Archive for September 2015

The natural domestication of dogs- debunking dominance theory.   Leave a comment

Edwin's Canine Academy

Often times, we wonder where our four legged canine companions come from and why they act the way they do. While it is easy to point at their wild wolf ancestors for the answer, are they really that much related? Do dogs and wolves work the same way?  Can you apply the training you have done with your dog, to a wild wolf and expect to see the same results?

The answers to those questions are quite complex. A combination of yes’s and no’s that can confuse many people if they don’t understand how the domestic dog came to be.  Many trainer’s and dog owner’s to this very day disregard the research and finding’s of how the domestic dog evolved and are quick to apply a wolf’s outdated behavioral science to our current day canine companions.  This theory is called the “dominance theory“. It claims that dogs are…

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Posted 14 September, 2015 by Wolf is my Soul in News/Nyheter

Can We Rethink This?   Leave a comment

Wickersham's Conscience

Grizzly Bear, Denali National Park Grizzly Bear, Denali National Park

The Alaska Board of Game never met a proposal to kill a predator that it didn’t like. Why, it likes those proposals so much that it doesn’t matter what the public thinks, or what the science says. If it’s an opportunity to kill a wolf or a bear, the answer is, “Hell, yes,” and no further answers will even be considered.

The idea that you can increase the population of ungulates by decreasing the population of predators has always been scientifically suspect. Any biologist will tell you it is the supply of food, not predation, that typically sets the upper limit on a population. After all, predator and prey have been around for millennia, at least since the end of the last ice age. They’ve reached a point of evolutionary stability. It might be cyclical, like snowshoe hares and lynx, but in longer terms, it’s…

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Posted 14 September, 2015 by Wolf is my Soul in News/Nyheter

Miley Cyrus sounds clarion call against controversial B.C. wolf kill   Leave a comment

September 10, 2015


VANCOUVER – It’s not Miley Cyrus’s twerking that’s raising eyebrows in British Columbia but her provocative political dance around the issue of the province’s controversial wolf kill.

The American pop singer has taken to social media, urging fans to sign an online petition originally posted Jan. 15, 2015, calling the helicopter hunt a “tax-payer funded kill program of one of our most iconic species.”

She says she is “shameless” when making changes in a world that at times needs to re-evaluate its morals when dealing with animals.

The petition was posted by Pacific Wild, a non-profit group led by photographer Ian McAllister who was one of the key figures in the fight to preserve the Great Bear Rainforest on the central coast.

The group responded by thanking Cyrus on social media for her help.

The provincial government approved the hunt earlier this year in South Selkirks and South Peace regions because it said wolves were preying on caribou herds with declining populations.

Hunters were allowed to shoot as many as 184 wolves but when the hunt ended months later the province said less than half the animals had been shot.


Posted 10 September, 2015 by Wolf is my Soul in News/Nyheter

Can Animals Just “Be” Animals?   1 comment

September 9, 2015


On the heels of such news like Cecil the lion who was brutally poached by a Minnesota dentist, or Blaze, the assumed grizzly to have been killed by Yellowstone staff in retaliation of fatally attacking a solo hiker, there are questions to be asked looking forward.

 In the case of Lance Crosby, the 63 year-old hiker who died defending himself from a sow grizzly, there are two sides to the debate.  One side of the argument tends to blame the man who was hiking alone, not using bear spray, and not wearing bells; While park officials state that there was evidence that the body was cached to be eaten at a later time.  Being the devil’s advocate, let us remove blame from both parties and ask a simple question.
Grizzly bear, John E. Marriott

Grizzly bear, John E. Marriott

Can animals just be animals?

It is truly sad that a man lost his life while recreating in such a beautiful place, but that place is one inhabited by grizzly bears, a top carnivore in the park.  It has been shown that sows with cubs have less tolerance for humans in close proximity, versus bears without cubs (2000, Stonorov).

On second thought, perhaps Blaze WAS hungry;  Park officials did state the body was cached for a later meal.  Is it unreasonable to expect that a large carnivore would eat human flesh?  Is it possible we are not the top species?  After all, this incident occurred in a wild environment.  It’s not as if she broke into a home, or attacked someone in their backyard.  If anything it occurred in her backyard…..but I digress.

