River region. But the price was high: About 1,000 wolves were killed over a decade.

The Selkirk herd is not the only one so greatly imperiled. At last count, there were some 1,354 mountain caribou in 15 subgroups in southern British Columbia. Ten years ago, there were thousands. Today, all are in steep decline and listed as endangered in Canada, primarily because of wolves.
https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/04/science/endangered-caribou-idaho-british-columbia.html

And the value wolves bring... ESA ass backwards... Screw Caribou recovery for sake of wolf recovery. Wolves. Yep, said it. Let the vocal HT bunch ramble away.

Colorado the signs are present, wolves hold great value to city folk who have little understanding. Oppose the Patagonia type companies and organizations that back such companies... $$$ devoted to court stuffed reintroduction for wolves into your state.

And the value wolves bring? States have a hard enough time keeping the "minimum" count... Yet you will find even some hunters will say they hold value... Regardless the expense.
 

Red Fox

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Hate to see the loss but just can't keep bringing in more just to feed the wolf population, there has to be a balancing point. I don't see it as one or the other but as the numbers were so few they were having a hard time hanging on
 

Nameless Range

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Wolves or caribou? I'd choose wolves every time. Yup. Wildlife are not just targets.

I definitely don't understand this statement.

The extirpation of woodland caribou from the contiguous US is one of the great failures of conservation of this country's history IMO. It is strange to see the "meh" responses, and lack of panic in conservation orgs that would lose their shit if other species were on such a precipice.

Montana had hunting seasons for these animals! They ranged 180 miles south of Canada on the spine of the Bitterroots. From Kalispell, to Spokane and the whole northern panhandle of Idaho - they occupied over 10 million acres of US soil. And now they are gone.
 

icebreaker12

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I definitely don't understand this statement.

The extirpation of woodland caribou from the contiguous US is one of the great failures of conservation of this country's history IMO. It is strange to see the "meh" responses, and lack of panic in conservation orgs that would lose their shit if other species were on such a precipice.

Montana had hunting seasons for these animals! They ranged 180 miles south of Canada on the spine of the Bitterroots. From Kalispell, to Spokane and the whole northern panhandle of Idaho - they occupied over 10 million acres of US soil. And now they are gone.

Hes just 🎣
 

Gerald Martin

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I think the “meh” response is from a lack of understanding the situation and a lack of possible solutions to change what seemed to be the inevitable. Caribou seem to be a species that we know way less than we should about how to help populations stay stable.
 

Nameless Range

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Here's an eye-opening document. A grad student's paper from 1960 - Preliminary Investigation of Caribou in the Northwestern United States.

They were all over northwest MT and the Clearwater Country of Idaho, all the way to Elk City and even potentially northern Wyoming.


CaribouRange.JPG


A trapper killed a bunch on Callahan Creek north of Lake Pend Oreille in the 1890s and Jack Atcheson spoke of a person he knew who killed some in the 1930s in the Fisher River area. In the 1950s they were seen on the North Fork of the Flathead in Glacier Park. It's not inconceivable they regularly wandered from the Bob Marshall to the Lochsa.

Damn baffling.
 

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MinnesotaHunter

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If only every wildlife issue had a silver bullet solution....insert your biased opinion here. It is called an eco-SYSTEM for a reason, by their nature they are cyclical, easily imbalanced, politically charged, and just complicated. Apply the same logic to moose, wolves, lions, mule deer, bighorns, etc.

Lots of interesting info on these caribou found in the podcast at the link below. From what I recall: snowmobiles, punching roads into the high country, other ungulates bridging the elevation gap up into the Caribou's zone, and lions were much bigger issues than just wolves.

http://www.themeateater.com/listen/...ghan-land-tawney-and-meateaters-janis-putelis
 

Sytes

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Reminds me of the multiple transplant elk groups sent to Wisconsin. 25 years and hard pressed to exceed 300 elk, inclusive of the multiple transplants (200) to the three locations. Very few born / live long enough to exceed the primary hurdle, predation (wolves, lions, bears).
I believe Wisconsin has just, or will very soon receive it's last transplant from Kentucky.
 

Randy11

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"Caribou get killed by cars and poachers and cougars and wolves. But these are tiny nicks in the population compared to the slashing wounds of the large-scale clear-cut logging that has swept over British Columbia, Idaho and Washington since the 1960s. I don’t intend to point fingers; I print words on pulp, live in a wooden house and have friends and neighbors who make a living cutting and milling trees. But clear-cuts are killing the caribou. It’s just a fact."

I don't know the situation enough to know whether or not this is true, but trust the source enough to figure there's some merit to it.
 

MinnesotaHunter

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"Caribou get killed by cars and poachers and cougars and wolves. But these are tiny nicks in the population compared to the slashing wounds of the large-scale clear-cut logging that has swept over British Columbia, Idaho and Washington since the 1960s. I don’t intend to point fingers; I print words on pulp, live in a wooden house and have friends and neighbors who make a living cutting and milling trees. But clear-cuts are killing the caribou. It’s just a fact."

I don't know the situation enough to know whether or not this is true, but trust the source enough to figure there's some merit to it.

Yup, all that old man's beard they feed on is gone, and with clearcuts comes whitetails and moose which drag the predators up from the valley closer to the high country where the caribou spend the entire year.
 

BrentD

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I definitely don't understand this statement.

The extirpation of woodland caribou from the contiguous US is one of the great failures of conservation of this country's history IMO. It is strange to see the "meh" responses, and lack of panic in conservation orgs that would lose their shit if other species were on such a precipice.

Montana had hunting seasons for these animals! They ranged 180 miles south of Canada on the spine of the Bitterroots. From Kalispell, to Spokane and the whole northern panhandle of Idaho - they occupied over 10 million acres of US soil. And now they are gone.

I could explain it if you want, but would it matter?

FWIW, I was responding to what I think Sytes wrote.
 

Sytes

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Mark Hebblewhite, a Canadian wildlife biologist at the University of Montana

It’s all about habitat. You can do everything you want; you can kill wolves, you can kill invasive predators, you can kill species like moose … but without habitat what you’re doing is just buying time.

Hard to disagree with that.

One of those factors relates directly with predators specifically wolves and habitat has been studied, documented, peer reviewed - the wolves affect the ungulates ability to eat within the habitat they've found most suitable.

Full circle... All work in hand. Humans = habitat, predators = ungulate forced away from habitat...
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/19769124/

Randy once said 500 years ago, sure... Wolves worked within the system however, with human development, land shrinking for all wildlife... Well, a self leveling action is not possible. It requires hunting, etc...

Unfortunately, companies with deep financial pockets fight tooth and nail to oppose hunt, trap, etc wolves... Companies we choose to support with our hunting conservation intended $$$ go right against our efforts.

Regarding the lichen, etc - habitat:

But as late as 2009, the Selkirk population stood at 46 animals. And it was growing. Then three packs of wolves moved in and set up shop where the caribou lived, said Chip Corsi, Fish and Game regional supervisor in Coeur d’Alene.
 
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Northwoods Labs

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Danbury, Wisconsin
Sytes: enough man. Your post before basically proved that you know nothing about the elk program in Wisconsin.

It is called an ecosystem for a reason, caribou and wolves have occupied ecosystems together for a long time and wolves were certainly not the only factor here. There is hardly ever one silver bullet that destroys a species.

On the other hand, I find it interesting that a mammal goes extinct but we hear nothing from folks that supposedly love wildlife, like HSUS and the Sierra Club
 
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