Besides recreation and ranching, rural areas are becoming home to vast numbers of people every day.  Subdivisions are sprouting up at an alarming rate all across the country in an effort to escape city life, but when wildlife gets too close people become afraid.  Instead of arming with guns, I recommend education as a way to arm yourself from possible encounters that can happen while living or recreating in wilderness.  Here, fellow author Rachel Tilseth gives first-hand knowledge on ways to protect yourself from mishaps while protecting wildlife at the same time.

In other wildlife news, gray wolves have returned to California and are also experiencing both positive and negative feedback.  Wolf advocates are pleased to have the species back in the state, while ranchers are leery of the possible interactions between wolves and their livestock.  Again, another case of large carnivores not being accepted for what they do naturally- feeding themselves.  Is there a happy medium?  We shall see what wolf management has in store down the line as wolves become established.

In closing, just remember that wild places belong to wild beings, and education is the key to living in harmony and coexistence with wildlife.
Stonorov, 2000. Living in Harmony with Bears.

Life Not Extinction   Leave a comment

Thanks for compiling this action sheet and providing all the information! Reblogged on Wolf Is My Soul.

Posted 10 September, 2015 by Wolf is my Soul in News/Nyheter

RZSS WildGenes Blog: The Himalayan Wolf Project   Leave a comment

September 9, 2015


Last week I was in Kathmandu setting up genetic analysis methods for the Himalayan Wolf Project.

The project, which aims to provide a scientific basis for national and international conservation of the Himalayan wolf, is led by Geraldine Werhahn who is a researcher with the University of Oxford’s WildCru. RZSS Wildgenes is partnering with the project by providing design of genetic protocols and training to the Center for Molecular Dynamics Nepal, a laboratory in the capital Kathmandu.

Geraldine has just returned from a two month expedition to the remote Humla Valley where she surveyed the wolves and collected their scats for analysis. In future, surveys will be expanded across the region where wolves are now predominantly confined to remote high valleys. Wolves are threatened by hunting both for protection against livestock loss and for the wildlife trade as their paws are popular talismans.

The survey team on the move through wolf habitat.

The survey team on the move through wolf habitat.


Helen and the CMDN team at work testing the new protocols designed by the RZSS WildGenes lab team in the Kathmandu lab.


Discussing some initial results.

Masala chai break with Kathmandu sky line.

Masala chai break with Kathmandu sky line.

Whilst Geraldine has been spending long days at altitude (over 4000m) looking for samples, the WildGenes team has been busy at the lab at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo developing genetic protocols for analysis of the samples. We did this with the help of the keepers from RZSS Highland Wildlife Park who collected scats from our very own grey wolves so that we could test-run the methods.

Once we had the protocols up and running, I could travel to Kathmandu to transfer them to the team at the Center for Molecular Dynamics Nepal who will conduct the bulk of the analysis. We are aiming to use genetic profiling to understand how many wolves there are, what sex they are and how evolutionarily different they are from Eurasian grey wolf.

Dr Helen Senn
RZSS Research Scientist

What it’s all about: The elusive Himalayan wolf.

What it’s all about: The elusive Himalayan wolf.


A New Film ‘Fable of the Wolf’ by Earthjustice, Sneak Preview   Leave a comment


wolf 2

Here is a sneak peak at a new film by Earthjustice that is scheduled for release Wednesday September 9, 2015.  This hauntingly beautiful film explores wolves relationship with humans and is called  ‘Fable of the Wolf’


Wolves once roamed the United States before decades of unregulated slaughter wiped them out. It wasn’t until they were missing that people began to recognize the crucial role wolves play in maintaining the health of the natural world.

The gray wolf was one of the first to be protected by the Endangered Species Act.Its re-introduction in the northern Rockies restored a balance in the ecosystem.


Some politicians are seeking to prematurely remove their protections—subverting one of the most effective laws of the land. We must not allow Congress to undermine the Endangered Species Act:

Take Action For Wolves



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